Thursday, July 11, 2013

Picture Perfect

She makes some of the cutest little faces- I just love her!

My Handiwork

I used some material that I had here at the house to make a carrier for Caroline.  It's a little bit tricky to get her in it by myself, but she seems to like it and I sure like having two hands.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

A few firsts

This was the first time I'd ever been in Utah for the 4th of July.
It was also the first time that Jared and I have been together for the 4th of July.
And it was also the first time for Caroline to celebrate the 4th of July.

Our Patriotic Red, White, & Blue
We mostly stayed at home during the day and later went to Jared's parents house and let Grandpa Ridges hold Caroline while Jared and I sat on their deck and watched fireworks over the valley.  It was a lovely evening.

Caroline also had her first sponge bath at home.  She didn't cry too much and she had that sweet clean baby smell when we were done so I'd say it was a success!
Caroline and Jared also rode on the FrontRunner train for the first time.  I didn't get a picture on the train, but here are Caroline and Jared at the Salt Lake Temple after we got off the train.

Just one of me with my little one.  I sure do like her.

Jared took this video yesterday- I'd say he's smitten.

I went to Sacrament meeting today while Jared stayed home with little bit and one of the young women- whose level of spirituality is unparalled- said this very apt phrase:
"Even though there may be hard days, it's not a hard life."  
As I'm learning how to take care of this little one- even with crazy hormones and sleep deprivation- there are hard days but it is a very very good life.  

Week One- in a nutshell

Caroline was born on Tuesday morning. Thursday morning I was discharged from the hospital and put on "guest status"  (meaning I could stay in my room and get meals but would no longer receive care from the nurses- for free!) so I could stay close to my little one.  After talking with the doctor and getting great reports the biggest hurdle for coming home was going to be helping her (and me) learn how to breastfeed and prove that we could do it.  But the doctor said because of her size it could be 7-9 days.  I was determined that we didn't need to stay that long, and thankfully Caroline agreed. Wednesday and Thursday were spent going back and forth to the nursery to take pumped milk and to attempt breastfeeding.  There was a nurse on Thursday though who was AWESOME and I'm convinced that we wouldn't have been able to go home on Friday if it wasn't for her.
Cuddling with dad while we waited to get discharged.  She was completely unplugged and wireless- it's great!
When we left the hospital she weighed 4 lbs 12 oz and was looking a little yellow so we had to go back to the doctor on Saturday for a billirubin check and on Sunday.  Her numbers were slightly high, but not so high that she needed lights or anything.  She hadn't really gained any weight when we went to the doctor on Saturday so we were given instructions on what to do to supplement feedings if her weight didn't start going up.  Thankfully, once again this kid is proving that she's got this and has been gaining weight.  It isn't coming on terribly quickly- but at least the numbers are going up.
She's sleeping great during the day, but at night seems to want to be held if she's going to sleep.  Hopefully she'll grow out of that quickly.

Jared changing his first dirty diaper- EVER!

First trip to the doctors office.

Trying out her new carseat. 
The first of the comparison shots.  She was really happy about it.
Taken at one week old.

