Month: September 2013 (page 1 of 2)

On My Own

Ben went back to work today.  It’s hard handling the two kids by myself, but refreshing in a way.  A return to normalcy.

Poor Jack is learning he has to share me now.  Trouble came when I was feeding Sam and Jack whacked his hip into a table, bursting in tears.  Hard to comfort when my lap was full.  Then he went upstairs to go #2, and had to wait while I finished feeding Sam.  Then Sam had to sit in a dirty diaper while I took care of Jack.  Taking turns is for more than just toys. 

Sam’s cord came off this morning!  I’m glad, because sponge baths are terrible.  This stinky boy needs a gentle soak.  Maybe tomorrow.  My to do list is full for today:
-Jack’s Laundry
-Sam’s Laundry
-Take a shower
-Slow cooker dinner
-Story Time
-Make lunches
-Dishes
-Pay bills
-Work from home stuff

I’m proud to say things are right on schedule, with only the last two items undone.  The shower was probably the hardest to accomplish, but I got it done.  Even dried my hair afterward!  But I might crash and take a nap during Jack’s quiet time.  Sam had trouble getting back to sleep last night, so I only got an hour at a time, maybe 4 hour total.

Here’s pictures from story time today.

Returning books
Story time with two

Checking the frog box for today’s theme
Story time with two

Waiting to start
Story time with two

OMG SCARVES!!

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And bonus picture of smiling brothers from yesterday
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Two weeks old

Two weeks old
 I wish today had been a better day.  Sam was up at night screaming, trying to poop.  I stayed home with him in my PJs while Ben and Jack went to the science museum on this rainy day.  I didn’t do much but feed Sam, try unsuccessfully to nap, and finish all of How I Met Your Mother on Netflix. 

Also, a lot of postpartum symptoms came raging back unexpectedly.  This is disappointing, because I’ve been feeling really good the last few days and thought I was well on the path to health.  Fingers crossed that Sam sleeps better tomorrow and I can be in a better mood.

He’s still pretty stinkin’ cute though.

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Dance explained

Jack was watching So You Think You Can Dance with me.  During this number:

He comments, “Those are girls.  (pause)  Those are their daddies.  They are helping them exercise.”  

Two week check up

Sam weighed exactly 10 pounds today.

Yay, milk! This kid is packing on the chub in record time.

(Warm pack on his foot for routine blood draw)

Waking up

My brain has been so foggy, but I feel like it’s starting to clear.  I’m slowly getting back in my groove of home care.  Laundry, dishes, making PB&J’s, this is my life’s work now 🙂  Ben has until Monday of paternity leave still.  I think I’ll be ready.  Until then, I’m having him do as many diapers as I can before I’m the solo poopsmith.  I gave Sam a sponge bath today (which he hated with a fury!) to get rid of the boy stink.  So fresh and clean now!  He slept heavily afterward. 

Some favorite photos from the last few days:

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(toes!)
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(Post bath burrowing)
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(Socks I made for him the last week before he was born)
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Sam’s Birth

“Babies know when it’s time to get out.”
“Don’t rush your baby, he will come when he’s ready.”
“Savor those little kicks and your last chance to sleep all night.”

This is the kind of advice I read as I entered my 40th week of pregnancy with no strong signs of impending labor.  So when I scheduled an induction for later that week I felt all kinds of guilty over it.  Why can’t my body just figure it out?

Fast forward to another healthy, robust boy of larger than average size, after a safe and pitocin-free induction the next day.  My midwife Norine said “I’m so glad you got him out when you did.  It was the right time. You made a good choice.”  Relief and validation flooded me.  Those were the exact words I needed to hear.

Thursday afternoon was the slowest day ever.  Minutes crawled by as I waited for 5 pm to confirm my spot for that night at the hospital.  Once confirmed, I gave Amanda the call to come over to Jack sit for the next 24 hours.  Anxiously I watched the clock crawl to 7:10- time to head to the hospital.

Once checked into my LD suite I got the usual IV and they started penicillin.  This being my second baby, they anticipated a quick labor.  I ended up getting several (6?) rounds of antibiotics before the birth, since they give them every 4 hours for GBS+ mothers.  They put me on the fetal monitors and saw the same old Braxton Hicks contractions I’ve been having for months.  I was also still 3 cm dilated, no change from the last two weeks.  This meant I could still benefit from misoprostol as a first step.  The hospital was running a study of the medication.  I happily agreed to participate in their double blind trial to see which route of medication is most effective.  Just like with Jack, I had a night time dose, then an early AM dose.  Unlike with Jack, not much happened.

Sam days 0-3Sam days 0-3

Ben and I didn’t sleep much that night.  Between the anxiety, uncomfortable beds, and frequent monitoring and medication checks, we each scored about 2 hours of sleep.  In the morning I was 4 cm.  It was disheartening.  Obviously this wouldn’t be a quick induction, and again I worried that I was rushing Sam.
 
