Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Week 9.

Dear Noelle, You are two months old already! I know, I know. I can hardly believe it myself. You're exhausting at times, but you are also perfect and beautiful and the love of my life. I'm so lucky to have you. You're such a daddy's girl. Not only do you look exactly like him, but you completely light up when he's around. He takes such good care of you and is crazy about you. You've started to "talk" to us a lot more these days. You've got some great stories to share. Know what else you have? Dimples! I'm not sure where you got them from, but they are off-the-charts adorable. Your Uncle Chad has dimples; maybe you got them from him. What a gift! Your eyes are so big and blue. You're still working on the whole hair- growing thing, but you're cute enough to pull off the bald look. (Not many of us are, trust me.) You're doing great at holding up your head, & we'll probably try out your Bumbo seat soon. You're a champ at eating and are now up to 9 pounds, 9 ounces. You've also grown a couple inches since you were born. Going to be tall like your daddy, I'm guessing. You and I struggled with feedings the first couple of weeks, but now you love nursing so much that you absolutely refuse to take a bottle of any kind. I'm thrilled that we're able to exclusively breastfeed, but weaning you is very possibly going to be a nightmare when the time comes. We'll figure it out, though. You're an awesome sleeper and sometimes go 8 whole hours without waking! Although on those nights, I've been up every hour anyway, making sure you're still breathing. I'll work on that. You're super smiley and have started to mimic what your dad and I do when we're holding you. For example, the other night I had you on my lap and was stuffing my face with popcorn. Dad started laughing because you were staring up at me, chewing away on your tongue. We're going to have to watch everything we do and say, because you're going to be soaking everything up like a little sponge. Let's see, what else? You enjoy baths a lot more than you used to, but you hate getting dressed afterward. (I'm the same way, don't worry.) We also suspect that you may be teething already, because you have recently started drooling like crazy and are constantly chewing on your little hands. But you don't cry very often, so maybe that's not it. We're so blessed to have you as our little girl. I can't wait to watch you grow and spend every day loving you. We adore you, Turtle Dove! You're the best surprise we ever could have gotten. ;-) Every day with you is a miracle.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Noelle Christine Wolford

Well, our little one finally came to hang out with us! My doctor offered to induce at 39 weeks, but I couldn't bring myself to do that until we were at least to our due date. So she ended up being born on her actual due date, which is pretty awesome. Labor was... interesting, to say the least. I slept about 2 hours the night before. My excitement/anxiety levels were through the roof. We ended up getting the okay to head to the hospital around 9:30AM. My awesome aunt, Karren NOEL, was our nurse and got us all settled into our room. It was the same room we had stayed in 16 weeks earlier when we had our preterm labor scare. I glanced over at the little bassinet in the corner and felt so grateful that this time, there would be a healthy, full-term baby placed in that crib when all was said and done. Karren got me all hooked up to the monitor and put my IV in. By then, my mom had showed up. Joey was, as always, so amazing and never left my side. In fact, he wouldn't even eat because I wasn't able to have anything but ice chips. (Which I did not ask him to do, of course- I wanted him to eat!) He is just so sweet and too good to be true. We started the Pitocin at 11:00, and it didn't take long for the contractions to become regular & strong. They took quite awhile to actually hurt, though. Karren said I could get the epidural as soon as I wanted, but I decided to wait until I really needed it. If I had it to do over again, I may have agreed to it a lot sooner. Anyway, the doctor showed up and broke my water at about 2:30. Contractions got pretty painful soon after that. I waited until about 4:00 to tell Karren I was ready for the epi. By then, I had experiencd quite enough of the contractions. The anesthesiologist was very nice. I told him I had scoliosis, and he said that it shouldn't be a problem. Not long after getting the epi, I couldn't feel my legs, and that really freaked me out. The relief from the contractions was well worth it, of course. But not being able to move my legs scared me. I thought of the many paralyzed patients I'd had while working as a CNA, and I just can't believe that some people have to live like that permanently. Strong, strong people. I couldn't do it for even a few hours. Anyway, I quickly started getting feeling back on my left side. I could feel the contractions, move my legs, everything. We had the anesthesiologist come back in to kind of "fix" the epidural. Not sure what he did exactly, but it made me super dizzy & nauseated. I still felt way too much on my left side, and every time Karren checked me for dilation progress, it hurt BAD. I started getting really scared, realizing that at this rate, I would not be numb for the delivery. I'd heard so many of my friends tell me, "My epidural was so awesome, I couldn't even tell if I was pushing or not! Labor was a breeze; I felt nothing." Well... this was not my experience! (We later found that the epidural had been put in "crooked"- probably due to my crooked spine. Explains a lot.) Soon my fear of the pain was somewhat pushed aside, as the "baby shakes" started. I'm still not sure whether they were caused by the epidural or labor itself, but they scared me so bad I sincerely thought I was going to die. I couldn't get my body to stop shaking uncontrollably. Karren hooked me up to oxygen and flipped me over to my left side, as the baby's heart rate was dropping. I just held Joey's hand and cried. I was miserable, but at that moment, I didn't care if I died- I honestly thought I might- as long as they got Noelle out safely. Her heart rate stabilized, thank the Lord! Things got a tiny bit better after that, just because Karren reassured me that the baby looked great. We tried upping the epidural again, but it quickly became apparent that it just wasn't going to do me any favors. All I will say about the actual delivery is that it was the hardest thing I've ever done, I didn't know it was possible to feel that much pain, (I pushed for an hour & a half and felt everything) and there is no way I could have done it without Joey, my mom, and Karren coaching me through the whole thing. My doctor helped, too. ;-) I will never forget the support they all gave me, and I feel like we all got Noelle here as a team. I will never, ever forget that moment when the doctor put that beautiful, screaming, goopy baby on my chest. She is perfect. I love her more than I ever knew it was possible to love. The past 9 months have been the most difficult of my life. (So have the past 3 weeks!) Getting her here was the hardest, scariest thing I've ever done. But yes, I would do it all over again for this sweet angel. I'd do anything for her. Even as I sit here writing this, so sleep deprived my eyes are crossing, I'm overwhelmed with gratitude because I have a healthy baby in my arms. Noelle is finally here... and she has saved my life.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


