Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year.... some advice from the teenage version of myself.

I finally finished packing the first room yesterday. I had started with my computer room. I came across a shoe box filled with old zip disks. Not even having a zip drive on my computer at home, I brought the shoe box into work today to see what was on some of them. I came across something I had written when I was in highschool and I thought I would share. It's funny how serious things seemed back then.... how clueless I was as to how much there was to come and how much I would go through before I would even realize myself. I don't remember now what inspired it, but it seemed appropriate for the New Year. And it made me grateful that I held out and took my own advice... (please excuse the typos and grammer, this was written over ten years ago)

Ultimate Happiness

I’m writing this in an attempt to put all of the happiness I’ve felt lately and all of the pain that I’ve rid myself of into words. Anyone that I choose to let read this, is someone that I love and care about and think that they deserve all of the happiness and love that I feel as well.

Let’s start off by asking ourselves a simple question. What do we deserve out of life? So often I look at my friends and those I love and everyone is settling for whatever they can get a hold of, and then looking no further. I myself was willing to settle for what I thought was all I could get out of life, not even realizing the possibilities and what it would feel like to reach what I call “My ultimate Happiness”. It is so hard to find even a good friend, so why do we settle so quickly for a life long mate, when we can go through friends like underwear? Because deep down inside everyone wants to be loved and everyone wants to give love. Once they feel that this is what they are sharing with someone, they feel their search is over. But until you really truly can look around you and realize that love is not just a feeling you share with a boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife, but a feeling you can share with every single person you come across on a day to day basis, can we only begin to imagine the possibilities if truly falling in love.

Can you imagine what that would feel like? To stand in that checkout lane at the grocery store and feel love towards the cashier? Of course that sounds silly, but if you love yourself so much and you are so incredibly happy with yourself and the way you are and the way you treat others, loving your checker just comes naturally. Only then can you imagine the love you could really feel and share with another person when you are truly “in love”.

Can you imagine meeting someone that can read your soul? Someone that can tell what your thinking by the way you twitched your nose when you thought of something? And of course you know all of their hopes and dreams and wish with everything that you have that they all come true for them simply because they have become apart of you, and their hopes and dreams are now yours as well, just like yours have becomes theirs. You know all of this about each other because you take every spare minute you have to learn as much about them as you possibly can because they fascinate you this much. You no longer have your own seperate little world, where so many of your thoughts and aspirations that you think on a daily basis go unheard and unsaid. You’ll have someone right there wanting to know, dying to know, what it is your thinking and hoping you’ll share.

This person will be someone who you can wake up in the morning next to everyday for the rest of your life, turn over towards them and look into their face with no regrets. You can look into their eyes and truly know you couldn’t possibly be any happier than this person has made you. Do you feel that kind of love with the person you are with now? Maybe you don’t think you deserve that kind of love. Maybe you’re just too scared. Scared of losing what you have and risking it all to find your own “Ultimate happiness”. That is where I think people lack love for themselves. If you are only settling for that common love that any human being can feel towards another, a love you can feel towards your dog as well, then you are only depriving yourself of all the happiness in the world.

Have you ever heard the saying about marriages with best friends work out the best? Well, if you have found someone who meets all the expectations of a “best friend” and who on top of that can share your most intimate moments with, then my friend, you have found someone worth holding on to! If the thought of calling this person names out of anger, or them doing the same to you, makes you want to cry, then there is someone you can consider your kindred spirit. It’s not about money, it’s not about your social status in society, or even about convenience. Never give up the rest of your life to someone because it’s convenient. It’s not fair to either person.

Everyone hears about all of the wonderful things they can feel when they are in love, but so little people believe in them and think that that kind of love is out there for them. It hurts me so much to see my friends in relationships where they are constantly getting hurt and hurting someone back as well. These are people that I love and care about and think that they deserve the same kind of love that I do. I can understand why they settle for this, because I almost settled for it too. How can you know there’s so much better out there for you when you haven’t seen it or touched it? Does the idea of being alone scare you so much, that it’s easier to compromise a little of your happiness to not have to be alone. My suggestion to all of those that feel this way is to step outside if your relationship and truly try to look at it from a outsiders point of view. Pretend you are your mother or father who always wants the best for you, and thinks you deserve only that. Do you know deep down in your heart that there is no one else who could make you any happier and that you could love anymore. Whenever you dreamed of falling in love and meeting that special someone that you would spend the rest of your life with, does the person you are with now meet all of those expectations?

If they don’t, maybe you can be content with what you have anyway. and if so you need not read any further. But if not, if you think you deserve better, you need to make up your mind to find better. And you need to start with loving yourself a lot more. I don’t mean to become conceited and think you are better than everyone, but you need to realize what you are worth and then you will get what you deserve. Try to talk to someone everyday, someone that you’ve never talked to before, learn things from others. Sometimes the best advice can be found in the most unexpected places. You’ll begin to feel better already, I promise. Suround yourself by your friends and people who truly love you and care about you, they will help you see what a wonderful person you are and help you realize that there is someone out there who can help you feel like this everyday for the rest of your life.

