November 20, 2011

2 Weeks Into Parenthood

Wow! Joey, Noelle and I have made it two weeks. And boy has it been a busy two weeks. Noelle has been in the clinic four times already and has another visit tomorrow, had her first bath plus two more, and has already had two photo shoots! What a trooper.

"I am so little!"

"WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME!?"

On Wednesday my dad flew in from Austin, TX so after we picked him up from the airport we shot right over to a great studio in Bloomington right by the airport called Enlightened Photography. I've been already getting a little sad that Noelle won't be a tiny baby forever so we wanted to capture pictures of her as a newborn. The photographer's name is Sheri Titus and she is amazing. She heats up her studio to 83 degrees, has a sound machine and is honestly the baby whisperer. Noelle slept almost through the whole entire photo shoot (which was almost 3 hours!) except at the end when we were trying really hard for a certain pose (we didn't get it-Noelle woke up hungry and mad). We haven't gotten these pictures back yet but are super excited to see them! We are going to keep them a secret until we send out Noelle's birth announcement cards!

The following day, Thursday, my friend Jessie (who took my birth pictures) came over with her kids Zoe and Will, and took some more pictures for us. We did some Holiday pictures with Noelle posing with Joey and I (our first family pictures!) and with my parents. These also turned out beautiful and will make for some great Holiday pictures.

First family picture!

With proud grandparents Anh Tuyet & Bau!

Three Generations.

Mommy's Little Turkey.

Mama, Daddy & Noelle

Sweet Noelle

Poor Noelle has been through it all these last 2 weeks...being posed and folded up like a pretzel, being changed into a million different outfits and tutus, being poked in the foot 3 times to draw blood (so sad), being woken up from all her naps to feed...my poor baby. As her health improves and our time with my parents come to an end, hopefully Noelle can be more at peace. I can tell she already really fits her zodiac of a Scorpio...she's very mellow, quiet, observant and doesn't like to be overstimulated. She needs her alone time! In a couple weeks here as we get more accustomed to a schedule and have less excitement surrounding us Noelle will finally get what she wants...to be left alone. Haha.

As for Joey and I...we are doing as well as two first time new parents can be doing. We are tired! We are confused! We are frustrated! But we are so over the moon happy and in love with our little princess. She is the sweetest looking, smelling thing in the world. Even her cry is a little sweet cry. We adore her so much. Mom is still struggling with the pumping every two hours and making enough for the little one, but hopefully that gets better.

Pumping = taking over mommy's life and kitchen space.

More later - as my pumping time (aka mommy time) is coming to an end!
Love,
Diana

P.S Special thank you to everyone who has stopped by to help us in anyway and also my parents who have been a tremendous help during their stay here. Thank you for people who have also sent cards and gifts! We are so grateful and blessed.

November 14, 2011

Noelle Update - 8 Days Old

Happy news! Noelle is doing much better! Her weight is going up instead of down, finally and she is expected to be back up to her birth weight within another week. She doesn't need the phototherapy since her skin is getting much better and she is finally pooping like a normal baby. What a relief! The pumping/feedings are still exhausting but worth it since it is obviously working. We have another appointment next week to make sure everything still goes in the right direction.

Thank you everyone for all your wishes and concerns!

At the doctor's office this morning: "What the heck, why are we here again? Just let me sleep."

November 12, 2011

A Post For My Mother

Now that I am a mother and trying and willing to do anything for Noelle, I only appreciate my mother more. My mom is amazing. Without her right now, I don't know if I would make it.

 


She has been cooking Joey and I home cooked meals every single day and incorporating as many milk producing ingredients as possible into our dishes for me to lactate. She runs to the grocery store for us with my list and gets us everything, anytime we need. We've had to run to Target a few times and she watches Noelle. She went with me to Noelle's appointment and sat waiting for us in the waiting room for over 2 hours. She stays up with Noelle to feed her so I can get some naps  and showers in. She helps me clean and do laundry around the house. She hand washes all Noelle's bottles with hot scalding water. She comes over in the morning at 8 each day and leaves at 9 or 10 in the evening each night.


I had to write this post to acknowledge how loving, giving, and selfless she is. She is a great mother and grandmother and I can't wait for Noelle to be old enough to understand how important her grandma has been in her first few days of life.



I love you mom so much,
Diana - your daughter

November 11, 2011

Noelle Update - 5 Days Old

We want to thank everyone who has reached out to us with congrats and well wishes. We would love to answer to each person individually but things have been hectic.

