Monday, August 31, 2015

Baby Noah - 1 Month

Oh baby Noah, let me apologize for not being as thorough with these as I was with your brother.  But let's face it, you have more experienced parents.  We're better at this, we're not as frazzled, we're so much less stressed, we know that things will just work out one way or the other, and we did all the experimenting with your brother so we have a few tricks up our sleeves.  I might be too busy sometimes to write baby posts and make picture books, but kid...you got the better end of the deal, trust me!

So at 1 month:


Baby Noah has a food allergy/sensitivity.  I think the correct term is sensitivity but whatevs, dude is unhappy with something mama is eating!  Since Jett had the dairy intolerance, as soon as Noah's poop turned green and filled with mucus at 2 weeks old we immediately assumed a dairy issue.  We wasted no time and immediately I went back to my old dairy free ways of eating.  Of course before things got better they got worse and Noah got VERY screamy...just like Jett.

Why do I make such screamy babies!!!

Two weeks later his demeanor had improved only slightly and that poop, that goddamn poop was still green and SO FULL OF MUCUS.  It was like snot, not baby poop.  So...back to the drawing board.  Ultimately we decided on his worst most screamy nights when we'd spend HOURS with little Screamy McScreamerson trying to get him to sleep were days after I had eggs.

So I cut out eggs as well as dairy.

I'm like a vegan except I eat meat.

Just a few days after the egg elimination his demeanor improved GREATLY.  So...I think we have an egg allergy/intolerance!!!

Ugh, babies are such hard work for this breastfeeding mama!!!

I'm still only a week or so into eliminating eggs but baby is much improved and the poop goes back and forth from yellow to green, cottage cheesy to mucusy, but I'm hopeful we've found the culprit.

Now...whether this is an egg AND dairy issue I don't know, but for now I'm off dairy and eggs!

At 1 month baby Noah is an average sleeper.  He's in bed with us.  He'll do 3 hour stretches of sleep both day and night and for the moment I can wrap him in my Moby, get him asleep and then transfer him to a bed (on his belly, trick I learned with Jett, as long as I'm nearby baby is a belly sleeper, babies sleep so much better on their bellies!) and he'll continue sleeping for an hour or two.  I'm hopeful this will continue but at the same time I'm realistic and realize he may be exactly like Jett and only nap for half hour in the very near future as he heads toward 6 weeks and "wakes up" a bit more.




Since I have both kiddos now Noah is going to have to nap on the go for some naps anyway, so...second time parent, I am not nearly so stressed about baby napping, it's just going to have to happen...I'll figure it out!  We spend mornings in the house (until next week when preschool starts!!!) and we spend late afternoons in the house so I'm hopeful once we're at 3 naps a day we can do those 2 naps at home and the midday nap out and about...we'll see what happens.


What else?

He's rolled over a few times.  I don't think they're supposed to roll over this young are they?  I put him on his tummy and he can totally roll over to his back.  He does it often.

I stand by my original sentiments when I had Jett that newborns are super boring...they don't do a lot besides sleep and scream.  And you know what???  This time around that is totally ok with me!!!  It means I can just wrap Noah up in the Moby and get on with my day with Jett and not worry TOO much about the little one.

And as though I needed the confirmation, I am 100% not a baby person.  There's not a single part of me that looks at Noah and thinks oh how sad that Jett isn't that small anymore.  I HAPPILY pack up clothes that the kids outgrow because with growth comes communication and independence and THAT is apparently what I enjoy about parenthood, NOT BABIES!

I'm really looking forward to 6 months.  I can't wait to set a mat down in the backyard and let Noah crawl around while Jett plays and I don't have to hold anybody constantly.  CANNOT WAIT!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Noah's Birth Story - Part 2

Birth Story - Part 1

So it's Saturday morning.  I called my mom at 6:30am to let her know we were having a baby that day, she and my dad came by to be around when Jett woke up and get him all packed up to spend a few nights at Grandma's house.

We basically spent the morning getting ready, I texted my midwife to let her know today was the day, we made the bed with the birth sheets and a plastic liner and another set of birth sheets, we got the birth tub up and started filling it, I had a big protein packed breakfast, Dom went to the store to pick up last minute things, I finished laundry, we did a belly cast etc etc.  Contractions were pretty frequent, ranging anywhere from 4-9 minutes apart but had eased up in intensity and duration lasting only about 30 seconds.  I was completely fine to wander around and "do" things and felt no rush whatsoever, everything was very calm and relaxed...except my dad who was a big ball of anxious energy and kept asking me when my midwife would be coming...oh dad.

