Friday, July 30, 2010

Last one...

{Click picture to enlarge}

And I got this idea from a blog and thought it was a cool way of documenting the belly growth during pregnancy. It starts at Week 20 and goes till 39. Glad I'm done growing and can now go backwards! (Hooray for already being down 17 pounds). Lots to go...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Who does she look like?

My vote is this: she's got my eyes, maybe my nose (poor girl), but definitely Ben's dark hair and beautiful lips.

Regardless, she's the most perfect, beautiful baby we've ever seen.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Couldn't resist throwing up some recent pics from the last 2 days. It's so much fun having her in our home. We just love every second. 

Here she is laying with daddy at the hospital:

Can't get enough of her.

Getting her in her little outfit to go home was so fun. She didn't love it, but who cares when you look that cute.

She loves it here.

Okay, back to snuggling with my girl...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Welcome baby Claire

Our sweet baby 
was born July 23, 2010 
8lbs 1oz,
20.5 inches
Lots of DARK hair
via c-section

The story: 
Tuesday, the day before my due date, I had a constant trickle of fluid coming out all night. I even had to get a towel to lay on so I could sleep the rest of the night. I didn't think a whole lot of it because I had an appointment with my doctor the next day at 3pm, but because I tested positive for GBS, Ben made me call in at 10am to just make sure everything was fine. I had just gotten out of the shower, and was sure that she'd tell me she'd just check me at 3, but she said I needed to get to the hospital immediately to get checked. I freaked out! My hair was wet, I didn't have make-up on and all I could think about was how awful I'd look in pictures after labor if I really was leaking amniotic fluid. Funny how a few hours into labor, that's the absolute last thing you care about:) So we got to the hospital and the test came back that it was NOT amniotic fluid.  We were totally bummed. I had gotten so excited that she might come on her due date and was disappointed when we got sent home. I went to my doc appointment at 3 and when she did a cervical check, I felt a gush of liquid. What we guess happened is that I had a high tear in my amniotic sack and that it was leaking slightly in certain positions, and when she checked and moved things around a bit, it caused a gush. Whatever it was, my water was broken and we were sent back to the hospital, this time for real. We were so excited. Our little girl was coming!

I got settled in our room at 4pm and started on Pitocin at 4:30pm (and penicillin because of the Strep B). My contractions were 5-7 minutes apart by midnight Wednesday but only about a 5/6 on a pain scale (out of 10). To make a very, veerrry long labor story short my contractions became a 7/8 and were consistently every 2-3 minutes but every time they checked me over the next 16 hours, I was still a 2. She also wasn't getting down into position, if anything it seemed she was getting higher. I got 2 doses of narcotic pain killers that lasted an hour and a half each, allowing me to get a couple winks of sleep, but other than that it was just pure frustrating and totally uncomfortable.

By Thursday at 4pm (23 hours in labor), they took me off Pitocin for about 4 hours to get it out of my system and see if starting me fresh would trigger anything. During this time, they gave me my first solid meal since Wednesday morning, but annoyingly I threw it all up.

My mom and dad came in Thursday night (they had booked their flights Wednesday thinking that they'd miss the birth coming then but be here after we recovered a bit--wrong!). The minute my mom came into the room, I just started bawling and we both held each other crying. No words were needed, mother to mother, she felt my pain and I needed her desperately.

They started me on the Pitocin again around 8pm and I dilated to a 3 a couple hours later (all this "checking" business was SOOO painful BTW), and they finally gave me an epidural at midnight (after 32 hours of labor). What a wonderful thing an epidural is. The doc said she'd check me again at 5am and if I hadn't dilated that we'd pull the plug and do a c-section (*to this day I still don't know why they didn't do that 20 hours earlier*). We were praying hard but I prepared myself for whatever the outcome. I was so exhausted and just wanted her here safe, sound, and SOON. When they woke me to check me, I obviously was still a 3 with no progress so they started getting me prepped for the surgery.

40 hours of labor and I still had to have a c-section. I was devastated but glad it would soon be over. I still hadn't had anything but an IV and ice to eat since Wednesday morning and I was bloating like a balloon.  My back and bum killed from being on a bed for so long in the same position.

The surgery itself went really quickly and smoothly. It was weird to be awake and feel the pressure of everything they were doing.  (*I felt like the doctors weren't very sensitive to the fact that it was still a birth even though it was a c-section. They had their music on loud and just talked the whole time about people they knew and school and stupid things. Even after they got her out. I wish I would have said something then to help better the experience*).

I felt them pull the head out, and tell Ben and my mom to stand up because she was coming and then I felt them just empty me out. Hearing her cry was the most beautiful sound ever. It was so surreal. I still couldn't see her but I could hear my baby. I was just watching Ben's face and the excitement in his eyes as he kept saying, "That's our baby! That's our baby!"  It was such a special, emotional, amazing, and spiritual experience to have such a fresh, sweet spirit join the room.

