Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fake out!

So, after all that talk of plans for yesterday, I ended up just lounging on the sofa and enjoying my kiddos. Even now, Brennan is standing on the chair next to me, sharing my sandwich. He is such a mommy's boy & I love it! Matt is looking forward to having a "Daddy's girl" because Brennan won't give Matt cuddles and kisses... Well- sometimes he gets more kisses than I do!! :P yes, we keep track of this sort of thing... We're parents, isn't that our job?? :)

We are going to try and get some family photos taken soon, we found a lady who is willing to do them for free and give us a CD with all the pictures on it! What a great deal. We intended to get photos done in the Spring, but we never did, because we decided we would just wait until Addison is born. Anyway, Matt and I still need engagement photos, and I'd like to get some pictures with Brenn & Addie as well as the entire family. If I am clever enough, we can change outfits and it may not even look like all the photos were taken on the same day.

Matt and I have only one photograph taken of us together, which is kind of lame... We used to joke about going to the Gettysburg battlefields and pretending to be tourists to get someone to take a photo of us. :P

Yesterday, Matt said something really sweet, and it just warms my heart! He said to me, "thank you for my amazing daughter." I get a little sad when he says things like that, even though he means well... I get sad because my body was trying to kill her. It's very hard to deal with and it was something completely beyond my control... but we did the best we could, and we have a beautiful, healthy baby girl. :)

Addie's cord fell off yesterday, and Matt and I were super excited. Matt kept telling me yesterday, "It's going to fall off! It's going to fall off!" We're looking forward to giving Addie her first real bath tonight after Brenn is in bed. We "ritualistically" threw the cord out, and Matt gave a little "Ohmmmm..." as he tossed it in the trash can. What was I going to do with a dry shriveled piece of cord? I would have kept it-- her lifeline-- but it would have reminded me too much of how much we nearly lost-- and how hard we fought. I'd much rather kiss her belly button. It's a lot cuter.

Speaking of belly buttons, it looks like Addie has an outie! Matt was telling me, "I wonder if that will change..?" and I shrugged, then berated him to not critique our daughter. I worked hard on her! :)

Thank you, God, for giving me a wonderful man-- whose soon to be my husband-- and two darling children. I feel like this journey has lasted forever, and I still have so far to go to watch my children grow over the years... And it's so worth it...I Hope I can enjoy every single day. :)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Some Fresh Air

Yesterday, after Matthew and I returned home from a quick errand, we were surprised to find a package waiting at our door! My Aunt and Uncle had sent a package for Addison! What a great surprise. Matt and I are looking forward to calling and thanking them for their thoughtfullness- they even included a gift for the new big brother! A stuffed Tigger, a book, and the perfect fall outfit. It was a very nice token.

Matthew and I are spending today cleaning up the apartment and getting rid of some of the unnecessary clutter. He's making the last trip to storage to get stuff out of the apartment today, and doing laundry... I'm tidying Brennan's and our room... Later, we'll be switching dressers to give Matthew some extra dresser space. We still have lots of little things to do in our bedroom... Our bookcase needs to be reorganized, and we need to pack up some books and bring them back to storage... We have to reorganize the back of our utility closet. Now that the shelves are accessible, thanks to my dad's ingenious wall-organization, we need to actually USE them. (Who would have thought it??)

So, lots of little things... and lots of baby snuggles in-between. Maybe next week we'll tackle Brennan's dresser finally. It STILL needs to be sanded and repainted.

Off to give my big baby some extra lovings while his sister is napping. :) Have a great Saturday everyone!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Two Left Feet

Brennan seems to have two left feet now... he is constantly tripping over himself and falling flat on his face. He's also stopped responding to "No!" unless I say it 2-3 times and make myself hoarse. Whenever Addie is sleeping now (and I'm not cleaning, etc), I sit down with Brenn to play with him... I really enjoy spending as much time as I can alone with him, but I still wonder if he resents the change? With how he dotes on Addie, I'd think not.

