Saturday, February 14, 2015
I have survived 18 days of having two children under the age of two. How am I doing? I’m exhausted, that’s how I’m doing. That whole “sleep when the baby sleeps!” thing doesn’t work when you have a toddler running around, pulling things out of cabinets and climbing on the kitchen table. She also has learned how to open screw-top lids and open doors in the last week and a half.
****Note: both of my children are asleep right now—WHAT AM I DOING WRITING A BLOG POST INSTEAD OF NAPPING?! What’s wrong with me?*****
The first 15 days weren’t so bad—I had my mom and then my sister staying with me to help. Three days ago when my mom came to take my sister home, she was highly amused at me clinging to the hem of her skirt begging “Don’t leave me!”
And what is really sad is that yesterday was really my first real day totally alone with the girls. I texted my husband a little after lunch and let him know that all I’d really accomplished that day was changing diapers, nursing the baby, and pumping (I’m trying to keep a breast infection at bay right now). I felt I should give the poor fellow warning before he came home to the disaster area that used to be known as our home. He graciously replied, “It’s ok, sweetheart. Are you doing ok? Do I need to pick anything up from the store for you?” I married a very smart man…
We never know what our nights will hold. Princess Tiny still has her days and nights mixed up for the most part and we are trying to help her with that, but who knows what time she’ll decided to actually go to sleep each night. Swaddle blankets and a box fan for noise are helping, though, and we are trying to establish a routine.
Princess Littles—who is capable of sleeping through the night, but rarely does—is nearly as unpredictable as her baby sister. Bedtimes are pretty easy, when she gets tired she wants her blanket and bed (Hello Linus!) but when she wakes during the night—sometimes two or three times—we never know what kind of mood she’ll be in and how long it will take to get her back down. Part of this is because of all of the change in her little life in the last two weeks and she is in her own room now, but she has shown us that she can sleep all night—when she wants too.
My poor husband, who is not as used to sleep deprivation as I am, has been a real champ through it all. Because he does have to get up and go to work each day, I try to only wake him to help with the girls at night if I absolutely have to. About a week ago in the young marrieds’ class at our church, our pastors’ wife said something to the effect of “And you couples who are wanting to have children in the near future—“ “DON’T DO IT!” my husband weakly called out. Everyone got quite a laugh from it. She said “And that comes from the Daddy of a toddler and a newborn!”
It has been tough the last 18 days (mostly the nights), and it has really tested me and is letting me see what my true limits are and how very, very much I need the Lord and His grace and strength. Is it worth it? Even sitting here needing coffee, exhausted as all get out, my immediate answer is “YES! A thousand times, yes.”
The rough nights and endless messes are (almost!) forgotten when Livie comes and gives me a kiss just because and says “Love you.’' Or when she is so sweet with her baby sister and worries when she cries. There is nothing like sweet baby snuggles and smiles.
It all makes what little sleep we do get all the more precious. This is just a season, and one day I’ll miss the chaos and craziness that is our life right now.
So Happy Valentine’s Day—I’m off to make some more coffee. My kids are waking up.
Monday, February 2, 2015
January 27th, 2015—Tuesday
40 weeks, 4 days
I woke up Tuesday morning around 6:30 and got out of bed to kiss Jacob goodbye for work. When I stood up out of bed I felt a little gush. After he left, I went to the bathroom and there was a fair amount of blood in my panties. I got very excited—this was the most promising sign I'd had so far. I hadn't had any real signs or “exciting” contractions at all.
I'd had a fairly uneventful night, with maybe one contraction throughout the night. I hoped that this was a sign that I'd be in real labor by that evening and maybe holding our baby by Wednesday morning. My labor with Olivia was around 7 1/2-8 hours long, with intense, active labor being around 3 hours long.
I went back to bed and had a very good contraction at 7am. About 7-8 minutes later, I had another one. They didn't stop, but grew stronger and I couldn't fall back asleep or ignore them. I decided to time them—with Livie I would have good strong contractions for an hour, then they would stop. I did that all weekend the weekend that Livie was born. I was expecting more of the same. I put a shower curtain under the bottom sheet to protect my mattresss, just in case my water broke.
I'd sent Jacob several texts and he hadn't responded. When he had left for work, I didn't know what was about to the transpire. I waited a little while and timed some more contractions, then decided to call him and let him know what was going on. He was going to finish up a few things and then stop by the store for a few things I needed. Livie woke up in the midst of all of this, around 7:45.
I called my mom to give her a heads up that today might be the big day. The contractions were getting stronger, and she could tell over the phone. She asked me if I'd called Alice yet, and I said no, I was waiting a little longer just to be sure. I was afraid it was a false alarm. She said that no, I needed to call her immediately and let her know.