The first thing our doctor said to us at our appointment on Wednesday was, "You made it to 35 weeks! Your baby will be going home from the hospital with you." Obviously, there aren't any guarantees, but at this point, NICU time would be unlikely. The best part is, we should be able to do skin-to-skin contact as soon as she's born! Earlier preemies need to be immediately rushed to the NICU, but at 35 weeks, as long as she comes out screaming, (which she should) they'll be able to lay her right on my chest when she comes out. I've read up on how beneficial that is for babies, and it must be so scary to be born. I just want her in my arms as soon as possible. So I'm incredibly grateful to be at such a safe point, although I really want her to stay put and grow for a few more weeks. The longer, the better! I do have a feeling it may happen sooner than later, though. When the doc checked me today, she immediately said, "Wow! Her head is... right there." Which I already knew, because sometimes it feels like she's just going to fall out of me. Lovely, I know. Let's hope it doesn't happen exactly like that. I've also had some pretty intense contractions lately, but luckily they are few and far between. Even though I'm off bed rest, it hasn't been much different. Joey still won't let me do much; bless his heart. He is determined not to let this little girl show up too early. I am so spoiled by that man. He loves me and our baby so much. I could not have found a more loving, responsible, amazing guy to spend the rest of my life with. When I imagine him taking care of our daughter, I get teary-eyed. I always told myself growing up that when I did finally have kids, I wanted their dad to be just as amazing as my dad is. I grew up with the greatest dad imaginable, and I am overjoyed to know that Noelle will have that same blessing. Her daddy is incredible. Not to mention, a saint for putting up with my mood swings. Speaking of which... I LOVE being off Nifedipine! I absolutely love it. I truly think that medicine has had a lot to do with why I've been so miserable the past couple of months. Constant headaches, chills, hot flashes, insomnia... the past two nights of sleep have been the best I've had in months. I feel so much better emotionally, as well- almost back to my regular self! Nifedipine turned me into a beast, but it also gave our angel 11 extra (crucial) weeks of growth. So as much as I hated those pills, I will also forever love the darn things for working so well. 31 days- or less- until we meet our little princess. We love you so much, Noelle! See you soon. =)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Survey says...

