Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tandem nursing is frustrating

Tandem nursing is frustrating. Arie does not understand that a newborn's hunger is a priority over him wanting to nurse. 

I think the middle of the night is the worst. They will both wake up at the same time and want to nurse. Since its super uncomfortable to nurse both at once at least one of them is screaming. 

It sucks especially because Luke will be up for an hour or two before going back to sleep and will want to nurse the whole time. So Arie sleeps fitfully if at all in that time until I can come back. 

It's very stressful and not the least bit relaxing. Honestly it makes me want to scream especially with how tired I am, the anxiety from listening to Jack try to keep one calm while I'm nursing the other is maddening. 

I know this wont last forever but it really sucks right now. 

It sucks wanting to rush through comforting your child so that you can get to the next one. It sucks deciding which one needs it more. And it SUCKS being someone who has never let her child cry it out and have to listen to Jack attempt to console but the child is just screaming and crying.

This age gap is difficult because the older child does not understand. The newborn certainly doesn't either. 

I hate that I can't enjoy Luke slowly dozing off while nursing when all I want to do is go pick up Arie and nurse him. 

This is REALLY difficult. I know I've already said that. 

But at 2am, after just a tiny bit of sleep, all of these things together suck a lot. I also hate stressing out about how little sleep Jack is getting too. Of course he's getting hours more than I do at night, but when I know he's just rocking and if he moves at all, Arie will wake and cry, it stresses me out! 

I don't want to wish away this time. I don't want to stress through this stage because I know it will be over in a blink. I wish I could find a way to enjoy this stage and not stress every night that this happens. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Lucas - over a week old!

Looking at him at dinner tonight, I started to notice how much he's changed in just one week! 

He is definitely on that newborn pooping and peeing schedule. He poops and pees so much that I ended up ordering more small flats! They are more absorbent than the prefolds and will fit longer. 

I stopped using a snappi to put on his orange edge prefolds because it just got too small. Now they are trifolded and set in the newborn cover. 

He will sleep in 1-2 1/2 hour stretches and then be up to eat or for up to 2 1/2 hours and then back to sleep. His most wakeful time is usually in the evening and overnight. 

We went to the grocery store and Costco this evening and Lukey did great. I hate his car seat and look forward to when he fits better in one. 
I wore Luke in the stores and Jack carried Arie/had him in the cart. I really need to get Jack to wear Arie but I think he thinks its too feminine. 
I'm loving this new ring sling. It's a Girasol Diamonds and Stripes :) 

Arie will now kiss Luke if we ask him to. He's the sweetest big brother. Arie gets better at walking every day and seems bigger every day. In the last week, since Luke was born and my milk came in, it seems like Arie is having a huge growth spurt. His shorts that we just bought maybe a month ago are now too snug! 

While I'm nursing, Arie will bring me every book he can find for me to read to him. I loooove how much he loves books. I really hope he turns out to be a reader like me and my family. 

Luke is not a spit up baby the way Arie was and I'm willing to bet the fact that I don't eat dairy plays a very large part. I think he's spit up maybe 3 times total and it was nothing like the way Arie used to. With Arie, we had to change him 2 or 3  or more times a day because of the spit up. Luke gets changed only so that he doesn't wear the same outfit for days. 

He also has clear skin!! 

He doesn't like to be burped and almost flinches if you pat his back, he's more of a tub the burps out or even better, just set him up against your chest or wear him and the burps will work their way out. 

His umbilical cord stump fell off but his belly button isn't fully healed yet, so no baths for him yet. 

The sleeping situation is definitely something that will take adjustment for all of us. 

First few days

Lucas Ezra Cooper was born on Friday, June 14, 2013 after 52 hours of completely drug free labor. 

I'm still processing my last week of my life so I haven't started to write his birth story yet. I also haven't decided if it was worth it to wait to find out the sex of the baby. 

Luke is fabulous & Breastfeeding is going really well. Arie gets jealous sometimes and wants to be nursing more than his normal and it's awkward as can be to nurse them both at the same time.

