Friday, September 9, 2011

Grace: Two months

All right, so I had a baby two months ago. I have been a mom of two for two months! And as you can probably surmise, this is why I haven’t written more. The kids are great. Fletch is a wonderful big brother and loves his little Gracie so much. And Miss Gracie is my little rock star. She is doing fabulous. Eating well and sleeping well and growing like a weed.

We had her two month appointment today. She weighs 12.5 lbs – Fletch only weighed 10 at his 2 month! This puts her in the 85th percentile. And she is 22.5 inches long, putting her in the 54th percentile for height. And 15.75 inches around her head, which is 79th percentile. So she’s growing well and doing great in general.

She does have some icky baby acne on her head and chest and arms but the doctor said it’s nothing to worry about and should go away on its own soon. And all four of us have got a cold – already Grace’s second! Jack and Fletch were both sick right when she was born and so of course, she got it too. So she’s been pretty snorty and snuffly since day one but that doesn’t seem to have really bothered her or anything.

Grace also got her first round of shots today. We totally weren’t worried about it since when Fletch got his, basically he cried a little bit, I put him on the boob and he was happy again. Not so much with Gracie Girl. She howled and cried much worse than Fletch ever did, and then when I tried to give her the boob, she wouldn’t have any of it. They also had this sugar water stuff that they normally dip the pacifier into, but since, like her brother, G won’t take a paci, we tried dipping our fingers in and seeing if she would take some that way, but no dice. We just had to hold her and talk to her and bounce her until she calmed down. Then she had some boob and snuffled some more and eventually fell asleep in the car on the way home. She’s slept a lot today which is to be expected.

In general, things have seemed much easier this time around. We are not nearly so jumpy and worried about Grace as we were with Fletch. I have been sleeping in her room so I can feed her at night. But unlike what we did (were told to do) with Fletch, we haven’t been waking her up to eat at night. With Fletch, his doctors told us he need to be woken up every 3 hours at night to eat and he pretty much never learned to sleep longer than 3 hours until he was almost two years old. And that’s only because I finally weaned him after I got pregnant. He is still not a great sleeper and is high-maintenance at bedtime and gets up at least once a night. So with Grace, we decided that once she regained her birth weight, which she did by two weeks, we wouldn’t wake her up to eat. As a result, she is a much better sleeper than Fletch ever was! She’s already going 5-7 hours a night which is awesome for me.

And we are also avoiding the other big mistake we made with Fletch, which is always putting him to sleep with the boob. Which worked like magic but also meant it was incredibly difficult for over two years for anybody but me to get him to go to sleep either for nap or at night. Miss G can fall asleep in a variety of ways, but most astoundingly, I am sometimes able to just lay her in the crib awake (but drowsy) and let her fall asleep on her own – something that Fletch never did as a baby. So I feel really good that we are putting our experience to work for us. And also that I am actually getting some sleep which is totally unexpected and awesome.

Unlike her brother, Grace is not happy at all to have a dirty diaper. Where Fletch wouldn’t even blink at a dirty diaper, GG starts fussing the second she’s even a little bit wet. So hopefully that means an easy road when it’s time for potty training! Also, she doesn’t cry much, even when she’s hungry. Fletch would go to Defcon 5 wailing pretty quickly when he wanted to eat, but Grace mostly starts a low-level fussing, followed by chewing on her hand, which turns to a very loud slobbery chomping on her hand and that is the thing that will actually wake me up at night. So far she is a pretty easy baby, although some of that must be attributed to this not being our first rodeo.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Baby is here!

Baby Grace Kathleen Farley is here! 

Born July 6, 2011 7:55 p.m.,19.5 inches long and 7 lbs 14 oz.

The last week my back and hip were hurting so bad...I was already sleeping in my big comfy chair (thank you Mr. Fantastic!) and I really didn't know if I was going to make a week past my due date like I did with Fletch. So at my last appointment, I discussed with Dr. Owens and we scheduled me for induction on the 6th, 1 day past my due date. 

