Friday, October 31, 2014

Moose: 18 months ... Tantrums Deluxe

How Big?:  We see the doctor next week for an official weigh in. I am certain that he is 30ish pounds, and I think at the doctor he might have to stand up for height! (So exciting) On Grandma'z scale the other day, he weighed 32 pounds.
Clothing Size?: Size 5 diapers, 3T pjs, 3T shirts, 2T pants (he really doesn't need more in this size...) I'm debating about coat size because idk how much bigger he is doing to get. As it's getting cold, I am realizing he still has tank tops, but not as many long sleeves. And weird clothing prob... 2T is too short torso wise, but 3T are a bit big in the sleeves. Hmmm... Idk which is better!
What/When is he eating?: Still my finicky eater - there are days when he eats and eats. Other days, he barely eats a thing! His favorites right now are pasta, guamole, & goldfish.
Movement?: He can walk upstairs like a big boy! And he is working on going down the stairs solo. He runs almost everywhere he goes and climbs just about anything he can. He is fast and a bit wreckless... A very dangerous combination.
Milestones?: Yes... Milestones at every turn! He recognizes airplanes, big trucks, and all different types of animals. He is increasingly more linguistic, and he is learning to navigate the rules of the world. We went to the Pumpkin Patch for the first time! Biggest Milestone of ever... MOOSE IS A BIG BROTHER! I'm sure you already know this from other posts, but it's the first time I can officially say it on Moose's post. 
Hardest Moment(s) of the Month: Moose and his major meltdowns have been a challenge to say the least. The word NO is being said more frequently around the Riley household these days. I absolutey hate the face he makes when he gets in trouble, but somehow he has to learn, "rocks are outside toys." The most difficult part (as per usual) isn't the fits themselves, but rather, the not knowing as an adult what he does and doesn't understand. He's only 1.5 years old, and I really can't tell sometimes what is too much. He knows so many things: shut the door, give this to the dogs, lay down, give me your feet, sit down... And he says so much: bite, more, help, airplane, doggies, no,... But here's my deal does he always actually understand when I say, "don't give that to the doggies." This whole learning to communicate business is hands down the toughest part. 
Best Moment(s) of the Month: We are beyond blessed that Moose liked his brother right away! The night he met Bo he was all smiles. He loves to kiss him and pay his head. There is nothing more incredible than watching your two children build a bond. 
Looking Forward to: I am so looking forward to this life with both my boys! I cannot wait to see Moose in action as big brother. I know sometimes that will mean more trouble than help but that's ok... Boys will be boys! :) 

Bo: 3 Weeks & 4 Weeks

How Big?: Growing Boy! He is definitely over 10 pounds! We will measure again at his one month appointment in November. 
Clothing Size?: 0-3 months is already snug in some outfits! We are not using disposable diapers at this point because of Mr. Sensitive Skin. We are using 100% cloth at this point. It's a learning curve, but it has been very rewarding. I am using prefolds and covers most of the time, but my aunt picked up a few pocket diapers (BumGenius 4.0) for us. They have been AMAZING for going out. They are a little bit easier to manage on the go. I will try to write a total cloth diaper update soon! 
What/When is he eating?: We haven't established much of a routine, yet, so he is a bit unpredictable. He still cluster feeds fairly often and without warning. Bottom line: kid eats A LOT
Sleep?: At 3 weeks, Bo isn't a super fan of sleep. We aren't doing anything that even remotely comes close to sleeping through the night. We wake up multiple times and sometimes we are awake for a while trying to get back to sleep. 
At 4 weeks, I broke down and gave him some mylicon and a warm bath the other night. He had the best night of sleep we have had yet. (4 hours straight!) It still hang been consistent... Oh there's time to sleep later, right? 
Movement?: He seems wiggly to me. He lifts his head often and even controls it for a couple of minutes. He scoots around by shifting his legs during tummy time... Crazy how fast they grow.
Milestones?: First time going to the park. First time to the mall. First Pumpkin Patch & First Holiday... Happy Halloween!
Hardest Moment(s) of the Week: At 3 weeks, everything seemed quiet after the plumbing debacle.
 I think the hardest parts for us right now are at night. There are times that Bo gets super fussy, and I can't always figure out what he needs on the first guess. He's also super hard to burp... Which makes things tough! At 4 weeks, those fussy spells are seeming more and more often, and he is spitting/throwing up a bit too often. I am struggling with what ails baby Bo's tummy. We are first searching for a possible food allergy. I am doing an elimination diet to help and see if it is a food I'm eating that bothers him. That means I get to eat these things and these things only: Turkey, Rice, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Pears, and Squash. That's been interesting for sure. I started Wednesday night and have to go through the weekend into next week on this very strict version.  I can start adding in foods again, if we determine that he is feeling better with the diet. It's a sacrifice, but I know that this is what's best for little man. He sees the doc on Monday, so we can hopefully get some more answers. (I am praying it's just a little reflux that he will grow out of ASAP!)
Best Moment(s) of the Week: I am just loving all the baby snuggles. There are times when the lack of sleep and the constant feeding can feel overwhelming, but mostly I am loving and soaking up as much Bo time as I can before I have to get back to work.  The other thing I ADORE is watching the boys together. Moose is an awesome big brother! 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Postpartum: Confessions of a Breastfeeding Mom

As I begin this post, it's 2 o'clock in the morning, and yes, you guessed it I'm nursing a baby! Baby, aka tiny hunger monster.  My little monster eats every hour to two hours. The rare three hours between feedings (and you know I mean from the start of one feeding to the start of another), well that rare three hours is like the freaking golden snitch of breastfeeding. Cluster feedings can strike at any moment. Why am I making breastfeeding sound like either a wizards game for fun or a war zone? Because those are probably better metaphors than anything motherly.

