Thursday, May 1, 2014

Elizabeth's Pregnancy and Delivery

The Pregnancy:

Just like Alivia, we got pregnant our second month trying.  Very lucky.  And since Dr. Clayton moved, we got a new OBGYN, Dr. Kent to deliver our baby.  We kept our pregnancy a secret until week 16.  It took that long to get the families together to do the announcement.  We announced with a photo booth photo strip, where the last photo was of an ultrasound picture and the words "coming February 2014." 

We didn't find out the gender until well into the pregnancy, just like we did with Alivia.  At week 31, on Christmas Eve, we opened our Christmas present and saw that we were getting a second little girl, what we were both hoping for.  Waiting to open the envelope was so hard for me this go around, but Cody kept me strong, and insisted on how exciting it would be to open the gifted news on such a fun holiday. 

We announced the gender on Christmas day by showing my family a clip from "White Christmas" where a song "sisters" is sung.  Marci, my sister-in-law was the first to realize that Alivia was getting a sister because of the song and that it meant we were having a GIRL!  So exciting!

Also like with Alivia, this pregnancy was not without complication.  I had morning sickness in the first trimester, like I did with Alivia (not as sick as with Alivia, but sick enough to take Zofran and loose 15 pounds).  And the sickness went away at roughly 16 weeks.  But morning sickness, although miserable, is hardly a complication. 

I also had some pretty overwhelming heart burn/acid reflux this pregnancy.  It made Diet Coke my enemy as well as every other beverage - even water.  As a result I was either dehydrated or popping anti-acid pills throughout my pregnancy.  Seriously though, I had a burning inferno in my throat most days.  But like morning sickness, heart burn and acid reflux, although uncomfortable, are hardly a complication. 

And again, like with Alivia, I got to be as big as a house.  My belly is large and in charge when I'm pregnant.  And I really felt the weight of the belly this go around.  I constantly felt the need to hold my undercarriage for support and every time I walked I felt like the baby was pushing her way out.  Very, very uncomfortably large tummies are NOT a complication obviously.

Complications started after Christmas, at around 31 - 32 weeks in the pregnancy and after a bought of the flu.  I made an appointment due to alarmingly dark orange urine.  I knew I was dehydrated due to said flu and my overall heart burn, but as I felt better and started drinking more fluids, the darkness of my urine didn't diminish.  At my appointment, my doctor found protein in my urine and sent me to the lab for some blood work.  Tests showed that my liver enzymes were elevated, and because of my pre-eclamptic blood pressure levels with Alivia's pregnancy, it was the assumption that this was the path I was headed down and they sent me to the hospital for monitoring.  My BP levels were within normal range though, and the baby was doing fine, so I was sent home with instructions to be aware of bloating, blurred vision, headaches, and all the other symptoms typical for pre-eclampsia.  I was also told to be hyper vigilant regarding the baby's movement and an appointment was scheduled with my doctor.  This routine continued until a new symptom of nighttime itchy feet presented, and then I was again sent for more tests to determine if I had ICP, a.k.a. cholestasis.  After receiving the news that I did, in fact, have ICP, it was determined that I would be monitored at the hospital twice weekly, and more frequently if necessary.

During most of my hospital visits, I contracted a lot.  And sometimes the baby's heart rate would dip during a contraction.  But none of the contractions hurt, and after further tests regarding the babies health (ultrasounds, extended non-stress tests, etc.) I was always sent home to lay low, and be very vigilant of the babies movement until my next visit. 

The goal was to make it to 37 weeks and then deliver if the baby's lungs were developed, since after 37 weeks the baby's health is compromised with ICP.  Still birth rates are significantly higher with mother's with ICP.  So, at 37 weeks I did the amniocentesis, and the results came back stating that we were good to induce because the babies lungs were developed.  (Side note: I was nervous that the amnio would be painful - but it was less painful than your average blood draw).  I was induced at 37 weeks and one day at 4 am on February 5th.

The diagnosis and resulting instructions to be acutely aware of the babies movements were stressful.  My logical mind knew that babies sleep a lot in the womb, but when nurses instruct you to come to the hospital if you haven't felt the baby kick regularly, you start becoming anxious, unrealistic, and hyper over an hour or two of a sleeping fetus.  You pray for an overly active fetus.  I ate way to much sugar in those last few weeks to try and jump start a couple kicks to calm my nerves.  Sugar and prayer got me through my last trimester. 

