Saturday, 19 November 2016

My Hospital Gown

I am a Dressed to Deliver brand ambassador.  I have received products in order to post pictures of myself in my Dressed to Deliver gown and provide feedback, however all opinions are my own.

When I was pregnant with Parker, I had looked into getting my own hospital gown, but just never did it.  The main thing was that I hated the look of the hospital gowns and having them in all of your first pictures with baby.  Plus they don't cover your butt. Why don't they cover your butt!  But I never ended up ordering one.

I started looking into them again when I was pregnant this time.  I found a company that is pretty local to me.  The Guelph hospital was actually the first hospital to use the Dressed to Deliver gowns.  These gowns looked better than anything I had found on Etsy.  They weren't just better looking than regular hospital gowns, they were really functional as well.  They have snaps to fold down the straps for nursing or skin to skin.  They also have snaps all the way down the front and back of the gown to provide your midwife/nurse/doctor with any access they could possibly need.

When I was in labour with Parker I got an epidural, plus had to be monitored constantly with the heartbeat monitor since he was preterm.  So these snaps sounded great to me because I knew that if the same thing happened, I could provide my midwife with access while staying a bit more covered up.

So I ordered one.  Disclaimer: I ordered it and then became a Brand Ambassador, so I actually did pay for a gown and then just had 2 of them.  Which actually worked out really well.

I loved the gown while I was in labour.  Although I didn't have an epidural this time, I did have to be constantly monitored again.  So this allowed my bottom half to stay covered as we just unsnapped my belly area for the monitors.  This was especially useful when I was on the exercise ball as I wasn't all exposed for everyone to see.  (Everyone was just Ryan and my midwife, but I don't care if that's all that's there, you still don't really want to be sitting naked on an exercise ball...)

The gown did get pretty messy after I had Cooper, as they flopped him on me right away.  But at that point, who really cares.  They also wanted to take the gown off me since it had gotten pretty wet and they didn't want to Cooper to get cold.  So this wasn't ideal, I basically ended up naked anyways...but you do what you have to do.  Before we moved me to the recovery room I just put on my extra gown!

I wore my second gown the entire time that we were in the hospital.  It was comfortable, I could open it up for the nurses to check my belly, it gave me coverage if walking down the hall, and it was easy for nursing.  

My mom took the gown I delivered in home and washed it and it came out as good as new too.  So if we decide that we want baby #3, I'm good to go!  

I highly recommend buying a Dressed to Deliver gown.  Of course it's not a necessity, but it's definitely a nice thing to have.  You can also wear the gown before you give birth, it's good for ultrasound or doctors appointments.  And of course you can wear it postpartum at home as well as it's great for nursing and super comfortable.  


Thursday, 17 November 2016

World Prematurity Day

It's World Prematurity Day today, so as the mommy of 2 preemies now, I had to post.

Parker was born at 35 weeks 1 day and Cooper was born at 36 weeks 3 days.  Cooper has been relatively easy, but I had a lot of difficulty early on with feeding Parker because of his prematurity.  Plus he was so small, that there was a real fear that he wouldn't gain a sufficient amount of weight, or would get sick.  With Cooper I haven't had those same fears and I am so thankful for that.

At the same time, I know that our preemie journeys have been easy compared to those who have preemies before 34 weeks.  Just like how people who have full term babies don't truly understand what it's like to have a late term preemie, I know that I don't understand what it's like to have a really early preemie.  I have had only a glimpse into the preemie world and so I can only begin to imagine what it's like to have your baby in the NICU for months.  

These babies overcome so many odds and then you see them at 2 years old and may not even know that they are preemies.  It's really amazing.  But I also want to give kudos to the parents of preemies.  It's not easy.  It's scary and stressful and it's a lot of work.  

I also wanted to give a few tips in case you know or ever do know somebody who has a preemie.  Because I know that a lot of people don't know how to react, wonder why you are so paranoid, and maybe want to help, but don't know how.

  • Visit them in the hospital if you can - Other people couldn't come into the nursery with me, but they could come to the hospital and sit in the food court with me between feeds or take me to Tim Hortons.  When you spend all day at the hospital every day, little outings or visitors are important for your sanity.
  • Help out monetarily - For some people this extended hospital stay can get very expensive.  If they have to go to McMaster, there is all the gas associated with going back and forth.  They will have to pay for meals every day as well.  These things add up, so even a Tim Card can help out.
  • Be understanding - I made people use hand sanitizer before they touched Parker.  I never thought I would be that crazy mom, but Parker wasn't even supposed to go out in public for fear that he would get a cold.  So crazy yes, but necessary.  Just go with it and help a mama out.  I was also in a total haze after Parker was born.  I was a first time mom who was also overwhelmed with having a preemie who didn't eat well.  I was sleeping in 1 hour increments and basically couldn't function.  So give preemie moms a break when it comes to visits or outings or if they act like a crazy person sometimes it's probably sleep deprivation.
Cooper's story has been very different.  I tend to forget he's a preemie because he's big and he eats.  And I'm thankful for that!  It's hard to believe that a week and a few days meant such a different start for these two.  

