Thursday, February 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Kyra!

(photos in no particular order)

Kyra meeting her "Auntie" Shaunna for the first time!
Meeting her Great-Grandmother, Maxine White (everyone calls her "Lady") for the first time!
Meeting Grandma Sue for the first time.

Napping with Daddy.

Smiling at Daddy! You can imagine how happy this made Geoff!!
Napping with Grandpa! Phil was a pretty happy guy!
Going on our first walk through the park.
Napping on Mommy.
A very bundled little peanut sitting on her Daddy's chest!
Bringing Kyra home from the hospital.
Paul Frank monkey booties!
On the car ride home from the hospital
Tiny baby feet!
Snuggles in the hospital with Mommy!
Meeting "Auntie" Amanda for the first time. If it wasn't for the baby LoJack strapped to her foot, Amanda might've tried to steal Kyra right then and there!

Meeting her "Auntie" Joliene for the first time! Watch out Kyra, Jo's a wild one!

Getting her hearing tested in the hospital.
Gazing at Kyra just after she was born!
A very proud Daddy Geoff holding up his just-born daughter, Kyra
Our labor and delivery nurses were great! Ursula on the left, Sarah on the right.
Dr. Mary Anne Pelino did a great job of delivering Kyra!
Mommy and Kyra absolutely exhausted after the delivery!

Well hello blog universe! I've missed you!

You may have noticed that I've been absent from the blog-o-sphere...Well, I have a pretty good reason! A little over a week ago, we welcomed our tiny bundle of joy: Kyra Laikyn Tipper. She arrived approximately 1 1/2 weeks early (I was 38 weeks, 4 days pregnant) on Thursday, February 11th, 2010. She was born at 7:04am, measuring 7 lbs. and 20 1/2 inches in length. We were very lucky to have a smooth and healthy delivery. It all started when...

Last Wednesday (February 10th), I was going about my day as usual. I was hoping to take a nap, but somehow it never happened. Geoff and I ran a few errands in the afternoon and went out for a late lunch/early dinner. I thought it was odd when I could barely eat half of my sandwich and was feeling generally "out of it." I chalked it up to just feeling extra-large with little room left in my stomach for any amount of actual food. On the way home, we were planning to swing by Target but I honestly didn't feel up to going. Considering that Target is one of my favorite places, I knew I was definitely not feeling like myself when I actually had Geoff drop me off at home to lay on the couch while he went to Target without me.

At exactly 6:43pm, I felt a contraction. It was fairly strong and lasted around 1 minute or so. That certainly caught my attention, and I thought to myself, "Hmmm, I wonder what that means." A few minutes later, Carol called and I was chatting with her, telling her about my skipped trip to Target (which she understood as being strange for me!) and my contraction just minutes earlier. As we were talking, suddenly another contraction struck at 6:53pm, exactly 10 minutes after the first one. I could hear the excitement in Carol's voice as this was going on, and I could feel my own nerves creeping up as I began to realize that this probably meant something was starting. I had previously had some contractions, but they had never been this close together (it had been more like 1 contraction per day on a few different days). After I had these 2 contractions 10 minutes apart, all subsequent contractions were closer together. Geoff came home at this point, and quickly my contractions began coming on closer and closer together.

Labor & Delivery at the hospital (Saint John's Hospital in Santa Monica) told us to wait to come in until the contractions were around 4-5 minutes apart for approximately 1-2 hours. I think we were in the car on the way to the hospital by around 10:30pm, at which point my contractions were around 3 1/2 minutes apart and had become seriously painful! Living in LA, I had been nervous throughout much of my pregnancy that I might go into labor during the heart of rush-hour traffic. I had been telling Kyra all along that she should really try to arrive at night so that we wouldn't have to deal with traffic. Well, she listened! Luckily traffic wasn't bad, however we still managed to have issues getting to the hospital. There are a few freeway on-ramps near our house. Turns out that the 3 closest entrances were all closed, and of course there was no construction or anything going on! As we were approaching the 4th on-ramp, we saw a cop car with it's lights on, and it looked like it was blocking the entrance. I was telling Geoff that he was going to have to pull over and demand that the cop let us get on the freeway (at this point, my contractions seemed to be more like 2-3 minutes apart), but luckily for us the cop was just pulling someone over and we were able to get on the freeway.

We made it to the hospital and were quickly admitted to our delivery room. Upon getting me set up with an IV and various monitors, the nurses checked me and determined I was 1cm dilated and 80% effaced. With my contractions coming on strong every 1-2 minutes (it was now closing in on midnight), the nurses recommended I go ahead and get my epidural, which I was in full support of! Getting the epidural itself wasn't actually all that painful. It was the sitting up, leaning over a pillow, and trying to remain as still as possible throughout my contractions while having a long needle inserted into my back that was the really painful and difficult part! But once the epidural kicked in, I was in much better spirits!

Kyra had been in the proper head-down position for weeks leading up to her delivery, but at some point during the course of the evening she decided to turn "sunny side up" (meaning that she was still head-down, but was now face-up). The nurses said this would be a much more difficult position to deliver her in, and so they twisted me into a contorted corkscrew-type position to try to encourage her to turn around. Amazingly, after a few more hours, it worked! Somewhere along the way, my water broke but I didn't feel it. Kyra's head had already descended so far down into my pelvis that she was acting as a plug, keeping most of the fluid from leaking out. When the nurses checked me after realizing that my water had broken, I was already 7cm dilated and fully effaced. Then, in what seemed like 5 minutes, I was fully dilated and ready to start pushing!

