Monday, January 30, 2012

Mish Mash

Wow, where has the time gone?  Oh yeah, I know.  Taking care of two under two.  It's no joke people.  It is hard work.  I have the utmost respect for stay-at-home moms and people who do this alone.  Thank goodness I have Jason to help otherwise I would be crazy.

* Cal is officially off the boob.  He got worse and worse with eating/latching so I threw in the towel and am exclusively pumping.  And you know what?  I am perfectly okay with it.  I never thought I would be so calm about the whole process but if this is what works for us, so be it.  I hope to continue pumping for as long as I can.

* Cal had his 2 week appointment and he is now officially nicknamed "Chunky Monkey".  He left the hospital at 7 pounds 7 ounces, gained 4 ounces by the next day and by two weeks, had surpassed his birthweight of 8 pounds 4 ounces.  As of his 2 week appointment, he weighed 8 pounds 9.5 ounces.  So my boob juice is doing its job. 

* This child LOVES to eat.  Unlike his brother.  Jack would take 1/2 an ounce every 30 minutes (due to his reflux).  We were constantly fighting with feeding him and battling spit up.  This guy?  He eats 2 ounce bottles every 2 hours like clockwork.  He still seems hungry at certain times though so we are bumping him up to 2.25 ounces.

* I put a cloth diaper on him for the first time yesterday just to see how the fit was.  I figure that he was close to 9 pounds and the diapers say 7-35 pounds so why not try?  I had read on a lot of forums that newborns won't even come close to fitting one sized diapers until 12 pounds so not to bother.  Welp, in our case, that was wrong.  I put a Charlie Banana diaper with a small insert on him (fit to the smallest setting - XS) and it fit fine!  We had no issues with leaks or anything.  Now I am really looking forward to using up the disposables we got as gifts so I can exclusively put him in cloth.

* Um folks, as of Thursday, I will have a 2 YEAR OLD!  Holy crap.  Where on earth did my baby go?  He is doing so many adult things these days that it boggles my mind.  A couple of Fridays ago (Cal was a little over a week old) we took Jack to OMSI for a special day.  Nana watched Cal so we could have one on one time with Jack.  I watched as my baby sat in a booster seat and ate a sandwich at the table for lunch.  Good grief.  He just looked  I took plenty of pictures with my phone.

* Speaking of phones.  I got a new cell phone as my birthday gift from Jason.  Welcome to the world of Smart phones!  I am having a blast browsing the internet while doing mundane tasks.  Now I don't have to haul out my laptop unless I want to post on my blog.  I can read others' but just can't type fast enough to post on my own.

* I am using the Moby wrap a lot with this baby.  I had one with Jack but since I was dumb about tying it correctly I hated it.  I now am officially hooked.  I use it to calm my fussy man that doesn't seem to want to sleep anywhere other than Mommy's chest.  I wear him while he naps and do chores around the house.  I have vaccuumed, done dishes, given Jack a bath, cooked dinner, and even gone to the bathroom wearing this thing.  I heart it.  I am even wearing it right now.  It's just so much easier.

* Our little parrot (Jack) is saying so many things.  The child is speaking in full on sentences.  Albeit, only two or three words but still!  Sentences!  He loves to name colors.  His favorite thing is to say "Daddy car black.  Momma car brown.  Papa car red.  Nana car blue".  As you can see, he is learning colors and already he has mastered blue, red, yellow and green.  He can most of the time get black, grey, white and brown.  Grey comes out "gay" and hopefully random strangers don't side eye us for that.

* We are doing a very low-key party for Jack on Saturday.  We are having it over at my in-laws house and it's just going to be us and them.  We were going to have pizza but since my in-laws might be going out to dinner we decided just cake and ice cream and presents.  I didn't even buy very much for him since Christmas was so plentiful. 

* Does anyone else find it hard to take pictures of their kids once a new one comes into the picture?  Seriously, I find it so hard to remember to pick up my camera (I got a very fancy new one for Christmas) when I am busy chasing toddlers, picking up toys so they don't become death traps and changing poopy diapers.  I really need to get better about that.

* I have survived being at home alone a couple of times.  Jason has gone out with the boys a couple of times since Cal was born and guess what?  I didn't melt!  I survived.  Now, if I had to do it for hours and hours on end, I might have permanently grey hair. 

* I have been cooking a lot lately.  Due to our new budget with me at 60% of my pay (I am on short term disability for my maternity leave) and Jason bringing in no money, I have been cooking almost every night.  The nights I don't cook are leftover nights.  Last night was barbeque beef in the crockpot and tonight is spaghetti pie.  I am finding quick, easy, and cheap meals to make and so far, it's working out.  Secretly, it gives me some time away from dealing with temper tantrums every three seconds.

