Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The new normal

That’s what I’m trying to find right now… our new normal.

Jason went back to work yesterday and the day went ok, despite me feeling quite anxious about it. Its very strange. I don’t recall ever feeling this anxious about being alone with the kids, but this time I do. Part of it is that I haven’t done childcare on my own for a MONTH! Yeah, that long. I figured it out… I stayed a week at my Mom’s while J was out of the town, had the baby that weekend, then J stayed home for 3 weeks. It feels a little strange now to be the only adult at home during the day. But we’ll figure it out. I always have in the past and I will this time too.

I’ve been struggling with muscle tension and headaches. I think its mostly due to lack of sleep, but also holding this new little creature and muscles that haven’t been used much getting some use. Feeling under the weather does not help my emotional state, which swings all over the place each day. At least one cry a day is typical, as is feeling like everything is fine one moment and then wishing I could hide under a rock the next.

Henry is a good little baby. Not much of a fusser, though he grunts and squeaks a lot at night which makes it hard for me to sleep. He nurses like a champ and today the midwife weighed him and he’s already up to 9.5 lbs! That’s a 2.5lb gain in two weeks. He already looks so much older.

Yesterday I started up lessons with the kids. Originally I wasn’t going to do that until next week but I kinda thought the kids needed something to do. They have been massively bored the past couple weeks. Though our day went pretty good, I feel a little discouraged. Gwen is resistant to my teaching her. I’m hoping that this will ease after we do this for a while. I worry though that homeschooling just isn’t the most effective method for her. Ethan thrives with it and loves doing schoolwork. Gwen has a very different learning style and I don’t know if the problem is that she feels she needs to impress me or she’s scared of failing in front of me or what. Hopefully time and routine will resolve the problem.

On Sunday we took the kids to the park to play for a bit. Here are some pics we took.




Gwen’s favorite pose… the “princess pose”


Elsa’s attempt at a princess pose… I think Gwen needs to work with her a little!


Attempts at a group kid shot. Not perfect but pretty cute. Can 6 year old boys smile normally? I don’t think so!



Friday, September 17, 2010

More pictures of Henry

Not much has been happening around here. We've kept close to home and haven't done much since Mr. H arrived. We do have more pictures of the little guy though.

037 040

043 005


006  011

007 001

We had him in a bowl so we could get his weight. He’s already 7 oz above his birth weight!

003 004 005

He’s a very good little baby, other than his propensity to spit up a LOT! He’s a solid eater every 2.5-3 hours so I am getting a few hours in a row of sleep at night. Unfortunately I came down with a cold (with sinus pressure, ugh) that is making me feel quite poorly and not exactly helping me get back into “normal” life.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

He’s here!

Whew. I just had a baby :)

The last day I blogged, on Friday, I went to the midwife for a blood pressure check and it was up. They really felt that since I was toeing the line of where they were required to transfer my care to an OB that we needed to think about getting labor going. I was pretty upset, but it came down to this. Did I want to deliver in the birth center with a gentle induction or go through the stress of being transferred last minute to an OB and maybe ending up being induced in a very unfriendly way in the hospital? We decided that we’d rather deliver in the birth center.

Saturday they did another blood pressure check and it was again really on the line of having to transfer me. So after running some bloodwork and tests on my urine, they decided that we needed to go ahead with the castor oil. My midwife was actually out of town and I was seeing the on-call midwife. I was a little nervous about this at first, but I couldn’t have been happier with her care. Even though we’d never met before (she is a homebirth midwife who has her own practice) she took her time with us, gave us wonderful care and attention, and actually, I think, ended up being more our style than my original midwife would have been. We were lucky to be in her care. She checked me and I was 2cm and thinned out, so she massaged my cervix and sent me on my way.

At 3:30pm I took my first dose of castor oil mixed into scrambled eggs. It wasn’t too bad getting it down. I felt nothing happen though. I mean, absolutely nothing. The midwife suggested that I take another dose. I was a little reluctant because I felt like maybe the first dose hadn’t had enough time to work and I didn’t want to overdo it. However at about 7pm I did end up taking the second dose. Still nothing… sure, a few contractions here or there, but nothing serious. No stomach upset, nada. At 9:30pm, the midwife came to our house to give me my dose of antibiotics (for the GBS stuff) and check on me. I had dilated about about 2 more centimeters, so even those mild contractions were working. She then massaged my cervix again and that really kicked it into high gear. My stomach also started reacting to the castor oil which was unpleasant, but did kick everything up. Once she left at about 10pm things didn’t stop. Jason started timing me and it was consistently every 2 minutes and contractions lasting 30-60 seconds. I paced the house and kept loose and relaxed by shaking my hands and my mouth open (someone had told me that if you keep your hands and jaw loose it keeps other parts loose too). After about an hour of these contractions we felt like we needed our backups. Becki came up, and then shortly after I called my Dad to come watch the kids. The contractions were getting a little more uncomfortable so we called the midwife and we decided to head over to the birth center.