Breastfeeding is both magical and challenging all at the same time. 

Confession #1: I love that I am able to breastfeed. 

There are so many women in this world who can't (or won't) breastfeed their children. The evidence supporting it is overwhelming, and yet, some women still can't find it in themselves to make the sacrifice. I genuinely believe that it is a blessing that I am able to feed my son in this way. 

Confession #2: Breastfeeding is more convienent than bottle feeding (for me).

When you start bottle feeding, there are dishes and expenses (if you are using formula)! In public, you have to cart bottles and coolers. If it's breastmilk, you have to worry about heating, spoiling, saving the milk... If it's formula, you have to prepare the bottle. Breastfeeding requires no setup, no prep, nothing is spoiling. All I have to do is pop kid on. Now, that ain't always easy lol, but I'll take awkwardly figuring out my bra and a latch over dishes and the wrrrr of my breast pump anyday! 

Confession #3: I really do love hogging the baby. 

No one else can give him what I can. With my first son that felt really overwhelming. I was the only person who could feed him, and I felt like I never got a break. With baby number two, I realize how fast the time goes. They don't stay little snuggle machines for long, and I can't help that I adore being able to have required time with him. Of course at some point, I will have to pump. I will have to leave him for a few hours, but for now, I'm hogging this kid while I can. 

Confession #4: I am way more tired than I let on. 

My darling husband is working and doing extra to care for our toddler of 18 months. I feel terrible getting him to take baby in the night. Nights are really hard on me, and I'm really not sleeping much. Daytime naps are out of the question when I have both kids around, and sweet baby doesn't like to settle down and sleep until the afternoon - when Moose comes home. So if you see me out, it's because putting the baby in the car seat is sometimes the only feeding break I will get, and better to be out than trapped at home with an unsatisfiable monster. Also, I might be delirious- that's totally normal, right? 

Confession #5: I am terrified that he will prefer a bottle to me.

The first time around I was completely relieved when my son took a bottle. It was a break. It meant I could focus on me and let someone else care for our son. Breastfeeding hurt, and it was a welcome break from constant pain. This time is completely different! Baby boy is nearly a month old, and I am beyond terrified that I will end up an exclusive pumper again. I don't want to live with a pump permanently attached to me, and I don't want my snuggle bunny to choose a bottle instead of one on one bonding time with momma. I have to let this one go pretty quickly because I have to go back to work at some point and because I have to leave him somehow. Ahhh- say a prayer for us! 

There ya have it! Random late night confessions of a nursing momma. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Bo: 2 Weeks Hungry Man

How Big?: 9 lbs 10 ounces & 21.75 inches long... WOAH!!! Kid is 90th percentile already. 

Clothing Size?: We are totally done with newborn... We are in 0-3, but it looks like we will only briefly be there as many of those items seem small already on him. Bo has very sensitive skin, and he has a yeast infection. The doctor says this is likely because he eats so often and soils diapers so quickly. We are using cloth diapers to help him feel comfortable. I thought they would be super gross, but honestly, I love using them!!! I think I am going to try to keep at it. (More info on my cloth diapering so far below...) 
What/When is he eating?: Yes, yes, yes... Our breastfeeding relationship is going really well!!!! It's truly a blessing. He is a hungry little critter. We are up feeding just about every hour at night with some two our stretches. He loves to eat. We are getting better at nursing in public too! 

Sleep?: Bo isn't a night sleeper. We are up hourly or every two throughout the night. Sam has been so helpful to grab Bo and rock him (to hold him off a few minutes on a feeding) to let me get a straight hour and half of sleep early in the evening. 
Movement?: I am still shocked at how strong this boy is!!! He is attempting to lift his head. It's so exciting to wonder when he will move around, but it's nice to know he can't yet, too!!!
Milestones?: First walk (to the end of the street). First family outing... Just a low key excursion to the local food truck night! It was perfect!!! 
Hardest Moment(s) of the Week: Our plumbing ordeal felt never ending... And it was by far the hardest thing we've had to deal with in the last two weeks.

Last I left you, there was a gas leak and the fire department in my front yard. 

The gas line that we hit was a double pressurized line. This means natural gas was quickly spewing into the air and the neighborhood was without gas. We have zero gas in the house, so that much at least remained unaffected, 

The gas company arrived to fix the leak fairly quickly, but the actual repair took the rest of the day... In my mind, they would come, do some sort of shut off, repair the hole, and Tada fixed. This is why I am not in charge. In fact, the gas company had to bring out the backhoe (yes a backhoe) and dig two more giant holes in the yard, pinch the line off on either side of the break, repair the hole, unpinch each side, fill the holes, and THEN Tada, lol! They were here for hours working until it had grown dark. 

Before you get too curious (and yes, I did tell you this last post) we DID call to have the lines marked before we proceeded to dig the yard apart with a mini excavator, but the gas company hadn't yet marked. (We missed that because we don't have gas.) And so, Sam and I began to fear the liability and cost of busting the line. 

