Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Elias: One Month Recap

Age: I just can't. How has it been a month already? I thought time went by fast when Bailey was at this stage-- well, then it's been in hyper drive since Elias has been born. I just cannot believe he's a month old already. We just passed his official due date, which is also just so crazy. Where does the time go??

Weight: 7 pound
Height: 20 1/4 inches

Elias has taken after his big sister in the slow-weight-gainer category. He was born bigger, but has struggled with nursing more and we've had more weight checks than I can count. By 4 weeks, we've finally been given a (potentially temporary) OK stamp by the doc and don't have another visit til 2 months! He never lost after leaving the hospital, but he gained very slowly and less per day than they wanted til he was about 3 weeks when he started gaining about an ounce a day, which is right on track. Hopefully we'll hear the same at the 2 month check up in a few weeks.

Sleep: About 2-3 hour stretches

The doctor had us on a strict no-more-than-3-hour schedule for feedings, very similar to his big sister, as he too needed to pack on the pounds. But, after his last weight check, the doc has backed off. He still needs to eat 8-10 times per day which is about every 2-3 hours, so not too much has changed. We've never really given him the opportunity to "sleep through the night" not that I think he would even if we let him.

During the day, we try to follow the eat/play/sleep plan and he'll eat every 2-3 hours, making his napping times vary a bit too. We're definitely not on a schedule yet, but we do have some consistencies-- I try to wake him every day at about 8 after Bailey wakes up and has breakfast. Then, I try to get him to nap each day from 1-3, as that's what Bailey "naps" (aka- plays in her bed quietly) and we put him to "sleep" every night at about 7:30pm, after we read books with Bailey and she's down. Everything in between is pretty much a free for all. Having Bailey to entertain and care for all day makes Elias have to go with the flow much more. Poor 2nd kid.

Generally at night I've been nursing him to sleep (I know some people say not to do that... whatever. We did it with Bailey and it worked and I 100% plan to do it again.) and then putting him in his crib til he wakes around 10, when Matt gets him and changes his diaper before waking me to nurse him. Then, he sleeps in the PNP near our bed. Usually he's up again at about 1-2am and then again at about 5am. I then stay awake, shower, pump, and do some work before getting Bailey at 7am and starting our day.

Awake Time:
Again, Elias is similar to his big sister and can stay awake for LONG stretches, if he just isn't feeling the whole nap thing. He can be awake for HOURS at a time or can barely keep his eyes open. There's not a super happy medium just yet. That's fun.

Ugh. I'd say this is the one big area Elias and Bailey have differed on the most. Nursing has been a STRUGGLE with Elias. We're making it work and are still going strong, but with many bumps and bruises on our way. We've been to more weight checks and lactation consultant appointments than I can count. We're FINALLY appointment free til just after Christmas, so that's amazing but also a little nerve wracking to wait and see how he's doing scale wise. We'll see soon enough.

The LC's were/are concerned about my supply and think somehow I just don't have as good of a supply this time around. The LC even had me give him 1 ounce of formula in their office once because he was still hungry and I was totally dry. That's been all the formula he's had, but my supply has still not skyrocketed or anything. I'm taking my weight in fenugreek and other herbs. I'm drinking water all the freaking time. And, I'm pumping. Joy. I HATE pumping and THOUGHT I wouldn't have to do it this time since I'm not working out of the house and all. WRONG. Pumping helps increasing and maintain supply, so I'm doing it. A lot. About 3-5 times a day for about 5 minutes right after nursing. I'm getting about 2.5 ounce a day TOTAL which is essentially nothing, but it's enough for the Hubs to give Elias 1 bottle a day if we want.

Eli is nursing every 2-3 hours, about 8-10 times a day. He does about 10 minutes a side, both sides every time. But, that's a FIGHT. He's so sleepy and really makes me work to get full feedings. Sometimes I win, sometimes he wins.

He cluster feeds often during his "witching hour" which is about 4-7pm almost nightly. Nursing is generally the only thing that can keep him happy during this time.

