Sunday, August 23, 2015

Addison 1 Month

Is it possible that I am a mom to a one month old baby already? Wasn't it just yesterday I was begging the doctor to get her out of my body? Wasn't I just basking in the joy of a 6lb 10oz chubby cheeked little girl? I kind of still am because she is only around 8 pounds now, but still. Where did the days go? Somewhere between laying her on my chest and soaking in all the amazing baby smells and feeding her non-stop all day I just completely lost track of time. So here is an update on my growing girl!

Sleeping & Eating 
Addison is a good sleeper. On our second night home I was worried about her because she slept for 6.5 hours without making a sound. The hospital kept trying to enforce this 3 hour eating rule while we were there and she just wasn't interested. So future moms, it is totally ok to let them go without eating for longer than 3 hours. I wouldn't do it all the time, but on occasion they need it. Addison was still recovering from a whirlwind fast delivery and she was exhausted. Eating wasn't on her mind all of the time. Her doctor confirmed that as long as she is having dirty diapers and is gaining weight then she is perfectly ok.

Since coming home from the hospital she is on a 3ish hour eating schedule during the day and a 4-4.5 hour eating schedule at night. There have been a few nights and days where she has slept through feedings or needed to eat more often but typically I have an idea of when she will wake up and need to eat. It took me about 2 weeks to finally get her schedule straight in my head. 

Addison sleeps in her bassinet in her room. She still looks so small in her crib so I haven't transitioned her yet, though that is on the agenda soon. The bassinet is smaller and it rocks so she she seems to like it better than the crib right now. I just point her video monitor on it at night and she sleeps great!

We have a system at night. She gets a bath, a fresh diaper, I turn on her sound machine, I feed her until she is super full while rocking her in the glider,  then I swaddle her, rock her for a few more minutes until she is almost asleep, then I put her down in her bassinet. It usually takes her about 3-5 minutes to fall asleep but she never cries. She lays in there and is able to self soothe until she falls asleep. I watch her on the monitor obsessively until her eyes close and I know she is asleep. We all sleep way better at night! 

I should point out that just because this works for us doesn't mean it is for everyone. I know some people love co-sleeping or having their baby in the room. I am totally cool with whatever decision any mother makes. We are all just doing our best!

It took a bit for me to get used to but now it just comes pretty easy. Sometimes I feel like I am only alive to feed this child like a milk machine or something. I know I am not alone in this though, and I am slowly adapting. On occasion I will pump breast milk right before I know she is going to wake up so Eric can feed her and so she can get used to drinking from a bottle, but overall I love the quality time we get from her nursing. She always has the best facial expressions around feeding times. 

I pump an extra feeding a day, and I have been since I got home from the hospital. This has helped make sure I always have a supply available. Plus when I go back to work it will give me some leeway to adjust to pumping during the days I am away from her. I also plan on enjoying a drink or two on our date night on Wednesday and thats a good reason to have some extra milk hanging around. 

We are slowly figuring things out. We are finally giving her baths without her screaming bloody murder. We are great at timing her naps/feedings and knowing when we can get out of the house to do things. We are able to identify all of her cries and know exactly what they mean and what we can do to fix them. We aren't perfect but we are learning how to do the best we can. Eric has been busy at work this month so I have been alone with Addison a lot and I have been using her stroller/travel system and our Baby Bjorn to get routine things done by myself, like going to the grocery store. 

Advice: What I have learned 
 I cannot stress this enough: take a shower every single day. I mean it. It is so easy to get wrapped up in your baby and forget about yourself. Nothing makes me feel better everyday then taking 10 minutes and focusing on myself. Plus, the hormones make you smell weird. So really I am suggesting this as a favor to you and all the people who come visit you.  

You don't have to do your hair or your makeup (though I do). Just take ten minutes. Give the baby to your husband or your mom or let the dog watch her (jk). I don't care. Just breathe and clean yourself up. Put on mew clothes because chances are you won't be able to recognize whatever stain that is on your shirt. Fresh hair and clean clothes make all of the difference. Just believe me. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

I'm Still Here

It has been a bit since my last post. I deserve a break though, seeing as I created an entire human being and then brought her into this world. Right now that little bitty human is sleeping peacefully next to me and I couldn't help but write down some thoughts that I am having at the moment.

