The First Three Weeks

This is a post I started a long time ago, obviously, but just now posting.   Funny to look back on.  It’s fitting, since she FINALLY slept through the night last night (March 8, 2016 = add to list of milestones).  If we have any other kiddos, this will be a good post to look back on.  I’m finally starting to feel like myself again, almost one year later.  Or maybe this will remind me we don’t want any other kiddos?  Ha!  As always, sorry for the profanity.  I was in the moment!
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So, we just started our fourth week of “Life with Kenzie”…

Just to give you an idea of how things are going, here is a scenario that just happened:

Because of the shitty day that it has been, I decided we *must* get out of the house.  Mama needed some coffee.  So to Dunkin Donuts we went!  I even brought the freaking dog so that no one would feel left out.  I had planned to leave the house around 2, so that we would avoid any and all school, lunch, or rush hours.  Want to know what time we left the house at?  4:47 p.m.  At that point, my mind was set on coffee, so we were going to make a run for it.

Baby Girl did good, at first.  I wish she could take a note or two from our dog.  He’s fantastic at car rides.  So I pull up at the drive thru at Dunkin and order my wonderful coffee and two chocolate glazed donuts.  One for me, and one for my husband for the morning.  And if he didn’t want it, then there would be two for me!  Fantastic.

So I ordered our stuff (no cries), and then pulled around to the window.  The lady saw the dog and gave me a cookie for him, which he was stoked about.  She must have missed the baby carrier, because maybe then she would have handed me a flask.  As we drove away from Dunkin Donuts, baby girl erupted with tears.  Ah yes, we had only been in the car for five tiny minutes, and that was enough for her to lose her shit.  I was contemplating driving around a bit more after we got our goodies, but her tone got louder and more ear piercing, so home we went.  Once I put the carrier down in the dining room table, she shut up.  WHAT THE FUCK.  I left her there for about 20 minutes as she slept, and then she woke up.  She must have forgotten that she was strapped in, because she was PISSED!  The mother of all screams came forth, so I took her out.  My fear is that if I go on a road trip with her, she will fall asleep in the car and then wake up forgetting what the hell is going on and let out that raging scream.

Excuse me, she just crapped her diaper while sitting in my lap.  That’s how loud she is when she poops and/ or farts.  Like a 40 year old man!  She’ll thank me for this post later.

Okay, 30 minutes later…(she went through two extra diapers..I think I’m so smooth to throw a new diaper under her butt once I wipe her off AND swipe out the old one at the same time…and then she pees on the new one AND her outfit…so I wipe her and give her another new one…she poops some more on that one….)   Then she’s hungry.  So I nursed her.  It literally felt like she was ripping off my nipple at the end of the 20 minutes.  And all the lactation consultants say, “you’re doing it wrong if it hurts”  – I call bullshit!

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MacKenzie’s Birth Story – Part 5 (10 months later…)

Moving right along…

I still remember it like it was yesterday.  Picture it:  Sicily.  1922…

But for real, I did think that it would take me hours of pushing to get little chicky out.  Only because everyone tells their horror stories about how they were in labor and pushing for 12 hours, yadda yadda…had to eventually get a c-section because baby got wedged in there.  I do realize that she was tiny, so if the next kiddo is bigger, I imagine it taking a little longer.

Note to self:  Next time, have 80s and 90s music blasting in the delivery room for all to enjoy.  I had such great intentions of having a play list ready to go.  But then again, didn’t know little chicky was going to be a month early.

So I’m pushing and pushing every now and then when a contraction comes up.  Still no sweat or anything crazy.   It had probably been about 20 minutes or so.  Nurses are talking about random things.  Mike is being as supportive as he can, and we are holding little conversations in between as well.  So weird!

At no point does she tell me, “Okay, I see the head!”, maybe because I didn’t really seem interested in looking at the mirror to see the progress.  Which honestly, was probably for the best.  I would have been annoyed, I’m sure.

