August, 2011 Archive

Madelyn’s Biggest Fan-elyns

Our stay in the hospital was as pleasant as a hospital stay could be. Our nurses were fabulous and our visits from Dr. Fiiiine and Madelyn’s pediatrician, Dr. Baby, were always informative. Unfortunately, there were no more visits from Dr. Hunk and it’s only unfortunate because he was a hunk. No more numbing and sleepy drugs for me after the surgery!

We also had some visitors, which was exciting! Seeing people from the “outside world” helped break up our monotonous days in the hospital and of course we were proud to show off our new prize. Of course the excited new grandparents came every day to visit, and were also great caterers, too (the hospital food wasn’t horrific, but after what we’d been through, we felt like we deserved more commercial eats). It was fun to watch the grandparents gush over their new granddaughter. Since I’m an only child, I’ve never seen my parents melt while holding another baby. In fact, they probably didn’t even melt as much holding me 28 years ago as they do now with Madelyn! But it’s super sweet and I love watching them with her.

It’s fun to hear our visitors analyze Madelyn’s every feature, noticing she has Bryan’s this and Alison’s that. We loved introducing her to some of our closest friends and family members so we tried to get photos of all our visitors with Madelyn, but I know we’re missing some. Oops, sorry!

Madelyn and Auntie Alison

Madelyn with Grandma Ellen and of course Daddy

Madelyn with Grandpa Jay

Madelyn with her Mimi and a very I-just-gave-birth-yesterday-looking me

Madelyn and her Poppa

4 generations: Madelyn with me, her Poppa, and her Bubbie

Madelyn with my grandma, her GG

Madelyn with our best friend and the Best Man, Brian

Madelyn gets to know her Uncle Kevin

Madelyn and I with Stefanie, my friend and her future BFF’s mom

After four nights in the hospital, it’s easy to get stir crazy. We could hardly remember what life was like beyond the doors of Los Robles. So the day we went home, Saturday, August 13th, we were super excited, but also a little nervous. Leaving the hospital meant losing our security blankets of nurses and equipment. Apparently, we were all well and ready to take this kid home and raise her all on our own. I’d never really been around baby-babies; no real experience in the fresh newborn department. So, the first time I dressed Madelyn to put on her going-home outfit was an eye opener for me. She didn’t just lay there quietly and motionless, unlike my American Girl doll I’d dressed and redressed for so many years as a kid. Dressing Madelyn, a real human baby, was fun and exciting, even though a bit of a challenge, and seeing her out of her hospital uniform made her seem more real to me; more ours.




With Madelyn dressed for the real world, we loaded up our loot, I hopped into the wheelchair with the babe on my lap, and we made the journey out of the hospital and into the car in which Bryan was never more nervous to drive. My parents met us there to help with the load out to and to photograph the event (of course), and they even brought Big Brother Princeton in the car who was tantalized at seeing Bryan and me, but couldn’t make contact yet. We were saving our big reunion for the next stop: home.




Madelyn’s first car ride was uneventful and she did great. She snoozed for most of it as I sat next to her in the back seat and stared at her. I remember being in awe of her existence and the fact that it was changing my life. That it already had.



When we got home, my parents pulled up behind us and let Princeton reunite with us first. I don’t think he had any idea that he’d also become a big brother and was about to meet the new addition to our family. He was too concerned with sniffing us and jumping up in excitement with his welcome home kisses. Instinctively, I guarded my belly and felt the pangs of guilt that I couldn’t snuggle with him and really get down and dirty for our reunion.

After he calmed down a bit, we went inside the house where Madelyn was patiently waiting in her carrier. We stood close to the baby not sure of what Princeton’s reaction would be, but really, he couldn’t care less! A few sniffs here and there and then he just seemed pleased to be back in his home that he’s always ruled.




Our first afternoon at home as new parents was filled with lots of relaxation and quality time with our baby. Both of our parents were over to share in the joy of having her home from the hospital, each taking their turns to hold Madelyn. Of course there was noshing and taking phone calls and house organization, but, most of all, it was a wonderful hubbub of newness.

When everyone left and it was time to head upstairs for our first night with our baby, there was a thrilling bit of excitement and anxiety in the air. All alone with our baby girl. The quiet before the unknown. Darkness in the house, but lots of light in our lives. Ohmygosh we were officially parents — Madelyn’s biggest fans.


