Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Today we went to the doctor for Pepper's 2 week check up, she is actually 18 days old. She is still a little yellow but nothing to be concerned with, and her weight is up to 7 pounds, 1 1/4 ounces. She is almost back to her birth weight of 7 pounds, 3 ounces, so the doctor was happy. Plus she continues to nurse, yes can you believe it, I am still breastfeeding. I still have a little bit of pain but only when she first latches on, and it isn't nearly as bad as it was before. I am amazed I have stuck with it so long, and I have had to nurse around friends and in public, well at Summer's dance class - and it is working. Of course she nurses 24x7 if I let her, she uses the nipple to fall asleep so I am working on that, well actually I haven't done anything about it but I wish I knew of a way to make her happy without needing me to fall asleep - eventually, she is still so young.

Overall things are going good - I really have adjusted to having a very needy baby, I allow myself to watch tv in the afternoon now and not feel too guilty about not being able to play with Summer. Honestly I hate this age, so fragile, so delicate, I can't wait for 6 months but I am trying to enjoy her while I can, my last baby!

Here is a video I took yesterday while getting ready, it helps show how cute my little needy baby really is :o)

And because I know how much you miss seeing Summer, here is a video from today while we were nursing at the hospital, you know because we were there so long we had to stop and nurse, and since Pepper takes a good half hour to nurse ... anyway Summer doesn't really have a phone that works, she doesn't have text and to my knowledge doesn't know how to text if she had it, at least I hope.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Day 9

I think today is day 9 ... really I can't keep the days straight. Not that I am not sleeping, I mean of course not all night but most days I feel rested. I am still trying to get into a routine, still trying to heal, and still trying to breastfeed. Breastfeeding, who knew that would be so challenging! Summer has been absolutely perfect, no jealous, quiet, easy with Pepper, and Pepper has been, well we are still figuring her out. I breastfed her for 7 days and then on the 8th day I had to have a break, the pain was just too much so we gave her formula/breast milk combo and she seemed so much more content. I am still pumping and I fed her again last night until I completely make up my mind to switch her to formula. I don't mind bottle feeding but I can't see myself pumping and using a bottle, there is just so much work doing that. I remember I pumped 3 weeks with Summer and besides feeding her the bottle and turning around and pumping, it was just too much time. Besides both of my nipples (I know, too much information) are bleeding, have blisters and look sad. Not to mention how much they hurt. Yet I continue to torture myself because I want to say I gave it my all, tried to heal them up and see if things change, at least for another week maybe?

Anyway I have really felt good today, good enough to try a photo shoot. It was not easy. Pepper was very cooperative but I had trouble finding poses. I need to get inspired and look at some examples, maybe in another day or two. At least I am training her early right? Here she is, as cute as a button, and all the spicy!

Thanks to daddy for helping with the pictures, isn't he so sweet!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Guess who came early?

11/3/2011 Pepper Isabel made her grand appearance 15 days early at 4:55 pm, weighing in at 7 pounds, 3 ounces, with the length of 19 3/4 inches. She was perfect, and I don't mean in a way a mom thinks her daughter is perfect, I mean her scores were 9/9, she was alert, her eyes were open, she was crying, just perfect!

How did all this happen? It was a normal Thursday just like any other, I went to my NST appointment and passed without incident, then I had to see the doctor to have the amniotic fluid levels retested. The level was an 8 on Monday (which was the minimum) but had dropped to a 3 so the doctor said it was time. This was around 10 in the morning so I had to go up to labor and deliver and be monitored with a c-section planned for after lunch. I had to have an IV while I waited of course, the poor nurse tried 4 times and failed. Amazingly I don't have bruises all over my arms. Another nurse came in and luckily got it on the first try. Kris arrived around 11 and we waited. At 11:45 they informed us the c-section wouldn't be until 3 (of course) so we had more waiting to do. It was so boring, I was in the bed, hooked up to the baby and contraction monitors, and I hadn't eaten since 7:30. And I was having decent contractions too - I wasn't in active labor but some were fun. At 3 they inform us that we have to wait on an operating room so it was still going to be awhile. We had no clue what "awhile" actually meant - it meant around 4:15!

