Friday, 27 February 2015

Happy Due Date to Us

When I first went to the doctor when I was pregnant, I was told my due date was February 28.  The midwife changed it to February 27 because of an ultrasound, but I just kept telling everyone the 28th because I agreed with it more and I thought it was dumb that they changed it for one day.  Then I went into labour 5 weeks early and being 35+1 seemed better than 35, so now I say my due date was February 27!

It's hard to believe that at this point I was just supposed to be thinking get this baby out of me.  Or maybe I should of had a very new baby, not a 5 week old.  I assumed I would go late, everyone in my family goes late.  I had predicted a March baby, not a January baby!  But here we are, 5 weeks later, with a cute little gaffer who still needs to be woken every 3 hours to be fed.  I'm over that....

I thought maternity leave would be a vacation.  I mean I knew that being a parent would be hard, but I didn't realize just how full my days would be and yet how I would get nothing done.  I feed him, that is my life.  But that's what's important right now.  And hopefully with time, he will not have to be fed every 3 hours, I won't have to pump right after, and we can go out in public and actually feel like a human being again.  

So I'm sorry for not previously understanding what maternity leave really was, and for thinking that it was all fun and games and hanging out with your baby and watching TV (ok it is that), and having time to clean your house (it isn't that, but I really need to start doing that). But it is rewarding.  Because this little man has gained like a pound in a week and that's because of my hard work.  


Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Parker at 1 Month

I can't believe that Parker is a month old already.  (Mom brain: I wrote this post yesterday which was actually his one month and then forgot to actually publish it.)  And his official due date isn't for 3 more days!  Our days in the special care nursery seem like they were so long ago.  I knew that it would feel like that even though at the time it felt like we would be there forever.  Time has flown since we got home.  This maternity leave thing isn't easy work.  Apparently it's not just a vacation.  My days really fly by.  That's what happens when you hardly have time for a shower and are incredibly sleep deprived.  But we're figuring this thing out, and I know that we won't be in this stage forever.

Weight: 5lbs 0.5oz

Hair: Still has a fair bit of it!  It's brown and has come in a bit darker on the top since he was born.  I really don't think it's going to turn red.

Clothes: We had a couple of friends give us some preemie clothes, which was awesome.  But he's actually outgrown some of the smaller fitting ones!  Soon newborns might not look so massive on him.

Diapers:  He has been in newborn Pampers Swaddlers since birth.  I did actually find some preemie diapers at target, but they only come in packages of 27.  That's like 2 and a half days worth and they were much too expensive for that!  So I'm sticking with the newborns that are slightly too big.  

Feeding: I'm still feeding Parker every 3 hours.  For awhile I was feeding him on demand and every 3 hours if he didn't demand it.  I was basically nursing exclusively and giving him a bottle or two a day.  Then I went to the midwife and he had only gained 2 ounces in a week.  So I switched to mostly bottle feeding so that I knew that he was eating enough.  I would breastfeed a couple times a day and then top up with a bottle if he needed it.  He has gained about 11 ounces this week now!  His bottles are exclusively breast milk though and I'm hoping I can keep up with that.  

He's still in preemie mode, so he's still fairly sleepy, and that's why the breastfeeding wasn't working for us.  He knows how to do it, but he falls asleep before he's eaten enough.  With a bottle I can force it on him a bit easier.  Hopefully soon we can go back to breastfeeding more since he has gained so much weight.  I'm also looking forward to the day when I can spread his feedings out a bit and maybe get sleep in more than 2 hour increments.  

I'm still pumping 8 times a day to keep supply up, especially since I'm not nursing as much.  So basically I'm a milk machine and feel like a Holstein.

Sleep:  He is still sleepy.  He generally sleeps pretty well between feedings.  I find that he's more awake in the evenings.  He sleeps well at night though, which is part of the reason why I want to spread out those feedings.  Right now he kind of has his nights and days figured out, and he eats more in the evening than he does in the middle of the night.  I would really like to keep it that way...

Likes: Being held skin to skin in an upright position.  He usually falls right to sleep!  Being held in general.  He really likes his baby wrap.

