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Adventures in Parenting: Part 1

We have been parents for a very short time so far, three weeks to be exact. We thought it would be fun to document all the little stories that keep us laughing!

The First Explosive Poop

When Blair was about a week old I was up for her 3:00 am feeding. I had just taken off her dirty diaper, and like a rookie let her naked bum hang out on the changing mat sitting on our bed. I was grabbing another diaper when I heard an explosion and felt warm liquid cover me. My daughter had in fact sprayed poop all over me. I was half awake prior to this so it took a minute to register what had just happened. Then I did what any normal person would do. I put a diaper on her, went into the room my sister in law was sleeping in and declared, “There is poop every where and I don’t know what to do!” Thankfully Heather was wonderful and took Blair so I could access the damage. I went in and found poop all over our sheets, all over my stomach, and some on the wall behind me. I am not sure how she had this much trajectory, really it’s impressive.  I tried to get Garren to get up so I could change the sheets but he was pretty out of it and told me to wipe it up and we could change them the next day. I did my best to clean it up and then hopped into the shower. The next night I hear Garren trying to call my name while laughing hysterically, apparently I had missed a very large drip of poop going down our wall. We still laugh thinking about it. I wish I had taken a picture… which is probably gross in and of itself.

The Second Explosive Poop

A few days ago Garren was changing Blair’s diaper. Deniece was commenting on how good she is about getting her bum changed. She had literally just said, “Look how calm she is,” When the all too familiar explosion is heard. Garren literally jumped as he was sprayed with poop. It narrowly missed his face. Deniece and I nearly peed our pants we were laughing so hard, mostly at Garren’s reaction. The best part is when Blair does this she has literally no build up and no reaction. You can’t tell she is about to poop and she doesn’t react once she does. Mainly I was just excited that I was no longer the only one to get pooped on.

Mom is ALWAYS right

Blair hardly ever spits up. In fact, before last night she had only spit up twice in her short life. Each time was the same. She spit up a little bit, followed by a waterfall of spit up. (Both times this occurred because she comfort nursed after having already ate for a good amount of time, so I am pretty sure she was just overly full) So last night when Garren was changing her and I saw the little spit up happening I told him to pick her up and burp her because she was going to spit up every where and threw him a towel. He stood up and said, “Why do you think that’s going to happen,” with a very skeptical undertone. Basically he thought I was being ridiculous when BAM waterfall of spit up running down is shirt and on to the floor. He then sarcastically made fun of himself and vowed to pay more attention to me when I say something. (Meh we’ll see) Blair reacts the exact same way to spitting up as she does to pooping. It doesn’t affect her at all.

spitupI am super excited for the adventures ahead of us. We love this little girl, and any opportunity to laugh!

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Postpartum: The First 3 Weeks

Warning this post will most likely be brutally honest and a whole lot of information a lot of people wont want to read. I, however, wish I could have read more things like this while pregnant to prepare me for what postpartum would truly be like. Read at your own risk!

The first 2 days postpartum were spent in the hospital. These were the easiest days. Blair slept the majority of the time and I could ring a nurse to bring me pain pills or ice/heat packs. My emotions did take a turn for the crazy while in the hospital though. When they took Blair to the nursery to do her hearing test (Garren went with her) she was very upset and I could hear her crying. Next thing I know I am shaking uncontrollably and sobbing. I knew she was fine, I knew Garren was with her but I couldn’t help it.

The worst part about the hospital was them coming in constantly to jump up and down on my abdomen. Really they were just “massaging” it to make sure my uterus was shrinking down but it hurt almost as bad as contractions during labor. The cramps you experience while breastfeeding? Yeah those are no joke. I honestly felt like I WAS going into labor again each time I fed my baby. Talk about motivation to keep breastfeeding. Then that first weekend we brought her home Blair screamed non stop. It honestly sounded like some one was beating her, and I thought for sure some one in our apartment building would call CPS. We finally called the nurse and she told me it sounded like she was hungry and not getting enough. She told me I needed to supplement with formula. This was confirmed when the nurse came out to weigh her and we realized she had lost well over 10% of her birth weight. (10% is the “safe” limit of weight loss for newborns) Cue hysterical crying from mom once again. Mom guilt is the worst guilt I have ever felt. I felt like I had failed my baby already. We ended up feeding her 3 bottles before my milk came in enough to completely feed her.

