Sunday, March 31, 2013

Ella Grace

Ella Grace Andrulonis
Ella is a perfect baby, she came out screaming and she had the longest finger nails and such dry skin. I guess that is what you get when you stay a week past your due date.  We were in the hospital for 2 more nights and then we were discharged on Monday. I was discharged by my doctor that was scheduled to induce me. Guess no induction is needed :) I want to add that the nurses all gushed about what a "beautiful baby" she is. Nate and I assumed they did this for everyone, but as a proud Mama I'm going to beam. She is beautiful.

Her beautiful, but very dry, feet
Ella had several visitors while in the hospital.  Both sets of grandparents and Uncle Matt.

Andrulonis Grandparents, grand daughter #1
Lorencen Grandparents, grand daughter #3
Uncle Matt
My mom stayed the week with us to help out, and Nate took the week off of work.  It was a wonderful week of no sleep and time getting to know our little girl.  She has very strong legs and this explains why my ribs were in such pain at the end of the pregnancy.

Leaving the hospital, so tiny in her carseat

Nate got us a cookie cake to celebrate Ella's birthday

My mom holding baby Ella the first day home
Over the next few weeks we continued to watch her grow and change.  She had her first doctor appointment and the doctor was very impressed with her reflexes and ability to grasp items.  She also showed him her spit -up abilities and got his pants when he flipped her over (secretly we were very proud since they kept us waiting for almost an hour).

The main hiccup we had was that after her 1st week she became very fussy, wanting to eat all the time and completely inconsolable at night and would scream for hours no matter what we did. This was too much for the new parents. After doing some research, talking to some people and realizing the baby probable inherited reflux problems from me, I called the doctor. She is much happier now that we have diagnosed and are dealing with her reflux. Poor little girl is going to have heartburn like me.

At her 1 month checkup she was up to 7lbs 13oz and 21" and very healthy. The doctor continues to comment on how wonderful she is. Makes me a proud mama.  She has continued to have a stream of visitors since coming home. Plenty of friends and family. My mom came back for a few days and Nate's Dad comes over on Wednesdays to help me with her.  It is such a blessing have them nearby to help.

Great Grandma Alice Andrulonis

Great Aunt Cindy Holland (Fun Fact: Ella has 3 Great Aunt Cindys)

Cousin Danielle

Great Uncles, Patrick and Michael

Great Aunt Nancy

Great Aunt Marie

Great Uncle Daniel

Uncle Ryan

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Life Changes

Finding Out We Were Expecting

I want to start this blog off with the background of this past year.
Nate and I decided that it was time to expand our family (currently just the 2 of us, and my cat).  Due to life, or as my doctor stated "You both are Engineers at Westinghouse? Yeah, you're stressed, and that is impacting your ability to get pregnant."  Fast forward a few months, and we found out we were pregnant.  We couldn't be happier.

Humorous moment at the doctor: Our first visit to verify the pregnancy and answer their version of 20 questions on you and your family's health history, we learned that we were having a Spontaneous Pregnancy...Thus begins the ridiculous terms the medical professionals used during my pregnancy (I hope to highlight them all here so I don't forget them.  Apparently, since we did not use any help in getting pregnant, it was spontaneous, though it sure felt planned to me.

Everything went well in the first trimester.  I wasn't sick, just tired.  My pregnancy went unnoticed until week 11 by most.  Nate and I had decided to wait until we heard the baby's heartbeat to share the news.  This was not an easy decision to make, but due to many items we thought it best.  We did decide to surprise our parents with the news.  We each picked a children's book our parents had read to us when we were children and added this to the inside cover and gave it to them as a gift.

"This book is for you to read to me when I get here at the end of March, or if I'm late in April. Love, Baby Andrulonis"

We went into Ohio for an OSU football game (so my parents did not suspect another reason for the visit, and I love seeing my Buckeyes). Then, when we came back home we had Nate's parents over for dinner. Both sets of parents were ecstatic. This is grand-baby #3 for my parents, and #1 for Nate's.

We slowly began telling people about the pregnancy.  I still was not posting about it, since I was still worried something could happen.  We set up our first ultrasound. Everything seemed perfect. Our little baby GIRL was very active and as far as we knew everything looked fine.  Then, we were told we would require a follow up ultrasound in a few weeks.  After finding out we were having a girl, Nate looked at me and said "Can we just not do the nursery in pink?" We celebrated our baby moon in New England. It was wonderful. Here is the baby bump picture that I posted.

By this point I'm well into my second trimester, and I was sick every morning. The follow up caused concern as our little girl was measuring small, and her head now measured slightly smaller growth wise compared to her body.  We were taken from the tech to our doctor to discuss the results.  My doctor walks in and stares at Nate's head, and makes the comment that he has a small head so she is probably fine.  Not too calming, but this provided some laughter later on.  Due to baby girl measuring small, I was subjected to lots of additional monitoring/testing for the remainder of the pregnancy (non-stress tests and additional sonograms).  Thankfully she had a strong heart beat, remained active and continued to grow. So, none of the tests showed anything to cause further concern.  We just make small babies, which was great for labor :)

We began prepping for our baby girl's arrival.  We created a nursery, which included organizing, clearing out and rearranging the upstairs of our home.  Nate painted several pieces of furniture so that we could keep the white and purple theme in the room.  We also ordered an amazing decal for the wall.  I love the nursery.  It is a calming space for the baby.

