Monday, February 02, 2004

Pregnancy Journal

May thru September 2003

(1-4 Months of pregnancy)

Notable Symptoms
Headaches, migraines at times; fatigue; sore muscles; lower abdominal pain (4th month); dizziness; hunger, and then lack of hunger sometimes for days at a time (1 day can’t eat enough, next don’t want to); thirst.

Nutrageous candy bars; Mexican food; fruits & vegetables; movie butter popcorn

Our First OBGYN visit
We got to hear the baby’s heart beat for the first time (August 21, 2003). It was very exciting. Baby’s due date is February 26, 2004.

We First Found Out
June 19, 2003 with a pregnancy test. We celebrated by going to dinner at “Red, Hot & Blues,” a barbeque place in Winchester. Then we went baby shopping at Wal-Mart, where the news finally “hit” Garren.

During my first months of pregnancy I worked cleaning houses. I was able to keep excess weight off, and I got plenty of exercise, but I was absolutely exhausted! A couple of times I got dizzy on the job, but I was okay.
I never experienced “morning sickness,” and so far I have no food aversions. But, my sense of smell has increased 10-fold!
I am only showing a little, but Garren swears he’s seen a difference for a while. He loves to rub my belly. No maternity clothes yet, I think I still have a while to go before I’ll need new clothes.

Garren’s parents bought the first gifts for “peanut,” after taking us to JC Penney’s. They bought a cute green robe with a frog hood; a squeaky frog bib; green & blue booties; a pale green receiving blanket; and a bear “softie” with a green cloth attached. My parents bought a girl gift set and a boy “Precious Moments” softie when we visited them in August, they also paid for some cute outfits I found on clearance at Kmart.
At this point we still don’t know what the baby is, but I have a strong feeling it’s a boy.

Who We Told
The first to find out were Sara Diamond, my former co-worker, who I shared pregnancy hopes with; and Garren’s co-worker Jamie, who noticed the HUGE smile on his face the day I told him. I had to tell Garren over the phone, because he knew something was going on and wouldn’t wait for me to tell him in person.
We told my parents July 4th weekend. We went to Texas Roadhouse, and Garren and I had them open some orange gift bags I had fixed for them. Each got a bottle and a bib (one said Grandma, the other Grandpa). They were very surprised! Mom got very happy, Dad just sat there, stunned I guess.
We told his parents on the phone on our car ride from Lynchburg to Strasburg.
Others we told early on: Shannon & GW; Sara & Dean; Becky; Heather; Lou; WJHL Staff; Garren’s office; my co-workers at CCS; Heather Walsh; Brian; Erica.

We got special cards of congratulations from Heather Walsh and Sara Howard.

In month 3, I got strep throat, and later mono! I was very sick for about 3 weeks and had to stay home from work for a week. Mono made me break out in a rash from head to toe.

Sometimes I have a hard time sleeping, and I still go to the bathroom frequently, but still mild symptoms as far as I can tell.

Name Ideas
Tabitha Grace; Jack Thomas; Charles Bryant; Amanda Hope

Second OBGYN visit September 16, 2003
Dr. Davis/ultrasound. We got to see the baby for the first time. The pictures were fuzzy, but the best one was of “peanut” trying to suck his/her thumb.
Still don’t know a gender yet, but heat and other organs were fine. The baby was moving around a lot, but I still can’t feel it yet. Baby’s heart rate:140
I’ve lost 3 pounds, I am not at 204 pounds. Garren is concerned, but the doctor says things are fine since I am eating good foods and drinking plenty.
Frequency of bathroom visits is okay; apparently rare pregnant women get a condition that makes them have to go a lot.
Due date remains February 26th, next appointment is October 16th.
We celebrated seeing our baby for the first time by going to La Carretta Mexican Restaurant in Winchester.
October & November 2003

(Months 5 & 6)

In the past few days and weeks I have felt “peanut” moving. It kind of feels like a goldfish in my belly—but, I secretly love it! Most of the time “she” seems to be most active at night while I am trying to sleep. Although, now I truly believe that “she” knows her Daddy’s voice; when Garren talks “she” kicks and moves very excitedly. My appetite is increasing 10-fold, but I am nervous that I will gain excess weight.

