Friday, August 31, 2012

four


I can't believe our baby boy is basically a month old. Today I put him in a 3-6 month onesie and it fit PERFECTLY. That's not okay. Elden's personality continues to develop each week. We've realized he prefers sleeping in the following order: people's arms, his crib, his pack 'n play, and his bassinet. We also discovered one of his favourite musicians is Elvis Presley (his granny will be proud) and his favourite activity is probably anything outdoors-related where he can look at the trees. I can't wait until this fall when all the leaves change and he has that to check out because he also is fascinated by big color contrasts. We have his one month check up on Tuesday but I'm guessing he's far surpassed the 11-pound mark. We measured him the other day and we calculated 22.5" although that seems to change with each measurement. I want time to slow down so I can have my teeny tiny baby for a little bit longer!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

dairy-free pumpkin cookies

Going dairy-free has been much harder than I anticipated. Everything you can buy (for the most part) at the store that comes even remotely premade seems to contain milk or its derivatives. The thing that has suffered most from this new diet is my sweet tooth. Chocolate was always my go-to sweet and that's obviously out of the picture now.

Last night we had our bedroom window open and it got quite chilly--perfect sweater weather and my favourite time of year. It gave me the pumpkin itch and my mission during Elden's nap yesterday was to find some dairy-free pumpkin recipes.

I stumbled across this pumpkin cookie recipe and Jon and I gave it a shot during another one of Elden's naps. Jon added chocolate chips to his and I had mine sans nuts because I was too lazy to crush them up. The batter was pretty sweet (overly sweet in my opinion) but when they were cooked they turned out delicious!


I think one of the best parts of this recipe was that we had all the ingredients in our pantry already. We happen to have a TON of canned pumpkin because I was paranoid about the great pumpkin blight of 2010 occurring again and stocked up last year. I may have gone a little crazy and we may be set on pumpkin stores that will sustain us through Elden's college years. But I recommend this recipe regardless of whether or not you can eat dairy.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

moms on call update

I raved about Moms on Call a week ago and I figured I should give you a little update.

While we haven't been getting the 5- or 6-hour sleep stretches we got that first night, Elden consistently sleeps about three (or slightly more) hours during the night. This translates to only (only?) 2 or so middle of the night feedings which this mama couldn't be happier about. I think the bigger accomplishment is the fact that once I'm done nursing him he goes back to sleep pretty stinking easily... as in, two nights ago, he didn't fuss at all after we put him back in his crib. Typically, if he does fuss, it just takes 1 soothing attempt and he's out cold. Given he would usually be wide awake after a feeding in the middle of the night prior to Moms on Call, I deem this an epic win.

The days have been hit or miss but that's mostly on me. Elden sucks to soothe (but refuses a pacifier and we've tried two different kinds!) so if he wakes up with gas his instinct is to eat. Well, when Jon's not around to be the rock or to give me a break from the screaming every now and again, I give in pretty easily and let him nurse instead of sticking to the 3-hour stretch between feedings.

While the schedule has been pretty great for us it's also borderline frustrating. Before there was any type of predictability it was a lot easier to make plans to go out and take him with us. Now that he has a set bedtime (and bathing and nursing routine that accompany it) we find ourselves being, gasp, more responsible parents. For instance, we are supposed to have a cookout with our small group this weekend beginning at 7 and we are in a conundrum about how to approach it. Our current plan is to nurse, leave (and one of us sit with him in the back to keep him awake), stay for about an hour, then leave to head home to start bath time. Once he is taking a bottle (we're going to start introducing one in preparation for daycare this Friday!) I'm sure these things will be much easier because then we can leave him with someone while we do what we need to, but until that day comes our lives are mostly ruled by the routine.

Activity Time!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

the stake

I'll probably be burned at the stake for this one because I'm going against some societal norms here that pertain to motherhood (which we all know is a hot topic), but a big part of the reason I write in this little space is to keep myself accountable and to have complete transparency with my life and related experiences. So, it is what it is.

