Carly May Cunningham

::39 Weeks::
Last pregnant picture!

Saturday morning, bright and early Josh arrived home after a complication-free night of travel from the village in Alaska to PDX.  We shared donuts with three very happy little boys and set about getting everything ready for the big day Sunday.

Sunday  morning we awoke, showered, hugged & kissed the children goodbye, and set off to welcome our fourth little one into the world.  We checked in and had a few hours of waiting while I had bloodwork done, got an IV of fluids & met our nurse & staff.

Before we knew it, it was time to bid my mom and sister goodbye.  I walked to the OR with Josh and my amazing nurse Erika.  She held my shoulders gently while I got my spinal.  They checked for numbness and soon I was numb to my rib cage.  I started to feel  like I was having trouble breathing, but the anesthesist assured me that I was breathing, even if I couldn't feel it.

(For those wondering, I opted for my third birth to be a repeat c-section. I had a c-section with the twins (my first pregnancy) because the smaller twin was head down, but baby B, who was bigger was transverse (across my belly) and my doctor was concerned he wouldn't go head down when his brother was born, and I didn't want to have to recover from both a vaginal birth and a c-section.  My second birth was a failed VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean).  I labored for 24 hours after my water broke, dilated to 8cm, and was exhausted beyond belief, but Wyatt wouldn't move down for anything!  So it ended in a c-section as well.  After the failed VBAC followed by cesarean, I knew I didn't want to labor and have that same experience, so I chose to pick a day and have Carly that way.  In some ways it was easier (knowing the date, not worrying about childcare, not stressing about labor) but in other ways it's been pretty difficult (excessive swelling, abdominal pain from the incision and all the worries that go along with major surgery).  But overall I would say my third c-section was the best one yet.  I knew what to expect, didn't take any narcotics except oxycodone twice when the pain got bad, and was up and around by day two.)

Less than ten minutes into the operation, Carly was being pulled from my womb.  There was music playing the whole time.  The song playing when she was born at 12:06? Moves Like Jagger by Maroon 5. Ha! She was completely alert, eyes open, looking all around even before her legs had left my belly.  Every person in the room commented on it.

She was weighed and came in at 7lbs. 14oz. and 21 and a quarter inches long.  My longest baby by an inch, and my third in weight. (Logan was 4.6lbs, Jack was 6.13lbs, and Wyatt was 8.14lbs.)  And her apgar scores were 8 and 9.

Josh brought her over after they'd checked her out and I got to see her sweet face and hold her hand.  While they'd been pulling her out and checking on her, tears just streamed down my face.  After a journey of nearly two years, two miscarriages and three pregnancies, I'd finally have a baby in my arms.  I couldn't put into words how grateful I felt.

She continued to be alert in the recovery room.  We stayed there for an hour and I remember feeling very nauseous.  Luckily I never did lose it.  (I threw up after both my other c-sections, and let me tell you, puking after abdominal surgery is not super fun.)

Then we finally got to go back to our regular room and Carly got to meet my mom and sister, as well as have her first bath.  She loved it!

Carly May Cunningham
7lbs. 14oz. :: 21 and a quarter inches
January 24, 2016 at 12:06pm

Order of events:
1. Be born
2. Put on pink clothes

Proud Aunt Roxanne
My mom, Nanny, meeting Carly for the first time

Holding Nanny's hand

My favorite nurse friend Kathy with Carly

Me & my girl

That afternoon Josh's mom brought the boys over, and that will have a post all its own, but I can't post a blog about her birth and not include a picture of her with her three biggest fans.

The first night in the hospital was a bit tough as we worked on breast feeding, but each subsequent night got better.  If I'm going to be sleep deprived, I'd prefer it always be with a cutie like this!

Can I just say I love all the baby girl clothes?
Meeting Grandma Carol for the first time

Meeting Aunt Julie for the first time

Meeting Uncle Blake
And meeting Uncle Dalton, whose birthday she shares!

I so enjoyed getting to know this little girl who's been growing inside me the last nine months.  She's more beautiful & perfect than I imagined.

And she looks a lot like Wyatt did when he was born.

She was 7lbs. 14oz. when she was born, which is only two ounces more than I had predicted.  But by the end of our stay at the hospital, she got down to 6lbs. 15oz. Because of her loss, I started pumping and supplementing her time at the breast with expressed milk via a tube attached to Josh's finger which she would "nurse" on.  It was a good way to try and get her weight up while we waited for my milk to come in.