They continued to dig and dig to search for the busted sewer line which had still yet to be found. FINALLY after hours of digging the mysterious sewer pipe was found... Under the sidewalk! The pipe they found wasn't the busted part, but it was a green, 6 inch pipe. This means city pipe, so it was decided that the city needed to come out again. 

My first morning alone with Sam back at work, and my first job was to wait for the city. They started to dig, but quickly realized how challenging the one-man-under-the-sidewalk-hole was to dig in, and they decided to go get the camera to find the break. When they did return, they found the break on the camera... On OUR side of the pipe. We were still not done with this epic tale.

Monday afternoon, despite family visiting, Sam was out in the hole digging, trying to discover the break. After another two hours of digging, he came in the house jubilant!!! "Break found." Turns out our 4 to 6 inch reducer that connects our pipe to the city line was infested with roots.

Now, Sam had to dig far enough around that the plumber could access the pipe and fix it. Such a good daddy, he came in for bedtime/bath time and then went back to shovel for an unknown amount of time.

Thank The Lord for good neighbors. One lent Sam a set of standing work lights, and the other sat on the pile of dirt keeping Sam company while he dug.

Good news: pipe found, dig out, and plumber scheduled for the next day

Bad news: In his efforts to get the pipe exposed, the reducer had fallen and the plumbing was no longer even moderately usable. 

Plumber scheduled for after lunch... But he ran late at another job and has to push us to Wednesday. By now, I'm crying. I'm smelly and can't shower. There are no clean bottles, dishes and laundry piling up everywhere. 

If you're keeping track, it's been nearly a week since this all started. We were stressed, exhausted, overwhelmed... But more than anything we were blessed. The plumber came on Wednesday and fixed the pipe. End in sight!!! 

A family friend works for the gas company and helped us make sure there would be no cost for us. 

Sam and my stepdad had to concrete the pipe, and now, it must cure until Monday. On Monday, Sam will be able to begin to put the dirt back in. Can you believe that it's taken all of this with a newborn? Sheesh.

I will be really happy when there is no hole in the yard... Although, we may never have grass. 

Best Moment(s) of the Week: Our family outing to the park for food truck night on Thursday was just what we needed!!! It was low key and perfect. Moose could run around. I got to practice nursing in public. We had yummy food truck pizza. It was the break from the chaos of our house that we needed. 

Adventures in Cloth Diapering 
The Bo man has a really bad yeast infection... And super sensitive skin. He was uncomfortable almost every time I sat him down, so my mom suggested using cloth diapers. Lots of folks use cloth in this day in age, but there are about a million systems. Very few people use old school diaper pins...

This type of cloth diapering is called prefold. I am actually really enjoying cloth diapering because I feel like I'm taking care of his fanny the way he needs.

I stuck with it most of last week and have gone mostly cloth exclusive (as much as I can with the number of diapers that I have) this week. I have to make the decision of whether or not I am going to stick with it because if I am cloth diapering we need a few more things to make this last long term.

Who knew you needed so much diaper swag? To keep up cloth diapering these are the things I think I will need. 

- more prefold diapers (I want to try the organic cotton prefolds from cloth-eez.) 
- more diaper covers (I bought two brands to try and think I like the Rumparooz cloth diaper covers because they're one size.) 
- a diaper sprayer 
- diaper pail liner (thirsties brand looks like a good option) Do I need one of these?

What advice do other Mommas have for me on this? (Especially those old school cloth diapering in the 70s and 80s moms! Tell me how you made it work long term and on the go!) 

The little covers are my favorite because they are so cute!! These are the two I got him to try out.

I am really thinking that we are going to stick with this once I develop a better washing routine. :) Wish us luck!!! And please weigh in if you've cloth diapered.  

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Postpartum: Breastfeeding tips from a Second Time Mom

Breastfeeding Tips from a Second Time Mom
Do you remember my last reality check with breastfeeding? If not here's a little recap... "Stress. Tears. Frustration. Pain. Exhaustion." Read the rest: Reality: Breastfeeding is Hard

It's a little less over a year from that post, and I have a completely different outlook on the whole commitment to breastfeed. The first time around I was too overwhelmed with my own insecurities, my weight loss, my postpartum healing, and a small case of postpartum blues. This year, with this baby, I am a whole different woman! There are a few things that I wish I could go back and tell my first time mom self...

I've broken it down to 5 tips aka 5 things I've already learned the second time around. This could be your experience, or yours could be totally different. Take it or leave it folks... Just trying to help the next person out!  By no means are these "the answers", but maybe, just maybe they can help!!

5 Breastfeeding Tips: from a second time mom

1. Shield NOT necessary: a nipple shield is not something (IMO) you should be trying in the hospital.  When I was at the hospital with my first, the lactation consultant very quickly recommended a nipple shield (instead of encouraging me to keep at it or showing me any other positions). In my desperate, hazy, exhausted mind, we needed this thing. Reality, though, was it inhibited my ability to nurse my son. I couldn't just put him to the breast; I had to "set-up". The process meant sticking the shield in place with lanolin, turning it round and round in the dark to make it face the right way, trying to get baby to latch without pulling the shield off, and switching sides?? Forget about it!  The flimsy piece of silicone protected my nipples a bit, but they still hurt. The still cracked, blistered, and bled because ultimately I didn't need a nipple shield what I needed are the next two things on the list: patience and positioning. 

