Saturday, November 30, 2013

a tater tot birth story

Hey there world, so it's been a month since Henry was born, how about a birth story?! 
I was waiting and waiting for this babe to come. My pregnancy symptoms were wearing on me, I was already on maternity leave, and all of our to-dos were done. I felt like he would show up early, but alas it was week 39....and still no tater tot. With Cora my water broke at midnight at home and we rushed to the hospital. So for some reason I expected this babe to come the same way- wake me up from the dead of sleep and we could excitedly run into the hospital. So every night that I would wake up to go pee, or have contractions...I thought ...this was it! But instead it was this Tuesday morning on October 29th that was a little different. Which let me tell you is also matt's dad and my mom's birthday.... super fun. Ok so let's talk birth story...

5:30 am
I woke up to contractions, but really I had been feeling contractions for about a month now. These felt a little lower however and a little more productive. The night before I had made a cake for matt's work but I hadn't finished the last steps. So at 5:30 I decided I should finish this cake. I also ran around finishing up laundry, cleaning the house. I kind of knew today was going to be different so I better get things in order.

7:30 am
Then I woke matt up when my contractions were a little more painful...and told him that we should probably go in. I really didn't want to be turned away, but my midwife had told me with second babes to watch for more painful contractions not the timing of them. So we took showers, had matt's wonderful parents come over to watch Cora and we gathered up our hospital bag (and cake) and left.

8:30 am
So we stopped at starbucks on our way. Matt needed a coffee if this was really "it." I don't think the lady at the drive thru window noticed I was that was good, which made our love addiction to coffee a little less awkward. We then stopped by matt's work to drop off the cake...I  rarely make a decorated cake, so I wasn't going to have it go to waste.

9:00 am
We got to labor and delivery... I figured they wouldn't take us seriously with matt's coffee in hand. Who stops for coffee if they are truly in labor? I thought they would send us home in a second. Instead... I was checked and my water was fully intact and I was about 3cm dilated. I was elated. But seeing how I hadn't been checked previously they didn't have anything to compare it to. They asked me to walk around for an hour in the halls then I could be checked one more time at 10:15. If I dilated- sweet, they would admit me and we are having a baby today! If no change, they'd send us on our way. I did the walking with matt. This time was fun- I could actually move, walk, sit. Last time my water broke first so all movements were incredibly painful. I couldn't walk, couldn't get in the tub- nothing. Pure pain. This time I had painful contractions in which I would stop walking, stop talking....couldn't really hear or process anything but the pain. Then when it was over matt and I would resume our conversation and walk the rest of the hallway until the next contraction. It was grand. We were excited. I knew this was labor, and I knew I was having a baby soon.

10:15 am
They checked me and I was 5cm dilated! Amazing. Last time it took me about 12 hours to get this far along. My nurse said she would admit me, call my midwife and start an IV. She attempted an IV- missing it. I told her I could do a few more laps around the halls- get those veins to pop out. She said no... she had other plans for me. I am actually having this baby quite soon. She had already called anesthesia for an epidural- she could tell I was in quite a bit of pain and she needed an IV now. I laughed....excited that this was for real.... let's get that IV! Last time I hemorrhaged post partum, and I definitely liked (ok, needed) the epidural, so I was on board with her plans. Everything was kind of a whirlwind. We answered a bunch of admitting questions, they started an IV and started the bolus of fluids. Anesthesia came and started the epidural. It really wasn't a big deal- little uncomfortable to be sitting hunched over during contractions- but whatever. Contractions are uncomfortable period. Like 10/10 pain regardless. So a tiny poke in the back? Minuscule. So now I could just relax a little and wait. My sister came to be a part of the delivery, which was different from last time when it was just Matt and I. It was great... someone to take pictures, to witness the pure craziness of welcoming a human into the world, and to be an added support for me (which she was!).

12:00 pm
My midwife popped in, and checked me again- I was 8 cm! I think my water partially broke somewhere around this time. She said she'd go change her clothes and grab some lunch and then let's have a baby?! She is so laid back, I loved it.

1:00 pm
My epidural wasn't really relieving the pain, I felt it quite low...and figured maybe something else was going on. I called my nurse in and my midwife came in also. She checked and I was 10 cm! My midwife threw on a face mask, and gown and sat at the foot of my bed... and said... so do you want to push?! I said uhh.... is it time to?! She said sure, if you want. I had forgotten how to and my legs were quite numb. So my sister took a leg, the nurse took the other and matt was up at my head coaching me to push. I pushed twice and I could hear the fetal heart monitor just drop each time. His heartbeat was either nothing, or rather close to mine (not good). My nurse and midwife said calmly.... "oh wow, he doesn't like this pushing does he! Let's go ahead and have this baby!!" I knew this was not a calm situation, but I appreciated their demeanors. Which is exactly why I chose my midwife to begin with...very calm and collected, soothing. With Cora I pushed for 2 hours, so I wasn't really sure what to expect but I couldn't freak out- I needed to focus on super good pushes. So I just closed my eyes and focused.

