Wednesday, May 30, 2012
So, I have to say goodbye to our little spud's newborn stage. It's hard for me to pack up her tiny "newborn" clothes. Will we be able to use them for our next little girl babe? Will they be dolly dress up clothes one day? Will they be worn by a niece one day? Who knows, but these were Cora's first outfits.... her first outfits that I noticed her filling out and growing out of...it's weirdly sentimental for me. So it's onto the 0-3 and 3-6 month clothing.... oh, how big she is growing literally in front of our eyes.
*and yes, we are already planning for a second babe (perhaps a homegrown tater tot). hormones are unbelievable. it will be in a few years if we are lucky enough to get pregnant again. but we want more of this. this is amazing*
Saturday, May 26, 2012
[and yes, that is our little 2 week old spud holding her own head up.... what the heck, she has a strong neck]
Oh, motherhood. I know so much more now.
After Cora turned about one month life got a bit better for us. Not to say life was bad in the first month.... it was just uber challenging, sleep deprived, and borderline...what the hell did we just do? We loved our life of just matt and I and the dogs.... we loved pregnancy.... we did not expect what was to come- even though we thought we were as ready as anyone could be. So I had to recover from child birth, adapt to our new life with a newborn, but also kind of mourn our old life. This was the new us... and it will get fantastic again.
Now, however, Cora has more happy hours than sad ones.... she is smiling, little laughs, she loves bath time, she notices our facial expressions, her awake time is increasing and with less crying.... we are getting the hang of parenting, we are understanding our daughter and feeling less incompetent, the google-ing late at night for terms like " fussy baby, sleep solutions, crying, gas, reflux...etc..." has decreased. We can see our life coming back...not just yet, but it will....and it will be a brand new incredible life we've never experienced before.
I was also wrong on a few more things... I thought I could handle leaving the house after she was born... I was wrong... I crave to be near her, to smell her, to stare at her little tiny body for hours on end. I can't stand to be away even now writing this post. Our sweet little girl needs to be held every second of the day.... but I love that time more than anything. I'd rather be holding her than eating, sleeping, shopping... anything. I love her more than I knew I would. I feel like a mom already...and I love it. I had no idea how strong this love would be and so quickly.
I hardly have time to reflect on what a journey this has been already. It's not like the endless hours during pregnancy that I had to reflect and process being pregnant...blog endlessly...and just sit and think. No, I don't have time to do all of that now.... but it's ok. I feel like the emotions I have are huge and may take me over if I tried to process what just happened in our life. Motherhood. Parenthood. Crazy huge amazing deal.
Friday, May 18, 2012
Oh Cora... you're one month old today. Time sure does fly.
I will be doing monthly photos of our dear Cora now. The quilt she is lying on is made by her grandma....and I will be placing her on it for our monthly photos to have a cute backdrop to gauge just how much she has grown.
Our little wiggle worm had about 50 out-takes to get to this one. I can only imagine it will get trickier!
I will also be making a snapfish-type photo book at the end of the year of all 12 months of cora-dom, with a little synopsis of what she was up to each month of her life. So stay tuned friends and family for our monthly updates!
What you were up to this first month:
favoriteonly way to sleep is on our chest, tummy down...skin to skin....all of the time.
- tummy time is also your favorite... so we now do scheduled on-your-back-time
- you go from happy to sad within seconds usually with screeching involved...this usually makes your dad and I feel inept at parenting...but bare with us, we are learning.
- swaddling is not your cup of tea, but you need it to fall asleep with your wiggling body
- you are so very strong you can even roll yourself from side to side, which we are pretty sure shouldn't happen just yet
- you just mastered breastfeeding a day before you turned 1 month... way to go cora!
- you LOVE to hear your dad play guitar....you are mesmerized by the sounds and his hand movement
- you love bath time, attempting to swim in the big tub...however just like your dad you don't care for lotion
- we don't do flat surfaces now...we do inclines everywhere for your reflux, that we foolishly hope will pass any day now
- you are packing on the pounds and growing like crazy....you have probably already gained 2 pounds since birth
- you are just noticing faces and expressions...we like to think you are practicing smiling at us, we can't wait to see a real one
- you like to talk, "sing" and grunt when you are drinking, it's adorable. Just please keep to the drinking and less of the choking
- we love you with all of our tired hearts....please get more sleep and cry less next month.
