Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hadley Elizabeth Karch

Well folks, I have officially been a mommy for 10 days now.

Hadley Elizabeth Karch was born on February 5 at 4:22pm. She weighed 7 lbs, 12 oz and was 19 inches long.

The birth story:

On the way to the hospital. I was measuring 40 inches around.

I was induced Friday morning (the 4th) at 8:00am with cervadil. They monitored me for 2 hours, and like most people, I was sent home because nothing was happening.

So we waited and waited all day long. We went for a walk, watched some movies and then played some scrabble. It was during scrabble at about 8:00pm that I went into labor. The contractions were about 8 minutes apart. Funny side note: that morning when I was being induced I asked the nurse 'how do I know when I go into labor because I have been having so many braxton hicks, I don't know if I will know the difference' she responded with a 'ohhhhhh believe me, you will know the difference'. Was she ever right!! Real contractions feel nothing like braxton hicks!

Anywho, I tried to go to sleep, given the long road that I knew was ahead and that I should probably be rested. HA! There was no way I sleeping. Excitement mixed with contractions - yeah right! The contractions really weren't that bad though so I casually labored between my bed, the bathtub, and shower. By 2:00am they were 3-4 minutes apart so we decided to go into the hospital.

I went to admitting and was hooked up to the monitor and examined. No progress since the morning (when I was induced I was 1cm and my cervix was very high). Bummer. However, a loophole to being sent home presented itself: the nurse said that I had two options - one, get sent home, or two, f I wanted something for the pain (morphine) then I would have to stay at the hospital for another hour to be monitored.....brilliant!! I took the morphine! Which by the way, was a shot in my thigh/buttox and hurt more than the epidural. So from 4:00am - 5:00am we walked the halls and I ate lots and lots of ice chips. It really wasn't that bad though because I wasn't in active labor, so the contractions were minor. I was examined again at about 6:00am to find out that I had made about a 1/2 cm of progress. GREAT! However, loophole #2 presented itself: I was going to have to come back to the hospital at 8:00am for my second induction, so they gave us the option of just waiting it out at the hospital. Done. I REALLY did not want to go home. So, we spent another 2 hours walking the halls and I ate lots and lots of ice chips!

When 8:00am came around they examined me again and now I was 1 1/2 - 2 cm dialated. Oh boy. But the doctor on call (bless her heart) admitted me and said they would start me on an oxytocin drip. So I was moved to L&D and hooked up to the IV. My heavy contractions started right away. HoooooooooBooooyyyy did those puppies hurt. We decided to do some more walking (which was no joke almost the death of me - can anything prepare you for pain like that?) and when I returned to the room 45 minutes later, I was examined and voila, I had dialated from 1 1/2 to 6 cm in 45 minutes. No wonder it hurt.

EPIDURAL TIME!! The anethesiologist came in and started going over the risks.......blah, blah, blah.........I think my exact words were "I don't care......moan.....pant......get that thing in me!!!!!". After the epidural was in I went through about 2 more hours of labor and it was time to push!

I pushed miss Hadley out in 35 minutes which would have been 25 minutes had the doctor been ready........I had to wait 10 minutes with her crowning for the doctor to come!!! Wow, you want to talk about a freaking head half way through you for 10 minutes not being able to push!

When she popped out and they placed her on my chest it was the most surreal moment I have ever experienced in my life. Its just so amazing how in one instant my life completely changed. The creature who had been living inside of me for 9 months was really here. She was a real, living, breathing human being. No words can describe it.

I was in fact, so infatuated with her, that didn't even really notice them stitching me up for an hour.........yeah, I had a 3rd - 4th degree tear. Um, one word, OUCH!

Freshly out.

Yeah, I know its not the most flattering picture, but here we are for the first time as a family.

And here is my girl after being home for a few days.

Not going to lie, the last week and a half has been a whirlwind. There is so much that I wasn't expecting. To say its been hard doesn't encompass all of the emotions I have been feeling. Hadley is a good-ish baby, I think we have just been completely shocked into parenthood and all that it entails. Will I ever sleep again? Does the monotoney ever end? etc, etc, etc. I wish someone would have told me some of the things to expect. I beat myself up for a week straight thinking I was doing everything wrong. Why was my baby not as perfectly content as other people's babies seem to be. Or why was I not completely enamored by my baby on day one like so many other moms are. Or why can my baby not seem to get breast feeding!! Should it really take an hour to get her to latch!?

That being said, its amazing how quickly you do learn YOUR baby. Things are already getting easier and more enjoyable as we figure her out. I fall more and more in love with her everyday. I love just watching her facial expressions as she sleeps. I really am in awe of our little miracle.

One question I have for moms out there though: how do you switch a baby who has their days and nights mixed up? For example, trying to wake Hadley up during the day is the hardest thing, but at night she wont go to sleep!! I finish her last feeding and she is wide awake so we have to bounce her to sleep. Then we all go to sleep and she sleeps for about 4 hours before waking up to feed. I feed her and then she will NOT go back to sleep. Last night for instance she was wide awake from 3am-6am. SO frustrating!!! We dont let her nap for long spurts during the day and we have tried keeping her up during the day, but lets be honest, trying to keep a newborn awake is not the easiest thing to do. Advice???

Anywho, that is Hadley. She is beautiful. We love her. Life has changed!

We had our first photoshoot last week with the amazing Allison Cahoon, so you can go here to check out those pics.

