Thursday, June 28, 2012

Week 1 with Baby Juniper

Here are a few pictures from Juniper's first week.  We start with the 12th, Juni's first full day at home.

3 Days Old (above and below)


June 13th, 4 days old

Tummy time with Daddy

She had a doctor's appointment earlier that day (so we put some clothes on her for the occasion-- it's been hot lately).  She looked a tad jaundiced so we had to go to the lab to have her bilirubin levels checked (you can see the band-aid on her little heel).

I love how tiny she looks in this snapshot!

That night was a little rough (not surprisingly) so after she was fed and just not sleeping Dennis took her so I could sleep.  Later that morning I came downstairs and found this:

oh, see the boppy copy I made?

Sweet Littles!


The next day I decided to try out my Moby Wrap... snuggy fun.  It's designed for a slightly bigger and older baby.  When the weather cools off a little I hope to rock the moby!


These are some picture I took on the 16th.

And in the blink of an eye Juniper was one week old!


I'm so happy and amazed that I get to be her mom!

(she's not screaming in this picture-- I promise!)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Juniper Louise

Our duo became a trio June 9th 2012 when we welcomed our darling daughter Juniper Louise into the world.  The process that began at 4:30 that morning culminated in Juniper's birth at 9:04 pm.  At birth she weighed 6 pounds 15 ounces and was 20 inches long.   I'll start off with pictures from the hospital then I'll share the experience of labor and delivery so if you're not interested in reading about contractions and such you don't have to read it.

Our first day as a family

The first photo taken of our Juni

Me and my doula, Kim, after a long day!  Dennis and I agree that hiring Kim was a great decision.  She was incredibly helpful.  She stayed several hours afterward to make sure that feeding got off on the right foot (and followed up with me in my home later to help).  Dennis appreciated that during labor he could just focus on supporting me and he didn't have to worry about what was coming next-- she was a great support for him as well!


Little Kickers

This one shows her little birthmark on her arm.

Juniper with Daddy

Baby mullet!


I love this baby!

Juniper on her way home.

Labor went as well as I had dared hope.  Waking to a contraction was not a new experience for me by that point but by the third one it occurred to me to start timing them; they were coming at a steady ten minutes apart.  I then did what any sensible gal would do-- I did may best to relax and cram as much sleep in between those contractions as possible while it was still dark since I had no way of knowing how long this day was going to be but I was pretty sure it was only going to get harder.

I held out until 7:30 to call our doula, Kim to give her the heads up.  She suggested that I take a warm bath and that that would either slow things down in the case of a false labor or it would move things along and perhaps make me more comfortable.  I thought that sounded good but there were a couple of things I wanted to first.  At this point the contractions were not very intense so we spent some time cleaning up the house to prepare to bring home a baby.  At this point I decided to finish painting a portion of the ceiling of our living room-- I just needed to brush in where the ceiling met the wall-- and only one of the walls so at least we could put our couch back and not have to move it again to finish... see, I'm sensible, I didn't finish the whole room.  So when I finished with that I got in the tub.

The bath felt good but it didn't seem to make lobe progress-- that is until the moment I got out of the tub where the contractions jumped from ten minutes apart to five minutes apart but still not notably intense.  I called the doula and she tells me she'll come over as soon I want her, I told her that I would call her and I continued to putter and sit on my pilates ball while Dennis continued to clean.  

He had cleaned up all of the debris from the plaster work he had been doing in the dining room and had moved on to vacuuming.  He was vacuuming the bedroom upstairs while I was downstairs on my life saving pilates ball and experienced a crippling contraction that lasted a solid five minutes -- a super contraction if you will.  I was was not ready for one that strong or that long; I called for Dennis repeatedly but he could not hear me.  By the end of it I was a crumpled mass on the floor.  When I could get up and climb the stairs a got Dennis and we agreed to stay in closer proximity.  I called the doula and asked her to come over.

There was just one super contraction thank goodness and by the time Kim arrived I had recovered and was enjoying my non-super contractions.  I labored in my living room with my husband and my doula for about an hour, I ate some strawberry yogurt, then we decided to try the tub again.  I when in for a 45 minute soak then like magic getting out of the tub turned my contractions from five minutes apart to about two minutes apart.  I should mention that we live live crazy close to the hospital so we were not worried about if we'd make it there on time.  Our goal was to labor at home as long as possible so labor would be less likely to stall out once arriving at the hospital.  So even though the contractions were closer together we waited for them to increase in intensity as well.  It did not take long.  We went to the hospital.

I was dilated to 8cm when we arrived.  We were set up in our room around 5:15 pm and shortly thereafter I was on a pilates ball, in the shower, and wanting to push. 

People perk up when the gal in labor says she wants to push.  Kim continued to lead me through several positions and Dennis continued to guide me through breathing (you'd think I could remember my own breathing but no I really needed the help to keep the breathing slow and steady) and the hospital staff was helpful and supportive.

My water broke during this portion of labor and there was meconium in the fluid.  At first this made me worry but then I realized that she just needed to come out and that that what we were doing.  

I'll spare you the details-- delivering a baby is messy.  I pushed often falling asleep in between, waking up to push again.  I felt exterior to pain.  I knew it was happening and I knew I was doing it but I was outside of myself.  There was a lot of time spent pushing before any progress could be seen but once the head was far enough down they set up a mirror for me to see the progress-- I know it sounds odd but it really helped me focus on the goal and removed me further from the discomfort.  It's hard for me to describe-- I could still feel the pain but it also felt like an out-of-body experience.  I roared.  I roared deeply.  Dennis held my hand and never stopped supporting me and telling me that I was doing well.  I thought at the time about his proper use of grammar; he never said "you're doing good"  it was always "you're doing well" -- it's funny some of the odd things I remember.

My doctor was not available so her sister (also an OB but I had never met) stepped in.  I thought I'd care but at that point in time I really didn't.  We delivered head and all in a single final push and a warm wet little baby flopped on my chest.  They worked on making sure her lungs were clear of the aforementioned meconium.  They let the umbilical cord pulse out and Dennis got to cut it.  I held her to me, her eyes were the first thing I noticed.  I fell in love with those eyes in that moment, she peed on me, I didn't care.  I knew I would love her but I didn't know I would be so suddenly and so completely smitten.

She was very alert (scored a 9 on the APGAR) which may be attributed to a drug free delivery.  Because people ask I'll mention that I did tare a tiny bit but not enough to get any stitches.  It took us a while to decide on a name for Juniper (heavily considering Abigail or Emily).  Louise is my Grandma Humble's middle name and it was her mother's name and I've always felt close to Grandma Humble.  

We stayed two nights in the hospital then got to take our little girl home!  Yay!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

41 Weeks-- Our Last Day as Just a Couple

On Friday June 8th I stopped by Dennis' work to meet him for lunch.  We had a lovely time and when we were done we took a few pictures.  I was 41 weeks pregnant and wanted some pictures of me "as pregnant as I'm going to get."

At the time I didn't know that this would be my last day being pregnant and that the next day we would be a family.

... and I would finally get to see the little feet that liked to wiggle so much!

awww... we look so... rested