Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I'm back!

Well, a lot has happened since I last posted!  Apologies for such a long break (again).  The most important thing that has happened is the arrival of this precious little girl.

Clare Mary Gough was born February 15 at 9:13am, 7 pounds 2 ounces and 19 1/2 inches long.  She was delivered via scheduled induction 3 weeks early and her birth could not have gone more smoothly.  Inductions typically take about 12 hours and often end in a cesarean section, and thankfully my labor took about 8 1/2 hours and was quite pleasant once I got my epidural.  It was absolutely the best experience of my life.  Clare is perfect and healthy, and I am 100% biased, but so beautiful.  We are so blessed.
Hooked up to monitors to measure baby's heartbeat and my contractions.  Last shot of the pregnant belly!

Proud daddy with Clare, just minutes old

My happy little family

Clare's stats

Such a blessing

All ready to go home

She will be 9 weeks old tomorrow and I have no idea where the time has gone.  Though I have plenty of sleep deprived, bleary eyed, overwhelmed moments, I have never been happier and I have loved every second of being with her.  Being Clare's mom is what I was born to do.
Growing so fast!

The other big thing that has happened is the end of radiation -- woohoo!  I started 2 weeks after Clare was born and just finished today.  Compared to chemo, radiation was a breeze.  More than anything it was just inconvenient -- I went to the hospital every day, Monday through Friday.  Though it took less than a minute to actually receive the radiation, it took me about an hour each day, and longer on Tuesdays when I met with Dr. Small.  In the last couple of weeks I've been experiencing the unpleasant burns that come with radiation.  What was characterized as "like a sunburn" when I started is definitely worse than that, and covers my entire left breast and arm pit.  It's not pretty, and has ranged from a sore chafed feeling to what is now a deep, burning itch.  There are a couple of topical medications that would really help that I unfortunately can't use because I'm nursing Clare on the right side and they aren't safe for her.  Still, I would take radiation for 7 weeks over chemo any day.

Now that I'm done with radiation and still have a few weeks left of my maternity leave, I feel like I finally have my life back.  I'm thrilled to have nothing to do all day except hang out with Clare and enjoy every second I have with her before I have to head back to work.

So that's what I've been up to the last few months.  Now that I've caught up with things at home and am starting to get the hang of this whole being a mom thing, I promise to keep the old blog updated.  Believe it or not, I still have plenty to write about even though chemo and radiation are now a thing of the past.  Thanks for reading, and for all of your support and prayers through this whole journey.


Christy said...

Hooray for blog updates!
You are such an inspiration to so many!
Praise God for the end of treatment and the start to the beautiful life you have with precious baby Clare!
We can't wait to hold you both tight and celebrate!
{Love and Hugs}

Anonymous said...

Hi, you don't know me, but I have to tell you that your story is incredible and touching.. you write with such a zest for life and no regrets. Your daughter is as beautiful and healthy as you could ask for! (I also had my first daughter last spring) I admit I skipped ahead to this post after reading the first few rounds of chemo posts. Thank you for your honest descriptions of those. They are going to help me to help my friend who was just diagnosed. Wishing you and your family well.

Jessie said...

You also don't know me, but my friend found your blog and I read a whole bunch of your posts from 2011. I am just in awe at what you've accomplished, being pregnant, working, doing chemo and having to take care of a baby while doing radiation! I just can't believe you were able to do all of that. Especially with such a good attitude. Finding out one of my best friends has breast cancer just last week has been devastating for me, but after reading your experience it makes me feel better, like she really can beat this and even though it can be tough at times, her quality of life can be so good!! Thank you so much for sharing your experience and uplifting the rest of us!

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