When I finally went back it went quick, they had me get my spinal which was one itty poke that barely hurt. They did everything else, the doctor came in with a 3rd year resident assistant, Kris came in wearing scrubs and carrying my cell phone for video and the camera, and surgery began. They had the blue sheet up so I couldn't see - sorta - when I looked up into the metal lights the doctors were using I could actually see a reflection of my stomach and what I saw was enough to make me look away. Had I wanted I could have watched it all - I did not have any desire to watch! It always seems like the surgery takes forever but I guess it wasn't really that long, I remember when Summer was born I didn't hear her right away but when Pepper came out that little girl screamed her head off! They immediately took her to an area at my right which was nice because while I was being sewed up I could see them cleaning her off. At least it gave me something to concentrate on because the worse part of surgery was upon me now - the shaking. Kris did a great job getting video of Pepper as soon as she came out and being cleaned and he also got some great shots with the camera. He was pretty busy with all of that. I was still being put back together while Pepper went to the nursery to have her bath. Kris was not allowed in the nursery but there were 4 nurses there so Kris asked one of the guys to take our camera in and take pictures - he did, so we got some really neat shots of that too. Thankfully he knew how to properly focus :o)

I had to go to recovery - while I continued to shake uncontrollably, so bad they could not get an accurate blood pressure reading from me. Apparently it wasn't bad and I was only in recovery for about 25 minutes. When I got to my room Kris, Cliff, Summer and Pepper were all waiting for me. I could just see the look of happiness on Summer's face. She had already held Pepper and was beaming from ear to ear. By this time it was around 6:30 and Summer and Papa left soon after. Kris and I hung out for awhile, then he left and I enjoyed my evening bonding with Pepper while I recovered from surgery. I walked the next morning around 5:30 and it didn't hurt a bit. It really wasn't as bad as I thought. I figured I was pretty drugged up but here it is on Sunday and I still don't have much pain at all. I can get up and around without any issues (thankfully). In fact I have more pain in my nipples from breastfeeding (ouch!) which luckily seems to be painfully working great.

Saturday night was our first night home, we didn't get home until 6:30, but it went amazing. Pepper fed two or three times and slept like an angel. Again I am so blessed to have such a great baby. She doesn't really cry unless she is hungry and I have been feeding on demand so it isn't really all that bad. We did get her a pacifier but mostly to calm her while we can't feed her, like when she is having her diaper changed or if she needs to ride in the car. I would guess I got a good 4 hours of sleep during the night and a good nap today. It was also time change so that has just made today so much longer.

Sunday has been all about hanging out, feeding, cleaning, situating things. Overall things went good considering all the strange complications. At first I really wanted to try a vaginal birth but after experiencing just some of the contractions that were painful, I feel like I got to experience some of it and I don't feel like I missed out on anything important. The doctor did tell me it was a good thing I didn't end up having a vaginal birth because the scar area from the prior c-section was extremely thin and could have easily ruptured. Sometimes you just have to think things happen for a reason. Let's just say I am lucky, I ended up getting that baby girl without too many complications, earlier than expected, and now she is mine for the rest of her life, or until she becomes a teenager, hopefully the first.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

High Risk Afterall?

After thinking that I was the un-high riskiest patient ever I got a bit of news that put things in a different perspective. Not my blood pressure, it is still holding out at 126/75 or somewhere around there - no not the same problems I had before, these are all brand new problems to explore!

