Monday, June 30, 2014

Bipolar Babies and Other Musings of a Sleep Deprived Mom

Dude... this Mom shit is hard.
I'm not even going to sugar coat this. It's exhausting. Worth it. Oh God is it worth it. BUT... exhausting as hell.
Alex and I try to switch off on sleeping in on Sundays. I got to wake up with him every night for the first 10 weeks and now every blue moon on a Sunday if I schedule it three weeks in advance I get to sleep in...
Joking... sort of.
I'm my own worst enemy because I need to close the door and turn the fan way up because if I hear so much as a squeak, I'm up and I want to know what's wrong. It's terrible. Then the dog gets pissed he locked out of the bedroom and bangs his body against it. And...yeah... relaxing.
So, yesterday (Sunday) I get to "sleep in". It was a rocky sleep in, but I felt a little more human afterward and had a new leash on life. Never one to let me get too cocky. Baby J woke his sweet bum up at 4:00 AM this morning.
The freaking birds weren't even awake yet. It. Was. Terrible.
He was bright eyed and bushy tailed. Until of course he lost his shit. I finally got him back to sleep around the time that I got about two seconds of sleep before I had to get up to work. Thankfully, I was working from home today because I managed to muster up enough energy to throw on a bra and change my underwear. I remembered deodorant around noon. #keepingitreal 
Of course, like any time he wakes up super early, we try to play catch up the rest of the day. He's normally good for about hour long naps, but if I can get him to take a two hour one, I can get him back. Sometimes. I thought I was golden today, but this is how I spent my day...
Home boy is lucky he is cute or else I would be looking into the return policy on babies. Trade him in for a model that isn't so cranky.
I kid.
Kind of.
It was a long day to say the least and he went to bed super early. Which will probably screw me for tomorrow as well, but seriously he couldn't fathom being apart of the conscious world anymore. I had the audacity to use soap on him in the bath and that was the end of his line. #hotmessexpress
We recently transitioned him to his crib for naps, but that was DAYS ago. And he's done just fine with it. Today? Not so much. Ahh the joys of being a Mom.

Oh... and on a completely unrelated note... kind of... can we focus for a second on the difference a couple months can make?
My little tiny eenie weenie baby and my big 3 month old boy!
 Editors Note: I was up and down the stairs no less than 15 times after putting him to bed, to put him BACK to sleep. He decided that 10:30 PM was a grand old time to wake up, just as we were going to bed. After a bottle and some begging, he went back to sleep, but not without a fight. We lather, rinsed and repeated this fun little game from 3:00 - 4:30 AM. It was a blast. Thank you my sweet boy for the 5 hours of shotty sleep last night. Smooches.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Mess With the Bull and You're Going to Get the Horns

Here's the deal folks. I consider myself to be a feisty little seniorita. I don't know if it is the Irish blood pumping through my veins, or if it is because I was raised to speak my mind. (Maybe a little of column A, a little of column B) But that's the way that it is.
I've learned over the years that there are sometimes when I need to bite my tongue. That it isn't worth it to fight every single battle that comes at me. That some people aren't worth the effort. It's a learning process. And I do try and reevaluate often to make sure that I'm going down the right path.
As a known hot head, who used to have a passion for spouting off my big mouth, I've learned long ago that I need to think before I speak. I run off of adrenaline and my first reaction is to respond. Immediately. (Actually, my first reaction is to tell the person to go fuck themselves, which isn't really constructive.) But, I can't. I know I will say something that I regret. So, I often take a beat and consult someone (usually my mom or N, sometimes both) to see if my level of crazy is justified.
I explain the situation as unbiased as possible, trying to state the plain facts and then to describe how I feel. I then give them free range to tell me I'm a blithering idiot or a whacked out psycho. I may not always like what they say, but I NEVER respond until we have come to an agreement on what should be done about it. Sometimes I need an outside party to help me remain grounded.
Usually, they fully agree with what I feel and we come up with a way to attack the problem together. I usually run things by them before I send them, keeping them informed during conversations. If I'm sending an email or a text, I send it to them first for approval. We edit, delete, substitute, until it is as perfect as can be. I truly, TRULY try to handle everything as rational as possible. I have no time in my life to start wars over ridiculous bullshit, but I also have no time to let people walk all over me. Chances are if I sit on it for awhile and it is still bothering me, then I HAVE to say something. I have to. If I can't brush it off, I refuse to sit and stew over it.
Every so often though, you get a situation or a person who just rubs you the wrong way. And continues to do so. Repeatedly. For years.
I'm currently in a battle over posting pictures of Baby J on the internet. It's no secret that I took this page private shortly after he was born and before I started posting more about him. Chances are, if you are reading this right now, it is because I trust you with my personal information and pictures of my family. (And there's a small enough group that I could hunt you down with the quickness if you try and steal my shit) The only post about him that wasn't private, was the one announcing his birth. And seeing as how he looks nothing like that now, I'm cool with that. From the beginning, I was nervous about posting pictures. A fellow blogger experienced some heinous human being stealing her pictures and creating fake Facebook pages and such, not once but twice. I can't even imagine the violation that she feels. I know that I never want to feel that way.
From the beginning, I requested that the amount of pictures posted of him be limited. I said one or two every so often, but please ask my permission first, and tag me in them. This way I have a heads up about the whole thing. Unfortunately, some people couldn't respect that and time after time I was scrolling through my newsfeed and would see a random picture of my son that was taken and posted without my knowledge. Or I would get a text from someone telling me they liked the picture. Each time it was up for a considerable amount of time before I was aware of it and countless strangers had seen it, liked it, and/or commented on it.
That bothered me. There was just something about scrolling through your newsfeed and seeing pictures of your infant son taken without your permission or knowledge and posted for god knows who to see. It made me extremely uncomfortable. Especially since I posted maybe one or two pictures, max, of him on Facebook, but they were all over the place.
Instagram, and I may be naive for thinking this, seems a little less scary. I remember when I was younger, you would add everyone you JUST met on Facebook. And then you would have hundreds of people, most of them complete strangers, who could see all sorts of personal information. I spent a lot of time going through my friends list when I was pregnant, but I have no clue who is on someone else's list. It could be anyone. On Instagram, I have a selected group of people that I have allowed on there. I post pictures of Baby J almost daily, but I know and trust every single person that follows me on there.
Once again... I have no idea who is following someone else.
I tried, numerous times to compromise and nothing I had requested was being respected. So, unfortunately, I had to tell everyone that they weren't allowed to post any pictures of him on the internet. Everyone was pretty upset about it, but most of them respected it. Except, one person. I have been having this issue repeatedly with her. She thinks that she has a right to post whatever she wants of him.
I tried to explain that as his mother, the final say goes to me. I get to pick and choose every single thing that has to do with him. Whether people like it or not. That's what I get for growing him inside my body for 9 (million) months and giving birth to him. Alex, also has rights to Baby J as he makes up half of his DNA. Everyone else, while family or close, does not. And this is a precedent that I am going to make sure is quite clear.
While I love a good battle, I usually end up dropping shit pretty quickly if it seems to be spinning out of control. I try to get my point across, but sometimes people don't understand it and I can't make them and it isn't worth continuing on. I, however, refuse to submit to this one. I am well aware that this has gone WAY past the posting of a silly picture. I don't fucking care about the pictures. I wouldn't have cared about the pictures. All I wanted was for my rights as a parent, as a Mother, to be respected. I will NOT spend the next 18 years having this battle. So I'm fighting it now. Tooth and Nail.
I have dug my heels in so deep into the ground that there's NO way that I'm moving.
And it's sad really, that things have to be like this. I wish my mother could post the occasional picture to show off her grandson to her family and friends. I wish my brother could show off his nephew because it is so incredibly cute how much they love each other and who knew he was into babies at all. I wish I could post the occasional picture on Facebook for the family that isn't on Instagram. But, unfortunately, this apparently has to be an all or nothing sort of thing. And even more unfortunately, it's nothing.
I know some of this may seem petty. I know people might not understand it. And that's fine. I don't need you to get my crazy. I just need my main point to be clear. No one, and I mean NO ONE other than Alex or I has the right to decide something for Baby J without our permission. And YES, you need permission. No one, and I mean NO ONE other than Alex or I has the right to go against something that we have discussed and decided for our son. I don't care what it is.
If we decide that he is Vegan, don't give him meat. If we decide to raise my child without ever giving him sugar, that's our prerogative. If we decide that we're going to shave his head, dye his eyebrows blue, and start calling him Yamalamadingdong, unfortunately for you (and him...) you have to go along with it.
You don't have to agree with us, but you have to respect it.
And that's what this all comes down to. Respect.
Who knows how long or far this battle will go. It's already gone on too long and I am way ready to move past it (like I thought we had, thirty thousand talks ago...) but I can't. There's no compromise with this anymore and I won't settle until this precedent is set.
Call me crazy, but I think it is up for the parents to decide what is best for the child. Not everyone else.
So that's where we are in life. Mess with me and chances are I will be too exhausted to fight you or even keep it up for long. I'd much rather just stop talking to you than to try and change your ways to fit mine. Sometimes people just don't agree. And that's fine. That's your right to have your opinion and it is my right to disagree with it. I get that.
However, if you mess with my kid? Then it's on.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Ramblings of a Mama to her Son