1. I love this little girl
It is easy to say it and write it. It is an entirely different thing to really feel it with all of your heart and soul. It has almost been a month since Addison came into our lives and we spend pretty much every moment staring at her. Even now as I write this, I can't help but just stop and stare at this person we created and tell myself that this is the best thing we have ever done. She is learning to smile, and the only person who has seen it is me because it tends to be either before or after I feed her when she is most alert. I memorize the moments (and take photos) because I want to hold on to them for the rest of my life. So just to say it again, I love this little girl.

2. Babies are super gross
From the blow-out diapers to the constant spit-up, I am literally always doing laundry. I am always wiping something off of this child. I am constantly putting her in the bathtub (of which she is not a fan). I spend all of my time cleaning her up and then a few hours later I find spit-up in MY hair. It is the mom circle of spit-up.

3. Everyone does everything their own way
Before she was born I got a lot of advice. Now that she is here I get 10x's more advice. The other day I told Eric "I just do things the way we think is best. That's how I make my decisions." For example, I started putting her to sleep in her own room at 3 weeks old. I haven't put her in her crib at night,  I put her in her bassinet because she fits in it better, but she does sleep in her own room. Some people think it is crazy but I think it was the best choice for all of us.

When we were all in the same room the dog would wake up the baby, the baby would keep me up with her noises, Eric would come in from working a night shift and the baby would wake up, my constant nervousness with checking on the baby would wake Eric up, and the baby crying would wake the dog up. It wasn't a good mixture. Everyone is sleeping a lot better these days (the baby usually wakes every 4-4.5 hours at night). We have a video monitor that I watch obsessively and we are all happy. Again, not everyone thinks it is a great idea, but it is what WE do.

My first baby wearing experience. (side note: this carrier flips up so baby can have her head back. I only folded it down for the photo so you can see Addisons face. 

4. Breastfeeding is under appreciated by the world.
I never put pressure on myself to breastfeed. I knew there were ways to feed my child no matter what, so I just said I would try it and see how it goes. Eric and I were very relaxed about it. Addison took to it so stinkin' easy, and it has been pretty easy on me (except at night when I am the only one who can feed her). I was surprised how easy it is on us and I am happy I have such a great way to bond with my baby. However, I think the thing I am most surprised about is that the world is so weird about breastfeeding.

Yesterday Addison was crying in the car on the way out to our family reunion. I tried to feed her before we left but she wasn't interested. Of course she would wait until we were in the car and start screaming her little head off because she was hungry. Thankfully there was a Buy Buy Baby within a mile of the park that the reunion was at and I pulled over and used their breastfeeding room really quick. Otherwise I would have to feed in her in my car or randomly at the park or another location. I think the world could benefit from more breastfeeding rooms. I won't make others uncomfortable with my feedings and I don't have to feed my baby in a hot car or in a freaking bathroom.

She is really starting to get awesome head control.

5. Raising babies at the same time as your siblings is wonderful.
My sister is a year older than me, and her little girl is a year older than my Addison. It is amazing to have someone in similar situations to talk to. We text about how our children sleep at night, send hilarious photos back and forth, and she gives me advice on things she has already experienced. Every mom needs another mom friend and thankfully mine doubles as my sister. Pretty cool right?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A Birth Story

Caution- This is a long post filled with far too much information about my body. I plan to make up for it with baby photos.

On July 22nd 2015 at 10:19am I fell in love with a baby.  They say you can't prepare yourself for the moment you become a parent and I agree. There is no amount of writing that can sum up the way I feel about this little girl. Just being near her relaxes me and makes me realize why I was put on this earth. I realize it all sounds cliche and maybe it is, but I don't care because it is also amazing. I could sit here all day and tell you about her amazing cheeks that look just like her dads, or the way she twitches when she sleeps, or how after she eats she gets a perfectly satisfied look on her face that makes my heart melt. I actually plan to tell you all of those things, but not today. Today is the day that I share the story of my child coming into the world. It isn't as adorable as her cheeks, but her cheeks make up for it so I will show some photos afterward. 

It all started last Monday. I had my weekly NST (non stress test) with the high risk doctor at about 9:00am. I always schedule my appointments with the high risk doctor and my regular OBGYN on the same day because they are literally right down the hall from each other and it just works perfectly that way. The unfortunate thing about this is that my high risk doctors appointments are always so fun, while my regular OBGYN was always a total buzzkill. At my NST I learned that I was having moderate contractions about 7 minutes apart. My favorite nurse told me she didn't believe I would be back to see her the following week because she knew I would be having this baby. Just what I wanted to hear! Eric and I were excited! But then we went down the hall to my regular OBGYN office for an internal exam. I had been refusing internal exams because honestly they don't mean a single thing (you will see what I mean later). They are invasive and they are extremely uncomfortable and you can be 3 centimeters dilated for a month before having a baby, or you can go in and nothing can be happening and you can have a baby the next day. My emotions were not prepared so I had been refusing them for weeks, but my doctor insisted she had to do one now that I was closing in on my due date. 