I'd love to say I'm loving nursing, but I'm not really. I'm committed to it and want it to be successful but it's been MUCH more stressful this time. I don't have the time or energy to simply sit on my ass all day and nurse like I could with Bailey. I just can't do that with a toddler running around who also needs love and attention. I think we'll fight through this initial hard period and will end up being just as successful as Bailey and I were, but man! It is HARD this time. Much harder.

Likes: Being bundled up in a blanket or swaddled, looking at lights, his paci, his big sister, and his mama. Bailey was a daddy's girl at this age, but Elias is pretty much all about me right now. Luckily, Bailey still LOVES and adored her daddy and we can divide and conquer a bit til little man outgrows the mama stage and wants nothing to do with me. :)

Dislikes: Diaper changes. Holy bajeez, he screams bloody murder for every, single one. He also really doesn't like tummy time. Oh, and not being held while he's awake. He really doesn't like to just sit in a swing or in a bouncy seat. He wants to be sleeping, swaddled and in his crib or to be held and awake. No in between.

He has a pretty bad witching hour(s) from 4-7pm. Nothing much can make him stop crying during this period which makes dinner super fun.

Oh, and he hates getting into the car seat. After he's in, he's generally OK but does cry now and then while in the car too. He's definitely not a car-loving baby. Sometimes he's OK and not screaming, but definitely doesn't love it ever.

Hit or Miss: Elias is indifferent to being worn. We've used a wrap and an Ergo with the infant insert. He doesn't like getting into it, but then seems OK most of the time.

Special Moment(s): 
Pretty much every time Bailey asks to hold him or to give him a kiss is a special moment and my heart explodes into a gazillion pieces. We also had Elias's first Halloween. And, ok for him that pretty much means nothing but still! He looked mighty cute in his first Halloween bib. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Elias Birth Story

I've been wanting to write Elias's birth story since... well, since he was born so I won't forget even the smallest of details. But, life has had other plans. Turns out, having a new born is HARD. And exhausting. And, having a newborn while also having a toddler is really, really freaking hard. Like really hard. Like way harder than I anticipated. Anyway- it's more delayed and less detailed than I wanted, but here it goes... sit back and get some popcorn... Elias's birth story...

I had my last doctor's appointment on Wednesday, 10/19 when I just shy of 36 weeks. I got my last progesterone shot (which was SUPPOSED to stop pre-term labor... spoiler, it didn't) and had my cervix checked. I was 1 cm dilated. I went home and carried on life as usual. There was no sign anything was moving down there.

Thursday, 10/20: I lost my mucus plug. SO SEXY. Anyway- again, not a big deal and not a sign anything really was happening. No big deal. I'll admit it did make me wonder if we were getting close to D-day but I brushed it off and told myself not even to think about it til after Halloween (spoiler: I did not make it to after Halloween). I had no contractions or anything.

Friday, 10/21: The Hubs took Bailey to his parents for the weekend because it was our anniversary Saturday, 10/22. He got back that evening at about 8pm and I told him I was having some crazy Braxton hicks. They went away when I changed positions and I slept pretty well that night, so I really do still think they were Braxton hicks and I wasn't actually in labor just yet. Soon, but not just yet.

Saturday, 10/22: We woke up that morning after sleeping in because we were kidless (HA! Not for long!). When I went to the bathroom that morning, there was a lot more mucus than before. Still not a sign of labor, but I just knew something was off. I told the Hubs that morning I had a feeling today would be the day. I told him about the mucus, but that I was having no contractions or cramps at all. He said I was insane and we carried on our morning. The Hubs had a doctors appointment and I took a late morning nap. Still, no cramps or anything. We left to see an afternoon movie (The Girl on a Train) and thankfully had some food during the movie (though I had cheese fries which would give me insane heartburn which I later was super pissed about during labor). After the movie, I went to the bathroom and there was blood. I debated about not calling the doc because I was sure they'd make me come in and it'd be for nothing. But, after leaving the theatre, I decided to call. Of course, I was right and they said to come in so the hubs turned the car around and we headed to L&D. I kept saying over and over that it was stupid and it would be nothing but still, we went.

We got to the hospital around 4. We parked and walked to L&D, me feeling totally fine with no cramps or contractions. We checked in and they got me undressed and hooked me up to the monitors where it was very quickly very clear that I was having contractions. All of this was very new to both the Hubs and I, as with Bailey there was never any time for any of this and I was never hooked up to any machines.

