Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Kitties & Babies

I’ve been asked a lot lately how our kitties have reacted to Toby since we’ve brought him home.  We didn’t do much to prepare the cats for Toby’s arrival, but I do think opening up some of the baby gear early on helped. For instance, we had the pack n’play set up in the living room a couple months prior so they could get used to it being in the corner and sniff the new scents. That backfired a little as they were both caught napping in there once in a while, but since Toby was brought home, they never jump into it anymore, most likely because it smells like him now. They also never jump in the crib, which was my biggest worry, so that’s been reassuring.  Though Maggie does sometimes peer in to see what he’s up to:

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The only other thing we tried to do to prepare them for a little human arriving was bringing home one of the hats Toby wore in the hospital.  When Auntie Hil came to visit the day he was born, we gave her a hat to take home so the cats could smell it and hopefully start to get used to his scent.  Not sure if this helped or not since I wasn’t there when they smelled it for the first time, but I’m sure it didn’t hurt trying.

They were not huge fans of him the first few weeks but it seems like they have adjusted pretty well to him now.  Ellie doesn’t run out of the room every time he starts crying anymore, and Maggie LOVES when we do tummy time in the living room on his activity mat.  She will come right over and sit on the edge of the blankets that I put underneath for extra cushioning.  Maggie also keeps me company a lot when I’m in the nursery feeding Toby.  She will lay on the floor (usually in a sun spot) and roll around.  I have a feeling she’s going to pay more attention to him when he’s older and hanging out on the floor by himself during playtime.

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They both will sniff his feet and hands a little, but other than that, they’re not really too interested in him.  I  have helped Toby “pet” each of them and they were okay with it but they still don’t like being really close to him.  It’s rare that they will sit next to me on the couch if I’m sitting on one end with Toby in my lap or arms.

I think what has taken the most adjustment is that they definitely don’t receive the same amount of attention they were used to.  The first couple weeks we even forgot to fill up their food bowls until later in the evening (whoops), and we’ve neglected cutting their nails as often which is not good.  Any time they see me laying down on the couch without a baby on my chest, they automatically will come over to cuddle.  It’s really weird letting them lay on my belly again :)  I don’t feel as guilty now since I am home all the time and I’ve been able to pay more attention to them lately while me and Toby are getting more into a schedule during the day.  And they’ve gotten PLENTY of treats and licks of ice cream and deli meat scraps these past 6 weeks…they’re probably put on a pound or two!

The best part was tonight during the new nighttime routine we’re trying with putting him to bed a few hours earlier since he’s been so fussy in the evenings.  We have been giving Toby a bath, putting him in his pj’s and then I read him a story while Hubby hangs out on the extra bed.  As I was getting ready to read the book, I noticed both kitties were in the room with us.  Ellie was cuddling next to Hubby and Maggie was hanging out on the floor in front of the glider I was sitting in.  Seriously made me want to cry, but what doesn’t these days (freaking hormones)?  Love our family time :)


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Toby - Weekly Post: Week 6

Weight: Was 8.13 last week, hoping he’s closer to 9 by now.

Height: 22.5 inches

Medical Issues: Still some baby acne. 

Sleep: Getting much better with falling asleep on his own at night.  Just need to work on napping more in his crib or pack n’ play instead of relying on the swing.

Clothes/Diapers Sizes: I think I’ll be officially packing the newborn stuff away this week – finally!

Diet: Just breastmilk.  Trying to increase from 3 ounces to 3.5 ounces when we give him bottles and usually he will drink the whole thing.

Baby Gear Love: Nothing new this week.

Milestones/Firsts: More little smiles.  Recognizes both our voices now and seems to notice our faces more, as well.

Likes: Starting to use the activity mat more.  He will just stare up and move some of the hanging things with his hands when he flails them around.

Dislikes: Ugh more fussiness in the evenings.  He’s basically a total crankypants from about 7 til 10 every evening.  I think he’s going through a growth spurt so the only way to calm him down is for him to nurse ALL evening.  Unfortunately this has been stressful and draining for me.  I don’t have enough milk pumped to give him bottles all evening so this has been a work in progress.  Hopefully it ends in the next couple weeks. 

Postpartum – Mommy: Is it bad that I look forward to the weekends now because I get to shower in peace (and not have to open the shower curtain every couple minutes to check on Toby in his chair)?  Oh and I used to hate grocery shopping – I love going now because it means 90 minutes all to myself.


Hung out with Auntie and did a Target run, so of course he had to wear an Auntie’s outfit:

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Loving the activity mat (and BFF Maggie is hanging in the background):

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Cuddling in the Ergo at Daddy’s work outing/picnic:

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Serious face:

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And a little smile:

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Toby–Weekly Post: Week 5

This is a few days late, but I really want to keep up with these if I can, especially since he changes so much week to week right now.