As I sit watching you eat, noticing your tiny perfect face, taking in every inch of your features, I'm amazed at how far we have come. The blanket on the foot stool reminds me of those early days. When you were so tiny. tiny as you ever were. I remember sitting in that rocking chair. The house cold, dark, and quiet. Still so unsure of myself. My abilities.  Running through the night on autopilot. Diaper, bottle, sleep. Lather, rinse, repeat.  Those days are such a blur, but I'm so glad I took those moments to stop and take everything in when you were eating. Those night time feedings were exhausting,  constantly wiping the sleep from my eyes, struggling to stay awake. Spending most of my time with various itches as not to disturb you while sleeping. But... they gave me moments to pause. I always used this time to reflect. To notice how you have grown. To remember the days when you fit snugly inside my arms. To soak up every second of you being my baby. My son. My first born.
I can't help but think of how far we have come in such a short time. Those first few weeks were tough ones. We were learning to figure out your signs and cues. Attempting to be one step ahead of your needs. It didn't really go so well for awhile, but we eventually started to learn your little quirks. Like when you hold your hands together and rub them on your mouth, you're hungry (Although you're starting to grow out of that and it's slowly breaking your Mommy's heart. It was the first thing I noticed about you when you were born and I want to hold onto that moment forever). How if you are squiggling all over the place whole you are eating a bottle, then you need a nice burp (Another thing you are slowly growing out of). You have started to rub your eyes when you get sleepy. Which is a fun little tip for us because you start doing it WELL before you have reached your breaking point.
The days of an overtired, hungry baby are fewer and far between. We have settled into a nice little routine and while we deviate from it slightly, we try to keep to it as much as possible. We have seen your wrath and we do not want to see it often. You turn into quite the Tasmanian Devil. I remember those days of a sweet, tiny sleepy baby. You may have cried, but you didn't have the strength to attempt to throw yourself out of our arms yet. We can tell that you are going to be a fiercely independent little boy and while I know it will make my job as your mom a little harder, I know that you will be a force to be reckoned with and this world won't take you down.
You take everything you see in. You stare quietly, focusing on each and every little thing around you. A bird flying by. A car passing. The grass. The leaves. The sun. It amazes me to watch you take the whole world in. You rarely make a peep when you are outside, unless actively engaged by someone. It's a time for learning and reflection for you. You have your Daddy's strength and determination (which comes from Mommy a bit too!) but you also have my thoughtful perspective too. Your Daddy and I hope that you are a Renaissance man of sorts. Good with your hands, but with a thirst for knowledge (and knowing how to cook, clean, and go laundry. Your future wife will thank me!)
Every day you amaze us. Every single day. You are growing so fast and you're such a smart little boy. You are picking things up at lightning speed and we feel like if we blink too long we are going to miss something. It's starting to get a little harder to go to work, for both of us. We are just enjoying our time with you so much that we just hate those long days in between that keep us apart.
Each and every day I am just so proud to be your Mom. Even when you wake up at 4:45 in the morning and refuse to go back to sleep. You're all smiles. Chatting away. Like you have the biggest world secrets to tell me and sleep can wait. Eventually, you fall back asleep right about when I'm supposed to go to work, but I still can't help but smile at your sweet sleeping face.
We used to imagine what you would look like and how you would be after you were born. We spent so many nights wondering. It was so weird to us to love someone so much without ever knowing what they would look like. And now we wonder how you will be when you are older. What your voice will sound like. What you will be into. It's just so amazing to think of all the possibilities for you in the future. You truly are an amazing little boy, and the best thing we have ever done without lives.
We can't even imagine a life without you. You just fit into our hearts so completely right from the very beginning. Even now, it feels like a lifetime ago from when we first brought you home from the hospital, when in reality it has only been 12 weeks.
We love you little man and your daddy and I can't wait to watch you grow!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Baby J: Two Month Update

I figured in honor of Baby J turning 3 months yesterday, I would finally post his 2 month update. I'm ALMOST up to date on all of the posts I've written!

Two months! How did we get here so fast?!

13.7 oz! Your Daddy and I had bets on how much you would weigh but we both guess in the low 12 lb area. Apparently we were WAY off!

23.75 inches. Almost two feet!

Fit as a fiddle. You had a great check-up at the doctor and got 2 shots and one oral vaccine. (Technically you were 2 months and one day, but it was your 2 month visit so we are counting it)You weren't a huge fan of the shots, but you loved the one you could eat. But then again... you haven't met anything you can eat that you haven't liked. Which is pretty evident by your weight gain!

You are doing pretty well. You usually only wake up once a night, maybe twice. Then you are up for about an hour or so around 7:00 and then go back to sleep. We switched you from the newborn napper to the bassinet part of your Pack 'n Play because you were getting too long for it. You weren't a huge fan. We tried rolling up blankets, elevating the Pack 'n Play, etc. and you were still all over the place. We finally broke down and bought you a Rock 'n Play and it was like angels singing. You LOVE it!