Leah xoxo


  1. yay! I'm so glad you finally got that baby out, when you're at the end it feels like an eternity. I'm not going to lie, I chuckled as I was reading this last bit, only because I know the feeling of wondering what to do with certain things, and all that "fun" stuff at the beginning like getting used to breastfeeding. Just know you're not alone in this, and everyone has felt what you're feeling.

    With the sleeping thing, I followed the book "on becoming babywise". but to be honest the first few weeks of her life, you won't be able to do much sleeping at all anyways. That's what it was like for me.

    good luck!

    p.s. sometimes to wake Milo up, I would change his diaper. kinda mean, but worked.

  2. Awe Hadley is gooorgeous! What a birth story. 4th degree tearing!? that makes me cringe. I had 2nd degree and I thought THAT was bad! Hopefully things heal up quickly for you. Keep your peri bottle close by! Hehe. I laugh, but it's really not that funny. It sucked.

    The first month with Emily was craaaazy. There really isn't anything you can do about the sleeping thing. I mean.. eventually they'll get into some sort of normal schedule. With Emily, when she was still getting used to her days/nights. I would let her nap in her swing (not swinging though), or just on the couch, or wherever... but when it was bedtime she went in her crib. I don't know if THAT was the reason.. but she's been a FABULOUS sleeper ever since. Once she got it figured out, I would put her in her crib to nap too. Seemed to work?

    Hopefully your emotions are ok, too! That was the worst thing for me. I had BAAAD postpartum. I wasn't expecting it at all, and it sucked. Thankfully... we only have to be first-time-Moms ONCE. I don't envy those going through it for the 1st time. It really is tough! People always told me "It'll get better/easier!" and I would just stare at them in disbelief. BUT... it really DOES get better! :) hehe.

    ok, now that i've written an epistle! GOOD LUCK!!! She's a sweetheart!!!

  3. she is adorable! i see both of you in her, it's so cute. sorry, I have no advice for you. i've heard people like the book happiest baby on the block? but can't say for myself. haven't read it.

    okay..maybe you have scared me now!!!! haha. no, I like to hear what people's experience's are so I can see kind of what to expect, but seems everyone is also so different, you can't really expect anything!

    you'll figure it out i'm sure. good luck. if you need anything, seirously call! what a cutie

  4. Congratulations on the arrival of Miss Hadley! She is beautiful. I can totally relate to what you wrote. Not necessarily on the sleeping thing, but breastfeeding was SO frustrating at the start. I do not envy you right now, and lucky me... I get to go through it again this summer with baby #2. I had also never been told about how sometimes it takes awhile to really get that connection with your baby, and for me it took a little while. Not that I didn't always love my son, but for me, it just wasn't that instant intensity that people talk about. So I went through a bit of a guilt/worrying phase thinking, "is something wrong with me?". But really it's just your body regulating itself and ALL the hormones and emotions are right there. So good luck and remember it's best to just be open, and ask questions and know that you're not crazy, and there are no dumb questions. It's a major reality check to become a first time parent!

  5. congratulations!!!! she is precious, and it is cool to read about your progression through labour etc (i want to be a midwife eventually. I have never breastfed before, but if this does help you I would feel terrible for never sharing at least. She was putting the baby up on the breast, instead of dropping it down into his mouth. She mentioned that having gravity on her side helped...? That might be the most ridiculous advice but just thought I'd pass it along. As for sleep, I have heard the book "save our sleep" is really good? I love that you write a candid account of what you are feeling and your emotions as you are bonding with your baby. Just because you have to wrap your head around your new role does not make you any worse of a mom, you are just processing. Nobody doubts that you aren't crazy about her. Enjoy all the cute cuddles and hopefully you will get some sleep!! congrats!!!

  6. congrats! I am glad pregnancy is over for you and she is here! All the feelings you have are normal. I remember feeling the exact same way. I remember thinkinng I like you but do I LOVE you yet, and over the next week or so the love does really grow. As for sleeping, keep doing what you're doing, (eat, play time, sleep). New borns are going to sleep a bunch and it is SOOOO hard keeping them up but the more you try the easier it will get and she will figure it out. Some babies are more fussy than others but what i've learned (especially since talia is a needy 16 month old) you don't need to make excuses for not having the perfect baby. You get what you get and yuo love them. I think sometimes with blogs, facebook, etc., people make it seem that life is more perfect that it is. We all have struggles. Also remember baby blues are always normal. 90% of moms get it, where as postpartum is about 5-10% of moms. Anyways sounds like you're doing great. I promise hadley will figure out the nights and days. try to keep lights off at night and not much talking or waking her up during a feed. Anyways that being said every kid is different. Can't wait to meet her!

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  8. Leah! she's beautiful! and you're doing great! I just thought I would share with you what I did so I could sleep at night ...... When I was ready to go to bed, I would sleep whether or not Lucy was sleeping. If she's not crying, then she doesn't necessarily need you. She was always right beside me in the bassinet so I didn't feel like I was abandoning her, because if she needed me I was right there ready to wake up and give her the old breast! (not every night was great, sometimes they just need their mommies... or their daddies... hint hint) Minimal interaction with the babes during the night will teach them that it's time to sleep!! but do what feels comfortable to you! Happy Baby bonding!

  9. Leah Congrats on the beautiful baby! 4th degree tears...I feel for you! You will be feeling better in no time! It is always a learning curve, you will figure her out soon enough, all babies are so different! Good Luck and I love her beautiful room, soo cute!

  10. Congrats Leah, it gets better and better, she honestly so cute! Not many newborns are, shes a doll!