This isn’t meant to sound like advice for people who are depressed and hate themselves and their lives. But you’d be so surprised if you heard all of the conversations I’ve had lately with so many people, and how many of them do not even realize their own self worth. These are usually the ones who have settled for just a taste of happiness. Most people probably go their whole lives without ever really feeling true love. Some may say what they don’t know might hurt them. But I think that what they can learn can set them free. Who should be more responsible for your own happiness other than yourself? No one. No one can make you happier than you can. You are the one who chooses who you surround yourself with on a day to day basis. If you constantly keep going back to those who do not truly appreciate you and know how important you are and what a neat person you are, than of course you are not going to realize what you may truly mean to someone else and what you should mean to yourself! If you are a truly happy person and truly feel ultimate happiness with someone else than you have accomplished so much more than those who don’t even take the time to realize it’s out there.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas... hopefully next year will be better!

We seemed to be improving with the acid reflux but on Christmas day it decided to rear its ugly head again. We went to my parent's house christmas morning and everything was fine for the first couple of hours. She was laughing and smiling and she nursed fine at 11:00. She even laid down for a nap in my niece's crib. But when it came time for her to eat again, she started to get really upset and refused to eat, even though she was acting hungry. After a few more tries and lots of crying and fussing, we left my family early and took her home.

She still wouldn't eat there. Finally I fed her about 3.5 ounces with a medicine dropper and cuddled her up in our sling and she slept for a few hours. When she finally woke up I nursed her and she went to bed. I hoped that all of the excitement from Christmas had overstimulated her which can aggravate reflux. Hopefully she would be better again the next morning.

The night was our usual routine. She would wake up to nurse then straight to bed again. But this morning was different. She is always in a good mood in the morning. Even if she has a terrible day, atleast the morning is usually good. She woke up, nursed and before she was even finished she started crying. It was so sad. She looked at me with her sad little eyes, with her big tears rolling down her face and my heart ached for her. I waited till the doctor's office to opened at 8:30 and I set up an appointment for 11:00. We took turns holding her and walking her around. We couldn't make her pain go away but atleast we could let her know we were there for and we loved her.

Our usual doctor was off today so we saw one of his partner's . I asked him if we could switch her over to prevacid. My sister went through all kinds of medicines before they finally landed on this one with success. So he sent us home with some samples to get us through the next 15 days. He also suggested we give her a small dose of mylanta when she is in alot of pain. We are going to start her on her first dose of the prevacid tonight.

I feel so bad for her. It's obvious she is in alot of pain. I just hope this new medicine helps her. She seems to be good for about 2 weeks or so when we try something new, so we'll know in a couple of weeks if this is the one for her. Wish us luck.

On a side note. She has started taking naps in her crib. She took one Thursday and one today. She also took two naps in my neice's crib when we were at my mom's house for our christmas gathering. So hopefully she will be sleeping through the night in her crib once we move to the new place. I don't want to try until we get her acid reflux under control. I am sure she is much more comfortable sitting up a little for now.

We are moving in 2 weeks and I haven't packed a single item. You can see why I have been MIA. When I am not at work I am very busy with her and since I only work 4 hours a day, I am very busy when I am there as well.

I miss sleep. I miss relaxing. But even though I am exhausted and I feel like crap most of the time, I feel much worse for the little munchkin. I just want her to feel better and on a more permanent basis.

I hope everyone else had a better Christmas then us...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Acid Reflux

I have been so out of the loop! Our internet was down for a week, then all hell broke loose with the munchkin, then I had to go back to work.... I couldn't keep up with my email.... I barely ever even turned my computer on. Things are finally settling down. I am starting to get back into the swing of things. Going back to work has been a huge adjustment. But it does make me feel like I am part of the world again.

About 2 weeks ago, the munchkin all but stopped eating. It was scary and I had no idea what was wrong. Every time I would try to feed her she would scream and cry. It was a Saturday when it all really started. She had been going longer between feedings (about 4 hours) for the last couple of days and then, after nursing normal during the night she decided to go the entire Saturday and only eat once. She went an 8 hour stretch the first half of the day, drank about 2 ounces from a bottle, and then 6 hours till she had another 4 ounces from a bottle and then we put her to bed. I kept trying to nurse her all day long and she wanted nothing to do with me. She was also super fussy and crabby all day. Then during the night she nursed same as usual as if nothing was wrong. I had called the nurses line for our doc's office on Saturday and the said if it didn't get any better to call back on Sunday. Sunday was pretty much the same thing, except maybe she would take a little more from a bottle here and there. I called the nurse's line again and they told me to take her to the ER. While we were at the hospital they checked her over from head to toe and told us everything was fine and she probably just had some off days. She also decided to nurse while we were there. They told us to just follow up with our doctor on Monday.

I was so worried about her. I knew this was something more then just a couple of "off days". What 11 week old refuses to eat for 8 hours during the day? She was clearly upset about something. It was hard to calm her down when she would get really worked up. I wasn't getting any sleep. I was constantly trying to get her to eat or calm her down or figure out what was wrong. And I didn't even have internet access so I could find information about what the problem might be. It was so frustrating!

Monday came and she started to nurse again. I was so relieved. She didn't seem to be eating near as much as usual though but I was glad that atleast she was nursing again and hoped it would get better. She was still fussy, but she seemed a little better. Tuesday morning came and she was crabbier then ever and wouldn't nurse again. I called the doctor's office and asked if we could come in to see him.

We went in to his office and I told him what had been going on. He immediately suggested acid reflux. Others had suggested this to us as well, but I didn't think that was the problem because once she would finally eat she seemed fine afterwards. I assumed they would be worse after they got done eating, not before. But it was definitely worth a shot. I left the office and went to pick up her meds as she screamed in the car then entire time. I thought I was going to lose it. I felt so bad for her. We gave her the first dose about 4:00 and by 10:00 she drank 4 ounces from a bottle and went to bed in what seemed like a pretty good mood. We started to think maybe this was the problem, but we didn't want to get our hopes up too much.

