Tuesday, April 14, 2015

2 months.

Whaaaaaat, Devin can't be two months already! It makes my heart hurt. People always say time flies by when you're a parent and that you'll be surprised, but I'm not surprised. I knew going into it that time would fly by even faster, which almost makes it worse because I try and try to grasp onto things to slow them down. But alas, that is not possible.
2 days old
4 weeks.

So here we are, with a two month old baby that brings more joy than I ever thought possible. I believed everyone about time going faster, but I didn't believe everyone when they said it changes you in a way you can't even describe. I expected some change, but oh lord was I not prepared for what a positive light in my life this baby would be. She is amazing and her love makes everything in life so much less important. As Vince said, we'd rather have a glass of wine and watch her instead of TV!
1 week old
5 weeks
Devin started smiling a couple weeks ago and that send my heart SOARING. Like a kite flying 40 miles over the earth. It is so wonderful when she gives me a big smile, with her chunky cheeks almost closing her eyes because the smile is so big! Of course she smiled for Vince first. He keeps saying she loves me more now because of the whole boob thing, but I keep reminding him that when she's older, he will undoubtedly be her favorite. He plays with her in ways I would never think to do!
4 week appointment for my 'son'.
Last week.

At her two month check up that we had this past week (really 7 1/2 week checkup, but who's counting?) she had gained over 3 1/2 pounds since birth and was 10lbs2oz, and was in the 70th percentile for height at almost 23 inches! The nurse joked that momma was clearly feeding her well. That I am, all day and alllll night.
Hand conveniently hiding The Boob.

I've been avoiding putting away her newborn clothes that she hasn't fit in for a couple of weeks now. How is it possible that she's already way too big for them when it seems like we just brought her home in newborn clothes that were big on her?! That went by way too fast. There's some 3 month clothes that don't even fit her.
1 month. Those pec muscles have only gotten bigger.
Like 3 days old? She's gotten into a routine of falling asleep around 7:30ish swaddled up in her crib with the sound machine on, and sleeping until I bring her into bed with us around 10:30-11. That is the longest stretch she sleeps, and then continues to wake up every couple hours during the night to eat. People always comment about how it must suck to be up so much, but it really doesn't! Cosleeping makes it a million times easier since I can just side nurse and rest while she eats, or lay back propped up with a bunch of pillows. Plus, I love knowing that she is getting all the nourishment that she needs from me without having to wake up crying to summon me. I have no idea how moms get up to get their baby from a crib at night, feed them in a chair, burp them, put them back in the crib, then go to bed. No thanks!

I keep a little basket of supplies next to the bed to change her as well, so we never need to get out of bed. Super thankful we decided to splurge on a king sized bed instead of a queen. Our bed will be a family bed, indeed! (Her schedule was obviously thrown off when she got her vaccines, but hopefully we'll be back to the usual soon. Very very soon, please.)
Devin loves being wrapped up when we go places, and I love it as well. I said many times during my pregnancy that I couldn't wait to wear her, and it is definitely one of my favorite things. It's so great to have her close to me and see her look out at our world while we're doing things, or snuggle close to my chest to doze off while I shop.
Soon after it arrived around 4 weeks.
Roxi has adjusted well and likes to snuggle up in bed with us all night long. I halfway hate it because she always lays directly on my legs, but I halfway love that she just wants to be close to us. Sometimes I get frustrated and kick her out of bed and she'll just stand at the end of the bed, wait until I've adjusted myself, then climb back up and find a spot! Sometimes I'll wake up and see that she has cuddled up next to Devin and is resting her head next to Devin's feet. Again, heart soaring to the moon.
Yesterday at 8 weeks old.
Her reflux is pretty much nonexistent now that I'm doing the Dr. Sear's Elimination Diet! (Again, until She got a vaccine with egg that made it worse.) We've been able to add back enough foods (I'm up to maybe 20 foods I can eat?) that I can maybe branch away from eating the same thing for every meal, which is nice. She is still spitting up some, but I consider it normal baby spit up. No projectile spit up, no painful cries with it, etc. Her hiccups aren't as often which is really good since they keep her awake, but she has them every day still.
7ish weeks

Overall, I feel like everything has gone smoothly. I know we're only 8 weeks into this whole parenting thing, but we're both pretty confident that we're capable of raising an awesome little girl!
Weeks 1-8 left to right, top to bottom.

