Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Letter to a (Stella) Bean

Dearest Bean,

How exciting that you are finally among us! Do you love it here? You seem to:) You smile an awful lot for a teeny tiny baby...and even though my baby books say that any smiles noticed this early are more than likely a result of gas......I don't believe them;-)

Life has been great since you got here. Daddy stayed home from work with us for our first 2 weeks as a family & it was wonderful for the 3 of us to have all of that time to get to know each other:) He only just went back to work yesterday. It was a sad morning...but we ended up having a nice first day alone together, I must say:)

In spite of it being painful at times, breastfeeding has been going really well for us & its mostly because you are such a natural at it. Your pediatrician said so & so did the nice lactation consultant lady we met at the hospital. I am so proud of you...and of us for being such a good team:) You really do love to eat! You weighed 6 pounds, 10.5 oz. at your first doctor's appointment (at 5 days old)...and then you were already up to 7 pounds, 8.8 oz. at your second one (at 12 days old)!! You gained 14 oz. in 1 week! Dr. Trotsky was very impressed & said that I must have high octane milk! Daddy & I are still laughing over that one;-)

I'm also proud of you for being such a good sleeper so far:) You slept in your cradle swing for your first few nights home...but then we transitioned you over to your bassinet and you seem to love sleeping there now:) You generally sleep for 4-5 hour stretches before waking up, wanting to be fed. Some mornings I have to actually wake YOU up to feed you. I can't say I blame you, though. I love sleeping very much, too. Maybe you get it from me;-)

Well, my love...I suppose that's all for now. You are currently in a milk-induced sleep coma in your pack n' play bassinet...but these late morning naps aren't usually very long...so I'm going to run for now so that I can catch up on some email before you wake up...

I love you & will be in to check on you in a minute.

Thanks for being wonderful.

Love always,
Your Mom

Sunday, September 28, 2008

My baby & her Daddy


The Bee & the Bean

...Stella & Mommy...

...because silly head ornaments on babies are cute...

*Pretty in Pink*

Here are a couple of shots I took of Stella this past Friday afternoon.

She was 15 days old that day:)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Friday, September 19, 2008

*Our Birth Story*

My last prenatal appointment was on Wednesday, September 10th in the afternoon. I left there that day with a strong feeling inside of me that...something...felt...somehow different.

Dr. Heinzel had told me that I was 2 centimeters dilated and during his exam of my cervix, mentioned that he had "stripped my membranes". I wasn't entirely sure what that meant...but I felt a bit crampy afterwards for a few hours. Before long though, the cramps pretty much passed and Rob & I had dinner, watched some TV and went to sleep around 10 or 11 as usual. Little did we know what was about to occur;-)

I was awakened at about 2:30 am with my first taste of what a real, live CONTRACTION feels like. I ran to the bathroom and worked my way through it. It lasted about a minute or so, then passed. Then I noticed that I had lost my mucous plug! It was just as everyone said it would be. I knew at this point that labor was imminent. How imminent, I wasn't sure. But I was pretty sure this was all leading up to the real thing:)

I returned to the bedroom and was too excited/nervous/anxious to fall back asleep. I wondered how long before my next contraction would come along? I knew that it wouldn't be time to go to the hospital until they were about 5 minutes apart. It took about 20 for my next one to come around. I grabbed a notebook & started writing them all down after this. They progressively got closer and closer together until they were about 5 minutes apart around 6 or 7 am. They had gotten much more painful and a bit longer by this point and I was pretty sure that I was ready for Rob to drive me to the hospital. I was really proud of myself for laboring at home for all of those hours without starting to panic...but also kind of nervous and still even a little bit unsure as to how close I was to it all REALLY happening...

Nevertheless, I took a quick shower...Rob took our bags down to the car...and we were off.