She nursed normally thoughout the night, but then again nothing had ever changed really changed about her night time routine. We woke up the next morning and she seemed to be in a much better mood. We gave her another dose of medicine and crossed our fingers. She started nursing every 3 hours and although she fussed a little before each feeding, she would still latch on pretty quickly and was much happier throughout the day. By the next day, it was as if we had a completely different baby on our hands. She was nursing great and seemed to much happier! She was giggling and cooing all the time. We could sit on the couch with her in our lap wide awake and just hang out. This was something we had never been able to do before! The only way she would hang out on the couch with us was if she was sleeping. Otherwise we had to be walking around with her, rocking her or bouncing her. She seemed so much more relaxed and calm.

So that was it all along. My poor baby had been in so much pain and the acid reflux medicine made her all better! Thank goodness cuz I was going back to work in a week and I had been really worried about her going to stay with Sarah. Plus the whole ordeal had forced us to give her a bottle pretty often and now she was much more comfortable taking one, which she would have to have ofcourse once she was at Sarah's house every day.

Yay! So I will save everything else for the next blog... she is started to get really bored in her floor play thingy and I better get her out. More to come....

Monday, November 16, 2009

Cloth Diapering

We have been trying out the Gdiapers. She looks so cute in them! I put them on her last week and due to recent events we have gone back to disposables for now (more info to come in my next post). I was using the gcloth inserts that are made to go in them, but she leaked through every one. I was so frustrated. I wasn't sure if she didn't have enough chub yet to get a good seal or if I wasn't putting them on her right. My friend Anna made me cloth inserts for her medium size gpants, but they actually fit in the small sized ones as well. I decided to try them out and they worked great! We are still getting used to how to put them on her right, but for the most part everything was staying inside them atleast. Anyway, here is the little munchkin modeling her puffy bum.

Below is the cloth diapering pail that I ordered to help me clean the poo off of her diapers without splashing yuck around the bathroom. It came with everything you need to spray off the diapers and hang them to dry before throwing them in the bag of dirty diapers. The sprayer hooks up to the toilet and the water pressure is crazy. I just hang the diaper inside the pail and everything gets sprayed right off. There's a plug at the bottom of the pail that drains everything right into the toilet. It originally came with little hooks, but our cloth inserts can't really hang from hooks, so Joe swapped them out for little alligator clips that he attached to the inside. I just clip the cloth inserts right in them and spray away. I then leave it there to dry. I am going to have him add two more clips later so I can have 4 hanging in there at once, or if I want to spray off the plastic liner and leave it hang there too.

The pail definitely makes things alot easier. Cloth diapering definitely has a learning curve, so hopefully once things are settled back down again, we can start using them again full time.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

2 months old and 2 mos doc visit

The munchkin was 2 mos old yesterday! Can you believe it? I can't! The time really is flying by. She is getting so big. She is now holding things with her hands (like the little rattle below that my friend Anna's grandma made for her). She is making great eye contact and following things with her eyes. She giggles and smiles and coos all the time. She really is a happy baby. Unless ofcourse she's hungry, or tired or needs her diaper changed... or if she's just crabby.

She is eating every 2-3 hours (sometimes less or more) and goes for longer stretches at night. We usually put her down between 8:30 and 9:30 and she will sleep for around 5 hours. Then she will sleep for 3-4, then another 3-4. When she wakes up to nurse, we are usually finished and back to bed within 15 minutes. She is such a fast eater! Sometimes there is a diaper change in there too and when we are done, I lay her back in her swing and she goes right back to sleep on her own. She is still sleeping in her swing at night. We did talk to the pediatrician about it today and he thought it was just fine. She sleeps in her sling for her naps during the day. She usually takes 2-3 and they last for an hour or two. She doesn't sleep as well in her swing anymore for her naps (although she still does here and there), which is just fine with me.

Breastfeeding is going so much better. I am not sure what was the issue when I wrote my last post. But it has seemed to work itself out. I have been trying to read her signs more and feed her as soon as she acts hungry. I think we are both getting to know each other better and that is helping alot. I still have ALOT of milk, but even that is getting better as well.

I can't help but stare at her when she's sleeping. I know this time is going to pass so quickly and this time will be a foggy memory before I know it. I am trying to take it all in.

Yesterday was also her cousin's 2 week birthday. Their great grandparents came over for a visit.

We got the two together for their birthday pictures. They are best buds already.

Finally they had enough. I guess they weren't ready to be so close yet.

She loved this sling so much I had to send it home with my sister who didn't have one. We had 3 different ones, so I guess we can share.

Today we took her for her 2 month doctor visit. We recently switched doctors, I don't recall if I had mentioned that or not. Long story short, her other doctor was giving us a hard time about spreading out the shots and I wasn't happy with her at all. We love the new doctor! I handed them the vaccine schedule I wanted to follow and they didn't even blink. Infact, they acted like it was completely fine and normal routine for them. It was so nice to not be looked at and scolded as if I was being a pain or some kind of idiot. With the new vaccine schedule, we have to make more trips to the doctor's office, but for me it's worth it. It makes me feel a little bit better about giving them to her.

