Wednesday, August 8, 2012


So since blogger won't let me upload more pictures I have decided to move my blog.  This is its new home.

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Absence

My temporary absence from the blogging world has been due primarily to my inability to load photos onto my blog.  I sat down a few weeks ago to blog about Elijah's 2 year old birthday party and was told by blogger that I was over my quota for photos.  I have tried again a few times to do the same post, but it is still not allowing me to post photos.  I don't really get it since I know other people who have way more photos on their blog than mine and, as far as I know, they don't pay for photo storage.  Anyway, that's why this post is going to be sans pictures and just a quick update of how things are going lately.  I still haven't decided if I'm going to try to continue this blog here or if I'm going to have to move it to another location that won't suddenly tell me I can't put photos on my blog anymore. =/

But here's what's been going on.  We had Elijah's birthday party and while it turned out okay, I was pretty disappointed because it ended up being primarily Mike's family.  Hardly any of our friends made it, none of our friends with kids came, and my mom got sick and ended up in the hospital that weekend so she wasn't able to make it either.  She's better now--at least better enough to not be in the hospital anymore and back at work.  I don't think she feels completely recovered, but at least she got to come up this past weekend and see the boys since she missed the party.

In addition, I have been having a miserable time trying to get Simon to nap during the day.  With Elijah he was a good sleeper until we quit swaddling him and then, at least, I could get him to sleep in the bouncy chair.  Nothing works consistently with Simon.  Not the crib, not the pack and play, not the swing or the bouncy chair, not even holding him or putting him in a sling and wearing him keeps him asleep when he needs to sleep.  It really is crazy-making.  The Sunday after Elijah's birthday party when the whole weekend had been a giant ball of stress and Simon wouldn't sleep no matter what and everything, in my mind, about the birthday had gone wrong, I spent pretty much the entire day crying and twice I had to put Simon down crying in his crib and go into the other room and punch a pillow because I was so frustrated and exhausted.  So my doctor concluded I have post-partum depression and put me on zoloft.  I am pretty sure I had it when I had Elijah, too, but it just wasn't diagnosed.

So then we had Simon's two month appointment where I was told he is laying on the right side of his head too much and that I need to do more tummy time with him and try to get him to lie on the other side of his head when he's on his back.  Yes, I have plenty of time to worry about tummy time with a speedy gonzalez toddler running around the house!  And she suggested we start weaning him off swaddling because he might roll over soon.  So as if sleeping wasn't enough of a problem now we're swaddling him with one arm out and trying to get him to lie on the left side of his head.

However, the big kicker came when I told her I was on zoloft.  She said that it was more important for me to take care of myself than anything else, but I did NOT like the way she reacted when I told her since Simon apparently is getting it through my breastmilk.  And I think I could go off it and do all right if I could just get him on a consistent sleeping schedule, but I don't want to just let him cry it out, especially not at two months old.  So I guess I get to pick my guilt: guilt for letting him cry to sleep or guilt for pumping him full of drugs through my milk?

Honestly I'd be willing to try some sleep training like we did with Elijah (where he cries but isn't left alone to deal with it all by himself) if he were only a couple months older.  So do I 1) feel crazy for a month and risk losing it with either child but not get him to sleep and not pump him full of drugs or, 2) pump him full of drugs but not get him to sleep or, 3) get him to sleep but not pump him full of drugs but force him to learn to sleep through crying when he's only two months old.  I don't know.  I don't have any idea what the solution is.  It is the quintessential no-win situation.

So that's what's been going on with us.  Cheery, eh?  I wish I could share some cute pictures of Simon smiling to lighten the mood but blogger is being a bitch. ::gives evil eye:: TTFN!

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Sound and the Fury

So even though I was an English major in college, I never actually read that book, but I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that it was not about a stay-at-home mom trying desperately not to make the same sleep blunders with her second baby that she did with her first and having little success because her older child keeps getting in the way.  But that's what my story is about.

Raise the roof

You can probably read earlier blogs and get a fuller idea of my difficulties getting Elijah to sleep.  One big problem is that he was so used to being swaddled that when we had to abruptly stop swaddling him, he couldn't adjust to lying down and going to sleep without the swaddler.  That isn't the current problem with Simon.  As soon as he loses that Moro reflex, I am going to start weaning him off swaddling, but we're not there yet.

