Sorry we haven't updated in a while. Steve found it easier to do quick updates on Facebook than the blog so I know a lot of anti-FB folks were waiting for info. I'll try to update you on our life over the past couple of days.
Like Steve said my contractions started to get pretty painful so I got the epidural and was so glad I did. It really helped me relax and save my strength for the pushing at the end. Something was a little wonky with the drugs, though, because my right side was totally numb but my left side pretty much still had most of its feeling. This meant I could move my left leg all around, but it also meant I had a "window" of nerve feeling in my pelvis where I was still feeling the contractions very strongly. I was actually just fine with this though because it took the edge off but I was still very aware of what was going on in my body. Once things progressed to full dilation my doctor showed up and we started pushing. Everyone was so encouraging and I felt really awake and strong. It was actually pretty social in between contractions and I sometimes had to interrupt the conversation to say, "Um, I think I feel another one, should I start pushing again?".
It took about an hour, making steady progress with each contraction, and with one last big push our little girl was out and being put on my chest. It was so strange to hold this little gooey purple bundle and realize that she was the one who has been squirming around inside me for the past 9 months. I felt awe but also like I had no idea who this little person was. I knew it was going to take some time for us to get to know each other but I was so excited to start. Little Holly got taken to the nursery to get cleaned up while I got some stitches (and also got cleaned up!), and soon we were being wheeled to our recovery room. With all that long black hair to wash the nurse said Holly was the messiest baby she's ever had to clean! Apparently it took two changes of water to finish her bath.
The rest of the first evening was pretty much a blur of nurses coming in and out to check my vitals, checking Holly's progress, trying to breastfeed, changing gooey black diapers, and even having our friends Kara, Matt, and Laura over for a visit. I was luckily feeling very awake and social after labor, and Holly dazzled everyone with her intensely alert but very quiet demeanor.
She has been SUCH a good baby for us, we're really wondering what the catch it. It's taken a little practice but she's latching on like a pro; we haven't really needed to see a lactation specialist, even though we've asked to just to be safe (day 2 still waiting for her to show up....). Holly has made a few little fussy noises at night but has not once woken up crying. In fact the most difficult time we've had has been trying to wake her up to feed her. When she's awake she's very awake and ready to nurse, but she's not been happy when we've tried to rouse her for a feeding when she's super tired. We've tried taking her clothes off, rubbing her head and chest, squeezing her legs, tickling her chin and feet, but when she's tired there's just no keeping those beautiful eyes open. I'm learning that the nurses have the best intentions when they pester us to feed every 3 hours, but I think our little girl is doing a good job telling us when she's hungry.
That's pretty much what has been going on these last couple of days for the Ferg Family. We're going home from the hospital around noon today and Steve and I are very excited to try this whole parenting thing at home. Steve parents, Sam and Jane, arrived last night and will be staying with us for the next week or so, so we should have some good company and help around the house. In the meantime we're just floating thru our time warp, wondering where the hours keep disappearing to, and just loving our little girl to pieces. Thank you to everyone for all the wonderful notes and e-mails! It's been so great to hear from all of you and to know how loved we are. We're really on cloud 9 and can't wait to start sharing little Holly with you all.(Here is the link to our photo album on Flickr)