It's a pregnancy survey! I found it on a bed rest website. Enjoy if you wish. =) {How far along} 32 weeks, 1 day. {Total weight gain/loss} 23 pounds. I was only mildly horrified when I stepped onto the scale at my doctor's office this morning. {Maternity clothes} Both my mom and Joey's stepmom have been angels and taken me on maternity shopping sprees... however, most of those clothes were more summer-y than winter-y, so I get cold very easily now while wearing them. I guess I didn't realize I would be hugely pregnant during the winter months? In any case, I also didn't anticipate being on bed rest for the last few months of my pregnancy, so now more than anything I just wear Joey's sweatpants and jackets. Or my Snuggie, which I finally busted out today. The good thing about most of my maternity clothes, though, is that they're cute enough that I'll totally still wear them postpartum. Especially the skinny jeans with the amazing waistband... you can't even tell they're maternity unless you pull my shirt up over my belly, and why bother with buttons and zippers if you don't have to? I may never go back! {Stretch marks} Yes, but oddly enough, not on my belly. I've gotten a few on my hips, but they're really not that bad. {Sleep} Couldn't possibly be worse; I dread it every single night. (See my most recent, total Debbie Downer post.) {Best moment this week} My doctor telling me that I'll be off bed rest at 35 weeks instead of 36- and the statistic she gave me that most babies born at week 35 and up get to go home right when their mommy does. Awesome! We can totally make it 3 more weeks. {Movement} It's no secret that I am not a person who enjoys pregnancy, but that is the one thing that I absolutely love and will miss about being pregnant. Every time she moves, I can't help but giggle like a little girl. It's just such a strange- but awesome- feeling. {Food cravings} Basically anything unhealthy that I probably shouldn't be eating. Slurpees, popsicles, puffed Cheetos, Dr. Pepper, Cafe Rio. Don't worry, though. I don't just feed my baby crap. In fact, I now eat more apples and bananas per week than I ever have in the past 26 years. Barney would be proud. {Gender} Girl. {Labor Signs} Well, I've been dilated and having contractions for 2 months now, but this past week contractions have been virtually non-existent! Such a relief. {Belly Button in or out} Still in. Although you should see the scar from my belly-button piercing which I took out years ago. Not exactly attractive. {What I miss} Not having to drink water! I despise water, but I need to get at least 64 ounces a day. Human contact. Going to the store or on walks. Working. (Certainly not at the job I most recently had, just working in general.) Being able to sleep. Iced coffee. My sense of humor. Balanced hormones. Actually being happy and not just anxiety-ridden all the time. The only thing that has been able to temporarily pull me out of my black cloud of sadness and anxiety is watching old episodes of "the Office" on Netflix. Something about that Michael Scott... Joey and I fully expect our daughter to come out humming the show's theme song. But you know what? All of this is so incredibly worth it. The past 7 months have been the hardest of my life, but I have a feeling they will seem like nothing once I finally have this perfect little human in my arms. So no more complaining! {What I am looking forward to} 35 weeks! (Which I will reach the day after my birthday.) Our family dog, Boozer, coming to stay with us for about a week. (Also happening around my birthday.) Thanksgiving! (And reaching 37 weeks, which is happening a few days afterward.) Celebrating Christmas, which I've already started doing. And finally- meeting this beautiful little girl after a year and a half of pregnancy! It truly has lasted at least that long in my mind. (I think the whole bed rest experience counts as an entire additional pregnancy.) {Other Updates} Contractions just started up again. Good thing I have a pill for that!