We arrived at 12:30am and I kept doing what I was doing…. pacing around and trying to keep loose and distracted. I was checked again and was at 7cm and almost totally thinned out. I can’t tell you how happy that made me. After my last birth where I’d labored and labored and labored and had made no progress for all those hours and then lost my focus and motivation and gave up, I had been worried about that happening again. When I heard that I was practically in transition and had been able to walk and talk through the majority of the labor, that gave me a lot of confidence. My cervix was still tipped a bit back, so they suggested I get into the tub in a froggy pose. So I did that and it felt really nice. Jason would pour water over my back when a contraction came on. The contractions were a lot more painful now, but I still mostly felt calm and able to handle things.

Here’s where my memory gets a little fuzzy though. I felt like I had to use the bathroom. The midwife asks me if its “there is a baby coming out” bathroom feeling or a “castor oil” bathroom feeling. It was a castor oil feeling, so I used the restroom and after coming out things seemed to go pretty fast. I remember getting on the bed on all fours and trying to drape myself over a ball. The contractions were very uncomfortable now and I felt like I couldn’t find the right position. Looking back, I think standing would have been better, but hindsight is 20/20 :) I got very very very hot. I was annoyed and cried. I remember saying I was really scared. The midwife said to me, “You can do this, you’ve done this before” and I started chanting this over and over and it helped a lot. The contractions were really hard at this point and I had the feeling of needing to move around but not being able to find a spot that eased the pain. I know I kept sitting up on my knees when the pain was the worst, and then dropping back to hands and knees when it would pass.

Suddenly, with one big contraction my water broke and it apparently it broke violently and got my midwife wet. I recall her saying she’s never gotten her glasses wet before. Everyone started scrambling to get dry things. Then, and someone else who was there may have to correct me, it seems like the next contraction came right away and I said, “He’s coming!” and I recall the midwives trying to prepare for delivery and suddenly out popped his head. I don’t even remember an urge to push. It was like I felt him descend and then his head was out. The midwife said, “Ok, the cord is around his neck… hold on just a second” but the next contraction was there and he came out. I don’t recall pushing at all, though I did push obviously! To me it seemed to happen so incredibly fast. I couldn’t even believe he was out and I just stayed still for a second and thought “Thank God this is over”. He was a little shocked by his fast exit and so they rubbed him and got him stimulated a little and then handed him through my legs and helped me lie down.

I don’t have a clear memory of much after that. There was clean up, there was a little baby in my arms. He was awake and quiet. None of our babies had been this calm and quiet after birth. He didn’t have goop in his eyes so he could see. It was really nice. His placenta was actually kind of small, but very healthy. I remember Elsa had a huge placenta and this one looked so tiny by comparison.

We ended up staying at the birth center until about 5am. He was nursing by the time we left and I was able to walk and get around. We got home at 5:30, dropped into bed, kids were up at 6:30 and by 7:30 everyone had met everyone else and a new phase of our family life started.

His name is Henry James Horn. Born on 9/5/10. He weighed 7lbs, 5 oz and was 20 inches long (same dimensions as his big brother, just 3/4 inch shorter). From the time contractions were regular to the time he was born was just 4 hours!

Here are some pics… I’ll post more stuff later, but I think this post is waaaaaay long enough as it is :)


Friday, September 03, 2010

39 weeks

I have almost made it farther in this pregnancy than with any of my others. Ethan made it to 39 and 3 days before I was induced, so I’m right there. My 39 week appointment was uneventful. BP was up, so they took blood and that came back fine. They do want me to come in today for a blood pressure check and if this morning is any indication, it’ll be up again. Ugh. First days back at home are always rough.

I’ve spent the last 6 days at my parents house while Jason was at a conference. It was so nice to stay there, though I know it exhausted them thoroughly. We so appreciate their sacrifice for our sakes!

Jason came home last night and it was good to have everyone home and sleeping in their own beds. He won an iPad at the conference and wow, what a fun little toy that is. I hardly need another device to distract me in my day, but it’ll be useful too. Or so I say to myself….