Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Merry Everything This Holiday

I just ordered our family Christmas card from Sams Club.  They won't be ready until Friday which means they won't mail out until Saturday (if I get them addressed right away) so they'll probably be late for Christmas but at least I was able to do something.  These are the pictures we used and the little family blurb.

"Mary Ellen joined our family 12-2-12 at 6:49 pm.  She weight 9 lbs 7 oz and measured 22 inches.  She is just perfect!  Nathan (2) is very active and repeats everything.  Samantha (4) loves to sing and make up songs.  Brian (6) rides his bike to 1st grade and loves going out with dad.  Melanie is very busy with 4 kids!  Dusty just finished his internship.  He will graduate and commission as a Lieutenant in the Army National Guard in April 2013."

We wish all of our family and friends a wonderful Christmas and New Year!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A miracle is born!

Mary Ellen Allen arrived on Sunday, December 2, 2012 at 6:49 pm.  She weighed 9 pounds 7 ounces and measured 22 inches long.  She has 10 perfect fingers, 10 perfect, really long toes, 2 beautiful eyes and the cutest button nose ever!  The wonderful nurses brought my wonderful present all tied up with this bow back from her first bath.  She is the most perfect baby and I am simply loving every moment of her life (yes even getting up in the middle of the night)!

I had my last Dr. appointment on Monday, 11-26 where my midwife stripped my membranes and reported I was dilated to a 4.  She ended our appointment by saying, "I'll see you later today or tomorrow to have that baby!"  You can imagine my frustration when Wednesday and Friday (my due date) both passed with no real contractions.  I had been super uncomfortable all week and felt like things were happening but I just hadn't had the tell-tell contractions that meant labor was here.  I was so frustrated that when Dusty suggested we go cut down our Christmas tree Saturday, I jumped at the idea.  What a perfect activity to tempt Murphy!  Surly hiking around in the snow for a few hours over 50 miles from our house would bring on labor!  Wrong!  We did get a perfect little Christmas tree though and the kids had a blast playing with the sleds.  It was a wonderful family outing.  Saturday night, Lacie stayed with the kids while Dusty and I went into Idaho Falls to walk the mall.  Walking brought on a lot more tightness and a lot more discomfort but again, no contractions so we came home to try and get a good night's sleep hoping contractions would wake me up.  Sunday morning- still no action so I went to Sacrament meeting with Brian and then came home because I was just too uncomfortable to sit any longer.

Finally Sunday afternoon about 2:30/3:00, I decided it was time to go to the hospital and check things out.  I still wasn't having contractions but I was so uncomfortable I just had to know if my body was progressing and if the baby was handling my super tight belly okay.

Upon arriving at the hospital, I was dilated to just beyond a 4 and baby sounds great.  So we walked the hospital for an hour which brought me to a 5. This was not enough progress to be considered in labor and not enough progress to be checked into the hospital officially.  We had 3 options:  1- go home and wait some more 2- walk some more or try something else for one more hour 3- have Susan, the midwife come in a break my water.  I didn't feel comfortable having my water broken because I didn't want to risk having to have other interventions (I especially did not want to have to have pitocin) and I was so uncomfortable that I just wanted to have the baby!  So we decided to go with option 2 and instead of walking more (I'd been walking all week and it didn't seem to do anything!), I decided to sit in the Jacuzzi tub.

I couldn't have been in the tub for more than 5 minutes when my contractions finally started!  They were strong and regular but the tub felt good so I just sat and soaked up the warm water and bubbles for about 40 more minutes.  When I got out of the tub I was dilated to an 8 and Mary was born about an hour later!!!  It was actually kind of funny to observe the nursing staff when I got out of the tub.  They were as shocked as I was that things had happened so quickly.  They called the midwife to come to the hospital, Dusty called my mom to drive down, I was strep B positive so they quickly tried to get an IV antibiotic in me, they tried to monitor the baby all while I was having stage 3 contractions every 1-3 minutes.  I actually remember laughing out loud and shaking my head at how crazy and fast things were happening.  I just couldn't help but think that I have a weird psychological disorder that won't allow me to go into labor until I'm already in the hospital.  I guess I just needed to relax!  I had a hard time pushing because the baby was turned sideways.  The midwife had me push for a couple of contractions while laying on my side.  This downright hurt but it worked and I was able to turn back on my back and push her the rest of the way out just a minute or two later.

Mary was a loud crier and she would not be consoled!  She kept crying and crying which worried the midwife so she called the pediatrician.  They were worried she had broken her collar bone while being pushed out but the x-rays came back fine.  After she nursed and snuggled into mama, she settled down.  We were worried she would be high strung and cry all the time but we've learned quickly that she just likes to be snuggled tight and to avoid too much stimulation.  She absolutely hates being changed!

She is nursing well but still drinks 2 oz formula after each nursing.  Once she gets full and burped, she settles right in for a nap.  She will sleep for 3 or 4 hours stretches at night which means that I am feeling fabulous!  Brian, Samantha, and Nathan all love her and want to hug her and kiss her all the time.  Brian especially wants to pick her up all the time which I'm not okay with yet so we keep practicing.  Other than a few emotional outbursts by just about everyone in the family except I think Dusty, we are all adjusting well.  I'm so grateful for Dusty and how willing he is to take care of the older children so I can focus on the baby.  We are also super grateful for my mom who came over everyday last week to cook dinner for us after the many meals from the ward were consumed.  She did our laundry and just spread a lot of love and care around.  Things would have been really hard without her.

Funny note:  Out of the 5 meals we were brought (for which we were very grateful!) 3 of them were pizza.