Saturday, June 30, 2012

TWO WEEKS











And what an amazing two weeks it has been.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

GABRIEL'S STORY: IN REVIEW

Gabriel's birth was everything I'd hoped it would be.
My birth plan was followed to a T and the whole experience just seems a little bit like a fantasy it went so well (with the exception of the back labor).
We did stay the two nights in the hospital because, "Why not?!" But when Monday rolled around, I was ready as ever to get myself home. That first week was very tiring, of course. Gabriel is completely different than Caderyn was as a baby (they're two different people?!). I've been working on adjusting to a whole new style of eating and sleeping and just mannerisms in general, all the while trying to be attentive and sensitive to the needs of my oldest child.

Caderyn is a very doting big brother. He loves kissing Gabriel and touching his head. He talks to him and asks about him. He calls him, "My baby," and checks on him first thing in the morning in his little bed next to where I sleep.

My recovery has been fantastic. I've been walking a little every day and I've noticed my body is responding much better this second time around.
I have had much less pain and more energy than last time--if you can believe that. Feeding has been a little bit easier this second time around, but it is also very different and I'm still working everything out.
I keep having to remind myself that it hasn't even been two weeks yet and to just relax.

Throughout this pregnancy I refused to see how much weight I'd gained.
Now that baby boy is out, I've started trying to modify my diet and cut sugar out...this is a lot easier when it isn't a million degrees and summertime, but I figure everything in moderation.

I have a doctor's appointment on the 16th of July and that will be judgment day when I find out how much weight I have to lose. Until then, I'm just going to keep walking and watching what I eat. I can't wait to get back into the gym and start getting back into shape. I am going to wait the six weeks before heading back into the gym, but I'm not waiting to walk and lift some light arm weights.
This gal has to get in shape for a wedding in September!

So far, being a mother of two has been fairly easy. But, then again, I have my parents here all summer helping me out. Because they are here I have napped, showered and been able to pick up portions of my house that probably wouldn't get touched if it was just little ole' me in charge.

The real work begins when they head back to Phoenix and Jeff heads back to school in August.
The thought of that makes me a little nervous, but I'm working on finding someone to come and help me in the mornings for about an hour to help get the kids ready, myself ready and out the door on time.

For now, I'm going to enjoy my summer with my two boys and my parents.
Lots of pictures coming soon, but for now enjoy the sight of Gabriel mid-stretch.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

GABRIEL'S STORY: PART 2

We made it to the hospital by 11:30 p.m. and got checked in with gusto. Up to the OB floor we went and my nurse met us right at the front desk. They put me in a prep room to monitor the contractions since my water hadn't broken yet.
Me in the prep room doing some reading

I got admitted, got all changed into the sexy hospital garb and got checked.
I was completely effaced and about five centimeters dilated.
We sat for a bit and watched "Say Yes to the Dress" while the nurse did some busy work.
Then she said she wanted me to get up and walk around, which I did for an hour. As I walked, alternating between my mom and Jeff as walking partners, the contractions started to come much stronger until it got to the point where I couldn't talk during them. I drank tons of water and did the labor dance with Jeff- you know the one where it looks like you are slow dancing.
After an hour, the nurse checked me and found that Gabriel had dropped down further so that he was right where he needed to be and I was at a six.
They admitted me and moved me into my room.
I got unpacked between contractions and then hopped into the giant jacuzzi tub in my room.
This definitely helped, but man those contractions were so much stronger than I remembered them being with Caderyn! I floated around in the gigantic tub. I put the jets on my back and hips or I would flip over on to my knees.
I just remember there was so much pressure and pain, but the warm tub and the floating helped take my mind off of the pain.
After about 45-minutes I got out of the tub and hopped into the bed to get checked again. My nurse found that something had happened when I was in the tub and Gabriel was sitting awkwardly on my pelvis so the nurse had me lay on my left side with pillows propped between my legs. This only made the contractions stronger.
At this point it was 3:00 a.m. I was bloodly tired and cranky and I decided I wanted the epidural so I could sleep.
With Caderyn, the anesthesiologist was there within about 15-20 minutes of the request. But, something didn't quite work with that epidural and it ended up not working right at the very end of Caderyn's birth. Lots of pain that I don't remember.
Gabriel's anesthesiologist took his dang good time in getting to me. I labored for an hour and a half before he finally got there.
While I waited for the sweet spinal tap I also got stabbed about 15 times in my veins by nurses who couldn't get into my redheaded veins properly (apparently red heads have silly veins). At one point, mid contraction with the nurse stabbing my arm I looked down to see my sheets completely covered in blood.
"What is that from? Is that from the baby or my arm?" I asked.
It was from my arm.
Gross.
Finally, the nurse had to go and get another nurse to help her. They were eventually able to tap a vein in my hand. I remember thinking to myself that having the nurses dig around in my arm for a half hour was almost as bad as the stinkin' contractions.
Did I mention I had back labor?
Didn't have that with Caderyn.
SO MUCH MORE PAINFUL.

