Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Shout Outs

There are a lot of people who deserve shout-outs for the help I received before, during, and immediately following giving birth to Eleanor. Here are just some of them.

Suzie Bell:

Ellie loves Suzie too! (less than two weeks old)
Suzie is one of the most motivational people I know. Since we moved away from Hawaii I have had almost zero motivation for much of anything. I blame it on the fact that I no longer have constant contact with this girl. Besides lifting my spirits by seeing her smiley face all the time, Suzie helped me with preparing for labor by teaching me the Tupler technique. I'm pretty sure that's the reason that pushing only took me about a half hour when this was my first baby. My stomach doesn't look too bad either, though I stopped doing some of the exercises (no motivation without Suzie, remember?) so I know it could be looking a TON better if I were still doing them. Or if I had even done them for the first month. Anyway, Suzie was an amazing trainer.

What's more is that she was an incredible friend. Not only is she motivational, but she's just all-around an uplifting person to be around--something I really needed especially in my last trimester.

I MISS YOU SUZIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Castle Medical Center

Castle Medical Center in Kailua, HI was the best birthing center ever! Ok, granted it's not like I've had any previous experiences with birthing centers, or even hospitals where they deliver babies. BUT, I couldn't believe how nice and accommodating everyone and everything was. They had everything I could want for the labor, but also all the nurses were so awesome--especially right after giving birth.

They let me hold the baby as long as I wanted but were there to help every first steps of the way. Everything was done at my pace and the way I wanted. They were all just so sweet and considerate. Plus there was plenty of room for my mom and husband to stay there the whole time. Typically only one guest is allowed to stay overnight, but when they saw both my mom and hubs sleeping on the couch and floor mat provided they let it go.

I highly recommend Castle birthing center to ANYone getting ready to have their own baby.


Five days before Eleanor was born
Wow, how do women have babies without their moms there? More specifically, without MY mom there??? Even Mark right after the whole thing mentioned we wouldn't know what to do without her there. She stayed up the whole night pushing on my back, encouraging me, and supporting me in all my decisions. She was particularly amazing in the week following. She stayed up with the baby so I could get sleep and helped driving me to pediatrician appointments.

Ellie had major problems gaining wait her first week. She just wouldn't latch on no matter what we did it seemed. I tried the breast shield, saw a lactation consultant (who, btw was awesome and deserves a shout-out, but I just don't have the time to write one for everyone or I'll never get this thing posted), tried all different holds, but nothing worked. She was born at 8lb 5oz and dropped to 7lb in four days. Newborns typically lose some weight their first week, but not that much. The doctors were really worried so from her first check-up on Monday until that Friday we drove 45min every day to get her weighed in. It was one of the most stressful and draining experiences of my life. I had to feed Eleanor every two hours--morning and night. But, because we knew the problem was latching this meant I would have her on me for 45minutes and then I would pump so she could have another 2-3oz every feeding. It was crazy, but my mom was there with me the whole time. It was such a huge relief! I have no idea what I would have done without her helping me get an hour of sleep here and there between feedings and pumping!

Mark, My Handsome Hubster

Less than two weeks after birth
Wow, well, first of all, Mark is amazing. I don't think I can adequately express the kind of help and support he has been for/to me since Eleanor came to us. Eleanor was born during Mark's last few weeks of school and I know I was probably not an easy person to live with as the stress and lack of sleep made me an emotional wreck. But, he's always been supportive and helpful and loving the whole way. During the labor he was up when I was and walking and breathing with me. Afterwards he would also wake up to take care of the baby while I pumped (he and my mom switched off to give each other some sleep). After my mom left his duties doubled as I asked even more of him. But, Mark has never once complained and has done much more than I know a typical new father might do. This is because feedings were SO LONG and stressful for the first month and a half. But, he's always taken it with nothing but love for me and Ella.

Now I just pump which is still time-consuming but not as much as pumping AND breast-feeding and is also a lot less stressful. Still Mark helps all the time and is up every night with me to heat up bottles and sometimes rock (or in Ellie's case, walk) the baby back to sleep.

About a month old
He is so loving towards Eleanor--it's so fun seeing him as a daddy. He sings to her, plays with her, makes her laugh, calms her when she cries, and shows so much love to our beautiful girl. He loves being a dad and I think it suites him well. One thing's for sure, I don't know what I'd do without him.

Well, those are all the shout-outs for now, though again I know there are so many more. The thing is, it takes me forever to write these posts because they are so long so eventually I just don't finish them and then, you know, a year goes by. So, this is just where I'm going to end it for now. I am a very blessed girl with a beautiful family of my own that is so full of love. My life couldn't be better.