Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Firstborn survey

There are a few reasons for this post:
  1. I have been feeling reminiscent today.

  2. I received this in an email from one of my childhood friends and figured it was right up my alley. Any of you who know me well are aware that pregnancy and motherhood are two my favorite topics of conversation. :)

  3. Any way I can provide myself with reasons to continue loving my daughter, I'll snatch in a heartbeat! These last couple weeks with her have been some of the most challenging yet. The term "terrible twos" doesn't even begin to describe the kind of booger she's been. I do love my Chloebug, don't get me wrong. But selling her has, at moments not only sounded appealing but quite reasonable. So perhaps reflecting back on the days when she didn't know how to be a booger will help me find the patience and understanding needed to endure the remainder of this "phase".

I'd love to read about your experiences, so feel free to consider yourself "tagged" if you're interested!

Firstborn survey

How Old Were You When You Had Your First Baby? 24

What Was Your Due Date? November 23, 2005

When Was Your Baby Actually Born? November 17, 2005 at 9:32pm

Was This A Planned Pregnancy? Neil's Valentine's Day card to me that year simply read, "I'm ready!" That same week I stopped birth control and two weeks later I was pregnant! So yes, it was "planned", but neither of us expected it to happen as quickly as it did!

When And How Did You Find Out You Were Pregnant? March 15th. At the time I worked for the Lynn Institute, a company that conducts pharmaceutical trials. I coordinated most of the women's studies and therefore worked very closely with Dr. Baer, our OB/GYN who oversaw the participants. He also happened to be my OB, and was aware that I'd just stopped birth control and might possibly be pregnant. I remember stopping by his office that morning to have some paperwork signed and him asking if I'd taken a pregnancy test yet. I was expecting to start within the next couple days and didn't want to get ahead of myself so I explained that I had not, but would if I didn't start within a day or so. He then told me it was most likely early enough to detect a positive and that I shouldn't wait to take the test. Apparently he was almost as anxious as I was to know. And so what did I do when I left his office? I headed straight back to work, stopped in the lab (where they always kept a multitude of pregnancy tests), grabbed one and headed to the bathroom. Sure enough, bam! POSITIVE! I remember starring at the test for about a minute while still sitting in the stall, just allowing the reality of those two very distinct lines to sink in. For the next hour I had a permanent grin on my face, and couldn't even remotely concentrate on ANYTHING work-related. Not too much later Neil and I were walking through the parking lot to head to the Olive Garden for lunch (the same restaurant he took me the day he proposed - how ironic), when I just suddenly blurted out, "So, are you ready to be a daddy?"

Did You Have Any Strange Pregnancy Cravings? The only thing I really craved with Chloe was fruit.

Did You Have Any Complications During Your Pregnancy? I had kidney stones at 33 weeks. Boy did that make all the other discomforts of pregnancy (including delivery) seem like a walk in the park!

Did You Go Into Labor On Your Own? No, I was induced 7 days before my due date (November 16th). This may sound really lame, but my doctor had a hunting trip planned the week of Thanksgiving, and my due date landed right smack in the middle of it. I was so worried I'd go into labor while he was gone, and couldn't stand the thought of someone else delivering Chloe. Out of the goodness of his heart, he offered to induce me before his trip and I gladly took him up on it.

What's The Background On Your Baby's Name? Neil liked the name Chloe before he and I even met, and mentioned it for the first time only a month or so into our marriage. We were watching The Skulls and the main female character's name was Chloe, which is what brought the subject up in the first place. I honestly wasn't crazy about it at the time, but it grew on me, obviously. Neil had a great aunt named May, but we'd already come up with Chloe's middle name before learning that. Had she been a boy, her name would have been Kyle.

What Brand Of Diapers Do/Did You Buy? Pampers Swaddlers were and still are my favorite, then Luvs.

Do/Did You Nurse Or Bottle Feed? I nursed Chloe until she was 13 months. She never once took a bottle or tasted a single ounce of formula. I was extremely lucky.