All smiles. You love the attention and you give everyone the biggest grin when they talk with you or make faces. You have become a lot more interactive. You don't want to just sit around, you want to be talked to and engaged. We are in deep trouble.

We switched to exclusively formula at a bout 6 1/2 weeks. It was a good run, but you are eating so much I just couldn't keep up with you.

We call you Linus sometimes because of how much you love to just hold onto a blankie. You have learned how to pull your arms up so that you can rub it on your face, which makes you laugh.  You love it when we stick our tongue out at you and even try to copy us sometimes.
That Mom went back to work this month. It was a hard couple days (and we are still adjusting) but we are making it through. It does mean you get to spend extra time with Grammy and Daddy, so it isn't all bad!

We feel like you do something different every single day!



Friday, June 20, 2014

When the Honeymoon is Over...AGAIN...

So you know how relationships have that "honeymoon" period? You go through it a thousand times. You meet and everything is great and then shit gets real. Then you move in together and everything is great and then shit gets real. And then you get engaged and married and the same thing. (Although this time is actually is your honeymoon period) Well, it's the same thing when you have a baby.
You spend nine months wishing, wondering, waiting, imagining what life will be like. Make plans, get prepped, and then when that baby arrives you are just on cloud nine. The world is perfect.
You love your baby and your husband is the most amazing man on the planet because he helped made aforementioned baby. You bask in the glow of the newness, the tiny toes, you talk about how amazing the baby is.
And then somewhere along the lines you have to start talking about other things again. The mortgage, bills, things that need to be done around the house, etc. etc.
If you're lucky like me, your husband will have been able to take some time off work when the baby is born. Alex got a week. It wasn't much, but it was better than a lot of men get. It was nice to have him around that first week, but it also kind of sucked a little. He kept looking to me for direction, but I had no clue what I was doing so I couldn't give him much.
I ended up doing a lot of it myself. And then when he went back to work, I did all of it by myself. He helped when he could, but Baby J was so small and I was still trying to breastfeed which wasn't working so then I was bottle feeding, and I was all over the place with what I wanted to do. By this time, Alex had gone back to his regular life. I mean, obviously things were different for him, but not much changed.
For me, I was still dealing with all of the changes with my body, recovering, the sleep deprivation, taking care of a baby 24/7, and still somehow attempting to be a valued member of society.
I don't talk about the negative aspects of Alex and I's relationship on this blog. I never have and I don't really plan to, but I think that this topic is one that could somehow help someone a little. I know a lot of you have new babies or are having babies and I just want to give you as much of a heads up to all of the things that threw me for a loop that no one mentioned.
I mean, I told you about our hellish first night home from the hospital when I wondered what the hell I had gotten myself into...
Life with a baby wasn't easy to transition to for Alex and I. Our relationship hasn't always been roses and butterflies, like every normal relationship, but we have always had a very easy way of being close. It's something that I've always been proud of. We have a very close relationship and I can honestly say the absolutely IS my best friend. We have a lot of fun together and I know that I can count on him for anything.
But with the baby... we struggled. I mean, we were both over the moon to be parents, but we had a hard time with our relationship. Mainly, I resented him a lot because I felt like my entire world was rocked and he got to just skip about life as usual taking advantage of all of the great parts of having a baby and none of the hard parts.
Part of my issue was that I didn't ask for help. And then when I finally did, he had no idea what he was doing, so I would just do it myself. Then I would get annoyed. I spent a lot of my time being annoyed. I felt like he was purposefully making my life a thousand times harder than it needed to be.
It wasn't fair.
But that wasn't it. It wasn't it at all. We were just on two separate pages. Maybe even different books. And it took a long time for us to realize it.
We finally had a big, long (hard cider fueled) talk at dinner one night. We were out on our own, which is rare, and I pretty much just verbal vomited everything that I was feeling. Not in an accusatory way, not in a nagging way, not in an aggressive way. I just told him how miserable I was and where I was coming from. And for the first time in a long time we REALLY talked. We talked about us, and how it was, and how it is, and how we want it to be.

It was really...cleansing. I normally hate when people talk like that, but I felt like I had a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. I felt like he finally understood where I was coming from. I felt heard. And for the first time in a long time, I didn't feel so alone.

I wish we had the talk a lot sooner, but I'm not sure if either one of us could have found the words that we needed then. And who knows if we would have received them as well as we did. The important part is that we are still talking. We are still trying. Even though it is a little bit of extra work to stay close right now, it's worth it. We definitely don't want to find ourselves 18 years down the road, grown kids, and having nothing left.

I think it is really easy to get caught up in 100% all things baby. Especially in the beginning. Add going back to work to that and it made things a million times harder. But we are working on it. We try to spend more quality time together. We try to get out for a date about once a month. We haven't really done anything else yet, but he's still little. There's more time for that later. He IS our main priority, but we have to remember that he isn't our ONLY priority.

Just a little story I wanted to share for someone who felt like they were the only one's in the world who weren't seeing the world through rose colored glasses right after having a baby. Trust me, I love my husband so much more than before we had Baby J, but it's been a whole lot harder to connect with him. It's work. It's hard. But, you know what, usually, the hard things are SO worth it.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Back to Work: Being a Working Mom Blows

Written: May 22, 2014

It's my third day back, and I have to say it is just getting harder from this point. Granted, I have the relief of knowing that for the next 4 days, my squishy little boy will be in my arms, but today is hard. He's been sleeping the past two days when I get home and pretty much been out for the night. There were days when I was home when I would pray for naps like that, but alas, no. He just uses them to punish me. I've probably seen him awake for about two hours in the last two days. Which means, he's only seen me for two hours in the past two days.

I feel like I'm missing too much already. What skills is he going to master while I'm at work? What new things will he try when I'm not there to see it? Who is going to see the amazement on his face when he does something for the first time? I just feel like I'm missing it all. He's only little once and I just want to soak up every single second of him. I just don't see this getting any easier.