You know that ohmygoshthisismybabyandiadorehim feeling all moms get when they first give birth? Yeah, I don't because that totally didn't happen for me. It could have been a combination of exhaustion, drowsiness from the sleeping pill, or just my nature, but when Elden was born I didn't really feel anything except relief. They placed him on my chest and I didn't have any deep maternal reaction. It was more of a hm, so this is what was inside of me for so long feeling. And to be honest, the fact that I didn't feel much more than that at the time made me feel like the world's worst mother. Moreover, it took a few days for me to feel any deep bond or attachment to him. And it gets worse: the first few days we were at home with him and he would be inconsolable and we couldn't stop the crying (and the breastfeeding hurt like no other) and I actually asked Jon if we could give him up for adoption because I simply didn't think I could do this. Mother of the year award over here!

That being said, I feel deeply connected to Elden now and I would be completely destroyed if anything ever happened to him or if he was ever not ours. But it was really difficult for me to not feel such a deep bond with my baby at first because based on other moms' accounts I pictured his birth to be filled with happy tears, abundant joy and endless love/connection which was so not the case. So I figured I'd put out how I felt immediately and in those first few days after at my own risk of being severely judged just in case you experience something similar. You aren't alone and that bond will likely (though I'm sure not always in extreme circumstances) develop soon. You will reach the point pretty quickly where you can't picture your life without that baby and don't want to. And while it took me a few days to come around, I'd like to think I'm a pretty okay Mom now and that Elden is happy with us. Does that make me a terrible person? Maybe. But there's no way for me to feign an emotion that simply wasn't there at first and it doesn't change how I feel now and I don't really feel the need to justify what I felt at first anymore. All I know for sure is that I love this tiny human, despite the sleepless nights and fussy fits, more than I ever thought possible.

Monday, August 27, 2012

the baby(ies)

This is about as much interaction as Marsala's had with the babe:
...and it only lasted 1.4 seconds.

And because I can't resist, a series of photos:
His classic "I'm farting" face
Following said fart
Triumphant over the farts!
Hiding his smile 
Got it!
In other news, Jon starts his semester again today. It's weird that I'm not going back as well, but I've got my hands plenty full with Mr. Stinker. We're still actively searching for childcare for when my maternity leave ends in less than 3 weeks (my heart) and time after time the gig we have lined up falls through. We're hoping to check out a daycare at a church near us this week and that it will work out since it's literally 3 minutes from our house. Mostly we just want a place we can take him where we know he will be safe/loved and that will be accommodating to the schedule we've implemented for him. Send prayers our way please!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

on home ownership

I think one of the hardest things about owning a home for me has been the never-ending to do list. Granted, Jon and I definitely bought a fixer upper (that had been foreclosed on and vacant for a few years) that was (is) in much need of some TLC. Being an OCD perfectionist, I've always prided myself on my ability to make lists and cross things off them. This house has humbled me in the biggest of ways.

Right now here are some major repairs/upgrades that need done much sooner than later, but due to insufficient funds, we are forced to pick and choose what gets done when:
1. preventative termite treatment (we still haven't done this because the funds Fannie Mae gave us got sucked up in closing costs); this would preferably be done before winter but I'm not sure if we can swing it.
2. scrape and repaint all exterior woodwork--soffits, window frames, garage, doors, and screen porch; this needs done before winter or we risk much of the wood rotting.
3. new roof; this will hopefully last us through next year. We've already earmarked our tax return for it.
4. major fixes to the basement. The basement had water damage and mold in the finished half so we tore out all the drywall and carpet and now it's mostly in shambles. I'm not sure what we can possibly do down there to make it prettier without risking mold growing again. This project will probably take years for us to find the money (if ever) to tackle.
5. landscaping/grading around the house. There really isn't any landscaping which is nice because it gives us a pretty blank canvas to work with, but finding the time and energy to tackle this project is daunting.

