Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Miss Mallory's Birthday

My Mallory girl will be 6 weeks old tomorrow. My oh my, where does the time go? She's the best thing that's ever happened to me, and I can't believe she's growing and changing so fast! I never put her birth story on here, so here goes:
I already told you how back on 8/12 I went in to the dr and she wanted to induce me the next day, but then that plan was changed, as I ended up not having pre-eclampsia. That was good, although I was SO ready to meet my little one.Me on the day I was going to be induced (Aug 13th).
On August 14th, I started feeling sorta sick to my stomach. I had one solid pain that didn't go away for a few hours. It wasn't contractions, because it wasn't coming and going, and I wasn't throwing up, but I just didn't feel right. A nap, dinner and tylenol didn't make it feel better, so we went into the clinic just to check and see. Long story short, they said I was dialated to about a 2 and it was contractions, but Braxton-Hicks, right on top of each other, which was the reason I had one constant pain. They told us to go home and sleep, and hopefully it meant something real would happen soon.
Then my due date, August 15th came...and went.
My parents arrived in Japan August 19th- I was still pregnant. When we moved here in March, my mom said she was sad she wasn't going to see me "big" because she thought they would get here after the baby was born. Guess she had to eat those words!
The next day, August 20th, the were recovering from jet lag, and I was big and pregnant, so we just spent the day taking it easy and showing them around base. We drove around and ate lunch at a Cafe on base. I started getting that stomach pain again and wasn't feeling great, so I went home to nap. We did stop at the base gym and take a couple basketball pictures just to show those at home how big I really was:
Little did we was a good thing we took those, as I was going to go into labor that night!
After Brett came home from work, we decided to go over to the baseball fields on base and watch the C-130's practice drop some guys. The upcoming weekend was Friendship Festival on base, a huge deal with all sorts of airplanes and air shows and the Japanese are allowed to come on base and take pictures and stuff. Anyway, some of the planes were practicing their airdrops, so we went over to watch. As I was walking, I asked Mom if contractions felt like cramps on and off. She said yes, and she and I sat down on a picnic bench to time my "cramps" while Dad and Brett went to watch the planes. About every 5 min, for about 1 min each...yep, early labor. So we went back to the house and kept timing them. This was about 7 pm. They kept coming at the same rate, but getting stronger, so I told Brett I thought it was time to maybe load our things in the car and head up to the hospital to see what they said. It was about 9 pm by now. I knew if we went too early they would send us home, but I figured it was worth a shot (plus, they were starting to really hurt and I kept thinking "at the hospital I can get some pain medication"). I also had a small amount of bleeding at this point, which I assumed as ok, but wanted to make sure as well.
We got up to the hospital (it is literally about 3 min from our house- we could have walked there) and up to the Family Care Ward. The nurse hooks me up to the non-stress test machine and says that yes, they are regular contractions, and I was dialated to about a 2.5, 50% effaced. She called Dr. Taff and he said I was in labor and to admit me (plus, I was still bleeding a bit, which they said was just due to my dialaing, and I was past my due date). They stick me in a lovely hospital gown and wheel me down the hall to the labor/delivery/recovery room (you get to do it all in the same spot, which is nice). Brett and I just looked at each other at that point and said "this is really happening".
The nurse also asked me if I wanted an epidural. My answer as a resounding "hell, yes". It was around 10pm, and she said the anesthesiologist and dr would get there about midnight, so I could get it then. We just waited in the room, with me cringing in pain every time the monitor showed another contraction coming. They were getting stronger, and I even ended up throwing up at one point from the pain.
