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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Craft: Three Weeks Old

It's hard to believe it's already time for another update!  The days (and weeks) seem to be flying.  I thought things moved quickly when Lilly was little, but now that I have two I really can't figure out where the time goes.  We are coming up on feeding time so I will (try to) be brief (except really when does that ever actually happen?!)!

Weight/Length:  I should probably start removing this category and just adding it back in when we go to the doctor for measurements, because I have no idea.  He's not starving and his growth is decidedly not stunted, though.  Keep reading for photo evidence.

Sleep:  Craft had me fooled for the first two weeks of his life - the little chunker tricked me into thinking 5-hour stretches were normal!  I am not sure whether he hit a growth spurt or what, but this past weekend was rough - up every two hours (or less) to eat (not only at night but during the day as well) and it seemed like he was eating all. the. time.  My lovely lady lumps and I were beyond exhausted.  For some reason I thought Lilly was sleeping more at this point, but I'm not really sure that's the case - I went back and looked at the records I kept for her (yes, I kept records, nerd alert) and she was up less but she was not nearly as good at nursing (I do not miss that one bit!) and typically  nursed for an hour at a time.  Anyway, this week has been a little better, and C must have known I was going to blog about him being up a lot because last night he gave me a 5-hour stretch followed by a 3.5-hour stretch.  Let's keep up the good work, buddy, because Mama feels like a new person today!  Also a random sleep-related item: Craft does not appear to like being swaddled.  I tried to force it at first, because Lilly loved it and slept so well in a swaddle, but Craft seems to like having his hands out and near his face.  This changes everything I know about sleeping, so I am winging it!  Although I guess the good news is if he isn't swaddled it's one less habit we have to break later.  I have been swaddling him with his arms out, more for warmth than anything else.  He also likes to sleep on his side.  I know, the fact that I'm not following the rules ("back is best!") is shocking even to me.

Feeding:  This varies seemingly by the day.  Since my 2-week post Craft has been eating around every two hours and cluster feeding in the evenings.  However, for the past two days he has gone a little longer between some of his feedings, and then as mentioned above last night he went for 5 hours and then 3.5 hours.  Due to the longer stretches between feedings and the fact that I'm a cow anyway I am producing a lot of milk, and Craft is clearly really good at eating, so it doesn't take him too long to eat and we are typically up and back down in 20-30 minutes.  He is much better at nursing than Lilly was at this point, and I'm grateful for that.  However, I'm not sure whether I've mentioned it yet but this kid refuses to take a bottle.  The doctor told us to try to introduce it between 2-4 weeks for best results.  We started right at two weeks and we have tried quite a few times, but even if he's starving he wants nothing to do with it.  Lilly was the opposite - she was a champ at bottles but not good at nursing - so I am in uncharted territory with this one.  We have approximately one million Dr. Brown's bottles, so I keep hoping he'll learn to love them since we already have so many but so far he's seriously uninterested.  He needs to figure it out, though, because I am in a wedding in a few weeks and I don't know what I'm going to do if he won't take one by then (not to mention when I go back to work, but we have a while before we have to worry about that).  I ordered a few different types of bottles for him to try (including a MAM and a Comotomo, both of which have great reviews and are allegedly  more breast-like), so we'll see what happens...wish me luck.  And send me some tips if you've dealt with this too!

Developments:  Craft seems to be "waking up" more by the day.  He's been pretty alert from the day he was born, but he is awake and alert for longer periods of time now.  He also gets bored easily and likes to do different things every so often - so if he's in the bouncy seat for a while, he may fuss a little until I move him to the Mamaroo (thanks Aunt Meagan, Uncle Bo & Kinsley for letting us borrow it!) or the swing or his mat.  He just likes to be in on the action, I think.  He finds his hands quite a bit and has even started batting (not on purpose, I'm sure) at the toys that hang from his play mat.  His neck continues to get stronger and he is continually improving at holding his head up.  I'm sure it's a fluke, but he's rolled onto his side a few times as well, mainly in his sleep.  I finally figured out that he likes to sleep that way (actually, Dan figured that out) and both of us have been happier since that discovery.  

Firsts This Week:  First time meeting his bestie, Baby Stephen!

C looks even more huge compared to sweet little Stephen, ha!
The weather was SO nice over the weekend, we also went on our first walk.  I didn't get a pic of both of my babies in the stroller, but it was nice to get out of the house and the weather was glorious.  Craft seemed to enjoy it as well:

Also, we celebrated C's 3-week birthday by going on another outing - we took big sister Lilly to school for the first time today!  More on that later.

