Thursday, May 31, 2007

Sebastian will be two weeks old tomorrow! Wow! Time is already flying by (wow, I sound like such a mom)! Sebastian now loves to eat and is waking up every couple of hours to fill his tummy. We are still working hard to make sure he gains weight so hopefully we don't have to supplement with formula. He has a little bit of a cold which has made him fussy, but overall he is doing great. He is starting to look at things a bit more intensely, especially if they light up. It's very cute to watch his little eyes following things! I had my follow up doctor appointment and he has given me the all clear - my infection has cleared up and all should be fine now! Thank you for your many prayers! It was a bit stressful for me not feeling well and taking care of Sebastian, so I am very relieved that everything is fine now. Some memorable moments of our first two week of parenting:

- Paul has already learned the hard way what the many washcloths are for on our changing table. Sebastian has dedicated these special showers just for daddy.
- It's weird how excited you get when the pruney part of his umbilical cord falls off.
- We never knew you could be so tired yet so functional at the same time. God definitely gives you this gift with parenthood.
- Bath time is a two person operation - and we should also remember to shut the plug in the bottom of the tub before we start.
- To get back at us for not liking his baths, Sebastian likes to use his bath towels as a diaper. After he is all clean and fresh we hear the sound of poo.... not once, but twice. Now we act a bit faster and don't mull over how cute he looks wrapped up in his towel.
- Somehow he knows exactly when we sit down to a meal because it doesn't fail that at that moment he either wakes up if he's sleeping or will cry to be picked up if he is awake. Mommy is getting very good at eating one handed as long as Paul cuts my food for me. =)

That's all I can think of for now - my tired brain doesn't have much attention span for writing quite yet. Enjoy the pictures!

Our little spring chicken. Thanks Auntie Tiff for the cute outfit!

Daddy and Sebastian playing together.

Cristina and Sebastian with Jennifer and Finn.
For those that don't know this story, Jennifer started working with me at Book Fairs in October right when we both found out we were pregnant. She was due two weeks after me. Throughout the ensuing six months, we shared an office and shared everyday of our pregnancy together. We have become amazing friends after sharing such a unique experience. And now, it turns out our little boys are only 8 days apart. We went to go visit Jen and Finn in the hospital on Memorial Day and the boys ate together (from the office to breastfeeding - quite the change!) and posed for pictures for the proud parents. We can't wait to get them together soon and then for us mommies to start working off that baby weight!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Greetings all! Thank you so much for all the prayers, thoughts, words of encouragement and congratulations that you have sent our way this week. So sorry it’s taken so long to give a full update, but it’s been a whirlwind!

We were discharged from the hospital last Sunday afternoon and now things are finally “settling” down if you can call it that. Sebastian is a wonderful baby! He keeps us constantly entertained – it’s hard to not just look at him all the time! He is a very happy and hardly every fussy – we are actually getting up to four hours of consecutive sleep at time. We actually have to wake him up and convince him to eat. Just yesterday he started waking on his own though, and that is starting to happen every two hours…ekkks! Paul and I have been a good team to make it through the night. We’ve been to the pediatrician and all is well – he is gaining weight and is healthy overall.

Paul is a super daddy and is pitching in with everything – even getting up with me for the late night feedings and changing practically ALL poopy diapers! I’m not complaining! -=) My mom is staying with us and has been a huge help with meals, laundry and watching Sebastian when we need a break. Since he is sleeping so well for now, she is just coming over in the mornings and helping us out.

I am feeling pretty well except that I’ve developed a uterine infection called endometritis so I’m having to take antibiotics. My body is just tired and achy and I have to monitor my temperature to make sure that it doesn’t escalate. Luckily my doctors were able to see me quickly and get me the medicine I need to feel better. So I’m trying to relax and get rest and at the same time take good care of Sebastian – quite the challenge!

Below are several pictures from the past week –it’s so hard to decide what to post because he is just so cute!

Also, after the pictures is a longer version of our labor story. Some of you may or may not be interested in the details, so read with caution if you don’t want all the details!

Baby Sebastian at the hospital.

Welcome home Sebastian!

Sebastian's first package - a cute froggy playmat

from cousins Arlene and Jonathan. Thank you!