Finally, it was epidural time. The anesthesiologist was great and really explained everything. He got started and I was on the edge of the bed, facing Brett. He was facing me, holding my hands. The nurse was sitting next to him, holding the baby monitor on me (her heartrate could go down resulting in an emergency c-section, so they have to watch it). The dr was behind me, and Brett could see all the lovely needles and things. I looked up at him at one point and his face was ghost white. I asked if he was ok, and he said he needed to sit. The nurse scooted her chair over to him, and he was better. He said seeing all the needles and me in pain was hard, but life was MUCH better after the epi, for both of us. It worked better on my left side than right, so I had to roll over and let it soak into that side, but eventually they got it going good and I was a much happier person!
Then, it was about 12:45am and the staff just told us to rest up, and let my body keep contracting and dialating. I stayed in bed of course (I literally couldn't feel my body from the waist down- Brett had to move my legs for me) and Brett laid down on the little covertable chair bed thing.At about 1:15 or so, my water broke. That was an odd sensation, and made me even more aware that I was really going to have a baby very soon!
We slept off and on that night (Brett slept much more than I did. Even with the epi, I was still uncomfy, full of needles and wires and tubes and of course, nervous and anxious.) At 7am, the nurse checked me and said I was about ready to go, and they turned down the epidural. Dr Taff checked about 30 min later, and said I was a 9 on the right side, but only a 7 on the left. My cervix had dialated lopsided, so I wasn't ready yet. I had to convince them to turn the epi back up as I was to lay their longer. (And turn it back up he did- stronger than last time so I was seriously SO numb!)
About 10am I was asking Brett to go ask the nurses to check me again. I was hungry, tired and ready to have this baby already. He told me to just wait it out, that I was doing great. I did and about noon, Dr Conway came in to check on me. She said I was fully dialated and ready to push. FINALLY!! She made me laugh though, because she said she was going to run grab some lunch before we started, as I wasn't in intense pain. I asked her if I could please eat something too, as I was feeling super nauseous at that point (because it had been over 24 hours since I had eaten, and I had thrown all that up anyway). She brought me about 6 crackers :)
She came back at about 12:30 and said we were ready to go. My parents had been in the room so they hugged me and told me they loved me and went out to the waiting room. The staff got things all set up and ready to go. Brett held on to my right leg, a nurse had my left, Dr Conway was in between and I pushed for about 30 minutes or so. Thankfully, because of the epidural, I didn't feel much (I had to ask when the contractions were) so it wasn't too bad. My beautiful baby girl was born at 1:11pm, healthy and crying. They immediately put her on my chest and I was crying tears of joy. It was absolutely the best moment of my entire life and I could not have been happier! It was truly the moment I fell in love!
The entire time I was pregnant Brett swore he wasn't going to "look down there" and only stand by my head. He totally changed and was involved in the entire delivery. He was amazing and encouraged me the whole way. We both got to touch her head as she was crowning (kinda squishy feeling really) and I could tell Mallory was wrapped around his finger from the second she entered this world! We were the perfect little family!
After he knew Mallory and I were fine, Brett went out to tell my parents that she was here and we were both ok. He said they both got teary eyed- so sweet!
After they stitched me up (only one small tear thankfully) and made sure both Mallory and I were fine, I nursed Mallory and then my parents came in the room to see their first grandchild for the very first time. So sweet!
After that we just all took turns saying how beautiful she was and how blessed we all are. It was wonderful and the best day of my life!
Later, after the epidural had worn off and I was feeling ok, Brett pulled out a bottle of champagne and glasses. He surprised me and had bought a bottle of Don Perignon and said "nothing but the best for my girls". The 4 of us toasted to Mallory's arrival and it was so wonderful.
Here it is 6 weeks later, and I'm still in awe of how awesome it is to be Mallory's mommy. It's the best job in the world! I feel so honored that God picked me to raise her and I love her more every minute!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Random and Stuff

