Saturday, August 31, 2013

1 Month Already

     Lucy is one month old today. Wow. Where did the time go? It seems like we were just coming home from the hospital yesterday. Lucy is growing up too fast already and I'm finding myself already wishing time would slow down. Our little girl is growing so fast. She was 9lbs at her last appointment and I'm sure she's gained another pound if not two since then. I love her chubby little thighs and pudgy wrists. She has already outgrown some of her newborn outfits and I was a little sad to move into the 0-3mo portion of her closet.
      Our stellar photog friend Jenna took some super sweet shots of our perfect princess and I'm totally in love with how they came out. Considering Lucy was crying for the majority of the shoot I'm amazed at how many great pictures she was able to get. You can see them at her blog: Jenna Ebert Photography

     It's been a crazy month full of adjustments for all of us. It's funny, I know every baby is different but I never really thought Lucy would be different from Roxas. Boy was I wrong. Lucy is what I refer to as "high maintenance". She wants to be held almost constantly and eat just as often. I am enjoying these moments though. It seemed like in the the blink of an eye Roxas went from snuggly, itty bitty, baby to this big tank of a toddler who very rarely wants to snuggle. So even if I can't get to all the things I want to get to, I wouldn't trade my time holding and snuggling her for anything.

     Her sleeping habits are by far the most difficult thing I've been dealing with. She likes to be awake from about midnight to 3 or 4am. Then Roxas is up around 7:30...not a lot of sleep for mommy. It's only temporary and will be over soon but it's hard to convince yourself of that when it's 3:30am and you're dead dog tired. Some nights I longingly look at my pillow wishing I could just lay down and go to sleep but it's just not an option.
     Another difficulty we've been having is her tongue-tie. I'm extremely frustrated with the doctors we've seen so far. Her pediatrician noticed it and referred us to the ear, nose and throat doctor. The ENT confirmed she did have a very short frenulum but he didn't want to do anything about it until she was a year old. There is the possibility she will grow out of it and may not need it clipped at that point but if she does it will require sedation and I'm not overly thrilled about it. Not to mention I feel this tongue tie is the reason I'm having such pain with breastfeeding. Thank the Lord for the sheep that give me my tube of lanolin because that's the only thing saving me from having to bite a wooden spoon just to feed little one. She is gaining weight which seems to be why none of the doctors are willing to snip the frenulum. I get the feeling they don't see a problem as long as Lucy is growing. We are going to get a second opinion from a doctor in another town who snipped the frenulum of a friend of ours. Hopefully they will just do it, get it over with and our breastfeeding relationship can improve.

     It's been a crazy trip having both kids. I have really enjoyed this time with them. Sometimes it is rough. There have been times when both kiddos are screaming and it's just not possible to take care of both at the same time. I'm extremely lucky that Roxas is a great big brother and he is ok playing on his own or just sitting next to me reading a book or watching tv. Sometimes I feel bad that we don't get to spend as much time just him and I playing anymore but he seems pretty darn happy so that makes me happy. I'm also lucky to have such a great husband who has been so supportive and helpful. On his days off he will get up with Roxas and I can catch a little bit of sleep when Lucy naps in the morning which is the best thing ever. Our family has also been an invaluable resource. My parents and my in-laws have saved the day for me quite a few times. I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have all this love and support.
     This post-partum period has been so drastically different than last time, I'm actually really enjoying being a new mommy. I didn't realize how miserable I really was last time until I got a handle on it and started feeling better. Sometimes the thoughts still creep in but I'm finding it easier to dismiss them and regain control. I wish I would have figured it out sooner because I truly enjoy my life at the moment. Even with the times where I'm sleep deprived, cranky and both kids are screaming...I still wouldn't trade it for anything.

