Monday, October 6, 2008

A quick update!

Okay, a lot has happened in the last month! Karli is growing so quickly and I just wish I could put her on pause! It seems like every day she does something new, or for the first time and I just want to call everyone and tell them all about it but before I even reach for the phone she does something else, I just can't keep up with her.

We left Alaska on the first of September, and spent 10 days in Wisconsin, and then another 10 days in Michigan. I met Ryan's family and fell in love with his cousin Angie - she is AMAZING with kids and I would love to convince her to move to Alaska to be our exclusive babysitter!! I also got to know his grandma and her husband. We went to a Greenbay Packers game which was an interesting experience as well my first drink (legal that is, come on... grew up in a fishing village!) following my 21st birthday. From there we went on to introduce Ryan and Karli to my family where Ryan spent time on two seperate family farms, got to know my favorite cousins, and Karli was beyond spoiled by attention and gifts.

I had been so nervous about travelling with Karli, but it turned out all of my fears were unrealized! She slept on every flight with the exception of one, and on that particular flight we were seated next the the father of toddler twin girls, so he was not only tolerant of her fussing but almost oblivious to it.

She is now about 11 pounds and grew an inch and a quarter. She laughs, has rolled from her tummy to her back already (I cried!), she is already showing that little bit of redheaded attitude, and she becomes more vocal and interactive every day. Her laugh is contagious and at the same time gets me all emotional and teary, she is definitely a daddy's girl at times and then at other times nobody but mommy will do! It's amazing how little time I have for anything but her! No complaints really! But at the same time I guess I was pretty naive thinking I would have time to do laundry and dishes at least but there are some days I get worn out just thinking about doing any chores... the house is in total disarray and although I've always been such a neat freak (really messes and disorganization stress me out and I become prone to depression- also bipolar) the mess really doesnt freak me out as much as I thought it might. I realize just how worth it it is just to spend time with my baby girl instead of running around trying to keep house!

Well, I managed to get that much down, it took a few tries, but now it's back to my giggling bouncing baby girl who believe it or not will be three months old two weeks from today!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Something That Got Me Thinking

So I have a favorite internet site, called BabyCenter, and I love this great little section of it called Momformation. Today I hopped on and read a very interesting blog about mothers and how far they would go for their children... and it got me thinking. Really thinking, thinking hard, and thinking long. I had thought during my pregnancy I understood the love I felt for my child, the need I had to protect her, and how strong my love for her was.
After reading the blog I took a look back and remembered that moment I first saw Karli and I felt something so much stronger than anything I had ever felt before. It was overwhelming, a love that was unconditional, greater than could ever be described, there was fear of any harm coming to her, such a need to protect and comfort her, I teared up and cried at the thought that we would never be able to shield her from the bad things in the world, I sobbed into my husband's shoulder nightly about feeling as though I could never be as good a mother as my daughter deserved. I called my mom so many times she didn't even need to look at caller ID to know it was me with another question, concern, need for advice, need for support, etc. I didn't even feel sideways staples being pried from my skin because I was in such distress about the fact that they were making my child bleed at the same moment for her PKU test. During the night the slightest noise from her bassinet has me leaping from bed (not an easy feat when still in pain and recovering from surgery) to check on her, and at least every other hour I find myself monitoring her breathing, and checking to make sure she's not too hot or too cold. I feel horrible for watching my family and my husband's family like a hawk if they hold her to make sure they are doing it right, that she's not distressed by the attention, etc.
The question the blogger posed to her readers was "Walking Through Fire - Would You?" and I know that I would. I would go through every torture, every painful and terrible thing known to man to protect my girl. There is nothing I wouldn't do for her, and there is nothing anyone could do to phase me from stepping up to protect her.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

New mom, new life lessons...