3rd OBGYN Visit October 16, 2003
We continue to see Dr. Wade. Not much to share. I gained a pound, but no one is concerned. Our next and last (ended up not being our last) sonogram is set for next month, November 11th.

To celebrate our 3rd doctor visit we had lunch at Pizza Hut for lunch, and later that night we went to Toy’s R US and Target to register for baby gifts. Garren had lots of fun with the “gun” they give you to use.

I can still fit in to my clothes—thankfully! But, over the past 24 hours (October 20th), my belly is getting huge! Mom is making me some maternity clothes for when I need them.

***this is where my journal stops, I wish I had kept up with it, but after Gracie was born I added a few extras that I remembered****

*October 2003: I feel Gracie kick for the first time.
*Having sciatica very bad for the last trimester
*Had high blood pressure last trimester
*Started to really show about 7 months
*Breasts didn’t leak until 9th month
*terrified about the delivery!
*I gained 18 pounds total and lost it all after the baby was born.
*we found out Gracie was a girl during our 8th month at a sonogram, but the nurse said to hold on to receipts for girls clothing because she couldn’t be absolutely certain.
* I was 1cm dilated for the last 3 weeks or so of pregnancy
*Gracie loved music while in my belly!

Sunday, February 01, 2004

My Personal Baby Journal

Wednesday, March 3, 2004
We went to the hospital at 8am to be induced, seven days after baby was due. There wasn’t enough room for us, so after a non-stress test, we left the hospital, had lunch at Shoney’s and came back.
Dr. Reese put me on a 12-hour medication to start labor. Garren and I played cards and watched TV while my (very mild) contractions went on until 4am. We didn’t get much sleep that night.

Thursday, March 4, 2004

Grandma, Grandpa, and Aunt Lou came to visit me in the hospital around noon. Dr. Reese had started me on another medicine to start labor around 11am. But, the medicine didn’t work. So, around 6pm Dr. Reese decided to force my cervix to dilate. It worked! A process that should have taken 1-2 hours, took 5 minutes. The process made me very sick! It didn’t take long for the anesthesiologist to come and give me an epidural. The doctors told me to rest and wait to dilate some more. We thought we would have time to sleep, but I was 10cm within another hour. Karen broke my water, and they had me pushing around 11:30pm.
After 3-4 hours of pushing, nothing was happening, and I was in a lot of pain and throwing up.
Garren was wonderful throughout the night. He held my hand and encouraged me and kept me cook with a rag and ice chips. But, we were both getting scared. I was in a lot of pain, and there wasn’t much progress made.

Friday March 5, 2004
I was given more medicine and told to rest. I feel asleep. Around 5am Dr. Reese told us we would have to have a C-Section. After signing some paper work, I was given more powerful medicine and Garren was told to put on scrubs. They took me in first and got me ready. Then, they brought Garren in. He held my hand the whole time.
They pulled Gracie out at 6:34am. She was beautiful. We didn’t get to hold her, but the nurses cleaned her up and took Polaroid’s, and let us see her.
They took Garren out of the OR and put me to sleep. I woke up 3 hours later. There had been some complications with my bladder and uterus, but the doctors fixed me up. Garren called Grandma and Grandpa around 7am to let them know what had happened. They were staying with Aunt Lou at our house and had visited the hospital again before I was in labor. Garren had them call his parents to let them also know what happened.
I was moved to a new room and Grandma, Grandpa and Aunt Lou came to visit. Garren went to the nursery and got Gracie. Everybody got to hold her and we took plenty of pictures. After they left Garren and I got some rest, and the baby stayed in the nursery.
The nurses also took me to have an MRI. They wanted to make sure everything from the surgery was okay.
The nurses helped me cleaned up and did everything they could to make me feel comfortable. That night Garren and I slept for the first time since Monday night!

Saturday March 6, 2004

The nurses brought Gracie to us first thing in the morning. We got to feed her for the first time (Garren went first). Garren also got to change her diaper several times.
Mamaw, Papaw, and Luke sent us flowers and they were beautiful. I got to eat solid foods and take a shower for the first time since Tuesday! We called both sets of grandparents, and Garren went to work to send pictures to his family. When he came back he brought me pink roses (baby roses) and a sweet card.
We decided to keep Gracie in our room for the night, so we could get used to it. Since she slept most of the day, it was a long night! Garren and I were up most of the night holding her and feeding her. We were very exhausted. Around 5am I was very concerned that she was so fussy, and I called the nurses to get her.

