Friday, March 30, 2012

Last night was super difficult and because of that I'm posing some questions in hopes of advice. I'm desperate! Blair was awake every hour and a half. I noticed that she had more gas than usual which could be due to some things I ate yesterday (carrots, garlic mashed potatoes, cheese) but what I'm most frustrated with is the fact that she will not sleep in her own bed in our room. I'm torn because I know that she is establishing trust between us and that when she gets upset and I pick her up this is reassuring to her that she can trust me. On the other hand I know it is not so safe to let her sleep in the bed which is why I want her next to me in her co-sleeper. We all get more sleep when she is in our bed...

If you have read the book called Baby Wise that is my ultimate goal. To have her on a schedule and sleeping through the night. How do I get there? Here are some of my questions:

1. When did your child sleep through the night?
2. Did you use any sleep aides (white noise machines etc?) B.W. says not to.
3. If your child slept in the bed how did you transition to their own bed?
4. Am I expecting too much out of B since she is only a month old on Sunday?

Any advice helps! From one desperate mommy...

Thank YOU

I thought I would take some time to say thank you to all of my friends, family, and fellow bloggers. The comments from people who do and don't know me on my blog have been so uplifting. Those of you who read my blog and give me advice and encouraging words will never know how much your comments mean to me. I have not been able to reciprocate yet but I pray that when you are going through something like this in the future that I am able to support you in the way that you have supported me. Your kindness and thoughtfulness does not go unnoticed! 

Below are some photos that were taken the day of and after Blair was born. I can not believe how selfless our friends and family are to have helped us so much. I look forward to the day when I can return the favor! 

cory and bob hanging B's chandelier (still gotta get an electrician out to make it work!)

lisa and kristen putting together the high chair

neil and david taking out the old oven and installing the new one

kushi vacuuming our whole house! ps i had met her maybe once previous to this!

aunt barb organizing my closet

brother jake (and his goodwill outfit) unloading furniture

sweet cards from my students

is your baby pretty? yes or no? HA. priorities of a 1st grader...

i picked my favorite ones

i wanted to share this sweet photo yesterday but couldn't upload it. great grandma and B. she helped us get an amazing king sized bed so we could put our old queen in the guest room for visitors.
 Yesterday B had her first "high risk" doctor's appointment for her follow up in the NICU. She now weighs 6 pounds 12 ounces which is good because she went home weighing 6.3. I guess nursing is working! Everything else the doctor looked at looked good so she does not have anymore high risk appointments. Yay! That's my girl! 

After her appointment I nursed B in the waiting room and chatted with another NICU mom. Her daughter was a twin born at 27 weeks. The other twin passed away and she had to be in the hospital in San Diego (she lives in Riverside) for two weeks. AND her baby was in NICU for 2 months! AND her baby weighed only one pound when born. AND she already has a three year old. Can you imagine? She had to commute to see her NICU baby and she had to spend all that time in the hospital alone. Made me feel like I had it easy with B in the NICU for ten days. 

Today my mom and I are going to get pedicures. B is coming along for the ride and I hope she behaves! This will probably be the least relaxing pedicure I ever get but I'm still looking forward to it! B can officially ride in her car seat without an adult in the back seat (I'm free!). So I plan on getting one of those mirrors that allow me to spy on her while driving. Any suggestions to good ones to purchase? 

Continued prayers for our sleep at night. B isn't a naughty baby at all but still keeps me awake in the middle of the night because she's got her days and nights mixed up I think. Next week M will start to give her one bottle a day (of breast milk) so I have to start pumping again once a day. Pray that this transition goes well. And finally please pray for M. He's got a lot on his plate with work, finalizing new house stuff and figuring out renting our old house, having time for baby, and having time for himself to relax. Pray for him to have patience, energy, and the ability to prioritize things that need to get done vs. things that can wait. Thanks you guys! Have a great weekend! 

