Favorite Photos

I need a place to put some of my favorite Maggie photos… So I’m creating a thread for that. Clearly I have very little time to write blog posts (boo), but hopefully uploading a few photos every now and then will be easy?

 

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Maggie’s First Few Months

Here are a few of the pics from Maggie’s first few months at home with us.  She and I would go to Starbucks nearly every day (she sleeps very well in the car and sometimes only the car), and we even drove to FL to introduce Maggie to her namesake.  I am blessed beyond measure that I have a 4 generations photo – it makes me so so happy.  Maggie did get to meet some other important people during her first few months including my brother and his family, my best friend (her Aunt Kristi), and good gracious -she got to put on a lot of cute outfits 🙂

Newborn Modeling Shoot

About 8 days into life, we had Maggie’s first photo shoot with the amazingly talented Joy Chambers.  Joy did our maternity photos – found here, and we signed her on to document Maggie every 4 months for her first year of life.  I’m so glad that we did this because it’s really awesome to have such precious photos taken by someone with such great talent to capture innocence and pure preciousness.  Here are a few of our favorites… Is it just me or does my little precious Maggie look like a cabbage patch doll!

Jail Break

And then that moment we were able to take our little munchkin home!!!!  Daddy gets to do all the holding here because I wasn’t able to lift things at this point. Also, it’s amazing to think how different she looks now in just 4 months. (I guess that’s the benefit of doing this so late in the game… every time you write a blog post it’s like a throwback Thursday!)

NICU – Not a place I ever planned to visit

When you give birth to a 7.5# baby who appears super healthy, the NICU is a confusing place to wind up.  It’s certainly not how I envisioned things going.  Then again, I didn’t envision my little girl turning blue 30 minutes into the world either.  Somehow I had a calm about me throughout this because I just knew God wouldn’t have brought us to this point and not bring us through… But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t confused and even hurt by being in this place.

To recap, Maggie was taken to NICU for observation after her breathing episode… she was “admitted” due to her low glucose levels. They had to do the IV in her umbilical cord so we couldn’t hold her.  I can’t tell you much of the first few hours or even day because I was just so confused – to the point that I thought I knew the NICU nurse’s name that was taking care of Maggie and I called her by that name all day until she finally corrected me. Oops.  Brain wasn’t working.

I can tell you this – when your newborn is in the NICU, it can spur on a very quick healing… AKA – you walk to the NICU 8-10x a day instead of being “wheeled” up there because a wheelchair can’t be found and you need to see your baby girl. I was pumping every 3 hours and taking milk to her and once I realized how much Maggie needed me there (her condition and glucose numbers improved drastically when I did all the feedings, diaper changes, etc) I was on go mode… Pump – walk up to the NICU – change / feed her and love on her as best I could while she laid in her bed.  I did this for every feeding including the middle of the night stuff.  I realize most moms feed in the middle of the night, but the added element of having to pump and then walk up, scrub in, and go see your daughter was something I didn’t expect.

It was hard to be in the NICU… never mind not being able to hold her (crap that’s a bag of emotions on it’s own) or the process of having to scrub in every time you want to see her, the NICU is just a hard place. To get to Maggie we walked past babies born anywhere from 6-12 weeks early.  One was around 3# and looked so fragile next to my 7.5# baby.  You’d witness conversations in the waiting rooms or NICU room that made you thankful you weren’t having those conversations and fearful that you could be having those conversations.

All in all we were there for 4 nights and got to “room in” on the 5th night before going home. Bottom line is that while I didn’t envision being in the NICU and I wouldn’t want to do it again, I’m grateful for solid medical care and grateful the hospital allowed us to stay in a courtesy room the entire time so we didn’t have to drive 30 mins home and back or it would’ve been even more difficult.  Here are a few photos of us in the NICU.  You can see us feeding her, loving on her, finally holding her without mass amounts of wires, and even one of her being brought to our “room” the night we got to room in.

On The Day You Were Born

This post has been a long time coming… as in – wow – life with a newborn is crazy and I haven’t had time to sit down and write blog posts for, well, 4+ months.  Oops.

So, I’ll back up to the day before.  My work was kind enough to let me work from home… because let’s face it, who wants a almost ready to pop pregnant lady at work.  The possibilities there are endless.  So, I worked from home and even managed to go get my hair done. We went to an early dinner because I wasn’t allowed to eat anything after 530pm.  We walked the dog early and took a quick cat nap… then got up, took the dog for another walk – at like 1115pm – lol.  Then we drove to the hospital.  It’s an oddLast Selfie feeling driving to the hospital to be induced.  You know your life will never be the same, but in our case we didn’t know how – and we didn’t even know what we were having. We got to the hospital and were able to get primo parking (that’s a perk of getting there at midnight I guess). We went to check in and took this selfie 🙂  Richie prayed over us, just another reason I love him.

