Sunday, November 29, 2009

Home from the Hospital

We have been home from the hospital and on our own as first time parents for not quite two weeks now.

It really has been such a great ride so far!

We were very blessed that Jonathan was able to stay at home to help since we brought Noah home.

We have had a lot of support from our friends and family and want to extend a heartfelt thank you for all of those you have extended your time and generosity as we embark on this new adventure in our lives!

When we arrived home, we first introduced Marquis and Sandy to Noah. They were very interested, but moreso Marquis than Sandy.

The sleepless nights are starting to catch up with us, but all in all is totally worth it all for the blessing of our little man! I typically let Jonathan sleep as much as possible at night, since I'm breastfeeding. That way, during the day, Jonathan can take over feeding from a bottle and I can sleep :) I'm going to miss when he goes back to work!

We've had our first bath, which we'll have pics up shortly.

We've already lost our umbilical cord and our circumcision is completely healed :)

We've been to the hospital twice for followup screenings and also had our first pediatrician appointment, which I will also blog about shortly. Once again, finding an AMAZING doctor.

For those picture lovers - Here you are:

Mommy rocking me after I got home

Trying to clear the jaundice - outside

We LOVE to read with Daddy! Here is the Poky Little Puppy!

Our first diaper change at home

Tummy Time

Out like a light after feeding

Love my Daddy!

Swing Swing Swing

Lovin' my Daddy again

Little Toes

Till next time.

Jonathan, Melanie & Baby Noah

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Announcing the Arrival of...........

Hello! Some of you may have been wondering why you haven't seen a blog in a few weeks...well, that's because our little boy -Noah Bradley Melugin- decided to come a few weeks early. :)

Here is our story:

As many of you know, Noah was not due until December 9th, 2009. He was as stubborn as his cousin Adrian (breeched too) and refused to turn head down. His feet were in front of his face, so he was considered a Frank Breech baby. Actually, come to find out after delivery, his head was jammed up in my ribs and so he wouldn't have been able to turn - he was stuck.

On Friday, November 13th, Dr. Herr decided that we should go ahead and set a tentative c-section date of December 3rd, just in case the baby did not turn. She would have to take him one week early in order to avoid me going into labor - my mom delivered all of us in less than four hours each. She delivered me, from start to finish, in 45 minutes. If I went into labor and started to deliver naturally, there was the chance that his head would get stuck in the birth canal and we couldn't risk that! She checked my belly via sono and my fluid levels had dropped slightly, but we were still in a good range. She then checked my cervix and although my cervix was completely closed (dilated to Zero), it was almost completely effaced (thinned out), which is a good and natural process for a vaginal delivery.

On Sunday, November 15th, only two days later, I woke up at 11:30 p.m. with cramps and in a deep sweat......I never sweat! I was up and down all night long having to go to the bathroom a lot - well....that part was normal. :) The next morning, I told Jonathan how I was feeling, but told him to go into work and I would try to get into the doctor that morning. Jonathan left for work around 8:15 a.m. and the doctor's office didn't open until 9:00 a.m.

In that 45 minute span, I had the inclination to go ahead and pack our bags, just in case. Then, if we didn't need them we'd have them ready. So, I packed mine and Noah's bags, grabbed the camcorder and camera and packed the car up. I got hold of Dr Herr's office and was asked to come in to see what was going on.

As I was leaving our neighborhood, I saw two stray dogs - and for those of you that really know me, I stopped to pick them up. They jumped right into my car, got into the passenger seat and sat down like they were saying "Where are we going??" with huge smiles on their faces. They were so sweet. One was a young female pitbull and the other a spaniel mix. I had them in my car and had to figure out what to do - so I turned the corner to a local vet - told them that I was "in labor" and if they could take the dogs - which they graciously did :)

After this sidebar, I headed to Flower Mound. Dr. Herr took me immediately into the sono room and she said that my fluid levels had dropped even more. She checked my cervix after I told her of the cramping and how I felt as if Noah had dropped and was "bearing down." Sure less than 48 hours, I had dilated to 2 centimeters!

We had two options: 1) She could send me home with medicine to try to stop the contractions or 2) Deliver the baby. She wanted to be able to keep him in utero for at least another week, since we were still a few days from becoming full term, but she was scared that the medicine may not work and then I would possibly deliver, risking the baby's life.