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Read about part 1 of spud's birth story [here]. Hold on folks...this is a whopper of a post.
Here is part two... spud's birth story...only fitting to be posted on my very first mother's day. Happy mother's day to all of you out there! Being a mom is fantastically amazing...no small feat.
We called the maternity center, and told them that I thought my water broke... they said come on in. So we gathered up our hospital bag....and headed out the door.
After matt and I excitedly got into the car with my mild contractions, we realized just down the street that he didn't pack any pants for himself. Ha. So we turned around, it was rather funny... probably because my contractions were just about nothing at this point.So we get to the hospital at 2am.
They checked my cervix...I was only a 1. ONE?! wtf. I was a one the week before. So, they really didn't believe me that my water broke, and I was kind of doubting it too. They said they might not keep me... but they did an amnisure test, two of them to be exact, to see if I was leaking amniotic fluid. They were positive.... so I was guaranteed a baby in the next 24 hours. Yay! This was pretty exciting news. Holy shit we are having a baby today.
[pain is getting worse...]
[matt's excitement, hard to contain at this point]
We waited for my midwife to come in... and maybe see if my labor would progress. I was 2 cm dilated, nothing big. But my contractions were picking up. I couldn't talk through them at this point. We were calling the grandparents... laughing... super excited.
We went over our birth plan with our midwife again...yes I wanted natural birth...no medications...peaceful delivery, healthy baby.
This is probably when the excitement died...and gave way to extreme pain. Seriously the worst pain I have ever felt in my life. Like bone ripping apart pain. I couldn't stand nor walk- so those lamaze class prep for positions/walking/etc went straight out the window. I was okay in between the contractions, but they were coming on quick, on top of each other without much rest. I was shaking in between the contractions- which I thought may have been transitioning- no such luck. All I could do was sit, and listen to my dear husband tell me on the monitor when I was 1/2 way through each contraction and hand me ice water. He was fantastic.
[ oh, yes there was that pain]
I was still dilated to 2cm. I asked for the epidural. My midwife said.... how about you take a bath first. Had I not been contracting I would have thought this was hilarious. Sure, a bath will miraculously take away all my pain. But I was game. Let's do the bath, then the epidural.
I was 4 cm dilated. I got the epidural. Hell yeah. This epidural was fantastic. The IV start, lumbar poke- no biggie now. I had crazy mind blowing contractions that now were my basis for 10 out of 10 pain on the pain scale. Nothing else compares in life now. Birthing a human is painful. But an epidural was definitely the way to go for me. Fantastic. Natural childbirth. HA. I was so silly. My pain tolerance is not as high as I thought. Hats off to women who can endure without the epidural... or any childbirth. This is a challenging task.
I kept on progressing....without pain now. Little spud's heart rate would decelerate, nurses would rush in....flip me to my other side...then tell me to rest.
The epidural was unbelievably amazing. All was good again in the world. The excitement came back. We laughed about how silly I was... it was grand. Matt got to have me, his wife, back again without intense pain. It was also surprising I could feel my legs, they were a little tingly...I could even move my legs and flip from side to side a little. But no contraction pain. I couldn't even feel the contractions- it felt a little like cheating at labor.
[oh the wonderful epidural]
[we were finally able to listen to music once the epidural kicked in...before that point it was too chaotic with the pain]
[external monitoring and bracelets galore]
They checked me again... I was now 6cm dilated. They don't do cervical checks as often once your water breaks for risk of infection etc. I was just to tell them when I thought I needed to take a dump....for it probably meant the baby was in the birthing canal. I asked the nurse anesthetist if he could please turn down the epidural. He did such a fantastic job, but I really felt like I was missing out. I wanted some of the pain back. I wanted to feel little spud moving about for just one more day....our last day. I loved being pregnant...I loved our bond. Anyways, he thought I was crazy, but he turned it down a bit.
I told the nurses that I was shaking a bit, uncontrollably. Now this was my transition. They checked and I was 9cm dilated!!!
A few minutes later I was complete- 10 cm dilated!! Everyone got in their places.... midwife, nurses, infant warmer, matt washed his hands (getting ready to touch our little baby). We were game. She turned off my epidural, and said that I should have a baby in about 5 minutes... she could see her little head. So I pushed. And pushed. And pushed some more.