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Weight: 8 pounds, 13 inches at his 1 month appointment today.  That’s in the 16th percentile for his age, so he a skinny little guy!  The doctor is not worried but we’ll have to make sure he’s gained more by his 2 month appointment in a few weeks.

Height: Grew three inches from when he was measured at birth!  Up to 22.5 inches long (75th percentile).  Guess he’s just long and lean right now.

Medical Issues: Baby acne is in full force the past week.  First his forehead broke out, then that cleared up, but now they’re all over his cheeks.  I’ve just been patting his face at night with a damp cloth when he takes a bath.  Not an issue, but he also got his second hepatitis shot today. 

Sleep: Not too bad – still hasn’t slept through the night yet but he does sometime give 4 or 5 hour stretches.  It seems like he needs to gain some more weight before he does sleep a good 6 hours or more.

Clothes/Diapers Sizes: Wearing some more 0-3 stuff, but a lot of those clothes are baggy.  He wore newborn outfits this past weekend since some still fit.

Diet: Just breastmilk.

Baby Gear Love: We gave in and bought a swing…I was trying really hard not to buy one since they’re expensive and take up a lot of room, but it has helped him calm down and take better naps.  Also loving his white noise machine for sleeping at night.

Milestones/Firsts: Definitely has been giving some little smiles…still waiting for a big grin. 

Likes: White noise.  LOUD white noise.  I take him out on the porch anytime he is overly fussy and the noise from the cars going by and the hum of the air conditioner units instantly calm him.  My hair dryer also works, but our vacuum cleaner does not.  Still loving looking over our shoulders – he is so into checking everything out.  He is getting more used to his rocking/vibrating chair so I can get ready in the AM with no fussiness.

Dislikes: Evenings…he has been very good during the day and doesn’t fuss much unless he’s hungry or overtired.  Well around 7 or 8 at night he gets SO fussy all the way until we start the bath/nighttime routine.  Still a work in progress.

Postpartum – Mommy: Last 12 pounds are just not going anywhere and a lot of my pants and shorts are tight because I can tell the weight is still around my waist.  I’m going to start counting calories again but this is going to be tough since I know I need to eat enough to keep my milk supply up.  Still trying to breastfeed for at least 3 months but some days I just want my body back!


Passed out at the outlets (love how he sleeps the whole time when he’s out shopping with both Mommy & Daddy, but when he shops with just Mommy he will guarantee start crying halfway through the trip):

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Snoozing in the rocking chair:


A boys onesie with a kitty on it!  Boys clothes never have kitties on them:



Weekly Menu


Monday – leftovers

Tuesday – Angel Hair Pasta w/Zucchini and Tomatoes

Wednesday – Margherita Pizza

Thursday – Meatloaf Cupcakes w/Mashed Potato Frosting

Friday - Honey Lime Chicken

Saturday – picnics and parties all day!

Sunday – Orange Chicken and Brown Rice from Trader Joe’s


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

1st Month Favorites

Some must-have items that made life much easier for the first month:


Miracle Blanket – this was a huge lifesaver for us for swaddling at night. It has extra flaps that keep his arms nice and tight next to his body so he can’t bust them out with all the wiggling he does.

Pack N’ Play – we keep this on the main level in our townhouse so we don’t have to go upstairs to the nursery to do daytime diaper changes or naps. This Chicco one has a pretty sturdy changing table that easily comes on and off. I found that the playard sheets from Target fit the mattress perfectly.

Ergo Baby Carrier and Infant Insert – love love love this carrier! I’ve had no back pain while using this and one day he was being carried for a good 90 minutes while I was vacuuming and cleaning the house. He falls asleep pretty quickly after we put him in the carrier as I think he likes being close and snuggly. It was necessary for us to buy the infant insert, as well, because he’s still so tiny.

Playtex Nurser Bottles with Drop-In Liners – I started pumping during the second week and his first bottle was one of the Medela bottles that came with my pump.  The nipple was definitely not a slow-flow one and he spit up a lot because he drank so fast. We switched to the Playtex slow-flow nipples and his spit-up has been much better as long as we make him take a few breaks and burp him after each ounce he drinks. These bottles are also so easy to clean because of the drop-in liners.

Video Monitor – we have this Motorola version with the wide-screen. Definitely would recommend to get one with a video screen – Toby makes a lot of noises in his sleep and will start to stir but a lot of times doesn’t wake up completely, so I can check him out without going in his room to see if he’s really waking up.

aden & Alis Swaddle Wraps – I saw so many other mommy bloggers recommend these blankets, so I put them on our registry and I’m very happy I did. They are perfect for summer since they’re lightweight – we will put these over his legs while we’re in the car or if we go shopping and we know we’ll be in air conditioning for awhile. We swaddle him in these during the day for naps and if he’s being extra fussy.