     I can't wait for the weather to get cooler so we can go to the park, and have some fun outdoors. Now that Roxas is bigger it's a ton of fun playing with him and watching his crazy antics. He is a total ham and loves to make us laugh. He is all boy for sure though, he will headbutt you or body slam you if you're not paying attention.  He learns something new every day and always surprises me. It will be so much fun when Lucy is big enough for him to really play with her, he has been bringing her all kinds of different toys to play with lately. He's a great little helper, even if it's not exactly productive I love seeing how eager he is to help out with his little sister.

     So, that's our first month together as a family of four. It's been crazy, tiring but awesome at the same time. I am excited for what the future holds for us next.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Two Under Two

    Lucy will be two weeks old tomorrow and I can't believe I'm the mommy of two kiddos under two years old. It's still hard to believe this beautiful daughter of ours is here. Maybe by the time the kids go off to college it will feel real.

    Monday was my first day with just me and the kids. Up until then I had Kenny at home spoiling me rotten. He was amazing and pretty much did everything for Roxas while I functioned as all you can eat buffet for Lucy and let my body rest. I think maybe I hyped myself up to expect the worst and that's why I'm surprised caring for two babies by myself wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. Now, it is tough and there have been plenty of times where both have been crying and I had to juggle a little bit with who to tend to first. Still, I haven't even come close to having a breakdown. I even ventured out of the house with both kids and ran a bunch of errands. This all went surprisingly well. I am sure there are tougher days to come, and no doubt I will end up wanting to crawl under a rock and stay there but for now things are going well. Roxas has been doing great with her. He was a little cranky at first but now he's a fantastic little helper. When she cries he will go grab my nursing pillow or a binky for her to "help". Sometimes he tries to share his toys too, and though the thought is sweet we have to be really careful he doesn't accidentally whack her with some of the larger toys.

     After Roxas was born I had a hard time battling post-partum depression. I ignored it for a long time, too long, and it made life miserable for both me and my family. This time I was prepared and I really feel like I'm on top of it now. I've been keeping in touch with my doctor and thanks to my family I have a ton of support and help. I've also boarded the crazy train and I encapsulated my placenta and have been taking capsules every day. It was incredibly easy and so far I think it really has made a difference for me, both with mood and milk supply. So, I might be nuts but if it helps- why not? We have also had so much love and help from our friends and family. The local MOMs Club as well as friends and family have been bringing us meals throughout the past two weeks which has taken SO much stress off of me. It's been a huge blessing not having to worry about making dinner.

    Lucy is a bit more high maintenance than Roxas was. She wants to nurse or be held almost constantly. If she isn't sleeping, she's eating. As a result she is a very healthy 9lbs now! We're having a bit of trouble on the breastfeeding front unfortunately, but I'm stubborn and refuse to give up just because I'm in some pain. The doctor noticed she does indeed have a very short frenulum (that string that ties your tongue to the bottom of your mouth) which may be a big part of why we are having issues. We have an appointment to see an ear nose and throat doctor next week since this type of thing, while not a huge deal, can actually impact speech later. She's a very happy and healthy girl though. She isn't a huge fan of sleeping at night and prefers to stay nice and wide awake from about 12am to 3:30/4am. I don't get a whole lot of sleep anymore but I'm adjusting to it. We did Lucy's newborn pictures this past weekend with the ever talented Jenna Ebert again and I'm so excited to see the finished images. It was quite the experience getting my little drama queen to cooperate with being photographed but just the pictures I saw on her camera were fantastic so I know I will love the finished product!

    I love staring at this perfect little baby that we created. It's still mind boggling that two little cells grew into such a complex and amazing little person. I love being a mommy to both Roxas and Lucy. Every day I get to spend with them is a gift that I'm lucky to have.
 Roxas was giving his sister a kiss <3
 She's a very alert and awake newborn
This was about 3am, wide awake!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

She's Here!

Lucy Mae Stutler has finally arrived! This picture is from the morning we left to go to the hospital, my only "official" 40 week picture of the baby bump.

