Dec 28, 2009

Three Weeks Post Partum

Huh. Well, it seems the weight is not magically melting off. Which leads me to the following video.


I started working out again on my elliptical a few days ago. It can be tricky finding a time to work out between feedings when Zoey is napping and not fussy. I realized strapping her in the baby bjorn and wearing her during my work out is the way to go. Just today I found that if I position her right she has a little window to look out of. She really seems to like this for the amount of time that she can manage to stay awake. However, the baby bjorn ultimately relaxes her so much that she can't help but take a nice nap.

It seems I have nearly 15 pounds to lose. In a way its kind of exciting because I've never had to work at losing weight before but I've always felt that I could if I needed to, and now I have a point to prove to myself. I can't wait for weather warm enough that I can take jogs and walks with Zoey in the stroller. I also plan to get a lot of use out of the baby bjorn hiking this summer. Last summer I got kinda short changed on my hiking season because during pregnancy I got a side pain that lasted the whole second half of the pregnancy. This summer I'm going to take full advantage of having a capable body again, yay!

Dec 23, 2009

Two Weeks Post Partum

My stomach is making some progress getting smaller. It seems I may still have abdominal muscles. Although I can't feel them yet when I flex. I'm just assuming since something is tightening things back up a little. I'm going to look really foolish making an assumption like that if it turns out not to be true. It's going to be so embarrassing.

Dec 21, 2009

My lil Zoey is two weeks old

These two weeks have really flown by. Not that I have anything to compare to, but it seems like Zoey is a really easy baby. I'm having a much easier time than I thought I would. Most people say having a newborn=sleep deprivation, and I'm not very good with sleep deprivation. That's not how it's been with Zoey at all. Now, it does sometimes take me nearly 12 hours to get my 8 hours of sleep, but I do get it. If I feed her right before I go to sleep I can usually do just two feedings during the time I'm sleeping. It takes around an hour to feed her, change her, and get her back to sleep. Sometimes it takes longer if she doesn't want to go back to sleep. But, just within the last few days its starting to seem like she is getting on a schedule. She has been a lot easier to get back to sleep. It helps that I've learned a few tricks. For example, change her before feeding her. That one helps a lot. Changing her wakes her right up. Also, after she quits eating, I swaddle her and then see if she wants some more of the good stuff before she falls asleep. She always does. And then she'll often drift off while eating. These tricks have really helped. Soon she should be old enough and have enough weight on her that I can try dropping one of her night time feedings. I have to wake her up to eat almost every time anyway, so I think she would be fine with eating less often at night. However, I've been told I shouldn't let her go more than 4 hrs yet from the start of one feeding to the start of the next. I'm really not sure when that rule ends... this is something I need to look up. My mom says by the time my brothers and I were a month old we slept 8 hrs at night. That sounds preeetty awesome.

I feel lucky about it a lack of baby blues. It seems like baby blues might largely be because of severe sleep deprivation, so perhaps my lack of sleep deprivation is why I haven't had them. Sometimes it is hard when Zoey gets really fussy and cries for long periods of time after being fed and changed. From the times she has done that I have seen a glimpse of how these baby blues come about. It sucks to not be able to figure out what your baby wants and have to just listen to her scream.

Tim is such a good daddy. He is always willing to help with diapers or with getting Zoey back to sleep if I'm getting stressed out. He has this adorable voice that he uses with her that really seems to work to calm her down. It's hilarious and so sweet. He loves to hold her and play with her when she is awake. I love watching him be a dad.

He's even teaching her to play the guitar already. She doesn't seem too interested yet...

Being a new parent is a little overwhelming in ways. All of the responsibility lies on Tim and I to make sure this little girl gets everything she needs to be happy and successful in life. It's impossible not to be intimidated by that, even though I know all we can do is our best.

