Friday, August 9, 2013

just sleep dear child.

I'm just going to start by saying that last night (or early this morning) I wrote an entire post in my head.  At the time, I was also being kicked in the back by an 8.5 month old little boy who insisted on sharing my bed. 

This is about sleep.  Why?  Because it's been the topic of my life since Ty was born.  Sleep is something that should be so easy and yet, it hasn't been.  You just lay down, close your eyes and GO TO SLEEP.  It also helps if you stay sleeping for more than an hour or two.  We never had this struggle with Delia.  She slept in her crib from almost the very beginning, not wanting or needing to cuddle.  She woke 1-2 times during the night while she was breastfed and then not at all after she switched to formula.  She slept 11-12 hours.  Recently we have entered the world of nightmares with her so her sleep has been disrupted as of late, but that isn't the norm.  And then along came Ty.  I spent the first 5 weeks on the couch with him, either nursing throughout the night or just holding him.  I felt like a zombie.  Then he tricked us for about a week and a half, sleeping for 5-7 hours straight right before his 2 month appointment.  AND THEN he really showed us..... he just stopped sleeping.  He would wake constantly and cry, the only thing consoling him was being in my bed next to me and nursing.  I could handle this some nights but not every night.  I love my sleep.  I really do.  I've never been a morning person and having kids didn't change that.    I am not against the idea of bed sharing, but it's really not for me for the long term.  Now, we have made leaps and bounds since those early months with the help of a childhood friend who reached out to me after seeing my desperate posts on facebook.  Did you know there was such a thing as sleep consultants for children?  Yeah, I didn't either.  Well, Isis Parenting is one such company that offers these services.  I learned a lot about babies and their sleep habits that I didn't know before.   At the same time we started our sleep support, we made some drastic changes to Ty's diet.  Together they have brought about great improvement.  I'm obviously still not sleeping through the night and who knows when Ty will.  He still has very off nights which could be attributed to the typical teething and/or the fact that I think he's on the brink of taking a few steps on his own.  In a couple years I know I'll look back and think this time wasn't really that bad.  Seth will probably always tell you otherwise.  For now, I spend most mornings guzzling coffee though and thinking that maybe tonight will be the night.  Maybe tonight he will sleep for 8-10 straight hours. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

i just can't

"I just can't do it anymore."  When I heard those words spoken today in church followed by "That is a lie that Satan wants you to believe", I immediately turned to Seth and said, "How many times have I said that recently?"  I feel like it's sort of been my life motto since, oh, November?  It's easy to wallow in the negativity that can surround you when you are struggling to juggle 2 young kids (one of which who has been dubbed our little terror), working, many many sleepless nights, disappointment that things haven't gone just the way I wanted with this baby and insecurity over how your body has changed after that second child.  The hard part is stepping above all of that and seeing the good that your life is.  That your life is filled with love from a husband, 2 beautiful healthy children, family and friends.  That they see you amidst all the mess you feel you have become and even point out a strength here and there (that you don't think you have).  My life has not been exactly pretty these past 8 months but it's been.  Here's to the next 8 months....

Monday, January 21, 2013

2 month updates.

Since my time for blogging at the moment is seriously lacking, this might end up being a few posts wrapped into one (when I normally would have done them separately). 

Ty is 2 months old today.  The time has flown and yet dragged in parts as well.  Life the past 3 weeks has been drastically different with him and for that, I am thankful.  I wasn't sure how much longer I could go feeling less than human with all the crying despite having him attached to me 24/7.  He is now smiling and cooing and spending some time discovering on his own.  At this very moment he's sitting in his vibrating seat watching big sister and he's content to do that.  He never would have done that a month ago.   You know what's funny?  I find myself almost feeling guilty at times for putting him down (and trust me, I still hold him much more than I did with Delia).  Oh, the irony.  He is still a healthy eater and at a doctor appointment 2 weeks ago he was already 11 lbs.  Tomorrow we will go in for his 2 month well (and the dreaded vaccinations) so I'm anxious to see what he's up to.  He feels solid to me.  He has been sleeping pretty great for a newborn lately.  I have been getting one good 5-7 hour stretch from him before he wakes to eat and then he goes back down for another 2.5-3 hours.  Sometimes those last hours are spent in bed with us but I don't mind the cuddling (just not all night!  We don't want to be full time co-sleepers).  Delia wasn't a cuddler. 