Will You Have More? It's the ongoing debate in the Andersen household. I always wanted 3 (or 4), but Neil is pretty set on 2. Guess it isn't up to us though... right, Shannon?

How Long Were You In Labor? 30 hours.

Did You Get An Epidural? Yes, after 11 hours of labor.

Did You Have A Home Delivery? Not really into that sort of thing - wouldn't have worked anyway since I was induced and ended up having a c-section.

Did You Find Out The Gender Before Birth? No, we wanted it to be a surprise. The technician wasn't able to determine the gender anyway, or so she said.

Did You Have a Baby Shower? Yes, 3! My mom and aunts threw me one in Utah, my dear friend, April, threw me one in Colorado, and my co-workers at the time threw me a surprise shower just a week or so before my last day.

Who Was In The Delivery Room With You? Besides the doctors and nurses, Neil's sister, Lori. We hadn't planned it that way, but she'd driven down from Fort Collins to visit us (thinking we would FOR SURE have had the baby by then) and literally walked into the delivery room as they were about to wheel me into the OR. We all agreed, including Dr. Baer, that Lori was meant to be there for Chloe's birth and Dr. Baer is actually the one who extended the invitation for her to be present. It was really special, and I was extra appreciative because she took over camera duty, allowing Neil to enjoy his first moments of fatherhood to the fullest. Unfortunately none of us thought to take a picture of Lori holding Chloe in the hospital. I still regret that to this day!

How Long Did You Stay In The Hospital After You Gave Birth? Had Chloe Thursday night, went home Saturday afternoon. I was supposed to stay until Sunday but was doing so well, they released me a day early.

Did You Have A C-section? Yes, and it was not planned. Chloe was posterior (head down but facing my abdomen), and my doctor's first suspicion of this is when I told him all of my contractions were being felt in my back. In hopes Chloe would turn on her own, we continued the labor process. But after 30 hours I'd only dilated 2 cm, and it just seemed ridiculous to hope I'd progress. After I came out of recovery my doctor told me that in the process of stitching me back up, he got a good hard look at my pelvis and determined that it probably would have been too narrow to deliver Chloe vaginally, even if she had been positioned perfectly. So regardless of her positioning, I most likely would have had a c-section anyway.

Did You Attend Lamaze Classes? Yes, but Neil and I spent too much time giggling to really learn anything useful. We were HORRIBLE and to this day I wonder how we managed to not get kicked out! I remember one night in particular when Neil and another guy in the class kept cracking jokes during a birth video. In my husband's defense, it was really the other guy cracking all the jokes, but Neil was definitely not discouraging it. Anyway, I about peed my pants trying to contain my laughter. It was awful! It also didn't help that our teacher was a WAY out there - you would have thought she was permanently high by the way she spoke and expressed herself. It was hilarious. We just had a really hard time taking her and the class in general seriously. I know lamaze has been very useful to many, and I don't mean to slam it at all! For us it was just kind of a joke. And I'm sorry, but holding your hand in a bag of ice does NOT compare to actual contractions!

Did/Do You Keep A Baby Journal? I maintained a babysite for Chloe's first 2 years of life. You can look at it here. Since then, I've pretty much documented the big stuff on my blog, which I will eventually transfer over to her scrapbook.

How Much Weight Did You Gain During Your Pregnancy? 35 pounds.

Do You Have Any Keepsakes? Of course! They had Neil put on disposable scrubs before entering the OR for my c-section, and after Chloe was born they put her foot prints on his scrubs top. Still have them, even though the foot prints have totally faded! I even still have the pregnancy test I took the day I found out she was coming.

Did You Suffer From "Morning Sickness" During Your Pregnancy? Just the standard first trimester funk - nausea and lots of migraines.

