Saturday, May 31, 2008

Isabella and Naomi


We are really blessed and fortunate to have the church family we do. Every day this week, since Sunday, someone from our church has brought dinner to us. Makes eating that much easier, let me tell you, especially since I'm still eating every three hours. Yes, it is true, that breastfeeding requires more calorie intake than pregnancy.

Anyways, this past Wednesday, Katia and her daughter Naomi brought some yummy food from Hop Tung. They didn't stay all that long but it was long enough for Naomi to decide she wanted to stay and play. Those two little ones are about 3 months apart.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Victoria is 2 weeks old today



I can't believe our littlest one is two weeks old already.

She went to see two doctors today (Fri., May 30th): her pediatrician and a pediatric cardiologist.

The following are the stats. from her two-week visit to the pediatrician:
weight: 8 pounds, 3 ounces (not bad. she gained 5 ounces in one week!)
length: 21 inches.
head circumference: 14 3/4 inches.

Victoria and I were at the pediatric cardiologist's office for a total of three hours. Yuck. Mercifully, Isabella was home with Daddy, and Victoria was super sweet the whole time. We were there to see whether the hole in her heart that was present when she was born had closed. It's closing, and the doctor's not that concerned. Cool.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Isabella eating with a spoon

When Isabella's A-ma & A-gong were here, A-ma fed Isabella many of her meals. She encouraged & assisted Isabella in using a spoon to feed herself, by putting food on to her spoon and sometimes help directing it into her mouth. The rest of us would clap and say how proud we were of her whenever she was able to take the spoon to her mouth on her own, correctly. Here's some evidence of her activity.


Isabella took her first step on her own

No pictures to show. But, Isabella took her first step or two, on her own, unassisted, when we were at Diana & Monte's home this past Sunday (May 25th) evening. Monte, Dennis, Troy, Isabella, and I were in the kitchen area. Monte & Dennis were chatting, when Troy and I noticed that not only did Isabella let go of his hands, but she took a step or two. How exciting! Don't think Monte or Dennis noticed anything happening outside of their conversation. That's alright. Her Mommy and Daddy saw it happen. HOORAY!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Isabella at 20 months


Isabella turned 20 months old on the 19th, a few days ago. She's a big girl, going through lots of changes, poor little girl. She's been having lots of tantrums lately, with a tiny new member of the family home. Up to yesterday, I've been sleeping a lot (especially with my parents taking care of Isabella during the day). Now that I'm more caught up on sleep and better recovered from delivery, I've got to devote more time with my first-born.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Dr. Hearther Daley, the obstetrician that delivered Victoria


This is the fantastic Dr. Hearther Daley. who delivered little Victoria into the world. I can't say enough in favor of this obstetrician. She's very sweet, knowledgeable, has a fantastic bed-side manner, worked really hard to give me the delivery I wanted (without endangering the well-being of baby or me). . . there's so much more I can say.

Little Victoria almost came before the doctor arrived, perhaps even before we got to the hospital. Want to hear the story? Keep reading, if you're interested. May be a little too detailed for some of you. So, think before pressing onwards. . .

(have you decided, yet?)

The week of May 11, 2008 - Dr. Daley wanted to monitor the well-being of the baby pretty closely, given that this was going to be an attempted VBAC (Vaginal Birth after C-section).

Mon., May 12 (one of two due dates given to me) - got a biophysical profile (BPP) and a non-stress test (NST) at the doctor's office and both indicated baby was doing well.

Tues., May 13 - went to Renaissance Women's Hospital late afternoon because I was feeling contractions every 3-7 minutes for 30-50 minutes that afternoon. Was sent home.

Wed., May 14 - had a NST done at the doctor's office. Baby's still doing well.

Thurs., May 15 - was at Renaissance Women's Hospital from about 4:40 AM to 6:45 PM because the mucous plug had been coming out and I had been experience contractions. Was dialated 2 cm, stationed -2, and effaced 60% at about 5:30 AM. At 9:40 AM, was 3 cm dialated, station -2, and effaced 60%. Little to no changes in the afternoon. Was given the choice to wait for the doctor to come some time in the evening to check me, to go ahead and have an elective C-section, or go home (and keep my appointment for a NST at the doctor's office the next day). Decided to go home and wait.