Monday: I had a routine appointment with the high risk doctor to have another growth scan. This was to be my last scan and I figured it was probably not necessary. I kinda thought something might be wrong with the fluid when the tech kept trying to find a better reading and asked me to turn on my left side. Of course there isn't much room in there now so I wasn't sure. Apparently my fluids, the water around the baby, are low. Not really low, well it is an 8, which is the minimum they like to see. Because of that I have to be monitored twice a week to make sure it doesn't go down anymore. Besides that little Pepper only measured in at 6 pounds 3 ounces. Not extremely small but considering her last growth scans her growth chart has started to decrease instead of increase. Again not extremely horrible but something else that needs to be watched. Now these scans can be off and most of the time they are, but this clinic has pretty high tech machines so I doubt they are off as much as if I had this scan done in a normal doctors office. Anyway both are things that need extra monitoring. Then the high risk doctor tells me he doesn't want me to go past 39 weeks anyway due to the blood clotting disorder that I have that I am doing nothing about. So that means that this baby will be here one way or the other by next Friday, which is 11-11-11, the day Kris really wanted as a birth day, also Veteran's Day.

Tuesday: I saw my regular air force doctor today. Because he is going on leave Saturday and will be gone for two weeks the chances that he will not be able to do my surgery/delivery is possible so I met a new doctor, Dr. Johns. She was nice and I asked her to strip my membranes in hopes that I still may get to deliver naturally between now and next Friday. While she was doing the stretching she noticed I was already dilated to a 3. She was able to aggressively stretch my membranes (surprisingly it didn't really hurt) and she was able to stretch me to a 4. She also said I was very soft whatever that means. After all that I had to go up to labor and delivery to have a NST because I skipped it yesterday and mostly for legal reasons. This was after the membrane stretching and I started having some pretty fun little contractions. While on the monitor Pepper did fine and the contractions were 2-8 minutes apart. They told me to go home and to come back if the contractions were less than 2 minutes apart, became so painful I could not stand, if my water broke, or if the baby stopped moving as much. For the rest of the day I had horrible contractions, not quite horrible enough to make me double over and not closer than 4 minutes apart. I just felt crappy and took a shower, drank a lot of water, took a nap, and by dinner they were much more comfortable and almost non existent. I think I might have dropped because I slept so much better last night, I didn't have to wake almost hourly to go pee so maybe things moved away from my bladder.

Wednesday: So today I feel pretty darn good. I got a great nights sleep. I am still having contractions but not as strong or as often. Pepper was moving around (she is sleeping now). I guess now we just have to wait. I plan on going grocery shopping later (ok she just woke up and is moving) to get walking since that could help the contractions come on again. We will see what happens, oddly enough I was so dead set on having a natural birth because I wanted to see how painful it was, after yesterday I would not be that disappointed if I had to have a c-section. Ya some of the contractions were that bad! In fact my goal was a natural drug free birth but after yesterday I have no problems asking for an epi!

I have an appointment tomorrow to do another NST and a scan to check the fluid levels. If anything bad happens with those test I could have a c-section right after or this Friday, but if those tests are all fine then I have another check again on Monday. Funny how I am not at all stressing, nor am I worried, in fact I feel like I am just going with the flow, things will happen when they happen. Poor Kris is pretty nervous, in fact he stayed home today, and Summer is super excited because she things Pepper will be here any day, which she could.

So I am 37 weeks and 5 days today. I guess I need to take a few more pictures because it may be the last I take. Oh and yesterday I weighed 167.4, which means I have gained 36 pounds. The goal is to gain between 25-35 right? I gained 26 pounds with Summer but again I weighed about the same because I started 10 pounds heavier with her. Soon it will be time to get rid of all this baby weight, I am ready for the challenge!

Oh and because I hate having a post without a photo ... on Monday the ultrasound tech felt so bad because Pepper is already engaged, which means she is head down way low into my pelvis facing toward my back, the tech could not get a face/head shot - which was fine, I didn't mind, but she felt bad, so she gave me a picture of her ears LOL. Not the best picture since I took it with my phone but probably the last picture I will have before she comes out. I am pretty sure her ear on the left looks like Summer and Kris's.