 Tummy time

The other problem I had with Elijah is the same one I am now having with Simon--it takes 20 flipping minutes to get him to go to sleep during the day for a nap and then he only sleeps for 30 minutes.  It makes no sense to me that he can sleep for 3 to 4 hours at night but then during the day, he can only nap for 30 minutes.  I have read tons of stuff and I know that 30 minutes is a sleep cycle, but if he can put himself back to sleep after a cycle at night, then why not during the day?  I'm assuming part of the problem is that he is used to going to sleep in my arms and then being put down.  And all the sleep experts tell you to put them down drowsy but awake, but with both my boys all that ever did was cause them to wake all the way back up.  I've been trying to get Simon to fall asleep on his back in bed (either his crib or the pack and play bassinet downstairs) but this where Elijah throws a wrench in the works.

Mike's old Daniel Boone cap

See, I am willing to take the time to "train" Simon to fall asleep in his crib or pack and play by picking him up and soothing him and then putting him back down until he learns.  I happen to know it works because I have managed it a few times in the pack and play while Elijah is napping.  But this will take a long time at first until he gets it and it's impossible to just buckle down and put in the time it takes when you have a toddler running around making a ton of noise.  I could go upstairs and shut Elijah out of the room but that usually upsets him, like he thinks he's being punished.  Plus, I don't like being unable to see what Elijah is doing for longer than like 2-3 seconds.  That's how you wind up with crayola walls.  However, I can't do it with Elijah present because he makes too much noise for Simon to fall asleep and after awhile I get fed up.  But something's gotta give because right now Simon is demanding so much of my attention because he's fussy all day because... drum roll please... he's not getting enough sleep!

What a merry-go-round.  Actually, I guess "merry" isn't a good adjective.  More like a crazy-go-round.  For most things I just think we just have to make it until Simon is a little older.  But if the sleep habits start bad now then it's going to be way harder to fix them later--I know from experience.  *sigh*  Well Simon is asleep now and if it wouldn't wake him up, I'd probably go bang my head against the wall, but I don't want to wake up the kids.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Elijah Language 104

pih = pig
duh = duck
ah-ooh = apple
sit (this usually sounds like there's an "h" in between the "s" and the "i" but whatever)
clock (sounds like the "l" is removed)
how = house
fow-wah = flower
ah-ja-ja = alligator
tow = towel
puh-poo = purple

And here's the chunky monkey to round it off.

 At least I think he's chunking up finally.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

It's Never Easy

The other day I started a post but I was in a really low place so it started to just sound like me throwing myself a huge pity party so I trashed the post.  It was mainly because I was ready to rip my hair out because Simon was crying all day long and nothing would calm him down except nursing.  And while I am grateful that at least I could get him to stop crying by nursing him, it is really difficult to be stuck sitting down with a baby attached to your boob when your toddler wants attention, too.  Elijah, fortunately, doesn't act out against Simon when I can't get up and play with him, but he does start acting more rambunctious, especially towards the dog, in order to get my attention.  Another thing I have to be grateful for is that our dog is such a low key pansy that he generally just walks away or accepts the clobbering, but of course that makes me feel bad that I can't protect him more from Elijah.

But back to Simon's cryfest.  Well, Monday he had his 1 month appointment and while we've had plenty of wet and dirty diapers, he apparently didn't gain very much weight.  This is somewhat upsetting because apparently all the crying was due to being hungry, but I was also glad to know what the problem was because then at least I know what I need to fix.  How to fix it is another issue, though.  While we were at the doctor he got hungry again and so I nursed him there (no small feat since they don't exactly have comfy chairs to sit in or pillows to help you hold the baby up to your chest) and afterwards the nurse weighed him again to see how much he'd consumed and I don't remember the exact number but it was apparently plenty.  Both she and the doctor were pleased with the amount.  So, thank you God, that it wasn't a matter of my milk supply.  I think it's simply that the little stinker keeps falling asleep at the breast so a lot of time he's just comfort nursing and not really consuming the milk.

What kills me is that at night he doesn't seem to have this problem.  He wakes up and nurses well and then goes back to sleep.  That leads me to think he's not getting enough sleep during the day and that's why he keeps falling asleep while nursing.  And of course, there is little to nothing I can do about the noise of Elijah goofing around.  If Simon was a bit older I could try to get him on a napping schedule so that he could nap upstairs in his crib while Elijah and I played downstairs but the napping is so erratic right now it's not feasible to put him upstairs or I'd have to be going up to get him every five minutes.