Here are a few more random things I'm behind posting about. This is a dog grooming place at the mall here. They give the dogs a bath in a contraption that looks similar to a washing machine. Then they take them out and "dry" them under a giant hair dryer. It cracks me up- these Japanese people are so funny, and VERY into their pets!
Here are our sweet neighbors with "the babies". Bridget (live behind us) holding her weenie dog Huey; Hillary (live in the building across the parking lot from us) holding Maverick; me holding my belly a few days before Mallory arrived; Amanda (live in a tower around the corner from us) holding Bandit.

Here is me, the day I was supposed to get induced (August 13, 2009). I was due Aug 15th, but went in to the dr on 8/12 for my checkup. I was really puffy looking that day, not to mention tired and uncomfy. The dr thought I was developing pre-eclampsia (basically, high blood pressure) and it can get very bad if you let it go, hurting both you and the baby. She drew some blood and I had to pee in a jug for 24 hours, checking for protein in the urine. She was pretty sure she would have me come in on the 13th and induce me, so I left the dr's office and went home to finish packing my bag and let Brett know we were having a baby the next day. I went home and took this pic, thinking it would be my "last day preg" pic.
But then, she got the urine and blood test results back and it turns out I was fine. That was good as I didn't want to have pre-e, but it also meant I had to stay prego even longer. She said she just couldn't induce me for no real medical reason. So...prego I stayed.
My due date was August 15th. It came...and went.
My parents arrived on August 19th. Here is my mom in the airport, getting ready to head on over!
Still no baby when they arrived, so I spent the next day (Aug 20) showing them around Yokota Air Base, but then...
Coming up in the next post: Mallory's birth story!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

let's play catch up...

Man, am I ever behind on this blog. I guess having a 5 week old baby will have to be my excuse- does that work? I have a few things to blog about from BEFORE Mallory was born, and lots since of course. I promised myself this week that I would start getting caught up on this blog since I'm so behind, and every day we just take more pictures of my sweet girl, which puts me more behind! So, I'll start where I left off before Mal got here, and try to post daily to catch up!
Here goes...
Here's a picture of my friend's kiddos (Mallory future BFF's), Carlin and Kenzleigh. Both their mommies are named Courtney. We all took a trip to the mall to shop, and for me to walk around and get the kiddo out (It didn't work- I was still way pregnant after that mall trip).
Maverick and Bandit have adapted well to life in Japan, as you can see:

WAY back on July 29th, Brett's friend tom was visiting, and the 3 of us (4 I guess, but I was still pregnant with Mallory at the time) went to a Japanese baseball game. It was quite fun. We went to watch the "Swallows" (or swarrows if you are Japanese) play and it was similar to a game in the US, except all the commentary was in Japanese, as were all the fans.
There were a few things that were different. First, they sell chu-hi's at the games, complete with a glass of ice to drink them from. Here's the chu-hi girl:
Brett and Tom "cheers-ing" chu-hi's
The scoreboard at Jingu Stadium. It was sorta half in English and half in Japanese.
There was a fireworks show 1/2 way thru the game. The Japanese LOVE fireworks!
They also seat you in a certain section of the stadium. It takes work and coercion to get to another section. I speak from experience here. I wanted a hot dog, but we were in section 14, which only sold scary Japanese items to eat. In order to get a hot dog, I had to convince the section guard to let me go over to section 12. He literally wrote "hot dog, 14 and 12" on the back of my ticket and drew and arrow connecting them. Then wrote something in Japanese, I can only assume told the guard at section 12 to let the pathetic American in to get a hot dog. It was quite comical. But, as you can see, the game itself looks pretty much the same:
Brett, Tom and myself in the subway station on the way home:
On the train on the way home, I was sitting down (please remember I was about 8.5 mo pregnant at the time) and this Japanese lady was asleep and kept falling over on me.
I really am going to try to keep my promise to myself to catch up on this blog, so eventually I can bore you with nothing but pics of my kiddo :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

More Mallory Pictures

Here are some more pics of our sweet girl. Between my camera, Brett's camera, Nana and Grandpa's camera and various neighbors and friends- a lack of pictures is something we DON'T have around here!
Aren't I cute?
First time out to dinner. We went to the local Yakinuku restaurant (cook it yourself at the table). Mommy "girl-i-fied" me in my hairbow!
Lying in my cherry blossom crib at 1 week old!
First walk in my Chicco Travel System Stroller
Daddy and me- I'm already wrapped around his finger soooo tight!