Friday, October 29, 2010

things no one ever told me!

I thought for sure that once our baby girl was born, I'd have LOADS to blog about.

But I don't!

I really just want to sit around with my husband and child and enjoy our time as a family. Our days are full of feedings, diaper changes, and a multitude of kisses and cuddles. Our baby girl is so edible and snuggly - as are all newborns - and we just can't get enough of her. I'm pretty sure I spend a ton of time each day just staring at her and stroking her sweet little face.

Seriously, no one ever told me that having a newborn would be such a joy. She came along and fit right into our family and we always talk about how we're so, SO glad we had her. Thank God we didn't decide to wait and wait to have kids. Then we wouldn't have our precious Adalyn!

Today she went to Cracker Barrel for the very first time - although she didn't know it, because she slept soundly in her Moby Wrap throughout the entire meal. Our good friend (and labor buddy and photographer), Lindsay, took pictures of our newborn yesterday.. here are a few:

She totally peed on Lindsay and cried for 2 hours during her photo session. It turns out that Adalyn hates to be put on her stomach and really just likes to hang out with mommy and daddy... oh well, who can blame her!? :]

The next exciting thing, for us, will be putting her in her "Daddy's Little Pumpkin" onesie and taking her to church for the first time on Sunday. The little things in life :D

Thursday, October 28, 2010

what's up with Adalyn.

Since having Adalyn, we've been a pretty "active" family. I hate the thought of just sitting at home with our newborn and never getting out of the house. So, despite the rules that my midwife gave me, we've gone out a few times. And we loved it.

She had her first pediatrician's appointment on Monday and weighed 7lbs 14oz, so she only lost 4 pounds. Afterward, we went and celebrated her bill of good health with a trip to Pizza Hut for the lunch buffet:

She had a poopie diaper and enjoyed an entire meal of breastmilk all while mama and daddy ate pizza and salad. Since then, we've ventured to Panera Bread and Barnes and Noble. She pretty much just hangs out in the Moby and loves it.

She loves stroller rides.

She loves her Miracle Blanket.

But most of all...

She loves her mom.

I mean, like, she really loves me. I was pretty scared about her newborn photoshoot today. And, as it turns out, I had every reason to be nervous. She wouldn't have anything to do with it. She just wanted to be attached to me (literally). I was sweating and getting pretty wound up inside, and we never did get the shots we wanted.

But now that I look back on it, how precious is it that she is SO attached to me that she doesn't want to be put down? It's the sweetest thing on earth. I'm blogging with a baby sleeping on my chest and it's the best feeling in the world. Actually, I'm sitting here crying because I realize she won't be like this forever. I love that she needs me so much and I want to soak up every single second of this age.

I love her so much. And if we only end up having photos of her crying in her 1-week photoshoot, I'll just tell her (when she's older) that it was because she missed me so much and needed me. And that's the best memory in the world to have -- a time when I could totally and completely comfort her.

I really, really hope she never grows up.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

in which I brag on my husband. a lot!

For Mark and myself, child birth was an amazing experience. Well, amazing doesn't really begin to scratch the surface. Even though practically everything that could go wrong did go wrong, our daughter's birth was just phenomenal. As is every birth of a child, of course!

We went through BirthWorks, which was an 8-week class to prepare us for birth. And, boy, I am SO glad - beyond glad - that we did. Not only was I mentally prepared for what was to come, but Mark knew exactly what to do, what to say, and exactly how to help me. Days before her birth, he was re-reading our gigantic birth manual just to make sure that he was prepared to be the best coach ever. It was the cutest thing, really...

And when I realized that I had to have Pitocin and an epidural, I sort of lost it and cried and told him that I was a failure. I really had the "perfect" birth set up in my head, and I was pretty sad that it wouldn't work out. But my husband stepped right up and was there for me, and he never left my side.