 He will never tell us if he's hungry if he's being held, he just sleeps.  Farting.  Well I don't know if he likes it but he does it a lot! Cuddling with dad in bed.  I have a no babies in the bed rule, but dad doesn't care about that rule.

Dislikes:   Baths, especially getting his hair washed.

Coming Up: We finally rescheduled my shower that was supposed to happen the day after he was born.  It's next Sunday.  I'm not sure yet if I'm going to bring Parker as I still get nervous about his immune system.  I might just have Ryan bring him to meet everyone at the end so that he doesn't get passed around too much.

He is finally getting circumcised this week.  I know that it seems late, but I always wanted to put it off for a bit so that I could establish breastfeeding first.  Then when I took him for the consult, the doctor wanted him to gain a bit of weight first.  

I sometimes get frustrated with the poor little guy when he doesn't eat well.  Sometimes he will eat 20mL and then I can't get the bottle back into his mouth.  But then he makes a funny face at me and all is forgiven.  It's a good thing we love these little critters that are ours so much because they make it all worth it.  Eventually the late night feedings and these struggles will be gone, and replaced with new struggles, and we will completely forget what it was like when we were in this stage.  I'm trying not to wish it away and I know that I have to enjoy it as much as I can.  They change so quickly at this age and I want to remember it all.  

Happy one month Parker.  We shouldn't have even met you yet but we are glad you're here!


Sunday, 22 February 2015

Love & Fear

I was watching About Time the other day and got this quote from Tim.  And I thought that it was so true.  The love for your child is completely overwhelming.  I can't imagine life without him now.  I look forward to watching him learn, grow and develop.  But the fear that comes along with it is completely insane.

From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I was terrified.  I was worried that something would go wrong.  First that I would miscarry, then that there would be something wrong with him, then that something bad would happen during labour.  At one point Ryan asked me when we would stop worrying, I said I don't think we ever will, we will just worry about different things. 

And now we are worrying about different things.  Parker is ours.  It's our job to keep him alive.  So far so good!  And I know people raise children every single day, but it's a scary responsibility.  But beyond that, it's our job to raise him to be good, to teach him right from wrong.  To teach him not to talk to strangers and to be a team player.  To teach him money management, hope that he finds success in life, however that success may come.  To teach him how to treat a woman so that someday he finds a good wife and has a family of his own.  It's a job that never ends.  And that is scary, but also exciting.  

But luckily the love outweighs the fear, and that's why people have kids.  Because he will bring so much joy to our lives.  We're a family now and there's nothing better than that feeling.


Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Parker's Birth Story: Part 2

Part 1

They brought me into a delivery room and hooked me up to monitors for the babies heartbeat and my contractions since the baby was early.  Which meant that I was stuck in one position for my labour.  The whole things was still pretty unreal to me at this point.

I was asked whether I wanted an epidural and was very conflicted.  I didn't know how long I would be in labour or how bad it would get.  Because we didn't have my GBS swab results back since it was so early, I needed 4 hours of antibiotics before they would break my water.  Because of that, the fact that I was told contractions would get worse, I hadn't slept in 2 nights and I couldn't change positions, I decided to just go for the epidural.  I couldn't believe how instant the relief was.  Life was wonderful and I couldn't feel anything!

Parker kept moving positions, so they were constantly trying to roll me on my side and my back and moving the monitor around so they could pick up the heartbeat.  

It is strange being in labour and not being able to eel it.  My midwife, Isabelle, told me that my contractions had spread out and I was a bit worried that things weren't progressing.  Later on they checked and I was at 7cm.

Finally my antibiotics were done and my water could be broken. However, because my midwife had to do shared care with the doctor, the doctor wouldn't let her break my water, and the doctor was too busy to do it.  WE had to wait an extra hour and a half for the doctor to show up!  After they broke my water, they told Ryan to go get something to eat while he had time.  Ryan messaged my parents just to tell them everything was fine, but not that I was in labour, as we thought it might be a few more hours.  The midwife and nurse kind of traded off taking a dinner break as well.