At this point I wasn't excited for the exam at all. I had good news this morning already and I didn't need any bad news from anyone. I was too pregnant for someone to tell me that I wasn't having a baby anytime soon. Plus, if I didn't get that baby out on my own they were giving me a week before they would induce. I knew that people who were induced had higher rates of c-sections and I wasn't about that. So imagine my surprise when I gown up at the office and a stranger walks into the room. It was a nurse practitioner who I had never met before. My doctor had to leave at that exact moment to do an emergency c-section. My nurse practitioner literally knew nothing about me. She walked in with no file or anything in her hand and just did an internal exam. She told me nothing was happening and said they would probably have to induce me. She also told me that a lot of women think they are in labor when they really aren't and basically told me not to go to the hospital until my contractions were  every 5 minutes, lasting a minute, for over an hour and a half. She basically was warning me not to cry wolf because they will send me home. I was so sad after my appointment. I had been telling everyone that this was the week I was going to have the baby, that I felt like she was coming soon. I felt like a total failure and I was hot and tired and emotional (and this is why you don't get internal exams).

So after wallowing in self pity all monday evening I decided I was not going to let anyone get me down. I kept walking, doing household chores, helping Eric with some woodworking projects, and just trying to keep myself busy. All the while I was having contractions that just weren't adding up to anything. Monday night I got some really strong ones, and Tuesday I had mild contractions all day. Eric dragged me to 3 hardware stores on Tuesday where I helped him lift plywood pieces for a project he was working on. That night at around 6pm I started feeling a tad weird. I was having contractions but they were pretty far a part (like 6 minutes). Around 8:30pm I knew I was in labor. The contractions were hard and fast and I could time them easily. However, the nurse practitioner had scared me so bad the day before that I thought there was no way this could be happening. She said I nothing was happening. I couldn't go from nothing to complete labor in just one day, could I? So when Eric said he was going to bed around 9:00pm (he has to be at work at 6:30am) I just pretended like I was all cool and let him go. There was no use keeping him awake because there was simply no way I was having this baby.

I sat and watched tv reruns and counted my contractions for THREE hours at home. I woke up Eric at midnight to tell him I think we were ready to have a baby. He had no idea what was going on, because no man understands when you wake them up in the middle of the night. Once he came out of his trance and realized what was happening he was ready to get me to the hospital. The funny thing about Eric was that he was always ready to get me to the hospital. If you tell a man you are having the slightest twinge of a contraction I think they can't help the instinct of needing to get you to a hospital. The entire way to the hospital I kept saying they are going to send me home. I felt silly. I thought I was losing my mind or something and they were gonna hook me up and I would be having no contractions. 

When we got to the hospital it turned out that I was having contractions and when they did another very invasive internal exam they found that I had dilated 2 cm from the time I had left my doctors appointment the day before. I was making progress so they called my doctor and she told them to admit me with the plan of breaking my water and letting labor just happen. That is the moment I freaked out. That was the moment that I realized a baby was coming out of my body right now and there was nothing I could do to stop it. I might have had a small panic attack. I calmed down after a few minutes and decided to take it one step at a time. So I got admitted. I got my iv put in. I got wheeled up to labor and delivery. By the time all of this was said and done it was 3:00am. Eric and I are just hanging out watching my contractions come and go and also watching Law and Order because what else is on at 3:00am?

At 4:00am two lovely ladies came in and inserted my epidural. So at this point I had labored on my own for like 8 hours and I felt like that was enough. I showed how strong I was, now give me the good drugs. And guys, they were good drugs. In fact I was so sad after delivery when they took them away. For those of you who don't know the epidural process, I would give you a lengthy explanation but I never took a birth class and I didn't look at the dang thing at all because I didn't want to totally freak out. Just know they are good. I was still able to feel when I needed to push, but I felt no physical pain. It was wonderful. 

I think it was about 5:00am when they broke my water. They said "my water bag was already bulging" so I guess that was good. I didn't ask questions because I didn't want to know. I was just aloof and that is how I planned to stay through the entire thing. 

