Monday, August 29, 2011

Linna's Nursery

Finally... I'm getting around to posting photos of Linna's nursery!  I am so proud of the room AJ and I put together for Baby Linna.  We started this project a few months after we found out I was pregnant.  We painted the room a gender neutral color (beige), because we didn't know at the time if I was having a boy or a girl.  We decided we'd add pops of pink if it was a girl, and navy blue if it was a boy.  We were thrilled to find out we were having a girl!

Linna's towels on a coat rack.
Our parents purchased the nursery furniture for us ON SALE at JCPenney.  The original cost was over $1,500, but they got it for around $600 (crib, dresser and changing table included).  I love the dark wood!  My friend Brittany Peltola made Linna's bedding, and gave it to us as a baby show gift.  The girl is incredibly talented with the sewing machine!

The glider chair was given to us by my parents.  It is a custom glider from Baby Grand in Hopkins.  I'm not sure if you can see, but it is a dark brown with a paisley print.  The gorgeous blanket draped across the chair was hand made by AJ's friend Abby Kakeldey.  The pink blanket draped across Linna's crib was hand made by my co-worker Tracy Robb.  Linna is so lucky to have people make her such incredible gifts!

Above Linna's crib, we decided to hang paper lanterns.  I saw this idea on a blog, and it was SO inexpensive to put together (around $20).  We also decided to hang her name above her crib with letters I found at Michael's for around $3 each.  I tied brown ribbon to the top of each letter, and AJ hung them up.

I don't know what it is about giraffe print, but I can't get enough of it!  I found the rug under her crib online for about $40.  It's the type of rug that cleans well with a damp cloth, in case we have accidents on it:)  I wanted to get a giraffe print chair, but that might have been a little over-kill;)  I did find a giraffe print chair on Craigslist for our upstairs sitting room... go me!!!

Hanging above her dresser, is one of my maternity photos.  I came home from work one day when I was pregnant, and AJ had put that together for me!  In my hormonal state, I of course cried:)  What a great hubby I have!  The photos behind the chair are pictures I took with my new camera.  I put Linna's hot pink tutu with a pair of her shoes, and took some close-up shots.  It was a cheap and personalized way to add pops of pink to her room!

We do want to have another baby in a few years, and if baby number 2 is a boy, he'll be able to use the bedding, chair, etc., because we had all of that done in brown or beige.  We're big on reusing!  What do you think???

Thursday, August 25, 2011

2 weeks old.

Two-week-old pediatrician check-up.
Linna had her two-week-old pediatrician appointment this morning, and she weighed in at 8 lbs. 4 oz.!  My little girl gained a pound.  She was 7 lbs. 14oz. when she was born, then dropped to 7 lbs. when we went home, so I am very happy about her weight gain!  After two weeks, Linna is really filling out and I think she looks more like her dad.  Everyone says she looks like her mama, but she is looking more like AJ everyday.  She almost looks completely different than the baby we took home from the hospital!

Linna can hold her head up when she's on her tummy, she's eating about three ounces every three hours, and sleeps four-hour stretches at night!  She's such a good baby and only cries when she's hungry or is getting her diaper changed.  We experienced a little bit of a diaper rash this week, which I tried to clear up with corn starch.  Little did I know, you're not supposed to use corn starch because there's yeast in it.  Oops!  We've moved onto diaper cream now, and it looks like the diaper rash is clearing up.

We've been going on lots of walks, and Linna loves getting some fresh air.  I'm debating on whether or not I'll be taking Linna to the Minnesota State Fair this year.  Thoughts???

Playing with her Baby Einstein Gym.  So alert!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Where mama goes, baby goes.

Papa and Linna
Linna is two weeks old today!

She is getting so big, even though she's still so small. I realize that I just had her a short time ago, but I'm beginning to wonder if I'll ever be able to leave her in the care of another person. Right now, she goes where I go (to Target, running errands, nail salon, etc.). People have offered to watch her while I "quick run out", and I know that her dad is fully capable of watching her... but I just can't leave her.