Pushing was seriously the hardest thing ever, and I'm not sure if her being sunny side up made it worse or not. While my sister and friend held my legs up in position, my eyes were glued on my husband's for the entire hour and a half of pushing. I seriously don't know what happened to him, but as soon as I began to push, he turned into Super Doula and was remarkable. Everyone in the room was seriously shocked at how awesome he was. I fell in love with him all over again that day. I'm so, so proud that he's the daddy of my daughter.

right after she was born!

To this day, Mark still mentions how "beautiful" I was during labor and how amazing he thinks I am. But I think he's the amazing one. I really don't know any (many?) guys that take the responsibility of a birthing coach that seriously. He's my everything, and I love him to death.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

our little newborn :)

My family just left, our baby is fed, and Mark is cuddling her.

...So, time to blog (really fast!)

Things are going just amazing around here. Our baby is so sweet and content. The Miracle Blanket is her favorite thing on earth... next to breastmilk! We pretty much just sit around cuddling her, feeding her, photographing her, and enjoying life as a little family. Our first night at home went alright -- she woke up fairly often, but I could feed her right to sleep. Last night, she woke up 3 times to eat. She never cries at night. We hear her waking up and starting to root/smack her lips, and I feed her right away. Then she just drifts off to sleep.. for 2 hours, anyway :)

Mommyhood is everything I dreamed it would be. She's just absolutely perfect, and we're already best friends. Piper likes to stare at her and sniff her.. but, besides that, she's her old usual self! We love our life as a new family, and I swear that Mark and I love each other even more now that we're parents. He is such a big help and zipped into fatherhood like it was his calling in life. He loves to change diapers, wear her in the Moby, snuggle with her, and do anything he can to help.

Tomorrow is her first pediatrician's appointment! She breastfeeds like a pro, so I'm anxious to see how much she weighs! I love love LOVE being a mama. There's nothing better in life :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Adalyn's birth story.

Adalyn Reese
8lbs 1 oz
20 1/2 in

I'm writing this from the hospital bed, because I feel myself already forgetting everything that happened. In fact, I know it's slipping from my mind because it takes me and Mark to remember the events accurately. So I thought I'd better get this down before it became one big blur :]

So my water broke at 5:30am on Wednesday morning - the day before her scheduled induction. I felt a small gush of fluid, and my eyes popped open. I was sure of what it was, so I looked over in bed and realized that Mark had already left! I reached for my phone, and then a huge gush came out. I called him and thankfully he was downstairs and hadn't actually left the house yet. Whew! After calling my midwife, showering, and packing the last-minute items, we headed out the door to the hospital.

We arrived, got checked, and I was still only a finger-tip dilated and 80% effaced. Not what I wanted to hear, but okay. They started me on Cytotec. I would have had Cervidil if I had to have been induced. But, since I was on a time crunch (risk of infection due to water breaking), they went with that. I started contracting fairly regularly, but the pain was totally tolerable, and I walked the hallways with Mark. After my two hours of Cytotec was "up," I got re-checked and was still only a finger-tip dilated. You have got to be kidding me. So then I got an enema.

Which, let me say, sucked. Really bad. That brought on pretty hard contractions. By that time, I was breathing heavy through them. Not talking. Doing the baby dance with Mark. Swaying. Moaning. It was rough. I hated that blasted birthing ball. I hated being on my hands and knees. I just wanted to stand and lean on Mark through every contraction. This went on for about 4 hours [so I was contracting for a total of 6 hours] and got re-checked. I was a 1-2cm. OMG! Gah!

At this point, two of my midwives suggested I be put on pitocin since I had to deliver within 24 hours because of infection risks. I was really holding it together, but I was dying inside. It wouldn't have been so bad if the contractions were making me dilate. But they weren't. I was having contractions every 2 minutes, and they were doing NOTHING. So Pitocin it was. And they jacked me full of fluid, and then I was restricted to that stupid bed.

And then I made the decision to get an epidural, and I cried. A lot. I seriously felt like a failure, and that my birthing "plan" was out the window. It just wasn't what we wanted. But whatever. We got the epidural, and then I felt like I was on cloud 9. Contractions were booming! And I didn't feel a thing. Within 3 hours, I felt like I had to poop - so I knew her head was RIGHT there. I asked to be checked, and I was at a 9, +1 station. Hooray! Obviously, pit worked its wonders.