She sent me immediately over to the hospital and I called Jonathan to let him know that today was the day. I wish I could have seen his face. I could hear the excitement in his voice. He told me later that all of his coworkers were crowded around to wish him the best of luck - to all of the FedEx crew "We love you guys!" One of Jonathan's great friends David (the godfather) gave Jonathan some of the best words of encouragement (again!) as he was leaving - he simply said "You're ready." Overwhelmed, Jonathan ran home (cautiously of course) to get a bag packed and meet me at the hospital. I was immediately admitted, hooked up to all the gadgets (IV, Fetal Monitor, Pulse Indicator) and was pushed meds to stop the contractions. Although they helped, the contractions did not completely stop and when the medicine wore off, the contractions started back up again. Noah was ready to make his appearance. God was ready to place him in our arms and into our hearts.

Dr. Herr, at this point, knew that we had made the right decision to deliver that day. I presented at her office around 10:00 am - Admitted into the hospital by 11:30 a.m. and was prepped for surgery at 3:30 p.m.

Getting hooked up...

Waiting... (Brynn you are the best! Thank you for all of the wonderful pictures!!!)

Grandma Cathy and Grandma Kay

The C-Section Experience

At 3:30, the nurses, the anesthesiologist, along with Dr. Herr, came into the room to bring me back. Jonathan was given his O.R. attire and asked to wait until I had been prepped.

I was rolled around the corner into the L&D Operating Room. I was transferred to the operating table and the anesthesiologist began prepping me for the spinal. This was the reason that I wanted to have a natural birth - the spinal scared me - and it took her four takes before she got the catheter in. You know - the pricks didn't hurt ... its when the catheter was feeding down my spine wrong and hit a nerve. Still feeling that one...or three!

Jonathan said that the prep time felt like an eternity! He recorded some very sweet video messages for me. Dr. Herr came and talked with Jonathan while he was waiting. She said to him, "just think...this morning when you left for work, you had no idea that you would be a Daddy today!" She is such an AMAZING doctor. The first time Jonathan saw her after the surgery with me he gave her a huge hug and thanked her for all that she had done for us.

Once the spinal finally took, I was golden. The drape was drawn, Jonathan was brought in and I became overwhelmed with emotion. I was shaking from the meds, excited, anxious and crying like a baby. I couldn't believe that this was happening! 3 1/2 weeks early and our little man was making his arrival into this world. Wow! Good thing that I'm type A and had most everything done at the house already. :)

I was so proud of my husband - who watched the entire surgery. I wasn't sure how he would handle seeing me in surgery, but he did so good. The pictures he took are amazing! Most too graphic to share in the blog, though.

The experience was surreal. Since Noah was breech, Dr. Herr had to tug to get him out - butt first! He was in there good! The pressure was unreal and took my breath away since he was positioned the way he was!

A little graphic, I know...but that is his bottom at the top of the picture...Dr. Herr is pulling on his legs to get him out. He looks like a turkey!

Noah Bradley Melugin made it into the world on Monday, November 16, 2009 at 4:29 p.m. He weighed in at 6 lbs. and 7 oz. - measuring 18 3/4" long.

After the surgery, I became violently ill and did not really get to see the baby until the nursery (and Jonathan) brought him to me about an hour later. The longest hour of my life - it seemed. Dr. Herr was so supportive - again love that woman! She is, by far, the best doctor that I've ever had! While Dr. Herr was putting me back together, I told Jonathan to go with the baby. He got to hold him and take him to the nursery where they weighed him, got his length, and did all of the other checks they do on new borns. Our family and friends were there to see Jonathan as a Daddy for the first time. Everyone said how funny it was to see his legs flailing around in the air (happens with breeched babies).

And here are a slew of pictures:

Proud Daddy!

Little Feet

Time to Eat

Supplemental Feeding - Noah lost over 10% of his body weight

Family Portrait - Going home Day

We stayed in the hospital for 4 nights recovering. We brought him home last Friday, 11/20. The drive home brought some happy tears for both of us - I've never seen Jonathan drive so cautiously. :) It's been rough (as we expected) getting used to the lack of sleep. I've been feeding at night and letting Jonathan sleep for the most part. Jonathan takes care of him during the day and let's me nap when I can.

Although our entire birth plan was thrown out of the window, we did have the name for several months - the one thing we ended up being able to control! In the end we had a healthy mom and healthy baby - exactly what everyone wants.

We are not quite two weeks into our new lives, but there is already so much to tell! We will blog again soon!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

36 Weeks

Hello everyone!

We are well into our 36th week of pregnancy! Yeah!

In this last week, we have finished 95% of the baby's room and just await some paintings for the room that a good friend of ours is painting for us! We will post pictures next week when the room is completely done.

We had our 36 week checkup on Friday. Jonathan had to work, so my mom came with me for the fetal stress test and ultrasound. Here is a picture of the fetal stress test that I undergo each week -

..........and although I am not dilated at all, I am almost completely effaced. Wow. Doctor says it is due to the pressure of his bottom on the topside of my cervix.