Likes:  Not many changes since last week: sleeping.  eating.  having a clean diaper.  bath, especially the hair washing part.  the piano play mat.  the bouncy seat.  the swing.  the mamaroo.  pooping.  sleeping on his side.  being entertained.  peeing during diaper changes (only on mommy).  being outside.

Dislikes:  Again, no real changes here: being cold.  being hungry.  hiccups.  tummy aches due to not burping (ugh!).  the process of diaper changing.  

What I'm Thankful For:  Last night's 5-hour stretch!  I'm sure it was a fluke but I would not be unhappy with a nightly repeat performance.  :-)

What I'm Looking Forward To:  A visit from my parents this weekend!  Dan and Lilly are heading to Concord on Saturday evening to celebrate Erica's birthday on Sunday, so Mom and Dad are coming to visit for the weekend to see Lilly and Craft and to keep me company when Dan and L head out.  I'm excited to get to spend some time with them.

Next Pediatrician Appointment:  A week from today!  March 5.

How Mommy's Doing:  Better today, again I think due to a little extra sleep. I need to stop talking about it or it will never happen again, I'm sure.  With all of the nursing and the lack of sleep, my nerves were a little on edge and I have been feeling a little overwhelmed.  There was one day earlier this week where I genuinely did not think I was gonna make it.  I'll do another post on how we're adjusting later, but things improved drastically from that rough day and I'm feeling much better about life in general.  This has definitely been an adjustment for all of us, but I wouldn't change one thing!  OK that's a total lie, if babies would sleep 12 hours straight from the moment the exit the womb who wouldn't change that, but you know what I mean.  Ha!

Remember how I did a post on Lilly's many moods?  I feel like I should dedicate a similar post to the many faces of Craft, this kid is so expressive!

If you follow  me on Instagram, you've already seen this but I couldn't resist posting it here as well.  This was not posed, he did this all on his own.  I was laughing so hard!

We're halfway to the weekend, y'all!


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

While you were (supposed to be) sleeping

I have been meaning to put this post together for a while now but have been too lazy to get together all of the videos I've taken of the shenanigans that happen in Lilly's crib when she's supposed to be sleeping.  Imagine my surprise when I recently received an e-mail from Tiffany at Dropcam asking if I'd like to participate in their "Tales from the Crib" campaign.  Why yes, yes I would indeed.  Perfect timing, right?  

I know I've mentioned before on the blog that I got lucky with Lilly in that she is a great sleeper.  At 2 years and almost 1 month, we are still getting 12+ hours at night plus a 3 or 3.5-hour nap (I know, it's hatred-worthy, I'm sorry!  Not really though.).  "Bed time" for Lilly is somewhere between 8:00 and 8:30 pm every night.  I say "bed time" because in Lilly's case "bed time" is decidedly not the same thing as "sleep time."  Most nights she doesn't actually go to sleep until 9:00 or 9:30 - I like to think she uses that hour or hour and a half to wind down.  And by "wind down" I mean talk, play, sing, giggle, or any variety of other activities other than sleeping (see below).  I've tried letting her stay up a little later but that never ends well - I think that she genuinely likes having that alone time to play and settle herself to get ready for sleep.  Luckily for us, that means that some of the things we catch on the video monitor are pretty entertaining.

I should also note here that Lilly is very aware that there is a camera in her room.  She asked me what it was at one point a while back and I told her that it was a camera and that Mommy and Daddy watch her while she sleeps.  Side note: Dan said that response was creepy and corrected me by telling her that we watch over her while she sleeps.  Whatever.  Anyway, I haven't been able to catch it on video yet, but often times Lilly will sit or stand up in her crib, look directly at the camera and wave and say, "Hiiiiiiiiiii camera!  Mommy and Daddy watch over Lilly sleeps!"  This kid, I swear.

If you're in the mood for a chuckle and have a few minutes to watch, check out some of my favorite clips below of Lilly's crib antics.  


I like to call this first one "Lilly Singing."  You'll need volume to hear, but she's working on a beautiful rendition of a "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and "ABCs" Medley.  Highlight: she applauds herself at the end.  "YAYYYYYYY!"

This next clip is entitled, "Lilly Gymnastics."  My sweet family gifted us a new monitor prior to Craft's arrival so that we can keep an eye on both babes and it picks up even the slightest noise so it's hard to hear over the sound machine, but you don't really need volume to see what an excellent gymnast my child is.  2020 Olympics?  You betcha. Highlight: it's a toss-up, but I think the flip followed by, "I did it!" takes the cake.