The Delivery:

This delivery could not have be more different than Alivia's.  The laboring seemed similar.  I was induced with Pitocin.  My body responded well and dilated at a good rate.  I again waited too long to receive an epidural and then needed to wait for the anesthesiologist.  Then when he was free, they wanted me to get a whole new bag of fluids put into me.  And then they requested, if I was willing, to wait for my doctor to examine me, because she wanted to anyway, and it's best to have as little interruptions in the birthing canal as possible.  I was told it would only be 10 more minutes until she was able to check me before the epidural.  But of course, her C-section lasted longer than anticipated and by the time I requested the drugs to when I received relief at least an hour had elapsed.  This is my downfall in labor...pushing my comfort level before requesting relief, and then bad timing with the medical professionals in my request.

What took 3.5 hours of pushing with a nurse for Alivia to drop low enough to call in the doctor took 0 minutes with Elizabeth.  Her head was "there" when they went to do a routine dilation check after I mentioned feeling pressure.  They even had me close my legs while we waiting on my doctor to race in.  And what required a vacuum with Alivia, required only 3 rounds of contraction pushing with Elizabeth.  It was so vastly different I was in shock at how fast it all went.  Before I knew it she was here...and I felt like I had missed the whole build up - the 3.5 hours worth of work required of me - pushing and sweating and vomiting.  But none of that was required this time.  Just when I was getting started with the pushing, Elizabeth was out and placed on my chest. 

Her perfect body was covered in white goop.  And I might burn in hell for saying this, but I wish they had wiped her down a bit before placing her on my chest.  I say this because I was a white goopy mess for the rest of the day and she looked so much cuter after her little wipe down.  And its nice for the nurses to suction out their mouth and throat and make sure they are ok breathing before any other thing. 

This whole experience was new for me.  Whereas I was the first to hold Elizabeth before she was rushed to the infant station for suctioning and a good wipe down, it seemed like I was the last to hold Alivia.  She was immediately rushed to the infant station after her delivery because I required additional attention post delivery (i.e. immediate reclining to off set high blood pressure readings, etc.) and she needed to have a good looking at after being vacuumed and after the cord was wrapped around her neck twice.  So the nurses and Cody were the first to hold Alivia, while I was the first to hold Elizabeth.  And aside from the mess of delivery, at least I can say that Elizabeth went straight from the womb to my arms. 

I got nauseous with this delivery, but only gaged and didn't vomit.  With Alivia I vomited 8 times.  I only tore to a 1 this go around.  With Alivia I tore to a 4.

I think God is trying to tell me right out of the gate that my experience in parenting these two girls will be different, and not to put Elizabeth in Alivia's box or visa versa, to make judgements about Alivia based on Elizabeth. 

The Shortened Version:

We left Alivia at my Mom and Dad's on the night of 2/4 and checked into the hospital at 4 am on 2/5.  I was dilated to a 3 and 80% effaced and at +1 upon arrival.  Pitocin was started at 5:15 am.  They broke my water at 6:50 am.  I was at a 5 when I was given an epidural at 10:00 am.  I was put on oxygen and at a 6 at 10:45.  After complaining I could feel contractions, my cervix was pinched by the nurse and although I might have felt some discomfort with the contractions, I was numb where it counted since I didn't feel the pinch sometime around 11:00 am.

After feeling pressure, I called in the nurse, shortly after the cervix pinching and feeling somewhat skeptical of my own assessments of progress since she had just checked me and left.  But sure enough, she re-entered the room no more than 5 minutes after leaving and when she went to check my progress she didn't even touch me since "the baby's head is right there!."

Dr. Kent rushed in.  Three pushes per contraction.  Three contractions in total.  And out of me - and into the world came Elizabeth.

Born at 11:44
7.2 pounds 19 inches

The recovery:

Lets start with nursing.  The after birth contractions that nursing produced were so painful in the hospital.  I called in a nurse and joked that I needed another epidural for nursing, but all I got was some ibuprofen. 

Once I was home, that first week I experienced as much discomfort - pain - as I did with my first post birth recovery.  I felt pathetic and wimpy since I knew I had less stitches and tarring this go around.  Luckily, the pain got better after the first week and it was then that I could see the benefit in fewer stitches and a quicker delivery.  I was up and about and feeling pretty darn good respective to how I was at week two to week ten post delivery with Alivia.  Oddly, I did make a doctor's appointment at week two post delivery for some pain around my belly button, but it was determined to just be a nerve issue that was due to self-solve. 