2. Patience is a Virtue: With Moose (my first), I had this idea that breastfeeding was natural, and therefore, it would be easy. I knew going in there would be struggles, but I couldn't grasp the magnitude of what I was about to embark into. Now with my second, I realize it's not about some natural, magic knowledge it's about figuring out what works for you and baby. 

There's zero reason to become frustrated when the baby is rooting around, but with the first son that little floppy bird mouth was awful. I felt like I was going to hurt him, and I once he latched (even if it was painful and a bad latch) I wouldn't take the time to pull him off and try again. 

Breastfeeding requires mass quantities of patience. It's something you have to find deep within yourself. A calm place to draw upon when you sit down to nurse can be the difference. 

With baby #2, I have kept a scripture journal. It's not something I can work on while nursing, but it has kept my faith and encouraging verses at the top of my heart and head. Struggling to breastfeeding read the book of James... 

James 1:2-4
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything

Breastfeeding requires that you are patient with yourself, baby, and the world around you. It's not easy, but it doesn't have to be overwhelmingly awful either. Persevere through the first month and reevaluate how it's going. 

3. Position, position, position: this is a game changer. The MOST important part if successful beastfeeding is a good latch which you absolutely cannot have without a good position. All the books, experts, blogs, and so on tell you have to have a good latch, but I find that many of them don't explain how! 

Signs of a bad latch: pain that lasts after the initial 5 seconds of latching, mishapen nipple when the baby pulls off, blistering, cracking, and neck or shoulder pain. There are others I'm certain, but these are the for sures.

My question was always, "how do I get a good latch, when everything I try results in a bad latch?" I just couldn't get it right the first time, but in the hospital with baby #2 I received exactly one visit from a lactation consultant (well under the multiple visits I had with baby #1).  I was already having the same blister struggles on my right side, and she showed me one little bitty thing that has 100% saved my nursing relationship. 

I always focused on supporting baby's head with the hand or arm of the same side I was nursing on. This didn't always mean a closely snuggled baby. The lactation consultant told me I needed to focus more on the baby's shoulders. Shoulders? Why shoulders... Because you want everything to be in line!! Baby's belly should face in at you and never be belly up to the air (in cradle or cross cradle). If the baby is not snuggled in against you, than he/she is pulling away from you - a la pulling your nipple with him/her. 

Using the opposite side hand to support the back of babies head has made a HUGE difference for us. I don't feel like I'm aiming myself at him, but instead I am aiming him to me. I, also, was taught the football hold. I never mastered any different holds the first time, but with the blisters I had the best thing in the world was switching him up until we both figured out a good latch!

If you are struggling with breastfeeding, try a different hold. Don't be afraid to hold the back of the baby's head/neck, and watch the shoulders! 

4. Nursing Pillows: The first time I breastfed I had my trusty boppy pillow. I love my boppy, so don't get me wrong when I say this - The boppy is not the best nursing pillow for the struggling breastfeeder.  The boppy is for a mom and baby who have it down. It provides a little support, but it can also be a pain in the beginning.

I strongly suggest getting a "My Brest Friend" pillow. Yes, it has the worst name on the face of the planet, but it is AMAZING when you need the extra support.  It has a thick foam to support baby. It can help with learning new feeding positions, and it has helped me amazingly for nighttime feeds. When you are a zombie and desperately trying to get a newborn back to sleep, that is one of the hardest times to latch correctly. It's dark (or should be mostly dark... don't confuse the baby about day and night), and you're exhausted. It is those moments that you get lazy or miss something and blister or crack because of a bad latch. Nothing will scare you off nursing more than pain when nursing. This pillow has been a godsend in baby #2 and I's nursing relationship.

5. Nuring Tops: Don't let anyone (yourself included) try to convince you that you should wear anything, but a nursing top for however long you are comfortable with! I LOVE my nursing camis (from Target). They have a built in shelf bra that isn't too tight or too loose. It's not super duper supportive, so I don't advise jogging -haha, but I cannot live without these tops. I have three that are in constant rotation.  I wear them under other clothes, if I have to go in public because when I nurse my belly and back are covered. Momma has to be comfortable nursing in order to stay with it.

When I was pregnant, I made myself a poncho style nursing cover. I feel like this will support my ability to nurse the baby longer term.

My Goals This Time Around
I am hopeful that this baby and I can continue to nurse, so that I don't have to become an exclusive pumper this time. I will do that, if he decides he prefers a bottle because at the point I have to go back to work there is nothing I can do.  However, I would really like to stay with nursing as the primary way of feeding him when I am there with him. 

We hope to make it a full year on breastmilk with this baby... which is 4 months longer than I did the first time. 

I hope to not even pull out the pump in the month of October, and really, I hope that I can make it most of November, too. (Maybe we will do one or two bottles in November, so that I can leave and have a meal or something.) I hope to only pump three times at school, when I go back to teaching. If we can keep it up though the spring, I wouldn't mind switching to exclusively pumping in the summer next year. Once he gets a schedule going, I will also probably add an extra pumping time, so that I can stockpile some milk for him! 

These are our hopes this time around... We will see what actually happens. More than anything, I want a happy, healthy baby and to be happy and healthy myself. Prayers are always accepted for these two things! Breastfeeding isn't always easy, but I love taking care of my son. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Postpartum: Day 13 from baby number 2

The time has come... I'm officially postpartum posting again! This is my most vulnerable type of blog post. It exposes some of my insecurities and forces me to be open and honest. The truth of the matter is I don't have to write these posts, but I do because I feel like 1. They help others 2. They keep me very real. 3. It's amazing to watch the journey.