Family and Friends

Thursday, March 29, 2012

I thought I would share some pictures of people who have visited us since Blair has been home! It has been so wonderful having people stop by. I love interacting with people from "the outside." It helps me to feel in touch with the world. :) Things can get kind of lonely when at home with Blair all day every day. I really do look forward to the little things such as getting out and exercising, going on errands with my mom, going to doctor's appointments, and getting pedicures (our first one is this Friday!). 

great grandma bushman

For the most part I have been able to entertain myself while at home because there is so much to do with our new house. I have never been the type of person to complain of boredom and I spend everyday of my summer vacation busying myself with projects, organizing things, gardening etc. However, now that baby is here I'm not as able to get things done. Sometimes I don't even want to start a project or task because I know I won't be able to finish (I blame the dirty bathroom on this). It's a weird feeling and one that I am not used to. I now know why having mommy groups (such as MOPS or stroller strides etc) is going to be important for me. Having social interaction in which the conversation is not one sided (Hi, Blair, you're so pretty! This little piggy went to the market...) is important for my sanity. 

great aunt barbara

This feeling of loneliness will surely fade soon when I am able to get out of the house (right now B can't ride in her car seat unsupervised because she's not "term" yet). It will be nice when I can run my own errands and feel productive again. Unfortunately most of my errands consist of finding pieces for our new home which requires money and I really need to be sticking to a (gasp!) budget. 

aunt tiffany and uncle kevin

Along with feeling a tad lonely I briefly mentioned to my mommy friend Danielle last night that I also feel like I'm not able to glorify God anymore. I just feel so cut off from the world and unable to do any work for His kingdom. She said she had the same feeling when her boys were born and encouraged me to read this article. I absolutely love what the article said and will be keeping it in a safe place with easy access. It was important for me to realize that raising Blair up to be a woman of God is glorifying to Christ. I need to remember how many people she will interact with in her life and that what she learns about God's love now from me can affect others eternity.

my good friend Dani

As you can see I've had lots to think about while home with my little girl. I'm really looking forward to "getting out" into the real world again but am loving every moment with sweet Blair. She is just precious and I can't stop kissing her! Speaking of kissing, this Saturday is mine and M's 5 wedding anniversary! I almost completely forgot so it's a good thing that we already celebrated in Maui! However, I think M and I will be going out to sushi to celebrate. I'm excited because I haven't had sushi in nine months! B will be joining us I think so I will let you know how her first restaurant experience goes!

Rub a Dub Dub

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Last night we gave B her first real bath! (Don't do the math on how long she's been home and the fact that we're just getting around to this...). I say her first real bath because the last bath she had was just your basic wash cloth rub down. B is not a fan of the bath but I think it's because she gets cold. 

gettin nakey for her bath
Last night was no exception. However, although she did cry I think that if the air was warmer she would have enjoyed herself. Every time Matt poured warm water over her head or body her crying subsided. Here are a few shots of her in her tub (great gift btw...thanks mom!). I would totally recommend this Puj tub to anyone who's looking.

The tub fit perfectly in the sink and had just the perfect amount of water in it. It has little drains around it too just in case the water gets too high.

Yesterday was a great day and I think B and I are finally getting into a routine. I have come to the realization that her 3:30 am feeding is just going to be something we have to overcome. She just wants to be awake after she eats at that time. She doesn't cry just wants to make noises and stare at mommy (even though I turn the lights off I can still tell her peepers are open).

Today we are going for a walk with M's mom and then my friend Brooke is coming over for a visit. Big plans! I still have lots to tell you about being a mom and just how DIFFERENT it is from life before. I have lots of time to sit around and think and definitely have some questions for all you mommies out there! Have a great Thursday! Wait, Tuesday? Ah, Wednesday. Yeah Wednesday. ;)

Birth Story Part Two

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Yesterday I began writing about Blair's birth story so if you missed that make sure you go back and check it out! 