Friday, October 19, 2012


It's funny that I literally have all the time in the world, and yet I still don't blog very often. Oh, well. I guess the biggest thing to report is that Joey & I are now officially engaged! It certainly wasn't done the traditional way; we ordered the ring online since I'm on house arrest, and we've been practically engaged ever since we found out we were going to be a family. Even though it wasn't a surprise, it was still very special. I truly couldn't be luckier! The wedding itself won't be until next August or September. By then, my little brother Ryan will be home from Denmark, and Noelle will be old enough for us to leave with Grandma & Grandpa for a night so we can do a mini-honeymoon. Oh, and that'll give me time to lose this lovely baby weight I've been packing on. Fitting into my wedding dress and actually feeling pretty will be a definite plus. Speaking of positive things, in 4 days we will officially "qualify" for delivery at LDS hospital! (They can't deliver preemies under 32 weeks there.) So on Tuesday, I'll breathe my biggest sigh of relief yet. In about 2 weeks, we'll stop anti-contraction meds. 4 weeks, I'll be off bed rest. And 5 weeks- full-term baby! I know I can survive one more month of bed rest. At least, I hope I can. When I first received my "sentence", I thought, "This won't be bad at all! I literally am under doctor's orders to be lazy." It was nice at first, I'll admit. However, I reached my breaking point just this past week. When Joey is home, I'm fine. He is my best friend and always makes me laugh. The problem, though, is that he is a server and works nights. So we hang out together all day, then he is gone from 3-11. Those are my "dark hours". In the good old days, I could nap like a pro. Now that all I do is sit around 24/7, it's next to impossible to be tired during the day. In fact, all of my 1st and 2nd trimester fatigue has been replaced with 3rd trimester energy. Which is highly ironic, considering I'm not able to do anything with it. If I could, I'd just sleep away the hours that I'm alone. But sleep is far from my friend these days. I dread it even at bedtime when I actually am tired. I hate having vivid dreams every night, especially since they're never good ones. I have restless legs and can't take Melatonin for them. RLS is torture, and I am not exaggerating about that. I also can't ever sleep for more than two hours at a time because that is how often I get up to pee, and it takes me a good 20 minutes to get back to sleep after each bathroom trip. Everyone says, "Enjoy your nights of uninterrupted sleep while you can, 'cause you won't be getting any sleep once that baby comes!" Oh, please. My sleep is interrupted at LEAST ten times a night already by my overactive bladder, restless legs, squished lungs, scoliosis-plagued spine, & the pills I have to take 'round the clock. And none of those things are remotely cute. A screaming, poopy baby would be music to my ears right now, even at 3:00AM. Obviously, I'll probably be eating my words in a couple of months. I've never been a mother before, so I can't say how I'll handle it. But at this point in time, I just want her in my arms so badly, I'm probably not thinking very rationally. This entire post has been nothing but rambling and complaining, but I needed to get it out. Being cooped up all day every day is taking its toll. Not being able to contribute to society or really be productive at all is taking its toll. The pregnancy depression I've been suffering from for the past 7 months is taking its toll. (That's a very real thing, by the way.) I'm just glad the end is in sight. I know it will all be more than worth it. Some days are just harder than others. This would be one of those days. I'll end this with an excerpt from Dr. Seuss's "Horton Hatches the Egg": {Sighed Mayzie, a lazy bird hatching an egg: "I'm tired and I'm bored And I've kinks in my leg From sitting, just sitting here day after day. It's work! How I hate it! I'd much rather play! I'd take a vacation, fly off for a rest If I could find someone to stay on my nest! If I could find someone, I'd fly away- free..."}

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


We made it to 30 weeks! Not without a few bumps in the road, though. Last weekend we took another trip to the hospital. I had been feeling contractions on and off most of the day on Saturday, but by 9:00PM, they were actually starting to scare me. (Painful, etc.) I called Joey and my doctor. Doc said to go to Labor & Delivery. Joey rushed home from work and we got to the hospital pretty quickly. Of course my contractions slowed way down as soon as they got me hooked up to the monitor, so I felt like the girl who cried wolf. But it's so much better to be safe than sorry. We ran some test, including the fFN test, which is incredibly painful and I hope to never experience again. Anyway, that test came back positive, which is a little scary. (It has something to do with the presence of amniotic fluid in the test swab and indicates a possibility of delivery in the next two weeks.) I'm not a doctor or anything, but I do have one, and she tells me that the test can have false positives. So that makes me feel better about things. Luckily, this last hospital visit only lasted a few hours. So that wasn't terribly fun, but you know what was? Last Tuesday, when my mom & I went to get a 4-D ultrasound of the baby. Joey isn't really a fan of the 4-D pictures, so we went while he was at work. However, he seemed to change his mind as soon as my mom sent him one of the pictures after our "session". He loved the pictures and now has one of them set as the wallpaper on his phone. We're so in love with this baby and can't wait to hold her. (When she's full-term & ready to come out, of course!) While I was getting the ultrasound, as exciting as it was, my mom and I kind of felt like it was torture to see that beautiful chubby face and not be able to smother it with kisses. Let's hope these last two months fly by! (Yeah, right.) We had another check-up today and decided that we don't really need to do any more non-stress tests, as the baby is extremely active and I am FINALLY able to feel those movements regularly. Only took 30 weeks! I'm pretty convinced that I have the world's most anterior placenta. Case in point- at our last NST, the baby was so active that she wouldn't even stay still long enough for the nurse to monitor her heart rate. Yet I could hardly feel her myself, even though I was watching her squirm around like crazy on the ultrasound screen. Crazy stuff. My doctor also told us today that once I get to 34 weeks, I can stop taking the anti-contraction pills every six hours, which will be so nice. They also apparently won't try to stop labor after week 34. Although I will still be on bed rest until 36. But after that, it's fair game. I'd much prefer she stay in until at least 37, but once I'm off restrictions, it's likely she'll show up pretty quickly. So I guess we have yet another countdown- 6 weeks! In some ways, I feel like I've been pregnant my entire life. Truly. But in other ways, I just can't believe that we're almost to the finish line. Oh, life. What a journey.