My milk is in and I really thought having two nurslings would alleviate the engorgement, but it appears to exacerbate it. 

My mom is here helping out and I have no idea what we would do if she wasn't here! 

My sister is coming in a few weeks too and that will be awesome too.   

One Week Old

Can I just say that MY NIPPLES HURT! 

The amount of nursing between the boys is just unreal and my nipples need a break!!

Also, I didn't know it was possible to be this tired for this long. 

Arie is still adjusting to Luke. Luke is trying to figure out days and nights. 

I love Breastfeeding but it's definitely challenging this time. :( 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Trying something different at night

Tonight we are trying something different. First, we went to bed early. Arie was asleep by 7pm. 

My goal was to get Luke out of the room as fast as possible each time he rouses so that he doesn't wake up Arie. 

The first two feedings for Luke were successful and Arie didn't wake up. Then Arie woke up and my right breast has been super engorged and was leaking, so I was happy to nurse. Then Luke started to rouse and Jack kept him happy as long as possible so I could nurse as long as possible. 

I unlatched Arie and quickly rolled over and grabbed Luke from Jack and rushed out of the room. I took him to the nursery and sat down on the floor and nursed him. Before I was even done nursing him on the first side, Arie had already stopped crying. Success!! 

It's been about a half an hour since and I've changed Luke and nursed switching sides three more times and its been completely quiet upstairs so I think Arie and Jack are back to sleep!!

Luke is drifting in and out right now and I don't want to risk waking Arie so I'm going to stay downstairs until I'm completely sure that Luke is asleep. 

4 more hours and Jack will be getting up to go back to work! I really hope this works and Arie stays asleep so Jack gets some sleep!!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

One is easier than two.

The nights are torture. 

Arie is really struggling with jealousy and watching me nurse another baby. He doesn't like to be woken up by a crying baby and then he doesn't like that I won't let him nurse as long as he wants. 

A newborn wanting to nurse is a bit more pressing than a 15 month old.

Jack is supposed to go back to work today and I have no idea how that's going to work. 

Getting up with Luke is an hours long ordeal. He has been changed five or six times in the last hour and a half. 

My left nipple is so sore that either of them latching on makes me cry out in pain. 

Luke wants to nurse and switch from breast to breast the entire time he's awake, in between diaper changes. This constant switching really makes Arie mad. 

It's 4:20am and Jack has to get up at 5:45 to go to work. I'm wondering if he needs to sleep in another room but I have no idea how I will deal with two crying babies by myself. They both have different needs and Arie does not sleep soundly. 

This won't last forever. 

I don't have the foggiest idea on how we will make it through. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Failed Homebirth Story - But Successful Natural Birth

June 12, 2013 2:45am- wake up to nurse Arie, notice a contraction and hesitate to latch him on. Do it anyway, contractions are intense, he falls back to sleep. 

3am- I get up to pee, still having contractions, notice mucous plug and bloody show... Text my mom, she answers right away, I tell her to go back to sleep. I don't need help yet.  Go downstairs to clean.

4:30am - made toast with peanut butter and banana and ice water, sat down to eat. Jacks alarm goes off in 20 minutes, get back in bed. 

5:15- jacks alarms don't go off so I text him and ask why. He wakes up and says I don't know. I ask him to turn the water heater up & tell him it doesn't matter because he's not going to work today. 

Trying to get some sleep. Contractions have spaced out a little more. 

5:40am - emailed Eileen my contraction timing and texted her to let her know what was going on, trying to rest between contractions. Sun's coming up. Arie is still sleeping next to me. 

8am- woke up by a contraction. Only woke up to a few contractions while sleeping. Don't know if its stopped or what. Waiting for Arie to wake up to nurse and hoping that picks things back up. Haven't heard from Eileen. 

8:17- eating second piece of peanut butter toast. It's not nearly as tasty as the first piece from 3 hours ago. 

8:20am- Arie up. Nursing him. Hoping to get things going again. Trying to get Jack to log in to the computer to fake out being at work. 

