Thursday, October 31, 2013

Julian's Birth Story

My littlest baby, Julian, turned 3 months old a few weeks ago.  So I figure it's high time I jot down his birth story before I forget it....

So going back in time to Friday, July 12.  I went to work that day expecting to go back to work the following Monday.  I was only 39 weeks and 3 days at that point.  Lukas was born at 40 weeks plus 3 days so I figured I might as well get comfortable.  I even had Mr. Cob snap a picture of my growing belly that night.

39 weeks + 3 day belly

We woke up Saturday morning and went about our day.  We did something for breakfast, donuts maybe?  (See I'm already forgetting).  And then we went to the bank.  I decided I should probably cook some food to freeze for after the baby arrived so we then headed off to the Farmers Market.  I didn't really want to go but we'd already made the fatal mistake of mentioning the farmers market to Lukas so there was no way we weren't going after that.  So off we went.  It was at some point in the late morning that I noticed the contractions.  Nothing painful.  Nothing consistent.  On we went with our day.

Our good friends' son was having his first birthday party that afternoon so after cooking a few meals in the early afternoon we headed over for the party.  Sitting in the car I realized the contractions were somewhat timeable.  About every 7-8 minutes.  I was still unconvinced.

I spent all afternoon chatting with friends at the party and watching Lukas and his friends play, so I didn't really notice the contractions.  But on the car ride home (around 6:30pm) they began again.  Every 7 or so minutes again.  We got home and put Lukas to bed and I figured I'd cook the rest of my freezer meals in an effort to distract myself.  Finally around 9pm, with contractions hanging around every 7 minutes, we decided to call my parents to give them a heads up and said they could come over if they wanted.  My mom said there's no way she could sleep now knowing the real thing might be happening, so they decided to head over. 

They arrived a little after 10pm.  Mom helped me finish making enchiladas while dad and Mr. Cob watched TV.  Lukas continued snoozing away, unaware that anything was happening.  The contractions were about 6 minutes apart but not painful.  I took a bath at one point to relax and thought about laying down for a bit but everyone else was more concerned than I was and around midnight Mr. Cob convinced me to call my OB.  My OB said that I could head to the hospital at any time, but it sounded to her like things were happening!  I was still not convinced.  (Sidenote, I LOVE my OB.  As in, may have another baby just to hang out with her on a regular basis again.  Even though I had clearly woken her up from a deep sleep, she chatted with me on the phone for 10 minutes, at midnight, about how excited she was that my little boy was finally coming.  I mean, really, she is Fabulous!)

So at that point I decided to actually pack a hospital bag and we left around 2am for Northside.  Eerily it was the same time we went to the hospital for Lukas' birth.  I was convinced we were in for a long labor (remember Lukas wasn't born until almost 3pm the next day).  And I still wasn't even uncomfortable.  I thought we'd get to the hospital and be turned back for a false alarm.  Before I go any further I need to make note of what has now become one of my favorite parts of being in labor - the car ride to the hospital with my husband.  We are both so giddy and excited and we sing very loudly to fun music.  It's just a burst of fun before the "labor" part of labor begins.

We arrive at the hospital and a sweet security guard asks if I need a wheelchair.  I do not.  (I'm still convinced this isn't happening).  We check in and wait for the nurse to take us back to our room.  We get in our room (one without a window) and I get hooked up to the fetal monitor.  In case I didn't mention it with Lukas, the fetal monitor is one of the most uncomfortable parts about the whole thing.  They wrap a band tightly around your gigantic belly and the thing is so tight it leaves marks.  I hate it.  Anyway, she checked my progress (about 2-3 cm) and confirmed that the contractions were about 6 minutes apart, so we were staying.  The real deal had truly begun!

Then the nurse left and said she'd be back and to try to rest.  Mr. Cob passed out on the "sofabed" and I got a little sleep myself.  I could only get comfortable on my side though, and they lost the baby's heartbeat every time I laid on my side so eventually around 6am I had to turn back over.  I was still in no pain at this point.  I noticed the contractions but didn't have to breathe through them or anything.

