12:27 PM

Sofia's Newborn Photos

As discussed in one of my earlier blog posts, I decided to take Sofia's newborn pictures myself.  There were definitely a few unforeseen problems and issues we had to deal with and of course whats a newborn photo session without baby poop getting on something? However, we got a few shots that we love and honestly- I am overall pretty happy with the outcome.  Being the big baby that she is, we had to abandon a couple of the props I purchased, okay, almost all of them, but it worked out.
Special thanks to my friend Jenn Rogerson for doing editing on many of these and for allll the moral support! :)

7:40 PM

Sofia Rose Angus

Thursday, 2/27/14

On February 27, I had an appointment with my doctor group to check up on baby girl. At this point I was 40 weeks and 4 days. I had a biophysical profile done and we got to see a cute little ultrasound shot of our baby's small lips and nose.
As my appointment progressed I met with my doctor and he asked me if I was "ready to get this baby out", I said "YES" but had no idea what I was about to be told.  At my appointment the week before I was told that I would not be able to be induced until 41 weeks so I figured I still had another couple days AT LEAST, since I was only 40w4d at the time. My cervix was checked and I was still only 2 cm.  The Dr. asked if it was a leap year and then was out the door. Before I knew it a nurse was handing me a paper telling me that they wanted me at the hospital the next morning at 7am.  Then the doctor came to tell me, no scratch that, we want you there tonight so that we can place a Foley Catheter to get the labor process moving. He said, "Do I think you have a 9 lb baby in there? No. But could you in a couple of days? Well maybe. So what's the difference lets get the ball rolling, she's only getting bigger and bigger."
Well what a pleasant surprise! I called Greg and he immediately left class and we met at our home to make the final preparations and any last minute cleaning and packing.
We went out to eat dinner at Red Lobster as a "last supper" kind of thing and then slowly made our way over to the hospital. After waiting around for the doctor for a couple hours or so, Greg went out to the waiting room to do some homework and I hung out until they placed the catheter which I figured would be no big deal.  No need to call Greg.  However, immediately after it was placed I began cramping sooooo bad, I literally could not move or scoot back into bed and get comfortable. Any movements I made magnified my pain and to top it off, Greg wasn't there! Eventually I got some pain meds but was still miserable most the night. I barely slept.

Friday, 2/28/14

The next morning, 2/28, the catheter was removed and I had progressed to 4 cm dilated. I was supposed to be started on Pitocin at 7am, however the doctors had like a 2 hour powwow in an office and so I didn't get started until 11. Which in hind sight was fine because that meant I got to eat breakfast, something they weren't going to give me before.  I ate up and eventually the Pitocin got rolling.  A couple hours passed without feeling so much as a cramp but eventually the pain and contractions started to set in so I got an epidural, which I had planned to get all along.  At the time I knew that the pain I was having wasn't all THAT bad and could definitely get worse, but I felt like an early epidural wasn't a bad thing, and went ahead with it. And I am so happy I did.

While all this was going on my mom was flying stand by from Washington State to State College, PA courtesy my sister, Brittney Mills, and we weren't sure if she was even going to make it for the birth. I had told myself all along that it was likely just going to be me and Greg.  However after making some pretty unbelievably full flights my mom flew into state college on 2/28 at 5:15pm and my friend Whitney Baxter, who took pictures for us during labor/delivery, picked her up. At this point I was only dilated to a 5. So after 6 hours, 1 cm of progression.

The reunion with my mom was sweet and the progression was slow so we all hung out and talked.  I was on a strict liquid diet and hadn't eaten anything since breakfast but convinced my nurse I needed something and was brought an apple juice around 7pm.
I am a self diagnosed hypoglycemic. :)  I can't go shopping without having some snack in my purse or my body goes weak.  I have never been a good faster and usually end up sick/nauseas in bed after trying to go without food.  So at this point I hadn't had anything solid since 8am and wasn't thrilled about it.  I would continue to have nausea the rest of the night and following morning.