The next clip was in the running for my favorite clip of Lilly's crib antics of all time until yesterday. Dan and I just happened to catch this before bed one night and laughed so hard!  It's appropriately entitled "Lilly Ballet," and the highlight is definitely the curtsey (which happens prior to the twirl because I couldn't get my phone out quickly enough to video the first three twirls).

Last, but certainly not least, I give you the mother of all of the "Tales from the Crib" clips.  You are welcome in advance.  Carney was lucky enough to catch this gem yesterday when Lilly was supposed to be napping.  It ALMOST makes the tantrums we endured last night due to a nap that was not nearly long enough worth it.  Again, the quality makes it kind of hard to tell, but someone has clearly been taking notes about how baby brother eats.  Behold the clip below, where you will find L pulling her shirt up to breast feed her lovey.  Seriously.  Quinn warned me that this might happen, and it was every bit as funny as I thought it would be.  I wish the sound machine wasn't so loud so we could hear what Lilly is saying to lovey, because I'm sure the commentary is equally as hilarious as the video itself!

On a kind-of-related-but-not-really note, this is my view of the monitor these days:

Even though it's been almost three weeks, it is still surreal to me that I am now a mother of two (well three if you count our fur child, Layla).  Best feeling ever?  I think so.

If you have any stories of your kids' funny crib antics, I'd love to hear them.  Don't forget to check out Dropcam, and if you have any "Tales from the Crib" of your own to share, shoot me an e-mail or leave me a comment and I'm happy to put you in touch with Tiffany!  

Stay tuned, I promise to try to get back to more regular blog posts when I get used to being exhausted.  :-)


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Craft: Two Weeks Old

I'm a day late again on this one, sorry in advance Craft for when you get older and discover that Mommy is a slacker.  :-)

Weight/Length:  We had our 2-week well-check yesterday.  If you recall from Craft's one week post, the doctor told us at his first weight check that we could skip this appointment and just come back for his one-month well-check if we wanted to since he was already back up to birth weight 2 days after leaving the hospital.  We decided it couldn't hurt to keep the appointment just to check in on things and make sure everything is okay.  Plus, there was an incident with his circumcision (more on that later) that I wanted to discuss.  Anyway, they didn't check his length but I can tell you from looking at him that he's already getting longer.  And, drumroll little chunker is up to 10 lbs 11 oz in weight!!!  Yes, that is serious.  The nurse checked his weight three times on three different scales to make sure it wasn't an error.  She said, "I'm sorry to make you keep weighing him, I just want to make sure - I've never seen anything like it."  It didn't seem like that big of a weight gain to me but I guess it is, because I could hear the doctor outside of our room before she came in saying to the nurse, "Wow, is that weight for real?"  When Dr. V came into the room she said, "Man I feel so sorry for you, you have such issues with milk supply and malnourished/failure-to-thrive babies..."  I guess I should take it as a compliment that she had no concerns considering she just snuggled him for the next 15 minutes and let me ask a few questions.  After reporting his weight to family and friends, I had several responses of, "you must produce chocolate milk, or maybe straight cream."  HA!  Big boy.

Hooray weight checks!  And greasy hair eek.  It's so hard not to touch it all of the time!

C has been finding his thumb a lot.

Weight checks are exhausting.
Sleep:  Little man spoiled us for the first week and a half by giving us 4-5 hour stretches at night...I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop!  We had a two-night period at the beginning of this week where Craft decided that he wanted to cluster feed from about 12am-4am (or in one case he just wanted to be held while he pooped), but last night he was back to 3-4 hour stretches and was only up twice.  I'm of course tired but have no complaints at all because I know it could be much worse!  I read in a sleep guide that at this age he should be sleeping around 16 hours a day - Craft definitely sleeps more than that.  I have been working to keep him awake some between feedings to see if it helps at night.  So far I can't really tell a difference but he's so alert when he's awake, he just takes everything in and it is the sweetest.

I have also been experimenting some with the swaddle.  Big sister Lilly LOVED to be swaddled and once she started sleeping through the night, getting her to sleep without it when she outgrew it (read: was breaking out of it) was really (luckily) our only challenge.  Craft has not been very jerky with his movements and also seems to like to have his hands up near his face, so I have been swaddling him with arms out - more for warmth than anything else.  Last night, I tried the swaddle, so I'm not sure if that contributed to better sleep as well or what but I'll keep experimenting and report back.

