Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Travels

For Christmas this year, we had planned to go to my parents' house. But since Ryan's cousin, Callie, was getting married a week and a half before Christmas, we planned to drive down to Utah for the wedding and just leech off of my parents until after the new year. 

I was really excited to drive down and see my family since no one except my mom had seen Norah yet. I had been so incredibly stressed out from finishing the school semester and so I was ecstatic to have a break (and get some much needed rest).

Callie and Jake's wedding was so nice, and the reception was really fun. I, however, had chosen the absolute worst dress to wear for feeding Norah. Ryan and I had to hunt for a secluded room for me to feed Norah. Since my dress didn't stretch one bit, I basically had to strip all the way down, praying that no one would walk in and awkwardly find me sitting on a metal church chair trying to cover myself with a coat haha. ANYWAY, it was fun spending the night with Ryan's side of the family, and Callie and Jake looked so cute.

For the next week, we just bummed around my parents' house. We celebrated our one year anniverary by going to dinner and a movie. I was pretty anxious the whole time since we had left Norah with Brooklyn. But she had done really well and most likely didn't even notice I was gone.
Don't mind my gross wet hair in this picture. I had just jumped out of the shower and my mom insisted on getting a photo that second to commemorate our special day. And I'm glad she did, because we didn't end up taking any pictures the rest of the night! *teardrop

May came to visit and meet Norah for the first time. It was special since my own grandma had already passed away, so May has sort of become my adopted grandmother. :))

Ryan's sister, Janel, said that she was going to travel up to Rexburg for the 23rd and 24th, and drive home late Christmas Eve since she had to work on Christmas day. So we decided to go with her and spend part of Christmas with Ryan's family. Ryan was especially excited because we bought his dad a new driver for his present from us.

The visit was short, but it was so fun to be there for a couple of days before heading back down to Utah for the rest of the Christmas break. We drove all the way to Blackfoot from Rexburg (About a 40 minute drive) and stopped at a gas station only to realize that Norah wasn't actually buckled in her carseat! Yikes!! She had been resting in the carseat with a blanket over her and so when it was time to leave we just picked her up, assuming she was buckled. I'm so glad we stopped and noticed. What a scary thought! Janel and I took her into the gas station because she had a major blowout. Unfortunately, the only thing we had access to was a little onesie and it was freezing outside (first time parents, or what?). Janel helped me change Norah and we were back on the road.
Once we headed through Salt Lake City, the roads were so bad, people were slipping and sliding all over the freeway. One car even stopped in the middle of the freeway and the person got out(?!?!) to help the car that they had rammed into. We were so glad we made it back to my parents' house in one piece. 

My sister stayed the night with her three kids and they were surprised with so many presents the next day, including a big power car. I think by that point, though, they had so many presents that it was kind of overwhelming and so they weren't exactly impressed anymore haha.

It ended up being such a fun Christmas being with family. It was the best first Christmas I could have asked for for Norah.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Norah's Newborn Pictures

I was so happy that we got to take newborn pictures with the same photographer who was there for Norah's birth. I always heard that it's best to take newborn pictures between 3-10 days old, and so when we had to reschedule due to Norah being on the bilirubin blanket, I was sad that we might not get any sleepy baby pictures (ha! emotions were running high). However, Aja did a phenomenal job, and we were only working in her baby's nursery at her house! I loved every one that she took.

I love this picture of Ryan's ring symbolizing his love and commitment to our marriage and family. 


Norah was so sweet the whole time and only peed through one of her blankets haha!

A week later, I had one of my friends come over to my house and take some more pictures of Norah as well as show me how to use my camera. She caught some really cute ones. 

This picture cracks me up! Just the biggest yawn ever.

I'm so happy to have these pictures of sweet little baby Norah. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Our Little Glow Worm

After being released from the hospital, we knew that we had to go back in for some testing since Norah was too high on her bilirubin levels, meaning that she had jaundice. She was doing better once we were discharged, but we had to take some blood samples again, just to check. We went to the hospital test lab several times over the course of a few days to see if she was improving, but her levels were not getting any better. I couldn't handle it when they would prick her foot and she would scream and cry. I was already so emotional, I hated that she was getting poked and prodded, and it would really set me off. 

Finally, after about a week, the doctor decided that her levels were not going to improve on their own, so they prescribed her to use a bilirubin blanket. She was required to wear it on her skin 24/7 until her jaundice levels calmed down. I was so emotionally undone about the whole situation. I felt like the nurses and doctors weren't explaining everything in a way that I could understand and so I would jump to conclusions and assume the worst. Ryan was very supportive and assured me that the blanket would solve the problem in a very short time.

You can tell in this picture that her skin looks yellow. These pictures aren't very good quality, but I love how it shows her tiny little features.

Her poor feet had pricks all over them. 

She makes for a pretty darling glowing baby.

Her little bruised hands just break my heart. She had IVs in both of her hands while she was in the NICU, and they are still healing.

We love our little Norah, and it's been so fun having Ryan by my side. She was only on the bilirubin blanket for 24 hours. I was expecting it to take a LOT longer, but I was so completely relieved to hear the results were improving and she was on the mend.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Norah's Birth

For Thanksgiving weekend, Ryan and I had driven down to Utah for the holiday and for the baby shower my mom and sisters threw for me. On Sunday, November 25th, Ryan and I got ready to leave my parents house and drive back up to Rexburg. We said goodbye, and I lifted up my four-year-old nephew, Braxton, to give him and hug and I said, "The next time you see me, I'm going to have a baby!" He looked confused and so my mom pointed to my belly and said, "Didn't you wonder what this was?" The look on his face was complete astonishment, and he said, "WOAH! What is that?" As if he had never noticed my enormous belly before. haha! So Ryan and I headed home for the final weeks of the semester before the baby was due.

