Only 4 days after the last post our pride and joy, Little Miss V, finally arrived!
After 3 days of contractions and one false start (a nice way of saying we were sent home from the hospital on our first attempt - Saturday), we made our way back down to hospital on Monday afternoon (Thanksgiving Monday). When we got there, we were admitted right away - I guess the silver lining in having contractions for 3 days, is that your body gets used to the ever-increasing pain, which means what could have seemed really painful I was able to get through. I mean, it still hurt (obviously enough for me to get Seth to drive us down to the hospital again - and there was no way I was letting them send me home again!) ... but I expect that it was probably an easier transition than if I got to that level of contraction in just a few hours vs. a few days.
All that being said, I totally took the epidural that they offered up right away - at first I thought maybe I'd see how far I could get, then Seth provided some solid reasoning - I'd been dealing with the pain like a champ for 3 days - I'd earned that epi!
And after 14 hours of labour in the hospital, Madeleline Elizabeth Vallier was born (3:22 am on Tuesday, October 9th). Seth's parents and my mom had made the trip up to Toronto to be there for the birth and were the first to help welcome little Maddie into the world.
Her first few hours in this world were spent wide awake and curious about everything around her. She was incredibly aware and alert and bright-eyed, looking at everything and everyone around her. No major crying spells and she took to breastfeeding like a champ - she has an appetite like her mommy (especially in the morning!).
I ran a bit of a fever during labour, which meant we needed to both get a round of antibiotics (by IV - so sad to see that in her little hand - but she didn't seem to mind at all) and stay for an extra day in the hospital - but that was okay as all the nurses were amazing and extremely helpful.
So by Thursday afternoon we were finally home. That car-ride home was a little challenging - poor Maddie didn't care for it at all and my heart almost broke listening to her cry. Luckily it was short-lived as she seemed to tire herself out and was asleep by the time we hit the Don Valley.
Those first few days at home were incredible - tiring, amazing, scary, fun - everything rolled into one as we tried to navigate how to be parents and keep her as happy as possible. As soon as my milk came in (3rd day home) it got a lot easier - she started to feel satisfied after feeding and was generally a much happier camper. Here's a pic of daddy 'soothing' her with his pinkie - what worked before we broke down and started giving her a paci.
We were so lucky that Seth's work gives their employees a bonus week of holidays for 'parental leave' when your family has a baby - so that meant that Seth had a full 2 weeks off to spend at home with Maddie and I. Not sure how I would have coped on my own if he had to go back after only a week.
And to spoil me even more, my mom came up to spend the week on the Thursday of Seth's last week at home - so that gave me 3 solid weeks of having another set of hands around the house to help with, well, just about everything. So this week was our first week 'on our own' and I have to say, after a rough start, we're starting to get into a rhythm - but this weekend is our first official 'road trip' - to Kingston for the 'meet and greet' shower that Mom is hosting. I'm a little nervous about how Maddie will survive the 2 hour drive and sleeping in a strange house - especially as she seems to be doing so much better lately with sleeping at night and during the day - it's almost like tempting fate - but I'm also excited to go and introduce her to everyone - so off to Kingston we go!
I promise my posting will be a lot more regular now that we are into a better routine with our days - updates to follow shortly! Oh - to view more pics check out the Flickr link on the right - you can scroll through all the pics of Maddie so far there...
Thanks to everyone for all their best wishes to far and the visitors and generous gifts - they are all so appreciated and already being well-used!