Thursday, May 28, 2015

This and That

Hello bullet post.  A great way to organize some random thoughts.  So here we go!  :) Oh and included are some random pictures of the littles. 

I think major life changes make me more reflective.  That and I've been spending more time in the that of course pushes me to make changes and see things that need a little pruning a care in my life.  :)
Along those lines I've realized that it is time to pull back dramatically on the social media.  It. is. time.  I think that I had a nice happy medium when we were living in San Francisco.  I was pretty busy and just didn't have the time.  I reserved it mostly for rides on public trans and after Jack went to bed.  Worked well.  Since moving to Arizona I think I've let it take a little too much of my time.  The only thing that I can think of is that it was a way to feel connected to people in some small way when I had little to no connections here.  Anyways, with two little ones now...I just don't have the time.  I have wasted a lot of time and I've definitely felt convicted lately.  Far too often I've ignored Jack or become irritated with him because he wants my attention.  Screens get far too much attentions now a days and I don't want to look back on this time with my kids and regret how much time I spent on social media instead of with them.  Of course throw a newborn into the mix and's definitely time to back off.  I'm still going to blog sometimes...and Instagram is a quick fix that doesn't take too much time...and I rather enjoy.  Facebook and other people's blogs are going to definitely go on the back burner though.
Jack turns 2 pretty soon.  I can't believe it.  I mean in some ways I can because he's certainly not a baby anymore.  Especially since Eloise made her comparison he is all toddler.  With that comes some wonderful things...and some not so great things ha!  For example...the repeating the same thing over and over and over and ovvvvvvvvver.  I don't even dare tell him where we are going anymore.  Whether it's the store, to pick up Daddy, or the park.  He will repeat "Store?" or "Daddy?" or "Park?" about 300 times...until we make it to the destination and sometimes it drives me bonkers...ok, it always drives my crazy.  Especially when I'm tired.  Like now.  Poor kid.  I don't know how to make him stop.  Other then just leave him out of the loop.  ;)
Eloise is good.  We have her one month appt next week where we will see if all this nursing is doing anything for her.  :)  I swear she seems noticeably longer and a little chunkier.  She is also gaining more head support and is more and more alert.  I SWEAR she cracked a smile at me a couple of times yesterday.  I was up in her face and doing my best to get one out of her.  She was looking straight at me and pretty sure it was legit.  Though could have been gas.  ;)  Anyways, she is a doll and we sure like her a lot.
Went to a women's Bible study on Wednesday at one of our prospective churches.  Ha!  We are wavering between two different ones.  Kinda funny.  Anyways, it was really good.  My favorite part was how intergenerational it was.  There were mom's with young kids like me...all the way up to 70's and 80's.  It's so easy to get caught up with only our peer group.  We also need older women around us cheering us younger one's on.  Helping us keep things in perspective.  It's easy to get caught up in how hard these days can be and lose the joy.  It was very encouraging though AND it's a Jen Hatmaker study soooo...definitely a thumbs up there.  :)
Water.  Man, I think I need to drink more water.  I mean, I'm nursing and normally you need to drink plenty of water but I have been really dizzy since starting to nurse.  And it's close to 100 degrees today and sooo dry.  WATER.  I cannot drink enough though.  I TRY but it's so hard for me to remember.  Off to get a glass of water!
It's time for me to open shop again.  I can't believe it's already been 6 weeks that I closed it.  That went by FAST!  I'm still a little unsure as to how exactly I'm going to manage two little ones and an Etsy business buuuuuut...we will take it a day at a time and see where it lands us I guess.  :)
And I guess that is all for now.  Hope everyone has a lovely weekend.  We are hoping to relax...and some how stay cool.  Maybe we will join Jack in his pool. :)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Mama of Two

Hello lovely blog readers.