. Putzing around all day, contractions pretty spaced out. 
Stopped bothering to time them at 9:30am

11:30am - mom comes over. Has toys for Arie. My new ring sling comes in the mail. 

Get Arie ready for a nap, start having bigger contractions. 

1:30- he's out and time to start timing contractions! 45 seconds to a minute long and about 8 minutes apart. 

2:15pm- Jack runs out to pick up burgers. Mom said she wanted one and that sounds good. Time to chow. Arie is sleeping on me & I'm rocking. Jack helps me pack up my latest sale from my Etsy shop to be shipped out while he's out. Two slings sold today!! Both already shipped & I'm in labor (I think!) what's everyone else's excuse ;)

3:10- Jack gets home with food. Arie is still sleeping. Not sure if Eileen has received my text. Contractions are about 7 minutes apart now. Hoping Arie wakes up soon. 

4pm- talked to Eileen. She wants to know how intense contractions are and I tell her I'm choosing not to think of them on the pain scale and don't want to assign a number to it. Visualizing baby moving down and cervix opening. 
She said to let her know if the intensity changes. 

4:30 - still bouncing on the ball hoping they pick up intensity. About ready to go grab Arie and see if he wants to nurse.

texting my friend Megan ;)

5pm- Jack's blowing up the birth pool.

5:30- kick everyone out to see if contractions will get closer together. 

6pm- no real difference. 

6:15pm- I decide to go downstairs and make a chocolate almond milk, banana and peanut butter smoothie and watch some TV. Still 6 minutes apart and about 45 seconds to a minute long.

7:22pm - we decide my body just likes to take its time. Contractions are getting a bit more intense. 

8:45pm - wondering if the big bulge on my right side means baby is in a poor position which could be why labors not progressing. Did an inversion and hung upside down for 30 seconds. Also was able to rock hips laying on my back and crack them, hopefully that means baby moved to a more favorable position.

Eileen is on her way out to come check on baby & I. 

10:30- Eileen and I agree that baby was in a bad position and now my labor should either start for real in moving baby down into my pelvis and on to my cervix or should stop. I'm still having contractions, so hopefully it stops so I can go to sleep. I'm trying to rock Arie to sleep but he's fighting it and I'm getting frustrated. I need to sleep.  Mom is staying the night. The dogs won't stop barking. Eileen went home. 

11pm. Sleep. 

1130pm contractions wake me up. I sleep in between. 

June 13, 2013
1:15am - contractions are a minute long and 5 minutes apart or less for an hour+ guess this is it. Filled up the master bath tub and I'm in here while Jack tries to quietly fill the birth pool. Arie is sleeping in the crib side car and my mom is sleeping in the bed next to him. 

Called Eileen. She's packing up and she's on her way. 

1:30am - filling up birth pool

2:45am- still waiting on mws. Contractions 1:30-3 minutes apart. Still breathing through. Got out of the tub, Jack is still filling birth pool after waiting for hot water to catch up. Swaying side to side. 

Eileen comes back and her assistants come. Eileen shows me some positions to get into to move baby down. My contractions stop as I'm trying to be a good host and get them all comfortable.

I go upstairs leaving the midwives in the living room and labor in bed in the weird position they showed me. My mom and Arie are sleeping next to me, Jack goes to the guest bed to sleep. 

My contractions pick back up. Hours later, midwives decide to go out to breakfast and kill a few hours because I still don't feel like anything is imminent. 

They come back from breakfast and shipping at around 9:30am. Eileen and I chat a bit and she feels my belly and baby still hasn't moved. We discuss options and she checks me at about 10am. 3-4 cm. baby's -2 station. Not officially in active labor even though I have been contracting anywhere from 2-6 minutes apart for 32 hours now. I'm frustrated. 

Eileen decides to go home and I break down crying. I went out back to sit on the deck. I was exhausted and so depressed about what a hard time Arie was having. I couldn't hold him for hours like he was used to and the contractions made it very uncomfortable to nurse.

