Life with a newborn – Day 17

Little baby is 17 days old and what a 17 days it has been!  So far, things have been going pretty well!  At least…I think they are.  I mean, I’m a first time mom and flying by the seat of my pants, but everybody in the house is still alive, so I say HELL YEAH, things are going AWESOME!

One thing I find surprising about this whole thing is how…ok, I’m going to use the word “easy” and people will look at this blog post like I’m crazy, but really…I’m surprised at how easy it has been to settle into this weird and wonderful new life.  Yeah, sometimes Raylan cries, and I have no idea what to do (in these instances, I basically just cycle through all the go to things…we eat, bounce, walk, burp, change diaper, pop in a pacifier..still crying?…REPEAT!!) and diapers leak and everybody nearby has to change their clothes (scariest part about caring for a newborn?  Squeezing a onesie over their soft little melon heads…really), but all of that is just newborn stuff.  If you didn’t expect to be exhausted or you’re mad because you have to carry an extra shirt for yourself in your purse, then I don’t know what you were expecting.

But for us…for me…it’s been…well…easy(ish).  It’s been a smooth(ish) transition.  It feels natural to wipe his little bottom and bounce around the bedroom until he stops crying.

My fear is that the harder parts are coming.  But when/if they do, we’ll handle it the best we know how.  Because that’s what parents do.  And I will just continue to pretend like I have a clue what’s going on.

ANYWAYS, let’s check in with Raylan at 2 weeks old!

Baby’s Stats:  We headed to the doctor on Wednesday for his two week check up.  At birth, Raylan was 6lbs even and 18.5 inches.  Just two weeks and some change later, he is clocking in at 7lbs 5oz and 19.75 inches!  I’m overjoyed he is growing like a little weed…I’m also desperately sad he is growing like a little weed. hahaha, I cannot be pleased!  I will say, having such a little baby has offered some challenges, so there is a certain peace of mind and ease offered just because he is a little bigger, physically.

Eating:  Due to a whole host of problems (another blog post, another day), we are pumping and supplementing using bottles.  I can’t see the pumping lasting too much longer.  I was very sad about it at first, but now I’m mostly relieved.  In any case, Raylan is eating about 2oz every 2 hours or so.  Recently, he has been requesting more after a feed (hunger cues: sucking on hands, whining, rooting, holding face) and I will offer another ounce.

Clothes:  Newborn sizes!  It will be another couple weeks, at least, before we move up, I believe.  I wasn’t prepared for having such a tiny baby, so we basically run through the same 10 newborn onesies because I refuse to buy more.

Diapers:  Newborn size and target brand!  We received pampers swaddlers from the hospital but after a few days, we noticed that suddenly he was leaking like a boat with a hole.  We finished up with the packs we were given and while on a target run, snagged some more diapers.  They work great so far!  I am a little concerned, though, because we have a shit ton (an exact measurement, I know) of pampers swaddlers in sizes 1-3, and if they leak as well, that will not work.

Sleep:  Recently, napping alone hasn’t been such a success during the day.  He really likes to be held, which I don’t mind at all (I hate doing the dishes anyways, I really didn’t need an excuse to not do them) so most daytime naps occur in my arms.  At night, he typically sleeps anywhere from 2-3 hours.  Not terrible, but I’m looking forward to longer stretches!  Generally, he is pretty easy to be put down, as long as he is full and dry.

Routine:  Daytime is a total crapshoot.  I just do whatever Raylan wants when he wants.  We feed on demand, do diaper changes after every feed (and sometimes before), and we nap after diaper changes (or try to).  I’m enjoying that he is more aware and having longer awake periods, though!  I could stare into his eyes for hours.  (Why yes, my husband does all the cleaning.)  As far as nighttime goes, we bathe around 8:30, put on a diaper, get lotioned up, have a bottle, get dressed and swaddled, a little bit of snuggle time and then he goes in the bassinet on his pack and play, which is currently in our room.

My thoughts/emotions:  The first week of little boy’s life, I was a mess.  Baby blues hit me hard.  Mostly, I was so overwhelmed with how much I loved my little man and the kindness of my family (my mom specifically) in the week after his birth, that I was just a weepy, sad little thing.  I’m feeling much better now!  As he gets a little bigger and I get more confident in myself and my husband, I am finding that each day I wake up a little less weepy than the day before.