Saturday, April 11, 2015


Today is day 4 of post-vaccine reaction. Send help!
The nights are getting a little better, but the days seem to get worse! Yesterday she didn't sleep longer than 15 minutes at a time, often just staring off at the same spot for minutes. She wouldn't nurse longer than 5 minutes either, so she was up a lot wanting to eat last night. I didn't mind that part, I still love holding her little body to me, doing a job no one else can do. I don't like that she would wake up immediately screaming, though. 

One of the vaccines had egg in it, which she has showed signs of intolerance to through my breastmilk (even chicken!) and I think that's what is making everything so bad. Her belly is in constant distress, her poops are bad (a little better today) and she was spitting up a ton (also a little better today).  

Also, two days after her last Hep B shot at ten days old, she started having really rapid breathing. Her respirations were in the high 70s constantly instead of the normal 30s-40s. Her doctor did many tests to find out why this was happening but found no reason. After going on for a month, it finally tapered off the last two weeks and has been totally normal...until two days after this last Hep B shot on Wednesday! Her breathing is now rapid again. Needless to say, we're re-evaluating this whole vaccine schedule.
I have a big assignment due Monday morning that I of course haven't been able to work on, so I plan on camping out in bed with Devin and my homework hoping the extra cuddle time will be good enough to get work done while I lay next to her. Fingers crossed! 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Late night.

It's almost midnight and I still have hours left on my homework assignments. It's such a magical thing to look down and see the silhouette of my nursing babe, her tiny ear perfectly lit up by the glow of my computer, and hear her gulping down nourishment. Time to push off doing homework for yet another day so I can embrace her cuddles and sweet milky smell in bed.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

7 quick takes.

Today I was pumping in a small room at school, and forgot my sweater in the classroom and my nursing cover (that I only use when pumping) at home. I could hear the cleaning lady outside the door mopping and was SO nervous that she was going to unlock the door to come in and mop, completely exposing me looking like a cow being milked! Luckily she didn't, but I was nervous enough that my milk slowed and I stopped pumping anyways.
Bottles of boob juice next to lunch? No worries.
I tried 'working out' the other day and rough is an understatement (underword?). I have to go back to the very basics! Understandable, but so frustrating. So I'm starting with Jillian Michael's Beginner series and am 'enjoying' it.

I'm ready for summer. No explanation needed. 

Our landlord owns a landscaping company and he has a lot behind our back fence that has rocks, dirt, etc. A few days ago his crew was unloading a truck and managed to rip down our internet cord from the sky for like the sixth time. (I exaggerate not.) After multiple loooooong phone calls with the internet company, a guy finally came to fix it today and was smart and routed the wire a different way. It was halfway convenient because it forced me to study for a big test I had today, but also not convenient because I wasn't able to study stuff online. I also had some extreme Netflix withdrawal, so I'll be binging on it tonight.

Cute books we got from visiting family!

I've established that my intensive care clinicals have been my favorite and that ICU is now high on my job list! I graduate in just over a year with my BSN. Whaaaaat?!

As happy as I am to eat almost the exact same thing every day to help Devin's belly while slowly adding in new foods, I am so excited to branch out to more crazy foods like green beans! and bratwurst! and a big fat juicy burger with a pound of melted cheese! and an over easy egg! annnnnnd so much horseradish! (The last one is so far off from happening. Cue (queue?) the sobbing.)
Pretty much what I eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner right now. I've started adding some foods in (mushrooms, apples, DELICIOUS GRAPES) and all is going well. Except corn. That is very much a no go for her and was accidentally eaten.

Stealing 7 quick takes from Camp Patton and The Fike Life! I can't actually tell who the originator is.

Friday, March 27, 2015

The Birth. Part 2.

Read Part 1 of the birth first!

Annnnnnd I was only 7cm. In almost 12 hours, I’d dilated 2 cm. At that point I started crying through some of the contractions because I was so upset that I had not progressed very much. It actually really helped to just totally sob and let all the tension release. Then something in me snapped and I told myself to get a grip. So with that, any thought of an epidural went away completely, I went into a special place in my mind, and kept walking around my room to deal with contractions. 

At the start of each contraction I would think, ‘I just have to take a few deep breathes and it will be over! Just a few more breathes. A few more breathes.’ And then sure enough, the contraction would be over, the relaxation would set in, even if it was only for 30 seconds, and I’d realize that I made it through yet another contraction.