Welcoming Baby Sebastian – “the long version with details”

At our last appointment with the doctor, he gave us the option of scheduling an induction a few days before my due date due to the possible size of the baby. Because we really hoped to have a vaginal delivery, going a few days early could only increase our chances of not having to have a c-section. We were prepared for either scenario, but figured this was the best chance we had so we went a head and scheduled an appointment to get induced at 5 am on Thursday, May 17.

Well, we got a phone call at 2 am from the hospital telling us that they had no rooms available for a 5 am induction so we needed to come in at 8 am. Unfortunately, we didn’t hear the phone ring in the middle of the night and ended up waking up at 4 am, got dressed and began eating breakfast when we checked the machine and realized we needed to go a little later. As Paul put it, it was like telling a little kid to go back to bed on Christmas morning.

We left for the hospital and arrived a bit before 8 am. Two other girls, both overdue, were also there for inductions. After much impatient waiting, we finally got a room, filled out lots of paper work, and they got me hooked up to an IV and some pitocin to help my labor begin. The nurses all seemed very impressed that for my first baby I was already 4 cm dilated and 50% effaced. The first few hours were actually comfortable – we watched TV, visited with Paul’s parents and enjoyed watching the monitors I was on that tracked the baby’s heartbeat and my so far only mildly uncomfortable contractions. Around 3 pm, the doctor came in to check me and he was pleased with my progress at 5 cm and decided to break my water to get things moving a bit faster.

That’s when things started to pick up speed and get fun! I was managing my contractions pretty well for about 2 ½ hours, and then they started to get pretty painful. I managed through the painful contractions for about another 2 hours when I decided that I really didn’t want to wait any longer to get pain medication. I was begging for the epidural for about an hour because the anesthesiologist was in a c-section. I was in serious pain!! Come to find out that I was already 7 cm and the anesthesiologist said I really shouldn’t have waited so long. Wow! I was pretty proud of myself. I really wanted to try to do it unmedicated, but I am very pleased with how things went. Now, I am glad that I went as long as I did for the experience, but I am DEFINETLY a fan of the epidural. =)

By the time I go the epidural it was about 8 pm and the relief was instant. I even took a nap! Around midnight I was 9 ½ cm and the nurse and doctor said that soon it would be time to start pushing. The active pushing phase lasted about 1 ½ hours – I guess that’s pretty good for a first time mom according to the nurses and doctor. The first 45 minutes were uncomfortable, but not terribly painful, but once I got into the home stretch it started to be much more painful. Paul, my mom and my Aunt Monica were all with me in the labor room helping me get through it. I was always encouraged as they kept seeing Sebastian’s little head and they kept saying how much hair he had. I knew it couldn’t be too much longer.

Finally, the nurse called the doctor in since it was almost time for the final pushes. Once Doctor Cacciatore (yes, that’s really his name – very Italian too!) came in it was only 4 or 5 more pushes before Sebastian came out on May 18 at 1:51 am. They handed him to me right away and it was amazing. I’ve never in my life experienced something like that. They quickly took him though to make sure all was well and as we had agreed Paul stayed with Sebastian the whole time so he knew exactly what was happening.

As the doctor was finishing with me, I think that last part was worse than the actual delivery. Besides the fact that I tore, I had many blood clots in my uterus that had to be removed and I burst a capillary in the surrounding area. I lost a lot of blood and for about two or three hours I was very nauseous, had the shakes and was just plain out of it. Once they moved me out of Labor and Delivery I began to feel much better.

Our two nights at the hospital were eternal. It seemed we could never get sleep between learning how to tend to Sebastian and then all the nurses coming in every few hours. By Sunday we were certainly ready to head home.

We visited the pediatrician on Monday and Tuesday to make sure that Sebastian’s weight was doing okay because my milk hadn’t really come in yet and he was down to 7 lbs, 11 oz when we left the hospital. He asked us to supplement with formula, which we are doing occasionally if we absolutely have to, but I am pretty adamant about breastfeeding so we are now just feeding him anytime he wants to stimulate my milk supply. Things are going much better now and he is eating much more consistently.

