Monday, February 05, 2007

Happy 2nd Birthday Anneliese!

My youngest daughter, my smallest princess, my last baby girl is two years old today. She is so smart, funny, darling, adorable, creative, silly, intelligent, and loved. The sun rises and sets around her. Her sisters adore her. Our families and friends love her to pieces. She's simply amazing.

Two years ago today, I delivered her and got to hold her immediately. We cried when we met her, and I fell in love with Manny all over again that day. She was simply the most beautiful little thing we had ever seen... for the third and final time. Anneliese has been an absolute joy to have in our lives, and we are so very lucky and blessed to have her in our family.

I just can't believe how much she's grown up. She's talking and running and climbing. She plays pretend with her sisters. She knows how to get them to do what she wants. She has a temper and isn't afraid to show it. She loves pretty clothes and having her hair made all pretty. She says "cheese!" every time she sees a camera pointed at her. She sings and dances and is such a bright spot every single day. She has lovely brown hair and soft brown eyes. She knows how to give the best hugs and kisses. She's affectionate, generous, and loving. She does her best to share and enjoys being the center of everything. I'm just so very proud of her, my littlest princess.

This is her birth story, which I wrote shortly after coming home with her:

Anneliese Faith’s Birth Story:
by Mommy, 2/8/05 after coming home 2/7/05
4:00 pm

We're finally home. It feels good to be able to say that.
Anneliese's birth story isn't terribly exciting but it's hers and that's what
matters. We did change the spelling of her name, only because it looked prettier
and there's a higher chance of finding her name with this spelling. Heck, it's
still a special order sort of name anyway, and it's only one extra letter .

Tuesday, February 1st I had my mid-week 38-week appt and with my OB and
DH decided that our safest & healthiest option for delivery would be a
planned induction for Friday, February 4th, 2005. It was exciting to have a
birth date in mind that we could count on, but of course were nervous I'd still
go into labor on my own. Thankfully she waited . So here's my story:

Friday, 2/4/2005
We woke up for last minute preparations with Juliana & Grace, especially since the girls would be spending the next couple of days with my parents. Long story short, they did wonderfully. We dropped them off at my parents' and continued to pick up a light lunch since I was too excited for breakfast, and ate on the way to the hospital. We were scheduled for noon and arrived 20 minutes early, so by the time noon came I was conveniently in my LDR & started to settle in. They set me up on the
monitors and established a basic game plan, part of which simply included
waiting and seeing.

They began to prep me with the hand catheter & started my fluids, with basic sugar water & such. I was still only 4 cm and 75% effaced or so. After about an hour of taking fluids, my pitocin drip was started and the dosage level was increased every 30 minutes until I reached the maximum dosage allowed. CX gradually got stronger, of course, and more regular than they had been. Full belly CX were there, but rather than sharp and painful were extremely uncomfortable. The pain came from CX in my back, lower back and pelvic area. Progress seemed slow, but the resident suggested an epidural at 5:00 pm since my BP was going up with the pain levels & the take was the more you relax the more progressive your CX will be.

My OB shows up at 6:00 pm, excited but disconcerted that my cervix wasn't progressing as fast as he'd like. I was only 5 cm and still 75% effaced. He ranted at the resident that he thought the epidural was stalling my labor. Then he asks me how I was feeling since my water was broken. Ummm, broke my water? Where was I when that happened? He looks stunned and says What does that mean? They didn't break your water? They were supposed to break it 2 HOURS ago Darn it That's why we're 3 hours behind **rolly eyes** So he broke my water himself at 7:00 pm.

Luckily things got rolling faster. Effacement & dilation sped up, and the monitor
showed CX progress and my BP gradually went up as expected. The baby started to
descend to where they had to put the monitor on her scalp to check her progress.
I slept (well, dozed) as much as I could knowing that I wouldn't sleep much
after her birth. The nurse occasionally checked my cervix, which all she would
say was it's getting close . My CX charted to a point (around 1:15 am) where the
nurse noticed a change that she said signified I was fully dilated & effaced. A quick check confirmed it.

The baby quickly began to descend faster so the delivery team made preps quickly to catch her. By 1:25 am I was ready to push. I began pushing at 1:28 am. They were long and productive pushes right away, and I was able to push-take-a-breath-push-some-more so that I only pushed about 8 times. Anneliese Faith was born at 1:33 am. She was posterior, so much of my labor was back labor and pretty severe. Thank goodness for epidurals. She bruised my tailbone in her descent too. When her head came out, she was face up rather than face down, at which point the Dr. suctioned her. She didn't cry or fuss while they suctioned her, but seemed quite content. She was pulled out and rested immediately on what was left of my belly, and my chest.

