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Friday, March 26, 2010

3 Weeks Old

It seems like the time is really flying. I'm almost halfway through my maternity leave already. Abigail is changing every day, and she's looking older all the time.

This week we've been trying out different equipment to keep her entertained during her quiet alert periods. She's awake more and more everyday, and is starting to sleep in longer stretches at night.  I have a bouncy seat and a swing. She seems to like the bouncy seat more than the swing. I can't blame her. I've never been much for roller coaster rides, and it seems like that's the feeling she's experiencing when she's in her swing. We got the swing for free from my sister-in-law, and I've got to say that I'm really not a fan of it.  It's probably better for older babies, but I think it's just plain scary for infants.

I'm selling a few extra baby items at a consignment sale this weekend. I got an extra boppy pillow, bedding, a baby bjorn, and a baby tub, so we're going to see if any of them sell. I went to the sale last night and got a green bumbo for $10. It looks fantastic, and I'm so excited to use it in a few weeks when Abigail can support her head a little more.  I saw a cradle swing there for $45 and I was really tempted to buy it. If it's still there on Saturday during the 1/2 price sale, I'll definitely get it. I think it will be a little less scary than the big swing, and I can sell the other one.

Here are some pictures I took of Abigail this week.
I like to call this pose the "mermaid pose"

Wearing her cute muppet slippers

Taken about 5 minutes ago

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

On to convention!

One of the reasons I made my blog private was so that I'd have the ability to be a little more open about my job and politics without fear of it being picked up by someone else.  It's better to be safe than sorry in this kind of a situation.

Last night neighborhood caucus meetings were held all over the state to elect delegates to attend the state and county conventions later this Spring.  Basically, this is how it works.  Each city/town/neighborhood in the state is divided into precincts. Each precinct has about 1,000 families in it.  Each precinct elects a Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, one State Delegate, two County Delegates, and a Secretary/Treasurer.  The chairperson is an automatic State and County Delegate. The Vice Chairperson is an automatic County Delegate.

So, what does a delegate do? Basically, they are responsible for nominating the person from their political party that will go on the ballot in November.  For instance, this year Bob Bennett is up for reelection.  He has 5 challengers within the Republican Party that want his seat.  Only one person can be on the ballot for the Republican Party in November. So, they go to State Convention to determine who will be on the ballot. Delegates from all over the state representing their neighborhoods vote to determine who would best represent the party.  If one candidate gets over 60% of the vote in convention, they automatically get the nomination.  If no one candidate gets over 60% of the vote, then a primary election is held to determine who will get the nomination. The top two candidates from convention participate in the primary election.

Clear as mud?

So, I kind of decided last minute yesterday that I wanted to run as a state delegate.  My dad has been a precinct chairman for the last 10 years or so, and I've always had a desire to go to State Convention. It's kind of like a big party for all the political junkies.  So, with a little encouragement from friends and my dad, I decided to go ahead and run for the position of state delegate. But, in order to run, you have to have someone nominate you.  So, I had to bring Daniel. Which means that Abigail had to come too.  Daniel really isn't into politics, but because he's such a good sport, he decided to come along.

Well, the evening went well. I was elected as a state delegate even though I knew like no one at the meeting.  I'm so excited to go to convention! (That makes me sound like a Trekkie or something, doesn't it?)  And, in an unexpected turn of events, Daniel was elected as a county delegate.  Even though he joked about it last night, I think he's excited to get involved in a part of politics that isn't mud-slinging.

So, what's next? Basically, Daniel and I will be bombarded with emails, phone calls, and mail from the prospective candidates wanting our votes. I will also be instrumental in handing out literature, signs, and other stuff to my neighbors about the candidates I'm supporting. The county convention is on April 24, and the state convention is on May 8. The state convention is right after my maternity leave is up, which is really convenient. I won't have to worry about mixing my work with the campaign related stuff.

Oh, and just in case you were wondering who I'm supporting for Senate....

Sunday, March 21, 2010

First Week at Church

Today we took Abigail with us to church. She did so well! She slept through all three meetings. She began waking up when there was about 15 minutes left in Relief Society, but I was able to hold her and give her a pacifier until the end of the meeting when I was able to take her home.

And, I did the finishing touches on my PC this weekend. I've finally got it fully working again. Which means I can do fun stuff like change up my websites. What do you think of my new blog design?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

2 Weeks Old

Abigail has been a part of our family for two weeks. And, thus by association, I have succeeded in keeping her alive for that long. Sometimes it's kind of scary being a mom.