Soooo... that's where we are.  On top of that I am really stressed out about money and losing weight.  We have debt that we acquired due to junk like our garage door breaking and the hospital needing a payment before we left after we had Simon and we have other medical bills coming, I know.  I really want to be debt-free but it seems like every time I get our credit card paid down to the point where it's almost paid off, something comes up like the garage door and we can't ever get it paid off completely.  And we really need to have some work done on the house that's going to run about $4500.  We were planning on next spring doing it with Mike's Christmas bonus and our tax refund but those won't cover all of it and so we were going to have to put some of it on the card but if we can't get it paid off before then, I just don't even want to think about swimming in that mess.  And I know the debt we have is minimal compared to some other people but I just try so hard to be responsible with our money that it feels like I'm being unfairly punished.  Like I could almost accept the stupid debt if it was from our shopping sprees or elaborate vacations, but we NEVER do either of those things and we still get debt.

And then there's my lack of weight loss.  I know it took me nine months to gain all this weight so I should plan on nine months to get it all off, but when you diet and deny yourself things you want all week and then you don't lose anything, you're still at the same weight, it again feels like unfair punishment.

Well, this post wasn't supposed to be another pity party so I apologize.  I promise the next time I post I'll have fun pictures of the boys and something upbeat to talk about.  In the meantime, here's a picture of Simon saying "Word!"

Friday, June 22, 2012

Elijah Language 103

sah = sock
faw = frog
soo = shoe
ah! ee! = uh oh
Certain letters = A, B ("bee" can also refer to any bug he sees), C, D, E, I, O, P, Q, R, T, V, Z
boo = blue
ee! = eat
pay = plane
ha = hat
koh = squirrel
how = house
pea = please

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Playing in the Sprinkler

Mike's mom got Elijah a funny elephant sprinkler and yesterday we tried it out.

Got some water in the face.

Up the nose!

Monday, June 18, 2012

The State of Things

So it's been two weeks now and today is the first day I am home by myself with the boys.  The first week we came home my mom stayed with us and then last week Mike took Monday through Wednesday off and this his mom took off Thursday and Friday to help me.  Mike was going to take off Monday through Wednesday this week but his boss needed him to run an errand in Omaha today so instead he's taking Tuesday through Thursday and then we'll be on our own again Friday.

So far it hasn't been too bad.  The most difficult thing is feeling like I'm neglecting one child while tending to another.  For instance, I can't do much for Elijah if I'm sitting for thirty minutes at a time nursing Simon.  And when he's not nursing, Simon has been spending a lot of time sleeping in the froggy vibrating chair (which, by the way, is probably the best baby item we have--Elijah loved it when he was this small and now Simon loves it, too) so that I can still spend time playing with Elijah--or at least keep him from clobbering the dog.  It's making me wonder if it's even possible to have two children without feeling like you're neglecting one of them.

Simon sleeps decently most nights.  It's both a good and a bad thing.  When he sleeps enough that I manage to get at least 6-7 hours (even if it's non-consecutive) then I can't seem to make myself nap in the afternoon simply because I can't fall asleep.  But by the end of the day I am totally exhausted and, of course, can't look forward to 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep.  But that's the nature of the beast, of course.  Last night was pretty good because he would sleep for 3-hour intervals.  That I can do gladly.  The longer the interval of sleep, the less tired I am.  But of course it doesn't always work like that.  Mike seems to think it's no big deal but then he gets up for five minutes to change a diaper.  I have to be up for 20-30 minutes at a time to nurse him.  It's a little different.

Speaking of nursing, the booger was giving me such fits at first with the latching that I broke down and started using the nipple shields again.  At the hospital they got him to latch well a few times but then I couldn't seem to recreate it at home.  I mean, I am fairly certain I was doing it correctly, but he was so frantically hungry that he wouldn't cooperate.  So I gave in and started using the shields again.  I don't want to have to use them as long this time as I did with Elijah but I think I'll just resign myself to my prosthetic nipple until we get a better rhythm and routine down.  When I was fighting him so much to get him to latch, it was not only making him crazy and probably causing him to burn more calories than he was consuming, but it was making me insane, too.  Plus, I would fight him so long that once he got latched I would just let him nurse even if it was a bad latch and then wind up with bleeding and bruised nipples.  So those are my excuses for taking the easy way out. *sigh*

On a high note, though, I feel like I have pretty much recovered physically from the birth, at least 95%.  This may not seem like a big deal to many people, but 2 weeks to recover is phenomenal to me when last time I don't think I felt this physically better for like 3-4 months.  It makes me want to shout the praises of VBAC (and vaginal birth in general) from the mountaintops, but there are no mountains around where I live (the best I could do is the Flint Hills) and I'm sure even if there were mountains, people would think me insane.  So instead I'll just blog about the massive advantages I see in vaginal birth over caesarian since I have experienced both.