The First Years Spin and Store Drying Rack – I’ve been washing my pump parts, accessories and the bottles non-stop, so this has been perfect to throw everything on for drying. You can fit a ton of bottles on here and it doesn’t take up too much room on our countertop.

Disposable Diaper Bags – we didn’t buy a diaper genie and decided to do a regular trash can instead. For poopy diapers we put them in these little disposable bags. They have a slight flowery scent. I haven’t noticed an odor coming from the trash can at all and we have been changing the big bag about once every 5 days or so. However, I know breastfeed poop doesn’t usually smell as bad as formula/solid foods poop so we’ll see how this goes when he’s older.  Anyways these little bags are also nice to carry in my diaper bag - if we’re at a friend’s house I feel better about putting a dirty diaper in one of these.

Hooded Bath Towels – we’re still working on the bath routine and he’s slowly getting used to being fully wet, but he loves cuddling in the bath towels after he’s done. And he looks so damn cute in them!

Boppy – I think I’ve only nursed him a few times without using the Boppy – it gives us the perfect amount of support.  We went with the “naked” Boppy, the protective cover to go over it, and then switch back and forth between two slipcovers which makes it very easy for washing.  I love the jersey knit covers – they’re so soft and they’re fairly cheap at Target.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Toby: 1 Month!

Eeeeek how the hell do I already have a one month old?!  People do not kid when they say time flies with a baby!  Month 1 has been definitely an adjustment.  The first week we were getting used to be home with just us, then the second week we experimented a lot with going out and taking Toby places.  The third week he had a lot more cranky moments and was testing us quite a bit.  The fourth week we’ve been working to figure out his cues more and determine what’s actually making him cry.  Most of the time we’ve been able to figure it out :)  The hardest is when he’s overtired…he fights going to sleep and gets more and more fussy until he finally tires himself out. 

Best moments have been seeing him check out his surroundings more and start looking around to follow voices and sounds.  I also love getting him in the morning and taking him out of the swaddle – the way he stretches is SO cute, how he arches his back, puts his hands into little fists, and scrunches up his face.  His hiccups and sneezes are also adorable.  I don’t want him to get in the habit of sleeping on our chests for naps, but he’s so innocent and sweet when he snoozes that it’s hard to put him down in his crib or pack n’ play. He will pull his legs up like a frog and try to curl in a little ball.

Maggie and Ellie are getting more used to him and come up frequently if he’s on the floor in his car seat or doing tummy time to sniff his feet.  Maggie even let him “pet” her (with the assistance of Mommy) but I don’t think she was that happy with it.  Ellie still doesn’t like when he cries, but she will at least stay in the same room now.  Both of them completely ignore the crib, so at least we haven’t had to worry about them jumping in there.


Weight: Assuming he’s getting closer to 9 pounds but I could be totally wrong.

Height: Definitely getting longer as his newborn clothes are getting too short now.

Medical Issues: Not really an “issue” but he is so gassy – as in he farts all the time…and they are stinky!  Also dealing with some eczema on his face (or maybe it’s baby acne?) 

Sleep: Eh this past week has been so-so…some nights he goes down right away in his crib with no rocking and other nights he needs to rock a little.  We are trying to do a routine every night now – bath, put on new diaper, cuddle in a hooded towel for a few, put on lotion, dress in sleep clothes, nurse, turn on white noise machine, swaddle, give pacifier and put in crib.  I’m just worried doing a bath every night will dry out his skin, but we really do think they help calm him down.


Clothes/Diapers Sizes: He’s in an awkward stage where newborn stuff is getting too tight and too short, but a lot of 0-3 stuff is still roomy or too long.  He’ll just be wearing baggy stuff for the next couple weeks until he finally gets chunky!  Still a 1 for diapers.

Diet: Just breastmilk.  Pretty sure he had another growth spurt or two this week as some days he would want to eat every 90 minutes to 2 hours instead of 3 hour spans.

Baby Gear Love: Nothing new this week.

Milestones/Firsts: First trip to Fall River on 7/8.  First blow-out diaper on Tues 7/10 (ugh it was horrible and all over my pj’s, tank top, and Boppy cover).  Attended first baby shower (for his birthday twin, Weston) on Sun 7/15.  Starting to find his fingers/hands but not sucking on any fingers yet.  He’s also very alert when he’s awake.  Starting to follow noises – if he hears something, his eyes will move to try to see what’s going on.  Also not a milestone but the white dots on his nose are disappearing and his eyelashes show more now.  I think he will be smiling soon – he’s given a few tiny smirks that I don’t think were gas related.