The midwife broke my water at 10 AM.  They monitored me for an hour in bed and contractions definitely started for real.  At 11 AM I got up to walk around the unit.  I waddled in circles for the next hour until they had to put me on the monitor again.  Contractions were coming every 3 to 7 minutes and were getting hard to talk through.

After monitoring I tried the jacuzzi tub, remembering how nice it was with my first labor.  Not very nice this time.  Not sure why it didn’t help the pain.  I quickly washed my hair and got out.

Back in bed I was emotionally at a low point.  My midwife came in and we talked about starting an epidural.  I was worried it would stall labor, since now I was only up to 5 cm.  But the pain was getting intense and I was exhausted, so we called anesthesiology.

That’s when I hit my physical low point.  It took 3 tries for him to get the epidural placed.  The first attempt drew back blood.  The second adjustment was incorrect.  The third try in a new vertebral space finally worked.  And dang, those pricks and tests HURT.  During that, my contractions were 1 minute apart or less, lasting 1 minute each.  Relief couldn’t come fast enough.  I’m hazy of the details, but I would guess it took at least 30 minutes to place the catheter.  Finally I dropped back into bed and tried to doze without much success.

DSC_0002At 3:45 I jumped to 7 cm.  I couldn’t help but compare this to Jacks birth, because at this point in the day we did 5 minutes of pushing and he was born.  I still had a ways to go.  I didn’t believe them when they said the last few cm go fast, because everything so far has been slow.  I was also bummed that my midwife would have a shift change soon, so I’d have someone else for delivery.

More waiting and waiting.

My folks arrived in Denver and we gave the family an update.  I told them to come visit if they want, since I was bored and needing distraction.

But at 6 pm the nurse checked me and I was “9.9 cm.”  She and the new midwife decided to let me “labor down” for another 30 minutes and then start pushing.  So when Amanda, Jack, and my parents arrived it was just a quick hello.  They went out for ice cream to wait.

By this point the epidural was not doing a whole lot.  I was pushing the extra dose button as much as I could.  I mentioned this to the delivery team.  They felt like it would all be over soon and I would do better not to get the dose adjusted, but to just power through.  I wish I had argued in hindsight because I felt EVERYTHING.

My day midwife wanted to labor him down a lot, then get him out in one easy push.  My new midwife had a different plan.  We went slow and steady, pushing for half an hour.  Like I said, if I had known it would go on that long I would have insisted on more pain med.  But it was too late to go back so I mustered on.

Sam was born at 7:02 pm.  He came out purple as a grape and covered in vernix.  Despite his alarming color, his Apgars were 8 and 9, quite excellent.  He quickly pinked up.

FRESH BABY PICTURE WARNING

I made them small in case you are squeamish.  Nothing gross, but still kind of raw looking.  Click it if you want to see Sam the Grape larger.

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I had warned the team that with my first delivery I had a bad time immediately after.  Bad shakes, vomiting, low blood pressure, and needing oxygen.  They were cautious with me this time and it paid off.  I still had terrible shakes, but they piled on warm blankets and that seemed to help.  They let me stabilize before trying to nurse Sam.  They didn’t force me to eat any food until I felt ready to and was keeping liquids down.

By 8 pm things were chill in my LD room and we invited my family to come meet Sam.

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Sam days 0-3The next two days in the postpartum unit were uneventful.  I took full advantage of the nursery at night so I could sleep between feedings.  Feeding Sam was easier because at least I knew what I was doing this time.  So only one of us had to figure things out.

We had our checks by the various doctors and nurses and went home on Sunday.
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Sam days 0-3
Recovery has been great.  Sam has been sleeping well since my last post.  He wakes to eat, poop, then goes back to sleep for a couple hours.  I also try to get a nap in every day.  Usually while Jack naps and Ben plays GTA 5 while watching Sam (he wears headphones of course).

My tearing is so. much. better. than with Jack.  Seriously.  I didn’t use half the medications and ice and ointments needed last time.  Engorgement came and went.  My feet were super swollen but they have gone down.  I have the icky bread dough stomach and uneasy appetite, but they are fairly mild.  I had a migraine for 24 hours that just recently subsided.  I get the weepies every day, but that’s also normal.  The emotional highs and lows aren’t as crazy as last time.  Mostly I have very low stamina.  I think another week and I’ll be in pretty good shape.  Whether I can take care of two children at once by myself, we shall see. 

Other child is present and accounted for

One week old

Sam is one week old today!

He’s a good eater.  His cheeks and feet are starting to chub out a little.  I’m not nearly as worried about ounces consumed and latch technique as I was the first time around.

He has sleepy smiles and gassy smiles that I love.

He spends a few times a day being quietly alert, just looking around at the lights and sounds.