It took forever to drive to Lankenau in the rush hour traffic...but we arrived there around 8:15 am. Rob found me a wheelchair and wheeled me in...up the elevator to the 5th floor Labor & Delivery ward...and checked me in with the nurse at the desk. She put me in a room and before long, a resident doctor checked my cervix. I was 4 centimeters! This was enough progress from the 2 centimeters I was the day before for them to assure me that my baby would be born before long:)

They hooked me up to external fetal monitors to measure baby's heartbeat and the level/intensity/regularity of my contractions. They were beginning to hurt worse and worse and were getting almost unbearable at times. All that I had read about was finally happening to me & it was so wonderful and yet so surreal at the same time. Dr. Laverin finally arrived and checked on me around 11 am and let me know that I was 5 centimeters dilated! He also told me that he was going to break my water because it hadn't broken on its own yet. After he did that, the contractions got MUCH more intense...and Rob will be the first to tell you that that fact was plain to see by the look on my face every time one came around!! I was gripping the sides of the bed and my hands were shaking and lips quivering. MAN...it hurt. LOL

I had wanted so badly to have the baby without any pain medications...but it was around noon or so that I finally caved in to the nurses repeat offers for an epidural. I was about 6 centimeters by this point and was very proud of myself for lasting as long as I did without...but I was tired & done trying to prove my point;-) The anesthesiologist came in & I told him that I wanted to still be able to feel...just not as much. The dose he gave me ended up being perfect. I could still move my toes and legs a bit...and still felt some pressure when contracting...but was far from writhing in pain like I had been before it. Such sweet, sweet relief it was...and I was really glad that I finally asked for it. It seems kind of appropriate in hindsight, the way it happened...in that I was able to experience it both ways. And although a small part of me wishes I could have continued on the way I did for the first half of my labor (without it)...a bigger part of me is glad that I was able to get on with it in a much happier/less tense state.

By the time Dr. Laverin came around to check me again at 2:00 pm, I was 7 centimeters and they said that I was progressing really well for a first time mom. Yay to that:)

It was 3:45 pm when they checked me & told me that I was finally...at long last...TEN CENTIMETERS and ready to start pushing!!! They prepped a cart and I started to push around 4:00 pm. It was perfect in that I was numb enough down there to not have to be screaming out in pain.......but still aware enough of the pressure of baby's head coming down & my having to push with all my might to get her out...

It ended up taking only a tad over an hour...as baby was finally born at 5:07 pm:) They placed her on my belly and Rob cut the umbilical cord. It was just as I had hoped it would be. She was small and soft and beautiful...and I was sOoOoOo honored to finally meet her.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Bean has arrived:)

*Stella Olivia Jordan* was born on...

Thursday 09.11.08 at 5:07pm

She weighed 7 pounds exactly & was 20 inches long.

And she is even more wonderful than I could've ever imagined in my wildest dreams.

I'll post a new blog soon with her birth story & plenty more pictures.

This one should be sweet enough to hold you over until then;-)


P.S. Stella means STAR in Italian:)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Letter to a Bean 10

My Dearest Bean,

I wonder if this will be my last letter to you before you're born?

I suppose the only person in the whole world who might know the answer to that question is you, huh? ;-)


I wanted to let you know that Daddy & I went back to see Dr. Heinzel today. This appointment was longer than most of our past ones because they did a special test called a "non stress test" while we were there. They hooked up 2 different monitors to my belly for about a half an hour. One of them listened to your heartbeat and the other one measured your movements! Since our due date was 2 days ago, they are going to monitor you like this every few days just to make sure that you are doing OK in there. We were glad to hear that everything looked & sounded great. The nurse even gave Daddy and I a big chocolate cookie to share during the test and your movements seemed to get even stronger after I took a couple of bites of it! It was cute and funny:)

While we were there...we also learned some exciting news: I am 2 centimeters dilated! Daddy and I were both so surprised and happy. We know that this means that we are REALLY getting close to the day that we will finally meet you now:)

What a crazy & wonderful feeling this is...

Ah, well. I'd like to write more...but its getting late and I'm starting to get a little bit tired. I think I'm going to go snuggle up with the pups and get some shuteye.

I hope your day has been nice in there. That cookie sure was good, wasn't it??? :)

See you soon.

Love You.

Your Mom

Monday, September 8, 2008

September 8th:)

Well...as was predicted by many.........I've officially made it to my due date with Bean still comfy cozy inside her womb:)

Here we are...on September 8th...and I still have time to wait for furniture that hasn't arrived yet...and still more time to organize & re-organize her closet!

No worries, though. I'm still feeling great & am honestly in no hurry. Whenever she decides she's ready is fine by me!