Let's checkin...
Last day pregnant: 39 weeks 
Weight: 169 at the hospital 
Wedding Ring: off 
Total to Lose to get to Pre-Pregnancy Weight (124): 55 pounds 

First day home from hospital 
Postpartum: Day 2 
Weight: 157
Loss: 12 pounds
Wedding Ring: off 
Total to Lose to get to Pre-Pregnancy Weight (124): 33 pounds 

Postpartum: Day 5
Weight: 151
Loss: 18 pounds
Wedding Ring: off 
Total to Lose to get to Pre-Pregnancy Weight (124): 27 pounds 

Postpartum: Day 9
Weight: 145.5
Loss: 23.5 pounds
Wedding Ring: ON
Total to Lose to get to Pre-Pregnancy Weight (124): 21.5 pounds 

Postpartum: Day 13
Weight: 144
Loss: 25 pounds
Wedding Ring: ON
Total to Lose to get to Pre-Pregnancy Weight (124): 20 pounds 

I don't know if you can tell, but I already can tell a ton! I am down 25 pounds in less than two weeks. I feel so much better about myself than I did the first time I was postpartum. I know that the rest will continue to slowly fall away, but knowing that I have just 20 pounds to go is incredible. I hope to start walking a bit more (we walked to the end of the street today), and if all goes well, I would like to be running at 6 weeks postpartum. I can't quite fit into my clothes, yet, BUT hey I'm only 2 weeks postpartum!!! (Ahem, perspective is such a magical thing!)

I haven't done anything to start the weight loss journey... because that wouldn't be healthy at this point. I am drinking my usual ton of water, and just trying to keep up with feeding the bottomless pit that is my cluster feeding newborn. 

This whole postpartum recovery thing is SO much easier this time! Thanks for all the prayers :) 

Other Postpartum Posts: 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Bo: 1 Week.. Why am I covered in poo?

It's almost 1AM, and the question of the day already is, why am I covered in poop? I'm pretty sure that's how babies say, "good morning, momma, I love you as far as I can poop." I am loved. Very loved. 

Is this what mom life looks like? Should I have taken a middle of the night selfie and hashtagged it #momprobs? No, of course not... Who wants to see that hot mess? No one. That's who. 

Here's the best part of it all: I don't actually mind. 

Kids are amazing little creatures, and somehow that gives them a free pass (at least initially). So yes, the day has only just begun and I've already been peed, pooped, and thrown up on, but I honestly the only reason I mind at all is because I have to wash more clothes and our plumbing is messed up.. 

Which leads me to our next awesome tale from Riley-land: The Rileys never ending home repairs. If you read our birth story, you already know that last week the upstairs AC went out. It's been a crazy, crazy week.... 

How Big?: 8 lbs 5 oz & 19.5 in at the doctors on Monday
Clothing Size?: newborn and on our way into 0-3
What/When is he eating?:  We are breastfeeding round the clock. He is a very, very hungry boy! It is a long stretch, if he makes it two hours between feeds. About once a day, he will take a three hour nap... Of course we haven't gotten that pushed into bedtime, yet! A lot of the times I feed him once an hour. This could be extremely overwhelming, but there are some really good things working for us. 1: he is a pretty good eater. He eats quickly and doesn't mess around most of the time. 2: Bo and I are about a million times better at this together. Experience makes a huge difference. 
Sleep?: Bo is not sleeping through the night. He is barely even sleeping for three hour stretches. He always acts like he's starving, so I'm not sure when he will sleep a bit more. The nights aren't frantic or anything. We just feed a lot! Some nights it's every hour, but we are working towards mostly every two. I'll get some sleep later! 
Movement?: This baby is a wiggle butt. I'm shocked at how strong he is. He is already attempting to pick his head up, which he likes to slam down on me.
Milestones?: All milestones all week long! First car ride. First bath. First breath of fresh air. First poopacalypse.
Hardest Moment(s) of the Week: The hardest thing this week actually has very little to do with baby Bo. The day before Bo was born our AC went out, which you know about if you read Bo's birth story. This week something has gone wrong with our plumbing.... When it rains, right? 

The overflow clean outs in the yard were flooded day before, so poor Sam has been dealing with that chaos (on top of taking care of a 17 month old, a newborn, a postpartum wife, visitors...) We had them come snake it, and they told us it was a break. I thought I might cry. I emailed our wonderful church group and asked for prayers. Prayers came quickly! The city came and looked and told is it was too clogged to tell. Next, we have a plumber here. Then, the city came back... And then Sam started to dig. 

He dug for 6 hours. My stepdad arrived to try and help. 

Despite their Friday night efforts, the illusive pipe has yet to be found... We were hoping for that victory today, and so my stepdad rented an excavator.  AND THEN, we busted a gas line, despite having the utilities mark where the lines are... So currently my street looks like this

Oh man, what a week! 
Best Moment(s) of the Week: This has been one of the best weeks of my life!!! Finally having Bo in our family has been incredible. I am beyond in love with both of my sons, and I am adoring watching Moose give little Bo kisses. I am still a mess with hormones, so my teary mommy eyes are so happy that my boys seem to like each other already. I am BEYOND BLESSED! 

