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.