Sunday, October 31, 2010

A few more things I've observed/discovered (4w1d)

A few more things I've observed that people said I should post about:

-Any old type of "support" plastic bracelet (like breast cancer awareness etc) can be used to help remind you what side you need to nurse on next. Yes, usually you can feel which side is more full but at the beginning before your milk comes in and when you are super engorged it can be extremely helpful. It is most helpful for middle of the night feedings when your brain is not fully functioning. It is also helpful if one boob feels perpetually bigger than the other no matter which side got nursed on last (this is my case). You can see the bracelet in this picture:

- You can convert outfits that have buttoned legs without footsie bottoms into gowns to get more use out of them and make them easier in terms of doing diaper changes. Brodie's going home outfit was one of these and was newborn size, which he has outgrown. But, I can still use it as a gown for nighttime underneath the swaddle blanket or around the house to do diaper changes. Observe pictures below:

-When baby is crying go through the quick checklist of what could be wrong instead of getting frustrated that the pacifier isn't working to stop crying. Are they cold? Is the outfit covered in barf? Are they hungry? Are they wet? Do they just want to be held? Do they want the pacifier?

-Try and keep up on is seriously never ending and piles up so fast. I haven't mastered this yet. I currently have 2 baby loads, 2 of our loads, and 2 sheet/linen loads to fold. (Hey at least they are clean!). I already have another load of ours to wash and a half of a load of baby stuff... and I just did laundry 2 days ago.

-It's better to be over prepared than under prepared when going places, but to be honest you won't use about 50% of what you pack in the diaper bag. to eat!

Happy Halloween! (4w1d)

Happy Halloween from Nick, Brodie, and Me! We are spending the day relaxing as a family and tonight will be passing out candy to any trick-or-treaters. I can't believe that Brodie is already over 4 weeks old. We are having a blast being parents to our precious little boy.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Brodie's Birth Story

I know it is almost 4 weeks after his birth, but I am just now sitting down to write out the birth story. I'd better start before Brodie wakes up.

On Friday, October 1st, 2010 I was sitting in bed talking to Jessica Frausel about her birth plan for Whitney. I had been pretty "crampy" the last 3 days and was crampy as I was on the phone with her. Because I had been crampy for so long, I didn't think anything of it. Well, at 9:56am I heard a pop- sort of like a twig snapping far away followed by an extremely hard kick from the baby near my belly button. I thought, "that was weird..." and just laid there while on the phone for a minute. Then, I got up to go to the bathroom just to make sure everything was OK (while still on the phone hah) and as I stood up I felt a bit of wetness. I sat down on the toilet and thought, "Oh dangit! I must have peed myself or something." I told Jessica I needed to call her back and called Nick into the bathroom. I told him my water may have broken but I wasn't sure. My doctor had given us a sheet which outlined what to do when you thought your water broke or you are in labor, and on that it said to put a pad on and wait an hour to see if you soaked through it (if you did the paper said your water may have broken). So, I put on a pad and went back in bed and was about to turn on the TV. I was sitting up in bed for about 30 seconds and suddenly felt a giant gush which I could not stop. I leaped out of bed while yelling to Nick, " water definitely broke!" I got to the bathroom as fast as possible, but unfortunately left a trail of fluid all along the bathroom floor. I ended up just putting a hand towel in between my legs because I was sick of soaking through clothes and proceeded to text my mom (she was at an appointment for a client) and started to get the last couple of things in our hospital bag. I called the OB office and they said to go to the hospital right away. Nick started freaking out at this point and trying to hurry me along, but I told him I wanted to take a shower and shave before we left.

At about 11 we left our house (with the hospital bag, the baby bag, and the car seat in tow) for Pomerado and at that point my mom was able to call us and talk to us. She was just going to meet us at the hospital on her way back up the hill and we would evaluate from there. All the way down there I continued having "cramps" which Nick insisted I tell him about so he could time them. Turns out they were 3 minutes apart, and Nick said I had to start calling them contractions and not cramps. When we arrived at the hospital, Nick dropped me off at the entrance while he went to park the car/bring up our bags. I walked to the elevator, got in with another couple, and asked for the 5th floor. On the way up, I gushed some more water...which I'm sure looked lovely to the other people in the elevator. I walked to the nurses station and checked in with them fairly quickly (since I had done pre-registration). Nick met up with me there and we got checked in to a room.