Sunday, March 7, 2004

The pediatrician tested Gracie for Jaundice again, and we found out she has a slight case, so we have to stay another day so they can test her again. Dr. Davis removed my staples and I got another shower. We had Gracie all day starting at 7:30am. We both got chances to feed her and change her. She got a bath in the nursery. Her temperature went down early in the afternoon, but we put a sleeper on her and she warmed up.
Grandma called today. She and Grandpa and Mariah plan to visit this Saturday.
We decided since tonight was our last night to sleep, we will let the nurses take Peanut to the nursery.

Monday, March 8, 2004

We get to go home today. The nurses cleared Gracie to go home since her Jaundice hasn’t gone up by much. But, we’ll have to have her blood drawn again tomorrow.
It’s snowing and 30 something degrees-a definite change from sunny and 70 degree weather we had when we came to the hospital.
Garren and I packed up all of our stuff and dressed Gracie in her pink JC Penney outfit for pictures. By 11am we were wheeled downstairs for our first car trip home.
It was fun to have her home, all 3 of us spent the day in bed resting-and we ordered pizza from Ciro’s for dinner to celebrate.

Tuesday, March 9, 2004
Today was a very bust day! Garren and I took Gracie to get her blood test done. Then, we went to the pediatrician. The doctor says her jaundice is not enough to ne concerned about and otherwise she is very healthy.
My ear is really bothering me today. After the pediatrician we head to do other errands. Garren and I realize that Gracie can only stay out for so long before she gets miserable.
Tonight, we ordered in, and Gracie got her first taste of Coke from Garren’s finger.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004
We spent another day out. Garren had to take me to Urgent Care because of my painful ear. Three hours later I came out to a very frustrated husband, and a baby who had been waiting in the car (for fear of germs).
For a second day in a row, my hormones are out of control. I definitely have the “baby blues.”

Thursday, March 11, 2004
Me ear is infected, and my antibiotics are starting to work. By afternoon, I am feeling very bad. I have a temperature of 102 and the chills. By 9pm, Garren decides to call the doctor on call. We head to the ER with baby.
Dr. Davis meets us there. She decides the problem is my ear, even after a very thorough exam. I had to wait for an IV of glucose and antibiotics. We didn’t get home until 3am. But, the baby did well to wait for 5 hours in the hospital.

Friday, March 12, 2004
Garren takes Gracie back to the hospital for another scheduled blood test for jaundice. I stayed home.
The doctor’s office called several hours later, her jaundice is practically gone!
The three of us rest for the remainder of the day. Uncle Brian stops by for a visit.

Saturday, March 13, 2004
Grandma, Grandpa and Mariah come to visit. Mariah gets to hold Gracie and see her for the first time. Grandma and Grandpa spoil her rotten, and Grandpa got to babysit while the rest of us go to the mall. When we got back we all went to dinner. We went to Chilis and Gracie did well at her very first dinner out.

Sunday, March 14, 2004
Gracie had a very big day today. Her umbilical cord stump fell off. Garren and I also realized she is too big for newborn diapers. We are now putting her in ones.

Monday, March 15, 2004
It was my first day home alone with Gracie while Garren was at work. I am starting to get used to no sleep, or at least very little sleep.
Our day was fairly slow. Garren wasn’t gone long, and when he came home, we all 3 took a nap.
That night, we gave Gracie her first real bath. She wasn’t much for it. We took pictures, but she was not a happy camper until we got her dressed.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004
Another day as a full time mom. Gracie has been extra fussy today. I have noticed that white has formed on her tongue, cheeks, and the roof of her mouth. It looks like thrush. Hopefully, the pediatrician will treat it when we see him Friday.
Gracie fought sleep most of the day. Garren and I took turns trying to calm her. Looks like she has definitely figured out how to cry.