Somewhere around noon, after we'd all had lunch (I learned my lesson from Jett's labor on eating at least, I ate and drank a ton before things picked up!) the grandparents left with Jett and I retired to bed.  Since I'd had 2 crap nights sleep I wanted to rest before labor picked up (again, learned my lesson) as it seemed like I was in for another long labor.  We were 9 hours in and I was still very clearly only in early labor.

As soon as I laid down to relax and try to nap the contractions picked back up again.  They were now over a minute and more intense but coming only every 10-15 minutes.  This felt so weird to me because I've read and been told over and over again how moving and walking and changing positions etc etc are all ways to keep labor moving but for me it seemed like as soon as I stopped moving, laid down and relaxed labor would pick up.  Totally the opposite of everything I know about labor.  I texted my midwife and she said it made complete sense.  Labor was picking up as I relaxed.  Ok...fair enough.  Amusingly I tested this theory and decided about 1:30pm to take a walk down and back up my very long, very steep driveway.  I believe it's a 1/4 mile, we walked all the way down and all the way back up with only 2 contractions!  My midwife's theory seemed to hold water, walking was NOT progressing labor.

So I did what any rational person would do...I went to bed =)  Dom and I found some crap movies to watch and I just hung out in bed.  For posterity sake and because it's amusing we watched Broken Arrow and then National Treasure, I imagined myself wanting calm serene music playing as I labored but no...I apparently wanted to watch crappy action movies to take my mind of what was happening.  Somewhere in here I finally started to lose my mucus plug so even though contractions felt irregular it was clear cervical change was happening.

Then without warning after 13 hours of early labor things picked up.  I went from being able to breathe through contractions while lying in bed to suddenly needing to be on the floor on my hands and knees to get through them.  I was in contact with my midwife throughout all this and was trying to hold out on getting into the tub knowing that a) the tub can slow or even stall labor if you get in too early and b) it can dehydrate the shit out of you (another lesson learned from Jett's birth) but she said feel free to get in whenever and just get back out if things slow down.  So after a particularly painful contraction in which I just started balling my eyes out while on my hands and knees next to my bed I knew I needed to get in that tub.  So I did.
 
 Still smiling between contractions!

Things were so much better in the tub!

Things happened pretty quick once I was in the tub.  Contractions went from 8 minutes apart down to just 2-3 minutes apart and were about 75 seconds long.  At roughly 4:30pm, 13.5 hours after labor began Dom was finally feeling uncomfortable enough to tell the midwife it was time to head over (yes Dom, not me, I think I would have held out a bit longer...and it might have been too late!)  Had I been going to the hospital I think this is when I would have gone and OMG it would have been a painful 20 minute drive to the hospital!!!

Midwives got there roughly an hour later at 5:30pm, got themselves all set up and started listening to baby between contractions.  I was now very uncomfortable and was definitely crying during some of the contractions.  I was having the dreaded back labor and no amount of counter pressure or change of position was helping.  I was even tempted to get out of the tub at one point to see if I could find a better position but decided the tub was way to wonderful to leave so I stuck it out.  Turns out I didn't have to stick it out for long!

At 6:15pm my water finally broke (for the record you can totally tell that your water has broken even in the tub) and about 2 minutes later I had the urge to push.  My midwife knew exactly what was going on and just from listening to me breathe and moan through contractions (and grunt as the urge to push took over) came over to let me know that my baby would be born soon without every putting a hand inside me.  But here at the time to push, for me, this was the hardest part.  With Jett's birth I had the urge to push WAY prematurely and had been dealing with rectal pressure and an involuntary pushing sensation during contractions for HOURS, so much so that I wasn't even feeling contractions in my uterus anymore they were all pressure sensations in my bum!  All the premature pushing started to swell my cervix and I only made it to 6cm before getting the epidural with Jett.  So the pushing sensation sort of scared me.  I had no idea if I was 10cm dilated because I hadn't been checked and I was nervous about swelling my cervix if it wasn't in fact time to push.  But I needn't have worried because with the next few contractions came an urge to push so strong that there would have been no stopping it even if I were so inclined.