Stitches. I had a 2nd degree tear which required some stitches. I was most afraid of this postpartum and they ended up being no big deal. Sneezing and coughing was a little precarious the first 2 weeks but they honestly never really bothered me. I had a little bit of back pain where I was given the epidural but it only lasted about 48 hours.

My sister in law Heather came when Blair was 5 days old, and my mother in law when she was 9 days old.  I am so grateful they did. I am really bad at asking people for help but there is no way I could have handled all the new changes alone. (Garren had to leave and go to school)  Basically I didn’t have to cook, clean, or even get my own water the entire time they were here. They let me take naps while they held my baby, and told me things were normal when I got paranoid about noises Blair was making or other random new mom worries.

My least favorite postpartum symptom is I constantly feel freezing yet I wake up soaking wet in sweat. It’s disgusting. I hate it so much. The first few times I went to my room to take a nap, while some one else held her in the living room, I would wake up shaking uncontrollably until I had Blair back in my arms or nursing. It was like this weird adrenaline rush to get to my baby as fast possible. I have been prone to depression in the past so I was really nervous about PPD but thankfully after the two weeks of baby blues I feel great. I am so grateful for my amazing husband, supportive family and our beautiful little girl. Being a mother is about 10 times harder and easier than I ever imagined. I am exhausted but it’s a happy exhausted. Going out in public overwhelms me and I  prefer to wear her in the moby wrap instead of have her in the car seat. She just feels safer securely attached to my chest.

Breastfeeding is a whole lot harder than my breastfeeding class lead me to believe. Which is unfortunate. We are three weeks in and I have finally weaned her off the nipple shield, but it’s definitely a steep learning curve. We will get it though :)

My postpartum body actually weighs less than I did pre pregnancy but don’t let that fool you… things have changed….

Note to new moms, Every one will tell you to sleep when the baby sleeps. For some reason I find this impossible during the day. I think of 500 other things I should do, but I will really only have this opportunity with my first baby so I am trying to force myself to nap. During her 3:00 am feeding I am always SURE I will nap the next day, so I try and remind myself of that exhaustion the following afternoon.

Really every one’s labor, birth and postpartum experience is going to different with similarities all new moms can empathize with. Don’t let the media, social networking, or braggy “friends” make you feel guilty for the choices you are making for your baby. We are all doing the best we can. Just remember baby’s don’t keep so snuggle and love them as much as possible while they will still let you.

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Hospital morning cuddles

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I love how he looks at her. I can already tell she will be a daddy’s girl.

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Aunt Heather and Blair!

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Our first outing outside of the house. Inside I am freaking out a little bit.

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Nana, Daddy, and Blair

Blair is 3 weeks old today! She celebrated with some hard napping:

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Photo Shoot

So Garren found a great deal on group on for a place in the mall to get some photos taken! Baby girl was wide awake during the whole thing, and screamed for the last bit, BUT we still got some great pictures! Feast your eyes on this beauty :)

 

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So I know she is seriously ticked off in this picture but I love it.

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FLUFF BUM!

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This is the quilt I started for her, and Nana finished. I love how it turned out. (A rainbow baby is a baby after a miscarriage so I made a rainbow quilt for my rainbow baby)

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Popeye ;)

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My Favorite Picture!

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Sleeping Beauty

img_0035 img_0023 img_0016 img_0012 img_0003 img_0002I feel so blessed to have this little in our family. We love her more than words could ever express!

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First Doctor Appointment

Blair had her first doctor appointment 8 days after she was born. Her first two nights at home were really rough. My milk hadn’t come in and baby girl wasn’t getting enough nutrients. If she was awake she was screaming bloody murder. It honestly sounded like she was in so much pain. A nurse ended up coming out to our house and we learned that she had lost too much weight. We ended up having to supplement with formula. We gave her three bottles before my milk finally came in. I was still pretty emotional at this point and was having a really hard time not blaming myself. Mom guilt is real, and a horrible horrible feeling. Since my milk came in Blair has been a completely different baby. She is so happy and content.

When she was born she weighed 7lbs .05oz, when we left the hospital she weighed 6lbs 12 oz (still within the normal weight loss amounts), 2 days later she weighed 6lbs 4oz, which was concerning since it’s more than 10% of her birth weight.

Her doctors appointment was 4 days later. When we put her on the scale I was holding my breath. in my heart I knew she had gained weight purely by the change in her behavior and demeanor but it was still such a relief to see she weighed 6lbs 12oz! She gained 8 oz in 4 days! Weird proud mom moment. ;) They checked her hips and vitals and everything checked out great!

