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.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Simon's Birth Story - Part 1

This was supposed to be posted earlier but as most people know, all babies have different personalities and Simon is shaping up to be a more difficult baby than Elijah was.  But I'll talk more about that in later posts, I'm sure.  For now, I am trying to get his birth story down before it gets too fuzzy.

I had been having contractions off and on for awhile but nothing that resembled even early labor contractions, they were mostly just uncomfortable and annoying.  Friday, though, I started having ones that were a bit more painful (of course describing them as "painful" is now laughable given how severe they did get--it's like comparing a paper cut to a severed arm) and they were coming about ten minutes apart all day long.  They never got worse or closer together so, again, they were mostly just annoying me because they wouldn't stop.  Also I was afraid they were going to get terrible in the middle of the night and then I'd be in labor all night and not have the energy to push when the time came.  But I got up Saturday morning without having been woken up by labor and began my day.  Around 10, though, they got a bit worse.  We started timing them and they were about 7 minutes apart.  This was how I spent the majority of Saturday--every 6 to 7 minutes I'd have a contraction, and one that was more painful than the earlier ones (we're up from paper cut to accidentally sliced your hand with a kitchen knife, but not enough to need stitches).

This went on all day until that evening.  By then I was fairly certain that I was actually in early labor, but had no idea how long it would go on and was, again, afraid that if it went on for too long I wouldn't have the energy to push.  And by this time the contractions were severe enough that I couldn't sleep through them.  So my mom arrived from Oklahoma City to stay with Elijah and we called my doctor to see if she thought breaking my water might speed things along.  The conversation pretty much ended up with her saying "I have no idea but come up to the hospital and I'll check you to see if you're dilated anymore."  So that's what I did.

Once they got me all checked in, the nurse checked my dilation and she said I was at 3-4 cm and 80% effaced.  Not much better than when I was in the office on Wednesday (I was 3 cm and not at all effaced then).  So then my doctor came in to discuss the situation.  She said she didn't think I was in active labor yet and it was possible that breaking my water would put me in active labor, but it was also possible that it would not and breaking your water puts a time constraint on how long before the baby must be born.  It is a 24-hour time constraint, but if my labor didn't progress fast enough and the time passed, we would be forced into another c-section.  On the other hand, I was still concerned that if we didn't try to get my labor to speed up that I would run out of energy before time to push and therefore be unable to push effectively and wind up with another c-section that way.

So we decided to give it an hour and see if I could progress a little before they broke my water.  Mike and I walked around the halls, stopping every so often when I would have a contraction.  Mike was discussing the decision to break my water or not the entire time, arguing it from every angle.  I could tell he wanted to break the water and speed things up that way.  I was started to get frustrated with him because I felt like, in addition to being in labor (which, if it wasn't active yet was really close because it was starting to get much more severe), I was being pressured to make a decision about something that could possibly force me into another c-section with either choice.  I know he was just trying to be helpful--you know how men always want to fix problems as quickly as possible so the women in their life aren't stressed anymore and it usually just ends up stressing us out more (at least that's my experience).  So by the time we got back to the room and I was sitting on the birthing ball, I was starting to cry and feel like there was no way I was going to avoid another c-section no matter what I did.

The nurse came back soon after that and I think she checked me again and said I was now at 5 cm.  Also, the contractions were definitely getting worse, although maybe not closer together.  But Mike pointed out that the 24-hour time frame was a long period of time to get a baby out (particularly since I was already at 5 cm) so we made the decision to have my doctor break my water.  She came in shortly after that and did so.