BUT at some point in here I asked my midwife to check me to make sure it was ok to push and she barely had her fingers in there and she could already feel the head...so baby was already through my cervix and I was most definitely fully dilated!!! After that confirmation and a little experimenting I finally started pushing along with the contractions and all I can say is HOLY SHIT IT HURT.  In my head I had decided that once you got to the pushing stage contractions were no longer painful and that they became just a pushing sensation and you could calmly and painlessly push your baby out.  Clearly I underestimated THE INTENSITY of that pushing sensation and obviously all those women in all those natural birth videos I've seen are robots...I'm looking at you Ricki Lake.

As we got closer to crowning I was WRITHING in pain, screaming, crying, several times I was like OMG I DON'T WANT TO DO THIS ANYMORE!!!  Crowning was particularly painful.  I guess they don't call it the Ring of Fire for nothing.  The pressure and pain I felt not only on my perineum in the back (which I expected) but my clitoris in the front (which I did NOT) was pretty excrutiating...not gonna lie.  After the longest 2 minutes of my life with baby's head crowning, waiting on the next contraction with the next push, where i actually screamed GET OUT! baby's head was finally born.   Then once his head came out THE BABY TURNS to get his shoulders out and he's half inside you and half out of you and ACK! SO WEIRD, I could feel him turning and watch him turning at the same time, such a strange sensation.  This was all the stuff I felt like I missed out on with Jett's birth because I was so numb from my epidural...it was all very painful and weird...I'm not so sure I should have been upset for missing out on it the first time.  But one more push and out pops Baby Noah at 7pm.  Only 45 minutes of pushing.  No tearing other than labial "skid marks", same thing I had with Jett.  And only 4 hours of active "painful" labor.  Total labor was 17 hours but WHAT A DIFFERENCE from Jett's marathon 29 hour labor.

My initial thoughts upon baby being put on my chest AFTER discovering it was a boy was "that's it, I"m done, no more babies, 2 boys is enough."  I was so relieved to be done. 



I am beyond grateful that I finally got my very longed for homebirth but I have to say...the experience was very different than what I imagined.  After having a hospital birth and having a homebirth I can actually say there are advantages and disadvantages to both.  My birth itself  went off without a hitch, quick, complication free but some of the aftermath was a little scary in a homebirth setting.  Up next I'll tell you all about the next few hours after Noah was born!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Jett - 3 years

My goodness child, how are you 3???

You seem like such a big kid these days as we welcomed baby brother into the family.  I can't believe it was only 3 years ago that you were just as small as Noah.
 Oh how we love chips.

These days you are such a talker.  You have quite the vocabulary and are always careful to use proper grammar, how you know proper grammar is beyond me, but you always pause to carefully consider what wording should be used when you have a long sentence you're trying to spit out.

You are so nice and gentle with Baby Noah and make sure to give him kisses and cuddles each night before bed.  I know we're only 10 days in but you've welcomed your new brother into the family rather than being jealous of him and mama is very proud of how you've handled the change.  You make sure to include him in your pretend play when you're handing out "cocoa" or "tea" or "juice", Noah always gets one too.


You are absolutely in love with all things train right now.  You want to watch Thomas every afternoon and then you reenact your favorite Thomas stories with your trains and I love hearing your imagination at work.  Daddy has almost as much fun as you playing with trains.


You've done amazing with your swim lessons this year and have graduated into the next class in which mommy and daddy get to ditch you with the teacher instead of getting into the water with you.  Mama is more excited about this than you know, I love that you've been taking swimming lessons, but I do not enjoy getting in the pool with you!

Preschool starts in a month and again...Mama is so excited for you to begin this next step in your life!  You have never been one to cling to mama in social situations and have never needed me for reassurance.  You've always been happy to jump into activities with other kids and I think you and preschool will get along just fine.

As we start over with a new baby I'm reminded of just how far you've come and just how proud I am to call you my son.

Much love Baby Jett on your 3rd Birthday!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Noah's Birth Story - Part 1

Oh where do I begin...

Let's start at the actual beginning shall we?  In hindsight I knew labor was impending several days before it actually happened.  But since I didn't go into labor with Jett, I was feeling very much like a first timer once we hit 38 weeks and had no idea what I was expecting.  Also, I was only 39 weeks, even though I was WANTING baby to come early I didn't actually believe I wouldn't see my due date.

