Friday, May 30, 2014

29

Today is the official start of my last year in my 20's.  I believe I'm having a quarter life crisis.  I was thinking back on my birthdays in years past, wild nights at dance club or going to a bar for the first time and legally being able to drink.  It seems like those days were so long ago!

20

21

22 - Frisbee Golfing/Bad Outfits

23 - first birthday Andrew and I were together for; this is my
dearest and oldest friend Jessica.
Last year I had just found out I was pregnant and had a low key dinner with Andrew at our favorite Mexican restaurant.  Instead of a margarita (or three) I had fried ice cream.  This year I'm sure it will also be a low key celebration since Andrew will likely have to work late and Jeanette is getting baptized this weekend.

So here's to 29, I hope this last year in my twenties is AMAZING! 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Jeanette - 4 months old

Jeanette was four months old on Friday the 23rd but I didn't get a chance to post!  Be ready for some adorable photos and videos this month! 


Height: 26 inches

Weight: 13lbs even according to our baby scale.  Your next pediatrician appointment is on the 29th.

Clothes: You are still wearing 0-3 month and 3 month clothes.  I bought you some shorts that are 0-3 month and they are all too big!  You don't have much of a waist or a behind, just like your father!

Big girl!

Sleep:  You have still been sleeping great throughout the night.  You go to bed between 10 and 10:30pm and wake up sometime between 5:30 and 7am.  I think you've been waking up earlier because it's betting light out earlier.  The black out blinds in your room block out most of the light, but the sun still seems to wake you up.

Feedings: You eat 5 ounces every 3-4 hours.  Sometimes at night you don't finish your entire bottle.  You also tried rice cereal for the first time at the end of the month and you are still trying to figure out how to eat it.  I try it with you about once a day so hopefully you will get the hang of it soon!    

Best Moment(s):   You rolled over for the first time on May 10th and it was so awesome!  You are also getting really good at belly laughs and love to giggle when you are getting your diaper changed.  You find the strangest things funny, like when mommy counts the buttons on your pajama's or when I say your name or momma, it must be pretty hilarious! 

Worst Moment(s):  There were a few nights were you woke up around 2 or 3am crying and it was hard to get you back to sleep.  One night, I had to give you a bottle to get you back to bed which is so rare for you.

Development:  You are great at grasping objects from the toys that hang on your play mat to your rattles and small stuffed animals.  You are quite expressive and love to smile and coo, but when you are upset you can make a really good pout face and puff out your bottom lip.  I know it seems impossible, but you look cute even when you are crabby.  You can roll from your back to your stomach AND your stomach to your back!  It was so cute to see you do both of these things for the first time because even you were shocked! Below are a few videos, one of Jeanette rolling over and the other of her playing with her favorite rattle.   

video

video


Jeanette Loves:  Exploring your hands and feet, laying on your play mat, reading books with grandma and mommy, listening to music, patty cake (it always makes you laugh), being snuggled in the evening, rolling, watching the cat and dog (the way you look at them cracks me up, you get these big eyes and I wonder what on earth you are thinking when you see them), trying to rip out mommy's hair or earrings and taking cat naps. 

Jeanette Dislikes:  There really isn't much you don't like at the moment.  Now that you don't hate tummy time, my life is much easier. 

Anything else?:  It seems like you have changed more this month than the others.  It's so neat watching you learn new things like rolling over and playing with your toys.  You really know who Mommy and Daddy are now and love to get our attention when we leave the room.  You are one of the most pleasant babies I've ever been around, you hardly ever cry unless it's close to a feeding and you are so sweet.








She's been learning to make the raspberry noises!

So far this is my all time favorite photo!
I have no words!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Afterthoughts of labor and delivery

I have really been enjoying the birth stories of fellow mom-bloggers recently.  I love hearing how all of these beautiful babies have made their way into the world and sharing my birth story with other moms.  I've always been a sucker for all things birth and pregnancy related, from A Baby Story to 16 and Pregnant, I didn't know I was pregnant and any show were a star is pregnant, I'm instantly addicted.  I've had the last four months to think about the birth story of my own daughter, so here are the afterthoughts of my birth story. 