There are several other work in progress projects throughout the house (read: our still unfinished full and completely untouched half bathroom) but right now we're shifting our focus to the exterior. We got some quotes from pros on tackling the repainting of woodwork and the fine gentleman we're going with told us if we scrape and sand all the wood on the first level that would save us a lot of money so we're going to try to go that route. But with September just around the corner and the fact that Ohio weather is unpredictable I'm not entirely sure how well that's going to go on our part. Then there's the fact that our garage interior is still full of unorganized junk from the kitchen and bathroom remodels so neither car can fit in it (although I'm guessing only 1 car will fit into it on a good day). I should be taking advantage of maternity leave time to get a head start on some of this stuff but I'm just so darn tired I can't even think about it! If only caffeine wouldn't get into my breastmilk and affect Elden, I would be a productive machine.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

the big move

Elden has slept in a bassinet next to our bed since we brought him home from this hospital. This was done to make nighttime feedings easier on me and also because our room has a window AC unit but his room doesn't (we're waiting until next season to get him one).

The Moms on Call course recommended keeping him in his crib for several reasons which I won't get into. That means Wednesday night marked the big move: Elden would no longer be in our room with us.

Since we were already exhausted when we began attempting the methods outlined in the training material (PS, does it weird anyone out besides me that we had to be 'trained' on our newborn? awkward), I was too tired to get terribly worked up about the transition. That still didn't stop me from sending Jon into the nursery three separate occasions to check on him and make sure he was still breathing. Also, I had to fight back tears a few times when I thought about my baby boy being so far (cough10steps) away.

All of this worry was unnecessary because we have a Snuza Halo. It clips to Elden's diaper with a sensor on his belly and if it doesn't detect movement (specifically breathing) for 15 consecutive seconds it vibrates. After it vibrates if it still doesn't detect motion 5 seconds later it alarms so we know we need to check him. It may not do anything proven with regard to SIDS but it gives us peace of mind.


And guess what? Little man adores his crib. He slept better than any night since his short time on this earth. The milestones keep coming and they're breaking my heart!

Friday, August 24, 2012

three


Little man turned 3 weeks old today! And last night he slept from 10-4 then 4:30-7:45! This schedule business is boss. At 3 weeks he's much more alert when he's awake and he loves checking out his surroundings. When we go for walks he's very aware of his environment and will get upset if he can't see from behind his stroller cover. Elden loves to be bounced and has also been smiling a lot more lately. He's still rocking 3-month clothes but I think we're well on our way towards 3-6 month territory. He's growing too fast!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

sweet relief

Wednesday night was HORRENDOUS in babyville.

Elden was awake pretty consistently from 6:30-midnight that night, spare 2 or 3 <30-minute cat naps, and the last hour and a half were spent screaming. I had read Sarah's blog about Moms on Call a week or two before El was born and I was a total skeptic. Prior to and right after his arrival, so many people told us we should put him on a schedule. We scoffed at this concept with the notion of "how do you put a newborn on a  schedule? Type up a memo and give it to him?"

By week 2 he made his own schedule that mostly consisted of sleeping for only an hour to and hour and a half at a time at night and waking to nurse (wore this mama out). Then he would wake up at 4 to nurse and be inconsolable and totally not sleepy after that. During the day he would sleep about 2.5 hours at a time. Even though we knew he had his nights and days confused, we had no practical way to get him on track aside from letting him cry it out. And let's be honest: my heart is too weak to listen to my baby scream uncontrollably for hours on end. Crying it out, at least as a newborn, was not an option for us.

In an act of pure desperation, we navigated to the Moms on Call baby seminar around 11 pm. We paid the $30 hoping for the best. At this point El was screaming bloody murder. We got to their token "instant soothing techniques" and, shocker, none of them worked. We kept reiterating that we didn't think this was going to work out for our little family, but we persevered. Then, the unthinkable happened:

Elden slept (like a baby) from midnight to 3 am. At 3, I nursed him and Jon burped him and then he slept from 3:30-6. PEOPLE, THIS WAS AN EARLY CHRISTMAS MIRACLE.

Following his first night in his crib!
Granted, I'm sure he was completely worn out from being awake and loud for so long, but I know the soothing techniques helped, as well as helped keep him asleep. So, credit where it's due.

