It's Mommy Time

One Mommy, Two Daughters, Zero Time

Monday, March 30, 2009

10 Things You Forget

Napping in bed...shhh...don't tell anyone that I let her sleep on her side!
Here's my hand for some size perspective.
Satisfied customer after the Mommy buffet

With the second one, you think that you should know what you're doing. Here are 10 things that we definitely forgot about between #1 and #2... 10. How quickly you become exhausted 9. The consistency of baby poop 8. The unpredictability of baby poop 7. How often they have to eat 6. How precious they are when they're asleep 5. How demanding they are when they're awake 4. How much laundry is required to keep them in clean, dry clothes 3. How quickly you become exhausted (wait, did I say that already? Too tired to read back to see) 2. How difficult breastfeeding really is 1. How sweet and cuddly they are

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

It Doesn't Come Back to You

Note: If you have a weak stomach or are easily grossed out, stop reading now.

Luke, Sophia and I curled up on the couch this afternoon to watch movies. Luke was holding her when we heard massive rumblings in her nether regions. I explained to him that whoever was holding her when she did it had to be in charge of changing the diaper. When we thought she was done, he put her on the floor to change her. Apparently, we forgot the consistency of infant poop, which resembles chocolate pudding before it's congealed. Needless to say, we ended up with poop flowing out the back of the diaper, up her back, onto her clothes, onto the carpet, and everywhere else. In the midst of my laughter, Luke was running to the kitchen to get towels because we were totally unprepared for any of this and everything is now covered in uncongealed pudding. It was bad news, but everyone and everything has been cleaned up. So much for this parenting thing coming back to us!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Why Natural???

When I tell people that we do natural childbirth with no epidural or drugs of any kind, I get some strange looks and lots of questions. To be honest, I never really have been able to articulate why in any concise or convincing way, but having just been through the experience one more time, I figured that I'd give it one more try.

The main and most important reason that we do natural (and I do mean "we" because it's a 3 person job) is that it's actually safer for Mommy and baby. There are countless studies out there that suggest that medical interventions, including epidurals, tend to lead to more complications, higher c-section rates, and longer recovery times. I'm pretty big on letting science and research guide my big decisions, and the science is pretty convincing on this one.

But science alone is not enough. I guess that the main reason why we do natural childbirth is because we can. Many women fear the pain of natural childbirth and are happy to relinquish control of what will be one of the most defining moments of their lives so that they can eliminate the pain. I don't want to make a decision out of fear, especially since there's no medical reason why I need to (and I realize that's not the case for everyone).

In order to really commit to natural childbirth, you have to believe a few important truths about yourself and the process:

1) Women have been giving birth naturally for millions of years. If they can do it, you can too.

2) There will be pain, but that pain is logical, manageable, and purposeful.

3) You must take control of the decisions about your labor and simultaneously relinquish some control to your support partners.

4) You can do it.

Having just had Sophia naturally, the one truth that was so abundantly clear to me this time was #2. I was very nervous about trying to do Sophia naturally because I honestly knew what was coming and had to more consciously choose the path of more pain. However, the whole process of birth is so logical. The contractions are painful, but they are rhythmic and predictable. I knew that each one was moving me closer to Sophia. Especially at the end when we were waiting for just that last centimeter so that we could push; every contraction was an exercise is letting go, relaxing, and inviting her to come into the world. Those are the most difficult and painful contractions, but you're so close at that point that it's easy to focus on the goal. Even the pushing is rhythmic, and if you listen, your body tells you when to push and when to rest. That makes it a lot easier to be efficient and keep yourself whole.

I guess all in all I have even greater respect and appreciation for the process after Sophia. I also have great appreciation for my Mom and Luke who traveled down the road with me. It's just a beautiful thing, and I'm so glad that we did it again.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Details

I think that I mentioned previously that I decided to start my maternity leave on Friday even though I hadn't had Sophia yet. I was very excited to just relax and run errands on Friday, and Mom and I headed out pretty early to run around. We stopped at a few stores and then went to Home Depot to pick up some flowers to plant later in the day. While at Home Depot, I started having mild contractions. I thought it was more fake contractions so I didn't worry, but headed home just in case. By noon, our contractions were about 9 minutes apart and still fairly mild. We progressed pretty well at home until we were about 4-5 minutes apart, which was of course, around 5pm. I couldn't believe that we went into labor during the day, that we had to drive to the hospital during rush hour on a Friday, or that this was finally happening after all of the waiting!