Somewhere during all of this, my blood pressure started going all over the place, and I would get dizzy and feel weak. In fact, my blood pressure is still kinda iffy, but it's alright. Also, by this point, I was STARVING and my stomach was growling insanely loud. I was getting so nauseous from hunger that I began throwing up... and didn't stop until she was born.

But back to the story:

Around 7, I was able to do a few practice pushes. I was doing so so so well with those, because I could oddly feel everything "down there." I made her move down a lot and was feeling wonderful about it. At 8, my midwife walked in and things got going. And when I say they "got going," I mean that they suddenly took a dive for the worst. All of a sudden, I got a fever of 101. Not good. I was feeling nauseous, but I was still able to push. I started out semi-on my back [not really.. It was more like sitting?] and my WONDERFUL husband and photographer, Lindsay, held back my legs. I made lots and lots of progress. We then switched to the sideline position and, again, great progress. And then we noticed that our sweet daughter pooped inside me.


During all of this, I'd stop and puke a little, and then went back to pushing. We did hands and knees pushing, squatting, and my all time favorite: two people holding up my legs, and Mark holding a sheet and pulling against me so that I would pull a sheet and push at the same time. Hard to explain, but it worked wonders. Meanwhile, our baby's heart rate started to skyrocket and she wasn't looking too hot. Around 9, my sister and mom walked in, and that was great!

And by this point, I could feel everything. I felt the ring of fire, I felt myself tear, I felt her move down [and scoot back up every time I'd take a breath of air between pushes..] and it was horrible. But I worked with my body and pushed effectively. Eventually, she was getting pretty stuck. She was sunny side up with the cord around her neck, and she just wasn't budging. My midwife eventually gave me "one more push" before she called the doctor in to use forceps or the vacuum, because my baby was in serious distress with a high heart rate and meconium.

So that was all it took, and I pushed her out!

And then they whisked her over to the station of nurses and the hospital pediatrician on call and I watched my baby be pumped for 5 minutes. They put tubes down her throat and nose and sucked everything out. They wiggled her and jostled her and put an oxygen mask on her. For 5 minutes we all just stared at her, and I was freaking out inside. Well, "freaking out" is an understatement. It was pretty horrific, but eventually she did cry, and Mark was able to bring her to me. I only got to spend a little while with her, because she had to go to the nursery and be completely checked out [for like 4 hours..] and get a TON of blood work and tests run because of the meconium.


Long story short: Today she is fine and dandy. All her blood work and tests came back absolutely normal, and she's great! We pretty much had to teach ourselves to breastfeed, because they handed her to me at 3am and it was just me, Mark, and our daughter. The football hold is our favorite, and she's doing fantastic. She hasn't left my sight all day long, which is exactly what we want. Right now she's laying in her bassinet and rooting, so that's my call!

I really feel like I'm leaving out major details of our birth story. I'll have Mark read it in the morning and see if I forgot anything. It was absolutely the most traumatic experience ever and I hate that her life got such a rough start. But, thankfully, she's healthy and okay! And that's all that matters, ultimately. I didn't get the natural birth I wanted.. mostly due to my water breaking and me just not progressing at ALL, despite everything I tried. We're okay with it. At first, I wasn't. But when I look at our daughter, wiggling around in her Miracle Blanket, I just don't really care about all the interventions anymore :]

We're totally in love with her :]

PS. Our friend and birth photographer, Lindsay, blogged about Adalyn's birth HERE

^there's the link. in case you want it.

I forgot to mention how awesomely amazing my husband was during birth. He seriously kept me alive. Words can't even describe it and he shocked every single person in the room. I've never in my life seen a doula work better than him. I'm pretty sure he should take up a second job as a doula ;] I'll blog about THAT some other time. But he's truly amazing and I'm insanely in love with the father of my child.