Now this was more painful than my contractions pre-epidural. Holy shit. I could feel everything....and it wasn't just for 5 minutes. I had been pushing for an hour and a half now sans epidural. I was getting exhausted. I believe I might have asked for the vacuum to be used.... episiotomy- that sounded like a fabulous idea. Hell cut the baby out of me....c-section anyone?! My midwife said no to the vacuum, that at this point she would have taken the vacuum off. Her little head was crowning...matt could see it... he was in disbelief. My midwife asked if I wanted to feel her head.... I said eww. no thanks.
I pushed with all of my might...and then I heard my midwife say...Lindsey use two hands!! What?! Lindsey use two hands!!!- and I looked down to see and I grabbed our little cora with my two hands and pulled her out of my body and onto my belly. Holy shit. This was unbelievable, is this even possible?? Did this just happen?? Matt was in awe.... I was blown away... this little human I pulled out of myself was ours! This was our cora.... all hot and red and beautiful and healthy.
Matt cut the cord... they checked her out. Super APGAR scores... Cora Elm was born at 4:49pm April 18th 2012. She was 7 pounds, 10 ounces, and 19" long.
We tried to breastfeed right away and I thought we had a latch. I hemorrhaged a lot... got pitocin... hemorrhaged more. Whatevs. The fundal massages just about killed me though- where the nurses press on your uterus through your belly to get it to stop bleeding and cramp up. But it was all fine. I'm a mom!! Matt's a dad!! This is crazy.
We made it to our postpartum room...very nice....but I just knew we had to go asap. We asked to leave 24 hours after delivery....which was their minimum length of stay possible. Sure, cora wasn't latching.... just had her frenulum cut (tongue tied)....she wouldn't stop crying...matt and I hadn't slept more than 1 hour in 48 hours. But we were done. We wanted to go home. We could be better parents in our own home, less stress. So we left the next day at 5pm as parents, with our little Cora in the back seat. What an unbelievable day.
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
So I thought I should re-visit this hospital list that I made back [here]. Some of things were great, others were silly. We had a normal delivery, healthy baby, but a fussy baby. We have been in survival mode every since delivery trying to figure out how to soothe our babe.... so that may have changed a few of our items and hospital stay. But, perhaps this could help the preggers out there trying to pack realistically.
The green writing is what I would change for next time....
- camera- a point and shoot for matt to use...that does black and white for my unflattering labor pictures.-the black and white pictures I love... except we had the shades drawn and lights off for me to focus on being calm...so all of our photos are dark. Ooops. Next time we will know.
- music- our iphones with playlists and pandora and little speaker Pandora wouldn't work for some reason in the hospital, so we had music from our iphones... it was great with the epidural... but during real painful contractions music made me nauseated. I needed silence and my dear husband telling me I could make it through.
- camera and iphone battery charger
- chap stick.... maybe two of them.
- my own disolveable zofran... can I take this while laboring? My least favorite thing in the world is vomiting. I will ask this of our midwife next appointment Funny thing, Matt was the only one to use Zofran. Right before I was going to start pushing matt felt like he was going to pass out or hurl....or a combination of the two. He is a big guy mind you....so I told him to take a zofran and put a chair behind him just in case. He was wonderful about 1 minute after taking the zofran. It was just such an exciting time, so many nerves.
- snacks- I get rather cranky without food...crackers, cheese, granola bars, peanut butter, veggies Thank god I packed powerbars and granola bars- these were crucial. It's the only thing I ate my whole stay.
- matt's swim trunks for the standing jacuzzi- didn't get to the jacuzzi. walking was just not possible for me with the pain.
- matt's change of clothes/ pajamas
- matt's toiletries
- after delivery lounge wear... fresh, clean yoga pants, tank top, sweat shirt- oh man, I hated the hospital nursing gown. It was huge and cumbersome. I just wanted to be naked with my frustrated non-latching little baby. So I took a shower and changed into my own clothes in the middle of the night after we got to the post partum room.
- flip flops
- travel sized: shampoo, conditioner, face soap, face and body lotion, tooth brush, tooth paste, deodorant
- makeup (the little makeup I do wear, I don't want to do without)
- hair dryer and curling rod (if I didn't have a short-styled hair cut, I could do without this stuff...but alas, I do. No ponytails for me)- didn't use the curling iron... and they had a hair dryer. It was nice to look "normal" again after being so bloody and goopy.