Luckily, not only is she surviving, she's thriving! She had her two-week checkup today and everything went really well. She now weighs 7 lbs. 15 oz. and is 20.5 inches long.  Which, according to my ipod app that tracks her growth, means that she has a total percentage of weight gain of 9.5%, and height of 7.5%.  She fits very squarely in the 50% percentile of other infants her age. So, apparently I'm doing something right.

I'm also very much enjoying the return of my waistline. I haven't been on a scale since before Abigail was born, but I'm pretty sure I'm close to my pre-pregnancy weight again. Besides my hips being a little wider than before, I'm pretty much back to normal. That's one blessing I'm incredibly grateful for.

And, I think we're making progress with the sleep thing. Abigail spends more and more time each night in her bassinet.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pictures from the hospital

My aunt Ruth has a photography business and was nice enough to come take some pictures of Abigail while we were in the hospital. They turned out really well and I wanted to share a few of them with you.  We are planning on getting one of them printed on an announcement and sending it out.

The sleeping dilemma and pet names

Man, daylight savings time is a killer when you have a new baby. Each hour you get to sleep is precious. It seems so unfair that the government can just arbitrarily take away one of those hours.

Abigail is a pretty good sleeper. She sleeps for almost exactly three hours at a time. That's a pretty good amount for me since I'm breastfeeding, and anything longer than 3 hours just isn't doable.  However, she is very picky about where she sleeps and when.  During the day, I can stick her just about anywhere. Sometimes she sleeps on the couch in her boppy, or just a blanket. Sometimes I hold her while I watch a TV show or movie. And, sometimes I put her in her bassinet for her naps.

At night, it's a totally different story. She will only sleep in the bed with me and Daniel. I've tried many different methods of trickery to get her into her bassinet to sleep to no avail. Before I had Abigail I had this idea in my head that people who co-slept were weird and endangering their baby. Now, I'm totally left wondering what I'm supposed to do. We only have a queen-sized bed, so I sleep at the very edge to give her all the space she needs so I don't roll on her in the night.  The second we move her to the bassinet, she's awake and won't go back to sleep until she's in the bed. I've decided to keep trying to put her in her bassinet every night, but I'm not going to force the issue right now. I just need to make sure I'm getting sleep.

I'm starting to feel physically more like myself.  Recovery has been pretty difficult for me, and something I really wasn't prepared for. I feel like I'm off-balance all the time, and I walk funny. It's been nice to see some improvement.

Today we are going over to my parent's house for dinner. My grandmother is coming down from Salt Lake to meet Abigail. Abigail is her first great-granddaughter. I'm also expecting major fights between my brother and sisters over who gets to hold Abigail first/the longest.

My family is really big on pet names. Not so much nicknames, but we all had names that my mom called us when we were young. I was "Miss Mouse" or "Sister." Jacob was "beetle." Sara was "Bug" or "Cakester." Rachel was "Lamb," and Samuel was.... actually, I don't remember what we called Samuel. Anyway, so it was only natural that I would come up with a myriad of pet names for Abigail. In fact, I rarely call Abigail by her given name. She is "baby," "monkey," or "brat." I wonder at what point I will have to actually call her by her given name...

Happy Sunday!

Sitting in her boppy wearing a hat provided by Aunt Rachel

I made the onesie during a baby shower, so cute!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

One Week Old

Abigail is one week old today. It's been an absolutely wonderful week. Abigail is a sweet little baby, and I couldn't ask for a better daughter.

Breastfeeding has been going really well. I hope that it is something I'll be able to continue when I return to work in a couple months.

I'm so glad that both sets of grandparents live close. It's been fun to watch their interactions with her. My dad came over this evening after work and even though she was sleeping on the couch, he sat next to her and rubbed her back. It was really cute.

Abigail has been sleeping pretty well. Ever since Daniel got sick, we've been going to bed really early. Like 8-9 pm early. With all the radiation treatment and me being pregnant, we just got in the habit. So, our secret to a good night's sleep is starting early. Last night Abigail woke up only once in the night, and went to sleep about an hour later. I'm sure we'll have many nights we won't be as lucky, but she has been very sweet so far.