First Doctor's Visit
Monday, baby Bo want to see the doctor... Healthy and fit as a fiddle, doc said!! Weight came in at 8 pounds 5 ounces: that's right ALREADY GAINING WEIGHT! He is 60th percentile for the time being. 

This trip out of the house was no where near as overwhelming as when we made the same visit with Moose. It's amazing what a little perspective can do! 

Other First Week Adventures

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Bo: Birth Story

Bo Riley 
Here we go again folks... I must have some "magic" power that I pick a date and then the baby arrives. I have done this exact scenario twice, now. The math with teacher pay is ridiculous. I mean really confusingly, ridiculous because of the way we are paid. I know it might not seem logical, but you miss more paychecks than time actually out. Believe me this is legal and correct, despite how horrible I am at math it sadly is the way it is. Anywho (before I take some educational pay increase tangent, let me get back to my kid's story), I had payroll run the number of days I would be docked for and calculate it all out, so that way we could know when/how much we could afford this time. 

Everyone and their mom pretty much already knows this because I've been saying it since school started, but I had to make it through October. The school district will pay their portion of my insurance, as long as I work a day in the month. Literally, teachers and students would ask me, "aren't you ready?" and I kept responding, "Not until October."

Okay Bo, can you listen to Momma that well forever??? Our story really begins when we got home Tuesday afternoon.

Tuesday afternoon
We got home after school, and I was feeling uber-pregnant! I waddled my way straight up the stairs, only to find that the AC upstairs wasn't working. Hello 87 degrees! I texted my husband (yes, I'm aware he was right down the stairs.) We were both already a little bit tired and fussy, and he was annoyed with me. [Later he explained he was annoyed because he thought I was talking about the downstairs air and that I just walked right on upstairs anyways... which isn't what happened at all, so he mellowed out with me quickly.]

It was hot and already after business closing times, so we began to attempt to diagnose the problem ourselves. Interesting to say the least... a man trying to hold a cranky 17 month old and a 39 week pregnant woman wandering around trying to figure out something we have zero clue about. Sam called his buddy and got the number of an AC guy. He said he could come the next afternoon. 

Next, we had to figure out what to do about sleeping.... 

Sam decided to open the upstairs windows (it cooled down quite a bit) and to stay upstairs for the night with Moose. Moose is used to napping at Grandma's house, so he's basically immune to the heat. (You know my mom is a lizard. She sits in her attic for fun in the Texas summer. Yep, she's our crazy, and we love her! And it often ends up working out... like when our 17 month old doesn't give a rip that it's 80 degrees.) The decision came to be that I would sleep downstairs where it was cooler in the guest bedroom. 
The guest bedroom has my old bed from college, and at 39 weeks pregnant I should never have changed beds. Ok, not pregnant I should never sleep on that bed. Oh my gosh... I was so so so uncomfortable. I barely slept. I didn't want to get up and go upstairs, but finally at 3 o'clock in the morning almost no sleep later I wandered up and sacked out in our bed. Thank goodness I had some sleep. 

Sweaty, sleepless, and super pregnant: I woke up Wednesday and was officially 39 weeks pregnant. 

Wednesday School Day: 
I was feeling a bit out of it, and I ended up changing my lesson plan last minute because I just couldn't manage my very teacher required plan. My students watched School House Rock's Parts of Speech videos and made picture notes over the songs. (Yep, we still teach parts of speech to sophomores in high school, and they STILL don't know them!) I rewrote lesson plans for the rest of the week, and planned all of the next week. I got it all ready and had my teacher's aide get the plans off the printer so that they would be ready should I not be there the next day.

I would love to say this was a giant clue as to my mother's intuition, but really it's a not to my OCD because I have been doing that every Friday afternoon since school started. I just hadn't changed the plan midweek any other week. 

I wasn't feeling totally myself, but I assumed it was the lack of sleep. I kept breaking into sweats then chills. I was cramping and achy, but again, assumption was it was the lack of sleep.  

My co-workers all laughed that I had made it the day, since it was my official last "need to work" day, and I was nervous for my doctor's appointment in the afternoon. 

Wednesday Doctor's Appointment:
The week before my doctor told me that I had made no progress and wasn't favorable, so I was eager to see what she would say this week. I, also, had a sonogram appointment because the baby was getting so big that we were monitoring his growth. 

My appointment was at 3:30 PM.
I expected there to be a long wait at the doctor's office because my doctor had delivered during my last three appointments, so I had my bible with me. I waited for my sonogram and continued my reading of I Samuel. 

My sono-tech asked me where I was reading, and we chatted about Hannah and Elkanah and their desire for Samuel. It was such a comfort to my nerves. The sonogram said he was 8 pounds 9 ounces, and I waddled my way across the hall to see the doc.

My blood pressure was up crazy high at the doctor's office. (A secret I kept for a few hours from family, so when you read this know I'm sorry I didn't want to worry anyone until I knew what was really going on.) It was 153/95.

My doctor checked my cervix and said I was a 1cm but still not ready for labor. [head was at station 3 and cervix posterior] (I shouldn't have been so devastated since it's exactly what she told me the day before I delivered Moose.) However, I was crushed. Then, we started talking. She began to talk to me about a 24 hour urine collection, so I was trying to think how I could manage that at school. [I couldn't have.] Then, she asked what other symptoms I had going on. The moment I said headache and tingly fingers the tone changed.... 