Mom’s Stats:  AIIGHT, I’M ABOUT TO AIR ALL MY DIRTY LAUNDRY.  LET THIS SERVE AS A WARNING TO YOU.  I gained 40 pounds.  Which isn’t TERRIBLE.  (But it’s mostly donut weight.)  The problem is, I wasn’t a spring chicken when I started, and truthfully needed to lose 20 pounds before getting pregnant.  So the math there is 60 pounds.  SWEET LORD, 60 POUNDS.  60 pounds that sometime in the next year or so need to vacate my body.  So far, I’m down about 25 pounds, which leaves 35 pounds or so.  I’m feeling pretty good, csection wise.  There is still some tenderness and I will get a sharp pain if I move a little too crazy, but it’s not bad at all and I haven’t taken any pain meds for a week.  I’m really looking forward to being cleared for exercise!  I’m not huge into working out, but if you had a flabby tummy like this, you would want to hop on a treadmill, too.

 

And that’s that!  Here’s to another week of having no idea what I’m doing but pretending I do!

First Bath!

Due to the alarming amount of cheese Raylan was trying to grow in his neck fat, as soon as that umbilical cord stump (nub? piece? bit? cling on?—>lol, cling on) fell off, it was time for a REAL bath!  He had mixed feelings about it…

Pre-bath...I think he knows what's coming...

Pre-bath…I think he knows what’s coming…

SPURNING MY KISSES.  This is my favorite picture so far in his two weeks of life hahahaha

SPURNING MY KISSES. This is my favorite picture so far in his two weeks of life hahahaha

DSC_0620_044 DSC_0625_045 DSC_0626_046

All clean!

All clean!

Cheese be gone!

Cheese be gone!

 

Things I noted:

-the second you have scrubbed all the nooks and crannies, he will pee all over himself, so keep an extra rag over his manly bits to mitigate this risk

-we have a heater in the bathroom, so we kicked that on – that, combined with the warm water, made for a happy-ish baby after the initial deluge

-NEWBORNS ARE SLIPPERY BOOGERS WHEN WET, PROCEED WITH CAUTION

-follow up with a baby massage with lotion, a meal, and some snuggles to get a couple hours of sleep out of your almost 2 week old

All in all, it was a success!

Raylan’s Birth Story

June 29th…Sunday night was a blur.  My parents and inlaws were in town and after a celebratory supper, the inlaws headed to their hotel and my parents headed to our house…it was almost show time!

There was some debate about getting some sleep, but that was laughable.  The knowledge that in the next 24 hours, everything would be changing does not exactly make for a restful experience.  A quick shower, some cuddling on the couch, and soon it was time to go.  We arrived at the hospital just short of midnight and the race was on!

June 30th (40 weeks pregnant)…After we checked in and I changed into a glamorous hospital gown, we kicked off the induction process with a bit of cervix softening.  Pills were inserted about 12:30 and mom and A got as comfy as they could on the couch and rocking chair while I “lounged” in the bed hooked up to approximately 250 monitors.  Minor cramping began a few hours later, sometime while I was tending to my Sims on my ipad (I know, I know, I should have been sleeping…whoops) and at 6:30am, the nurses started pitocin.

Within the next hour and a half, my mucus plug had left the building and I was dilated to a 3…where I would stay for a while.  Contractions were coming good and strong, but super irregular.  There seemed to be no rhyme or reason to them.  While each contraction was strong, they were oddly spaced…some would come right on top of each other without a break for 3 or 4 in a row, and then I would go 10 minutes before another one.  Every so often, my pitocin was upped, although I would never be able to go past a 10.

After Doc broke my water (sweet baby Jesus, that experience deserves its own blog post…) and stretched me to a soft 4cm (this will be part of the water breaking post….you have been warned), we hoped things would move more quickly.  Unfortunately, this would not be the case.

When the pitocin began, we immediately noticed that baby boy was experiencing heart decells with each contraction.  As we upped the pitocin, the decells became stronger, dipping into the 90s and a few times the 80s.  In addition, when my water was broken, there was a bit of meconium in the water.  The doctor assured me there was not enough to cause any kind of emergency, but that it would be something we would monitor closely.  Because of all of this, it wasn’t long after noon (at which point I also got my epidural), that we had to stop the use of pitocin and let the contractions continue naturally.

Nurses streamed in and out for the next several hours, I was hooked up to oxygen and turned over (a feat difficult in itself as both legs were DEAD from the epidural) every 10 minutes or so as we tracked Raylan’s heartbeat.  That part was hard.  Much harder than the contractions or the water breaking or the rest of it.  We would listen to his heartbeat soar and sink, soar and sink.  I was scared for my little boy.  He was not dealing with labor very well and as such, neither was I.

Finally, at 5:20 pm or so, the nurse came in and informed us we would be doing a csection.  He had to come out now.  We had pushed him as far as we could.  I cried.  I was scared, it had been a long day, and I was overwhelmed with the knowledge that he would be here very soon.  They only allowed one person in the operating room, so mom couldn’t go, but A was there in his scrubs, with the camera slung over his shoulder.