Here I am after my night's "sleep"....

And here's Mr. Cob...ha
At 6:30 the nurse came in to say my OB wanted to start me on pitocin since nothing was really progressing. I asked if we could give it 30 more minutes to see if things would pick up on their own. She agreed. Nothing progressed. So they started the pitocin. (Which, if you're keeping score, I'm now 2 for 2 on the pit front. Oh well.) Around this point someone checked me and I was like 3 cm, so not much progress.

My OB came in around 8:30 to check on things. The pitocin had made the contractions pick up in timing, but they still weren't of the painful variety.  She checked me and said I was closer to 4cm.  She then broke my water.  Now, let's talk about this for a second.  I had thought I felt some leaking before the big water breaking event, but chalked it up to wishful thinking.  Well after the water breaking (the big gush variety), which took her some time (we think his head was really low and was preventing the water from breaking on its own), things started to pick up.  As in I went from totally cool and in no pain to having to breathe through the contractions and really concentrate in the span of 30 minutes.  By 9:30am I was in some serious pain, but still breathing through.  By 9:45am I lost my mind and was screaming for drugs.

The anesthesiologist was called and on his way.  This did not change the fact that I completely lost it from about 9:45am -10am.  The pain was too intense.  My nurse (Katherine Hill, who just happens to have the same name as my BFF) was INCREDIBLE.  And so was Mr. Cob.  If it wasn't for them I'm not sure I could've made it through that 30 minute span before the doc gave me the epidural.  It was rough.  The contractions were very intense and very close together.  I do think the hypnobirthing techniques I learned with Lukas (and practiced during my nightly meditations before bed this go around) helped keep the pain at bay for as long as it did and helped me somewhat breathe through the really bad contractions.

Finally the doc with the goods arrived to get rid of the pain.

But I lost it again when he was there because the mere thought of a needle in my spine sends me over the edge.  Thankfully he was quick and painless (seriously, the insertion of the epidural did NOT hurt).  And within 5 minutes the pain was gone completely.  BUT, the pressure started before the anesthesiologist even left the room.  The pressure down there.  You know, there there.  I mentioned it to the nurse and the anesthesiologist and they just figured it was nothing. 

Well it wasn't nothing.  Thirty minutes later (about 11am) the nurse was back to check me.  I looked at her like she was crazy because I knew nothing had happened since the last time I was checked.  Wrong.  Ten centimeters baby!  It was time to go.  (Sidenote:  if there is a baby #3, and I'm not saying there will be, I will ask to be checked once more before getting the epidural.  Looking back, I think I was probably in transition when I got the epidural.  I am not crazy or against the epidural, but if I'd known the finish line was so close, I think I would have opted to skip the epidural ONLY because it took seemingly forever to wear off this time and I couldn't walk for hours after delivering J.)  So at eleven am I was ready to go but my OB was not there.  The nurse called to tell her it was time, like N.O.W.

So my OB arrived around 11:15 and got set up.  And when she was ready I started pushing.  (We need another sidenote at this point.  There were only 4 people in the room for the pushing this time: my OB, Katie Hill the nurse, my hubby and me.  With Lukas there was about 12 people in the room.  Seriously.  The was meconium when my water broke so the neonatal care team was brought in.  I hadn't realized with Lukas that if there are no reasons to suspect complications, there are very few people in the room.  I much preferred only having 3 spectators!)  So back to the pushing.  I pushed three, maybe four times and out he came.

It's true what they say, your heart simply expands and you truly can love another child as much as your first.  I did not believe this until I saw Julian for the first time.  We are truly blessed to have him in our lives and it's hard to think of our family before him.  It simply feels like he has always been a part of it.

