Just a little ray of sunshine

Just a little ray of sunshine

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A typical day spent with you

I fully plan on doing monthly posts for Maeve and will go back and touch on highlights from months one, two, and three but before I do that I wanted to write my little sunshine a little letter about our day today. Just a little glimpse into what life is like in the present with her.

My Dearest sweet little Maeve,

I will probably always call you my little Maeve, but really you are getting SO big! I love it and don't really love it at the same time. I look at you sometimes and wonder where my tiny baby went, but I love seeing you grow and show more personality every day. It just gets more and more fun. This morning you woke up at 7am after sleeping 9 solid hours in your crib (for the second time) and your momma couldn't be more proud of you! You flashed me the biggest smile when you saw me peek over your crib and pick you up. I melt a little bit every time you flash me that sweet smile when you see me. I can promise you it will never get old!

As I was feeding you, your breathing sounded a little wheezy a couple of times. This isn't completely out of character for you, but it still made me a concerned momma for a few minutes because you haven't made that wheezy sound for a long time. I put you back in your crib for you to catch a little more sleep and said a little prayer that I would know if something was wrong, because my world would just not be the same if something bad happened to you. I did a little google search, checked on you a couple of times and when you seemed fine, I felt okay again to go back to sleep myself. You have been my greatest priority since day one!

When you woke up a few hours later, we finished making pancakes together for breakfast. You really wanted some, but settled for some of momma's milk instead. Pancakes aren't quite in your diet yet unfortunately. I laid you down on your play mat so that I could eat my breakfast. You love your play mat these days because you've made good friends your stuffed octopus that hangs down in front of your face. We like to call him Oggie the Octopus. You are quite fond of him. I know this because you stare at him often, like to touch him, and sometimes even try to eat him. Unfortunately, octopus isn't quite in your diet yet either. I turned on the TV to watch a little bit of Boy Meets World while eating breakfast and noticed your eyes wandering to the TV. After a few minutes I turned your play mat towards me so you could look at me instead. I might be a little paranoid about your exposure to any screens while you are so little. Don't get me wrong, I know Boy Meets World is a great show, but I only want what is best for you of course. Someday I know you'll love it just as much as your momma.

We enjoyed some fun play time together after I finished eating. You were dancing around in my lap, showing off all sorts of tricks, and flashing that smile the entire time. You even giggled a few times and made me smile real big. I just love your little giggles. I sat there having so much fun with you and started to think about how you spend nearly all of your time with me. It hit me that just as much as you and your daddy are my everything, we are also your everything. It will always be that way, and I hope when you are more capable of comprehending things that you will feel in your heart that we mean the world to you just like you mean the world to us. As I had these thoughts I got a little teary eyed because that's what moms do. I hope we can give you the best little life.

You went down for another nap since you still sleep quite a bit. I got to do the daily pick up of the house and shower before you woke up again and flashed me another smile. I fed you in your rocking chair, which we spend a lot of time in together. When you were finished eating, you let me know your belly was satisfied, but you also let me know very quickly and clearly that you did not want to be on your back for more than 2 seconds. You were blessed with a really good pair of lungs from day one and you're not afraid to cry with everything in you when you are just a little bit uncomfortable. You're sort of my little diva, but I'm okay with it. You really prefer to be upright after you eat, so I quickly fixed the problem and you were very quickly okay again. Although you go from 0 to 100 in a couple of seconds, you also go from 100 back to 0 in a matter of seconds often too, and that makes me happy. Some music was on and as I changed your diaper I sang to you. This made you smile because you just LOVE music. Whether momma is making it, daddy is making it, or music is just playing you love it all. It soothes you on a regular basis when you're sad, but also just makes you happy in general so we listen to lots of music. As I was changing your diaper, I quickly put vaseline on you after wiping your little bum because I wanted to secure your new diaper on you before you might decide to pee some more. These days every now and then you enjoy peeing when your lady parts are free during diaper changes. Silly little thing. Luckily for me, we were in the clear this time.

As I sit here writing, you've been getting reacquainted with Oggie the Octopus and chirping like a little bird. Oggie must have hurt your feelings, because soon you weren't loving him anymore and have since been content in your swing. Quickly, you will grow out of your swing and I think that will make you sad. You have loved your little swing.

I'm certain that the rest of our day will continue on in similar fashion. We will enjoy more smiles and giggles with each other, you'll sleep some more, and probably have a good poop at some point. Daddy will get home and you'll be so happy to see him and have some fun with him too. You may get a little grumpy in the evening and start thinking to yourself, "but really why do I have to sleep so much?!" -- I will convince you that it's good for you and you will eventually drift off for the night.

I took these pictures of you today. They show how silly you are and that you think you're getting pretty big. I just love them.