My brother had a birthday party for his girlfriend Holly this past Saturday, and at first we were excited to go.  But after days of thinking about leaving Linna home for a few hours with one of our moms, we decided not to go:(

I just want to bring her everywhere with me.

I'm like a two-year-old with separation anxiety from her mom.  Every second I can spend with Linna is so precious, and the thought of her crying when I'm not around breaks my heart!

I'm sure things will change as she gets older, but for now... where mama goes, baby goes:) And I like it that way!

Snooze time

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

One week old.

Five-day-old Linna, pretty in pink
Not only is our little bean already one week old, but last night she lost her umbilical cord (yes I saved it)!  It's very exciting because now she can have "big girl" baths.  She had her first one this morning, and she's not really a fan... she didn't scream, but let's just say she wasn't smiling:)  We are enjoying every minute with our little lady.  We've had so many visitors, house guests, and we are overwhelmed with all of the love our friends and family have for Baby Linna!  We couldn't feel more blessed.

Grandma Saigh (AKA "MeMa") stayed with us the first couple nights when we were home from the hospital.  It was so nice to have an extra set of hands for when I wanted to shower, rest, etc.  Grandma Specken (AKA "NaNa" or "Grandma Beanie") lives just a few miles away, so she, Grandpa Specken, and Auntie Paige have been stopping by almost every day to make dinner, help out, or just spend time with little "Ling Ling".  My dad texts me every day asking how his little girl is doing.  So sweet!

Mama an Baby Linna
This week, Auntie Lisa (AJ's sister) is staying with us.  I consider Lisa a good friend and not "just" a sister-in-law, so it's nice to have someone here with me during the day that I really get along with.  We've taken Linna shopping, to run errands, etc.  Lisa has also been so helpful with the dishes, picking up, etc.  I don't know what I'm going to do when all the "help" leaves:)

Linna and Daddy
I consider myself a really hands-on mom, and I really don't let anyone else change Linna's diaper, or wake up with her during the night.  I LOVE doing these things!  Knowing that my baby is only this little once, makes what to some moms seem like work, so special.  I look forward to her waking me up in the middle of the night so we can cuddle!  The other night, Linna woke up almost every hour and a half, so needless to say by 6:30 a.m., I was pretty tired.  Lisa really wanted to do one of her night-time feedings, so I texted her from our bedroom, "Auntie Lisa, do you want to come feed and change me?".  Two seconds later, I heard the pitter patter of Lisa's feet running up the stairs!  She crawled into bed with us and scooped Linna right up.  It was pretty cute:)

Right now, Linna eats about every three hours, and she eats about 3 oz. each feeding.  I'm pumping every three hours or so, and seriously, if I were a cow, I would make Kemps a LOT of money!  Linna is very well-fed, and I've even started to freeze some of my breast milk (that's how much I have).  I nurse Linna in the morning (our naked feeding time), and then bottle feed her throughout the day.  This way, AJ and other people can feed her too.  She's also taking a nuk, so there's no nipple confusion.

I love this little face!

I think one of the most amazing parts about having a baby, is watching my husband become a dad. AJ is the BEST daddy a little girl could ask for!  I love watching AJ rush in the door when he comes home from work, and walk straight over to Linna to scoop her up from whoever is holding her.  Linna knows his voice and seems totally relaxed when her daddy is talking to her.  Having a baby has made me fall in love with my hubby all over again, and I cry out of pure joy when I see the two of them together! Time to go spend some time with my lil' lady:)

Friday, August 12, 2011

5 days old.

Our little family of three. So in love!
Our little lady is growing up so fast;)  I can't say it enough... I love being a mom!  I can honestly say that I'm not tired or stressed.  People were born for certain things, and I am confident that I was born to be a mom.  I am so head over heels in love with our little Linna, and I could just stare at her all day long!