Feeding:  Clearly we are having no issues here.  Craft is nursing like a champ, and I'm so grateful!  During the day, he eats somewhere between every 2-3 hours (typically it's 2 or 2.5).  At night, it has varied - sometimes he's gone 4-5 hours and other nights he's wanted to eat it seems like every 30 seconds.  Last night he went down around 10:00pm and was up at 1:30a and 4:30a.  Overall, not too shabby.  I think I have discovered that on the nights he wanted to cluster feed, he wasn't really hungry as much as gassy/wanting to be held.  I have the HARDEST time getting this kid to burp, and I noticed that the two nights that were rough were nights where it seemed like he ate a lot but would not burp at all.  Last night I tried not laying him down until I got at least a small burp and he seemed to do much better.  Any burping tips that I may not have tried are greatly appreciated!  I have also been pumping once or twice a day - I hate it, but I'm trying to balance building a freezer supply and dealing with discomfort as well.  

Developments:  I'm sure it's partially because of his size, but Craft seems way older than 2 weeks to me.  I think he is an old wise little soul already, ha.  Craft is very alert and also holds his head up for short periods of time.  We also get pretty frequent smiles, but mainly when he's drifting off to sleep.  Still, they are so sweet.  There isn't too much to say for this category yet as he basically just eats and sleeps a lot. 

Firsts This Week:  First bath (well, first bath that wasn't a sponge bath, since both umbilical cord and plastic circumcision ring fell off)!  He was so relaxed, he could not be bothered to stay awake.

Craft loves having his hair washed!
On that same note, he also took his first bath with big sister.  I couldn't decide whether to just let Lilly help with bath or put them in together - I was worried she wouldn't like him being in her space, but surprisingly she loved it.  She was very sweet with Craft and wanted to help bathe him, and she even tried to have a tea party with him.  :-)

We also had our first "outing," even though it only lasted about 30 seconds.  After the doctor yesterday, Craft and I ran into Rite Aid to pick up a few things.  So glamorous.  AND we had our first photo shoot - Stephanie took some newborn photos for us on Saturday which I cannot WAIT to share with you, everything I have seen so far has brought me to tears and there seriously aren't enough frames in my house (or wall space for that matter) to display them all!

Behind the scenes

He keeps finding that thumb!  Wonder if he'll be a thumb sucker like big sister?

Likes:  Sleeping.  Eating.  Having a clean diaper.  Bath - especially having his hair washed.  The piano play mat.  The bouncy seat.  The swing.  Big sister showing him how to look in the mirror.  Pooping.

Dislikes:  The actual diaper changing process.  Being cold.  Being hungry.  Hiccups.

What I'm Thankful For:  Again, my sweet husband.  He has really stepped up to the plate and has been so, so helpful, which is so nice when it feels like all I do most days is sit around and nurse.  He cooks, he cleans, he grocery shops.  And he is so wonderful with Lilly.  It's been hard for me to give up my status as "favorite parent" (ha), but it has also been so sweet to watch them play together and do things together and to watch her further develop this sweet bond with her Daddy.  He's so good about including her in things that he's doing - whether it is cooking or a house project.  He's also getting really good at painting toenails.  :-)

What I'm Looking Forward To:  Warm weather.  We've gotten a taste of it this week here in Raleigh and it is glorious.  I'm ready for a glass of wine or a beer on the patio (Even more ready to consume aforementioned adult beverage on my new patio furniture, right Dan?!  Ha!)!  ALSO meeting sweet Baby Stephen NEXT WEEK (if not before!!!).  Can't wait for he and Craft to be best buds just like big sisters Hadley and Lilly are.  And while I don't want to wish time away, I can't wait for sleepovers.  :-)

Next Pediatrician Appointment:  March 5 with Dr. V for squishy's one-month appointment!

How Mommy's Doing:  No complaints here!  The scale yesterday revealed that I am down 30 lbs, thank you breast feeding.  Still have a ways to go to get to my goal weight and to get rid of the extra squish, but there's plenty of time for that.  Other than that, just tired!  But this too shall pass before we know it. 

I'll leave you with some more pics from Craft's happenings during week 2.  He is growing and changing so quickly already, I need for time to slow down!  I looked at Lilly yesterday and wondered to myself where my baby went.  She is such a big girl, and I know he'll be there too before we know it.  Ahh, make it stop!

"Mommy, I want to hold Craft and eat a snack."

Wise old soul, taking it all in!

Big sister reading to her little brother

"Playing" together

Bossing him around already showing baby brother the ropes


More bed time snuggles

Happy boy!


More squish.

The lips!!!
 Happy Thursday!!!