We had a lot of problems agreeing on names.  We actually gave up on names until we found out the gender since we were not agreeing.  By the end of the pregnancy we had it narrowed down to 2 names, but decided not to tell anyone until she was born.  About a month before her due date, we did decide on 1, and spelled out her name in letters on the nursery wall.

I was given 2 beautiful/wonderful baby shower's by my family.  One in Ohio by my sister and mother, and one in Pittsburgh by my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. Everyone was so generous, and we received many beautiful gifts (some purchased and some made).  Thank you to everyone who sent a gift for baby Ella, as I know many sent gifts as well.

The Ohio baby Shower, with the Moms (Colleen with Savannah, me, my mom, my grandma)

Grandparents with their granddaughters and great-granddaughters to be :)

Diaper cake from my SC ladies

Pittsburgh Baby Shower

The baby's due date was March 22/23 (depending on which doctor I talked to), either way, the baby did not come on her due date. Or the day after. Or the day after that... little miss decided to start coming Thursday night March 28th.  Nate and I decided that we should go out to dinner, as it could be our last night just the 2 of us. I need to add that I was feeling very uncomfortable at this point being almost a week past my due date. We went to Log Cabin Inn, a favorite of ours that isn't too baby friendly. While eating I felt wasn't crazy painful but it didn't feel good. Contractions! What does it for me? Fried pickles and fettucini alfredo.  Making a note of this for  baby #2 to get things going sooner ;)

I couldn't eat anymore, so we wrapped up our dinner and headed home.  The contractions continued to get stronger and closer together over the next few hours.  they were 7-8 minutes apart and then they went to 3-4. Freaked out, I called the doctor on call and went in to the hospital to get checked out.  Only 1 cm dilated, so they let me walk the halls for an hour to try to get things going.  No progress. I get sent home (note, it is now 3:30 am on Friday, happy Good Friday). We got a few hours of sleep since we had to get up and get to my doctor appointment in the morning.  I'm still having contractions every few minutes, so praying I'm further dice. Still 1 cm. We set up an induction time for Monday morning.  Honestly, the thought of having these contractions until Monday almost pushed me over.  We ate at Eat N' Park, and definitely freaked out our waitress. Since I'm clearly having contractions. We eat and then head home to sleep. That evening I can barely walk during the contractions. So, I call my doctor on cal again, there were some other things going on too. They tell us we can come in if we want. I want...back to the hospital. I'm 2 cm!!!

Woohoo! I finally get admitted. I walk the halls again, an hour later 4cm.  Looks like we are finally making progress. I get some pain meds to help before the epidural and my doctor and the nurses let me know that I would be there tomorrow afternoon.  I didn't like this, and this would not be the first time that night I proved them wrong. There was no way I was sitting here for 12 more hours! The pain meds and the epidural got things moving for me, without any pitocin I made it to 8 cm in a few hours.  So many funny moments lying there, though I'm not sure how much to share.  I would like to add a cute moment with Nate. As I'm lying there having contractions (this is medicated, so I'm not feeling too bad) Nate is going through the delivery room checking it out. In the nightstand/table next to my bed he finds a visual aide that shows what the dilation looks like. I'd like to add that until this point I never really thought about how big 10 cm is. OMG. I freaked. I had no idea my body was doing that.  I understood the concept, but never really grasped how much it was stretching. No matter I was in such pain. So glad he found that...not.

So at some point the nurse exclaims, "hmmm, I can't find your cervix, I guess your 10 cm." It is about 3am...guess I'm not going to make it to tomorrow afternoon. Go wake up the doctor.  One of the other nurses comes in and starts talking to me about pushing (she had given me flack for not taking any classes) and let me know for the first baby you can expect to push for 1-3 hours. Again, I do not like the sound of that and plan to prove them wrong again.  No details on the birth except for Nate's realization of how close my shoulders are to where the action was going on. He thought he could stand by my head and not have a clear view of it all, LOL, silly guy.  50 minutes of pushing and we have our baby girl, Ella Grace entered the world at 4:22am 3/30/13.  We were in love. Texting and calling key people that early in the morning.  Such a wonderful moment. Holding her. Just being able to finally see her.

Now for finding out her weight. Remember all of that extra testing  cause she was so small? The nurses and I all guessed, ranging 5lbs and some change to barely over 6lbs.  Little girl was 6lbs 11oz and 19.5", my mom let me know that that is what I was when I was born.  She was very healthy, and came out with a good set of lungs and a crazy appetite.

Last picture of me pregnant, this is almost a week past my due date.

Baby Ella joined us

6 lbs 11 oz