We got to our room and after about 45 minutes of “check-in” stuff I was hooked up to monitors and given a pill to start things along. Apparently this pill doesn’t always really start labor but with me it did.  I couldn’t get up to go to the bathroom for an hour after the pill but after that could move as I wished.  It was middle of the night so I attempted to sleep.  Richie slept on the couch and seemed relatively oblivious to my getting up multiple times and the nurses coming in to check on me.

About 7am my OB’s other Dr came in (she was on rounds that morning) and broke my water.  That sped things up some and I started to have more regular contractions. Both sets of grandparents started their drive in, Richie’s from KY and mine from GA. Richie’s parents got in around 930 if memory serves, but my parents weren’t slated to get in until around 1.  The contractions started to get pretty painful so I asked for my epidural around 11am. It took them 45 minutes to finally come in and get everything done.  It started to kick in and I started to feel dizzy and nauseous. The nurse rushed in because apparently the baby monitor couldn’t detect Baby G’s heart rate.  They tried to find it and then a flurry of activity started because they just couldn’t find it… they called my OB and told him to get down to the hospital ASAP and wheeled me away out of my room to surgery for an emergency C-section. They got me completely numbed up and somehow by this time they were able to find BG’s heart rate.  They had my (amazing) OB on the phone and he said since they could find it and it was ok I could go back to my room till he got there.

So, back to my room I went to find a completely wigged out Richie (you’d be wigged out too if your pregnant wife got whisked away without warning). We waited till my OB got there, he did an exam and checked everything out and said that he thought we could still have a vaginal birth unless I just wanted to get things over with and have a c-section. We opted to continue to try for a vaginal birth.  He was able to stay nearby and do regular check-ins with me and not have to go back to the office.  I took a nap, because I was totally numb and couldn’t feel anything so I might as well.  My parents arrived in the midst of all of this too.

The meds for the c-section stopped my contractions, well, slowed them anyway, so they gave me another induction med… that sped things back up again and I went from 4cm dilated to 9cm pretty quickly.  By about 430 my OB was convinced we’d have a kid by around 7pm.  We called his nurse to try and get her to come down because I wanted her to be there if she could (this was a good decision on my part – more on that later).  By 545 I was ready to push. I pushed for 40 minutes and then my life changed forever.

Margaret Aileen Gaddis came into the world with a dark head of hair, 10 perfect fingers, 10 perfect toes, and wails.  I couldn’t tell you what her APGAR scores were, but I’m pretty sure it was something like 7 then 9 on the retest. I couldn’t believe I had a baby – let alone a baby girl.  I wanted a little girl so badly – Would’ve been perfectly content with a baby boy too, but I wanted a little girl to name after our grandmothers.  God had granted this selfish wish.

The took weights and did all the things they had to do and wrapped Maggie up and gave her to me.  I tried to get her to nurse and she latched on, but somehow she stopped breathing while she was nursing and I noticed it while only my OB’s nurse was still in the room.  I asked her why Maggie was turning purple and she said “oh, hands and feet are normally purple at this stage”, but I said – No! All of her… She flew into action and got us help and they had to use a CPAP on her to get her breathing again.  They were able to get her back just fine and they let me hold her before taking her to the NICU for some further evaluation.

I sent Richie with her and let our family come in to be with me because I couldn’t be alone.  Richie was gone for a while because they were also testing her glucose.  That came back low twice so they needed to put an IV in her… They couldn’t get an IV in her veins normal way so they had to do an umbilical line IV.  I’m all for anything to take care of my girl, but this was hard because it meant I couldn’t hold her or breastfeed her.

All in all she was in the NICU from Wednesday night until Sunday night when they “released” her to let her stay in a room with us for the evening. More on the NICU stay later.

We are grateful to God for allowing us the blessing that is Maggie and are so thankful she’s here!  We are also grateful to such great care by my OB and his nurse.  We are truly blessed that we were all under their care.  Here are a few pics to enjoy 🙂 As you can imagine, our cameras are full of Maggie photos!

Maternity Photo Shoot

We have enlisted the wonder Joy Chambers to document our little one’s first year… She’ll be doing photos at about 10 days old then 4 months, 8 months, and 12 months.  The first step of the process was to document the pregnancy itself.  We did the photos at a park in Murfreesboro at 36 weeks.  I’m so pleased with how they turned out.  I’m psyched I got them done because it really just documents this whole process and makes it even more real.  (Because, ya know, my growing belly isn’t real enough) 🙂

Here is a sampling of my favorites… I’m hoping to do a wall of photos in our house sometime in the near future… you know, when I have time.

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A Final Celebration!

Richie’s office threw us a wonderful shower last week.  I’d never even been inside his office so that was a treat.  His coworkers really outdid themselves and it was so nice.  They clearly know that we (well, I) love owls so that was fun.  We got a few fun photos to document the day.  We feel so blessed that so many people have played a part in celebrating baby G.  Only 16 more days or so until we meet him/her.  But who’s counting?!?!

SSA - Meg and RichieSSA - Gifts M&RSSA - Cake SSA - Gift basket