Likes: Loves looking over shoulders to check out his surroundings.  And starting to like baths more – he still cries at the beginning but towards the end he is calm and quiet.

Dislikes: Being in one position for too long – he would rather keep moving around.

Postpartum – Mommy: This past week was rough and stressful – especially Friday when he was cranky and crying ALL day.  Luckily we had a good weekend to help make up for it and Daddy helped out a LOT :)


Still so tiny compared to the lion!


And the classic pout face…both Hubby and my mom say he gets this from me.  Don’t like to admit it, but I know it’s true.  We are going to be in so much trouble with this face when he’s older and wants something:



Weekly Menu


Monday - Pineapple Salsa Chicken

Tuesday - Turkey Stuffed Peppers

Wednesday – Chicken Caesar Salads

Thursday - Hawaiian Pizzas on English Muffins

Friday - Pasta & Turkey Meatballs

Saturday - Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken and Bacon Quesadillas

Sunday – Bruschetta Chicken over Brown Rice


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Toby’s Birth Story: Part 3

Part 1 and Part 2

Pretty soon after the shift for the nurses changed, my contractions picked up a ton.  The IV meds they had put me on earlier were not doing anything for the pain so I was only relying on breathing exercises.  Ann was coaching me through each contraction with the “he he ho” technique.  It worked for a while but then some of the contractions just put me completely over the edge and I would end up screaming in the middle of them.  I would try to find something to focus on depending upon what position I was in – I remember staring at a tiny blue sticker on the wall behind the bed when I was kneeling on the bed with my arms propped over the top.  I said “I can’t do this!!!!!” at least twenty times during the transition stage.  At one point I remember Hubby getting in my face and reminding me I didn’t want a c-section and that I was doing this and had to keep going.  I don’t know how delivery nurses put up with all the screaming and frustration.  I really hope that the walls in all the labor rooms are sound-proof because I was very, very loud during the last couple hours before I started pushing. 

Right before 9AM, I felt like I needed to pee which was beyond annoying because it was a serious hassle to move around at that point.  I waddled over to the bathroom with Hubby on one side and Karen on the other and tried to squat over the toilet.  Also in that moment I felt like I was going to throw up, and if you know me personally, you know how much I absolutely hate getting sick.  Luckily I didn’t, but as soon as I was about to sit down, I felt the incredible urge to push and let everyone in the room know – “I need to pushhhhhhhhhhhh!”  I don’t think they really thought I was ready yet since a couple hours ago I was about 7cm along.  They rushed me back over to the bed and the doctor said excitedly “you are fully dilated!” 

They wanted me to get in the position with my hands holding up my legs, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to do that for very long as I was already exhausted and I was also worried about putting pressure on my back by lying down.  They decided to bring over the squatting bar and then wrapped a sheet around it with the ends hanging down.  They instructed me to pull on the sheet and bring myself upwards when I was having a contraction and to push for ten seconds at least two separate times.  Hubby and Karen held my legs up for me.  It took a few tries to get the pushing technique down, especially when all I wanted to do was scream during each one.  They told me I would push much more effectively if I held in the scream and used that energy to push more instead.  It was so hard to hold it in.  I can only imagine how red and horrible my face must have looked while I pushed.

I don’t remember the contractions actually hurting while I was pushing.  I felt them come on and knew when to grab the sheet and start pushing, but the sensation was much different compared to the transition stage.  It was such a relief to finally do something besides just moan and bend over in pain.  Once I got into the groove with pushing, I wanted a progress report after I was done with each set.  Even though everyone was telling me I was doing a great job and that they could start to see the head, I didn’t really feel like I was doing much.  I would ask how many more pushes I would need to do, because I was so tired and couldn’t imagine going much longer.  Early on in the pushing stage, someone had asked if I wanted to feel the top of his head and I said no, but then they asked me again later on and I agreed – it was strange feeling it but it did give motivation to keep going.  Ann told me that I would know when it was really time to deliver because everyone would get dressed quickly in surgical gowns.  Sure enough, after about 45 minutes of pushing, I finally saw everyone getting dressed and I knew the end was oh so close.  I’ve been asked what pushing feels like as some people have heard it’s like taking the biggest poop of your life.  I guess that’s somewhat close of a comparison, but you’re using different muscles, so it’s not completely similar.

