Thursday, July 30, 2009

Road Trip!

Off to my parents' house tonight for the weekend... normally takes us 4.5 hours, so we'll see how much longer it is with an infant.  I have a sister in from Atlanta and my other sister in from Lebanon, so we couldn't stand to miss the gathering.  (And we originally thought he'd be 4 weeks by now...)

Elliot was 2 weeks old yesterday and he seems to be doing great.  A few nights here and there are rough, but he normally gives us 3-4 hours of sleep at night before needing attention.  I think we're adjusting well to the zombie-like functioning, because I thanked Pat yesterday for doing the changing.   Pat replied, "I did the changing?  Really?  I don't remember it..."   (That's our MO- Elliot wakes, Pat changes him, and I get out of my grogginess enough to feed him and put him back down.  Pretty good teamwork.)

I timed a trip to Target on my own today perfectly, and that was a major confidence boost.  He slept through the whole thing.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Afternoon at the Lake.

We spent Sunday afternoon at the lake with Elliot.  Took a picnic and enjoyed the lovely weather.  Overstayed our welcome as he cried majority of the way home.  We'll learn to time it better.  Getting him out the deck pretty often too.  
Still trying to get used to the fact that I cannot count on getting anything done by a specific time!  :)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

And it was my mom's birthday on Friday.  I couldn't even manage to arrange a cake or anything (my multitasking skills are being tested by this little one!), but the kids sung to her in English, Arabic, and French, so she seemed pleased.


Grandma Ulrich, Aunt Karen, Thomas and Anna visit.

This past week, we had Pat's dad here from Sunday to Wednesday.  It was a great time for him to get to know Elliot and spend some valuable time with us.  

On Thursday, my mom, sister, and her two kids came to help out.  They left to go back to Ohio today.  They were a huge help-- they made all the food, cleaned the apartment, did the laundry, and left us with 2 or 3 huge meals.  Even the kids pitched in, as you can see.  
Elliot is taking his first road trip on Thursday to Ohio-- we had originally thought he would be about 4 weeks old to make the trip, but his late arrival makes him only 2+ weeks.  The doc says it's ok, and he is sleeping 3-4 hours at a time, so we're hoping it goes as smoothly as possible.  My other sister, Kathy, will be up from Atlanta with her three girls, who we have not seen in several months, so we don't want to miss out.  
He's eating and sleeping relatively well, as we are getting better about reading what he needs.  I think his little face is already changing as he grows.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

He's growing just fine...

We had Elliot's follow up appointment this morning. The doctor wanted him to simply maintain his weight from Monday; she didn't set a specific number for gaining. However, Elliot has gained 6 oz. in the 2 days... this is fantastic, as standard (if there is such a thing with babies!) is about 1 oz. a day. Wooohoooo. We were so relieved and elated. The hard work has paid off and he's doing great. He's definitely making up for what he was missing.

He has been sleeping much deeper as well, except for tonight, when it's 3:40am and I have been feeding, changing, and rocking since about 12:30am, with just little bits of sleep here and there. Ah, well, can't have it all every time, eh?

Pat's back to work tomorrow, so I am trying hard to leave him off duty tonight. My family is now arriving tomorrow/today, Thursday, and I am so excited to have them hold him! Pat's father really enjoyed his stay here I think, and brought us some books for Elliot, including two original, nicely worn books that Pat loved as a child.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Grandpa Papczun visits.

First Check Up

We had our first check up and Elliot has made us into worrying parents already.  All babies lose weight after birth, about 10% of their birthweight.  Elliot, however, has dropped from his 7# to 5#9oz., which is 20%.  I can't tell you how my heart dropped when I saw those numbers on the scale.  

Our pediatrician was measured in her approach, and thinks the feedings are not providing enough input for him to grow.  Nursing him is extremely important to me, but of course he needs to thrive!  So we left with a plan of working harder to make everything jive with the feedings, prioritizing his every whimper, and making sure I eat enough.  We are going back tomorrow morning to reweigh him and to see if there needs to be a plan B.  

He must have sensed the urgency of the situation, as he has kicked the nursing into high gear yesterday afternoon and overnight, hardly giving me a break.  He's become a madman after the milk, and then sleeps so deep.  I can tell he's eating a lot more, and his "output" finally proved it!  (That was our telltale sign if we were going down the right path...)  Although we still need to see the numbers tomorrow on the scale, we are relieved, but exhausted from feeding all night long!

And this is only the beginning, eh?

More photos later.  

