Wednesday, June 30, 2010

28 Days = 4 weeks, but /= 1 month

Ah calendar math, you do me in all the time.

So, 28 days ago, or 4 weeks ago, at this time, I was snuggling my brand new baby Jessie, probably waiting for Rocky to return from picking up Maggie. I was probably starting to get some feeling back in my toes and talking with Nurse Nadine about getting out of bed at some point that night (though it wasn't until much later that I actually did get out of bed, after Rocky had taken Maggie to the Krieger's -- lucky Maggie got to miss what appeared to be a massacre). I was probably still a bit in shock about having gone into labor and actually having my baby that day.

Jessie is awake a lot more often. She was up for about 90 minutes last night starting at about 2 a.m. or so. She wasn't fussy, didn't want to eat, just wanted to be up. I did my best to just snuggle her and not talk or sing to her too much so she wouldn't think that is a good time for us to have some quality time together. She loves to look around. We're also working on getting her to sleep or be content to sit somewhere other than on someone. She did several stints in the packnplay today and I think she is almost ready to try the swing. It's been cloudy today, but hot, so no walk, but we've been able to get outside a few times. Hopefully the rainy weather will pass so we can go on a walk tomorrow.

Jessie will officially be 1 month old on Friday and I really need to get her birth announcements ordered. I may also ask Rocky if I can use his camera on Friday to take some proper portraits of Miss Jessie.

Monday, June 28, 2010


Maggie has not stopped being a source of wonderful smiles for us on a regular basis:
  • Last night, Maggie was playing with the Wii drum stand. Rocky asked her why. She explained she needs to practice for her drum class. A little later she came downstairs crying because she hit her head with the guitar. When Rocky asked her why, she said she needs to practice for her guitar class. So Rocky asked her where these classes take place. She thought about it a bit and said "South Dakota. But it's very far away so I need to practice."
  • At church yesterday, Maggie asked if my sister was in heaven. The question came out of the blue and not sure what she was thinking.
  • And my new favorite: "Mom, when you give someone a hug, you give them love."

Day 26

Well, I suppose I won’t be able to talk about Jessie’s age in terms of 0628000857days soon as she will be a month old on Friday!  Today, Jessie and I went for a walk at Lake Elmo.  There is not a lot of shade there, so we simply walked and when the gas got to be too much for Jessie, there wasn’t much more I could do but keep walking.  Fortunately, the rocky path seemed to help knock the gas bubbles out of her.  It was a nice morning, though leaving around 8:30 was almost too late as it was getting quite warm by the time we got home.  We did find a shady spot to change her diaper!

0628000850The park was lovely and the sky was so blue – not a single cloud to be seen.  I watched the carp jumping and a mother duck with her 4 ducklings try to avoid the carp.  Unfortunately, my cell phone does not take very good photos, so you can’t see the blue sky.  But the mother duck and her ducklings were adorable.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Day 22


I can’t believe my baby is already 22 days old!  She is so much more alert and has been awake as long as an hour at a time.  She loves to look at people, especially big sister.  She tries really hard to hold her head up.  She also has some gas issues. I’m not sure what I ate to give her such bad gas, but I’m hoping as her body grows, the gas will at least not be as painful for her.

She is a snuggler!  She sleeps well at night as long as she is touching me and is on my side of the bed – Rocky took her one night and found she calmed right down once he moved to my side of the bed.  I’m also trying to encourage her to take the pacifier.

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Grandma & Grandpa Dailey’s Visit

 dailey_visit_10aGrandpa Mike & Grandma Bonnie got here on the last day of Grandma Alana’s visit.  By request: I wasn’t yet cleared to drive, so I didn’t want to be home alone.  Maggie was, of course, thrilled to death to see Grandpa Mike and started begging for “Grandpa Mike games” almost immediately.  It has been wonderful to have the extra help around the house,  especially as Jessie is a snuggler much like Maggie was/is.  Here are some pictures from their visit:

Grandpa brought Maggie a “big girl” bike.  She kept Grandpa active by taking it to the park several times.