     We arrived at the hospital around 5:30am to be induced. We got checked in and I did surprisingly well with the IV. They didn't even have to break out the smelling salts! Then we waited for the doctor to come in and break my water. She came in at 8am and broke my water. I wasn't having any contractions at all on my own so the doctor wanted to start pitocin. I understand why, once you break the water there is a 24 hour time limit to get the baby out so the sooner the better, but it doesn't mean I was thrilled about it. Once the pitocin started I began getting some contractions but they weren't too crazy...yet.
See, not so bad :-)

     About 1:00pm the contractions were about 2min apart and they started really getting rough. I had made great progress to 5, almost 6cm. At this point I couldn't talk through them anymore and I had to really concentrate on what I was doing. I had been really wanting to go without any pain relief at all but a particularly painful contraction hit and I caved to the drugs. I have a lot of admiration for women who go completely drug-free. I still passed on the epidural though which I'm pretty proud of. After getting the medication it took the edge off the pain but then the contractions ramped up even more. Stronger, longer, and only a minute in between. This is the point when I kind of morphed into a completely different person.

     I had my amazing husband at my side giving me encouragement and not minding sacrificing his hand for squeezing during contractions. I also had my mom there supporting me and taking pictures since I don't really remember much when it's all over.
     Around 3:30 ish I had made it to 9cm and was really wanting to start pushing. I hate to say I got a little shouty at this point but at least I wasn't trying to hit anybody. They had to call the doctor over from her office just up the street. Apparently it took her 8 minutes to get there. It seemed like a dang eternity to me. The room kicked into high gear with parts of the bed being taken off and the doctor rushing in, gowning up and getting ready to catch. After about 8 pushes Lucy was born at 4:02pm.

    She weighed 8lbs 3oz and was 18 inches long. She is perfect in every way and I'm amazed at how much I love her already. The family all came by to see her and big brother finally got to meet his new baby sister. I don't think he really understands what that means yet.

      Our first night was a bit rough. She wanted to nurse constantly, and would only sleep when I held her. This made getting any sleep myself a bit difficult. I finally got her to sleep in the hospital bassinet around 5am and then the lady from the laboratory came in at 6am to draw my blood and woke me up. For the most part Lucy has been eating and sleeping, like pretty much all newborns. I'm hoping she can settle into a routine of sorts soon. Lucy has been great at learning how to breastfeed and is very eager to keep practicing. She eats all the time. I'm hoping we can avoid a lot of the bumps in the breastfeeding road I experienced with Roxas. Another bump on my mommy road is the post-partum depression I experienced last time. I'm on guard for the signs and I've admittedly felt like it is rearing it's ugly head again. I'm staying on top of it with the help and support of our family, and the care of a doctor but it's not a fun way to feel. Hopefully I can enjoy being a new mommy a little bit better this time rather than waiting. 
     We came home Thursday after both Lucy and I received a clean bill of health. For her trip home we dressed her in the same little dress that I was brought home in which was pretty cool. My parents have been wonderful and watched Roxas for the whole time we were in the hospital. Coming home to him was really great. Last night was the very first time I ever spent a night away from him and I missed his goofy antics so much. When we came home he was a little confused as to why mom and dad brought home that baby he saw at the hospital. He has been a little extra cranky but that could have a lot to do with his teeth coming in rather than his sister. I really hope it's the teeth. Kenny has the next week off and I'm so thankful to have him there to help keep me from completely losing it.
     I've found recovering from this pregnancy to be a bit tougher than last time. Even though the labor was less than half the time my body has not responded by being half as beat up. After having a baby you get these contractions that help shrink the womb back to a normal size. This time these contractions are much more painful than I remember. I won't go into details about other things but I just feel physically more drained and worn out than last time. Another reason I'm really thankful to have my supportive family there to help me while I try to recover.

So, it's been a fun second ride and I will be updating the blog at least a few times a month, maybe more if I have the time. Just for kicks and giggles her is my "after" tummy. I still look about 6 months pregnant but that's totally normal and hopefully I will be able to lose the weight in time. It's very strange not having this big ol' belly out in front of me anymore, I actually can't remember what it was like...and it was just less than 48 hours ago that I had it!