Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Rosalie is 1 Month Old!

Rosie turned one month old on Sunday 1/26! She is getting to be such a big girl. Here she is at one month:

And of course a comparison with Lila at one month old, just for fun. Yes that's the exact same outfit, down to the socks. Lila on the left, Rosie on the right.

Rosie's stats at one month:

Weight - 10 lb 6 oz
Length - 22.5 in
Head circumference - 14.5 

Diapers: Size 1

Clothes: She is in 0-3 months. Some things are still way too big and some things seem too short. I think she has long legs.

Eating: Rosie eats every 2-3 hours during the day and usually goes 4-5 hours at night. Those long stretches usually start around 11-midnight, she's up at 4 or 5am to eat and then back to sleep until 8 or so. She is nursing so well and she is a very quick eater. We started bottles around 2 weeks old and she does really well with them. She has had breastmilk and formula in a bottle and does fine!

Sleep: She is a very sleepy baby and is still rarely awake! She will sleep in the swing, the boppy on the couch and the bassinet, but loves to be in our arms most of all. She puts herself to sleep sometimes so we don't do a lot of rocking and shushing and swaying like we did with Lila. We swaddle with her arms out unless her hands seem cold. She is a loud sleeper and grunts a lot.

Nicknames: We pretty much call her Rosie, sweetie, goofy/goof and "the baby". 

Mommy update / recovery: My recovery has been really good with this birth and compared to my c-section it's been night and day. The first week I felt a lot of discomfort and was taking pain meds, etc. Week 2 I was pretty good except I had some issues with clogged ducts and was running a mild fever. I feel almost back to normal now. Once I go to my 6 week checkup I plan to start working out and eating better so I can start looking more like myself! I gained about 50-55 lbs with this pregnancy and I have about 30 lbs to lose to get back to pre-pregnancy weight!

Milestones / Things to remember:

Rosie's umbilical cord stump fell off super early, like 4 days old!
She likes the bath! It seems to calm her down
She started smiling at 4 weeks. Melts my heart!
We are starting to do tummy time, but she is so mellow she just lays there
Still has all her dark hair
First outing other than the doctor's office was Target at 3 weeks
First outing with both kids was Buy Buy Baby! Neil went with me, so I haven't done a solo trip yet

Here are some other shots from the month:

We love our Rosie girl!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Newborn and Family Photos

Love these photos by our friend Joe at Joseph Danzer Photography! Rosie was 9 days old when these were taken. 

and of course, my wild Lila:

Friday, January 10, 2014

Rosie's Birth Story: Part 3

This is Part 3. Read Part 1 and Part 2 first!

So we were doing this thing unmedicated! There was no time for an epidural. I wanted a natural birth and couldn't believe I was actually going to get it!

Suddenly, a ton of people rushed into the room. This was really surreal for me, because with the complications with Lila's birth, medical people kept flooding into the room intermittently because of her heartrate issues and to prep me for the OR. This time, it was the doctor, more nurses and someone rolling in the baby bassinet! That's when it really hit me. This baby is coming soon and I am really doing it!

Dr. Narendran, one of my favorites of the 9 OBs in the practice, was on call that night. I was SO relieved to see her because she has a very calming presence. I was freaking out a bit realizing that I was actually going to be doing this drug free and that it was happening now. I was fully in transition and the contractions were strong and right on top of each other. I was saying things like, "I don't want to do this", "I'm scared", "I can't", and what seemed to be my pathetic, pleading labor mantra, "Help me."

The doc got right in my face and helped me breathe through the worst of the contractions that came right before I was completely dilated. She breathed right along with me and I locked eyes with her and stroked her hair! Neil said it got weird. I didn't care. She helped me get through it! After a few minutes, I was ready to push. They put my legs in stirrups, which I objected to, but they said that the baby will be coming quickly and it would be fine.