The details about the actual delivery are fuzzy, though I do distinctly remember the extreme weird sensation of when Toby actually came out of me.  I felt his head come out and then the rest of his body shoot out in one fluid motion.  The feeling is indescribable.  Hubby said nothing could prepare him for seeing the baby come out and then the immense amount of fluid that exited my body right after.  The movies don’t really show all the gross stuff :)  I heard Ann say “9:43” as the time he was born.  As soon as Toby was delivered, I felt so much relief.  I was beyond sore, but my body relaxed immediately.  It turns out that Hubby told me they injected something into my IV as soon as Toby was born, so I’m assuming that’s what actually relaxed me.  I found out after that my heart rate started to go up rapidly towards the end and Toby’s was dropping but luckily we were both okay.

Because I had the IV meds, a few doctors from NICU had to take Toby right away to check his breathing and possibly give him medicine to reverse any side effects that the Fentanyl may have had on him.  I wasn’t able to hold him right away, so the doctors worked on delivering my placenta (they pushed on my belly for a bit and apparently it came right out, I didn’t even feel it), and then they stitched me up as I had torn and they also cut me a little.  I felt some stinging while they did the stitches but they gave me a local anesthetic so the pain was not bad at all. 

While all of this was going on, Hubby was over with Toby.  Once the NICU cleared him, the delivery nurses weighed him, did his fooptrints, took the rest of his vitals and cleaned him up.  It was probably about 10 minutes later that one of the nurses finally got to bring him over to me.  I started crying again, but like the nurse said “finally some tears of joy!”  We did some skin to skin contact but he wasn’t ready to eat yet since he was still sleepy as that was a side effect from the meds.  I couldn’t get over how little he was!  The nurse told me he weighed 7 pounds, 11 ounces and I was amazed that I had a baby under 8 pounds.  He had the cutest little mouth, just like Hubby’s, and his nose reminded me of my “pug” nose.  He had a small amount of dark hair so he wasn’t completely bald.  All of the nurses kept telling me how cute he was, and I know I’m biased, but Toby is damn cute for a newborn.  Like Hubby said a week after he was born as we were finally falling asleep one night – “we made a beautiful baby.”





If you asked me the day after Toby was born if I would do a vaginal birth with just IV meds again, I would have probably said no.  But now that I look back at the entire experience, I would definitely do it again, mostly based on my recovery time.  We were moved over to the postpartum room about an hour after he was born.  A nurse helped me to go to the bathroom twice and then after that I was cleared to get up on my own as long as I didn’t feel dizzy when I stood up.  So about 3 hours or so after delivery, I was up and walking short distances by myself.  We were in the hospital from Friday night until Monday at noon, and while I was anxious to get home, it was the perfect amount of time to stay.  I was very sore for the first week and a half, but as I got closer to two weeks postpartum, I started to feel much better and was almost in no pain.  I was allowed to take Motrin, but I think I only took some for the first few days when I was home. 

Overall, labor and delivery was a crazy experience that was well worth all the pain and frustration.  I look at Toby now and it’s very hard to remember the contractions and the pushing process – it’s like your body mentally blocks all of it for you!  And even though it was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, I did end up with a pretty cute baby at the end :)



Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Toby’s Birth Story: Part 2

Part 1 here

The triage area had 5 or 6 different sections in it, each separated by curtains.  It definitely wasn’t private, so I was hoping to be moved over to an actual laboring room ASAP.  An OB resident came to talk to me about my contractions and pain and to also measure me to see if I was any further dilated compared to earlier that afternoon when I was checked by my doctor.  In order to measure me, they had to lie me down on my back and it was the most excruciating pain I had felt up to that point.  I had a contraction while he was measuring and it was absolutely horrible.  I let out this blood curdling scream and looking back on that moment, I felt really bad for the other women and partners in the triage area as they were probably beyond scared of what I was going through because I was pretty loud.  Luckily I was measuring at 4cm, so they decided to admit me.  Cheryl, the overnight nurse that was assigned to me, came over to introduce herself and move over some of our stuff into my private room. 

Cheryl had set up my room so that I could take another shower right away.  The shower had a hand-held head so I got in with my sports bra still on and Hubby stood outside with the nozzle spraying on my lower back.  I stayed in there for 15 minutes or so and then got out and sat upright on the bed.  The on-call doctor that worked for my ob-gyn practice came in to introduce herself and go over a few things that may come up while I was laboring.  After she left, the anesthesiologist came in to talk with me.  He took one look at the scar on my back and said immediately that he wouldn’t be able to do an epidural OR a spinal.  I was really disappointed he wouldn’t even try to do a spinal if I needed a c-section and I started crying right after he left.  Cheryl reassured me there was no need to do a c-section at this point since my labor was progressing normally, I was having regular contractions, and both my and Baby C’s heartbeats were strong. 

