Sunday, October 19, 2014

Finding A New Normal

I started typing this post last Wednesday...it’s now Sunday and I'm finally finishing it up. It’s kind of comical how long it actually took. Hopefully I will find the time to blog more frequently, but right now, my life is consumed with all things baby and I am trying to soak up every last minute of this adventure.

I love this 8 pound, 5 ounce nugget (his weight at his our visit last week with the lactation consultant) more than I ever dreamed I would. It’s shiny (total Firefly reference for my Captain Tightpants readers). Holy crap, my tiny human is so, so amazing and he smells so good. Life with a newborn is also the single most difficult thing I have ever done. Taking care of someone who is 100% dependent on you for every single aspect of their well-being is overwhelming. There are so many things to figure out...why is my baby crying, how do I feed my baby, is this a normal diaper, where should my baby sleep? Every single thing you encounter is something you have never done before.

We’re five weeks and two days into our “new” family dynamic now. One of the major things that you have to do is find a “new normal” with this new family member. The family dynamic changes...must change...with the addition of a new person. The family is a compilation of all the people in it, so things change when a new member joins, no matter how small.

While there are some difficult parts of having an infant, there are just as many wonderful things. Here is just sampling to take us out on a positive note...

  • Lochlan calms immediately when he lays his head on my chest and hears my heart beat. 
  • The smell of his head 
  • When I kiss his feet, his tiny toes curl around my upper lip. 
  • Dark blue baby eyes. 
  • Triangle toe nails. 
  • The sound of breast feeding. (You may think it’s weird, but I think it is amazing.) 
  • The look on Adam's face when he looks at Lochlan...amazing. 
I will try to come back again soon to tell you more about my adventures. you know, in that 4% of my time that I'm not staring at my baby. He’s got me wrapped around his teeny, tiny finger. and I couldn't be happier.





Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The First Day

I'm in a constant state of bliss these days...soaking up every moment with Lochlan...so I please ask that you forgive my absence...but I'll be back soon!

While you wait...here are a few pictures of Lochlan's first day...

Last bump pic at 39 weeks 1 day. This was taken an hour before my c-section


These were taken a couple of hours after Lochlan was born. This is the first time that I held him and it would be only one of the two times I held him that day. I'll tell the story of why we were separated for the first 36 hours soon...still trying to process.

Adam was able to spend the day with Lochlan in the NICU and would text me pictures while I was downstairs in the PACU (post anesthesia care unit).



This was the second time that Adam was able to bring Lochlan down to the PACU (with a NICU nurse in tow). I was able to attempt breast feeding and Adam burped him. I was sobbing while taking this picture...being apart from him when I was expecting to be with him 24/7 was incredibly difficult.


This was my goodnight picture from Adam.

To be continued...



Friday, September 19, 2014

He's Here!

Lochlan James
September 12th, 2014
9:26 am
6 pounds 7 ounces 
18 3/4 inches long

It's been a whirlwind of week and we are head over heels in love with this little man of ours. 

I'll be back shortly to share his birth story and pictures (of which we have many...all posted to Instagram). As you can imagine we have been a little busy and oh so sleepy but I'll be back  very soon!

Much love to all,
Janet, Adam and Lochlan
xoxo



Thursday, September 11, 2014

This Time Tomorrow

Well this is it. Today marks the last day of my pregnancy. One chapter is ending and a whole new chapter is about to begin. It has been a pretty eventful nine months, but I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

As I write this, by this time tomorrow I will have a baby in my arms.

Knowing the exact date your baby is going to be born is quite a surreal experience. But knowing the date and counting down, working through a crazy to do list until your house is shiny and everything is ready just seems so odd. Knowing that in approximately 18 hours I’ll be holding my sweet baby boy in my arms...is at times a little incomprehensible.

I'm scared, nervous, anxious, excited, happy and a million other things in between. I can not believe that tomorrow I will finally get to hold and snuggle my son who I have been so excited to meet from the moment I saw a positive on that pregnancy test way back in January.

Until then...I'm going to....




Thursday, September 4, 2014

In The Home Stretch

 Wow.

I mean, really, wow. As of tomorrow, I have one week until this baby is born.

7 days

8 nights

168 hours

I've spent the last 38 weeks watching in amazement, as my body changes and adapts, to grow another human. I've been horribly sick, more tired than I ever though possible, and discovered what it really means to have a aching body. Yes, this pregnancy has been a bit rough on me, even that is a understatement. I am waving my white flag quite often these days, collapsing into a heap of emotionally and physically exhausted Janet at the end of every day but I'm also the happiest I've ever been.

I have this renewed bond and intense love for my family. I find myself daydreaming even more about adventures we will take together, projects we can take on...our little family. I am excited to see Adam with a little boy, to witness their growing together, that unique father-son dynamic. I am curious to see if he will look like Adam, or take more after me. I am anxious to see how our everyday life shifts and changes, as we adjust to life with a new baby. I’m interested to see how/if it will change the dynamic of our relationship...will it strengthen and reinforce the deep bond that we have?

My body yearns for the snuggly, grunting, warm, heavenly-smelling body of a squishy newborn to be nestled into me. I made this. We made this. How incredible.