That is about it on the homefront.  And since I suck at updating my blog, here are some pictures of my little men. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Hello Again Boobs

You knew there would be a breastfeeding post coming soon didn't you?  I endlessly blogged about boobs and breastfeeding and all of Jack's issues so why not keep up the theme?

Don't get me wrong, Cal is doing a good job.  It's just that he could be doing better.

In the hospital, he was nursing great!  Every 2 to 3 hours and 45 minutes or so at a time.  Then on Thursday evening when my milk came in, he went on strike.  My nipples (sorry folks) changed shaped and he didn't recognize them.  He would latch on for a second and then off.  Eventually he would get it, but that was after bribes of a drop of sugar water or some drops of breastmilk. 

I had a lactatation consultant visit me (per my request) and she confirmed that Jack was nursing great.  In the course of about 20 minutes, he ate 2 ounces.  However, they wanted me to pump just in case he wouldn't latch.  That way he could have a top off of breastmilk.  God, I hate pumping.  I was soooo hoping to avoid it this time around.  Oh well, you do what you have to do.  Just as an FYI, I have super boobs.  My milk started coming in on day 3 postpartum and I pumped 2 ounces.  The nurses kept ooohing and aaahing at me.

On Friday before we were discharged, because he wasn't latching great, the LC suggested we start topping him with a finger feed.  If you don't know what that is, it's a syringe hooked to a tiny tube that gets taped to your index finger.  You place the index finger in babe's mouth and it teaches them how to suck.  So we started doing that on Friday when we got home from the hospital.

By the time we went home, Cal was down about 10% of his birthweight.  This also happened with Jack and I freaked.  This time?  I knew my baby wasn't starving and that he would be fed and I wasn't worried.

Friday we tried latching him which was pretty unsuccessful most of the time.  So we had to resort to finger feeding most of the day.  Which by the way is a pain in the ass.  Our main goal, per the LC's, was to fatten him back up.

Saturday at the pediatrician's office he was up 3 ounces from the day before.  Score!  I knew we were doing something right.  The pediatrician did suggest that since my stupid nipples had changed shape and that I was engorged maybe a nipple shield was in order.  I hate using a nipple shield, but again, whatever will get the boy to eat.

The rest of the weekend I would latch the babe with the shield for a few and then we would top him off with the finger feed.  We eventually started moving to bottles rather than the dumb syringe because as previously mentioned, it's a pain.  I would also pump and then the process would repeat itself.

Yesterday, at the lactation clinic, Jack had gained another 4 ounces!  So now that he is gaining weight and not so sleepy, we are back to latching with the shield most of the time.  He is doing a pretty good job at that.  It's not the easiest thing for him since the boy wants his food NOW!  With breastfeeding, he needs to work at it and he doesn't particularly care to do so.

The whole point of this post?  To state that again, I am having slight issues.  Nothing that can't be worked around.  This time around, I am going to ENJOY feeding my baby and not freak out.  I am going to NOT stress and worry everytime a feed doesn't go the way I had hoped.

It IS easier this time around.  I am less worried.  I think it's that first time mom thing.  You have no idea what you are doing.  Second time?  Piece of cake.  Well, respectively speaking.  It's not exactly easy to feed a kiddo when you are chasing another kiddo around the house trying to wipe his face.

Hello again boobs.  Let's make sure to work this time k?  Thanks.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Cal's Birth Story

Tuesday morning started out early.  We had to be at the hospital for my routine c-section at 5:30 with surgery at 7:30.  After very little sleep the night before (nerves anyone?) I was up at 4:00, showered, shaved and finished that last minute packing.

We got checked in at the Family Maternity Center and were brought back to a room immediately.  Our nurse came in and had me change into a gown, took my blood pressure and my temperature and put the fetal heart monitor bands on my belly.  All pretty routine things.  I did have a slight fever because Jack Jack gave me his cold.  Not enough of a fever to delay the surgery though!

Jason was the designated picture taker of the day since I obviously had other things to be concerned about.  He got some shots of me in my lovely hospital gown, filling out paperwork and other boring things.  I was more looking forward to baby pictures, duh!

The anesthesiologist came to my room fairly early so we could talk about complications, allergies, etc.  I am so glad I told her my entire history of anesthesia and its complications because I had a completely different experience this time.  More to come on that later.  With Jack, as soon as my epidural was placed, my blood pressure tanked.  I believe it was around 70/40.  It was enough to make all the monitors and bells go off.  After the blood pressure scare, I got severely nauseous.  I remember being so out of it that the delivery of my baby was a blur.  I don't even remember the next 24 hours.

After speaking with anesthesia, we decided it was best to do a patch behind my ear, similar to those prone to motion sickness would wear.  Speaking with the anesthesiologist took a lot of time which is fine by me.  It made the time go much faster and it kept my mind off the worries that I had.  She answered all my questions about how the line is placed, when it would need to be taken out, etc.  Come to find out, a spinal for a repeat c-section is different than an epidural.  The needle is smaller and there is no line that stays in.  It's a shot of numbing medicine in your spinal column and that's it.  The medication wears off in about 3 hours although you would still have the tingly feeling in your legs. 