I'm really starting to look forward to fall. There's an apple festival that Matt and I will be taking the kids too, especially for Brennan to enjoy the petting zoo and hay rides... It will be fun! I'm also going to take up the Walk to Rivendell challenge again. Walk to Rivendell. According to my log, the last time I tracked how far I walked was exactly one year ago! Whoops.

I need to start investigating sewing machines, too... Always another thing to do!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Feeding Woes

Breastfeeding with Brennan was a huge hassle, with him being in the NICU, from Day 1 I was pumping, breastfeeding (while I was visiting him) and supplementing after ever feed. So, right now, feeding Addison is eerily reminscent of that fight... and after Brennan got home, I didn't have a pump (I was using a loaner from the NICU while B was in the hospital), and Brennan was still having latch issues... so I was still having to supplement... and so my supply died before I could get a pump from my insurance.

This time around, I have a pump, so I am already better off... but Addison, like Brennan, is having latch problems. We are using a shield, but she is still not getting a lot of milk from me. I know it takes time, and from what I've read and from what people have told me, it should get better... I fought with Brennan for close to a month to get breastfeeding "started" and I already feel better off than last time, but I am already getting worn down too.

My initial plan with breastfeeding Addie was to elusively pump, and supplement with formula only when necessary and only a few breastfeeding sessions per day. On average, Addison has 1-2 "good" sessions a day, and the rest she is just lazy and doesn't really get anything... I understand it is good practice, and good for yada yada yada... but I have her attached to me 1+ hours and she isn't eating... so then I have a ravenous baby. :/

It makes me feel really inadaquate, even though I've had several people (nurses, etc, etc) tell me I am doing everything right, and I just need to give Addie time to adjust and get a bit stronger and things will work out great... but it is really discouraging.

Since Addison was born, I have been pumping, breastfeeding, and supplementing with formula or expressed breast milk. It is a tiring cycle, and takes up a LOT of time... especially chasing a toddler around an apartment.

Maybe my initial plan would be a better idea...

Monday, September 13, 2010

First Days Home

After Matthew, Addison, and I returned home from the hospital on Wednesday, Matt's mom stayed to help us out around the house until Saturday. We had to make a trip Thursday back to York Hospital to the lab to get a bilirubin test done for Addison's jaundice. It was fine- 10.6, so the nurse at York Pediatrics told us we didn't need to get tested again.

Addison had her first pediatrician's appointment on Friday, she was 5lbs even. So, as of Friday, she had lost 6oz from her birth weight. The pediatrician we saw that day we did not like at all. He was... pathetically misinformed and I have no idea where he got his medical degree. Needless to say, Matthew and I decided we'll never see this pediatrician again, and if these problems with the office continue, we'll switch pediatricians.

Later that same day, we also had an appointment back at York Hospital with a Lactation Consultant. I was looking forward to this appointment, especially because I am sincerely dedicated to making breastfeeding work this time-- and I know with the right attitude, I can do it!

WELL, the Lactation Consultant wasn't very helpful. Addison, like any other four day old baby, was sleeping when we arrived. The LC didn't want to take Addison out of the car seat to even ATTEMPT a feeding. Doesn't everyone know that babies wake up when you move/undress them? It was pathetic, and I wanted to scream at her. Why else would I drive 45 minutes with a NEWBORN unless I thought it was going to do me some good??!

We "rescheduled" for Sunday morning, and I was seriously considering not even bothering to reschedule... It just seemed like it was not worth the hassle of the drive. While we were at Lacation, I had her check Addison's bilirubin with a trans-dermal monitor-- it read high- very high. So, I called the pediatrician's office, and we went back to the hospital (locally) for another bilirubin test. This one came back at 14.7. When the Dr. called back, he said they'd like to schedule another test for Saturday morning.

Sure thing, so Saturday morning we went back to the lab... went through the entire horrible heel prick ordeal, and then get a call on Saturday afternoon from the on-call Dr. Her level went up to 15.1, and they are not thinking it is gonna go any higher... so they will follow up with her in the office on Friday. IN A WEEK.

