Friday, December 28, 2012

12 days postpartum thoughts & stats

There's just no nice way to put it... I'd rather have 10 vaginal births in 10 years than 1 c section ever.

This major surgery has knocked me on my butt and then some. I suppose some people have "easy" surgeries and recoveries. I, on the other hand, endured natural labor, intense attempts at positioning JT after my water broke (I can best describe this as a doctor and midwife doing chest-compression-like maneuvers on my stomach), and then general anesthetic emergency c section where the doctor actually had to turn JT breech to "pull" him out because his shoulder was so malpositioned into the birth canal. You can imagine the havoc wreaked on my midsection muscles and organs.

Recovery has been tough. I'm not a fan of medicine, so that's been hard to handle (physically, my belly doesn't like the extreme amount of foreign things its being forced to digest). I can't play with my bitsy girl, can barely sleep (oh how I'd love to lay on my side), and nursing isn't very comfortable (but thank God JT is a good nurser).

There have been moments where I'm pretty sure I should have just died on the operating table. There have been days when I couldn't imagine going forward, because it seemed like the pain and fear would endure forever.

I don't think it's supposed to feel this bad. I thought it'd be hard, but I don't know why mine has been particularly harder than peers I've heard from.

Sitting in my mid wife's office, with tears streaming down my face, I said to my husband, "I feel like I'm staring up this giant mountain and I don't think I can get up it." He, as those of you who know his endless love for me might expect, said... "you don't have to get up it, I'll carry you."

I love him so much. He has literally seen it all and taken on so much through this whole ordeal. I could never repay him and only pray God rewards his compassion in heaven.

So, the good news is I'm finally starting to feel better today. We came up with a better pain management plan and the referred pain I had been feeling in my shoulder is subsiding (it was some of the worst). I'm able to breathe a little deeper and do more things. My pain has always been in my lower right quadrant and is down from a 8ish to a 2-3ish with constant pain medication.

It's been just the four of us for 24 hours now and we are chugging along just fine. JT has been having a tough time breathing at night for the past two nights...so my husband and I are both exhausted. G has been behaving probably a little better than the average 22 month old who's world just got turned upside down--but still very clingy and crabby for her normal behavior. She's thrown more fits and acted out more. But she's also been very sweet and helpful. We take the bad with the good.

At his two week check up (only 11 days old though), baby J was 9 pounds 1.5 ounces, 20.75" long and his head has stayed steady at 15". His stats land him in the 70s% but his head is still 98%. He's doing great, aside from his small nose and breathing troubles. I've 'lost' 26 pounds since 12/16. Not trying or caring, just reporting the stats.

Specialist appointments come in January and we won't have an official diagnosis until then.

Thanks for all the prayers and support.

Love to all & merry Christmas a few days late

Monday, December 17, 2012

Baby JT is here

Our son arrived yesterday evening, 12/16/12 at 9:48 pm. He was born at 8 pounds 15.7 ounces, 19.25" long with a head circumference of 15".

Clearly I am alive, so that fear was abated.

However, the large amount of fluid I had written about caused some trouble.

I will write the full birth story later, but I labored naturally with no medicine the entire time...then the water breaking experience was done as best as possible. Our midwife was so amazing and did everything right, but baby JT just wasn't going to come vaginally. He ended up presenting shoulder first and even through they wreaked havoc on my unmedicated belly (painful) trying to turn him... His heart rate dropped and he needed to come out. It was a scary situation, and very painful being prepped for a c section with no pain block. I had to go all the way under and hadn't had an epidural, so I felt everything up to the cutting. Details I will spare you. I was so scared I was going to lose him or die myself. When I woke up back in our room, and saw my husband skin to skin with JT, I wanted to be happy but my pain was too unbearable. It got under control a bit and I was able to nurse him right away (about 30 minutes after he was born).

He's got a smushed in nose situation, as we knew he would, but scored 8-9-9 Apgar and the nicu team didn't have to do anything! He is perfectly healthy beside his nose situation so we will see a children's mercy specialist about that.

I, on the other hand, have been having quite the rough time trying to recover. It's been 30 hours since I ate anything and my pain is just now starting to cooperate. I recently stood and walked for the first time (about 10 steps), so I'm really proud of that.