So here are her stats:

Weight: 12 lbs, 80 percentile
Length: 23 3/4", 92 percentile
Head Circumference: 15 3/4, 81 percentile

She is growing great! And she is tall:) Doesn't surprise me, since her dad is 6'4". She got one shot and an oral vaccination. She was pretty pissed at first, but then she seemed okay. She fell asleep instantly as soon as we left. She has been a little fussy tonight so I gave her some infant tylenol and now she is sleeping.

I can't believe I am going back to work in 3 weeks. Time has flown by. I started my maternity leave about a week before she was born, so I will have been home for a total of 13 weeks. It sure doesn't feel like it. Hopefully then I will have more things to talk about then just being a mom. It's hard to think about much else though right now, when it's all I do every day. I am really sad about not being able to be with her all day every day, but at the same time, I am also looking forward to getting out of the house every day and getting some adult time too. If I could afford to, I wouldn't work, but atleast she is going to be staying with someone who I trust completely and know she will be loved and well taken care of. If not, I would be freaking out alot more!

I better go... time to get started on some dinner!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I really wish I was less of a thinking man and more of a fool not afraid of rejection. ~ Billy Joel

I am exhausted. I am confused. I am worried. I feel sad.

Yesterday started out great. The munchkin was in such a good mood. She was sleeping well, nursing well and giving out lots of smiles and giggles. Then in the afternoon, my mother came by. She was filling out an application for a job and then we were going for a drive to drop it off. When we were ready to leave, baby was napping and would most likely want to nurse in about an hour. I didn't know if it was a great idea to pack her up just then, messing with her schedule can sometimes really throw her off. I figured she could fall asleep in the car and if we had too, I could also nurse her in the car. I was sure we would be back within in an hour anyway, so it was probably not a big deal.

As soon as we left, she started crying and it wasn't easy to calm her down. She slept half the time and cried the other half. By the time we got back home, she seemed exhausted. I put her back in her swing so she could sleep for a while before eating. When it was about that time (around 3:30), I woke her up and changed her diaper. She was wide awake now and starting to fuss, so I sat down with her to nurse. She started crying and fussing ALOT and I was hoping she was just really tired still and would latch on after a while. She didn't. She seemed very upset with even the idea of it. So I decided to stop trying and wait until she let me know she was hungry. She went back to sleep and woke up after a couple of hours. She still wasn't acting hungry. After SIX HOURS had gone by, I decided to stop waiting and try again (it was now around 6:30). Finally, after putting up quite a fuss, she finally latched on and nursed. What a relief.

She slept a little more and we played with her a little more. She was a little fussy, but she was in a really playful mood part of the time too. Around 9:30, Joe put her in her Pajamas while I got everything else ready. I laid down in the bed to nurse her and she started crying really hard again. After trying for about 10 minutes to get her to nurse, I finally gave up and up put her in her swing to go to bed. I didn't want to try to force her and cause her to have bad feelings towards breastfeeding. She quickly stopped crying and fell asleep. I couldn't understand how she couldn't be hungry. Especially since she went six hours before her last nursing.

Around 11:30 she woke up crying and was acting like she was hungry. I brought her into the bed to nurse her. She started crying more and acting like she didn't want to nurse, but after about 5 minutes she finally latched on. Throughout the night she nursed two more times but not without putting up a fuss for several minutes first. This morning she woke about 8:00 acting like she was hungry (3 hours after her last nursing). I brought her into the bed again. She starting crying even more and acting extremely upset. After about 5 minutes, I picked her up and rocked her until she stopped crying, then I put her back into her swing. I didn't know what else to do. I can't force her to eat and even if I tried, this would only make matters worse. The last thing I wanted was for her to become scared of breastfeeding. After I laid her down, she fell back asleep and so did I.

Then around 9:00 she woke up again with hunger cries. I brought her into the bed with me to try nursing her again. I brought her towards me and she started crying harder. Her face became red and tears started running down her cheeks. She was so upset! I picked her up, rocked her, she calmed down and I changed her diaper. I know babies love skin to skin contact, so I stripped her down to her diaper, and pulled up my tank top. I layed in the bed and just cuddled with her for a while. She was smiling and giggling. I didn't know what to think. How could she not be starving by now? I brought her towards me to try again. She started crying again. I tried different positions. By now I was crying too. After about 30 minutes (from the time she woke up), she finally latched on. I sank into the bed with relief. She finished eating and acting as if everything was back to normal again.

This morning, I decided to try to keep her extra close to me and cuddle with her as much as possible. I was dreading the next time we would nurse. I was so exhausted. I hadn't slept well at all, with worry about what was going on. It seemed as if she felt fine. She didn't appear to be in any pain. She didn't seem like she had lots of gas or that she was having any problems nursing once she did finally latch on. She was still having a good amount of dirty diapers. I was completely clueless.

I decided to stop feeding her every 3 hours and try waiting until she acted hungry. Nursing had been going great for the last couple of weeks. I would bring her to me to nurse every three hours (or sooner if she acted like she was hungry) and then I would let her go as long as she wanted during the night. Maybe she didn't need to eat every 3 hours anymore? Every baby is different. Maybe she was getting bigger and was able to go longer between nursings. Maybe she was trying to tell me that every 3 hours was too much and to just wait until she was ready for me. So I waited. After 3.5 hours she was in a deep sleep. It was around 12:30 and Joe had come home for lunch to make us grilled cheese and tomato soup. So I set her down on her boppy lounger right next to me and started to eat. She woke up and began to route her tongue around and open her mouth, signaling that she was hungry. I scooped her up right away and brought her to the couch with me to nurse. She started to cry again but then after less then a minute, she latched on. I was so relieved.

