Wednesday, May 11, 2011 update! has been a whirlwind of a week.  Stella is now 9 days old and today is her actual due date.  I have been just trying to soak in being a new mother and have been avoiding my laptop a bit.  Anyway, I know you are dying to see pics of our new little amazing addition so I'll give a quick recap of our last 9 days and then showcase our sweet Stella!

I know this is going to sound like a glowing mother that is bragging about her baby but Stella really is an extraordinarily calm and content baby.  The longest I have heard her cry is about 30 seconds (if that long).  She has been really easy to comfort and so sweet.  The first 2 nights were tough because my milk hadn't come in so poor Stella was hungry and cluster feeding about 1x per hour.  I think I got a total of about 4-5 hours of sleep over those first 2 nights but on Friday, my milk came in and she turned into a completely different baby at night.  Since Friday, Stella takes her last feeding between 10-11pm and then wakes up between 2-3am and then again between 6-7am.  She is letting us get about 6 hours of solid sleep each night and I am so thankful for that!

We have gone through A LOT of diapers and she loves to release her bodily functions (mostly pee and spit up) on her daddy when she doesn't have a diaper on - haha!  She had her newborn pictures taken with a professional photographer last week and we should get the proofs back within the next 2 weeks.  The photographer's name is Kim Stadler and she posted a cute sneak peek of Stella's pics on her facebook page...take a look when you get a chance!

Overall, the last 9 days have been exhaustingly wonderful and the support and help we have received from everyone has been amazing.  My mom and dad have been with us for the past 2 weeks and I couldn't have done it without them!  God has blessed us with our hearts desires when he gave us Stella!

Here are some pics...I think she looks a lot like her daddy but you judge for yourself :)

Stella on her birthday - 5/2/11:

My mom with Stella:

Matt's mom with Stella:

My dad with Stella:

I think she looks A LOT like her daddy in this pic...she was sitting contently but has a very grumpy face:

Our friend, Megan, with Stella in the hospital:

Stella with her Android stuffed animal and Google gear from Uncle Jonathan:

Stella in her first swing ride - she LOVED it!

Here is a picture that I took today - this is Stella sleeping in her carseat at 9 days old.

That is all for now!  Thanks for being patient with me.  I've been thoroughly enjoying being a new mom and feel so blessed with such an amazing baby!

Thank you again to everyone who has reached out and provided well wishes and support during the last week!  It is truly appreciated!  

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Stella is Born!

The Cole family had quite a day today and in the end we finally have our new addition in our arms!

Let's see...where did I leave off??  Oh doctor had just run off to do a C-section and we were just waiting to get the day started and oh did it start!  My doctor made her way back around 8:30am and checked me again.  Not much had changed, she said I was at a 2-3cm range and still 70% effaced.  She then proceeded to break my water and give the orders to start pitocin in about 15-20 minutes.  After breaking my water, she explained that I would probably start having more aggressive contractions and then the pitocin would increase the intensity even more.  She stated she was off to do her appointments but would be back around lunch to check on me and off she went.

What can I say?? The lady knows what she is talking about.  Sure enough, my contractions did start to get more painful, stronger and closer together.  I was having consistent contractions every 2 minutes or so and boy, they were intense.  I found it was easiest to internalize and breathe through them but it was a challenging experience.  I wasn't quite ready for the epidural but I did get another form of pain med just to take the edge off around 10:30am.  That med gave me a bit of a light headed feeling and reduced the amount of pain somewhat but not really enough for my liking.  About an hour later I finally said that I thought I was ready for the epidural.  My nurse called for the anesthesiologist and while we waited she checked my progress.  I was 4cm and about 80% so we were slowly making progress.

The anesthesiologist and nurse anesthetist came in and inserted the epidural.  This was probably the most frustrating part of the morning.  It was somewhat of a teaching lesson for the nurse anesthetist who was performing the epidural and I was having extremely strong contractions at the time.  I think it was pretty frustrating for all parties involved.  Finally, the epidural was done and they left the room.

My right leg went numb pretty much immediately but I could still feel the left side of my body and my contractions were getting really strong.  I was already a bit emotional from the frustrating epidural experience and then not having it work as I expected it to kind of threw me a curve ball and tears just started streaming down my face...not out of pain but just emotions running wild (ok - maybe it was a little about the pain).  Finally the left side went numb about 30 minutes later when my doctor came back to check on me (around 12:15pm).  She did a quick check, looked at Diane and said, "Diane, you are not going to believe this.  She is completely effaced and 10cm."  What did I do when I heard this?? I cried of course but this time it was tears of joy knowing that we would be done soon!  She told me she was going to go grab a bit to eat and the nurse would have me start pushing and she would be back to deliver the baby when she was ready.

And that is exactly what happened...Diane and Cyndie (my day time nurse) were amazing and started the pushing process.  Here is where I guess I get to brag a bit.  As I began pushing everyone was shocked at how good I was at pushing.  Now, this is my first time so I really have no idea what a good or bad pusher is but I guess I'm good at it :)  After only about 15 minutes of pushing, little Miss Stella was ready to make her first appearance so Cyndie called Dr. Smetana and said that she was sorry to cut her lunch short but it was baby time already. 