Parker - in the nursery, 4lbs 3 oz, tube fed and in an incubator  

Cooper - roomed with me, 7lbs 1oz, likes to eat!


Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Coopers Birth Story - Part 2

In Part 1 of Cooper's birth story, I said that it was a "long" walk down to the delivery room.  It wasn't really that long, and typically a lot of women like to walk around during labour, I think...I've never been able to do it.  I had a contraction on the way down and one right when I got into the delivery room, and then I had to throw up again, so apparently the walk was a bit too long!

So with that, my wanting to move around ended for a bit!  I got into bed and was hooked up to the heartbeat monitors again to keep track of how the baby was doing. 

The contractions were pretty intense.  My midwife was busy setting up the room for the delivery.  It felt like she was doing this forever, apparently a lot goes into setting a room up!  Eventually she asked if I wanted the exercise ball, so I said sure.  They got that for me and I was able to sit on it for awhile and kind of sway.  I think it helped a bit, or at least gave me something to focus on other than the contractions. 

After awhile longer, I took a bathroom break and then got back into bed.  They had put me on antibiotics even though I was GBS negative, but my midwife didn't think I really needed the full 4 hours worth.  So after a little while she checked me and I was at about 7cm so she decided to break my water.  She wanted to wait until the other midwife was there, just in case things progressed quickly.  So she called the backup midwife, and once she arrived they broke my water.

Things didn't move quite as quick as I had hoped.  With Parker when they broke my water, the need to push happened pretty much right away.  This time, the midwife checked me and I was 8cm.  The contractions got really intense, so she checked again....still 8-9cm and I wasn't really feeling the need to push, I just really wanted to since I wanted the pain to stop.  They talked about getting me laughing gas and the other midwife went to get the machine.  It took so long that I never actually got to use it....

I said I felt a slight need to push, but not that badly.  So the midwife said I was 9 cm but that she could hold my cervix back if I wanted to push.  She tried and it was the most painful thing I've ever experienced, so that wasn't going to happen!  After what felt like forever (but was probably half an hour) I could finally push.  The contractions hurt so badly that pushing was really hard.  I think I probably pushed for 3 contractions.  On the third contraction I was kind of like enough is enough I need this baby out of me, so I pushed really hard, and out came a head full of dark hair!  He just kind of hung out there because it had taken all my strength during the last contraction to get him that far.  With the next contraction I was able to push him out the rest of the way.

They immediately put him on my chest.  A few minutes later someone said "so what have we got?"  Oh ya!  What's the sex! They lifted his leg and said "it's a boy!"  I was honestly shocked.  And terrified.  I was so sure it was a girl, and although I'm so happy with a boy I know that having two little boys less than 2 years apart is going to make our lives very hectic. 
Excuse my hair...

After a little while they took him away so that the paediatrician and respiratory therapist could check him out and make sure he was breathing ok, since he was still premature.  But it didn't take long and then they put him back on me.  We had skin to skin for a long time. We tried to nurse and he did latch on briefly.  Parker had no idea how to eat when he was born, so this was very different for me.  Eventually they took him and weighed him and we got the next big shock, 7lbs 1.6oz.  He was huge!  Good thing I didn't go full term!  I was so exhausted by this point I remember thinking that I hoped we could go to our actual room soon because I just wanted to sleep.

I've been lucky to have relatively "easy" labours I think. Overall I'm just so happy that I have been able to deliver my babies the way that I wanted to deliver them despite them being early, and that Cooper is here safe and healthy.  Labour is called labour for a reason.  It definitely isn't easy.  But that baby at the end of it makes it so worth it!


Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Coopers Birth Story - Part 1

I don't have a picture from this stage of labour, so you get my weekly pic from the night before instead

I have a thing with hearing about births ever since I had Parker.  I like to know all the details because I love how every story is different.  And although there were some similarities between Parker's birth and Cooper's birth, overall they were very different.  Birth stories sometimes sound scary to people who haven't given birth.  Because there is this fear of the unknown.  But they are truly beautiful, regardless of the way that you give birth, whether you need the epidural, or choose to go drug free. Whether your baby is born naturally or by c-section.  It's an amazing experience that is so individual to each person.