Monday, November 26th at 9:00am, I woke up with a stomach ache, but dismissed it as indigestion and started getting ready for my P.E. Methods class. All during class my stomach was aching, and it was starting to feel more like cramps. We were doing relay races for the activity that day. I was going really slow, but having to jump, run, sit and stand again was really taking it's toll on me. But since I was due finals week, I didn't want to miss any classes during the semester so I could save my absent days. So I proceeded in misery. 

 I called my mom in between my classes and told her what I was feeling. She said that it sounded like early stages of labor and to take it easy. I still had 2 weeks until my due date and 2.5 weeks until the end of the semester! I didn't want to believe it, so I headed to my Elementary Art Methods class and started timing the "contractions". The whole hour, the contractions were anywhere between 5-20 minutes apart. I decided it would probably be best if I skip my next class (It was my Early Field class where we went to an elementary school 25 minutes away and helped T.A. for two hours), and headed back home to rest. Ryan, who was at home on his computer, was surprised to see me home early. I told him my predicament and went to lay down in bed to see if I could slow, or completely stop, the contractions. No such luck. 

I called the doctor and they said to come in and get checked. So at 2:00 in the afternoon we drove down the road, every bump feeling pretty painful, to the office, where I got dressed down for the doctor to check me--which I didn't know what to expect. Ryan stayed in the waiting area and I regretted letting him because I didn't expect it to be so painful when the doctor checked me and announced that I was dilated to 5 cm and I could very well have the baby that night! I felt like crying, I was so unprepared--the baby room still not ready since I was planning that very night to organize everything. 

 So Ryan and I went back to get ready for a possible trip to the hospital, but I first had to print off some homework and run it to one of my classes to turn it in to my teacher. I told him why I wouldn't be in class and he thought it was so funny I had come to turn in my homework. But I had already finished it so I wasn't ready to let it go to waste! ;) We went home and I showered--we hired a photographer to be at the delivery so I had to look decent. Priorities, people. Once my contractions started getting about 2 minutes apart, we headed to the doctor's office again where they checked me (I made Ryan stay with me this time), and I had progressed to a 6. So it was off to the hospital for us. I had been updating my mom this whole time, and so she left Utah around 3:00pm because she felt like it was the real deal so she didn't want to miss it (and it's a good thing she left when she did). We arrived at the hospital at 5:00pm, where we filled out paper work and then were admitted straight into a delivery room where I was hooked up to IVs.

While waiting in the room, I lamented to Ryan about the fact that we still didn't have a name for this baby (hoping that he would just give in and change his mind about Amelia). He asked if I still liked the name Norah, even though I hadn't mentioned it for quite some time. I said I did, but that I wanted to wait until she was actually born before we agreed.

The plan was for the doctor to break my water as soon as we arrived at the hospital, but because of the rotation change, the new doctor didn't come in until just after 7:00pm (another good thing since my mom was just pulling into town). The contractions started to really hurt so deep in my body that no matter which way I turned, there was no relief. I couldn't relax my body, so at 8:00pm I demanded the epidural. 

The anesthesiologist came in and was sort of rude and short-tempered, which was really not helping me calm down. I sat up and leaned against Ryan's chest while the doctor numbed my back with a shot. I was so nervous and felt nauseated. When it was finally over, I felt like throwing up. The contractions were still hurting a lot and so we finally pushed the button for a bigger dosage and I couldn't believe the difference. I couldn't feel any pain or even pressure during the contractions. I was finally able to relax and enjoy being there with Ryan and my mom until I had progressed enough to be able to push.

At 9:00pm a nurse came in and told me we were going to be doing some "practice" pushes. Being completely naive to this whole situation I went along with it. It wasn't until the doctor came in and said that it was time was I realizing that these weren't practice pushes at all!

 Doctor Codd was so great and helped guide me through the pushes since I couldn't exactly feel if I was pushing hard enough. The head started to crown and Ryan said, "It looks pretty small" to which the Doctor Codd replied, "prepare to be amazed!" As soon as he delivered the head (which indeed was a lot bigger than Ryan expected haha!), a bunch of trapped amniotic fluid shot out, and if Ryan hadn't dodged, then he would have been soaked (yuck, tmi?). When the doctor finally got the shoulders out, he asked if I wanted to finish delivering her myself. So I reached down and pulled the baby out the rest of the way and straight onto my chest.

It was such a neat feeling. I could feel the pressure leave my stomach and with a huge gasp of air I could finally breathe properly again! She was really slippery and purple. I don't know why, but I hadn't expected her to look purple. The nurses vigorously wiped her down with towels as Ryan cut the umbilical cord.

The nurses took the baby over to be weighed and measured. 7 lbs. and 19 inches long.

 Because she inhaled some amniotic fluid during delivery, she was having a hard time breathing, so they brought her over to my side for a quick kiss and then wheeled her off to the NICU.

Since I was so new to this whole experience, I didn't feel too worried about her being away. I felt really exhilarated and energized after the whole day of events. I was also really hungry!

Ryan's family stopped by for a visit, we chatted for a while, then my legs finally regained their feeling so we moved to another room where Ryan helped me showered me (seriously, I don't know why the nurses had him hose me down like an animal, talk about feeling exposed--yes, I know I just had a baby, but still).

After getting cleaned up and agreeing on the name Norah Olivia Grimmett, Ryan wheeled me up to the NICU so we could check on her and see how she was doing. She was so tiny and I wanted to hold her so badly, but wasn't able to yet.

We said goodbye and went back to our room to rest for the night, although I was so excited about everything, I didn't get much rest.

We love our sweet baby Norah Olivia.