Monday, December 3, 2012

Sounds like life to me: Newborn

Everyone paints a picture of life is sheer bliss with a newborn, or atleast that's what we were told.  The only thing people said was, "you won't be getting much sleep" and "your life will never be the same"! haha okay, yes both of these are pretty much true, but there is SO MUCH that no one told us or prepared us for... so here it is! haha Yes, Charles and I thought it was important to write this to be honest with how our first 3 weeks have been and to look back and laugh at this once she's grown and/or when we have other babies to see how life compares.

As stated in the labor story, it didn't go how we wanted it to go, but overall, it went well.  It was a brief part of our journey (about 3 days) with the labor and post partum hospital stay.  The worst part was after Brooke was born.  It was overwhelming and exhausting having someone knock on the door what seemed like every 5 minutes day and night.  Yes, this test, that test, did you pee, did she poop, check her vitals, change sheets and towels, food, family, lactation consultants... wow, I was stressed and just ready to get home!  Thankfully, Brooke did well and passed all the tests, though we HATED the hearing test and heal prick, we had a good time at the hospital and have no reservations about having another child.

This may be TMI but it's my blog and I'm going to write what I want to write :) haha I started "leaking" at about 26 weeks. As soon as Brooke was born, she was handed to me and I was encouraged to try to nurse her.  She did great!  I felt like a natural, even though everyone had told me it's the most "unnaturally natural" thing.  She ate great, pooped and peed like she was suppose to and we didn't have any trouble.  Two different lactation consultants came in and both didn't have any advice to offer because whatever I was doing was perfect.  I was so happy! I actually prayed numerous times during my pregnancy that nursing would go well.  Was I sore the first few days, yes.  Did it go away... yes.

My milk came in the day we came home from the hospital, she got confused a little bit because of the consistency and then got a hold of it and hasn't had any issues since!  I didn't use any creams and I didn't crack and bleed and I was never uncomfortably engorged.  She eats now every 2-3 hours and goes between 6 and 4 hours apart at night.

I apparently had too much milk so the recommended 15 minutes on each side didn't give her enough foremilk and hindmilk and she had seaweedy green poop.  I googled this issue and it suggested just feed from one side per feeding.  Do I look lopsided, haha sometimes!  But that's okay, she's getting what she needs and her poop is back to the "normal" color.  She is hilarious and poops during each feeding.  She stops, grunts, makes a hilarious stank face and does her business.  It's so funny!

I started pumping for work purposes and if me and Charles want to go out/have family watch her, or have Charles feed her.  That's also going very well, though it's a lot more comfortable how she feeds as opposed to how the Medela Pump in style pumps, I guess she's more gentle or I'm use to her.

Ha. hahahaha. What on earth.  Our child likes to cry, for no reason, randomly and other times shes a dream!  The whole purple cry/colic is ridiculous and frustrating.  Seriously, some nights (anytime after 5) she will flip a switch and just scream.  She's full, clean, warm, loved, and is still screaming her head off like she's in excruciating pain.  It's frustrating.  You try everything from walking, to bouncing, to laying her down, to gripe water, swing, swaddling, shhhhing, pacifier, and on and on and on.  You get ticked at each other because you each have different ways of soothing her (and obviously you think your way is right) while the other just wants to experiment and try things out.  The shrill scream grates on your nerves.  You pray countless times to take this demon out your sweet child's body and return her to a peaceful bundle of joy.  You want her to stop, breath and rest.  You feel absolutely helpless, like you're a bad parent, and then she falls asleep.  You have no idea what worked to calm her down, but you're thankful.  You hug your spouse and apologize for getting "snippy" and reinforce your love for one another and your love for your child.

This purple cry phase is suppose to last anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months.  She's great somedays, and terrible others.  She loves to be held, but is okay sometimes by herself.  I can't always get as much done as I want, but I stop and realize how selfish I am and sit on the couch and cuddle my sweet daughter and thank the Lord for her precious life.

Everyone says "sleep when the baby sleeps", yes, this is a good thought but if your baby likes to be held as much as Brooke, you can't do this. Or I can't. I can't hold her and sleep, I'm too afraid I'll get too relaxed and drop her.  Also, I didn't nap since my first trimester and am to much of a busy body to stop and nap during the day, so I don't.

Bedtime has been great!  She started out not sleeping well in her crib, so we used a little hinged bouncy seat.  She sleeps great in her crib now with a white noise machine.  She likes to be swaddled and sometimes uses a pacifier to calm her down.  She is great at night.  I normally float between our bedroom and the guest bedroom any given night.  It all depends on how long it takes her to fall back asleep and if Charles is snoring (because I can't put in ear plugs, or I won't hear the monitor, and I can't sleep if he's snoring).  haha she didn't like the bassinet in the pack in play by the bed, and Charles couldn't sleep with her in the room because she was too noisy.  Seriously, she grunts, squeals, squeaks and crys and then falls back asleep, it's hilarious.  I get anywhere from 4-6.5 hours of sleep a night, I'm not exhausted, but I'm not one of those people that "require" 8 hours of sleep.