  1. Cathy
    8/23/2011 8:52 PM

    I love the 2nd to last pic…he wants to see his sister so bad!!!!

  2. nicole
    8/23/2011 8:34 PM

    me love this. so. much.

The Story of Our Baby

by Alison Friedman in Marvelous Madelyn, Mommy's Musings

I’ve always enjoyed hearing other moms tell their birth stories and it wasn’t until I was finally in the hospital that I realized mine was unraveling in real time.

On Tuesday morning, August 9th, we arrived at Los Robles Hospital at 7:15 to check in for our induction. I was a ball of nerves. I didn’t really want to be induced, but it was fine time the baby arrive and I knew I was in good hands. We were officially admitted and checked into our room where Lynn, one of our favorite nurses, greeted us and gave us the scoop on the day’s upcoming events.




The Pitocin drip started around 8:30 a.m., parents arrived around 9:15 a.m., and soon enough, we were in business. I was having light contractions and didn’t even know it until I realized that some slight crampy feelings were corresponding with the wavy chart on the monitor behind me. Lynn suggested I request the epidural as soon as possible because the anesthesiologist might get busy with other surgeries and labors. Dr Fiiiine arrived shortly after to break my water and I was a little nervous at the sight of the water-breaking instrument. Holy crochet needle! But it wasn’t that bad and nothing really gushed. In fact, she was surprised to see that I hardly leaked any water. To provide cushioning for the baby inside throughout the rest of the labor, Dr. Fiiiine hooked me up to Baby’s own mini jacuzzi, where a bag hooked up to my insides and fed water into the Baby’s home to keep her “bubble wrapped.”


At about 11:30 a.m., Dr. Hunk (that’s not his real name. He was just a total dreamboat) came in and administered the epidural. To say I was nervous about it would be an understatement. I was shaking and had a garden of butterflies floating around my tummy! The anticipation, of course, was worse than the actual procedure, but it was all very odd and just… weird. Soon enough, my legs and belly began to drift off into nothingness and I lost any possible pain from the contractions.

The family would remark on the severity of a contraction and it was nice to be able to shrug my shoulders and go “eh, okay!” because I didn’t even know I was having one! We kept ourselves occupied with conversation, music, and of course our iPhones. It was funny to see the two sets of parents, Bryan, and me, all on our phones either playing Words with Friends or exploring Facebook (It’s no surprise to anyone which iPhone application I was utilizing!). People teased that I was on Facebook during labor, but really, I was just laying there and not feeling anything. Could’ve been a lazy Saturday morning in bed!



The afternoon progressed and with it, so did my contractions and dilation. Baby was moving down and the cervix was dilating and preparing us for a delivery by day’s end. Everyone was happy with the speed and timing of the labor, and by around 6 p.m., Dr. Fiiiine predicted an early evening welcome to our new Baby.

The nurse came and checked me soon after and noticed a swollen part of the cervix that hadn’t been there the rest of the day. She didn’t say it was a bad thing, but was concerned about it slowing down the labor. At about 9 p.m. things were the same: I was dilated about 9 cm, Baby was in the ready position with her head trying to poke through the cervix, but that swollen spot persisted and Dr. Fiiiine said she’d give it another hour and then we’d have to talk.

You know where this is going. Even I knew where this was going. Why would things suddenly improve in an hour? What could possibly make that one little part of my cervix un-swell? Things had been going so nicely that surely, I couldn’t stay in paradise forever. And, I was right.

At 10 p.m., Dr. Fiiiine arrived to check again and, as I predicted, no change. She explained to me that we could keep waiting, possibly put the baby in distress, have a very dramatic delivery that might end up in a C-Section anyway, or just do a C-Section now and have a safe, easy delivery for both Baby and me. I was also starting to develop a fever, which worried the nurses and Dr. Fiiiine because it meant that there was an infection brewing. The baby would need to come out soon because frankly, the waiting game was over. She reassured me this had nothing to do with the induction, and that this was an unfortunate situation of my anatomy. I probably wouldn’t have been able to deliver this way even if I’d gone into labor naturally. Through lots of tears and a big ugly cry, we agreed it was the best thing to do. Since I’ve never had a surgery that I can remember, I was very scared of going under the knife and the recovery that would come with it. I had read that the bonding experience with the baby isn’t as immediate or as intense because of the need to keep the environment sterile and to check the baby right after surgery. I was bummed that Bryan would not be “coaching” me the way we’d practiced, and deep down, I felt a little bit cheated out of a female experience. I do know and acknowledge that carrying a baby for 40 weeks (or any length of time) and delivering it (in any capacity) is the most female thing a woman can do, no matter how the baby arrives. But in my moment of panic and distress, these were the things that ran through my head as I produced golf ball tears. I kissed my family and Bryan, exchanged “I love you”s and before I knew it, I was being wheeled into the operating room.