After another push, I’m looking at my wedding ring thinking, “Gosh, who knew I would be delivering our first baby before our one year anniversary” and Mike chimes in, “Babe, look” (he was pointing at my legs/ doctor area) – I figured he was telling me to look in the mirror or something so I told him to shut it, that I wasn’t interested!  He said, “NO, LOOOOOK” ……So I looked up, and there was baby girl, in Dr. Upp’s arms.  And then she let out a good scream, and we knew her lungs were GOOD TO GO.  ::phew, big sigh of relief there, since the lung development were the main thing they were worried about in her early arrival::  MacKenzie Josephine was born at 10:59 a.m. on April 13, 2015 weighing in at 4 lbs and 13 ounces, and 18 inches long.  It was kind of funny, because at some point early in the morning (probably 4 or 5 a.m. when she was checking my cervix again), she said, “Yep, you’ll probably have your baby girl by 11 a.m.”….crazy to me.  She knows her stuff.

As soon as Kenzie was delivered, Dr U said, “Wait wait, Mike, get your camera, and let’s get a few photos before we put her under the warming crib” – it was SO NICE to have them think about that kind of thing, because both of us were not thinking about it at all.  Because of that, we were able to get a few really great photos in the first few moments of our daughter’s life.  Now, we probably have a few thousand photos (not kidding – both of our phones are out of memory – we literally have to delete apps when we need to take more pics, it’s ridiculous).  We really need to invest in a nice camera.  I know camera phones have come a long way, but I want to be able to really control the photos I am taking (not just add instagram filters that I can never decide on).

And in case you were wondering, I did cry when baby girl was born.  Not like a loser who just fell off her bike type of cry, but a good, smiling cry with a few tears streaming.  Plus, it was a beautiful morning.  The sun was shining through the windows, and all was right in my world.  I never thought I would have cried.  Not because I have no heart, but because I thought I would just be happy, but not THAT happy to see a screaming babe 🙂  Mike had some hidden tears, too.

So Mike got our pics with the iPad, and then they moved her to the side of the room with the warming crib, and the NICU team checked her out and cleaned her up.  Final outcome?  Baby girl is perfectly healthy at 36 weeks!  WHAT UP.  My doctor then said, “Well, I guess we can cancel your appointment for Thursday!”  YEAH!  No more checking of the cervix, now I just get to hang with my happy baby!  Haha, oh how little I knew then about how the first few months would go.  I was so dumb and uninformed.  That’s okay though.  You live, you learn.  ::alanis::

After babe was born and the NICU team deemed her good to go, they put her on my chest for some skin-to-skin, while Mike went out and got the grandmas.  They were shocked that I had already delivered.  Everyone was happy as clams, as you could imagine.  Tears were flowing.  Happy happy.  After the grandmas got their fix, it was time to try to breastfeed.

I’ll save the breastfeeding topic for another post, because it seriously needs its own post with all of the BS that comes along with it (I am still breastfeeding, but I was so uneducated at first that it was frustrating and upsetting.  So if I can teach just one person something about my experience, it will be worth it).

Next post:  about the next two days spent in the hospital (pretty much a blur), and bringing home baby girl.  Oh what a journey it has been.

 

 

“If You Can Poop, You Can Give Birth”

Caffeine11

32 Weeks & 3 Days – She is the size of a Florida Pomelo (wtf is a Pomelo?) and almost has hands large enough to use my cell phone.  Too bad she won’t get a cell phone until she’s 18!  🙂

But for real.  I am excited, but I think I am entering into the stage of pregnancy where insomnia is prevalent (and heartburn!), and you can’t stop thinking about just how much your life is going to change.  And where you’re going to store all things baby.  And how you’re going to set up the baby’s room.