Wednesday I went to my doctor because I had a urinary tract infection (not fun!) and got medication for that but within 24 hours I was still feeling like something was wrong and started to run a temperature and have terrible chills and body aches. I called our nurse hotline and they told me to go to the ER if it didn’t get better by the evening. I was a wreck – I was so upset and scared and of course didn’t want to leave my baby. Luckily, we monitored my fever throughout the night and my temperature didn’t escalate again until 5 am so I just called my OB in the morning and they fit me in right away. It turns out my doctor thinks I have endometritis, a type of inflammation and infection of the membranes that line the uterus. It’s one of the most common infections that follows childbirth and usually has to be treated in the hospital, but luckily Dr. Cacciatore believes my case is still mild enough for me to treat at home. I’m taking medication now and haven’t had a fever at all today. Hopefully it will stay that way because if it does spike up past 102 I’ll have to be admitted to the hospital. So keep me in your prayers!

So that’s the long labor story with all the details. Long and short of it all is that it was an experience I will never forget and will forever be one of the happiest days of my life. Sebastian is our little miracle, our angel and I can’t believe it each day when I realize how blessed we are to have such a beautiful family.

Friday, May 18, 2007

It's a Boy!!!

Sebastian Kolbe arrived this morning, 5/18 at 1:51am. He was 8lbs 5oz and 20 inches long. Thanks to everyone for your prayers during this time and stay tuned for more pictures to come. I'm running on 30 minutes of sleep for the last 36 hours so bear with me...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Quick Update:

We had a doctor's appointment today, and everything was great!

In order to increase Cristina's chances of delivering vaginally, they have scheduled us for an induction on Thursday at 5am. So if the baby doesn't come before then, it will be THURSDAY!!! Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. We will send out word as soon as we can, but keep in mind that even with the induction it could take a LONG time. Thanks for your prayers, please keep them coming!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Less than one week left! Woo-hoo! We are all getting very anxious to meet our baby. The doctor seemed to think that last week was the week and that we'd have a baby by mother's day, but that was not our little one's plan. He/She didn't want to share Mommy with anyone! =) I certainly feel ready now and am getting anxious to meet our new little guy or girl. I've been having occasional pains here and there and I'm already dialating so things are happening!

This Saturday we had a special treat - our wonderful friend Scott was able to come over and give us a beautiful baby gift. He is a professional artist and muralist and painted adorable animals in our nursery to match our jungle animals theme. It looks incredible - so magical and cute - we love it! So if you ever need a room transformed... check out Scott's amazing work. Below are the pictures of the nusery.

So I think we are ready! Please continue to pray for us that we may have patience, have a safe and comfortable labor, and hopefully within the next few posts we will have pictures of our new addition to the family!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

We're getting closer!!

Cristina had another Sonogram yesterday (5/7) because the doctors thought the baby might be kind of big. Everything checked out normal with the baby's size and it's right on track. We had no concern, but were just excited to get more pictures!! Here are a couple good ones that we got.
Look at those chubby little cheeks!!!

Our tech also said that it looks like Baby G has a lot of hair!!
These pictures are so exciting! It won't be long now until we get to hold this little guy or girl! Please keep us in your prayers as we just wait for Baby G's arrival!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Still pregnant! We are counting the days anxiously now! All last month we were showered with lots of love and gifts for our growing family. We had a baby shower with Cristina's family friends, Paul's family friends, work friends and our friends! Your kindness and generosity has us off to an amazing start - this baby isn't even here yet and he/she is so loved and blessed! The doctor reported last week that all is going well and baby is in position - all good signs. We also get to have another sonogram early next week to help see how big the baby is - so hopefully we'll have some new pictures to post! Unless baby comes before the sonogram! =) Below are a few recent pictures. Sorry if I always have the same clothes's getting harder to fit into things! Rest assured that as soon as we have baby news, we'll be posting it on the blog so keep checking back and drop us an e-mail to say hi! Thanks for all your prayers, love and support!

The Pregnant Posse at Scholastic Book Fairs. Four pregnant ladies all due within a 6 week window! Let's just say it's been "interesting" around work the past 6 months.

My fabulous co-workers during the great baby shower they hosted for me at work.

Our extraordinary baby shower hosted by Tiffany, Donelle and Sarah. Everything was beautiful and it was great to see so many of you I hadn't connect with in a while.

Mommy-to-be with baby shower hostesses.

The roomies from Rawlings Hall at UF!