Say... WHAT?! I disagreed waiting a week for a weight check, and now I doubly disagree waiting a week for you to eyeball her jaundice to make sure it goes down! However, the Dr. interuptted my afternoon nap, so I thanked him and got off the phone... to fume and rant at Matt later. :D

Needless to say, I recieved a phone call from a nurse at the Hospital I delivered at doing a routine follow up call... And even though she was probably reading off a sheet with blanks filled in about Addison, the call WAS personalized enough and she honestly acted like she cared about Addison and myself. She agreed with my initial thought that it was careless to wait a week for a weight check given Addison's age and size, so after we got off the phone, I rescheduled the weight check for Wednesday.

I feel a lot better now.

Other than THAT drama, life has been good. Matthew is just amazing to watch with Addison, and it's just everything I thought it would be. Even if I lived in a cardboard box, I'd still feel euphoric with my family around me. I feel so blessed.

Brennan is just a doll. He loves to go up to her and try to pick her up and give her kisses. I'll let him "hold" her on his lap (with me doing the holding), and he will make sure her hat is on right, and pass me her blanket or bottle when I am feeding her. He is so sweet with her, it makes me want to cry.

Not once has he been rough with her so far, and we just will tell him to be gentle, and he will start rubbing his sister's back so softly. He even recognizes who Addie is now! We can tell him, "That is Addie's, can you give it to her?" and he will go put it (usually a blanket) on her. He is such a great big brother, and it warms my heart.

Now, it's time for some cleaning before I have to wake Addie up for her next feeding! :)

A Day to Remember

On September 5th, I had a follow up appointment with MFM at 12:30 pm at L&D due to low amniotic fluid that was diagnosed on Friday. On Friday, the AFI was 7.7 cm. My cervix was 2cm and 60% effaced, unchanged from a week before. That day, Matt's sister, Abbe, had finally come down to get her furniture out of our storage unit and so the Great Storage Catastrophe was behind us. She was able to watch the Brenn-monster, while Matt and I went to the hospital for the testing.

My NST looked great, Addison was reactive. Matt and I had a nagging feeling, but we chalked it up to being in the hospital. When we went to the ultrasound (conviently located in a maternity room- LOL), Dr. J and S were really friendly- like always. After a couple minutes, I saw the numbers S was getting for the AFI were not high at all... so I asked, "What's it look like today?" She frowned. It had dropped to 3.9 cm. I knew then that Addison was going to be come out today, even before Dr. J said anything.

Due to the risks with IUGR and oligio, Dr. J decided it was time to get this baby out.... and I was officially full-term at 37 weeks. Dr. J called the NICU to see if there was going to be a bed for Addison if she needed it, and her case was accepted. (YAY! One less thing to worry about).

Dr. J walked Matt and I back down to L&D, and we started chit-chatting. Matt and I got hugs from Dr. J and S. It was such a great experience working with everyone at MFM... even if all I did was lay in a chair and be monitored or poked the entire time. :)

When I walked back to the nurses' station, I announced, "I'm baaack! And here to stay!" We went through the admit process, and walked back to our room. When I walked in, completely not in labor, I had the surreal feeling of... "This is where my baby is going to be born..."or rather, "Damnit, I'm stuck in this room UNTIL the baby is born" =P

Since I was on Heparin, they had to draw blood and wait for the results before they could start the induction and I was officially NPO. Matt and I got settled in L&D, and waited. I was contracting on my own every 2-4 minutes.

Eventually, Dr. G walked in and said that the levels were good, and they could go ahead and start the induction. I was 2cm and 60% effaced, so Dr. G decided to go with cytotec to begin the induction. After much discussion regarding cytotec, we eventually decided to agree with the Dr's decision. Matt had gone back to the apartment to help his mom out, and the Dr. wanted to wait to insert the cytotec until Matt had returned. Finally, around 5pm, the cytotec was inserted. The cytotec starting giving me intense contractions (pain scale 6) for the first couple hours, but then it was starting to wane...

At 10pm, I was 2-3cm and 80%, and Dr. G went ahead and started me on pitocin. Within a half hour of starting the pitocin, my contractions had completely stopped. It was super exciting... NOT. Matt and I decided to get some sleep since nothing was happening. While Matt slept, I woke up a couple times throughout the night with some contractions, and was always able to fall back. Throughout the night, the nurses came in and upped my pitocin ever 45 minutes.