He hates diaper changes with a fiery passion.   We’ve been fighting a diaper rash since his first day home and are just now starting to see some healing.  He also had some burns from the numbing cream used in circumcision, and of course the loveliness of circumcision and drying umbilical cord, all make for an ugly picture in the diaper area.  Can’t say I blame him for donkey braying every time we change him. 

He sleeps easily, for 1.5 to 2.5 hour stretches.  At night he easily wakes to eat, then swaddles back to sleep rather quickly.  I can’t remember if Jack slept this well right from the start.  Maybe the struggle will come later.  So I’m trying to enjoy the relative ease of the nightly feedings at this point. 

I can’t get enough of that warm, fuzzy head under my nose and cheek.

Every morning Jack jumps into bed with us and we lazily snooze a little extra before starting the day. 

Jack loves his brother, although he wishes Sam would interact a little more.  In a few months they will start really having fun. 

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This morning Ben invited Jack to the zoo.  I was going to stay home for some rest and quiet, but Jack easily swayed me to join them.  Obviously we split into two groups, but I think Jack was excited that the whole family went out together. 

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Sam was not impressed with the animals.  We walked around a little, then settled on the grass near the mountain rams. 

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If you want to see more photos, just click on my flickr link on the right side of my blog.  I put a lot of pictures there that I don’t write about here. 

Tuesday with family

It’s amazing what a little sleep can do for your mood.  Sam blessed me with several hours of sleep last night.  Broken up into 60 minute or less chunks throughout the night, but enough power to give me dreams and rest my brain.  You know you are feeling better when you start cleaning the house.  A toy here, some laundry there, nothing much but it represents a lot.  Now if I can get over engorgement, I’ll be in fairly awesome shape considering I gave birth a few days ago. 

Extra snuggling all in bed this morning.
Sam, Tuesday

Sam had his follow-up appointment at the pediatrician.  “I can’t find anything wrong with him,” she summed up.  He’s a healthy, chunky baby.  Maybe a little yellow, but otherwise in tip top shape.

Sam, TuesdaySam, Tuesday

(Yup, this boy is rocking the hand-me-downs.  Here’s Jack in this outfit when he was almost 1 month old.)

Feeling bold, I had Ben drive us all to lunch next.  Our first outing with Sam was fittingly to Chick-Fil-A.  I don’t get many pregnancy cravings.  But with Sam I wanted to eat at Chick-Fil-A a couple times a week.  We didn’t go quite that often, but I definitely put a lot of fried chicken sandwiches into making that kid.

Sam, TuesdaySam, Tuesday

The rest of the day was spent in a normal cycle of eating, pooping, and sleeping.  Ben mustered through our mountains of laundry.  Side note, the storms made all our water taste and smell muddy.  We called the water company and they say everything is safe to use.  It made laundry a bit swampy, showers smell like camping in the woods, and Ben is sticking to prepackaged beverages.  A weird result from all the rain this week.

Sam, TuesdaySam, Tuesday

By the way, Sam was given the middle name Storm for the rains that started Monday and didn’t let up until we were discharged on Sunday.  We had another middle name in mind, but it wasn’t clicking completely for me.  While laboring Friday morning I suggested Storm and Ben loved it.  Kind of superhero sounding, and meaningful to his week.  I kind of miss the other name we were going to give him, but Storm is so great I wouldn’t go back. 

Sam at home

I know that I should write out some details of Sam’s birth before I forget them all.  But I’m grasping at brain cells here.  Sam slept like an angel at the hospital, but his first night home was fairly awful.   He just wouldn’t stay asleep.  Cluster feeding galore, and my milk came in.  He was struggling with a gurgling tummy and frequent poops all night.  I think I slept for 30 minutes between 10 and 11 pm, then I fed him, got another 10 minutes of sleep, then he was awake from 12:30 until pretty much 6:30 in the morning.  I got him to settle a few times, but when I checked the clock on waking only 5-10 minutes had passed each time.  Ben rescued me in the morning and I took a little 30 minute nap while everyone else was downstairs.

So no big stories right now.  A few comments though:

  • Longer, painful labor and longer delivery than with Jack.  But recovery is better this time.  Less tearing, experience, and expectations are helping.  
  • Sam was 9 pounds 8 ounces and 20 1/2 inches.  For comparison, Jack was 9 pounds 1 ounce and 21 1/2 inches.
  • He has light brown short hair, almost reddish in color.  
  • He’s perfectly healthy.  A little yellow-eyed today so we got some sunshine.
  • Baby heads = better cheek rubbing than the most luxurious yarn.  I can’t get enough.  
  •  Jack is a total dear.  He is super helpful and loves Sam.  He can tell the house routine is kind of a mess, but he’s coping well.

How about some pictures?  These are from my second day postpartum, going home on Sunday, and a few from today.

Sam days 0-3

Sam days 0-3

Sam days 0-3

Sam days 0-3

Sam days 0-3

Sam days 0-3

Sam at 4 days

Sam at 4 days

Sam at 4 days
Sam at 4 days

Sam day 4

Sam day 4

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