Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Happy Toys

It's true what they say, you get to relive your childhood through your child. I love playing with her toys and recently she's started to really be able to focus on them. Bring on the Barbies and American Girl dolls. I can't wait!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Sleeping Arrangements

We have a crib not 3 feet away from our bed...

and yet since the day we brought the bug home from the hospital she only uses it to watch Baby Einstein..

Yes, we are co-sleepers. She snuggles up against me at night and from the beginning we've rarely had a lack of sleep. We're both well rested and content. It's so easy to let her nurse in the middle of the night or rub her back to soothe her back to sleep. I love it.
Some people, especially those without kids, are so opinionated about this. It's as if I'm asking them to co-sleep with my child. I just smile and say it works for us but to each his own.

I work from home so she spends nap time in a portable crib near my desk kitchen table. I struggled with always putting her on her back as recommended but she's a stubborn tummy sleeper. I've given up the fight and just check on her every few minutes.

What are the sleeping arrangements in your home?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Birth Story- Part 2

It's true what they say, relief is immediate once you deliver the baby. The pain is gone and you feel so so much better. I declined an episotomy so I had some stitches. I did feel a couple pinches from that but delivering the placenta was no big deal. Once my sweet girl was all checked out and my stitches were in place, I got to snuggle with her. Just thinking about it now makes me tear up.  There's nothing like those first moments with your baby. I was in such awe of her and I couldn't believe she was really and truly mine.

Advice I wish I'd followed....

-Bring a camera and take lots of photos. I still don't want any graphic birthing photos but it would have been nice to have some before and after taken. I have lots of my daughter from my husband's phone but only one holding her. 

-Remember your medical care is your decision. I would have insisted on having the IV removed after delivery. It was so hard to feed and hold her with that stupid thing. 

-Pack lots of snacks/water bottles. Hospital food sucks!

-Decline formula. I had one nurse really scare me that my daughter wasn't getting enough to eat so we brought formula home. My daughter spit it all up and we went to the pediatrician the next day a bundle of nerves. He soothed all my fears and assured me the colostrum was enough until my milk came in (which it did that day). 

-Buy good nursing bras without under-wire BEFORE you have the baby. Nothing worse than trying to shop with a newborn.

-Pick a pediatrician before you have the baby. This has been the hardest part since we signed up for an HMO and the doctor I really want to see is a PPO. So now we wait until the next enrollment period.

Advice I'm glad I followed....

-Decline visitors in the hospital. Other than my husband and sister, I didn't want any visitors. I was only in the hospital for 24 hours and just the thought I other people coming by was exhausting.

-If people offer to bring you food, say YES! My sister stocked my fridge as did a co-worker. It was wonderful not to have to prepare a meal for a few weeks.

-No overnight guests for 2 weeks. I know how excited everyone is to have a new baby in the family but its stressful enough adjusting to parenthood without the added pressure of people staying with you. Plus, its nice to be able to be topless in any room of your house while you're learning to breastfeed.

-Prenatal yoga. I learned great breathing and stretching techniques. 

-Keep a journal. I started a journal when I found out I was pregnant and I address each entry to my daughter. One day I'll give it to her as a birthday gift or maybe when she has her own baby. 

-Relax and enjoy each moment. I was really worried about postpartum depression since I've struggled with depression in the past but it never happened. I'm trying very hard to just live in the present and let the future take care of itself. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Birth Story- Part 1

It's been a few months since my daughter was born and now that the thrill/sting of labor is over I'm ready to share our birth story. Plus, since we finally have a more regular nap schedule, I can devote some uninterrupted time to writing it.

My birth plan was to have as natural a labor as possible. I wanted to bounce on my yoga ball, listen to my iPod and painfully push my daughter into the world. However, I was prepared to accept whatever came in order for her to be born healthy and safe.

The bug, one of many nicknames I have for my sweet girl- this one in reference to a ladybug outfit she wore many times as a newborn, was born around 2pm after a quick induction. I had been struggling with preeclampsia since about 35 weeks pregnant when my doctor suggested an induction (not part of my birth plan). Since I was hating bed rest, tired of too many trips to the hospital for monitoring and my blood pressure kept spiking I agreed; even though I definitely felt the twinge of sadness that I wouldn't have the surprise of midnight contractions or my water spontaneously breaking. I called my husband from the parking lot and announced our baby was to be born that day.

We arrived at the hospital in the evening and I was supposed to receive Cervidil but since I was found to be already 3cm dilated I was given the option either to go home, sleep and come back at 5am for a Pitocin induction or stay overnight in the hospital. Home we went. Thankfully, I was able to sleep and in the dark of early morning the next day we headed back to the hospital.

Side note- Can I just ask, why oh why has nobody figured out a way to get rid of the IV or at least make it more comfortable? I fought with that stupid thing until the hour I was discharged from the hospital.

The nurse started Pitocin around 6am and for a while I felt nothing. I was happy to chat with my husband and sister, watch a little TV and rest. Of course, going to the bathroom was a pain since I had to be unhooked from all the machines (fetal monitor, contraction monitor, pulse, IV and blood pressure cuff) each time but other than that it was smooth sailing. At least until the problems started.

The doctor broke my water. This was no big deal. A little pressure and whoosh- lots of liquid. Then the contractions started to get more intense and I could really feel them. The monitors, one for fetal heart rate and one for contractions, just weren't working right. They couldn't get a steady read and would go offline.
This was not good since my daughter's heart rate kept dropping each time I had a contraction. I was so happy to be on my yoga ball with my back being rubbed but the nurse insisted I get in bed and lay on my left side. Eventually they used 2 internal monitors, not painful but not comfortable. Once those were in place, I was restricted to the bed (also so not part of my birth plan). This is when things start to become a blur.

I remember ripping off the blood pressure cuff because it kept going off during each contraction. I remember breathing deeply into an oxygen mask and gripping the bed rail a lot. I remember asking to be told when each contraction was almost over. I remember begging for ice packs and loving the cold distraction as each was placed on my neck or chest. And then I remember the nurse talking about a c-section.

The nurse said not to be alarmed but they were going to change into OR scrubs just in case I needed a c-section. The bug's heart rate wasn't responding well to the contractions (the Pitocin had been turned off long before this) and she needed to come out soon. I remember thinking I don't care if I have a c-section as long as she comes out healthy but I also remember being very peaceful because somehow I knew that  just wasn't going to happen. I'd been praying since I found out I was pregnant that I would have a natural labor with no pain meds and I was determined it was going to be that way.

They checked me again to see how far I was dilated and hallelujah I could start pushing. The nurse said to try a couple little practice pushes. Pushing freaking sucks! It hurts and I was so not happy about pushing without the doctor there. No doctor meant I would be pushing without my baby actually coming out. I remember when the nurse said I was a good pusher and they needed the doctor to come. Relief was eminent. If you're reading this and never been thru labor, the last 10 seconds of pushing during each contraction is the worst. Get thru each one of those and you'll be golden. I took a lot of deep breaths and did a lot of praying. Several more painful pushes and my daughter was born. She was little since she was 3 weeks early but she was perfect.

*I've decided to transition to a new blog about being a mommy since I don't have as much time for recipes and food photos.

I'm linking up with Kristin for Baby Talk