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Name Game

I was surprised at how many people thought I was lying when I said that Dan and I hadn't been able to agree on a name for BB2.0 prior to his birth.  I got so many calls and texts that said things like, "So, you have a name and you just aren't sharing it yet, right?"  Nope.  That was the #1 question of the day after we shared news of the birth and photos with friends and family: what's his name?  You'll know as soon as we do, people.  My sister actually resorted to threats, which did nothing but give us some entertainment while we were trying to agree on something.

We both really liked family names, it's just that we liked different family names.  And I don't care who you are, I think boy names are a MUCH harder decision than girl names.  At least with Lilly, we had a strategy.  Actually, with Lilly, we had agreed on four names that both of us liked, but just couldn't narrow it down or make a decision.  This time around, we were not anywhere close to being on the same page.  At one point, after the induction had been scheduled, I was close to an anxiety attack over it so we both sat down and made a list of the names we liked for a nice, healthy discussion.  We compared our lists and literally not one name overlapped, which ended said healthy discussion promptly with me in tears because the whole thing was stressing me out.  The night before I was induced, Dan was scouring all sorts of internet lists to see if anything jumped out at us.  Nothing.  I'm not sure whether it has anything to do with the fact that boys names are more permanent, or what.  Like with a girl, if she gets married her last name will change at a minimum, and her middle name could be dropped as well.  Boys are stuck with what you give them.  We wanted the name to be strong, and also a reflection of both of our families.  It didn't seem like it should be so hard!

Craft was one name that consistently came up, but never as a first name - always as a middle name.  Craft was my paternal grandfather's middle name, and Dan and I both just really liked it but we were worried it might be weird as a first name.  We also couldn't come up with a first name that we liked to go with it.  Some other contenders were David (my choice - my Dad's name), William or "Liam" (my choice - Dan's Dad's name), Edward or "Ward" (Dan's choice - his maternal grandfather's name), Cullen (Dan's choice - his maternal grandmother's maiden name), but nothing sounded right.  I had been lobbying really hard for David William (after our Dads, and Dan's name is Daniel William so they would have shared the same initials), but Dan didn't want the name to be so similar to his.  I kept hoping he would just let me win after I labored out the whalephant, but no such luck.  

Anyway, so we continued to discuss the name situation while I was laboring.  We discussed it with my doctor and the nurses.  Literally at one point Dan said, "Hey, Dr. T. has delivered both of our babies now, his first name is George, George isn't a bad name."  I miraculously was not anxious about it anymore at this point - I knew we'd eventually have to come up with something before they'd let us leave the hospital, even if it was Nemo or Grover (Lilly's choices) and had to be changed later, but it was apparently really putting Dan into a panic.

Later in the afternoon on the day Craft was born, Stephanie dropped by to see us and we discussed all of our options and bounced some ideas off of her.  It was so funny, because even though I'd wanted him to be David William for the entire pregnancy, the whole day in my head when I looked at him I was referring to him as "Craft."  At one point we were pretty close to Edward Craft, but couldn't decide whether we'd call him "Ward" or "Craft," which led us into a whole different discussion about how if we were going to call him by his middle name we may as well make that his first name.  We (I) agonized over whether Craft was weird as a first name, until finally we decided that we didn't care what anyone else thought.  Once we decided on Craft as the first name, the rest was pretty easy - Robinson (Dan's mother's maiden name) just seemed to fit perfectly.  

So, there you have it: Craft Robinson Baum.  We think it's pretty perfect, and it seems to fit our little man pretty well.

Squishhhhhhhhhhhh.  Those lips!!!  I die!!!
I've been amazed at the number of people who have told us how much they love the name.  Although I'm not really sure what I expected - I'm not sure anyone would have said, "Wow that name is hideous."  I guess I expected more of, "Oh, interesting, is that a family name?"  Anyway, we love it and that's all that matters - and so does big sister.  She usually calls him "Craft Robinson" - rarely does she just call him Craft.  It's pretty cute and I need to try to get it on video!

I'm off to attempt a shower before it's time for piggy to eat again (he does that a lot).  Maybe if I'm lucky I can squeeze in some time to dry my  hair too?!?!  A girl can dream...


Monday, February 17, 2014

Craft's Birth Story

I decided this morning that I better go ahead and write this post while everything is still semi-fresh or I will never get around to it, much like the Christmas and Halloween posts that I still need to compose and backdate (oops).  I tried to keep a "labor log," if you will, on my phone this time documenting all of the happenings during labor to aid my memory, but it cuts off right before all of the good stuff happens because I am a lucky bia and was blessed with yet another quick labor.  Buckle up because it's another long one...

