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Posts Tagged ‘I am Brand New’

{Parts One, Two, Three}

Believe it or not, even though I knew I needed an epidural I wasn’t ready to admit defeat. Thankfully after a 10 minute period of one continuous contraction, my midwife brought it up so I wouldn’t have to, and she did it gentle enough so I wouldn’t feel pressure but we all knew my body was wearing out and I hadn’t even begun to progress. At this rate, even if my body figured it out and began progressing at the normal rate of 1cm per hour, there was absolutely no way I would have any energy left to get the baby out. She suggested I get an IV put in so they could administer fluids because I was running on beyond empty and then if I decided on an epidural I’d be ready.

My midwife left the room to order the fluids and I asked Bill what he thought. To his credit, his eyes said Get the freaking epidural already but his mouth said We’ll do whatever you want. If you don’t want it you don’t have to. It took me roughly 4 minutes into the next continuous contraction sent directly from Satan with love, for me to say, fine go tell them to order the epidural NOW, NOW, I WANT IT NOW, WHAT IS EVERYONE WAITING FOR?

My nurse came back in to start the line. In her defense I’m never an easy stick, especially when pregnant, but she spent WAY to long attempting to jab me; the inside of my forearm was bruised from my wrist to almost my elbow for two weeks after the birth. After 20 minutes of being assaulted by contractions and a giant needle digging for a vein, she finally went out and got another nurse who did not look happy to be helping out. You could tell she was their vein ringer and even she had trouble getting the line in, eventually having to settle on a stick that didn’t get the best flow but was finally in.

I was more than ready for the anesthesiologist at this point but they had to drain at least one bag of fluids into me beforehand so during this time I was lost in a haze of pain so great I didn’t even remember what is was like to feel normal. Listen. I know labor isn’t supposed to be easy but from others I’ve talked to and videos I’ve watched, I find it a little unfair the way my body handles getting a baby out. I could see it if I had fast labors, so I had a tremendous amount of pain with progression and had a baby in my arms within 5-7 hours but the way my body does it? FOR THE BIRDS. Seriously. If anyone’s asking, I do not recommend you do it my way.

Sometime around 6:00, the anesthesiologist entered to start the epidural process. I’ve had two epidurals before so my hesitation and concern for the giant needle that would have to go in my back went something like this SHOVE THAT MOTHERFUCKER IN THERE, THE END. It was pretty tricky because you have to sit very still, meaning they like to insert the needle between contractions so he kept asking over and over, “Are you having a contraction right now?” And since the answer was always YES, DUMMY he just had to bite it and administer it and I had to concentrate very hard on NOT DYING FOR ALL THE PAIN. {Good Lord. I’m sorry about all the caps lock but YOU try writing a birth story without it. NOT POSSIBLE.}

The good news: It began to work!

The bad news: It began to work only on the right side of my body jesusshitasswhatthefuck?!

I had heard horror stories about this so I was admittedly very nervous when I realized I was only going numb on one half of my body. The Dr. was very calm and said as long as I was feeling numbness, the medication had made it to the epidural cavity and just needed a little help spreading out. It ended up needing a lot of help and time~ I had to lay on my left side and he kept pumping more and more drugs into me, so much so that I was completely numb from the waist down for 7 hours afterward. I think he was a little nervous that it wouldn’t kick in after 45 minutes, but finally it spread out and my body was able to relax and oooooohhhh boy did I need it.

Roughly 20 minutes after the pain meds started working, my midwife asked if I wanted to be checked. I was pretty pissed at my body at this point but wanted to know where we stood from here on out so I consented. As she was checking me her eyes got wide and she asked how many centimeters I thought I was.

“Five?”

“No.”

“Six?”

“Nope.”

“Seven?”

“NINE AND THREE QUARTERS.”

This is where I tell you that, despite how much I absolutely love to swear, I have never done so in labor. I KNOW! I’ll wait for you to get up off your fainting couch……. For whatever reason, something that comes so automatic to me in everyday life, completely disappears during labor~ I don’t get it either. So it was actually a pretty big deal for me to shout, “HOLY SHIT!” when she told me how far I dilated and even though something similar happened with both Rowan and Keaton after I got the epidural, it hadn’t happened that fast. I was beginning to think this baby wasn’t going to come for three more days so to know I was nearly complete meant that he would be in my arms soon. Or so I thought…

To be continued…

 

JUST KIDDING! Let’s finish this bad boy.