Fri., May 16 - I had been having painful contractions about every hour or hour a half since 12:15 AM - ish. By 7 o'clock in the morning, the painful contractions started coming every 9 to 15 minutes. After having been to the hospital twice this week already, I was determined to wait before acting on any contractions. Unlike the contractions on preceding days, though, these were not only uncomfortable, they were painful. I wasn't sure whether that was due to the mucous plug being out or whether I was experiencing labor contractions.

By about 10:50 AM or so, the contractions were coming every 7-10 minutes. By noon-ish, they were coming every 5-7 minutes. Not only were they becoming increasingly frequent and consistently, they were becoming less tolerable and noticeably more painful. I wasn't going to be able to wait until my 2 pm appointment for a NST. Called the doctor's office to see whether I should go to the doctor's office (about half an hour drive away) or the hospital (about half the distance, it was on the way to the doctor's office). Since the doctor was in office, they told me to go the doctor's office.

Once I got there, the contractions were coming every 3-6 minutes. Yikes! They were so very painful. Couldn't sit for them. Couldn't make any decent looking face when in the midst of a contraction. When the receptionist said it would be 15 minutes before they'd have a room available for me, I wanted to scream! When the contractions started coming more frequently, they noticed the urgency a bit more. One nurse, though, wanted to hook me up for the NST. WHAT?! I just wanted the doctor to check my cervix. I would be able to sit on a table for a NST; are you kidding?

Dr. Daley said I was dialated 4 cm and effaced 80%. She was glad to see that I had progressed since she last saw me and said that I was ready to go to the hospital. She asked whether I wanted an epidural. If safe for the baby, given this is a VBAC, YES! A resounding YES! Off to the hospital - Troy, my mom, my mother-in-law, and I went. WORST RIDE in a car, EVER, for me! I'm sure I freaked the pants off of everyone else in the car, too.

The contractions were coming every three minutes. As we got closer, they were coming every minute and a half to two minutes. I SCREAMED and held tightly to whatever I could fasten my hands every time a contraction occurred. My body wanted to involuntarily push every time a contraction occurred. Wanted to cry so badly, due to the pain and the frequency of the contractions. How come these Texicans were driving so slow on this day at this time, when I am on the verge of delivering a baby?!

Once we got the hospital ER, they were looking for my paper work. Looking around? I've preregistered. I don't have time for this North Mexico - take your time getting stuff done - attitude. Screamed through my contractions. Some woman from the ER told me to follow her. I told her I couldn't go anywhere without a wheel chair now. After she returned with a wheel chair, she wanted me to go into the bathroom and put on a hospital gown. Are these people joking? I told her no way; I'm about to have this baby!

Really, she said? She said she'd call for a nurse. This person wasn't a nurse. In the three minutes or so I waited for a nurse to come, I had at least two very painful contractions. The attending nurse took me towards a triage area, to which I exclaimed I couldn't possibly take my clothes off or put a gown on. Somehow, she got me on the table and proceed to pull my clothes off as fast as she could. I said definitely that I needed my husband there, that I couldn't wait for "preparation," and that the baby was coming VERY soon! She said that she had to check me first. I screamed for them to put the side bars up. Given that I was about to have some more contractions, I was probably going to fall off the bed without them. She pretty much had to pry my legs apart and tell me that they couldn't tell the doctor to come until the nurse checked me. With a great deal of effort, I let the nurse check me.

I'm complete! Off to labor and delivery (L&D) I go. And how was this a surprise?! Can you feel how anxious I was at this point? They asked me to roll from the triage bed to a labor and delivery bed. Was quite a feat considering the pain I was experiencing. Don't remember the ride from triage to L&D, but I do remember them saying that I could now do what my body was telling me to do, push with every contraction.

