Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Meet Lydia

Time to make the introductions!
Lydia Larson
born September 29, 2014
at Advocate Condell Medical Center 
at 3:49 pm
8 lbs 5 oz
20.5 inches long (a good inch of a cone head)
4 days overdue

The Story: 
    Sunday September 28th-Brian and I went to church early for meetings we had with our callings. During the meetings I started to feel really crappy and my stomach was hurting. I thought it was probably just fake labor pains and pushed through it in our presidency meetings, then church, and finally my meetings after. And by the time I actually got home around 5:45, I found out that the missionaries were coming for dinner. I wasn't enjoying the "pressure" I was feeling and wanted to say not this time.. but I gathered my supplies and set to work on making lasagna. 

    The missionaries came over around 6:30-dinner was done around 7:15-we ate and then sat and talked about the church and about advice because on of the missionaries was leaving this area. By this point I thought my contractions were coming every 6 minutes or so and I just plastered my smile on my face and talked through pain. I kept losing my train of thought and couldn't focus very well at times-the missionaries took off around 9 pm.

    I had one more phone call about Young Women's I needed to make before bed. I told Brian that we may be having a baby the next day and that we should try to get some sleep after this phone call. It was during the phone call that I realized there would be no sleep for me that night. Reality set in that this was probably what labor felt like and I needed to pack my hospital bag.

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Small "Thank You" that we gave the nurses and doctor. Extra gum for an Extra big thanks :)
   But then... contractions had me on all fours and I felt like I had to just crawl to relieve the pain.. and you could say I was a wee bit emotional because I was all the sudden pretty nervous.. I kept thinking, "Oh my goodness! This could be it!" 

   We got in the car and drove to the ER. I was so worried about being turned away that when we got to the ER and I skipped a contraction I broke down in tears because I thought they would tell me to go home.
The lady at the desk called Labor and Delivery and mistook my crying for pain and told them "she looks pretty miserable and in pain" which only made me cry more when I thought about them telling me, "Ha! You thought you were in pain? Go home until you really feel it." The imagination of a pregnant woman.. oh dear. 

   We were taken to Labor and Delivery around midnight where they checked me (I was dilated to a 5) and confirmed I was in labor. That brought a rush of relief that I wasn't crazy ha. 
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    The nurse set to work on the IVs-which was more painful than the epidural. (I was stuck 3 times before they found one to work. I felt like a pin cushion and had bandages all up my arms before they were done with me). 
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     Around 2 am the Anesthesiologist came in to give me an epidural. I was nervous for the pain because of how painful the IVs had been. He told Brian to leave the room and my heart kind of somersaulted. Brian said simply but very firmly, "I'm staying here, but I'll stay out of your sterile field." The Anesthesiologist was kind of taken back and said "We don't let anyone, not even husbands in the room when we put in an epidural, but okay." 

    I was so grateful to Brian at that moment for sticking by my side. Brian began asking a lot of questions and the Anesthesiologist asked if he was a medical student. It wasn't long before the Anesthesiologist was teaching Brian how he did the procedure while Brian helped lean me forward and hold my hands.  

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    I felt the epidural almost immediately take to my right leg but felt absolutely nothing go to my left. I could feel everything. I should have spoken up and had him redo the epidural but I had no idea what it was supposed to feel like so I didn't say anything until the Anesthesiologist left. I told the nurse I could still feel everything on my right so they turned me to lean on my left and have the epidural drain to my left. It still didn't work. 
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Brian massaging my feet and helping my right leg stay on the bed. (I had to hold it on with my left foot)
     My right leg was so dead from the epidural it would actually slide off the bed, but my pain wasn't gone at all.. just dulled. I could still feel every contraction on my left and so I didn't get much sleep at all for the next few hours. But Brian did. That boy passed out so quickly!
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Texting the families!
    Because I was progressing so well on my own, I wasn't given any Pitocin to progress me faster. By 8 am in the morning they thought I would have had the baby but the epidural slowed down my dilation so they came and broke my water.  My wonderful friend Brittany Daniel came to the hospital and took pictures of the birth and we are so grateful to have caught such a precious time.

 photo _MG_0118_zps51b4fffb.jpg     Finally by 1:30 I was fully dilated and ready to push-except that my contractions hadn't gotten any closer than 4 minutes. So I would push... then have to wait 5 minutes for the next contraction in order to push.
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Getting ready to push!
 photo _MG_0179_zps2ae3faed.jpg  photo _MG_0183BW_zps348ebff8.jpg      Sometimes I would even miss a contraction and have a 10 minute wait. It left me to just.. chill.. and talk during the pushing. The nurses kept saying they couldn't believe that I was pushing a baby out while smiling. 

   After a few pushes the nurse brought me a mirror so that I could see that I was making progress and watch her head inch out. I was kind of freaked out that I would be grossed out or disgusted.. but I actually really liked the experience of watching my own baby's birth. In the beginning it made it worse to push though because I would push and see her head and then I'd watch it go back in during the break between pushing. I remember just praying and praying to Heavenly Father to let me see just a little bit of progress to keep me pushing strong.