My midwife gave me a foot message to relax me before pushing. This will very seriously go down as one of the best feelings I’ve ever experienced. To be laying in relative comfort, laughing and talking while getting a message after enduring so much pain was surreal. At 7:15pm I was complete and my midwife guessed, based on my experience with Keaton who came out with two and a half pushes after my epidural, that by 7:32pm I would be holding my baby in my arms. I was completely over-joyed at this notion! Also? Delusional! I won’t build suspense here and just flat-out tell you that this guess was off by almost exactly three hours.

At this point, after contracting continually for 7 hours and being relaxed by the epidural, my uterus had thrown in the towel, so I was given Pitocin to kick-start contractions again. I began pushing and immediately knew it wasn’t going to go that fast. With Keaton I was fully numb but I still felt how to push and did so very effectively. In order to get the epidural to take effect the doc had to over-administer so I had no idea what was going on below my belly button. Through this whole first session of pushing, which lasted a little over an hour, I thought this was the problem so I just kept straining and struggling harder. True to form, though, Ezra was still not ready to make his appearance and was not engaging properly. The ultrasound I had that morning showed that he was head down and face down~ just how babies are supposed to be born. Unfortunately, the real reason he wasn’t progressing wasn’t because I wasn’t pushing effectively but because sometime during labor he had flipped sunny side up. AWESOME! When my midwife attempted to turn him, his heart rate plummeted so no dice. Meanwhile, I was still exhausted but working so hard and after an hour of this my own heart rate was dropping and the oxygen they were administering between contractions wasn’t cutting it so my midwife told me I needed a breather which would let the baby labor down, hopefully delivering him to the front door so he’d come much easier when I resumed pushing.

I was disappointed but so tired, I knew she was right. Ezra also was being a stinker and no one could keep him on the monitor for more than a minute so my midwife and nurse took turns holding the monitor in place and chasing him around my uterus. At 9pm I started feeling pressure and really felt this was it. I resumed pushing and sure enough, his head was right there- they could see his hair with each push, but he was not making it around that last bend because he was face up. After an hour more of hard pushing, he began showing signs of distress so my  midwife asked me how I felt about an episiotomy. Uh…generally not great, I said. He had to get out soon though, so she made the first cut, and I pushed… then she made the second cut, and I pushed… then she made the OH SWEET HELL third cut, completing what I now lovingly refer to as my franken-crotch and I’m sorry I told you that, Internet, but I plan on using this post to outline to teenagers across America why unprotected sex is STOOOOOOOPID AND OUCH so it had to be said in all its horrifying glory. And even with being sliced from you-know-where to you-know-where, it still took a half an hour for Ezra to make his grand entrance into the world at 10:29pm.

And when he did? THE RELIEF. I had honestly begun to think that he was never ever coming out and when they all cheered when his head came out I seriously could not believe he was here and I had to be prompted to push the rest of him out because are you sure? Really? I looked at Bill in disbelief, He’s here? I asked. Yes. He’s here. And then in one flash he was lifted up, in the next I heard his sweet {loud!} cries and then he was on my chest and I finally got to wrap my arms around him and touch his perfect cheeks and fingers and nose and elbows and thighs and lips and I just wanted to take all of him in because, Internet? I waited a really long time for this moment and he was here and he was perfect and he was mine and what is with all this blond hair? I am way too impatient to ever wait to find out the sex until birth but I got a little piece of the surprise when I realized he had a full head of blond hair because what? I don’t make babies like that~ at birth my babies have thick, nearly black hair just like both Bill and I had. We’d briefly discussed how weird it would be to have a bald baby but I never pictured a little blondie so it was sort of neat to be surprised.

It took Ezra a little while to calm down~ I imagine being stuck in someone else’s pelvis for three hours sort of sucks~ but once we did skin-to-skin and I breastfed him for the first time, he settled into the world. Then they cleaned him up, weighed and measured him and they wrapped him in swaddles and laid him next to me and we got  to properly snuggle for the first time and Internet? It was everything I’d hoped for. Everything we’d worked and waited for. Times infinity and always.

:::Jazzhand:::THE END:::Jazzhand:::

Also just kidding! Of course we need old man newborn pictures!

First photo! {Get used to it, kid.}

Holding hands.

