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Archive for April, 2013

11 weeks

Here are the things that have been going on the past couple weeks!

Elena:

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  • Elena is trying harder to grab at things. She has mastered the art of reaching out and touching things and batting at them, but still can’t quite maintain a grip on something she does manage to get.
  • Last night I laid her next to me on the couch, and she managed to scoot, on her back, quite a ways away from me!  She was pushing off with her feet against the back of the couch and my legs.  This girl has places to go!
  • She is trying very hard to roll from back to tummy.  She can roll quite far on her side, but hasn’t made it all the way to her tummy yet.
  • She is turning into a squirmy monkey!  She is still much calmer than Liam was (he kicked nonstop).  But she moves all the time these days!
  • She loves to hang over our upper arm and observe her surroundings.  She has also gotten really into the play mat. It’s the perfect opportunity to bat at dangling toys!
  • She has discovered her tongue, and likes to stick it out.
  • She has started chewing on things – she mostly chews on us!
  • She sleeps like a champ.  She will sleep anywhere and is usually able to put herself to sleep.
  • She is growing!  She can still wear 0-3 mos sizes, but she is now too long for some of her footed sleepers.  I’ve put a couple 3-6 mos things on her, and they are big, but no bigger than putting 0-3 mos on a newborn.  Some brands swallow her at that size though.
  • She is a happy, happy girl!

Liam:

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  • Liam has had a rough couple weeks.  He has had a cold all month, and he was on an antibiotic for an ear infection.  Well, that didn’t go over too well – he spit it out most of the time.  He kept pulling on his ears and saying “owie”, and so I took him back to the doctor.  As suspected, he did have an ear infection, but he also had pneumonia!  I was not expecting that one, but we were glad we took him in.  They put him on another antibiotic, and we managed to get him to take this one.  He’s mostly better now, thank goodness.  We do have to take him in on Friday to make sure his lungs are clear.  
  • One of his new favorite things to do is hide from us.  He hides when it’s time for a bath or diaper change, or sometimes for no reason other than to have fun!  Some of his favorite places are underneath or behind baby gear.
  • He still loves pretending to drive our cars.  If we go outside, he will stand by the car or SUV and beg for the keys.  If he can’t get that, he will run out back to the shed and want in there. We have a slide in the back yard for him, and he does enjoy that, but he will only play on it for a few minutes before begging for the keys.
  • He is starting to get a little jealous of Elena if I am holding her.  If I’m holding her, then he wants held.  If I put her down to hold him, he doesn’t care anymore.  I’m sure this is all part of the adjustment period for him.  He still seems to really love her though.  He’s just not so sure about the sharing me part.
  • His talking gets cuter all the time. The sentence of the week is “It’s a mess!”  If something falls on the floor he will say “mess” and go get the broom.  He’s quite the little neat freak!  I’m sure his wife will appreciate that trait one day, assuming it continues.  🙂

 

I go back to work a week from today.  I’m not looking  forward to that at all.  At all.  *sigh*

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C-Section Birth

I’ve had several conversations since Elena’s arrival about the difference between a c-section and labor.  I thought it worth doing a post.  I won’t get too graphic, but anyone squeamish about birth may want to stop reading!

I need to start by saying that both of my labors were induced labors, and my c-section was unplanned, so I can only share from that perspective.  My first induction was extremely difficult because, at 34 weeks, my body needed to be forced into labor mode.  My second induction was at 39 weeks, and my body was ready.  That one was much easier, but it was still a long process to get me into labor, leaving me exhausted at the end of it.  My labor itself was only 4 hours, but I had not slept for almost 24 hours by the time Liam arrived.  I ended up getting an epidural both times, but also labored naturally for a good amount of time in both cases.  I can say natural labor was, without a doubt, the most intense pain I’ve ever felt in my life.  Granted, I was on Pitocin, and that generally causes contractions to be stronger and closer together than without it.

