Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had a fairly quite Thanksgiving holiday at home, just the four of us. Well, quite in the sense that we have two children under the age of three... and that is never really quite! I have mixed feelings about it being just us for the holiday. On one hand I like that we are creating our own traditions that will be exclusively for our family. On the other hand I yearn for huge family gatherings. A holiday where cousins play constantly throughout the day, and the girls cook and hang out in the kitchen, gossiping and drinking wine, and the boys play football and watch football and do all things football related. That is my dream, that one day we will have our extended close enough to create those kinds of memories. But for now, I"m content with our cozy little foursome.

And we did eat and we did play. I made way too much food for S and I, and we both ate way too much of it!

And what is Thanksgiving without some good Blue Moon Pumpkin Harvest?

L2 did what he did best. He slept most of the day, waking only to eat and have a diaper change. And this kid can sleep.... despite L's best efforts to wake him up to play!

And in the true spirit of Thanksgiving our cat and dog came together in a love fest that, had the Pilgrims and Indians put their differences aside in this way, everything would have been a bit more peaceful!

And now that Thanksgiving is over it is time to let the Christmas Freak Flag Fly!!!  I am making S get out all our decorations this weekend, and I am about to go and enjoy my first glass of Eggnog for the season! Hope everyone had a great holiday, and took a few moments to give thanks for all their blessings!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sick Days!

Illness descended on our home this past week.

I know that sounds super dramatic, but trust me, when you feel like crap and you have a sick and cranky and clingy two year old and a demanding newborn who is still waking up several times a night..... it feels really dramatic. S came home from work on Friday with and upset stomach, by Sunday L had a fever, dry hacking cough, and no voice, and by Monday I had a sore throat and an upset stomach. Thankfully L2 seems to have avoided all the germs..... one of the many reasons I am so thankful he is getting breastmilk even with all our nursing problems.

At the beginning of the week I was super annoyed. This was not a good time for sickness. Besides the fact that I have a newborn at home who I definetly don't want getting sick, I had stuff to get done. I had just started going to the gym again last week and didn't want to miss any more time, the house was a disaster and needed to be cleaned, the laundrey was piling up, and I had about ten million errands to run to get ready for Thanksgiving.

But sometime when life hands you lemons you need to make lemonade. And there was actually something kind of nice about being forced to pull out the sleeper sofa and cuddle with my two boys while we watched movies for three straight days. The laundrey and the mopping could wait, because my boy needed me. He needed to be held and comforted and I needed to be reminded that I don't have to jump right back into being a busy and productive bee.

And I"m glad that everyone seems to be feeling better now, just in time for the holiday tomorrow. Although truthfully I guess tomorrow won't be too much different from the rest of the week because we are planning on doing nothing but eating and lazing around and enjoying each other.

The most important thing is that L is feeling better. I hate it when my babies are sick. And I am excited to getting back to the gym and getting my house clean next week!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Breast Feeding

This is a hard post for me to write.

Let me start by saying that things are wonderful. I have a beautiful and healthy new baby boy, and rambunctious two year old and a loving and supportive husband. I am incredibly blessed. However, as with all things in life, there are always hiccups.

And we've hit a hiccup around here, one I never expected, and never saw coming.

L2 won't nurse. Can't nurse. It's not happening. L nursed until he was a year, but I remember at the end my milk was starting to go and I was beating myself up about not being able to pump enough and making sure I made it to a year. So when I was pregnant with L2 I kept telling myself that I was going to be so much more easy going this time around. I would take whatever came, and I wouldn't feel guilty and I wouldn't beat myself up. That the important thing was to try and if they had to take formula, so be it. Of course i had this attitude with the full belief that nursing would be as easy with L2 as it was with L, and that my biggest problem would be getting enough milk for my big boy to make it to a year.

I was wrong.

For the first day of his life, L2 didn't want to eat at all. He wanted to sleep. It was almost funny, if it hadn't been so stressful. The nurses would come into the hospital room and rub his feet and tickle him and burp and do everything possible to get him to wake up to eat, and he would have none of it. His eyes stayed glued shut, and the nurses said that was normal, that he would eat once he had gotten over the trauma of being born. The next day he started latching on a little, but it was weak and his suck was weak. Again, we weren't too worried, we figured it would pick up when my milk came in. Until then we supplemented some formula. But then we had his first Dr. appointment a few days later and his weight was down to 7.9 pounds  (His birth weight was 8.7) and the Dr said we had to start supplementing 30 ml of formula after each breastfeeding session. So we did, and I was determined. We would do this.

But at this next appointment a few days later he was down to 7.4 pounds and the Dr said the thing I had been dreading.

"You need to stop nursing. It's not in his best interest anymore, he is burning more calories trying to breastfeed then he is actually taking in and his weight has dropped too much."

So that was it. Dr.'orders. Stop nursing. The one thing that I was meant to do, the one thing that was suppose to be so natural for me and my baby..... the thing that was ingrained in us to do..... was actually hurting him. My heart broke in that Dr.'s office that day. I felt like a failure. Like I had failed my baby, and my husband, and myself. I felt guilty that I couldn't give L2 what I had given L. I felt like a horrible mother.

So now we are in a new reality. I am pumping around the clock and L2 is getting breast milk, but from a bottle. I hate it, but his weight is back up and I know that I am doing what is best for him. And I take comfort in the fact that he is getting all breast milk, and I know that is the most important thing. But, Oh my gosh, I miss nursing. So much. And as much as I am trying to adjust those feelings are still there and sometimes I just can't stop the tears from falling.

