Sunday, May 26, 2013

Handy Husband = Happy Kids

Also makes for a happy mommy! When daddy is good at DIY, it makes for happy kids.

Gabe recently built a PVC sprinkler contraption after spying some on Pinterest. He scoffed and said he could build one himself. So off he goes to Lowes to get what he needs. A couple trips and a few hours of work later, he had it built. And yes, it is awesome and the kids loved it.

Next weekend we'll get to test it out when Christian's soccer team comes over for an end of season party. That reminds me... I've got to get this house whipped into shape and guest ready! Blah, not my favorite thing to do.

And here's a short little video of Alena's first run through it.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Noah - 1 Month

How can you be one month already?! You have grown so much that I fear my little baby isn't so little anymore. You are a very easy going and happy baby. It's like you have always been a part of our family; you just fit right in.

Weight - 9.6lbs  You've gained over two pounds in just one month! Little piggy.

Height - 22in

Appearance - Your hair has noticeably grown on the sides so that we have to tuck it behind your ears. It has also lightened up some from black to dark brown. You are getting rounder and rounder everywhere. We love it! Most people think you look just like Christian.

Eating - You are a great eater! Clearly, since you have already gained 2lbs. I couldn't say how often you eat because I watch your cues and not the clock. I would say you eat at least once an hour to every two hours. You wake up only once or twice a night to eat. Mommy gives you the boob and we both fall back to sleep. Easy peasy.

Sleeping - You're a cuddly sleeper. You love to sleep while mommy holds you during the day (which makes it hard for her to get anything done). You will catnap on and off during the day and then usually have one long nap. Sometimes you sleep in your seat; emphasis on sometimes.

You sleep in bed with mommy and daddy snuggled up to mommy most of the time. Around 9pm every night, you want to go to bed and make it clear that is what you need. You get fussy and want to nurse to sleep. At that time, you will only sleep with mommy or daddy holding you or with mommy in bed. (This forces mommy to go to bed on time.)

Sizes - You quickly went from newborn diapers to size 1. You're still just a little too small for the one size cloth diapers but we have a few newborn sized ones that you wear. And you only lasted in newborn size clothes for about a week before we had to move you up to 0-3 month sizes! *sniff* Slow down!

Milestones - At 3 days old, you went to your first carnival. Mommy had you in the sling and you slept and nursed through the whole thing totally oblivious to what was going on.

You started smiling at just two weeks old! Now, you are just starting to be consistent about smiling when we talk to you. You smile the most for mommy!

You are so good at holding your head up! When we hold you, you love to have your head up and looking around.

On May 12th, Mother's Day, you had your first trip to Tucson. You did not like the car ride up and back! We had to stop several times to calm you down because you would cry about being in your car seat and just wanted to be held.

All in all, you are a very easy to please baby and know exactly what you like and what you do not like.

Likes - nursing, being held, nursing, the moby, and more nursing
Dislikes - dirty diapers, sleeping alone, being in your car seat for more than 15min

Friday, May 10, 2013

Noah's Birth Part 2

So back in Part 1, I gave you all the info on the happenings the week before the actual birth and here you can see the actual birth in photos. Now comes the almost movie-like, crazy, and still unbelievable birth. I have to say... any dream or vision I had of having a quiet, easy birth in which I looked absolutely gorgeous went out the window and didn't even cross my mind until after the fact and I could look back and think "Crap! My hair's a mess and I was not supposed to be screaming like that!".

Tuesday, after trying the Pitocin shots and "laboring" all day, I was exhausted. I was also feeling a little upset that I used Pitocin, defeated that it didn't work, angry that it had come to this point, and pressured to have this baby because my mother in law was here. Not to mention that my stomach was now feeling upset and nauseous.

I went to bed that night feeling a slight sense of relief that I would get a full night's rest and could wake up in the morning feeling a little less pressure to "make" the baby come. HAH! Little did I know what I was in store for!

Shortly after falling asleep (maybe 11pm?), I started having contractions again. I figured they would end up like every other time. Just be annoying enough to not get great sleep and then taper off by morning. But these were persistent and getting stronger. By about 2am I just couldn't take it any longer. I had to focus and laying in bed trying to be quiet was just not an option anymore. I knew Gabe had to be up around 4 to take his mother to the airport so I wanted to let him sleep.

