Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Maggie is 5 weeks old!

Happy Halloween!
I must reiterate how hard it is for me to believe how quickly time is flying by.  My baby girl is a month old already- yikes! I think she is precious and gorgeous and perfect but then again I am a bit bias so... James brought this cute little pumpkin home from school today and it was perfectly Maggie sized so he decided she should hold it for a little while. She is doing really well, eating like a champ and sleeping like a champ even for a 5 week old baby.  She is sleeping a bit better at night- doing at least one 4 hour stretch every night.  It's amazing how when you have a newborn 4 hours of straight sleep feels like a full night and you feel quite rested! She was almost 11 lbs last week so growing like a weed.  So far her first Halloween has been pretty uneventful.  Check out Pumpkin Wars on HGTV tonight to see how we celebrate around here!

I thought I would join up again with Ginny's yarn along.  My work in project Wednesdays have taken on new meaning.... but I'm finally finding time to knit again.  I started a Mulnomah in some gorgeous hand dyed sock yarn I got at the New York Sheep and Wool Festival last weekend. I'm liking the pattern so far and I think it will go well with the colorway I am working with. I'm having some trouble with dropping stitches (a lot) but that might have something to do with knitting while nursing and or while being clambered upon by raucous toddlers. I'm also not used to knitting with small needles so I should have a lot of practice by the time I am done with this shawl. I can't wait to get to the feather and fan section. I should be working on Christmas presents but I figured I'd make something for myself instead...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Maggie is 4 weeks old!

It is totally, utterly, completely impossible for me to believe that my baby girl is 4 weeks old already!  Yikes... how did that happen? It has been a week of firsts for Maggie- her first road trip, her first sheep and wool festival, her first staff meeting at mommy's work, her first trip to the YMCA...  She is just starting to really smile, not just farty or in her sleep smiles.  I think a baby smile is just the most wonderful thing.  Her whole face lights up and she has the sweetest dimples. She looks more and more like James as time goes on.  We were looking at baby pictures of  James the other day and when I asked Xander who they were he replied "Maggie!" Good thing she has tons of pink clothes.

I was giving her a bath the other day and as I was bathing her her beautiful baby hair was just coming out in chunks.  I'm so sad.  I knew she would lose the baby hair but watching it just fall out in clumps was really depressing.  I think babies with hair are so cute! I know it will grow back but still... When we were at my work for staff meeting we put her on the scale and she now weighs 10lbs 13oz so she is certainly doing well in that category.  We seem to have found a slightly better groove in terms of sleep at night as she has been consistently sleeping for 3-4 hours.  So all is well in baby land! It's going to be a busy couple of weeks and we seem to have lots of things planned for the next week or so and then in a few weeks we are off to MO for Thanksgiving. I found out that my first day back at work will be December 20th- just in time for Christmas, bummer!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Maggie is 3 weeks old!

Time flies when you are having fun.  Miss Maggie is three weeks old already! She is doing really well- we took her for her 2 week follow-up at the doctor and she weighed in at 9lbs 12.8 oz so she certainly isn't being deprived nutritionally.  It looks like she might have a little bit of thrush in her mouth so we'll have to take care of that but otherwise she is a perfect, healthy, fat, chubby baby girl. She is falling in the 80th percentile for height, weight and head circumference right now.  We'll have to see if that trend continues or if she'll be more like her brothers. It explains why she is so quickly growing out of her newborn clothing though- the three month stuff is a little big but not really! We had a nice quiet day at home with the boys but we spent the evening at Margarita's with some of the girls from work. One of my co-workers is leaving so we had a good-bye party for her. It was really nice to spend some time with the girls and Maggie was very well behaved the entire time. James also came with us and he was really good too. We had some really yummy food and good conversation and I had a drink for the first time in like a year! All in all it was a lovely evening.

Mommy and Maggie

Monday, October 15, 2012

Finding our routine....

So I don't know if it because I am getting to be an old fart or because I was so depleted due to all the intestinal issues I was having when she was born or because now I am the mom to three kids, but I have found this recovery to be harder than with the boys.  All things considered Mags is a good baby although she does have a habit of waking up at 4am and taking like 90 minutes to go back to sleep.  So by the time she is back asleep the boys are starting to wake up... so no more sleep for me! Pretty much though she sleeps and she eats and she pees and poops and does all the things a newborn baby is supposed to do. So I guess I feel like I should have been back to my old self sooner but she is almost three weeks old and I am just in the last day or so feeling like a normal human being again instead of a sleepwalking zombie!