I feel like I'm emerging...slightly...from the fog of those first couple of weeks of bringing home a newborn.  Actually the sleep was rough the first two weeks but it wasn't as bad as it was with Jack.  Jack came out of the womb wanting to nurse every 1 1/2 hours.  Eloise was every 3-4 hours during the day and every 4-5 hours at night.  She was such a sleepy little thing.  She still is but her desire to nurse is definitely picking up speed.  Fortunately she seems to be on the right "schedule" as far as sleeping at night.  She had a couple of nights where she was a bit confused and wanted to be up at night but now she sleeps pretty well...with breaks to nurse of course.
Jack is adjusting pretty well I would say.  He adores Eloise.  I mean, the thought of her not coming with us on an outing...or when she cries definitely makes him sad.  He caresses her little face and wants to kiss her non stop.  We have definitely seen the "growing pains" though in other areas.  He seems a bit more whiney and his ability to self-entertain has basically disappeared.  He wants one of us by his side at all times.  I'm guessing it's the insecurity and knowing that our attentions are now divided.  I'm hoping he will come around soon.  Just happy that there hasn't been any aggression directly towards Ellie.  I think he's too young to associate his feelings with the fact that they coincide with Ellie arriving.  Which is probably a good thing.  Ha!  Another tough thing has been the regress that he's had in sleep.  Really hard considering how often you wake up with a newborn.  Throw in 1-2 wakeups from the toddler and you start feeling like a zombie.  It so directly correlates with her coming home from the hospital that I'm letting his get away with it for a while.  Trying to give him a little grace.  He has one more week to figure it out and thennnnn...sorry bud.  Back to a little sleep training for you.  :)  Of course now he has a fever...awesome sauce when you have a vulnerable 2 week old...not.  Anywho.  We are all adjusting and trying to figure out this family of 4 thing.
Last week was my first week solo without Jason and it went pretty well imo.  No major disasters or tears...from anyone.  By Friday I felt a little haggard but we survived and I think we are all a little better for it.  Right?!?  ;)
It's probably crazy but I'm already looking into ways to exercise once my 6 weeks are up.  Probably because my body healed so quickly this time compared to last time.  I mean, I wouldn't go for a run right now but in 4 weeks...I'll be ready.  Anyways, we don't have much extra $$$ for gyms and such but there are some free running clubs here and I think I would like to join one.  There's also one that trains for a marathon starting in September.  I have always wanted to do a marathon but finding people to run with has been tough.  Jason worries about my safety often and running that many miles would require me to do at least part of my training in the dark most likely...especially in AZ where they don't do daylight savings.  If I have some peeps by my side though?  I'll have the husband's blessing!  :)  It would be nice to exercise AND meet some people at the same time.  So we will see.  Do I sound like a broken record?  Always looking to meet people?  Yup.
Other things to note.  Nursing is going well but this time around I didn't need to use a nipple shield.  Jack had a short frenulum that made it hard for him to nurse without killing me.  Basically he could nurse but it was such a shallow latch that he shredded me up.  Thus the nipple shield.  Turns out nipple shields are messy but they are a heck of a lot easier to use ha!  Also Jack was so passionate about nursing that he would eat hanging upside down so long as he could reach the source of the milk.  Eloise has been a little more tricky.  She likes to be positioned JUST right.  I also have a very fast let down which has basically darn near drowned both of our children. Ha!  Poor babies.  I remember Jack sputtering and coughing.  Didn't phase him too much.  Ellie though?  She'll try to keep up but eventually after choking she'll just let the milk pour all over...or she'll fill her mouth, spit it out, and do that a couple of times.  Eventually she'll start drinking again.  Crazy baby.  So nursing has been a little...messy? to say the least.  And here I was thinking the shield was messy.  Um yeah.  Ellie definitely has topped that.  Also new to the world of having a 2nd baby.  Projectile poop.  Seriously, Jack never did this once.  Eloise?  I've been pooped on while changing a diaper at least 4 times...and yesterday Jason was christened.  ;)

I'm sure there are more things to note but that's all I got for now.  Also, hope you enjoyed the photos of Jack meeting Eloise for the first time.  I look terrible but I adore these pictures.  It was such a sweet time with my boy and I'm glad we have the photos to look back on.  There are more but it turns out the tank top I was wearing was a little...scandalous for internet photos.  :)  My milk was beginning to come in.  Ha! 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Eloise May: Her Story

I guess I should start with a little announcement...just in case we aren't Facebook/Instagram friends  :)

Our little girl has arrived!