I was really nervous about inducing because I'd heard so many awful things about it - ranging from the Pitocin causing massive painful contractions to labor stalling out and requiring a C-section if you don't progress fast enough. And I've heard stories that most unscheduled C-sections happen on days before holidays or after 4 p.m. because the doctor wants to get home. Thankfully Dr. O assured me that she was on call that night, so had nowhere to go and would be happy to wait however long it took.

We went in at the ungodly hour of 5 a.m. Heidi was a godsend, because she came over at like 4:30 a.m. to wait for Fletch to get up, then took him to her house to hang out with Brody and wait for the baby to come. I am so glad I have her in my life. She does so much for me and my family.

We got me all checked in at Rose, and my friend Erin came to meet us a while later. She was awesome too - brought bagels & cream cheese for the nurses. After her long stay in the pre-natal ward when she was on bedrest before she had Flora, she wisely concluded that nurses are your best friend and it doesn't hurt to bring them a little bribe to be extra nice to you.

They got me settled and got the Pitocin going. I was worried about the Pit, but hardly even felt the contractions once I got it. In fact, a lot of the time the nurse would say, "ok, you're having a big one right now! Can you feel that?" and I'd feel like a mild menstrual cramp. I was really surprised by that after all the horror stories I'd heard about Pit making the contractions so much worse.

I was progressing very slowly so I agreed to have my water broken. I did the epidural beforehand because with Fletch, (who was not induced) the contractions were horrible after my water broke and I had to wait for the epidural. I SO didn't want to go through that again. 

The epidural was great. You can't get up and walk around, but for me both times I still had a lot of control over my legs and so was able to move around quite a bit in bed. You don't see the needle or anything they're doing, which for me makes it much less scary. They do a numbing cream on your back first so it doesn't hurt as much. It did hurt but it wasn't unbearable. Like a bad bee sting and sort of a really hard muscle cramp, and very brief.

So pretty much, I hung out in the bed all day with Jack and Erin. The nurses allowed me to have popsicles and water (thankfully I ate a nice breakfast!) so I kept hydrated. They give you a catheter with the epidural so I could drink as much as I wanted and not have to get up to pee every five minutes, which was awesome. Except I think I overdid on the water - later in the day a nurse told me I really wasn't supposed to have water, just ice chips and I think possibly having so much water made things go slower than they would have.

Progress was pretty slow all day and poor Jack was just sure it was going to be the middle of the night when the baby came, like Fletch did. But Dr. O wasn't worried, and every time I saw her, she was like, "no pressure, just relax, I don't have any place else to be," which really did put me at ease. Since nothing much was happening, I told Erin and Jack to go out and get something to eat so they left for a bit.

While they were gone, I had an awesome nurse who was determined to get me to dilate. She worked with me doing some hip rotations, stretches, and turning me on my side. During the hour Jack and Erin were out getting dinner, I went fully dilated  - like from 5 cm to 10 cm in no time at all. When Jack and Erin walked in to the room, the doctor was there and they were setting up for the delivery - good timing! 

They set up the big mirror so I could see, which I'm glad I did, since I didn't with Fletch. It was absolutely amazing to see the baby being born. The delivery was pretty painless and quick, and it took maybe three pushes to get her out. Much less drama than we had with Fletch! And also not the middle of the night - Jack was thankful for the respectable hour.

Heidi brought Fletch to the hospital at like 9:30 or 10 and he got to meet his brand new baby sister Grace. Grace was thoughtful enough to bring Fletch a gift of a big semi & trailer stocked full of Hot Wheels. He loved it and I think it will help pave the way.

They all stuck around to get me settled into my room and then headed home. Erin - what a trooper! She stayed with us all day, and took pictures and did my hair and entertained us and in general was just a totally awesome support for me and Jack both. She is one of my oldest and dearest friends and I am truly thankful to have her in my life too, and to have been able to share this experience with her.

We stayed two nights in the hospital - I think if you deliver after a certain time of day, you get an extra night. Jack and Fletch came to visit, along with most of the rest of the family - except Nana and Auntie Sheila, who were on a little holiday and didn't get to see her until we got home.