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We also took a trip to the Beartooth Nature Center.dailey_visit_10g

We rented a Jeep so we could all ride together. Maggie got the third row all to herself and was thrilled with her space.dailey_visit_10h

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Oh Hail No!

A huge storm came through Billings today.  Thunder, lightning and 2010-06-20 2010-06-20 001 001HAIL!  It has been a very long time since I have seen a hail storm.  I will add a video a little later.  The storm also brought a tornado that took the roof off of the Metra, tore up a McDonald’s sign and destroyed several other buildings at the corner of Main & Lake Elmo Drive.  At our house, we saw a lot of hail and rain.  We lost power briefly.  Friends of ours, the Kriegers, who live on the other side of Main Street, lost power for several hours and came over to enjoy some electricity.

The only damage we really had was to some flower pots and the garden. More pictures can be seen on my Facebook page.  Tomorrow I’ll go assess the damage a little further to see if any of the plants could make a comeback.  I am just very very thankful that we are all safe and we only lost a few plants.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Day 15

We just returned from the pediatrician and Jessie is doing wonderfully! She is now at a whopping 7 lbs 2 oz and she even nursed without the shield while we were there. Hunger is a powerful motivator! The nurse measured her at 19 1/2 inches long and her head is 14 inches around. After the appointment, Grandma Bonnie and I went to my office. Maggie and Grandpa Mike stayed home to ride her new bike and apparently her trike as well. Grandpa is definitely going to need a vacation after this trip!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Day 14

2010-06-15 2010-06-15 001 005 I cannot believe Jessie is 2 weeks old already. Sometimes I feel like I should still be pregnant. Yesterday was her due date. Tomorrow morning, we have her 2 week appointment and will see how much she has grown. She is awake much more often, especially during the day. Most nights go fairly smoothly, though last night was difficult. I’m not sure if it was something I ate or what. She seems to have a hard time with poops, though that is sometimes nice for those of us who have to change her diapers. We can pretty much tell when she’s done – she never poops just once!2010-06-15 2010-06-15 001 003

Maggie still loves her baby sister, except when she cries! She was thrilled at church on Sunday as she got to tell everyone about her baby sister. Rev Hathaway even asked Maggie about Jessie during Kids’ Time. Rocky stood up with her and later said he thought about holding her up “Lion King” style.

Grandma Bonnie & Grandpa Mike are here now and it didn’t take Maggie long to wear out Grandpa Mike (who is napping as I type). Grandpa Mike also brought Maggie a big girl bike and pictures from her first trip to the park with her bike will be posted later.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fun with Grandma

Grandma Alana has been here since June 6.  Maggie has enjoyed having Grandma here, even though Maggie has gone to daycare most days.  I kept her home yesterday and she and Grandma made cookies.  Maggie loves making cookies so they had a lot of fun.

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Jessie slept through most of the baking.

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After we finished the cookies, we headed to Lake Elmo State park for a picnic and to play with the Kriegers.  It got very hot, but we did stay a couple of hours.  I wish the park had more shady areas for Jessie as she ended up spending most of her time in the stroller in the shade.  Maggie and Olivia really wanted to throw sticks in the water, so Alyssa walked the kids to the swimming area and we had to promise to bring Maggie and Olivia back sometime, and we’d remember to bring their swimsuits.  We’re also going to set up more play dates for the park, zoo and spray park.

Maggie shows off her gymnastic skillz.  She told me “my daddy showed me how to flip.”

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Maggie Maggie quite contrary, how does your garden grow?

We planted our garden the weekend before Mother’s Day and it is growing wildly!  I’m looking forward to harvest time.

Sugar snap peas, lettuce & cucumbers, all from seeds

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Pumpkins & watermelon, from seeds

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Squash from seeds, peppers from seedlings (the pepper seedlings are not doing as well as everything else.