Together.

Snuggled up.

Brannie New Budders

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Four weeks will be summed up thusly: CRANKY BRITCHES.

Good thing he’s cute, huh?

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So I’m going to cheat today because,

1. After a weekend of great naps and general awesomeness, Ezra has decided that today will be National Sleep Only in Mama’s Arms Day and…

2. I have a four year old that has spent a little too much time with his good friends Ninjago and PBS and since he doesn’t have preschool on Mondays and Tuesdays and I’m down one Bill, I guess I have to pay attention to him. I KNOW! WHO KNEW?! I thought once they reached almost five they just took care of themselves. Wrong again.

I know I owe you the {hopefully} last installment of Ezra’s birth story and I have about one-thousandy pictures to edit from a weekend photo session with the kids that I can’t wait to share but in the meantime I updated my This is Them page to include the baby and reflect a 7 and almost 5 year old instead of a 4 and 2 year old. {No word yet from my tech guy {uh, Bill} on when he’ll get around to designing me a new header to include Ezra. I could suggest he just work on it between 3 and 5am as he rocks our UNSLEEPING baby but the chances of me being the victim of a grisly murder go up exponentially if I do, so I’ll keep my mouth shut. Probably.}

I guess what I’m saying is, this will have to be good enough for today…

Beautiful Boy: Ezra William, born October 2012

Nicknames: The Duke of Cuddles, Tiny Sir, Mini-Budders.

Hobbies: Eating, napping, trying to poop 5 minutes after just pooping.

Interests: Boobs.

Strengths: Peeing on mom and dad during diaper changes and bath time. Being awake between 3:30 and 5:30am. General adorableness.

Weaknesses: Snake-charming, butterflies. Don’t even get me started on the butterflies.

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After over three straight weeks of boob only feedings, we decided to give Ezra his first bottle of breastmilk to test how he’d react to a different feeding method. I totally applaud those who do exclusive breast only feedings… here! Let me give you all the cookies… but me? I need a break every now and then and since I have a great supply which makes pumping fairly quick and easy, it makes sense for us. I will continue to do most of his feedings the old-fashioned way but knowing the baby will take a bottle from someone else should the need arise is a load off.

Since my milk comes down easy and fast, and my babies all got used to pacifiers first, nipple confusion has never remotely been a thing for us, but I was still nervous Ezra would feel that fake nipple in his mouth and be all EW GROSS, WHERE’S MY MILKMAID COW LADY. That, um, did not happen…

Bill did the honors, tentatively putting the bottle in the baby’s mouth and…

Ezra didn’t even blink, he just went right to town on that sucker. Honestly? It was more than a little insulting. He could have at least pretended to notice I wasn’t at the other end of the milks, the ungrateful little thing.

He now gets to enjoy the occasional feeding/bonding time with his dad, which…

…just…

…good luck with that, Son.

Seriously, though? The milestones are already hitting our Tiny Sir hard and fast. At three weeks old I’m already getting nostalgic for two weeks, one week and birth. I know it’s sad, but true nonetheless.

Good thing mama’s back on the bottle too, to help ease the pain, of course.

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Ahh, yes… the magical properties of mustaches. Touche, Baby. Touche.

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Aaaaannnnnd at three weeks things are looking much different than they were at two. Unfortunately this is a backward step as eating, sleeping and pooping have all of a sudden gotten very taxing for our Tiny Sir. I distinctly remember three weeks being especially hard with the other two but I always attributed it to the fact that all that adrenaline from birth and the first weeks of having a newborn is finally bottoming out and taking care of a baby this age is particularly hard because of ALL THE TIRED. And this still may be the case, but with Ezra there has been a definite upswing in fussiness and a downswing in sleep so that is definitely not helping.

To get the unpleasantness out of the way, let’s start with The Not So Awesome…

*There is definitely something wonky with this kid’s digestive tract. He spends much of his waking hours fussy because he constantly seems to be trying to poop, even 3 minutes after he’s just pooped. Lots of back-arching and grunting and what seems to be general discomfort in his tummy. He started this during week two of life but now it’s near constant and he’s not only doing it during the day but at night too.