Maybe things will change, but we really have the perfect baby!  Five days in, AJ and I both find ourselves crying just looking at her.  Linna is eating really well, pooping and peeing like she should be, sleeping like a champ, and the only time she really cries is when her clothes come off before a feeding (we have to wake her up somehow), or if she's having her diaper changed.  I'm feeding her every three hours because her weight dropped from 7 lbs. 14 oz. (birth weight) to 7 lbs. (current weight).  We had a little trouble figuring out the breast feeding situation (Linna wasn't attaching herself), but now we've introduced a nipple shield and it's been smooth sailing ever since.  I was going to give up on breast feeding and just focus on pumping and bottle feeding, when my "miracle worker" lactation consultant stepped in with this magical device.  I'm still pumping and either storing that milk, or bottle feeding Linna when we need/want too.

Someone found her thumb.
Much to the dismay of almost every nurse and doctor we saw at the hospital, Linna is also a pacifier user:)  She loves it, and she will still bottle and breast feed.  No "nipple confusion" here!  She's sleeping in a bassinet next to our bed, and I find it so hard not to let her fall asleep next to me in our bed every night.  She's just so cuddly!  When we're at home, we love to do "naked feeding time", AKA skin-to-skin contact.  I love the faces Linna makes when she's all done... she looks like a little bird!

When Linna was born, we couldn't figure out who she looked like.  I didn't see AJ in her face at all, and I actually thought she looked like my brother (yeesh...).  But now, we've heard from almost everyone that she looks just like me.  I have to agree, and my old baby pictures make me certain.  No wonder she's so cute;)

I'm still obviously healing from giving birth, but I have so much energy that I just want to be out and about.  Linna has already been to two pediatrician appointments and we even made a stop at Target today!  Grandma Saigh came and stayed with us for a couple days, and it was nice to have an extra set of hands so I could shower and get ready in the morning.  We've also had a lot of visitors stop by, bringing food and making dinners, which has been GREAT so I don't have to cook:)  We really appreciate everything everyone has done for us!

This weekend, I plan to put all of our photos from the hospital and the last five days, in an album on Facebook. So stand by... more of Linna Jane Saigh to come!

Linna loves naked feeding time!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Linna Jane Saigh is here.

Linna Jane Saigh, born 8/8/11 at 7:42 a.m.
7 lbs. 14 oz. and just as perfect as can be! This is
one of my favorite pictures so far of Linna.
On August 8th, 2011 at 7:42 a.m., Papa Saigh and I welcomed 7 lb. 14 oz. Linna Jane Saigh into the world! More to come on the past 72 hours, but here's a little bit about how my labor progressed...

My labor went pretty darn fast. Within eight hours, I went from having my water break at home, to having our baby girl laying on my chest in the hospital! I really tried to keep up with my blogging while we were at the hospital, but there's only so much a girl can handle, right?!

After my contractions started early Monday morning, I decided to get the IV drugs. In just a couple minutes I realized those weren't going to cut it, and we called in the epidural man:) I was so scared for the epidural, but I can honestly say that getting an epidural is no more painful than getting an IV in your arm. My epidural was placed in between some pretty rough contractions and when I was dilated to 4 cm. But once it was in, it was smooth sailing.

Tuckered out lil' lady.
Once the epidural was in place, my nurse told Papa Saigh and I to get some rest and she left the room. Within a few minutes, I was calling her back in because I was feeling a lot of pressure "down there". She checked me and I was already dilated to 8 cm. She went to get another nurse and when she checked me a few minutes later, I was 9 cm, and they were starting to set me up to push! Papa Saigh shot out of his bed, and before we both knew it, I was pushing. I pushed for a little over an hour, and just before 8 a.m., Linna Jane was in my arms.