Julian Rhys

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Day in the Life: Working Mom of 2

I'm now a working mom of 2.  And in case you were wondering, this is what I do all day....
7am: Wake up to baby warmly snuggled against me in bed suckling away.
7:15am: Go downstairs with satiated baby.  Wake up big brother and haggle with him about going to the potty.
7:16am: Bring book to toddler sitting on potty.  Remind him that we need to get going.
7:17am: Diaper and dress baby.  Lay baby in crib or on floor to play.
7:20am: Urge toddler to please go potty.  "But mommy, I have to poopy." (Said in slightly whiny voice).  Internally sigh because it is impossible to rush a toddler learning to go poopy on the potty.
7:22am: Coo at baby.
7:25am: Gather the pumped breast milk bottles and put them in baby's diaper bag for "school"
7:27am: Coo at baby. Melt at his smile.
7:30am: Run into the bathroom clapping hands (and often signing) because I hear toddler excitedly proclaiming "Mommy, I poopied" followed shortly thereafter by "Mommy, can I have my Twix now."  [Don't judge.  At least I haven't cleaned poop out of superhero underpants in a few days.]
7:32am: Finish cleaning up after said poopy and convince toddler to get dressed because the Twix cannot be eaten unless he is dressed.
7:35am: Get toddler string cheese, milk and whatever else he insists upon having in the car ride to school.
7:36am: Get baby in car seat and give lots of kisses.
7:37am: Ask toddler for hug and kiss.  Denied.
7:38am: Kiss husband and give him kiss.  Yell after toddler that "I love you bubba".  Hear an "I love you too momma" in return.  Heart melting again.
7:40am: Realize diaper bag with all important liquid gold breast milk is sitting on counter.  Run outside in bathrobe to catch husband before he leaves.
7:42am: Put some oatmeal on the stove and run upstairs to shower, do makeup and clothe annoying postpartum body and the extra 20ish pounds its holding on to.  Grumble.
8:15am: Eat oatmeal and stare at the dog.  Shit, did we feed the dog? 
8:17am: Feed dog.  Perhaps for the 2nd time of the day.
8:20am: Pack pump bag: 4 bottles and tops, check.  Ice pack, check.  Strapless pumping bra, check.  Breast shields and connectors, check.  Little white pieces that constantly get lost, check.
8:25am: Pack some food for work.  Must eat enough food to make milk for baby.  But must reduce caloric intake to lose weight.  Conundrum.
8:30am: Set alarm and schlep to car feeling like the bag lady with my pump bag, purse, food bag and work computer bag.  I must be losing pounds by the sheer weight of all this damn baggage.
8:55am: Arrive at parking deck.  Why the f*ck does it take 25 minutes to drive 6 miles?  Did I mention I don't take the highway?  This whole "city living" thing is starting to feel like a joke.  Think that moving to the suburbs will not be that bad after all.  Oh yea, we're probably moving the suburbs.
9:00am: Find parking space and park.
9:05am: Arrive in office.
9:06am: COFFEE.
9:06am-10am: Lawyer/chat with work friends/drink more coffee.
10am: Pump #1 of the day: Unlock the "wellness room" and immediately kick off shoes.  Take off top and bra.  Put on strapless nursing bra and attach myself to pump.  Sit and think about how strange this whole pumping in the office thing is. Remind myself that it's a means to an end.  Pray no one somehow accidentally walks in to the locked room.  15 minutes later I detach from pump and check out my bounty.  Usually a high output in the morning so I'm happy.  Yes, my daily mood is highly correlated to the amount of breast milk I do or do not pump.  Bizarre, yes.
10:30-12pm: Lawyer.  Eat snacks because nursing makes you crazy hungry.  Oh and I'm also chugging water this whole time. And drinking coffee and mother's milk tea.
12pm: lunch
1pm: Pump #2 of the day.  Almost fall asleep hooked up to my milking machine.  Look at pictures of baby to stay awake.  Get watery eyes thinking about baby.  Miss baby.  Damnit.
1:30pm-4pm: Lawyer
4pm: Pump #3 of the day.  I can only last 10 minutes attached to the machine by this point.  I hate the sound.  Anyone who has pumped breastmilk knows what I'm talking about.  The rhythmic murmur is obnoxious.