I could not feel a lot of pressure when I was having contractions.  I messaged Ryan and told him to hurry back right as he walked through the door.  I felt so much pressure with each contraction that Ryan went out into the hall and got the nurse.  I was 10cm!  No wonder I was feeling something.  We were surprised as it had only been about 20 minutes since my water had been broken.

Isabelle told me that extra people had to be there since I was so early.  So we had a nurse, 2 midwives, a doctor and 2 pediatricians waiting for the baby.  Luckily, the doctor let Isabelle do her thing and she just observed.  Isabelle and our awesome nurse Andrea coached me through the whole thing.  They were so encouraging.  Ryan held my hand and was really great too.  They told me to just pretend nobody else was in the room.  

I probably pushed for about half an hour or less.  Luckily, even with the epidural I would really feel when each contraction was happening and knew when to push.  It's amazing how your body just knows what to do.  I touched his head as he was crowning.  That was very weird!  With the epidural I wouldn't say that it hurt, but I could feel it.  

Finally at 6:40, Parker was born.  They handed him to me and he cried before they whisked him away. Ryan cut the cord.  After they checked him out, I got him back for about 5 minutes.  He was having a bit of trouble breathing, but I didn't realize it at the time.  Then they took him down to the nursery to check him out.

He was perfect.  10 fingers, 10 toes.  His breathing turned out to be fine.  I couldn't believe that we had a baby!  And that he was a boy!  I was so sure that it was a girl my entire pregnancy.  I was just so happy that everything was fine.

When Ryan came back from the nursery, we called our families.  Everyone was pretty surprised.  My parents knew we were at the hospital, but didn't think I would actually be having the baby.  Ryan's parents had no idea!

And just like that, a bit sooner than expected, our entire world changed.  Parker is the best thing that I have ever done and I can't wait to watch him grow and see the person that he will become. 


Monday, 16 February 2015

Parker's Birth Story: Part 1

My pregnancy was getting rather uncomfortable but I still wasn't quite ready to be done with it!  Overall I liked being pregnant and I still had lots of things on my to do list to prep for the new baby.

In the middle of the night on Thursday January 23, I woke up with sharp pains right across my lower belly.  They kept me up most of the night, so I was exhausted on Thursday morning.  The pains were very localized to right below my belly, and I figured that I had a UTI or something (thank you google).  However, because I'm a snoop, I knew that my department was holding a surprise shower for me that day, so I had to go to work, I didn't want to screw it up!

I got to work, still having random pains and realized that the shower was in the afternoon, not the morning.  At around 10am I decided to page my midwife.  I had still been having random pains and was a complete emotional mess that morning.  The midwife told me to come into the clinic and she would check me out and that I probably did have  a UTI.  So I told my boss that I would be back in about an hour and a half.

At the midwives, she said it did in fact look like a UTI.  One antibiotic would work better but shouldn't be given within 3 weeks of labour, so she wanted to do a cervical exam to see where I was at.  I was 2cm dilated and 80% effaced. She told me that I could have the baby that weekend or in 4 weeks, but if she had to guess I would definitely have it before 38 weeks.  I figured people walk around 2cm dilated for awhile, so I was probably safe.

Because my blood pressure was high and work had been fairly stressful lately, I decided to go home for the afternoon.  The pain continue and my mom came over and organize my nursery, washed baby clothes and folded my laundry.  

That night, the pain got worse and started radiating around my back and into my belly.  So at about 9:00 I downloaded a contraction timer app and started timing it.  I didn't really think that it was contractions but I thought that I should time it to see if there was a pattern.  They were happening every 6-8 minutes.  I eventually got up from bed to watch a movie and distract myself since I wasn't sleeping anyways.  The contractions were 5 minutes apart and lasted about 45 seconds to a minute.

At around 3am I went to the bathroom and there was a ton of mucusy blood.  So I called my midwife.  At that point Ryan woke up and asked if I was ok.  I told him that he might want to get up because we might be going to the hospital.  When my midwife responded to the page, she said it sounded like I was having my bloody show and was in labour.  While on the phone, contractions let up a bit, so she said to call her back in an hour if they got worse again or call the next morning regardless so that I could update her.