The fact that we moved him from bedside bassinet to his crib is a post in and of itself (read: this mama was a WRECK... and so was Jon). But Jon and I both awoke at 6 feeling completely renewed. After his 6 am feeding, Jon was ready to start the day and I clamored back into bed. I proceeded to sleep completely uninterrupted until 9 am when it was time for his morning feeding. A miracle I tell you!

We're planning on sticking to the schedule outlined in the Moms on Call online training and are hoping tonight will go smoothly even though they say it takes about 3 days for the babes to reset their internal clocks. In other words, we're prepared for a night like last. The thing I loved about the training material is that it gives you so many practical tips on how to get baby on a schedule, soothe baby, etc. It answered many of our "how do we..." questions and on top of that we have access to the material for 180 days and it continues to outline how to keep Elden on a schedule through about a year of age. I should also note that Moms on Call did NOT pay me or comp the training in any way, but it has so far been a great investment of $30 so I felt compelled to share. I will update in a few days or so if we have been able to get and keep El on this schedule and how our nights are going. But in the meantime, if you're a new parent and at your wit's end on getting your newborn to be consolable and sleep during the evening hours, I think it's worth every penny, even if it ultimately only worked for one night for us.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

wednesday mini photo dump

Last night was another rough one so I'm too tired to post much. We gave El his first real bath today in our wash pod. He wasn't sure what to think of it but it was much easier than the normal sponge bath. I think his nights and days are confused. He sleeps like a champ throughout the day but by 4 am he's ready to roll and start his naptastic day. I'm tired. Jon's tired. At night I wish El was tired! Sigh.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

gassy babe

Exhausted. Frustrated. Confused. Those three words pretty much describe me perfectly right now.

Elden has had a rough few nights. Last night he went down perfectly, sleeping for 2-2.5 hours at a time. After his 5 am feeding, though, he was wide awake. Since then he's been cycling between eating then napping for an hour then waking up crying and inconsolable with awful gas. I have tried to be so aware of what I eat to make sure I'm not consuming foods that could be passed onto him that might upset his stomach. I asked his pediatrician if it could be a dairy sensitivity but at that time he'd only get fussy at night so his doctor said that was unlikely.

Well, I'm desperate. Starting today I'm going to go dairy-free to see if that helps his tummy at all. Because he's tired, we're tired and I hate hearing my baby cry with no way to comfort him. Wish us luck--this is going to be SO hard for me. I love dairy and it's so easy to forget not to consume it!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

impressed

I am madly impressed by all single parents, military spouses, etc. who have to fly solo in this parenthood thing. Because, real talk, this is hard work.

Don't get me wrong. Jon and I were completely aware that this wouldn't be a walk in the park. Our parents and many other parents told us that there is no way to really describe just how tough it can be. They were so right.

Last night was a rough one in la casa de flip. Elden fought us on going down, again. Once we got him down after about an hour and a half of fussing/crying/etc., he slept in 2.5 hour intervals until 5. From 5 to 6 he was up and crying. So was I. Jon took over and brought him downstairs so I could get some sleep. When he brought Elden back up at 8 to be nursed, we switched and Jon was able to sleep until about 10:30. I seriously don't think I would be able to do this motherhood thing without Jon's help. Hence the whole being impressed by people who go it alone. I tip my hat to you.

I'm hoping this gets better and with time his sleeping intervals last longer and he doesn't fight us so hard about going down at night. He is the champion of fighting sleep. It usually ends with both of us in tears and Jon has to be the rock. I am so grateful for such a hands-on partner who willingly and enthusiastically jumps in any time I get overwhelmed (which is at least once a day). Nothing makes me feel more helpless than when Elden has gas or some other unknown ailment that makes him upset and there's no amount of cuddling/nursing/changing I can do to fix it. We love this little man so much but he can be completely exhausting.

Friday, August 17, 2012

two



Elden is growing like a weed. We've been forced to move him up to size 1 diapers. He's just shy of 10 pounds (9 pounds 13 ounces as of Wednesday) and fits perfectly in a sleeper made for 3-month-olds. This rapid growth slays me. Plus I think he's in the middle of a growth spurt because he's eating far more frequently and resisting naps like a boss. Love our not-so-little man!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

lately

Elden had his newborn pictures yesterday. Liz, the talented photographer, provided us with this sneak peek:


I can't wait to see the rest!! If you're in the greater Cleveland area, I highly recommend Liz. You can find her blog here. She's also on Facebook!

