Wednesday, May 21, 2014

One Month: My Thoughts As a New Mother

Treyby Baby is now one month old.  We love that little stink more than life itself, but I can say with a certainty that the past month has been the hardest month of our lives.  (I'm hoping it will be the hardest month of Trey's life too).  Here's the thing.  We have a hard baby.  No mother wants to admit that, but we do.  I say this in the most loving way possible, but our baby is a fussy little ball of fire that has the rage of a thousand men.  :) 

He is the most beautiful baby (no really...he IS) that I have ever seen, and it's a good thing too.  I've never been so frustrated and felt so inadequate in all my life as I have in the past 4 weeks, but I know that someday I'll look back on these days and miss them (so everyone has been telling me anyway).  And you know what, they're right.  Even now, I'm thinking about his first few days and I just get all mushy feeling inside (is that even a thing) and my heart grows for this little boy.

You see, as hard as it is to go days and days without sleep, it's harder to feel like you can't soothe your baby.  I mean, that's basically what I'm MADE to do, right?  It's heartbreaking to feel like you're trying everything in your power to make your baby happy, and he's just not.  He's mad, and you don't know why.  I KNOW I'm not saying anything that any other parent hasn't said, but this is new for me, so now it's my turn to say it.

Trey's first month was hard.  That's the best way I can describe it.  He seemed to be in pain non-stop for the first few weeks.  His poor little stomach would become rock hard and he would fart like nobody's business.  All. The. Time.  Seriously.  Who knew so much gas could come out of such a tiny little thing?  The only time he was content was when he was sleeping or eating (which he wanted to do every hour or so).  If he was awake, he was crying.  After days of no sleep, you can see how this would become a little frustrating. 

I was breastfeeding him exclusively (More on THAT later), so we thought maybe he was allergic to something that I was eating.  I stopped eating dairy but that didn't seem to help him at all.  Then, two weeks after he was born my milk started drying up.  I tried to keep my supply up, heaven help me, I did; but nothing seemed to work and I was starting to feel like I had been starving my child the past two weeks.  We decided to start giving him formula and it was truly the best decision we could have made.  He's been on the formula for a little over a week now and he's s.l.o.w.l.y getting better.  He's still a little stink, but he's getting to be a cuter little stink.  :) 

I DO have fond memories from the past month, but I would be lying if I said it was the best month of my life.  My body is a war zone that I fear will never be the same.  Breastfeeding was a nightmare and to be honest, I don't miss it.  The first two weeks were awful.  I remember everyone telling me "Oh, you'll just love nursing.  It's such a bonding experience."  NO.  No it wasn't.  He had the hardest time learning to latch and I was in constant pain.  I WANTED to love it, I really did.  I kept reading that after 2 weeks it will all of a sudden be great so I was just holding out for that two week mark.  It finally got to the point where I didn't cry everytime I nursed and then I started to produce less and less and I stopped nursing him.  Of COURSE it starts to feel better when I no longer need it to.  Ha. 

After Dave went back to work, it was really hard for me to be at home alone with the baby.  Has anyone else gone through that?  Scout took the transition pretty hard and wouldn't even look at me for the first week we were home.  SO heartbreaking.  I would be so overwhelmed and trying to soothe Trey and all Scout wanted to do was sit outside.  I'd put Trey down and try to compose myself (who knew, MAYBE Trey just wanted to be left alone.  Maybe THAT'S what would get him to stop crying!?).  ;)  I'd go to give Scout snuggles because he always makes me feel better and he would walk past me and go downstairs into his kennel.  I know this sounds so dramatic, and it is; but at the time, it was so hard.  I don't know why Scout hated me so much, but he did.  He didn't have problems with anyone else, but he was super pissed at me.  Thankfully, he's getting used to the baby and will let me touch him now.

I found that the best thing for me was to get out of the house.  Going to my parents became a daily activity and it SAVED my sanity.  Just getting ready for the day and getting out of the house was the best medicine.  I think Trey liked it too because he seemed to be better when we were "out and about" rather than just sitting at home.  I KNOW I'll have a hard time going back to teach in the fall, but I also KNOW that I need it.  That sounds really selfish, but I NEED that interaction.  I think I would go crazy being a stay at home mom.  At least at this stage in life.

We've had a HUGE amount of help from our families and are so grateful that we live so close by.  Trey is the first grandbaby on both sides and boy is he LOVED.  Thanks so much to everyone that has brought meals, come to hold Trey so I can shower :), and listened to me rant about my life.  I really don't usually complain this much, I promise!   

