Annie's First Ball Game

Annie went to her first first baseball game last night, at least her first outside my belly. She slept through 7 innings and was wide awake after a diaper change and some dinner. She did great, and we were happy to get out to another game!


Two Weeks Old: Things I Want to Remember

* How strong Annie was right from birth--she loves being held upwards rather than lying down, and from her first day she would lift her head off of our chests to look around. Such a strong neck already! We love it when she's alert and looking around, her head bobbing up and down, eyes crossing and uncrossing as she tries to focus on things. It's so fun watching her discover her new world.

* How sleepy she has been for her first couple of weeks: She sleeps a lot, waking only to be fed and have her diaper changed every couple of hours. She is happy sleeping anyhere; we pass her around from person to person and she sleeps right through it. Each day she has one awake period where she's up and ready for some action, so we carry her around so she can look at things, let her take a ride in her swing, or simply let her lay in her cradle, entertaining herself. She lies there and kicks her legs, gurgling away, happy as can be. We love to watch her looking around at everything.* How patient she is when we're dressing her. The gowns she wears at night are tricky to get her arms into, and she is so incredibly patient about it. She cries when we are changing her diaper, but once she has the clean diaper on she's happy as a clam, looking at the polka dots we have stuck to the wall behind the changing table, gurgling away as we struggle to get her wiggly arms into those skinny arm holes. Such a happy girl!

* Nursing her: I love the time we spend together when I'm feeding her. She looks around while she's eating, plays with her hands, stretches out her little monkey toes. The best is when she looks up at me and studies my face. She grabs onto me for dear life. She makes cute little squeaky noises the whole time. She needs to burp often, and sometimes she'll burp and will shove her fist into her mouth to let me know she's ready to go right back for more, but sometimes she'll drop her head forward and close her eyes, leaning into my chest, which means she just wants to sleep on me. I'm happy to let her.

* The teeny "o" shape her mouth makes when she's looking at me.

* How much she loves having water poured on her head.

* Her incredibly soft skin and silky hair. We can't keep our hands off her head!

* The way she looks up the entire time she's in the swing, like she's trying to figure out where the music is coming from.

* How much she loves riding in her sling. She scrunches herself up in there and falls asleep within seconds. We think it must remind her of being in the womb.
* How much she likes having her butt patted. It can calm her down within seconds!

* How excited Paul was for his first Father's Day. Such a proud Daddy!


Checking in...

Just a few pictures today. Lots more on flickr! Tonight I'm taking Annie to her first softball game, I'm excited for our team to meet her!



I turned 30 years old yesterday. I can't believe it. For the first time in my life I feel like a grown-up. I don't know if it's because I'm in my thirties now or if it's because I'm a mom now. I'm sure it's both hitting me at once. It's all so crazy! Motherhood is a huge shift. I knew my life would completely change, but it's amazing how complete the change is. It's also amazing how rewarding it is! This has probably been the hardest, most emotional, happiest week of my life. I am so happy to be Annie's mother, and Paul's wife. I feel so incredibly lucky!
Annie was born right before a horrible heat wave. We had her on a Wednesday and brought her home Friday. Friday through Tuesday the temperature reached into the 90's. Awful! I found it quite ironic, since my biggest fear about having a newborn in May was keeping her from overheating during the summer. I thought I'd have at least a few weeks to prepare for it! We spent our first few days at home in front of our fans and in our air-conditioned bedroom. We bought an air conditioner for Annie's room too, even though she isn't sleeping in there yet. The good news is, it rained yesterday, and now it's back to normal. Beautiful and breezy. I hope it stays this way for a while! Monday was Annie's first trip to the doctor. She cried a lot, but everything checked out, she's looking very healthy! Her weight went down a bit more (9lbs 7.5oz at birth, 8lbs 15oz when we left the hospital, 8 lbs 13oz at the doctor), but our pediatrician said she should still be okay breastfeeding exclusively, as long as her diaper counts went up by Thursday. They went up to where she wanted them that day, and have stayed there since then, so we're in good shape! Annie took to breastfeeding like a pro. We had a bit of a latching problem for the first few days, but I looked up some tips and we got it straightened out. Breastfeeding is demanding, but incredibly rewarding. I'm so glad it seems to be working out for us, I hope it stays this way in the coming weeks!After the doctor visit, we stopped by Paul's work. He's home with us until Monday, so he wanted a chance to bring Annie in before he had to go back. I loved watching him show off his new family. I have never seen him so incredibly proud!