When I woke up on January 22nd I didn't feel any different, I was actually going to go into work for a little bit because I was sick of sitting around the house for the last two days waiting for the baby to come.  When I got out of bed and had the feeling that my water had broken (turns out it was the bloddy show, but I had no idea since there was a huge gush of blood and fluid), I was suddenly in this dream like state, things were finally happening and I was flooded with emotions.  Once we got to the hospital I knew things were a lot different than my false alarm the week before.  I figured it would be a long day, I knew there would be pain, I knew I might act like a crazy person and I knew I had an amazing support system to get me through the day.

Labor was not at all what I expected.  I'm not really sure what I was expecting to be honest, other than a lot of pain and discomfort.  It was uncomfortable, but at the beginning it wasn't totally unbearable.  I was in a triage room for the first 8 hours of the day because the labor unit was full.  The bed was horrible, there was not TV (thank god we were able to get on the hospital wifi and play on our tablets), I wasn't allowed to eat and someone different was always checking on me.  They let me walk when I was in there and monitored me on and off, which was just what I wanted.  I was pretty calm, which isn't like me in situations where pain is involved.  I'm a very dramatic person and I figured my labor and delivery would be dramatic.  It was as if something came over me and I knew it wasn't worth it to get bent out of shape.

I had read so many books, read so many birth stories and I thought I was this vast place of knowledge for all things birth related.  I talked to my mother in law a million times about the birth of all three of her children, all of which were natural and one where the labor lasted nearly two days.  I thought I knew exactly how my body would work, I knew all the stages of labor, in my mind nothing could go wrong.  

I didn't want pitocin and I certainly didn't want the epidural, this I knew, but I ended up with both.  When I was finally taken back to the delivery room I was told that I was 4, almost 5cm dialated and that they wanted to break my water   My contractions would not stay regular and the labor was not progressing.  I wished at that point I would have labored at home instead of rushing to the hospital; I questioned every decisions I made that day.  I felt like a failure.  Once they broke my water and started the pitocin, I was in a lot of pain and having terrible back labor.  I got the epidural.  Slowly more of the things I wanted started to slip through my fingers. 

The scariest moment of the day was around 11pm, my nurse (who was amazing and made me feel so wonderful and loved), went to check me and the baby.  Suddenly the baby's heart rate dropped and people were rushing into the room, Andrew was shoved off into a corner, people were shoving there hands inside of me, flipping my body around, acting frantic, strapping an oxygen mask to my face and working hard to get my sweet little girls heart rate back to normal. I tried to listen to what everyone was saying, the only words I remember hearing were "emergency c-section" but finally by some miracle the baby's heart rate went back to normal.  I now had two internal monitors, a scalp monitor on the baby for her heart rate and an internal contraction monitor for me. 

When it was time to push around 12:00am and my epidural was wearing off I figured that I would finally get to feel something and be in control of something.  The on call midwife arrived after my second or third push and was another amazing support.  My mom and Andrew had a hold of my legs and I could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I was having a contraction every 1-2 minutes and would push and rest, they would put the oxygen mask on to help me recover faster.  After nearly two hours of pushing, it seemed like nothing was happening and I was right; nothing was happening.  The OB from the office arrived around that time, she was the one who had performed all of my ultrasounds when I was pregnant so I was glad to see her familiar face.  She wanted to watch me push before deciding her plan of action, one push and she knew I wasn't going to get Jeanette out on my own.  There was a discussion about using the forceps or a vacuum but the baby wasn't far enough into the birth canal for either to work.  Her heart rate kept dropping too and it wasn't as easy to get her to recover.  It was time for a c-section....I was completely devastated but at the time didn't even have a moment to process my feelings.

At 4:24am on January 23rd, Jeanette was born.  They figured out that her heart rate was dropping constantly because the cord was wrapped around her feet.  She had also swallowed some of the miconium and wasn't breathing too well (my bag of waters was not clear so I knew this might happen).    I had no idea what was going on and the anesthesiologist kept reassuring me things were okay while Andrew watched them work on her lungs on the other side of the room.  They brought the baby over and placed her in Andrew's arms, mine were still strapped to the table and I couldn't even touch her, it broke my heart into a million pieces, but I was so exhausted that I couldn't even cry.  Andrew brought her up to my face so I could at least kiss her sweet little cheeks.  We decided to name her Jeanette Mae and they took her up to the nursery for some further observation while they finished me up and took me to recovery.  I didn't get to hold her until 8am, we didn't have any skin to skin contact till around 10am when my mom went home.

