So much to say

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I barely know where to begin. Life with Maryanne has been really great. We are getting to know her little personality and her cues and what she needs from us to be a happy baby. It is such an honor to be her parents.

I guess a short and sweet update would be good. I have a ton to write about each of these topics, but for now, it will be good for me to at least get some bullet points out to help me organize my thoughts.

  • We started breastfeeding in the hospital, where it was clear that she preferred the left side. My milk really never came in when it was supposed to, though, and after many times of trying to feed her that way and having nothing there to drink, she became very frustrated with the idea of even trying. She has a great latch- she is just impatient or something. Per the lactation consultant, I'm eating oatmeal daily and taking fenugreek. Per her pediatrician, I'm on Metaclopramide (spelling probably not right). Thanks to these things, my milk is now here and it's all Maryanne eats. Long story short, I still offer food from the source, but the vast majority of her feedings are pumped milk in a bottle. I am still bummed from time to time that breastfeeding is not going great, but I am very happy that I can pump enough for her to be doing great on breastmilk alone.
  • She is sleeping great at night- at least I think so for a newborn. She basically wakes up every 3-4 hours to eat. She has almost even gotten herself on a normal schedule. We are usually up around midnight and 4am, and then again around 7. I always try to put her back in her packnplay after the last feeding, but she is usually up for good around 730am.
  • We had almost 3 straight weeks of out of town company after she was born. We are very grateful everyone was so excited and wanted to meet Maryanne and help, but this past Sunday when it was finally just the three of us for the first time since we left the hospital, it was such a relief.
  • Cloth diapering is going AWESOME. We are thrilled at how the prefolds and covers are working, especially that we were able to use them from the time she was 2 days old. I did try a newborn AIO, and it leaked (all over the lactation consultant, haha)- Maryanne's legs aren't chubby enough to fill the gaps, I think! I definitely recommend going the prefold route, especially at first. I do a load of diapers every other day and hang them on the clothes line outside, and no stains so far!
  • I can't for the life of me figure out the Moby wrap, but she loves the Ergo carrier! Not so much the newborn insert though- but she seems to be 100% comfortable and safe without the newborn insert (she has pretty good head/neck strength already and her legs stay curled up beneath her when she's in the carrier), so we've just been going sans insert.
  • Bert and Banana (the dogs) are doing great. As far as we can tell, they have suffered no ill psychological effects from Maryanne's arrival or presence. They are curious about her and protective when someone new is holding her, but when we tell them that "she's okay", they seem placated and let her be. They haven't exhibited any aggression or jealousy at all.
I think those are the main bullet points. I'm working a few mornings here and there, and it seems to be going okay. Definitely nice on the days when I don't log in, though! I can just sit on the couch and eat bonbons.... haha, right!!

Today's goal is to make brownies for Mr. A :)

Do you have any questions for me about how things are going for us? Leave a comment and I'll try to answer anything you're wondering!!

Drive By

Monday, October 17, 2011

Things are very very good :) We have loads of company, so I haven't had time to post or even write up my thoughts- once things settle down, I will be back!!!

Life Changing: We're three

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Way back in January, we were graced with a life-changing pregnancy test result. Never before had we gotten a positive, and we knew that our lives would never be the same.

Today (October 4), on her due date, Miss Maryanne made her blessed arrival to join our family on the outside. She is perfect, and we cannot stop saying "wow" and reflecting on the journey that brought us to her.

The short and sweet: She's 6lbs 12oz and 18 inches long :) She was born at 9:36pm on her due date. And she's very sweet ;-)

The long:

My water broke at 12:30am on October 4. I was a "pop" that literally woke me out of my sleep, and I could not believe the amount of water that I was leaking!!! Not at first, but every time I would lay down or get up, I would totally gush more all over the place. It was incredible!! That was the most surprising thing about labor- I never imagined there would be so much water.

I paged the midwife on call, and she said to get some rest and come into the office at 8am to be checked. I debated whether to really take her advice- shouldn't I stay up and do yoga to encourage the contractions?? But in the end, I decided to rest, and I am pretty glad I did.

We went to the office in the morning to get checked, and the midwife who would be on call all day October 4 saw us. I was at 4cm!! She ordered an NST to make sure Maryanne was doing alright, and said that if she couldn't get the managing doc's approval for us to return home, it was off to the hospital since my water had broken.

The doc gave approval for us to go home and come back in 3 hours!!! This was a huge relief to me. My contractions had been very mild and about 9-10 minutes apart in the wee morning hours, but by 8am, they'd tapered off. The midwife suggested the black sheep of the natural induction methods- castor oil!!! She said even with the potential bathroom side effects, she would rather have those than do pitocin. So Mr. A dropped me off at home, and went to pick up some juice and castor oil. I didn't think it was all that bad of a mixture, to tell the truth- I drank a big glass of 2oz of castor oil with lots of juice at about 11am.

