"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined."

-Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The first few weeks with Kenna

Where to start? The sweetness of our baby? The gentle love of her brother? There is the familiar haze of sleep deprivation. Zach has the most tender expressions when he holds Kenna. Terran has found an independence where he tells me he is going to a friend's house and proceeds to leave. He also struggled the first few days and threw a few long winded tantrums that I believe were tied to his new situation and lack of undivided attention.
The first few days I spent a lot of time holding my baby and staring at her. I had a few hormonal/emotional moments. My sadness was often triggered by a: imagining the innocent babies who aren't taken care of well (same thoughts as with Terran) and b: worry over Terran's well being.
Since those first few days I have taken a lot more time to give Terran attention and several times a day I reaffirm my love for him. Mornings seem those go really well with me usually having Kenna fed by the time Terran wakes up and I can spend breakfast and play time with him while she sleeps or is content.
We have ended up doing a lot more activities than I expected or am completely comfortable with because she is still so young, but I do my best to keep her away from people and then Terran still has normal days and we aren't going too stir crazy in the house.
Kenna is a sweetheart. The first two weeks she would wake to eat and go back to sleep. Now she has a lot longer wake times in the morning and evening, but sleeps a big chunk in the day. At night, she typically wakes every 2-3 hours to eat, but goes back to sleep after a diaper change. She is a pretty good breastfeeder, but we are having the same issues I had with Terran, with fast letdown and lots of air-gulping that leads to painful bubbles in the belly and gas. That pain and being hungry are pretty much the only times she is not content. She grins in her sleep often and sometimes when she is awake. I love it and am so excited to make her smile.
She never really fit into newborn clothes and her 3 month stuff is getting tight. She has been gaining weight like a champ and the little pudge is adorable. There have been a few days where I can tell she is bigger than the day before, or her face looks a little different.
The newborn changes are so fast that I have spent a lot of time just taking in her beautiful face and how little she is. I remember things with Terran at this age and try to commit everything with her at this age because I feel like I forget unless I'm going through it again, and who knows how many times I will get to go through it?

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Terran Tidbits

Coming in from outside "mom, look! I got a special rock for you!"


One morning Terran came and woke me up. He wanted me to help find his blue semi-truck. Kenna started fussing and he turned to me and said "Do dads have nipples?" He has asked what his are so that's how he knows what they are called. I told him yeah, that everyone has nipples. Then he said "Then have him feed her."

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Kenna Arrives!

I had gone to bed after watching Person of Interest with Mom, Dad, and Zach. Zach had fallen asleep on the couch. I thought my contractions all day had been the real thing so I figured I needed to get some sleep. I slept off and on for a couple hours, waking about every half hour. I woke around 2:15 from a hard contraction and I think I instantly knew something was different. I got up to do something in the bathroom and realized they were almost unbearable! I waited a few to be sure, and when I started wondering if I could even make it out to the living room to wake Zach, I realized I needed to wake him then! I went out there hunched over and told him we had to get ready to go.  I was seriously doubting if I could make it to the car and do the ten minute drive.  I decided a hot shower might help since a tub had helped earlier and I got in and sent Zach to wake my mom.
As I got in the shower I began evaluating my plan to have a natural birth. I doubted I could do it. Months of planning, visualizing, affirmations, all seemed a little inconsequential compared to the pain. I decided not to mention it out loud so I still had a mental chance to get through it, but I had all but decided if I hasn't passed a four once I got to the hospital, I was getting an epidural.
Thankfully, the shower helped considerably. In fact, as I was putting on my shoes to leave, I started to wonder if this was premature. But as I had to concentrate to get through them, I knew it was time to go.
As we got to the hospital, I was pausing every contraction to get through it before I could continue walking. We got admitted to my room fairly quickly where the nurse checked me and said, "you are a 5/6 and 90% effaced. Welcome to the hospital!"
I was so relieved to hear I was past a 4 and encouraged by how much the shower helped my contractions that I mentally revamped to get through this naturally. I knew if I didn't get an epidural then, then I wasn't going to get one at all, whether or not I wanted one. I wasn't ready to give up on going natural so I settled in to focus on each contraction in the moment and stay relaxed.
I got on the birthing ball while they did my IV and monitored my baby and the contractions. The first IV messed up and caused me to scream out in pain, which I had yet to do! Once I got the IV, we just had to wait for my antibiotics for Group B Strep to get in before they could let me get in the tub. Zach would wrap his arms around me from behind and let me rest my head against his through each contraction. My mom would remind me to take slow, deep breaths and to stay relaxed. My midwife got there (I go to a group of six midwives so whoever is on call when you go in is who you get. It turned out that the midwife I really wanted was on call!) She checked with me and it was nice to know she was there and we were going to get my baby here together!
I got into the tub and it immediately helped me with the contractions. They were coming pretty quick before, but the calming effect of the water helped them slow. They were also easier to work through, though I still had Zach kneel by me every time so I could hold on to him and focus. I spent the majority of the tub time in a squatting position with my back against the seat. My midwife approved and said that was great!
They continued to check baby's heart rate, and eventually my midwife said that it was a little fast and I should probably get out soon to lower my temperature for a little bit. It filled me with a little dread thinking that the contractions would get worse when I got out, but I also realized I couldn't stay in there forever!
She was guessing I was pretty far along. We decided to check and I could get back in the tub if needed. Turns out I was an 8.5 or so. I did some laboring on my side in the bed while trying to decide to break my water. I was hesitant because I knew that was the hard part, but again, it had trip happen sometime so we had her do it. This is when things went crazy!
She broke my water and the next contraction was indescribable! I couldn't help but call out, and from there, each contraction seemed impossible to get through. Everything became a blur, but I was concious of Zach behind me, supporting me. I would see my mom's face and noticed I was squeezing her hand. My mantra to get through contractions and delivery was "I am strong, I am capable, I can do this." Up until this point, I had repeated it silently in my head, but I could hear myself whimpering it as I tried to deal with the intense pain. At one point I know I was screaming and struggling to breathe and a nurse got in my face, yelled my name, and I was finally able to focus on her face. She instructed me to breathe and to push.
About this time people were saying "she is here!"and I was frustrated because I hadn't felt her come out and I didn't know what they were talking about! I figured they could just see her and I had to keep pushing! The midwife slowed me down for a minute, and then I felt her head. I then knew my pushing was working and after a few pushes where I didn't know how else to push, I felt her head come out. It wasn't instant relief because her shoulders still had to come. Another push and they were through. The relief was instant and they told me to grab her. I looked down and saw my baby girl! I pulled her onto my stomach and sobbed a little. They rubbed her down just a bit and I just held her while the cord finished pulsing. The midwife commented how I was too tall for her to breastfed until the cord was cut.
I was aware of Zach and my mom, but all I could do was sit there and hold my baby.