This might be TMI and oh well, if you've read this far already you're invested in hearing the whole birth story, but my back labor involved me feeling everything in my back and pelvic region moving. Not joking. With every contraction I could feel my pelvis spreading. Oh Lord how it hurt!
I was that lady in labor trying not to scream. I kept having to turn into the pillow to muffle my shouts.

My mom was a great help during this time; she rubbed my feet, she rubbed my back, she rubbed my arms, she rubbed my head. At one point I asked her where Jeff was and he had fallen asleep on the fold out bed they have for Dad's in the hospital.
"If I'm not sleeping, he's not sleeping. Wake him up." I told my mom.
So she woke him up and hurried out to tell the nurse again that I needed the epidural.
Bless that nurse's heart I think she was on the phone every ten minutes trying to get that guy up to my room.
I didn't really reach the point of extreme pain with Caderyn where there was nothing but the pain. His contractions were all located mostly up front and were only uncomfortable to me. I got the epidural with Caderyn out of annoyance because I was tired and couldn't sleep with the pressure from the contractions. It wasn't until his delivery that things got intense and dramatic and painful.
With Gabriel, all I could focus on was the pain. It consumed me and made me cringe and squirm and cry out. When I was having a contraction, nothing helped, nothing mattered except getting through it.
I think I muttered quite a few cuss words during this time that would have put a sailor to shame.

Once the nurses got all of their bloodwork done, got me started on an IV and went through all of my health history between contractions, the anesthesiologist showed up. 
The first thing he did was send my mom and Jeff out of the room. This was different than my last epidural because the other guy had Jeff stay in the room with me to support my body so I wouldn't move. He had me leaning forward on to Jeff and Jeff cradled my body and basically the guy told me to contract on to Jeff. That sounds funny but every time I contracted I squeezed Jeff.

But this guy didn't want anyone in the room because he was worried they would pass out.
No matter how much I pleaded and explained that I needed someone there for support, this guy wouldn't hear it. I was worried because while you're getting the epidural you're really not supposed to move at all because you can damage nerves. The contractions I was having were causing me to arch my back in pain and squirm whether I wanted to or not, so I was panicked that I was going to screw the whole thing up.

I think my nurse sensed the panic and told everyone she would stay to help me contract. She stood in front of me and let me crush her hands and she talked to me about her family and asked me questions. She also kept reminding me not to move while he put in the spinal tap. Just the knowledge that the sweet relief was coming helped keep me still through the next couple of contractions that came my way.
Finally at about 5:15 a.m. I felt NOTHING.
It was beautiful. I was deliriously happy and exhausted.
Both the nurse and my doctor came in to check me and I was at an 8.
"Good thing you got that epidural when you did, Any more and you wouldn't have been able to get it," my doctor told me.
Then she broke my water with something that looked like a drumstick and I fell asleep within 15 minutes and felt absolutely no pain.
Everyone in the room fell asleep (except for the nurse of course).
At one point I woke up feeling horribly nauseous. This had happened with Caderyn during transition. On my birth plan I actually have: I threw up A LOT during my transition. Just a warning.

Sidenote: My birth plan was a hit with the entire OB unit. It was about four pages long and had serious stuff like: I would choose the vacuum over forceps and a C-Section and I would rather have a C-section than the forceps. But then it also had some not so serious stuff like: Absolutely no Food Network will be on while I'm laboring (this was a big deal with Caderyn's delivery because I was starving and all they would put on was the Food Network).