On Wednesday morning, 38w6d, I woke up feeling very anxious.  The fair was in town and we had made plans to go that Friday but suddenly I felt like we needed to do it that day or it wasn't gonna happen.  No rational reason for feeling like that but it needed to be done and out of the way that day.  I also suddenly needed to do all the laundry and just sort of tidy the house up.  Not full blown cleaning but I picked everything up, sorted out anything that was left in piles etc.  And that was that for Wednesday.  We went to the fair, walked around for a few hours with nothing to indicate labor was on it's way and my anxiety went away.

Thursday, 39w, I had a midwife appt.  I got my membranes swept.  This is not necessarily the standard for a homebirth midwife, they usually have a wait and see approach and try not to mess with the natural flow of labor but we'd discussed it the previous week and she said she was comfortable doing it at 39 weeks and I said GREAT because the prospect of flying with only a few weeks recovery time was starting to weigh heavily on my mind. I wanted this kid out sooner rather than later so I had time to heal before heading back to CA.  Last time I was 100% opposed to getting any sort of cervical check whatsoever unless I hit 41 weeks but this time...bring it on at 39 weeks!  After the birth my midwife actually told me when she saw me that day she had a feeling baby was on his way in the next few days anyway so she had no qualms about the sweep.  I was dilated to a whopping 1cm which she could stretch to a 2cm, but very soft and "ready".  I left feeling very much like labor was not coming anytime soon.  We also decided that night to leave Jett with my mom so we could go to dinner.  We were thinking he shouldn't feel like when he goes to spend the night at Grandmas it means a new baby is coming, so he should spend a few nights there before baby came.  So we went to dinner, not necessarily "for the last time" as we thought we had another week but again, odd timing and perhaps I knew it was the last time.  We had SPICY curry and I ate way too much.

39 weeks

That night I woke up at 3am with the most awful heartburn I have ever had in my life.  I tried everything to get rid of it.  Even drank baking soda in water, DISGUSTING.  But I was basically awake from 3-6am then up for the day at 7am because I just couldn't lay down with the heartburn anymore.  So, SHITTY NIGHT SLEEP ONE, clearly I'm destined to begin labor after very little sleep.

Friday, 39w1d, we had plans to go to the coast, which we've never done with Jett, and again so glad we got this out of the way!  The coast is only an hour drive so we knew if I went into labor it wouldn't be a big deal to get back home quickly.  I spent the day feeling like absolute poop.  Crazy heartburn which left me really unable to eat much, a bit nauseous and a bit crampy.  Basically I was a big ball of ICK.  But we had fun, Jett especially!





I'm really glad we did this as it turned out to be our last trip as a family of 3!

On the way home from the coast I started having contractions.  Timeable, every 8 minutes, lasting for a minute.  We got home, I told Dom I needed to use the loo and take a bath, I say need because really it was like a NEED, I NEEDED a bath, so weird but when I got out I would tell him what needed to happen.  But basically as soon as I hopped in the bath, everything stopped.  Contractions went away and just generally I started feeling better.   BUT it felt like the time was near, we went to bed that night knowing we were getting close to the end.

Saturday, 39w2d I woke up again at 3am...this time not from heartburn but with timeable painful contractions.  Again, every 8-9 minutes lasting for a minute.  They continued until I finally got up at 6am, took a shower and when I got out I told Dom, today is the day, we're having a baby!

To be continued...

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Introducing...

Another Boy!


Noah Lawson Brennan
Weight: 7lbs.
Height: 18.5 inches

Born at home in the tub on July 25 at 7pm.

Birth story coming soon!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Baby #2 Bumpdate - Weeks 37 & 38

In another few hours I will officially be more pregnant than I have ever been.  I went to the hospital for my induction with Jett at 38 weeks exactly and he was born at 4:45am when I was 38w2d pregnant.

So, here we are at 38w1d and I'm starting to fret.  Let me bumpdate you all and I will share all my fears and frustrations that have begun to crop up as we enter brand new territory.

How Far Along: 38w1d

Weight Gain: Must be 32 lbs now?  I think.  I weight about 150 most mornings, give or take a lb.

What's Up With My Body: Body is actually feeling ok other than the fact that I seem to have a baby fully engaged in my pelvis and HELLO...I can feel it.  My pelvis is very uncomfortable and "full".  But sleep is good, rib is good, heartburn kicks my ass some days and other days in non-existent.  Basically I'm hangin in there.  Ready to be done and more tired than uncomfortable these last few days.