We were told that the hospital would call sometime between 6:00 and 10:00 am on February 5.  My doctor said she'd never heard of them calling anyone as early as 6am, but when I was induced with Lilly they called shortly after 6am so I was bound and determined to be prepared this time around.  Much like last time around, I did not sleep a wink the night before.  I actually think I was more nervous about this birth, which surprised me.  Maybe it's because I knew what I was in for, or perhaps it's because I knew this baby was gonna be whale-sized - probably it was a little of both.  Anyway, I digress.  I wanted to be ready to go when the hospital called so I got up at 5:00 (I wasn't sleeping anyway) and hopped in the shower.  That way, not only would I be ready to go but I had brushed my teeth, etc. so that my hospital bag was now completely ready to go (more on what I took this time around in another post).  I was ready by 5:30 and wasn't sure what to do with myself, and honestly getting ready exhausted me so I hopped back in bed, ha!  Sure enough, the hospital called at 6:30 and asked us to arrive at 7:30.  Due to morning commute traffic, etc. we needed to leave around 7:00 so I woke Dan up to tell him to get ready.  He got out of bed, went to the bathroom, and back in bed.  Was he serious?!?!  Needless to say, we ran a little late, but luckily no one seemed to care.

We arrived at the hospital at 7:45 and things started moving.  I checked in, had some bloodwork done and had started pitocin by 8:30 am, increasing it every 30 minutes.  My doctor came in around 9:30 to check things out and say hello.  At that time, contractions were 3-5 minutes apart.  We discussed the fact that I knew this baby was big and I therefore definitely wanted an epidural, but I didn't have to have it right that second.  The doctor wanted me to wait until contractions were consistently a little closer together and then break my water prior to the epidural in order to keep things moving.  Contractions were uncomfortable but not unbearable, so I was okay with that plan as long as I was able to get one prior to pushing, ha!

Somewhere in this time frame, I am not sure exactly when, we were talking to our nurse and telling her about what a wonderful experience we had the last time around when I was in labor with Lilly.  We mentioned that we had a nurse that we loved, Rachel, and I said I wasn't sure whether she'd remember us but I would love to say hello.  As it turns out, Rachel had seen our file pulled that morning and mentioned to my nurse that she remembered us and couldn't believe we were already back (us either, sister).  My nurse said she had checked with Rachel and they were both at a good stopping point with their respective patients so Rachel was coming in.  I did not put two and two together at that time that they were switching patients so that I could labor with Rachel again.  The even crazier thing about this situation is that Rachel has taken a job as a Nurse Practitioner at a local OB, and will only be working at the hospital for around another month, so the fact that she was even there that day was a huge coincidence.  I cried and took it as a sign from God that everything was going to be just fine.  From that moment on we referred to Dr. T and Rachel as "The A Team" - they had delivered Lilly and everything was perfect so Dan and I both felt comfortable that this time would be no different.  I cannot even begin to express how much calmer and more comfortable I felt about everything at this point.  I knew from experience that I was in excellent hands!

Fast forward to 10:00 am: contractions were 2 minutes apart and pitocin had been increased to 7.  Ish was getting real here, people.  

As another aside, you may remember from my last labor experience that I had low platelets, which determines whether I can get an epidural.  If your platelets are 100,000 or lower, an epidural is out of the question (something about the blood being too thin, and the fact that they were pumping me with IV fluids meant it had already thinned out substantially even since I'd arrived at 7:45).  2 weeks before, my platelets were on the low side at 140k, but I was still in the clear.  The morning of Craft's birth when my blood was taken around 8am, my platelets had dropped to 102k.  I was still in the clear - barely.  Rachel decided to call the anaesthesiologist to check in.  She explained that typically, patients have (at least) 6 hours to decide whether they want an epidural before bloodwork has to be re-done, so that meant that I should have had until around 2pm to decide.  Dr. T happened to be in the room when Rachel came back in at 10:30 and said that the anaesthesiologist told her I'd have to get my blood re-drawn at 11:00 am.  He was furious and had a few choice words for the anaesthesiologist, which I found to be hilarious (mainly because I was thinking the exact same thing).  He checked me and said that I was around 2.5 cm dilated (he said that Dr. G had "cheated" when she told me 3cm the day before, ha!).  He told Rachel to go ahead and call for my epidural and he broke my water.  At this point he estimated a birth time of somewhere around 4pm (4:37 to be exact).  