One afternoon Jack came to hang with us while his brothers had a playdate at Nanny's.  He loved on Carly and enjoyed playing big brother.

I know this is a really long post (with lots of pictures!) but as time passed and I still hadn't blogged, I decided to include all her hospital pictures in this birth post.  

The reason it took me so long to blog is that I've had a serious case of "baby blues", which I never understood or knew about before I had Carly.  Knowing what I know now, I realize I had them with Wyatt (to a lesser degree) as well.  Random, unstoppable bouts of crying; feeling overwhelmed; insomnia; and night terrors (all from a hormonal imbalance caused by birth) made it hard to function for a few days after we got home. 

Thankfully I called my OB and she gave me a Rx for Vistaril, which is an anti-histamine used to help with anxiety & insomnia.  Just one pill each night has given me the strength to combat my anxiety, kick insomnia to the curb and feel like maybe, just maybe, I can do this whole "parenting four kids" thing.  

In the meantime Carly turned a week old on Sunday, my milk came in, my crazy swollen feet have gotten back to normal, and we're slowly working on getting back into our normal routine.  I could seriously pinch myself every time I dress Carly in something precious & pink.  After nearly eight years of blue & green, it feels surreal.  

I am so grateful she is so healthy and that I am healing up so quickly.  
God has been so good to us.


Ashley B said...

Oh my gosh, she is so precious!! And good for you for getting what you need for the baby blues. Those emotions are no joke! Continued prayers for you as you transition with Carly home. xoxo

Cassidy said...

So precious! Congratulations, Carly - you are a part of a wonderful family! :)

W Bryant said...

She is a gorgeous baby, beautifully and wonderfully made. Congratulations on your new addition to the family!! And yes, I could see a lot of resemblance to Wyatt as well :)
As much as I love reading your blog, I think anyone would understand there being a little time between posts right now. Just enjoy your time right now.
I'm glad the Rx is helping with the baby blues - I was my mom's only girl/last child and she had them after my birth more so than with her boys. I don't know if there was anything she could take for it back then, so thank goodness for modern medicine.
~ Faith, Hope, Love, & Be Well! :)

Kristin in Alaska said...

It looks like Wyatt has his twin now!
Congratulations - she's adorable!

Katie said...

I am so thrilled for you and your precious family! Welcome to the world, Carly May!

Cheese Lady said...

She is just sweet!! congratulations!!

♥ Sari ♥ said...

She's so pretty! Congratulations! ♥

Tabitha Studer said...

omi, just perfection! thank you for sharing the day with us, I love getting to know your family through your pictures and the way you write. Sending you love and REST to get better and to feel better too. I had the baby blues after Greyson, I think some of it had to with the swelling (me too!) and not being able to get back to my normal operating speed as quickly as I wanted/needed! So I'm glad to hear that you are feeling better and getting what you need<3 Thinking of you guys always. xxoxox

Courtney Romine said...

Carly is absolutely precious! I'm so happy for you and your family!

Jenn DeVille said...

Carly is beautiful! As are all your children! Blessings to you and your Sweet Family from Texas!

Rox said...

I love her so much! She's just a dream. I know the supplementing/pumping hasn't been easy, I'm proud of you for sticking with it. Love you!

Cindy said...

She is beautiful & so alert! Our 8th pregnancy was our daughter. Our first a very premature still born son, 1miscarriage, our oldest son was born, 2 more miscarriages, then our second son & then a miscarriage & our daughter. Loved all the pink too but then in her teens that pink turned into blacks & grays, just part of the changes of life. Anyway, that oldest son & his wife are 6 weeks away from their due date with their first child & our first grandchild, gender unknown. My baby snuggling time is appriaching soon.

Simon and Christina said...

Oh, Shelly! She is just too precious!!! Your pictures make me miss the newborn days for just a minute. I'm so happy to hear that you are both doing well. I absolutely LOVE all of the cute pink stuff, it's all SO fun! I'm sure you'll totally rock this "parenting four kids" thing. Thanks for sharing all of these cute photos with the blog world. Thinking of you all and praying for you often.

MoiraMia said...

Congratulations! She couldn't be more beautiful, could she? She is going to have a great life in your family. Such a blessed little angel, having such a loving family. Those baby toes are precious. So happy for you all!

Sharon Telschow said...

Congratulations Shelly!!! I am so, so happy for you and all your guys. Having a little lady in the family will be such a joy. Keep up the good work!

Rebecca Jackson said...

Congratulations!!! Carly is simply precious!