I still spend a lot of time staring at her. She's just so sweet and beautiful. I know there's a chance I could be biased. But I figure it's not likely. I've never gotten all that into holding newborns before, they all just seem kind of the same. But with Zoey it's totally different. I see so much expression and personality in her already. It's been the most amazing two weeks of my life.

Dec 20, 2009

You'll be shocked to hear that Mastitis is not a picnic

Thursday I had the heat cranked up to 72 and I was wearing a jacket and a vest around the house wondering why in the world it was still so chilly. Friday in the wee morning hours I woke up drenched in sweat and thought that was pretty strange. I had a thermometer laying next to my bed since I'd been obsessively taking Zoey's temperature to make sure she wasn't sick and I popped it in just out of curiosity. I had around 100 degrees of fever. I took some Tylenol and by the time I got up for the day, or would have anyway, my temperature was up to 101.5. I figured I must have the flu and took some more Tylenol. By Friday around 4 my temperature was 103 and I was absolutely freezing even with two huge blankets on snuggling with Tim. I called my dad, since he's a doctor. He said the flu, which I thought I had up until that point, should have responded to the Tylenol and I needed to go to the ER and get checked for various postpartum infections. I was pretty worried at that point because when my temperature went up 3 degrees after Tylenol I was really wondering exactly when my brain was going to start frying from fever. My parents decided to make the 2.5 hr drive over because they were worried too. We didn't want to take Zoey to the ER so we called Tim's parents who live about 45 minutes away to see if they could come watch her. Fortunately, they happened to be in the area and were able to make it to our house in about 10 minutes, before we were even ready to go.

The waiting room wasn't that crowded and I got seen within a couple of hours, which in my experience isn't all that bad of a wait for an ER. My resting pulse was up to 127 so they hooked me up to an IV and pumped some fluids into me. When I changed into the hospital gown I noticed a big red area on one of my boobs that I hadn't noticed at home. They were going to have to catheterize me, which I was terrified of. But, the doctor came in and when I showed him the red area he was like, "Wow! There we go. You don't need any more testing. This is pretty much as obvious as Mastitis gets." I was so relieved I wouldn't have to be catheterized. I really have a phobia of that, and now I can go a little longer without having to experience it. They pumped some antibiotics into my IV and I made it home in enough time that we didn't have to resort to formula for Zoey. My temperature had already dropped to 99.5 by then and it was almost totally gone by Saturday. I've still got to finish up my course of antibiotics and then cross my fingers that I don't get Mastitis repeatedly. The good thing about it is that I can kiss Zoey all I want and not have to worry about getting her sick. Mmmmwwwwaaahhhh!

Big thank yous to all parents for being there to help us out during this exciting Friday night!

Dec 14, 2009

One Week Post Partum

Eeek! Turns out I don't fit into any of my pre pregnancy pants. I'm feeling plenty good enough to hop back on the elliptical, but I've been told I'm supposed to wait a few weeks for that. I seriously doubt I'll be able to hold out that long. I do think with all of the breast feeding, carrying Zoey around, and forgetting to eat, the weight loss shouldn't be too tough. I'm gonna keep taking weekly pictures so I can see some evidence that something is happening.

Remember when I was all excited my boobs grew when I was pregnant? Well, now it isn't as exciting. They're too big now. They make me really think anyone who gets a boob job is insane. Immobile boobs just aren't practical. They're supposed to squish, its so much more comfortable.

It's awesome how good I feel to be as much lighter as I am already. Getting huge was a gradual thing, so even though I knew I was uncomfortable I adjusted slowly. Getting small (er) was immediate, so I've been able to really feel how huge the difference is. My back pain is totally gone, side pain close to gone, and it is heaven to be rid of those darn T-Rex arms. I can go for so much longer without having to pee. I can sleep for much longer stretches of time, even with frequent baby feedings. It feels so good!!

Dec 12, 2009

A Natural Birth Story

This is kind of graphic so if you're not excited to read about birth canals and placentas you may want to do the old skiparoo over the birth posts.