April 25, 2004
Gracie’s first Easter was also her first trip anywhere outside of Shenandoah County.
We got to Lynchburg late Friday night. Mariah got to see and hold her before she had to go home. Mom and Dad gave Gracie a travel swing that night for an early Easter gift.
People who saw Gracie for the first time: Shannon and GW, Heather Halpin, Helen Tyree, Vicki & Tim& Kristin & Nick, Melanie & Debra & Gerald.
Mom and Lou and I went shopping on Saturday at the mall. It was fun looking for dresses and running from store to store with Lou.
Gracie wore a very old blue/green smocked dress Easter Sunday. Dad made a big announcement during the beginning of the Easter service to announce Gracie and Garren held her up. Dad later took her up for the children’s sermon.

October 7, 2004:
After several days of scooting around the living room floor and our bed, Gracie has finally learned to crawl. She went from her pad in the middle of the living room floor to her toy train behind daddy’s chair.

October 10, 2004:
Gracie can stand up without help! And, just as excitingly she can say “momma!” The day started as Gracie and I sat outside as Garren changed the oil in both cars. Gracie had been making the “mmm” sound, but today it was definitely “mama.”
We decided to go to Wal-Mart that night, and after we finished shopping Garren went to get a drink, and I put Gracie on the Bob the Builder mechanical toy. She was playing with the steering wheel and I noticed she was slipping off the seat slowly. I had my hand on her back to guide her and then, I noticed she was standing up holding on to the steering wheel. I moved my hand, and she stood there smiling! When we got home we decided to try again. Sure enough, she stood there holding on to the couch!

October 16, 2004:
Late tonight I changed Gracie’s diaper and left her to throw it away and wash my hands. When I came back, she was standing up in her crib holding on to the rail.

October 18, 2004:
Gracie has a tooth! She woke me up this morning by sucking on my finger and I felt a very sharp tooth on the bottom center (left). When you look at her gums though, you can see there are 2 teeth on the bottom center, but only one has broken the gum line.

December 24, 2004:
Gracie’s first Christmas Eve. I made chicken casserole for dinner and dressed Gracie in an adorable green/blue plaid dress. We surprised Gracie with a Christmas tree earlier in the week. Still curious, Gracie continues to pull at the tree and lights.
I emailed Santa for Gracie and we emailed photos to family. Gracie took a sip (and later a full cup) of Gingeraile. Other firsts included: drinking from her pumpkin sipper and tasting a candy cane.
Other fun things: we wrote Santa a letter and left him cookies and milk and 2 carrots for the reindeer. To close the evening Garren read the Christmas story from the Bible.
Other fun pre-Christmas events:
*I made Gracie’s first stocking (Holly Hobbie)
*Garren, Gracie and I made Neman Marcus cookies together
*Watching Rankin/Bass Christmas specials together on TV
*Seeing Santa twice, though neither time would she sit on his lap alone.

December 25, 2004:
Gracie’s first Christmas. Gracie got up early at 8:30am. We let her crawl in to the living room. Much to our dismay, she stopped to play with her old toys behind Garren’s chair. After some re-direction, she headed for the tree. Her first stop was the Peak-A-Blocks.
After a morning nap, we realized she was hot and had a high fever. It’s likely her teeth. She had fun playing, but was still fussy.
Big news today—Gracie walked behind her new hippo toy! Garren and I couldn’t believe it! We were so excited we called relatives and set up the webcam.
Dinner was a disaster, but we ended up having fun eating turkey, rolls and potatoes in bed! A neat picnic for Christmas!

Gracie’s Gifts:
*Toy train, stacking activity blocks, yellow dress w/matching pants—Aunt Lou
*Peak-A-Block Hippo, pink pajamas, red sleeper, ornament—Mamaw & Papaw
*Pink crocheted sweater jacket with hood—Sharon
*Refrigerator magnets, Baby’s First photo album, 2 board books, blanket backpack, ladybug hair clips—Mommy & Daddy
*Baby photo album, Pippity Pop Elephant, PAB Giraffe, PAB Dump truck, Baby’s first Bible Stories, Books, dresses, overalls, sweaters, plush bear, draft monkey, Leap Frog Piano—Grandma & Grandpa
*Rock-N-Roll trike, Puffalump baby, Wish Bear, board books, PAB Ark, Underwater PAB, plush dog, socks, ABC & number magnets—Santa

