Postpartum Plans

I have a lot of thoughts swirling around in my mind so this will post will be a mind-dump of sorts.

Running: I am really looking forward to getting back into running. Honestly it’s not even for the “baby weight” since I’m about 7lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight, it’s simply because I miss it. My last run was at 18 weeks and it was about 3 miles and I felt pretty good. But needless to say it’s been a while since I had a good run.

Call me crazy, but I’m also going to start the 60 day Insanity program. I have very low expectations for my endurance and honestly the results I will get, because I’m doing this for the first time after having a baby. BUT, the advantage of doing high intensity training to support my running and being able to do it at home is attractive  at this point in time.

As far as races are concerned, there is a local 5k in September I want to run. My plan is to use this race as a gauge on where my fitness is at. Last year I had an incredible PR of 28:52 and placed 2nd in my AG. Post-baby I don’t expect a PR but it will still be a good way to see where my fitness is at.

In October there is a trail half marathon I want to do. My plan for this race is to simply just have fun! I want to focus on enjoying the trails, my fueling, and my endurance so I can tweak training for my A race….

My A race is a half marathon in November. I have ran this race every year since it started and I’m not about to miss a year. Last year I ran it 5 weeks pregnant and although I didn’t “race” it I had a great time and felt amazing. My PR right now is at 2:22 so I’d love to get closer to my sub 2 hour this year!

Following my A race there is a Cocoa 5k in December I want to do and they even have a kids race that Big Bro I can run in.

After those races my focus is going to be on shorter distances. I want to focus on activating my fast-twitch muscle fibers more and I have read great things from other runners who focus on 5ks and have amazing half marathon and marathon PRs.

While focusing on shorter races, I will also focus on building a solid base so I can begin training for the 2018 Walt Disney World Dopey Challenge!

SAHM: Since I was laid off in early February, and then was in the hospital late March with preterm labor, and had two interviews that didn’t result in anything, I have made the decision to be a SAHM for a while. Baby C will be our last child and I didn’t have the opportunity to stay home with Brother I. In fact FirefighterDad was a SAHD for about 2 years since daycare wasn’t advised. This time around, I’m going to stay home with the boys. The opportunity won’t happen again, and I am really looking forward to it. There will be plenty of time for me to get back to work and build another career when the boys are older sofor right now I’m going to enjoy this season in life.

On Raising Boys: I am VERY content having two boys. When people find out that we won’t be having any more children (too many risks) or won’t be trying for a girl, I assure them that FirefigterDad and I are THRILLED with our boys. Yes boys are busy, rambunctious, and never.ever.stop. But boys are also loving, funny, and kind. With boys, fart jokes are not only appropriate and funny, but necessary. Burping is a must and smelling stinky feet is a daily occurance. Bottom line, boys are great but of course I’m a little biased 😉

From 1 to 2: Going from one kid to two, has been suprisingly easy! I think part of it helps that Brother I is 4. That means he’s potty trained, sleeps through the night and is really self sufficient. He can use the bathroom himself (except pooping it seems – argh – it’s a work in progress), he can get his own cereal, he can pour his own drinks, get snacks, play on his own, and developmentally he understands when and why I’m busy. The other part of it is that Baby C is an incredibly easy baby. Maybe he’s just more chill than Bro I, or maybe it’s because gestationally – therefore developmentally – two weeks makes this much difference. Or maybe Brother I was just a high needs child, or maybe my milk supply is better this time, or maybe it’s a combination of all of this. All I know is that I’m sleeping well, Baby C sleeps well, and eats well, and his addition has been amazing. A true blessing and a dream come true.

 

SAHMs, any pointers or tips you’d like to pass along?

Mommas, any tips to get my 4 yo to poop in the toilet?!

 

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Big Brother I and Oasis 235

About an hour after Baby C’s arrival, FirefighterDad went to pick up Brother I from our friends’ house so he could meet his little brother!

Leading up to this event I had some expectations but I tried to push them aside. Having a sibling is life-altering for kids and although Brother I LOVES babies, I still wasn’t really sure how Big Bro I would take it. Plus the hospital setting and a late night, but I’m happy to say Brother I was ecstatic to meet Baby C and was so proud and happy to hold him.

Right when he walked into the room he asked if his Baby Brother was here and assured him Baby C was here!

Big Brother I wanted to give us a hug!

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FirefighterDad and Big Brother ate some dinner while Baby C and I had some skin to skin time and I nursed him.

Big Brother was getting a little antsy and wanted to hold his Baby Brother and Big Bro I had the proudest look on his face!

