Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Second Time Around

When it comes to newborns I was basically given the same newborn twice.

In a word they are...difficult.

I do not make "easy" babies that don't scream and sleep well.  I make screamy babies that sleep like shit.

But that being said...we're doing things "better" this time.  And thus I can say that Noah is "better" and "easier" here now at 2 months.  But a number of factors contribute to this, absolutely none of them have to do with the baby himself but are all about us as 2nd time parents.

For starters, Noah definitely has something he is allergic to, but I'll be damned if I can figure out what it is.  Lots of mucus poop but since he's generally over his screaminess I've given up on giving up delicious foods and it seems to make no difference whatsoever.  For all I know if I hadn't figured out why Jett was screamy maybe he would have stopped too?  Who knows but for now, the screaminess is over.

Sleeping.  Jett and Noah were both the "rock me to sleep" kind of babies.  They did not ever just fall asleep they had to be PUT to sleep.  With Jett we made the HUGE mistake of continuing to bounce him to sleep long after the screaminess ended (if they scream at you for hours you do ANYTHING to get them to sleep) and always holding him until he was fast asleep, never letting him learn how to settle himself.  Here with Noah...I just can't hold this baby all damn day.  I wear him if we're out and about but after about 3 hours of wearing him my body starts to ache and I get cranky!  So...he gets put down to sleep if we're at home.  I've discovered the wonderfulness of the vibrating feature of my pack 'n play (why did I not use this with Jett???) and Noah will pretty happily and consistently put himself to sleep if he's vibrating.  There's some fussing involved but within about 5 minutes he'll put himself to sleep (ok it's the vibrating putting him to sleep but it's better than me bouncing him!!!) For 3 nights running he has gone to bed at 7pm, vibrating away and CONTINUED to sleep until 11:30pm, long after the vibrating had ended!!!  That means I CAN GO TO SLEEP BY MYSELF without a baby next to me and sleep for a delicious 2 hours baby free.  This didn't happen with Jett until we sleep trained him and moved him to his crib at 6 months!!!  I feel so very very accomplished as a 2nd time parent that I don't have to go to sleep with my baby every night at only 2 months old.

Also regarding sleep, I'm just not as stressed about it!  With Jett I really really overanalzyed his sleep and really really stressed myself out about it.  I realize we're not quite at the sleeping schedule point yet with Noah and I have plenty of time to start stressing about baby sleep, but so far I'm pretty chill about it.  I still hate putting baby down for a nap a gazillion times a day and am looking forward to the set 3 naps a day which should be coming up at what...3 months?  But feeling pretty good about naps and sleep in general even when naps are only half hour long.

Crying.  Oh these poor 2nd children.  They cry more.  It's a fact.  But I only have 2 hands and big brother is the one who can understand that he's being pushed aside and just generally cause more damage so if both need me, he usually gets me first.  SORRY KIDDO!  New baby also gets left to cry and fuss a bit whenever he wakes JUST IN CASE he can settle himself back to sleep.  Oh the lessons I've learned.

Other things I've learned?  LET OTHERS HELP IN ANY WAY THEY CAN.  Meaning, if my husband wants to take the baby downstairs at 5am because he's grunting and may just end up with the baby sleeping on his chest. YOU LET HIM.  Because then you get an hour or two more sleep...all by the big bed.  With Jett I remember fighting with Dom more times than I can count because I didn't want him to take the baby downstairs in the wee hours of the morning...why did I fight that???  If anyone wants to take my baby off my hands...they're pretty much free to do with him whatever they like.  As long as he gets brought back to me once whoever has him figures out he needs to be fed...I'm good and won't dictate what should and should not be done with the baby.

I also let me husband let him cry.  With Jett this tugged at my heartstrings so much that I would interject, even when it was not in anybody's best interest, because I couldn't stand to hear him cry.  With Noah, I still can't stand to hear him cry but if I'm putting Jett to bed and Noah is in my husband's arms screaming his head off...what can I do???  He's not being left alone, my husband is trying to console him but if it's milk he wants then poor kid has to wait.  So...he gets to cry while I finish with Jett and then I can tend to him.  Such a balancing act with 2!!!

Ultimately I'm hoping all these small things will allow us to NOT have to sleep train this kid and he will just learn to sleep better long before we get to the sleep training stage of babyhood.  So there you have it, 2nd time everyone says every baby is different and you never get to use any of the skills you learned with #1 on #2 but here I feel like I'm getting to use them all!  Part of me wishes I would have ended up with an easier baby, but least I know how to deal with a difficult one already! 

Friday, September 18, 2015

After Birth

For the first time in over a month I have a moment to sit down and write again.  Thank you preschool!

Two kids is BUSY to say the least.

But here we go, the long awaited story about what happened after the birth of little Baby Noah.

He came out without a hitch.  No problems whatsoever. 

After Noah was out and we snuggled for a few minutes in the tub just relishing in the fact that I was DONE I really wanted out of that pool and into bed.

A few short steps to the bedroom and after getting all cozy in bed it was time to birth the placenta.  An often forgotten fact of birth, the placenta has to come out too!

Placenta also came out without any problems, one quick tug during a contraction and out it came.  Fully intact, no obvious missing pieces.