Of all the blogs I’ve read, most of the first time moms seem so fake to me.  Maybe because there is something wrong with me.  Not that I am at all unhappy about baby girl, but it has been a very trying time for me.  It’s difficult for me to read all the fluffy, “we can’t wait until she gets here, it is in God’s hands now, God is so good, everything is coming up roses, this is the best time of our lives!”  I’ll just chalk it up to the fact that I’m nervous.  I’m sure once she is born, our lives will change, but for the better.

At my last doctor’s appointment, I expressed my concern for my lack of being in shape during this pregnancy.  I told her about how I keep reading about how you have to get your body in shape for labor, and it’s like training for a marathon.  She put my fears at ease.  She laughed and said, “Those ideas are so wrong.  If you can poop, you can give birth!”   She also brought up how women years ago were basically told to have nothing to do with anything that would cause physical exertion.  They have all gotten through it just fine.  So I feel better about the whole process now, I guess.  Until the labor pains start, that is!

Mike and I went on a tour of the maternity ward where I will be delivering baby girl this past weekend.  He was shocked how many people signed up for the tour (there were 25 couples).  One girl was two weeks from her due date and looked exactly like me, in terms of how big her tummy was.  WTF?

Anyhow, it was super informative.  There were two women who explained the process while we all sat in the lobby of the hospital waiting area.  They explained where to go when you first arrive if you are in labor, and they included the insurance form in our little gift bags to fill out ahead of time so that no one is bothering anyone for forms while things are intense and stressful.  They also explained the in-room spa service menu (YES!), and more importantly, which restaurants will deliver to the hospital.  She also explained that they just started making the Amniotic Bank available to their patients, at no charge.  I kept reading about the cord banking and thought it was a great concept, until I saw that they charge thousands of dollars to store this each year, and that doesn’t even mean that what you bank will actually match and be of any help to you down the line with a specific illness.  No thanks!  I will, however, likely donate to the Amniotic Bank.  If it will benefit others and possibly my family in the future and cause no extra pain in the process, I am all for it 🙂  Here is a better explanation of Amniotic Banking:  http://www.healthywomen.org/content/article/should-you-bank-your-babys-amniotic-fluid

The labor and delivery ward was very nice and modern.  You can even see the Chicago Skyline from their fancy visitors’ lounge.  Each labor/ delivery room is quite large with a massive walk-in shower with bench (brand new) in the event that you want to sit under the water while in labor (it’s supposed to help some ladies, from what I’ve heard!).  They also have wireless fetal monitoring, which many hospitals do no have yet –  meaning you aren’t hooked up to a bunch of cords and they can still monitor baby’s heart rate from the nurse station.  The wireless monitor strapped on you is also waterproof, so you can basically sit in the shower until it’s go-time and they can monitor as needed.  SO COOL.  I’d imagine they would never run out of hot water, right?  Hahaha.  Someone also asked about a mirror that was on the ceiling and whether or not if could come down so that you could see the baby’s entrance into the world.  She grabbed a remote and showed up how the mirror could be angled so that you could see baby as she is born.  I turned to Mike and said, “Um, I won’t be using that, and I don’t want you seeing all of that business either”  He seemed to agree.

After we viewed the labor/ delivery suites, we went down to the mother/ baby suites (you stay there at least two days after delivery for monitoring).  We also walked by the nursery, where most people think all of the babies hang out in front of the glass window.  Not the case anymore!  Baby hangs out in your room with you unless you need a break or they are giving baby her first bath (which doesn’t happen for 24 hours after she is born – new thing!)   So I kind of like that.  Especially if you are trying the whole breastfeeding thing.  Baby is always there, and you don’t have to wonder about who is going to go get her for a feeding, etc.  Interesting stuff!

Our birthing class is in April, so stay tuned for that!  Eight hours of fun!  Mike is ecstatic.