Percentiles:

Weight: 6lbs 12 oz 25%

Height: 21 inches 72%

Head Circumference: 13 inches 12% (Thank you baby girl for having a small head…..)

At the Doctors!

At the Doctors!

Her next Doctors appointment is in March when she is a little over a month old. I can’t believe my baby is already 2 weeks old!

Last night she slept in her bassinet for the first time. (During her two horrible nights sleeping with me was the only way to calm her down) She did great in the bassinet. I, on the other hand, cried for a good half an hour.

In her bassinet! (Also she is swaddled in a Miracle Blanket, they truly are miraculous....)

In her bassinet! (Also she is swaddled in a Miracle Blanket, they truly are miraculous….)

 

We love this little girl so much! We are getting pictures taken on Saturday! I am so excited!

 

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Blair Monroe Allred- A Birth Story

Disclaimer** Having a natural, medication free birthing experience has always been very important to me and something I have looked forward too. I am absolutely not against epidurals and would never think less of any one getting one. I just didn’t want one myself. So my disappointment in this event stems from that desire, not because I think less of those who decide to use pain medication. Also this is really long.

The night of February 4th I was having extreme lower back pain. I had been having contractions off and on for a little over a week and I had been dealing with back pain for around 10 weeks so I didnt think much about it. I did mention to Garren that I wondered if thats what back labor feels like. I managed to get comfortable and fall asleep around midnight. I woke up around 1:30 to go to the bathroom and could hardly walk. The pain and pressure was insane. I said a little prayer begging to go into labor. At 3:00 am I was lying there half awake when I felt a little pop, I thought “Thats how I imagine my water breaking would feel”, next thing I know warm fluid is gushing out of me. I was so surprised! I told Garren my water broke and he shot up and said “Ok let’s go to the hospital!!” I told him it was ok no rush. I called my doctor and normally she would have let me labor at home for a while but a crazy snow storm was about to start so she told me to collect me things and head on in.

While getting ready fluid just kept gushing out of me. I could not believe how much there was. Garren gave me a a beautiful blessing, I think before that I was in shock because I was shaking pretty bad but after that we both felt so calm and excited.

When I got to the hospital my (amazing) nurse checked me and was shocked by how low baby’s head was already. Unfortunately I was only dilated to a 1+, so I knew I had a long day ahead of me.

My hospital is very pro natural childbirth and I didn’t have to be hooked up to an IV or anything. I did have to be monitored intermittently. Since she was so low it was hard to get the first strip needing for monitoring but we eventually got it.

I walked the halls with Garren for a little bit and was having contractions every 3-4 minutes. They were uncomfortable but not painful at all. We went back into the room and after I had been sitting down for a while the contractions stopped. The nurse I loved had left and told me she would be back at 7:00 pm. She said she hoped I had a baby by then but to not be discouraged if I hadn’t. I remember thinking she was crazy. There was no way I wouldn’t have my baby in the next 13 hours. The new nurse came in and said the doctor had ordered pitocin. I instantly felt disappointed. They said that since my labor wasn’t starting on it’s on, they needed to help it out since my water had already broken. Personally I felt like they didn’t give me enough time to walk and get things started that way, but it is what it is. Through out the day they would randomly come in and up the dose I was getting.(They even tried to hide the fact that they were upping it) I was having contractions ever 2-3 minutes and by 4:00 they were unbearable. I had spent hours dry heaving, and breathing through contractions and was starting to feel pretty weak. Garren was amazing, constantly rubbing my back, reminding me that our little girl would soon be in my arms, and cheering me on. I tried basically every position I could think of to get through the contractions. The best seemed to be leaning up against Garren.

No one, and nothing can prepare you for labor. It literally felt like my insides would explode. It was now 7:00 pm and I had been in labor for 15 hours. I was exhausted and my nurse started talking to me about pain medication and epidurals. I was being stubborn because I felt like such a failure for even considering it. I decided to have the doctor check me again to see if I was close. He checked me and after 15 hours of labor I was at 2 cm. I had barely progressed. I completely lost it at this point. I just knew I didn’t have another 6 hours or however long it was going to take in me. I talked to Garren (more like cried and asked him if he thought I was weak and a failure for wanting the epidural) and he just wanted me to do what I needed to  get our little girl into the world. I asked the nurse a ton of questions about the risks of epidurals, both to her and me and finally consented. The anesthesiologist was in within 5 minutes. The epidural didn’t hurt at all going in and was instant relief. I could feel when I was having contractions but there was absolutely no pain. Blair’s heart rate started to get stressed with each contraction, so the nurse checked me again. It had only been about 40 minutes since I had last been checked but I went from 2 cm to 10. The baby’s head was literally right there. I was shocked. Basically my body desperately needed me to relax to progress. The doctor was delivering another baby so they had to keep telling me not to push.