We got to the hospital and into a room by 6:30. I was 6-7 cm dilated when we got there, which was exactly the same as I was when I got to the hospital with Hailey. We progressed pretty quickly although it felt like an eternity. The doctors and nurses were very patient and supportive. Everyone kept telling us how great we were doing, which was extremely comforting. By the time I was 9cm, I was ready to push and getting a bit impatient. I let the doctor break my water and within minutes, I was pushing. 12 minutes of pushing later, Sophia was born.

She had a big head full of brown hair and a lot of fluid (because she came out so quick). I got to hold her right away until the respiratory therapist came and cleared out her lungs for a while. She wanted to eat almost immediately. She nursed twice in the first few hours. She was starving!! The good news is that she's a good eater and a good sleeper (so far at least). I've already started giving her a pacifier because I just can't keep up with her. However, she's been known to sleep for 3-4 hours at a time.

Unfortunately, the next morning Luke woke up with a horrible case of food poisoning. It was very sad for him to miss any of Sophia's first day, but he was violently ill and mostly just rested. Hailey and the grandparents came in the morning to spend some time with Sophia and take Luke home. Hailey just giggled and giggled when she met Sophia for the first time. Then, she wanted to sit with Sophia in the Boppy. The Boppy was the most popular "toy," not sure why.

Anyway, Sophia is a little eatin', sleepin' angel. Mommy is feeling really great (much better than with Hailey). Pushing for 12 minutes really did make a huge difference in terms of my overall health. We're home now and each of the grandparents has had a chance to hold her. I'm going to try to rest for the next few days. I have doctor's orders not to lift anything over 10lbs (including Hailey) and not to climb the stairs more than 3-4 times a day for several weeks...several weeks!!!

Here are some pictures of Sophia.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Sophia's Sense of Humor

We've waited for 9 days past her due date for Sophia to come. She decides that we need to drive to the hospital at 5:00pm on a Friday in Atlanta. Really?!?!?! This one's gonna be trouble. I can tell already. Contractions are 4-6 minutes apart now. Probably going to the hospital soon.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bring on the Beer

Just returned from the doctor where they checked my amniotic fluid levels to make sure that Sophia has a safe environment. It's a lovely environment; so I can continue the pregnancy until I'm rechecked again on Friday...yippee (I guess).

I was so disillusioned by the doctor's visit that I decided to stop to get beer on the way home (for myself not my parents, although they may need it too). Of course, the woman at the gas station just had to ask "when are you due?" It's hard to be polite at this point, but I put on my happiest Mommy face and said "I was due six days ago, that's why I'm buying beer. I may just have to drink her out." I think that she wasn't sure if I was kidding. On second thought, I'm not sure I was kidding. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What's a Due Date Anyway???

It's just an estimate, and apparently not a very accurate one either. I mean what are the chances that I'd be 2 for 2 with going later than my due date. Inaccurate due dates or stubborn children? You decide.

PS: Of the 20 of you who gave me a birth date guess, 14 of you have already lost. Only 6 still left in the running!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Excuses, Excuses

Every day now, I try to evaluate just how ready I am to have this baby on that particular day. Most days so far I’ve been able to come up with excuses for why Sophia should hold off a little longer. I’ve used all of the following:

  • Mom isn’t in town yet,

  • Hailey’s sick,

  • I didn’t sleep well the night before,

  • My bag isn’t packed,

  • Luke has an important meeting at work,
  • The weather is too nice to be inside a hospital,

  • I have half a carton of ice cream in the fridge that I need to eat first,

  • My friend is getting married next Saturday, etc.

Here’s the problem…I’m running out of excuses. In fact, all of the above have been remedied except the last two. I’m going to the doctor today. My due date is tomorrow. This baby is coming at some point in the very near future, and I’m getting a little nervous. Now that I’ve been through natural childbirth once, it’s a lot harder to be excited about it. So, I better start psyching myself up because it won’t be long now.