She asked me, "today was the last day you wanted to work, right?" 

I told her yes, but I could be done if that was what we needed. I thought we were talking work. Done with work. AKA BED REST... so this is what I'm thinking. Ok, I'll be on bed rest that can be ok. 

She keeps talking and tells me about monitoring me overnight, placing pills to ripen my cervix, and inducing in the morning. What I actually heard the first time she said it was "whomp, whomp, monitor, whomp, whomp, pitocin, whomp, whomp call sam."

I had this glazed over smile on my face, and I calmly said, "I'm sorry. I didn't get any of that can we start again." My doctor laughed. She began to explain in more detail and slower. She was sending me across to the hospital and that we would induce in the morning. I tend to be in denial at these big major moments, so I'm just nodding, trying not to cry because I don't want pitocin. I took a deep breath and listened to the rest. The goal was to get my body into a place to induce, but the pills might work and might not on me. 

I called Sam to explain what was happening. I was calm. He was meeting the AC guy at 4:30. I told him we would be at this for hours, all night, probably all day, and from there who knew. I told him there was zero reason to freak out or to rush.  I made the decision that I didn't want to call anyone and everyone because I am the kind of person that absolutely doesn't want a waiting room vigil of folks waiting on me. Nope, nope, nope. My doctor had prepared me for this to take somewhere around 24+ hours, so I knew I had some time to let folks in on what was going on the next morning. (Remember, We make plans. God laughs.) 

just before 5:00PM 
Belly pictures in the hospital room (ROOM 9) because why not? Gotta have something good to text the hubs... who is now with our first kid and the AC guy at home. 

By 5, I had made it across to the hospital and started to checkin to be monitored overnight. I showered with the antiseptic (which freaks a girl who really doesn't want a c-section out) and put on my gown. 

I was bored and waiting for the nurses or my mom to get there, so I am just hanging out. (PS I am still feeling completely crampy and actually starting to be in some pain. I am wondering, if these could be contractions, but I dismissed because my doctor JUST said I hadn't made any progress.) 

I stood up, put worship music on, and read my bible until my mom got there.

My mom arrived around 5:30 before the nurses had even gotten to me. I am achy, and I walk to the bathroom just as she gets there and gets a phone call. Hello bloody show... ew. I look at my mom and ask her is this ok?? I didn't remember it being quite so, um, so red last time. (Remember this is a birth story, so it's adorable and sweet and also completely disgusting, lol.) Round about then my nurses come in.

They tell me it could just be blood because I had my cervix checked. When I detail a bit more, they confirm it's definitely a bloody show. Though, they caution that still doesn't necessarily mean anything.

Time to answer a million questions and get hooked up to a million machines. As soon as I'm on the contraction monitor, I can see consistent contractions 3 to 5 minutes apart growing in intensity. AND I'M STILL IN DENIAL... why don't I ever listen to my own body?!?  They check my cervix as part of the labor and delivery process. Stats now are already different than they were at the doctor's office. Baby's head has moved down and is now at a 2. I'm over a 1 and beginning to thin out. Again, I ask why did I not know this was actual labor before we started anything else? Who knows, but the nurses are still explaining the doctor's orders and talking to me about inducing in the morning.

Sam and Moose arrive at the hospital with McDonald's. They stayed with the AC guy until it was fixed (good call), packed Sam and Moose a bag, and headed to get food.  My mom who has been with me about an hour watching me contract and listening to everything going on, begins to wonder whether or not my stepdad who is two hours away should head on home for the night. She has mother's intuition, too. She kept asking me, if this was it? I was so overwhelmed (pleasant), but overwhelmed and confused. I was just buying into what everyone else was telling me, instead of listening to my own body. Ah well... Time to get this show on the road.

Shift change. My new nurse, Keri, was pregnant and comes in to introduce herself. She is very sweet and does an AMAZING job explaining to me what is happening and the plan.

The plan:
- Overnight place a cervical ripening pill every three hours x3
- Keep monitoring cervix and blood pressure
- Wait for the doctor in the morning around 8 to start pitocin
- Baby on Thursday afternoon after laboring all day

Keri was great! I was calm, and we decided to send Moose and Grandma on home to get some sleep. My mom knew better and went ahead and called my stepdad to come home. She figured better he be around than to miss it all. Sam and I settled in for what seemed like it would be a long process.

Nurse Keri checked my cervix again to prepare to place the pill and is a little bit shocked. She says she better place the pill quickly because after I am dilated to a 2, she cannot place anymore. I was almost at a 2 on my own.

After she placed the pill, I had to stay laying for two hours, but by 9:20 I was having intense contractions and really had to pee. I was very very very uncomfortable, and quite certain that I was really in actual labor. (Though, I was thinking I would probably labor like this all night.) I couldn't stand it and called Keri to come let me pee early. She did, and she commented on the intensity of my contractions. Nurse Keri was now on board with the fact that I was probably already in labor, and she begins to tell us that she is doubting we are placing anymore pills, and may move straight to pitocin and sooner than in the morning.

Sam calls my mom to tell her things might be moving faster and that Alan should for sure start heading home, but my mom had already decided that earlier. I get up to pee, and the contractions slow down and lower in intensity thank goodness!!!!