Friday, September 28, 2012

A root canal & non-stress tests.

28.3! We hit our first big goal Tuesday- 28 weeks. It's been a month since I went into labor the first time, and we're still hangin' in there. Earlier this week, we experienced the worst night's sleep of this entire pregnancy so far- thanks to one of my bottom molars which was being eaten up by a nasty cavity. Now, I've had some terrible tooth pain in my day. Despite my love of milk, I have incredibly weak teeth. Just like my daddy! It's pretty safe to say that every one of my chompers has had at least one cavity over the years. I really do brush and floss my teeth, I promise. In fact, I'm pretty obsessive about flossing. But try as I might to take care of them, they're still a bunch of weaklings. Oh, well. Weak or not, I'm glad to have them. They come in handy from time to time. Anyway, I kind of went off on a tangent there. My point was that I've dealt with severe tooth pain before, and it's the worst kind of pain... to me, anyway. But in the past, I was always able to pop an extra-strength Advil if I had a cavity that couldn't be filled for a few days. Now the only thing I'm allowed to take is Tylenol, and Tylenol really doesn't do ish. So I was in excruciating pain from about 11:00 PM to 7:00 AM, when it finally subsided a bit. Poor Joey couldn't sleep knowing I was in so much pain, so he had to go to work the next morning like a zombie. Luckily, I have an awesome sister-in-law who happens to be a dental assistant. She set me up with a last-minute appointment at her office to see what was going on. So I went in for that yesterday. Turns out, my tooth was so infected that we had to do a root canal. I've had root canals before, but this was by far the worst. Even with 4 shots, I still felt way too much of the whole procedure. To top it all off, I have a pretty severe case of "pregnancy brain", so when the dentist asked me if I wanted him to write a prescription for Lortab or Percocet to deal with the pain of the aftermath, I said, "Oh, I'm sure I'll be fine. I have Tylenol if I need it." Well, I guess in my mind I was thinking that I've had cavities filled before without any pain afterward, so what's the big deal? The fact that I'd just had a ROOT CANAL and not a regular old cavity filling seemed to have been lost on me at the moment. Needless to say, last night was another interesting one. But Cherish came to the rescue again and got the prescription called in first thing this morning, so my mouth finally doesn't feel like someone is mercilessly taking a hammer to it. I hate taking any medicine while pregnant & especially don't enjoy the side effects of Oxycodone. But it's perfectly safe and I'm not in (much) pain anymore, so I consider that a win-win. Another thing we did today was have our first of many non-stress tests at the hospital. Basically they just monitor Noelle's heart rate and movement to make sure everything is going smoothly. They also monitor contractions, and I didn't have a single one the whole time we were there! Very good news. Just a little over 8 weeks until this baby is full-term. My doctor still thinks she'll show up early, all things considered. As long as we make it to term, I'll be ecstatic. In any event, I'll be a mom in about TWO MONTHS. I still don't think I'll believe it until she is in my arms. I dream about her every night. In fact, I've been dreaming about her since I was 12 years old. And in a matter of weeks, those dreams will actually be coming true. "Is this real life"? Yes... yes, it is. =)