I've just been holding him while he is sleeping. I'm sure someone is going to tell me how I am ruining my child and he won't ever sleep without being held until he is 30 and paying out the bum for therapy to figure out just how much his mother screwed him up. BUT... it's been the only time that I get to hold him. I just take in his tiny little face. Watching the faces he makes in his sleep. Breathing in deep the delicious smell of baby. Making note of every single tiny detail about him so I don't miss anything. Don't forget anything. Kissing him softly on his cheeks, his head, and his hands. It's the only time that I get with him. So I just hold him and the rest of the world can wait.
Written: June 17, 2014
I started writing this post right when I went back to work, and like most things I forgot about it and it went to the wayside. I've been terrible with things like that. I will go to text someone back and realize it is three days later. It's terrible.
I've gotten a little more used to being back at work now. It still isn't my most favorite place to be, but then again after days like yesterday it is nice to have a little break. (He was a monster, which is totally out of character for him!)
It's been a little hard to juggle everything. I feel very overwhelmed most of the time. I feel like I have 12,000 things to do and only time to do half of them. Something ALWAYS falls to the wayside. The house is dirty. We ate out a lot the first couple weeks. I'm currently trying to figure out how I am going to clean the pool, go to Target, and figure out how/when we will get groceries, all of which really should be done today. But I had a work event at lunch and I like to just rush home to Baby J, so I feel like I have no time to do it.
I told myself that I should make a chore chart, but I haven't found the time to make one. Ironic, no? I'm loving the amount of time I still get to be home with Baby J. He changes so much every single day so I am glad I get to be there. He rolled over for the first time on one of my work from home days. If he was in day care full time I wouldn't have seen that. Someone else would have.
We have his sleep/nap schedule nailed down a bit more, so he isn't sleeping the entire time I'm home now. Which is nice. He sometimes waits to take a nice afternoon nap until I'm home, but I usually take some time to sit with him and then get some stuff done until he wakes up.
Honestly, it isn't the most perfect situation, but it is a hell of a lot better than it could be. I was so heartbroken when I went back to work. It physically hurt to leave him. It was the most horrible feeling. But, it has gotten a little bit easier. My mom has gotten really close with him, which makes it so much easier to leave him with her if Alex and I need a date night. Alex and Baby J are still figuring each other out a bit, but I can see how much this extra time alone is really strengthening their relationship. It's so amazing to see them look and laugh at each other. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm still a total baby hog, but it's getting easier to share.
I so still wish that I could be home. I told Alex that we need to figure something out by the time we have another one. I at least want to be able to take the full 12 weeks of maternity leave. The 8 was FAR too short. I would have really liked that extra time with him.
I don't cry anymore when I think about it, which helps. It took me a little bit to heal from it all, but it's getting better. I never really imagined myself being so into my kid, but apparently I am. I knew I would be crazy about the little guy, but some part of me thought that I would be craving my independence again. I do sometimes, but only when he's being a nut job. The second I'm away from him I hate it.
As you can see, the first part of this was written by a VERY emotional Mother. I'm pretty sure I was choking back tears writing it. But it HAS gotten easier. I mean, it's still not OK, but we are all surviving.
Work is a lot more enjoyable now too. I think it's because I only have to deal with everyone a few days a week. So, if someone bothers me I know I can have some good space from them. Plus, usually I'm so busy when I'm in the office that I don't have much time to spend interacting with anyone. I usually see Baby J at lunch, so that helps break up the days too. I look forward to the days when I can reclaim my lunch hour, but for now I'm happy to spend it with my little man. This place used to be such a big part of my life, but not it's just to pay the bills. I'm not focused on anything else other than coming in, getting my work done, and getting home to my baby. Which takes the pressure off a little.
So, while being a working Mom blows... it isn't really all that bad. I have a good set-up though. I don't know how I am going to deal when I have to be back in the office 5 days a week, but I'm hoping to have figured something out by then. Hopefully.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Father's Day Present

One of the things that is so exciting about having a baby is that you go through a whole bunch of exciting firsts. Seriously, almost every single day something new and exciting happens. It's a pretty amazing thing.
I really wanted to make sure that we were able to take the time and enjoy all of these firsts. I know that we need to make an effort to stay involved throughout all of Baby J's years, but I know that he's going to be changing so rapidly this first year that I wanted to make sure that we didn't miss anything.
It's a hard thing being a parent and it isn't for the faint of heart. While Baby J is one of the sweetest babies I have ever met, it was quite the adjustment getting used to life with a baby.
So... I wanted to make sure that Alex had a fabulous first Father's Day. I know life will get crazier with the years (and maybe even more kids) so I wanted to make sure this one really counted.
A couple of weeks ago, sneaky Baby J and I put together a special present for Alex. On one of my Mommy only outings I hit up Michaels for a cute collage frame. I had seen this idea a billion times and I always wanted to do it. (In fact, I have dozens of kid activities that I have "collected" long before Baby J was ever a sparkle in our eyes) The frame was a little pricey, but I had a 40% off coupon so that evened the blow a little bit. (Yes, the inner cheapskate and bargain shopper in me HAD to tell you the deal I got on it)
I waited for a day that Baby J was in a particularly good mood and got to taking pictures. He's normally a VERY happy baby, but I needed him in a mood where he was willing to put up with my shenanigans.
I can't believe how good the pictures came out!
Alex loved it! I also gave him a little present from me to my favorite Baby Daddy.
We made him breakfast and we all hung out for a little bit in the morning. Then he got to work on the lawn and Baby J and I hung out.
We then went to visit Alex's parents and sister. We had a nice couple of hours chatting and catching up. Showing them all of Baby J's new tricks. It was nice to catch up with them since we hadn't seen them since Memorial Day weekend.
When we got home, there was no time to spare. My parents, brother, and grandmother showed up probably about 15 minutes after we got home. We spent a nice night grilling outside and chatting. Baby J had quite the exhausting day and passed out by 7:00.
Although... not one to miss a party, he woke up at 8:00 and then again at 8:30. I think he knew no one (probably me, he always seems to know when I'm not there) was in the house. He did finally go to bed after that and was down for the night.
Poor tired guy.
We had a fabulous day celebrating all the wonderful Dads in our life! Needless to say I was super exhausted by the end of the day too and we all went to bed shortly after Baby J.