So my nurse was ready to go when I woke up and told her I was really nauseous. She quickly gave me some medication that took the icky feeling away and I went right back to sleep.
I would also like to point out that I didn't need any pitocin to help the labor progress. That was something I really, really wanted to try and do without during my labor.
My doctor woke me up at 7:00 a.m. and said, "Are you ready to have a baby?"
To which I replied, "What?"
This epidural was the best I'd ever had. I felt absolutely nothing and my body didn't recognize that I was fully dilated.
So we got all ready to start puushing and I just kept laughing because I couldn't feel anything.
My mom was in shock I think because I kept laughing and chatting with everyone.
"You don't feel anything?" she asked me.
"Not a dang thing. This is awesome," I replied.
So we started pushing and I felt nothing except for a little bit of pressure and some stretching (again, maybe TMI, but if you've read this far you're already invested in hearing the whole thing).

I kept laughing the whole time and commenting on how awesome this whole experience was. I was present (I kept passing out during contractions with Caderyn toward the end), I was in a great mood and the whole birth experience went EXACTLY as I'd hoped it would.
The room was quiet and calm. There was minimal cheering. Everything felt very in control and relaxed.
It was perfect.

Gabriel came out at 8:08 a.m. after pushing for only 40 minutes and absolutely no pain.
It was my best birth experience yet.
The second I saw Gabriel's face, all squishy and alert, time just stopped.
He got put on my chest right away and I immediately felt that surge of love and desire to protect that mothers talk about.
We didn't get that with Caderyn because they took him away right away due to complications, and I really felt like I missed out on that moment with my oldest son.
I bonded with Gabriel immediately and was overcome with so much love and pride in those minutes that I got to hold him.
He did swallow some fluid so he was a bit gurgly and they had to take him to suction it out, but he was right back in my arms shorly after.

It was an amazing birtth experience. The second Gabriel was here, it felt like he was the missing piece. That the one thing that had been missing from our lives was him. With him in my arms, my life felt so complete and more enriched than ever before.

Monday, June 25, 2012

GABRIEL'S STORY: PART 1

Looking at my two boys now, I see so many similarities and so many differences.
Caderyn came into this world with lots of drama and gusto, very suitable to current demeanor.
Gabriel arrived with a calm strength that surprised even me.
At my 39 week appointment on Wednesday, my doctor did an exam to see how things were progressing. After her examination she declared, "Well, you can go anytime," because I was 3 cm dilated and 90% effaced. I was actually kind of shocked I was so far along.
Jeff and my mom, my birthing team, were both there and I think were just as surprised as I was about our progression.
I vaguely remember looking at my doctor and saying, "Don't go anywhere this weekend, the 39 week appointment is what started my labor with my son last time."
Well sho' 'nuff.
I had a few little contractions on Wednesday and Thursday. I got my toes did on Thursday and was having somehwat stronger contractions than the previous day, but they were really irregular and stopped as soon as I put my feet up. I do remember going to bed that night and thinking, "Man I am way more uncomfortable than usual."
Woke up Friday, my last day of work and felt...different. Just as I had with Caderyn.
I was having some stronger cotnractions but they were in the 20-30 minute range. So I went to work.
While working I noticed that there were some contractions that made me stop every so often. The discomfort was different than I remember it being with Caderyn's labor. That's why I was having trouble gauging whether I really was in labor, because it felt so different than what I experienced with Caderyn.
I left work around noon and went right home and downloaded a contraction timer on my iPhone. Oh Ho! Let me tell you that thing was handy! I suggest downloading one if you're planning on going into labor soon.
And so I started timing the contractions. They were really hit or miss those first couple of hours. I was sure I would have the baby soon, but I didn't want to sit there and just think and think about it so I did what any normal person would do, I went out to lunch, ran some errands, and made dinner for my family.
Once dinner was ready I noticed I didn't really have an appetite. Odd for me.
So I sat on the couch and read a little and then felt some strong contractions.
I started timing them and found out they were 10-15 minutes apart. Four of them in a row.

Whoa!

My parents took Caderyn so Jeff and I could go for a walk. The contractions kept coming so I called my doctor to let her know I was pretty sure I was in labor. She told me to keep laboring at home and to go in when they were 5-7 minutes apart.

My parents got back and helped put Caderyn to bed and I flew around my house making sure I had absolutely everything in order just in case we were going to the hospital that night.

We sent my parents home and Jeff and I put in Captain America to watch while we timed contractions.
They started getting much stronger and more and more painful. I remember telling Jeff that these cotnractions really hurt compared to last time.
About 11:00 p.m. we checked the contraction timers log to see that the contractions were 5-7 minutes apart.