I also finally had my first prenatal massage last night.  IT WAS AMAZING.  I was worried that it might not feel that great because I get uncomfortable so easily these days, but it was just wonderful.  My back feels 100 times better today.  Baby girl moved and kicked the whole time, so she must have enjoyed it 🙂  I scheduled another one for week 38, along with a pedicure (gotta keep those toes pretty for D-day), and a bikini wax (gotta keep the pain threshold up!)  🙂

::pause for entertainment purposes::

Breastfeeding Facebook Group Post (I am slowly learning the acronyms…EBF = Exclusively Breastfeeding, DD = Dear Daughter):

“6mo EBF and still going strong! But I have a question. DD’s two front bottom teeth cut through a few weeks ago, and the past 3 days, she has been biting down on my nipple randomly while feeding. She cries when I rip my boob out of her mouth in surprise! Yes, I know I shouldn’t do that, but that’s what happens anyways. So, this afternoon rolls around, and my right breast is completely engorged and I’m feeling rock hard nodules along the side and around the areola. Could her biting have something to do with that? Could it be a clogged duct? She’s been napping for over 2 hours now, and I haven’t been this engorged in months.”

WWMD (What Would Melissa Do):  At this point, I would put a brief stop (at least) to BF.  I don’t know what sounds worse, DD biting down on nipples or complete engorgement.  But yes, I believe these would be signs to point me towards beginning the weaning process and get started on some…wait for it…formula!!!

Eight weeks to go!

Just splurged a little on this fancy little number for baby girl:

polka dot splurge

30 weeks, 3 days – Bébé is Size of a Summer Cantaloupe

10 more weeks left!  I’m sure it will feel like a year.

I had my 30 week appointment yesterday.  I’m happy that every time I go in, they all seem very happy about how baby and I am progressing.  This time, the nurse and doctor both made positive comments about my weight and how I am only carrying in the belly, which will be great for losing the baby weight down the line.  Believe me, that is the LAST thing on my mind right now.  All I can think about is surrounding myself with yummy sandwiches and hot dogs and sushi once baby girl is born.  That’s when I’ll be packing on the real pounds, since the whole morning sickness idea will be a thing of the past!

I have found that sleeping is no longer as easy for me.  I wake up at least six times a night now, having to pee.  I can never get comfortable.  And I get so upset, because if you know me, you know I love my sleep.  The worst part is that I finally start to get comfortable and calm around 5:30 or 6 a.m., which is when hubby wakes up.  So what’s the point?  So disheartening.

I would also like to touch briefly and as generically as possible about being “blocked up” in the digestive system, because it is real, and it is normal to occur in the third trimester.  I feel like my body has stopped working.  Baby girl must be pressing on all of my intestines and messing up how my system works.  Tuesday was the worst day ever.  I actually had to call my brother and ask him to bring over some prune juice because I was doubling over in pain and Mike wouldn’t be home for hours and I thought I might actually pass out from the pain.  Doesn’t get much more embarrassing than that.  Now I’m terrified to eat anything that could potentially block me up.   I know, TMI, but I keep reading about how “normal” all of this is.

I also never had heartburn before in my life.  Now I do!   Another normalcy in the third trimester, evidently.  Picture this:  I eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at 6 p.m. for dinner (I didn’t feel like cooking, and Mike was bowling that night).  All good, watching Hindsight on VH1 and lounging around with the dog.  Finally go up to lay down at about 10.   A few minutes after I lay down, I am tasting the peanut butter in my mouth!  SO NASTY.  So now, for the first time in my life, I’ve had to purchase Tums.  I didn’t even know what kind to buy, so I bought like 3 different kinds (they even make them in chews now – kind of like Starburst).  So that has helped a bit, but now I have to stay away from even more foods, and determine if I am eating too close to bedtime.  This shit just keeps getting better!

feeling: It’s physically difficult to get up from chairs/ couches/ bed.  I feel good today though, and it’s probably because the sun is out and I listened to St. Patrick’s Day music on my way into work 🙂  I keep waiting to feel awesome and motivated, but I fear that will never happen before baby girl arrives.