Friday, June 13, 2014

On Being a Mom

I had a lot of ideals about becoming a Mother. Having been around children, working with them for well over ten years, you start to gather bits and pieces of information. In other words, you look at every single parent and child and immediately decide that you will or won’t be like that.
It’s a split second judgment. You almost don’t even realize you’re doing it. You see a child in a store, screaming and crying, throwing the ultimate of tantrums, and a poor distraught Mother just trying to calm her child while everyone is staring. You see her cart filled to the top with groceries, she’s obviously been there for a while and by the amount of food she has in her cart, you know she just can’t head home and do this another day. You watch her beg and plead with her child to behave, and finally she relents. She picks up the toy her child is screaming about and hands it to her. Immediately the crocodile tears stop and all is right in the world.
Then you think to yourself, “I’m never going to be like that when I’m a Mother”.
I would like to think that I kept my options open when it came to Motherhood. I tried not to come up with too many “do’s”or “don’ts”. I tried not to judge others. My main thing was that I didn’t want to lose myself. Everything else was up in the air, but I refused to become one of those Mothers who spends 99% of their free time with their kid and never sees or talks to their friends.
During the first few weeks it was hard NOT to be that Mom. I didn’t really have a choice though. He was so little and it was so cold out, that bringing him out anywhere was a hassle. We did small trips to Target here and there, but other than that we were home bound. The house was a disaster and I very rarely changed out of my PJs, which were usually covered in spit up, so having people over was a hassle too. So, I didn’t. I told myself that when I could, I would.
Except, something changed. Around 8 weeks, the clouds seemed to clear a little bit. We were finally getting a routine down. I was beginning to understand him a bit more, so the crying fits were a bit less. Of course, I went back to work around that time so everything was thrown back up in the air, but I had no choice but to have my shit together, so I did.
Alex and I had been out maybe twice. Just to dinner, not gone more than two hours. Everyone survived. Things were getting easier. I could go out. I could be free.
But, I didn’t want to. I just wanted to be with my baby. I’m home four days a week, which is wonderful. Mondays & Friday, I work from home. It’s tough, but I love being able to spend the entire day with him AND still make a full 40 hours. Saturdays and Sundays are crazy, but I love them too. Although, I have to share him more with Alex and our families, which is a downfall. Tuesday through Thursday I’m at work all day. By the time I get home, I’m exhausted and I just want to spend as much time with him as I can. After he goes to sleep, that’s the time I have to do all of the things I need to do. Wash the bottles, clean up the kitchen, fold the laundry, and spend about 3 seconds with Alex before it’s time to go to sleep.
I don’t want to do anything else. And I’m OK with that.
I’ve seen friends a few times, but Baby J is always with me. I’ve been out for a drink with a friend once. I was right down the street from my house and was gone for no more than two hours. Baby J was sleeping the entire time. I found out when I got home that he had woken up twice (which he never, ever does once he is down for the night…but he apparently has done it every time my parents babysit and now when Alex was home alone) and I felt guilty. I felt like he was looking for me and I wasn’t there. I know he was with his father, and Alex handled it just fine, but I can’t shake the feeling that he needed me and I wasn’t there.
I want to be there. Every time.
Something changes when you become a Mom. At least it did for me. Literally, NOTHING else in the entire world, matters compared to Baby J. All the meaningless bullshit. The drama. Means nothing compared to the smile on that little boy’s face. When he looks up at me with those big big eyes, I’m a gonner. No matter how upset I am, the second he grins that big gummy grin, *POOF!* gone.
It was amazing how quickly my life had changed. The amount of pride I took from someone stating,  "wow he's a good baby huh?" Or the amount of pleasure I took watching him focus and grasp onto an object like he just figured out the solution to world peace.  Someone asks how he is and I immediately rattle off every accomplishment he’s done that day (sticking your tongue out is an accomplishment, right?) and tell them way more than I’m sure they wanted to know.
This is my life now. He’s my life now. I know that eventually I’m going to have to let go a bit more, and no longer be the artist formerly known as Kayleigh, but for now, this is where I want to be. I don’t want to give up one single second for anything. I don’t want to miss one bath time. One bed time. I don’t want to miss a single second more than I have to. And that’s OK with me. He won’t need me forever. Babies don’t keep you know. At the rate he’s going, he’s probably going to walking and looking for his own apartment next month.
It all goes too fast.
So when he’s older and too cool for his mom. Wanting to spend all of his free time fixing things with his daddy. Or running around with his friends. Or quietly brooding in his room thinking about how unfair life is and how he’s going to move to the farthest point in the world away from me because I wouldn’t let him do something. I’m going to remember all of these moments. These sweet, sweet moments. The rest of the world will be there tomorrow. But babies don’t keep.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Baby J: One Month Update

Not quite sure what to do with the whole "sitting up on your own" thing.

10 lbs, 7 oz. After weekly visits to the doctor to check on your weight because you had dropped so much since leaving the hospital, we were finally given the green light. You are doing great Buddy!

22.5 inches. You gained two inches in a month!

You had your first cold at the end of the month. You had the sniffles and you were coughing a bit. You weren't phased by it at all, but I was terrified that you caught something terrible. I followed my Mom instincts though and kept calm. I knew you were OK, it was just a bit nervous. You are so small and I was worried that I would be too relaxed when I should have been more worried.

You are actually a pretty good sleeper as far as babies go. Although, I don't have much to compare you to but I have heard horror stories. You wake up a few times a night, but I change you, feed you, and you are back to sleep in no time.

You love attention. You are never happier than when you are around a whole bunch of people just being involved in the action. You don't even need to be fawned over the entire time (although you won't say no to it haha). It does make it hard for you to eat or sleep though. You don't want to miss anything and you are usually a bear when the party is over! (I have no idea where you get that from :) )

You are mostly formula fed. You get some food from Mom a few times a day, but you eat too much to rely on it solely. You haven't met a bottle you don't like yet! Which was pretty evident in the 9 oz weight gain in one week! You quickly moved on from 2 oz in a bottle to 4. When you are hungry, you are HUNGRY!

People. Attention. Your "blankies", which are really burp cloths and receiving blankets. Snuggles. And looking out the windows.

When people don't recognize that you are hungry or tired and give you what you want immediately!

It's been a big month!

You celebrated Daddy's birthday, had your first Easter, and met a WHOLE bunch of people. You did your first smile at around 2 weeks and while everyone said that was impossible, we knew it was the real thing. But a month, you were smiling more often. You just think Mom and Dad are the funniest things ever! You graduated from sleeping in your swing to your "newborn napper" in the Pack 'n Play.

Your first real bath was MUCH more successful than your first sponge bath at the hospital. You didn't cry once. You weren't quite sure what to make of it, but it wasn't the earth shattering cry that you had in the hospital.
You celebrated your first Easter. You were only 29 days old and you did the best that you could for being so little and there being so many people. You slept most of the time, but you were quite charming for the little time that you were awake. You met a whole bunch of your Great Aunt & Uncles and some of Daddy's cousins too! It was a big day.
Quite the difference a month makes. I miss that squishy "little" baby!

What's in a Name: How We Picked Our Son's Name

Brand new babe!
Alex and I had talked about baby names a thousand times. We had been together for almost 7 years by the time we had Baby J so we had been through the conversation quite a few times.
As long as I've known him, Alex was always adamant about the fact that he wanted his first son to be named John. It's his middle name and his Great Grandfather's name. Alex is a third, so I always thought it was up to him to choose whether or not he wanted to continue on the name. I'm not typically big on that, but I was open to the discussion for it. I always wanted our children to have their own names, their own identities. And while I get the sentiment that goes along with naming your child after one of the parents, it wouldn't have been my first choice.
We had a boy name and a girl name picked out before we knew what we were having. We were a bit up in the air on the middle name for the boy, but the girl name was picked. In fact, while I knew in my heart that it was a boy (we both did, pretty much the entire time), I was starting to convince myself that since I liked the girl name so much that it must be a girl.
However, as we found out in October, Baby P was VERY much a boy and thus became, Baby J.
We went back and forth between the names Patrick and William for the middle name. Patrick was my dad's father's middle name. And William was my mother's father's first name. Alex never got to meet my paternal Grandfather since he passed away a few months after we started dating. He met my maternal Grandfather quite a few times and they really took a liking to each other.
We eventually decided on the name William. My cousin had a little girl right after we found out that we were having a boy and named her Ruth, after my maternal Grandmother. It just seemed like destiny that she had a girl and we had a boy (them both being the first two great grandchildren on that side) so we decided that Ruth & William should be back together again.
I was incredibly nervous that he would be born and he wouldn't seem like a John. That was my biggest fear. I mean, how do you pick someone's name for them? But, thankfully, he was a John from the moment we saw him. I mean, we hardly ever use his name right now since we have developed a HUGE list of nicknames (I know it's terrible, all the baby books frown upon it, but I'm pretty sure that he will realize at some point in life that his name isn't Boomer and he won't be in therapy because of it).
I think it might be a little harder to name the next one, since we were so convinced for so long that our first boy would be John, we were used to it. It was agreed upon a long time before he was even a twinkle in our eye. We chat a bit about the next one. I told Alex that I get to pick the first name and he can pick the middle, since it was opposite with Baby J. Haha.
If we have a girl? Who knows. Alex already doesn't like the girl name we picked before so I guess it is a good thing we didn't have a girl! Haha.
The middle name for a girl is already picked out. My grandfather, William, was an only child and he had three girls. So while their last name became their middle name when they got married, he didn't have anyone to carry it on other than that. I'm the only one of my female cousins who was given a middle name at birth, which is my mother's maiden name. So technically, I'm the one carrying on the name. It took me a long time to like my middle name, since it wasn't the normal girly middle name that all of my friends had, BUT now I am so thankful that I have it and plan to pass it on if we ever have a little girl.
So that's our little man.
John William.
I couldn't think of a more perfect name for him. Our sweet, precious boy.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Life with Baby J: The First Night

