Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Juliet is 5 Months Old

Five months already!? Wow.. she is just growing so fast, and her new developments amaze me every day.

On 2/23/2013, Juliet turned five months! Here are her pictures:

At five months Juliet:
is starting to be mobile. She scoots and rotates around on her tummy.
is eating and loving rice cereal. I'm sure she is ready to expand her palette, but I am not there yet.
Smiles, laughs, sticks her tongue out, screams, and coos a lot.
Reaches, plays, and chews on everything.
is staring to teethe. We haven't seen anything pop through (or come close), but we think she is teething because she slobbers ridiculous amounts, is constantly chewing, is grinding her gums, and will get super fussy for a few days at a time. When this happens, we use teething tablets, Tylenol, and clove oil on her gums.
loves TV. I know, this is terrible. We try to keep her from watching it, but anytime it's on, she literally bends over backwards trying to watch it.
loves her exersaucer!
seems to demand to be held more and has a harder time going down for naps.
is cuter than ever!

Here is a picture from my Birthentine's celebrations. She sure is a cutie!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Starring Juliet!

Here are some great videos we've taken over the last couple of months. My personal faves are the first, fourth, and last ones.

(2 months)

(3 months)

(3 months)

(4 months)

(4 months)

(4 months)

Four Months Old

12/23/2012 turned three months old
Once again, I have let too much time pass before posting an update.

Truth be told, I spend all day at work thinking about my family, so once I get home I try to focus my attention on Big J and Little J, and once she goes down for bed I scurry around getting my chores done.

Life is so sweet.

We have worked out the complicated tango of daycare and working and school. We had an amazing friend come to the rescue and watch Juliet while we figured out a long-term solution. Kara, you are an angel.

Luckily, things have worked out well. Jed watches Juliet Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I come home and we trade off, and he goes to work. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Jed has school/work alll day (literally 7am-11pm), so Juliet goes to a home daycare (we know the family that runs it, and it is only a couple of miles away, so it is a good situation).

Three months old
When we found out we would be expecting, I always felt the spirit tell me that the daycare situation would work itself out and not to stress out about it. I'm glad I listened because the Lord has blessed us for taking on the roles of parenthood.

Juliet turned four months old on the 23rd. I cannot believe how fast time flies! She is such a joy. She is now eating (and loving) cereal. She LOVES standing, and can usually stand for a few minutes with the support of the couch. She is also sitting up without support for a few minutes at a time. She started rolling over from back to front around three months.

1/23/2013 She's pretty serious about turning four months old
She loves playing with toys, grabbing, chewing, spinning around on her playmat, and showing her cute dimples. She is jabbering a lot, unless she is around a lot of people. I think she's kind of shy-- or just a people watcher like her mom. Her hair is growing and turning blonde, and everyone comments on how adorable she is. I have to agree.

Even when she gets fussy (which is not too often), I ALWAYS feel blessed to have her in my life. I do not take motherhood for granted, and I know it if a blessing that not everyone gets to enjoy so easily. Jed and I are still having a kissing competition, and we both still think we are the winners. I tell her I love her 1,000 times a day and it never seems like enough.

Four Months
For those of you who will be having babies soon, here is some advice: Pay attention to the direction your baby is looking when she is lying down. During Juliet's first two months, she was ALWAYS looks to the right. Being a new mom, I was so focused on everything else, that I didn't even notice. Now, the back right side of her head is flat! We saw a specialist last week, who told us that she is within helmet range. We are working on some positioning exercises so hopefully her head will even out on its own and we won't have to drop a couple grand on a helmet.

Even though I was excited and ready to have a baby, I figured it would turn my world upside down. But honestly, I feel like my world is finally rightside up. It feels right. It feels good.

 Obviously being a working mom has its challenges, but I know I am doing what is right for my family right now. It doesn't make me less of a mom or disconnected from Juliet at all. When I pick her up from daycare, she instantly starts flailing her arms and smiling so big when she sees me. She loves me and her dad so much, and it is a confirmation to me that everything is perfectly fine the way it is.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Working Mom

Next week I will be returning to work. I can't believe my maternity leave is over, but our bank account is evidence that it's time to go back to work.