Monday, October 18, 2010

a bunch of medical talk.

As promised [via Facebook], I'm here to update you on little Adalyn Cox.

AKA the girl who never wanted to be born.

Today I am three days over due [yep - I know for sure since we used digital ovulation tests!] so I was scheduled for a non-stress test. If you're unfamiliar with what this is, it's basically me being hooked up to a heart-rate monitor and a contraction monitor for 20 minutes to see if our baby is.. well, stressed.

Good news: She isn't!

Bad news: The electronic blood pressure cuff said my blood pressure was 135/91. Lame.

So after my NST, I had to lay on my left side for 5 minutes and get it retested. This time, it was 127/89. Still too high for their standards. I then had my regular appointment (still not dilated, over 70% effaced, and she is very low). I measured 41 weeks, and my baby is NOT posterior. HOORAH! I'll just cut to the chase and summarize it all: induction was brought up by me. I can request induction any old time I want.

Except, as you know, we wanted a completely natural, non-medicated birth.

But that was before I suddenly got high blood pressure. So we all talked about it, weighing the pros and cons. Basically, if my blood pressure stays where it is, I'll risk-out of the midwifery center. And I'll have to go to the floor above and be in the regular L&D unit. She said that, for the most part, once blood pressure gets this high this late in the game, it doesn't ever really go back down. To wait and wait for my body to finally kick in gear is kind of a risk. Because if my blood pressure gets even higher, that would be bad.

So we opted for induction on Thursday afternoon.. starting with Cervidil and moving to Pitocin on Friday morning. Note: Pitocin is something I never, ever wanted to see in my birth story. And please don't give me crap about it. We just didn't want it for OUR birth. But ultimately, her health (and mine) is most important. And high blood pressure isn't something we want to play around with. I had plenty of signs this morning that my blood pressure was high, so I expected i this afternoon.

And, after all, I still have 3 days to go into labor naturally. It could easily happen. We're hoping it happens. The only differences between the midwifery center and regular L&D are: no birthing tub, not as much freedom of being off the monitors, they'll bug me a TON more, Mark won't be able to do as much, and they'll take my kid do the nursery. But my midwife will still deliver my baby.

I'm not really bummed. Our baby is still healthy, and my pregnancy is still moving along in full swing. All is good. And, ultimately, it doesn't matter where we give birth. We just really, really wanted a very low-intervention birth for our daughter. But we don't always get what we want :]

Oh. I forgot to mention that I also had to have my reflexes tested and have my blood drawn for liver and kidney failure. They never called me back with the results, so I'm assuming I'm a-okay.

So we'll definitely be having a baby by Friday. But hopefully sooner. And hopefully with lower blood pressure.

**I'll only publish nice comments. So don't bother being a meanie! :]

Friday, October 15, 2010

on the day of our due date.

I figured that maybe I should blog today - the day of our due date - to create a memory for myself. In just a few short hours/days, we'll be a family of 3.. and things will never be the same. And I have a feeling that this life, of just the two of us, will be a blurry memory. And I'll be one of those moms that says, "I can't remember what life was like without her!"

So I'm blogging about how I'm feeling today.

Sometimes I can sort of imagine having a baby. But, really, I can't. It's been just us since 2006! Well, technically, we've been a family of 3 since January. But taking care of a baby from inside a womb is pretty easy ;] Mark isn't anxious at all. He's as cool as a cucumber and is more than ready for her to make her appearance. I'm most looking forward to seeing him with our daughter, for the record. I'm positive that it will be the sweetest thing on earth.

I've been completely "calm" about labor since I found out I was pregnant. I didn't really worry about it at all! We both share the belief that God made me for this and that we should simply trust Him. But as my due date has approached this past week, these stupid little fears are creeping into my head -- what if the baby is posterior and gives me unmanageable back pain? What if I never go into labor and HAVE to be put on Cervidil or Pitocin? And - my biggest fear of all: what if I fail to progress?


