Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The First Two Weeks

We have officially made it through the first couple of weeks as a family of four! Garland was home the first week and my mom came to visit the second week, and it was SO nice to have help! Around the 7 day mark I noticed my Postpartum Depression (PPD) symptoms returning (heart racing when I tried to sleep, loss of appetite, uncontrollable crying, inability to make decisions....) which was really disappointing. I knew it was a possibility (women who've had PPD previously have a 50% chance of getting it again as compared to 15% of all women) but I really thought because I knew what to do with a newborn it wouldn't happen this time. Unfortunately, because it is a chemical reaction in your brain, no amount of preparedness can keep your body from responding the way it wants to. It really is the strangest experience (you can read my blog entries on how it effected me with Titus herehere and here). The first few days I was euphoric about having Haddie, then a couple of days of sporadic crying fits, then uncontrollable crying most of the day. I knew I wasn't worried about her and that things would be fine, but I couldn't make my brain believe me. I would have thoughts like, "We weren't ready for another baby, this was a terrible idea!" But all the while I would know that was irrational and didn't really feel that way. Luckily because I knew the signs and symptoms it was easier to rationalize with myself and not let the feelings take over. I just had to remind myself over and over that these were not my true thoughts and they would soon go away.

Since we caught it so much earlier this time (I didn't realize I had it with Titus until 5/6 weeks) it's been easier to manage and control. My biggest anxiety trigger had been the thought of being alone with both kids, but after talking to my doctor and starting back on my PPD medicine, I didn't feel anxious at all about being home alone for the first time today. Praise God for that!

So that's the update on momma, here is a quick review of the first two weeks of Haddie's life and what I've learned about our baby girl so far:

-You came home in premie diapers (you were 6lb even when we left the hospital) and newborn clothes swallowed you. You're now in NB diapers and are up to 7.5lbs so your NB clothes look more your size.

-You typically go 3-4 hours between feedings just like your brother did, but unlike with him, I don't panic about you not waking up to eat or not gaining weight :) You also eat quicker (about 20 minutes, he did 45) and more aggressively.

-You already do a 5-6 hour stretch at night which I know is saving my sanity during the day (brother did this too, but not quite this early).

-You sleep swaddled at night time and sleep in the rock n play. Your newborn sleeping noises kept me awake so we moved you to the nursery a little after a week, now we're both sleeping much better!

-You sleep unswaddled during the day and really like sleeping in the swing, but propped up on your side. You've also napped in your crib (on your side) and in the rock n play, and of course on mommy's chest :)

-The only thing that's been difficult about you so far is that you do not fall asleep on your own (Titus used to just doze off in the swing or rock n play). You don't want to miss anything going on around you, so it's not unheard of for you to stay awake for 2 hours unless we intentionally help you fall asleep (pacifier and swaying/patting). You don't even usually cry when you're awake that long, you just hang out and look around! But it is much more difficult to coax you to sleep once you are overtired.

-If I put you flat on your back after a feeding you spit everything up and get awful hiccups. Hoping you don't end up with reflux like your brother! You did have some gas issues but now you get gas drops before each feeding and that seemed to help for the most part. But you don't mind diaper changes, not even in the middle of the night!

-You don't love your car seat and it doesn't put you to sleep, but you just sit in it content and look around.

-You love your paci which is a new experience for us since Titus didn't take one! You use it to fall asleep for naps a lot of times, but spit it out when you sleep (which is great since I don't have to put it back in when it falls out!).

Overall, you have been an incredibly easy baby! Which is a Godsend since transitioning from one kid to two has been challenging. We are so thankful for you and your full head of red hair! I can't wait to see you smile for the first time and listen to what your baby noises will sound like. Fingers crossed you stay laid back and make things easy for momma. We love you to the moon and back, sweet girl!

 Titus came to visit and didn't care about the baby at all. He just wanted to sit with mommy and watch "Joge" (Curious George). I loved his sweet cuddles!

 He likes to give her high fives and point out her hands, feet, hair, etc...

 Birthday trampoline!


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Birth Story: Haddie Mae!