A few weeks ago, I was devastated just thinking about leaving my girl. Truthfully, we still aren't 100% sure where Juliet will go while I work (we have a weird schedule... it's like a complicated tango), but things will work themselves out. I think I'm about as mentally prepared as I can be, but I am definitely sad to leave her. What if I miss her first words or her first steps? What if something happens and I'm not there to soothe her? If I dwell on these questions too much, I'll never be ok with returning to work.

So instead, I focus on the positive things...
Returning to a wonderful department of wonderful people who I can honestly call friends.
Being able to wake up early and be productive and interact with lots of adults each day.
Picking up my baby each afternoon and seeing her adorable smile and appreciating it so much more.
Helping provide for our little family.

We are very blessed, and I feel so fortunate to work for such an amazing company! More importantly, I have a beautiful and happy baby and a supportive and loving husband. I have no right to complain about anything!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

1 Month Old

Today our little Juliet turns 1 month old. Here are some of the things she has accomplished in the last month.

 Juliet has:
*Survived birth and made her parents (and everyone else, for that matter) fall deeply in love with her.
*Mastered the skill of breastfeeding
*Met a large majority of her family (Grandmas Jones and Young, Aunts Erika, Carly, Maggie, and Jordan, Uncles Adam and Mike, Cousins Taylor, Trevan, and Carsten, Great Grandparents Goodrich, extended family Darcy, Amber, Jared, and Lilly, friends Bonnie and Britt)
*Flashed many cute smiles
*Become vocal with crying, grunts, coos, and other adorable sounds
*Taken her first two bottles
*Transitioned from disposable diapers to cloth diapers
*Had her umbilical cord come off (2 weeks)
*Gone out to dinner (Cafe Rio and Station 22)
*Gone on a girls' night with Mommy and Aunts Jordan and Maggie
*Gotten her pictures taken professionally
*Received her Social Security Card
*Spent lots of days hanging out with Mommy
*Played with Daddy
*Rolled over (with a tiny bit of help)
*Learned to love Tummy Time and baths
*Gotten so good at sleeping for long stretches at night (usually only wakes up once or twice between 10pm and 8am)
*Provided so much joy to her parents

We are loving our Miss J and are excited to have her baby blessing in two weeks. She is the cutest and sweetest baby ever. Jed and I are in a battle of who can give her the most kisses. I think I am winning.

Side note: I am having Gallbladder surgery this week. My mom is coming in town to help out. Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Juliet's Birth Story

My due date was September 19, and I wasn't surprised when the day came and went without our baby's arrival. I went on several looooong walks trying to get things going, but all it did was make my pelvis ache so bad I could barely move around.

On Friday September 21 we went to my 40 week doctor's appointment. In the waiting room before the appointment, I told Jed that there was no way I was going to book an appointment for a 41 week appointment, and if Doctor Nance asked me to, I would have some stern words for him.

Once Doctor Nance checked me,  I was still only dilated to a 1 and 60% effaced. I was feeling pretty down because I had been doing all I could think of to get my body in gear. Jed told Nance what I said in the waiting room, and Nance pulled out his calendar and said, "Let's make some plans." He said that he likes to induce on Sundays, but that Sunday was going to be the Brigham City Temple Dedication. I told him, he could just go to the 9am session and meet us at the hospital after. He laughed and told us to go in to the hospital on Saturday night so I could get some medicine inserted into my cervix to help it ripen overnight. He then told us that at 7am on Sunday, we should go in to L&D and get some pitocin started.

I was so giddy as we finalized our plans to bring our daughter into our world. I couldn't stop smiling and looking at Jed. I had been really resistant to the idea of being induced, but based on some family experiences and my worrywart nature, I felt really good about getting the process started as soon as possible. I just wanted our girl here safely as soon as possible.