I pushed once and they said that I was doing it wrong and I needed to push from my bottom. I changed what I was doing and pushed again. I'm pretty sure I was yelling, "Get her out of me!" I pushed one more time and I felt her come right out and they put her on my chest!!! I was amazed! I didn't feel a "ring of fire" or anything. Just intense pressure and then body parts sliding out! So crazy. Neil cut the cord and I snuggled my Rosie for the first time. I cried and was just in disbelief on what just happened. I couldn't believe I got my VBAC! And somehow I did it all natural and SO fast! From water breaking to her birth was about 4.5 hours. I was only at the hospital for an hour and a half before she was born!

I had a 2nd degree tear. I delivered the placenta and the doctor stitched me up (2 stitches). I held Rosalie for a long time before they weighed her or did anything. I was able to breastfeed her almost immediately and she latched for 10 minutes! This was night and day different from my c-section with Lila. I didn't SEE her for 10 minutes after she was born and didn't get to hold her or try to nurse her for who knows how long.

I am one week post partum right now and my recovery has been so different and so much better than the c-section. I haven't had much actual pain, just discomfort. I have taken some pain meds here and there and for the past week I've had a pretty elaborate bathroom routine of peri-bottle, Tucks, Dermoplast spray and ice packs! Sitting and laying down were uncomfortable in the hospital and home. But I could walk and function pretty normally! The worst day of my recovery was day 5 where my stitches became a little painful. But I am feeling very close to normal right now! My milk came in on day 4 and nursing is going very well now.

I am so proud of myself for being so determined to have the birth I wanted. I think luck and maybe genetics may have played a small part in my successful easy birth, but I know that all of the preparation and work that I did leading up to the delivery helped me to have a wonderful VBAC.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Rosie's Birth Story: Part 2

This is Part 2 of the birth story, Read Part 1 here.

After figuring that my water probably did break, I called Neil at work to tell him. He said he'd wrap up things at work and be home soon. I started feeling light contractions around 3. I got in the shower to wash my hair so I could dry and straighten it. I'm not sure when Neil got home, but by the time he was home I was having waves around 10 mins apart. We were putting last minute things in a bag and I was just pacing around having contractions. Neil and my mom were trying to time my contractions and they started to get more painful.

With each wave, I leaned over to breathe through them and Neil gave counter-pressure on my back. Neil started talking about maybe leaving for the hospital soon. I resisted saying it was too early (I wanted to get to the hospital and already be 6-7 centimeters to avoid interventions). Mom and Neil eventually convinced me to go in after showing me on the contraction app that my last 3 contractions were about 4 minutes apart.

I put on my flip flops (I was hot and did not want to wear real shoes) and headed out to the car. I had 3 or 4 pretty painful contractions in the car. Side note - one of the Hypnobabies techniques is to say the word "peace" and direct pain relief to where you need it. You are supposed to relax your body and quietly say the word "peace". I was definitely screaming PEACE! in the car. Not quite what Hypnobabies taught me!

We got to the hospital around 5:15pm. In triage, they checked me and I was 3 to 4 cm and completely effaced. I was disappointed I wasn't more dilated but my contractions were so painful at that point I couldn't really think about it. They admitted me and after 20 minutes or so I went to the delivery room. My contractions were getting bad. They asked if I wanted an epidural and I said, yeah, why not. This hurts pretty bad. I told the nurse I'd rather wait until I was at least 5 cm dilated.

When I got to the delivery room all I wanted to do was lay on my side and listen to my "Deepening" track. They brought in an exercise ball but the baby was so low I couldn't sit. I laid there through quite a few contractions and listened to my track. Neil would help me breathe through the waves and would give counter pressure on my back. Eventually the anesthesiologist came in and was asking me all these questions while I was having harder and harder contractions. As she was wrapping up the questions my was feeling so much pressure and actually feeling "pushy". I remember saying something like, "Should I push?!" and one of the nurses said, "Why would you do that?" I was only supposed to be 4 centimeters!