I called Miranda (Alice's daughter and other midwife in the practice) and told her all that had happened and what was going on, and she had me time the next four contractions and send her the information. She also wanted to know how quickly Jacob could get home and/or how quickly I could have someone with me to take care of Livie. I told her ten minutes at the most—my MIL hadn't left for work yet, and Jacob works 6 minutes away from the house.
After I'd timed the next four contractions she called me back and said for Jacob to come home immediately and that I needed to have a protein shake so I wouldn't be laboring on an empty stomach.
I called Jacob and told him he needed to come home right now and to ask his mom to go to the store for us before she came and picked up Livie.
By this point I was already having to start breathing through each contraction, they were growing noticeably stronger, and I couldn't get up out of the recliner.
When he got home he fixed me a protein shake (which I was only able to drink a few sips of) and I asked him to run some warm bath water for me. I was still in my pj's and hadn't had a chance to change into the gown I wanted to wear for the birth and hadn't had a chance to fix my hair.
Miranda texted me and let me know that Alice was getting ready to leave.
He helped me move to the bed and started getting things ready to set up the pool I'd bought to labor in. After I got in bed, I seemed to lose all sense of time, so I'm not sure exactly time-wise when things began to happen.
My mom got to our house first and began to help Jacob get things in order. Shortly after, my mother-in-law arrived and started getting Livie (who was still in her pj's too) ready to leave.
Jacob asked me several times if I wanted him to get the pool ready. By this point, I didn't think I could move and didn't think that we had time to fill the pool before I had the baby.
Alice called Jacob several times to verify directions to our house and let us know where she was.
About 15 minutes before Alice got to our house, I felt Kate's head move down. This freaked me out, to be honest. With Livie's birth, once I felt that, I was pushing with the next contraction. I was afraid that Alice wouldn't make it in time. I told Jacob and he assured me that she would be here in time.
My water still hadn't broken at this point. With Livie, it broke almost three hours before she was born. I started wondering if the contractions really weren't as bad as I thought and I was just being a wimp. I was afraid that Alice would check me and I would still have quite a bit left to dilate. Truthfully I didn't think I was in enough pain yet.
She finally came walking into my bedroom right around 10am. She checked me and I was at an 8! I was so excited. She said we would have a baby within the hour. In between contractions, I told Jacob to call my friend Casey who was going to be at the birth and tell her if she was going to make it in time, she'd better hurry. She later told me she made it to our house in 4 minutes.
Shortly after Casey arrived, Alice told me that if I wanted to push with the next contraction, she could help me finish dilating and speed things up. The next contraction I said “Ok” and pushed.
With Livie, I pushed a few times in the bathtub, then moved to the bed and pushed a few times on my back, then she had me move to the floor and squat. I expected to do the same with this birth, but Alice never had me move.
After several good pushes, I suddenly felt very nauseous. I vomited a few times with my first birth, so we were prepared for it, and had a bowl beside the bed. I knew I was about to throw up and I asked for the bowl, but my voice was so weak and quiet from pushing no one heard me until it was too late. I was flat on my back and vomit went everywhere thankfully it was mostly only liquid since I hadn't really eaten anything in the last several hours. It got all in my hair and all over my pillows. Alice exclaimed “Oh no! Not in her hair!” (My hair is to my knees and it is a major ordeal to wash it—not something you want to have to do immediately after giving birth.)
One or two contractions/pushes later, my water broke at 10:47am. Thirteen minutes later, Katelynn was born into my husband's hands—mad and screaming at the top of her lungs. She was not pleased with being forced outside.
From the very first contraction until she was born was only four hours. No warning or “early” labor—I woke up in active labor. It was very surprising to me and nothing at all like I'd expected. Because my water didn't break until right before Kate was born, the contractions were much more manageable and not as painful as with my first birth. Also, with Kate's birth I never really felt the urge to push like I did with Olivia. And I didn't feel like a screaming banshee this time either ;)
I had no tearing, which has made my recovery so much better and easier this time around and I felt so wonderful so fast afterwards I couldn't believe it.
Katelynn Avery weighed 8 lbs, 4 oz, and was 21 ½ inches long. Her head was 13 ½ inches around—just like her big sister's.
She was born on my great-grandmother's birthday—which was exactly what I had hoped and prayed for. The weather was beautiful and perfect and warm—another answered prayer. She was born during the day, making it easier on her big sister—no overnight stay away from us—she just went to play at Grammy's house and came home to a new baby. This was another answered prayer.
All in all, except for the vomit, I couldn't have asked for a better or more perfect birth. The second was much easier than the first! We are so thankful!