 

Oasis 235

Shortly after 11 pm Baby C and I were moved to a postpartum room. This was new for me. After Brother I was born I actually stayed in the L&D room because it was right down the hall from the NICU. I didn’t really know what to expect but all of our nurses were great.

The neonatal doctor came to check on C and she explained that for 35 and 36 weekers, they don’t rush discharging and are usually in the hospital 3-4 days because they are late pre-term babies. I completely understood and was just SO grateful I was WITH my baby and could hold him and snuggle.

The biggest challenge Baby C had was his blood sugar was low. But after my milk came in and C got some good feeds, he passed his 3 consecutive blood sugar tests. From there it was easy sailing – C passed his pulse ox test, jaundice, and car seat test.

On Friday June 17th (my sister’s birthday) Baby C and I went home TOGETHER! I brought a baby home WITH me! I know this sounds crazy but it was so amazing to have him with me and not having to visit him in the NICU.

And at the same time it was bittersweet. I wasn’t expecting to be SO emotional over leaving my room. I got Baby C dressed and in his car seat and couldn’t hold back the tears. I was crying because I got everything I wanted – a baby coming home with me. And I was crying because our time in room 235 was coming to an end. And hormones – am I right?!

In room 235 I lived every moment as that – a moment. A moment of being fully present and aware. Every second was absorbed and cherished. And each moment fed my soul. It was nourishing, relaxing, and peaceful. Time stood still and my days weren’t measured by minutes or hours but rather by feedings, snuggles, naps, and love. My days were calm and peaceful; full of love and serenity. It was a place in the world, but away from the world. My days moved slower, I had no responsibilities, no agenda, no plans. I simply just was. Every touch, every smell, every noise was etched permanently into my heart as I got to know my son.

 

Welcome Baby C!

I’m going to attempt to give a brief birth story with somewhat-ish details so if you get scrimmage or don’t want to hear about cervical dilation, feel free to skip this post!

On Tuesday June 14th I had my routine OB appointment. I had been holding steady at 4cm and 80% effaced for about a week and half at this point. All my restrictions were lifted so I took advantage of the pool and took multiple walks a day hoping to get things moving. I knew sitting at 4cm, once labor really kicked in, things would go fast and my OB agreed.

So I arrived at my appointment and was 4cm and 90%. It was a change, although a small one so my doc put me on the monitors. From the moment she checked me, things were different. My back ached, my uterus tightness was constant, and the contractions now had a definitive start and stop to them. I also found myself needing to constantly move. I was swaying and pacing and when I got on the monitors sitting still just was not an option.

Unfortunately, standing and moving around, Baby C didn’t look good on the monitor. So I was quickly taken back for an ultrasound. A biophysical was done and Baby C got an 8/10…he looked great.

Back to the waiting room I went swaying, walking, and pacing trying to relieve the contractions. At this point the pain wasn’t unbearable. Moving or leaning over something and swaying actually felt good, but what I was experiencing was so different from previous weeks. I had a hunch I had progressed significantly.

I went back to the exam room and while waiting for my doc for about 15 minutes I counted 14 contractions. Quickly in between contractions my doc checked me again and I was 6 cm and 100% effaced! This all occurred within an hour!

So my doctor said “you’re getting your wish. Let’s go have a baby”. I was scared, nervous, excited, and SO ready to not be pregnant anymore.

Here’s where logistically it gets a little interesting. I drove myself to my doc’s office and fortunately it’s right next to the hospital. However, FirefighterDad was on shift. I had texted him a bit while being monitored and told him baby looked great on the ultrasound and that I was feeling different so he had an idea that this might be the day.

As I drove the 30 seconds to the hospital, I called FirefighterDad and told him we were having a baby! Maybe it’s men, or maybe he was distracted but he asked when. I emphatically replied NOW! I told him I was going to the hospital and I was 6 cm. From our experience, we knew this part of labor I would fly through so I told him he needed to hurry. Fortunately his Chief was understanding and he made great time.

The hospital was prepping for me and C and I quickly changed (how much do you hate those hospital gowns?! They are always SO big!) I got my IV which wasn’t so bad since I asked for a smaller gauge. Up until then I was dreading the IV more than pain of childbirth! My veins don’t hold up well to them.

The doctor on call checked me and I was 7 cm and having contractions every minute. At this point my pain was about 4-5. I was able to very easily breathe through the contractions. I would close my eyes, bend over the bed and sway and breathe through them. In between them I felt great. At one point my labor stalled a bit but moving around the room picked it up and my pain increased to a 6-7 but I was still very easily able to move through the contractions.