We worked on "overcoming fears" pretty extensively in our birthing class. I never really got much of those exercises. Since, if I'm seriously fearing something, I'd just pray about it.. not "visualize" like they wanted us to. Ultimately, I just want to emerge from labor with a healthy baby and for me to be healthy, as well. So if that includes pitocin and a walking epidural, then that's that! And until then, I'll just be sitting here remaining positive, knowing that I have the best doula [Mark] in the world! And I'm as ready as I'll ever be... right? :]

My "little" belly is completely lopsided right now. Oh, I'm sooo going to miss my belly when it's gone. The only real complaints I have about pregnancy are the constant peeing and the weird back pains. But really? The miracle of life squirming around inside me is completely worth the discomfort. Right now we have a special bond, and she's all to myself. I know that once she's here, I'll be completely in love and happier than ever. But.. I'll miss pregnancy. Most definitely.

When nighttime rolls around, I get super antsy. My heart rate is through the roof and I am FULL of adrenaline. Because I think, "What if TONIGHT is the night?!" or "What if TONIGHT is the last night without her?!" It's a weird feeling to go through your days wondering, "Will today be the day??"

Hopefully our daughter got the memo and decides to come on her due date. I don't really feel like this pregnancy has flown by at all. I feel like I've totally embraced and LOVED every single minute of these past 9 months. It seems like just yesterday that I heard her little heartbeat at 8 weeks with our personal doppler.. beating away at 173 beats per minute. And it seems like just last week that we got our first ultrasound and saw her little body with such amazing detail.

And the day we got our "educated guess" that she was, in fact, a SHE.
And the day we saw her in 3D and got a gender confirmation!
And the day we went shopping for her nursery furniture.
And the day I felt her move for the very first time.
And the day Mark felt her move for the very first time.
And the day Clayton felt her move, and he called her a shark.
And our baby shower.
And seeing her at 30 weeks and falling in love with her lips.
And the day we started birthing class.

9 months of massages from my husband.
9 months of peeing entirely too much.
9 months of back pain.
9 months of constantly being thirsty.
9 months of feeling like my body is not my own!
9 months of odd aches in different locations...
9 months of planning for our first child.
9 months of blogging about pregnancy.
9 months of dreaming daily about our miracle daughter.
9 months of my heart bursting with love for our little one :)

I am really, really sad for this pregnancy to be over.

Just for the record.

But I cannot wait to meet her. You have no idea!*

*Well, you probably do if you have a child of your own :D Hehe!

Monday, October 11, 2010

as promised..

A few days ago, I mentioned making chicken spaghetti. And I promised to share it (the recipe) with you. Then I forgot about it.. but I'm finally getting around to it today.

I got the recipe from News Channel 5 in Nashville and my mom suggested that I try it out! It's pretty much a typical casserole and includes all of our favorite things: chicken, pasta, mushroom soup, and cheese.



The great thing about this recipe is that it actually makes a huge pan of food. Normally, Mark eats every.single.bite. of the food I cook. But with this jumbo recipe, we actually had leftovers! I just used one tray of chicken tenderloins (super cheap at the commissary) and I guesstimated 8oz of pasta. I ended up only needing about half a cup of chicken broth.. but otherwise, this recipe was a hit!!! I normally hate mushrooms, but I loved them in this recipe.


Mark gave me a high-five for this meal.. which is the ultimate response from my husband :] Just click HERE for the recipe. Yummy!


I'm less than a week away from my due date, and I'm extremely anxious! Well, if you go by ultrasound dating, I'm due today! And if you go by my digital ovulation tests, I'm due Friday. And if you go by my last menstrual period, I'm due Sunday.

Capish? :]

I'm going by the ClearBlue digital ovulation tests, so I know exactly when I conceived. Just for the record!

I actually thought that I was going into labor last night. While in Target, I started having many (MANY) consistent, powerful, long-lasting contractions. And they lasted for hours. While in the car on the way home, I got so tired that I couldn't even keep my head up. Then I came home and laid on the couch and slept like a rock. Contractions continued and eventually fizzled out in the middle of the night. I knew not to say anything, because I doubted that it was the real deal. And I was right!