Cooking dinner every night seems to be beyond me at this point (thanks goodness for friends/neighbors who have been bringing us food) but every few days I can manage the crockpot. I finally got on top of the never ending rounds of laundry and dishes.  I'm truly amazed at how much laundry I can do and there is always more. Maggie's favorite trick seems to be spitting up on me the second I have changed into clean clothes. I never really used receiving blankets with the boys but I am using a lot with her because she also seems to like pausing in the middle of a feeding and letting the milk just run out of the side of her mouth until she is ready to start sucking again.  I don't complain too much because I am just happy to have plenty of milk for her but she really is a messy eater. Nursing finally seems to be pain free.  I don't remember being sore with Xander and with James I don't remember it taking this long to get better, but thankfully we seemed to have moved passed the toe-curling pain because pumping and bottle-feeding was really starting to sound like a good idea!

My goal is to update the blog with photos and updates at least once a week so I can have a week by week picture diary for Maggie like I did with the boys but we'll have to see how that goes... I still haven't done James' 3 yr well child update and his appointment was over a week ago!  It's coming I promise...

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Maggie is two weeks old!

Our precious girl is two weeks old! It's hard to believe... It seems like no time at all and yet I can't imagine life without her. I'm still pretty tired overall but things are kinda getting into a routine.  I've survived my first few days with all three kids by myself so that is a step in the right direction. She had her first big outing out to the County Farm Bureau Annual Meeting and she did really well and I got to eat my food while it was warm so I'd call it a sucess.

Maggie's sleeper is a Toasty Sleeper- Ravelry link here: A note on this pattern- it is very tiny so if you have bigger babies like I do I would encourage you to increase the stitch count a bit.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Maggie's Birth Story

Let me just preface this by saying it includes all the nitty gritty details so read on only if you like the full story!

So Maggie’s birth pretty much didn’t go as I anticipated.  One thing I learned from my 2 previous births was that nothing will go like you expect so Maggie’s arrival wasn’t too different in that respect but I said I would avoid certain things at all costs and of course that isn’t what happened either. All that being said she had a wonderful birth!

I worked the weekend before she was born, 4 night shifts in a row, which everyone thought I was totally crazy for doing.  I figured at least if I was working I would be keeping busy instead of focusing on how uncomfortable I was and the longer I worked the longer I get to spend at home with her.  I felt like if I didn’t work I would be wasting my maternity leave, but as long as she and I were healthy I didn’t want to be induced.  So Tuesday morning rolled around and despite feeling lots of early labor symptoms since Sunday I still wasn’t in labor. I was scheduled for the post-dates testing Tuesday morning so my mom and I headed to the clinic for an NST, U/S, and a visit with the midwife.  The u/s went well – I had tons of amniotic fluid so no worries there- and the NST went ok.  It wasn’t the best NST ever but there wasn’t anything non-reassuring about it. Then I had the appointment with the midwife and she checked me. I was 2cm dilated, long and the baby’s head was at -2 station.   So basically at 41 weeks they offer induction, which all along I said I didn’t want but at this point I was really done being pregnant.  I had been vomiting and had terrible GI symptoms and as I told the midwife I kept feeling like I was on the verge of going into labor but I hadn’t quite reached the tipping point yet. So we decided we would do a couple doses of cervical ripening with misoprostol and if that didn’t work I’d go home and await spontaneous labor but we’d avoid any “big guns” (i.e. Pitocin).

So from the clinic we walked over to Labor and Delivery where my good friend Melody awaited us. We got started on the paperwork and she put me back on the monitor. I had my blood drawn and they started an IV. Funnily since my appointment the week before I had actually lost weight- 6 lbs total- and then they had a really hard time getting an IV started.  It took 5 tries to get an IV so that gives you an idea of how dehydrated I was at that point.  I was actually already contracting on my own at this point but very irregularly and some of them I wasn’t even feeling. So I got a dose of misoprostol and did my 2 hours on the monitor where I continued to contract every 4-5 minutes.  After the monitoring time was done my mom and I went for a walk and checked out the gift shop.  We headed back up to my room and I figured I would lie down for a bit before it was time for the next dose of miso and before Frank arrived with the boys.  Frank had worked that day and then gone home to feed the animals and pick up the boys.  He was bringing them to the hospital so he could be with me and then my mom could take them home.  I’d been lying down for maybe 15 minutes when I felt a pop but then nothing else so I thought, “well that was weird.” Not long after that I rolled over and felt a gush of fluid and thought maybe my water had broken but when I got up and went to the bathroom nothing else was leaking so I figured maybe I just peed myself.  Anyway I sat on the toilet for a while to see and nothing else seemed to be leaking so I got up and then the huge gush came! I guess her head must have shifted when I moved as soon as I stood up all that lovely amniotic fluid we’d seen on u/s came pouring right on out. As it turned out she had meconium stained amniotic fluid so the time had come for her to be born.