Starting around 34 weeks I had become incredibly uncomfortable because Haddie was breech and completely in my ribs. I couldn't sleep on my back or side so I was forced to sleep sitting up in the living room. I had rib pain at all hours of the day and constantly felt like she had no room left. Luckily, she turned at 37 weeks and dropped a little, so I because immensely more comfortable. Unfortunately, I also had a feeling this could mean I'd actually go all the way to 49 weeks this time. Thirty-seven weeks came and went and while I was regularly having contractions, but they were never close enough together or painful enough to time them. Everyone kept joking that she was waiting to be born on Titus' birthday, which was the 10th and very possible. His birthday rolled around and I was 38 weeks and 2 days pregnant. Garland asked me like he did every day if I was having contractions or thought today could be the day. I'd actually had no contractions even though I'd run a ton of errands and been to the chiropractor, so our sweet boy got to keep his special day to himself.
But lo and behold, at 12:30am (30 minutes after Titus' birthday ended) I woke up to a very pretty strong contraction. I immediately thought it could be something significant because I'd never had a Braxton-Hicks contraction that was painful enough to wake me up at night. Even though they were pretty close together, the pain was manageable, so I tried to go back to sleep. After 30 minutes I realized that would be impossible and started timing them: 4 minutes apart. I decided to take a shower in case it was the real deal and they started getting pretty painful at that point (1:30ish), but still not so bad I couldn't breathe or talk through them. I woke Garland up and told him what was happening and then told him to go back to sleep while I timed them and bounced on the exercise ball (which he did, because on the second child you do things like that, I'm realizing).
After another hour they were 3-4 minutes apart and hard to talk during so we called for Tito backup at 3:00am. Arrived in the ER at 3:45, checked in at 2cm and 60%, told to be monitored for an hour to check for progression. The contractions started getting pretty awful, but standing and rocking made them more manageable. An hour later (4:45) I was shocked to be at a 4 and 80%; we were having this baby!
At this point my doctor walks in, which is so great that he was on call that night! Not so great... He tells me has had to leave by 8:00am to get to Dallas. It's 5:00am so I am disheartened that I probably won't deliver by then, but he thinks I may do it.
Then we entered the most intense part, the epidural waiting game. I'm transferred to a room and getting my IV and everything set up and they're waiting on some lab result so I can get my epidural. I'm at a 6 and having to breathe deeply and rock through every contraction, every 3 minutes at this point. Got my epidural at 6:00 but it only took on my right side. They prop me up on my left side and give me an extra dose, it helps some, but I'm still having pretty intense back labor on my left side. Checked at 6:30am and I'm at a 7. Dr. Mason assures me he thinks I will have this baby by 8 and Garland and I exchange shocked glances. Titus' birth was 16 hours and that was even encouraged with Pitocin for the last 9 hours!
I have to breathe through each contraction even though I have the epidural, but they're manageable. The good part about not being completely numb was I started feeling pressure and knew I was getting close. By 7:30am I was at a 9, by 7:45 at a 10 and ready to push!
Since I passed out several times pushing with Titus, I instructed Garland to count out loud during pushes and poke me in the face if he had to, anything to keep me present if it happens again. On the second push, boom, I'm out like a light. The nurses get out oxygen and smelling swabs for me to breath into (think hand sanitizing wipe) and that is surprisingly helpful. Because my epidural wasn't working all the way I was feeling the contractions which was not good, but I could also feel the pressure to push, which was very helpful (with Titus I couldn't feel anything). After 9 minutes and a couple more rounds of passing out, Haddie Mae came into the world at 6 pounds 9 ounces and 19.5 inches long. It was absolutely just as cool as it was the first time I delivered, although slightly more shocking since I was only in the hospital for 3 hours before she was born. Best of all? She was born at 7:58, two minutes before my doctor needed to leave for Dallas :)

We stayed in the hospital for 48 hours (I failed the Strep B screening and my labor wasn't long enough for HM to get all the antibiotics. They wanted to keep her for observation but everyone checked out fine) and she's been a super easy baby so far!

More to come on her first weeks home in another post!


Monday, April 7, 2014

Titus' 2nd Birthday Party

My friend Heather and I delivered our baby boys 4 days apart, and after both throwing huge blowout parties last year, we learned the error of our ways and just threw one party this year to celebrate both boys. We also realized that rather than dirty either of our houses we should just do it outside at their favorite playground and call it a day.. Since Brooks and Titus both like Curious George, it was an easy selection for our party theme!

Titus started out cranky because he had to be woken up from his nap early, but also because (surprisingly, given who his parents are) he does not like crowds or lots of people talking or staring at him. But once Garland took him out to the open field to throw the ball around and he ate four pickles, he was ready to party :)

 Both birthday boys liked to pick off the sprinkles more than eat the cake