My doctor came to check me at 11pm and I had progressed to a 6.  So after twelve hours of labor I had progressed 2 cm.
For those of you who don't know, I come from a family of 6 kids, and we were all born cesarean section.  We could not fit through my mom's pelvis and she failed to progress past a 6. So getting to this point I felt like was progress but was anxious to move past 6 to a 7.  I always knew I was at risk to have a c-section, and tried to tell my doctors a couple of times that if the baby is too big I may not be able to push her out. I was always brushed off and decided there was no way to know so why worry about it. However, my sister Brittney had succeeded with  two vaginal births, so maybe I could too. By this point in my pregnancy I had convinced myself that we were going to have that normal birth story- dilated to a ten, push, breathe, cut the cord, skin to skin, all that.  I really wanted the normal birth story.

Around 3:30am the contractions and cramping became unbearable.  I had an epidural- so why was I in so much pain? Eventually around 5 am they called my awkward anesthesiologist to my room and he just watched me in confusion fight through my contractions. Honestly- dude, the last thing I want is you standing in the door way to my room, watching me suffer, while you have the most dumb founded look on your face. Annoying.
They eventually started an entirely new epidural to see if it would help. And it did, but soon I began to feel a lot of pressure and then the pain continued, not in the same way, but it wasn't just pressure anymore.  During this whole fiasco with my failing epidural my nurse checked my cervix twice and I was still at a six and hadn't progressed since 11pm the night before.  This meant that in the past twelve hours I had managed to go from a 5 to a 6. After the new epidural was placed around 5:20, my doctor came in to check my cervix also and told me that I was a 6 still, almost a 7, but that the baby's head was molding. I didn't know what that meant.  But after being told by my nurse an hour or so before that I was still at a 6, I knew that "molding" couldn't be good. He explained that the babies head was trying to move through my pelvis but was stuck, her head was trying to push through without any give. He immediately began talking about what I hoped he wouldn't talk about.  A c-section. At this point I had become so weak from the hours of contractions, no food, and lack of sleep two nights in a row. I just bawled. I had gone through all this just to be wheeled away to the operating room.  As a last ditch effort, they contorted my bed to put me in a sitting squatting position and had me put my arms over a bar hoping this position would allow my pelvis to give way.

After sitting for about 45 minutes my doctor checked me again with no progress and it was decided that I would have the c-section. Around that point I began to puke and would continue to throw up all through surgery prep, of which everything they had to do for me. I was so weak. Literally a rag doll, going in and out of coherency, and shaking uncontrollably from the shock of labor. So miserable.

At this point, I was so thankful my mom could be there with me.  She had been through this too. She knew what it felt like to not be able to do what so many other women could.  She knew the disappointment of not being able to have that normal birth story. Not because the baby was breach, or wouldn't cooperate in body placement, but simply because your body wasn't meant to birth babies.  If I had lived in a different time, first of all I likely wouldn't have survived my own birth, let alone the birth of my child. After shedding a few more tears and filling a couple more barf bags I was wheeled away to surgery.

After already receiving two epidurals they decided to scrap the whole epidural thing and go with a spinal.  Which was absolutely amazing.  The pain was finally gone. I remember being shifted from table to table, receiving my oxygen mask and waiting for Greg to come join me in the E.R., which meant my surgery was about to begin.  Through out this time I was still literally a rag doll with little "life" left in me. I waited as I heard the doctors begin.  I heard them say, "Incision.." then after a few moments.. "Bigger incision.." and then at 7:39am I heard my little girl's cry for the first time.  It didn't sound at all like I thought it would.  I didn't expect it to sound so specific- if that makes any sense?  Greg left my side to be with her and at that point my nurse anesthetist who had been so amazing at holding my barf bag for me, leaned down and told me that I had a baby girl and that she was "a really big girl! Really big!" I could also hear the doctors on the other side of the sheet make comments about how big she was and how shocked they were.  And then I was told that I should "see how big her feet were!" (Greg later told me that the pediatrician who accompanied him and Sofia to the nursery mentioned that Sofia's Umbilical cord was very stout and that by the appearance of it and the white film on Sofia's skin it was very evident that she had received excellent nutrition the entire pregnancy.  We also heard the same thing about her cord from a totally different pediatrician at her 2 day visit. Which makes me feel good. We are actually still waiting for her cord to fall off, even though we move it daily like we should. Very stout indeed!)