I was immediately prepped and wheeled into the operating room.  My epidural was removed and a spinal block was inserted.  I think the specifics of the csection would best be suited in another blog post, as well…In any case, not 10 minutes after being laid down on the table, I heard gusty screams that could mean nothing other than Raylan James was officially in the world.  The swept him away and my husband went with him while the doctors continued to work on me.  After he was cleaned and wrapped up, they brought him to me.  It was surreal.  I rubbed his sweet little face for the first time with a shaking hand (partly due to emotions, but mostly because of the effects of the spinal block and hormone dump) and he was whisked away again, this time to our little room to await me.

Once I was sewn and taped back together, I was rolled to another bed, propped up, and taken back to the little room I had labored in all day.  My baby was handed to me and that was it.  The reason for my existence.

Raylan James

Born June 30th at 5:41 pm, 6 lbs and 18.5 inches.

First family picture :)

First family picture 🙂

Just an hour or so old

Just an hour or so old

2 days old

2 days old

5

I think we ALL do this after a good meal ;D

I think we ALL do this after a good meal ;D

Today, 2 weeks old (7/14/14)

Today, 2 weeks old (7/14/14)

Back from hiatus!

My, my, my, it has been a while!  Sorry for the absence!  As life regains a sense of normalcy, I hope to return to my blogging glory!  (Ok, maybe not glory…).  

But I digress…

My last post was a chronicle of my 37th week of pregnancy, in which not much happened and I was still very very pregnant.

My 38th week was much like the 37th.  Not a whole lot going on except that Raylan was still sideways and sunny side up.  He was not coming down at all and my pelvis was locked up tight as a drum.  Still very pregnant with no end in sight, I was sleeping with approximately 100 pillows, and dizzy spells became a daily recurrence.

photo 1 (1)

 

At 39 weeks, I was feeling cautiously optimistic when I went to my doctor’s appointment if for no other reason than I knew this baby had to come out soon.  I was still closed up and he was not going anywhere.  Now, we had a decision to make.  As doc palpated and fisted (really is no other word for it) and all the rest, it became pretty clear that my pelvis was not doing what it was supposed to be doing, which is open up wide enough for a human to crawl out.  Generally, this really isn’t an issue, as baby’s come when they please and typically your body does what it needs to do, whether weeks beforehand or at the last second.  The problem was that Raylan was wedged into my hip bone and could not move out of it.  The fear was that he would spend the next few weeks growing and growing and then really get stuck, at which point labor would be traumatic for him and a vaginal delivery would not be in my future.  Doc suggested we induce at 40 weeks.  The hope was that contractions would be just enough to jostle Raylan into the birth canal.  I agreed.  We had a plan!  My appointment was on Wednesday, June 25th.  My induction was set to begin Sunday at midnight, June 30th.

 

39 weeks with my butter bean...well, maybe more a watermelon...

39 weeks with my butter bean…well, maybe more a watermelon…

 

And thus ends the pregnant adventures!  Stay tuned for what happened next…here’s a little sneak peak…

🙂

37 Weeks Update

Happy 37 weeks (as of 6/9/2014) to me!

Here’s a little belly action from this morning’s doctor appointment:

My arms got pregnant, too.  Lame.

My arms got pregnant, too. Lame.

Speaking of the doctor, let’s start there, shall we!

>Tested positive for GBS (Group B Strep).  For those who aren’t familiar, GBS is a bacteria that can be found in the gastrointestinal tract.  It can also colonize in the vagina.  It effects anywhere from 10-30% of pregnancies, so it isn’t completely uncommon.  It is not a sexually transmitted disease, nor is it the same bacteria that causes strep throat (that’s Group A).  Because GBS can colonize in the vagina, a carrier of GBS can pass GBS onto their baby during the birthing process.  It is important to get tested for GBS between weeks 35-37.  Untreated, GBS can cause serious complications, such as hearing/vision loss, meningitis, paralysis, and sepsis to the baby.  BUT, DO NOT FRET.  All of those complications tend to be pretty rare.  The important thing to keep in mind if you are GBS positive is that you will need antibiotics during labor.  Most (like me) will scoot on over to the hospital at the first onset of labor or when their water breaks so they can begin their IV drip of antibiotics.  You need about a 4 hour window to get these antibiotics before baby arrives.  Some, who wish to labor longer at home, also have options, such as penicillin shots they can administer at home.  If you deliver a full term baby and do not encounter a fever during labor (or other telltale signs), there is an even smaller risk you will pass GBS onto your baby.  For information, check out some of the following links:

BabyCenter GBS

American Pregnancy

(GREAT LINK!) Mayo Clinic

>Dilation and Effacement:  Cervix still thick and a fingertip dilated.  If you follow my blog, you know that last week I was such a sad panda at the news that literally nothing was happening down there, BUT after finding out my husband will be out of the state while I’m 38 weeks pregnant, I’m not so sad anymore!