I just hope it doesn't go on much longer, or that we have too many episodes like the one this morning that brought me to tears. I have never had a such an awful feeling of rejection then when it is from my own baby. It's hard to not feel like it's your fault, that you've done something wrong or that she doesn't want you. When it comes to their nourishment, and how important that is, it's not taken lightly. When they are refusing to nurse, it is scary and you worry that they are not getting what they need. I try to look at the facts. She is not acting like she is starving. She has plenty of poopy diapers. She seems content while she is nursing and after. So she must be still getting what she needs. So I am hoping that things are just changing a little for right now. She doesn't need to nurse as often at this moment and I just need to be patient and try to figure out what she is trying to tell me.

She is now sleeping peacefully and I have no idea what to expect the next time we nurse. Has anyone else ever experienced anything like this? Nothing has changed in my diet and no new products have been introduced. I have read about nursing strikes, but this doesn't seem to be what is going on. Thank goodness she is still nursing, even if it takes alot of encouragement. Once she finally latches on, she seems totally content and relaxed. Maybe it is getting better already.

Like everything else that seems really hard at the time, maybe this will pass quickly as well.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Introducing the Munchkin's Cousin and other Misc Babble

My sister's baby arrived on October 26th! She is just as cute as a button. She arrived 5 days late, just like our little one. She came in weighing 7 lbs, 6 oz (2 oz more then the munchkin) and 20 inches long (munchkin was 20.5). They were so close in size. I am so excited she has finally arrived. My sister and her hubby are so sweet to watch with their little one, I am so happy for them. Here is a pic of the little angel getting her first bath at the hospital.

Here she is with her daddy...

And here she is with her favorite aunt (me)!

They are all at home and doing well. On friday we went over to visit with them. They had her dressed up like a Frog for halloween. She's only 4 days old.

Then we had to get some pics of the little cousins together. It's amazing how much size difference there can be when they are just 6 weeks and 5 days apart! The little munchkin's head is twice as big as her little cousin's. It's hard to believe she was that small too when we brought her home.

It is so awesome that my sister's baby is so close in age to my own. They are going to have so much fun together growing up. It's also great that we live so close to each other. It takes less then 10 minutes to get to their house from ours.

For Halloween we decided to just stay home. We were planning on going to my sister's house, but decided against it. We watched a movie and played with the munchkin. Next year will be much more fun when she is a year old. I figured that at 7 weeks, she didn't really care too much about halloween yet.

I thought I would throw in some cute pics I have taken lately of the little munchkin and her daddy. They love to cuddle.

In the above pic, you can see she is hanging out in her Boppy Lounger. I never would have thought this product would be worth the investment, but she really loves to lay in it. She fell inlove with her cousin's, so we had to get her one of her own. She doesn't like to be laid down anywhere for very long (other then her swing ofcourse), but she will lay in the boppy lounger for up to an hour sometimes. She'll just lay there and look around and sometimes even drift off to sleep for a little bit.

Today we tried out the Bumbo. I didn't think she would be big enough to fit in it yet, but she was. She did pretty good too. Her head is still a little wobbly, but she is getting pretty good at holding it up. Her face here cracks me up... she looks so serious.

Things have been really great the last few days. She still will mostly only sleep in her swing, but today she took a 3 hour nap in my lap and I loved every minute of it! I haven't been able to get her to sleep for very long anywhere other then the swing and it has actually been kinda sad for me. I was so happy to be able to snuggle up on the couch with her for so long today.

She has been in a really good mood the past few days too. She had been going through a phase where she would get extremely crabby in the evening for an hour or two, not every day, but maybe every other day. I was pretty sure it was because she wasn't getting enough naps in during the day. She was fighting sleep alot and we would have to coax her into taking her naps. But sometimes she would still be really fussy even if she had plenty of sleep. It was always about the same time. I had read alot about some people calling this the witching hour, so I just chalked it up to that. So it's been great the past few days, without the "witching hour" episodes.

Breastfeeding is going great and I am so glad to have made it through the worst of it. I still have problems with leaking milk all over the place sometimes when she nurses, but I am hoping that will subside over time. I still get extremely full and feel uncomfortable, but definitely not as bad as it was at first. I am just thankful that all of our latching issues are resolved and that there is plenty of milk to keep her full and happy. Although, like today when I spray milk all over her face because it is coming out so fast and she has pulled away, I wonder when it will get better. There is no way I would nurse out in public any time soon... not until this problem works itself out.

So there's a little update on how things have been going around here. Nothing going on with the sale of our house yet.. we've only had 2 showings! I am not too surprised though, this could definitely take a while. I hope everyone had a great halloween! I love seeing everyone's costumes.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Our Birth Story

Wednesday, Oct. 21st, was my sister's due date. Tomorrow she will be five days late. The same day we delivered our baby. She has been having contractions since last night and should be going to the hospital sometime tonight. I can't wait for the munchkin's cousin to arrive! So in honor of her, and before I forget, I am going to finally share our birth story.

On Tuesday, September 8th, 4 days after my due date, I had a doctor's appointment at 3:00 with Julie, the nurse practitioner. I wasn't having any contractions that were significant and I was still at 1 cm, the same as my last appointment. Julie went ahead and stretched me out to 2 cm and stripped my membranes. We hoped that this would cause me to have more contractions and get things going. I was scheduled to be induced on Thursday, September 10th, which meant that munchkin would probably be born on Sept 11th. She informed me that my OB, Dr. M, would be working at the hospital that night and that if I started to have any strong contractions to just go ahead and go to the hospital. She thought that since I was late, Dr. M would probably go ahead and admit me.