Eloise May
May 3, 2015
7 lbs 8 oz.
20.5 inches long

I love birth stories.  I love them all.  Natural, C-Section, it doesn't matter.  I love hearing the emotions and thoughts behind it.  I am so glad that I got Jack's down before it became too fuzzy.  I reread his a couple of weeks ago and it's funny the things that I have already forgotten.

So here is Eloise's story (and it's a little loooong):

We some how all had it in our mind that Eloise would make her appearance 1-2 weeks before her due date.  That's a really bad idea to get in your mind by the way. Jack was a week early and they say that often times your subsequent babies come even earlier.  Well it was not the case with our second baby.  It also didn't help that at my 38 week appointment I was 90% effaced and 4 cm dilated.  She told me she didn't think that I would make it to my next appointment.  I agreed because I was feeling tons of Braxton Hicks/contractions.  Some that would even keep me up at night.  I EVEN went to the hospital after 4 hours straight of contractions...only to have them basically stop once they got me on the bed to monitor the baby.  I went home obviously.  :)

And I DID make it to my 39 week appointment (actually it was more like 39 weeks + 4 days).  We decided to go ahead and schedule an induction on her due date, Monday May 4th.  There has been the ongoing concern of her size/the best way for her to enter the world.  Jack was a relatively large baby (for me) with a big head.  I ended up with a 4th degree tear.  My current office was basically horrified by the idea and we were doing our best to avoid having this happen again.  Not only is the healing horrific but there can be some pretty awful long term problems from having me re-tear in the same spot to that degree.  On the other hand, I didn't like the idea of going through a C-Section only to have her come out smaller.  I was pretty sure that I could birth another baby smaller then was just scary to think of her being the same size...or bigger.  After a lot of mixed messages we decided to go ahead and try a vaginal birth again.  I stressed about it for so long.  Deciding whether I should do a C-Section or not.  I received a lot of opinions and in the end there was nothing concrete.  I FELT like she wasn't as big as Jack.  When I felt my belly with Jack there was very little "extra" space.  It was all baby.  With Eloise I felt like my belly wasn't quite so "full" of baby.  I told my doctor that thinking he would think I'm nuts but he said, "You are probably right about that."  In the end I basically said, "Alright Lord, there is no clear answer here.  I am going to move forward with vaginal and if You desire something else...make it clear."  I left it like that.  Phew.  So there is a bit of the background.

Now back to the actual event.  :)

So with a very conveniently scheduled induction for Monday May 4th and FINALLY having everything figured out and perfectly lined up for Jack that day (a sitter) we went on with our weekend, intending to live it up as a family of 3 for the last time.  Saturday morning we kept it low key and leisurely, hung out at home, Jack took his nap, and then we decided to go to the pool for fun in the afternoon.  I busted out that good ole' maternity bathing suit and seriously, we had so much fun.  There is a huge indoor pool that becomes a wave pool and Jack had a total blast.  We played and played.  As we were bouncing around in the water I started to feel some contractions.  I have been feeling contractions for almost 2 weeks at this point so at first I didn't think anything of it.  But they kept coming.  Nothing bad...but persistent.  I joked around with Jason that maybe all this bouncing up and down in the water would bring on the baby.  This probably started around 3pm.  We stayed another half hour there and decided to go take advantage of Starbucks frappaccino happy hour.  Half off frapps!  Yes please.  Had the S'mores one by the way.  Um, YUM!  Anywho, as we were sitting in Starbucks, Jack enjoying his cookie, us our frappacinos, the contractions started getting a bit worse.  I informed Jason and he looked at me like, "You're kidding me right?"  We decided to go home.  I am the driver in the family and I opted to have Jason drive us home.  :) 