Friday, June 3, 2016

Contractions

Friday, May 27th - regular contractions about 7 minutes apart for a couple hours.
Saturday - same thing. Started at 3 instead of 5 but only lasted a few hours. Feeling really tired and a little off.
Monday - 3 pm contractions for a few hours.
Tuesday - appointment. No change from the week prior!
Wed-Fri - random contractions, some nausea, food never really sounds good. Usually need an afternoon nap. Still being productive (mowing lawn, laundry, washing car, walk for exercise) and able to do activities with Terran (Farm country, swimming, swings, splash pad). Friday night contractions were coming again but stopped by morning. 
Saturday - contractions started at noon and didn't stop, but also didn't intensify much.  Felt them through the night. Felt a bit nauseated. Read my blog post from when Terran was born and realized I could have a few days in my current state. 
Due Date! - After continuing through the night, the contractions slowed after getting up and eventually stopped. Mom brought up how at my initial appointment the doc said the due date could be June 9th (I think based on size) but since it was within four days they keep it based on my last period. I had completely forgotten about that, and it put the timing in a whole new perspective.
Tuesday morning - midwife appointment. I hadn't decided if I would strip my membranes or not. While I was waiting for the midwife, I had a few contractions. She checked me and I hadn't progressed. I decided spur of the moment to have her sweep the membranes in the hopes baby girl would come before mom and dad had to leave the next day. As I left, contractions continued and didn't really stop. 
Took Terran to the grocery store and they continued. I felt out of sorts and distracted. We made it home and my mind seemed fuzzy, I think with the distraction of wondering what was coming! We hung out with Mom and Dad, then Zach got home. We watched some TV and while lying on the couch my contractions slowed. I was disappointed because I was pretty certain this was it! After a snack I decided to try to get some sleep just in case....I slept for a bit and then the party started.....

Terran Tidbits

Playing out in the hills while Dad was looking for brass, a bird's shadow flew over Terran's head. He spun around and said "ah! I thought that was a pteradactyl! That scared me!"

Terran runs into the bathroom saying "mom! I need dad's tools! He was playing with a toy that uses batteries. "The batteries are not working." I said I will help him when I was done and he said, "no, I will get a chair." Then proceeded to climb a chair to search for Zach's tools. His independence is impressive. At the same time his dependence is impressive. He just knows what he wants when he wants it and knows how to get it!

We were swinging outside and I told Terran I needed to go in to go to the bathroom. He often has to come with me or decides he has to go too. (That's why I told him, so he didn't freak when I went in). He kept swinging and said "then go, you silly bumpkin!" 

Terran had realized it is hilarious if he goes cross-eyed, so he does it often! 

We had another drastic haircut for the T-Dub. Since he can understand situations and reason with us,  I tried to let him decide when we would cut his beautiful long locks. He never really wanted to. In preparation for a newborn though, I decided it was in our best interest. Zach was not happy. He loves Terran's long blond hair. Terran wasn't happy to get it done, but did smile after and say "I got a haircut! Ha!" I tried to make it exciting by saying it was spiky and looked like Dad's. That worked for part of the day. Later, he was playing and looked at me and said he wanted his hair to be like mine. That night, he went to twist his hair into a knot, a habit he has been doing a lot, especially when tired. Since it was chopped off, he ended up rubbing the buzz a little.