After his newborn pics we took him to the doctor for a weight check. He came in at 9 pounds 11 ounces--a full pound heavier than his appointment last week. The doctor was quite pleased with his progress. Then last night Elden threw up after feeding... twice. Not spit-up but projectile vomit. I called the children's hospital ER and they said to let him rest for an hour and re-attempt to feed. If he threw up again we needed to come in. We waited anxiously, sent out a mass text prayer request, and tried again around 9. Little man kept it down like a champ. I was worried each feeding throughout the night but he didn't even dry heave (he did that after the 9 pm feeding). The other amazing part? HE SLEPT LIKE A CHAMP FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE NIGHT. This was HUGE for us because every night he had a fussy phase for at least 3 hours that was exhausting. 

In other news, Jon shaved off his beard. He's had his beard since I met him in 2006. I'm in mourning. I don't want to talk about it.

Elden is also too big for newborn diapers now. We moved him to a Size 1 this morning. It broke my heart--this is happening too fast! 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

postpartum survival kit

I figured the most practical way to help other new (expectant) mamas deal with the awfulness that is recovery from childbirth would be to recommend some products that made my life easier:

[1] Belly Bandit - I've been wearing one since a few days after giving birth. I was skeptical of its worth at first but after reading a few blogs that recommended it I decided to give it a shot. I'm so glad I did. This band helps me feel like I can breathe easier--keeps everything in place where it should be. I normally wouldn't shell out that kind of money for something like this, but I think it was worth the splurge.

[2] Earth Mama Angel Baby New Mama Bottom Spray - While I didn't have the opportunity to give this a shot, one of my trusted mama friends highly recommended it to me and I wish I would have gotten it before I had Elden. The Dermoplast stuff just doesn't provide much relief.

[3] Motrin - This hasn't helped tons with the pain, but at the very least it has a placebo effect.

[4] Nursing sports bras - These make nighttime feedings infinitely better. I recommend you buy at LEAST 2... but more like 4-5.

[5] Earth Mama Angel Baby Booby Tubes - These can be heated or frozen to provide relief after a nursing session or helping with milk letdown in preparation for one. I love mine. I'd recommend getting 2 sets so you can always have a set for freezing and one for microwaving.

Those are the 5 things that come to mind fastest. You should also have a stock of pads, underwear you don't care about, etc. for the post-delivery bleeding. Hospitals usually provide instant ice packs but it's worthwhile buying some to have ready for you when you get home when you run out of the instant packs. Even with these products, be prepared for at least a week of discomfort and pain following your vaginal delivery.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

bathroom update {2.0}

I can't believe the last update I wrote was at the end of June. The bathroom has come a long way since then.


HUGE thanks to my mom for coming over and doing the painting (and the added bonus of cleaning everything!). All that we have left are scraping the woodwork around the doors and window, replacing that janky curtain with a roller shade, and painting the woodwork/trim/ceiling. So glad to have this project almost done!

Friday, August 10, 2012

one

Our sweet boy turned one week old today.


I'm not crazy about the color saturation in that picture and plan on re-attempting tomorrow*. Elden is an amazing baby. With the exception of when he has gas he isn't fussy and loves cuddles. He's starting to more consistently sleep for 3 hours at a time at night and we're thrilled! I absolutely cannot wait to see what the next year holds, especially observing him as his personality develops. Blows my mind that you can have so much love for such a small person.

Tomorrow: a house update post (not a baby post!) that is long overdue.

*Here is Elden's new 1-week picture:


Thursday, August 9, 2012

unexpected post-pregnancy things

I was so busy stressing over the pain and discomfort associated with childbirth that I completely overlooked the recovery. I felt completely caught off guard with everything I've gone through since delivering Elden and I figured it would be worthwhile to write a blog of my experiences recovering from childbirth for those of you who are preparing your first so you are hopefully less shocked (read: totally and completely overwhelmed) than I was when I got home.