I wasn't originally going to write about this experience, because I don't often like to tell people about times when I am not at my best and I don't know what I'm doing. BUT, since I found myself sitting on my couch at 3:00 AM googling people's horror stories about their first night home alone with their baby to make myself feel better. IT. WAS. TERRIBLE. Terrible. I got about 45 minutes of sleep that night. Max. And after months of sleeping like crap, and 3 day of barely any sleep in the hospital, I was at my breaking point. I remember thinking, around 5:00 AM, "Oh my God, what did we do? We can never go back now".

In the hospital, Baby J was a dream. A dream. He was so nice and sweet. He barely cried. He did a little whimper if he needed anything. He slept most of the time. He was an angel. I couldn't believe our luck.

Sweet as an angel. And if that isn't an "I gave birth two days ago and am an exhausted new mom" face, then I don't know what is.

Proud Papa.
Hah. Oh, what naive thinking.

Baby J spent a lot of time in and out of our room in the hospital. When we got him back from whatever they were doing to him (antibiotics, shots, tests, circumcision, etc.) he would eat and then pass out for awhile. Poor thing was probably exhausted.

However, when we got home, it was a whole different ball game. We had him 24/7. He was coming off the antibiotics. He was in a completely new setting. Oh... and we had absolutely so fucking clue what we were doing. None.

Everything started off fine. We somehow managed to make it home despite the 6,000 cars all going 200 mph (which is essentially what it felt like, I was petrified something would happen to him on the way home). Alex's parents stopped by to say hi and brought us dinner, lifesavers. And then we started to settle in for the night. Except one of us decided he wasn't having it.
Sweetness & Light all snuggled in on the way home.
Baby J refused to sleep unless I was holding him. Which was fine, except for the fact that it is impossible to fall asleep, while sitting up, without worrying that you are going to drop your two day old baby on the ground. He was exhausted, but refused to sleep. The two days of no sleep were finally catching up with me and I was exhausted. At 11:00 PM, after about two hours of hell (we tried to go to bed early thinking we would be having a long night... if only we knew...) I called my mom asking for advice. But, there's only so much advice you can give over the phone and I had tried almost everything. She asked if I wanted her to come over, but I was determined to do this on my own.
Pretty sure he is plotting how to make sure that we never sleep again.

He wouldn't sleep. He refused to eat. He screamed when I put him down. He cried when Alex held him. Eventually, I told Alex to just go to bed. At least one of us could get some sleep.

Around 3:00 AM, I was sure someone had switched our baby at the hospital. That was the only logical explanation. There had to be some twin baby at the hospital that they gave us by mistake. 

Around 4:00 AM, I started googling people's horror stories about their first night home with their babies. It was nice to know that pretty much everyone spent their first night home in the deep depths of hell with their tiny little devil children. You know, the one's who act all sweet, innocent, and practically perfect in the hospital and then switch it up when you get home. 

Around 5:00 AM, I starting wondering what we had gotten ourselves into. What had we done. This was our life, forever. I would never sleep again. Ever. I loved this little boy something fierce, but I suddenly became petrified that I couldn't handle this. 
At this point, he still hadn't eaten. I kept trying, but he wanted nothing to do with it. He screamed and cried. I was so upset that he hadn't eaten in so long that I tried to give him a bottle of formula. Enfamil had sent out some free samples and I remembered that I had stuck them in the closet in his room. I made him a bottle and he chugged the thing down. He still wouldn't let me put him down, but at least at this point he wasn't starving.
(Sidenote: I still go back and forth to this moment in my head. Wondering if I gave up breastfeeding too easy. I still tried for weeks after. I was pumping for about a week. I would give him what I could and then supplemented formula for when he was still hungry. But he wouldn't latch on and my supply barely came in on the left side. I might write about this more some day, but I had a hard time making this decision. I wasn't a fan of breastfeeding, but I knew it was best for him. I ended up doing it until he was 6-7 weeks old. I gave him what I could and he got formula other than that. But he was eating about as much formula as a strictly formula fed baby was and it seemed like a whole lot of trouble for nothing. So, eventually, I stopped and haven't looked back.)

Around 6:00 AM, the sun started to come up and I started to relax a little. I had made it through the first night. Soon enough the outside world would be awake and it would no longer be me, alone, with the baby. 
At 7:00 AM, I went in to wake Alex up and just cried. I told him I needed him to take Baby J and I needed some time to cool down. Which lasted all of 35 seconds because the second he cried I felt like I should be the one to calm him down.
But at that point, we were both up so it wasn't that bad. I wasn't alone. There were options in case I needed help. I took care of Baby J for the most part, but it was nice to have Alex there to get me something if I couldn't get up. Or take him for a minute so I could have a break.
That didn't last forever though. By 6:00 PM that night I have gone through my second, third, fourth, hell probably my twentieth wind, and I was exhausted. Baby J was in his swing sitting all nice and calm, and he made the tiniest of noises. It almost sounded like he was going to fuss, but he didn't. Just a tiny noise. And I lost it. Lost it. I just cried. And cried. Alex was out in the driveway talking to a friend of his that stopped by and I asked him to come in to help.
It had been a long few days and I had reached my breaking point. I knew he couldn't do much to help me, but it just helped knowing that he was there. Knowing that I had that option of help in case I needed it. Knowing that I could use the bathroom without worrying about whether he would scream the entire time.
Things eventually got easier, but that first night was a doozy. Definitely a doozy.
The second night was a little easier. We all slept downstairs on the couches. Baby J slept in his swing. We got a little more sleep.
The third night we graduated to the bedroom. It had been DAYS since I had slept in my own bed. We bought a second swing, and kept one upstairs and one downstairs. Baby J slept in his swing, the only thing he would sleep in for about the first week, upstairs and it was a lifesaver.
If you asked me within those first couple weeks whether or not I wanted more kids in the future, I probably would have told you no, or that I wasn't sure. I couldn't imagine going through this chaos again.
BUT... know that the fog DOES clear. It DOES get easier. Eventually you get into your rhythm. You learn a little more. The baby gets into a bit more of a routine. They sleep a little longer. You learn to let go of control a little bit and let your husband help out. But now? Now, I definitely do. I love this time, when they are so little and they are discovering everything for the first time.
So yes... it does get easier. I promise.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Baby J's Birth Story: Part Three

Need to catch up? Read Part One and Part Two!

I'm well aware that this story is going on forever. And that some of you maybe could care less about all of these details, but I want to make sure that I remember every single detail of this absolutely amazing day.

Where were we... oh yeah... "Go time!"