I actually had my first contraction while eating dinner at Genghis Grill last week, which was quite an interesting feeling! Jonathan was perfect through it too! Just as we practiced.

Unfortunately, though, after visiting the chiropractor 3x this past week to undergo the Webster technique that is 90% effective, the baby is being stubborn and refuses to turn the correct way. At this point, I was asked by my OB to attend one more session before we have to make the final decision. At this late of date, and with the complications that we have had, he is running out of room (and fluid) to turn.

Technically, my OB would be willing to try and deliver him butt first, but the risk associated with that is the fact that if his head were to get stuck, the chances of survival are slim. So, with that said, we now have a tentative scheduled C-Section date of Thursday, December 3, 2009 - one week early. The reason that we have to take him at 39 weeks is the fact that she can't risk me going into labor with him in the Frank Breech position.

Jonathan and I are a little bummed that it ended up like this after all the preparation for natural childbirth, but we feel as if we tried everything we could. In the end, we want a healthy mom and healthy baby!

Even with this said, we are also super anxious and excited to meet him! We have both wanted a baby for so long and here we are living out God's plan to become parents to this new little life.

I am becoming increasingly more and more uncomfortable each day. Excessively high and low blood sugar spikes, extremely swollen feet, inability to breathe, leg and hip pain and oh so much more! I am definitely ready for this guy to be here!

Let's see.....On Friday, we went and spent some time with Jonathan's brother, Philip, his wife Lena and their baby girl, Cate.

Jonathan had never seen "Night at the Roxbury" - so we made him watch it after Cate went to sleep - I totally forgot how funny that movie was!

Well, at 36 weeks, this is where we are:

I am a whopping 40.25" in circumference and have gained 8 lbs. this past week alone! My doctor assured me that most of that is water weight :)

The baby is doing nothing, really, except for gaining lots and lots of weight! Packing it on for birth. He is approximately the size of a beach ball now and weighing in at about 6 lbs. and measuring about 20.25-20.75 inches in length.

Monday, November 9, 2009

End of our 35th Week

Wow....Can I just say....Wow!

We are ending our 35th week! Officially in our 9th month and only 1 month to go before our little baby boy is here. Amazing!

This week has been quite a whirlwind of activity!

Beginning last Monday, we started our hospital childbirth class, which Jonathan blogged about last week.

On Wednesday, we interviewed our last two pediatricians - totaling four. We thought that we had already found the perfect doctor, but we decided to keep these two appointments just to see. The first doctor was a Tech medical school grad, so I was pumped! What a letdown! He was as exciting and passionate about being there as a rock! The second doctor that we interviewed that afternoon was amazing and was now tied with the other doctor that was at the top of our list. It really took some talking and lists and what not to finally choose one and it came down to a male or female pediatrician. Considering that this is the doctor that you see for any troubles that you may have with breast feeding, we decided to go with the female doctor. Pretty cool, though, she was married one weekend after we were :)

Wednesday night we went and picked up an awesome glider and ottoman that I had found on Craigslist! It's perfect and matches the baby's room splendidly!

On Thursday, we had our Breastfeeding class, which Jonathan was excited that there were more guys in there than he originally anticipated! That class was quite informative and we had a hoot of an instructor! Some interesting things that we learned:

* If it hurts, you're doing something wrong

* It takes 21 days for a baby to really create "memories" of what he is doing, so it takes 3-4 weeks before you should really start becoming discouraged if it's not going how you wanted it to go.

On Friday, we had another OB appointment, which I blogged about on Friday. Stubborn baby won't turn!

Saturday was my little nephew's 2nd birthday. We were so disappointed that he was all the way up in Ohio, so we couldn't be there, but I saw tons of pictures and it looked like he had a great time!

That day, we also went up to my office and gathered the rest of my things, since this Tuesday is my last day of work. This included the bookcase that is now in the baby's room. The sad thing?I have more books than I have room on a 6' tall bookcase! LOL.

That evening, our good friend Meredith was married. She looked stunning and now is in Hawaii on her honeymoon - Brings back memories of when we were there. I really hope that she remembers to eat Puka Dogs!

Here is a picture of us at the wedding - boy I'm showing that pregnancy swell ;)

Sunday was fun! Jonathan and I installed the carseat into his truck! YEAH! Actually, he installed it - I watched :) I even pulled out an old doll of mine to practice on - It's called a La Newborn and simulates a real sized newborn! It was actually great practice:

Reading the instructions

Installing the base

Installing the Carseat

The work of a proud Daddy!