Okay, so I knew it was a bad idea, but I thought "Hey, we can keep the whole thing under control!" Was I wrong or what? Yesterday was my husband's younger sister's birthday party, and we went over so that he could drive the jetskis for her and her friends, a houseful of pre-teens and young teenagers. It was going to be mainly family, so we figured what's the harm in bringing Karli along? We would limit people holding her, touching her, etc.
Well, the holding part went okay, I only allowed my two sisters-in-law, my father-in-law, my husband's uncle, and his former nanny to hold her. Outside of that I stuck to an adamant "No, she's still really young and I'm not comfortable with it. Maybe when she is older." Apart from one younger party guest who was very insistent (and very disappointed when I didn't give in), the rule was accepted and the young girls went off to do their own things and left the baby alone. As for the touching, I felt like I was working on becoming a body guard, perfecting my maneuvers to place myself between my little chipmunk and the over eager hands that constantly pursued the feel of her uber-soft skin.
I also dealt with a certain person's total dogging of my husband and my parenting skills right in front of me (hello! New mom, new dad, never been down this road before and learning as we go! I dont care if you have a million kids more than me and think your burping skills superior to all!).
The one thing that I really should have known better about, but completely spaced on was the fact that my husband comes from a very large and energetic family. Meaning loud, and sometimes prone to chaotic rough-housing- don't get me wrong, I love my in-laws, and my husband's family! Their energy is great and I enjoy being around them. But when the noise and action kept migrating towards my darling little girl I realized "Uh-oh..." The activity was overwhelming for Karli, and in turn her stress had me distressed. She didn't even want to eat like she normally does, spending about half as much time nursing as usual. I felt so bad because by the end of the party I was in a "Get the hell outta here" mood and very snappish, wanting to comfort and nurse my uspset girl in the quiet privacy of our own home, I was so focused on trying to calm her and getting out the door as quickly as possible that I barely said any good-byes to the family.
Ryan felt really bad and was so down on himself when we got home. He kept apologizing, stating he should have known, and he should have helped more, and he's sorry he has this flaw and that flaw. It really bugged me that he was being so hard on himself, yeah we knew things tend to get crazy over there, but we are still figuring out this whole mom and dad thing - we will still be figuring it out 18 years from now hunny! He is such a great guy and amazing with Karli, never giving himself enough credit, I wish I could give him a swift kick in the rear and he would instantly have more confidence in himself.
I will say something good came out of it all. Karli slept very well last night, and is nursing better today. We are staying in all day, relaxing, cuddling and not getting off our butts as much as possible. I love days like this sometimes.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Our Little Angel has ARRIVED!