We were having a lot of problems with Noelle and feeding. We thought it was normal breastfeeding problems but she didn't pass any stool for days and only had wet diapers a couple times in a whole day. Her eyes were also yellow so I suspected jaundice and it turns out it is. Her bilirubin count is high and I'm on a strict schedule of feeding her every 2 hours...and it takes her a whole hour to drink ONE ounce.


She doesn't wake up for feedings so it's a struggle to feed her. She sleeps at least 20 hours a day which prevents her from feeding. When we do feed her she sleeps through most of it and sucks so slowly. That's why my milk hasn't been able to come in, because she isn't demanding it.


She's losing too much weight, she's down 11% and the doctors are worried that she is anemic. We've been in and out of the doctor yesterday and today and they want us to return tomorrow and on Monday. We just ran more tests today and if her bilirubin count is still high, or gets higher, she will need to go to the hospital to be put under special lights. It's been draining, especially trying to pump before each feeding to keep up.


Therefore we hope everyone can respect that we aren't having any visitors right now. We need some time to take care of Noelle's health and get her weight in check. Hopefully this clears up quickly and then we can have more opportunities to spend time with more people who are eager to meet Noelle.

But to tide people over, here's a little video of our angel.



Thank you,
Joey & Diana

November 9, 2011

BABY IS HERE!!

As many of you know, Baby Girl did NOT wait until her due date to come into the world! Just like my midwife predicted, she came early! Her due date was November 18th and she blessed us with her arrival on November 6th, 2011. She is a smart baby already I can tell. She waited until my mom got here before she decided to come. My mom arrived on Saturday night...Baby came Sunday! 


She is the most perfect little angel with medium brown hair and grayish blue eyes (for now). She looks a whole lot like me and came out weighing 7 pounds and 1 ounce (midwife thought she would be 8 lbs-thank goodness that wasn't right!) and about 19 inches long.


Her full name is Noelle Tuyet Mai Wagner. Tuyet Mai translates to Snow Flower and/or White Blossom in Vietnamese. We chose her name because she was coming right before the snow and holiday season, I love Christmas and Tuyet is my mom's name. It just really came together easily and we have had that name for most of my pregnancy. As many of you had read back in an earlier post, Joey and I were between two names for her and one night while he was talking to her he asked her what we should name her. He said "Kick once for ____ or twice for Noelle." She automatically kicked twice. She's been Noelle ever since.

Okay, now to the nitty gritty that everyone wants to know about: The Birth.
My water broke on Sunday the 6th in the morning at 6 am. I happened to be awake lying in bed when there was literally a "pop" noise that accompanied what felt like a swift kick and then there was a gush of water that came out all over the bed. They are not exaggerating when they say it will be a gush! If anything they should tell you that it will be an explosion! At least mine was. Poor Joey. I woke him up and automatic frenzy took over my usually calm husband. And so it began.


We arrived at the hospital at about 8 or 8:30 am and my contractions started at about 9 am. My midwife estimated that Noelle would come out by 6:00 pm. Actually Noelle came out at 2:26 pm! As you can see my whole labor and delivery was really short! But not without difficulty!

I went through with my initial plan of having an all natural water birth and it was quite the experience. Turns out that I was my midwife's FIRST EVER water birth and the hospital's (Abbott's) THIRD water birth EVER. They let me into the tub at about 11:00 or so when I was dilated to a 4 and I was still smiling in between contractions until I was dilated to about a 6. By the time I was dilated to an 8 I thought I was going to pass out from the intensity of the contractions. Not to mention that my contractions were one right on top of the other. There were either no breaks in between or only 30 seconds of "rest" in between. I experienced back labor and every time I knew a contraction was coming I started crying. Like all mothers will probably say, labor was the hardest thing I have EVER had to go through.


Once I was dilated to a 10 I wanted out of that tub! Not that I thought labor was going to be comfortable but I was SO uncomfortable. My back was throbbing, I was getting leg cramps during contractions (lovely!) and I couldn't feel my thighs anymore. I don't know how but I got out of the tub and onto the bed. This brought me temporarily relief as I started having to actively push. It was nice to have people holding my legs so I didn't have to do all the work myself. Joey did amazing. My midwife was at one leg and Joey the other (which he NEVER intended to do) and they helped me push. My mom was also AMAZING. I don't think she realized it at the time but she was breathing and pushing with me, so thank goodness SHE didn't pass out.

Once Noelle's head could be seen I was directed to get back into the tub to finish the delivery. It was excruciating and probably the hardest work I've ever had to do (they don't call it labor for nothing) but within a couple really long, hard pushes Noelle came out!