- spud journal to write about our experiences that I don't want to forget-still haven't gotten around to writing in this. Too stressful with all of the crying and not eating....survival mode I tell ya.
- one newborn pajama and one 0-3 pajama to go home in... extra snugly with fold over mittens and footies-the newborn PJs were even a bit big. She was alot tinier than we thought she would be.
- one blanket to swaddle/cover her on our way home
- infant nail clippers (this is silly, but the hospital can't cut your baby's nails, and I think it would drive me crazy...some of them are so very long! I don't want her to scratch herself)- we did use these! Her nails were very long!!
- car seat safely installed in car
- box of candy for the nurses...maybe I like this sentiment because I will be a nurse soon? But screw it I like it, and I'm doing it. - I thought for sure I'd deliver after being induced like a week after I ended up giving birth. So I thought I had time to buy the candy and put it off. Oh well.
- I did have my own motrin with me, which was great. I got tired of asking for pain meds, and I didn't want narcotics. I was in quite a bit of pain after delivery so I wanted to stay ontop of it myself.
- pads, underwear, my own hospital gown... this birthing process and recovery is bloody and gooey. I'd rather use their disposable gear or they-wash-it clothing- very true. I loved their pads.... LOTS of bleeding. Their underwear however were awful...I think because I was too large for them (umm... 56 pound weight gain anyone?! yeah.) I wore my own maternity undies.
- diaper bag, lots of baby clothes, pacifiers, diapers...they supply all of this- I wish we had brought a pacifier. It would have made things easier (read this post about it)
- breast feeding pillow- I think I can manage without the boppy pillow. They have ample pillows to use and prop in any way imaginable.- just fine without it. They have everything, even a breast-friend pillow.
- books, movies, magazines.... we have each other to be entertained, I think. - yup, didn't need it. Didn't even turn the TV on once.
Sunday, May 6, 2012
These are items that helped our survival during the first week of our little spud's life...You may not agree with anything that what we used, but I found our sanity and cora's to be greatly improved with these items. As a mom you have to deal with endless judgements on what you should be doing. I hate the shoulds. So Matt and I did what we felt was best...and here is our list that may help you to be strong too if need be.
Yes, my name is Lindsey, and I formula feed our baby. My baby was crying endlessly the first night looking frustrated with the latch or lack there of....and I pleaded with the nurses to just get me some damn formula. Oh yeah...and a nipple! Boy, the looks I got could almost send me to tears (oh, wait that's right...it did, many tears were shed). Cora took to the bottle with a smile and almost a giggle... so excited to just get some sustenance. A few days later it turns out cora wasn't getting any milk/colostrum from breast feeding because she was tongue tied. Thank goodness I used my new motherly intuition to supplement with formula, regardless of the judgements.... my baby was fed and nourished thanks to formula.
2. breast pump
After meeting with the lactation consultant and determining that our little cora was latching great, I was doing my part...and still she was getting almost zilch from my boobs.... we decided to do the pump thang. This enabled my milk to come in and give her breast milk from the bottle- awesome. The pump is actually okay to use. It doesn't hurt...just a little awkward watching and willing drop by drop to come out of the boobies. (gosh, I wonder what kind of traffic I am going to get to this blog now... boobie searches galore.)
3. dr. brown's bottle with infant nipple
Our lactation consultant recommended these nipples as a super low-flow nipple for using the bottle. Of course having our infant being bottle fed was not ideal, but necessary. My milk still hasn't come in to the volume it should, due to Cora's tongue-tied nature in the first days. So, we supplement pumped breast milk with formula...either using this bottle/nipple combo or a tube and syringe to tube feed. It helps that grandparents, matt...they can all feed cora and soothe her.
4. bouncy chair
This is like a second set of hands in times of need. For instance...so that I can shower, do my hair, prepare the bottles, pump... super helpful. Ours kind of vibrates and has a white noise/music option. She likes it, but it would probably be fine without too.
5. these cheap "precious firsts" PJs from target
Cora turned out to be tiny... like too small for the 0-3 month clothes we purchased. So this newborn sized outfit is adorable and fits perfectly. They are cheap and at target...and simple. No silly writing on them, just great sleepwear that is snug for our little 7 pound 10 ounce babe.