>Peeing in a cup…total crap shoot.

>I’m feeling pretty good, all things considering!  Sleep is a total no-go, but everything else is checking out alright!  (Although, I have a feeling this is due more to the fact that I’m used to being so uncomfortable, it doesn’t phase me anymore…)

Nothing else to report on the baby front!  It seems absolutely surreal that we are nearing the last couple weeks.  To be honest, I’m so tired of pregnancy and talking about pregnancy.  It’s boring.  We’ve been doing it for the past 9 months…I’m going mad.  Because of that, we spent the past weekend doing NOTHING baby related.  It was swell.  I definitely suggest to all my fellow pregnant ladies to take a break from the baby stuff!  I feel refreshed 😀

 

 

Weekend Writing Challenge #2 – Wind

EDIT:  I realize I’m a couple days late on this.  A and I spent the weekend doing NOTHING baby related and it was AWESOME!  More about that later 🙂

 

Time for Weekend Writing Challenge numero dos!  In case you missed it last week, Valerie over at Atlanta Mom of Three has posed a writing challenge for her fellow bloggers!  Each weekend, she posts a picture and it is up to you to create a 200 word piece of writing.  It’s a great way to practice those writing chops and expanding your blogging muscles!  Get in on the action!  Just include the picture and source in your post then head over to her blog and link up in the comments. This week’s post is all about WIND:

 

Photo Credit: smcgee via photopin cc

A Love Letter

Dear Julia,

It’s warm.  Which is a nice way of saying I could cook eggs on the dirt outside.  You know how the last time we took the truck down to that shady little spot by the river, we could see the heat rippling off the bank across the way?  I got the heat ripples, but I sure do miss that bikini you were wearing…the slight breeze reminds me of how your hair looks when the windows are rolled down.

I know it’s been a while since I last wrote, it’s just things have been pretty hectic.  Do you remember Big Jimmy?  You met him at the BBQ at Cindy’s house.  We sent him home last week.  You’re going to need to go over to Rebecca’s house…it isn’t good…she’ll need the support.  IED.  And Tim will probably head home in a couple weeks.  Do what you can to prepare Janice and the kids.  He hasn’t been dealing well with the injuries.

Thanks for holding it down back home, baby.  Love on the little one extra for me.  I still can’t believe I missed his first steps.  I’ll see you soon.

Love,

Your Soldier

P.s.  Go outside.  Feel that?  The wind carries my kisses to you.

 

Check back next week for Weekend Writing Challenge #3!

The Bad Timing Fairy

I haven’t talked at any length of being a military spouse, although I am.  My husband is an intelligence officer in the United States Air Force and I am madly, deeply, head over hills in love with him.

I remember the day we “made it official” and began dating, he said to me, “I want to make sure that you understand that I want to be in the military.  Not just that, but I want to be an officer.  And I plan on making it a career.”

I responded, “yeah, I know…so…we dating now?”

And the rest is history.  (We’re romantic like that.)

The Air Force has taken REALLY good care of us.  I mean, REALLY GOOD care of us.  We have met amazing people and although there are some challenges (we moved three times in the past year and a half), we have always tackled each dilemma and come out stronger in the end.

Recently, however, the Bad Timing Fairy (other military wives might be familiar with this bitch) has bestowed upon us a gift!

A TDY the week before I’m due.

For those who do not know, a TDY is basically a little detour of sorts, a temporary duty station.  Lucky for us, the TDY is only a week.  Unfortunately, it is a week before the due date.

I’m not angry or disappointed, because that’s life in the fast lane, ya know?  But…I do feel like everything has come to a standstill, pregnancy wise.  I’m terrified to walk too much.  Keep that pineapple away from me!  That recipe for labor inducing cupcakes?  NO THANK YOU.  Sex?  HA.  Spicy food?  Well…a little, but only because I’m a spicy food addict.

SOOOOO, while I was consumed with all encompassing disappointment at my previous check up that revealed there was NO cervical action and baby hadn’t dropped yet, now I am TERRIFIED that at my next appointment, Doc will let me know things are finally starting to move.  I need my little dude to stay snuggled up for as long as he can.  I can’t imagine how my husband would feel missing the birth of his first child.

Come to think of it, I can’t imagine how I will feel if I have to drive myself to the hospital…Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Everything happens for a reason!  And, it could always be worse.  He is only gone for a week and staying stateside.  That ain’t nothing in the grand scheme of things!  I feel like I’m putting an awful lot of pressure on a poor little baby who isn’t even in the world yet, but…he only has two jobs:  roll around every once in a while so I know you’re cool…and stay in until Daddy gets back.