It was really a difficult and traumatic experience but I'm glad it went the way it did and I'm glad that I was able to do what I wanted all along; a natural water birth. I truly believe that my labor was fast because it was natural and I also think I'm recovering amazingly fast and well because I was drug free. The Hypnobirthing was also helpful because I used the breathing skills that I practiced throughout pregnancy, but forget about imagery! Hypnobirthing tells you to visualize pleasant places and things while in labor, like blossoming rosebuds and what not. Yeah right. Trust me, no way when you are in labor are you thinking of freaking flowers. But like I said, it all went well and I am glad to be able to share my story. Would I do it again? No. It's great that Noelle got to come out the way she did but Baby #2 (if there ever is a Baby #2) is getting an epidural!

With daddy.

With Grandma Anh Tuyet who she is named after.

With daddy and Grandma Sue.

With daddy and Grandma Shel.

With Grandpa Joe.

Mama loves you little grumpy one!

Getting ready to leave the hospital!

Daddy and Noelle.

That's the story and I'm sticking to it. Thanks for all the well wishes and congratulations. We are seriously blessed and so in love with this little girl. And a special thank you to my best friend Jessie who took all these amazing pictures, without her we wouldn't have this great documentation. :)

Noelle and Jessie.


Love,
Diana & Joey

Some more pics:

November 5, 2011

Baby Update - 38 Weeks


Here we are at 38 weeks! Seems like just yesterday Joey and I found out we were pregnant and we thought "Wow...November?! That's so far away!" And now, it is only 2 weeks away.

Baby Wagner is doing good. She is weighing in at a whooping 7 pounds and 8 ounces already. Good lord! I had an appointment with my midwife yesterday and was told not only is Baby humongous but Baby's ready to come out! She is officially "dropped" as far as she can go without actually being in the birth canal and my cervix is 70% effaced (thinned out)! I was disappointed to find out that I am still only 1 cm dilated but was reassured that the effacement is more important than the dilation because the thinner your cervix is, the faster and sooner you will dilate.

My midwife also told me that I could dilate from a 1 to a 5 or higher in a matter of days or even a matter of hours, so really it doesn't matter and that I should just be prepared to go at any time. She told me the earliest I could go was last night (no, didn't happen obviously) and she thought I would for sure go by next week. She proceeded to tell me that she would be working at the hospital this weekend and that she hopes she sees me! As great as that sounds, I have a final exam on Monday at 2 pm that I need to take, so this baby better stay put until then!

Therefore Joey and I are being very cautious and I am truly taking it easy in fear that this baby might come a little too early for our liking. Joey has been a wonderful husband, scrubbing the bathroom, cleaning the kitchen, taking care of all the garbage (okay I should give him credit, he has always taken out the garbage) and lifting all the laundry for me. I am refraining from exerting myself until that exam on Monday is over!

Speaking of refraining from exerting myself, I am trying hard to stay put. Although I have had complaints throughout my pregnancy I was still a very active pregnant woman. Perhaps this is why my baby feels like she is going to fall out of my pant leg every day. I am finally telling myself to cool it! My feet are swollen as ever, resembling tree trunks rather than feet and I definitely lost my ankles somewhere in all that swollen puffiness. My contractions come and go every day with a vengeance as well so I need to make sure that I relax. Until Monday evening that is, than you can find me walking through the mall, bouncing on my yoga ball and doing pretty much whatever it takes for active labor to start.

In other news, my mom lands in MN tonight to stay with me for the rest of the month so I am very excited! I am glad that she will be able to be here when her first grandchild is born! I am also really grateful that she will be here to be able to help me around the house, at the least just helping with meals. Joey and I are both really untalented in the kitchen and usually eat out unless I make something out of a frozen bag so I was a little concerned about how we were going to be fed after the baby comes, so having my mom around will be amazing.

Although I don't want my baby to come until after Monday, I am getting really excited to go into labor! I know that sounds crazy since most people are scared, terrified and nervous about labor and delivering but honestly I am just excited! Although my contractions already are painful, I just cannot wait to actually arrive at the hospital and know that in a matter of hours I will be holding my baby! I'm ecstatic about it and cannot wait for the moment to arrive! Joey and I have been reading A LOT and watching a ton of live birth videos (I am obsessed. I watch birth videos everyday!) and the more that I read and watch, the more I am ready to do this. Joey just wants the whole thing over and done with, since he is far more nervous than I am. I can imagine the time coming...I will be probably be the one driving us to the hospital! All joking aside...the day is coming up fast whether we go early or not, and I can't wait! Plus, Joey will be wonderful, like always.

Love,
Diana
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