From 10:30am when everyone left until about 6pm, I spent hours laying basically on my stomach trying to get baby to turn. I was doing head stands through contractions trying to pull baby slightly out of my pelvis to get him to be able to turn. I laid on the bed with my butt in the air for an hour, still nothing.

By about 5, the contractions started to get harder and after about an hour, Jack said I sounded like I did before Arie was born and called Eileen again at 6pm (I just looked in my phone.) 

Eileen told Jack that she had an appointment to go to at 6:30 and that she would hurry and come over after. 

The hours rolled by and I labored harder and harder in the tub. I attempted to check my own cervix and I could still feel it. It made me discouraged and worried, but we kept waiting for Eileen. 

At almost 10pm, Eileen shows up with one of her assistants. 

I tell her that I think I could still feel my cervix and if that was the case, what did that mean. At this point, I had gone 12 hours without a check and I had been in labor for 44 hours. 

She tells me that IF that's the case then we would need to transfer to the hospital. 

I finally get out of the tub to be checked. 


F!!!! At that point I no longer wanted to discuss anything. I hadn't packed a just in case hospital bag because I had absolutely refused to see that as a possibility. Arie was screaming. 

Jack and I ran around frantically trying to think straight to pack a bag. I was convinced I needed a csection. A second time mom should NOT be in labor for that long and we all knew it. We were scared and trying to get out of there as fast as possible. Baby still sounded good on the Doppler, but I was (understandably) exhausted. I needed help and I needed a break. 

As I ran around packing, my mom threw our newborn cloth diapers into the bag and threw the little brother/little sister onesies that we had bought into the bag too. Arie was still screaming and I was trying not to cry knowing I had never left him even to go to the grocery store and here I was leaving him to go to the hospital. This was NOT part of the plan at all. 

All the while, I continued to contract. The fear and anxiety and frustration made the contractions that I was able to stay in control of before, now completely unmanageable. I cried and begged for my contractions to stop. 

In the middle of this cluster, Eileen is telling us we need to stay at home until her things are all packed up. I tell her no, we are leaving as soon as we can. I have no reason to continue hanging out at home. 

Then as we are about to leave, Eileen tells me that she's not coming to the hospital with us (this is part of her contract- in the event of a hospital transfer, she comes with us and stays with us until after baby has safely arrived) because she's tired and she wants to go home and sleep. 

It took every ounce of self control that I had left not to punch her. She was tired?? I had been in labor for 44 hours and hasn't slept, had barely eaten, and spent the last two days listening to my baby cry for me and me not be able to help him. And SHE was tired and was bailing on the hospital??? 

We left as fast as we could as she kept asking us to wait for Heather, her other apprentice. Heather arrived right as we were pulling out of the driveway so she followed us. 

All the way to the hospital Jack and I prayed for Arie and that he would be able to settle for my mom and sleep and be okay. We also prayed that our unborn child was okay. We knew that there was a reason we ended up at the hospital that night and we didn't know what it was, but we trusted that God had us going exactly where we needed to be. 

I knew that I wanted an epidural as soon as possible when we got there. I was exhausted and furious with my body for the amount of pain I was in and had been in for two days. I was scared and I just wanted relief. 

When we got to the hospital, I was still contracting every few minutes, very strongly. We had to park in this area outside the ER where you get a ticket and the gate wouldn't open. I could not sit in the car for one more minute and I jumped out and began walking towards the door. Jack and Heather went to park while I labored, loudly, walking and standing. 

Naturally, there was a large crowd outside the ER doorway and everyone was staring. 

This security guard sees me and comes running. ARE YOU IN LABOR?! He yells. I nod through a contraction as I'm bending over and moaning very loudly. He frantically runs and grabs a wheel chair. 

I sit down in it and tell him we are waiting for my husband (who was about 50 feet away, walking swiftly with Heather.) The guard tells me no and attempts to wheel me away. I put my foot down and he again tells me we aren't waiting. So I stood back up. 

He tried to tell me to get back in the chair and I just began walking away from him and back towards Jack and Heather. The guard is completely taken aback and runs (literally runs) back into the hospital pushing the empty wheelchair. 