We went back to the office, and I'd progressed to 5-5.5 cm :) I hadn't had any ill effects from castor oil yet, so that was good. Baby's heartbeat was still good, too. The contractions were slightly more intense, but still 5-6 minutes apart. The midwife suggested we go walk our dogs for an hour, and then head to the hospital. So that's what we did!

We checked in here around 2:30pm, and contractions were about 5 minutes apart. (Castor oil note: I did have 3 instances of pretty much 100% big-D. But they were not uncomfortable, and I was sort of glad that there wouldn't be anything left when I started to push!) We walked the halls, bounced on the birthing ball, did some yoga, and watched some Netflix. Mr. A went home and let the dogs out and fed them dinner and arranged with our neighbor for her to let them out again at 8pm. While he was gone, I felt the contractions intensifying (both in duration and interval), and I was very encouraged.

At 6pm, the midwife did an internal check. Only 6cm. MAJOR BUMMER. Since my water had broken at 12:30am, she suggested trying to get the contractions to become closer and more powerful with....duh duh duh duhhhhh...pitocin! I was pretty bummed, and for about 5 minutes, I was sure I was going to cry with every word that came out of my mouth. But, Mr. A encouraged me- we didn't want to be up against a hospital policy of delivering within 24 hours of broken water just because I didn't want some pitocin, and end up with a c-section. The midwife noted that I was already 6cm, so it wouldn't take the max dosage, and that if the baby was in distress, they would cut off the IV. So we agreed.

The pitocin sure did the trick. The contractions got way more intense and right at the 2 minute mark interval that "they" like to see. I was still practicing my yoga breathing and using my aromatherapy oils to manage the discomfort, and Mr. A did an awesome job of keeping a cold washcloth on the back of my neck. At one point, I threw up a few times, but our nurse and midwife were awesome in encouraging me and not letting it derail my focus.

I think around 8pm, I felt pressure in my bottom during contractions, which the midwife said was a great sign that she was moving super low. But she said that the ideal is when the pressure remains even after the contraction. Well, it wasn't exactly remaining, but the urge to poop during each contraction was getting really strong. At about 8:45, I decided I wanted to try changing positions to see if that would help.

Since I was changing positions anyway, my midwife decided to check. 8cm! Wow, was I disappointed. At this point, contractions were obviously the most intense and coming at intervals of 1-2 minutes, and I was sure I was more than ready to push.

But I decided to go ahead with the change of positions anyway. They raised the head of the bed, and I sort of did a kneeling/upright child's pose, hanging over the back of the bed. Contractions were crazy intense in this position, but I remained committed to my birth plan of no pain meds.

Finally at 9:10pm, I couldn't not push anymore. The next contraction I went for gold. The change in positions must have done wonders for my dilation, because my midwife checked me during the contraction and said I was good to go.

When people tell you that pushing the baby out feels like taking a huge bowel movement, they are not kidding!! Every time I went to push, I was sure poop was going to be spewing about, but I think the castor oil had totally cleaned me out thankfully!

I pushed for 20 minutes, and at 9:36pm, she was born. Wow is all I can say. It was a little complicated getting me turned around and sitting down, given the position that I'd been pushing in, but the nurse and midwife and Mr. A all helped me greatly. She cried right away, and her apgar scores were 8 and 9. We did skin to skin while I delivered the placenta and Mr. A cut the cord after it stopped pulsing. We did our best at breastfeeding right away, but she was a little too fussy to calm down to latch.

About 10:30pm, the nurse did her weight and all that other stuff (right in the room with us), and then we held her for some more time. I took a shower and she got her first bath which she hated ;-)

The room I labored and delivered in is also a postpartum room, but they had a sudden influx of patients in labor, so they moved us to a room normally used by c-section patients. We were able to breastfeed 10 minutes on each side!

All in all, we couldnt have been blessed with a better experience. Sure, I wanted to avoid pitocin, but I am thankful I didn't need to be induced with it, only that a little was used to augment what my body was already doing. With Mr. A's help and my prenatal yoga training, I was able to have the pain med-free birth I'd been hoping for, too. And, of course, the biggest thing to be grateful for is our beautiful daughter, who's now in our arms.

Literally. It is 3am, and I've been up for 27 hours, and I did put her in her bassinette for maybe 20 minutes while she slept, but then she started fussing, and I just can't bear to put her down.

We are so thankful for today, the day the Lord has made for us to welcome Maryanne into our family. We know, again, that our lives will never be the same!!!

Nesting: My version

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

I have done more than a couple posts on my in-laws during the last 9 months, and I just had to share this with you, too.