In the beginning of my labor the contractions weren't bad at all and I was beginning to think that I could do this without meds. I had studied Child Development in the beginning of my college career and knew that epidurals weren't ideal for many reasons. But as B's arrival approached things were getting a lot more painful. The best way to describe it is the most intense menstrual cramp you have ever had. I wanted to wait out the pain as long as I could but when I asked how far I was dilated they said 3 centimeters still! I was like, "There is NO way I'm going to make it to 10 at this rate...give me the magic juice!" I remember asking where "The blonde lady was" (the one who gave epidurals) and telling the nurses that I was ready to be pain free. In what seemed like ages finally the anesthesiologist arrived with her huge needle. I didn't think Matt was going to be able to stomach the needle but he sat in front of me like a champ and didn't pass out! I remember feeling the right side of my body become numb first and then told the nurse that the left side still felt normal. They adjusted the needle and slowly I began to feel like I was in heaven! Ok, maybe not quite that good but it was pretty great! The way I would describe the feeling of an epidural is that your legs and lower abdomen just feel like they fell asleep. I could still feel pressure and tell when I was having just wasn't painful. 

With the epidural under way I was told to sleep by the nurses (this wasn't going to happen). After an hour I was up for more visitors so my brother Kevin and his wife Tiffany came in to chit chat. We talked for about a half an hour and then I started feeling lots of pressure "down there." I asked the nurse what exactly I should be feeling when it was "time" and she said it would feel like I had to go #2. I promptly told her that was how I was feeling and when she checked me she said, "Wow! Who do you want in the room when you deliver because you are at a 10 and this baby is coming!" After that it was a mad rush of NICU nurses, my doctor, my mom, Matt, and Carrie all getting ready for the big push. 

I ended up pushing for about a half an hour before Blair arrived. I remember the nurses telling me that she would be out in just a few minutes so a half hour seemed like a long time to me! I have realized that this is not a long time to push at all, and am grateful for that! The nurses were cheering for me and telling me that I was pushing perfectly the whole time. Matt was great and so encouraging the entire delivery. We were both in tears and so emotional. I remember thinking the whole time, "Oh my gosh, I'm going home with a BABY soon!" During one of my pushes my friend Carrie exclaimed, "Wow! Look at all her dark hair!" I remember thinking, "What? Dark Hair? But we're both blonde!" Towards the end of my pushing I remember saying, "Come on, Blair!" The nurses later informed me that I was a lovely patient without any screaming or whining or drama (for once in my life ;) ). I really don't know why anyone would be dramatic with an epidural. Those meds were magical!

When Blair came out I was so elated and happy to see her. I do remember being surprised by her appearance just because I didn't see any resemblance (this is not true now!). The umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck twice and the NICU team had to assess her before she could be placed on my chest. However, we did get to spend a few moments together until they heard her "grunting" which is a sign of poor lung development. Because of her color/prematureness/breathing Blair was given a 7/8 on the APGAR score. After that they whisked her away to the NICU and I apparently delivered the placenta ( I don't recall this). I remember asking lots of questions when the delivery was over, "Did I poop? (no! yay!)" "Can I see the placenta?" (it was HUGE! and looked like a jelly fish) "Did I tear?" (just a smidge). TMI? Maybe. But if I were reading this I would want to know all the details so I decided to fill you in.

that's a serious cone head! good thing she out grew that!

practicing for when she is a pirate this halloween...

looking at my baby girl for the first time
gramma and daddy
so much emotion!
our first sweet moment together. this is still her favorite spot to be. :)

At this point I had no idea how serious Blair's condition was. I stayed in recovery for a while and later was able to see my pretty girl. Things still didn't look so bad for her at this point but you all know how the rest of Blair's story goes down. This has been a crazy journey and when people told me my life would change they were SO right. The crazy thing is that we are just in the beginning. B has her whole life ahead of her (God willing) and sometimes I catch myself already looking forward to the next milestone (hello! sleeping through the night?!). But for now I have been loving snuggling with my sweet girl and staring at her all the time. My heart is so full of love for her and everyone was right; having a baby will change your life, but it will be for the better.

Birth Story Part One

Monday, March 26, 2012

Everyone has a different story to tell when it comes to the delivery of their first born child. When I was pregnant I loved reading about different mommies and their experiences with labor and delivery. So, for all you pregnant ladies, mommies, and curious ladies who just want to know what it is like here goes nothing!

As most of you know the day I went into labor was the day that M and I moved from our 1,200 square foot 2 bedroom 1 bath home to our current 3400 square foot 4 bedroom 4 bath home. Needless to say it was a BIG day! I thought that I had at least 5 more weeks to get our new place together. Little did I know that I had less than 24 hours...