Saturday, I slept in, took a nap, did some laundry, and got our little home ready to bring a baby home. Before going to the hospital, Jed and I had a little date night. We did some last minute shopping for baby stuff, had a delicious dinner at Carrabba's, and even stopped at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory for some dessert. We then rushed to the hospital and checked in. Our nice nurse, Jamie got the medicine going and finalized the details of our birth plan. We waited a hour or so and headed home.

It was a surreal feeling. I told Jed, "the next time we make this drive, we will have our baby with us." I can't remember the rest of that night, but we knew we needed our rest because we were going to have a long day on Sunday.

Sunday morning, I woke up at 5:30am and got ready. I felt silly curling my hair and doing my make-up, but i knew I would look exponentially worse by the time the baby came, so I wanted to start the day looking at good as possible, so maybe I wouldn't look AS bad later on (didn't really work, haha). Strange logic? I think not...

The hospital called and told us we could come in early, if we wanted, and we made it to the hospital around 6:50. We checked in and made our way up to L&D. I can't help but refer to the word surreal again. It was very surreal.

We monitored the baby and made sure she was doing well, then they started the pitocin around 7:45. The contractions started soon after, but I only felt my tummy tightening up, and nothing painful was happening yet. After the Brigham City Temple Dedication, Dr. Nance came in (around 11am) and broke my water. I was at a 2 at that point, and I have to say that feeling all of that fluid come out of me was very uncomfortable. I had to buzz the nurses a few times and ask them to bring in more towels/pad things. At one point, the fluid had dripped off the bed and onto the floor. Anytime I moved, water just gushed out. I hated that feeling. A lot.

The contractions intensified from that point, and by 1:00 I was using breathing techniques to get through them. It wasn't horrible, but I had a feeling it would be soon. The nurses kept asking me if I wanted my epidural yet. I didn't feel like I was in enough pain to get it (for some reason, I felt like I need to experience excruciating pain first... silly me). I decided to have the epidural around 1:30, thinking that the contractions would get worse very quickly.

My fear was that once I got the epidural, the contractions would slow down and become irregular. After I made the decision to get it, I started second-guessing myself, but the Anesthesiologist drove all the way down just for me, so I decided to do it then after all. Once it was time to actually get it, I started getting really shaky and nervous, something I was not expecting. Jed held my hand and stood right in front of me to help me stay still during the contractions. By this point, my mom was there with us, so she got to watch the big needles go in. I didn't even look at them, so I am still oblivious as to how big they were.

I felt relief pretty quickly, and I was so glad that I chose to get the epidural when I did. The scariest part of my entire L&D story is that after I got the epidural, my and the baby's heartrates dropped, so they had to put me on oxygen and insert some medicine into my IV to wake the baby up a bit. I was trying so hard not to cry because I was just thinking of the worst case scenario occurring  I'm sure this was nothing to the nurses, but i was kind of freaking out. I put on a brave face and kept the fears to myself.

After 30 minutes or so, everything was perfect. I was talking, laughing, enjoying my time with my mom and husband. Unfortunately, after about an hour and a half, I started feeling all of the pain on my left side. I can tell I was having back labor, because I was have excruciating pain in my abdomen and back. I was even more nervous because i could feel everything "down there," so I knew if something wasn't done, I would feel this baby come out. Only my right side was numb, and it was getting miserable. I was pumping as much epidural medicine in as possible, but my left side would not get numb. The Anesthesiologist even came in and juiced me twice... but to no avail. At this point, I was bawling my eyes out and with each contraction  I was having to put 100% of my focus into getting through it. The Anes. tried pulling out my epidural line just a bit to get it centered, but that didn't work either. After about an hour of my writhing in pain and trying everything possible, he decided to totally pull it out and redo the epidural.

That's right... I got two epidurals.

I felt almost immediate relief. I was so glad that I had decided to do that, because honestly, I felt from some of the people there that I shouldn't get the second epidural and just suffer through. Unfortunately, I still was only at a 2 or 3, so I knew I had a long road ahead of me, and I didn't want to be 100% miserable and exhausted when it came time to push. I definitely made the right choice for me.