I would alternate between the birth ball, bending over the bed and swaying, and walking. I felt really relaxed and in control the whole time and every nurse commented on how relax and calm I was especially for being 7 cm. They all knew I didn’t want an epidural (again catheter in spinal cavity? No thank you I’d rather deal with the pain. Maybe I’m a chicken but anyone who gets an epidural is amazing bc it scared me too much) and were really impressed with my demeanor. It was really calm though- so calm FirefighterDad even caught a quick nap on the couch!

Quickly, I noticed I had more pelvic pressure and a nurse checked me and said I was 8.5-9. The doctor came in to confirm and she said I still felt about 7 cm. so she broke my water.

Having my water broken is fine but after that I knew the pain was going to be bad. Like bad with a capital B. The amniotic fluid acts as a cushion during contractions, so without it, the real intensity of contractions are felt, at least for me. The first contraction came and it was intense. I knew laboring on my back wasn’t an option so I turned around on my knees facing the back of the bed which a nurse had raised so I could rest my arms on it and I labored like that. Another contraction hit and my pain was topping the scales at a 9-10. It’s a pain that you just want to runaway from. My contractions were only about 60 seconds but those 60 seconds seemed like forever.

At some point I got unbearably hot and took off both my gowns (I was using the second one as a robe since the room was chilly) and just labored in my sports bra. At that point the pain was so bad and I was so hot I didn’t care that people could see my bare bum! The doctor came in and checked me real quick and I was 8 cm.

A couple contractions later and I needed to push. It was an uncontrable action. I screamed at FirefighherDad that I had to push and he got the nurse. The doctor quickly came back and still on my knees facing the back of the bed, I was bearing down and pushing through another contraction. With Brother I, I never felt this so I was a little freaked out and remember saying that I never felt this before and I was a bit freaked out. The nurses reassured me and I could see the doctor getting her shoe covers on and some paper scrubs.

With the next contraction my body neared down and pushed and Baby C’s head was crowning. I remember saying “there’s the head!” And the doctor checked and said “yep there’s his head”.

The doctor and nurses were trying to get me to turn around so they could take the bottom of the labor and delivery bed off. My back labor was so bad I made it about 20 secs before getting back on my knees. The doctor got those awful blue calf stirrup things out and I said “No I don’t want to use those. With my older son I had no leverage to push” her and the nurses were great because although it was clear I had to push on my back, I was sitting up more and my doctor got the foot pedals out and handles! It was perfect. My legs were lower then my body, instead of being higher like the calf stirrups, and I had all the leverage in the world by being able to use my legs and arms and 4-5 pushes later Baby C was born screaming!

I remember my doctor saying he was a big baby for his gestational age (35.4) and probably close to 7 pounds. I was just so relieved and kept saying “I’m holding him, I’m holding him.”

I also kept asking if he was okay and if he was breathing. I remember it as me asking 2-3 times but FirefigterDad told me I probably asked a dozen times and everyone in the room, him, the nurses, my doctor, the nursery nurses, all kept saying yes he’s perfect he’s crying and he’s pink. And I do remember how pink Baby C was but I guess in high adrenaline situations I get auditory tunnel vision because I don’t really remember Baby C crying. I know he did, but I can’t remember hearing him. And once he got to the warming bed he was silent and that was so disconcerting for me, because Brother I was born grey and not breathing. But everyone assured me he was so pink and breathing just fine.

After delivering the placenta, Baby C was placed skin to skin on my chest. Because his blood sugars were low and my bleeding was a little more than my doctor preferred, we hung out in our labor and delivery room for a bit.

I nursed Baby C and just marveled in holding my baby.

From the time my water was broken Baby C was born an hour later weighing 6 pounds 10 ounces and measuring 19.5 inches long.

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Stay tuned for Big Brother I meeting Baby C and Oasis 235.

35.4 and an Update

Its been a few weeks and that’s because Baby Boy has arrived! I will try to get to a birth story here shortly, but he’s here happy and healthy and such a good baby!!

I made it to 35 weeks and 4 days which surpassed the 33 weeks and 5 days I made it with Diapers. Baby Boy came out pink and screaming which was unbelievable for me. I held him immediately and got 3 glorious precious days with my boy. And best of all no NICU, and my baby came home WITH me.