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Pat gave you a nice, concise update.  I am stealing these minutes as he is asleep on the couch and Elliot has conked out in the swing we just tried him in.  
First, let me thank everyone who sent out thoughts, prayers, support, phone calls, emails, you name it to us during this amazing time.  We have such a great network of friends and family-- we are so very fortunate in numerous ways.
We're home obviously.  The nights have been a little rough, but we're all still learning the ropes.  He's eating very well now, which is a relief.  As one nurse and my sister told us, breastfeeding is the most unnatural natural thing.  We had a little tough time with the first steps of the dance, but now it's going relatively well.  
Pat's dad is arriving tomorrow and my family comes in on Wednesday.  We're so much looking forward to introducing him to everyone!  I know everyone thinks that their own kid is perfect, and we now fall into that category.  He's really amazing.
Details for those who are interested, and most of you may have heard the rundown already... I don't know how appropriate it is to put all of this on here, but here goes:
Tuesday morning, Pat and I went in for my weekly appointment.  I was put on the heartrate monitor to check his movements, and then saw the doctor.  A little progress was made (almost 3 cm dilated), which was nice to hear, so after conferencing with the doctor who guessed that we might have the baby in the next few days, we agreed to go in late on Friday to be induced if he hadn't appeared by then.  My blood pressure was back up, so the doctor really wanted to see more time on the monitors and a lengthier observation, another hour or so.  If all was ok, we'd sit tight a few more days.  Pat went on to work and I went to be strapped into the machines.
After three hours on the monitors, an attending doctor came in to tell me that she was advising that I be admitted and they start to make the labor move forward.  Apparently, I was having contractions which were 7 minutes or so apart (which I couldn't really feel), so they wanted to start the drugs to enhance the labor that was already happening, in order to take control of the situation before the blood pressure created a problem.  It was now 3pm, and I called Pat to come back to the hospital.  This is when the emotions started rolling, I realized that what I had been wishing for was now happening, and I got very nervous.  Although Pat didn't need to hurry (this little dude still needed quite a bit of effort to appear!), I wanted him there as soon as possible to be with me.  He arrived within an hour, which included stopping to get my bags at home.  I was admitted by 4pm.  Mind you, I would now enter these extremely demanding phases of delivery with only my cereal eaten for breakfast 8 hours earlier.  Not good for me.  
The delivery nurses, doctors, etc, at U of C hospital were great and our doctor specifically was phenomenal.  Dr. Harth called to say that she was rearranging her schedule to spend the night at the hospital so she could deliver the baby.  This was so reassuring.  We went through the normal stuff, waiting for the dilation to proceed, cramping/pain increasing gradually, walking the halls, etc.  I moved slower than expected, so when the pain was really really bad, unbearable, around 2am, and the doctor said I was around 5-6 cm (only half way!) and these were "moderate" contractions, I opted for the epidural.  I was shaking and hyperventilating, and not able to recover from the pain with only 2 minutes between the contractions.  
It was a busy night on the delivery floor and it took them about a hour to get around to me for the epidural.  One of the slowest hours of my life.  When the procedure was finished, and the drugs kicked in, Pat and I both were able to sleep for 1 hour, which gave me a touch of recovery time to endure the final stages.  I was woken at 5:30am by my doctor, who informed me that I was very close to being ready to push.  7am, it was time to push and everyone was alerted that needed to be.  My doctor needed to leave at 8am, after having waited all night for me to get this job done.  

After all of her efforts, my doctor had to leave me in the care of one of her colleagues for the actual delivery.  Two hours of pushing, with the head very close for a very long time, and many comments like, "I don't know if I can do this!  I am going to do this, really, but I don't know how I can!"  The doctors attending said to one another, "This baby needs to come out NOW."  Pat and I looked at each other, I mustered up some strength from somewhere, and Elliot appeared.  Pat yelled, "It's a boy!" before the doctors even noticed.  Pat cried, but I had no energy to cry.  They put him directly on my chest, and his eyes were so wide and alert.  He looked right at us and we melted.  It was truly love at first sight.
Enough on that note.  Few more photos.  Had his first little sponge bath tonight and I think it knocked him out.  I am getting more energy all the time.  Pat is so taken with Elliot, he has trouble sharing him with me and helps out so much.  I hope I never take for granted how lucky I am.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

It's a Boy!!!!

It's a boy!!!!  Elliot Ulrich Papczun, born at 9:02 am on Wednesday morning, July 15th.  7 pounds and very cute.   Mom, Baby and myself are doing well and recovering nicely, although quite exhausted -- 17 hours of labor, 2 hours of pushing, and only 2 to 3 hours of sleep since the all night marathon.  Kristy was amazing; we are all so incredibly proud, elated and overwhelmed by Elliot and of his coming into the outside world!

More later from Kristy once we get the internet working at the hospital or once we get home Friday afternoon (we think).  I'm taking a quick break to post photos, then heading right back to the hospital -- when i left, Mom and Elliot were both tucking in for some nice afternoon sleep.