We got home and they started picking up in speed and intensity.  It was beginning to get to the point where they were almost back to back.  If I sat down though...they slowed dramatically.  I didn't want to go to the hospital only to lay on their little bed again and have them slow down and send me home.  So we waited.  Our hospital is about 25 minutes away and finally at 6pm Jason made the call and said that we were going.  He loaded the car and Jack and off we went.  We arrived at triage and I really felt like my contractions had slowed.  So lame.  I got in there, they strapped on the monitors and checked me.  Fully effaced, 4 cm.  No real change.  At first there was talk that yes, I was definitely having contractions but that they were going to make me walk for an hour to see if that helps me dilate some more.  Then the nurse walked in with some apple juice and informed me that she talked to the doctor and that baby girl wasn't moving enough...or hardly at all...and her heart rate wasn't spiking like it should.  So I drank the juice.  I informed her that it was kind of her "quiet time" but that didn't seem to appease her.  The juice did nothing.  It was yummy though.  :)  Then she came in with a buzzer and basically buzzed her head from the outside of my stomach.  That made her move at least which made them happy.  She left the room again to talk to the doctor and monitor baby girl.  At this point my contractions were definitely picking up.  Like pretty ouchie.  Finally she walked back in with a handful of stuff and said, "You're having this baby!"  Apparently they didn't like how her heart rate was so level.  Weird?!?  I knew heart rate drops were bad but being level?  Apparently not good either.  Because I was so close to being due they thought maybe my placenta was already breaking down and not allowing her to have those surges in heart rate that she should have.  Who knows.  The plan was that if I didn't start dilating more then they would give me Pitocin.  This was at about 9pm probably.  Then we realized...what are we going to do with Jack!?!?
Enjoying a contraction in triage.  Ha!  :)
Jason wanted to keep him in the room with us.  That was not an option to me.  I am SO glad we didn't too because Jason would've had to leave the room for most of it.  It was just too intense for Jack to witness.  I contacted my friend who was planning on watching Jack during the day on Monday and she so very graciously volunteered to come over to our house and spend the night with Jack.  Seriously, I barely know her.  I met her through a Bible study and she pretty much single handedly made what could have been a horrible, stressful experience into something that went so smooth.  She so selflessly served us as a family...basically strangers to be honest (we've had one playdate together).  On top of that she's even bringing us a meal this week.  The body of Christ is amazing.  :)

So at about 9:30pm Jason left to take Jack to meet her at our house.  Jason put Jack down and everything went great.  I went ahead and sent out a text to family and called my mom.  My contractions were finally so bad that I could barely talk.  My poor Mom. haha.  I kept having to put the phone down to have another contraction.  Finally I had to hang up because we were getting no where in our conversation.  :)  At about 10:15 or so they finally moved me to my room.  Oh wait, that's after they wheeled me into a full, busy waiting room and then left me there because they forgot my paperwork...and I had a full blown contraction...much to the poor onlookers horror.  Yeah.  Awesome.  hahaha.  So I made it to my delivery room.  Jason still hadn't arrived at about 10:30pm.  My contractions where getting BAD!  I am NOT one of those quiet, strong sufferers.  I was loud.  It hurt like crud.  Like straight up awful.  It was intense and fast.  I declared about 23 times that I was ready for my epidural.  But I had to wait.  With Jack the guy came in like 5 minutes.  This time it took a good 45 minutes of pure agony.  Right before he came they checked me...7 cm.  Finally the guy came and I was a basic basket case at this point.  Jason still wasn't back.  I was back laboring like nothing else.  The anesthesiologist said that I needed to sit still through it and I basically whined and cried..."I caaaaaaan't".  He straight up and sternly said, "Then you won't get your epidural." hahaha.  I think I needed a stern hand at this point to snap me out of it.  I cried, "Ooooo-K.  I'll tryyyyyy."  The nurse helped me focus on her and of course I had a contraction right as he's inserting it.  Of course.  But I was still.  :)  Yay me.  And then nice and quick those contractions started feeling less and less intense.  Pure sweet bliss. 

Once the epidural was in it was probably about 11pm and Jason finally arrived.  bahahaha.  He completely and totally missed the hardest part.  I told him it was probably for the best.  I actually prefer to suffer and be in pain alone.  Is that weird?  And it's so hard to see someone in pain and not be able to do a thing.  Jason felt reeaaallly bad for missing it though. 