And all was healed and looking healthy at my 6 week check-up.

And that's our story, yours and mine, Elizabeth!        

She's Here...

A second baby girl to love...
Elizabeth Rose Orvin
born on February 5, 2014
11:44 am
weighing 7 pounds 2 ounces
19 inches long
born 3 weeks early!

We are so thankful and blessed to have this special lady in our family!  There is something magical about having children and meeting them after the long pregnancy.  The combination of love and anticipation, the unknown elements of looks and temperament, and the dramatics of labor and delivery made Elizabeth's arrival so beautiful.  Her birthday will forever be one of my favorite - if not the most glorious - days of my life: the day she was born into the world, the day my Alivia got a sister and came to meet her, the day my husband and I grew our hearts and met another perfect expression of our love, the day I was gifted another daughter to raise.  Elizabeth girl, we love you!
Silly Livy!
First bath was a must...
...after being born with all this white stuff all over your body!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

2.5 years

Our little lady is two and a half and is due for an update!  We just love our Alivia Pearl.  Out and about, at least once a day, people comment, without fail, about her hair.  It is her signature feature.  As a baby people always commented on her eyes, but her hair is so unique and fun that the comments have switched. 

One of the most wonderful things of toddler hood is the mispronunciations.  Livy's vocabulary is quite impressive and I often get told she is intelligible and speaks very well for her age.  She can say ornament and appetite and hemorrhoids and other complex words just fine (don't ask), but the following list are some of the words she mispronounces in all her toddler cuteness.
kipmiss (Christmas)
poofy (smoothie)
cilial (cereal)
hangaburger (hamburger)
whisaping (whispering)
pider (spider)
lemalade (lemonade)
lorget (yogurt)
I tend to refrain from correcting these mispronunciations.  But she is confusing her pronounces (her and him and she and he).  That I am working on... 

Liv is obsessed with candy, frosting, and sugar.  Most meltdowns revolve around a denied candy request.  During said meltdown, Livy will ask, "what will make me happy?" waiting for you to suggest, "candy will make you happy."  Then she will say in excitement, "Yeah, candy!  I want some!"  We are working on this.  But it doesn't help that Mama Bear and Papa Bear love sugar and candy too.  And the holidays didn't help either. 

And in general, Livy is fairly good with prolonged rewards.  Candy please?   No.  not right now Liv.  Maybe after dinner?  Yes.  Maybe after dinner if you eat a really good dinner.  She will also take candy for "next day" and put it in a spot she can remember.  And she has enough will power to keep her candy in that spot - often in view - until after dinner or after she goes poop in the potty the following day.

Livy will frequently ask, "Why me crying?" or says "You tell me" when we ask her a variety of questions.

ex. "Livy, what do you want for lunch"  A: You tell me.
ex. "Livy, what is your favorite dress?"  A: You tell me.
ex. "Livy, why are you crying - what's wrong?"  A:  You tell me.

The answer always throws people off, and usually, if you insist, she'll give you a more exact answer.  "You tell me" is just her way of being lazy in answering a question, more often than not knowing the answer.

Livy loves music.  She frequently requests a radio station change if she doesn't care for a song or for me to "louder please" the volume if a good song comes on.

She is obsessed with baby things.  Babies, miniature things, she loves all things small.

She still loves her muslin wrap blankets.  She still loves her bottle at nap and night-time (hey, we got rid of the morning steps).

Liv is ready to be potty trained.  If she is nude and playing after a bath, she will say, "Peepees comin" and she will always say when she is about to go poop.  But I'm not ready...and don't anticipate being ready for a couple of months.  Too many of my friends kids have accidents and I hate messes.  So although we haven't potty trained her, she does do 98% of her bowel movements in her little potty, and then I proceed to put back on her diaper and go about NOT potty training her.

Livy was really excited about having a baby sister.  She said she has a baby in her belly too.  And she gave my belly hugs and fed the baby a bottle through my belly button all the time.  This translates to about 1,000 kisses a day for Elizabeth.  This cute exchange recently transpired between Cody and Alivia.

Cody:  "How come you kiss baby sister so much?"
Alivia:  "I just love her so much."
Cody:  "How come you don't kiss Daddy like you do baby sister? You don't love Daddy anymore?"
Alivia:  "No I love you Daddy, but I just love her so much." (all while kissing her the entire time)

She always tells Elizabeth, "Its ok baby, Mommy's here (because I'm holding Elizabeth)...It's ok." - even when Elizabeth is perfectly content.

