Friday, December 24, 2004

One week old

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Madison's Birth

We're home! :)  This email is for those of you who want all the details
of our last three days....
Last time you heard from me I said we had a Doctor's appointment at 
on Thursday.  We went to that appointment, had the non-stress test (all
okay) and had my membranes stripped (you don't want to know). 
After the exam, Dr. Chen said I was ready to go and asked if we wanted
to be admitted for induction.  We agreed (!!) and were told to check in
between 7pm and 8pm.  We went home to get our bags, and went out for
dinner at Clara's (our fav Italian restaurant).  By the time we got 
I had already had some minor contractions because of the membrane
stripping, but they were still very tolerable.  
At 7:30pm we checked into the hospital, and I was given  a cervical gel
to "ripen" the cervix for induction.  The gel stayed in overnight, 
I slept in the hospital.  By 6am I was still having just minor
contractions, and we started Pitocin (stimulates contractions and
labor).  We watched some TV, hung out, and I was able to manage the
contractions.  By 11am my friend, Shannon, arrived to the hospital.  
went to lunch (and to do some work), and was gone for about 90
minutes....and boy those were the longest 90 minutes of my life (and
Shannon's too!). 
The contractions were HUGE and I was only 1-2 centimeters and 50%
effaced.  I just tried all the techniques that I was taught to manage
labor, some worked and some didn't.  Shannon rubbed my back and talked
me through them.  I got to a point where I was moaning through them, 
a nurse came in and said "I need to check you...your getting 
Shannon told me I said, "what for? I'm only 2 centimeters!" 
The nurse insisted she check me and discovered I was just only 3
centimeters & 100% effaced, and she said I was ready for my epidural.
Zak came back and saw me have another 4-5 killer contractions before I
got the epidural. 
Epidural are from HEAVEN, and I have the utmost respect for women who
have had babies without them. 
It was the best feeling in the world, and I went RIGHT to sleep at 
1:30!  Shannon left (thank you for
being there!), and Zak also went to sleep.   
At about 4pm, I woke up feeling some pressure.  I asked the nurse to
check me, and I was 10 centimeters 100% effaced.  Ready to push! She
asked me to give some practice pushes to see what I could do, and as
soon as I did, she said.  "Okay, stop now, we need the doctor."  Once
the doctor arrived, I pushed for about 30-40 minutes, I felt her head
crown with my hand, and Madison was born at 4:54pm. I kept saying, "oh
my God!" over and over and cried and cried with amazement.  It was so
overwhelming to watch her come out. Zak watched the entire delivery and
said it was the most amazing thing he'd ever seen.  He was a great 
and did a wonderful job helping me deliver!  
As soon as she was born, she had her normal exam (she got a 9 and
another 9 on her Apgar) right in the room with us, and I got her back
right away.  She was alert and the three of us cuddled and nuzzled
together for about an hour alone.  The nurses came in to move us to our
post-partum room, and although we didn't know it,
my dad had arrived at the hospital at about 3:30.   
We had called him in the morning in Dallas, and he flew to Chicago.  He
helped us move to the post-partum room. 
Madison nurses like a champ, and didn't need me to show her how to do
it!  She latched on without any problems and continues to nurse very
well.  She is a very peaceful baby and just eats, watches us, and
sleeps.  She looks a lot like Zak, but you all can be the judge from 
photos I sent.  She has HUGE feet and long fingers, and a chin just 
We came home this morning, and my dad helped us get settled in (thank
you!!).  It is amazing how much stuff we accumulated at the hospital.
Maddie came home in the coldest weather Chicago has had all year with a
light dusting of snow.  She was great in the car and didn't fuss when 
stuffed her in the car seat with all her blankets and covers.  
I'm feeling very good, and Zak and I are sleeping relatively well.  I
woke up Maddie in the middle of the night to eat and change her
otherwise I think she would have slept through the night.  
With love and joy we welcome our daughter, Madison Paige.  Thank you 
your support, prayers, and well wishes.  We're so grateful that we were
able to share our pregnancy, and now, our baby's birth with all of you.
Amanda and Zak

Madison's First Pics

Saturday, December 18, 2004


Madison Paige  was born yesterday (12/17) at
4:54pm.  "Maddie" is 7lbs, 4oz and 19 inches long. 
Mom and baby are doing great!  I'm using the hospital
internet, so I can't send a picture yet.  We should be
discharged on Sunday, so we will send pics as soon as
possible.  As you can imagine, she is the most
beutiful thing I have ever seen!  We'll talk to you
all soon.