Mom (me) started up weight watchers again just about 2 weeks ago.  I had the last 10-15 lbs to lose yet and unfortunately breastfeeding took all it was going to.  It was almost the same exact scenario with Delia so I was expecting it.  After the first week I was down (yay!) and this Wednesday will be my next weigh in.  I'd really like to start exercising as well but I need to find the time.  In the morning before the kids are up for the day is ideal but with Ty sleeping better, Delia has digressed so I'm still tired and staying in bed as long as the kids allow.  Slowly I'll get there. 

I've also started to log more hours at work (from home) and need to continue to increase that time.  It's a challenge some days trying to get both kids napping at the same time however having the opportunity to do so is what I've always wanted so I'm trying not to complain.  I know how difficult it would have been to leave the kids and go back to working a full time job away from them.  Not to mention the added stress of pumping while away.  I always hated that.  So some days are crazier than others and most times the house is in disarray, but this time won't last.  I have to keep reminding myself of that. 

There were a few other things I wanted to touch on but little man is starting to fuss and I need to add pictures so it will have to wait.

Two months:
Sporting some cloth (still part time since he doesn't fit in all the ones we have yet):
With our good friends Kaiti and Cece.  Cece was born just two days after Ty.  
And this is how I sometimes get work done.  Fussy baby likes to be close to mom.

Friday, January 4, 2013

the happiest baby?

Yesterday was the 6 week mark and to be frankly honest, they have been a very hard 6 weeks.  The excitement of the holidays helped keep eafloat despite my lowered expectations.  (Side note:  I'm one of those people who has very high expectations of special occasions and I find myself either disappointed or falling into a slight depression when things are over or don't go my way).  So Christmas came and went and we are now in the new year of 2013.  The good news is that Ty's nights have finally improved.  He's been sleeping for some longer stretches, allowing momma to sleep too, and I've had the comfort of being in my own bed instead of on the couch.  I've also had a couple nights in there where my mom or sister has helped by giving him a bottle of breastmilk for one nighttime feeding and letting me sleep through it.  It's amazing how refreshed even 5 consecutive hours of sleep can make a person feel.  On the down side, it seemed that while his nights improved his days got worse.  He would cry and fuss all day long unless I was holding him and often times while I was holding him I couldn't calm him down.  On Christmas day he was showing obvious signs of reflux and cried for 4-5 hours off and on.  That combined with toddler tantrums made for a Christmas I will surely remember.  So the very next day I took him to the pediatrician to discuss it.  We left with a prescription for zantac.  I kept waiting for some wonderful change to occur that I didn't see happening and I was starting to lose my mind.  My poor baby would just cry and I didn't know how to stop it.  Meanwhile I've been reading The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp which discusses theories behind what causes colic in young babies and how to calm them.  And just when I was about to give up, something clicked with little Ty and me.  Like the fact that it's almost 11 am and he's calmly sleeping IN HIS CRIB.  If you are struggling with a colicky babe I strongly recommend you read this book or watch the DVD.  I'm so glad it was recommended to me.  The swaddling takes practice and I am still working on it, but it's been like magic.  If he's really worked up I may not be able to put him down but he'll at least stop crying while I'm holding him.

Here's an idea of how this has worked on two separate occasions...

And now he's woken up from his little nap and is probably hungry so I must go.  I see happier, calmer days in our future though.  :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

3 weeks old and working through this new life.

I can't tell you how many times I've thought about sitting down and writing this blog post.  It started a week ago when Ty was 2 weeks old.  Time passes by too quickly and it's very hard to get a moment to myself.  Between a rambunctious toddler who needs to know "mom" is still her mom and a very needy newborn who likes to be held more often than not, my days are mostly a blur.

Just as he proved in the womb, Ty is a challenging baby.  Our days aren't terrible but come evening and into the night he becomes very fussy.  I'm lucky to get a few hours of sleep without him in my arms.  I am exhausted, to say the least, and just praying that this temperament of his won't last for months.  I'm not convinced he isn't showing signs of colic or reflux but I'm trying to figure out his pattern and see if it's worth going to the doctor before his 2 month check.  It's very different for me as Delia was a wonderful baby.  She ate roughly every 3 hours except for during growth spurts, slept in between feedings at night and would fall asleep on her own.  We smothered her with attention of course, but she didn't need it to be happy.  On a good note, he is a very healthy eater and had exceeded his birth weight at 2 weeks. I am exclusively breastfeeding and doing it on demand.  This means he could eat anywhere from every hour to 3 hours.  He really has no set routine there.  We moved into size 1 diapers fairly quickly and even the newborn cloth I bought for him is already too small.  He has grown out of newborn clothing but is not quite filling out 0-3 month so we are sort of in between there.