*This is also complicated by the fact that we’re pretty sure he has some degree of infant reflux. He spits up quite a bit but never in a predictable fashion. Some days it will be like something out of a horror movie {read: A ton, projectile, chunky-esque} and some days it will be quite lazy {read: “I’m not even going to turn my head, I’m just going to let this action roll out of the corner of my mouth and down my neck, that’s cool, right?”}, then some days he’ll spit up almost nothing at all.

My milk has regulated so it’s not coming out too slow or too fast for him and he doesn’t spit up at feedings but rather anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour later. I burp him 2-3 times each feeding per the pediatrician’s advice, and also keep him upright with his tummy against my chest for a period after each feeding. We’ve also tried folding receiving blankets under his cradle mattress to elevate his head a bit but we haven’t noticed a difference.

*Our saving grace was that even though he has gotten progressively fussier over the last two weeks, he was still a fairly reliable sleeper. Unfortunately, the last couple of nights, that’s gone out the window as well. He goes down and sleeps pretty soundly for roughly two hours after his 9:00-11:00pm feeding, but after the next feeding he has been fussing his way through the rest of the night. He rarely cries, it just seems to be a lot of the “COME OUT POOP!” type of grunting/squirming.

The thing is, he’s already grown a ton over the last three weeks so my logical brain knows his body is trying to keep up with all the rapid changes so I’m extremely hesitant to bring him in to the doctor to try something more aggressive, but at the same time, well, FIX IT! Because TIRED ETC., but also because the poor little fella seems so uncomfortable so much of the time and I so want to make it better for him. We’ll monitor how the next few days go before we make any decisions.

Okay, enough of that crap, now for: The Awesome…

* He is so alert. His great big wide eyes love to stare at such super exciting things as the ceiling light, the dark wood bookcase, the slats of his crib, Daddy’s mesmerizing facial hair, and that hairy, tickley thing that sounds like a motor boat and keeps trying to groom his blond hairs.

For those that care, the animals have adjusted just fine to the newest gunterling. When we brought Rowan home, Monkey and Bear {our old cat} loved her immediately, coming to snuggle her and I during feedings. Fawkes was much more cautious~ choosing to steer clear until Rowan was a little older. Luna was only one at the time and Rowan fa-reaked her out. We did the whole bring something of the baby’s for her to sniff before we came home from the hospital and gave her plenty of love and attention, but when Bill brought Luna into the room where I was holding Rowan, her tail wagged nervously in between her legs and she cowered in the corner. The first week we were home she was very nervous around her but after that recovered and when we brought Keaton, and now Ezra home, all the animals were like, good lord.. one of these things again? And went back to their regularly scheduled program of napping and licking their butts.

We did have some issues with Monkey but it wasn’t because of the baby. For the first week home, Bill’s parents kept Luna. Now our pets tolerate each other but none of them…how should I put this…LIKE each other very much. By the fourth day and no sign of Luna, Monkey was unabashedly happy. I would be feeding the baby and here she’d come~ if cats could skip I swear that’s what she was doing, but it looked more like a happy gallop. Every time she entered a room it was with this prance of sorts and then she would just flop down, tummy up, like WHAT UP, BITCHEZ?! WHAT YA GONNA DO ABOUT IT.” This is highly uncharacteristic of this cat. She is normally a pretty dour little thing, very cynical, very, um, cat-ty. She is basically the Ouiser of cats and here she was, “almost chipper” for the first time in her 10 year existence.

Of course, much to her chagrin, a few days later Luna came back and she let us know how she was feeling about this by peeing on Bill’s bathmat and pooping on the downstairs rug. VERY SUBTLE, CAT. Luckily this only lasted long enough for her to get her message of “How could you do this to me?! I hate you!” across and she’s now back to her normal I’m-Always-Judging-You self.

*The kids are still doing great. With school and all the activities, we haven’t had a ton of family time which sucks, but they are so affectionate with Ezra it really melts my heart; Especially Keaton, who I was actually pretty nervous about since he gets jealous when the dog sits too close to me. Unfortunately he got a bad cough so we’ve spent the last week vigilantly intercepting his germy face from the baby’s, which is tough because he loves giving Ezra lots of hugs and kisses.