6:30am rolled around and we hadn't said anything to our families. It was just me and Eric hanging out and waiting on a baby. My doctor showed up around this time and said she didn't think we would be having a baby until dinner time so we decided not to bother anyone. Eric laid down for a nap now that I was comfortable and I closed my eyes as well. 

About an hour later a resident walked into the room out of nowhere with a oxygen mask and told me to put it on. He said that the baby's heart rate was going down during each contraction and they were concerned. He even started to ramble on to try to get me to prepare myself for a possible c-section. The entire time I kept thinking it made no sense, that I felt the baby moving down. There was so much pressure and I felt like everything was going so smoothly. So when he was done yammering on about a c-section I let him know that I was feeling A LOT of pressure and that I was confused on how that could be a bad sign. So I got another exam and it turned out I was 8 cm dilated. WOAH. Everyone in the room was like WTF. Eric woke up pretty quick with that news. The good thing was that the heart rate dropping was a good sign now that they knew I was this far along. He basically took back everything he said to me and told me to have a good delivery. 

Time was passing super quickly at this point and I can't get really detailed with the timing from here on out because I was about to have a baby. I know we decided to call our parents and get them to come up to the hospital. I was in the middle of trying to get ahold of my mom when I started feeling the urge to push. When the nurse came in the room I explained myself, and she looked at me like I had no clue what I was talking about. She decided to check me out and we realized I was ready to push! Holy moly!

The only problem was that my doctor was at a completely different hospital. My nurse told me to sit tight and not push for a half hour while my doctor drove over. Not pushing was actually the hardest part of delivery. With each contraction she was trying to come out and I was trying to hold her in. At one point I told Eric he better get down there and get ready to catch a baby. 

When my doctor showed up we were ready to roll. I started pushing right at 10:00am and had 4 rounds of pushing before she made her arrival at 10:19am. She made herself very known. She was a loud baby. The nurse handed her to me and I melted. She was perfect, loud but perfect. Eric cut her cord and hung out with her while the doctors fixed me up. I watched as Eric became a dad and it was perfect. He was perfect and she was perfect and my heart was full. 

And thats the story of how our Addi Grace made her fast and furious entrance into this world. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Pregnancy Feels Like...

Just in case you are curious...

Pregnancy feels like being an exhibit for everyone around you. People will walk up slowly, try and touch you, make loud comments about what they think about very specific parts of you, and then walk away like it never happened.

Pregnancy feels like someone ripped open your stomach, shoved a basketball in the hole and then sewed it back up. And the basketball is alive. And it is repeatedly punching you in the ribs.

Pregnancy feels like when you pick up a basket of laundry to do a simple task like take it down the same flight of stairs you always have, only to have to stop half way to take a break.

Pregnancy feels like when you are are trying to sleep and you can't get comfortable so you roll over only to be met with the pain of a thousand stabbing knives somewhere in your abdomen.

Pregnancy feels like back pain. But like, the nagging kind that lasts 110% of the day.

Pregnancy feels like one giant doctors appointment. Probably because you have seriously given some thought to bringing a bag with you and staying over night. Saves on gas am I right?

Pregnancy feels like a million people shouting in your face what you can/cannot do all day long. Strangers, your mom, your grandma, that one crazy person who talks about placenta far too much for you to be comfortable.

Pregnancy feels weird. Like really weird. And when you bring weird things up to your doctor they just look at you and say whatever it is "is normal".

Pregnancy feels like all of the sudden you are this superhero who can make it through all the really weird stuff.

Pregnancy feels like adorable hiccups that make your stomach jump in the middle of the night.

Pregnancy feels weird, horrible, terrifying, and extremely cool.

...Now get this baby out of me.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

38 Weeks

38 weeks. 
Each week gets it gets a little hotter outside and I get a tad more antsy waiting for this girl to show up. We try and coax her out by talking to her a lot and Eric also tries to bribe her to come out. I have had cramps for several days but that is about it. I have chosen to skip my internal exams because I just feel like it doesn't really matter either way. I could be making progress or not and she is still going to come whenever she wants so it doesn't really matter.

She has become a lot more lazy at her weekly stress tests. She likes to nap a lot during so it becomes a pretty long appointment after a while. They want her to move twice in 20 minutes and I just watch her heart rate stay steadily at 140 as she naps away without a care in the world.

I walk a lot. Mostly indoors now that it is getting so hot outside because walking helps keep everything going. I feel like I am making progress when I am walking so I do it whenever I can. I am also starting to sleep a tad deeper at night. I still get up every two hours, but when I do fall asleep I sleep well which is a big contrast to how it has been the past few weeks.