6. soothies pacifier
The hospital actually frowned upon this one. It took me hunting down two nurses to get my hands on a pacifier our first night. As though being a mom isn't hard enough...I had to deal with the negative stigmas of giving my new baby a pacifier. Whatever.... I know the reasoning, but I needed to pacify my baby...and that's exactly what it does. She prefers this big clunky pacifier and will not take the myriad of other much cuter ones I bought. Go figure.
7. tucks pads
Eeesh. Healing from birthing a whole human is a wee bit painful. These tucks pads help to soothe. I didn't have a tear that required stitches, but none the less a tear. One day it should heal I am told. I am still waiting with tucks pads galore.
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
[oh geez I was huge... huge, 39 weeks pregnant.... and had no idea what we were in for]
So here is part one of Cora Elm's birth story...I wrote this part week by week so that I wouldn't forget. And now I need to work on part two- her actual birth. It's funny, I am forgetting already what labor felt like. I loved reading birth stories when I was pregnant and pre-pregnancy. So enjoy if you care for this type of thing...
This started off as the longest week ever. Seriously. Time just seemed to drag on. I was 38 weeks pregnant... still working fulltime, and going to school and I just had enough. I was starting to get uncomfortable. The only plus side to this long week is that I got a job offer... which I accepted! Wahoo!! I really will be a nurse!! So with that huge relief off my mind, I felt like I could now deliver a baby. Which....I didn't. I really thought I would deliver on the earlier side.
I went into my 39 week appointment. My midwife offered to check my progress, which I declined but she thought I was going into labor so she wanted to check just to be sure. My contractions started to change the night before. Instead of being a squeezing pressure... it was now uncomfortable. Not downright painful... but a little tricky to breathe. I also couldn't sleep- maybe it was the nerves, maybe it was the contractions. But I thought this was it!! It wasn't it. I was 1cm dilated.... thinned...and 0 station....for those of you who care :) So, it was good...she is definitely sitting low, which is why I am a chronic waddler... but a little disappointing, which is why I declined initially. There is no benefit to these checks early on- I will either clearly be going into labor and pop out a baby or I won't.
My blood pressures were high and my lack of sleep with increased discomfort...I was placed on maternity leave a week early. It was a little weird, I love work.... but I really wasn't feeling the 12 hour busy shifts. I needed a break.
I tried to fill my hours of waiting this week at home....I made a new shopping list template for winco, finished sewing a diaper changing pad, dyed some onesies and swaddle blanket, cleaned the house again, did spud's laundry, packed my hospital bag, sat in the sun, made a closet ladder... I know, my midwife told me to get rest, put my feet up... that's great if I want to last 2 more weeks, but I wanted that babe out now-ish.
Throughout the week I had intermittent hours of painful contractions...just hoping that they would ramp up and be unbearable. But no, they would subside to bearable contractions. I guess I had been having braxton hicks- but I didn't find that changing what I was doing would make them less intense. They were just milder, and sporadic. I considered this to be my pre-early labor. A practice round.
A coworker of mine, who was 3 weeks ahead of me in baby due dates said at her week 39.... I feel like I'm going to be eternally pregnant. Yup. Check. I feel the same way. Sometimes I would catch myself thinking... what if I never go into labor?! Like seriously think this. Yikes. Then I realized I indeed do have an induction date. This spud will come out by week 41. (FYI, my coworker is not still pregnant...she has a beautiful healthy baby girl)
So... on Tuesday I was having serious menstrual-esq cramps. I realized it had been 10 months free of period pains, and how nice it has been. I thought nothing of the back pain and cramping and went to bed, motrin and wine free....which normally would have been my cramp-go-to pre-pregnancy. I woke up at midnight-wednesday morning with intense cramps. I tried to take a dump....eat... move around in bed. Nothing worked, I quietly climbed back into bed next to matt ...spud did a few cartwheel feeling like things in my belly....and GUSH. Yup. My water broke at 1 am. I almost started laughing out loud as I ran to the bathroom in this very wet state I was in. I ran back into the bedroom and told matt my water broke. It felt like christmas morning....no joke. He smiled, laughed...and got up running around like a chicken with his head cut off super excited...ready to do this. Finally...I'm in labor at 39 weeks and 5 days!! Let's do this.