It's not like it was after G, but I'm alive and so is he.

Rejoice! Gaudette!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Life lately in photos

So here's #1 lately :)
We've been having a lot of fun!
Playing outside, looking cute, and going to the free zoo (aka the pet store)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Let's play catch up

First, yes, I am still alive. Second, no, you probably won't ever get a final moving journal...instead I'll just do a bit of catching up in this blog--encompassing all things.

We moved into our new house, a little over a week after closing (due to work and belongings' travel). Things went wrong immediately. My poor husband made it back on Sunday, but locked his keys in the car, with his things in the car too. It was quite the disaster. He didn't call anyone to get them out, and since I was 6 hours away...he just waited it out. He also had to stay in a hotel that evening because our water heater was broken, despite it being functioning at the inspection. To make a long story short, he had a horrible day, and I wasn't around to help or take on some of the stress burden.

G and I had a miserable first part of the drive (it's 6 hours) up to our new house from my parents, but after a nice Panera lunch and smoothie, she slept a decent part of the rest of the way. We arrived to a still stressed-out hubby/daddy and tried to help as best we could. Everyone was pooped and ready to be settled in. The house problems inhibited us from relaxing at all.

The main issues are/were plumbing related, but are on the mends now. Our home warranty has paid for the new water heater and we did get some of our inspection cost refunded since we were fairly dissatisfied with how that all went down. So, to make a long story short, the house is becoming a home, but at a cost.

I think my husband still has a good deal of anxiety about all the things that need fixing (mostly little things, like closet doors, mismatching things, and squeaking), but I've kind of let it fall on the bottom of my worry list--because we are super close to the baby coming. I think the thing that annoys me most about the house is the amount of dust that is just circulating. I had the house professionally cleaned, and I am a super-clean-freak...but the air ducts must just be horrible or something because it is so dusty in this house (as in, I dust and then later that night there's evidence of dust back on the items).

Almost all of the walls are the color I want them, and almost everything is hung. They baby's room is ready to go and my mom and sister got me a glider--so excited for that! I've settled into the kitchen, and nearly everything has a place throughout the house.

I got my husband an awesome anniversary/birthday/Christmas present, in the form of a family room set up in the basement, complete with big TV and loveseat/couch combo. We added the yard sale coffee/end tables that we sanded and refinished...it looks so great down there now! I was so excited to surprise him with it, and though he was a bit "mad" that I spent money without talking to him about it...he deserved it! He got a moving bonus, and money for driving cross country...so while we could have used those bonuses to pay off more student loans... One has to live a little bit, because you never know when your time is up. Plus it makes it so much easier to relax at night, rather than the main level living room that echos right into G's room (thus, tv and conversation have to be quieter than down in the basement).

I've posted a good amount about my stress with the pregnancy, so if you haven't caught those posts...be sure to check those out for the baby's updates. I hope he comes soon. I'm so uncomfortable! Tonight I take a new mom from church a meal, and that was my last responsibility before the due date...so therefore, I'm pretty sure my water will break right as I'm pulling out of her drive way :-) They always say, right when you get the last thing checked off your to-do list, the baby will come.... I certainly hope so! (ps. we will get 5-6 meals of our own in January--love our church's mom's group!)

Speaking of the new church--it's very nice. A lot of young families go there, and I've already gotten in with a play group. All the moms are wonderful and the kiddos are so fun for G to interact with. She's pretty much the youngest, but it's good for her to see the older kids and learn from them. She loves friends and knows what going to see friends means :-)

She is also very intune with the new baby. She has seem him on the ultrasound monitor several times now and totally makes the connection that that is who is in my belly. She gives him kisses and hugs and love pats. She knows where his room and bed and car seat are. She promises she will be a good big sister and help momma with the new baby--so we'll see how that all plays out. I have a plan to make sure she gets alone time with us too, and to also include her in as many of the baby's routines as possible. That's really the only time she gets crabby...is if she can't help with something. She loves to help and be involved, so that's always fun when I am doing chores or cooking :-)

She's also great at playing music (for a nearly 2 year old, she's got serious rhythm) and dancing, coloring, and building. She loves "doing tools" and following Daddy around when he's doing "his" house-work-things.