After my water was broken (around 10:30 am), things really started to fly and it turns into kind of a blur.  The anaesthesiologist took her sweet time getting to my room, and by the time she arrived my contractions were 30 seconds apart and so painful, I was ready to commit a murder.  Rachel actually had to stop the pitocin for a few minutes to give me a break while I was getting the epidural.  Poor Dan left the room because he hates needles and Rachel was stuck with my blubbering self, I was a mess.  When all of that was over, Rachel checked me again around 11:30 and I was up to 5cm.  Halfway there!  The pitocin was turned back on, and I was able to take a short glorious epidural-induced rest.  About an hour later, I started to feel a lot of pressure.  I didn't feel like I had to push quite yet but I could tell it was getting close.  Rachel checked me again and at 12:40pm I was 9 cm dilated!!!  Almost go time.

I feel like after that I blinked and we had a baby.  I started pushing just after 1pm and after 35 short minutes, Craft was born at 1:38pm.  It was decidedly not a walk in the park and by no means "easy," but the labor itself (read: evacuating the whalephant) was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be.  His shoulders did get stuck so I needed a little bit of help there, but overall the destruction of the lady parts was (thankfully) very minimal - not really any worse than it was with L, which I find to be incredible.  I guess I'm built to carry and birth whalephants?  Even my nurses said that they knew it had not been easy but that I got out really easy on the destruction front, and they'd seen much, much worse with 9+ lbs babies.  

We did have a slight scare in the form of the umbilical cord being wrapped pretty tightly around Craft's neck.  When he came out he wasn't making any noise, and I got a glimpse of him and noticed that from the neck up he was blue and the rest of his body was normal in color.  Right as I was putting everything together a huge team of doctors and nurses raced in to start working on him, so I knew something was wrong because Lilly didn't have that many people in the room and she was delivered a lot earlier than he was.  I kept asking why he wasn't breathing and everyone assured me that he was fine.  My heart dropped into my stomach and I was in a panic, but after what seemed like an eternity (which was really just 2 minutes), he was breathing and all was right in my world again.  Even more weird was the fact that I had a dream that the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck.  Maybe I'm psychic?!

Anyway, so that's that!  Not too awfully much to it.  Quick labor, painless (for the most part), and baby boy was beautiful and A-OK despite the umbilical cord incident (except for a small issue where he couldn't regulate his blood sugar which luckily resolved itself by late afternoon).  Craft has brought us so much joy already in his short almost two weeks of life, and it's hard to remember what life was like before he was here.  We love this little guy so much, and his big sister is enamored with him and they are so sweet together.  My husband, as usual, was wonderful during labor and has been wonderful ever since, and I am just so mushy in love with our sweet family of four and this beautiful life we've built together.  

The first time I got to hold my baby after they had to help him breathe.  Dan snapped this pic and I love it.

The recovery this time around has been a lot faster.  I think that is partially because I haven't had a choice - Lilly has not slowed down one bit, and I wouldn't have expected her to.  When she was born, she was my only child and so it was okay to sit around all day and hold her and love on her and sleep and recover.  This time around, I did not have that luxury, and as a result I was up and moving a lot more quickly.

If you're even still reading at this point, I'll write more on how we finally agreed on a name (four hours after birth, literally) in another post, because this post is already so long. 

Happy Monday!


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Craft: One Week Old

Keeping on track with his big sister's one-week update, I am a day late on Craft's one-week update, oopsie!  I am finding that I don't have as much time to spare this time around between feeding this hungry hippo baby, playing with his sister and trying to catch naps where I can.  :-)  It has been a busy week indeed, trying to get settled and adjust to being a family of four.  On top of all of that, we are dealing with Snowmageddon/Snowpocalypse Part 2 here in Raleigh:

The above two photos were taken yesterday about half an hour after the snow started.  It went on and on for hours - huge, thick flakes...and then we got ice.  The power went out overnight but was back on by the time we got up this morning, thank the Lord.  We are not used to this kind of weather in NC, and we've had two storms in two weeks!  It was pretty two weeks ago, but now I think we're all over it...cabin fever to the max.  Because of the ice it's more dangerous than "fun to play in," so entertaining our two-year-old for going on two days now has been a challenge!

Anyway, I digress.  In some ways, it's hard to believe it's already been a week since we welcomed Craft into our lives and in other ways (namely those pertaining to a certain tantrum-prone two-year-old!), it seems like it was ages ago, ha!  Either way, it's hard to remember what life was like before sweet Craft, and we are so happy he's finally here!  Down to business now so we can get to the fun part photos!  I'll use the same categories I used in L's updates for consistency's sake.