This post was all over the place and makes no sense, but I kind of like that because it emulates what the past month has been for us.  Unstructured, unorganized and messy.  As negative as this post was, I still love that baby more than anything.  There have been so many times where I just want to sit in a closet and cry and drown my sorrows in ice cream; but when I see that face, my heart melts and I hold him to my chest and am so thankful that he is mine.  Happy one month little guy.  We love you.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Birth Story: Part Three

I was so relieved to be admitted to the hospital.  Yay!  My day spent in pain wasn't for nothing!  :)  I have to admit, I was pretty proud of myself for getting to seven centimeters without any interference, but that sure didn't stop me from getting an epidural.  I had considered going natural throughout my pregnancy but told myself that I wouldn't allow myself to feel bad if I couldn't do it.  By the time we had gotten to the hospital, I was so tired and exhausted, I requested to have an epidural before I even knew how far along I was.  
I'm really glad I let them know as soon as we got there.  Shortly after they checked me my water broke and OH MY GOODNESS; My pain went from "ouch, this really hurts" to "OMG, I can't breath, help me, HELP ME!!"  Haha.  Dramatic I know.  I couldn't believe how much worse it got once my water broke.  Dave was so amazing and stayed up by my head rubbing my back and helping me breath through the contractions each time.  Our nurse was also amazing.  I'm so sad that I can't remember her name, but she was seriosuly awesome.  She would always say "You can do anything for one minute." over and over again until the contraction had ceased. 
There were two women ahead of me to get an epidural so I had to wait about 20 minutes to get mine.  It doesn't seem like that long, but when you're in pain it seems like eternity.  Once the anesthesiologist got there they had me sit up on the side of the bed to get the epidural started.  I had a huge contraction while sitting up (OUCH), but once that epidural kicked in I felt amazing.  I love modern medicine!  They checked me about 10 minutes later and I was already at 10 centimeters!  Wow!  Once I heard that I felt a little silly about getting the epidural because I could have probably gone without it, but I don't regret getting it.  I was so tired and I think it made delivery a lot more pleasant. 
At this point, my doctor wasn't even at the hospital yet so they had me rest for about an hour before pushing.  It was all so surreal.  I couldn't believe how fast everything was happening.  I truly thought that we would have come to the hospital; maybe I would have been at like 3 or 4 centimeters, and then we would wait for 10 hours or more for me to progress and be ready.  I don't think Dave expected it to go that fast either.  We were both pretty shocked to say the least.

I started pushing at about 11:30 pm.  I remember it being very calm and quiet at the beginning.  We found out that our baby was posterior and that posed some problems.  Every time I would push, he kept getting stuck and his little heart rate would drop.  It would come back up, but with every push it would take longer and longer to return to normal.  Suddenly, our calm and quiet delivery turned into a rush to get our baby out.  They put me on oxygen and within seconds there were people rushing into our room.  It was stressful, but I honestly never worried that our baby would be anything but fine.  Our doctor was amazing and stayed calm which helped ease my worries.  We ended up having to use the vaccum to get him out, but he came out in no time.

Because his heart rate was dropping so much throughout delivery, they immediately took him to assess him right after he was born.  I was disappointed because I wanted to do skin to skin right after, but I obviously wanted what was best for him.  They cleaned him up and handed him off to Dave.  He was perfect.  He only cried for a few minutes right after and then he was silent.  Dave held him for about an hour while I was being stitched up.  I unfortuneatly tore pretty bad because of how fast we needed to get him out, but I didn't mind.  I'm so glad I got the epidural for that very reason.  I can't even imagine how bad it would have been without one.

Once I got all cleaned up I finally got to hold him.  He was so beautiful and perfect.  He just kept making these quiet little cries.  It took us a few hours but we finally decided on a name.