* The morning schedule went pretty smooth this week *knocks furiously on wood*. We’ve timed Ezra’s morning feeding to begin between 6:30 and 7am which gives me plenty of time to give him a full tummy before the kids 7:45am wake up call. Granted Bill has stayed to help until 8am but the rush to the preschool drop-off and getting Rowan back to the bus stop has gone better than expected. The bus company also let me change Rowan’s bus stop to the corner closest to our house which is all kinds of awesome because on cold days when I can’t take the baby out, I will be able to see the bus make its way to our stop so I can send Rowan out right before so she doesn’t have to wait in the cold and I can see her from our window. This is a huge score as I was pretty stressed out about it~ I don’t know when you’re supposed to feel comfortable letting your kids wait for the bus alone but I’m thinking it must be sometime between 15 and 25, right?

Other than that, we’re all trying to find our footing amid all this craziness. Sometimes we do great, sometimes things are a little rough around the edges~ Hopefully I’ll be able to report a groove of sorts forming by week 4. Or five? Or possibly Six? Whatever. I know we’ll get there.

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Internet? Last night I got almost 6.5 hours of sleep.

WHAT?!

SIX AND A HALF HOURS.

Four and a half of which were in a row. A motherfucking row. Uh. Sorry about that. I don’t just swear when I’m angry. I swear to express extreme delight as well. It just makes me feel good. Other acceptable times to swear : when hurt, agitated, driving, breathing, cleaning the fish tank, applying eye make-up, walking, watching American Horror Story and/or Walking Dead {not because it’s scary but because sometimes these characters do the DUMBEST SHIT… i.e. “let’s take the 75 year old doctor WHO WE DESPERATELY NEED for baby/all the medical things on a pointless exploration for supplies where his odds of death/zombification go up exponentially” YER SO DUM, DUMMIES!! {Also Carl. DUM.}}. Wow. This is not a very coherent paragraph. And this is me on relatively buckets and buckets of sleep. I’m just going to abort and-

Hi. Let’s start over. I slept and I like to swear and TV characters are stupid. Moving on. Today we’ve had our little guy exactly two weeks and while I had originally planned to write and post his birth story on this day, I am not that motivated right now so…bullet points it is!

What’s life like for our little two week old…

* Putting a newborn on a schedule is laughable but Ezra does already have a pretty predictable routine.

~EATS: Roughly 2.5-3.5 hours apart during the day. He’s normally pretty easy to hold off if need be, except for when he isn’t. At night he goes anywhere from 3 to 5 hours. Neither Rowan nor Keaton managed 4-5 hours until nearly 2 months old so THANK YOU, I WILL TAKE IT. His feedings last anywhere from 25 minutes to 50 minutes depending on how hungry/sleepy he is. I’m not gonna lie, the long feedings kind of suck both literally and figuratively.

~SLEEPS: In theory we try to follow the “up for 1 hour, sleep for 2” rule for newborns, but really during the day we just let him be awake when he wants to be awake and sleep when he wants to sleep and his natural pattern ends up pretty close to what they recommend. Once Bill goes back to work we’ll have to get better about going right to bed after his 8:30- 10:00 feeding because going to bed between midnight and 1am is not really doing us any favors. During the earlier night feeding Ezra is pretty easy to settle back in. Unfortunately if he gets up to eat around 5ish, it’s trickier to settle him down for a little extra shut-eye between 6 and 7:30. This won’t be as big of a deal once Bill and I move up our own bedtime though.

~POOPS: Loud and often. Good job, Baby. Now that his circ and belly button are healed, we are cloth diapering using prefolds and covers during the day, which I’m new to {we used Bumgenius pocket diapers with Keaton and didn’t start until he was one}. I have to admit, the first couple of times I attempted a prefold I got pretty discouraged. Cloth diapering a newborn is a whole different ball game. Ezra is not what you would call a big fan of diaper changes, cloth or disposable, so trying to get the diaper wrapped around and fastened securely took practice and was {is more} time consuming. Since I obviously do all the feedings, Bill has taken over much of the diaper duty and I have to give him mad props~ hippie diapers were definitely NOT his idea but he hasn’t complained at all and is now quite the expert.

~CRIES: Honestly after Keaton, someone could drop a vat of starving Screeching Eels that like to hum along to Nickelback into our living room and we’d hardly bat an eye. Ezra definitely gets fussy, especially when something comes between him and a good poop but it’s a lot more grunting and screeching than all out screams. He’s been way more fussy week 2 than week 1 but we sort of figured that first week was too good to last forever and well, unfortunately we were right.

So that’s pretty much the life a two week old… All-in-all? he’s a keeper.

 

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