Though the pain was insurmountable, the ability to do what my body had been itching to do, push, was a relief. My water bags were still in tact. So, I had to first push to break them. There was already a full team of people there, minus my doctor. Once my water broke, they told me to push super hard for the baby to make its exit. I heard repeated calls made to the doctor, especially after my water broke. They urged me to push harder. Some time while I was pushing, an IV was put into my left arm. Took at least two tries for them to find a secure spot, but I didn't care. That's how much pain I was in. They also took blood out of my right arm.

Once Dr. Daley got there, she urged me to push harder and longer with each try. Some how I wasn't pushing hard enough. Push, push, PUSH! I wasn't convinced I had what it took to push the baby out. I was told over and over again that I needed to push harder and for longer stretches of time. I was in so much agony and despair (yes, despair, from believing that I couldn't push hard enough), I told Troy to start singing to me. He drew a blank and asked what songs the nurses knew. I said, a PRAISE AND WORSHIP song! After seemingly forever long periods of silence, he started singing "Amazing Grace." Whew, hearing him sing (and later Dr. Daley joined him in singing) calmed me amidst this chaos. Finally, I heard someone say they could see the baby. That's all I needed to hear to get the energy necessary to finish pushing the baby into the world. I think about twenty minutes after I arrived at L&D, the baby was out.

I was utterly exhausted, in pain, and super sore. And . . . there was still a placenta to deliver. My legs were still suspended and were staying that way until the placenta was delivered. Great. With no pain medication and me feeling nauseated, I was not ready to do this. Dr. Daley threatened to go in and get the placenta if I didn't push it out. That's all I needed to hear to give her all I had left in me. The placenta ended up coming out in pieces. She had to heavily massage my abdomen to make sure she got all the pieces out. That massaging was SO PAINFUL. Meanwhile, I was hoping and waiting that the Demoral (pain medication) and nausea medication from pharmacy would hurry up and arrive. Didn't think the L&D would ever be over. At some point it was all over. I was zonked and passed out for a bit.

I remember our pastor, Kevin Sheese, coming in briefly and praying with me. I remember Katia Brown visiting me briefly in my L&D room. She didn't want to stay long, given I looked so out of it, and I was so exhausted. I remember the room being pretty dark and being by myself in the room. Where was Troy? my mom? my mother-in-law?

I slipped in and out of consciousness that day, after I delivered. I was so tired. But, the Lord had made it possible for me to have a safe and healthy VBAC, and I was able to breastfeed soon after delivering without any difficulties (baby Victoria was a champ at latching on, even on the first try!). I felt at peace and the hardest part of bringing a baby into the world was over. PRAISE THE LORD.

Lord, thank you for being such an awesome God. Thank you for having such a plan for all of our lives that is so good and beyond the imagination of any of us. Thank you for granting me this desire, for me to have a healthy VBAC. Thank you for my darling husband, for my wonderful children, for a caring church family, for everything we have, for attentive and supportive family members. Thank you for the countless blessings you've showered upon such undeserving people as us. Amen.

The siblings meet for the first time


Troy brought Isabella by on Saturday, to meet her little sister. At first, Isabella seemed a bit overwhelmed by everything around her. Very quiet. Looking around the room.

But, she smiled for Mommy's picture-taking!

birth announcement: Victoria Lily Chang-Nunley

Victoria Lily Chang-Nunley

birth date: Friday, May 16, 2008
time: 2:48 PM
birth weight: 7 pounds, 13 ounces
length: 20 1/2 inches long
place: The Women's Hospital at Renaissance, in McAllen, Texas
Obstetrician: Dr. Hearther Daley
delivered via VBAC

Friday, May 09, 2008

2 days in counting

Folks, it's two days to Mother's Day and two days to my due date.

Don't forget to get Mother's Day cards to your Mommy!

My mother-in-law comes into town tomorrow, and I'm super excited. Probably will be her last visit to South Texas to see us. We might make a brief cameo to our church's annual picnic, Family Fun Fest, before she arrives. But, with the heat and humidity that we're experiencing, the cameo may be ever brief.