We got Christmas cards from: Grandma & Grandpa; Mark Reynolds; Heather, Kenny, DJ, Ryan & Casey Walsh; Linda & AD Kennedy; Shannon & GW McCarthy; Katie & Matt Waters; Donnie, Karen, Tina & Heather Sager; Elaine Summers; Allyson Hatfield; Phyllis & Eddie Hicks; Raybet Construction (Ruth); Connie, Gene & Bud Hensley; Dennis & Sharon Bowers; Lou Nash; Sara & Dean Howard; Betty & Tommy Wooldridge; Kathy, Katie & Brett Ashwell; Don & Mary Ellen Shriver; Charles Fletcher; Erica Walczak

January 7, 2005:
After several weeks of working with her, Gracie claps her hands together! She’s so proud of herself, she keeps going and laughing.
*Updated Food she is feeding herself now: Cheerios * first food she feed herself (12/25/04); Chex Cereal; pinches of bread; peas (1/22/05); Fig Newton Bars (2/8/05); Shredded Wheat (3/05)
Gracie has been holding her own sippy cup for awhile (past month), but has really mastered it by now. However, she has trouble when the juice in the cup is low. Juices she drinks: apple & white grape.

January 17, 2005:
Things we learned at Grandmas: saying Grandma “ah-ma” (1/20/05); saying Grandpa “ah-pa” (1/22/05); saying uh-oh “uh” (1/19/05); brushing her hair (1/23/05); Barney is “eeee” figured that out; barking for Clifford “uphf, uphf” (1/21/05); eating and liking real peas (1/17/05); bathing without her baby tub (1/18/05)

February 1, 2005:
Gracie’s 5th tooth broke through the gum line. Looking at her, it’s the top right, next to the two already in. Gracie has also started walking like a spider. She began crawling on her toes, but up, since Monday (1/31/05)
Today we made homemade Valentine’s for: DJ, Ryan, Casey, Mariah, Grandma & Grandpa, Mamaw & Papaw, Aunt Sharon, Lou, Daddy, Candice & Elliott, Ethan Estep, Jaxon Diamond, Elijah Smith, Luke Wagers.

February 2, 2005:
Gracie is still walking like a spider. But, today she was so excited to see Barney that she stood in the living room clapping with both hands! It looks like she’ll be walking any day!
Gracie’s other favorites (besides Barney): Clifford, Dragon Tales, Elmo and Backyardagains.

February 5, 2005:
Gracie is 11 months old now. We spent the day running errands. We had lunch at McDonalds where she said her name, twice. Something like “G-cee.” She continues to be defiant about feeding herself—she doesn’t want to be feed. She clearly likes her new found independence.

February 8, 2005:
Gracie played “patycake” by herself. We were singing it earlier today, and tonight after her bath, I saw her doing it while I was trying to dress her—its so cute! She is also waving to me when I wave to her. She’s been doing that for a couple of weeks now. More teeth are definitely coming in—drool is everywhere! Oh yeah, and she likes Fig Newtons.

February 12, 2005:
Another tooth has broken the gum line. Looking at her, it’s the top left, second from center. Watching Gracie play these days is so neat. She seems to be learning and reacting instead of banging on things and chewing on them. In the store tonight she took to the baby dolls. She talked to the baby the rest of the shopping trip.

February 22, 2005:
Gracie took her first step! She walked (stepped) to me at the computer. Later in the day she stepped several times. She went from Hippo to TV and toy box to TV, and inside her garden. We are so proud! She had her doctor’s appointment yesterday. She is a healthy 30 inches tall, 22 pounds and 11oz. She feels a lot heavier! A 7th tooth has popped through in the last week—her 8th will likely come in any day now. Gracie’s new thing these days is whispering “hi,” and waving. She even greeted strangers at Shoney’s yesterday. Its so cute!