My IL's both grew up in very humble circumstances, but they have managed to situate themselves financially where they have gotten into a habit of buying luxurious things just because they can. Case in point, when they remodeled their kitchen, they put in a $12,000 stove. No, I'm not kidding. And no, they are not gourmet chefs, nor do they even cook from scratch on a regular basis. But you would think, from how they talk, that their oven makes better muffins than my regular one does. (I assure you, the muffins are the same, if not better, from my oven.)

And when MIL was talking about buying a new car, she was saying how she wanted the one that costs almost $60k. Her reasoning? Well because she wants it to last 9 or 10 years. Mr. A reminded her that my car cost $23k 9 years ago, and it has been an awesome, reliable car.

So you get my point. There is really no need to spend as much money as they do.

The other area where MIL spends a ton of useless money is furniture. We all joke about it, but between 2 houses they own, I think we counted 13 couches. Not including chairs. The joke is who's going to get willed the couches when she dies. Ha! She is constantly moving them from one room to another or rearranging the layout of the rooms (much to FIL's and her sons' dismay...).

Anyway, yesterday we were IM'ing. She goes, "Are you moving furniture or cleaning closets or any nesting things like that?"

Hehe. If this baby isn't going to come until I'm moving furniture, she is going to be in there indefinitely! We have ONE couch, a recliner, and an oversized chair in our family room, and it has been arranged in one of two positions in the whole past 4 years, and we only moved things because Mr. A wanted to see how it looked!!! (We left it in the second arrangement for a few months and then moved it back.)

And while I did clean out our closet in March to organize it for a maternity section, and I cleaned Maryanne's closet to make it organized with her stuff, the other two bedroom closets are untouched!!! Actually, they are probably worse off than they were in January, because where do you think all the stuff from Maryanne's closet went?! Haha!

I told her that I was not moving furniture or cleaning closets, and she concluded that I won't deliver for another two weeks then. (Because, clearly, you have to move a couch before your baby comes...)

Instead, I told her that my nesting comes in the form of making tons of scratch freezer meals and taking care of unruly landscaping. I could tell that she didn't buy it, but she tried really hard, responding "Well if you are restless, that is good, too."

Hehe. To each her own ;-)

Are you miserable?

Monday, October 03, 2011

Mr. A wanted to know last night. He said that all his coworkers keep asking him if I'm miserable, and when he says no, they tell him that that's crazy- I am miserable.

I think that is crazy talk.

I honestly don't know what to say to women who say they are miserable at the end of their pregnancy. Or the ones that whine that they want their body back. I just don't even know what they're thinking.

Okay fine, when I get up to pee in the middle of the night, my lower back really hurts and there is a ton of pelvic pressure, but is this misery? No! That is baby girl hanging out just where she is supposed to be right now, fully engaged and ready to meet us!

Okay fine, my belly has gotten pretty huge, and I have to chuckle that when I'm doing dishes I have to stand farther back from the sink to make room for it, but is this misery? No! That is baby girl growing just like she's supposed to!

For every symptom-related complaint I've ever heard about the end of pregnancy, I can't think of any response that doesn't come back to the fact that pregnancy is such a huge blessing, and women who complain about it (without the disclaimer that they know that it will all be worth it to have a healthy baby) have no idea how many other women would give their right arm to feel the same way. There are fertility clinics full of patients who are paying $20k a pop out of pocket for a chance to pee 3 times a night or have heartburn all the time.

So to the women who selfishly wail about being miserable at the end of pregnancy or write up eviction notices for their growing babies, I say how dare you. How dare you complain about the miracle of new life and all that it takes to create such a thing, and how dare you complain that your baby is still healthy and growing inside when so many moms go through miscarriage and infant loss?

And in other non-miserable news, my appointment this morning went great :) Blood pressure was 128/78, total weight gain is 26lbs (eh), but they are happy with that, her heartbeat was 143, she is at 0 station, I'm 2cm dilated, and 70% effaced. Midwife is really pleased with how my body is getting ready- we made an appointment for an NST and other post-due monitoring for next Wednesday (10/12), but she said she will be surprised if Maryanne isn't here by then. YAY!

Acupuncture at 1pm today to see if that will further help my body get ready! So excited!!!


Sunday, October 02, 2011

39w5d here! Baby girl is still snuggled up inside :) I love feeling her move around :)

We are beside ourselves with excitement to meet her! It's kind of a strange place to be right now, though, because while I have loved everything about being pregnant (even the things that people complain about bring a smile to my face), and I would never wish it away (on the contrary, I would like to be pregnant forever!), I just cannot WAIT to meet our baby girl!!!

I am really trying not to be impatient. You'd think after waiting 4 years for her to get here, I'd have learned my lesson that everything happens when it's supposed to. My neighbor thinks that she will be born on the 11th (exactly 1 week late), which is my grandma's (Hazel) birthday. We shall see!