Aside from the massively decreased recovery time, I also was able to lift both children within the first week after the birth.  When I had Elijah, I couldn't even pick up his little 8-poiund body for weeks.  I had to have someone hand him to me.  This time I could even lift Elijah as he is now (which is, I'm guessing, around 25-30 pounds).  Also, when I had the C, I was on heavy duty painkillers, which I really believe got into my milk and made Elijah a lot more sleepy at first which was why he lost so much weight in the hospital despite my efforts to get him to eat.  Simon isn't perfect with nursing (as I've mentioned) but he at least has stayed awake enough to keep his weight up because I haven't had to take anything stronger than ibuprofen and I'm not even taking that anymore because I don't need it.

Additionally, when I had Elijah, I had to wait like a day or so before I could even get out of bed and use the bathroom because when they do the C, they give you a permanent catheter, whereas when I did the VBAC, I had an epidural but they only cathed me like once or twice during labor to relieve my bladder, so it wasn't still in me when the birth was over.  I just had to wait until I could feel my legs again well enough to walk to the bathroom.  Another thing is when I first got to shower after the birth, with Elijah I couldn't bend over to dry my legs so I had to have my mom come in to help me with that.  With Simon I was able to dry and dress my entire body.

Now I don't want anyone to think I'm judging anyone who has their children by c-section (that would be absurd since I had to have one with my first kiddo), even multiple c-sections or elective c-sections.  Each woman should choose whatever works best for your family and situation.  I just think that people should make informed choices and since I happen to have experienced both ways of giving birth, I highly suggest vaginal delivery if you're able to get there.  I wasn't able to my first time so I know it isn't always possible even if you do everything the "right" way.  Sometimes things just don't go as you plan--and when it comes to labor, you should probably assume that nothing will go according to plan (it's a preparation for parenting, I think).  As long as you wind up with a healthy baby and mother then it's a success.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

More Post Birth Pics

Here are some more pictures from just after Simon's birth.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Awesome Things About NOT Being Pregnant

Here are some things I missed while I was prego that I can now do/enjoy again:

1. Wearing shoes other than flip flops or sandals - since I can now reach my feet
2. Clip my own toenails - also because of the ability to reach my feet
3. Wash my feet in the shower - another reaching the feet phenomenon
4. Lift my (almost) two year old
5. Get down on the floor and play with my son and then get back up without feeling like I just spent an hour lifting weights
6. Sleep on my back
7. Use fake sweetener in my tea
8. Take a walk around the block without feeling like I just ran a marathon
9. Diet - I know dieting isn't fun but when you're ballooning up and know you can't do anything about it other than accept it and balloon up more, you really start to miss your figure.  At least now I can work towards getting my figure back.
10. Use the bathroom like a normal person - I won't elaborate but any woman who is or has ever been pregnant will understand.
11. Bend over at the waist.
12. Not have to take forty pills to keep from being nauseated.

Of course, it's also nice to have my second child around, at least during the daytime hours when I'm not trying to sleep and he isn't wanting to nurse every five seconds.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Simon's First Bath

Simon did NOT like his first sponge bath as much as Elijah did.

 Tolerated it okay at first.

But then I think it made him cold enough that he felt the need to protest.

We tried to keep the naughty bits under wraps but I guess we didn't entirely succeed, huh?

If you're flipping Mommy the bird, you need to work on it because that's the wrong finger.

Simon's Birth Story - Part 2

Before I continue with the story, I wanted to mention my fabulous nurse.  Her name is Michelle and I actually knew her outside of that evening because we used to go to the same church.  She was extremely helpful and sweet and I really don't think I could have made it through without her help.  (I guess we're really intimate friends now since she's seen me in all my glory.)

Now back to the actual story.  Pretty soon after we broke my water, things got really serious.  My contractions were getting wicked awful and coming close enough together that I couldn't really relax between them.  Plus, my body must have been surging with adrenaline because I was shaking uncontrollably, which was also contributing to my inability to relax between contractions.  I was pretty much just sitting on the birthing ball, wailing during the contraction and then trying not to vomit after it was over since I was feeling really nauseous.  By this time it was after midnight and I was, naturally, getting really tired.  So I asked for an epidural--mostly because I was still afraid of getting so worn out that I wouldn't be able to push.  Unfortunately, to give you an epidural they first have to put a bag of fluids in you intravenously and draw blood and do your labs, all of which takes about 30 minutes.  And I know 30 minutes isn't that much time in the scheme of the labor but when your abdomen is on fire every 2-3 minutes, it is a long time.  So by the time they got the labs back (which happened before all the fluids were in me) I was trying not to scream "GET ME THE EFFING EPIDURAL!!!" because I knew that it wasn't the fault of anyone in the room that it was taking as long as it was but it was getting really difficult to wait.