   The other downside was that the baby was coming out posterior (face up or sunny-side up instead of face down). This usually causes more back labor (which I had) and mothers tend to push longer (which I did) than babies who are in the favorable face-down positions, it also explains a bit better on why I felt I had to be on all fours during contractions to relieve the pain in my lower back. 

   Anyway, Doctor Anand came in around 3:10 and the baby wasn’t quite in position yet. But what was amazing to me and to Brian was that Dr. Anand stayed. She grabbed my left leg and started cheering me on as well. And then another nurse came in and started to cheer. And I knew it was getting close. And I kept pushing even when they said I could stop and rest between contractions

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    Finally at 3:49 pm.. after 2 hours and 15 minutes of pushing (and praying)...I felt her head move and the doctor’s hands were there. Brian had the biggest cheesiest smile on his face. More people were in the room and I could hear the “She’s almost there! There she is!” as different voices cheered me on... And then the official declaration of  “She is occipital posterior!” “She’s coming out face up!” “Keep pushing Anna!” “One more BIG push!”

   In the mirror I could see her. I could see my baby girl. There was a baby coming out of me! I felt her head slide out and gave her one more push and then.. I heard it. The cry.. her cry! My baby’s cry! 
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    Then it was a whirlwind of movement and emotions. They put the baby on me immediately and as I looked at her as she screamed and screamed, I just shushed her and kept telling her, "Mommy's here.. Mommy's got you. I'm here sweetheart. I'm so happy you're here. I've got you." Over and over. 
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    Brian was leaning over me crying and talking to her as well. It was all so fast but I remember just feeling the spirit so strong in that moment. Heaven was here. Heaven was in that room with us. Heaven was our daughter in our arms.

 photo _MG_0274_zps49966885.jpg      She calmed down for a couple minutes as I kissed her wet face. 

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    As we cried and smiled through our tears, Brian said, "Look! It's our Lydia" At that moment I couldn't think of any other name we had even thought about and so I said, "Hello sweet Lydia." 
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    She looked up at me with the biggest and most beautiful eyes and just stared at me. And I knew in that moment that she knew it was me. She knew I was her mommy.
     Holding that little girl sparked one of the most miraculous emotions I had ever felt. I could not believe she was mine. First off-she had a major conehead.. she had been stuck in my pelvis for 12 hours and had come out sunny-side up and was way squished. Not even kidding.. I thought I had given birth to a smurf. She had a black woman's nose and a furrow so swollen that she looked permanently concerned. And she had at least an inch of a pointed head with a huge bruise on top... 


 photo _MG_0300_zps3c2e5b70.jpg      She had dirty blonde hair, huge round blue eyes, her momma's lips, the most perfect little fingers and toes, and the sweetest spirit I had ever experienced. The room was so peaceful and I felt the veil extremely thin as Brian and I started our posterity together. 

    It is so hard to describe the emotions as you realize the responsibility that God is giving us as we hold his precious daughter. He trusts us to raise her well, he believes that we will take good care of her and raise her up in righteousness. What a huge responsibility that I am so grateful for.

    As I look at my precious daughter-I can't help but feel overwhelmed with love. It is such a huge testimony to me of God's love for us as his children. I love Lydia with everything that I am capable of. And I know that God loves us with everything that He is capable of.. which are wonderful and endless and eternal things. With God nothing is impossible and so his love is unfathomable to us. But isn't it wonderful to know that God loves us as much as we can imagine and more?

 photo _MG_0317BW_zps9552b78b.jpg     I am so extremely grateful to have gone through this amazing experience with Brian. Not only was his medical knowledge wonderful to calm me down-I really felt like the nurses and doctor felt more comfortable with him being more involved with the delivery because of his knowledge. There were many times the nurses would jokingly tell him, "Brian-be the patient!" because he would be so quick to help and do things the nurses normally did. My recovery has been so much better than imagined because he is so willing to help me in any way possible. I seriously married a stud.
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     After the placenta came out (now that is a weird floppy feeling..) my uterus started to contract down. This part was SO painful for me. It was like a never ending contraction. The nurses wanted to put Lydia back on me to nurse but I was afraid I would drop her because I couldn't hold still. I just needed to wiggle through the pain. photo _MG_0088_zps4a6194a5.jpg       The nurses press on your stomach to help the uterus go down and boy oh boy.. OUCH! That lasted about 15-20 minutes and when it was finally done.. the relief was incredible and I was able to hold my baby once again.

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     The rest of the night went really well. The feeling in my right leg came back super fast and I was then able to move to our new room for the night.

    We probably got the most sleep we've gotten since she came that first night in the hospital. (We sent her to the nursery for a few hours to catch up from our exhaustion). I woke up at 4 in the morning wondering why they hadn't brought me my baby yet and was relieved when they walked in at that moment.

   This girl is quite the sucker.. if you notice in all these pictures she has her hands constantly in her mouth and wants to suck everything (Yes, nursing has gone really well because of that). She gave her self a huge pussy blister that first 2 hours of life. It is so much fun to see that she already has quite the stubborn personality. Oh how we adore this little girl!
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  I was worried that Lydia would be an ornery baby for a while because it felt like she cried the first few hours of her life nonstop. The nurses kept reassuring me that she had just gone through a super traumatic experience and been stuck in my pelvis for 12 hours as well as was pushed out sunny-side up (her cone head can attest to all that) and that she would most likely not be this fussy.