For the next few hours the midwives cleaned the birth tub, let us have some new family time with baby and intermittently checked on me and my bleeding and baby latch etc etc.

I was doing really well for awhile.  I was having large gushes of blood WHICH WERE DISGUSTING and one of the pluses for both drugs and a hospital birth, you don't feel the blood gush because you're numb AND someone whisks it away for you probably before you even notice it, but that was to be expected as there is a certain amount of blood that has to come out.  Nothing abnormal.

I got up to pee once with the help of my midwife and passed a huge disgusting clot, but again, nothing abnormal.

But then, somewhere around the 3 hour mark, right when the midwives were packing up and getting ready to leave, my midwife came in to give my uterus one last quick massage and after one too many huge gushes of blood....I passed the fuck out.

One minute I'm sitting there holding my baby saying I feel a little funny and the next I'm flat on my back with my midwife asking me weird questions like what's your name and where are you, etc etc.  And instead of a baby in my arms my mom is in the corner holding him looking absolutely petrified.

Needless to say I scared the crap out of her and husband.  They watched me turn white as a ghost and my eyes roll back in my head and basically drop my baby.

After it was all said and done and I was stable again (after a shot of pitocin in my thigh) my midwife assured me that I had not lost too much blood and I was not hemorrhaging (my single greatest fear when it comes to home birth) but that I had just lost all the blood one normally loses during the birth, the birth of the placenta and afterward, all at once instead of in 3 segregated events causing a huge drop in blood pressure.

When you have a baby a certain amount of blood usually comes out with the baby, Noah came out really clean...and so was my tub water...

Next you birth the placenta and again, there's usually a certain amount of blood that comes out with the placenta.  My placenta basically came out by itself with no blood.

Then comes the uterine massage where all the rest of the blood comes out over the course of a few hours (and days).  So all mine came at this point, all at once, huge huge gushes of blood, over and over and clearly it was too much and out I went.

My midwife examined the placenta thoroughly, twice, to confirm that it was in fact intact and I didn't have some retaining pieces in there causing me to continue to bleed.  She also reexamined all the blood that had come out (ew!) and assured me that there was NOT an abnormal amount of just came out too fast and all at once.

Regardless of this reassurance I was now scared to get out of bed, especially after my midwife left.  So basically I stayed in the exact same position all night (so uncomfortable!!!).  In the morning when I finally couldn't stand it any longer and I had to move AND PEE!  I got up, made it to the bathroom, and out come 3 HUGE absolutely disgusting clots, WAY BIGGER than the egg size they tell you to be wary of. 

So back to bed I went, sore, tired and very very scared that my uterus wasn't doing what it was supposed to and I was going to bleed to death because I chose to have a homebirth instead of go to the hospital.  By the way this was right at the mark that I left the hospital with Jett, I stayed for 12 hours and this was about 12 hours after I had Noah, so all this shit I was dealing with was probably pretty normal, I was just numb the first time and had a catheter to pee and didn't have to get up for awhile, etc etc. so I had no idea that the first 12 hours were this awful!!!

Anyway, back to bed I went, midwife was called (she was already coming by later, they always come on Day 1, but I called her anyway to tell her about the clots) and I tried to rest.

So so grateful I had all my family around at this point, Jett was with my mom and we didn't have to worry about him at all and everyone brought us food!

When my midwife came by she brought along some sort of drug that for the life of me I can't remember what it's called but it's similar to pitocin except in pill form.  Basically makes your uterus clamp down hard to help stop bleeding.  So she brought this pill, set it on my bedside table and said, this is if you start feeling really shitty, I think you'll be fine at this point, but just in case I'm leaving it here.

And there it sat.  I felt fine all day (other than the incredible soreness one normally feels after giving birth) no lightheadedness, no abnormal cramping, just generally felt like crap because I just had a baby.

But then comes the night.  That night at about 2:00am I started nursing Noah and instead of the normal cramping/contraction one has when one nurses right after giving birth to help the uterus contract back down, I had this really awful continual cramp that wasn't doing what it was supposed to be doing to my uterus.  Instead of amping up like a contraction, coming to a peak and then going away it just amped up about halfway AND WOULDN'T GO AWAY.  So for a half hour I was dealing with this pretty intense cramping, I started shivering, crying and shaking like a leaf.  After a call to my midwife she told me to pee (full bladder can cause problems for the uterus trying to clamp down) and then take the pill she had left. 

The pill did what it was supposed to and the cramping finally amplified like a contraction and then went away.  BUT HOLY FUCK!  Again...thought I was dying and I was stupid for having a homebirth.  But at the same time, I would have already been home from a hospital birth and what the fuck would I have done if I didn't have a midwife to call???  Go to the hospital with our newborn at 3am???  So, I'm actually pleased I had a midwife to call and tell me what to do and that left me drugs, but in the moment it was really scary.

From that point on, basically 30 hours after birth I was fine (except hemorrhoids of course!!!).  The amount of blood I bled from then to 4 weeks when it stopped officially was so minimal as to only need a pad for a few days and then a pantiliner for 2 weeks.  I passed no other clots other than those huge huge huge ones in the beginning.  It was like my body got rid of it all in the first 36 hours.  

So...there you have it.'s not for the faint of heart!