Practicing with baby

Today (Monday) I went to Dr. Bonds, our chiropractor, to try the Websters Technique out. This adjustment of the pelvis and round ligaments has a 90% success rate of turning babies from breech to the optimal cephalic presentation! Let's just pray that he turns - Considering 97% of babies have turned to the correct position by now - It becomes more frustrating every day! I have 2 more sessions this week before my next OB appointment this coming up Friday.

Well, that's what is going on in our life - Here is what is going on in our 35th week:

* His development is pretty much complete, so he is just packing on the pounds - probably weighing around 5.5 pounds or so now and about 18 - 20" long.

About the size of a honeydew melon:

Or a Throw Pillow:

Here's my 36 week belly - Measuring in at 40" around:

Things that we still have to do:

* Pack our bags
* Finish organizing the nursery
* Install the second carseat base into my car
* Create the family "call/text" list

Then what I'd like to do is have the following completed before he gets here:

* All Christmas decorations up
* All Christmas presents purchased and wrapped - ready to go
* Our honeymoon scrapbook FINALLY completed

Till next week!

Melanie & Jonathan

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Look how far we've come......

So - Since we got our new iMac, Jonathan has been tinkering around with iMovie and surprised me with this WONDERFUL video. Make sure that the volume is up on your computer and enjoy :)

Friday, November 6, 2009

OB Update

Just to let everyone know - today we had our 35 week ultrasound (we are 35 weeks and 2 days)

I misspoke when I mentioned that amniotic fluid levels are measured on a scale of 1-10. My OB told me today that it is a 1-20 scale. Therefore, the level 6 that I was at a week and a half ago was pretty scary! As you've read, we were able to increase the levels to an 8 last week and then this week my levels varied from 11-13 in the four quadrants of the amniotic sac! YEAH!

Baby is healthy & happy - very active! He is very stubborn, though, just like his mom! Turn baby turn!

We are going to try the Webster technique by my chiropractor on Monday to see if he can cause a turn. Otherwise, at 38 weeks, if he has not turned, we will have to schedule a c-section..... :(

With that said, though, the goal is healthy baby - healthy mom!

Keep us in your prayers!


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

He speaks…finally…at the end of the 34th week!

Hello everyone, it's Jonathan this time...I thought I'd take a stab at blogging this week. :)

We just finished our 34th week and things have been a little bumpy lately, but we’re hanging in there.

We received some great news at the follow up sonogram last week. The baby is still breech, but Melanie’s amniotic fluid levels rose from a not-so-good 6 to a normal 8! We’re praying the levels

continue that way for the remainder of the pregnancy. Speaking of praying, THANK YOU to everyone who has been praying for us lately, we really appreciate it! As emotional as all of this has been, a great friend of ours shared some awesome words of encouragement. He said, “I think God is always presenting us with opportunities for him to ask us ‘Do you trust me?’” That has really been an amazing comfort these past couple of days!

We had a fun Halloween week. Melanie carved a pumpkin of Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas.

We didn’t dress up as Juno again, just stayed at home and had lots of trick-or-treaters come by. We gave out all of our candy (actually had to put a sign on the door saying we were out!). We had a nice birthday lunch with Melanie’s Mom on Sunday followed by a bible study with friends. On Monday, we started our birthing classes at the hospital. Most of the information Melanie and I had learned from our Bradley classes. We did get a tour of Labor and Delivery, Post Partum, and the Nursery. Melanie and I had some neat -WOW THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING- time together when we waited behind the rest of the class until it was just us in the delivery room. They had 3 newborns in the nursery that we got to see baking under the heat lamp. Needless to say, the tour was the best part for us. The next evening, we spent some time with our church small group for the first time in a couple of months. We took a break at the end of the summer. Was so great to see everyone!

Just a few additional thoughts I wanted to share since I finally got around to blogging…

This whole experience with Melanie has been amazing. From the day I came home and she surprised me with “Congratulations Daddy! We did it!” I’ve been trying to grasp the idea of being a father and seeing my beautiful wife as a mother. It’s exciting and terrifying at the same time. I’m so grateful to our friends and family who’ve shared their words of wisdom in an attempt to prepare us for the un-prepare-able. :) I’m doing my best to take in everything and not forget Melanie with that pregnant glow, crying those happy tears, comforting her through the tough stuff, watching her cute tummy grow…I could go on and on. I’m so blessed to have my wife.

I cannot wait to meet our little man! Just a few more weeks!

Ok, here's what's going on...

He now weights about 4 3/4 pounds (about the size of a cantaloupe) and is almost 18 inches long. His fat layers - which will regulate his body temperature once he's born - are filling him out, making him rounder. His skin is also smoother than ever. His central nervous system is maturing and his lungs are continuing to mature as well.

Here's how big he is:

And here's Melanie:

Have a great week!