Friday, June 18, 2010

Ethan's Birthing Story

I can't believe my little Ethan is days from turning one. I also can't believe it was a year ago that I went to the hospital and had a baby. As funny as this sounds, I feel like Ethan is younger than and year but that it's been more than a year since that fateful day. Weird, eh? I thought I would share my birthing experience so that I don't forget it and since I'm so close to having another one.

Towards the end of pregnancy I had two big symptoms, swelling and PUPPPS. I had to walk to the nearby pharmacy to use the blood pressure machine every couple of days to make sure my blood pressure wasn't getting high. My feet were so swollen that flip flops were the only things that fit, I couldn't even squeeze on a tennis shoe or mary jane. Plus I couldn't really reach my toes anymore so having cute painted toenails was out of the questions. Needless to say, I tried not look at my hugely un-cute feet... which wasn't hard since there was a giant belly in the way. Did I mention how HUGE I was? It came to the point where the bottom of my stomach was completely horizontal if that makes any sense.

The second big symptom I had was puppps. It only occurs in .5% of pregnancies and there is nothing that really helps to relieve the itch except getting the baby out and then it will slowly go away within a week or two. Mine showed up about 2 weeks before Ethan was due and stayed primarily along my stretch marks until after Ethan was born, when it spread to every crease on my body. Armpits, all hinges, even in between my fingers and toes. It was horrible. Nothing eased the itch. I couldn't sleep, I couldn't wear clothing, even if my arm brushed up against my belly, it would flare up and be on fire with itchiness.

The night before my due date I swore that I was going to march in the doctor's office in the morning and demand to be induced. I couldn't take the itch anymore. Luckily, while laying in bed at 6am, I felt my water break. Up until that point I hadn't really felt any large contractions, mostly just aches and pains from a heavy belly. I woke up Jon and then quickly waddled over to the toilet until all the "water" was out. I was so excited!!! "Yes! I'm having the baby today, no more rash!" I had already packed our bags, plus the hospital was literally across the street anyway. We arrived and I was checked into my room by 7am.

One of my biggest fears for the day was getting an IV. I know, I know, it's dumb. But I hate needles so much and honestly I knew that if I had to stare at this tube coming out of my arm all day that I would be totally freaked out and not be able to focus on the task at hand. So the nurse covered the area with a bandage so I didn't have to see it and I eventually forgot about it. Eventually. It still freaks me out just to think about getting another one. I was immediately given some petocin to get the contractions going. After a couple of hours I decided that I was ready for an epidural. I was progressing fast and I could definitely feel the contractions now and I wanted to make sure that I got the needle in and it was working before the intense pain started.

I was progressing so fast that we were worried that my family wasn't going to make it to the hospital in time. They were driving down from Boise. They made it with plenty of time. I decided to have my mom, dad, sister and step sister in the room along with Jon. My sisters are teenagers and I wanted them to have the experience of seeing their sister, who dated and married a returned missionary in the temple, bring a baby into a very happy and spiritually righteous family. :) They were probably really freaked out now that I think about it.

I quickly dilated to a ten and was ready to push. I was already REALLY tired since I hadn't slept in days from the rash. I knew I only could take so much pushing and after an hour and a half I was done. I needed a rest. Ethan's had was literally starting to stick out and I was done. This, of course, was bad. So the anesthesiologist came in with a "cocktail" in hand which allowed me to take a whole 20 minute nap. I never felt so refreshed. I couldn't believe what 20 minutes did. I was ready for Round 2. I didn't know how long I would last and so after consulting with Jon and the doctor, we decided to use forceps. This also meant that I only had a couple of pushes left. If the forceps didn't work, well, I would be wheeled into surgery.

I screamed and pushed twice (really this means 2 sets of 3 pushes) and Ethan was out. I couldn't believe it was over. I almost felt like, man, I still have a little more push in me, let's keep going... ha! Ethan was rushed to be cleaned and measured. 8 lbs 13 oz, no wonder I had such a hard time pushing him out. I'm a petite girl! Then came the wonderful experience of being stitched up. This is the part that all moms seem not to mention. I knew labor and birthing was going to hurt (which it did, like a mother, even with an epidural) but I was never really briefed about the pain of everything after the baby comes out. I ripped in two places, very large tears. And to add to it all, the doctor was called away while in the middle of sewing me up, leaving me sitting there, with my legs open to the world and the medication wearing off for about an hour. By the time he came back, I was completely worn off of the epidural and could feel every single stitch he made. OUCH!

That's it, the rest is history. Then came the decision to have Ethan sleep in the nursery that night and the battle of getting him to latch on. My milk didn't actually come in for a good week, it was not fun. I pumped and pumped, tried a prescription which was horrible and eventually used an herbal supplement that helped my milk to come in. I'm hoping this second time around for two outcomes: I'll be more of a trooper during labor and I'll have a better grasp on breastfeeding right off the bat. We shall see. :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Nursing Wishlist

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO LEAVE A COMMENT, CLICK ON THE POST TITLE AND THEN THE COMMENT OPTION SHOULD SHOW UP AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST. If this doesn't work, just email me. I've had the hardest time with this. I've used this blog for ages, before comment posting was an option and so even though I have all the settings right, it still won't show the comment option like I want.... grrrr.

Maybe some of you other moms out there can help me out with this one. With the second kid coming I'm thinking a lot about what products worked for me breastfeeding Ethan and what didn't. I'm definitely taking a different route as far as bras and the like. I've got that covered. Now I'm looking for shirts that would have better access and also be cute, hide the post-pregnancy sludge but not scream MATERNITY! Here are a couple I'm come across that are also affordable.