I was so exhausted that I didn't even get to try to breastfeed her right away, nothing was in my control anymore.  I couldn't get out of bed, I slept most of the afternoon instead of spending time with my baby, but I had been awake for over 24 hours so there wasn't much else I could do.  I had a catheter, I didn't change a single diaper till my baby was almost two days old.  Breastfeeding was a nightmare too, she wouldn't latch and by 3am on January 24th I had to give her a bottle.  I cried so hard I could hardly breathe.  When the lactation consultant came later that morning, we finally got her to latch with the help of a sheild and I finally started to feel like less of a failure. 

Looking back I wonder what I could have done differently.  I question every single decision I made that day from when I went to the hospital, to getting the epidural, did I create all the problems I had that day?  In the end did it really matter, since my daughter made it into the world healthy?  I'm not sure at this point if we will have more children, it's still up for debate but now I have the whole idea of VBAC to consider.  I've been needing to get all of these emotions out, I've still been journaling since Jeanette was born and this has been a lot for me to process.

I want to thank all of you who have been following along and I want to thank the other mom's who's stories I have been following for years for being a great source of inspiration for me. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

And then my heart exploded

Jeanette is almost four months old and getting cuter and more fun by the day!  She recently started rolling over, laughing, squealing and screaming.  She's also getting better at grasping toys and can really recognize her family. 

I work late two nights a month so I don't get home till close to 8pm on those days.  They are tough because I'm away from my baby girl for about 12 hours so when I get home I want to smother her in kisses and cuddles.

When I got home last Tuesday she was rolling around on her play mat and Andrew was on the floor with her.  Sometimes she doesn't remember that she can roll back onto her back once she rolls onto her tummy.  I flipped her back over since she was fussing and when she saw me she literally squealed with delight.  I really thought my heart was going to explode. 

Seeing her at the end of a long day is amazing, but realizing that she recognizes me makes it even more awesome. 



Friday, May 9, 2014

My first Mother's Day

A year ago on May 10th I found out that I was pregnant.  I had taken a blue dye test on May 8th and saw a faint second line but didn't think much of it since the test was close to expiring (I always keep a few tests in the house, just in case) and I had read that blue dye tests often give false positives.  I tried to think back in my mind as to when this could have happened and became worried when I thought about how intoxicated I had been the weekend before at my brother's wedding.  Sorry Jeanette, mommy didn't know you were at the wedding too!

When I took the first of maybe 15 or 20 tests, Andrew wasn't home and I panicked thinking about how I was going to tell him.  Sure this was not exactly a planned pregnancy, but it's not like we hadn't talked about having kids.  I kept staring at the test thinking it was all in my head, but those two pink lines were staring me right in the face.  I told him late that night (some of his high school friends stopped by and stayed rather late so I didn't get a chance to tell him for hours, it was so painful).  I didn't tell him in some cute way, he asked why I was acting strange that night, why I never finished my glass of wine and I just blurted out, well it's because I'm pregnant.   


We told my family on Mother's Day that I was expecting, before I even went to the doctor.  I know this may not have been the best idea because I was only about 6 weeks along at this point, but I figured that no matter what, my family was going to be supportive.



I remember all of the emotions flooding over me in those first weeks.  I certainly couldn't grasp the idea that I was pregnant because I was feeling pretty good and only had a few mild symptoms.  I felt guilty about being pregnant because I had several friends at the time who were having a hard time TTC.  I felt sad for those women I knew who could never have a baby of their own for whatever reason.  I felt afraid that I was completely unprepared financially, mentally and physically to become a mother.  I found it funny that Andrew took it all in stride and didn't seem to be phased at all that in 9 months our lives were going to change.

Even though I wasn't holding my baby in my arms that day, I considered that my first Mother's Day.  This year I will get to celebrate with my sweet little girl who has turned my mother into a grandmother and my grandmother into a Gigi (Great Grandmother). 