At 4:00 PM they had me start pushing for real. I was nervous that I wouldn't know when to push, but I could still feel the pressure from my contractions. Every time I felt one coming, I would let the nurses know and we would start pushing. I always thought that there was some special way to push and I kicked myself for not signing up for any child birth classes. But, it turns out that there really isn't a "special" way and after a couple tries I was able to get the hang of things. 

It wasn't long before they said they were going to get the doctor because he was RIGHT there. One of the nurses walked in and said that my doctor happened to be on call at the hospital and was coming in to deliver Baby J. I had no clue that she was there and was thrilled to find out that she would be the one we would get. Apparently, she had heard that I was in the hospital and said that if she wasn't with a patient when I was ready to start pushing to go get her. I knew I loved her. She could have just kept with the work she was doing, since she was actually covering for another practice that day, but she knew how much I wanted her. That's a quality doctor right there. 

They told me to stop pushing while they waited for the doctor. It was hard to stop once I had got going, so they said that I could do "little pushes" while we waited. Apparently, my "little pushes" were still pretty big because they started to get a little bit nervous and rushed my doctor into the room. She threw on her cap and gloves and someone tied up her gown as she sat down in front of me. They told her she needed to hurry up because the baby wouldn't wait for her to put on gloves. Haha.

Two or three more pushes we had a baby. They put him on my chest and we watched as he looked around for a minute, probably wondering where the hell he was now. All I remember is sobbing uncontrollably and saying "Oh my God" repeatedly. I couldn't believe that we had a baby. This was OUR baby. About a minute or so after he was born, he began to cry. They cleaned him up a bit and suctioned his mouth, then put a blanket on over him. He was screaming and I began to talk to him, telling him that he was alright and I was his Mom. Saying whatever I could to let him know that he was OK. As soon as I started talking, he stopped crying and just stared at me. It was one of the most intense moments of my life. It was like in that exact moment, he realized that I was his Mom, and everything was OK. He just kept staring at Alex and I when we were talking with him. He knew.

I'm his Mom. I'm a Mom.

Pure bliss.
They had been monitoring my temperature throughout my labor and were watching it slowly go up. Unfortunately, when they took it after I delivered him, it was high enough to be considered a fever. Which, is kind of ridiculous because I NEVER get fevers. Ever. Due to that, we were only allowed to spend an hour with him and then he needed to be brought to get antibiotics.

They took him to clean him off and take his weight while the doctor finished up with me. He was 9 lbs, 3 oz and 20.5 inches long. I couldn't believe that he weighed so much. Neither Alex or I weighed that. My doctor just laughed and said, "I told you so". Haha. Yes, yes she did.

John William. Born March 22, 2014 at 4:24 PM. 9 lbs 3 ounces, 20.5 inches.
The next two days were a whirlwind. We had a really hard time when they took him to do his antibiotics. They kept telling us it would take a certain amount of time and then it always took at least twice that. No one updated us on where he was, so we got a bit upset. And it seemed that every time we asked about his progress, he was "almost done" and we got him back like 15 minutes later. Other than that, we loved the hospital. I know they were busy, but I just wish that they kept us informed a little bit more than they did. I mean, we are new parents, we are going to be a bit anxious about the whereabouts of our baby.
Our Little Guy. They had to keep his IV in for his antibiotics and eventually had to put a diaper over it because he kept trying to put his hand in his mouth and the tape was coming off.
By the time we got him back from his first round of antibiotics it was almost 8:00 PM. Our parents and siblings were anxious to meet him and finally he was brought back in... after some pleading...
Everyone just loved our little guy.

The first night I barely got any sleep. I was still on an adrenaline high and trying to get used to the fact that we had a baby now. Thankfully they took him for his antibiotics and such around 5:00 AM and said they would bring him back in a bit. It turned out that he had some mucous that was coming up and they kept him to keep an eye on him so that I wouldn't have to stay up watching him. I was a little nervous when I woke up a few hours later and he wasn't back like they said he would be, but I appreciated the couple hours of sleep. Plus, I had heard him choking on the mucous a little and it was terrifying. I was glad that someone a little less emotional was taking care of it.
My whole heart in one picture.
We had a ton of visitors the next day. All of our close friends came to meet him. It was such an honor to get to introduce him to everyone we love. I was just so proud to be his mom. It was pretty surreal being on the other side of the baby visiting. We just couldn't get enough of him. Eventually, Alex went home to shower and run some errands (which included getting "It's a Boy" balloons that he hung all around the house - it was so sweet!). I missed him, but it was nice to have some down time and to just get our little guy to myself for awhile.
He looks so much like his Daddy here.
Looking handsome after his first bath. Which he hated...with a passion.
We were released from the hospital Monday afternoon. I kept thinking how strange it was that they were just letting us walk out of the hospital with this baby. They assured us we were ready and sent us on our way. It was one of the most nerve-wracking ride home ever. We had to take the highway, and there was a fair amount of traffic and I just felt like we were going a million miles an hour and all of the cars were heading straight for us. It definitely took awhile for me to become comfortable with him in the car.

We got home around 5:00 PM and unpacked everything from the car. Mr. Fresh immediately checked Baby J out and accepted him as his own. It has been truly amazing to watch him interact with the baby. If he ever makes a noise, there's the dog checking things out to make sure he's OK. He gives him smooches on his hands when he's sleeping in his swing. It really is the cutest thing in the world.

We spent the evening just getting used to the fact that we were parents and we were home. It definitely was surreal to have him in the house with us after so many months of talking and preparing.

We are parents now.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Baby J's Birth Story: Part Two

If you missed Part One, read it here.

On Saturday, March 22nd, I woke up to use the bathroom for what felt like the millionth time. Which was pretty much par for the course during my pregnancy. I knew every night that I would be up 3-5 times before it was time to wake up. Thankfully, it was a Saturday so I knew I could sleep in. I loved my Saturdays. Alex has Wednesdays off and works Saturdays so I would always end up with the bed to myself after he left for work. It sucked that he worked, but my large pregnant self was only comfortable lying diagonal across the bed and you can't really do that if someone else is in the bed. Plus, Mr. Fresh and I used it as a chance to bond and cuddle.

However, this Saturday was different. I woke up at 5:00 AM, went to the bathroom, and crawled back into bed. At 5:17 AM, this gigantic wave of pain came over me. For a couple weeks I had been having contractions, but nothing that really hurt, got worse, or came in a pattern. I knew they were just Braxton Hicks contractions, but I was unsure when I would know if it was the real thing. I read that you will just know. And oh man... you KNOW. 

I knew immediately that this contraction was no joke. It was the real thing. I watched the clock and at 5:19 AM another one came. Ouch. I waited for one more, just another two minutes later, and I got up out of bed. I knew I needed to be timing these. I went downstairs, pulled up my timer app, and turned the TV on. It was terrible. They hurt, and they were coming 1-3 minutes apart. More so 1-2 minutes apart. I sat and watched the TV while I timed the contractions and an hour later they were just as bad. I started wondering if things were progressing a little too quickly, so I called the doctor. I spoke to the answering service and waited for the doctor to call back. I knew my doctor wasn't there, but I was relieved to find out that the doctor that called back was the only other one that I knew at the office. He told me that it sounded like I was definitely in labor, but it was still early so I should probably wait an hour or so and then come in.