The nurse had me change into the lovely gowns they provide (and I told her she better have me put on some undies or something since I was still leaking amniotic fluid everywhere) and then I got put on the monitors for initial assessment of me and baby while she asked me a million questions. She honored my wishes for a hep lock and while I was answering a bunch of questions another nurse came in to put the hep lock in my arm. My mom arrived during this time. After the questions were done, the nurse checked me to see where I was at. I was still at 3cm (which was what I was on that Monday) and 60% effaced. She told me to just relax while they did the first hour of monitoring and then I could get up and walk around. Well, baby decided to lay on the umbilical cord or something because the heart rate decelerated as soon as she said this and she freaked out. She said that I basically signed myself up for almost continuous monitoring and would only be able to walk for 15 minutes after every hour of monitoring. I was super bummed about this. Also, she said that I had to get some fluids in me because that could help the heart rate. Baby kept moving and hiding from the monitors if I shifted so I had to stay in the same position and couldn't move during contractions.

Speaking of contractions, by this point they were getting a bit stronger but were still manageable. It sucked to not be able to move around, especially since the pain was 80% in my back and I was laying on my back. I gladly welcomed the 15 minutes when I could walk and booked it up and down the hallway (just ask Nick and my mom how fast I walked). After the 15 minutes was over, back to the monitors I went and sat again. The contractions were getting stronger to the point where I had to stop and breathe through them and close my eyes. Nick would tell me "you are doing so great" every single contraction and for some reason it annoyed me so I told him not to tell me that. Hahaha I'm a mean wife. After my second round of walking, I was hooked up again and at this point the contractions were pretty dang strong. I was whimpering during them and felt pretty dang crappy. I know I would have felt better if I could have been on the birthing ball or walking or in different positions, but I was confined to that dang monitor.
A new nurse came in and said that she got confirmation from Dr. Lasting that I could now do 30 minutes on the monitors, 30 minutes off. When my 30 minutes to walk started, a guy came in with a cart of tubes and said he needed to take my blood. Apparently, my Ramona doctor had lost all my prenatal blood work so I got to get stuck with a needle 2 times (first vein blew out) and get blood drawn during contractions. That wasn't too fun. Then, I told the nurse I had a pretty bad headache (which was from not eating from 8:30am til 6pm). She said "Nick" could have yellow jello and give it to me. I gladly took that and ate a few bites. As I was eating my jello and sitting up in bed I felt more gushing of fluid...I thought I was done leaking water everywhere but apparently not! I told Nick, "Oh my gosh I'm leaking and not stopping, it's not stopping...oh my gosh!" He told me to get up and go to the bathroom but I knew that would be disastrous. Then I started hearing dripping and looked over the edge of the bed to a huge puddle with more dripping into it. Nick paged the nurse and said, "Um...she is leaking a LOT...I think we need some help in here." My sweet nurse came in and thought we were just going to get up and go to the bathroom, but when I moved she said, "Uh...lets get you some new gowns and sheets." Needless to say I left a trail to the bathroom again and was dripping amniotic fluid all down my legs and feet as well.

After I got cleaned up the nurse regrettably informed me that my 30 minutes off the monitors was up and I had to be hooked up again. My contractions were just getting stronger so I sadly said OK and laid in bed. Now, every contraction was bringing tears and I started to shake. Nick and my mom stroked my hair, held my hands, and were very supportive. I told them I couldn't take much more contractions like this because I was in so much pain. Nick told me I could do it, but I was weak. Then, I got nauseous and 2 contractions in a row I projectile vomited into the little vomit bowl and on Nick. I was still stuck in the bed and couldn't move...I was done. I told Nick a million times that I was done and that I wanted the epidural. The nurse said that my contractions were TWO MINUTES LONG and I was getting a 1 MINUTE BREAK between each one (normal contractions are between 30-60 seconds long....I don't know why mine were so long). I told her I wanted to be checked and had resolved in my mind that if I was in transition (7cm or more) then I would tough it out since that is the worst part. I was devastated to hear that I was only 5cm/95% effaced (so 2cm more and 35% more effaced in 9.5 hours). I knew I could not handle contractions/dilation at that pace if I was stuck in bed. So, I caved and got the epidural. I felt extremely guilty and like a failure, especially since Nick kept telling me, "You told me to not let you get one and that it would get bad like this." I felt like I let him down and that I was letting our baby down. My mom and Nick both assured me that I wasn't a failure and that we just wanted a healthy baby/mom in the end.