The anesthesiologist came back a few minutes later to let Cheryl know she could order an IV drip for Fentanyl.  Once they got that set up, I was able to self administer myself the meds by pushing a button (it only let me get a new dose every 15 minutes).  The meds didn’t kick in until maybe a half hour later.  They didn’t do much for the pain, though I do think my contractions felt a little shorter.  The biggest difference was that they completely zoned me out in between contractions, so I was able to relax before the next one came on.  I never got to the point where I was able to fall asleep but I didn’t need Hubby for support so he tried to sleep for an hour on the couch in the room.  Cheryl stayed in my room the entire time – I think she only left once or twice for longer than 5 minutes.  She was great – very calming and encouraged me to keep up the deep breathing during my contractions.  Sometime during the night she asked what we were having and what we were naming him – I finally told her Baby C’s name.  She was the first person we told the secret to.

I can’t remember if this is the right order of how things happened, but they eventually had to move over the IV drip to my other arm, as my right arm started to swell because the IV wasn’t in correctly.  I ended up with a huge bruise that didn’t disappear for two weeks.  Once they moved the IV over to my other arm, the drugs worked even better and I actually fell asleep for a little.  However, the reason why I fell asleep is because my contractions started to slow.  I think it was around 4AM that the on-call doctor came back in and said they were going to break my water to help progress things along.  I didn’t feel anything when she broke my water, and since it was more of a slow trickle, Cheryl stuck a couple towels under me and in between my legs while I was sitting in bed or sitting in the rocking chair.  I just remember feeling very grossed out by it, especially every time I got up to go to the bathroom.  You basically have no control over anything once you’re in labor.

Pretty quickly after my water was broken, my contractions started to pick up again and got very intense.  I tried different positions by standing up and leaning against Hubby, then moving over to the rocking chair, and then Cheryl suggested I kneel on the bed with my chin resting on the top of the bed and my arms propped over (she moved the bed so that the top part was basically standing straight up).  Nothing ever helped to alleviate the constant lower back pain I had, though.  The nurses thought the back pain was a combination of the way Baby C was sitting and the rods in my back that was causing the pressure.  Hubby was trying to help by using a hand-held massager I had brought, but his hands would get tired of moving it after awhile.  So many people have asked me what contractions feel like, and I never can explain it thoroughly. I think the only thing that comes somewhat close to describing them is by thinking of a horrible Charlie horse in your leg that doesn’t stop for a good minute. And then multiply the pain of the Charlie horse by 100.  But even that pain isn’t similar, because that’s more of a shooting, sharp feeling and contractions feel much different.  I don’t think men or women who haven’t gone through the birthing process will ever truly understand the real pain of contractions since they can’t experience it themselves.

The sun started to rise at this point and then at 7AM, the shift for the nurses was over, so Ann came on as my new nurse.  Luckily she was also a mid-wife, and her skills and experience would definitely come in handy later on.  I think it was at this time that the nursing student director also came in to ask if I was okay with a nursing student watching and participating.  I could care less if one more person was in the room at that point, and I figured there’s no better way to learn than by watching a woman actually have a “live” labor, so I agreed she could come in.  Best decision I made – Karen was amazing and probably helped more than the other nurses did.  She took the hand-held massager and stood behind me while I leaned on Hubby and rocked back and forth.  She probably ended up massaging me for a good two hours and never stopped.  She would ask if I needed water, ice chips to chew on, wash cloths for my forehead, and anything else to help me.  At this point I was completely uncomfortable and in pain constantly with very little relief between contractions.   Little did I know I was finally entering transition stage and we were getting very close to having a baby…


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Toby’s Birth Story: Part 1

I really need to write this birth story before any of the other details get fuzzy.  People keep asking me how the labor and delivery was and some things I barely remember now!  This is going to be long so bare with me :)

Early on Friday morning, June 15th, I woke up around 6ish when Hubby did as he was getting ready to go to work.  I remember feeling very crampy and having some back pain.  It was very similar to having menstrual cramps, but they didn’t make me think anything was going on at that point.  Hubby left to go to work; I walked downstairs to make some oatmeal and then went back to bed to try to go back to sleep.  However the back pain was getting worse if I lied down, so I sat up in bed and finished writing thank-you notes from the baby shower that I seriously procrastinated on finishing.  I watched TV for a couple hours and then called my mom at work around 10ish to get an address from one of her co-workers.  She asked how I was feeling and I let her know that I was pretty crampy and she said immediately that I was probably in early labor and should start timing the feeling of the crampiness starting and ending if I could.  At that point the cramps were constant so I couldn’t really time anything. 