5pm: Shut down computer and walk to car.
5:15pm: Arrive at daycare and get baby.  Nurse baby at school.  Or at least attempt to.  He'd rather sip on milk for a second and then stop to smile at me, rinse and repeat.  He doesn't really get any nutrients at this "feeding" but at least we're bonding.  We ARE bonding.
5:30pm: Go pick up big brother off the playground.  Shocked by the smell of a sweaty boy.  When did my first baby become a little boy????  Ain't no baby left in that one.
5:35pm: Navigate school parking deck with toddler trying to wiggle out of my grip and heavy baby in carrier.  (Again, must be losing weight, right?) Head home.
6:10pm: Arrive home.  I hate traffic.  At least the toddler and I talked the whole ride home about yucky traffic and what he did that day. 
6:15pm: "Mom can I watch Octonauts now?"
6:16pm: Turn Octonauts on TV.  Don't judge.  Pray baby keeps sleeping in car seat long enough for me to start dinner.
6:20pm: Baby cries.  Pick up baby and nurse.  Somehow throw something together for dinner.
6:46pm: "One more tv show mom".  "No."  Tears.  Tantrum.  Outburst by toddler.  At least I have perfected my powers of ignoring him.  Win for mom.
6:50pm: Husband is home.  Toddler may or may not still be screaming. 
6:55pm: Sit down to eat with baby in bouncy seat on table.  Constantly reinsert paci after he spits it out over and over again.  Have fragmented conversation with husband as toddler requests more food and chit chats with us.
7:20pm: Finish eating and start bath for toddler and separate bath for baby.  Daddy bathes toddler.  I bathe baby.  (Disclaimer: This part of the evening only happens about every 3rd night.  Bath time stresses me out man.  So on non-bath nights we're all in the boys' room playing.)
7:45pm: Round two of "The Toddler Pooping Diaries".  Followed by getting the boys in their PJs.
8:00pm: Nurse baby and put him to sleep.  Hold him longer than I should because I realize I haven't spent any quality time with him all day.  Feel the mommy guilt unleash.  Kiss baby.
8:30pm: Change into workout clothes.  Go downstairs and prep bottles for the next day.  Pour 4.5 ounces of milk in 3 bottles.  Date them all.  Put them all in ziplock bag.  Wash bottles from today.  Wash pump parts from today.  Do dishes.  (Husband usually helps with this part).
8:45pm: Workout while swearing at Tracy Anderson and her ridiculously hard DVDs.  Surely I'll lose the weight.  Must lose the weight. (Disclaimer: I'm only on day 4 of the 90 day program...check back to see if this lasts.)
9:45pm: Thank God the DVD is over.  Shower.
10:00pm: In bed or talking to husband.  Wonder what I've done all day.  Think about the laundry that needs to be folded but decide it can wait another day.  Think about the mail I need to open, but of course do not open.  Wonder if I fed the cat.  End up reading blogs instead of doing anything productive.
10:45pm: Asleep.
12:00am: Baby crying.  Nurse sweet baby.  At least he smiles at me and goes right back to sleep.
12:15am: sleep.
2:00am/3am: Baby crying.  Nurse half asleep.
4:00am/5am: Baby crying.  Bring him in bed and sleep while letting him nurse on and off until it's time to get up.
6am: Alarm clock rings.  Snooze until 7.
7am: Repeat.

Toddler Talks

I find myself constant laughing at the things my almost 3 year old says and in an effort to remember them, I'm going to start a "Toddler Talks" series on the blog. Basically it'll just be me writing down the things Lukas says so I can look back at them later and remember this hectic but awesome time.

At our friends house this past Saturday Lukas was playing with his friend Elise in her room. Every single toy she owned was out and piled high on her bed, including her various princess dresses and tutus. Elise told Lukas she wanted to wear her dress up clothes.

L: Lisey, I can't wear your princess dress because dresses are for girls and boys don't wear dresses. I'm a boy. I don't wear dresses.

Me: Buddy, you can wear one of Lisey's dresses if you want to, it's OK.

L: Eyes me suspiciously to see if I'm being serious.

Me: Nods head. Really, you can wear a dress buddy.

L: [screaming super excitedly] OK!!!!!

Me: Which dress do you want to wear?

L: (Without any hesitation): THE PINK ONE MOMMY!!