Mommy Milestones #1

I wanted to change up a few things with the blog to reflect the changes in our lives. With that, I am going to be posting a weekly update on the milestones I achieve as a new mom. Here, I’ll talk about the trials and victories of being a new mom.

I don’t think I want to make this a full-tim parenting blog. I don’t think that really fits with how I’ve always envisioned this blog. It’s a living blog, so I do intend to maintain that theme.

As you, my readers, know, my little boy was born on the 12th. In this first week of his life, I can honestly say that it’s been nothing and everything like all our advice-givers have told us.

Trials:

I had a Cesarian Section after 12 hours of labor. In addition to my having major surgery, Tucker had to be whisked away to the NICU. The plan I had, the wish I had, of feeding him right from delivery and holding him skin-to-skin was not going to happen. This was and still is upsetting (It’s been over a week and I still get misty!)

I’ve never before had major surgery. The only time I’ve ever been under anesthesia was about 15 or so years ago when I had my wisdom teeth pulled out in the middle of 9th grade and that was just gas, not heavy drugs.

I remember laying there, and most people who know will say that I’m pretty stoic, and not the most emotional person. But as I was laying there, feeling the tugs and pulls of the doctors working on us to get Tucker out, I couldn’t help but feel waves of guilt for not doing more to get my baby out in a quicker and more healthful way. Then, when he was out, and I could hear him, I couldn’t open my eyes because I knew I would burst into tears and could be detrimental to the process of closing me up. I could still feel the tears stream out of the corners of my eyes, and the telltale quiver of my bottom lip.

Moments later, the neonatal pediatrician was at my side (or head, rather) letting me know that she was going to be taking Tucker to the NICU for observation because he was having a little difficulty breathing as a result of the meconium he had ingested before birth. Before they took my baby to the NICU, I got to see him for the first time. I don’t have words for that moment. I’m sure you can imagine the flood of emotions.

Jason first went to the table where they were cleaning the baby in the OR to cut his umbilical cord. Unfortunately for Jason, he took a peek at me on his way. He tells me he’s very surprised he didn’t collapse then and there. It’s not every day that you see your wife on an operating table with a large gaping hole in the middle of her. The doctors working on the baby redirected his attention to the baby so he could focus on his job. Apparently that, too, was pretty gross.

As for me, I kept my eyes closed but to look at Tucker that first time until I was in my recovery room.

Healing from a C-Section is not fun, at all. Not that I would have expected it to be. I just don’t like being in pain and having to rely on pain medication to function. This, coupled with caring for a new-born, was exceedingly difficult–because not only am I a pretty stoic person, I’m also a pretty independent person. I can’t even drive for two weeks, post-op. As the primary driver in our family, this isn’t only hard for me, but for Jason as well. He’s not a fan of driving…I should say he’s really not a fan of OTHER drivers.

We haven’t really gone anywhere since we got home last Monday. We had Tucker’s first well-baby visit on Tuesday, which was a big trial for Jason because of his needing to be able to drive us to the appointment. Driving not being the big issue, but the sleep deprivation playing a big part. At a point, I made Jason sleep several hours in our guest room, just so he would be rested enough to drive. The first night home with Tucker was…interesting.

Waiting for my milk to fully come in had been another major trial. For all of us. Remember how I said a few paragraphs ago that I wasn’t the most emotional of people? Well, postpartum hormonal imbalance has pretty much taken care of that. As my husband will tell you: these days, I cry at the drop of a hat. Mostly its in the middle of the night, after the baby has woken up after only sleeping for twenty minutes for the third time, and he can’t keep a latch, so we default to the single bottle of formula we’ve resolved ourselves to needing. This usually triggers my guilt from needing a C-Section, not being able to nurse until two days after Tucker was born, and blaming my body for not providing enough for my baby.

Victories:

My milk has come in! I’m even leaking, which is an odd sensation. I still feel as though I’m not producing enough, but I think Tucker has entered into his very first growth spurt, so that could account for his needing more nutrients than I am physically able to provide him with currently. Of course this still makes me sad, but I have come to better terms with the situation. When we left the hospital last Monday, they gave us a decent supply of the formula they’d been feeding Tucker throughout the duration of his stay. We also got a gift bag full of baby goodies, which also contained the powdered version of the premixed bottles they’d given us. So, for at least this first month or so, we’re set for feedings.

We’ve also just about figured out how this little guy operates. I can usually get him to sleep just by breastfeeding, especially during the day time. It’s at night–that 2-6 o’clock window–during which he is supper fussy and no amount of breast milk seems to do the trick. A 2 oz bottle of formula works like a charm. This leads to more sleeping time for Jason and me too. So, for now, we’ll continue to play this by ear and see if it sticks… or for how long anyway. I’ve read that the first 6 weeks are the worst of the first three months. Here’s hoping!

The swelling in my hands and feet has gone down so much, that I’ve been able to put my wedding ring back on. I don’t remember how far along I was before I had to take it off, but it was a sad day for both Jason and me. I had hoped to wear it longer, but it didn’t work out that way. When I showed Jason that I had put it back on, he said “Hooray, we’re married again!” This made me smile; something I needed.

While I was pregnant, the swelling in my ankles and feet got so bad that at one point, I’d gained nearly 5 pounds in a single week from the water retention. Now that Tucker is here, and my body has had a little bit of time to re-acclimate to normal conditions, my feet no longer resemble fat sausages, and I’ve actually lost about 1/4 of my baby weight. I’ve actually lost about half, but I give Tucker credit for half of that.