So we finally did it. We had our little girl. A week ago from today my water broke at 12pm, and let me tell you it was not what I had expected! There was this little pop and a gush, and all I could think was "Either my water broke or I totally just wet myself and the bed." Ryan instantly noticed something was up because before I even finished that thought he was looking at me and asking "What's up Babe?" after telling him I waddled to the bathroom to check things out and sure enough I was dribbling disgusting liquid. They never said that once your water breaks it keeps coming... was not expecting that at all. Luckily I had my next appointment with the doctor at 1:20 and wasn't concerned a bit when my contractions jumped from 10 minutes to every 6 almost instantly after my water broke. After waddling through the doctors office (leaving Ryan to literally clean my trail), they checked things out and sure enough membranes had ruptured and I was 3 1/2 dilated and 75% effaced. We headed straight to the birthing center from there and were in a room getting ready to greet our girl at 2:00. They checked me again at 2:30 and I was at 4cm, excitement mounting I was preparing myself for what was coming.. the contractions weren't at all what I thought they would become, I barely paused for each one, but then things slowed down, contractions remained and slowly became closer together and more intense, but at each check it seemed my progress had come to a stop, I was still at 4cm hours later and they decided to introduce me to Pictocin... let me say now that stuff sucks a load! My contractions immediately started coming one on top of the other - I kid you not when I say that I had NO break between any of them.The women around me that had birthing experience and the nurses kept jabbering about how they hadn't seen such intense contractions at such at rate before - I really would have liked to shove something large down each of their throats but I was a bit preoccupied trying to breathe through each contraction and remain focused on my objective. I was getting scared because the doctor and nurses had noticed the baby was starting to become distressed and her heart rate was dropping. Originally my birth plan had been entirely "I want a natural birth, no medications, just completely a natural experience." I hadn't even thought of the possibility that something might happen to change things, never even considered a C-section as being something I should educate myself on because that would never happen to me. After no progress and increasing distress on the baby and overly powerful contractions my doctor informed me that we really had no other alternatives and she would have to perform the cesarean section in order to provide my baby girl safe passage into our world, we still had no idea what the issue was, but she was confident that it would be evident when she opened me up.
At 2:45 am I was prepped and wheeled off to surgery with my entire family and several of my closest friends waiting for us in the waiting room for the outcome. Ryan pulled on his disposable scrubs and joined me in the surgery room where they gave me a spinal (little sidenote here: Any kind of pain medication, any kind at all, knocks me out silly) and at 3:22 am our little girl entered the world completely perfect and healthy at 7lb 4 oz and 20 inches. The doctor took a look to see what could have caused such issue in delivering our little girl and was surprised to find my pelvic opening was too narrow. I could never have delivered our baby vaginally, and will never be able to do so because the opening is so narrow. I will admit that when I first found out I was saddened and felt some grief knowing I could never experience a natural birth.
I felt like a failure in that area, but then looking at my little Karli Ryan that feeling just disappears, because really what failure is there in having created and brought into the world such a perfect and beautiful little person. I met her the first time in the operating room, however I dont remember a thing about the experience from the time the spinal kicked in until sometime in the recovery room. I do remember that Ryan said "We have our little girl" and I was so happy, but outside of that the entire ordeal is a vague blur that gets less and less clear.
I have to admit as well that previously I had thought that women that get C-sections were taking the "easy way out". I will admit total ignorance and stupidity for that, there is nothing easy about having been cut open, being unable to remember anything about your child's first hour of life, being unable to lift her because it could hinder healing or damage something, or having to depend on your husband or someone else to help you throughout each day because you just aren't able to do it all. I know that I will only be able to have children by cesarean in the future and it scares me a bit because of those things.
But even with those fears and drawbacks, I know that I could do it again (we still want more children down the road) just from now finally truly knowing the joys of motherhood. There is nothing more wonderful to me than having my daughter close. During our two day stay at the hospital I couldn't give her up, she slept in the bed with me, I would have absolutely loved the breastfeeding at those first few days if I hadn't gotten blistered nipples from her having difficulty latching (we are using a nipple shield right now while my nipples heal). I can't go to far from her at any time without worrying about all the possible "what ifs". It's funny almost, I had always felt my mom was too emotional and too attached to my sister and I with all her worries and her needing such constant contact with us, how hurt she became if we were hurt, etc. But then when we were getting ready to leave the hospital the nurses came in, one to remove my staples and the other to do a PKU test on Karli. The first nurse started removing my staples (which somehow had been placed slightly sideways so they had to each be pried out of my skin) and the second prepped Karli for her poke. I am no fan of needles, and just watching them wipe Karli's heel with the alcohol prep had me cringing, and the pain of having staples yanked disappeared as I watched them stick my baby girl. I wanted to make them stop and to cuddle her, comfort her and to prevent any pain from ever touching her again, but knowing that the whole thing was necessary prevented me from doing just that. And when it comes to other people around her, if I dont know you well, trust you, and know you've washed your hands, I dont care that I just had surgery and am still healing, I'll tackle your ass if you reach for my innocent little girl. I was so deteremined that we limit visitors after going home that I convinced my husband for us to stay up at my parents house for a week to avoid people stopping by for a visit. It also helps having my mom close by, because I can turn to her with all my uncertainties and my questions. I can talk to her about the fears I have about motherhood, my sweet little girl, and about doing things right. I had such fears that a child so soon would place a great amount of stress on my husband and my relationship, but those fears were so far off the mark. Ryan has been my strength and sanity, by my side through every moment, helping me in my recovery and talking me through my emotional moments where I am reduced to tears because of fears, stress, paranoia (yes, I was a total worrier before and now it is about a thousand times worse), and even during my very short-lived grief/ feelings of inadequacy for being unable to give birth vaginally.
Our little girl has brought us closer together, I hadn't realized that our kisses had become almost routine but now they are filled with a love and passion that I can feel through my entire being. She was a perfect stranger, someone I am still coming to know, but from the moment she was placed in my arms I knew that I had never known such a love to exist. She has her daddy's eyes and mouth, her mommy's nose and chipmunk cheeks, and from who knows where strawberry blonde hair (Ryan and I both have darker brown hair, mine does tend to get reddish highlights in the sun). She has my uncle Karl's ears, which makes me smile because he is the man I chose to name her for. She has some of my sister's personality showing through already (which scares me a bit, but also makes me smil) and some of mine as well. She surprises me with her gas, who knew a baby could be so loud when passing some wind?? But that I can tell you she definitely gets from her daddy. She's not a crier, she fusses and if it takes you more than 15-20 minutes to figure out what her fussing is about she'll let out a few squawks, but we've only had one night where she cried quite a bit - I hadn't realized that sometimes a baby even this young could just want some playful attention. It scares me and thrills me just thinking that in less than two hours my little chipmunk is going to be a whole week old. Already I've taken so many photos of her that I am going to have to have a seperate scrapbook just for her first week of life.
Every time I look at her the same thoughts run through my head, "I can't believe we made that little girl!" "How can I freeze this moment forever and just live in it?" "How will I ever be as good a mother as she deserves?" "I dont want to share her with anyone!" "How glad I am that this little miracle was brought into my life" I want to spoil her, give her everything she wants, I want to put her in a little protective bubble and never let anything harm her or dim her innocence. But (see me coming into tears) I know that she's going to grow, time will pass, she'll get older and life happens. I just wish I could have brought her into a better world, not one where people can be so hurtful, cruel, where things aren't perfect.
I had thought that I couldn't wait to rejoin the workforce, I went a little stir-crazy during my pregnancy when I couldn't work. But now holding this angel in my arms I realize I am content and looking forward to time with her, and I really dont want to leave her anytime soon to spend 8 or more hours a day earning a paycheck when I could be home all day experiencing the joy that is my daughter and enjoying the love she's brought into our lives.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Waiting Game