I called Hubby at work and let him know not to rush home, because I definitely didn’t feel separate contractions, but I told him my mom thought I was in early labor.  I had a doctor’s appointment scheduled for 1:45 that afternoon, so we both agreed he would come home and go to the appointment with me, as my mom told me I should pack my bags in the car just in case they decided to send me to the hospital afterwards.  Since I was still in the process of finishing thank-you notes, I asked Hubby to get me a couple packs of stamps on his way home…I decided the notes needed to be sent out that afternoon if Baby C was really on his way :)  While I waited for him to get home, I took a long shower and made sure to shave my legs since I wasn’t sure when I’d be able to do that again.

Hubby got home around 11:30 but let me know that there was a nail in his tire and his car was showing it as being low pressure.  Of course his car was the one we were planning on taking to the hospital, so Hubby had to move over the car seat to my car and make sure everything was installed correctly.  I also didn’t have a ton of gas in my car, and since I still wasn’t having painful contractions at this point, he left quickly to get gas, grab a bagel for me, and coffee and lunch for himself.  When he left, I took a quick walk down to the mailboxes to mail out the damn notes.  I could feel the crampiness starting and ending now, so I downloaded an app on my phone to start timing contractions.  They were about 5-6 minutes apart, lasting about 30 seconds or so each, but I could still talk through them as they were not painful.  It was still a couple hours before we would leave for my appointment, so we just watched TV and ate lunch to waste time.  I started drinking a lot of water at this point to keep myself hydrated.

We left for my appointment by 1:30 and when we got to the doctor’s office, I asked if I could sit in a room right away since I was having contractions and didn’t want to sit in the waiting room during them.  They were getting a little more painful but slow breathing helped me get through the peaks with no problem.  The nurse was having a hard time getting my blood pressure which freaked me out.  She found Baby C’s heartbeat right away, though, and it was still going strong.  My doctor came in to see me but didn’t seem too concerned when I told him I had been having contractions all morning.  He did an internal exam and I was only 2 cm dilated.  He said that I wouldn’t be able to talk through my contractions if my labor was further along, so he recommended we go back home and rest.  He said to call them back if my contractions got more intense or if my water broke.  He definitely made it seem like Baby C would not be coming today or even tomorrow – he joked that we may have a Father’s Day baby.  Worse part was he wanted me to schedule another appointment for the following week just in case!  I left feeling pretty discouraged.

We got back home and I tried to sleep for as long as I could.  I woke up about an hour later around 4ish to much stronger contractions.  Hubby made me some plain pasta with a butter sauce as I was only eating bland foods so I hopefully wouldn’t get sick later.  The contractions were still 5-6 minutes apart, and now they were lasting 45 seconds to a minute each.  Some of them were very intense, so I started using other positions besides sitting in bed.  I sat on the birthing ball for a little bit, but it didn’t do too much for my back pain and it was difficult to keep still when having contractions.  I eventually got in the shower and stood with my hands up on the wall in front of me so the shower stream was directed right on my lower back.  The hot water felt amazing, so I stayed in there for a good 20 minutes until a few contractions had passed.  I got back out and tried to lay down on my side to rest but the pain was getting worse and worse.  At this point I was squeezing Hubby’s hand during almost every contraction and taking in slow, deep breaths to make it past the peaks.  I was crying during some of them, but it felt good to cry and not hold in the tears.  It was around 7:30 when I got back in the shower as I was desperate for any relief of the constant back pain.  Hubby decided it was time to call the doctor as I had been having contractions for over 3 hours now that were about a minute long, every 5 minutes.  And I think when I started crying that freaked him out, so he figured it was time to go to the hospital.  I was nervous that I would be sent back if we came too early so I wanted to labor at home as much as possible.  However, the on-call doctor agreed I should come in when he called, so I got out of the shower, put on some sweats, and then grabbed a couple of old towels and a garbage bag to put over the front seat in case my water broke.  Right before we left I took one last bump picture – I was 39 weeks and 4 days in this and faking a smile soooo badly:

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The car ride to the hospital actually wasn’t as bad as I imagined it would be.  I waited to finish a contraction right before we started the car, and then I called my mom on the way over so I was a little distracted.  Halfway through our conversation I had to hand the phone over to Hubby so he could talk to her while I did some deep breathing.  I probably had 3 or 4 contractions by the time we got there and I also remember having one in the parking garage.  Since we arrived after 8pm, we had to use the ER entrance.  A cop asked if I wanted a wheelchair to the maternity ward but I said I was okay to walk.  We shared an elevator with a young guy who clearly understood I was in labor and he was nice, asking if we knew what we were having and said “good luck” right before we got off on the fourth floor. 