Thankfully, this was a much easier time than I had with Fletch. No baby heart rate dropping and getting "stuck" face up, no kidney stone, no dehydration, no extra nights in the hospital. Breastfeeding got off to an easy start and has been trouble-free so far. And we of course are so very, very happy to bring home our darling baby girl!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Week 38 of the JellyBean Progression

TMI Alert: Lost the mucous plug yesterday afternoon. So things are moving! I predict a baby before the 5th. Maybe the 2nd?

Pretty quiet week. Saw the midwife Tuesday since Dr. O is on vacation. Dr. O said I was not allowed to have the baby this week because she didn’t want to miss it. She wasn’t on call for Fletch, so she didn’t get to see him until the next day. I see Dr. O again this coming Tuesday.

Midwife said there was a little dilation, maybe 1 cm but hopefully we’re further along now. Been having a lot of prodomal contractions. Not Braxton Hicks – real contractions but they stop after a little while before things actually get going. Right lower back and hip are still killing me so I am still hobbling around a lot. But Heidi took me for lunch and mani/pedi on Thursday and it was SO relaxing. My back didn’t hurt the whole day. I keep thinking maybe I should go and get a prenatal massage but wonder if it’s too late in the game – if anyone would still do it. The good news is that Mr. Fantastic brought up my comfy chair from the basement and it really helps my back. I may actually start sleeping in it since I am waking up every morning pretty stiff even though I’ve got a thousand pillows and things propping me up.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

No, really. He did.

Dear asshat in the big truck in the King Soopers parking lot yesterday: 
What kind of jerk yells at a pregnant woman for crossing the street too slowly? SO sorry you had to wait that extra minute for me to waddle myself into the grocery store. Sheesh.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Things a pregnant woman thinks about

Things a pregnant woman thinks about:
1. How comfortable are these shoes vs. how silly do they look?
2. Are these the underwear I want to be wearing when I rush to the hospital in labor?
3. How important is it that I pick up the item I/my child has just dropped?

Corollary to #3, I generally use the following decision tree to determine if I really need to pick the thing up. If at any time the answer is No, the appropriate course of action is “Ask Mr. Fantastic to get it/see if I can convince Fletch to pick it up for me.” Also, this is also usually the first course of action any time the answer is Yes but sometimes needs further consideration if Mr. F or my toddler is not readily available to pick things up for me.

Will dropped item hurt somebody/trip me if left? If yes and husband/child not available for retrieval, kick item until near something I can brace myself on to bend over and pick up. Grunt/sigh loudly.

Is dropped item food? If yes, will it become poisonous/dangerous by the time Fletch decides he wants to eat it off the floor? If yes, call Mr. F. If no, leave it. Fletch loves stale froot loops and hardened chunks of hot dog at snack time.

I have routinely considered buying one of those grabber things they make for old/short people. I should probably have one anyway since I can never reach anything with my alligator arms even when I’m not pregnant.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Cute pics

Fletch and Brody at Cherry Hills for Mother's Day brunch. Ain't they cute?

Week 36 of the JellyBean Progression

Week 36
We are coming down the home stretch! I can’t believe b-day is less than a month away. It all went by so fast. Although, right about now I am feeling huge and hot and ready to pop any time, so I wouldn’t be too sad if this baby came before her due date.

Had another growth ultrasound today because two weeks ago I was measuring small…but at yesterday’s appointment, I was actually measuring a week big. I asked Dr. O if I still had to go and she wanted me to anyway. So as always, it was nice to see JellyBean on the big screen – and we got some cute 3D pics this time. The tech thinks she has my lips. We’ll see!

So JellyBean looks to be fine, everything was great and they estimate she’s 6 lbs 7 oz right now, which is 59th percentile. Right on target, but hopefully she won’t get too much bigger! She is all crammed over into the right side of my belly, which is why I think I keep measuring small. It’s hard to see looking at me straight on but when you look down at my belly from my perspective, you can see how lopsided it is. So when Dr. O measures my fundal height straight up and over my belly button, she’s missing ¾ of the baby, so obviously it won’t be as big. Anyway, all went well at the scan today and that should probably be the last one.