For now...here are some pictures to show you what's going on in my world these days...

The first is a shot of Bean's first 2 teddy bears cozied up inside of her bassinet. They are keeping it warm for her until she gets here:)

The second 2 are quick glimpses of what her nursery looks like so far. Notice the 2 tones of green paint & the fabulous chair rail that Rob put up;-)

And the last one is me...at 40 weeks pregnant!


Friday, September 5, 2008

Only 3 days till "D Day"...and yet...

Our visit to Dr. Heinzel yesterday afternoon was pleasant, as usual...but rather uneventful, I'm sorry to have to report. I've made no progress at all since I last saw him and am still not dilated even a little bit. In fact, he says my cervix is still "posterior" and he's quite certain that Bean will arrive after her due date.

So, hey...kudos to those of you who voted as such in the Baby Poll;-)

We go back to see him next Wednesday for our regular weekly visit as well as for a "non-stress test" to make sure that Bean is doing all right in there, since we'll be officially past our due date at that point. I'll be sure to post an update after that appointment. Hopefully I'll have more exciting news to report then than I do today:)

On the funiture front...

Bean's *beautiful* crib finally arrived and I love it even more than the image of it I have been building up in my head for the past 4 months...but, sadly, we're still waiting on all the rest of her furniture.

I mean, honestly. I didn't realize that we should have gone out furniture shopping immediately after taking the positive pregnancy test, as opposed to waiting a couple of months. For goodness' sakes...we ordered it in MAY.


Ah, well.

I just keep trying to remind myself of how LOVELY her room will look once it has all finally arrived. It's just a bummer that its taking sOoOoOoOoOo long to get here.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

*Baby Poll*

I have already gotten quite a few guesses thrown at me as far as when Bean will be born. A few people have even thrown in guesses at her name and what her birth weight will be!

I've found these rather amusing & have loved hearing people's thoughts on the subject in general...and so I thought it would be appropriate to post a blog entry where everyone could document their guess in a concrete way...so that, when all is said & done, we'll know who had the best guess of all:)

So come one...come all...and leave your guesses as a comment to this blog.

Be sure to include your guess for what her birthdate will be, along with her weight. If you'd like to add anything else...name/height/hair color/eye color/blood type...LOL...feel free;-)

P.S. There will be a small prize sent out to the winner...so don't forget to sign your name along with your guess!


Monday, September 1, 2008

The Lastest:)

Although I've been the easy target of numerous jokes regarding "going into labor on Labor Day"...this one seems to have come & gone without any such incident. I won't say that I'm entirely surprised, as I haven't felt much different these past few days than I have in all the weeks leading up to now. I'm still feeling good...but most definitely do feel larger! I think that Bean saved most of her growing until the very end as a favor to her Mom:) Sometimes I'll feel her pushing against me now & I can truly sense her as a full-grown infant in there. What a cool/crazy feeling.

Her nursery is all freshly painted and it really does look great so far. I'm really in love with the colors we chose:) Rob hung a chair rail all the way around it and new shelving and an extra rod inside the closet. Her crib and changing table/dresser are being delivered this Wednesday, thank goodness...although we'll have to wait for a 2nd delivery for the rest of the furniture pieces we ordered, as they were apparently backordered and haven't arrived yet. (Yes...this is the furniture we ordered 4+ months ago...in MAY.) Ah well. As long as those 2 pieces make it here this week, I'll be happy. Besides, she will most likely be sleeping in her bassinet for the first month or 2, anyhow. I just can't wait for them to get here so that we can put them into place & start to arrange the rest of the things we've bought for her nursery: the bookcase, glider, floating shelves, artwork, lighting, etc. And I can't wait to dress her crib all up in her bedding and put all of her tiny clothes & sheets away in their appropriate drawers!! Oh...and of course take a zillion photos of it all when its done:)

So we go back to see Dr. Heinzel on Thursday at 2:15pm. I wonder if there will be any signs of dilation by then? The past 2 times he's checked me there hasn't been, although my cervix was beginning to efface as of my appointment with him last week.

Remember: Progress...however small...is still exciting to a 39 week+ pregnant woman;-)

Lots more updates to come...I promise.