That went fast!

So we called my parents to let them know this was not a drill!
Then we we called the hospital to let them know we were coming in. Our hospital likes a little bit of heads up.

Jeff loaded up the car, I leaned on the car and breathed and tried to find my inner happy spot.
Mom, Jeff and I all loaded up into the car, left Caderyn with my Dad and off we went to the hospital.



Saturday, June 23, 2012

ONE WEEK

It's hard to believe that just last week my stomach looked like this.
I remember the pain and discomfort and being swollen and tired.
But that's about it.


And now, we have a boy who is three and a boy who is one week old. Whoa!
I am still in a bit of a new mommy daze, so enjoy these photos my friend Lisa took to welcome our newest little man.




Wednesday, June 20, 2012

CONSUMED

These days are pretty much focused on the baby and the boobs.
Making sure the baby is fed and making sure the boobs are okay so the baby can be fed.


We are tired, I am sore, Caderyn loves kissing his brother and holding him, Gabriel is adorable and we can't get enough of him.


His grunts are cute. His coos are cute. His facial expressions are adorable. His poops are even cute.


So my days are a blur and I barely have time to shower, but here are some pictures from the last five days to tide you over.


Yellow ice cream mustache


Waiting to be admitted to the hospital. Obviously not in too much pain. 

Here he is! 




Comfy cozy
First bath
Big feet
Cute dino slippers
Sleepy guy






LOVE*LOVE*LOVE*LOVE*LOVE*LOVE*LOVE*LOVE









Saturday, June 16, 2012

SO THIS HAPPENED...

Mr. Gabriel Craig
Born: June 16
Time: 8:08 a.m. (in room 8- do I sense a trend?)
Weight: 7 lbs 14 oz
Height: 20 1/2 inches
Hey! I was so nice and cozy, what happened?

Bonding with Daddy.

Big Brother picking out his Little Brother's hat.


And, because Father's Day is tomorrow. Here are the Papa's with their newest little man.

Papa Jim

Papa Craig

We are all doing great.
More on the birth later, but for now I have me a baby to snuggle.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

39 WEEKS





How far along? 39 weeks. Everything is big. Big hair. Big belly. Big swollen feet and hands. Sounds so charming, doesn't it?
Maternity clothes? Nothing fits. It's quite sad.
Sleep? I am usually waking up every 2-3 hours these nights. Must be prepping me for baby.
Best moment(s) this week? My parents are here, Jeff is here, my doctor is back. All systems are a GO! The baby dropped on Friday of last week and ooooh boy have I noticed!
Food cravings: Nothing really, I just shove the food in my mouth.
Gender: A big boy! My doctor thinks he weighs about 8 1/2 pounds already. Oh oh ouch!
Belly button in or out? A crater of stretchedness.
Movement? Slower. When he moves my whole stomach moves and people notice the movement.
What I miss? Skinny jeans and feeling in shape.
What I'm looking forward to: Let's get this party started! I'm ready to meet our newest little guy. I'm actually kind of interested to see how working with a midwife pans out versus working with a doctor. I really like my midwife, so I'm anxious to see how we are together.


Anything else?
  • Doctor's appointment yesterday. I am measuring right along at 39 weeks. I am now 3 cm dilated and 90% effaced. After that exam, she told me I can basically have a baby at any second.
  • I think that might have freaked Jeff out just a tiny bit. It became a reality for him, more yesterday than any day before.
  • My blood pressure is back to its awesome self.
  • Everyone comments on the size of my belly these days. Can I just say, you don't become any friendlier with a pregnant lady if you're the one saying, "Holy smokes your belly is SO BIIIIIIIG!" Making sure to emphasize the so and the big.
    • So cute is acceptable
    • So round is just fine
    • I haven't cooked a meal in a week and I've been taking naps every day when I come home from work. THANK YOU MOM I LOVE YOU!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