Weight Gain: 19 pounds total. 

How I'm Feeling: A combination of ready and terrified. Weird right? I can't wait until I am holding this baby girl but if someone could just hit me over the head with something so I don't have to experience the process of her arrival that would be great. One minute I can't wait for labor and the next I am in a panic because I will have to be in labor eventually!

Sleep: I am happily on the couch with the air down low and no blanket to speak of. 
Hormones: I am hot. I am hot all the time.  I spend my days panicking about labor and doing rain dances, massage, walking, and anything else to try and get her to come. 

Food: Little girl is finally starting to regulate on her own and as that happens my gestational diabetes is slowly melting away! Thank the good lord! There are still a lot of things I can't eat yet, but now I can at least sneak in the occasional treat with no damage and that is totally ok with me :) 

Best Moment: Getting to see her head on an ultrasound even though it was facing my back. Eating Ted Drewes Frozen Custard like a normal person for once. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

35 Weeks

35 weeks. 
This little one keeps us on our toes that is for sure. After a trip to the hospital last week and the news that I should be "resting" and "relaxing" I have started mostly working from home. Though I try to go a few times a week for a few hours. She is sitting low. By low I mean a midwife at the hospital looked at me like I was crazy when she felt how low her head is .Midwife-"Oh she is low! I can feel her head." Me-"Great! Can you just grab her and pull her on out now please. Lets just get this over with."

Otherwise we are just waiting around for her to make an arrival. Preterm labor is one of the conditions for gestational diabetes, so it wouldn't be surprising to anyone if we had her now although my doctor would prefer she be 36 weeks along. 

Weight Gain: Still 17 pounds.

How I'm Feeling: This week I am just tired. I can sleep all day and all night. In the afternoon/evenings I never fail to get contractions that never amount to anything but they really get on my nerves. 

Sleep: Seriously. Can someone explain this mythical word to me?
Hormones: I am hot. I am hot all the time. The humidity here is horrible and the combo of rain and 100 degree temps don't help. I think my emotions are triggered by how tired and hot I am. Lately I have noticed I have been complaining more so I try to apologize to Eric for it if I am noticing too much of it. 

Food: I don't eat very many sugar free foods because they have a lot of really sketchy ingredients but I got a sugar free snowcone the other night and it rocked my world. I had been wanting a snowcone for a long time but a cup of sugar just didn't seem right with my GD. It was a perfect one time splurge and I ate the entire thing.

Best Moment: I am trying to enjoy the little things as they come. So my favorite moment was when she woke me up in the middle of the night with hiccups that were so intense they shook my body awake. It was adorable.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

34 Weeks

34 weeks. 
Baby Messmer has been playing with my mind a lot lately. One moment this child feels like she is on her way out and the next moment I feel like I will be pregnant until the day I die. 

This week is weird. My blood sugar numbers are odd because 32-36 weeks are supposed to be the worst weeks with gestational diabetes. The baby is getting bigger and is blocking more insulin or something and it is supposed to make your numbers super high. Although some people experience a lot of low numbers near the end. Low numbers could also mean your placenta is failing though, so basically all of my options are super scary. high number= bad for baby low number=bad for baby see what I am saying? That is a lot of responsibility for one meal. 

I also have this weird eye thing happening. A lot of blurred vision and these floaty things in my eyes. Right now I have been asked to literally just rest my ass off. Do nothing. It is a modified form of bed rest to see if it helps me over the coming days. 

Weight Gain: 17 pounds. 

How I'm Feeling: Exhausted. I have been working extra hard to plan for my maternity leave from work. It starts July 2nd. Well, I start working from home July 2nd. I don't get time off until this baby comes. That combined with last minute baby worries and I just don't sleep much. 

Sleep: What is this?
Hormones: Pregnancy has made me the most emotional version of myself. I hope this isn't what the rest of my life is going to be like because it is super weird and I am not really a fan. 

Food: Food does nothing for me anymore. With gestational diabetes there is no creative way to get the food you want. you just have to deal until the baby comes. I do have a list of food I want after the baby is born though. Does that count?

Best Moment: Every moment of being pregnant is a miracle at this point. Sometimes with all of these issues it feels like the baby is just sucking the life out of me, but she is totally worth it. If I have to be uncomfortable and cranky so she can stay in there and cook a little longer I am ok with that. 

Photo: Stephanie Mueller Photography
Hair and Makeup: Gretchen at Willow Reed Salon and Spa