Not long after my water broke the contractions seemed to pick up.  They put me back on the monitor to see if I could have another dose of miso but I was contracting too much on my own to do that so we decided to let labor progress on its own.  So I paced around the room, rocked on the ball and then got in the tub as the contractions continued to get longer and closer together.  After a few hours I was really hurting and decided I wanted something for pain. Dr Bulley came and checked me and I was 4 cm dilated, 100% thinned out and the baby’s head was at -1 station so in a couple hours I had made some really good progress but I still had a ways to go.  We went back and forth about pain relief options.  I was worried about getting an intrathecal because I had such issues after James was born but I wasn’t really sure I wanted an epidural but I didn’t think that nubain was going to help enough to get me through.   So the anesthesiologist came and we talked about it and in the end I decided to go for the epidural.  So I got my epidural and it was wonderful! I had excellent pain relief and despite having a numb feeling in my butt I had really good motion and was able to move around freely in the bed.  The monitors didn’t even really bother me because I wasn’t really in pain.  I could still feel the contractions but it was more of a pressure feeling.

Maggie weighed 8 lbs 4oz and was 20.25 in long
Since I had an epidural we did lots of position changes and rolled side to side to help the baby come down evenly.  My doula, Janet, did counter pressure as I lay on my sides to help open my pelvis.  Within a few hours I was feeling a lot of pressure with contractions and then I started throwing up- classic sign of transition for me- so the midwife checked me again and I was complete. I labored down for a little bit and then started more actively pushing with the contractions.  At first the pushing felt good but soon enough I started to feel the burn.  I’ve got to say that the epidural was wonderful for the labor pain but it didn’t help at all with the pain of pushing! As I was pushing I was trying different positions to find one that felt better and ended up on my hands and knees.  I could feel her head moving down with each push and then sliding back in when I stopped pushing.  It was seriously frustrating!  I wanted to push because I wanted to get her out and have this over with but at the same time it hurt so much I didn’t want to push either. It was as she started to crown that I really lost it.  I just felt like I was going to split in two and she still wasn’t going to come out.  I was totally convinced that she wasn’t going to come but Frank, Janet, Rebekah my midwife, and Mel my nurse kept encouraging me to keep going.  I don’t think I could have done it without their help.  I was very lucky to have such a great team with me. So after 38 minutes (which seemed like much longer) of pushing, Maggie made her entrance at 1:28 a.m. on September 26, 2012. Once her head came out she just slipped the rest of the way out in another gush of amniotic fluid- unlike her brother thank goodness who has very snug shoulders! I flipped back over into a sitting position and ripped off all the belts and monitors and she came right up onto my chest. She had the cord wrapped around her neck a bit so she was a bit stunned when she first was born but wide awake and alert and looking around. At first I couldn’t tell if she was actually breathing she was so quiet but she was! She stayed snug skin to skin with me while I delivered the placenta and they checked me for lacerations- no stitches needed thank goodness! Once her cord stopped pulsing I got to cut it (Frank had no interest…) and she actually started nursing right away smart girl!

We stayed in Labor and Delivery until our recovery time was up and then moved out to our postpartum room. By then Maggie had fallen asleep so we all crashed.  Frank got up to go to work in the morning and I took the best shower of my life, even in the tiny cramped hospital bathroom! My original plan had been to go home that day but in the end we decided to stay one night and take advantage of the room service and that way we wouldn't have to come back to do Maggie's PKU testing. She passed all her tests with flying colors and was nursing well so we brought her home the next day!
Bringing Maggie home- September 27, 2012

Saturday, October 6, 2012

My babes

So I finally got a picture of the three kiddos together. Trying to get everyone to sit still was a bit of a challenge but we managed at last! My three precious bundles of joy...

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Maggie is one week old!

"I like to smile in my sleep"- Do you ever wonder what babies dream about?
It's hard to believe it had been a whole week since our little princess joined us.  It feels like forever and then hardly any time at all.  We are all doing well.  I've been feeling pretty tired but my stomach has finally settled back to normal so I'm not feeling as sick as I was.  All my test results came back negative so not sure if I just had the stomach flu or maybe it was food poisoning that was making my stomach so upset but since I am finally feeling better I am not sure I care what was causing it!  I felt well enough to venture out of the house today- Momma's first solo trip with Maggie! We had an appointment at the hospital and then got to visit with some of my co-workers who were all quite happy to meet my little Magpie.  We visited with the lactation consultant and got the chance to throw Maggie onto the scale.  My little peanut now weighs 8lbs 7oz after a feeding (she was 8lbs 2oz on Monday at her weight check). So above her birthweight at one week old- smart girl! She's been a  great little nurser so now we just have to get through the sore part of breastfeeding initiation and we should be good.  She's even taken to sleep for 3-4 hour stretches at night in between feeds so I couldn't ask for more!