Around 5 or 6, they checked me again, and I was finally at a 4. They said that I was in active labor and I should start dilating at least 1 cm an hour. I was prepared for several more hours, and I was feeling pretty good. I could feel the pressure of each contraction, and it was very interesting to see the intensity of each contraction because I had an inter-uterine monitor.

Around 8:00, they checked me and I was at a 9, almost 10. I couldn't believe I had dilated so quickly! I was so excited, and they called the Doctor to come in and see if I should start pushing or let the baby descend by herself for a bit.

He came in around 8:15, checked me, and pulled up the stirrups, saying it was time to push. Jed had just left to move the car, and I was freaking out because this was go-time! Jed came back just in time and was surprised to see the bed transformed and everything in place. At this point, my mom stepped into the hall.

I was still expecting to push for at least an hour, maybe two (they say 2-3 hours for your first is average), so I was SHOCKED when after my very first push the doctor told me that this would not take long at all!

Jed was holding one leg, and our nurse Natalie, the other. I was very surprised to see Jed watching EVERYTHING and don't tell him I told, but his eyes were rimmed with red, and I knew that even though we were having very different experiences, this very special for both of us.

After only 3.5 contractions and 10 pushes, the doctor shouted "Stop"  halfway through a push. I did... and he easily maneuvered our baby girl out! At 8:39pm, our girl was born. I only pushed for about 10-15 minutes! I got pretty emotional, and while I didn't cry-cry, I was definitely teary-eyed, and so so so mesmerized by this beautiful little girl with dark curls and wide eyes.

They suctioned out her tummy because she swallowed a ton of fluid, cleaned her up, measured and weighed her, and I finally got to hold my little girl (I was kind of peeved that they kept her for so long-- almost 10 minutes).

Her little eyes were open and she seemed so alert. She wasn't even swollen or squished. She was so beautiful and perfect. I didn't know what to do with this precious little girl, so I just held her, told her I loved her, and we looked into each other's eyes.

After a few minutes, I nursed her for the first time. It is such a miracle how babies know exactly what to do. She latched on like a champ, and our feedings have been great ever since.

Things got a little blurry after this because I was so focused on the baby. My mom heard the entire birth and saw them place the baby in the warmer thing as they checked her, so she immediately started making calls to all of our family to tell them that our little girl was here safe and sound!

Jed held the baby, as did my mom. We took a bajillion pictures, and about an hour later, my oldest sister Jordan and her husband came to visit. I was so glad they did.

I kept telling the nurses that I don't think it's fair to have a baby in the evening. You don't want to go to sleep because all you want to do is stare at your new little bundle of joy. We didn't make it to bed until around 2am.

I want to make a special point of sharing how amazing my husband has been. He was the most amazing and supportive cheerleader at the hospital. He made me laugh, allowed me to make my own decisions without judgement, catered to my every need, and didn't even make fun of me when I peed my pants a few times in the first couple of days after birth (anyone else experience this? haha). During those first few rough days home, Jed was taking care of my every need (cooking, cleaning, running to the pharmacy, running other errands, watching our girl when I have other things I need to do). When we were preparing to leave, I got choked up thinking how daunting of a task this would be without a husband to hold my hand through it all. I feel so blessed to have a happy marriage to bring this special child into. It reaffirms to me the importance of the family unit, and why God puts such an emphasis on maintaining families. It is divine.

 I feel extremely blessed because I feel that my induction went as smoothly as possible. From when I arrived at the hospital to when Juliet was born, only about 13 hours elapsed. I was prepared for a much longer ordeal! I almost feel guilty at how easy/painless my labor and delivery were.

Surprisingly, my recovery has been the hardest part of this entire birth process. I had to get some stitches and they HURT so bad the first few days home (I overdid it, even with all of the help I had). I definitely shed a lot of tears because of the pain, but we've had a lot of help, and I even caved and took some pain medicine to help. I guess I am a wimp. Luckily, things are better now, and I can focus on snuggling and taking care of my beautiful little Juliet!

We are so blessed to have such a special spirit join our family. It has been such a joy to get to know her more and explore our relationship (because it changes so much from in the womb to outside of it). We love her more than we could ever imagine.