Around 11:00 pm I walked up to go to bed for the evening but laid there thinking about what I needed to get done the next day. By the time M came to bed it was after 1:00 am and I was still awake letting my mind wander with the excitement of staying in our new home for the first night. Around 2:30 am I woke up and noticed that M's boxers were wet. (I could not locate any of my underwear after the move and had to wear his boxers to bed!) I thought to myself, "OMG is bed wetting a new pregnancy symptom that I didn't know about?" So I got up and went to the bathroom and changed his boxers. In the back of my mind I thought that it was weird that I "wet the bed" since it was a different feeling than going pee. But I shrugged it off and climbed back into bed. Not ten minutes later it happened again and I got up and changed boxers again. This time I called out to Matt that I thought maybe my water broke. He was dead asleep and mumbled something to me that I couldn't understand. 

So, I called my best friend Carrie and asked her what she thought I should do. She told me to call the nurse and see what she says. After our conversation I went to bed one more time and yet again a third time I had wet the bed. Finally, I got up, called the nurse, and listened to what she said. The nurse told me to cough as hard as I could and when I did, the flood gates were opened! My water broke all over our tile floor in the bathroom. She told me to immediately come down to the hospital. At this point I started sobbing and telling Matt (who was awake now) that I wasn't ready for this. When I looked over at M he was still laying in bed telling me that he thought he might faint. After hearing this I told him to pull it together and get up so we could go to the hospital. I wasn't feeling too nice. 

Some of the silliest things went through my mind. There were things that I wanted to have done before having a baby such as getting my hair done, painting my nails and toes, getting a wax, showering etc. I only had enough time to throw on some waterproof mascara and call it good. This killed me and my type A personality. God was already breaking me and preparing me to let go and let Him be in control. 

M and I threw some things into an overnight bag, put a car seat in the car, grabbed Bella and drove off into the night. On our way we called our parents and then dropped Bella off at my parents house. Neither of us had gotten any sleep and there was no way that was going to happen until the baby was born. 

Upon arriving to the hospital the nurse told me to pull myself together (I was still crying) and reassured me that many women go into labor at 35 weeks. Everyone was super sweet and once I was all settled in I looked at the clock and realized it was 4am. Shortly after my mom and best friend Carrie arrived which helped calm me down. From about the time my water broke till around 8 am I had fought off the urge to get an epidural. The contractions were not bad at all in the beginning but were starting to increase in pain. The nurses introduced me to the anesthesiologist who would give me an epidural if I chose to get one. Tune in tomorrow to see if I went au natural or got the magic juice!

clearly not having intense contractions...
waiting it out

timing contractions...they were starting to get intense

such a good daddy
Part two comes tomorrow! Weekend update... got lots done and had lots of visitors. B is nursing so much better and I'm gaining tons of confidence! Working on her nighttime issues now. Gotta get this girl to go back to sleep in her co-sleeper! Sigh.

Mommy Fail

Friday, March 23, 2012

I should create a section in my blog called "mommy fail." Today was the first of what will inevitably be many times that I make a mistake. I woke up early this morning, got ready, got B ready, and my mom drove us to Kaiser for B's doctor appointment only to find out it's NEXT week, not this week! I was seriously so bummed that we went through all the effort of getting out the door for nothing! My mom and I "hung out" in the lobby for some time while she drank her coffee and I sipped my water. Our conversation would have frustrated anyone listening in since we were so indecisive about the days plan. Who waits in a doctor's waiting room for fun? Me and my mom. Sigh. Fail. 

hangin out with mommy in her juicy jammies :) thanks brooke!
After our snafu we decided to take B for a walk in our new neighborhood. She was a good girl in her BOB and seemed to enjoy it! Which is good because in about 3 more weeks this mommy will be ready to hit the running trails again! 

Big news for us today is that we got a king sized mattress (thanks grandma!). I can't wait to find some new bedding to go with it. I love white/cream duvets so we will see what I decide on. It gets delivered tomorrow so then we can move our current queen into the guest room for anyone who wants to come and play "mommy and daddy" for the weekend. Any takers? :)

Finally today B tried out her lambie swing. Everyone swears by the swing and its capabilities to lull little ones to sleep however it seems to have the opposite effect on B. It makes her all wide eyed and busy tailed.