I tried a few more baths here and there and quick 5 minute showers before the water would turn cold, desperately wishing for a longer shower. After that first nice bath, the water went out everywhere and wouldn’t stay warm long enough to fill that bath either. Maintenance came in and it still wouldn’t work, so I just accepted that I’d be stuck walking around my room for the rest of the birth. 

Around 5am my nurse offered to check me again because I said I was having a lot of pressure, but didn’t feel ready to push, and I was at an 8. I once again had thoughts about how there was no way I could do this, but didn’t actually consider an epidural. I was just so far removed from everything that the thought didn’t even occur to me.  So I continued laboring…

Once the sun rose (7ish? I think it was right after shift change…) one of my doctor’s came in since she just got on shift as well as a new nurse. I was feeling even more pressure and more intense contractions so I had her check me, and lo and behold, I was at a 9 with only a tiny bit of a cervical lip preventing me from getting to 10! I asked the doctor if it would help if my water broke, and she said it definitely would and asked me if I wanted her to break it. I immediately said, ‘But doesn’t that make the contractions worse?!’ Her response was essentially, ‘DUH’, but in a nice way. So I decided to have her break it so we could get things moving.

Within 15 seconds, my contractions were so intense I can’t even explain it. Thinking about them even now just makes me feel a little insane. That’s when I turned into the stereotypical pregnant lady that was full on screaming through each contraction. My new nurse had just said that my old nurse told her I was rocking this labor and that I was so calm and collected through everything, but that instantly flew out the window! They had me lay on my side to try and get rid of the last of the cervical lip, and laying down was so painful. So painful. It made all the previous contractions feel like a backrub. 

The minute or two I had between contractions was such bliss though. I felt amazing between the contractions because there was such a dichotomy between the feelings. I was able to close my eyes between them and after one of the contractions I asked Vince if they were getting further apart and that I was really nervous my labor was slowing down, and he laughed and told me I had my eyes closed for maybe a minute in between, but to me it felt like 7 or 8! After a while of the screaming I was able to collect myself again, much like the previous time, and moaned through everything while gripping onto the bed rail. (Vince's hands were saved from extreme crunching!)

After a few hours of lying on my side, I started to feel a bit like I could push. I was checked at 10am and was officially at 10cm, so she told me I could push whenever I wanted. Vince turned on the Pushing Baby Out hypnosis track and I started off with small pushes while still laying down, not feeling like I should really put a lot of effort into them quite yet. I didn’t have the extreme urge to push like you hear about.

I switched positions a few times during the first hour or so, from laying, to squatting, to having the head of the bed upright and leaning over that while on my knees, then back to laying at the recommendation of my nurse because despite what you would think, it apparently helps to get the babies head under the pubic bone in first time moms. At that point the contractions weren’t painful as long as I was pushing, and I was happy to not be standing after being upright for so many hours! Not only did my nurse stay the whole time, but my doctor was still there as well. Though I didn’t want anyone except Vince in the room for the beginning of the birth, it was really nice to have them there at that point. They were both so great at getting me through this transition, repeating mantras from my HypnoBabies tracks and even moaning with me. At no point did they tell me when to push or how to push; there was none of the counting while holding my breath or any ‘encouraging’ shouting involved! They did leave Vince and I alone for a while to just be together while I pushed, and came back with coffee for him which he appreciated after being up for so long. 

At 11am, I decided to really put effort into my pushes and switched to the ‘Queen’s throne’ position, where they drop the foot of the bed down with about a foot or two of bed for me to sit on, and the head of the bed is fully raised…like a Queen’s throne. Vince held one leg and my amazing nurse held another leg. They had set up the mirror and the nurse told me to try and open my eyes with some pushes to see what was happening, but I didn't have my glasses on! Vince grabbed them for me and even though I was only able to keep my eyes open a short time, it was really encouraging to see. After a few pushes, I remember her calling my doctor that had left for a few minutes to tell her that I was pushing really well and she should plan on being back within 15 minutes.

‘15 minutes!’ I thought. I could be having a baby in 15 minutes! 

BUT (so many buts in this story) her head was gigantic. The hardest part of pushing is getting the babies head under the pubic bone and having it stay past the bone, but Devin’s wouldn’t stay! Her head would get past the bone during a contraction, then would go back after I stopped pushing. We’d be able to see her head, Vince and the nurse would get excited, then it would disappear. And this went on for three more hours. 