I have been experiencing a lot of early labor signs, making my comfort level questionable at best. Constantly being on high alert is exhausting and is starting to drain me. I had an OB appointment yesterday and knowing I have only a week left, if that, I have made a conscious decision to give in to the process. If I am going to go into real, proper labor before my scheduled c-section date of September 12th, so be it. If I don’t and these contractions, cramping and nausea keep up for the last, I've lost count of days...that is also out of my hands. I refuse to let this last week break me, because I know one day, probably sooner than I think, I will miss parts of this.

We are ready when you are, little man, and we can not wait to meet you.

37 Week belly
The contractions continue
Crib is ready for baby


38 week belly



Saturday, August 23, 2014

Thirty Six

36 weeks ~ some days it’s hard to believe I’m this far into the journey and so close to meeting my child. What do you mean I’m going to be a parent?! I mean, I knew we were having a baby, but it’s hard to wrap my mind around the fact that we are bringing a human into the world. A human that is half of me and half of Adam. A human that we will be solely responsible for. A human we are expected to teach right from wrong, prepare for the world and love unconditionally. I know we can do the last part because we already do. I’m going to have a son. Wow! 

And then, on the other hand, I feel so ready. We have the ‘stuff’. We've (I mean Adam) have read books. We are ready to meet our little one. Parenthood...bring it!

It’s strange not knowing which pregnancy post will be my last, so I wanted to talk a little about the symptoms I've experienced throughout pregnancy. This interests me because I always thought everyone felt the same things. Well, they don’t...every woman's experience really is unique to her alone.

I have experienced some of the common symptoms, including headaches, 1st trimester exhaustion, food aversions and even a fun craving or two and even the odd not fun craving. Then there were some symptoms that I never knew came with pregnancy, but evidently they can be common. Some of my weirdest symptoms have been...

  • Nose bleeds - They were never severe, but I’m not the kind of person who gets these so they freaked me out at first. Apparently they are incredibly normal with the increased blood volume you get during pregnancy. Also...super stuffy nose for the last nine months. 
  • Furry belly - No, my tummy doesn't look like an ape, but once I became pregnant I noticed the fine, light hairs I had on my belly turned a little darker and more noticeable.
  • Sensitive tongue - Though it hasn't stopped me from eating whatever I want, I've noticed eating tomatoes, garlic, citrus and a few other strong flavors that my tongue gets irritated. I hope this goes away after I deliver. 
  • Dreams - I expected my dreams to be a bit weird and vivid in the first trimester but now that I'm in my third...they are off the chain. I wake up often just shaking my head at the weirdness of them!

Where are we now?

  • 36 weeks and 2 days pregnant
  • As far as we know...still 2 cm dilated and 90% effaced. My OB didn't check last week, thankfully.
  • Blood pressure...low and hoping it stays that way.
  • Contractions...All. The. Time.
  • Feeling a lot of pressure in my pelvis and sometimes Baby JaAdam feels he's trying to escape. It makes walking very uncomfortable. 
  • Total pounds gained...23. Although none in the last month so I'm now on the Ensure diet...blech!
  • Hours spent of Etsy...too too many!


What weird or unexpected symptoms have you experienced?


Friday, August 22, 2014

Monday, August 18, 2014

Thirty Five Weeks & an Update

Today I am 35 weeks 4 days pregnant. Wow. Still surreal to be here...especially given that I've now been having contractions on and off since July 26th when I was admitted to the hospital (for the first time). When I last updated on the 12th, I had a scheduled ultrasound and appointment the following day.

The ultrasound reassured us that all is well with baby boy! My appointment however, brought some unsettling news. I had been contracting all morning and after checking me, it showed that I was dilated to 2 cm and was 80% effaced. This earned me another trip to Labor & Delivery. It really looked for a few hours that we were going to have the baby that day but once again...despite my uterus being miserable and cranky...my cervix was a rock star and held steady at 2 cm until things calmed down later that night. 

I was once again admitted to the antepartum floor where I stayed until Friday afternoon. I was having some difficultly with the thought of staying in the hospital until delivery so my OB team and I came up with a plan that we were both comfortable with.

The Plan - I was to have an ultrasound before being discharged just to ensure that all was well with baby boy. If he passed the biophysical and my cervix hadn't made any change...I could go home. Baby boy looked great and although he's on the small side, in the 25th percentile at around 5lbs...he passed with flying colors. Cervix was the same...cause she's a rock star! The other part of the plan was sending me home with a prescription for a small amount of pain meds. If I started to contract again, I would take the pain meds and up my fluid intake in the hope that things would settle as this seemed to work in the hospital. I was happy, my OB team was happy. I was discharged Friday afternoon. 

It's now Monday and I'm happy to report that I am still at home and still very much pregnant ☺

My next appointment is Wednesday morning. It's so surreal to be so close to meeting baby boy...I'm thrilled, excited and anxious all rolled into one!

