Thursday, September 30, 2010

First Days Home and a Hospital Stay

First of all, I need to to jump forward to right now and then I'll jump back. Being in this hospital room with Corryn has been a bittersweet experience. It's just me and her. No Ethan, no Jon, no visitors. Don't get me wrong, I'm super lonely, bored and I want my husband and baby boy. But I've gotten to know Corryn and she's gotten to know me. It's nice. When I first saw her in the incubator I was a little freaked out and my heart sort of broke. I couldn't hold her whenever she whined and even when I did hold her, she was covered in cords and band-aids. It's a sad feeling to tend to your sick child. But, honestly, mine wasn't that sick. The most disheartened thing I've to deal with while I'm here is listening to the sick children in the rooms next door. Their wailing, their deathly coughing and moans in pain. It breaks my heart. I don't think I could do it, I'm not strong enough to be that parent. Not even close. Gah, why do bad things have to happen to little children? I can understand them happening to good people, but little children.... why? :(
Okay, okay, rewind.
Because I was recovering so well and Corryn was eating well, we were allowed to go home a day early. Hallelujah, because our recovery room was small, cramped and very hospitally. When came home and life was good. Corryn slept most of the day, in fact she was sleeping 22 hours a day. I was a little worried about this but since she was also feeding well, I didn't think much of it. I had loads of energy. We went out a couple times and I was up and doing chores the moment I got home. I didn't even need to take naps during the day. This energy, I know, is not going to last long, but I took advantage of it while I could.
Ethan's reaction to Corryn: He didn't was to acknowledge she was there. He wouldn't come within a couple feet of her, and there was no way you could get him to touch her. He loves her though, there's no doubt about that. Every time Corryn would squeal or start to cry, Ethan would look at her, get huge alligator tears in her eyes and then cry too. He's scared and worried for his little sister. It's cute now, when there's two adults home to tend to him, we'll see how he handles this when it's just me and Corryn, no extra hands to hug him. He has just started to actually look at her and say baby. My heart melts whenever this happens.
The weather was HORRIBLE the two days we were home. The entire time we have lived in LA, over 6 months now, it has never gotten about 82 degrees. The two days we were home with a newborn in an un-airconditioned apartment, it got over 100. This meant for a hot and very sleepy newborn, a whiny and lethargic toddler, and sticky and cranky adults. There was one point where I actually called the bishop in hopes that there was someone in the ward that had AC and a guest room where Corryn and I could spend the hot hours of the day. Sister Owens offered her place to me, but I didn't end up going there, thinking that the weather was going to cool down a little.... which it did... but only by like 5 or 10 degrees. Phew, those were a challenging couple of days.
When Corryn was 4 days old, she had her first doctor's appointment. She weighed in at 5lbs 10oz. I wasn't surprised she had lost weight, this is normal, and she had been sleeping non-stop since she was born it seemed like. The doctor sent us over to a lab to get Corryn's bilirubin levels tested since she was looking a little yellow. Sure enough, just an hour after we got home from the doctor, I was called with the results and orders to be admitted to the hospital for a couple of days for jaundice treatment. Her levels were 19.5, high enough to stay at the hospital. We quickly arranged for Ethan to go the the Goldsteins for the next day since my mom was flying home and Jon was going to work and couldn't get out of it. Jon came home from work, gave Corryn a blessing and then we were off.
Welp, that brings us to the present. Corryn is doing well, her levels are down to 13 now and we get to go home tomorrow. Yesterday I had to primarily bottle feed her, so I spent most of my time pumping and then feeding, over and over again. I actually got the least amount of sleep yet that day. Today is a lot better, I'm able to nurse her and I've gotten the hang of tending to all her cords. Mostly, I'm SUPER bored and I'm really anxious to take her home and see what kind of baby she actually is. I feel like she hasn't had a chance to start developing her personality yet since she slept through the hot days at home and is now sleeping her all her tanning treatment.
On another note, my mom has been wonderful. She has taken Ethan under her wing and taught him a lot of new tricks while she's been here. He now has his own toothbrush and likes to brush his teeth. He can FINALLY wave bye-bye. He's been saying "hi" for a long time now but has refused to say goodbye... just part of his personality I guess. He's also getting better at using a fork while he eats. In fact, when we don't use a fork, he ends up just throwing his food on the ground... it's a pretty frustrating process that he'll hopefully get over soon. Here are a couple pics to look at until the next adventure spurs another post.