I am so blessed to have not had any sever post postpartum sadness or depression.  Yes, there are days when she's screaming and I feel helpless that I get sad that we don't have a peaceful independent baby.  Then there are other days, like today, that she is great and I get the whole house cleaned, go on a walk with her, do laundry and write a blog post.  I also prayed for this.  The whole post partum depression scared me.  I wanted to love myself, my child and my husband, and it broke my heart to hear stories of ladies who felt like a zombie or a shell of themselves.  I healed emotionally and physically very fast.  I used the 800 ibuprofen for less than a week after Brooke was born.

 The only thing that I have gotten frustrated/sad about is the lack of time I get to see Charles.  Yes, that part has really changed.  He does work full time and is about to finish his MBA (next week, woot woot)!!! But spending day and night with a baby is exhausting.  When he gets home he has to do homework, and I get upset because I think he doesn't want to spend time with me or Brooke, but that's simply not true.  He will be done with Grad School soon and he is AMAZING at helping me with her! He is so fun to watch when they play, dance, sing and spend time together. He takes her and lets me shower or send an email, and he loves it when he gets to wake her up/get her out of bed.  She's our sweetness and we love her so much!

Well, that was a lot of words! haha sorry I was going to add pictures but she's probably going to wake up soon so this is what you get!!! I'm sure that's not everything, but it's all I could think of.  This was just a little glimpse into our life with child.  No, it's not peaceful and perfect, but it's our life and we're thankful for it!  We love you so much Brooke!!!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Brooke Grayson's Birth Story

41 weeks

Our sweet Brooke Grayson was born at 9:22am Thursday, November 8th she is officially 1 week old!
She was 6 lbs 6.8oz, 18.5" long, and they didn't tell us her head circumference.

Here's our birth story: 

We went in for our 40 week, weekly check up Tuesday the 6th at 7:30am. I was 2cm dialated and 70% effaced, the midwife said, "Well, looks like we'll meet this little one in about 24 hours!" We then left the doctors, ate breakfast at Denny's (we should have gone to Ihop, though Denny's wasn't terrible).  We were over joyed and still in disbelief we would meet our daughter so soon! We left breakfast, I went to work to collect my belongings and say goodbye to co-workers, and Charles headed back to the office to work.  I still wasn't feeling any contractions or anything different.  I was very thankful work said go ahead and stay home.

I rested, packed my toiletries in my bag, worked from home sitting on my birthing ball, did laundry, and other housework to get ready for the baby.  Charles and I went to Chik-fil-a in town for lunch, we had a great conversation and enjoyed more time together!  Since we were going to Greenville to deliver (about an hour and 15 mins from our house) we were planning on going to stay with his parents so we could labor there and be 20 mins from the hospital.  Charles asked me about 5pm if we wanted to sleep there Tuesday night, I said no, because I didn't feel any progress and I knew we would sleep better at home.  We went out to eat at this yummy cheese steak place and then went next door to get some 50 cent wings.  We went home, and went to bed.  Needless to say, the 24 hour prediction was wrong because we should have been having a baby around 8am the next morning.

We woke up, Charles went to work and I did everything I could to induce labor, yes, spicy food (ate a bite of his spicy hot wing - YUCK) raspberry tea, sex, walked in the neighborhood together... I was discouraged it had been over 24 hours and not even a cramp.  Charles had been telling people 24 to 48 hours and I was like "no honey, that's not what the doctor said," haha silly me.  Finally, around 4pm I was experiencing more regular cramping but it wasn't strong enough to call it contractions.  I downloaded a contraction timer and began to track them.  They started about 10 mins apart and shortened to about 6 minutes apart by 5:30pm.  A friend asked me if I wanted to go walking at the mall with her and her kids and I said yes. I wanted to see if these were labor pains (I rested and walked and they weren't going away but were getting more regular to worse). Charles joined us at the mall, and we decided it was time to go to Greenville.

At this point, I was uncomfortable and deemed them official contractions. Everything I have read says you will feel a wrapping, squeezing pain and mine wasn't. It was a sharp, concentrated pain on my pubic bone area, it never spread anywhere else.  I almost feel like it would have been better if it encompassed more of my body, it was very difficult having one "pressure point".  I didn't have any back pain either.  We headed to Greenville, spent a little time laboring at my inlaws (sat on an exercise ball and the toilet, and walked around a little bit).  We decided to call the Midwife because they were coming every 2 minutes and I couldn't/didn't want to talk during them and really couldn't get much relief in between. She told us to come into the hospital and get checked out, she was already up there for another birth.