Once she was on me, she started to cry and it was the most beautiful sound I've ever heard. Then she stopped and looked me in the face, and turned to see my DH smiling with tears at her. I cried and just said "Hello Anneliese, I love you!" They checked her Apgar scores at 1, 5 and 10 minutes, but in between I got to hold her. I got to hold her for several minutes as they wiped her off. DH got to actually hold her and cradle her first.

It was emotional agony for me to watch her for what seemed like an eternity as they cleaned me up and handled the afterbirth. All I wanted was to hold her, and she was only a few feet away with DH but it may as well have been the other side of the world. I didn't need an episiotomy, but as the Dr. said I barely tore at all. I don't consider it a tear, it's more of a scratch. I got one whole stitch. And one lovely hemmie. Yay. The stitch was to make sure I don't tear myself later down the road with, say, constipation issues . What's funny is that this scratch of a tear stings
more than the 2 inch un-necessary episiotomy I had 4 yrs ago LOL. Go figure.

She was purplish but quickly turned pinkish. Her hands and feet stayed
purple the longest. Her fingers and toes are long but shaped like mine. Her ears
are like mine too. It's too soon to say whose hair she has but it's darker than
her sisters' hair. It's black like my DH's. My MIL says the texture and color
are much like DH's were at birth... cottony and dark and soft. It sticks up
straight when it's wet, and it's sooo short she may as well be bald but she's
lovely. She has little sweetheart lips and a button nose. Her eyes are a very
dark baby gray, so I bet she'll be dark brown like her oldest sister. She has a
look all her own, but I see so much of both sides of the family. She has a lot
of my features, or aspects of both of us in many of her features. I don't have
good photos yet... I'm waiting for some disks from my Mom & my best friend.
Our camera is broken so we didn't get more than a couple.

She's sweet and quiet and calm. She cries when she's mad or uncomfortable but she's easy to read. She eats well and enjoys it. I had decided to exclusively bottle feed this
princess, as I had my little Gracie, but decided to at least nurse her in the
hospital. I had been so firm in my decision to bottle feed, and although I know
I wouldn't have regretted it, I figured she's our last baby and it can only
help. I know I can stop when I choose. She did so well she made it easy and we
both got the hang of it in her 1st feeding. My milk came in Sunday evening, and
she got 3 or 4 milk feedings before I decided early Monday morning to switch her
to the bottle to prepare her for the switch I planned to make at home. She did
so well with the switch I was pretty impressed. Late last night I did decide
that since my BF'ing experience in the hospital was so positive that I'll
continue to supplement her with a couple nursings a day and maybe one at night
simply because we enjoy it. I think the decision to try in the 1st place and
continue at least part time was due to the fact that I had already decided and
felt good about my decision and felt no pressure either way. And I know from
experience that she'll be healthy and happy no matter how I feed her.

I've had severe enough back pain & sciatica pain, as well as cramping and pelvic pain, that I've been taking Tylenol with Codeine paired up with Motrin. We tested Tylenol but just didn't get relief. I ended up picking up an RX for it on the way home Monday after our 3:00 pm check-put.

We had visitors pretty much all throughout Saturday between noon and 8 pm, and
occasional visitors Sunday. We had our champagne dinner as a couple Sunday
evening during the Super Bowl. Not exactly the most romantic dinner, even after
considering it was in our hospital room, but it was delicious and enjoyable.

My older DD's came to visit and fell in love with her immediately. They
were both amazingly protective of her, esp Grace. She wouldn't let anyone but
myself or herself hold or touch the baby. I had to sit Indian style on my bed
with Grace in my lap as I held the baby over Grace's lap so she'd think she was
holding her.

I feel so content and happy. My birth experience and hospital stay were actually enjoyable and I know I have nothing to complain about. I'm so very lucky, and my family is complete.

Anneliese Faith:
born: February 5th, 2005 @ 1:33 am
birth weight: 7 lbs 15 oz
discharged weight: 7 lbs 7 oz
length: 20
APGARS: 8, 9, 9
bilirubins: normalblood tests: normal
test: normal

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