Delia is doing well in her big sister role and even though she doesn't pay him a lot of attention, what she does give him has been nothing but nice so far.  I thought I would have more feelings of sadness at losing her as my only baby, but they haven't hit me.  I now look at her as my "big baby" and Ty is my "little baby".  As difficult as this adjustment has been for Seth and myself, I love our family.  I know we will fall into some regularity eventually.

Here are a few pictures from his first few weeks of life.  

His first bath which he hated, obviously. 

In cloth!

 Milk drunk.  

 He loves to be worn in the k'tan.  


Monday, November 26, 2012

oh happy day....the arrival of Ty Richard

Tomorrow is my due date, November 27th, and Ty arrived 6 days early at 39w1d.  This is the exact same time that Miss Delia Pearl arrived.  Here's the story:

Last Monday at my weekly appointment I saw the nurse practitioner, Beth.  My cervical check was the same as it had been on Friday so nothing happened over the weekend which is what I had surmised.  She was going to strip my membranes again (3rd time) and said she was known as having the "magic fingers" at the office.  She was the one who had done it while I was pregnant with Delia which later caused me to go into labor.  The times that I had this done up until now it was uncomfortable but I wouldn't say that it actually hurt.  Well, this time it hurt.  I knew that only meant that things were progressing toward the birth of my son, but it was a very slow process.  Beth said that I was welcome to come back on Tuesday for her to do it again and that they would continue to do it as many times as I wanted up until I had to be induced.  They would schedule induction between 40-41 weeks for me if I didn't go into labor.  I gladly scheduled an early appointment for Tuesday morning.  Monday I had a good deal of cramping and contractions that night for about 5 hours.  They eventually tapered off.  Tuesday's check showed that I was 3 cm and 90%.  She also stripped membranes again and when she was done, she said she could be wrong but she had a feeling she may have just set my body into labor for that day/evening.  I could only hope she was right.  Also, my induction was set for Friday the 30th if nothing happened before then.  So I left and within a couple hours I was having consistent contractions about 5-7 minutes apart that were somewhat painful.  Throughout the day they intensified and became closer together.  Seth and I headed over to l&d that afternoon but when I got there things started to slow down.  Unfortunately I hadn't changed at all from the morning and after an hour they sent me home.  I was, again, distraught and completely lost it after leaving the hospital.  The contractions that I did have were still intense and a good deal of them were felt in my back.  I decided to walk that night with my mom and two sisters (who came down from Allentown because we thought this was it) and my labor just continued on.  My contractions were inconsistent and that's what was throwing me off.  They would go from 2-3 minutes to 4-6 minutes to 5-7.  They never lost intensity though.  I tried taking a bath that night and even thought I might get some sleep but I couldn't.  I didn't know what to do.  I didn't want to go back to the hospital only to be told that I was the same but I was in pain and couldn't do anything else but think about it.  I talked with my sister and she encouraged me just to call my doctor and speak with whomever was on call (it was Charlotte, the midwife).  I did that and she said it was my decision whether I waited it out or not.  I decided not to.  Instead of waking up Seth and having to go through all the work of getting Delia moved or having someone come stay with her, my sister offered to take me over to be checked.  We arrived at the hospital shortly before midnight.  I was 5 cm!  Thank goodness because I would have bawled my eyes out (again) had I still been a 3.  I called Seth and told him they were admitting me and then we went through the process of getting moved to a delivery room, etc.

This labor was very hard on my back and I knew I wanted an epidural.  Unfortunately it can take some time to get that since they have to draw blood, send it to the lab, notify the anesthesiologist, etc.  I probably waited another two hours before he showed up or at least it felt that way.  By this time Seth had made it and my mom was on her way back from Allentown since she had gone home.  We had no issues getting an epidural during my labor with Delia but for some reason, this guy couldn't place it.  I must have been pricked 4-5 times before he got it in.  That was probably one of the worst parts.  Then he felt so badly that he actually pulled up a chair and sat in my room for the next half hour to 45 minutes to make sure that the epi took.  After every contraction he would ask me what I felt.  I thought this was really nice of him as most doctors wouldn't do it.  The epi DID take and it took well because I was pretty numb from then on.  After a little while Charlotte showed up and I was at a 7 almost 8.  It had been some time since I slept so I tried to do that.  His heart rate kept dropping a bit at the end of my contractions so they had me on oxygen as well.  At some point they broke my water and at another point my nurse came in and said my contractions were still close but they seemed to be losing intensity (they put an internal monitor on me after his heart rate was dropping).  Unfortunately I don't have much of a grasp on when all these things were happening.  I just knew they were.  They wanted to give me just a little bit of pitocin to push me the rest of the way so I could deliver.  As soon as she turned it on the lowest setting, his heart rate went again so she immediately turned it off.  Charlotte came back in to check and lo and behold I was complete and ready to have a baby! 