Finally the doctor came and after 3 contractions, and some wonderful coaching from Garren and my amazing nurse (the first one was back!) our baby girl was born! The first thing I say was her head full of hair. They put her on my chest and she started crying. Girl had some strong lungs! I don’t remember much about all of this but I do remember telling her, “I’ve waited so long for you,” and completely losing it. It’s crazy how much you love them from the very beginning. I had a 2nd degree tear, but haven’t had any problems with it so that’s good.  She weighed 7lbs .5 oz and was 20 inches long.

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While it wasn’t the birth experience I have always dreamed of, it’s the labor and birth that brought me our precious daughter. I knew that if I obsessed over what I should have done differently I would get depressed, so I have made myself let it go. It is what it is and honestly the only thing that matters is that Blair is healthy and here! We are truly blessed to be this little girls mom and dad.

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Baby Red: 39 Weeks

Ok this is a horrible picture but it's the only one I have for week 39! It's kind of hard to see the bump... but it's huge don't worry about it.

Ok this is a horrible picture but it’s the only one I have for week 39! It’s kind of hard to see the bump… but it’s huge don’t worry about it.

Thoughts: Are we there yet? Baby Girl and I are officially full term! She could still wait another 2 weeks to come but I am sincerely hoping she comes later this week. I have had a date in my head since the beginning of this pregnancy and considering I knew we would conceive in May, I figure why shouldn’t I be right about this date as well! Chalking it up to intuition for now ;) It’s still hard to believe this pregnancy will end and parenting will begin! I can’t wait for this journey and I am so grateful to have Garren by my side for what is sure to be the hardest and best part of our life together.

Dr Appointment/Baby: At my doctor’s appointment last week my doctor was feeling around the bump and asked me how much I weighed at birth (6lbs 8oz) and then how much Garren weighed (over 9 lbs) and proceeded to say, “She will be closer to Daddy’s size.” We got a good laugh from that! While you can’t put too much stock into estimations I am hoping her bigger size now will mean she is ready to come sooner. Yes it’s wishful thinking but whatever! My baby app says she is about 20 inches long and 7 lbs 4 oz. Basically she is just getting cute and chubby right now :)

Weight/Cravings/Aversions/Eating: This week at my appointment my weight leveled off. I weighed the exact same as last week so still at a weight gain of 18 pounds. Nothing new on the eating front. No real aversions and still downing way more milk than should be allowed.

Movement: I can tell she is feeling a little squished, but she still moves around quite a bit. It’s very uncomfortable now but still very much welcomed. I am excited for this little wiggle worm to move in my arms instead of my belly! I do think it will be weird not falling asleep to her movements. I have gotten use to that nightly ritual over the last 20 weeks.

Sleep/Workouts: Sleep is basically the same, I feel like two people each grabbed a leg and tried to walk in opposite directions. I wake up each morning feeling like I had the most intense workout of my life the day before. Nope, just walked to the bathroom 45 times! I don’t remember what it feels like to sleep longer than 1-2 hours before needing to go to the bathroom, or what it feels like to wake up and not have everything hurt.

Signs of Labor: Sunday night I had some pretty intense contractions for SEVEN hours that were 2-4 minutes apart. Naturally at 5 in the morning they just completely stopped. I was really starting to get excited, but hopefully they at least helped me progress! Up until then I never had a painful contraction, but these were bad enough that I couldn’t get comfortable and had to move and breathe through them. Active labor will obviously be much worse but I am glad I got a tiny taste of what I am in for.

Garren: I think every pregnant woman needs a Garren. He is always willing to make me something to eat, rub my back, and do a load of laundry on top of being in Physical Therapy school. I feel so blessed and loved to be married to this man. Being pregnant has been very rough on so many aspects of my life but it has only affected our marriage in a very positive way. I did have to tell him to stop asking me if “It’s time”. It was maybe driving me a little crazy….. ;)

Really hoping I don’t have to do another one of these updates, and that Baby Red is in my arms this time next week ;) Wish me luck!