After a couple more minutes, Greg brought her over for me to see her for the first time, I had enough time to see her, smile, and say "I'm gonna puke" and then continued to puke as Dad walked his little girl out of the OR to the nursery.  We soon heard back in the operating room that she measured 9lbs 2 ounces and was 22.5 inches long.  My doctor called over the sheet "Jessica, you were right!" and I yelled back, "I know!". I had warned him that my family makes big babies.  They got me sewn up and returned me to my labor room where I shared my first moments with our sweet baby- and yes, unfortunately- my barf bag.

After I got to hold her and have some skin to skin time they began to knead my abdomen and cervix. I couldn't feel any of it from the spinal, thank goodness.  Turns out I passed some really big blood clots. I didn't realize how bad it was at the time because I literally was only half way there from all the exhaustion, but I do remember my nurse going on about how this was more than she liked to see, however I continued to pass clots. HUGE clots. According to Greg.
(I didn't realize what had happened until the next day (3/2/14) when my nurse Hilary had scheduled a shower for me, and I told her that maybe we should wait a couple hours because I had been up walking around and got light headed.  She talked to my doctor about this and before I know it I am hooked up and ready to received 2 units of blood via blood transfusion. )

 I will never forget waking up in my recovery room later that afternoon after my surgery. Greg was sleeping on the makeshift bed, the lights were out and daylight was coming in the windows. I pushed my nurse call button and requested they bring in baby girl. The nurse handed her to me as I was pretty incapable of much movement at that point. We shared the afternoon together as she slept on my chest. No barf bag, no nurses, just us.

Planning my meals for the next day.

Quiet moments with baby girl after surgery. 

Lastly, we needed to pick a name- and for those of you who followed my pregnancy blog posts, you know that this is something I wasn't prepared for and dreaded. I could have easily named a baby boy- but a baby girl was sooo different!  We had picked names like Avery, Brooke, Adelyn (Greg), and Ashlyn, but it wasn't until about a week before her birth we realized that none of these were popping out and began to search all over again and we stumbled across the name Sofia, which is a name we considered once upon a time- but I quickly disregarded and never looked back.  Greg has a personal connection with this name though.  He served in the Bulgaria Sofia Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for two years.  He walked the streets of Sofia, taught the gospel and grew to love the bulgarian people and they have a special place in his heart.  The day before she was born we had a feeling that Sofia would be her name and waited to make it official until we saw her.  As for the middle name I also struggled. I know, I am soooo difficult. I really wanted to give her one of my names, either Jessica or Glena, or a name from my mom, Sanette, or one of my Grandmothers, Joann and Glena, however, I knew these weren't right and we decided Rose would be her middle name, which is ironic considering roses are quite the symbol of Bulgaria also and they are a world leader in rose oil production etc. Oops. Oh well. It fits her. After we officially named her I got the confirmation that the name we picked was the right one. And that feels good. We love our Sofia Rose.

Mom and Sofia. One week old.
Sofia is now 17 days old, loves to eat and has slept through the night since she was 6 days old.  She recently weighed in at 9 lbs 10 ounces. She has dark brown hair.  Sometimes we think she looks like me and sometimes she looks like Greg. She is a very good genetic mix and has a big personality!  We love her so much and are grateful she is a part of our family.

6:50 PM

Pregnancy Progression Photos

Week 13

Week 13

Week 15
Week 16
Week 17

Week 18

Week 20 Day 4

Week 22

Week 23

Week 23 Day 4

Week 24
Week 26

Week 28

Week 29
29 Weeks
Week 30

Week 31

Week 33

Week 33 Day 2

Week 34 Day 2
Week 34 Day 5
Week 35
Week 35 Day 4

Week 36

Week 36 Day 5

Week 37 Day 2

Week 38

Week 40 Day 1

Week 40 Day 2

Week 40 Day 3

Week 40 Day 4