Weight/Length:  I am not even going to pretend that I have tried to weigh or measure this kid.  He was 22 inches and 9 lbs 5 oz at birth on Wednesday, February 5.  By the time we left the hospital on Friday, February 7, he had lost a half a pound and weighed 9 lbs even.  We had a weight check at the doctor on Sunday, February 9 and he was 9 lbs 5.5 oz, so back up to birth weight, which they seemed to be really impressed with.  The doctor was so pleased, in fact, that she gave me the "OK" to no longer wake him at night to feed him.  Ummmmmmmmmm good, since I hadn't been doing that anyway?  

Sleep:  Up until last night, we've gotten pretty lucky in the sleep department.  The first two nights in the hospital, they brought Craft in every four hours and we had to wake him up to try to feed him and he wasn't having it, so I got some rest which was nice.  Since we've been home and he's started to wake up more, he has only been up twice at night - sometime between 2-3am and then again between 6-7am.  I was feeling very lucky until he kept me up half the night last night (but I think it was my fault because he didn't need to eat, really just wanted to be held and I think I've determined that his tummy was upset from something I ate).  Either way, I can't complain, he's doing great!

Feeding:  During the day, Craft is nursing somewhere around every 2-3 hours and then he normally cluster feeds at night starting after dinner until he goes to bed.  Sometimes it's less than 2-3 hours, but I shan't complain about him eating all day since he's sleeping a lot at night, ha!  At night, as mentioned above, it's typically every 4ish hours.  We are having a much different experience with breast feeding - he latched immediately and has done great ever since.  I didn't even see a lactation consultant in the hospital, because I didn't need to.  Again, he's doing great and we're very lucky!

Developments:  Our little guy is pretty strong.  He has been holding that head up ever since the day he was born, and sometimes when I lay him down he's rolled up onto his side.  Also, not sure whether this counts as a development but he lost his umbilical cord yesterday.  I'm glad because that thing is so weird.  Finally, we've gotten some smiles already!  A few have happened when he's awake, but mostly they happen when he's sleeping so I assume he's dreaming about something awesome.  Or maybe he's gassy.

Firsts This Week:  Silly since he isn't really doing anything, but I guess he had some firsts in that he met a lot of our family and friends for the first time.  Hooray!

What I'm Thankful For:  All of the help we've had!  My mother-in-law stayed with us last week and we are so thankful that she was able to be here for Lilly.  My parents came over the weekend to meet Craft and again were so helpful with Lilly and giving her extra attention.  Finally, Aunt Hopey came on Sunday to stay for a few days and was a tremendous help.  They have all been more help than they can imagine, and we are so grateful!

What I'm Looking Forward To:  The end of snowpocalypse.  The weather is supposed to get into the 70s next week, so that will be nice.  And Valentine's Day, because for the first time ever I was on the ball and managed to grab some treats for L before we got snowed in.

Next Pediatrician Appointment:  Since Craft is an overachiever in the eating and weight department and was already back up to birth weight at our 2-day-old weight check (the pediatrician was impressed and said that's very rare), the ped had us go ahead and schedule his 2-week weight check in case we have questions, but said we could probably just call and cancel and they'd see us in a month.

How Mommy's Doing:  Feeling good, just tired but honestly no complaints.  I got on the scale the day we got home from the hospital and had lost 22 lbs (as a reminder that I do not like to talk about, I gained almost 40), so a little over halfway back to "normal."  I haven't weighed again but am curious to see whether that number is still accurate since the swelling in my stomach has continued to go down.  I was carrying a LOT of fluid.  Still dealing with some soreness and general discomfort but I haven't taken any pain meds since Sunday so there's that.  Emotionally, I've been a little hormonal - I had forgotten from my pregnancy with Lilly that I was far more hormonal after she was born than I was during my entire pregnancy.  I feel like we've had it pretty easy so far (knock on wood), so I'm feeling pretty good about things, just sneaking in naps when I can and showers on good days.  :-)

I shall leave you with my favorite iPhone photos from the week.  Enjoy the cuteness!

Big sister meets little brother

Lilly was giving Craft her lovey.  Anyone who has ever met this child knows what a HUGE deal this is.  Actually several times she has taken the tag and rubbed it on his face, which is what she does to fall asleep.  Such a sweet child!

Found his thumb!

Squishy lips.  I die.

All dressed up for the ride home!

Hilarious: in trying to be helpful, my husband basically took home my entire suitcase.  I'd planned to wear the outfit I wore to the hospital home but he had already taken it, so by the time it was time to get dressed all that was left were yoga pants and a REALLY thin white shirt that needed something underneath it.  Sigh!

He's really very alert, it's crazy to me that he's only one week old!  He's like an old man trapped in a baby's body.  


"One Week Old" photo shoot

I learned my lesson last night and am heading to bed now.  Stay warm!


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