1:10 pm
Yep, about 10 minutes of pushing (4 pushes total) and he was out. I literally could not believe it. I think I was laughing or crying or in disbelief that this was it. Here was my healthy beautiful little boy on top of my belly now?! I was done? This was my "labor" experience, I felt like I was cheating. Way too easy. 6 hours? Not 17 hours like with Cora. Sweet!

So matt cut the cord... and our little Henry Oaks was born at 1:10pm on October 29th 2013. He was 8 pounds, 10 ounces and 20.5 inches long...with decent Apgar scores minus his super blue hands and feet.

Little Oaks latched right away breastfeeding, which just warmed my heart. What a boy... healthy, thriving and hungry.

I think I was hemorrhaging a little, but it was under control with Pitocin. I was able to walk a few hours later after the epidural wore off. I instantly felt amazing. Sure I was in pain, I just birthed a whole human... but I felt great, I was ready to do this mom thing, a little more experienced this time around.

After we got to our postpartum room we had Cora come meet her little brother. The grandparents brought her by....and it was precious. She climbed right up to the hospital bed into my arms and just starred at Henry. I'm sure she didn't know what to make of him, but she knew he was a baby and gently kissed him, all bundled up. She played for awhile in the room- unaware of how her little world just changed and then went home with matt and grandparents.

Kelsey (my sister) stayed with me for a few hours, until matt came back. It was glorious. We had girl talk, face-timed with our parents in California who would later come to meet him. And we ate sushi, and sipped champagne and reminisced about the glorious day while henry rested in my arms. It was perfect and exactly how I pictured a better postpartum experience could be. (thanks to Kelsey planning it out and executing it wonderfully)


Henry slept the first night off and on and more importantly breastfed perfectly through the night. He had a circumcision the next day and we asked to be discharged. I knew the real test would be at home... multitasking and survival of the sleep deprivation newborn stage.
We were ready. Let's do this Henry...

Friday, November 15, 2013

...2 weeks later.

Well it has been a whirlwind these past two weeks. Our little Henry is 2 weeks old and growing beautifully. He has been a great little newborn- much easier than Cora was, or perhaps we are more relaxed and less stressed out. But he is wonderful. Multitasking has been more of the issue. How to manage two kids under two... one being super mobile and one being almost zero. I just wish I had a few more sets of hands. Matt is back at school and work so I get to wrangle the kids all day long. It's a challenge, but I know each week will have its own set of struggles with them both growing and adapting to our life. These stages are fleeting, we know that now. So we are trying to savor these times, the good and sleepy times.

I read over my post last time at two weeks post-spud-birth [here], impressive... what a challenge she was, and our life had dramatically changed from just Matt and parenthood. This time it wasn't so shocking, we were just grateful to have a healthy babe to add into our family. We have been so thankful that he doesn't scream at us for hours upon hours- that he sleeps for 1-3 hour stretches, lying flat (cora had silent reflux and probably colic). He also breastfeeds like a champ. I am so proud of him being such a good newborn.

I feel amazing, the delivery was quick and recovery has been quite simple. Thank goodness! I was expecting what we all went through last time, and it just wasn't the case. This time it was smooth and wonderful. (Birth story to come shortly!) I forgot how bogged down pregnancy made me feel- so now I feel fully capable and ready to tackle this mom thing in a brand new way. Don't get me wrong we are still in survival mode... we are just a little more calm at this 2 week marker.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

halloween 2013.

I am quite proud to say we pulled off Halloween this year. Henry was born just two days I wasn't sure if we could do it. Cora was an owl, which I made her costume thanks to some pinterest inspiration. She was adorable. She knew how to knock on the doors (well, three to be exact- grandparents, auntie, and a friend's house), say "whoo whoo" and said "tree" for trick or treat and would exchange one candy from her bucket for a new one. Freaking adorable. Anyways, it was a success. Baby steps on this whole parenting thing with two kids.

This was also our first outing as a family... all cora wanted to do was hold henry's hand in the back seat. Pretty sweet.
This is henry's first he was a panda, courtesy of a cute hooded towel. We will do better next time for your costume little oaks...more time, more planning.

2012 cora was a sack of spuds
2011 an xray baby in utero.

Oh, and check out this graveyard cake I made for Matt's work party. Cute right?! Tiny candy rocks? Fun. I finished this the morning I went into labor and dropped it off on our way to the hospital. I put time into this cake... had to be enjoyed.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Our tater tot is born!!

[welcome to the world henry oaks]
Henry was born Tuesday, October 29th 2013 at 1:10 pm.
He was 8 pounds 10 ounces and 20.5" tall.
He is perfect and healthy, and definitely all boy.
He is eating well, adjusting nicely into our little family and just a content little guy.
I can't wait to tell you all about him, this has been a completely new and wonderful experience for us all.