I watched all of my pushing via a big mirror. I never thought I'd do that, but it was pretty cool! I liked being able to see my progress, but after her head was out, I stopped watching and just pushed (too much blood, etc.). My sister and Papa Saigh were the only ones in the birthing room. My mother-in-law and my brother were in the waiting room, and they came in right after Linna was born. My parents arrived around 11 a.m., as they had been in Worthington, MN for my Grandpa's funeral.

The thing I remember most about Linna's birth, was when they put her on my chest... she was SO warm and small! I remember looking at her thinking, "OMG she looks just like me", but now we don't know who she looks like. Her face was a little bruised and her nose was a little swollen when she came out, and now her face seems like it's changing every few hours. She is so beautiful and perfect!

Mama didn't get around to putting on
makeup, but Linna is all "blinged" out
and ready to go home!
A majority of my contractions were in my back during labor, so I was on the birthing ball during those, and that seemed to help a lot. I can't believe how bad my nether-regions and booty hurt... woof! I have experienced so many emotions over the last 72 hours.

I cry when she cries.

I smile when she passes gas.


But mostly an overwhelming feeling of being head over heels in love with my little bean! Words cannot express how much I love my daughter... and I'm even in tears as I write this:) There isn't anything I wouldn't do for her. She already has her Daddy and Grandparents wrapped around her little finger, and we can't get enough of her! I want to spend every second of every day with her. I would do the long nights in the hospital all over again, where she'd cry because she couldn't "latch on", had a poopy diaper, was cold and naked, etc. I never sent her to the nursery for a "break" because I just want her close to me. Am I tired because of it?! Yes, but I'm enjoying every second!

Thanks for all of your warm wishes and blessings.  More to come, but right now, this new mama needs her sleep!

Monday, August 8, 2011

2:30 a.m. on monday.

After a warm bath, some birthing ball action, and walking around, my back pain and contractions were getting bad enough that I decided to get some drugs via IV. Thank goodness for drugs:) My nurse missed my vein the first round, which almost put me over the edge (I'm such a patient person), and since she has a "one poke policy" another nurse came in and got it right away. I feel like I've had a couple glasses of wine, but I still feel the contractions in my back and hips. Next stop... epidural land:) I know I should get some sleep, but this is all just so new and exciting. The nurses are so friendly and they're really making us feel comfortable. Papa Saigh is starving and looking for some food. Oh, and I'm 4 cm dilated, so progress is being made!!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Water broke... 10:50 p.m. on sunday night.

Well, I guess long walks do put pregnant lady into labor! At 10:50 p.m. Sunday night, I was laying in bed, literally laughing out loud at Baby Saigh tickling my ribs with her toes, when my water broke. What a weird feeling! It's literally like a huge water balloon bursting! I jumped up, and yelled for Papa Saigh who was downstairs watching TV. I wasn't having any contractions, so we called the doctor, our parents, and texted some people. Papa Saigh was a nervous wreck, running around, packing the bag, etc. It was pretty cute!

My parents are in Worthington (Southern MN) because my Grandpa (my mom's dad) passed away Saturday night. So, they are planning on coming back up here tomorrow morning. His funeral and visitation is Tuesday and Wednesday, so there's going to be a lot of driving back and forth. Crazy how these things work out sometimes. Papa Saigh's parents are in Mankato and they will come tomorrow too.

Right now, I'm still 3 cm and 90% effaced. It's all just a waiting game now. I am having some pretty bad back pain, but otherwise I feel pretty good. My co-worker Kelli told me about the underwear and pads they give you in the hospital... but OMG, they are SO funny! Papa Saigh says they're pretty sexy;) If he hasn't already, my husband is really seeing me in a whole new light. Woof. If I'm not progressing by 5 a.m., they'll start me on some drugs to get things rollin'. I'm going to try to get some sleep because I hear I have a lot of work ahead of me!

Where a great life ends, another will soon begin.