At that point I woke Alex up and told him what was going on. I left him sleeping as long as I could, there was no point in us both being awake. I told him I had spoken to the doctor and what was going on and told him we should head to the hospital within the hour. I then went downstairs, made him some coffee, and began to get the house in order. It was so easy task, walking around doing chores, but I couldn't stand just sitting still. I cleaned up the dishes, tidied up the living room and kitchen, picked up the bedroom, showered, and straightened my hair. 

My very last Bumpdate picture taken that morning!

Alex followed me around the house for the most part asking me if we could please head to the hospital now. He wasn't awake during the first hour so he didn't know that this was pretty much what had been happening the whole time. He just saw that they were coming quickly and thought we needed to leave ASAP. I have to admit, I did get a little nervous that we might not make it, but I also knew that it could take a long time so I wanted to be at home for as long as possible.

Eventually, it was time to leave. Alex packed the car and I made sure that we had everything we needed. I was starving and wished that I could eat something, but I felt nauseous with every contraction so I was afraid that I would throw up whatever I ate. Instead, I just got in the car and tried to focus on staying as relaxed as possible. The contractions were BAD and every little bump made them so much worse. It was pretty much the worst car ride ever. I've heard of people talking about the car ride to the hospital, but I never imagined that it would be that bad. 

Terrible picture, but contractions don't leave time for camera settings.
Our last picture before Baby J joined our family!

We got off the highway and stopped at a yield sign behind another car. We could see the hospital and there was no one else on the road, but the guy in front of us was still stopped. Just sipping his coffee. Relaxing. Right then another contraction hit and I was all done. I could see the hospital and I just wanted to be out of the car, immediately. Alex honked at the guy, but he wouldn't move. Finally, we started to go around him, we weren't going to sit and wait for him to finish his coffee. Alex showed him some nice hand gestures and a few choice words as we drove by.

Finally, we made it to the hospital by about 8:30 AM.  Although, imagine our surprise when the guy pulled into the parking lot right behind us. We ignored him and he started to give us a nasty look when he walked by us. But, when he realized what was going on, he just looked ahead and kept walking.

We headed up to the maternity floor and I was so glad that I had sent in my paperwork ahead of time. I could barely get through the two signatures that they had me sign. Then, they handed me a piece of paper giving them permission to provide medical care to the baby. I had to sign my name and then write the relationship to the patient, I started to write "self" as I always did on forms, but the lady reminded me that this was for the baby, my son, I was his MOTHER. It was a trip writing that. 

They brought us into a triage room and got us hooked up to the monitors. I had called my mom on the way to the hospital because we had plans that morning and I just wanted to let her know where I was. At this point, I was just hoping not to be sent home. If this wasn't labor then I don't know what was. My original plan was to see how long I could make it without getting an epidural. I didn't want to get it right away and then be stuck in a bed for two days. However, I told them that the minute they could give me something I wanted it. The contractions were bad, but they were also coming so quick that I sometimes didn't get a break between then and it was exhausting. I knew that I needed to have as much strength as possible. 

The nurses were super sweet and got us checked out quickly. They told me that I was 3 cm and 90% effaced. That was better than Thursday, but I wasn't sure if they were going to keep me. I asked the nurse what the plan was and she said that I was staying. This was about when I professed my love for her. Haha.

A little while later they came in to get my IV hooked up and take some blood. They had some trouble getting it in and needed to put it in my wrist. They couldn't get the first one in and eventually had to try the other hand. It was not pleasant, but they finally were able to get it in. They said they were getting our room ready and asked if anyone had talked to us about the plan. Apparently, they were going to break my water as soon as we got to my room and then they were going to give me my epidural. I was impressed with how quickly they wanted to get things moving. 

During this time I just tried to breathe through the contractions. Every time I felt one rolling in, I would just try to focus on breathing in and out nice and slow. If I tensed up, they felt a thousand times worse, so I tried to pretend I was just riding a (painful) wave and get through them. Surprisingly, to me, I only swore a couple times and that was when I had contractions right on top of each other. A couple quiet f-bombs. That was it. 

At around 10:00 AM, they brought us down to our room and it was about that time that my mom arrived. She had said that she wanted to be at the hospital the whole time, but didn't care where it was. She packed a bag of things to keep her busy and she was perfectly happy sitting in the waiting room. I told her she could come down to the room and I would just kick her out if I had had enough. She arrived and minutes later the doctor walked in. She left the room to give me some privacy and since Big A was eating his breakfast I told him he would probably rather be in the hallway for this one. 

They broke my water and then the anesthesiologist came in to do my epidural. I had heard horror stories of it not working, or something going wrong with it, but it was fine. It was just a little pinch when they numbed the area and that's it. After that it was smooth sailing. The nurse asked me if I felt the last contraction, which I obviously didn't. I was so thankful for the epidural and for the first time on over 5 hours I could relax a little.

The nurse suggested that I get some rest because I would need all the energy I could get later. I wasn't feeling very tired so I just kept chatting with my mom and Alex and playing on my phone. At one point the nurse took my phone away and gave it to my mom. Then she told them that I needed to get some rest and they should do their best to make sure that I got some. I was slightly amused and a little annoyed with her, but I pretty much passed out about 5 seconds later so I figured she knew what she was talking about. 

At around 1:30 PM they checked me and I was at 6 cm. I had asked them how my contractions were doing after the epidural and they said they had slowed down a little bit. They suggested that we start using a little pitocin to keep things moving. I figured that I couldn't feel anything, so why not. I wanted to keep things moving as fast as possible. I was starving and knew that I couldn't eat until this baby was out. I had another little chat with Baby J and asked him to please come out in time for me to have dinner. It didn't need to be at dinner time, but I couldn't go into the next day without food. The water and ginger ale just wasn't cutting it. 

They started the pitocin and I started to feel a little bit of pain and pressure with the contractions. They were flipping me over onto the opposite side every hour, so I was wondering if the epidural was stopping working. They gave me another little boost and asked me to wait awhile and see how I feel. But, the pressure didn't let up. They said it could just be from Baby J moving down, but it had only been an hour or so since I was last checked. They tried another boost of the medicine, but I felt the same. They called the doctor back in around 3:00 PM to check things out. Turns out the pressure I was feeling was Baby J getting in position. I was 10 cm and ready to go. They told me that they were going to give me another half an hour to see if I felt the urge to push on my own. If not, then they were going to start me pushing at 4:00 PM.

Unfortunately, it was time for the nurse we were working with to go home. This woman, Kathy, was absolutely amazing. She was exactly what I needed. She was nice and sweet, but tough when she needed to be. I was sad to see her go, especially since it seemed like things were so close to happening. Luckily, the nurse that came in was just as sweet and I was relieved that I wasn't stuck with some jerk, which was a fear of mine all along. 

At about quarter of, they had me do a couple "practice pushes". I guess Baby J had made up his mind to come because after a couple of the "practice pushes" they told me that this baby was going to be here sooner than they thought and they were going to get everything ready. 

To be continued...