I never thought this would happen to us. If I'm totally honest, I was always a little judgemental of people who didn't nurse. I thought it is so good for your baby, and you just have to keep with it and try and you can do it. I guess you never now what people's situations are. And now I feel like i am the one being judged. I hate when I'm giving him a bottle in public and I feel some mother's eyes on me. I'm probably being paranoid, but I feel like she is watching me and wondering why I'm so lazy and selfish that i"m not giving my baby the breast. And I just want to shout, "It's breast milk! And I was up at 4 AM pumping it! I am doing what's best for my baby, just not the way I thought!" I realize I'm probably being paranoid.... but I can't help it.

So that's were I am right now. Feeling happy and blessed for my wonderful family, but also fighting off feelings of inadequacy and guilty. Words of encouragement are welcome.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

L2's birth Story

OK, L2 will be two weeks old tomorrow (What????) so it's time to get his story down before the details become to fuzzy.....

Keep in mind that although L2 is my second baby, I really never did the whole "labor" thing with my first one. With L my water broke, we went to the hospital, I had the epidural and 17 hours later he was here. There was no timing of contractions.... there were really no contractions period. I never labored at home or did my yoga breathing or anything. To be honest, it was kind of nice and I was hoping for the same thing this time. There was no guessing as to whether or not I was in labor, no going to the hospital only to be sent home. When your water breaks that it..... baby is coming one way or another.

With L2 things were very different. I had been having pretty strong braxton hicks contractions for about a week and was so ready for this baby to come! His due date was October 29th and my mom came in to town on the 22nd to help me prepare and be there in case he came early. She was also there to help with L while we were in the hospital. My sister was also pregnant and her baby was due the 27th of October, so while my mom was with my, my dad was with her and then they were going to switch. Because of this, and because I was so uncomfortable, I had talked to my Doctor and made the decision to get induced on the 28th if baby wasn't here yet. It didn't seem to make much sense to wait around and have the baby come late after all our help had left!

Anyway, with all this in mind, I decided to let the Doctor strip my membranes on the 21st, hoping it would send my into labor over the weekend. For those of you who have children you probably know what "stripping the membranes" entails..... for those of you who don't, I won't go into all the gory details. But in a nutshell it is a way to "manually" induce labor and it hurts like hell. I was certain that between that and all the contractions I was having, and the fact that I was already 3 centimeters on that Friday that I would go either that night or sometime Saturday. It didn't happen and I was frustrated so on Sunday I dragged my mom, S and L to the mall with me and we walked and walked and walked. The contractions were still coming, but not consistently and not strong enough that I couldn't talk through them. Then around seven o'clock that night, right as I had settled in to watch "The Real Housewives of New Jersey: The Reunion" the contractions started coming a lot stronger. Like the freaking hurt! But they were still about 20-30 minutes apart. They went on like that all night, and I didn't sleep at all. But I still wasn't sure if I was in labor because they were so spread out. It was like one would hit and it would hurt soooo bad and I would be telling S we needed to go to the hospital now.... but then it would be over and I would feel fine for 20 minutes. We already had a Doctor appointment the next morning at 7:30 to strip my membranes again (which I was dreading!) so S said we should wait till then to see what he said since they were still so far apart. So at about 6 I finally got up for good, showered, put on makeup and got ready. Hey, if I was going to the hospital I wanted to look good! My mom came over around 7 to watch L and we decided we should probably take all our hospital bags with us "just in case". To be honest I was hopeful but I didn't really think it was about to happen. L came right on his due date so I wasn't optimistic that L2 would come 5 days early.

When we got to the Doctor I told him I thought I might be in labor and that the contraction were painful but still far apart. While I was telling him this a contraction hit and he told me that he would check me, but that if I hadn't moved from 3 centimeters I might want to consider getting induced sooner than later, since I was in so much pain. I told him if I hadn't advanced from 3 centimeters after the night I had just had I would probably kill someone! He checked me and said the magic words, "you're at a 6..... go to the hospital!"

After that everything went fairly quickly, especially considering how long L took. We checked into the hospital around 8:30 and by 9:00 I had the epidural (Thank you, thank you, thank you God and whoever invented this miracle drug!!!!) At this point I daresay the next few hours were the most  comfortable and relaxing I'd had in several months! S and I talked, we watched a movie, and I read magazines! Since I was for numb from the waist down I felt no pain or discomfort! At 12:30 the Doctor came in to check me and told me that I was at about a 9.8 and that we would start pushing soon. I swear 2 minutes later he came back in with nurses and a gown and they told me it was time! I pushed for half and hour and at 1:02 L2 came into the world and was placed in my arms!!!!! A tie for the best moment of my life, along with when L came into the world.

Overall, my labor and delivery with L2 was so much easier. Even though I had to go through a night of pretty intense labor pains, I'm glad I finally go to experience it! At least I know what to look for next time! With L I remember getting the epidural really hurt, and then even though I was grateful for the numbness I couldn't move my legs at all which freaked me out. Also with L's epidural, I distinctly remember it hurting when L crowned and being able to feel alot more pain and discomfort, even though I was numb. With L2 the epidural didn't hurt very much (even with S sitting behind me saying "Wow, that is a huge needle!!!" Thanks babe.) and even though I was numb I still had some movement in my legs which was nice. And honestly, I didn't feel a thing when I pushed him out. Maybe that has to do with this being the second time I've done this..... but overall it was a lot less traumatic then the first time!!!!

So that is the story of L2's birth. He came 5 days early and mommy was more that ready for him! Everything went perfectly and it really enforced in my mind that, while I really hate actually being pregnant, I could do this all again in a heartbeat!!!!