Somehow my contractions had managed to spread back out to around 5 minutes apart, so that made pushing a little more time consuming. We started pushing at 6am and had to wait for the contractions. Most of the early pushes didn't really help, so it was the pushes from around 6:30am and on that really got her moving. Under the influence of the epidural, it was difficult for me to actually tell if I was pushing correctly because I couldn't feel much. But the doctor assured me I was doing a great job because Kyra seemed to be coming quickly. I watched the entire delivery in a mirror positioned in front of me, so I was able to see it all! At 7:04am, Kyra finally graced us with her presence!

It was an amazing experience; honestly it's difficult for me to describe how it all felt. My entire labor lasted around 12 hours, but it seemed to fly by so quickly! The first few days were exciting and exhausting! In the hospital, I really didn't get any sleep. By the time we brought Kyra home at the end of the day on Saturday, February 13th, I was completely drained and sleep deprived. It was to the point that I was so exhausted that I was beyond restless and couldn't sleep if I tried. I essentially hadn't slept since Tuesday night. On Sunday night, my doctor gave me Ambien, and Geoff, Carol, and Phil amazingly took care of Kyra while I slept. I was a brand new person on Monday! Still not back to "normal," but vastly improved.

Kyra had jaundice when she was born but, after a few sun baths and some thorough feedings, we're happy to report that it's out of her system. So far, in her first 10 days of life, she's been a happy, sleepy, good-eating, adorable little baby! We can't wait to learn more about her, and we've already noticed that she's constantly changing. We love watching her little facial expressions and listening to her little noises (she makes an adorable chirping noise every once in a while)! She's doing a great job of sleeping in her crib at night, getting up every 3-4 hours for a feeding. The kitties seem to really like her, especially Zoe! We think Bella is still a little scared of her, but they both love to be in her room during feedings and Zoe is so curious to see her and smell her. Before Kyra's birth I was worried that Zoe would be territorial and jealous, but she's been such a friendly and sweet little kitty! Let's hope that lasts!

We're so, so, so appreciative of all the help we received from our parents! Words cannot describe how much you all helped us and how grateful we are! From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you! We're so lucky to have you all in our lives, and Kyra's lucky to have such wonderful Grandparents!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Birth of a Daughter

At 7:04am on February 11th, 2010 Kyra Laikyn Tipper was born weighing in at 7 pounds and measuring 20.5 inches. As you can see, she is a beautiful little girl. Mommy did an amazing job and both are resting comfortably. There were no major complications and everyone is very healthy. We thank you all for your well wishes and hope you can all see Kyra in person real soon.

Guest Blogger,

The proud new father

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Any Day Now!

Hi everyone!

I'm now passed the 38-week point, and my due date is officially in less than 2 weeks! It's so weird to be able to say that my due date is NEXT WEEK (Sunday, February 21st)!! I've started having contractions, although they're still at completely random times and it's impossible to predict when the next one is coming. I had a really bad one yesterday morning, so I thought maybe things might start progressing quickly. But things actually seemed to settle down after that, so it's hard to know exactly how this is all going to go.

I've included photos of Kyra's completed nursery, as well as some pictures of my huge belly from a few days ago. In the nursery photos, you can see the custom painting we had done with Kyra's name. It turned out really cute and we love it! Check out the link for the "Custom Nursery Art" blog under my blog list on the right side of the screen to see more great work from Kimberly Cox. She's a very talented artist!

The nursery is ready, the house is ready, our bags are packed, car seat is now we're just waiting. We go back to the doctor on Thursday to find out if I'm dilated at all yet. We're kind of hoping that I go into labor this weekend, since Geoff already has Monday off for President's Day. That would give him one extra day off when the baby is born, so we'll see what happens. As far as I know, our pregnant neighbor who's due date was last Friday still hasn't given birth to her baby boy yet. So we'll see which baby arrives first!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Some New Maternity Photos

Shaunna and I did a maternity photo shoot last weekend with a friend of ours from High School, Selen Ermanav. We're still waiting to see the rest of the photos, but Selen has shown us these so far. They turned out great, so I'm really excited to see the rest!

I need to get Geoff to take some new bump pictures of me, so I'll try to get a few posted soon! I had another check-up at the doctor this morning, and everything seems to be going smoothly. Kyra's heartbeat was perfect, and the doctor will check me next week to see if I'm dilated at all at that point. We went over my birth plan, which all seems to be in order. Geoff will just have to decide whether or not he wants to "cut the cord." He's still on the fence, so we'll see what he ends up doing. I'm nearly 38 weeks pregnant, so it's just a waiting game now! Our neighbor is technically due with her baby boy (Ethan) tomorrow, so we're waiting to see what happens! She's planning a natural birth without any medication. I wish her all the best with that, but I had a nice talk with my doctor this morning all about getting my epidural! I'm all for pain relief, thanks!

We'd normally be heading to our friend Bryan's apartment this Sunday for his annual Super Bowl party but, since we're not straying too far from home these days, we'll be enjoying "The Big Game" and all the commercials from our couch this year. Assuming I have the energy, I'm planning to whip up my Mexican layered dip and Geoff is making tacos. Yum, I'm making myself hungry (pretty easy to do these days!).

I hope to post more maternity photos soon, as well as bump pictures. Who knows how much time we actually have left with this big belly of mine! My sore knees and pelvis are hoping it's not too much longer, but my anxious/nervous brain might want to keep her in there until we're a little closer to my February 21st due date!

Enjoy your Super Bowl Sunday!