Isla Beth.

(Lots of pictures at the end of the post...if you get bored...)

Well, I've obviously taken quite a long hiatus from blogging, but for good reason! We welcomed our little girl, Isla Beth Garlock, into the world on March 18th (my Mom's birthday!), and let's just say life has been a little hectic since then! Hectic but wonderful--she is the most darling baby in the world (I'm slightly biased) and we are so so happy to have her with us.

I don't want to bore everyone with my "birth story", but I also wanted to kind of record what happened that day so I remember. And, since I don't really journal, I'm going to just write a brief bit about the happenings of that day.

I had an appointment with my doctor on Thursday (March 17), and I was far enough dilated, etc., that he suggested we induce me on Monday. I was thrilled to have an end in sight, but not so excited about the 3 shifts I still had to work that weekend. Anyway, the doctor thoroughly checked me at my appointment and I went to my parents afterward because we were all going to go to dinner for my Mom's birthday. I was contracting a bit, but that always happens after being checked, so I wasn't too concerned. I kept contracting pretty much all night and through dinner, and when we got home I almost went in to the hospital. But, I figured I probably wouldn't go that fast, and I'd rather try to get some sleep that night. So, I slept, woke up at 5 am to go the bathroom, and realized that I was still contracting a lot, like every 2-3 minutes. It wasn't super painful, but uncomfortable enough. I woke up Andrew and told him we should probably just go in before he left for work. I called my Mom (she's a L&D nurse, so I definitely wanted her there!) and she met us at the hospital.

We got there, got all hooked up to the monitors, and sure enough I was contracting very regularly. I was still dilated to a 4, which is what I was at my appt, so the doctor said he'd give me a couple hours and see what happened. Since I wasn't 39 weeks til the next day, he technically couldn't break my water or induce labor if I wasn't progressing on my own. So, he came back around 9 am, I had progressed (thank goodness) to a 5, and he broke me water. After that, holy cow, the contractions got painful! I requested my epidural ASAP and clutched the bed rails until the anesthesiologist came in. He got my epidural in, had to try a couple times cause my back is curved weirdly... and I was in HEAVEN! Oh man, it was the best feeling ever to have the contractions gone.

After about 10 minutes, though, I started feeling like I was going to black out...not good. My blood pressure had dropped to somewhere in the 80s/40s (that's very low), and in response to that, baby's heart rate dropped dramatically. So, tons of nurses came running in flipping me over, putting on an internal monitor, laying my head back, putting on oxygen, etc... Being a nurse in this area, I knew that all of this meant something very bad was happening. For a moment, I thought they were going to rush me back for an emergency C-section. In the end, it turns out my epidural had been dosed a bit too high for my body size, and the anesthesiologist came in and gave my some Epinephrine and decreased my epidural dose. Thankfully, Isla recovered well. I, however, was a major stress case for the rest of my labor, asking my Mom and the other nurses literally like every 10 seconds if the baby was okay, how her heart rate was, etc. I'm sure I drove them nuts, but I was just terrified of something going wrong.

The rest of the labor progressed pretty easily. I never used my epidural button, though, for fear that I would cause her heart rate to drop again. So, I was able to move my legs still and feel the pressure of the contractions, but not the pain, which I was totally fine with. I kept dilating on my own and never needed any Pitocin, and around 2:30 or 3 pm, I was complete! I pushed for about an hour, and boy did I feel it. I'm sure it wasn't as bad as going natural, but it was definitely not totally numb down there. She finally came and was absolutely perfect! Weighed in at 5 lbs. 15 oz. and was a short 18 inches. My sister, Jenna, was there for the delivery and it was really fun to have her with me. I was really proud of how well her and Andrew did watching the whole thing. They were more in awe than disgusted :) The doctor stitched me up (which I totally felt-ouch), and the nursery got Isla all dried off and bathed. The first time I held her I just felt a huge wave of relief that she was out and I didn't have to worry about hurting her anymore! She was just darling and I fell in love right away.

Once we got her home, she continued to be a wonderful baby, aside from the fact that she had her nights and days completely mixed up and was awake every night from about 1-6 am. Can't really blame her, though, as I did work nights and probably confused her a bit! Thankfully, that only lasted about a week and half, and now she sleeps pretty good at night. She is already three weeks old, and I feel like she is getting so big already! It makes me sad but happy at the same time, as I see her personality continue to develop.

I am feeling much, much better now, compared to where I was a couple weeks ago. Having a child is overwhelming, and no matter what anyone told me, I was not prepared for the extreme exhaustion I felt right after! But, it only lasts a short while in the scheme of things, and it's totally worth it for my little lady.

So, that's it...sorry to drone on and on, but as I said, I want to preserve the memory for myself! I have to say thanks to everyone who has come to visit, sent gifts, brought meals, etc... in the last few weeks. It has all been MUCH appreciated and made us feel so loved and taken care of! So, thanks :)

And now, for lots of pictures (I attempted to put them in some sort of chronological order):