All right! So I am now 38 weeks along and trying to scheme on how to get this kiddo to pop out just a bit sooner. A week ago at my last doctor's appointment I was told I was a centimeter dilated and half-way effaced and that I could expect her anywhere from one to two weeks from then. Then later that night I lost my mucus-plug... and dont ask me why, but I somehow had a picture in my head previously that it would be some nice neat little cork like thing, but it definitely was not that! It was pretty disgusting! I was told to notify the doctor's office if this happened so I gave them a call and the nurse said that that meant I was closer and could expect our baby girl a little bit sooner! Well that got me all excited! No more of this preggo junk! YAY FOR ME!!! I just can't wait to get to know the little person that has been living and growing within all these months! But guess what... a week later I am still pregnant, still getting up to pee ever hour and a half during the night, still feeling like a total whale while all of my non-pregnant friends on diets and in swimwear go wakeboarding and jet-skiing, hiking and four-wheeling... Then a couple nights ago I started getting regular contractions, about 45 minutes apart, and not painful just extremely uncomfortable. They were ruled to not be braxton hicks (strange name if you ask me), but in fact extremely early labor contractions... but they have not gotten closer together at all and because my water hasn't broken I just get to sit home and wait, and wait, and wait... I am soo over this... Can I please just have my baby, start the first time mommy experience?
All right, enough complaining... I would really just like to get this part over with. I am anxious to meet my baby! I already have everything ready for her to come home! Crib is together, bassinet is ready, carseat installed, diaper bags packed and ready to go, all her clothing is put into the little drawers, bottles and pacifiers are sanitized and in place, diapers stacked, wipes in their containers, it's all organized and ready to go!!! Can you tell? I've been nesting!
I even finally got my dear sweet husband to get all the extra containers of stuff she wont need until she is six months into their little storage areas! So mother nature! I am ready, the baby is to term, I'm sick of what everyone laughingly calls the waiting game.... LET ME GO INTO LABOR PLEASE?!?!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Just Call Me Grumpy Glenda

I am now 37 weeks pregnant and discovering that I really just want this pregnancy done with. I am so uncomfortable and my energy has gone to crap... so much left to do but NO energy to do it with. So to comfort myself at my sudden loss of spunk I have taken up television, XBox 360, and food... poor miserable me, right? Exactly...
I was just watching America's Got Talent and was amazed by some of the acts (in a good way!) and then there were a few where I was thinking... OMGosh, how can any person think that that's a good thing to do in public? In front of people?
I have to say I was touched by the single mom who put her dream of singing on hold for so long, and then the young father who (let's be real honest) is a dream to watch and listen to. His voice had me wanting to jump my hubby, and (I'll be real blunt here) replay that voice in my head the whole time! The bus-stop weirdo had me cringing and literally wincing in pain having to watch and listen but I just couldn't look away! I loved how Sharon called him a "strange little man" and a shrunken version of Marc Anthony... just about killed my preggo bladder!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Okay, so this post is only somewhat pregnancy related, but DEFINITELY related!
My husband and I went to a movie together the other night (Wall-E, very cute movie!) and I am just so disgusted with the way people treat each other nowadays!
At the end of the movie, as we were getting up to leave, the woman (complete stranger, who through the whole movie kept jamming her elbow into my side) sitting next to me decided that she wanted to get out ahead of us, and decided to push me back into a seat to make her way out. Now if she had politely asked and given me a chance to get out of her way I would have done it! I would have been a little annoyed, but HEY if she is in that much more of a hurry than I am whatever. When she pushed I didn't exactly just fall into another seat, they are the fold up kind so instead I just kind of got shoved really hard into an armrest while she continued to barrel her way on through. I am almost EIGHT, count 'em, EIGHT months pregnant! It's not like she could have missed the enormous belly! What on earth has changed so much that people think it's okay to shove any person, let alone a heavily pregnant woman??? I'm sorry but where I was raised, and the way I was raised I never would have even thought to do something like that because every person within shouting distance would have been down my throat, not to mention it endangers an unborn CHILD! I was so shocked by what happened it took a moment to register what had happened, and then once she had passed my husband and our friends that had sat with us I just kind of said really loudly "Because it's not like I'm heavily pregnant or anything!?!" She just glanced back, shrugged and kept going. What the heck is wrong with people today??