At 6am, my pitocin dose was the second highest, and the nurse came in and gave me a choice. They could stop the pitocin, and I could eat breakfast... Or.... I interupted her. Breakfast, please!! I had ice chips all night for dinner, and I was starving....

So I had a light breakfast, showered, and waited around for them to re-start the cytotec. Dr. G's shift had ended, so now CNM B was on for the day.

At around 10am, they started the next cytotec. This time, the cramps did not even match the level that the other cytotec did the previous night. However, the MW stretched me as much as she could, and said that the next step would be to rupture my membranes. At 11am, the contractions were 4-6 minutes apart and very mild... And by noon, they had completely spaced out to 10+ minutes apart.

So, around 2pm, they inserted the third one. Matt had left the hospital again to go tend to his mother back at the apartment. I immediately fell asleep, and slept off the "worst" of the super mild contractions from the cytotec. When I looked at the monitor, I was actually contracting ever 2-4 minutes...Progress? Or not?

At 6pm, CNM B came back in and checked me, and I was completely unchanged. At this point, I was very discouraged.. this whole "labor" process... was LABORIOUSLY long and boring! She did stretch me another 1-2 cm (so now I am 3-4cm dilated) and separated baby's head from the cervix. She also started me on pitocin, and was only going to up the dose every hour. She said she was going to do this slowly. Shortly after that exam, the contractions began to pick up. After four hours, she would break my water.

Instead at 8pm, CNM B came in and decided it was time to break my water. After my water was broken, I actually felt like I was in labor for the first time ALL DAY, and things picked up rather quickly. I stayed in bed for a good 45 minutes after my water broke, and then finally crawled out of bed to use the restroom and walk around a bit.

Matt wanted to take me out in the hallway to walk a bit, and I was content to walk back and forth in the room. I was in terrible pain sitting in the bed, laying in the bed, or sitting in the rocking chair... So I resorted to standing up basically swaying from foot to foot.

Around 10:15, I was getting inconsolable. I climbed up on the bed on all fours, and finally found a strange position I was mostly comfortable in. At 10:30pm, I called the nurse in. She nearly dismissed me because the contraction monitor wasn't reading intense contractions, but I was feeling a lot of pressure (but not the "I need to push" pressure). I told her honestly, I've never BEEN through this part of labor before, so I don't KNOW... The nurse was a bitch. She went to get CNM B, and finally checked me... At 10:35, I was 7cm.

I was honestly convinced they were going to tell me I was unchanged, and I was going to be miserable for the rest of the night. I knew I was losing my focus in the pain, so I asked the MW what my options were for pain management. She recommended Stadol, and after I got that I was basically falling asleep in between each contraction, but I still felt all the pressure-- which was exactly what I wanted. Looking back, I probably could have made it the rest of the labor without the pain medication... which only took about 50-60% of the pain away, but it did give me enough of an edge that I could focus again.

At 11pm (or so) I was 8.5cm dilated, and the CNM stayed in the room from that point on and the nurse was busy getting everything ready for the baby. When the nurse turned on warmer lamp for the bassinet, I knew it was real. At 11:15pm (or so) I started feeling like I had to push. It was a completely different experience from what I remember giving birth to Brennan. After 15 minutes of pushing, Addison was born at 11:26pm. After a quick, albeit uncomfortable inspection from the MW-- I hadn't torn at all and didn't require any stitches.

After she was born, she was put on my stomach for a good couple minutes. She was crying, and alert, and it was amazing. I only got to see Brennan for a flash before he was taken off my stomach, so I really enjoyed being able to spend these first moments with Addie. Matt watched the entire labor from my side, and cut Addie's cord. After they took her over to the warmer to get her first check up, and after a couple minutes, Matt came back over to me with Addie and kissed me. "She doesn't need to go to the NICU."

Those were the most amazing words that I've ever heard, after everythinig-- Brennan's pregnancy, delivery, Addison's pregnancy, and this 30+ hour induction + delivery... I felt complete. My baby girl was fine.