The anesthesiologist came in at about 7:30pm and administered the epidural. When he came in so did my 3rd and final nurse (Anna- she was amazing). She held my shoulders and helped me breathe/stay still during contractions while Nick kept encouraging me on the side. It took about 15 minutes to get the epidural in and on, and the contractions I had during then were HORRID. The doctor said the epidural would start working immediately and would just keep working better til I felt no pain at all. It took a while for it to kick in, but each contraction got less intense and it got to the point where it was just a back cramp on my left side each time I had a contraction. I relaxed and started watching TV with Nick/my mom (we watched comedy central- Jim Gaffigan). After 30 min or so I said I was still feeling a bit of pain and needed to have the epidural upped so I didn't have that back cramp. He upped it ever so slightly and left. I guess it's common to have a "pocket" where the epidural doesn't work and I had one in my right lower side so each contraction was like a period cramp that wrapped around to the back. It wasn't super comfy but was much more bearable than the contractions before the epidural.

Dr. Lasting came in at about 8 pm and I told him, "Yea...I caved and got the epidural." He told me I did great, and most of his patients get one immediately upon hospital arrival at like 1cm. He thought I was awesome for lasting 9.5 hours. Dr. Lasting checked me and said I was a "good 5cm and completely thinned out." He said he would come back in an hour or so to see how I was doing. He did come back at about 9:30pm and I was already at a 7cm- which was a good sign that I was progressing quickly now that my body was relaxed. He said he would see me soon and left to go home (his wife was sick with the flu and he was taking care of his 3 daughters who are all 15 and under).

At 11:30pm, Anna came in and checked me again. I was surprised to hear, "Well, you are complete and ready to start pushing!" I had progressed 5cm in 4 hours as opposed to 2cm in 9.5 hours before the epidural. The nurse said that a lot of times a mom just needs to relax and her body starts moving a lot quicker. She left to call Dr. Lasting and have him leisurely come over. She told me that it usually takes first time moms 2 hours of active pushing to birth the baby so there is no hurry for the doctor to get here. Well, we got my legs in the stirrups and I was partially sitting up (to have gravity help with bringing the baby down). She wanted me to push through a few contractions before the doctor got there to get the baby started on it's way out and to get used to what pushing was like. Apparently my contractions had spaced out to 4-7 minutes apart so I had a big break in between each one to rest after pushing. I pushed through 3 contractions, with my mom holding my left leg and Nick holding my right. Anna was very impressed by my pushing ability and after the 3rd contraction she told me I needed to stop pushing during contractions and wait for the doctor to get there. I asked her, "Why? Is my baby against my cervix or something?" She responded with, "Oh no...reach down and feel your baby's head!" The baby was right there and she told me that the baby wasn't bald- which surprised me since I didn't really have much heartburn. After waiting 20 minutes or so without pushing she said I could maybe push every other contraction until Dr. Lasting got there for relief of pressure. Well, I pushed 1/3 times for the first contraction after that and she quickly said, "Woah...yea...we are definitely going to have to wait for the doctor."

Very soon after that, Dr. Lasting walked in and said, "Are we ready to have a baby?" Anna replied, "Oh yea, she is right need to get dressed fast." He quickly put on his outfit and came and sat down at the end of the bed. He wanted me to do a "practice push to see where you are at" the next time I had a contraction. So, the next time I felt pressure of a contraction I pushed for about 5 seconds and he frantically said, "Stop pushing stop pushing stop pushing!" I stopped and was trying to do a kegal (which was impossible at this point) and told him, "I'm not trying to!" My mom told me, "The baby's head is out!" and I guess Dr. Lasting was trying to suction the nose/mouth before the rest of the body shot out. I don't know how well he was able to do that because not even 10 seconds later I heard crying and the baby was born at 1:06am on October 2nd...which was the due date!! Literally, it was the FIRST push that I did with Dr. Lasting being there....good thing we didn't do anymore practice pushes before he got there!