(Awesome pictures taken by Ben)

Her first breath:

So relieved and emotional:

She was a lot bigger than we thought she'd be! We were guessing low 7's, but she was a chubby 8lbs 1oz!

They rolled us back to our room and gave Claire her first bath.
She is amazing isn't she?

(Her wristband says "Kendell Garrison" because my ID still says Kendell (which needs another parenthesis to say that it's still Kendell because my passport is still Kendell. With all the traveling and moving we've done over the last couple years, we weren't able to change it's on the to-do list))

First time I held her:

Now, the story isn't over yet. I wish it were. About an hour after surgery, they told me the epidural would wear off but started some morphine so I wouldn't feel any pain. Unfortunately, this wasn't the case and the next 2 hours of my life were a blur--the worst pain imaginable. Along with the most painful air bubbles in my left shoulder from the epidural, I have never been in so much pain and it was just this chaotic whirlwind nightmare. Basically, my uterus that was supposed to be contracting, getting smaller, and bleeding...just wasn't because it was so exhausted after contracting for 40 hours and it started clotting. My blood pressure dropped way low and all I know is there were doctors and nurses everywhere trying to figure things out. I got FOUR doses of morphine and had absolutely no reaction to them. They were pushing on my stomach (which had just been CUT OPEN), massaging the blood and clots out, while I was just moaning and crying, and in my mind, trying to stay alive. I remember one moment when my doctor came back in and I grabbed her arm really hard and she said very firmly, "You need to let go of my arm NOW!"  I remember being so bugged by her reaction to all of it.  Ben was watching helpless, but couldn't stand to hear me in such pain so he and my dad had to leave the room.  Eventually, they figured things out and over the next 6 hours I slowly came alive again. The pain began to dull and I was able to enjoy the next chapter.

Friday night and all of yesterday I felt better and better. I had my first meal since Wednesday on Saturday evening which made a big difference. And today (Sunday) I feel like a champ (compared to the dying zombie I felt like). So much so that they're letting us go home a day early! We get to take her home tomorrow morning! Recovering from a c-section will definitely be hard and I'm so grateful to have my mom here for a bit to help out. Ben is working a few more weeks before he can take some time off to bring her home to Utah to meet everyone.

Back to pictures! Here are the men, tired after their hard labors:

I absolutely LOVE this next picture. She only does this now and then as she learns to focus those beautiful eyes, but Ben caught it at the perfect moment. She's so stinking cute.

Grandma Kendell:

Here's a cute little video of her hiccups:

It is amazing and just like all mom's tell you, the love that you instantly feel for this little human being. Ben and I are so in love with her and don't know what we ever did without her.

She is such a good baby and so far, only mildly cries when she has a burp or gas bubble.

We're not sure who she looks like most. Obviously the dark hair is from Ben (which is all over her back and thighs and I LOVE IT!) Ben is such an incredible father. He's a natural. He's been so good to change all her diapers and help with feedings while I can't move around much.

Looking right at her daddy:

Our little family:

This was taken this morning. I am so happy and there is nothing better in all the world then waking up with her next to us, hearing her cute breathing, sucking, and sweet little whimpering sounds. When they take her for 20 minutes in the night to check vitals and do tests, I miss her and can't wait for her to be back. Nursing is going well (thank goodness) and am healing really well now.

We are so blessed and thankful to our Heavenly Father for allowing us this opportunity to raise her. We are going to have so much stinking fun! Can't wait to go home! What a better way to celebrate our 3-year anniversary than to bring our new baby girl home with us. I love my little family and can't wait for the days ahead.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

It's gettin' ugly

Down to the last stretch! And stretch it is. I feel like I'm going to pop. Not the best feeling. I think I was doing fantastic physically, emotionally, and mentally up until this last week. Now I feel like I'm already way overdue and every day that passes I just get more and more anxious.

Here are the latest pics:
{Click the pictures to enlarge}
Sorry for the gross fat belly pic, but that's just how it is now-a-days, always hangin' out:)

Anyway! Lots of babies this month that's for sure! My cute cousin-in-law Tiffany had her baby Reese Sunday night and I was lucky enough to be able to witness and photograph the birth. It was the first live birth experience for me and it was quite amazing. It didn't freak me out or anything like I've been asked many times, it was just an amazing, spiritual, awesome experience.

Here are just a few of the pics I got:

We love baby Reese and have seen her lots this week. She's such an angel and seeing her just makes us so impatient!! AH!! Soon enough I'm sure. I've had some stronger contractions today including one that I thought would kill me... but one is not enough! We need more!! :) Haha. Okay, I need to stop venting and get back to my walking. Hopefully the next post will be one about THE BIRTH OF OUR BABY GIRL!! YAY!!! Let's celebrate!!