Gentlemen, this post is again not for the faint of heart. I will be talking about vaginas and boobs and you probably don't want to know the things that go on. So I'd just stop reading this and go watch some Olympics or something.

I delivered Elden vaginally. Doctors rate tearing on a scale from 1-4 with 4 being the most severe. I came in at a 2. I asked my OB how many stitches she used and she said she used 2 suture threads but each one was stitched like a seam would be so she couldn't give me an exact number.

My vagina? It got BEAT UP. It was literally black and blue and swollen beyond measure. When I would go pee it resulted in the world's smallest stream because everything was so inflamed. Also... it burned. Like a mofo. It also still hurts terribly 6 days later. I've been taking Motrin and using both ice packs and Dermoplast pain relieving spray, but they only provide temporary (and not even close to total) relief. Walking, switching positions to nurse Elden, moving funny in bed, etc. all send up a shooting pain. I have to sit on a pillow on the couch (granted we have a stiffer futon) and on the dining room chair and even that doesn't help very much. Prepare yourself for this pain. It will make your misery less awful because you expect it. And then there's the bleeding. All those months of not having a period catch up to you with a fury. I was told to expect a "heavy period" flow. Um I'm not sure what type of period those people had who told me that but this was way worse than a heavy period. You get pads the size of adult diapers at the hospital and mine needed changed every few hours. The bleeding could continue (albeit, it turns into spotting by the end) for up to 6 weeks. Either way, if you're a hemophobe like I am, seeing yourself lose such large quantities of blood can be enough to knock you down hard.

My boobs? BEAT UP. Granted, if you elect to use formula this probably won't apply to you, but if you breastfeed expect pain. And I'm not talking a little discomfort. I'm talking I had to bite my hand the other day as I nursed him because it hurt so terribly. And your nipples won't just hurt when your baby nurses. Mine hurt all. the. time. So do my actual boobs. As your body figures out the milk supply your baby requires you will likely become engorged. If you are unfortunate like I am, some of your milk ducts might become clogged and can't be easily drained by baby nor breast pump. This hurts and is frustrating because one breast might not provide baby what he or she needs and results in extra strain on your functioning breast. I recommend having nipple cream on hand for the hospital. Also, if you are expecting, BUY NURSING SPORTS BRAS. At LEAST 4. These are a lifesaver for nighttime feedings and I am so glad a friend advised me to buy some because I would have been lost without them this first week.

The sleep? I knew to expect very little and to be totally exhausted. What I hadn't considered is in all likelihood you will be entering into new parenthood completely exhausted and down for the count. I got about 4 hours of sleep over the course of 48 hours and my body was physically tired from labor and delivery. Jon didn't fare much better. That makes the nights so much longer because your body wants nothing more than to recover on your pre-existing sleep deprivation while adding to the deprivation each night. It's exhausting and when your baby is crying throughout the night and nothing helps (see below) you feel so helpless and overwhelmed (and new mommies: you will cry too).

The crying? Your newborn will likely cry and be inconsolable for at least a few hours throughout the day. No amount of burping, feeding, changing, or loving will change that. It could be gas. It could be that your baby loves the sound of his or her own voice. It WILL wear you out and frustrate you--and that's okay. Take a deep breath and know you are meeting the baby's needs to the best of your abilities.

I hope this helps someone out there to be more prepared for the rough time you'll possibly have after giving birth. Maybe I'm the exception and my experiences were isolated. I hope that's the case but I don't think it is. Just hang in there and know that it will slowly get better. Elden sleeps more consistently with each night and we've noticed a pattern where the hours of 8pm-12am tend to be a bad time for him. That makes his inconsolable-ness less frustrating and overwhelming. Last night we got him down at 11 and he slept in nearly 3-hour intervals the rest of the night. Breastfeeding is still a challenge/learning curve for us. It still hurts and some of his sessions still bring me to tears. But I'm finally feeling more confident in my abilities as a mother and realizing I can indeed meet this little boy's needs. And now, a few of my favorite pictures of the last few days:
First manicure / fighting baby jaundice with sunlight


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

guest post

Click on over to Brianna's blog today and check out the guest post she allowed me to write about the human sex trade.