Dr. Lasting tried to put the baby on my chest but the umbilical cord was too short. He actually tugged a little bit to see if there was more and there wasn't...he said it was only 8 inches long! So, he put the baby on my lower belly until the umbilical cord stopped pulsating and then asked Nick to do the honors of cutting the cord. Nick did (he wasn't sure if he wanted to or not) and then they handed me my baby. I said, "It's a boy-Brodie Cole!" and cuddled him directly skin to skin on my chest. He was perfectly colored- pink with no vernix caseosa or blood at all. It was like he was perfectly clean already, just wet from the amniotic fluid. The nurse got him a little drier while he was laying on me and then put a warm blanket over him and me while we cuddled. He did poop right away on me and then opened his eyes and stared at me with his wide eyes and started sucking on his hands. Nicholas and I just sat and stared at him for a long time. Nick held him for a few minutes and then put him back on my chest. I was allowed to have him on my chest, feed him, and just cuddle until 2:30am. Dr. Lasting delivered the placenta and stitched me up (I had a second degree tear) while we were cuddling but I didn't even notice. At 2:30 they took him to get weighed (8lbs 2oz), measured (21 inches long), get a vitamin K shot, and give him his first bath on the other side of the room. Nick was right there with Brodie the entire time holding his hand and taking pictures for me. Then, he was burritoed up and given right back to us.
My mom had gone out of the room and called my dad while Nick and I were bonding with Brodie that first hour and came back in to hold him after his bath. She held him for a few minutes and then decided to go home (she had been up for 24 hours at this point) and let us get some rest with him. We sent out a picture message to our close friends/family at about 3am and stayed up with him until 5am...when we finally passed out until about 7:30am.
We had an uneventful rest of the hospital stay- he got his vitals taken a bunch of times when I got mine taken, got a 24 hour weight check (7lb11oz), got his hearing checked, got a PKU test, got circumcised, and FINALLY at 11:30am on Sunday, Oct 3rd we got discharged with him and got to take him home.
A few people saw us at the hospital, and a few right after we got home, but besides that those first couple of days are a good blur. I am glad that I had a good birth experience (minus being strapped to the monitors and caving to the epidural) and that I didn't need any other drugs besides the epidural (no pitocin or anything like that).

We have been blessed with an extremely relaxed baby, who nurses GREAT, sleeps a lot, and is pretty much the cutest baby in the ENTIRE WORLD. :o) We are in love with Brodie Cole, and every day that we are parents is better than the last. He turns 4 weeks old tomorrow...I can't believe it's been that long already and everyone tells me that I will be saying that phrase the rest of my life! OK, my darling baby is waking I need to go love on him. :o)


Friday, October 22, 2010

Almost 3 week Pediatrician Appt (20 d)

We went to the pediatrician today... Brodie is a growing little boy.

At 2 weeks 6 days here are his stats:

-He gained a pound in the 2 weeks between visits, and went up from 7lb 10oz to 8lb 10oz now! (50th percentile)

-He grew an inch since birth- now 22inches long (75th percentile)

-His head circumference went up from 25cm to 37cm (Almost 50th percentile)

The doc was very very pleased with him and with his progress. He was STOKED that I was still exclusively breastfeeding and how healed his circumcision was. He said continue to do what I was doing and that he would see me when Brodie was 2 months old for his first set of shots. I'm not looking forward to the shots but am happy he is doing so well.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

My personal list of baby essentials

(what I've really used these first 2 weeks)

Big Baby Gear
-car seat with infant insert
-co-sleeper/bassinet with a king size pillowcase for sheet
-2 pack of waterproof multiple use pads
-pack n play with changing table/bassinet attachment
-bouncer/rocker chair
-Sleepywrap/other type of stretchy wrap

Clothes (In newborn size or 0-3 month size depending on brand)
-4-6 gowns
-4-6 zip up footsie sleepers
-10 or so onesies
-3-6 pair of socks
-3 hats-2-3 bibs

-4-5 36 packs of newborn diapers
-box of Costco wipes
-12+ cloth diapers for burp clothes
-manual breast pump
-Boppy pillow w/ water resistant cover and one cloth cover
-nursing wrap

-12+ receiving blankets
-2-3 heavier blankets
-2-3 simple infant toys
-4 Soothie pacifiers

-baby bath
-1 bottle Johnson/Johnson all over body wash
-6 or so washcloths
-3 hooded towels
-Johnson/Johnson baby lotion-baby hair brush with soft bristles
-nail clippers
-dye/scent free detergent

For Mom
-1 tube nipple cream
-3+ boxes (60ct) of breast pads and a few pair of reusable
-3-4 soft sleep nursing bras
-3 normal nursing bras
-overnight sanitary pads (I've used about 60-70 in these first 2 weeks but haven't had HORRID bleeding)
-maternity or bigger undies to wear with the pads
-2 containers of witch hazel cooling pads
-squirty bottle to fill with water for cleansing "down there"
-800 mg ibuprofen every 6 hours for the first 5 or so days
-2-3 outfits that are very comfy to wear in the first week or so exclusively after delivery that are also "breastfeeding friendly"

And that's all (hah it's actually quite a bit) the items we've needed these first two weeks around here. Hope this helps someone out!

