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Isabelle Elizabeth McD

Tap tap tap. Is this thing on? The radio silence lasted a little longer than I had expected. Oops. I’ve been so engulfed in this little munchkin that not much else has mattered lately. She’s my entire life now. Today is the first day that I have been alone with her and I was really worried about it. But so far, she’s still breathing and I’m out of my pj’s…although I changed into new clothes that could easily BE pj’s. Comfort baby. I’m wearing her in a sling right now so I can type. She loves being close…it’s almost the only thing that calms her. But heyo, mini homegirl smells funky today. It’s time for a bath but I am not quite confident enough to tackle that alone so we’ll wait until dad gets home tonight.

Last shot, the morning of….

We’ve had our little Iz in our lives for 18 days now. It’s crazy how fast it has gone by. 18 days ago, Nick and I woke up at 6 am to call the hospital to see if they had room for us. (I was being induced at 7 so if it was full, I’d have to wait). Thankfully they got us right in. We ate a light breakfast, took one last belly shot and drove to the hospital. I can’t speak for Nick, but I was really calm and happy. Just very excited to hold her after all of these months. The night before I had started having mild contractions but still nothing worth going to the hospital about…thank heavens for the scheduled induction. I couldn’t wait another day. The anticipation was killing me.

This is long. And might not be very interesting but for the sake of my memory down the road, I need to document it. Enjoy, or don’t.:)

We got to the hospital and checked in. While waiting to be taken back a girl came in with her sister. She was IN LABOR. Crying, couldn’t stand up, the works. I felt so bad for her. An hour and a half later, I wouldn’t feel so bad for her anymore. Our nurse, Jennifer, greeted us and took us to our room where I got into my labor gown. Super hot. (Still in good spirits).

A short while later I hear whistling in the hallway. I heart our doctor so much. Dr. Dennis Carter is honestly the most amazing doctor there is on the planet. Nick and I enjoyed every visit with he and his nurse Chris. We were in the best, most laid back happy hands. He checked me out quickly…I was only dilated to a 3, still an improvement over the past week so we were good to go. He broke my water which…ew. Ew. I don’t know how people handle that happening in grocery stores and stuff. Sick. He told us to walk the hallways for an hour to see if labor started on it’s own, if not…pitocin awaited. By the end of the awkward hour (walking loops around the hallway) my contractions were about 3 minutes apart. It was now 9:30 and my pain was around a 5 on the scale of 10. I hopped in the bath to kill time just as things were really ramping up. This labor thing hurt. By 10:30 I was dilated to a 4-5. She let me know that I could get the epidural now or ride it out for a bit longer in bed or on the birthing ball. Afraid of the epidural slowing labor down if I got it too soon, I hopped on the birthing ball. 2 minutes later, we rang the bell for the epidural.

The epidural was probably my biggest fear of birth. Why I watched it on youtube I will never know. Alas, that pain couldn’t be worse than labor. My first epidural didn’t hurt at all. They numbed the location and in it went. Then out it came. Miss! I felt like battleship. Score. Next try. SINK! We got her with one big huge ouch flinch. But I have to say, really not bad at all. After the epi we just kind of kicked it waiting for things to get moving and still hoping we didn’t need the pitocin. My contractions went away except for a tightening in my stomach and a peak on the monitor. Around 1, Dr. Carter came in and let us know that since I was dilated to a 6 we’d probably be delivering her between 5 and 7 that evening so he instructed me to take a 2 hour nap. I sent Nick down to the taco truck to get a burrito and I went to sleep. 10 minutes later I was wide awake and Nick was back. Eating in front of me. Has he not met me? And mexican food? Had I not been a fall risk I would have hobbled over and taken it from him. At this point I was really feeling the contractions…not so much in my belly or my legs but some point in between if you catch what I’m throwing down. I had Nick call the nurse back in to see if she could up my epidural dosage because she was not a working! It was now 1:50. She said she’d just check me to see what was up. Oh sweet mother, I was now at a 9.5 and it was time to push!!! She could see her hair. The epidural didn’t work and that was all that could be done. We got a few pushes in before Dr. Carter came. 20 minutes later, 7 swear words later, 4 Lord’s name in vein later, 3 attempts to give up and a whole lot of vocal screaming, little Isabelle came out. I always thought I would cry when I first saw her but my first reaction was…oh, that’s what you look like!

She was perfection. Holding her was the most surreal thing I have ever experienced. The only thing more amazing was watching her daddy hold her. He was smitten immediately. And a little teary. Might be my favorite moment of my life watching my best friend hold our little baby girl. The next hour was kind of a blur but the pain was gone. Labor was ouchy but it was so fast that I really can’t complain too much. It was kind of a breeze (minus those 20 minutes). Really, really minus those 20 minutes. On a scale of 1-10, pushing was a 17.5. Our nurses were so amazing. People have said that they make or break your visit and ours felt like family or good friends. Cheers St. Lukes!

I call this shot, “17 chins”.

After a bit they moved us to our room on the 8th floor. We had some friends visit us but spent the day just holding her. She was perfection. Did I say that yet? Just the happiest baby on the block. We left the hospital the next day around 6pm and started life on our own. Thankfully my mom and sister arrived that evening.