What Were Your Baby's Stats At Birth? 7 pounds, 5 1/2 ounces, 21 1/2 inches long. Only a week or so before she was born my doctor told me, after feeling around my belly and doing some measurements, that I wouldn't have more than a 5 pound baby. And yet here came Chloe, nearly 7 1/2 pounds an entire week early! Boy were we fooled!

What Music Did You Listen To Most During Your Pregnancy? The last six weeks of my pregnancy I listened to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's Love Is Spoken Here album almost non-stop. To this day every song on that cd takes me back to the weeks leading up to Chloe's birth. Especially the song, 'Turn Around' which is all about having a daughter and watching her grow.

What Was The Best Thing About Being Pregnant? Feeling Chloe move, especially near the end when we could see elbows and knees poking up here and there. Neil and I spent many nights in bed just watching with amazement as she rolled around. Also just the anticipation of her birth, wondering what it'd be like to meet and hold her for the first time, and to finally see what she looked like. I also just generally loved being pregnant, aside from the physical discomforts. I felt attractive in an entirely new way.

What Was The Best Thing About Your Baby's Birth? Oh, so many things! Hearing her first squawk (she didn't cry at all) and seeing her cute little body for a split second before they whisked her off. Hearing Neil announce she was a girl. Listening to him talk so sweetly to her while they cleaned her and did her vitals. He spoke in such a soft tone and was so attentive to her. It practically made me cry even though I couldn't see any of it (since I was laying on the table getting stitched up). Neil remembers how when he said her name, she immediately turned her head toward him as if she recognized his voice. To this day he talks about that being one of his favorite memories of her.

The first time I held her of course topped it all
off! It was just surreal! I was in recovery for two hours and then wheeled up to my room when Neil brought her to me. I remember looking down at her and immediately thinking, "This is my baby! This is really my baby! My daughter! The child I've been carrying and feeling inside me for the last 9 months!" From that moment on I could hardly put her down!

What Has Been The Best Thing About Motherhood So Far? Nursing and cuddling in the beginning. Now that it's been almost 3 years I'd say the overall best thing has been that from day one, Chloe has recognized me as "mommy". No matter the stages or changes that have come and gone, the one thing that has remained consistent is her knowledge that I am her mother and that she needs me. Despite the challenges motherhood brings, I truly cannot think of a greater gift!


Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness! What an absolutely wonderful surprise to find this beautiful post with all the memories, pictures, and a few things I didn't know. I loved it all. I am so very grateful to the person who tagged you! Everything you wrote was so precious, so valuable. When Chloe is old enough to understand, it will be a treasure all over again.

ALL of you are treasures. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this. I hung on every word.

Love love love,
Mama/Gma Jill

Wendy said...

I loved that post! I had to check it out after I read your email saying you had done it. What a fun way to reminisce! Like your mom said, what a treasure to have!

Rebekah said...

That was beautiful!! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I am amazed after reading yours how much our lives are parallel. It is crazy. I did it too. I hope you don't mind.

Anonymous said...

That is so cute! You are such a wonderful mom! I hope you guys are doing great...lots of love

The Barton Family said...

That was sooo sweet, I am sitting here crying! Of course I remember you! I am glad you found my blog, I am adding you to my favs so I can peek and see what you are up to and hear all about the new baby! Congrats on that by the way! Take Care.

Rachel said...

What a great way to remind us how wonderful motherhood really is, even if the "terrible twos" slow us down sometimes. I remember when Micah went through that and his grandpa made a slideshow of his life. It broke my heart that I had temporarily forgotten what a precious and sweet gift he was in my life. I loved this post. Thanks!

Dan and Stef said...

I love the post! What a good way to remember and prepare for your new little one! Thanks for sharing!

Kelly said...

That was so fun to read!

Nells-Bells said...

I had to have a c-section as well! Mason's head got stuck in my pelivs. Found out my birth canal is just too narrow. So Naomi came via c-section as well minus the labor and MORE drugs. :)

Camille said...

She looks like a little porcelain doll in her blessing dress.