A few minutes later, after a few more loud contractions, we get up to the door and there are several security guards there all standing in my way. THERE SHE IS!! Yells the first security guard. 

They try to make us check in first and Heather tells them no, we are going to L&D. Is she in labor they ask, as I scream through a contraction. 

We make our way to L&D and check in there. I go pee in the restroom in the waiting area waiting to get into triage. 

Heather is calm. I have no idea what Jack is thinking at this point. And I just want this to be over. 

We get taken back to triage and I ask for an epidural. The nurse says she just needs to get some monitoring done first and that someone will be in to speak with me. 

At this time Eileen's second assistant shows up and it's Heather, Janise, Jack  and I in this triage room. 

After they do the monitors and vitals a woman walks in and introduces herself. She's Katie, she's the midwife on staff that night. 

She asks some questions. No my water hasn't broken, I have been having contractions for almost 2 days, I'm exhausted, we were attempting a home birth. 

So I tell her I want help and I want an epidural. We tell her that I have been stuck at 3cm for more than 12 hours. She checks me. I'm 5-6cm. Progress.  Active labor. 

I'm flabbergasted. Kate asks if we would like to go home to finish this there. 

Um hell no. I want an epidural, I'm out of my mind exhausted. She laughs. We sign the admittance paperwork and we have to look at the clock to figure out the date. It's midnight. June 14, 2013. Jack says that it would be really nice to have this baby before lunch and Katie laughs and says, how about before breakfast? I'm done at 7, and I want to catch this baby. 

She explains that I need iv fluid beforehand and that they need to run bloodwork. I am so grateful for the iv fluid because I'm so exhausted. Our wonderful nurse Michelle helps us figure out the least cumbersome place to put the IV in my forearm. IV fluid is started. 

I continue to have stronger and stronger contractions through which, I get louder and louder. They move me to my room. I'm grateful I'm still allowed to walk there. 

As Katie (MW) is getting us settled in the room she informs us that the anesthesiologist is with a woman in a csection and that it could be a while and what would I like to do. I told her that I wanted to get checked again before the anesthesiologist came back because I knew I would be mad at myself getting an epi at 9cm. She laughs and says okay. 

They get me all the tools to keep laboring. A labor ball, they bring me warm blankets and fill the warmer and we start running the tub for me to labor in there. 

The IV bag runs out and I ask for a second bag, I still feel dehydrated. About halfway through the second bag, Katie comes in to let us know that the anesthesiologist was almost ready. Time for another check. 

She tells me I'm 7-8cm. I kick everyone out of the room so Jack and I can talk. I don't even know what time it was at this point. Jack tells me he wouldn't blame me one bit but that he knows that's not what I wanted. Damn. He's right. I don't want that crap. I'm right there. I can do this.  Renewed determination. 

My mom sends a picture of Arie sleeping at some point, no longer needing to stress about that. 

We discuss with Katie breaking my water now and she gets everything ready to do it and when she's examining me she tells me she doesn't think it's a good idea and that I should labor baby down more and try laboring on my side. Baby is still poorly positioned. 

I'm standing at the end of the bed, waiting for the tub to fill and a nurse bustles in saying that the lady for the epidural needs to talk to me. I'm contracting every two to three minutes at this point. I'm also butt naked. 

She tells me it's very important. I tell her I'm just a little busy. She persists. So I say fine, send her in. Janise offers me a bathrobe and I tell her no, and that I hope my nudity makes her uncomfortable because it was ridiculous that she was bothering me at that point. 

This woman walks in and then gasps and pulls the curtain back and steps out. I hear her whisper, "She's naked!" The nurse tells her to come in anyway. She's visibly antsy, and Heather, Janise, Jack and I get a kick out of making her uncomfortable. She asks her questions and then leaves. We all laugh. 

So I get in the tub. I am able to totally get in the zone and even fall asleep, barely making a peep through these contractions. Heather, Jack and Katie all spend time sitting with me in the bathroom.