Post-epidural, labor became easy, at least until time to push.  I didn’t feel a thing pushing Madelyn, as my epidural was stronger than with Liam – in the short time between those two births the formula used in birth epidurals had been changed.  My epidural with Liam allowed me to still feel my legs somewhat, and I was able to feel the pressure of pushing.  Liam was also over twice as big as Madelyn (3 lbs 4 oz v. 8 lbs 7 oz).  Pushing with Liam was not as intense as labor prior to my epidural, but the pressure was definitely painful.  However, it was a different kind of pain than the strong contractions because I knew how close I was to meeting him, and that made it doable.  It was even what I would describe as exhilarating.

My c-section birth was so different.  I went to the hospital expecting to be sent home after an NST.  I had a c-section instead, and she was here in no time at all.   I was nervous about labor, but I was scared out of my mind about a c-section.  It is a good thing it all happened so fast, because I didn’t have too much time to be afraid.

I love the pictures below, because they show so much of what I felt that night.  Thanks again to Donna Harris 
Photography for these amazing images (they make me want to become a birth photographer!).

The first image conveys my fear so well.  I was afraid of the surgery, and afraid of why Elena’s heart was skyrocketing.  The second shows nerves giving way to anticipation of her arrival.   In the third, I am filled with joy, because she arrived.    The fourth speaks for itself, as I see my baby on the outside for the first time.

c e g t

The emotions are all the same, but faster with a c-section.  And then the surgery itself is easy and painless.  Then recovery happens.

Recovery from a traditional delivery is hard and causes soreness for a couple weeks.  The c-section causes soreness too, but in a different location, making it difficult to get up from sitting to standing.  And the sore, bruised-like feeling continues for many more weeks.  I was also on pain medications for about a week with a c-section, but never had to take them after my other births.  I also had one day of really bad pain after my c-section, even with painkillers.  However that may have been magnified by a baby in the NICU and knowing Liam was mad at me for being gone.

I think that covers it from my experience.  If I were planning another baby, I would go for a VBAC – my OB even said there was no reason I would need to have another c-section in the future.  Having said that, a c-section was not nearly as bad as I had always imagined, and if I ever needed to do it again, I would not be as afraid.  Of course, we’re not planning more children, so that’s all moot.  However, if any of my friends ever need a c-section, hopefully I can help to reassure them.

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I am constantly thinking “I need to remember to make a note of x or y on the blog”.  The problem is, by the time I get around to blogging, I forget most of it.  And I’m even worse about picking up pen and baby book and noting things that way.  So, I’ve decided that I’m going to do quick little bullet point updates about my children so I can at least remember the things I don’t want to forget. 

  • Elena is such a happy, smiley baby.  She is constantly smiling at Nathan, me, Liam, and her toys.  I love when she smiles at Liam!
  • Liam showers Elena with kisses every single day.  He tries to go straight for her mouth, but I try to prevent that right now, since he’s been sick.  When he can’t get at her mouth, he goes for her head. 
  • Elena is lifting and holding up her head very well, but she gets wobbly after a while. 
  • Elena has become quite vocal the past couple weeks.  We are hearing lots of “oohs” and “ahhs” out of her. 
  • She loves to make eye contact with us, and her whole face lights up when she sees us. 
  • Liam is going through a major language explosion.  He’s been talking for a while, of course, but he is becoming easier and easier to understand, and is starting to speak more in sentences.  For example, in the past I would say “Liam, what is that?” and he would say “duck! (or whatever the answer is)”.  And now he will say “It’s a duck!” instead.
  • He likes to do fun things over and over.  His great-grandma Shirley was here a week ago, and she would lift him high in the air, and every time she would put him back on the ground he would say “again!”.
  • He still likes Elmo, but he is branching out.  His favorite show currently is Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  His favorite books are, by far, still his llama llama books.  He also loves dinosaur books.  Another favorite is “Brown Bear, Brown Bear”. 

Yesterday was  Easter, and we had such a great day!  Liam was very excited about his Easter basket.  His favorite items were his new sunglasses, his bubbles, and his new automobile puzzle.   Naturally, Elena didn’t care about her basket, but she does enjoy looking at her new book and her bright pink elephant toy I got for her car seat.   After church, we visited with some amazing friends, and Liam got to do an Easter egg hunt both at church and at the home of our friends.  I was pleasantly surprised with how much he enjoyed looking for the eggs, and it made me want to hide eggs in our house for him to hunt!  I look forward to next year already!

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