Oh, what a difference a year makes. Check out last year for a comparison :)
Little Foot is almost 13 months old.
Now that it's been a year since we brought home our little angel I thought it was high time I wrote up her birth story. I knew going into this that I wanted to document that day and the Mr. was my own personal secretary (among other things). It's funny that I still remember most of it like it was yesterday but the first month after she was born is a haze. Selective amnesia, I suppose.
That Wednesday started out like any other day. My alarm went off way too early and I
rolled shimmied out of bed to get ready for work. After my morning routine I headed to work and pulled into my normal parking spot around 5:45am. When I got out of my car I felt a... heavy leak? Not a gush, but I obviously wasn't losing control of my bladder if you know what I mean. I sat back down. Nope, that didn't fix it. I waddled to my trunk, pulled out the blankets I kept back there for an instance like this, and threw them on my car seat, ready to head back home.
As I left my parking garage I called the Mr. and let him know my water broke. I don't know who was more shocked at this point, but he was apparently much more excited since he later told me he was dancing around the house after we got off the phone.
Once I got home we started timing my contractions. They were consistently five minutes apart so we called my OB around 8am and she told me to head to the hospital. We threw together the last of our hospital bag and slowly made our way to the maternity ward. Around 10am they confirmed that my water had in fact broken (no, I'm just taking the world's largest pee), hooked me up to a monitor, and admitted me to the hospital.
We sat around for a couple hours with very little happening (I was still only 1cm dilated) so they decided to start me on Pitocin around 12:30pm. Apparently Little Foot was having a dance party inside and they couldn't keep an eye on her so they had to do an internal monitor for her. My mom came by to hang out and sent the Mr. off for some lunch while I struggled through ROUGH contractions for the next couple hours. Those people that say Pitocin causes rolling contractions are not lying. I had maybe 15-20 seconds between them and it was trying.
After battling that pain for over three hours, I asked for a check on my progress. 3cm. How is it possible that I was dealing with that much pain and it was doing NOTHING. Ugh. I finally gave in and asked for an epidural around 3:30pm, right when the Mr.'s mom made it in from West Virginia.
I was happy to be resting in relative comfort (I could still feel every contraction) until I started feeling a lot of pressure down there. The only way I can describe it is a desire to want to push. My OB checked me around 5:30pm- just two hours after my epidural- and told me I was 9.5cm and pretty much ready to push. Woohoo!
I started pushing around 6pm and at 6:51pm our sweet baby made her way into this world just 13 hours after the process started. They immediately put her on my chest so I could see her and love her and cuddle her and that was the exact moment that my heart swelled to a whole new size.
Now that Little Foot is a year old, I thought I'd look back on the past year and make a few notes on what we learned and how that helped
us (me?) survive. Ya know, for next time. Or in case anyone stumbles on this little ol' blog and wants to know if something is normal :)
1. Hormones are RAGING those first weeks after you give birth. The week we brought her home I actually said "what did we just do??". Thankfully the Mr. reeled me back in during those days and I couldn't picture my life without her.
2. Those first few months are wicked. I thought I was doing pretty well since she would sleep a lot, but less sleep definitely takes its toll and for me it really hit ~3 months in when I was back at work. During those weeks and months, don't worry if there is dust on tables or food on the floor. Relax when you can and accept help that is offered to you.
3. The people that say it takes 6-8 weeks before breastfeeding becomes established are right. So very right. Probably TMI but I would cry anytime I had to feed her because I had cracks and was bleeding. At my 6 week postpartum appointment I asked my OB if there was anything I could do and she gave me All Purpose Nipple Ointment. That stuff is the bomb. My cracks healed up within days (even while breastfeeding) and I started to enjoy nursing her. If lanolin isn't working for you, talk to your OB now.
4. Introducing foods is fun and challenging. Sometimes they can't get their mouth open fast enough and other times (even during the same feeding session) it's like trying to fight an octopus. Distraction with another utensil is a good way to work around this. Also, there will be times she eats like a football player and other times when she barely has anything. This is normal, so don't freak out.
5. Stranger danger is alive and well from about 9 months on. If she doesn't know you she will cling even harder to the person holding her. Heck, even if she does know you she still might not want you to hold her.
6. Have Tylenol with a syringe, VaporRub, a NoseFrida and Aquaphor on hand at all times. These will alleviate discomfort for most things that go wrong during that first year. (Not true medical advice!) A humidifier is also very helpful.
7. Every baby is different. Duh. I just mean that some babies will be picky about some things but not other things. Little Foot liked the MamaRoo but wasn't a big fan of the bouncer. She didn't have an issue with any of the bottles we tried. We didn't buy a swing so she lived without it. I've already professed my love for the Rock N Play. I'm just trying to say that you can't plan everything out before they come. They will show you what they want and need as the time comes.
8. Don't be quiet while they are napping or you'll set yourself up for a lot of quiet time. Little Foot can sleep through a lot of stuff thanks to that helpful hint.
9. It's impossible not to compare your baby to others of a similar age, but try not to. It'll suck all the fun out of it and that's just not good. They will do things on their own schedule- some will be early by comparison while others will be later. Same goes for their size. No baby can be 50% in everything all the time.