Corryn's Birth Story

It's 3am and I automatically wake up because this is usually the time that Ethan will stir in his sleep, sometimes ending up in get up for a minute with mom to pour a small bottle. I hear Ethan start to make little noises through the monitor and start praying that they don't develop into a cry, I was really tired. I start to think to myself, "What if my water broke now? What would I do? I'd be going into labor, my toddler would be crying and my bags would not even be fully packed." It was the last thing I needed to do, I had completely nested and organized everything to the max. I had even hand crafted a super jazzed up "Ethan's Essentials" card for the family that was going to take care of him while I was in the hospital. Why, just that night I had stayed up til 1am making a mobile for Corryn out of paper with my super crafty cricut. This is how bored I have been and also how much of a neat freak I have become.
Anyway, I thinking this and then all the sudden I feel a small gush. "What the heck, don't pretend your water is breaking and pee the bed instead, Tara." "Wait, is my water breaking?" Another small gush. "I definitely didn't force that..." I nudge Jon and tell him I think my water has broken. He doesn't believe me. I have him turn on the lamp and then I sit up. Big gush. Yep, it broke. As I hobble over to the bathroom I start realizing the reality of this situation and I get really excited and honestly a little worried. I always knew that Corryn would come early. I just knew. But 4 weeks? Would there be complications? I then tell myself that I can't worry about that, that I need to be optimistic and happy about today. I then start remembering my crazy hard recovery time with Ethan and also the emotional roller coaster that seemed to follow for months after wards and then I start worrying again. "Gah, there's no time to worry, I need to pack and get Ethan off to the sitter's and get to the hospital as soon as possible." Jon was immediately asking "Do we really have to go now? Can't we just wait until morning?" I tried to explain to him the science behind water breaking and he also called his parents and chatted with them until he was convinced that we really did need to go to the hosp soon.
I packed up Ethan's stuff, woke him up (sweet boy) and we were off. We dropped off Ethan at the Richard's (thanks again) and he was automatically in heaven with their old dog and large exercise ball. I knew it was going to be a great day for him. Surprisingly, I wasn't too heart broken to separate myself from my baby boy. I was imagining that I would have huge separation anxiety and be torn between my wonderful boy and the our new arrival. It's true, your love isn't divided, it just doubles.
When we got to the hospital, my doctor, which I really like by the way, let me eat breakfast. It was nasty stinky eggs and flavorless oatmeal, but I didn't care, I was just excited that I was allowed to eat. Oh, by the way, I was a 3 at this point. Soon after that, I was put on petocin to get the contractions going since my water broke and we wanted to keep things within a 24 hour period to prevent infection. I went quite a while until I decided to get an epidural, I was dilated to a 7 at this point and the contractions were very intense. Receiving the epidural was the absolute worst part of the day. They were trying to get it in between contractions, which were only about 60 seconds apart at this point. The anesthesiologist put it in and then spent a good 2 minutes shifting it around, OUCH!!! Couple that with the fact that since he was taking so long I was experiencing contractions and wasn't allowed to move one inch and I was in hell, I thought I was going to pass out. Just for a couple minutes though and then it was over, the worst part of the day was over. The epidural worked great, it was so light that I was able to have complete control over my legs the entire time. I was standing and walking normally within an hour or so of delivering. It was also so light that I was able to feel Corryn being born, I felt every lump and bump as it travel through me into the world. This was SO different than birthing Ethan. I was so drugged up with Ethan that I couldn't even tell I was pushing and my legs were seriously dead, walking was out of the question super difficult for days afterwards.
So the epi was given at 10am, by 11am I was a 10 and now just had to wait for my doctor to arrive. It was really hard not to push for the next half an hour, but I would just breathe through the contractions and I was good. Doc arrived at 11:30am and asked me to do a test push. Her eyes lit up as she told me that the head was already starting to come out with the one push. They hurried to put up the stirrups and put down all the sheets and stuff. Breathe in, push for ten seconds, exhale. Breathe in, push for ten seconds, exhale, the head is out. Breathe in, push for 3 seconds, she's here!! That's it! I couldn't believe it. Seriously? One set of pushes? That's awesome. I attribute this to 3 things: 1. I'm awesome. 2. She was small, especially in comparison to almost 9lb Ethan. 3. I had a super light epidural and could really feel how I was supposed to push.
When Ethan came out, he was taken away to be wiped off and then hooked up to the CPAT for an hour so I barely got the see or touch him. With Corryn, she came out and was plopped right on my chest and stayed there for a good 5 minutes while Jon was able to cut her cord. In all her yuckiness, she was beautiful, absolutely beautiful. Her eyes were open and she held my finger. So beautiful. I hope I never forget that moment. She weighed in at 6lbs 2oz, 18 inches long. She has long fingers and toes and a beautiful full head of dirty blonde hair. She has my ears and Jon's nose and Ethan's cute bottom lip.
I didn't tear at all and the epidural wore off quickly, recovery was a joke, so easy. In fact I didn't need any medication, not even tylenol for the first day or two. I eventually took a Motrin, for the cramps, which were honestly nothing more than what I would expect during a normal period. I can't believe how easily my body took to pregnancy and birth, I'm truly blessed. Now, the question was, how easily would my body take to producing milk.
With Ethan it took a good two weeks to come in and it was a stressful and painful experience. I bought a pump right off the bat this time and was stocked with Fenugreek (amazing herb). I'm happy to say that I was producing full blown breast milk by day 3, WAHOO!! In fact, now I'm able to store some and still satisfy her actually pretty big appetite. Store?!?! That's something I could only dream of doing with Ethan. Corryn latches on great, the only thing is that she's super sleepy, so getting her to nurse longer than 3 minutes is a challenge. But anyway.... I'm going to address that in the next post.
There you go, there's the birth story. Next post will be coming home from the hospital, the first couple of days at home, and so forth.... stay tuned, I promise it gets juicy. Let's just say, I'm typing this now from a hospital bed....

Monday, September 27, 2010

Corryn Rachel Evans

Welcome baby girl, four weeks early but healthy as ever! 9/25/10 11:41am 6lbs 2 oz 18 inches. Beautiful head of light brown hair. Looks like she's already been the the salon for highlights! :)