A Baby Story

Poor Jared... On Monday (June 24th) morning at about 6:30 I called to Jared from the bathroom, "uh... Jared..... I'm bleeding.  I don't know what to do."   (he was already up and working on the computer) The bleeding was heavy enough to be concerned, but not so heavy that I felt like we needed to rush to the hospital.  We called the doctor and he said we could go to the emergency room or just wait until the office opened at 8:30.   By then the bleeding had stopped so we opted to just go to the office and not incur a bill from the emergency room.  After a little examination he said that everything was alright and that I had dilated to about 3 cm.  He really couldn't draw any conclusive information from this because I could have been a 3 for days.  His parting counsel was to take it easy and that we could have this baby tonight or it could be weeks.  Thanks doc.
So, Monday I was really good.  I babysat the couch pretty much all day long, getting up only long enough to make some chicken pot pie- Jared's fav.  I had had some mild and irregular contractions periodically throughout the day, but I chalked them up to Braxton Hicks.
Monday night as soon as we went to bed I started having some mild contractions, of course I didn't really know they were contractions at the time, but I did start timing them and realized that they were coming about every 4 1/2 minutes and lasting 30-60 seconds.  I counted from about 10:00 to 11:00 and then fell asleep and woke up again at about 1:00 am when they started again.  I counted from about 1:00-2:00 and fell asleep again.  (Must not have been too intense, huh?)
Then I woke up at 4:00.  I felt the need to rush to the bathroom and thankfully my water didn't break- or at least didn't reach the floor til I was in the bathroom.  That would have been a serious mess if I hadn't made it to the tile floor.  Anyhow, even though I've been rushing to the bathroom for the last few months, I really couldn't explain the sudden gush any other way so once again I called to Jared obscenely early in the morning, "Jared, I'm pretty sure my water just broke."  He climbed out of bed and got dressed, while I gathered a few things to take to the hospital.  As we were driving to the hospital we both remarked that this wasn't how we'd pictured things at all.  I was really not in any pain and wasn't even having regular contractions at that point- we'd both anticipated that I would be hunched over in agony and pain from contractions on the way to the hospital.  I was okay with the the reality :)
We got to the hospital- which was pleasantly empty and quiet- got admitted- and then waited- and waited- and waited some more.
Waiting... and waiting some more.
The contractions started coming again still around 4-5 minutes apart so they decided to do a very low dosage of pitocin- I would say it worked as the contractions definitely got stronger.  At some point- I don't remember what time- the nurse checked me and said, "I'd say you were a 5." to which I responded "I'd say I was ready for an epidural."  What a wonderful wonderful thing!  It was effective almost immediately and while it wasn't exactly pleasant to have them put it in, it sure did dull erase the pain at least for a little while- then they had to bring in a different guy who really made it work.  I couldn't move my legs at all.  In fact the epidural worked so well that I fell asleep when I was about 7 cm and woke up when the doctor was checking me and said- you're there! Time to push!  Wha!?!  I just woke up!
I started pushing a little after 11:00 am and she popped out at 11:48.  Jared cut the umbilical cord- against his wishes.  In between pushes I asked him if he was going to cut the cord to which he responded something like, "nothin' doin'! not happening!"  To which the nurses and doctor all replied, "oh yes, you are!"  After realizing that he was seriously out-voted he reluctantly agreed and apparently was successful since she is no longer attached to me by a cord.
After she was born there was a team of nurses and the doctor who checked her out and cleaned her up.
Getting cleaned up.
She was 5 lbs 2 oz, 17 1/2 inches and born exactly one month before her due date so they were a little concerned about lungs, heart, etc.  They did let me say hello before they whisked her away to the nursery/NICU.
After the doctor sewed me up I actually slept some more and finally that afternoon the nurses rolled me into the nursery to see her.  She was hooked up to a heart monitor, respiration monitor, oxygen saturation monitor, temperature monitor and an IV for nutrition and antibiotics.  

Although the monitors were a bit of a mess to tangle with- it was so nice to be able to hold her and see how precious she is.  It really is overwhelming how quickly your life can change and how completely you can love someone you just met.  Welcome to the family Caroline Rose Ridges!

Summer fun

I officially ended my career as a nanny at the end of May.  From here on out I fully intend to nanny my own children :)

These pictures don't reflect the time I spent "nesting," napping, reading, and generally preparing to have a kid.

Don't reflect time spent "nesting"??!! Nonsense! Here's Jared investigating the "nesting" possibilities of this dinosaur track outside of Moab. If a newborn baby is roughly twice the size of Jared's hand, then this track has potential. The kid should fit in here perfectly.

Jared tried to get into this picture next to Sara, but the "bump" was in the way. That thing takes up some serious real estate. Chris and Jamie clearly don't have this problem. . . yet. Oh, and this is where we camped in Jared's parents' motor home.

The Middle of Nowhere--which is apparently located 10 minutes outside of Moab, UT

The look that comes when you're trying to find your way out of The Middle of Nowhere. If you're wondering, we're in a UTV (stands for Utility Vehicle something-or-other) that the high rollers, Chris and Jamie, rented in Moab.

The brand-spankin'-new Tacoma that we took on the Seven Mile Rim trail outside Moab.  It belongs to Jared's Dad.  What a generous (foolish?) guy. We took good care of her though. Only bottomed out two or three times (trailer hitch doesn't count). And I think the mud flaps were still mostly attached when we finished. And the "Are-you-seriously-taking-that-truck-on-this-trail?" looks we got from the other folks around were priceless.
Hmmm. The slope doesn't seem as steep when you tilt the camera to the same angle as the hill. Weird.

The Art City Days Rodeo in Springville

Yes Jared, the scriptures do say "become like a little child". But. . .

Ready to go kayaking on Utah Lake.

We hung out with Adam and Holley while they were in town from Texas.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Bump at 30 weeks

Unfortunately this was the last picture I took of my baby bump at 30 weeks- which also happened to be my 28th birthday.  I fully intended to take a picture at 35 weeks and then I missed it so I decided I would wait til 36 weeks.... that turned out to be a mistake since she was born at 35 weeks and 5 days.  This was after eating a red robin burger- so it may have appeared a little larger than normal.

Baby Shower- part 3

The lady we rent from actually threw a shower for me.  It was mostly people from my ward and a few other random friends from my past life.  Once again, everyone was very generous...

Baby Shower- Part 2

We had a very fun baby shower complete with a contest to make a baby dress out of tissue paper.  The crowd was primarily aunts and cousins that I acquired when I married Jared along with a few ladies from my temple shift.  It was a wonderful shower and I felt so loved.

Here's the loot...