I stuck it out (because I couldn't possibly be in labour at 35 weeks!)  and called her the next morning at around 8:30, still bleeding and still contracting.  She told me to meet her at the hospital at 10:30 so that she could take a look.  

We packed up the bags that I had quickly packed at 3am and headed out.  I told my mom that we were going to the hospital, but would probably be home in a bit.  I told my friend that we would still be coming over for dinner.  At the hospital, the midwife checked me out and said that I was 4cm dilated and definitely in labour.  I was pretty terrified.  I had googled it in the night and knew that 35 week babies typically did fairly well, but I was very concerned about size since I was so small.  Plus I just didn't know what to expect since nobody plans on going into labour at this point, so I just didn't feel ready.  Because the baby was a preemie, the midwife would share care with the doctor.  Which I was happy about because at least my midwife could still be involved.

Stay tuned for Part 2!


Wednesday, 11 February 2015

New Mom Stuff

This being a mom thing isn't easy.  Parker came home from the hospital last Friday. Earlier in the week we were told Friday was a possibility, but then he lost more weight and it seemed unlikely.  I just wanted to be out by Sunday.  But when I showed up at the hospital on Friday morning they told me that he was being discharged that day! 

Our first night at home was terrifying.  I'm not sure if it's like this for all parents, or if it was scarier for us as preemie parents.  It's so important that he gain weight and not get sick.  For the first two weeks of his life there was the constant presence of nurses who could check that his vitals were ok and that he was actually breathing.  Now it was just us, and that's really scary.  I called the midwife the first night because he sounded congested and I was afraid that he was sick within hours of leaving the hospital.

Besides the fears, the first day and night were super exhausting.  Although my baby was two weeks old, I hadn't had to do 24/7 care yet and so bringing him home was a totally different story.  Not only did I now have to pump in the night, but I had to feed him as well.  So my half hour pump sessions turned into a minimum of an hour long ordeal.  I say ordeal because getting him to eat is sometimes a struggle.  With a preemie you can't just take their lead on when they are hungry.  I need to feed him at least every 3 hours whether he knows he's hungry or not. 

It's funny because I don't have anything to compare this to.  I know that all new moms are overwhelmed and exhausted, but I don't know how my experience compares to theirs.  Every day we get a bit more settled, I'm able to accomplish a little bit more and I kind of figure out the routine a bit more.  (Except for now he's eating every hour and a half to 2 hours so basically I'm feeding him all the time!)  I'm still worried about him although not as worried as I was when we first brought him home.

And most days I wonder why I even bother wearing a shirt.  I gave up on putting Parker in clothes.  He eats better naked and spits up if I jostle him by putting clothes on too quickly and by the time I can put clothes on him it's almost time to eat again.

But that face, it makes it all worth it.

I don't have the energy to proofread this so hopefully it makes sense...


Sunday, 1 February 2015

Bump Date: 35 Weeks

I guess I didn't take my 35 week bump date picture in time!

Parker Scott was born on January 24 at 6:40pm weighing 4lbs 3 oz.  He is doing amazing and had no breathing issues, he just didn't really have much interest in feeding by himself.  (Before 36 weeks, babies don't have that instinct.)  So he's hanging out in the special care nursery and we are working on teaching him to eat properly.  He was hooked up to monitors for a couple days, and in an incubator to keep up his temperature, but now he's off everything except for the feeding tube and in a little nursery baby bed.

I might be biased but I think he's the cutest baby I've ever seen and me and Ryan are absolutely in love with him.  He's a very calm baby and I'm really hoping that temperament sticks with him! The past week has been tough as we are going back and forth between our house and the hospital, but we know it's what's best for our little man, and hopefully someday soon we will break out of there! 

Even his preemie outfit is a bit too big
I'm working on writing out my birth story and trying to keep track of Parker's progress, but my time is very limited as I spend most of the day at the hospital. So bare with me until we get out of the hospital and I have a bit more time on my hands. (I know I will be busy with a baby but at least I will be in my own house for more than a couple hours a day!)