Friday, June 3, 2011

I'm coming home!

Leaving the hospital was quite the little adventure for us. First, we had to repack all the things we brought with us. Things like clothes, slippers, makeup (Mama's..not mine), etc. Then we had to grab all the things "given" to us, like newborn diapers, wipes, the Similac baby starter pack (which we wanted more for the baby stuff organizer than the gross formula that Aliana wants nothing to do with), and a few extra shirts for Aliana.

And then we still had to grab all the extra stuff that was "provided" for us. You know, things like extra baby hats, baby blankets, baby burp cloths/mats, extra ginger ales and apple juices, the baby suction thingy (still have no idea what its called), baby thermometer, bedpans, the batteries out of the clock, the dry erase marker, the rolling food tray, and the end table. All things that the hospital was great enough to provide for us (I'm kidding after the thermometer...for the most part).

Then, all that was left was changing Aliana into a cute outfit for the ride, some socks, some spitup cleanup (damn formula), and then a two hour wait for the official discharge from the hospital. When the time finally came, Mama and Aliana piled into a wheelchair, and we made the walk down to the car. After loading both Mama and Aliana into the car (and dealing with someone honking at us to hurry up...seriously), it was off we go!

The ride home was actually pretty smooth...except for a few bumps at the beginning (actual bumps on the road). But once we got going, it was a nice smooth ride (road and Aliana) the whole way home. We even stopped to grab a pizza on the way without so much as a peep from the Peanut. The only odd part of the whole ride was how she looked in the carseat! So tiny and so strapped in, but so safe.

Anyways, we got her home safe and sound. Stay tuned for the recap on her homecoming welcome from Kaylani and Yin Yin! In the meantime, check out pictures from Aliana's first few days, and Kaylani from the last couple of months!

Sisters don't shake hands... Sisters gotta touch lightly on the foot!

Officially, I've never had a sister. Unofficially, I've had countless sisters throughout my life. Some I've acted like they were my own, some I've adopted as my own, and some I've been given even if I didn't want them as my own (kidding...kinda). But for Kaylani, she's wanted a sister from day -250 (which for you non-math geeks equates to month 1 of pregnancy), which is when we all found out Aliana was coming.

Since that day back in late September, every Aliana related word out of Kaylani's mouth has been "sister sister." And since Papa just recently remembered who Sister Sister the band was (thank you Celebrity Apprentice), I'm guessing it was because Kaylani actually wanted a sister and had nothing to do with the band.

So when the time came for Kaylani to finally meet the little sister she's always wanted, we were all filled with anticipation as to how it would go. Overall, I'd say it went great! First few moments were typical shy Kaylani. Walking slowly to the bed with a nervous smile on her face. Answering questions like "who's that baby Kaylani" with an almost inaudible whisper of "...Aliana..." Moving her hand slowly up to touch Aliana's foot ever so gently (while we kept reminding her "Gentle Kaylani. VERY gentle baby").

Things got a little more challenging when we wanted to take a few pictures of the 2 of them together. First Aliana started fussing (cute little lower lip shiver of a cry). Then Kaylani wanted to get closer, or hold her, or touch her (all to be expected). So we snapped a few (coming soon) and then let Aliana get back to what she really wanted to do...nurse.

After convincing Kaylani that she didn't need to be intimately involved with the nursing process, she gave us a couple of great lines on her own.

"She's cuuuute!"
"She came out of Mama's belly to see me"
"I want to take her home with me"

And the first thing out of her mouth this morning when I got her: "Are Mama and Aliana here? I want to show her Aliana's room!"

So I think its pretty clear that Kaylani is excited about being a big sister. And if I had to guess, I think she'll be great at it. If not, well then Aliana is lucky that we were younger siblings too, so we'll make sure she's taken care of!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Baby Aliana is here!

Today was the day. June 1, 2011. Aliana Angela Tam's birthday. Our daughter. Kaylani's sister. Finally!

So many things led up to this day, like a scare that she was going to come out before even 35 weeks, and then day after day of anticipation thinking she was bound to come out REAL early. All of our preparations were put into overdrive waiting for the day. Today. And now that Aliana is here with us, here are some details to help you live along with us (may not be for the faint of heart...but it won't be too bad). At least, here it is from my point of view:

2:26pm: Text from B: "I have been having cramps more constant..." followed by some back and forth about calling the midwives

2:51pm: "Going to the hospital. Called and u didn't answer"

2:51pm and 5 seconds: Papa sprinting out of his meeting with phones, keys, and wallet in hand

3:02pm: Mama and Yeh Yeh in the car passing by the park a few minutes away from home. Papa flying down Amwell Rd (at the speed limit...if Amwell Rd was an Interstate Highway instead of a local road).

3:07pm: "Oye, don't kill urself... I'm ok! Just bad cramps... I don't think its labor..." Silly Mama...

3:26pm: Mama arrives at the hospital and heads up to maternity ward by herself..with her purse in hand. She's very proud of this...

3:31pm: Papa arrives at the hospital, grabs the luggage, gives the car to Yeh Yeh, and heads upstairs frantically

Sometime around 3:40pm: Quick check by the midwife, Peggy, confirms Mama is pretty far along (8cm). Just a bit more rocking and a swaying leaning against a giant exercise ball on the bed (most a Tam has probably used a giant exercise ball)

Sometime around 4:05pm: Contractions picking up, but not quite time to push yet. Peggy and Ellie (student midwife) step next door to deliver another baby

Sometime around 4:15pm: Mama's ready to push but Peggy and Ellie aren't back yet. Little reluctant to do it without them

Sometime around 4:20pm: Peggy and Ellie are back and its push time! Here's how the actual delivery went:

Ellie nicks the water bag, but can't fully break it before the next contraction comes

Push 1: Top of the head and a full set of hair pops out, plus water actually breaks

Push 2: Most of the head comes out

Push 3: Full head is out. First glimpse at Aliana's perfectly round head and pudgy little round cheeks

Push 4: Ellie turns the baby a little to get the shoulders at the right angle to come out

Push 5: Baby comes right out and onto Mama's chest! Time of birth: 4:40pm.

Amazing. The whole thing was absolutely amazing. Start to finish it was roughly 2 hours and 15 minutes, and only 15 minutes for the actual push. Mama did great through the whole thing, and the nurses and midwives were great too. To make it more special, it was Ellie's first delivery as well!

Now, here we are exactly 4 hours after Aliana entered the world and our lives and we're as happy as could be. She seems to be nursing just fine, sleeping just fine, and is as cute as a round little peanut. Every now and then she'll raise her little arm at us while she's sleeping, as if she just wants to say hi to us and let us know she's still there.

4 hours of her life in the books, an eternity to go. Can't wait to see how it all plays out.

And tomorrow, the sisters meet. Will definitely be another special moment for all of us!