They left Addison in our room for 45 minutes or so, and then took her to the well-baby nursery. Matt stayed with me at L&D because the room had to be packed up, and there was no way I could do that! Once we got over to maternity, I told Matt he could go to the nursery with Addison if he wanted to...

The nurse came in and told us Addison was having trouble keeping her temperature up, so she was back under the warming lights. After she was given a bath, she would be kept in the nursery for an hour to make sure her temperature didn't drop, and then she would be brought into our room. It was around 1:30am, and Matt and I decided to catch some Z's while we waited for Addison. At 3:15am, I woke up and freaked out. Had the Nurse come in with Addison and we were sleeping, so they left? Is everything okay?

I paged the Nurse and she said Addison was going to be coming down in a couple minutes, so I woke Matt up. Finally, at 3:30 am, Addison was brought into our room. I started to breastfeed Addison at that time, and finally, around 5:30 am, Matt and I brought Addie back to the nursery so we could catch a quick nap before her next feeding at 6:30am.

From that moment on, she only left our room a couple times... for her checks up (twice a day), and twice when Matt and I needed some privacy (I got a backrub, and when we finally packed up the room to leave on Wednesday)....

It was amazing being able to spend all that time with Addison and Matthew, just the three of us... but I missed my little boy, and I couldn't wait to go home...

It's over, it's finally over... and now, my life as a mother of two can begin.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hoping for Progress

Tomorrow, I go in for my 36w OB/GYN check up. I am hoping to get my GBS test, and see if I have had any progress over the last week. I am excited to hit 37w on Sunday... I can't believe I made it this far.

Today I woke up and found out my cell phone had been disconnected so I had to go through and convince B's biodad to make a payment-- which thankfully he did. This is not really the time of my life to be without a cell phone, considering I will be delivering a baby within the next three weeks!

I also met with a lady who is going to let me use her washer/dryer a couple days a week while her children are in school. In exchange, I will help her organize her house, or do light cleaning for her while my laundry is running. She is really nice, and I am hopeful the situation will work out! At the very least, it will save me $60+ dollars a month in laundry cost, and its no additional hassle since Matt would need to drag the laundry down three flights of stairs ANYWAY if we were going to the laundromat.

She also gave me a tub of Oxyclean, which I am sooo happy with! I am hoping to use it with each load and help clean my laundry a bit better!! If this works out really well, on top of the money savings, Matt and I can look into cloth diapering Addison.

Of course, that is a whole other headache.... seeing as my dad called me and said that the sewing machine that my mom was going to give to me can't be fixed... which means that I'm SOL for getting a sewing machine... No curtains, pillows, and diapers for us. Oh, phooey. So, I'm going to have to look up machines over the next couple months and pick one that I want for Christmas. Decisions, decisions...

I painted the first coat of the blue shelf this evening. I was going for a yellow, and it came out a very nice faded spring green with yellow highlights. Now, in an hour, I am going to try and paint another coat and see if it comes out any, erm, more yellow!! I am not quite sure I want a green shelf (however pretty it may be) next to my daughter's pink bassinet!

Tomorrow we are heading back to storage to finish our wonderful adventures in storage... We have until Sept 7th to get out of the 10x10 unit, and I am hoping that we can get the rest of the unit finished tomorrow night after the weather cools down considerably.

The only things we have left to do in storage are:
  1. Move boxes from apartment to storage (9-2)
  2. Reorganize boxes of books (Find books to possibly freecycle, sell on Amazon, and bring back to the house)
  3. Have Matt go through his paperwork in storage (Bring back the paperwork to the apartment that is garbage to be burned)
  4. Repack/Organize miscellaneous boxes
  5. Repack holiday/fragile items
  6. Look into bike storage
Hopefully Matt's sister will be here this weekend to get her furniture, as I am beyond distressed with this entire situation and I am hoping that this nightmare will be behind us soon.

Well, I am off. Matt and I have to go get my car from the mall because I got a terrible dizzy spell earlier and he had to come pick me up while I was at the mall running errands. Stupid random blood pressure.