Friday, December 29, 2006

grasping, looking and spitting up

Lily is changing so much every day, I've decided to post occasional notes. Everyone tells us that she will grow up super fast. Already we can see changes from day to day. I'm hoping these little blurbs will help us capture these changes.

Ok, so what super cute things did Lily do today? Well, she spit up on my foot for one thing. I was burping her while talking to Gabe via a video chat and more came up than just gas.

Lily's vision seems to be getting better day to day too. I don't know if her eyes are focusing better or if she is just starting to recognize stuff. I swear she looks at Becky and I. And if I hold her bottle in front of her, she opens her mouth. She'll actually stop fussing because she knows the bottle is here. Too cool. But the best thing is during 'tummy time' when she lays on your chest, if she is awake, she looks straight at your face with her gorgeous eyes.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Naming Lily

During my pregnancy we chose not to find out the gender of our baby. So when Lily was born it was a complete surprise that we had a daughter. In fact, my Mom had pretty much brainwashed me into thinking our baby was a boy. A number of other people had that opinion too based on how I was carrying, the baby's heart-rate, my appearance and how I picked up napkins :) We had both boy and girl names lined up, but for a boy there was one clear winner, while we weren't as decided on a girl's name.

When Lily arrived we took one look at her and discounted some of our top name choices. They just didn't fit. Friday night we decided to sleep on it and name her on Saturday after getting a little rest. So that evening she was our "baby Wong". Lillian had been on our list and my Mom made a comment on Friday night that she looked like a Lily. We kept trying on other names, but kept coming back to Lily. Then on Saturday morning my brother Eric called to tell me that he had just thought of a great name -- yup, Lily. That conversation pretty much sealed it for me and when Gordon arrived we agreed - she was definitely our Lily.

Now we just needed to finalize her middle name. It is a Chinese tradition for the paternal grandparents to choose a name for the child. So we turned to Gordon's parents to help us out here. We asked for a name that would capture the idea that on the darkest
day of the year (the winter solstice), she brought light into our lives and each day after that was better than the last. After some discussion they suggested "Man-Ching" and we loved it. Man means 'intelligent, clever, quick' and Ching refers to 'the blue sky seen right after dawn that signifies a great day'. Together, they mean 'a rapidly approaching future of great potential and joy'. Not bad huh? Lily shares the 'Man' part of her name with her two cousins, Valora and Sera. Gordon's Mom drew out Lily's Chinese name for us with MS paint - thank you MaMa!

So there you go: Lillian Man-Ching Wong. Now if I could just get around to changing MY last name....

Friday, December 22, 2006

Meeting Grandma and Papa

Becky's parents only live an hour from Boston in Fall River, so they came to the hospital to meet Lily shortly after her arrival. I'm not sure I've ever seen them quite this excited before. It was definitely love at first sight for both of the new grandparents. Becky also got a treat from their visit. They brought a large italian grinder from Marzilli's with them! Turns out they won't let you eat when you're in labor, so I was pretty famished after all that hard work. AND deli meats are one of those things you're not supposed to eat when pregnant. So it had been quite some time since I've enjoyed a sub like that!

Welcome Lily!

Since Lily's arrival is what has inspired us to start this blog, we might as well make the first post all about her! Oh and some credit has to go to our friend Corinne too - she suggested that I get blogging while I was sitting around pregnant waiting for Lily to arrive. Unfortunately I never got around to it then, but here's a picture of Lily and me while we were sharing a body. This picture is from November 17, so about a month before Lily made her grand entrance.

Lily's due date was December 24th, and about 2 weeks before that my OB had suggested that we do an induction on the 21st. I was seeing a high-risk OB because I have an autoimmune disease called myasthenia gravis that causes muscle weakness. The pregnancy had gone great thus far, but my doctor just wanted to make sure we had a controlled delivery in case any problems came up. We had an exam on December 15th and the doctor determined I wasn't quite ready for the induction, so we scheduled it for Dec. 28th instead. I was a little bummed, since by then I was VERY ready to no longer be pregnant and meet our baby. But I was glad that the doctor wasn't forcing anything along.

Well it seems that Lily heard the original date and decided that she was sticking to it regardless of what the doctor thought. December 21st turned out to be the last full day of my pregnancy. I went out that afternoon for a walk to Davis Square to do some Christmas shopping. I had heard that walking helped to get labor moving. That evening I went to bed feeling a little odd - I can't really put my finger on it - I just had a feeling something might be happening. As it turns out I never really got to sleep that night. I was more uncomfortable than usual and by 2AM was pretty sure I was having contractions. They weren't very strong, but they were coming pretty close together - about 3 to 5 minutes apart right from the start. At 3:30 I woke up Gordon and we stared timing together. I though that my water may have broken, but couldn't really tell. Finally at 4:30 we gave in and called the doctor. She suggested that we head into the hospital to see what was going on.

We got into the hospital and settled into a labor & delivery room by 6AM. I was half-convinced we'd be sent home, but after a quick exam a resident determined that there was a tear in my membrane and I was indeed in labor. So it was the real thing after all! Our L&D nurse Maria came on at 7AM and stayed with us pretty much all day - she was so awesome - we can't thank her enough. The contractions came regularly and steadily all morning, slowly growing in intensity. There was talk of pitocin to keep labor moving, but I never ended up needing it. Gordon was a great coach and between the two of us and a deck of Snoopy cards we were cranking along. By 11AM I was 5cm dilated and nearly 100% effaced. That's about when the contractions were painful enough that I could get past my fear of having an epidural put in. So at 11:30 the anesthesiologist came in and with some coaching from Maria I was good to go. Now the contractions got MUCH easier and I was able to catch a little shut-eye.

The afternoon sped by and around 4PM the epidural started to wear off a bit. We started talking to Dr. Bayer about the next stage. Because of my MG she was a bit worried that I wouldn't be able to push the baby out on my own. So she had planned to let her birth down and then use forceps to assist. But we had to decide - we were going to up the anesthesia so I could tolerate a forceps delivery or let it wear off so I could push. I decided that I wanted to try pushing so we started doing that around 5PM. The first half hour was crazy hard - wow, but I did manage to make progress. So we kept going. My memory here gets fuzzy, but I know that sometime after 5:30 I moved onto my side and things progressed pretty quickly from there. Before I knew it Maria was out in the hallway calling the doctors in and suddenly the room was full. Gordon and I were accompanied by: 2 nurses, 2 residents, Dr. Bayer (our OB), 2 doctors from NICU and an anesthesiologist. Next thing I knew I mustered up a couple of more pushes and out came our baby!

Meeting Lily for the first time was such an amazing experience - I'm sure I can't do it justice here. Her birth was such a beautiful and awe-inspiring event - I cant' believe that I was afraid of childbirth going into it. I mean, sure, it was hard at times and while pushing I didn't think I could possibly do this, but wow all that paled in comparison to the moment when Lily arrived in the world. We didn't know her gender before she got here, so I guess the first emotion was processing that we had a little girl! Unfortunately, because of the MG the NICU doctors took Lily right away and checked her out. There was some concern of neo-natal myasthentia. But she was absolutely fine and they were gone from the room in minutes. Finally she was given to me and I got to look into her eyes for the first time. How amazing to meet this little person who had been living inside me for all this time. Gordon and I were both just awe-struck, actually we're still pretty much feeling the same way.