My nurse placed my IV line but it took some time.  My veins have this pesky condition where they blow out as soon as the IV is placed.  In the end, the anesthesiologist had to do it.  When that was in, I was given a shot of antibiotics since I tested Strep B positive.  I was also pushed fluids to help curb the nausea that I was worried about.

Lynn, my mother-in-law arrived around 6:45.  She had dropped Jack off at daycare and came immediately to the hospital.  It was nice having the extra support. 

We visited and chatted and filled out paperwork until the time came.  I was able to walk myself to surgery without passing out or shaking uncontrollably from nerves.  Jason waited outside so my spinal could be done and the draping set up.

I remember the room being so cold and climbing up on the table and thinking I wouldn't fit.  The compression booties were put on my legs at that point and I sat criss-crossed so the spinal could be done.  Honestly, it didn't hurt at all.  The numbing shot worked so well and the only thing I felt was the warm sensation going into my butt.  When I was substantially drugged, I was laid down.  I was absolutely freaked at this point because I was expecting the alarms to go off because of my blood pressure or I was worried that I would throw up.  I was shaking a bit from the nerves, but I took deep breaths and prayed to calm down.  That was all it took for my mind to go calm. 

Believe it or not, I didn't have any issues with the anesthesia!  There was one point while I was being draped that I said "Uh oh" and the anesthesiologist came over with a basin for me to use.  I coughed (have you ever tried coughing when you are numb?) and I did spit up a little but I was instantly better.

Jason was brought back and the surgery started.  I could feel the pressure and tugging but no pain or any temperature sensations.  Jason held my hand the whole time and as soon as Cal's head came out, my doctor said "The head is out".  He pulled the rest of Cal out and said "Rachel, this looks like a big baby".  Cal immediately started screaming.  He was NOT happy to be ripped out of his warm environment. 

I got to see him being carried over to the isolette and that was my favorite moment of the day.  I never got to see Jack when he was fresh born.  I had my eyes closed and I was so sick that I didn't get to have that special moment.  When Cal was being carried over, I said to Jason "Oh my gosh, he has dark hair!". 

The nurses and respiratory therapist were cleaning Cal up, measuring him and getting him in a diaper.  Before the diaper went on, the RT said "Don't pee on me buddy".  He really shouldn't have said anything because right then Cal let off a stream.  It was pretty funny.  I got to see everything they were doing to him which was so great!  He was crying the whole time but I was so proud and happy to have a healthy baby that the crying was music to my ears.

I got stitched all up and then rolled onto the hospital bed.  As soon as I was in place, they brought the baby over to me so I could hold him on the way back to our room.  I finally got to see his handsome face and see who he looked like. 

I closed my eyes on the ride back to the room so I wouldn't get sea-sick so to speak.  When back in the room, I laid in bed while the nurse checked over Cal and weighed him.  He cried quite a bit but that is completely normal.  After all, he had just been cut out of me and was probably hungry and cold and the light was so bright! 

After a few minutes, Cal was showing hunger signs so the nurse helped me latch him on.  I was glad to do so because I really wanted to establish a good breastfeeding routine this time around.  It took a bit but we got Cal latched.  He still doesn't really open his mouth super wide but he's eating so I will assume his latch is normal for him.  He ate for a while and then rested.  I made sure and mark down on the feeding chart when he ate so I could make sure and nurse every 2-3 hours. 

All in all, my repeat c-section was a success!  My overall experience has been completely opposite from my first time around.   I got sick, I was having severe hormone crashes, didn't sleep, didn't take advantage of the help that was offered to me and got so frustrated with how I felt afterwards.

I will do a post about my recovery later but let's just say it's been much better this time as well.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Welcome Calvin!

Yesterday morning at 7:51 Calvin Wyatt was born.  He weighs 8 pounds 4 ounces and is 20.5 inches long.

I will post a birth story soon but for now, here's a picture:

Monday, January 9, 2012

Last Day Pregnant

Welp, it's come to an end.  Today is officially my last day as a pregnant woman.  Tomorrow at 7:30am, Cal will be on his way out and I will no longer have this enormous belly in front of me.

Today was spent on a cleaning frenzy.  Jason and I sent Jack to daycare this morning to keep up his routine and I had a long list of things to complete.  Laundry, take out the trash, change the beds, etc.  I wanted to get everything clean so I didn't have to worry about a thing once we got home from the hospital.  By 1:00 I had completed all the things on my list and then some.  Jason and I both decided to lay down and take a nap.  I figure it's probably the last time we will have this opportunity so take advantage.  Amazingly enough, I actually slept.