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Broccoli, from seedlings

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Carrots from seeds (probably need to thin these out)

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Cilantro and basil from seedlings

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A fruit of our labor – the first tomato!  From seedling

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Grandma, Jessie & Maggie enjoy the deck this afternoon after Maggie & I watered and weeded the garden.

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Friday, June 11, 2010

Day 9

We have been home for a week now. Jessie is still eating well, but her sleeping pattern is starting to vary. Some nights I get 2 - 4 hours in a stretch and sometimes only up to 1.5 hour stretches. Tonight, Rocky is going to take her. I've been pumping to prevent engorgement, so there is plenty of milk for Jessie. I think Maggie is looking forward to snuggling with Mom tonight.

Grandma Alana got here on Sunday. Rocky went back to work yesterday so we've just been hanging around the house. We got a reprieve from the clouds this afternoon and we took Jessie on a quick walk. It was nice to get out of the house, but Jessie wasn't happy with the short walk we took. She is awake now and can't seem to decide if she's hungry. She seems to enjoy watching Grandma and sucking/chewing on her pacifier.

Jessie's biliruben count was down on Tuesday so we didn't need to go back to the doctor again this week. We will see our pediatrician next week at her 2 week appointment.

We gave Jessie her first home bath the other night. Maggie was so excited to help give her a bath in the sink, because that's where babies like to have a bath. She got her stool up by the kitchen sink and helped put the water in the tub and pour in some soap. We got Jessie undressed and put her in the tub, at which point she started crying (and peed). Maggie told us that she was all done and went to play with Grandma.

Maggie loves her little sister and asks to hold her quite a bit. She's gone to daycare every day this week, much to her disappointment. Tomorrow, she, Grandma and I are going to do some shopping. She is very excited to have some "big girl's time." Grandma is leaving next week, so we might let her stay home one day next week to play more with Grandma. Grandma Bonnie and Grandpa Mike are coming next week as well, so she'll have more grandparents to play with, and Jessie will have more grandparents to dote on her.

And me, well, I'm healing. Slowly. And trying to not get frustrated. The walk today was good, but a few hours later and I'm feeling it in my incision. I want to be at 100%, or at least 80%, and I'm not. I know it takes time and I just had major surgery. But it's frustrating. I know I just need to take advantage of this time.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Day 5

Jessie is now 5 days old. She is eating well -- actually nursing with the help of a nipple shield. My milk came in like a flood, so she is unable to manipulate the nipple without it, which we discovered today at the pediatrician's office. Somehow, the shield got left in the car (along with the only nipple we had for the emergency formula stash) and after a very long nap -- we hit Applebee's, Sam's Club and my office before the pediatrician's appointment -- when we got her out for the doctor's appointment, she was ready to eat. But couldn't get a good latch without the shield, so I had one pissed off baby girl.

She is sleeping well -- 3-4 hour stretches at night. And of course, I do realize I have jinxed myself by saying that.

We had a good appointment at the pediatrician's office. She hasn't lost much since we left the hospital -- maybe an ounce or two, though I can't remember exactly where she was when we left. Her bilirubin count is high, so we are headed back to the pediatrician's office tomorrow to get more blood drawn. She is a little yellow, but not quite as yellow as Maggie was.

How we thank God for you!
Because of you we have great joy in the presence of God!

1 Thessalonians 3:9

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Big Sister Maggie


What to do with Maggie has been the question ever since we found out I was pregnant.  Fortunately, we have plenty of friends and relatives in town.  We were also some what “lucky” with the c-section: the timing was perfect as we could drop Maggie off at daycare, get to the hospital and have the baby AND still have time to figure out where Maggie would spend the night.  snuggleIn my denial, at first I thought Rocky could just go home and stay with Maggie.  But at least he was the sane one and said he would stay, even after I realized he needed to stay and told him so.  Once we returned to the room, Rocky started the phone calls.  A call to the Krieger’s found a spot for Maggie for the night.  We knew Maggie would be thrilled for a sleep over at Olivia’s – especially as she had asked for one just days earlier.