But I have an appointment later today, so we'll see how things go! Our bags are kind of packed. Our pillows (we have to bring our own), suitcase, and diaper bag are sitting in the hallway.. just waiting to go! I'm so excited that I could explode. Piper has started completely ignoring me. She won't even sit next to me now. Last week, she would curl up around my belly and refused to leave my side. Now? She's at the opposite end of the couch. I wonder what this means!

Mark and I have been going on lots of dates. And, thanks to Columbus Day, I get the day off with him today too! So now we're just waiting and waiting and waiting. And I'm trying to soak up every single kick, wiggle, and roll that my baby girl does. Because pretty soon, she'll be born! And I can't imagine how much I'm going to miss this pregnancy.

Sniff! :\

Friday, October 8, 2010

39 weeks!


Total weight gain/loss:
I'm still not telling.

Maternity clothes? Some of my shirts are almost too small. Good thing I'm at the end of my pregnancy!

Stretch marks? I'm the poster child for stretch marks.

Sleep: It's actually better! I still flip from side to side all night long, and I wake up about 3 times to use the bathroom.. but otherwise, it's great! Well, I take take that back. About half the time, I wake up at 5am and am awake until 7:30. It's really bizarre.

Best moment this week: Being told I'm 1cm and 60% effaced and at a -2 station. At least we're making progress over here.

Movement: Movin and groovin.

Food cravings: I don't have cravings.

Gender: Our darling daughter.

Labor Signs: Ohh cramping and BH contractions. Nothing new over here!

Belly Button in or out? You'd die if you saw my belly button. It looks like a Cheerio.

Wedding rings on or off? They're currently off, but they totally still fit just fine. But sometimes they're a smidge snug, so I'm just taking them off as a precautionary thing.

What I miss: not having puke come up my throat when I lay down :)

What I am looking forward to: seeing my husband with our precious daughter. I cannot wait for that.

Weekly Wisdom: They'll come when they're good and ready.

Milestones: We're LESS THAN A WEEK AWAY!

So I had an appointment earlier this week. My uterus was measuring 37 weeks.. even though I'm sure some of you might think my uterus is HUGE. It really isn't :] But I'm still feeling fine as a fritter. I'm just so excited for her to come! It really is a bizarre feeling to know that she can come at any minute. We can't wait!

I've changed a little since 32 weeks, don't you think?



Just a smidge of growth ;]

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


My blog is so totally dead. It's tragic. I promise that Mark and I have been living and breathing and doing normal things.. but I just haven't blogged about it! I think I might have baby brain. As in... my baby is the only thing I can think about. No really. I think about her all.the.time.

Which leaves zero room for thinking about my blog. But fear not. Because once I give birth to her, I'll want to tell the world! And also tell you about every single thing she does :]

Our little puppy wuppy knows something's up. She loves to cuddle my belly these days and never wants to leave my side. Sometimes at night, I'll catch her with her face smushed to my belly. I wonder if she can hear the baby's heartbeat, or if she likes to feel the baby move inside me. No idea, really, but I do know that dogs know what's up!

As far as how I'm feeling...

Well, I was having this excruciating back pain in my mid-section that lasted for two days. But it miraculously went away, and now I feel great! I'm having lots of pressure, and sometimes feel like this child could drop right out of me at any given moment. But I'm sleeping much better and have absolutely nothing to complain about. I feel great and love pregnancy to death!

I think it might be neat to make a prediction about our daughter. I mean, why not!?

Adalyn Reese
7lbs 6oz

Lots of light brown hair and looks like me.

So I guess we'll see how accurate I am!! If you have any predictions about her, throw them my way!

I'm trying a new recipe out tonight - chicken spaghetti - so I'll blog about it tomorrow with pictures. I'd rather be having this:

a chicken bowl from Chipotle

but oh well. Hopefully the chicken spaghetti rocks tonight!