Saturday was our 5 year anniversary.  So we dropped Parker off at my parents and went out for supper.  We joked about how I could have a baby on our anniversary, but since it was so late in the day it was unlikely, which was good, because I didn't really want to share our anniversary with a birthday.  We went to the Lancaster Smokehouse, which specializes in smoked meat.  The meal was good and we ate a lot and were very full.

Parker stayed at my parents overnight and Ryan and I went home.  At about 2 in the morning I woke up feeling really sick.  I started to go to the bathroom a lot and eventually was throwing up as well.  I went to the bathroom constantly over the next little bit and between 2 and 10am threw up 6 times.  I wasn't sure if it was a bug or food poisoning.  I did call my midwife at one point just to check in if there was anything special I should be doing.  I didn't know if they would want me on IV if I got too dehydrated.  My midwife is the same one who delivered Parker and she didn't even read the page, she just called me and asked if I was having contractions.  She's so funny, she was only on call for one more day and was hoping that I would have the baby.  

At around 1:45 I was overall feeling better, but noticed that I was a bit crampy.  It was just like light period cramps, and I had been feeling these off and on for awhile, but it seemed more frequent than normal.  So I ran myself a bath to see if they would stop.  Although relaxing, I kept getting them while in the bath.  So I started to time them.  I wasn't even sure that they were contractions because it was so light and not really painful, just uncomfortable.  Over the next little bit they got a bit more painful.  They lasted about 45 seconds and ranged from 3 minutes to 4.5 minutes apart.  I hadn't expected contractions to be that close together so quickly, and my midwife had been concerned that I would have a really fast labour, so I decided to call her again.

My midwife suggested that I come into the hospital to get checked out just because the contractions were so close together and to see if I was just dehydrated.  So we met her at the hospital half an hour labour.  On the way to the hospital, we got behind a bunch of traffic, slow drivers and hit every red light I think, and the contractions were a lot more painful.  Once at the hospital, my midwife set me up on IV in triage and started to monitor my contractions.  The contractions were a lot more painful now and were starting in my back and wrapping around to my belly.  I was 3cm dilated when I arrived.  At first she thought I was in labour.  Then with the IV my contractions spaced out a bit and she thought I was maybe just dehydrated.  After an hour and a half she checked me again and said I was about 4.5 cm, and I was actually in labour.

I was actually kind of happy about this.  I didn't want to be sent home with these painful contractions, and at 36 weeks, 3 days, I was pretty comfortable with having the baby.  Where a lot of people would likely be freaked out, this was over a week longer than I had been pregnant last time, so I kind of knew what to expect and knew that this baby would be a lot better off than Parker was already.

So I was being admitted and started to make the "long" walk down to the delivery room...


Friday, 11 November 2016

36 Weeks - Meet Cooper

I guess I took my last pregnancy picture just in time.  On Saturday November 5, it was our 5 year anniversary, and I was 36 weeks 2 days pregnant.  Ryan and I went out for dinner and I had him take my picture when we got home.

The next day I went into labour.

Meet Cooper Lorne.  Born on November 6 at 8:54 pm.  7lbs 1oz, 19.5 inches long.  A full head of dark black hair.  We were surprised that he was a boy, with dark hair and was so big!

My labour, birth and first few days with a new baby have been completely different than last time.  So I hope to be able to blog about all of that in the next little bit!


Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Baby Harry Potter

Halloween didn't start out the greatest.  I don't know if Parker didn't nap well that day.  Or if he really just hated the glasses that I was putting on him that much....but I considered not taking him out at all.  Except that I had to show off my mini Harry Potter.

Our first stop was my parent's house.  And he was not a happy camper.  But we just figured that it would be the year that we remembered that he hated Halloween.

Next stop was my Grandma's.  And he cooperated!  He didn't smile, but he wore the glasses and scarf and didn't throw a tantrum.  

 Last stop was Ryan's mom's house.  The crazy kid just wanted to eat veggie sticks and had no interest in Smarties.  Don't worry Parker, me and your dad will eat your Smarties for you.

An hour and a half and 3 houses later, Ryan and I ordered some pizza and went home.  Man it's exhausting taking a cute and tiny human out for Halloween.  3 houses! An hour and a half! This isn't gonna fly once he figures out that you get candy...

As for his costume, I'm living vicariously through him.  Because how cute is his onesie and scarf!  He did actually like the wand, mostly because you could hit people with it...

And for those who don't know, Harry Potter's parents were murdered by Voldemort on October 31, so maybe Parker was just getting into character and was trying to be all sad because of that?  I like to think so.