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Rocky picked up Maggie from daycare Wednesday afternoon and they pretty much came straight to the hospital.  Rocky said Maggie excitedly told all her teachers that she has a baby sister.  When they got to the hospital, Maggie showed a little concern for me (she had been very worried about me before daycare as she saw me in labor), but was tickled pink (have you thought about that saying? I think when Maggie first saw Jessie is the first time I’ve really understood it) to see her baby sister.  The excitement has not worn off, though.  Four days later and she’s still excited to see Jessie.2010-06-05 2010-06-05 001 002

Maggie’s no longer volunteering to change poopy diapers.  She watched Rocky change one at the hospital on Thursday (she really did not want to go to daycare, so we let her hang out at the hospital all day.  Not sure how much she enjoyed it, but she didn’t want to leave Jessie or me).  The first words out of her mouth were: “Eww gross.  Dad, that is DISGUSTING!” She tells us very often that “Babies sleep all day and cry all night.”

She also spent last night in her bed ALL night!  She had been telling us that she would AFTER the baby is born and she was true to her word.  She did wake up at one point and Rocky snuggled with her a little, but otherwise, she stayed there all night.  My baby is growing up.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

You Really Can't Plan with Babies, Part Deux

Tuesday I was a bit apprehensive about the whole C-section thing. But I knew I had time to plan for it, get used to the idea. We talked to both grandmas and made some plans, started talking to Maggie about it, making plans at work. We went to bed Tuesday night as usual, though my brain was going a little bit faster. I had a hard time getting to sleep. I cursed the Tylenol Night Time Cold Medicine for not working very well. I didn't want to take more Tylenol just yet, so I didn't take any of the Tylenol PM which has been working very well. I tossed and turned for awhile before giving up and I went to the spare bedroom and read a bit of a "Harry Potter" book. Didn't work. I went downstairs to watch TV. That didn't work very well either and I was starting to get some back cramps.
I decided to take a Tylenol PM and went back to the spare room to read and wait for the medicine to take effect. The cramps started spreading and felt more like contractions. I started having some problems concentrating on the words, so I decided I better keep track of the contractions to reassure myself that I wasn't in labor. The contractions were between 5-10 minutes apart. I decided to take another Tylenol PM because if I could go to sleep, then I wasn't in labor. Yup, I was in denial!

The 2 Tylenols did put me to sleep. I woke up at about 5:15 a.m. or so, as usual. I didn't feel quite normal, but went about my morning routine. Took a nice long shower. Got dressed and ready for work. I didn't feel hungry, but knew I needed to have some breakfast, so made a bun with peanut butter and some green tea and took some Tylenol daytime cold medicine. I was still having the back cramps which would change to contractions, sometimes, but not every time. I made plans in my head to call my OB's office once I got to the office. When Rocky came into the living room, he could tell I was having a contraction and asked me about it. As I was still in denial, I told him I was having a contraction, but it was okay. He asked if he should time them. I started to say No, but quickly changed it to yes. The next contraction came about 3 minutes later, so I called the Family Birth Center and he went to get Maggie up. I talked to the triage nurse, who told me to have some Tylenol, drink some water, maybe take a bath and see if the contractions went away. But if they got stronger in the next 10-20 minutes, we should call back.

Rocky and I decided we should at least drive into work together, so he got Maggie dressed. By the time we got to daycare, we both knew the baby would be making an early arrival. Rocky took Maggie in and I called my work and the Family Birth Center. The nurse said to come right in and not have anything to eat as we would most likely be going right into the operating room.