Since Hubby had called earlier, they pre-registered me, which was nice since we didn’t have a ton of paperwork to fill out or sign.  We waited a few minutes until a nurse was ready to take me over to the triage area.  Hubby let her know right away about my back issues and how I would need to speak with an anesthesiologist.  I changed into a hospital gown, gave them a urine sample, and then sat on the bed until another nurse came in to take my vitals.  She asked me what my pain level was on a scale of 1-10, and I said a “6” which was pretty accurate considering how worse the pain would get over the next several hours…


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Toby – Weekly Post: Week 3


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Weight: Was 8 pounds at his 2 week appointment – guessing he’s at least 8 and 1/2 now?

Height: Born 19.5 inches, not sure now.

Medical Issues: Cord stump finally fell off!  We also were dealing with a lot of spit-up when we started him on bottles last weekend but we switched to the Playtex slow flow nipples with the drop-in liners and they work MUCH better.  Still spits up once in a while, but it’s not as bad with the Medela bottles.

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Sleep: When you finally get him to sleep, he’s great.  But getting him to fall asleep without crying in his crib takes forever…usually a good 30 minutes at least.  We’ve tried doing a bath at night which has backfired, we try nursing right before but for some reason he gets more awake towards the end, we try rocking in the glider, and then the last two nights I’ve tried playing his sleep sounds machine.  Still a work in progress.

Clothes/Diapers Sizes: Newborn for clothes, 1’s for diapers.

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Diet: Just breastmilk.  Luckily he’s had no problems with going back and forth between bottles and the boob.  Usually he has one bottle around 7ish at night that Daddy gives him.

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Baby Gear Love: Playtex bottles with the drop-in liners and the breast pump so Mommy gets a break once in a while!  Also the Ergo carrier and infant insert – we tried them out this week and he loves being carried in them.

Milestones/Firsts: Forgot to mention in the 2 week update he had a bottle for the first time on Sat 6/30.  First 4th of July!   First real bath was this past week, too – he hated it.  First time Auntie Hil babysat on Sat 7/7 (Mommy and Daddy went to see Ted).

Likes: Eating.  Being carried in the Ergo.

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Dislikes: Loves car rides but isn’t loving the whole process of getting into the car seat.  Not a fan of baths but loves cuddling in the soft hooded towels after.

Postpartum – Mommy: Weight loss has slowed down, so I’m assuming the remaining pounds won’t come off until I start working out again/watching what I eat better.  I’m waiting for my 6 week check-up before I start using the treadmill again.  Still having a love/hate relationship with breastfeeding.  This week was frustrating as I think he was going through a growth spurt so some days I felt like he was eating every 90 minutes instead of every 3-4 hours. 


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th!





Sunday, July 1, 2012

Toby – Weekly Update: Week 2



Weight: Went from 7.8 last Wed to 8 pounds solid this past Tuesday!  I’m assuming he’s close to 8.5 by now.  Getting big already…

Height: Born 19.5 inches, they didn’t measure him at the weight check-up.

Medical Issues: Cord stump is still on and healing.

Sleep: Pretty good as long as I rock him to sleep.  We no longer have to wake him every 3 hours to eat which has been so nice.  He’s been giving me a good 4-5 hour stretch, wakes up at 2ish to eat, and then will go back to sleep until 6ish. 

Clothes/Diapers Sizes: Newborn for clothes, 1’s for diapers – the newborns were getting too tight around his thighs.

Diet: Just breastmilk.

Baby Gear Love: Boppy, Miracle Blanket.

Milestones/Firsts: First solo shopping trip with Daddy on Sun 6/24.  First day home alone with Mommy on Mon 6/25.  First trip to the mall on Tues 6/27.  First time staying at home without Mommy or Daddy – Grandma babysat on Fri 6/29 while Mommy did some grocery shopping.  First road trip to CT on Sat 6/30.

Likes: Snuggling, car rides, being rocked to sleep in the nursery glider, opening his eyes and checking everything out.

Dislikes: Being changed (though he’s getting better), being in one position for too long unless you’re gently rocking or moving him.

Postpartum – Mommy: Well, my rings were fitting again until it got really hot yesterday.  I’ve lost another two pounds, though.  I’m scared to try on my normal jeans but maternity jeans are getting really loose on me and not staying up anymore.  Luckily I’ve been able to wear mostly skirts and dresses.  This past week has gone well staying home with just me and Toby – it went much better than I expected and he hasn’t had a “bad” day where he’s been fussy alllll day yet.  He has his moments but overall he’s a pretty easy baby.  My biggest frustration this past week has been pumping and breastfeeding in general – I started to pump on Friday and I guess I thought I would be pumping out whole bottles right away.  I realize that my supply needs to build up so I hope more comes in this weekend.  I’m a little tired of just feeling like a milk machine that gets used every 3 hours…I’m hoping I feel better once Hubby can give him more bottles.