I really don’t remember much about the surgery. I was awake for almost all of it, and I was very aware of what was going on in the moment, but in the days of recovery and settling in at home, the actual C-Section seems like such a blur in my memory. I remember the nurses prepping my body and the room, Dr. Hunk hooking up my IV with more serious numbing drugs and hooking up my iPod for some operating tunes (thank you Dave Matthews for getting me through my baby’s birth!), and Bryan arriving in the OR in his scrubs with camera in hand and sitting right next to me as we were both in awe of what was going on. The OR experience was just like ones we’ve seen on medical TV shows: Doctors and nurses having casual conversation over my body while also exchanging orders in medical jargon. Very surreal.

With a little tugging and prodding, our baby was scooped out about five minutes after the surgery started and I heard her big cry! I couldn’t see her yet, but I remember Dr. Fiiiine declaring her a beauty and reporting she had a full head of dark hair. I got very choked up and anxious to see our daughter, and finally, they waved her in front of me so I could get a glimpse and then brought her to my left where the nurses and Bryan helped to clean her up and check her vitals. She scored a 9 on both APGAR tests (valedictorian of her APGAR class!) and was perfectly healthy in all other ways! So, at 10:25 p.m. weighing in at 7 pounds, 11 ounces, our Madelyn Shana was born.





I got to give her a kiss and hold her for some quick pictures before Bryan went with the nurses and our newborn Madelyn. I, obviously, stayed behind to get sewed up and put back together. This process normally takes about 30 minutes, but apparently I was a bleeder, and my insides gave Dr. Fiiiine and her assistant/father/doctor who delivered me in 1983 a tough time closing me up. From all the pushing and grasping, I started to feel very nauseated and told Dr. Hunk, who was behind me at my head, that I was going to throw up… right… NOW… and in an instant, a suction tube was in my mouth and I was dry heaving like there was no tomorrow. Not too fun, I tell ya. He said he’d give me a little something to take away the nausea. The “little something,” I found out later, was Michael Jackson’s drug of choice, Propofol, which gave me a niiiiiiiice little snooze. I woke up after ten minutes (so I was told), and felt great. Soon, the surgery was complete and I was wheeled out into the hallway where I was greeted and cheered for by our family and my best friend Kevin and Lisa, who came to the delivery party expecting an earlier baby, but stuck it out to stay for the C-Section.

While all this was going on, Bryan was in the nursery with Madelyn where she got poked and prodded and warmed up. She received the anti-infection ointment in her eyes and the Vitamin K to make her blood clot. I’m glad she wasn’t alone and that Bryan could be behind the nursery windows with her during this process. At one point, while I was still in surgery, he looked back through the windows and saw all of our family waiting and watching as their new granddaughter/niece was living her first minutes. I’m so glad Bryan documented this moment.




Bryan and Madelyn returned to the recovery room where the three of us bonded and got to know each other. We were both speechless and thrilled to be parents, but couldn’t believe it had finally happened. It’s all a little hazy now, but I remember it being a very sweet time. The family came in to meet her where we announced her long-awaited name, and sighs of love filled the room. It was very surreal to introduce her and officially say her name for the first time. At that moment, she became very real.




Because it was almost midnight and it had been a very long day, lots of kisses closed out August 9th with the family’s departure and Bryan and I eventually got adjusted to our new room where we would stay for the next four nights. I was hooked up to more IVs including three new antibiotics due to my infection during labor. I even got a shot in my tushie because my face was itching profusely, a common side effect from the epidural drug. Thank goodness that helped quickly! Itchy face is very annoying. Our first night in, I had to get used to the nurses waking me up to administer drugs and check my vitals which seemed almost constant.

Madelyn had a slumber party with the other babies in the nursery (ohmygosh there were boys in there! What kind of mother allows her 4-hour-old to go to a co-ed sleepover?!?! Report me at once!) while Bryan and I tried to catch some sleep here and there in our room.