So we left the doctor's office in high hopes that tonight we would be going to the hospital. We decided to go to Schnuck's to buy some groceries and do some walking around. We then picked up some Arby's for dinner and headed home.

I had already been suffering from horrible pelvic pains and lower back pain. Other then a few new contractions, nothing really seemed to be happening. My back pain seem to be worsening though, so I decided we were just going to go to the hospital anyway. I feared they might try to send me home, but I was done being pregnant and I was just going to have to figure out a way for them to keep me there and deliver this baby. I hoped that with my doctor already at the hospital, and being past my due date, they would go ahead and admit me.

Around 7:30 we packed everything up, called our friends that were watching our dog so they would come and pick her up later, and headed to the hospital. As soon as we arrived at Labor and Delivery (around 8pm), I saw my doctor sitting in the nurse's station. I was so happy to see her. As soon as we walked up to her, I started on the waterworks. I wasn't even trying to act, or make it seem I was in more pain, I was just so frustrated with being pregnant and relieved to see her, that they just started flowing. It certainly didn't hurt though, I am sure it made me seem much more pitiful. She asked if I was in labor, and I told her, "I sure hope so". They put me in a room and started checking me in. I was now at 3 cm and having irregular contractions.

Dr M gave me my options. I could either hang out for a while, walk the halls of the hospital and see how things progressed, I could go home and wait there to see what happened, or she could break my water for me and get things started that way. I knew that after my water was broken, the baby would have to be delivered within 24 hours, so I chose that option. It wasn't exactly along the lines of my plan of doing everything naturally and letting nature take it's course, but my body was done. I could barely walk any more without pains shooting through my pelvic area. My feet were so swollen, I could barely even wear my sandals anymore. And with tomorrow's date being 9-9-09, that sounded like a much better birthday then 9-11.

At 9:15, Dr. M broke my water. It was uncomfortable, but not exactly painful. I couldn't really feel the water coming out. Joe had left the room to bring all of our belongings from the car. When he came back, I had told him she had broken my water. He seemed almost disappointed at first he hadn't been there, but then he seemed more excited that things were underway. After my water was broken, things seemed to actually slow down. My contractions stopped completely and the line on the monitor that represented them, had flat lined.

In order to pick things up, they administered the first round of pitocin at 10:15. I was extremely disappointed that we had to use pitocin. I knew that any hopes of going without an epidural were fading once pitocin was brought into the game. This usually causes you to have much more painful contractions. I was still going to go as long as I could without it though. At my request, they brought me out a birthing ball. It was much more comfortable to sit on that then it was to lay down in the bed.

At 11:45, my sister Amy and her husband J came up to visit us. It was nice to have the distraction for a while and they also brought us their video camera to use. I was so grateful later that they did. They left a little after midnight.

Pitocin was given every 30 minutes till the contractions become really intense. At 2:05 am, they checked me again. I was at 3.5 cm, 70% effaced and my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart.

The contractions started to become unbearable. At the onset of each one, I tried to find something to focus on, to relax and breath through each one. But each one, became harder to get through then the next. It felt as if someone was taking a knife and stabbing me in my uterus.

I have probably had nearly 20 kidney stones in my life. They are extremely painful and hard to get through. I have been told that kidney stones are worse then labor. I have heard this quite a few times, from doctors and other people. I can tell you though, with some certainty, that any kidney stone that I have had, couldn't even compare to the intense pain I was feeling from these contractions. I don't know if it was because of the pitocin or if I was just a big baby, but this was horrible and I couldn't take it any more. I was also exhausted from not having slept in so long. I hadn't even taken my usual afternoon nap that day. After each contraction, my body would slump over in exhaustion, and all I wanted to do was close my eyes and sleep, but I knew that within another minute there would be another contraction.

At 3:05 am I was given an epidural. I was dialated at a 4 and 80% effaced. I was so disappointed that I couldn't hold out any longer. I like to think that if I had been able to get some rest, or if we hadn't had to use pitocin, I would have been able to make it, but who knows. Getting the epidural was no picnic either. I sat on the side of the bed, as the anesthesiologist sat behind me, and Joe sat infront of me holding my hands. It seemed to take forever for him to finish. I cried and squeezed the crap out of Joe's hands as the doctor put the huge needle to my spine. After he was finished, I laid back in the bed and waited. from my waist down to my knees, I started to lose all feeling. It was so strange. I couldn't life my legs at all. And when I would touch them with my hand, I couldn't feel my hand there at all. Obviously, this is what was supposed to happen, but still, it was really wierd.

With that being done, they strongly encouraged us to try to get some rest before we had to start pushing, now that I wouldn't be feeling my contractions. They shut off the lights and left the room. Joe had no problem falling asleep. I on the other hand, as exhausted as I was, couldn't figure out any way to actually sleep. I was in the hospital, in labor, getting ready to have a baby. How the hell could I sleep?!

At 5:00 am, I was at 5cm. At 6:15 the nurse came into check me. I was at a 7 and jumped to an 8. My contractions were steadily 2 minutes apart. I texted my mom and told her she better hurry and get up there. At 6:45 I was at 10 cm and my doctor was called. She was at her office, which was about 25 minutes from the hospital. With Joe on my right leg, and a nurse on my left, I started pushing with each contraction. I wrapped each arm tightly around each thigh and pulled as I pushed down as hard as I could through each contraction. Even though everything was numb with the epidural, I could still feel each contraction and the intense need to push with the pressure near my bottom. I pushed with every ounce of strength in me and each one left me more and more exhausted.