I woke up at 7:00 AM December 6th to a gush in my underpants. I thought I better investigate. During the 10 steps to the bathroom the gush continued and when I sat down on the toilet I announced to Tim that I was not peeing just to clear up any confusion because it sounded just like I was. Equipped with a large pad I waited for some contractions. Nothing. We took the dogs for a walk and I started getting what I called some mild discomfort every 5-10 minutes. We finished packing our stuff and headed out to the hospital at around 10. I'd imagined laboring at home for a lot longer before going to the hospital, but I knew that after the water breaking you're on a 24 hour time limit because the baby is vulnerable to infection with no barrier. I really wanted to avoid pitocin, but if I ended up not going into labor on my own and was forced to use it, I wanted time to start off slowly. Apparently a lot of women pee their pants and think their water broke so I knew they wouldn't believe me. Even though my bladder would never in a million years hold that much fluid. Once the nurse checked to see how dilated I was and the fluid gushed all over the place she believed me. I was dilated to a 4 and 90% effaced at that first check at 11:00. I was having contractions but they were inconsistent and still only mildly uncomfortable.

Tim and I started walking around the hospital and I found that the contractions came a lot more frequently and were stronger when I was walking. Every time I stopped walking, they would slow way down. At 2:00 I got checked again and was dilated to a 5. This was enough progress that it looked like I wasn't going to need pitocin. I was so relieved. Still the contractions didn't come as often if I wasn't walking, so we kept at it. About 4:00 we went down to get Tim and my parents some food at the Subway in the hospital and while my mom was standing in line I decided that I was actually feeling a little more than mild discomfort and wanted to go back to the room. After that I switched positions pretty often, trying to find one that didn't hurt as much. My parents were massaging my back and I was leaning on Tim during the contractions. The breaks inbetween the contractions were bliss. Around 8 I was checked again and had dilated to an 8. I was in a lot of pain by then so when my midwife checked me she had my parents and Tim's parents head to the waiting room. I had started to have back pain during the last half of each contraction which possibly hurt worse than the regular contractions. I was really writhing around because it felt better to be in one position during the first part of the contraction and then another position for the back pain.

I think I said, "I don't know" more than I ever have in my life that night. Every time my midwife asked if I wanted to get into a different position I didn't know. Did I want my back massaged, I didn't know. Was I feeling ready to push, I of course didn't know. I never really felt an overwhelming urge to push like a lot of women do, but around 9 I started pushing because my midwife said I was fully dilated and ready to go. I had started out adamantly against giving birth on my back, but when it came down to finding a position that was the one that hurt the least. The bed was tilted up so at least I wasn't flat on my back. Pushing was better than the couple of hours leading up to it because at least I knew this was finally happening, I wasn't going to be in pain forever and I felt like I had this thing in the bag. Before I started pushing I was in so much pain without an end in sight and I was really wondering if I was going to be able to get through it.

After I started pushing I pretty much just followed orders. My midwife was really good at telling me how to push, directing me, and encouraging me. I couldn't imagine successfully having a natural birth with a doctor and having to go through most of the pushing with a nurse only. My midwife was so awesome, I feel like I owe having the birth I wanted to her. Tim was a huge help too. He was the perfect husband the whole time. He just knows me so well he was able to read my mind and know what I wanted without me having to talk during the contractions. It was really an amazing experience as far as our relationship goes, going through labor and birth together is quite the bonding experience.

Pushing was hard work. I was exhausted between contractions and after pushing with each contraction I would wonder how I was gonna muster up the energy to get through the next push. But, each time a contraction started and it was time to push again I felt motivated. I was really giving it my all and I was surprised that time actually went by fairly quickly. There was a big mirror on the ceiling above me so I could see when the head started to show itself. It was so frustrating when after each push it would go back up a little bit. I was feeling a little like it might never actually make its way out, but my midwife assured me that I was making good progress. She also assured me that my ending up with a vagass, a great fear of mine, was not going to happen. Finally Zoey's head was almost all the way out. I had no idea how long it was going to take to actually finish pushing her out so I was surprised when her head finally made its exit. After her head was out she was on my chest within seconds. The pain was immediately back to a manageable level, it was like the greatest high imaginable to not hurt anymore and Zoey was so perfect right after birth. She was pink right away and after a short little cry she was her happy self and she was holding onto my finger. Tim and I were both blown away by her instantly. I didn't know what to expect because I've heard a lot of women don't feel bonded right off the bat, but I was totally in love with her from the first second I met her.