reading: Nothing!  Let’s talk about how unprepared I am going to be for this baby.  I really need to start reading “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding” before it’s too late.  My friend kindly lent it to me, and I have not even started on it.  I also need to finish my other book about French parenting techniques.  Please, please, please bring on the motivation!!

buying:  We are going on a hunt for a nice glider chair this weekend.  Mike is shocked at how pricey they are and told me I can sit on the couch downstairs while nursing.  I laughed at him and told him if I had to walk up the creaky stairs after baby girl falls asleep with the dog barking at me to let him out and she wakes up, I would be bringing her into him.  So we are looking at gliders this weekend 🙂  Other than that, I have invested in some baby leggings, because they are freaking adorable:

babys_first_pinkBallerina

sleeping: I get up about six times per night to go to the bathroom, which is always fun.  I’m starting to get used to it.  I even try to monitor my fluid intake before going to sleep, but it doesn’t even matter.

getting used to: Not being able to see my feet, and random people commenting on my belly and how pregnant I look.  I’m not offended anymore, so that’s good.

craving:  plain cheese pizza!  Mike and I went to Pizza Hut for the lunch buffet on a rare occasion when we were both working from home when the roads were too bad to go to work.  I could have sat there for three hours eating their plain cheese pizza while dipping it in ranch.  I have also been on a Cool Ranch Dorito kick as of late.  I know, nothing but healthy stuff for baby girl!  I figure she won’t have any allergies after all the crap I’ve been eating and hopefully won’t have to deal with any of that gluten free/ peanut allergy business that so many parents are having to deal with these days.  I hope she has an appetite like mine, and will eat or try pretty much anything 🙂

pondering:  Giving Young Living Oils a shot.  I know a few consultants, and I really want to order the start kit, but it is so expensive!  I have been researching about how the oils can benefit newborns, etc, so I’d really like to talk Mike into it by the time she is here.  Anything to make our house calm and happy.  The problem is, I am easily sold on certain things that happen to be trending.  Mike thinks this makes me a sucker, because he thinks everything is a pyramid scheme and all the people are out to get money and add to their pyramid scheme.  I’m going to keep trying – and if that doesn’t work, I think I will add it to our baby registry, hahaha.  Either that, or my birthday is coming up, and I could tell him that is what I want (see response from hubby below).

pyramidoils

29 weeks, 3 days – Bébé is Size of a Hawaiian Pineapple- Glucose Test – Breastfeeding Frenzy

So, pineapples are pretty huge, right?!  And so am I.  Still two long months to go.  Meh. For some strange reason, I feel really good today.  I know, I probably just jinxed it.  {oh and I did!  I started this draft on monday, and now it is tuesday.  let me just tell you.  tuesday fucking blows. Wednesday also sucks. pregnancy is going to be the death of me}  It’s amazing how you can have a good day, followed by a day where you can’t even get out the door because you feel like you’re going to pass out.  I can only hope that the good days will outweigh the bad in these last two months.

Now for the good news!  I had a doctor’s appointment last Monday.  Now I get to go every two weeks, since we are in the third trimester.  If it gets me out of work early, I am on board.

Turns out, I actually PASSED my glucose test!!   The phlebotomist, while very kind, was incorrect in reading her numbers.  I was thrilled beyond belief!  So no three-hour test for me!   She even told me that my iron levels were fine.  Although they were a bit low, that is completely normal.  She said if anything, I would go on iron supplements AFTER baby girl is born.

I then went on to ask her my list of questions, including “What are my delivery options, if any?”  “Will you be here when I deliver if you aren’t on schedule for that day?”  Because I had heard from a few different friends that there is a pretty good chance that your doctor won’t even be there for delivery if she isn’t on call that day.  I hate the idea of that, but I didn’t want to be caught by surprise “Father of the Bride II” style when some 16 year old comes in wanting to deliver my baby girl.