After a few pushes, the nurse said she could see the baby's hair coming out. She told Joe to look. I had told Joe that I really didn't want him to watch the baby come out. I didn't want him to see me down there all mangled and stretched out delivering a baby. But at the time, I didn't care any more. Everything seemed different and my reasoning from before, no longer seemed important. So Joe looked and saw the baby's hair too. He said he couldn't believe how much hair he saw. The nurse asked me if I wanted a mirror. I declined without hesitation.

I want to take just a minute to say how amazing my husband was. Not as amazing as me, ofcourse (I was the one in labor after all), but he was such a great, supportive, loving, partner. He helped me to stay calm and to keep a steady head. He encouraged me and was there right by my side, the entire time, helping me through all of it. I was so grateful for him.

I didn't have to push for very long before we became really close. The nurse left the room to see how much longer the doctor would be, leaving me and Joe along to push through contractions. After one contraction, Joe thought he was going to have to catch the baby himself as her whole head almost came out. The nurse came in and told me to stop pushing and wait for the doctor. This may sound easy, but it's not. When the contractions came on, I couldn't help but push, it was nearly impossible not to. But I had to try. So with each contraction, I tried to relax (yeah right) and not push. This baby really wanted to come out though and there wasn't much I could do about it. Luckily my doctor finally arrived and after two more pushes, our little munchkin was born! Pushing was about an hour long, but if my doctor had actually been there when it started, it would have been more like 30-40 minutes.

At 7:58, she came in weighing at 7lbs, 4 0z and 20.5 inches long. I was so relieved that things had gone relatively smoothly and that I didn't have to push for too much longer. I wasn't sure how much more strength I had in my legs. As soon as she was born, they brought her up and laid her on my chest.

I couldn't believe how tiny and perfect and beautiful she was. I immediately started crying and was overcome with so many emotions, I couldn't even began to describe it. They took her over to the warmer to check her over and get her vitals. Joe cut her umbilical cord, as my doctor delivered the placenta. Without meaning to, or wanting to, Joe actually got to see the placenta as he headed over to cut the munchkin's cord. I only needed a couple of stitches. I had torn just a little, but not too badly, and not through any muscles.

After wiping her all down, they brought her back to my chest so she could nurse. One of the reasons I was hoping to avoid an epidural had to due with my desire to get breastfeeding off to a really good start. I had learned that epidural babies can come out much more tired and can have a harder time latching on and that if they don't latch on within the first hour or so it can sometimes make the first couple of days harder to get breastfeeding started. I guess that wasn't really true at all, or atleast it wasn't the case for us. She latched on right away and had no problems at all. She nursed for almost 3o minutes. After we were done nursing they brought in everything for her first bath. Joe watched her get her first bath, as the nurse checked over my vitals and made sure everything was okay with me. She wasn't happy at all during her bath.

Here she is all cleaned up. You can see me in the background. Look how big my belly still was!

My parents were so excited!

Mommy and Baby, together at last.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Munchkin Picture Update

I haven't posted any pictures in a while, so I thought I better...

Here she is right after a bath. I was drying her hair with a towel and couldn't pass up this photo opportunity.

We tried a new position in the Sleepy Wrap and she fell asleep almost instantly. I just walked all over the house with her and she just slept the whole time.

Here she is in her "I love Dad" outfit, sporting a pair of her Baby Legs leggings.

All curled up with grandma...

Chillin with pops...

And here she is with me. I can't believe how big she is getting already!

I packed away all of her newborn stuff a couple of weeks ago. She'll be in the 3-6 mos stuff pretty soon.

She is still sleeping great in her swing through the night. She has even gone for some 5+ hour stretches. It's been great.

We took her to the park the other day and went for a walk. Then we took her to my sister's house and hung out there for a few hours and had dinner. It was so nice to get out of the house for an entire evening. She did great at my sister's. It was a good place to start because she has the same swing and all sorts of baby stuff since her due date was yesterday. Any day now, she will have a new cousin! Last night we went for a quick trip to Walmart. Tonight we took her to Sam's (a shopping club) and then to Babies-r-us. She did so good. She pretty much slept the entire time, except for about 20 minutes in Sam's when she just stared, wide-eyed and looked around at everything. I was so relieved.

So we are finally getting out there. It feels good to be doing things again. Saturday night my mom is going to come over and hang out with her while we go see a movie. She will be giving her a bottle so hopefully everything will go well. Joe tried to give her one on Wednesday when I went to my doctor's appointment, but it didn't go very well. She drank about an ounce and a half, but that was about it. I think Joe was just really nervous and not sure what to do. So I think it was more him then her. I think it might be better for her to start out with my mom and then Joe can try again. We'll see.

Tomorrow someone is coming to look at our house at 9:30 am. This sucks cuz we are usually just getting out of bed at that time. So we'll be getting up early and heading over to my sister's house for a little while. Someone came out and looked at the house last night too. They said they really liked the house, but they didn't like the lot. I wish they would have said why. Maybe because we live at the bottom of a HUGE hill and the first thing that everyone thinks when driving down it is "what the hell happens when there is ice?". Well, you call in sick. Obviously.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Time to Move on

I haven't had much time to blog or read any of my other favorite blogs. Not only because of the little munchkin. There is alot going on around here lately. Our house is going on the market today, so we have been working really hard to get things ready. Cleaning, packing and organizing has been on my to do list every day and it's not easy to get alot done with baby keeping me so busy. But we managed to get things in order as much as possible. A photographer came out today to take pictures of the house and it will be listed today or tomorrow.