Happy Mother's Day to all of the mom's out there.  The mom's who have adopted or fostered babies and kids, the mom's who have lost a baby, the mom's who are now grandma's or great grandma's, the mom's who are single and the mom's who are married.  All of you are amazing!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The fourth trimester

I was thinking back this weekend about pregnancy and the whole crazy process of becoming a mother.  It was a year ago on Mother's Day that I found out I was pregnant after taking about 15 pregnancy tests.  The day I went into labor I don't know that I realized how quickly things were about to change.  I really couldn't picture not being pregnant.  I had no idea what it would be like to be a mother but I knew deep down life was about to take on a whole new meaning.

September 2013 when we found out we were
having a girl!
I remember the first days home with Jeanette, they were terrifying.  We took three bags of stuff home from the hospital because we had no idea what to expect.  We never let Jeanette out of our sight.  We were totally consumed in learning how to care for her and it was not easy.

I've heard some people call the first three months the fourth trimester and they are right!  Learning to adjust to parenthood does take a good three months, learning what each cry means, how to adjust your schedule to the needs of your child, learning how they like to be held and snuggled, how to keep up on housework, there are so many things that happen during those first three months.  Here are a few of my tips for first time moms during the fourth trimester:

Do what works for you: We started putting Jeanette in the crib from day one.  I didn't mind getting up and walking to the room next door to feed her in the night.  We bought a good video monitor (such a good investment) and watched her to see if we needed to get up with her.  If having the baby in your room works better, then do that.  There were nights where Jeanette would only sleep in her Rock and Play sleeper so I rocked her and layed on the couch.  We took turns staying up with her on the nights she didn't sleep to keep our own sanity.  Try not to beat yourself up if breastfeeding doesn't work, I only made it for three months before I wasn't producing enough.  Don't let the advice and judgement of other people keep you from doing what is best for you, your baby and your sanity!  

Jeanette at one week old
If people offer you help, take it:  We had lots of people bring over food, my mom came to hold her so I could clean the house and watched Jeanette so we could go out alone for an hour on Valentine's Day.  It's okay to take a little time for yourself and to allow others to help.  Everyone loves a cute baby and any excuse to hold one is good for most people, especially aunts, uncles and grandparents.

Eat and sleep when you can:  You will need your energy to take care of the baby.  Be sure to keep easy to make meals on hand like microwave breakfast sandwiches or cereal for the morning, soup and sandwich supplies for lunch and easy pre-made dinners (or send your significant other out for Jimmy Johns or to pick up a pizza).  If you're not breastfeeding, have an extra cup of coffee in the morning and be sure to drink lots of water!!!  I found that staying hydrated was not only helpful with breastfeeding but also with my general energy level.  I tried to nap for at least part of the time Jeanette was napping if I didn't get any sleep the night before.

Listen to your baby:  People are going to give you a lot of advice when you are a new mom, so take it with a grain of salt.  Your baby is going to be the one who makes the decisions at first!  It's okay to let your baby cry, they may not like a pacifier.  They may want to eat every hour or you might have to wake them in the night to get them to eat (the later is what happened to us).  Jeanette loved to be swaddled at the hospital, but when we got home it just made her mad so we moved on to the sleep sack.

Sometimes there is nothing you can do to soothe your baby:  From about 8-9pm every night, Jeanette has what we call fussy hour.  There is nothing you can do to soothe her.  She will calm herself down after a while, but I think it's just her time to crab and cry.  I know she's not hungry and that her diaper is dry so I just hold her and rock her and try to offer the pacifier (it's never been her favorite thing so I don't force it).  I've heard that babies do this and I think it helps wear her out for the night.  I know it won't go on forever and that eventually she will calm down.    

Make time for your marriage:  Sounds pretty impossible right?!  Well, my suggestion is to do your best to make this a priority.  Andrew and I went out alone for the first time when Jeanette was about 2 weeks old, it was only for two hours on Valentines Day so we could enjoy a dinner together.  We didn't do anything fancy, but it was nice to just be together.  It's so hard not to be completely consumed by your baby, but remember that your relationship with your spouse was the start of it all and they are still an important part of your life.  If you don't feel comfortable leaving your baby just yet, wait till you put them to bed at night and snuggle on the couch together for an hour or two, enjoy a glass of wine and talk about your day.

Our wedding day, where it all began.
What worked for you during the 4th trimester?  What advice were you given that just didn't work for your baby?