Monthly Archives: October 2014

3 days.

Things have been difficult here the past few days. Gus has had periods of being inconsolable, he has a stuffy nose, and has a baby acne type face rash. Monday nights Lesley plays hockey and the minute she walked out the door last night he screamed for an hour straight. It was the kind of screaming that made me wonder if my hearing would ever be okay again.

I’ll admit I have not been fairing well. When alone with him I’m not sure which one of us sobs louder. The thing about maternity leave is that you cannot move. I have an 11 pound weight strapped to me that holds me down. So while laundry piles up around me I am on episode 11 in Season 5 of Gilmore Girls. There are 21 episodes in a season and each one is 45 minutes long. I really spend my days doing nothing. And then he screams and I cry and we wait for Lesley to come home.

I’ve been distressed about his screaming the last few days. We’ve been fairly sure it’s just gas but that doesn’t make it any easier as we’ve been unsure how to fix it. Until today’s magical midwife visit.

We explained to her what’s been going on- the fussiness and the snot, she could see the rash. She stopped right then and weighed him. He had gained over a pound in two weeks. Her belief is that he’s getting too much sugary fore milk and not enough fatty hind milk. Our dear boy loves to cluster feed (a bunch of short feeds through a period of time instead of a long good one). While this is getting better the habit screwed up the balance in my milk.

Luckily, this is totally fixable. For the next three days I block feed him meaning two feedings on a side before switching. That doesn’t sound terrible but anything within two hours of a feeding is one feeding. This means that from 1:30-7:00 I fed from one boob. I was extremely excited when he woke up and I got to switch.

Already we see an improvement. His congestion is better and face already clearing up. Tonight he fed and went to sleep easily in the co sleeper. Three days of uncomfortable boobs and we’ll be reset. Here’s hoping I get my happy kid back!

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Best laid plans

Pre baby:
“We won’t be those people with baby stuff all over the house!”

Post baby:

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I’m a mom. I still don’t think that has really set in. I completely love this kid and can’t believe he is ours.

Our days are strange and centered mainly around survival. Lesley went back to work last week but we had a friend come down Monday and Tuesday and my dad arrived Thursday night for the weekend so I wasn’t alone the whole time. This is my first week solo.

August has slept well the last two nights including long stints in his co sleeper each night. Today I got up and he slept in his bouncer for a while while I did a few things around the house and had breakfast. Unfortunately during the current nap he wouldn’t be happy not on top of me so here we cuddle watching Gilmore Girls.

I’m amazed at the time put into baby care. Of course I knew this but seeing it played it is different. We went through about 20 diapers yesterday that are tumbling dry now. Someday we’ll get good at changing him when he is completely done pooping. Yesterday I took August and our pooch for a five minute walk and it took me 45 minutes to get ready. I got an app to track his feedings and the first day I spent 224 minutes feeding him. That’s almost 4 HOURS.

We’re adjusting and settling in. When Lesley gets home from work I’m so ready to have my hands free and get a small break. But last night she got him ready for bed and I took the dog out for his quick night walk. I was elated to be outside, with my arms free and body to myself. So elated, in fact, we trotted quickly along so we could be with our family.

Here are some pictures from a trip to the coast this weekend:

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Some newborn pictures

A friend took the start of newborn pictures today. We’ll do more family pictures of more pictures of him when he is not grumpy but here is a couple from the first set that I love.

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Things I’ve learned.

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while but I spend my days answering the demands of this fella and rarely have a free hand.

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So here are the things I learned about child birth:
-People had told me it’s common to poop while pushing out a baby but no one warned me that I would pee everywhere.
-You do not feel it when your vagina tears.
-It is overwhelming intense pain but when it’s over so is the pain.
-The hardest part is not knowing when it will be over.
-Lesley described it last night as “primal”. That is totally accurate.
– If you forget to wear deodorant on the day you give birth it takes a long time to smell okay again.

Things I’ve learned about having a baby:
– Stress sweat smells different than regular sweat. Lesley and I are just starting to not smell terrible. (I just smelled myself and am unsure if that last part is true.)
-Your standards drop quickly. See that blanket August is laying on above? That’s there because I choose not to wear a bra to bed and leaked milk in the middle of the night and did not want to lay him in it. Every surface we have is covered in milk, spit up, or urine. Poop is where we draw the line and clean up.
-Breastfeeding sucks but gets a little better. I still have no huge desire to do it but will continue to soldier on.
-I let go of things I thought I wouldn’t let go of. For example, my kid was NOT going to sleep in my bed. I’d love to get him in the co sleeper but at this point it’s a win if I can get him off my body.
-Some people try to help but are not helpful. (Lesley’s work set up a meal train for us but often bring dinner around 9 pm. We now eat by 6:30 latest.) Some little things, like someone just being here, are the most helpful.
-I never imagined I’d love this kid so much or love Lesley so intensely watching her be a mom.

The aftermath

The moments after August was born were surreal. Colleen, our midwife, had him in her arms and was trying to get him into my arms. Lesley, Colleen, and her assistant, Victoria, got me some pillows so I could prop myself up on our coffee table and within seconds his body was against mine. I held onto him while they did an initial once over and I repeatedly asked if he was okay. I was assured he was perfect and after many minutes we realized we had no idea what the sex of the baby was and picked him up to get a look and learn we had a son.