Yesterday was my birthday. We had to take care of our inspection and registration renewal, since they fell by the wayside while we were waiting for Annie to get here. After that we wanted to do something fun for my birthday, so we stopped by the canal and took Annie for a short walk down to the ice cream place. It was our first time using the stroller, and Annie seemed to like it! We picked up some Aladdin's for take-out (my favorite restaurant) and ate that at home. My mom and sister stopped by to wish me a happy birthday and bring us Amish Friendship Bread. Yum. It was a very nice, low-key, restful birthday. I'm still in recovery mode, so that amount of going out and walking was about as much as I could do. It was a nice first venture out with Annie though!
I think we're starting to figure out Annie's schedule now. The first week was rough because she would eat and sleep all day, and then from 12-3 or 1-4 in the morning, she was wide awake. I'd feed her and she'd want to eat for 3 or 4 hours straight. She wouldn't eat that entire time though, she'd take a few sucks and then wiggle around a bit. So last night it finally dawned on me. She didn't want to eat for 3 or 4 hours straight, she wanted some playtime. So we got up, went downstairs, and she took a ride in her swing for the first time. She loved it! She stopped crying as soon as it started moving and the music started. She stayed happy for about a half an hour, enough time for me to catch a quick catnap on the couch. When she was ready to eat again, I fed her and sang to her until she fell asleep. I brought her back upstairs and she slept for 3 hours straight, woke up to eat, then slept for another 3 hours. So I think this might be our new routine for the time being. I can definitely handle that, those 3 hour stretches are wonderful!

Today we gave Annie her first bath at home. (She had one at the hospital and they told us to wait a week before giving her the next one.) She cried through the bathing, but loves having her hair washed, it's so cute! One minute she's screaming bloody murder, but as soon as we pour that water over her head she stops and makes an "oh" shape with her mouth, her eyes get all big. Too cute. We are really loving this newborn stage.


And....She's Here!

Finally! I will be sure to share my labor story here when I get some time to type it up, but holy cow, what a story. This baby really just wanted to stay in there, that's for sure!

I'd like to introduce Miss Annie Sue Fisher:

Born Wednesday, June 4th
9 lbs, 7.5 oz
21.5 inches

We are home and are so enjoying our new family. We think she's a keeper!


She's Coming!

So apparently all you need to do to start labor is schedule an induction. A lot of my friends have had inductions scheduled only to go into labor the night before. Sure enough, woke up at 3:4o this morning with regular contractions. They're only a few minutes apart now and we're headed to the hospital! We can't wait to meet our little girl!


June Baby

First of all, I can't believe we're having a June baby. For some reason it never even occured to me that would happen! My little brother Kevin has been predicting she'll be born on my birthday, but since that's the 1oth, that was highly unlikely. I still didn't think that she might be born less than a week before my birthday! Crazy. What a great birthday present though, right?

I decided this weekend that Friday was my last day at work. There wasn't much for me to work on since I had to give all of my work away and couldn't really pick anything up, not knowing if I would be there to finish it in an hour's time since I was so far overdue. It was finally starting to get a little bit uncomfortable to sit at my desk all day too, although I'm still amazed at how long it took me to get to that point! Plus I was thinking I needed to change things up a bit. Obviously working was not getting me anywhere, maybe I needed to try staying home. I am glad that I stuck around as long as I did though. I can only take up to 12 weeks off (before and after the baby) under the FMLA Act. If I had gone out May 14th as planned, I'd have already used up almost 3 weeks of leave before the baby even got here! I would have been FREAKING out. I figured starting my leave today would be safe, I really can't go much past a week at this point.