I went out into the living room where I started timing and laboring/moaning through each contraction. I was most comfortable standing bent over the arm of the couch and swaying back and forth during contractions. But I was so exhausted and tired after not having slept in over 36 hours at this point that I just couldn't keep standing. I sat on the couch and tried to sleep between contractions which were 5-7 minutes apart. I so badly wanted to wake Gabe up but he had about a 3 hour round trip drive coming up and I knew he needed the sleep. I was still in denial that this was actual labor!

Some time around 4am I went back to the bedroom to wake up Gabe. As I stood hunched over the edge of the bed during another contraction, I was secretly hating him for being able to sleep peacefully and pain-free. I woke him up and told him what was going on. His first suggestion was to call the midwife. I wanted to wait some more but I was in so much pain that I couldn't even put up a fight. Diane, the midwife, let us know that she would stay up now and to call if the contractions got any closer together. Gabe didn't want to leave me but it was too late to call a shuttle service so reluctantly, he left me to keep laboring and we prayed the baby would stay in long enough for him to make it back home.

The next 2 1/2 hours were a big blur of pain and contractions. I was still not sure if I was really in labor (if it was during the daytime, I think I would have said it was labor) because we had already had 3 false alarms during the night. I had to moan through each contraction and the closer together and more painful they got, the louder I was moaning. I prayed each time to just get through this one and make it to the next one.

I kept timing the contractions and labored some more in the living room hoping my moaning wouldn't wake up the kids. While out there, I texted just two words to our birth photographer hoping she would get the message and come. "In labor" was all it said. I got in the shower hoping that would help but after some time, my body was shaking so bad I had to get out. I didn't even get dressed and just threw on my robe. Gabe called and I was desperate to have him home. He still had an hour's drive left.

While on the phone, I got nauseous and threw up. That was the point where I knew it was serious and I had to call the midwife. The only thing I said was "My contractions are 3-5 minutes apart and I just threw up." All she said was "I'm on my way." and hung up. This was where I started to panic; praying someone would get here on time. Labor is no joke. But laboring on my own is something I wouldn't ever want to do again.

The pain was so intense it was hard to stay calm and breathe. I called Gabe again desperately hoping he was almost home. I didn't even want to talk to him, I just needed to not feel alone. I was in the bedroom not knowing what to do anymore when Gabe walked in. The poor guy also had no clue what to do. Thankfully, the midwife showed up right behind him. She checked me and let us know that I was a loose nine. "What?!" was all I could say. I was both relieved and shocked. I couldn't believe I was finally going to have the baby!

Diane, her assistant, and Gabe all went to work setting up the birth pool and getting supplies ready while I laid on the bed laboring. The kids woke up at this point, increasing the chaos that was happening. They were excited to hear the baby was coming and they would get to stay home from school.

I got in the birth pool and my contractions started spacing out a bit. Diane let me know that's normal for a fully dilated woman. She asked me to try pushing a little. I did and let me tell you... it was even more painful and definitely not a relief like some women describe it! I was trying to get through the contractions and let them bring the baby down for a while. But I was getting impatient so I started pushing. And pushing and pushing! I couldn't believe how much pushing I was doing and still no baby. I remember asking screaming "Where is this baby?! I want it out!" Yeah, I was such a peach to be around...

With each push, the midwife, her assistant, and Gabe were offering words of support and encouragement about how good I was doing, how the baby was moving down, and I was almost done. The poor dears... I yelled back "No I'm not! Stop saying that!" Yes, I really did. Just keeping it real here.

During all my pushing, Diane occasionally checked me. Twice, she found a small cervical lip that she helped to move out of the way. We thought my water had broken because she couldn't feel a bulging of my water bag but it turned out that it still had not broken.

I was getting increasingly upset and feeling more and more like a failure. I needed a break. So I stopped pushing and moaned through the contractions and actually managed to fall asleep between them. After about 30 minutes, I got a burst of energy/desperation and started pushing with all my might. It hurt like hell and I just wanted it all to be over. I'm pretty sure I also yelled at the baby "Where are you? Get out!"

Diane checked me and we found out at that point that my water still had not broken. She was surprised because she had never felt it before and thought it had broken by itself some time before that. We thought that was holding the baby back so the next time I pushed, she broke my water. She was also trying to help stretch my perineum to help me out but it felt weird and was more pain on top of what I was already feeling so I yelled at her to stop. Looking back, I'm embarrassed for yelling at them so much. They were cool about it though and I'm sure I'm not the only woman in labor who's yelled at them.