Livy has her moments of tantruming.  She gets angry if she gets hurt - she often yells "no!" in a very angry voice and then cries.  The other day she got into a crying fit over wanting water from a drinking fountain instead of from her Sippy cup.  Unfortunately for her, we don't have a fountain in our house.  It's the oddest things sometimes that can produce a tear fest.

Livy loves to sing.  She goes to story time at the library every week with Cody and they learn tons of different songs.  She also loves to dance.  If she could, she would watch music videos on the ipad all day long and have a dance party with us.

Livy has transitioned into a full size bed.  She thinks its a crib, because it has bumpers on the sides and a headboard and foot board, which translated into an absolutely smooth transition. 

We love our big - little girl.  She can't wait for her "burfday."  She talks about her birthday at least once a day and says she wants "all the colors for her burfday" - along with cupcakes, cakes, piƱata, toys, the park, and her friends.  She'll probably get the most colorful cake and decorations I can produce since that really is all she wants.  (ex. Look Mom, orange flowers!  I love Orange!  I want it for my burfday.) 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

2 Blissful, Wonderful, Busy Years!!!!

Alivia is officially 2 years old.  She's a toddler.  She's getting so big and talking up a storm and really - honestly - she is a sweet and good little girl. 

I would detail her vocabulary here, but it has become too expansive.  She makes cute little errors though, like calling her Aunt Margot, "Marno," or calling the swing at the park "a wee."  She still says "Peas" and "D" for Please and Thank You.  But I've been working on Thank You with her and she'll say "Dink You" only when I slow her down and force her to say the whole phrase. 

Alivia is very affectionate and polite.  We taught her that to wake up someone, you should kiss them.  So if any of her Aunts or Uncles or grandparents are sleeping and she wants to interact with them, she'll simply give them a good 'ol kiss on the mouth and gosh darn it, it works like a charm every time.  After getting in trouble, she is good to say sorry quickly and give hugs and kisses.  She went through a phase of kissing us on both cheeks like a European, but that phase seems to be dying off.  She still seems to get "jealous" when I kiss Cody or he kisses me.  She will jump in between us and kiss both of us after saying "ME!".   And a personal victory for Mom is that she says, "excuse me, (mama, or dada)" when she wants our attention.  It was a lesson for when I'm on the phone or in conversation.  Unfortunately, although the words are polite and appropriate, she'll say "excuse me, mama" over and over until I acknowledge her.  Patience is a hard thing for a 2 year old, especially when she needs your attention :)

Our Livy girl loves the park, loves to read books, loves the beach, loves her family, loves sugar "num, nums," loves trains and planes and dogs, loves to swim, loves to watch movies of herself, loves to listen to the radio, loves her "blankie and bunny," loves to watch Bubble Guppies while having a morning "baba" (yikes - I know), loves to play in the car, loves to be independent (except she wants to be held a lot), and loves to get out her stool and watch Cody or I make something in the kitchen. 

Alivia is our curly haired, freckled, fair-skinned kid and we love her like crazy!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Mesa in April...

In April, Alivia and I took a flight to Arizona to visit family.  It was so wonderful for Alivia to see Grandma Orvin and her Arizona Orvin cousins.  Unfortunately, Cody had to stay behind to go on a Scout Camp out, and we missed him very much!

Our time was mainly spent lounging around, playing with cousin Kennedy and her fun toys, going out to eat, and enjoying the desert heat (before the real summer desert heat kicks in).

Saying Bye to Dada...
A plane!
 Playing with cousin Kennedy...
My desert rose...
Playing with cousins in the backyard.  Should I be concerned she pushed that swing for quite some time with no one in it?
She also loved this slide...I really should invest in one of these for our backyard, but I'm afraid it would be an excuse for me to avoid the park.  And Liv loves the park, as do I.
Playing at the park with Grandma Orvin...

Winning the physical beauty award in AZ by putting baby powder in my hair.  It was supposed to act as dry shampoo and do the trick.  Instead, it acted like an agent to accelerate my grey hair production.  Truth is I dyed my hair a week before this shot, and it didn't look grey at all before the powder.  Oops!
Dinner at Red Robin...
 Welcome home flowers!  Cody really is the sweetest!