Pictures from labor:

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After a period of time (I have no idea how long) we discussed the placenta. In theory I was in no hurry to deliver it but the cord had stopped pulsating so I was ready to get it done. It took a minute but it was out and the cord was cut and we were free to move. Lesley, August, and I moved into the bedroom where he nursed. We sat and looked at him and after a period of time (I have no idea how long) Colleen and Victoria did a quick newborn exam to tell us how perfect he is. It included weighing him like this (the woman in the picture is Colleen):

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Colleen and Victoria tried to help me take a shower where I almost passed out so that ended quickly. I went into the bedroom and they gave me stitches (4) and by that time my mom was here. Unfortunately, I took not one single picture of my mom with him. It was around that time that I got extremely tired. Family visited for a few, family and friends and midwife left, and we were on our own.

In the end everything went pretty great. Yes, there were some things about the birth that weren’t perfect but it’s not worth getting into it. The day ended with me, Lesley, and our soon falling asleep together and that’s all that really matters.

Terrible first family picture:

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Part 2

So we went to bed with contractions 7 to 10 minutes apart expecting to wake up at any time to things really moving. I woke up to every contraction throughout the night, 7 to 10 minutes apart. They got to the point where the only thing I could do to work through them was to get up and pace the floor. We kept waiting for them to get to the four minute mark and they weren’t getting there.

Colleen (the midwife) called around 6 checking in. At that point they were consistently 6 to 7 minutes apart. She said she’d come over in the morning. My mom came by around 7:30. She had driven by our house at midnight, two, and four to see what was going on and my step dad made her wait until 7:30. Our friends who planned to be at the birth (and had come by to hang out with us the night before for a bit) checked in and we planned to touch base after seeing Colleen. She got here and I was 5 cm dilated. She said she could leave or stay and we chose stay. She suggested that maybe baby was not moving along as we’d hope because they either had a hand up by their head or were slightly cockeyed. To fix this she suggestion I sit on the birthing ball through a few contractions, get on my hands and knees through a few contractions, and sit on the toilet through a few contractions. She also suggested I try “curbing” which is taking a walk and walking with one foot on the curb and one on the ground. We grabbed the dog and started there while Colleen made some phone calls. If you ever want to watch your neighbors panic go for a walk while in labor.

Between 10 and 11 I tried all these things to get labor moving faster. It started working and contractions were getting closer and more intense. Around 1 pm we checked my cervix again and I was 7 cm dilated and 100% effaced.

Things started to get bad around 2-2:30. Before that I was talking and laughing between contractions. At this point contractions were never ending. I repeatedly asked what was next and when it would be over. Colleen and he assistant could not give me an answer.

I was standing up for contractions and from how I was bearing down during contractions they suggested I could try out pushing. For some reason it still did not click with me they meant pushing the baby. My water had not broken and so I figured it was related to that. After a few more contractions and pushes they asked if I would be more comfortable on my hands and knees. I was VERY open to suggestions so got on my knees and leaned into the birthing ball.

At that point Colleen told me there was more blood than they were comfortable with and I needed to get the head out. (Our friend who was there said this seemed more serious than I understood.) I still had not realized I was pushing out the baby!

His head was right there behind the water sac which I guess exploded at some point. It took 2-3 pushes of intense pain and screaming to get it out, then the shoulders in a push. He was here.

Tomorrow you’ll get to hear what happened afterwards and get more cute pictures. 🙂

Birth Story Part 1

I’ve got a football game on and a sweet baby sleeping on my shoulder so I’ll work now to give you a birth story. I’m doing this one handed on my phone so forgive the spelling errors and such.

I was due September 27th and SURE baby would be here early. My mom arrived on the 23rd and we waited. We saw our midwife, Colleen, on the 24th and she said anytime. We made an appointment for the 30th which made me cringe- so far away! I stopped working on the 26th and got antsy.

On the 30th Colleen came and said the same thing- anytime. She asked if I wanted her to check if I was dilated and I said no- I did not want false hope things we’re going faster than they were.

That night my mom and stepdad drove four hours to pick my step sister up from the airport. Lesley and I went out to dinner the two of us and met them when they got back into town. It was the night of September 30th. Around 9pm I started having mild contractions. They were about a half an hour apart. We came home that night and went to bed. I woke up throughout the night with them but by 5:30 am was awake as they were coming every twenty minutes. We watched their consistency and they stayed at that rate while moving around and sped up while lying down. We called our midwife and told her what was going on around noon. She asked us to call her back at three.

At that point my family tried to convince me to go to the coast (an hour away) for the day. I ended up in my room crying hysterically because I felt that no one believed I was in labor. I said no to the coast but went to lunch with my family while Lesley ran to work for a few hours. When I got home around 3 I called Colleen and told her the contractions were still pretty consistent and getting stronger. She said she’d come by and check in.

Lesley got home and Colleen came. It was around 4 pm. Sometime around 2:30 I went to the bathroom and noticed that I had some bleeding. When she got there Colleen checked me and I was 3 cm dilated. Contractions were about ten minutes apart and she suggested we call her before bed or if they were 4 minutes apart. My family left and brought us some dinner later. We called Colleen later to check in and they were 7-10 minutes apart. She suggested we rest for a few hours as she’d be talking to us soon.

Okay, all you get for now. Part 2 tomorrow.

Our son.

August John. Born at 4:51 pm, 9 pounds 1 ounce, 21 3/4 inches long. Born at home after 42 hours of labor (only five of those active) and 30 intense minutes of pushing. Full birth story to follow.

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Fingers crossed.

Painful contractions started last night about 30 minutes apart. Now 20 minutes. I worry they’re not real contractions but it feels like for one minute I have terrible cramps/am about to poop my pants/am about to throw up so I think that’s real. Timing things out and waiting for four an hour to midwife.

Fingers crossed this is it.