Monday, September 20, 2010

Growing girl

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of diaper changes, endless nursing sessions and sleepless nights. They have also been the best two weeks of my life! I am amazed every day at my beautiful daughter, and am already finding myself torn between wanting to see how she changes and wanting her to remain my tiny little baby forever. We love this girl so much, and although she threw us off course by arriving four weeks early, every day we've had with her has given us another blessed moment.

We just got back from Madelyn's two-week check in with the pediatrician. We've been taking her to Raleigh Children and Adolescents, and have been so impressed with the doctors and the staff at both their Rex and Brier Creek locations. Today she got high marks from Dr. Fletcher, for both her weight gain (a full pound since the last visit 10 days ago!) and for her exceptional baby skills. Our little advanced one is already grasping with her tiny fingers, focusing on objects, holding her head up and is on her way to rolling over. I dare say I feel overwhelmed with pride -- almost as much as when Maggie graduated from doggie school. Hopefully Madelyn retains her new-found knowledge more than her furry sister did!

I am so thankful that we have one more week with Daddy around before he goes back to work. I really dread next Monday -- it will be so sad to not have his company during the weekdays. For now, we are going to enjoy these moments as a family, even if it does mean subjecting him to another full week of sitting on the couch in front of TLC. How he hasn't gone crazy yet, I'm not sure. But he is a much more patient man than I ever gave him credit for, and I'm so happy he is the father of my child! We are very lucky indeed...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Welcome to the world, Madelyn Elizabeth Dozier!

Surprise! No sooner did I declare my expectations of a precise arrival on her due date, did Miss Madelyn decide she would be calling the shots from now on. And so begins a new life -- for her and her parents -- and we are thrilled to share the exciting news with you all.

Madelyn arrived at 1:05 p.m. on Friday Sept. 3, 2010. A modest 6 pounds 2 ounces, our "little one" lived up to her nickname. However, when you consider she made her grand entrance almost 4 weeks early, I can only imagine she would have been a good sized baby if she made it to her due date of Sept. 29!

Now for the details (so stop reading now if you don't care to know!)

All day on Thursday I had been feeling a little off. I woke up that morning to find that I had lost my mucous plug (or so I thought), and I determined it was a non-event. After re-reading all about what that meant, I decided she may actually arrive earlier than I expected, but pegged her to be only a week or so early. I just knew I had more time to prepare and didn't sweat it. I went to work as usual, had a productive day, and even a lovely lunch with my mommy friend Kira. That evening, I came home to find that Scott had to take a call for work, had pasta (by myself) and settled in for the night. But still, something wasn't quite right. Scott was still working as of 10:30 -- if his bosses are reading this, thanks a million -- and something inside me felt the need to get my personal items together for my hospital bag. So I spent some time gathering toiletries (just in case) and opted for a nice shower. I even shaved my legs -- a rarity these days, but something compelled me to do it. Afterwards, I headed to bed and divulged in some trashy TV while I waited for Scott to join me. I suppose my daughter will have a good laugh that her father and I were watching the last five minutes of Jersey Shore when my water broke! So classy... I know.

Well, I did not keep my cool. Pretty much flew off the handle. Thank goodness Scott is so laid back and was able to counter-balance my insanity. We called the doctor, and despite my best efforts to convince her that I wasn't ready to have this baby and didn't really need to come in, we found ourselves franticly packing our bags for the hospital. We were ready in an hour flat, and on the road to Rex. We managed to pack everything on our lists, but for the record, you don't need half of that stuff! I'd seriously like to know who has the time or energy to read a book while in labor -- dumb suggestion from the list gods!

We checked in around midnight and the triage nurse confirmed the obvious -- my water had in fact broken and I was dilated 3 cm and in labor! The fabulous part -- apparently labor and delivery was at maximum capacity that night. Funny, considering my ONE question while on the hospital tour was 'what is the likelihood you won't have room for us when we get here' and their reply was 'that never happens!' Apparently women go into labor in droves when there is a hurricane approaching, and it just so happens Earl was threatening the North Carolina coast that same night. They suggested something about the pressure dropping can cause your membranes to rupture, but I'm not sure I believe that. After finally getting a room of our own, we settled in for what was sure to be a long night.

I spent a little time braving things without any medication, but quickly found that was not the way to go. An anesthesiologist with the personality of a cactus became my new best friend when he gave me a half-assed epidural that only took 100 percent to the left side of my body. Somehow, I didn't seem to mind this (until the very end) and was able to get a few hours of sleep though the night. Anyone who tries to do this without the drugs is crazy in my opinion! Due to my lopsided epidural, transition hurt, but luckily it was over before too long and was time to push. And I never expected pushing to be such tiresome work -- they don't call it labor for nothing! I seriously felt like I was running a marathon, and since I am such the non-athlete, that was quite the challenge.

Scott was a wonderful coach through the whole ordeal, and I certainly couldn't have made it though the tough times without him by my side. In the end, we were holding our beautiful baby girl, and all the stress, anxiety, pain and lack of sleep were well worth it. I will never forget that Thursday night and the hours leading up to Madelyn's birth -- it was an amazing experience and a true miracle. I am in awe of how precious life is and what the human body (and mind) are capable of. It was hard work, but I would do it all again in a heartbeat. Our baby girl is perfect in every way, and I cannot wait to share her with the world -- she is such a blessing!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Good fortunes

"Do not give up; the beginning is always the hardest."

So read Scott's fortune cookie from PF Chang's last night. We love this place -- I personally could eat there every night and not get bored. And the fortune cookie was right on the money. This having a baby thing is a lot more work then I know we ever imagined, and we're not even officially a family of three yet! Four more weeks to go, or maybe less (since everyone seems to think I won't make it to my due date of Sept. 29).

I haven't yet figured out which part of preparing for this baby is the most challenging. But most likely it's the unknown. An obsessive planner by nature, it is absolutely killing me to not be able to anticipate the exact moment of Madelyn's arrival. I'd really prefer she sent me an Outlook calendar meeting request for when she plans on making her debut, that way I can plan accordingly. I suppose that is why I am convinced she will be here right on time. I have so much faith in my little one... we shall see if she cooperates!

And speaking of cooperation, the good news to announce is the my little angel has apparently accepted my bribe that her daddy will buy her jewelery if she turned in the right direction and settled in head down. Poor Scott now has another girl to buy diamonds for (oops!). We are very relieved that she is behaving, and I'm super excited that my chances of having a less complicated birth have increased. Now if only she would stop kicking me in the ribs!

We're feeling pretty well prepared at this point (or at least as prepared as we can be) and it is exciting to think that after nine long months we're almost ready to meet our daughter! My sweet friends at work threw us a shower today, complete with ice cream sundaes, and have graciously helped us purchase our final major item -- the pack 'n play. It feels so good to have things in order. Now my biggest problem is finding time to write all these thank you cards! I'll take that as my biggest problem any day!

So, what was my fortune? "You are a lover of words, someday you should write a book." Ironically, that was one of the things on my 'things to do before I turn 30 list.' We might have to push this back to 40, but still, someday I will write that book! For now the blog will have to suffice....