And just like that, our baby was born and our pregnancy journey ended. August 9th was a rollercoaster of a day, but it ended on a high. We are so glad that Madelyn is here and can’t wait to write more stories about our life with her in it.


  1. Madison
    10/11/2011 11:45 PM

    Wow, this Is truly an amazing story, thank you Alison (and Bryan, for that matter) for sharing this wonderful and incredibly touching story. I hope I get the chance to meet Miss Madelyn soon, and of course see two of my most favorite theater friends!

  2. Cathy
    8/23/2011 8:59 PM

    The pic with everyone in the window reminds me of the movie, “While You Were Sleeping”. The family traveled in a little herd…so cute!!

  3. 8/23/2011 12:46 PM

    Best. Story. EVER. Mazel tov!!!

  4. Holly Grago
    8/21/2011 10:45 PM

    Wow such a story! I love how this whole site was done!the photos you guys got was breath taking! I wish I would have gotten one of the family behind the glass… A reminder for next time for sure.Congratulations little girls are the best! Our little Hannah was born to Jimmy Buffett. I agree on the feelings of being cheated of our female birth right when going through a csection. It’s been 3 years for us and I still feel that way…. You have a beautiful family. Mazel Tov

  5. Aunt Pattie
    8/21/2011 8:58 PM

    This little beauty will love reading your blogs someday and know with all certainty that she entered this world with so much love surrounding her. I look forward to watching her grow up!! 🙂

  6. Mom/ Sharon/Mimi
    8/21/2011 4:32 PM

    It is an unforgettable day and I was thrilled to be on that rollercoaster of a day with you. Thank you for giving me, Mimi, and daddy, Poppa, Madelyn Shana. Having her as our granddaughter is going to be the best ride of our lives! We are going to have a ton of fun together!! xoxoxo

Introducing Madelyn Shana Friedman

by Bryan Friedman in Daddy's Corner, Marvelous Madelyn

Our daughter is now one week old, so it is high time that you meet her. Here are the vital stats from her birth:

Name: Madelyn Shana Friedman
Place: Los Robles Hospital in Thousand Oaks, California
Date: 8/9/2011
Time: 10:25pm
Weight: 7 lbs, 11 oz
Length: 20.5″

We could not be more grateful for the incredible support from our wonderful families as well as the tremendous outpour of love from all of our friends. It was an amazing experience to receive endless notifications on our iPhones while at the hospital, all leading to great well-wishes waiting for us on our Facebook walls.

I know Alison is itching to tell the “birth story” so watch out for that to be posted soon along with more pictures from our first few days as parents.

  1. Heather
    8/21/2011 5:42 PM

    Love love love the story!!!! it was so similar to mine!!! I am so glad we had a chance to talk a few days before you were induced!!!! Hope all is going well. I know you are going to be a fabulous mommy!!! Can’t wait to catch up soon!!!

Hit Me Baby One More Time

by Alison Friedman in Mommy's Musings, Pregnancy

We are getting our baby sooner rather than later? How much sooner? Like, within the next 48 hours-sooner!

Saw Dr. Fiiiiine today who did a little checky-poo to see if anything progressed. Believe it or not, the cervie did not really move more forward despite my nasty letter and the subsequent and ridiculous-looking ball exercises I did all weekend. However, I increased a centimeter in dilation and effaced a little more, so we got the greenlight to safely induce tomorrow, Tuesday, August 9th. She was about to walk out the door and say “See ya tomorrow!” but of course I wouldn’t be me without an arsenal of questions. So I fired away, asking if it was safe, what the risk for a c-section would be, if there’s any benefit to waiting for natural labor to occur on its own… and if our daughter would come out with special talents that would get her a scholarship to college.

Just kidding on the last one, but how cool would that be to know that in advance?!

So, in a nutshell, she said that even the slightest increase in dilation does help. She also said it’s less risky to induce tomorrow than to induce next week, when the baby will have grown even more. At 40 weeks, 3 days, she thinks we’re more than ready, so if I go into labor naturally before tomorrow morning, great! If not, pitocin it is!

During the exam, I noticed there was a little more tugging than usual. So as I was mid-shriek, Dr. Fiiiine casually mentioned, “Oh yeah, I’m stripping your membranes right now.” Um, psshya that explained it! It’s like picking at the edge of a scab; by stripping the membranes, she’s suggesting a wink-wink, nudge-nudge to the bag of water to get the show on the road. So that’s another reason why I could go into labor sooner than the pitocin hook-up.