May 4, 2005:
Two more teeth have come in. The molars are definitely the worst. She has been miserable for weeks. Her new food loves are waffles, and frosted mini wheats. We are letting her feed herself at lunch and dinner now using a fork and spoon. It’s a very messy process that ends in a bath—but she’s proud. She spends much of her day playing, but she’s still under foot. Bed time is going better, but she up 2-3 times a night. We’ve been brushing her teeth before bed for several weeks now. We take a walk practically everyday to the mailbox and back. She can stack her rings and can get ¼ of her shapes through the shape sorter. She’s really in to musical things (her piano, alphabet pal, Nemo book) and anything that makes sound (doll house, castle, link-a-do’s, plastic potato with stuff inside). She remains very curious. Downside, she has ruined several books by chewing on them.
Gracie has learned to color. I decided to show her how one afternoon, and she sat there for 40 minutes coloring several Barney pictures I had printed off the computer.
One of the cutest things she does now is “talk” on the phone. She likes to play with my cell phone and her play phones and say “oh?” (hello)
She’s pretending a lot now. She pretends to feed different dolls/bears and has pretend conversations on the phone and plays with her doll house. She’s growing into quite a precious and intelligent little girl!

May 8, 2005:
My second Mother’s Day. Gracie and Garren both gave me cards. We went to church while in Lynchburg and Grandpa took her up for “children’s time,” where they handed each of the kids flowers to take to their mothers.
Gracie had a blast as Garren and Grandpa let her ride on her first Power Wheels.
Gracie finally learned to drink through a straw. We stopped at McDonald’s on the way back home from Lynchburg, and she wanted some of my drink. She got it thru the straw on the first try.

May 13, 2005:
Gracie learns to blow a kiss—trip to TN

August 31, 2005:
Gracie at 17 months: she can count to 10 and is actually putting numbers with objects. She loves to color and go outside. She feeds herself every well, even with a spoon and fork. She has been sleeping through the night for over a month now, and its wonderful. Naptime can be a battle though. Gracie still adores Barney. She’s very mischievous and tests her limits on a daily basis.
She started saying “please” yesterday. She is very polite, she often says “thank you” when you hand her something or help her. She loves to put on shoes, anyone’s!
She seemed to be having teething trouble today.

Daddy's Version of What Happened

(Personal Journal)
Garren’s version of what happened….
3/5/04, 11:47pm.
I am not really sure what I writing for…but regardless here’s what happened.
The baby was over due by about a week, so the folks at Blue Ridge OBGYN set an induction date of March 3. We arrived early at 8am to wait: labor and delivery was full, so we went to lunch. Mom had a salad; dad, a burger at Shoney’s. At 1:30pm, an IV was started, along with an insert of synthetic prostaglandin. 12 hours later, regular contractions were going, then came synthetic oxytocin at 8am (Thursday). And, the contractions stopped… after a very restless night (and night before), mom and dad were frustrated and tired. Oxytocin started at 6ml and hour…went as high as 84ml an hour, out of a diluted solution, 10mg/1l saline.
Still no dilation, so Dr., Reese tried using an angioplasty-like technique. It worked to well…mom was in agony, accomplishing in 15 minutes, what should have taken a full day. That let to a quick epidural, manual rupture of membranes, and RAPID progress.
At 8pm we were ready for active labor…it started 3 hours later. That’s where the real trouble started. Mom pushed like a pro, turning purple each time. There were lots of tears, pep talks, and painful minutes. But nothing happened, baby was stuck. So, at 6am after a 30 hour sleepless induction and labor, Dr. Reese ordered an emergency c-section.
Dad was scared…mom was stoned…she had some good drugs in place for the 45 minute procedure. 3 ½ hours later, Dad still had no news…and was preparing the malpractice lawsuits in his head, all while preparing to storm the OR to save mom.
As it turns out, mom was too much of a pro when it came to pushing. She torn all 3 baby places badly and needed repair. Baby, whom dad didn’t recognize at first, was a 100% okay, mom was okay too, but needed several says to recover.
Oh, almost forgot…baby had scrapes on head from mom’s pushing.
Once dad got a nap, things were better. Gracie came to a “meet mommy session” in the early afternoon, as did Grandma, Grandpa and Aunt Lou. Mamaw and Papaw send there love, but couldn’t come because of Luke’s flu bug.
Saturday 3/6/04 is planned to be a “get to know a well rested mommy and daddy” day.