Emotions: Ugh, emotionally I'm kind of a mess.  I don't know what happened to me yesterday but I got to my midwife appointment and I just started balling.  First I was REALLY tired, like woke up feeling exhausted, took a 2 hour nap, still felt exhausted, just felt really really run down and tired.  But then also apparently this GBS diagnosis has left me a little more uneasy and stressed than I let myself believe because when she asked me about it all this information came pouring out of me that I didn't even realize I was thinking.  Like, suddenly I was saying that I didn't know if a homebirth was the safest option anymore and I felt like I was selfishly putting my baby in danger if I was still GBS positive with this retest.  And maybe I should just have a hospital birth because then I could have the antibiotics.  Really did not realize that was what I was feeling, but that's what came pouring out.

Also, Dom has been gone for just over my limit of amount of time I can stand solo parenting.  I make it to about a week and then I'M DONE.  And here we are on Day 9...I'm done.  He will be back late tonight and basically he is taking the kid WHENEVER I ASK because I'm exhausted and I can't do this by myself anymore.

And last but not least I'm still busy fretting about my baby being small.  He/she is roughly 6 lbs. according to the skilled hands of my midwife and wouldn't you know it, Jett was 6 lbs.  It was always assumed that Jett was small because of the preeclampsia and he had quit growing a few weeks back but...this baby is small too.  So I'm left wondering DID I HAVE PREECLAMPSIA AT ALL???  Or do I just grow small babies?  Or is there another reason this baby is small?  My belly measurement was 34cm this week, so up from last week but I'm 38 weeks!  My midwife is not worried, she says there's plenty of amniotic fluid, baby has visibly grown and baby is just fully engaged down low in my pelvis and yes...I grow small babies.  So, trying not to worry BUT I CAN'T HELP IT.  We've made it so far I don't want anything to go wrong here in the homestretch!

Bumpdate:
My last comparison.  38 weeks this time.

And 38 weeks last time.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Full Term and Things I'm Worried About

Well folks, WE'RE HERE!  Full term.

I'm so excited I can hardly stand it.

I've begun all the tricks. 

Evening Primrose Oil.  Check.

Raspberry Leaf Tea.  Check.

Walking.  Check.

Spicy Food.  Check.

Dates.  Check.

Acupressure.  Check.

Yoga Ball.  Well...I have my yoga ball but honestly haven't sat on it once...maybe today!

Sex and Nipple Stimulation will have to wait until husband is back in a week but I'm doing everything else I can!

So while some of the angst about going into labor early (why do I think I will go into labor early???) has disappeared now because I no longer have to go to the hospital if I should in fact go into labor (before 37 weeks you can't have a homebirth).  I now have other anxieties that are wiggling around in my brain.

First, I tested positive for GBS.  This wasn't even on my radar because I tested negative last time and you know ALL PREGNANCIES ARE EXACTLY THE SAME so I just figured I would be negative this time too.  

As always, I was wrong.

So, positive GBS test, not usually a big deal right?  Had I tested positive last time I just would of had IV antibiotics in labor either at the hospital or had my home birth gone according to plan, didn't matter it would have been the same.  BUT HERE IN OR midwives are unfortunately not allowed to administer IV antibiotics.  WHAT?!  So...there are alternatives.  There's a vaginal rinse that is used in Europe with good results that I'm trying now.  I've also increased my probiotics, eating yogurt and taking a shit ton of Vit C, all of which are supposed to help one's body rid itself of GBS.  So, we retest in about a week and if I'm negative at that point, YAY!  If I'm still positive???  There's a few other options but ones I'm not terribly excited about.  I'll keep you posted.

Second thing I'm stressing about.  MY GODDAMN BELLY IS SO SMALL AGAIN!  I measured 33cm at my 36 week appt and I measured 30cm yesterday at my 37 week appt.  WTF?  Do I just grow small babies???  Jett was small because of the preeclampsia and had basically quit growing after 35 weeks, but this time???  My midwife actually insists baby is growing fine and is visibly bigger to her and baby has just dropped down into my pelvis and that I carry my babies "close" so baby is all tucked inside READY TO GO.  So...I'm trying not to fret.  

BP is amazing at 117/78 yesterday and I have no protein in my urine so there's no reason to think I will end up preeclamptic again.  I took a look at my pregnancy with Jett and around this time my blood pressure was 148/93!  All good on that front as far as I can tell.

So, there you have it.  We're full term, ready to go...and now we wait.