We got there, waited 15 minutes or so to get checked in, though we had pre-registered, I was moaning in pain and the person checking in wasn't even uncomfortable, ugh! haha So, long story short, I had planned on having as natual a labor a possible, I read 2 Bradley Method books and thought I had a pretty high pain tolerance.

So finally they brought me back to triage to check my progress before deciding to admit me or not.  Contractions were every minute 30 seconds and very painful.  It was around 9:45 pm.  I was 5cm dilated and 90% effaced.  The midwife said I should go ahead and be admitted.  By this point, I was in so much pain because they were coming so frequently, I crawled on the bed for some rest, I didn't want to move around.  Once I laid down they started hooking up monitors and trying to get a port in for IV's.  They stuck me 6 times and were very unsuccessful getting a vein.  Finally the midwife got one in my hand.  That was more painful than some of my contractions!!! Charles said it was terrible.  They finally got a vein and concluded I was dehydrated. Yes, as you read earlier, when we thought we were 24 hours from the birth of our child, I was at home, not at work drinking a lot of water like I normally do, and we ate out 3 meals (which I rarely do). So yes, stupid me had let my body get dehydrated and they concluded this was why my contractions were so close together.

The midwife came in again about 11 to check on me, 5cm and 90% still... she said, you're only about half way.  Well, I was in pain, I wasn't pleasant to anyone and I was exhausted.  I asked what my options were, she said a pain med drip or an epidural.  I decided to try the pain med drip.  It did nothing during contractions, and made me groggy and loopy during my break between contractions.  We stopped that very quickly.  I realized I couldn't do it, I didn't know if it was my pain tolerance that couldn't withstand the pressure or my mental ability to cope with the pain.  I gave in and asked for an epidural.  The Dr. came in about 12:45 to do the epidural, since my contractions were so close together he had to insert the epidural during a contraction... SCARY! I was leaning on Charles, GROANING trying not to move because the Dr. kept saying "You have no idea how close I am to your spinal cord right now" ... Thanks. That's reassuring! Well, we got the epidural in and hunkered down for some rest.  I was really nervous about the epidural. I had heard many horror stories (didn't work, worked too well, etc.) Mine was great.  It completely numbed my knees to my belly button but I could still kinda move my lower legs and definitely my feet and toes.

The midwife said we should have a baby in the morning.  Charles and his mom slept.  I tried my best to sleep but all of the monitors (contraction, and her heartbeat) had me pretty awake.  Also, the nurses were constantly coming in to monitor things/change out the paper in the heart rate monitor machine (my monitors were all external, but they had to reposition Brooke's heart rate monitor a lot because she was still moving around.)

5am rolled around and they nurses said the midwife would be in soon to check the progress.  9-10cm and 100% effaced, almost go time! There was another lady a few rooms down basically the exact same labor stage (but this was her third baby) so she was getting priority of nurses/midwives.  Shift change was at 7am so we had to wait until about 7:30 for anyone to come in again.  It stunk changing up nurses after almost 10 hours of them being with us.  It's like they did all the hard work and then someone else just came in and got the glory for it.  Oh well, we knew we'd see them again at 7.

So, we started pushing around 8am.  I could not feel my contractions so we had to watch the monitor to tell me when to push.  And by push, yes, push like you're pushing out a biiiiiiiig poop. hahaha My contractions had fluctuated from 4 minutes to 6 minutes apart and were now 6 minutes apart.  This made pushing a long, slow process.  Yes, every 6 minutes this is how it went: "Ok Kim, deep breath, hold it and push for 10 seconds, we'll do this 3 times per contraction.  Okay... go!  You're doing great...1.................2................3...............yeah I don't have enough "...." to explain to you how slow they counted.  I truly thought I was going to pass out, and so did Charles.  They offered me some oxygen (a little mask I could grab) in between contractions for some extra energy.  haha most of my contractions were long and they'd throw in a "alright Kim, can you give us one more?" haha yeah so 4 "10 second" pushes.

This went on for about 30 minutes and the midwife was getting bored. hahaha okay, not bored but she did have another call she took and left us with the nurses.  Oh yes, I forgot to mention, she brought in a mirror, I didn't ask for it and I didn't really look during contractions because I was too busy trying not to pass out during pushes.

When the midwife got back, she suggested we speed this up process.  Okay, lets recap... IV (I originally didn't want this if I didn't have to get it),  pain drip (yeah, didn't plan on this either, epidural
(yeahhh not in the game plan), and now pitocin... why the heck not!? haha I tried my best not to focus on how wrong my labor was going (according to our "plan") but on the fact that we were sooooo close to meeting our daughter!