Baby, please stay put until the end of Sunday, but then come soon there after. PLEASE!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The countdown, 3 days to go!

Alright folks, there are three days to go until my due date, May 11.

Am I ready for our second little one to join the world? Nope, not yet.

We're getting stuff ready. There's a place for her to sleep, at least for a few months. Her car seat and base are in the attic, but that won't take long to install in the car. I still need to pull out Isabella's old newborn clothes. I still need to pack a few things for the hospital.

Am I psychological, emotionally, or otherwise ready? Nope. I'm still trying to wrap my head around how I will eat or sleep with two babies on different schedules, one of whom may be nursing every hour and a half to two hours. Aaaack! Pray for me, will you?

I'm desperately trying to focus on what God desires for our family, but I keep sneaking in a petitionary prayer for a safe and healthy VBAC (safe and healthy for both mom and baby). Also pray for sanity, peace, and love for our family. We need, more than ever, to cling to each other during this upcoming time of chaos. And, no, I'm not even talking about the move that will come two months (or less) later. I'm just focusing on coping with the changes of having a new addition to the family and having two little ones under the age of two. Isabella will be barely 1 and 3/4 years old.

When it's rather awkward for me to push the pedals in a car

Last night, when we were leaving church and I was dropping Troy off at school to give his last exam for the semester, I experienced the most awkward driving as a preggers person. It wasn't a matter of not sitting close enough to the pedals. I believe that given how close my due date is, pushing those pedals was impeded by body parts of a little one inside me.

We're still praying that she doesn't come before Sunday but that she does come as soon as Monday morning, of her own accord. Last night, during music praise and worship team practice, I felt contractions on several occasions. Perhaps standing for awhile contributed to that. Don't know.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Climbing is the name of her game these days

Isabella seems VERY interested in climbing these days. We had her car seat sitting on the floor in the kitchen. With Troy's supervision, we watched her climb on the seat and stand on it. Then she stood on her tippy toes and try to reach the sky.

According to Troy, yesterday, she climbed on top of the couch on her own several times. Too bad I didn't witness that. The couch is actually pretty high. This morning, she attempted to scale the couch by tossing one leg on the couch and using her arms to pull upwards, but no success. She was able to get up there with a little push from me, though.

She's already figured out how to get off the couch on her own. Bottom first. Feet first. Go Booboo!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I'm 39 weeks and 2 days pregnant

As of today, I'm 39 weeks and 2 days pregnant.

Went to my obstetrician's office yesterday, to get a non-stress test (NST). Before that, Dr. Daley did a quick cervical check (before rushing off to deliver a baby at Renaissance Hospital). Hardly any changes since I saw her last (this past Friday). Still dialated about 1.5 cm, still -3 station. Effaced perhaps 50-60% (I can't remember exactly what she said). It was important that I saw her, considering she'll be out of town from tomorrow until my due date (this coming Sunday, May 11th).

Given that no changes have occurred, we're hoping the baby stays put until she gets back. There's no guarantee any other doctor on call for her will agree to let me try delivering vaginally. Dr. Daley wants me to have a sonogram done on Monday to check the baby's size.

The non-stress test. Well, the baby is usually quite active, regardless of the time of day. But, she was very still for most of the non-stress test. After some 30 to 40 minutes being hooked up, monitoring the baby's heartbeat and any possible contractions, she hadn't moved much. Consuming a banana and drinking lots of water didn't help, but finally, drinking some cranberry juice of some kind prompted her to move. After an hour of being hooked up to the machine, no contractions at all. They said the uterus was agitated (can't remember the exact wording used), which is good, since that indicates the uterus is preparing for delivery at some point. . . The heartbeats ranged from 130s up to 170s, which one of the nurses said is normal. Okay, whatever you say!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Stacking books and stuff



Isabella still loves books for reading, but lately, she's found a new use for books. She wants to stack them. Well, she wants someone to help her stack them. She lacks some of the fine motor coordination to stack them in the way you see in the picture, yet she finds such stacking absolutely delightful.