These are our days as of late, little one. And they sure are fun and sweet with you around. I am trying to cherish every single day and every little moment because I know each day will continue to bring new things and our adventures will change as you change. I look forward to it all. Just know that you have my whole heart and always will. I love you to the moon and back!

With love,
Your Momma

That makes three.

The most beautiful creature I've ever seen made her grand debut and made us a family of three 5 weeks ago (um, actually 3 1/2 months ago now, oops - I wrote this in June and never added the pictures until now). Here I am blogging about her birth story and what led up to it. I might be biased, but I'm not so sure, because seriously look at that face!

Maeve Elizabeth McKarns
Born May 7th, 2015 at 7:33am
8 lbs. 4.5 oz. and 20 inches long
In one word: perfection.

So miss Maeve was a stubborn little thing in Momma's belly. I really wanted to go into labor on my own, but during the final weeks of pregnancy I started to have this feeling that she just wasn't going to budge for me. It made me a little sad, but I got uncomfortable enough at the end that I was just ready to meet her however it had to happen! There was still a part of me though that felt like she was going to stay in my belly forever, that I couldn't actually have a baby and become a mom. I mean, that's just too plain crazy.

Just shy of 38 weeks, I woke up in the morning feeling some wetness down there -- I'd heard that sometimes your water breaking isn't a total gush but can just be a little leaking so I wasn't really sure what to think. I shrugged it off thinking it was probably nothing, but then later in the day thought I should maybe just ask my mom what she thought. She told me I should just call the doctor and see what they say. The nurse there told me I should have called immediately that morning (oops) because it's always better to play it safe when it could be amniotic fluid leaking. So I ended up having to go to labor and delivery that afternoon to see if it was the real deal or not - sorta bugged me because I had always wanted to go to the hospital just once when I really knew I was having the baby and wouldn't get turned away. But at least I wasn't really going in under the impression that I was in labor. It was more just to make sure I wasn't, which made me feel a little better. When I got there it was strange hearing a nurse say that if the test to see if my water had broken came back positive I'd be staying and having my baby that day. Say what?! I was mildly freaking out while laying in the hospital bed waiting to get the results. I couldn't have this baby girl without my mom there yet and without insurance for the babe! I texted Adam to tell him what was going on. He seemed so calm, but later when I told him that the results came back negative he replied "Phew, I was really freaking out there for a few minutes" - ha.

At my 38 week appointment my new OB wanted me to do an ultrasound. He was a little confused on what my due date should be based on the information he got from my previous OB so I think he just wanted to see himself how she looked and get his own measurements. I was really excited for this ultrasound because I thought since she was so close to being fully cooked I would actually think she looked like a baby and be able to tell what I was looking at! News flash: wrong. The technician actually said that the bigger they got the even harder it is to distinguish what you are looking at because they're taking up so much more space in the amniotic sac. Sad day. Once again, I could barely tell what body parts I was seeing. Anywho, at the end she told me that everything looked great but that based on the measurements their best estimate was that baby girl was already 7 lbs. 14 oz., making her estimated arrival date April 29th instead. When my doc saw those measurements he told me he was nervous that she was already as big as she was given how small I am. He checked me and unfortunately my cervix was still completely closed. So he told me that at my appointment the following week if I wasn't dilating at all, we'd talk options.

I was so hoping that I would dilate on my own, but also still wanted to make it till May 1st without having her so our insurance would kick in that covered the baby as well so we wouldn't pay an arm and a leg having her. I also didn't want a huge baby. My emotions and thoughts were a bit all over the place to say the least.

April 28th rolled around and I went to the doctor. He checked me and still nothing had changed. Baby girl was holding on. He decided that if I didn't go into labor on my own before May 6th, then he wanted me to come in for another ultrasound and see how her fluid levels and weight looked and decide what to do from there. No signs of anything and May 1st had arrived. My mom had arrived at this point and the insurance had kicked in and I was ready to do whatever I could to go into labor on my own! I started walking lots up and down the stairs outside of our apartment, dancing, jumping in place and tried eating some spicy food that I could handle. I would say that I had a few painful contractions before May 6th rolled around, but they never became consistent. Chica just wanted to plump up.

So alas, I showed up to the doctor's office on May 6th at 1:30pm to do another ultrasound. Fluid levels were normal and she was now measuring 8 lbs. 4 oz. -- he went to check me and I was just waiting to hear the lovely words "you're dilated to a 2!" but sadly he told me I had only dilated maybe a fingertip. It was pretty clear to him I probably wasn't going to go into labor on my own at this point and baby girl was only getting bigger. So he told me he wanted to try putting a cervadil on my cervix to soften it and help it open up. As he told me this, he said that the chances of it working were pretty slim, maybe a 20% chance. Then he said that if it only helped a little bit then they would put me on pitocin and even that might do nothing... and if so, then he'd have to do a c-section on me. The LAST thing I wanted to have to do was a c-section so hearing this was worrying me a bit, but I figured it'd be what it would be and I'd survive. He wanted me to go to labor and delivery around 4pm.