I pushed some more and again lost my energy so I said I was taking another break. A contraction came and I rolled to my left side and started moaning through it. That's when almost instantly I felt what is known as the "ring of fire" and a head between my legs. I reached both hands out and grabbed with all my might the closest things to me which happened to be the assistant's and Gabe's hands. My moan turned into a full out roar. I remember thinking/saying "Oh my God! It burns! It hurts!" Followed by more roaring. I'm talking about a roar so loud I'm surprised the neighbors didn't call the cops.

Diane told me to open my legs because the baby was coming. I rolled over and gave a big push, looked down and there it was... the head. I was FINALLY at the end! Alena was excitedly squealing "There's the baby!" over and over. Another push and I could see his face. In that moment, I forgot everything and could only focus on that sweet face. One more big push and the rest of the body was out. Immediately, a million and one emotions overtook me and I didn't know whether to cry or laugh. I'm almost sure I did an odd mixture of the two. I was quite the hot mess. Christian came back into the room after having walked out bored just five minutes before that.

I distinctly remember and will never forget the feeling of pushing the baby out. The pain of getting the head out, the very odd sensation of feeling every body part after that slide out, and joy of holding him for the first time.

I was holding him and he gave out one little cry and then just laid there on my chest quiet and alert while we let the cord stop pulsing. I never even thought to check if it was a boy or girl until Alena asked us. I looked and to my complete surprise it was a boy! Christian was happy to have a brother and Alena cried "I wanted a sister!"

With the next contraction my placenta came out (another weird feeling). We cut the cord and Gabe took him to dry off. The midwife helped me get up and climb into bed. I was still having contractions (which is normal) and was surprised at how painful they were! I felt lied to because everyone always said you forget the pain or it goes away as soon as the baby is out but that's not true. At this point with the older kids my epidural hadn't worn off yet so I never experienced the after pains.

Gabe brought Noah back so I could try and nurse him. He wasn't interested so the midwife weighed him. Gabe guessed 7lbs 4oz, I guessed 7lbs 2oz. He was 7lbs 3oz; right in the middle.

I was dead tired and on the verge of falling into a deep sleep. There was no happy birth high, no energy, nothing. I had been up for two days straight and wanted nothing more than to sleep and rest. Gabe brought me the baby and a sandwich of which I only managed a couple of bites. Our first nursing session was done lying down and with me falling asleep in the middle of it. Both the baby and I had been through quite an experience and we spent the rest of the day in bed asleep.

It's still a little unreal to look back on how it happened that day. I must have pictured the labor and birth a thousand different ways and nothing went how I thought it would! Still, I'm proud of myself for doing it the way we wanted. 100% natural, at home, and a perfect baby.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Noah's Birth Part 1 - False Alarms

I had spent the past 9+ months of pregnancy picturing and dreaming of how this home birth would go and none of them were ever remotely close to what actually happened! Isn't that just how life is? Throwing us curve balls the whole way. I have to start this birth story a whole week before he actually arrived because he fooled us THREE times before making up his mind.

Tuesday, April 9th - Gabe's mom had flown in the day before to come help out for after the baby came. She suggested that because this might be our last night without a baby, we should go out one last time. We took her up on her offer and left for the movies. GI Joe, yes please! While in the theater, I started having contractions every fifteen minutes. Afterwards, we thought we'd keep them coming by walking. Walmart was all that was open so we headed there and walked and walked.

I quickly become the talk of the cashiers and stockers as the "lady walking her baby out". It was like having our own personal cheerleaders. The contractions got as close as every 10 minutes and after walking for almost an hour and a half, I was beat and needed to stop. So we headed home and went to bed. I contracted on and off through the night.

I called the midwife in the morning and let her know what was happening. Her and her assistant thought I was in labor so they came over with all their gear. I told Gabe to go to work and I would call him when/if I needed him to come home. I was checked and Diane (my midwife) let me know that I was dilated to a four! It was around 9am at that time and I informed them that contractions had pretty much stopped and I hadn't had hardly any since 7am. Diane swept my membranes and we were all sure it would be happening sometime later that day. Diane and her assistant left and we were left waiting for something to happen. It never did. :(

Saturday, April 13th - Fast forward a few days and the baby was still not here. We were getting antsy because Gabe's mom was supposed to be leaving the following Wednesday. She had come to help out with the kids and house after the baby and how was that supposed to happen if he wasn't here yet?! We decided to go out for dinner and headed to Texas Road House. Fresh rolls, yes please!