The doc said he wanted to monitor me for 30 minutes to see if the contractions got closer together. While we were waiting and I was laying down attacked to a machine monitoring my contractions, I called my sister and was on the phone with her when I said "Either I peed myself or my water is breaking slowly". She immediately called it that I was having this baby that day. The doc came back and checked and sure enough, my water broke and the doctor told us I was having Elias today. To say I was shocked is an understatement. I was SO SURE I was going to go full term, I think I was more caught off guard this time than with Bailey. We called the Hubs parents and let them know what was going on. Thank goodness B was already with them and we didn't have to figure those logistics out. Best timing ever in that way. The fact that it was 4 weeks early and the stinker wasn't due til 11/20.... well, that wasn't great timing.

Anyway- for the first 2 hours or so was fine. I wasn't in any pain and thought things would progress quickly. The Hubs ran home to grab some stuff. I started feeling more pain about 6:30pm just as the Hubs was getting back so I went in the tub for a bit. It helped but I was sure I was having contractions very close together so I got out and asked to be checked. I was shocked to find out I only 4cm! I thought they were going to tell me I was 9 and it was going to be time to push. I was very disheartened to learn I was only 4cm and it was really starting to hurt. From 7-9pm is sorta a blur. I got in and out of the tub one more time, walked circles around the L&D floor and just waited to get further. The contractions started coming closer together and got more and more painful. By 9pm I thought I was gonna die. For real. I thought it couldn't possibly hurt any more (spoiler: it did). I asked for some IV-given pain meds. It meant I couldn't get out of bed, as many women get light headed but I needed something to help with the pain at least a bit and I really didn't want an epidural.

I got checked again and was happy to learn I was 7cm and got the pain meds at about 9:45pm. I stayed in bed for 20 minutes or so and felt like I was given nothing. It hurt more than ever. I got out of bed to try to bounce on a birthing ball and told the Hubs I just couldn't do it anymore and I wanted an epidural. The Hubs supported me, but, as I told him to do, asked the nurse about the risks. As the nurse started explaining the possible risks I already changed my mind and was going to tell her never mind. Before I could even say that though, I literally yelled "I NEED TO PUSH RIGHT NOW!"

It was unlike anything I experienced in my life. Totally unlike Bailey's birth. I literally felt like I HAD to push RIGHT THEN and it was that quick. They raced to get the doc and I was suddenly fully dialated and effaced and it was go time. I'd love to say I was calm and cool and collected, but I was soooooo not. I cried and felt like I couldn't do it. I asked them to pull Elias out of me (to which the very matter of a fact doctor replied "Meagan, there is no medical reason to do that at this time. You need to push."). I said a million times I couldn't do it. I honestly felt like I wouldn't be able to do it. It hurt more than I could ever imagine or explain. It took a few contractions of small pushing, then 1 contraction with a big push got his head out a bit (where I LITERALLY could feel myself tear--- OOOOUUCCCCHHHH!!) and then one more contraction and a reallllllly big push and he basically came out in his entirety. After only a few minutes of pushing, Elias was born at 10:43pm weighing (what we would only later learn for sure) 6 lb, 15 oz.

They put Elias on my chest for a few short minutes before taking him away to check him and then wisking him off to the special nursery (not technically a NICU, but essentially a NICU). They assured us he wasn't in any significant danger, but they wanted to keep him at least overnight (spoiler: it was more than 1 night). The Hubs stayed with Eli the entire time, never letting him out of his sight. I finished birthing the placenta and getting stitched up and eventually (after what felt like hours but was actually only 45 minutes or so) got to go to the nursery to see my beautiful baby boy again.

And just like that- Elias was born, our world was forever changed, and we were officially a family of 4.

(More on the non-NICU-but-NICU stay and experience later)

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Baby T 2.0: Elias David

Introducing Elias David

Born October 22, 2016

I'm completely in love and he's absolutely perfect.

I have no intention or time to start blogging again, but I do plan to use this as a way to remember some key moments and milestones and to do some monthly recaps. It's going to be sporadic posting at best, but it's my blog and I'll blog how I want. :)