I pick up Jack in 45 minutes and I can't help but be emotional.  Tonight he is spending the night at Nana's and I will be childless.  It's the last night for him as an only child.  Am I doing a disservice to him by bringing another baby into the world and taking a lot of the attention from him?

Last night, I got teary-eyed as I was putting him to bed.  I smelled his sweet hair as I was reading him bedtime stories.  I wouldn't be doing this routine for a while.  Not only because I will be in the hospital but I won't be able to lift him for a little while after I give birth. 

Everything yesterday was a "last".  Last time feeding him dinner for a while.  Last time snuggling and reading books while he was warm in his footie pajamas.  Last time kissing him before bed.  Last time sleeping in and nestling together at 5am. 

I will try and keep my mind occupied tonight.  My doctor approved me to take some other the counter sleeping pills tonight.  I will be taking them around 7:00 to ensure that I am very drowsy and actually get to sleep.  I need to get up at 4am to be out the door at 5:15.  I plan on shaving, doing my hair nice and actually putting on some makeup so I feel a little more put together when I give birth.  I look back on my photos the last time and cringe.  Even if I cry off all my makeup, at least I will have made the effort!  I know it sounds like a ridiculous routine but hey, it's what will get me through the morning.

A bummer?  I have to fast after midnight.  No water and nothing to eat.  That means I won't be able to enjoy my morning cup of coffee!  Eeek!  No worries.  As soon as I am able, I plan on making Jason run to Starbucks across the street and get me a cup.

Jason and Lynn will be with me all day tomorrow.  Although Lynn needs to leave at 3:30 to pick up Jack, I will have a good support system at the hospital with me. 

I will update my blog after Cal is born but I am not sure when.  Obviously I will need to recover from anesthesia for a while.  It might be a couple hours or even a whole day.  It really depends on how I feel.  And more importantly, I will be calling all the immediate family members first.  They deserve phone calls before the rest of the internet world is updated. 

Wish me luck!  Calvin will be here before I know it!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

38 / 23

Today marks my 38th week of pregnancy.  I can't believe that at this very time next Tuesday, little Cal will be in my arms. 

I have been nesting big time.  I managed to get the entire house cleaned and all the Christmas decorations put away on Friday when I had a day off of work and my mother-in-law took Jack.  If this baby were to come today, we would be ready.

Jack turned 23 months old yesterday.  For those of you that are poor in math, that is one month shy of 2 years old!  Wowza.  I feel guilty that I don't have anything planned for his 2nd birthday.  We are a pretty simple family though so cake, ice cream and presents over at my in-laws will probably consist of his "party".  We didn't do a huge shindig for his 1st so no huge shindig for his 2nd either. 

Just in this last month, Jack's language has EXPLODED.  He now repeats everything which is funny and cute, but dangerous at the same time.  I keep reminding Jason not to say curse words around him.  Lord knows I don't want our little parrot saying "shit". 

He is starting to form sentences.  His first official sentence was "Uh oh, made mess".  I about died from the cuteness.  He said it right after eating dinner and I was cleaning him up.  Before the official sentence, he was stringing two words together just fine.  "Bad kitty" or "Hi Mama" or "Papa truck" were some of his famous ones.  Now since "Uh oh, made mess" he has also said "Yay!  Did it!".  He says that one often.  He gets really proud of himself (as he should be) when he completes a task.

In the past month, he has been huge into puzzles.  Before now, it was just a matter of throwing the pieces around.  He got a chunky dinosaur puzzle for Christmas and the very first time he tried it, he put every single one of the pieces in correctly. 

Even though he is still incredibly active, he is getting better about actually sitting and playing with toys instead of just running around the house being Captain Destructo.  On Christmas and New Years Day, we were at family gatherings and Jack sat and played happily with other kids.  He especially likes playing with the bigger kids (aged 5 and up). 

His sleep has gotten a lot better.  Jason and I changed his bed time slightly.  Since Jason stays at home now, it's in everyone's best interest that Jack not get up at 5:00am.  So night night was moved to between 8 and 8:30 and now he will sleep until 6:30 or even later!  He still fusses or wakes up once a night or so (sometimes not at all) but usually a simple paci re-insertion or a pat on the back and he's back to sleep. 

Guess what came yesterday?  Two of Jack's 2 year molars!  He has been cranky and drooly for the past couple of weeks and his upper molar gums were swollen.  I was feeling around in his mouth yesterday and felt the little sharp stubs and was shocked!  No wonder he was so cranky.  Now it's just a matter of getting those bottom ones through.

My little boy is getting so big.  It's a lot of fun to see what new and exciting thing he is doing every day.  My only guilty feeling is knowing that he soon won't get as much one on one time with me as he had been.  I hope that I can give him all the love and attention he needs.