Why are we moving? My husband wants to go back to school in January, and with the little munchkin here, we really can't afford our house anymore and do everything we want to do. Not to mention the decline in the automotive business (where my husband works) and me going back to work only part time. We are planning on moving into a condo or a nice apartment for a couple of years while the hubs gets his degree and then we'll find another house. I have lots of mixed feelings about this. On one hand, I am excited and looking forward to the change and what is to come. On the other hand, I am sad about losing our house. It's the first home we bought together and it is the house we brought baby home to. We have made so many great memories here. It is time to move on though and we are ready.

I am hoping it sells fast. Having a house on the market, having to keep things clean all of the time and always having to be ready to leave so someone can view it, is not going to be easy with a little baby. I am looking at it as an adventure. Who knows when I will have to grab everything, pack up the baby and throw it all in the car and leave. It could be any minute, every day. Fun.

So that's what has been going on with me and why I have been too busy to keep things updated. I hope everyone else is doing well. Hopefully I can catch up with everyone very soon.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Last night I finally was able to get some decent sleep.

The little munchkin hasn't been sleeping well, so ofcourse, I haven't either. It would go something like this. At bed time each night, I would nurse her, burp her, swaddle her and then spend about 20 - 30 minutes to rock her to sleep. Then 30 to 60 minutes she would wake up again and couldn't put herself back to sleep so I would have to spend 20 - 30 minutes putting her back to sleep again and so on until it was time to nurser her and then we would do this over and over again till morning. It takes me a while to fall asleep after she does, so I would only get aobut 15 - 45 minutes of sleep before she would wake up again.

I did a little research about infant sleep patterns. I was getting so frustrated and I wasn't able to figure out why she kept waking up and couldn't fall back to sleep on her own. Apparantly when they first fall asleep, they are in a light sleep pattern that lasts about 20 minutes, then they go into a deep sleep pattern. After about an hour, they go back into a light sleep pattern in which some stay asleep, some will wake and fall back asleep and some will wake and need to be put back to sleep in the same way they are put to sleep in the first place. Once I would hear her start to wake in her light sleep pattern I would try to follow some of the suggestions I found. I would stick her binky back in her mouth (we recently gave her the binky back and it has been working out great this time), I would rub her belly, or sing her a lullaby. Nothing would help. She would wake up every time and would only go back to sleep if I would pick her up and rock her.

So last night I decided we were go to try co-sleeping in the bed. I have been very nervous to try this because I wasn't sure there was enough room in our queen size bed for all three of us and even though I am sure I would wake up very easily any time she did or if anything was wrong, I still wasn't sure it was entirely safe. But every morning after Joe leaves for work, I bring her into the bed with me and after nursing we would both fall asleep for a couple more hours. She always sleeps so well and just really seems to enjoy being so close to me while she is sleeping. We set up the bed to be a little safer for her to join us and had everything set.

The last few nursings last night she would start to cry and act like her tummy was hurting her really bad. I figured it had to be something I ate and I am pretty sure it was the pizza we had. By the time we went to bed, it wasn't any better and she was really upset (screaming) when I would lay her down flat. We were all exhausted, I felt so bad for her and I wasn't sure what to do, so I brought her swing into our bedroom, strapped her in and set it to the highest incline. She was practically sitting straight up. As soon as I set her in it, she calmed right down and passed out. She slept for four hours. Then she woke up to nurse and I put her right back in her swing and she slept for another three. Then the same thing again and another three hours of sleep. It was so nice to be able to just wake up, nurse her, maybe change a diaper and then right back to bed. I was in heaven! I don't know how long this will work, but for now the swing will be coming to bed with us and rocking her to sleep (and keeping her asleep) for me. Yay!!

I can't believe how much she loves that damn swing. Often during the day, I will try to cuddle up on the couch with her. She will start to fuss and cry and after trying everything I can think of, nursing her, rocking her, changing her diaper, walking around with her, the only thing that that she wants is to just sit in her swing. Some mothers will try to get their baby to hang out in a swing while they can get things done or just have some time to their selves and their babies will have nothing to do with it, but it seems we are kind of the opposite. I will try to keep her really close to me, wear her in my sling and sleep right next to her, but sometimes she is just happier in her swing. I suppose I shouldn't complain though, atleast now I am getting so sleep.

Update: Here we are 2 days later and we are getting lots of sleep! I am only nursing 1 or 2 times during the middle of the night and the rest of the time we are sleeping. I am so relieved. I am not sure how it's going to work out, keeping her in her swing all night. I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

1 month photo shoot

The photo shoot went pretty good last night. Our friend Scott came over to take her pictures. She was a pretty good sport, until she wanted to sleep and we kept waking her up to take more pictures. She was pretty upset toward then end, so we stopped. But not before we got some pretty good shots. Here they are....

She LOVED her halloween costume. As soon as I put her in she passed right out and slept until we took her out of it.

We are so grateful to Scott for coming out and taking these pictures for us. Scott also shot our wedding and maternity photos. We feel so lucky to have a friend who is such a great photographer. Especially since there is no way we could afford to get such great pictures taken otherwise!

And just to show how much she has changed, I am going to throw in a couple pictures that were taken of her at the hospital the day after she was born. Here she is one day old!