I ended up pushing at the same time as the woman in the room next to me, and man was she loud. My mom and Tim's mom sneaked down the hall at that point and they thought it was me screaming at the top of my lungs at first. I was proud to know that when they actually reached my door and put their sneaky little ears up to it to hear what was going on they had no idea I was even pushing because they couldn't hear me. I thought I was making a lot of noise, but I've been told by all in the room (only my midwife, nurse, and Tim) that I wasn't. They didn't know she had been born until my midwife opened the door and they both fell into the room. I was shocked and so excited to find out that I barely tore at all. My only tear was up a bit into my, uh... birth canal. It needed 2 stitches. My midwife asked if I wanted some local anesthetic and at first I said hell yes, but she convinced me to try one stitch without to see how it felt. I couldn't feel it at all. I guess in comparison to birth the tissues were just like, "What? You think I can even feel this? Riiiight." I can't even feel where the stitches and the tear are. Actually, my butt hurts more than anything. It feels kind of like my tailbone is bruised, and probably it is.

While I was absorbed in Zoey I had to get rid of the placenta still. That thing was huge. Tim, Mr. gets squeamish over blood, was surprisingly into checking out the placenta. It was pretty hilarious. Our midwife showed him the various components and he was really interested. Then they had to do the pushing on my stomach thing to make sure I wasn't going to start hemorrhaging all over the place. That was pretty uncomfortable but it didn't last too long.

Overall, the experience was perfect. From my water breaking to birth was about 15 hours, but I was hardly in pain at all up until the last 6 hours. Then instantly after birth the pain was down to just a mild discomfort. I was starving and scarfed down a big sandwich within an hour of birth. I really felt great. Knowing that birth after the first birth usually goes a lot more quickly and easily I know already that I will want to go natural again. I really feel lucky for how it all worked out.

Dec 10, 2009

Zoey has arrived!

Zoey was born on the 6th. She weighed in at 6 pounds 3 ounces and is a healthy sweet little girl. I did follow through with my plan to have a natural birth and it was everything I hoped it would be. I'm going to write up a separate blog about the birth itself. I haven't even been sleep deprived except for the first couple of nights, but that was the hospital's fault not Zoey's. I'm crossing my fingers that she remains as easy of a baby as she has been so far. I'll have to write more later, she is easy but she's keeping me busy. =)

Dec 2, 2009

Christmas Spirit

Even though I'm not religious I still like to get into the Christmas spirit. I like having traditions, and I'm excited to make more of them as our family grows. This year we changed the tradition a little, and got an artificial tree. Normally we go to my parents house the day after Thanksgiving and we go together to cut down a tree for each family. I'm a little sad to give up that tradition, but Tim really wanted to quit cutting down innocent little trees just to throw them away a month later. He really is a softie. Just the other day he refused to allow me to let Sadie eat up a spider she had her eye on. Anyway, we scored a tree off of KSL for a pretty good price and I'm happy with it. It's got lights permanently wrapped around it already so it's kinda nice not to have to do that part of decorating. It's got pine cones too, which I think are cute. We listened to Christmas music last night and decorated the tree, now it looks perty. We did have a small debate over whether the silvery transparent ribbon looks like the tree was toilet papered or weather it looks pretty. No consensus has been reached. And I hung stockings, three of them this year.

I have to include this gem. I thought I was posing for a picture. I can't stop laughing at this video because I look so awkward. It's great.

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