Pitocin sped them up to every 4 minutes, she was crowning, and the midwife said, "well, I only do this to about 2 or 3 women a year but, you have a really long perineum and you could be pushing forever, probably tear, so I suggest and episiotomy." Oh do you??? haha okay IV, pain drip, pitocin, epidural, episiotomy... bless.  So Charles and I looked at each other and said... just do it. 

The next contraction, snip, snip (yep, scissors you could audibly hear the cut, YUCK) and out popped Brooke Grayson Barrett at 9:22am!

They plopped her on me, stitched me up (2nd degree cut), delivered the placenta, and then Charles cut the cord.  She was slimy, with a head full of hair and a little raspy cry.  She actually pooped as soon as she came out (and they didn't put a diaper on her until almost an hour and a half later when they came in to wash her and weigh her.

Okay, that's all for now! Next post I'll share about the mandatory 48 hour post partum stay at the hospital (what Greenville does for first timers) and the first few days.

This was more or less for us... to remember the details of our daughters birth so we can compare after each labor and delivery.

Praise the Lord for a healthy, sweet baby girl we waited 40 long weeks to meet!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Pregnancy: 40 weeks


How far along? 40 Weeks

Total weight gain/loss: +30 lbs as of this morning's appointment ... WHAT!? haha

Maternity clothes?  Same, pants yes... tops, not many.

Stretch marks? Nope, bless you sweet child, bless you!

Sleep: Still sleeping well :)

Best moment this week: Going to our 40 week appointment and hearing we were progressing well!  2cm dilated and 70% effaced, mucus plug is out and the mid wife could feel her head!

Miss Anything?  Getting up/moving positions without straining and grunting... haha yes, I feel like a beached whale still!

Movement: Yes, she's a wiggler!

Food cravings: No, still nothing!

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not at all.

Have you started to show yet: Yes, round and curvy!

Gender: Sweet girl we'll get to meet very soon!

Labor Signs:  Cramping, dilation, lost mucus plug, dropped ... Midwife says we should see her in about 24 hours!!! Praying for a swift and healthy delivery for Mom and baby Brooke, and mental sanity and strength for Dad :)

Belly Button in or out? Still in, but very, VERY flat!

Wedding rings on or off?  No rings for now, it will be easier to just keep them at home.

Happy or Moody most of the time:  Happy!!! I've been told my mood will change veeerrrrrryyyyy soon to a less than pleasant person...

Size of Baby:Well baby center says about 20 inches and weighs a bit over 7  1/2 pounds... but I highly doubt that, unless she's really good at hide and seek!

Looking forward to:Meeting our sweet girl in 24-48 hours! Praying for an AMAZING labor and delivery and meeting our sweet little one! Praying for her healthy and ease with nursing.  We can't to be parents :)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pregnancy Update: 39 weeks


How far along? 39 Weeks

Total weight gain/loss: +25.4 lbs ... Eek!

Maternity clothes?  Same, pants yes... tops, no

Stretch marks? Nope, bless you sweet child, bless you!

Sleep: Some nights I can't sleep, but those are few.  I love sleep but I haven't taken a nap since my 2nd trimester... there's always too much to do!

Best moment this week: Finding out our home we flipped is under contract!!! We should close on it mid November!!! Praise the Lord!!!

Miss Anything?  Getting up/moving positions without straining and grunting... haha yes, I feel like a beached whale :)

Movement: Oh yes, Charles loves it! He gets to feel our little wiggles a lot!

Food cravings: Nope.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not at all.

Have you started to show yet: Ehhhh I'm really not sure... you tell me :) haha 

Gender: Girl... but not a girly girl, HOPEFULLY

Labor Signs: No, haha but I really, really don't want my water to break on my furniture, in my car, or on my mattress.  Why, you ask?  I don't want to have to clean it up! haha at work, SURE, Walmart, yeah take that, at a restaurant, why the heck not!? haha I will not be embarrassed, I will be thankful it's not my responsibility to clean it up.  Who cares if I look like I peed my pants... jokes on them because they can obviously tell I'm pregnant and getting on my hands and knees and scrubbing up fluid doesn't sound like fun to me right now :)

Belly Button in or out? Still in, but very, VERY flat!

Wedding rings on or off?  I'm wearing my size 6 fake ring a lot more now.

Happy or Moody most of the time:  Happy!!! God is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO good!

Size of Baby:Well baby center says about 20 inches and weighs a bit over 7 pounds... but I highly doubt that, unless she's really good at hide and seek!

Looking forward to: Becoming a parent with my favorite man in the world, Charles Grayson, and us meeting our daughter!  And losing baby weight... yeah I looked back at some pictures toady, and I looked good! hahaha hopefully I can get back to normal size me sooner than later :)  Oh well, so worth it! LOVE YOU BROOKE!