Thursday, March 25, 2010

Celebrating One Month

These were taken a week ago:

Smiling for the camera

Sittin' pretty -- well, almost ;)

Some comments:
Her cheeks are much fuller. The lanugo (fine, dark hair babies are born with) on her arms, back, forehead and ears is still there! She is getting more chub all over. She has long legs and big feet. Her neck is so strong -- she started lifting her head up at one week. She has begun to wear her 0-3- month clothes. Her eyes are deep blue still. Ricky thinks they'll stay blue, and Aidan thinks they'll turn brown. Aolani looks like Ricky above the nose and Aidan below the nose. She is very good-natured, only crying when something is wrong (doesn't mind diaper changes, being dressed or baths). She has been smiling, but it's probably not intentional. She is such a noisemaker. Her chirps, squeaks and grunts resemble "pterodactyl" sounds. When she dreams, it's most likely about milk ;) She doesn't know any kind of routine or schedule when it comes to eating or sleeping but basically does what she wants whenever she wants. We are getting very little rest, as expected. Aolani rules our roost!
PS - Ricky's leave has been extended until April 26th.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Stretch It Out

She is such a cute stretcher! This is on her changing table (about a week ago), but sometimes she will stretch for more than an hour in the morning.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Aolani's Fourth Week

Her first "photo shoot"

I just LOVE this picture with cousin Kylie. They look different in every way. You can see how big Aolani's feet are in this shot.

Our Family (all here but not all awake)

Skin-on-skin contact with Daddy (funny how it looks, but he is NOT the parent doing the breastfeeding)

Mommy's new dinner tray

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Aolani's Third Week

We kicked off her third week with her 2-week appointment. She had gained the maximum weight for breastfed babies since the pediatrician saw her 11 days prior (two oz. a day, 22 oz. total). That relieved a lot of worries! He did comment on how strong her neck is. I keep telling her that being stiff-necked can be a bad thing ;)

Mommy's perfect angel

Last one in bed is a rotten egg!

In the Moby wrap with Mommy

Yep -- the cheeks are a lot fuller

Friday, March 12, 2010

Aolani's Second Week

With her 8-month-old cousin, Kylie. What a bunch of cuties, huh?! The two couldn't look more dissimilar, except in the love they receive.

I know, this outfit is way too big, but she looks sooo cute in it anyway! She got her first chiropractic care this day (eight),

Our little Simba
Welcome, Aolani, to the "Circle of Life"
(this picture is dedicated to Lawrence)
What a sweetheart!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

First Week of Life (ex utero)

No one exaggerated. Eat, sleep and poop is seriously ALL a newborn does. Including Aolani. She is a non-textbook eater: no rhythm, no rhyme, no routine, no schedule. She sleeps very well, although she is getting fussier as she grows. She poops too much according to her diaper-changers ;)

Here are some pictures from her first week:

I think she looks so funny swaddled tightly at the hospital.

Her pediatrician gave her the "thumbs up" to go home.

Her first doctor appointment when she is three days old. She had lost eight ounces, which was normal. My milk came in this morning and her umbilical cord fell off that night!

Her favorite place to sleep!!

Cruisin' with Mommy

This is her first bath. She is very good-natured.

All spiffy

You can tell how dark her skin is here. She definitely has Ricky's coloring. Is she really Caucasian?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Labor & Delivery

It was pretty near perfect, believe it or not!

We went to the OB/GYN the day before I delivered, and I was 5-6 cm dilated thus far. That was pretty awesome and something we attribute to the daily intake of red raspberry leaf tea and evening primrose oil. Of course, that somewhat alarmed the doctors. They wanted to suggest to me that I might be having silent labor (the kind where the woman doesn't know she is in labor until it's time to push!). I knew that wasn't the case for me as I had been feeling bearable, inconsistent contractions for a couple weeks. My doctor was kind enough to release me, even though anyone else would have admitted me to the hospital. She just gave me the warning to have a low pain-tolerance, meaning don't stay at home until I can't take it anymore because I can usually bear up under pain.

After the appointment that morning, I started to cramp and have bearable, consistent contractions all day. I went about my business, but my mom stayed home with me until Ricky came home. I had several bowel movements that evening and forewarned my doula that labor could be around the corner. Believing that to be a real possibility, I went ahead and popped in my movie-to-watch-before-real-labor-begins comedy: the 1970 version of the Out-of-Towners (nothing makes me laugh harder than this). Laughed, cried, ate dinner, slept.

3:15am. I went to the bathroom and had a snack (apple and cheese). The harder contractions started coming at 4am. At 5:30am we awoke my mom and called the doula to come over. I ate my pre-prepared meal around 6:30am (Mexican macaroni), and the doula arrived. Ricky checked my cervix at 7:15am, and we gathered that it was at least 7 cm. Off to the hospital. We got to the hospital and checked in by 8:15am.

Nurse: What do we have here?
Ricky: Well, I checked her cervix, and she's already 7 cm --
Nurse: YOU checked her cervix?? [in disbelief]

My doctor was there and even had a dream about me going into labor that night!

Ricky [to doctor]: I checked her cervix at home, and she's at least 7 cm already.
Doctor: Valiant effort. You know, we have an opening in the OB/GYN residency program next year.

By the time she checked my cervix for the first time, I was 8-9 cm :) We took a long, hot shower complete with the high-strung nurse intruding every 10 minutes to listen to baby's heartbeat! I did some squatting. The doula massaged me. Ricky read some Scripture verses to me. My mom's job was to keep my energy levels up with snacks and LOTS of water. Second cervical check: 9.5 cm. My water was still intact. I had told my doctor the day before that if I got to 9 cm with my water intact, she could break it. However, we wanted Aolani to move a little further down before I consented. And then...

I blew chunks. Everywhere. And we were not prepared for it ;) BUT, the strain pushed her tushy down some! So, I let the doctor break my water. Oh, and that's when the fun begins. The nonstop, unbearable, HARD contractions. The only way that I could stay on top of those was by closing my eyes, focusing my breathing, and moaning, deep and loud. Through every one. If someone distracted me, I would lose my focus and start to panic. Thankfully, that only happened a couple times.

That got me fully dilated and ready to go. I didn't have to wait long before I felt like pushing. And it wasn't long before they were shouting, "We can see her head crowning! She has a head full of dark, wavy hair!" I was in disbelief; it was working!!! After a few more good, hard pushes, she popped out and came straight to my chest. My mom was crying, the doula was rubbing me, and Ricky got to cut the cord. And me? I don't know the right word to describe it. All I could see was her, and all I could say (repeatedly) was, "My baby, my baby, my baby." I didn't know the time because we had taped a sign I made over the clock (it read: My body is strong and healthy and knows how to birth my baby). We purposely obscured the clock because watching how much time has passed or hasn't passed can be discouraging. The nurse, who was very not into natural things, said that my labor and delivery was the most "granola" birth she had ever seen!

Bottom line:
  • Total labor: 9 hours
  • Hospital labor: 5 hours
  • Pushing: 30 minutes
  • Left hospital 24 hours later
  • Except for the rupture of my water, EVERYTHING went according to my birth plan!!
  • All natural ;) No drugs, no medications. Would definitely do it naturally again! Preparation is THE key.
  • Probably the toughest and most rewarding thing I've ever done.

The family of three is going home!

I know we have a lot of pictures to catch up on... a postpartum post is due too ;)