I've been laying low on blogs the last few days because this transition to being at home has been touch and go. Elden is a very good baby but nights are incredibly isolating, the recovery from delivering a nearly 9-pound baby, and the pain associated with breastfeeding are way more difficult and unexpected that I would have thought. I promise I'll return to posting regularly very soon!

Monday, August 6, 2012

the gender reveal

Jon knew from the beginning he wanted to make the boy or girl announcement to our parents with a pink or blue bow tie when he came out into the waiting room.

Since I was laid up with Elden in the labor room when he made the announcement, I asked him to take the video camera along so I could see how our parents reacted. While Jon clearly forgot he was taking a video in the excitement (as evident by the shakiness and the great shot of the hospital artwork at the end) I think it does a pretty great job of conveying how they reacted.

video

Jon said a bunch of other people in the waiting room started to cry after seeing our moms cry. I'm so glad I got to see this!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

happy sunday

We survived our first full night at home and things went much better than Elden's first night in the hospital. Around 11 pm he pooped literally more than I thought was humanly possible (we were catching poop with wipes because we were mid-diaper change when he started going more) and was smiling the whole time. That was a huge relief for us because the reason his first full night of life was so rough was incessant gas. He's peacefully slumbering away right now (after another marathon pooping sesh) and Jon and I are enjoying some quiet time together. I thought I'd share a few pics of his first days home:




Saturday, August 4, 2012

elden's birth story

On Thursday we went in for our regularly scheduled 40-week ultrasound to check fluid levels. Our nurse told us the fluid levels would need to be less than 5 to have an immediate induction (at this point that was what I was campaigning for). When we got in, the tech explained there are 4 amniotic fluid pockets that they look at and add together to determine the fluid levels.

Pocket 1 was at a 2. Pockets 2 and 3 had umbilical cord in them and she informed us she can't count any pocket that has an umbilical cord in it and therefore these 2 bad boys were disqualified. Pocket #4 was full of baby. Therefore, our total (official) fluid level was a 2.

All three of us were drained!

We waited for close to an hour to see our OB to discuss the results. As soon as he came in he gave us a look and said "time's up!" and told us how with a fluid level so low we simply can't wait and just keep an eye on things. He referred us to the hospital for an induction and after the nurses made some phone calls and pulled some strings we were told to report to labor and delivery at 7 pm Thursday, August 2.

I cheered. Jon rolled his eyes at me. We went home and finished packing our bags, showered, ate, and cleaned up the house a little. Often times repeating the words "oh my gosh I can't believe this happening." Jon had told me earlier in the week he thought our baby would come on its due date because "that just seems like the type of baby it is."

Our little blondie

We got to L&D around 6:45 and requested the one tub room the hospital has and got it! By 7:30 they had inserted a cervical ripener that needed to be re-inserted every 4 hours. Our OB had told us there was a chance the ripener would induce labor on its own and I wouldn't need the pitocin. By 9 pm I was in full blown labor and contracting every 4-5 minutes. I was able to apply the breathing techniques we learned in childbirth class (with Jon counting for me) and was feeling good about things. By 11 they were 2 or so minutes apart but kind of irregular. When they checked me at 11:30 Thursday night I hadn't dilated anymore than when I first came in (I was at a 1/1.5) so they inserted the second ripener. Within an hour of inserting the second ripener my contractions were coming in waves that would barely be a minute apart. I had no time to rest between contractions at that point and was exhausted. I was able to labor until about 3:30 am when they came in to check me. I was at a 3 or a 4 so they broke my water (this took 2 attempts, both of which were horrendously painful). After being informed that breaking my water would just make the contractions stronger, I decided to get the epidural. It was inserted by 4 am. It turned out to be the best decision I could have made for myself during labor.