I told Sam to go ahead and get some sleep. After the sleepless AC lacking night, we are both exhausted, so he pulls out the sofa bed and crashes out. My contractions pick up yet again and start feeling pretty painful. I am breathing through solo, picturing waves, and focusing on a single spot in the room. I kept my memory verse of I Samuel 1:27 in mind... tho no lies, I kept getting distracted and thinking "The power of Christ compels me!" Hey whatever works! I am 100% sure I am in labor. (Still no idea how fast it's going.)

Sam is snoring when Nurse Keri comes into check me, and I am at nearly a 3. She confirms no more ripening pills and says she will check me again at 12:30 to determine whether or not to start pitocin. I can no longer think about anything other than the contractions, and I am working through contractions.

My mom calls just to check on me, and I was very grateful for the distraction! We chat until I can't focus anymore, and I call my nurse to help me to the bathroom again. The contractions are really intense, but the pain is still manageable. I am feeling them in my back. I try positioning on the side. Nurse Keri starts talking about checking me early because I am in so much pain. Sam is still sound asleep ... lol.

The pain has become too intense and back to back. I ask my nurse to help me get on my knees, as I have read this is a better position for labor. I am really starting to feel worn out and almost defeated because in my head I'm still going to have a lot of labor left and I'm almost maxed out on the pain. My nurse asks about the epidural, and I tell her I want to decide after she checks me again.

Sam gets woken up by my screaming, and he is officially back in the game. He is a little confused since he has missed much of the lead up to this point, and he doesn't quite understand that I have been laboring fairly intensely for almost two hours. He starts coaching my breathing (thank the lord) because I can no longer focus on waves or my memory verse. Nurse Keri checks me, and I am at a 5-6. She rules out needing any pitocin. I ask for the epidural. Our nurse suggests calling my mom after the anesthesiologist places the epidural... things are moving quickly.

I get my epidural, though I nearly missed the window... I was at an 8 by the time she checked me after he was done. She tells me my bag of waters is bulging, and she tells me that might be why I'm hurting so much. I am trying not to scream my head off, and I have yet to use any curse words! Praise Jesus :) Sam is coaching like a champ, while simultaneously trying to text.... Because we are now all on board with the fact that Bo ain't waiting. It's go time, NOW!

Keri is calling the doctor and setting up the room for delivery. My epidural is not fully kicked in. The edge is off the pain, but the pressure is excruciating. The nurse keeps checking to see if my water has broken on it's own... The pain is still intense, and I begin saying that my butt hurts. (Keri tells Sam I am now complete, but no one tells me or maybe they did and I'm so out of it I don't remember...)

Somewhere in here is when Sam called my mom because she arrived near this point. All kind of hazy, and I can't remember when she arrived. My mom hung with us for a bit, and Sam and she are trying to get in touch with a few folks at this point. It's the middle of the night, things are flying, and needless to say the call list is much shorter under those conditions.

My doctor arrives! Hooray...and at this point my mom leaves the delivery room. I am still feeling a lot of pressure and my epidural hasn't caught up to my pain, quite yet. They tell me I am feeling pressure because it's time to push...

Wait, What? I somehow slipped back into denial because I looked at them and asked, "like now? Like we are having the baby right now?" Sam, the doctor, and the nurse all laughed at me.

They set up the delivery table, get out the feet on the table, scoot me down... and somewhere around 1:30 in the morning we start to push. I pushed for so long with my first one, and in hindsight I'm not sure I was doing it right. This time I still had some sensation and felt like I knew how to push differently. I pushed like I was doing sit-ups and visualized pushing Bo out of my belly. It didn't take that many sets of pushes...and then....

Hello Bo.

Sam cut the cord this time, and the nurse placed Bo right on my chest. Oh sweet victory! Looking into that little face, I felt so warm, radiant, happy, and accomplished!!!! I did it! We did it! Bo made it safely into this world. What an incredible miracle.

My doctor worked to get me repaired, and she smiled as she said, "one stitch." One? just one? How did I deliver a bigger kid faster and only have one stitch. I didn't even care. They turned off my epidural, and I just cuddled my little man.

He nursed on each side for about 20 minutes. We cuddled skin to skin for the first hour of his life. Sam went to the waiting room to get Moose to come meet his brother.

Sam and Moose watched as they cleaned him up a bit. They got his height, weight, and did the ointment in his eyes.

Daddy finally got to hold his newest son!

This is hands down my favorite picture from that night.

After Moose got to meet his brother, Sam sent my mom back to me to meet Bo and to check in on me. My nurse told me everyone could come back to see the baby, and that we would get me up to pee after they left. Both Grandpas got to come back to see our handsome new man. 

Grandma and Grandpa took Moose home with them, and Sam and I cooed at our new baby. The nurse helped me up with some crazy ride on machine. (remember my nurse was pregnant, so she couldn't do any lifting...) I managed to pee on my own this time! Another victory... and felt like I might be up on my own volition a lot sooner this time. 

We made it up to our room... what a night... what a life...  

As the sun came up for the day, I smiled and took this picture. It's a perfect one for our story (notice Sam asleep in the just kidding love)! 

This birth was fast and furious. There is no way I could have imagined it happening this way, but it was perfect. God's timing is perfect. We are abundantly blessed by this child and incredibly grateful for a much smoother labor and delivery. Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers, and everything else you've sent our way. I am in a much better state of mind than after our first son was born, and I pleased as punch to report I do not have PPD this time! Postpartum hormones are still a little emotional causing, but it's like a drop in the sea compared to last time. 

Lots of Love 
The Riley Family