Eventually I'm ready to get out and I move to the toilet to go to the bathroom. Katie talks to me about not fighting my contractions and to allow them to bring the baby down and out. I'm in the zone repeating that I am going to do this like bad constipation and let my body do all the work. 

I have no idea how long I was on the toilet but Jack and Heather watched as I opened up, making way for baby to come through. At some point my water bag broke and began to leak. 

After what felt like hours, my legs were uncomfortable and I wanted to move to the floor. Katie spread out towels and blankets ready to catch the baby.

The floor was too uncomfortable so I crawled to the bed. 

(This is my nutty nurse, Deb, checking heart tones and Katie and Heather standing by my head.) 

Katie asks to check me again and tells me that I'm STILL not fully dilated and that my water bag must have just had a leak because it was still intact and that baby was still twisted wrong. She breaks my water and starting with the next contraction, the next 8 minutes were SOLID contractions as the baby twisted fully around and I quickly pushed it out. I was already hoarse from the 2 days of laboring and yelling before and I screamed. 

It felt truly like I was going to die and I was screaming and begging for help. Katie kept calm and just told me over and over to breathe and that she knew it hurt. Heather kept trying to tell me to make low noises and to breathe. 

Then I started violently throwing up. Screaming, thrashing, throwing up every last bit of bile in my body. 

And then baby's head was out and everyone began yelling not to push and I had no choice. My body was DONE and pushed the rest of baby out.

His cord was wrapped twice around his neck and Katie immediately explained that that was why my labor was so slow. That my body knew something wasn't right and was protecting my baby.

I told her that I wanted to deliver the placenta before the cord was cut or clamped so they put this baby on my chest. My first thought was that I could feel boy parts. I assume Jack announced it out loud that the baby was a boy, but I already knew. I couldn't believe it because I was expecting a girl. 

After delivering the placenta and getting stitched up, having a second degree tear in my perinium, I had the most awful case of the shakes. I could not even wrap my head around what just happened. The last 10 minutes were the most horrifyingly painful and excruciating of my life. And here was a baby. My baby. I still couldn't believe I was pregnant again, and now I wasn't, and there was a baby on my chest. 

He latched on very quickly after birth and nursed for an hour and a half. He had a very bruised forehead that they told me was from him being stuck up against my pelvis for that long while I was in labor. 

He was born at 6:29am, 31 minutes before Kate was done with her shift. 52 hours after my labor started, Lucas Ezra Cooper Irons was 7lbs 6.9oz and 20.3" long. His apgar scores were 8 & 9. 

The next two hours was a blur of me holding this baby that we had not yet named, he wasn't named until about 6 hours after he was born actually. 

The nurse that I had was a total nut. Jack truly thought that she was drunk. She was loud and in your face and through a flurry of all of this, pushing on my uterus, nursing, people running in and out telling me what a bad ass I was, and I was in such a daze. 

I had done it with no drugs. Not even pitocin after the birth. 

The nurse made Jack do skin to skin. 

Thanks to my mom's quick thinking, Luke has never had a disposable diaper on.  As soon as he got a diaper, it was cloth!

Jack tried to sleep for a few minutes before my mom came.  We were able to sleep for maybe 30 minutes.

My mom brought Arie up at about 8:30am and I had gotten a chance to get dressed and they took out my hep-loc. we ordered breakfast.

At about 12, we told the staff we were ready to go home. The pediatrician came to do Luke's exam, explained what to watch for and congratulated us. The midwife who came on after Kate ended up being a total wench. She did NOT want us to leave and pushed it off until 7pm. 

A social worker was sent in to speak with us about wanting to leave "so soon." They wanted us to stay for 48 hours and there was absolutely no way we were going to. 

She said, I'm a social worker. I've been sent here to talk to you because they are worried about you wanting to leave so soon. I'm not worried about you though, I had my babies at the birth center and I was home within 6 hours of each birth, so I get it. But, I just have to make sure, everything is okay. 

We had a laugh about that after she left. 

We were finally released from prison, er, the hospital, at 7pm. We got home at about 8pm and we settled in, finally able to get some sleep.