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   This has proven true. She is so much more easy-going than in the hospital and much more than I even expected. We are so blessed with such a beautiful and sweet little girl. She is very alert and is able to support her neck being only a day old!
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 We left the hospital the next day and welcomed our darling girl into our home.
       Our arms and our home are just overwhelmed with love. It is an incredible and special feeling. Heaven is in our home right now with our darling little angel. I can't believe we are now a family of 3!!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

40 weeks=9 months=280 days PREGNANT

 photo DSC_0001_zpsb5347c2c.jpg        SEPTEMBER 25, 2014 is HERE! Wow that came fast for me. I haven't felt very anxious at all which has been nice. I've been able to get so much done and that has been a blessing. I've already been made fun of for my "nesting" phase but I feel like I finally just have the time to get things around the house organized and clean!
   I can officially say that I am ready for this little girl to get here. Though everything is still not "perfect" I feel like I have the most important things done and that when she's ready.. I'm ready! My doctor set an induction date for October 1st and I'm just hoping I won't have to be induced because I would really prefer to go into labor naturally. Looks like I will be taking LONG walks this weekend with jumping jacks every 10 feet or so? Ha I have no idea. :)

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Above is a picture of my body at 4 weeks vs 40 weeks pregnant. Oh what a change! You can see exactly where the pregnancy weight has gone! And below is week 40 of the pregnancy journal! Next week I will be holding a little nugget! So unreal!!
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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Week 39: Getting close!

    Yesterday I had a perspective change when I woke up with a bit more fluid than I was used to. Brian and I weren't positive if it was my water or not because it wasn't a huge gush or anything. Brian left for his last day of Psych rotation and told me to watch it and keep him updated if I felt any contractions or felt more leaking fluid.
    With the thought "If that was my water leaking then this baby could be coming today or tomorrow" I quickly looked at my "To Do List" to see what was a MUST BE DONE before the baby arrives kind of thing. I then spent the rest of the day as if she was coming even though I knew a few hours later that it wasn't the case because I hadn't felt any contractions and didn't have any more fluid. Still I felt very productive as I organized her room, started packing a hospital bag, and started going room to room to make sure things were clean.
    My doctor apt today went really well. I expected it to be longer.. like I needed a pat on the back or something ha I don't know. Last week I was 1 cm dilated and I have only gone up .5 cm since. The doctor said he didn't think my water was leaking or anything so I am all set for next week's appointment! 40 weeks is just around the corner!!

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I'll have to post a picture of baby girl's room a bit later. But these are her awesome curtains that I am in love with!
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Reading has now changed from "What to Expect" to "Baby Wise" in hopes that I really will become more wise about this baby :) photo week39_zpsb8504dcc.jpg
My Pregnancy Journal is starting to wrap up! Above is Week 39! She will be here so soon!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Weeks 37 and 38

   Two more weeks and she will be here! What a crazy but exciting thought! The question I keep getting now days is "Don't you just want her to get here?" My answer is definitely yes I am excited for her to be here, but I honestly am just fine with waiting a couple more weeks. We've waited 38 weeks for her so far, 2 more weeks should not be a problem-especially if it means a healthy baby in the end.
   These last couple days has been extremely cool temperature-wise. Fall feels like it has "fallen" and I have enjoyed it. I love the crisp smell in the air and all the leaves as they start to change. I am looking forward to pumpkin and apple picking and hope that all will go well with the delivery so that we can take this little girl with us! (when I say "looking forward" to apple picking.. I really mean that I am obsessing over it. I can't wait! My dreams are now of me picking and eating apples and producing apple juice for the baby instead of milk!)
   Here are the latest and greatest of the pregnancy journal! Photos courtesy of Rachel McAllister!

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    Brian has one more week of his psyche rotation and then he will start his family medicine rotation the week of the baby's due date! We have been so blessed to have his rotations nearby. His family med rotation is in Libertyville not far from the hospital that baby girl will be delivered at! So if I go into labor that week-it should be easy for him to get to the hospital! Yay :)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Baby Larson #1 Maternity

I feel like growing up I was kind of skeptical about maternity pictures.. I wanted some but then again I didn't and then I would just flip flop back and forth. 

When the time came around for me to decide, it turned into a firm YES I am going to take some pictures! This pregnancy has been such an amazing and new experience that I couldn't help but want to capture that and keep a little bit of it in our memories forever. I want this little girl to see how excited her parents were at her arrival.. and how much we truly love her though we haven't even met her yet.

My very talented friend Rachel McAllister took some maternity pictures for us and I just love how they turned out! I love how she was able to not only capture our surroundings of this baby being born here in Chicago (our other kids will probably not have that opportunity) but she was able to capture our genuine excitement in meeting this little girl! 

I am so glad we have these photos to look back on! This baby will be here in just a couple weeks and we are SOOOOOOOO ecstatic!