**Question: What are your Mommy Milestones this week?**

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Sweet Tuckleberry

I had planned on posting a nice long blog about the DIY project that was the baby room. However, before I could insert the many pictures, guess what happened?

Water broke!

So on Thursday afternoon, Jason and I headed to our doc and subsequent to that were admitted to the Labor & Delivery department of the hospital.

Mere moments after feeling the water break, I discovered a greenish tinge to it, so the emergency call to the doc was made and within the hour I was having 30-40 second contractions every 2.5-3 minutes!

At 4:30 my doc checked me out at 3cm.

By the time I had the on call OB in the hospital check me, about an hour later, I was 5-6 cm. I labored in the bed and in the tub. After vomiting and a series of coughing fits which resulted in more vomiting, it had been nearly 12 hours and still no baby.

At the 12 hour mark, I was fully dilated, but at 0 station. Baby wasn’t going to be traveling through the normal route to get to us. With each attempted push, his heart rate declined, and so we all agreed that a c-section would be the way to go.

I’m not that upset about needing to go that route. I had wanted a regular, vaginal delivery, but my baby getting delivered safely was more important.

After the whole thing (which I was awake for), our OB said that he was actually positioned in such a precarious way, that vaginal delivery was pretty much off the table anyway. We had made the right choice.

Tucker’s 1st day

Unfortunately, with that green tinge to my broken water, came the reality that Tucker had already had his first poo, and as a result, inadvertently ingested some of it. This meant that he wouldn’t be spending his first nights in my room, but in the NICU.

Tucker’s 2nd day

 

It has been a big trial for us. I’ve been working on using a breast pump the last two days (they all kind of merge together here). I am happy to report that we were able to get a good latch this afternoon. All of his wires had been taken away over the course of the evening, and this morning, his doctor said I could try nursing him. He latched for a solid 4-5 minutes. Formula was given after that so he could eat some real food since my milk hasn’t come in yet.

Tucker’s 3rd day

So, today he’s off the O2, IV, and antibiotics. We’re just waiting to get the OK from his doc that we can take him home with us tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

In The Mood

My body has decided, or DID decide, that last night would be a great time to practice having contractions. According to sites like the bump and baby center, I’ve been having practice contractions since about 6 weeks. They go unnoticed for much of pregnancy. In the last few weeks, I had been having what I assumed were Braxton Hicks contractions; I felt a definite stretch along the top of my uterus. The only thing with these, was I couldn’t be 100% that they were even real. They occurred at night, as I was rolling over from one side to the other. I wasn’t sure if I had dreamed them or if I actually felt it. This mainly being due to my ability to fall back to sleep almost instantly upon repositioning. My brain never had the time to really think about it for too long.

When I told my doctor about them two weeks ago, he was amused and said they could be Braxton Hicks, because they were in the right place. But the fact that I wasn’t sure that I actually had had them, made him a little skeptical. After the LOVELY internal exam two weeks ago and my lack of any pre-laboring, we decided an internal wasn’t necessary this past Friday when we saw the doc again.

Friday’s appointment did bring a bit of a pucker moment for Jason when the doctor told us that being as how we’re now beyond 36 weeks, if I go into labor, they won’t stop it. That’s right, from here on out, the Tucker time bomb is just waiting to go off.

This brings me to last night. I spent most of the day doing nothing in particular. I felt good yesterday morning for a change, and went for a 20-minute walk around the neighborhood. Being that I work from home, I took the rest of my morning to catch up on some stuff for work. I did some dishes, and got the laundry together so I could start on that today. But for the most part, I watched a few shows on TV which had been preceded by a nap before dinner. Around midnight-thirty, I had Jason draw a bath and soaked for a while before bed.

We’re hot people. We’ve had the swamp-coolers running since about May, and only recently (like in the last few days) started to turn it off for most, if not all of the day. Needless to say, after my bath I was a bit overheated. I eventually cooled down and we fell asleep soon after.

Fast-forward a few hours. I go to turn over and holy crap. I mean; HOLY CRAP. Now, I know that this was nothing like what I’ll be experiencing when I am actually IN labor, but HOLY CRAP. I was practically paralyzed. I couldn’t move because the pain was so intense. And it wasn’t THAT intense. It’s just not what you anticipate feeling at 2-3 in the morning. Yup, right across the top of my uterus, a pain I’d never ever felt. I’m sitting there, trying to hold my self up on one elbow, breathing deeply through the pain. My other arm flails about, trying to wake up Jason. I don’t know what is going on, but if I’m going into labor, I thought to my self, his butt needs to be awake.

He wakes with a start. And I tell him, quite clearly “I’m having a THING! It hurts!” and then after the pain dulled a little a few moments later “I don’t know if I need to go to the bathroom or throw up.” At which point, I haul myself to the bathroom to 1. make sure my water hadn’t broken, and 2. generally change positions. By the time I get back to bed (no more than 5 minutes later), Jason is back asleep and snoring.

The rest of the night was passed without incident, but I couldn’t help but think back to parts of a conversation Jason and I had had earlier in the day. Pretty much both of us commenting of the doctor’s statement about not stopping labor now, and how we hope like mad we make it to payday (next Thursday) so we can finish preparing for not only having a baby in the house, but having a baby in the hospital.

On that note, I leave you with a montage of our crib-building adventure from late last week.