As I mentioned before, the contractions weren’t actually painful anymore as long as I was pushing. I would get 4-5 good pushes out of each contraction, and the harder I pushed, the better I felt. My lower back was really hurting at one point so I had some hot packs on it, but other than that pushing wasn’t terrible and it did not feel like it took the amount of time they say it did. There was a few times I was just really tired and I kept saying, ‘I can’t do this!’ but Vince, the nurse, and the doctor would all say that I was doing it, which really boosted me up.

This is the time when I did want Vince touching me and being close while he said encouraging things to me. He said he was going to go get something (fill my water?) and I about freaked out on him. He was smart and stayed while my nurse went to fill it.  

Finally, after 3 hours and 50 minutes of sweaty pushing, she decided to make her presence into the world. I definitely can’t say I had a ‘ring of fire’ everyone talks about. For a gross image, I had pushed half her head out when my contraction stopped, and had to wait for the next contraction to get the rest of her out. Even as she was halfway out of me between contractions I thought, ‘This is so uncomfortable and awful, but it’s not painful?’ but then I also said, “HOLY SHIT” and my nurse laughed and said she can’t believe that was my first swear word the entire time. 

With the next contraction at 2pm on the dot, out Devin came, already screaming! Everyone laughed because it’s uncommon for the baby to start screaming until their whole body is out, but as soon as her mouth hit the air she screamed.

They put her on my chest and my first thought was, “She has Vince’s lips!” and then of course the usual thoughts of how perfect and beautiful my baby is. She smelled wonderful and felt wonderful and my whole world just felt like it was exploding with joy. THAT was the reason I went through months of sickness and hours of pain. 

Devin laid on me for a bit while Vince cut the cord and the doctor took care of the placenta, then she was checked out by the special care nursery for a minute to be sure her thyroid looked good. It was perfect so they quickly gave her right back. (She had an enlarged thyroid on some ultrasounds because of my thyroid meds.) My doctor stitched me up while Devin laid on me, our skin sharing each other’s warmth. It was just perfect and the best moment of my entire life.

A nurse encouraged me to help her latch on to breastfeed, but my craniosacral therapist had told me the day before to try and let Devin figure it out on her own at first, so I just let her be. Within minutes, she was rooting her way down my chest and like magic, latched on right away with almost no help from me. Now that was a perfect feeling. 

After about an hour and a half (maybe more, maybe less) I passed her over to Vince, fell madly in love with both of them all over, then rinsed off in the shower so we could transfer to the recovery room. The shower was of course crap (see above about NO HOT WATER) and a screw broke so that I had to actually hold the showerhead myself, which is hard to do that and soap up at the same time, but it felt pretty great. It was a wild feeling to look down and see no belly at all, it was almost completely back to normal just all bruised looking and squishy! There was a moment of extreme sadness when I realized that it was gone, just like that, until I realized my baby was now able to be in my arms. 

After my shower we did Devin’s weigh-in and measurements, and she was 6lb 9oz and 20 inches long. 

I was finally able to make eye contact with my nurse for the first time because my eyes had been pretty much closed since she had got on shift at 7am. She is another person who will forever have a place in my heart because she was just as great as my night nurse and was just what I needed for that transition of my birth. I can't actually picture her face anymore, but I can still hear her soft voice encouraging me.

After that we were transferred down a floor to recovery where we had some family visit and I got to say a million times to myself, ‘She’s here! I can’t believe she’s here! Look at how perfect she is!’ Vince got to get in his cuddle time with her and overall, it wasn’t a terrible night in the hospital. I expected them to not let me co-sleep with her in my bed, but they didn’t say anything about it when they came in for vitals. 

The next day we had her pediatrician come check up on her (I think he may have come the afternoon she was born as well, I can’t remember…) and he was amazed at how long of a birth it ended up being. He said everyone thought it was going to be faster and he’d gotten a call the night we checked in with a heads up that a baby was going to be born soon. Oh, how wrong they were! Ha. 

We had more family and friends come visit with us, my craniosacral therapist came to say hi and check out Devin, and the nurse that I had during the night of the birth came to say how wonderful of an experience my birth was for her and many other kind words. I thought it was so great that she did that! 

And with that, we were out of there! Vince drove us home all paranoid and adorable and she was quickly welcomed by Roxanne.