Dr. Probst, the OB whom I go to, was the one who had delivered Delia.  I had a great experience and really like her.  I had seen Charlotte many times in the office with no complaints but I had no idea how different the delivery might be since she is a midwife.  I am very happy with the outcome.  It was much less of a production, less people in the room and very laid back.  She was awesome and encouraging.  I didn't have to push long (20-30 minutes).  Ty was a little bigger than we expected him to be though and his shoulders ended up getting stuck.  She must have worked some sort of magic because despite how bad it looked while it was happening, he was born and I had minimal damage.  Instead of doing all big pushes there were times where she had me do just a little push here and there.  I'm so grateful.

My "little" guy was 8 lbs 6.5 oz and 20 inches.  He is the cutest baby I've ever seen.  He is a healthy eater and while we are still getting into a groove here, which will take some time, I'm so happy to have him.  It's amazing how things build up slowly and just like that it seems they are over.  I sometimes I have trouble dealing with the finality of it, but at this point I'm enjoying every little cuddle and snuggle that I can.  Big sister Delia is doing great so far.  She loves her "Ty Ty" and while we are working on what it means to be gentle, she loves to give him hugs and kisses.  I am such a lucky girl.

Shortly after delivery:

Sunday, November 18, 2012

38 weeks and the neverending pregnancy.

The irony of this pregnancy (besides the obvious that I had preterm labor at 33 weeks yet am somehow still pregnant at 38 weeks) is that something that will bring me so much joy and happiness in a "short" while is currently causing so much {physical} pain and moodiness.  How many times have I said that this pregnancy is very different from Delia's?  I know I sound like a broken record but only because it's true.  Everything was so easy and effortless with her.  Despite knowing that this is it for me when it comes to using my body has a baby maker, I wonder if I had another pregnancy if it would be just as hard on me or not. 

I saw my doctor twice this past week. This is the point where things may start to get a little gross and detailed but I don't think anyone who reads this blog would care.  On Tuesday I asked her to strip my membranes, knowing it might not do anything.  I was 1.5 cm and still about 50% so she obliged.  She instructed me to go home, do what you can do at this point to naturally bring on labor (walk and have sex) and come back on Friday.  I did that and also noticed some other changes in my body so I was pleased to find out on Friday morning that I had progressed to 2 cm, almost 80% effaced and the baby had moved down a bit to -2 station.  Unfortunately, nothing monumental has happened since and 2 and a half days later, I'm still pregnant. 

I'm sure some of you (and I know other people in my life) are wondering why this upsets me so much when I haven't reached my due date yet.  I will tell you.  One: I am beyond uncomfortable.  Daily I have a variety of pains that I can't escape.  The rib burning and back pain is the worst and it brings me very close to tears some days.  Two: I've prepared myself mentally to have an early baby because of the preterm issues.  It's very hard to turn that around in your head once it's no longer a possibility.  Three: I am a giant, hormonal mess and I have lost all control.  My daily mood swings are ridiculous.  I go from being somewhat happy to okay to completely depressed within hours.  Just today I had a near breakdown over a slush from sonic.  Four:  I don't want to be in the hospital on Thanksgiving.  That one is just sort of a tag-along but it's true.  I was really hoping to have this baby before then and right now I feel like that's not going to happen.  I also don't want to be induced.  I have this great fear of induction.  I haven't had the conversation yet with my doctor and I'm also afraid that even though she might say 41 weeks is okay, I will crack and ask for it to be sooner because I'm so ready to get this baby out of my body.  What's most amazing to me is that when I see that precious little baby face for the first time, all of this will seem like it was nothing. 

So here I keep going....trucking along until it's my turn.  Please don't tell me soon though.  I can't handle that phrase anymore.