Trey David Bland
born on 4/20/14
at 12:51 am
6 lbs 6 oz
18.5 inches long

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Birth Story: Part Two

The sun started to set as I began pacing the living room.  It was at this point that I questioned whether I was in true labor or not.  I was timing the contractions and they were consistently 7-8 minutes apart and lasting 1 minute each time.  Here's the thing though.  My uterus never "contracted".  There was never a noticeable tightening or anything.  I was able to talk through the pain and once it was gone I was fine.  Because of this, I figured there was no way I was in labor.  I don't know why I questioned it so much, but I did.  Obviously I'd never experienced labor before, but I thought it would be much more painful than it was.  I'm not saying I have a high tolernace for pain, because I don't think I do, I just thought it would be different. 
Although I was in doubt, I decided to call Dave anyway.  He and Adam had just entered a gaming tournament and were out of the house.  I still didn't think I was in labor, but I was tired and needed him to come home.  Dave later told me that he could tell I was in labor by the sound of my voice on the phone.  He insisted that I call the hospital and talk to the doctor on staff and rushed home.  When he got home I was on the phone with the hospital explaining my pain.  They believed I was in labor, but because I could still talk through the contractions figured I wasn't very far along.  They told me I could come in if I wanted or I could stay home and wait for the contractions to get stronger and closer together.  Meanwhile, Dave is grabbing our packed suitcase and last minute items and hauling them out to the car.  I remember thinking "What are you doing?!  We REALLY don't need to head to the hospital this soon."  After I got off the phone Dave was literally ushering me out the door and into the car. 
I'm so glad that he was insistent on getting me to the hospital.  He knew I was in labor even if I didn't think I was.  That car ride was awful.  Just awful.  When I was at home, I was able to walk around which eased the pain significantly.  Sitting in the car felt like I was trapped with nowhere to go.  We continued to time the contractions and they were now coming every 5 minutes.  It seriously felt like as soon as we headed to the hospital they came stronger and closer together.  Again...SO glad Dave made me get into the car.  If it had been up to me, we would have waited another hour or so and probably would have had the baby in the car.  :)  The whole way to the hospital I remember repeatdely saying "We're going to get there and they are going to send us home.  I know it."  I was REALLY afraid of that happening.  Everyone seemed to think it was because I didn't want to be embarrased by being "that woman".  You know, going to the hospital thinking you are in labor and then having them monitor you only to find out that you're not in labor at all and probably just had gas and you haven't progressed at all...yeah.  That woman.  In actuality, I was afraid that they would send me home, but it had nothing to do with being embarrassed and everything to do with the fact that I was exhausted at this point and if this WASN'T true labor, then I'm the biggest wuss in the universe and real labor would probably kill me.  :)  
We got to the hospital at about 9:30 pm.  I was still having contractions about every 5 minutes but was able to walk up to labor and delivery.  I felt SO much better once we got out of the car.  Seriously.  Sitting during contractions was awful for me.  We checked in and they had me get all hooked up to monitor me.  A nurse came in to check me and announced that I was seven centimeters.  SEVEN.  And then it hit me. 
"Holy crap, we're having a baby."

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Trey David Bland: A Birth Story; Part One

38ish weeks pregnant
On Saturday, April 19th, I woke up at 5:00 am feeling much like I had on the days and weeks before.  Tired.  Sleep had become a precious commodity and today was no different.  My back was really sore, but again, that was no different than it had been for weeks.  I relunctantly got ready for the day and did those mundane things around the house like dishes and laundry.  I remember that the only plan I had for the day was to write and mail out thank you cards (funny that I didn't get to the ONE thing that I had planned to do).  Haha.
We went out to breakfast and I was really uncomfortable.  It was at this point that I noticed that the pain was coming and going consistently, so I started to time it.  It was really sporadic.  Every 15 minutes, then 8, then 10.  I never once thought that I could be in labor.  False labor maybe, but not labor.  In the weeks prior, I was constantly having people ask me if I'd had Braxton Hicks contractions (or a Higgs Bosen, right Dave?...inside joke...) and I'd always answer with, "I don't know".  My back hurt all of the time, but other than that, I felt great.  I remember asking people how I would know I was in labor and everyone told me the same thing "Oh, you'll know.  You can't mistake it." 

We came home from breakfast and I headed out to my parents to spend the day with my Mom and Carlie.  On the drive there, the pain left and I figured that I had slept on my back wrong and that was that.  By the time I got to my parents I was exhausted.  Not really from pain, just that "oh my gosh I'm so fat and pregnant" exhausted, you know?  I plopped myself down on the couch and took a nap.  At this point, I believe I went into actual labor.  I didn't think that I was at the time.  But now that I look back on it, I'm pretty sure I was in labor.  I had only been at my parents for an hour or so and was feeling so crappy that I just decided to head home. 

The rest of the day is really a blur.  I spent the next few hours on the couch watching WAY too many episodes of Modern Family and dozing on and off in between contractions (Yet I STILL didn't think I was in labor).  I had mentioned to Dave how tired and sore I was and he asked me repeatedly throughout the day if I was in labor and I insisted that I wasn't.  You see, all throughout my pregnancy I read birth story after birth story.  I soaked in as much information as I possibly could about it.  And everything I read was pretty consistent.  "A deep pain in your abdomen..a tightening of your uterus...your stomach will become really hard...etc).  But most important of all "You'll KNOW when you are in labor."  Well, I DIDN'T know.