LETTERS TO CADERYN

Mr. Silly-Pants
Yesterday you scared Mommy and Daddy by opening your car door while we were driving home from dinner.
Both Mommy and Daddy hollered at you to shut that door and Daddy pulled the car over immediately.
You were so upset. Big tears rolled down your cheeks as Mommy got out of her seat to talk to you.
This was the first time I've had to explain to you how much you scared us and how we never want you to get hurt because we love you.
You were just devastated that we'd yelled at you, but Mommy and Daddy stood firm that we yelled because you scared us and opening the car door while we're moving was very dangerous. Mommy and Daddy both emphasized that we love you and would never want anything to happen to you.
After a few minutes you calmed down and were your happy self again.
Later, after you were asleep, Daddy and I talked a little bit about how sad we both were that we'd upset you. But, it always came back to how scared we both were that something could have happened to you.
Just as you are sensitive to being yelled at or told no, Mommy and Daddy are very sensitive to any thought or idea of you ever getting hurt.
We couldn't imagine a life without your goofy smile, your stinky morning breath or your endless energy from morning until night.
As parents, we want to guide you safely through this life and see you flourish into the most handsome, happy and successful man there ever was on the planet.
In that one moment where the car door flew open with you right next to the rushing road, our hearts caught in our throat.


I find that phrase interesting, "heart in your throat."
I find myself with my heart in my throat a lot these days.
On your birthdays.
On special moments that you and I share, like when you tell me "You're my special girl."
On funny moments, like yesterday when you pointed to yourself defiantly and stated, "I AM A MAN!."
On sad moments, like when you trip and bonk your head leaving a nice owie.
On sentimental moments, like when its just the three of us, snuggling and giggling on the couch together.
These days my heart always seems to be stuck in my throat. Beating through each moment, each change, each milestone.
Caught in my throat, beating furiously and making me borderline wanting to burst into tears of sadness, joy and excitement at this little boy we are raising, or making me want to laugh hysterically at the funny little boy you've become or the mother I never thought I would be.


That's what being a parent to you feels like most days little boy. One big mood swing of emotions that I can't firmly grasp as you grow up right before my eyes. Where one second I feel confident you're the safest, most happy boy in the world and in the blink of an eye you are endangered, a car door swinging open on a moving road and my perfect parenting world comes crashing down as I nearly lose my mind at the thought of you being hurt.
Or I watch your fascination as you discover new life in the baby birds we had living in a nest in our yard. Your questions were so well-thought and interesting as you looked at the babies and watched their mommy and daddy bring them food. This fascination turns to anger and sorrow as a bunch of magpies destroyed the nest only days later, leaving a mess of feathers all over our yard. It was hard to explain to you what happened to the babies that weren't peeping in their nest just a day ago. I watched your face scrunch up, trying to understand what Mommy was telling you. I watched the sadness creep into your eyes. It tugged so hard on my heart. 

We are a matter of days, maybe even hours away from meeting the newest member of our family. After yesterdays episode, the thought of providing safety and security for two busy little boys made me a little dizzy. How will I be able to keep them safe? How will I be able to keep them happy? How will I make them turn out to be decent human beings?

Oh Caderyn! I want to give you and your brother the world. I want nothing more than for you to have the best of lives full of happiness, love and laughter. I want you both to appreciate all you have in your lives.
My heart catches in my throat just thinking about the two of you, brothers, my children, my sons.

Let our sad and scary moments be few, but educational and a time of growth. Let our joyful and silly moments be countless and looked back upon in fondness.
Look out for your brother Caderyn as your father and I always promise to look out for the both of you. Be his mentor, his idol and his comfort.
When he is afraid, shelter him. When he is sad, console him. When he is searching, guide him.

And quit opening the dang door!







STILL PREGNANT

Just napping.
A lot.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

RIGHT NOW...

My son is obsessed with Thor and all things Avengers.
Not sure why though, because obviously he is way too young to see the movie.

This morning Caderyn woke up determined to be Thor.
So, he stripped down to his undies, put on his superhero cape and grabbed a wooden hammer.
Then he ran around the house smacking things.
It. Was. Awesome.

Friday, June 8, 2012

9 MONTHS OF BELLY


So much has changed in 9 months.
There are some weeks missing, remember, because I had a scare that put me on bed rest.
But, without further hesitation, here are pictures of the belly, week by week.
Pregnant!
Four weeks 
5 weeks

And then I got put on bed rest until...
12 weeks

14 weeks
16 weeks
17 weeks
18 weeks
19 and 20 weeks
21 weeks
22 weeks
23 weeks
24 weeks
25 weeks
26 weeks
27 weeks
28 weeks
29 weeks
30 weeks
31 weeks
32 weeks
33 weeks
34 weeks
35 weeks (and yes, I'm tired)
36 weeks 
37 weeks
38 weeks