It took us a couple days to actually settle on a name for him. FirefighterDad and I had a short “list”, for lack of a better word, of names we both liked, but honestly, none of them were screaming at me. I had a favorite but FirefighterDad wasn’t thrilled with it, and when Baby Boy was born he just didn’t fit the name. Or the name didn’t fit him. Either way on day 2 we settled on a name and for the purpose of keeping this blog anonymous to protect my family and kids, I will call him C, or Baby C, or Little Brother C, or Lil Bro C…you get the idea.

And speaking of blog names, I have decided to change Diaper’s. I originally went with Diapers because it fit the motif of my blog, but lets be real – he no longer wears diapers. And he’s four. He’s practically packed up and headed to college. Maybe I am being a little dramatic, but either way it doesn’t fit him anymore, so as happens with time, I have decided to change his name from Diapers to I. I imagine I might refer to him as Big Brother I, or Mr. I, or Brother I, etc etc. So heads up!

In other news, I have managed two shift days now with the boys, I have done school drop offs and picks for I with Baby C tagging along, and my house isn’t in complete ruin. I have laundry that needs to be done, and dogs that need to be walked, and dishes that need to be done, but snuggling with C is taking front and center right now, because this stage goes by too quickly.

I often find myself comparing I’s newborn stage to C’s newborn stage. To be clear, I’m not comparing my boys, but rather my experience and going from 1 kid to 2 kids. And honestly the difference is night and day. Obviously Brother I was in the NICU so EVERYTHING was different. I used a pump from the get-go, skin to skin was limited during NICU visits, I never got 2-3 days of alone time with Mr. I to get to know him. I got to know him through procedures, tubes, wires, and visits. And it wasn’t bad. It was hard. VERY hard. But my heart burst open with love for I the instant I held him, and navigating the NICU was just something I had to do. When I came home, I just felt like he was ALWAYS discontent. Like ALWAYS. he was always wanting to nurse, or be held, and he rarely slept. I sleeping for 30 minutes was considered a success.

My experience with Baby C has been completely different. C came out breathing with fantastic APGARS of 8 and 9. For comparison’s sake I’s were 2 and 3. I held C right away, I nursed C right away, and I had skin to skin right away. Then I got 3 unbelievable days with C. Bottom line is, I got to know C. Like really know him. I know when he wants to eat, when he needs to burp, and when he’s going to poop. I know his cry, his noises, I know him. And although I got to know I, with C its just been easier. that’s been the real difference. C is simply easier. And who knows if it was the 2 extra weeks of pregnancy, or the 3 days, or no NICU. I think its a combo of all 3.

All I know, is that even though both experiences have been completely different, I am totally, completely, soul-defining, and life-changingly in love with both of my boys. C definitely completes our family and I is an incredible big brother.

Stay tuned for C’s birth story!

 

*Reading through this post I now can see how confusing using I for Diapers can be since I am also referring to myself as I…so consider this the fine print and I reserve the right to change I’s blog name/initial again*

Nursery Reveal!

You guys, I am STILL pregnant. And you know my last post where I said some things would be easier to do not pregnant like Baby Boy’s room? Yeah well, sittin’ on my butt get olds too, so little by little I finally got this little boy’s room put together.

I’m so excited to have his room done and ready for him.

His whole room was done on the cheap by repurposing stuff I already had. I LOVE “going shopping” in my own house and using things differently.

The dresser was a Craig’s List find FirefigterDad got, the changing pad and covers are from Diapers, the blue crate (I’m LOVING that blue color!) was a clearance item at Hobby Lobby for 10 bucks which I’m using to store extra blankets and burp clothes in for now.

The “Love you to the Moon and back” canvas was something FirefighterDad saw and bought. Originally it was suppose to be for Diaper’s room but he’s growing up and I think a big boy theme will be in his future soon for his room. So I repurposed it!

The framed water color is a Diaper’s original! He made this when he was probably 16 or 17 months old and I just fell in love with it! I loved the colors and the overall effect so I held onto it and it became my inspiration for Baby Boy’s room.

The bear picture above, I actually colored from an adult coloring book. I used cerulean blue, greys, browns, and greens to tie in the colors with the other two pictures. And the two light 8 x 10 frames I already had.

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The crib of course was Diaper’s, the grey sheet was a baby shower gift, and the quilt on the back my mom made! She’s very talented!

Across from the crib is our futon and our rocking chair which we’ve had. The room came together nicely and overall is very simple but sweet and tranquil.

And lucky for us, this room was already painted a light sea foam/Aqua green color (the pictures don’t do the wall color justice) which is just perfect and saved me the hassle of painting. Which, if I’m being totally honest, I wouldn’t have even considered doing. Painting is not my favorite.