As my epidural was being prepped, I had one last unbelievably strong contraction and Neil stepped in and pushed on my back and helped me through it. With that contraction I felt like I was basically pushing (with the grunting to accompany it) and Neil asked if they would check me before getting the epidural. I am SO glad he did! I was an 8! It was too late for an epidural. I had gone from a 3-4 to an 8 in less than 45 minutes. I really think this is due to the 10 mins or so I laid on my side listening to my Hypnobabies track. I think my body relaxed enough to dilate me that much. They actually gave me the option to go ahead and get the epi, but after they assured me that this was going very fast, I said I would go for it drug free!

Read Part 3.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Rosie's Birth Story: Part 1

When I got pregnant this past spring, I really struggled with whether I wanted to attempt a VBAC or just go with a repeat c-section. After a lot of thought, research and discussions with my doctors, I decided that I wanted to try for a vaginal birth and that I had a good chance of success.

To prepare for my birth this time I did a lot of things differently. I listened to Hypnobabies self-hypnosis tracks every night from 30 weeks on, I visited a Webster-certified chiropractor for the last few weeks and followed many optimal fetal positioning techniques to avoid a posterior baby. I drank cup after cup of red raspberry leaf tea, avoided negative birth stories/people and just tried to have a general positive outlook for the birth.

Hypnobabies prepares you for a natural drug-free delivery, but when I mentioned not getting an epidural to one of my doctors, they weren't very supportive. They basically mandated continuous monitoring, an IV and when I was ready, an epidural. I was initially upset by this, but since my main goal was healthy baby/mommy first and then a VBAC, I focused on that outcome, and didn't dwell on having to have a natural birth. I did plan on waiting until I was pretty far into active labor before I got to the hospital so I didn't have time to get an epidural or at least be far enough that it wouldn't slow my labor down.

Okay, fast forward to 39 weeks. I started losing my mucous plug on Dec. 18, a week before my due date. I knew that this could mean something or nothing. I also began a pattern of having contractions every other night that kept waking me up but never amounted to anything. Some nights they would be 10 mins apart for 3 or 4 hours. Never painful enough to get out of bed or wake up Neil, but enough to not be able to ignore completely. I hoped that those contractions were beginning to dilate me, but by my appt. on Dec 23, I was still 1cm and not effaced at all. I was very discouraged at that appointment as I set up an ultrasound for Dec. 30 and began to talk about c-section dates. I started to think I was going to go very overdue again and be walking into another c-section.

Once Christmas Eve came, I was happy not to be having a baby so I could enjoy the holiday! My mom and I were busy with food and gift preparations and getting everything ready for Christmas Eve appetizers and Christmas Day meals. We had a wonderful Christmas morning opening gifts with Lila, my parents and brother and his fiancee. That night, after we got Lila to bed we watched a movie with my parents (We Are the Millers) and I bounced and did circles on my birth ball for 2 hours and laughed! I think that started everything!

That night I had contractions overnight again, from 2-6am about every 10 mins. But again when I woke up, they were gone. I was starting to get disappointed that I was now officially overdue. Mom and I decided to get Lila out of the house and we did some after-Christmas shopping and returns that morning at Target, TJ Maxx and Ulta. I felt totally normal just very pregnant.

When we got home, I started noticing lots of pink-tinged mucous every time I went to the restroom. I had some back pain but nothing bad. I ate some leftovers for lunch and decided to take a bath. I remember lamenting to my mom how I was upset to be past my due date, since I was kind of hoping to go early this time. She said, "Well you are only 12 hours overdue!"

At 1pm, I took a HOT bath and visualized how my birth would go. I talked to Rosie and told her I was ready to meet her. I completely visualized how my labor would progress and the feeling of her being placed on my chest and hearing her cry for the first time.

Around 2pm, I was getting ready to take Lila up for her nap. I decided to stretch out my back by doing some cat/cow stretches. As I was stretching, I felt and heard a pop! I got up and I said to my mom, "I think my water just broke!" I went to the restroom and I had a lot of mucous plug, streaked with blood, and some water that trickled. I put on a pad and came back out and put Lila down for her nap. I thought that if this was the real thing, I'd be happy to have spent that time with her...

Read Part 2.