My Grandpa Dale Krekelberg
This weekend, my family lost our Grandpa, Dale Krekelberg. It's always a shock when someone close to you passes away, but knowing that my grandpa passed away peacefully in his sleep late last night, makes his loss a little bit easier. He's been suffering from Parkinsons for years, and has had a lot of trouble remembering things. Whenever I'd talk to him on the phone, I'd remind him about Baby Saigh's expected arrival date, how my pregnancy was going, etc., and I could tell that he had a hard time remembering that I was even pregnant. But a few weeks ago, my cousins and aunts went to visit him, and he didn't stop asking about Baby Saigh. It's almost like he was making sure everything was ok with us before he passed away. He was such a wonderful man and he is going to be missed by so many!

Cousins with Grandma and Grandpa K
But where a great life ends, another will soon begin. When I spoke with my Grandma Krekelberg on the phone today, the first thing she said was, "Grandpa left to make room for Lil' Bit" (this is what she calls Baby Saigh). I'm so sad that my grandpa won't get to meet Baby Saigh, but I know he'll be looking down on her. In a way I think he knew that she'd bring a sense of happiness after this big loss.

I love you, Bompa.

Tomorrow afternoon, I go in for my final doctor appointment, where we'll be scheduled for the induction on Friday! I am so excited to meet our little bean. Papa Saigh and I went on a two-mile walk today to try to get things moving along. We walked to Caribou and back... nom nom nom! I think it's so funny how people literally STARRED as I walked down the street. A big pregnant belly gets a girl a LOT of attention.

I had to walk up a big hill so things are pretty uncomfortable tonight. I'm having a LOT of pelvic pressure and irregular contractions, but what else is new, right?! I think this baby is taking her sweet time, and will make her arrival after Friday's induction. This was our last weekend as "non parents", and it's amazing to think that our little girl will be here in about 5 days! CRAZINESS!!!

38 weeks pregnant and off for a long
walk with my hubby.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

38 weeks.

I'm officially 38 weeks pregnant!  This morning, I'm having lots of contractions, but nothing "regular".  My tummy is so tight... woof!

On Thursday night, my contractions were pretty regular (every five minutes) and uncomfortable, so we decided to go to the hospital.  I was monitored for about an hour, but my contractions weren't making any "progress".  I'm still 3 cm dilated and 90% effaced.  They won't admit me until my contractions are making me progress.  So we were sent home... again.  I don't think there's anything more frustrating than going into the hospital, thinking "this is it", then being sent home.  Looks like little "Ling Ling" wants to cook a little bit longer... but she sure is making it uncomfortable for mama.

I go into the doctor again Monday to see if I'm progressing, and that's when we'll schedule our induction for Friday.  Yay!  Six more days!!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Almost 38 weeks.

Tomorrow, I will officially be 38 weeks pregnant!  I cannot believe how fast this pregnancy has flown by (I think I say this every week)!  Next Friday, we're scheduled to be induced (if she doesn't come sooner).  For those of you wondering why we decided to be induced early, let me explain...

1. I'm a planner
2. I'm already progressing (I'm currently 3 cm dilated and 90% effaced)
3. I've never been so uncomfortable, and we're ready to meet our little girl!

I had my weekly check-up on Tuesday, and during my appointment my doctor stripped my membranes and told me that I should be ready to go any time now!  I can't believe it.  I've been having irregular contractions, back pain, cramping, etc.  Nights are so uncomfortable and I literally feel like a walrus when I roll out of bed 5+ times a night to go to the bathroom.  I have so much pressure in my "who who" area, that I sometimes feel like she's going to fall right out!  My doctor estimates that she's in the 7.5 lb. range:)  To date, I've gained 35 lbs.  Woof!

Last night, AJ packed a bag because he thought this was going to be it.  The thing is, he only packed things for Baby Saigh... not for mama:)  He is so ready to be a dad!

I'm going to do my best to blog every day up until delivery, and my plan is to blog from the hospital too.  I think it will be really fun to look back on our experience years from now, and read what I was actually going though during the labor process.  You only have your first baby once!

See you soon Lil' Miss Saigh.