The doctor was shocked at how quickly everything was happening and told me I was doing great.  As we pushed, I could feel the immense pressure even with the epidural and unfortunately things progressed so quickly that not everything had time to prepare for her birth.  (Warning: going to address icky womanly birth stuff...don't read ahead if you can't handle it!!)  My doctor and her colleagues all prefer to let a woman tear naturally if they have to but if absolutely necessary, they will do an episiotomy to avoid a horrific tear and I was one of those lucky few.  She did have to cut to allow the baby to arrive but at that point, I really didn't care and I trust my doctor so much that she could have done anything necessary and I would have been fine with it.  After that cut was made, my Stella entered the world with only about 3 more pushes.

I cannot explain in words how amazing that experience was!  I am a mom!!! Matt is a dad!!! We are a family!!! And she is beautiful!  It was really emotional and there were at least 3 or 4 people in tears.  At this point, everything is kind of a blur.  The doctors stitched me back up and did all of the icky afterbirth stuff.  And then I had another amazing nurse that helped clean me up and transfer me down to the postpartum recovery floor.

When we arrived to the floor, we got settled and then Diane, mom and dad headed off to go home.  We were so thankful for their support at the hospital and even more appreciative that they were willing to make sure Coach is all taken care of in our absence.  We should have taken time to nap but we just couldn't take our eyes off of Stella. She is amazing and I just want to sit there and watch her every move. 

Our friend Megan stopped by to visit and we got a picture of them together.  Tomorrow will have many more visitors too so we are going to try to get some sleep so we can be awake for all of the adventures in store.

Let me say thank you for all of the prayers and well wishes.  We feel so blessed and we could not be more in love with our little girl.  She is truly a gift from God!

For some reason, I can't add pictures here but I will make sure to add some as soon as we get home (and settled).


Good morning!

Good morning, everyone! Happy Stella's birthday (let's hope I don't have a 24 hour labor that pushes this into tomorrow)!

Last night was an adventure.  Diane got to be my nurse and now knows way more about me than she ever wanted to but I couldn't have asked for a better experience.  Once everything was done, I was given ambien and allowed to sleep.  Unfortunately, I didn't sleep very well.  I was up 3 times to go the bathroom.  Matt had to help me get there on the first one cause that ambien makes you loopy :) and then when I woke up at 4am, I just couldn't go back to sleep so I've been up since about 4am!  The nurse came in around 6am and hooked me back up to all of the monitors and then about an hour later my doctor came to check on me.

She did a quick cervical check and I've progressed a little bit.  I'm now 2cm and 70% effaced which is good so she said she had to go do a c-section and then she would be back to break my water and begin pitocin soon.  I'm having contractions ever 1-4 minutes.  They aren't very consistent yet and not very painful.  They just feel like my whole tummy is tightening and I have mild period like consistent cramps.  The nurse said this is most likely my cervix thinning out.  When they get more powerful and consistent, then they will most likely be dilating.

My new morning nurse is Cyndie and she seems so nice and great! Poor Diane worked till 1am last night and is going to be making her way back here on her day off to support me...gotta love good friends!  Mom and Dad are also on their way in soon. They were taking some stress off of me by making sure that my furbaby was taken care of last night and they cuddled Coach all night so she wouldn't be totally freaked out by our absence.

I've been getting tons of supportive texts and emails from everyone which has been great! Thank you all so much!  This experience is a bit surreal so far.  It is hard to image that by the end of today, I will be holding my baby in my arms! I think typing that just raised my heart rate a little in a good way :)

More to report later...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

We have arrived (at the hospital)

Well everyone…we are finally here!  Matt and I have arrived and checked in to the hospital.  We were initially scheduled to arrive at 8pm but it appears May 1, 2011 is a great day to have a baby.  The labor and delivery department was slammed with deliveries this evening so they called us and asked if we could call around 9 to see how things were going and get a new arrival ETA. 
Of course the next few hours were agony waiting for 9 o'clock to roll around.  The news of the death of Osama Bin Laden certainly helped pass the time a bit and we decided that Stella will have an amazing newspaper cover for her birthday!
Anyway, I called at 9 and who answered the phone?? DIANE!!! She wasn't originally supposed to work tonight but since so many babies were making their entrance, she was called and asked to work.  She agreed since she knew they would be admitting me and now I have the best nurse in the world to admit me and make me comfortable.  So she told me to come in around 10 and here we are at 10:30 and I'm all hooked up to monitors and ready to go.
Here are some pictures of me (and my teddy bear, Molly) in my pretty pretty princess gown!

I should be getting my "prep" work done soon and then per the doctor's orders, I will be getting an ambien to get a good nights sleep and then the hard work will begin in the morning!

I will be sure to keep the blog posted as soon as I am up for it :) Keep us in your prayers tonight and tomorrow!