 

Moms out there, what was your nursery inspiration?

 

An Update in List Form

I have lots to share and my mind is mush so it’s going to be a list today…

Pregnancy: ya’ll, yesterday marked the longest I have EVER been pregnant – 33 weeks and 6 six days. Today I am exactly 34 weeks and this baby is still cooking! And I am oh so grateful. And I am oh so DONE. This has been a very tough road. On one hand I am so happy he’s healthy and thriving and still growing but on the other hand I am crampy, contractiony, back achy, pelvic pressury and have a baby bouncin’ on my cervix (ouch!). I am SO ready to meet this little boy, count his fingers and toes, see his nose and hair and give him a name and bring him home to his family. I’ve stopped all medications and plan to get a little house cleaning done and it take it a day at a time.

Here are a few stats:

34 weeks

17lb weight gain

No stretch marks

Belly button is poking out at the top only

I can’t see my toes

Having another BOY!

Due date is July 15th

Mable: my last post I introduced you to my sweet Mable (which btw means “loveable” and is such a fitting name for her!) and I have good news! She’s good to come home!! Her bladder repair surgery went SO well and she’s urinating a full bladder’s worth ON.HER.OWN. She’s also pooping on her own. Although she doesn’t have full rectal control, she has a lot more than a couple weeks ago and gets into position and poops! This is huge because it means her nerves are healing and are not completely dead! She’s still recieving TLC (read: spoiled rotten) at the vet office and even has free range to roam around on occasion. Her fractures seem to be healing nicely and are definitely not slowing her down. We need to get a couple other things lined up like a meet and greet with our two current dogs and getting Mable her own crate but I do have a collar and leash ordered for her! She’s coming home! Here’s a picture overload for your enjoyment!

Baby Prep: ya’ll, my freezer could feed the Chinese army. Or at least my family during a zombie apocalypse. Seriously it’s kinda insane. BUT having gone through the newborn stage once with round the clock nursing and very little sleep, I know I won’t regret all the food I have prepared. My mom and I worked leisurely these past couple weeks on a few final things: chicken casseroles, banana bread, and french toast which I got zero pictures of. I know – a professional blogger I am not. We also made some beef based dishes. Meatloaf, meatballs, hamburger patties, and chili!

I decided it would be easier for me to already have meat prepared versus pounds of ground beef in the freezer. So the meatloaf, meatballs, and hamburger patties were seasoned, formed and frozen raw. All I have to do is toss it in the oven or on the grill. The chili was cooked and simmered ALL DAY then cooled overnight in the fridge and portioned into zip lock bags for an easy meal. Outside of cooking and eventually some cleaning (my nesting doesn’t like the cleaning) there hasn’t been much else in terms of baby prep. I have the essentials in my room and the nursery is sort of together. The crib is in the room in pieces, the old tv is out of there, and the futon is folded up (as a couch vs a bed) and all of Baby Boy’s clothes are washed and in his drawers but honestly that’s been it. I want to get it all done and have a Pintrest worthy nursery but the truth is I hurt. A lot. All day every day and the reality is, it will be easier to do some of this not pregnant. And Baby Boy won’t need his crib/room immediately after coming home. So there’s time. At least I keep telling myself this.

Summer/Diapers/FirefighterDad: okay hands down summer is my favorite season. I love it all – the sunshine, the warmth, the pools, beaches, BBQs, being outside, watermelon, sprinklers, white puffy clouds…agh I could go on and on. The only thing I don’t like are the mosquitos but I am religious with sunscreen and bug spray so it’s a small sacrifice for a couple months.

With that said, Diapers has been practicing riding his bike (with training wheels). This is something I really want him to master before his brother arrives so the 3 of us can take walks! He got the bike for Christmas and was all like “no way”. Well a lot of encouragement and 6 months later he’s getting it. It’s not perfect, but we did make it around the half mile loop we have in our neighborhood. Progress! There has also been a lot of scootering, sidewalk chalk and playground time. I hope to get to the pool and beach more now that water temps are more reasonable and I even signed Diapers up for a free summer bowling program and our local library’s reading program. I figure since I’m not working full time right now (and for the next foreseeable future) I am going to take advantage of this staying-at-home-mom-gig!

FirefighterDad is doing well also and is extremely busy. His department is crazy short staffed so that means overtime and crazy hours. Plus he’s taking a class on the weekends so time with him now is limited, but by the time Baby Boy arrives, his schedule won’t be so hectic. A small sacrifice now for more time later.

And that’s all the update I have for you.

 

Now fill me in – what are your summer plans?!