They informed me at this point that they would check me again at 2 am and probably break my water.  They were trying to get the 2 rounds of antibiotics through me since I was Strep B positive.  About as fast as they said that though I started feeling pain again.  Not the same, intense contraction pain but pressure pain.  This was completely new to me because with my epidural with Jack I felt NOTHING.  I didn't feel anything that indicated it was time for me to push.  They had to tell me.  Once I started pushing I felt cramping at the top of my uterus but other then that?  Nothing.  I asked her what it was and she thought it was just the contractions coming through a bit.  She said when it's time to push the pain and pressure would be constant.  It didn't take long for that to be the case and I could feel something coming out...whether they were ready or not.  It was actually my water bag and not the baby but it was an indication that she was soon to follow (obviously...since she's IN it haha).  Apparently the place was hopping and there were babies being born left and right.  My doctor (who I hadn't met until that night) was delivering another baby.  The nurses said if I had to I could deliver with them if the doctor didn't make it in time.  I wasn't thrilled with that idea.  I didn't want to have a repeat of last time with the tear and I felt like I needed the doc to be there to ensure that. 

Right on cue she came in though and looked me in the eyes and said, "That's not going to happen again.  You aren't going to get a 4th degree tear again."  Even though she didn't REALLY know...I believed her and it DID make me a little less nervous to push.  The nurse then said that in the 3 years she'd worked at that hospital she'd never seen a 4th degree tear so I was in good hands.  It was time to break the water...which was a total explosion by the way.  hahaha.  And then the baby came right after.  I pushed for 3 hours with Jack.  It was intense and long and I barely felt a thing.  This was intense and short, and I felt a lot.  At first I was timid and not giving it my all.  I couldn't get the tear out of my mind.  Finally the pain of it all made me motivated to be done.  I pushed for 10 minutes with Eloise.  The relief my body felt when she was out was amazing.  As much as it hurt, I will say that I preferred feeling more of the birth with her then the complete numbness I had with Jack....when it came to the pushing part.  Contractions?  Um.  Yeah.  I could skip THAT pain.  :) 

I was so relieved that she was out and started to cry immediately.  Jason and the nurses had to tell me to LOOK at our new baby.  I don't know where I was looking but apparently not at her ha!  They then flopped her on me and I took our new little girl in.  I looked at the doctor though because I needed to know.  I could tell that I DID tear by her expression.  Jason said there was a lot of blood so I think it looked worse then it was.  Once she cleaned and started sewing though she said, "You the same spot.  But it's a 2nd degree...and not a very bad one."  She was smiling and I could tell she was pleased with the results.  I was under no delusion that I would walk out completely unscathed.  I figured I would tear again...I just didn't want the SAME tear.

They cleaned our little one up eventually...sorta.  This hospital was so different in so many ways.  For example, the labor seemed so...casual at this hospital.  The hospital in San Francisco felt like I was undergoing a major surgery.  They also don't bathe the baby at this hospital until they have nursed 2 times.  For us that was the next day because she was soooo sleepy...and just had no sucking reflex/desire.  They have done studies that show that keeping the amniotic fluid on them makes them nurse better apparently.  Who knows. 
So there you have it.  Eloise's birth story.  I am healing well from the tear...I think.  ;)  Having experienced the other tear this is totally not bad at all.  Like really.  And definitely much easier to heal from then a C-Section.  In this case I guess we made the right decision.  Apparently there shouldn't really be any long term problems from this tear.  I hope they are right.  ;)
Very proud Daddy <3

And Eloise?  She is a doll.  She feels so tiny.  She's only a pound smaller then Jack was but I think I forget just how tiny newborns are.  She is a quiet little thing who chooses to sleep far more then she chooses to eat.  We might have to address that tomorrow at her pediatrician appointment.  :)  She loves to be held, or is content being put down.  Jack loves her so far...  ;)  She it fitting well into our family and some how IS easier the second time.  I'm tired but I don't feel like I'm going to pass out from the exhaustion.  Jason is home for this week and is basically the best Daddy ever.  We are so blessed to have him around.  And I am so blessed to be a Mama of TWO.  I love my little Ellie May and Jacko.  <3
When I look at this pic I laugh because to me it looks like a baby Jack in a pink bow.  Ha!  :)