Please continue to pray for B to learn good nursing skills. Also, continued prayer for our evenings together is appreciated. She seems to have her nights and days mixed up. :( And she does not enjoy sleeping in her co-sleeper which is killing me! Have a great weekend...see you Monday!

PS I promise this will not turn into a full blown mommy blog but give me time to get back into doing "normal" stuff. Many posts to come on our new house, me trying to get back into shape, and our adventures in life!

Photo Sesh

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Yesterday was a big day for little B. She had another lactation appointment because her mother is paranoid about getting the whole breast feeding thing down pat. ;) I came home from the appointment feeling much more confident in my skills and in "plan B" if she just isn't latching. I also learned that when B is about 4 weeks old that we should start introducing a bottle to her for one feeding a day. Hallelujah! M is SO taking one of her night feedings! But M and I both decided that her first bottle will be given to her by one of our parents so that we can go see The Hunger Games in theaters. Priorities. :)

As I mentioned earlier this week B had an awesome photo shoot with my girlfriend Carrie. Below are just 3 pictures of about a million of the ones she took. Can't even wait to see all of them and get some framed for B's room. 

As you can tell things are looking up around here. Each day I feel more confident and capable that I can figure out this whole mommy thing. I apologize to all my "mommy to be" friends out there whom I totally terrified with Monday's post I'm sure. Every day is different and I never know what to expect, which is part of why it's so scary. But every day has its blessings as well. This morning after I nursed B we climbed into bed and snuggled together for an hour. She was wide awake and laying on her side studying my face. Eventually sleep got the best of both of us but what a blissful experience for me. The Lord blessed me with a sweet baby girl and it's time I stop stressing and start enjoying his wonderful gift!

Day 4 Home

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

God knew that I could not handle another gnarly day like yesterday. Today was SO good! Blair had her newborn session with my best friend Carrie from 11:30 to 5:00 (ridiculous that we took pictures for that long? not even!). I absolutely can NOT wait to show you her pictures! I was just crooning over B. Here are some lame iphone pics but I wanted to give you an idea of what we did. :) Carrie is a-maz-ing with newborns! She's got a lot of tricks to make them happy!

behind the scenes

little peanut

baby's first wagon ride


Carrie also got to experience first hand the rage that happens to Blair when I breast feed her. She got to see the one hour latch session and had a better understanding of why I've been so emotional.  But then at our next feeding at her studio a miracle happened! Blair was naked from the photo shoot and I had my shirt up so we were skin to skin and lo and behold SHE LATCHED! Then when I fed her again later on she latched AGAIN! I am hopeful that we may have turned the corner with this breast feeding drama. Keep praying that this is a forever thing and not just a fluke. Hopefully it wasn't just a show for Carrie...

So today I was a very happy mama. Good pictures and good breast feeding equals pure joy for me!It's funny how I can go from one extreme emotion to the next. Welcome to postpartum hormones...

Last night was brutal to say the least. I cried almost every time I attempted to feed her because either a.) it hurt or b.) she wouldn't latch for an hour. However, I did feel more rested (because I may have let her sleep on my chest... : / ). One battle at a time. 

We trimmed Blair's nails last night which was traumatic because M accidentally got her skin on one of them. :( I avoided trimming her nails because I knew this was a possibility and didn't want to be the one to hurt her so poor Matt had to take the hit. We felt horrible. :( But I had to remind myself that she is somewhat used to being poked and prodded from her stay at the NICU. 

Last night we also gave B a bath so she could be fresh for her pictures. While it wasn't a pleasant experience, M and I still agreed that it was better than we had anticipated. Here is our little lambie... 

trying to calm our wet lamb after her bath

snuggling with daddy after bath time

- latching while nursing!!!
- having a great photo session. B was such a good girl. 
- zipping up my regular jeans today! 