During dinner, I was having regular contractions about every 10 minutes and they were stronger than previous days. We were getting excited. We went home and Gabe's mom headed straight to the bathroom sick to her stomach. "Perfect timing for this baby to come", I thought. Again, I had contractions throughout the night and had to focus through some of them. But just as before, by 7-8am they died down and we were left waiting yet again.

Monday, April 15th - When is this baby going to come?! That was what was going through everyone's mind. I was almost two weeks past my (cycle) due date and Gabe's mom was leaving in two days. I had an appointment with the midwife at noon and I was going to receive her special homeopathic "labor concoction" that works on 75% of her patients. Well, I was willing to try almost anything at that point because nothing else had worked and we had tried almost every natural method so far (sex, walking, squats, dancing (busted out our DDR!), nipple stimulation, evening primrose oil, sweeping the membranes, and more). Diane did a cervical check and this time I was at almost 6cm but STILL NOT IN LABOR! I took her concoction and she mentioned another method that was a little more invasive but almost always did the trick. It was a small shot of Pitocin in the arm that would give you contractions for a little bit and "jump starts" your labor. Basically, tricking my body into thinking it was in labor so by the time the shot wore off, your body takes over. Pitocin was not what I wanted but knowing that Diane could not legally let me have a home birth after 42 weeks (just 2 days from now), I agreed. The shot BURNED and felt like a giant bee sting. I started contracting almost right away so she sent me home to wait it out and call in an hour to report what was happening. We got home and surprise surprise, the contractions slowed and basically stopped again. So another day passes with no baby.

Tuesday, April 16th - (also written about here) Down to our final day with my MIL there and our final two days of a home birth option, Diane came over to the house Tuesday morning to try the Pitocin shots again. I had contracted through the night again and told Gabe to stay home because I'm either in labor or it was going to be that day since Diane was coming. We took the first shot around 9am and again contracted right away and waited them out. An hour and half later, they had died down and we went for shot #2. Again, no success. Diane asked us if we wanted to go for shot #3 (we were all skeptical that it would actually work) and that she gives no more than three shots because it's never taken more than three to have a woman go in labor and if it doesn't happen by then, it wasn't meant to happen yet. I was checked and was a stretchy 6cm. So we reluctantly went for it. By now, I had been contracting on and off for over 24 hours and I was just plain worn out. Shot #3 didn't take and we all just felt defeated. I was upset that it had come down to me having to choose between Pitocin shots for a home birth or having to go to the hospital to give birth. Gabe was upset it didn't happen with his mom here (since she did come to help us for after the birth) and he had wasted a vacation day. Gabe's mom was upset for obvious reasons. Also, we had let Alena stay home from school because she wanted to be there for the birth.

Part 2 to follow... That's where it gets crazy!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Sweet sweet Noah.

Top Ten Tuesday

I don't do too many blog hops and link parties but this one seemed fun and fairly easy. All I have to do is come up with 10 random facts about myself.  (I'll probably be kicking myself for saying that when I get to #8 and can't come up with any other interesting facts.)

Link up here

Anywho, let's get on with it, shall we?

  1. I grew up Amish. Dresses, no electricity, horse and buggy, all of it.
  2. I am more terrified of bugs, snakes, and other cold blooded creatures than I let on to be. They're gross, ya'll!
  3. Pizza used to be my favorite food. Now, I'm really starting to dislike it.
  4. I am way more concerned with what others think of me than I should be.
  5. Even though I ran the mile and two mile races for track in high school, I have always and still do hate running.
  6. Also, I hate working out.
  7. I LOVE babies! The new (under 6mo) baby stage is my absolute favorite time!
  8. My husband and I are complete opposites in almost every aspect but are somehow still perfect together.
  9. I hate seafood of any kind. Can't even stand the smell of it!
  10. Don't ever ask me what my favorite food, movie, song, etc etc are because I can't ever come up with an answer.
There. That wasn't so bad. See, now you know all these useless facts about me. Go ahead and write your own.