I told Adam to come home from work, we put a few more things in our hospital bags, and off we went. They admitted me, asked me a million questions, and then at 5pm my doctor arrived to put the cervadil patch on. It was quite uncomfortable if I do say so myself, pretty sure he was digging up clear to my esophagus, but that's besides the point. What really matters is that after he was finished and said unsure of himself, "we'll see if this works and I'll see you in the morning" and then left, the nurses were telling me that all of his patients ALWAYS go into labor immediately when he inserts the cervadil. They were laughing saying he always will downplay how effective it can be, even though his ability to correctly insert that thing was better than anyone else they'd ever seen around. From what I was gathering, he was considered a cervadil guru of sorts by all of the labor and delivery nurses. Suddenly I was feeling much more hopeful. Sure enough, by 6pm I was having regular contractions, around 4 minutes apart. I was eating my already ordered liquid diet (and hating it because up to that point I still felt like my complete normal self wishing I could have more than chicken broth, jello, and juice for dinner) and watching an episode of Married at First Sight. My contractions quickly became even more consistent and painful and continuing to watch my show went out the window. I couldn't focus on anything when the contractions came on and had to shut my eyes and grit my teeth. They very quickly started happening 2 minutes apart. I started to think for sure that things were going to happen quicker than my doctor thought because there was no way in heaven I could have contractions like this through the night and into the morning. I had to be dilating! I had the nurse check me probably around 7:30 or 8pm and she said I still was just barely open more than a fingertip. I felt so discouraged and wanted to cry because of the pain I was already in and felt that had to be impossible. She could tell I was already in a lot of pain and put two different medications in my IV. BIG mistake. Within one second, I had the strangest sensation come over my whole body and I felt incredibly weird. For a second I thought I might be having an allergic reaction, but I guess the medication is supposed to help by making you feel loopy and drowsy. Well lets just say my eyes started looking really weird to Adam, I couldn't focus and felt incredibly out of it. It was as if I was in a dream world but then with each contraction was very much there still and felt the pain just as intensely. Needless to say, I will never be accepting any other form of pain management during labor besides an epidural with my future children. Long story short, 7pm to 10:30pm was basically torturous between the pain, loopiness, and peeing every 10 minutes (I was really regretting the liquid food at that point) and I finally told Adam I couldn't do it anymore through tears and told him I had to have the epidural. I could not wait any longer or else I was certain that I would lose my mind! Sounds dramatic, but in those moments, I honestly felt that way, like my body could not handle anymore of it.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am here to tell you that epidurals are heaven sent. I was not scared for a second for them to put it in because I knew for certain it wouldn't come close to hurting as much as the contractions and I needed relief from that. Sure enough, I hardly felt the needle going in, which was good since they had to put it in twice since it didn't go in correctly the first time. I didn't care one bit because within minutes I was on cloud nine. I could finally breathe again, felt like myself, and if I saw the man that gave me the epidural again I probably would give him a large sum of money and tell him that he's the reason I am having more children! Okay, I probably still would have had more anyway because Maeve is just too stinking cute, but anyway... things got even better because the nurse checked me and I was dilated to a 2! Booyah. I tried to get some sleep and did drift for a little bit but then started feeling really hot. The nurse ended up telling me I had a fever and bless Adam's heart for getting cool rags for me and switching them out regularly, so I could stay as cool as possible. At 1am, I got checked again and was dilated to a 5! I was thrilled with the quick progress. By 2:40am, I was dilated to a 7 and lost my mucus plug. The nurse couldn't believe how quickly it was all happening and she thought maybe she'd still be on shift when I had the baby at this rate! Around 6am, I had dilated to an 8-9 and they let my doctor know to come. At 7am he arrived and couldn't really believe it all, but broke my water since it still hadn't broken on its own and then told me it was time to push. I pushed for about 25 minutes and after 3 or 4 sets of pushes and an episiotomy, our beautiful baby girl came at 7:33am. After her head had come out, the rest of her body came out so quickly that I could completely tell she had made it, but I couldn't hear her crying yet. Right as I said to Adam, "she's not crying, why isn't she crying??" she let out her first cry and the tears just started flowing from my eyes too. I will never forget that moment. Never. It was incredible. They put her on my chest and I just couldn't believe she was mine. I was in awe as she already looked so clean, so perfect, so alert, and so beautiful.

She never left our sight for the rest of our hospital stay (which was short, they let us leave the next day at 4pm) and although we maybe only got 4 hours of sleep total in a 48 hr. period, I didn't care one bit because I just wanted to stare at her and take in each and every moment. Here are some pictures from our stay leading up to going home with her.

She's ours. And always will be. Our lives have changed for the better because of her. How grateful I am for that! We love our sweet little Maeve Elizabeth more than she will ever know.