I was hoping she would tell me that my pelvis is too small, and that she would feel best scheduling a c-section.  I hear of so many doctors wanting to schedule deliveries, just for convenience.  I always thought I would be so against that, but now that I am scared out of my mind, I have decided that I would be okay with any kind of scheduling and even a c-section, which is done so often.  No sitting in labor for 36 hours, waiting on dilation, possible drugs wearing off…  But her answer surprised me.  She said our obvious hope is for a vaginal delivery.  FUCK.  So basically no planning, could go into labor at any time, and it could end up that my pelvis is INDEED too small for baby girl to get through, but that will be determined after I’ve been in labor for awhile and it has stalled.  THEN they could move forward with a c-section.  ISN’T THAT GREAT?!   And if my labor doesn’t progress as quickly as they’d like and I am not dilating fast enough, then they will give me Pitocin to strengthen labor, which I have also heard horror stories about.  Basically, I am terrified.  And on top of all that, I feel as though my body is in no shape to go through 36 hours of labor.  I can barely walk up a flight of stairs without getting lightheaded.  And I know that I should be trying to “train” for this, but my body just can’t take it.   So at the end of delivery, I will just collapse and sleep for a month.  Right?  Right.

At what I thought was the end of my appointment, my doctor said, “Okay!  So now you’ll get your RH status shot and you’ll be good to go!”  I responded with, “Like, today?”   Oh yes.  I was getting a shot.  NOT IN THE ARM, EITHER.  Not all women need them, as it turns out.  Of course, I am in the percentage that would require such a thing.  Turns out, if your blood type is negative (I have A negative blood), there is a chance that baby’s blood could be positive.  There is no way to know for sure unless we did amniocentesis (giant needle in the stomach = no fucking way).  This is fine with baby number one, but if we were to go on and have baby number two and baby ended up having a positive blood type, my blood would try to fight it off, thus possibly resulting in a miscarriage.  So they give you the shot at 28 weeks, and then again after you deliver.  Then I will be covered and they won’t try to attack baby 2’s blood.   Let’s not even discuss if there will be a baby number 2.  Save that for another day….

I also asked her about breastfeeding, and the possibility of renting an automatic pump from the hospital.  She was very clear that I should wait on all of that, since you never really know if breastfeeding is going to work out with you and your baby.  That being said, one of my new-mom friends invited me to join this “Breastfeed Chicago” Facebook group, where you can talk about your struggles of breastfeeding and such.  I was very appreciative of this, since I intend to breastfeed, if it works out.

Joining this group ahead of time was a bad idea for two reasons.

(1)  “I think my breasts are engorged!  See pics in the comments!”   I understand that this is a forum for mums who are trying to breastfeed, and things aren’t always cheery and happy.  But I have seen far too many of these “My nipples are cracked and bleeding!” posts/ photos.  It is enough to deter me from breastfeeding altogether!  Again, I’m sure there are plenty of mums out there who don’t post anything because everything is working out just as it should.  I’m just saying, it would be nice to see a “everything is going so well and I’m not in pain at all” post!   A little encouragement never hurt.

(2)  These ladies fucking HATE formula.  If someone posts something even remotely in favor of formula feeding, if only for a supplement and needing some advice on how to wean, numerous mums will go off on her in the comments saying things like, “breast is best!  don’t do it!”  making you feel like a loser and a bad mom if you would even consider formula feeding.  I don’t like that.  You never know how things are going to work out, and if formula is the only thing your baby will drink, then formula is what you will nourish them with!  COME ON!  They also think you should never wean your baby off the breast.  Breastfeed until your kid is 5 years old, if that is what they want!  Yeah, because THAT’S not creepy.

That’s all for now – stay tuned for upcoming posts on my back/ rib pain and possibly going to a chiropractor (thoughts?!), a baklava recipe that is out of this world, and my thoughts on essential oils that have taken the nation by storm 🙂