Yesterday’s visit with Dr. O was fine also. Did the group b strep test, which I’ll get the results for next time. I was GBS positive with Fletch, which just meant I had to have IV antibiotics in the hospital before delivery so it wouldn’t transfer to him.

Dr. O also did an internal check and was sorry to tell me that despite the fact that I swear this baby is coming early, there was no cervical activity going on right now and that baby’s head has not dropped and engaged in the pelvis. Not surprising – I am carrying really high still right now.

So far at least JB is cooperating and still in a good position for delivery. She is laying on her right side with her back facing to my right. So the big hard lump we can feel in the top right is her bottom. And I had asked Dr. O yesterday what the horrible pain I keep getting up under my right ribs was and she felt my belly and said most likely JB has one knee bent and that’s her heel sticking me in the ribs. And on the ultrasound today, you could totally see her little foot up there! She was dead right and I can’t believe she could tell that just from poking me in the tummy. Guess that’s what years of experience will do for you.

When I told Dr. O how hard it’s been for me to walk – seriously, I can’t even do the grocery shopping anymore or the whole belly and ladyparts gets very unhappy – she said I should be walking even more! Ugh, it’s seriously painful to walk and I can’t imagine just walking with no purpose. Well, I suppose the purpose would be to get JellyBean moving, but still, the last thing I feel like doing is going for a walk.

In general, I’m feeling ok. Having a hard time sleeping still. Not so much falling asleep but staying asleep. Seems like I’m up every hour to pee. Plus my right side hurts pretty much constantly – it’s being stretched (kicked, poked and otherwise maltreated) way more than the left. I was hoping that sleeping pretty much only on my left side would help move the baby back into the middle some but Dr. O said she is floating in her own little bubble and how I sleep won’t make her move.

Also, my feet are swelling. I think a lot of that has to do with the recent heat. But it’s crummy because even my flip flops get uncomfortable after a while! And I can’t wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row because I need to let the parts that got all rubbed wrong rest before I put the same pair back on. I never realized, but my shoe wardrobe has very few pairs of middle-of-the-road shoes. It’s either cheap flip flops and tennis shoes or 4 inch heels. I do have a few pairs of wedges that are comfy enough to wear to work (yet still high enough to make poor Mr. Fantastic cringe when I’m wearing them) so I’ve been wearing those to the office and switching to flip flops when I get home. It will be nice not to have to dress for the office for a while, that’s for sure!

Speaking of the office, my awesome boss has said that after my maternity leave is over, it’s ok for me to work full time from home for at least a couple of months before I start going back to the office. That rocks! I am still dreading when I’m going to have to drag the breast pump to the office and deal with all that, but at least I’ll have quite a bit of time at home before I have to worry about it. Being able to work full time from home with Fletch played a huge part in how smoothly breastfeeding went for us. Since he would never drink even a drop of formula AND my milk had excess lipase so we couldn’t build up a freezer stash, it would have been incredibly difficult to keep him fed and happy if I had to be at the office all the time.

Of course it goes without saying that hopefully JellyBean will not be quite so picky as big brother and maybe take some formula now and then if we need to, and hopefully I won’t have the lipase problem again. But if we can get to 6 months before I have to go back to the office, even if we have the same problems, she’ll hopefully be starting solids by then and can be appeased with some smushed peas if the boobie juice (or the boobie) is not available.

So excited for this baby to come! (And also pretty much ready to not be pregnant anymore…) Lots of things we still need to do…wash some clothes for JellyBean, pick out a going home outfit, pick a NAME for heaven’s sake, get her room organized and finish decorating. Wrap Fletch’s present from JellyBean, pack hospital bag, go to the grocery store and stock up on some frozen essentials so we don’t starve after she’s born, dig out the breast pump & wash all the bits and pieces, find the baby bath tub, swing and bouncy seat, set up the pack n play downstairs. I’m sure there’s plenty more I haven’t thought of yet!