GAP- Keyhole

GAP- Crossover

GAP- Smocked
GAP- Pleated

So far GAP has yielded my best results. Anyone else have suggestions? I'm a big fan of the wrap-type shirt. No holes or layers, just pull aside and freedom. :)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Ethan's Sleeping Habits

In the past 5 months, Ethan's sleeping habits have changed dramatically. At 6 months old, he would take 3 naps a day and wake up multiple times in the night, sometimes not going back to bed for a couple of hours. This made for an interesting month long stay with Jon's parents. I'm sure whenever Ethan woke up crying in the night or we watched TV at all hours in the morning, waiting for Ethan to get tired again, that Jon's parents laid upstairs in their bed, tossing and turning, hoping for some peace and quiet. Of course, they wouldn't admit to that though... :) At this point Ethan would only fall asleep in our arms with a bottle in his mouth.

After moving to LA, Ethan has gone through a tough transitional period. Instead of 3 naps a day, he now takes two.... and finally sleeps through the night all by himself!!! We went from rocking with a bottle to fall asleep, to rocking with a pacifier to fall asleep, to putting him in bed with a bottle to fall asleep, to now... going to sleep all by himself! Believe me, the journey was tough to get to this point, but the end is well worth it. As far as cry therapy, Ethan only cried himself to sleep for about a week and even then most days were no more than a couple minutes of crying. For this, I am thankful. I would much rather deal with the months and months of rocking him to sleep at all hours of the night than to have to continue cry therapy for months. :)

For moms out there whose babies are getting to the point where you would like to start molding their sleep patterns to better fit yours.... do what feels best. With baby #2 I plan on take a similar route: breastfeeding in bed, then rocking/feeding to sleep, then giving them a bottle in bed, then cry therapy... but I plan on hopefully getting through this process sooner than I did with Ethan. Waking up multiple times in the night at 9 months old was not fun anymore. Ha! Cry therapy wasn't that bad, especially when you have a husband who is willing to help and comfort you and keeps you from caving in. Everyone is different, but we chose to let Ethan cry for 5 minutes at a time then pick him up and cuddle with him for about another 5 minutes until he was happy and tired again. Repeat. I think our worst night only lasted for about a half an hour or 45 minutes. Thank goodness.

Since Ethan is no longer needing our excellent rocking skills, he has started falling asleep randomly on his own or in the weirdest positions. :)

I can't believe Ethan is almost one! We caved and got him his birthday present early. Jon has been eyeballing this ball pit since Ethan was born and could not wait until he was old enough to play in it. Ethan LOVES it! At this point he just sits in the ball pit, kicking and throwing the balls and clapping his hands. Great purchase. :)

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Mickey Mouse!

After returning home from Boise, I had a doctors appointment. Jon was able to come, thank goodness, and watch Ethan in the waiting room while I was examined. Last time I went, Ethan was crawling around the exam room while I was getting a PAP smear.... not a good idea. Anyway, it was actually a really good thing that Jon was there because as the doctor was giving me an ultrasound (which happens even time I go, by the way, super cool) she said "Well, did you want to know the sex of the baby?" I was only 17 weeks along at the time and said "Really? It's that obvious? It must be a boy then. Let's bring Jon in." Jon came in and then we found out.... it's a GIRL!!!!
We have already picked out a first name for her. Corryn. We are currently searching for a middle name and taking submissions. :)
First of the family to arrive was Aunt Ranee. I loved having her stay at our place. She bought us some yummy dinner and fudgcicles for dessert. :)
Ranee also surprised me with a ticket to Disneyland!!! I was so excited to take Ethan and see how he would react to everything. At the last minute, Jon decided to take work off and come too! It ended up being the best family outing we have ever had, Ethan was a great baby all day long and I didn't get too tired or hot from being preggers. Also, Ethan LOVED the characters and It's a Small World and Pirates of the Caribbean.
When meeting Pluto, Ethan reached out for his nose and stuck it in his mouth. Why? Because that's what dog friends do to each other, of course! He LOVED the characters. :) Thanks for everything Ranee!

MAY = Family FUN!

I know, I know, it's been a while. May was action packed with family visits. First, Ethan and I flew to Boise to see my family for a week.
Now that Ethan can crawl and pull himself up on things, he is not a fan of sitting still. Which means that the flights to Boise were a challenge. Luckily Ethan is not a crying baby, just super playful and all over the place. After the airport, the family went out to dinner and Ethan crashed from such a long day of travel.
Not to worry though, when he woke up, he was ready for FUN! And oh, how he loved spening time with Gma and Gpa. Tausha even had her turn and babysat him while the rest of us went to a magic dinner show. It was a very cool, yet awkward show since all the jokes seemed to be sex or alcohol related... ha.
Gpa was an absolute hit. He made funny noises that us girls could just not make. He also didn't mind Ethan clawing at his face. :)
Ethan also had the opportunity to meet his great gma Sharon for the first time. It was great seeing her. Ethan handed her a flower and she gave him a big wet gma kiss!
It was also finally warm enough outside to play in the grass. When Ethan was a newborn, he loved to lay in the grass. Sometimes it was the only thing that would get him to calm down. Now a days, he's not too sure about the prickly lawn.
Our trip was great! We were able to see a lot of family and relax. I can't wait til the next time we get to go to Boise, although it won't be for a while since I'll be too pregnant to fly and then have a newborn in addition to a playful toddler. :( I miss you guys already!