- telling Carrie that B was peeing all over me only to realize it was my chest leaking...ooops
- B peeing/pooping on Carrie's WHITE blankets. Ooops.
- realizing my regular jeans were only comfortable while standing... booo

Day 3 Home

Monday, March 19, 2012

There were so many things that I could have titled this blog post. Such as, "emotional roller coaster," "nursing nightmares," "sleepless in seattle riverside"... Needless to say last night was difficult. Blair is just not a fan of her co-sleeper and likes to be near her mommy. I have a rule against baby in bed but am finding it so difficult to maintain this notion. When you only get 1-3 hours of sleep a night you become desperate... I've begun to dread nighttime because I never know what is in store for us. Sigh. 

This morning we had a lactation consultation appointment. I felt like I was in a college course on breast feeding 101. SO much information! And while it was helpful, I was feeling overwhelmed by it all. There is just so much to think about with positioning of the baby, positioning of the nipple, positioning of the chin, keeping my fingers back, lining my thumb up with her nose, listening for swallows every 6 sucks, and squeezing myself like a sandwich so she can get a good latch. There's more but I'll spare you. Blair did very well at the appointment and the nurse said "no more nipple shield" which is like telling a 4 year old "no more training wheels." And since my emotions have been running like that of a four year old, what did I do when I got home? Cried. A lot. Blair wouldn't latch like she did at the doctor's office and when she gets upset, I get upset. I was in pain and feeling defeated. I know these things take time but I'm running on empty and it's hard to be patient. PLEASE pray for us to figure out this whole nursing thing. I just feel like I've had to learn something new practically every time I feed her. First it was the bottle, then the nipple shield, and now real breast feeding. If I was a rich celebrity I would pay to have a lactation nurse live with me 24/7.

praying for good breast feeding

I did learn that Blair is continuing to gain weight, which is good! The nurse also said she was a "gourmet eater" which is an indicator that she will be more of a type B personality. A little more laid back and easy going. Yet another one of Matt's traits... (this is good!).

looks like daddy and acts like daddy!

Tomorrow my best friend is taking Blair's newborn photos and I couldn't be more excited! I can't wait to dress her up in cute beanies and tutus and prop her up all darling like this. :)

Other exciting news is that B's belly button scab fell off! She didn't have much of one because the nurses had to cut hers very short/off to input all her feeding tubes but nonetheless it's gone now!

Finally, bear with me as I sluggishly get my posts up. As you can see, the simplest tasks have become a challenge! And don't forget...prayers, prayers, prayers! And this too shall pass...

Day 2 Home

Friday, March 16, 2012

Praise God that last night was better than the first night! Not saying that I got much more sleep...about three hours but M was able to sleep a lot more which is good because he has to function at work! I caved and let Blair sleep on my chest (already laughing at my "never will I ever" post here). The reason being is that when she sleeps on me she doesn't make all those noises that I can't tune out. Of course during the day when she sleeps in her cradle she doesn't make a peep. But at night she is cooing/grunting/hiccuping etc. 

sleeping like a baby in her cradle (that my parents used for me when I was a baby!)

Today a nurse came over to check on Blair. She gained two ounces (nursing is working!) and her respiratory rate was 38 (which is good!). I was proud of my baby girl. We are continuing to learn more about each other every second of the day. Blair really is a good baby and has a very predictable routine: eat, play, sleep. I dread the day when she adds fussiness to that routine...

showing off her St. Patty's day hand made hat by my friend Marie

Other big milestones for today included going on a walk with Blair. I had a sweet friend drop off dinner yesterday and while she was here I had her show me how to use my Moby Wrap. What a lifesaver! I strapped her in today and walked with her and my mom and Bella to the mailbox (this was the goal) but ended up taking a stroll around our neighborhood. Our next endeavor includes giving Blair a bath. This did not go well in the NICU so pray for us...

ready for our walk!

-watching Matt read to Blair
- having delicious meals prepared for us
- getting dressed today WITH make-up!

bedtime story...melts my heart

- leaning over to hand Blair to my mom and leaking breast milk ALL over her jeans. oops.

-please continue to pray for more restful nights for me. Along with not feeling guilty about resting during the day even though we have so much to do around the house still! Patience is what I need.
On Monday Blair has a doctor's appointment in the morning along with a newborn photo session. I can't even wait to see her adorable pictures!