Once I got the epidural my contractions were literally on top of each other (the doctor called it "stacking") and that put Elden in distress. My blood pressure dropped and so did his heart rate. They had to give me a shot to increase my blood pressure and a second to slow the contractions down. I was thanking my lucky stars by this point that we had elected for the epidural. I slept until about 7:30 but Jon was too anxious to sleep (I had let him sleep for about 2 hours earlier in the night when my contractions were 5 or so minutes apart). When they checked me around 7:30 I was complete so they called our OB and started the process. They sat me up in the bed to start the process of moving the baby down the pelvis. By 8:30 we were pushing. At one point Jon laughed because a nursing student had stopped in the room and greeted me and while I was pushing I stopped to say "hi" back. Pushing lasted about an hour but during that time Jon counted and thinks I only had to push 20-30 times before our not-so-little man made his arrival at 9:35 am. Jon told me "it's a boy" and we checked out Elden while the nurses and doctors remarked how healthy of a size he was. We had skin to skin for about an hour and a half and nursed. Around 11 am Jon went out to the lobby donning his blue bow tie to make the big announcement to our parents. They came back right away and saw him before we got transferred to recovery.

Making the big announcement

It's been a very long 24 hours (Elden was up a good chunk of the night with gas) but we feel abundantly blessed to have had a labor that went as well as it did and a healthy baby boy. He's currently being examined by the pediatrician and we're hoping to be released a day early so we can get home tonight (our OB already gave us the green light). Can't believe Jon was right that our baby would be coming on its (his!) due date!

Stretching

Thursday, August 2, 2012

nope.

I didn't want to leave anyone in suspense thinking my lack of blog today was on account of baby being born.

Baby Flip is still happily nestled in utero. I just didn't have anything exciting to blog about today! We have our final ultrasound to check fluid levels/baby weight this afternoon. Crossing my fingers for a <8 lb baby!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

reflections

Okay, let's take a moment here to talk about my greatest pregnancy-related agitations, excitement and fears, as provided at the moment. Well, technically, as provided since week 34.5 because I've been adding to this list since the end of June.

1. Who's idea was it to call this thing the "mucous plug"? I don't care how accurately that describes what it is. It just sounds gross. And also. I DON'T WANT TO BE THE ONE TO FIND IT WHEN IT FALLS OUT. *shudder*

2. A lot of women's greatest fears relating to labor and delivery are a) pooping while pushing and b) the general pain associated with it. This guy? This guy's most afraid of her water breaking in a very public venue. I mean, what if I'm just browsing the ice cream aisle at my local Giant Eagle and all of a sudden it's like Niagra Falls? Wanna know what my first instinct will be? Hide. Second? Find someone to get me some paper towels or a mop or something so I can clean it up. Because, real talk, those high school employees are not paid nearly enough to be cleaning up something as gross as a stranger's amniotic fluid. Third? Grab a gallon of ice cream and head out to the hospital.

3. All those people who told me "there's no way you'll make it to August" because I was "so big" when I was only 32 weeks pregnant (which, by the way, I'm not sure if I should be offended by that)? LIARS.

4. Let me just say that one thing I'm super excited about (aside from, you know, meeting our child and finally being able to refer to it as a "him" or "her") is the unlimited supply of Popsicles they're going to allow me when I'm in labor. If any of you have known me well enough the last 8 weeks you are well aware that Popsicle has strong-armed its way into its own group on my pregnancy food pyramid:

Danielle's Pregnancy Food Pyramid



5. By my fourteenth nightly bathroom trip when I heave myself out of bed in an act that defies all laws of physics and I look over at my peacefully slumbering husband? I want to punch him in tha face. (love you doll, thanks for bearing with me these last 9 months!)

6. I seriously feel like my pelvis is going to fall off. My OB kindly informed me at my last appointment that women have been known to DISLOCATE THEIR HIPS because everything is so loosey-goosey. Add that to my list of hot dang, I hope not's.

7. I have 0 self control when it comes to buffets or other all-you-can-eat type establishments. Unlimited supplies of food I didn't cook? Kryptonite. I think THAT'S why they made pregnancy jeans so elasticy.

8. A lot of people picture God as a man. I say it would be God's [masculine] sense of humor that the one scientifically-proven way to naturally induce labor (sex) is the furthest thing from your mind when you are 40 weeks pregnant. As far as I'm concerned, this baby can stay put.