Bryan and I have the rest of the day today to be a twosome and drench our doggie with lots of two-on-one love. We’ll go to “sleep” tonight (because, really, who’s sleeping?) and wake up super early to be at the hospital by 7 a.m. to check in. And then, it’s just time, time, time.

I’m excited to begin this transition to becoming a mommy. I’m nervous about this transition to becoming a mommy. I’m looking forward to not being pregnant anymore. I’m sad I’ll miss her whirlwind of movements inside me. I’m curious to know what it’s like to be in labor and give birth. I’m scared out of my mind to know what it’s like to be in labor and give birth. I’m jumping for joy to see my handsome husband hold his beautiful daughter in his arms. I’m craving to bond and feel my daughter in my everything.

This blog is about to change and I suspect it’s the last update about pregnancy. The next time we write in, it will be with sleepy eyes and very full hearts.


  1. Char
    8/8/2011 9:23 PM

    So excited for you guys! You will be fabulous parents and baby Friedman will be one lucky lady.

  2. Mom/ Sharon/Mimi-to-be
    8/8/2011 7:01 PM

    I’m excited and nervous with you and cannot wait to meet this little girl who is about to change your (and mine too!!) life. See you tomorrow, Mommy!

  3. Rachel
    8/8/2011 4:04 PM

    I think you will be an amazing mom! Can’t wait to see the baby boo and hear all about it! Happy and healthy thoughts to you all.

  4. Auntie Pattie
    8/8/2011 2:39 PM

    OMG is right!!! Can’t wait for the next entry to fill my heart with joy and my eyes with tears. You do it EVERY time Alison!
    I’ll be a mad texter to your mom and dad tomorrow to the point where they may never speak to me again. Love you!

One Date, Two Date, Wed Date, Due Date

by Bryan Friedman in Daddy's Corner

Today, August 5, 2011, my daughter is due to enter the world. It’s not looking particularly promising that she will, given that Alison hasn’t gone into labor as of 3:00pm and I’m expecting it will likely last quite a bit more than 10 hours. Still, even without our daughter’s due date turning into her birth date, August 5 still marks a birth date of sorts. It was the day my relationship with Alison was born – it was our very first date six years ago.

When I walked up to Alison’s door in the evening on August 5, 2005, I’m not sure either of us necessarily imagined we would be married just under three years later, let alone expect to be expecting a little one exactly six years later. Yet here we are, [not so patiently] awaiting the arrival of the next big (read: enormous) step in our life together.

Duke's Early Date Night

I must say, the significance of a “dating anniversary” after you get married would seem to have a tendency to fade a bit, and I guess it probably has. I mean most men have trouble remembering one anniversary, let alone two. But for me, I don’t think this one could have come at a better time. Being able to reflect back on the last six years of my life and recognizing how much has changed, how much hasn’t, and just how lucky I am to be in the middle of a life I’d only dreamed of when I was younger, is exactly what I need to help put things in perspective a little bit while in the midst of feeling anxiety about when the baby will come.

While I have indeed shared the angst over when the baby will come, all the baby hubbub over the last few weeks (and months even) can sometimes have me forgetting what this is really all about. It’s just like the weeks leading up to our wedding when I was tearing my hair out because everything was chaotic – everybody was worrying about everything and if things would work out and what we would do if this or if that or what if this and if only that.


It was madness, but it didn’t matter quite exactly how it turned out, because looking back at our wedding, it truly was the best day of our lives so far – because ultimately it was really just Alison and me, together, starting our life as a couple. And so even though it’s madness now, it’s quite comforting to know that, no matter how and when this kid decides to show her face, we’re only days away from the new best day of our lives so far.

For now though, I’m going to take my wife out to dinner and enjoy one last celebration of us before “us” means more than just the two of us.

  1. Kevin Kirkpatrick
    8/5/2011 7:38 PM

    Well written Bryan. You two certainly are lucky. Congratulations, I can’t wait to see baby pictures. 🙂

  2. Alison
    8/5/2011 5:42 PM

    Goal #1: have the baby
    Goal #2: look that way again after said baby

    Love you, Bryan! And I love our tummy baby!!

  3. Marilyn Hollander
    8/5/2011 4:50 PM

    That is EXACTLY the right thing to do!