Feeding her has been our biggest challenge. Lots of tears have been shed from both of us as have screams and a little blood. I love my little barracuda but holy mother. We are still working with lactation consultants to get it right but each day gets better. We’ve had lots of family staying with us since she came. When my mom and sister left I cried non-stop for a day and a half. Hormones? We’ve had good days and nights and bad but I have to say…they must make these little things so cute so you can just look them in the eyes and forget about all of the hard times. She’s so loveable and snuggable. Her skin is perfect. Her hair is silky. Her eyes are deep blue and she looks JUST like her daddio.

Big bro Gus has even taken nicely to her. He’s been very calm around her but he does love giving her kisses. I started doing 2 mile walks with my dad this past week and it may have been too much too soon because I’ve been feeling pretty bad again. So today is spent on the couch and writing this blog. Hopefully I am back to normal soon. Did I mention she’s so totally worth it!??!!!!!

She’s already changing daily. I love watching each day as the cheeks pudge more but it also makes me so sad. She is just so perfect now that I want to freeze time…or at least really, really slow it down. I want to soak in every single moment with her.

Our favorite thing is all of the little faces that she makes right now. She’s such a character!

Thank you so much to our wonderful family’s for coming to take care of us those first couple of weeks. We couldn’t have made it through without you!

Friends and family…promise me you’ll get an epidural?

***I forgot to add that we had some visitors welcome us home from the hospital. We got home and there was a bug hatch in our house. About 50 stink beetles in our kitchen. Yay. We are still getting rid of them.

The loves of my life!

Some of her little cousins

Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 3:43 pm

Lindzee - Tears. streaming. Loved every minute of this post. So happy for you guys. She is precious!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 3:46 pm

Jackie Sinn - Heart these and you!! Gorgeous!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 3:47 pm

Jenny S. - I love how you describe everything so perfectly (even though you breeze through how HARD everything really is, but that’s understandable)! She is gorgeous. Welcome to motherhood, isn’t it the best?!

Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 3:56 pm

Megan McKenna - Loved reading this! I am so happy for you both, how special and what an amazing story! Her grin in the B&W photo looks like Nick! I love how you captured photos of your family with her too. :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 4:21 pm

Hollan - What an amazing first 2 weeks! Thanks for letting us share in the special moments! :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 4:32 pm

Kate Holgate - So sweet, it literally brought tears to my eyes. The happiest blog I’ve ready all week. Thanks for sharing.

Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 4:32 pm

Julie - Welcome to the world of motherhood – it is a wild ride and you will breeze through! She is gorgeous, just like her Momma!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 5:35 pm

Kim Froehlich - love love love!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 6:13 pm

Nate Perkes - Good Grief!!! These are SO beautiful. I’ve literally been checking back over and over again for this post. I loved every bit of it. How beautiful. It reminds me of the crazy excitement of the day Jace was born. It’s the best thing on earth. So happy for you two!

Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 8:44 pm

Terri Martin - I am so happy for you guys! She is just gorgeous. I can’t wait to meet her! Let me know when you are up for visitors and we’ll come see you. I really enjoyed reading your story. You look great, by the way!

Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 9:23 pm

bridgette - Lovely memories! The photos are all so beautiful, looks like Izzy has had some sweet snuggles. I am excited that you got to “feel” childbirth even though that wasn’t your original plan…it’s the most magical pain ever ;) Motherhood looks amazing on you!

Friday, August 19, 2011 - 5:32 am

Dawn - Izzy is going to be a super model by the time your done with her, she is so cute cant wait to see her great photos of the family

Friday, August 19, 2011 - 8:47 am

Brook - I read your posts and I cry… Apparently the hormones take awhile to balance out because I do a lot more of that lately, but I am so happy for all of you. You are going to be such a great mommy. That is one lucky little girl.

Friday, August 19, 2011 - 11:26 am

Grandpa Bill Starke - What is HAPPINESS ? I have just seen it in all its glory..and I am a 92 year old gezzer who has seen a lot !!!

Saturday, August 20, 2011 - 8:58 pm

Luisa Perkes - Oh my goodness… oh my goodness…. oh my goodness!!!!! I don’t even know what to say besides that! Reading this post makes me want to do it all ALL OVER AGAIN! And THIS time, I’m going to have a girl that looks JUST like me, or even better, just like Isabelle. She is gorgeous beyond description. I am so happy for you and for her and for your hubby. She is a lucky little girl being born into your family. Congratulations, you lovely lady!! We are so happy for you!

Monday, August 22, 2011 - 9:35 am

vanessa - So special Crissie! This took me forever to read because I kept tearing up and could no longer see my computer screen. So happy for you and your family!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011 - 8:31 am

Brett wing - Love the pic of her and nick sleeping and of you and her in the hammock. Super sweet. Good for you, sticking w the breast feeding. We are super happy for you both:)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - 8:40 pm

Lindsey Hoshaw - I love the photos of Isabelle with Craig and Hollan!!! Go Hardys!

Friday, September 9, 2011 - 3:53 pm

Kim - I was a little late in the game reading this but I got all choked up. I love the family pictures. I can’t believe how much Sam looks like Hollan!

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