So last week at our appointment with Jo, she asked us when we thought we'd like to talk about inducing. We told her it made us really nervous. Sometimes inducing doesn't work, and it puts the baby (and the mom) under a lot of stress, increasing the need for an emergency c-section, or worse, resulting in serious complications for the baby if too much of the drug is administered. Plus, we were worried that there might be a good reason she's not coming out yet, maybe she needs more time to develop, maybe she's just not ready yet. But on the other hand, we didn't want her to get so big that we'd need a c-section anyway or risk complications from a placenta that's too old. Over the weekend I did a lot of reading up on it, looking at stories from people who had induced. There were a few horror stories out there, but most of them had pretty positive things to say about their experience. There were also a lot more pros versus cons for inducing. I had been leaning more towards being okay with it, but Paul was still pretty worried.

Today we had our appointment with Jackie. I told her that I thought I might have been leaking some amniotic fluid that morning, so she checked that for me. She didn't think that my water was fully broken, but there was a little bit of leaking. She told us to go for our scheduled ultrasound and non-stress test and then meet with Jo (who was on call at the hospital) to talk about possibly inducing tonight or tomorrow morning. She said that if my amniotic fluid level was a lot lower, it would be safest. She also told us that my cervix is really ready to go at any time (I'm 3 cm dilated now and still about 80% effaced), so inducing with Pitocin will probably work really well for me. She said that most of the time complications come from needing to also ripen the cervix, which they'll most likely be able to skip altogether for me. I'll probably only need a little bit of the drug to get me started. So that made us feel much better about it. I looked over at Paul when she said tonight or tomorrow and I don't think I have ever seen him so excited, it was really funny. He felt better after what Jackie told us, and he couldn't believe that we might be meeting our baby in the next day or so. He was all nervous energy, just kept saying how he couldn't believe it was really happening. We went for our regular post-appointment McDonald's stop (I know, it's bad, but it's our little treat for being so far overdue darn it!) and then to pick up some pills for Gus. He has a rash under his armpits and has been so uncomfortable all weekend! Poor guy. I wanted to make sure we get him on the medicine before we left him with my sister. (Hear that Kag? More pills to give Gussy!) We headed out to the hospital after that.

Everything looked good in the ultrasound and the non-stress test. My fluid level was only a bit lower, and she is still moving around, getting plenty of oxygen. Jo came in to see us as we were finishing up the non-stress test. She gave us big hugs and told us that she knew we were nervous about inducing, and that they would completely support us if we wanted to wait it out until the end of the week. But she also wanted us to know that after 2 weeks post-due date chances for complications goes from 3 to 6%. It doesn't sound like a lot, but it makes them nervous because any time there are increased chances, someday they're going to see it happen. She said the same thing Jackie did about my cervix being ready enough to skip the ripening process, and that they will continuously monitor us to make sure there is no stress on the baby or myself while they're administering the drug. She even thinks I should be able to use the portable monitors so I can stay pretty mobile throughout the labor if I want to. Ultimately she left it up to us. I told her that we were feeling much better about inducing and that we'd like to give it a try. So she told us to go home tonight, get a good night's sleep, and call tomorrow morning at 6 to see if they can get us a labor room by 7am. She said we might need to check back if there are a lot of more urgent cases than mine, but we should be able to get in there sometime tomorrow.

So it looks like we might finally be meeting our baby sometime tomorrow or the next day! I am super excited, not nervous at all. I just want to get this show on the road! Paul is nervous that he's not going to be any good at helping me, but I know he's going to do great. He's been reading that childbirth manual for weeks now, he's more prepared than he thinks. He sure can't wait to meet his baby--the ultrasound technician was mostly checking for fluid today, but she did get us a shot of Annie with her fist in front of her face, giving us the thumbs up sign. He couldn't stop looking at it after we left. I think Annie was giving him a pep talk!

Hopefully my next post will be an announcement!