Patrick (and Kristy & Elliot)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Pedicure was lovely, but...

Well, looks like the pedicurist missed the pressure point to induce labor...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

"I didn't know I was pregnant!"

I watched a little bit of this show the other day on TLC, "I didn't know I was pregnant!"  It was so absurd. "I thought it was gas... My husband and I joked that I had an alien inside... No doctor could tell me what was wrong until I went to the ER and gave birth to 30 week old twins!"  I'm not kidding.  I could hardly stand it; I had to turn it off after one story, about 10 minutes.  Even crazier to think that there were multiple episodes to air that evening.  Pat had to come see why I was laughing so loud.

Maybe I have too much time to think, but what if it's the OPPOSITE for me?  What if I'm really NOT pregnant and it IS only gas or an alien inside?  Then what?  Can I become rich and famous with my own reality TV show?  

Pat keeps reminding me that we're only 4 days over the original 7/8 due date.  Just got back from our daily walk to the lake and feeling pretty good, considering.  

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Just thinking...

Just thinking this morning that if we go by the July 8th due date, and they let overduers (is that a word?) go 2 weeks over, we potentially could be sitting here until July 22.  

As much as I'm antsy, impatient, ready, I don't want to medically induce unless that's all that's left.  A little paranoid that it will lead to a c-section, since my body's not naturally responding up to this point.  However, I don't want this baby to get too big either.  Guess I'm jumping the gun with the worrying; I need to sit tight until we meet with the doc on Tuesday.  

(Will he/she look like a completely wrinkled little prune, kinda like you get when you sit in the bathtub too long?)

Friday, July 10, 2009

And..... Nothing. But the race is on!

So our close friends, Dave and Jen Ries, who we met in college and live here as well, are having a baby too.  I'll never forget at Christmastime, getting a message from them, "We're having a baby!'  And we responded, "Wow!  We are, too!"

It's been awesome to go through this with them, being able to share in the excitement, all the female "secret club" stuff that no one talks about (or forgets about!)  They were due on August 4th, just over 4 weeks after us.

Well, the race is on because they are now scheduled for a C-section on Thursday, July 16.  We are so curious to see just how close our babies' birthdays are, with me being late and hers being so early... Who will win, Baby Reis or Baby Papczun?  Or could it possibly be the same day?  Tune in to see...

(Geez, I really, really hope that we aren't able to go see their baby, out and about in this world, and STILL be pregnant ourselves.  Surely not.  Sigh.)

(Top photo= 4th of July, Bottom photo= 28 weeks/32 weeks)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Time for a pedicure.

Ok, whether the due date was July 3, or today, July 8, we've got it covered.  We're there.  

I think I deserve a pedicure.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

You guessed it! No progress...

Doctor's appointment= no progress.  However, my BP has dropped, which is good news, which makes us wait one more week.  If he/she does not arrive by next Tuesday's appointment, and one more round of the monitoring, then we're forcing the issue!  :)  We'll pick a date next week to induce.

Let's hope he/she cooperates and pops out on its own in the next week.  Perfect timing for dad-to-be to watch the end of the Tour de France!  What a considerate child.

And, yes, we've had plenty of suggestions as to non-medical means of speeding this along... most of which we have tried to no avail (besides the standing on my head to utilize the full moon's gravitational pull, which we should be able to attempt tonight...).

No sleep, no good reason.

I don't know if it is the anticipation of what the doc might say today, but there was very little sleep last night.  Maybe a few underlying nerves of "Geez, this HAS to be close now!" ??

Little one has been moving so much, it seems that his/her foot is going to punch right through my stomach wall at some point.  Definitely getting stronger!

Will update with the prognosis later today...

Monday, July 6, 2009

Relaxing weekend

If you're checking in, nothing still... which means we had a lovely long weekend of relaxing--BBQ with other prego friends, chilling at the lake with a picnic, reading, Pat swimming (me in a bathing suit?  No thank you!), very nice.  

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

Happy Independence Day!  No baby... 1 day late so far.

My original calculation of our due date, according to when we think we conceived, was July 8th, but at our 10 week ultrasound, the technician and doctor shifted it to the 3rd.  Soooo, maybe I was correct and this little being needs to bake a little longer.

Still walking to the lake every day, hearing lots of suggestions as to how to get this bun out of the oven.  Next check up is Tuesday.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Due date tomorrow: Since nothing has started yet with regards to labor, it is looking more and more like this little one is going to be somewhat late, just like a Papczun!  Or Ulrich for that matter...  Question becomes, just how late?  Let's see if he/she surprises us and takes away our holiday weekend afterall.

(I am sure I am going to look back on all of these posts with a longing sigh for the quietness and downtime.)