Being a mom is really great. It's amazing how much I love this little baby. When establishing relationships with other people (friends, husband, etc.) it takes time for those relationships to grow. But, when you have a baby it's like an instant bond is formed when they are born and you want to do everything you can to make sure they are safe and happy.

One big thing I've noticed is that I can not watch or read anything violent, or even really sappy. I can usually find something in every movie that Daniel picks out that will make me sob. Especially if it has anything to do with a mother/child relationship.

Here are some pictures from our first week.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Abigail's Birth Story

We are so happy to have Abigail in our family. Here is her birth story.

After about 38 weeks, I was getting really antsy to get her here. I was still working, very tired, and she had dropped so low in my pelvis that it was really difficult to walk.

Once I hit my 40-week appointment, I talked to the doctor about inductions. He said that Utah Valley, where I had decided to have my delivery, does not allow inductions before 41 weeks if it's your first baby. So, we decided that if she didn't come in that week, she would be evicted on March 4. I had an appointment scheduled for March 3 just in case she didn't come before then. When the doctor checked my cervix, I was 100% effaced but just under a centimeter dilated.

I decided that my last day of work was going to be March 2. At midnight that night, I started getting contractions. This time I knew they were real, because they hurt much more acutely than the braxton hicks contractions and I could feel them in my back. I started timing them, and they were every 15 minutes. On Wednesday, March 3, I tried moving around and doing things to induce labor. I even drove into Provo and had lunch with friends. But, the contractions were still 15 minutes apart. When Daniel and I went to my appointment, the doctor said I hadn't progressed any further. He gave me a shot of morphine that was supposed to either let me sleep or jump-start labor into progressing. If it didn't induce labor, I was supposed to wait for the hospital to call me in the morning so we could do an induction.

I was able to sleep until about 1 am, then I was up for most of the night, just feeling anxious. I took a shower, and then got a call at 5:30 am that they were ready for me.

Once they started the pitocin, it took about 3 contractions for me to ask for the epidural. I was about a centimeter and a half at this point. But, pitocin makes the contractions almost unbearable. Once I got my epidural, I was feeling pretty good. I could feel the pressure of the contractions, but they weren't painful. After almost 5 hours, I was at 3 centimeters. At this point I started to feel a little discouraged, because it had been so long and I felt like it wasn't getting anywhere. The doctor had already been in and broken my water.

Then I started to feel the contractions in my back and pubic bone. They were so intense I could hardly talk. One of the nurses gave me a shot to try to relieve the pain until the anesthesiologist could come. When he came, I was still at a 3. He was hesitant to up my epidural dose because it would make me completely numb. He said, "You know, most women don't get an epidural at 3 cm." After he left, the nurse told me that I needed to stand up for myself, and that if I wanted a higher dose, I could get it. So, I did. After that, I was able to relax. Within the hour I had dilated to an 8. An hour later I was at 9.5. Then, 45 minutes later I was finally at a 10. (I might be fuzzy on the timeline, I don't remember a lot from that point on). Then they let me rest and descend while we waited for the doctor.

Once the doctor got there I started pushing. It took about and hour and 45 minutes to get her out. I remember at about 5 pm thinking, "I can do this until 7, and then I just can't do it anymore." My epidural had worn off partially and I was feeling the intense contractions again. But, at 6:59, she came out. The first thing I said when she came out was, "Oh my gosh, she's huge!" I was expecting a much smaller baby. The next thing I noticed was that she had her eyes wide open. And they were gorgeous. They were huge and a dark blue. The nurses commented on them too.

Daniel was able to cut the cord, and then they took her to get weighed, measured, and cleaned up. After I got stitched and cleaned up, they brought her to me. She was crying and for a moment I thought, "Oh boy, now what do I do?" But, she looked beautiful.

She weighed 7 pounds 4 ounces and was 19 inches long. She figured out breastfeeding pretty quickly and did well in the hospital.

Overall, our hospital experience was a good one. There were a few nurses that were a little weird. For instance, one of the PCT's wanted me to supplement with formula the night after she was born because she wouldn't wake up to eat, even though it had only been 4 hours or so.

I would say that the hardest part about childbirth has been the recovery. I have been so sore. I am allergic to ibuprofen and motrin, which are anti-inflammatory medications. So, it's just been ice packs and percocet for me. I think once I'm able to walk and move around freely, things will be better.

But, everything was worth it. Abigail is an angel.