Happy Belated 3rd Anniversary

Last Wednesday was Nicholas' and my 3rd anniversary. There were no special plans, no special meals, no dressing up to try and impress each other. I stayed in my pajamas until late afternoon and got housework done. Nick worked all day and sat on the couch while I made Spaghetti (my first time cooking a dinner since Brodie's birth). We watched a few hours of TV together and I passed out on the couch after one of Brodie's feedings. Nick finally took Brodie off my chest, placed him in the bassinet, and woke me up. I stumbled through brushing my teeth and collapsed into bed before waking up a few hours later to Brodie wanting to eat again.

It's true, there were no plans, no special meals, no going out, no romantic fireworks.

But there WAS Nick, Brodie, and me all together in our house. We were all happy, healthy, and together.

And THAT ^^^ is what made our 3rd anniversary by far the best anniversary we have celebrated in my opinion. Being home with my boys= amazing. <3 Happy belated anniversary my love, I am so happy with my life and wouldn't change a thing about it. So much has happened in the past three years and I look forward to many many more years of memories with you.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Random Thoughts on Parenting so far (12d)

Real quick: I weighed myself today and I am currently NINE POUNDS LESS than what I weighed BEFORE getting pregnant. I can officially say pregnancy was a weight loss plan LOL. I just had to document that here so I don't forget. :)


My advice (in no particular order) to soon to be moms/myself for the next kid I have when I don't remember. More like observations in these first 12 days:

1. Outfits with lots of buttons SUCK! Instead, go for zippered outfits, gowns with no buttons, or a traditional onesie with only 2-3 buttons in the crotch with socks/a hat if necessary.

2. WAIT for a bit after nursing to change the diaper, even if you know it is already wet. Chances are the baby is going to pee again or (and this is more likely) poop explosively in the next 10-15 minutes which would just necessitate another change and waste a diaper.

3. Let the baby tell you when they are hungry- don't wake them up every 2-3 hours. You both get more sleep this way. Also, (at least for Brodie) when they are still tired/not ready to nurse and you try to make them they will not be able to focus on latching/sucking and will get more frustrated than if you wait til they truly are hungry. They won't let themselves starve, and will cry when they want something to let you know it's time.

4. Relax and chill out with your new baby. The more relaxed you are (with nursing/changing/in general) the more relaxed you baby can be. They sense stress and get stressed from that. Plus, being relaxed helps you stay happier!

5. The baby isn't as fragile as you think. They just got shoved out of a little area and man-handled by doctors...and they didn't break. Just be cautious to how you are holding them and you will be fine. Most things don't phase them as much as you'd think they would.

6. Be noisy around your baby so they get used to normal volumes of every day life. You don't want to tiptoe around them because it will make them super sensitive to noise. Yesterday I threw Brodie in the Sleepywrap (while awake) and vaccuumed my entire house... he passed out during the chore and stayed asleep until way after I was done.

7. Do lots of skin to skin. Babies love it, mama's love it, and it promotes bonding and helps with breastfeeding.

8. Don't give up on breastfeeding. I understand there are circumstances where medically it will not work out (I'm not talking to you guys) but MOST people can breastfeed successfully. I am still new to it, but everyone I've talked to says it takes 6 weeks to be a pro, and those first six weeks SUCK. It was hard in the beginning to get Brodie to latch, and when my milk came in I got SO engorged. The lactation consultant in the hospital told me I had 2 strikes against me (very large breasts and flat nipples) but said to try try try and hopefully we'd get it. With creative manipulation (me holding the breast and aligning the nipple to his mouth during a feeding) and using the manual pump to express some milk while I was engorged so he could attach to my flat nipple we were able to get past a hard hurdle. It was hard though, and a 2:40hr try to get him to eat for 10 minutes was very frustrating. Now he latches on in 10-20 seconds and nurses like a champ!

9. Take lots of pictures, you will never get the day back once it is past. I just sent off to get 93 pictures printed yesterday of Brodie's first 11 days of life. Obsessive, maybe. But I will be so happy to have a book of baby pictures to show people (and show Brodie) in the years to come.

10. Enjoy your baby!!!!! to nurse! :o) I <3 my little man!!!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Introducing Brodie Cole! (6 days 22 hours)

I haven't been on my computer all week... and that is because we had our beautiful baby boy!!!!

Brodie Cole made his appearance into the world on his due date, 10/2/10 at 1:06am. He weighed 8lb 2oz at birth and is 21 inches long with a 14cm head. He got a 9/9 on his APGAR tests and passed the hearing test with flying colors.

We are thoroughly enjoying our little man, and getting adjusted to the sleep deprivation and time requirements of a newborn. I will post the whole birth story later on... but here are a few pictures until then. :o) I can't believe in exactly 2 hours he will be a week old already!

Nick and I are in LOVE!

Til later,