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.