An example of how great our nurse was: the woman who normally does the epidurals was in the middle of giving one to someone else, so Michelle called the anesthesiologist to come in and do mine so I didn't have to continue to wait.  I don't think all of my fluids were in yet but I think she could tell I had met my limit so she kind of let me go ahead once I had about 80% of it in.  Once the epidural was in and finally started to work, I was able to lie down and semi-rest but not sleep because I was still shaking from adrenaline.  Mike got to lie down on the couch that was probably about half his length and snooze a little bit.  I found some old episodes of Friends on TV and watched those since I couldn't fall asleep due to the shaking.

After another few hours Michelle came back in and said the baby's heartrate was dropping.  For an instant I was terrified that she was going to say this meant a c-section, but instead she suggested flipping me on my side to see if that would relieve the stress on the baby and cause his heartrate to go back up.  So first she flipped me on my left side and that didn't help, then she flipped me on my right and his heartrate went back up.  Before she did this, she checked my dilation again.  She said that I was now at 9.5 cm but that the baby was still up pretty high.  He had moved down a bit, but she wanted to wait and see if the contractions could move him down some more before we started trying to push.  This also frightened me because the main reason I had a c-section with Elijah was because he would not descend.  I was all the way dilated and pushing correctly for hours but he just wouldn't come down.

Now that I was on my side I could not see the TV, I could only lie on my side and try to rest as much as possible.  However, for whatever reason, flipping me on my side made me shake even more.  So instead I started praying.  They were mostly just repeated prayers of "please move this baby down... please give me the energy to push him out... please move this baby down... please give me the energy to push him out..."

Not long after that I started feeling extremely nauseated.  I had been feeling pukey for quite awhile, but it was starting to get really bad now.  I suspected it was partially because I usually take my anti-nausea medicine before I go to sleep and I, obviously, hadn't done that tonight.  (They did give me some zofran but it didn't really help me much.)  In hindsight I realize now that God was answering my earlier prayer.  I knew I was going to puke and Mike brought me a barf bag so I vomited in it but I puked so much that it didn't stay all completely in the bag.  Plus, I was still lying down so it's hard to aim your puke when you're lying down.  Michelle came back in when I puked and helped to clean me all up since I had gotten puke on my hospital gown and even some on the bed.  But she also told me that the force of the vomiting had actually caused the baby to move down.

Elijah meets his baby brother

Soon after that I started pushing.  By this time it was like 2 or 3 a.m. and of course I hadn't slept all night so even though I was still super duper shaky, I was having trouble keeping my eyes open and not nodding off.  So I prayed harder for extra energy to push.  The pushing began and went on for a little while when I had to throw up again.  This, again, moved the baby down even farther.  Finally, he got to where we could see him.  I had told Michelle I would like a mirror so I could see him.  I told Mike he didn't have to look if he didn't want to, but Michelle said no, he had to see.  It was important for dads to see it happen.  Not sure if she meant that as a way to say that he would regret it if he didn't see his child emerge or if she meant that he needed to see what I was having to do to give birth to his child so he could appreciate it (maybe a bit of both).

She brought a mirror in and I was able to see the tip of his head emerging from me.  It was very exciting because I finally believed that we were actually going to have a successful VBAC.  I think that gave me a bit more energy to push.  Also, once I could see my lady parts, I was able to push more correctly because I could see what I was doing.

I think I vomited one more time during the pushing and Michelle was using oil to try to stretch my perineum so that it wouldn't tear but she said she was fairly certain I was likely to tear because it was so tight.  My doctor came in later and said pretty much the same thing.  She said if she went ahead and did an episiotomy he would probably come out a bit faster, whereas if we waited for me to tear, it would take longer.  So I agreed to the episiotomy and continued pushing.  (She did it well.  I only required one stitch to repair it.)  Not long after that, he finally squirted on out.  The doctor suctioned out his mouth and nose and then they placed him directly on my chest.  It was very exciting since I did not get that experience with Elijah.  (I didn't really get to hold him until like an hour or two after he was born.)

So that is how Simon was born.  I am so grateful that God allowed me to have him vaginally.  The recovery hasn't been fun but it has been SO much easier than the recovery when I had Elijah.  Truthfully I don't feel like it was a great accomplishment on my part because it was mostly vomiting that got him out.  I feel more like it was God taking care of me and giving me the birth that was the best situationally for our family.