We arrived at the hospital around 8 a.m. We got checked in and put into a triage room. The nurse checked me -- she wanted to be sure there wasn't a foot trying to come out first -- and I was 6 cm dilated. Dr. Rosario, the OB on call, came in to do a quick ultrasound to be sure the baby was still breech. The contractions were coming hard and fast at this point and tears streamed down my face through each one. More nurses came in to get me prepped for surgery. Rocky was given scrubs to wear. Paperwork was given to me to sign. The anesthesiologist came in and explained the spinal. Everything started moving very fast, yet so much happened in such a short time frame, it is still kind of hard to believe. We moved to the OR and the anesthesiologist started the spinal. Warmth spread to my toes and it didn't take long for the pain to go away. I was very nervous and anxious for them to let Rocky in. He was finally allowed in once the drape was placed between my chest and the docs. He sat beside me and held what he could of my hand the whole time. I felt no pain, but lots of tugging and pulling. And a 8:55 a.m. the drape was lowered slightly and I got my first glimpse of Jessica Fae. I tried to speak to her, but the crying and coughing got in the way. Trying to cough with a spinal is pretty near impossible.

Looking back, once Jessie was born, the anesthesiologist, nurse, Rocky and I became very conversational. Though I was crying most of the time just praying for a glimpse of her. I could see the white board that had the start time and time of delivery written on it. The tears started up again when the nurse took her to the scale and I watched them weigh her. Rocky followed her after that, taking care to not watch Dr. Rosario finish up me. Once Jessie was set, he got to hold her until the surgery was over and they were ready to take us back to our room, at which point I FINALLY got to hold her. While Rocky held her, I tried to touch her gently, but it was tricky with all the tubes and sensors attached to me.

We got back to our room and nurse Nadine got Jessie and me positioned to try nursing. Jessie needed a little help with a nipple shield, but otherwise did great. Nadine bathed her in our room and showed all the tricks to Rocky while I watched from the bed and kept trying to move my toes (it was several hours before I could). Rocky started making calls and surprising everyone with the update -- we had just called everyone the night before to tell them about the scheduled section and so he received several responses of "your kidding" and "shut UP!" We spent the rest of the day marveling at her.
I am recovering well from the surgery. If given a choice, I would not do a c-section, especially now knowing what the recovery is like. I didn't get out of bed or really even move by myself until around 7 p.m. yesterday evening. I did get rid of the IV earlier today (and I only needed 1!), but my first shower was not a pleasant experience. It's still hard to get out of bed by myself and walking around is tricky if I haven't had a pain killer. Nurse Julia said it is really up to us if we leave Friday or Saturday and at this point, I'm thinking one extra night here might not be a bad thing, if our friends are willing to take Maggie for a 3rd night. Grandma Alana will be here on Sunday, so we just need to decide if we want to start out with 2 nights alone or just one.

Jessie weighed 6 pounds 12 ounces and is 20 inches long. She did lose a few ounces in her first 24 hours, but nothing the pediatrician was concerned about. She is the spitting image of Maggie at birth, with darker, longer hair. She is sleeping and nursing really well. More pictures will be coming.

Updated 5/1/2012: sharing my story as part of

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

You Can't Plan with Babies

Looking back, most of my posts regarding my OB appointments have started out with "just returned from another boring appointment." Today, I cannot say the same. It started out boring, but after a quick check found me dilated to 4 cm, Dr. McCracken was no longer certain that Baby was still head down, like he has thought at most of my other appointments. At various times, we thought Baby was head down or at least sideways. Dr. McCracken brought in the ultrasound machine just to be sure and there it was a little baby head right up at my rib cage. A very very brief conversation took us to a scheduled c-section -- my biggest fear with this pregnancy. I don't know why, but it has been in the back of my mind since our ultrasound earlier this year showed baby was sideways and facing down. Dr. McCracken did not recommend trying to vaginally birth a breech baby and stated that we could try a version (manually turning the baby), but admitted he has not been successful with them. So, we scheduled the c-section for noon on Tuesday June 8. The grandmas have been called and more plans will be made tonight for them to come out. And I guess Maggie was right: she has been telling me for a few months now that my belly button will pop open and the baby will come out.