35 week belly






Sunday, August 17, 2014

Rock, Paper, Scissors

I understand that Scissors can beat Paper, and I get how Rock can beat Scissors, but there's no way Paper can beat Rock. Paper is supposed to magically wrap around Rock leaving it immobile? Why the hell can't paper do this to scissors? Screw scissors, why can't paper do this to people? Why aren't sheets of college-ruled notebook paper constantly suffocating students as they attempt to take notes in class? I'll tell you why, because paper can't beat anybody, a rock would tear it up up in 2 seconds. When I play Rock, Paper,  Scissors I always choose rock. Then when somebody claims to have beaten me with their paper I can punch them in the face with my already clenched fist and say "oh I'm sorry I thought paper would protect you.
Rock, Paper, Scissors by Amanda Catherine Designs via Etsy

P.S. 35 week update and drama coming soon!


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Thirty Four Weeks

Today I'm 34 weeks 5 days pregnant. It feels great to be here. When I was admitted to the hospital at 32 weeks 2 days...34 weeks felt so far away but here we are...it feels amazing!

34 weeks belly
I was re-admitted Saturday once again with contractions and thankfully, we were able to stop them and I came home yesterday. My uterus may be cranky but my cervix has been a rock star and is doing an amazing job of keeping baby boy right where he belongs!

Tomorrow morning I have an ultrasound to check my cervical length and see how baby is doing. After that, I have my OB appointment. If my cervix has changed, I'll likely be admitted and will stay until I deliver. If not, I'll get to stay at home. My gut is telling me that we will meet this baby sooner rather then later...I can't really explain the feeling. It's odd. The good news...while baby boy will still be premature, we are now into late premature and baby should do very well. Ideally though...we are hoping to make it to 36 weeks. Will we get there? I hope so but I am also preparing for an early arrival. 

Hang in there baby boy...for just a little bit longer!




Monday, August 11, 2014

Surviving

When I had got pregnant with baby JaAdam, I could have never imagined what a “roller coaster ride” would ensue. Things were normal at first, but quickly changed when I was admitted to the hospital at 32 weeks 2 days pregnant with preterm labor. After spending a total of 12 days in the hospital on strict bed rest and then again the past couple of days with perhaps more to come after my appointment this coming Wednesday...I learned how to survive.

I am not saying that it wasn't difficult, because it was (especially spending your 39th birthday in the hospital). But, how you handle any unplanned situation (such as hospital bed rest) during your pregnancy can make all the difference.

Be thankful
- One of the first things that I did upon learning I was to be admitted was to be thankful for the intervention. Unfortunately, many women with compromised pregnancies, don’t get the opportunity go on bed rest and the situation can turn more dire than it began. Mandated bed rest is an opportunity to give your baby the best chance at being totally equipped to face the world ahead.

Keep a routine - Everyone one has a routine. While some routines are more extensive and detailed than others, they are our own. Keeping up with your “normal” routine is pretty simple when you are in your own environment and you can walk around and do things for yourself. But, what happens when your sense of normalcy is shaken? You develop a new sense of normal. When I was on hospital bed rest, it was the first time since coming into adulthood that I had to be totally reliant on someone else. But, you know what? I got over my ego really quickly. I realized that this journey that I was on was so was so much bigger than myself and my ego. So, I developed a routine. My routine involved waking up at a specific time each day, even if my only job at the time was to stay in the hospital bed and provide a warm place for my baby to grow.

Document the memories - Keeping a wall calendar or whiteboard is essential to get though your “temporary” and I stress “temporary stay”. Depending on your situation, your “care team” may not even tell you when you will be going home. When I was admitted, no one would tell me about anything pertaining to going home. Seeing my nurses write how many days pregnant I was, on the whiteboard after each passing day made me feel a sense of victory… a sense of accomplishment. I looked forward to every morning when the nurse would add a 2 and then a 3 and this morning a 4 after 34 weeks.

Make your space your own
- One of the best pieces of advice that I got in the hospital was to think of the hospital as my “my residence, my home away from home”. I initially thought it was a “load of crap”, but that advice from my nurse really went a long way. I had Adam bring me in my favoite pillow from home. I made a conscious effort to only watch TV during a designated one hour period…supposedly preventing my brain from turning to mush. I used the small dresser beside my bed and kept it stocked with my favorite cereals, snacks and fruit. Believe me when I say, “You should not solely depend on the hospital food for your nourishment”. One of the best feel good things...wearing my own clothes! This had a huge impact on my mental well being!

Stop playing the blame game - What if I had done this? If only I would have done that, then maybe I would have not been in this predicament? You know what? I could go on and on but I quickly realized that it wasn't going change my circumstance. While I could speculate all I want, not even the doctors always know why some things end up like they do. So I did myself a favor and stopped blaming myself. Self pity and guilt wasn't/isn't going to get me anywhere.


At the end of the day when things have been tough I remind myself that I am very blessed and fortunate to be where I am.


Sunday, August 3, 2014

10th Anniversary of My 29th Birthday

I'm 39 today and while I'm spending it in the hospital...I have received the best gift...baby boy still safely tucked in my belly! 


Adam, my sister Tina and my brother in law Paul brought me a cake...


The hospital also helped me celebrate...


I have a wonderful life, family and friends that love me and this baby boy...what more could a girl ask for? 


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