Her words have increased exponentially since the last time I wrote about her. I don't think I could list them all, but it's much easier to communicate these days. I, obviously, understand her better than anyone because I'm with her all the time, but she's getting better.

Another one of my favorite things is getting snuggles and hugs from her. She's a real sweet heart. Just this morning she was snuggling up to my shoulder and I was just overwhelmed with this amazing mom-love. It's great to be her mom, and I can't wait to share that love with her baby brother as soon as he's ready.

Some of G's favorite things lately (21 months) are; 

playing Nativity Scene with the little people set that my friend Rachel got her
eating Teddy Grahams and drinking juice boxes....try to limit those!
watching Caillou ... which is what her next birthday will be, she LOVES him
going for walks, playing with the soccer ball, and playing chase :-)
playing "get you/me" aka tickle monster
setting the table (forks/spoons only at this point)
turning on the Christmas lights and tree
helping put away groceries
reading Little Bear's Little Boat
singing nursery rhymes
making "number" soup
anything "kah-chat" (chocolate)
doing anything that makes her look like a big girl ... she's like a 8 year old trapped in a tiny body

In other news, our marriage is doing great and we celebrated our 4 year anniversary on Thanksgiving. My husband is seriously so amazing and I thank God for him constantly. He is so helpful, patient, caring, and compassionate. He doesn't complain, isn't greedy or selfish, and is such a good dad.

I hit the jackpot there.

Don't worry, I try my hardest to reciprocate.

My birthday was last weekend and he surprised me with pearl earrings, and also went all out on a fancy homemade dinner and semi-homemade (re:box) cake. Surprised was italicized because he can rarely pull that off.

My sister has been spending a good amount of time here, which has been really nice--especially seeing her and G interact. They've got a great relationship already :-)

Christmas is planned to be at our house this year, due to the baby's impending arrival, and I can't wait to play hostess...though depending on his age at the time, I may be more of a delegating host than a true hostess.

Love to all.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Pregnancy #2 at 38 weeks

I feel SO over being pregnant. If you are facebook friends with me...I'm sure you are tired of hearing just how over it I am.

Yes, I am still anti-induction and still plan to have the baby whenever he wants to come out....but more so than with my first pregnancy, I am beyond done.

Baby boy has {currently} 33 of some unit of amniotic fluid. The normal range is 8-25, with 21-25 being on the high/tad bit concerning side. His number two weeks ago was 26, and one week ago was 24.5. I asked my midwife how "off" these numbers can be, since 26 to 33 over 2 weeks is such a huge jump. She said, in general the lower numbers might have been off, based on his position, but if the ultrasound tech is seeing 33 now...that's "fairly" reliable. (the more likely scenario is that he's created more fluid over time) One-er-full. {sarcastically spoken, wonderful}

He is also on the super chunk side...and if I haven't had him by next Tuesday, I'll have a better "estimate" of his weight for you--as we are scheduled for a bio physical profile (aka BPP) on 12/18. Increased fluid does make for some really neat sonograph photos, though, if there is a "bright" side.

I am so heavy and ginormous in the front. Last week my sister (among others), said that you can't really tell I'm pregnant from the back, but the side and front are like VAVAVOOM. I'd say that's an accurate statement. I've gained 50 pounds (+counting?) with this pregnancy!! I gained about 45 with G, and I was much more puffy/over all bigger with her.

I do not sleep well at all...not that I did with G's pregnancy either, but lack of sleep has taken on a new meaning. With G, it was more insomnia; whereas now I am straight up exhausted and tired, but too ginormous to get comfortable in any position. I've possibly cried about it at night. Part of the time I try to sit on the birth ball (re: big exercise ball), leaning over the bed, with my head on some pillows. It's the most comfortable position I can figure out, but I'm too scared I'll fall over/off the ball, that I get light sleep at best. I'd say I get about 4 hours of sleep, broken up into small fragments. Having a newborn will mean more sleep for me, not less. So there's another bright side.

I've been having regular contractions for a week. So that's fun. I wasn't dilated any last Tuesday, but didn't have my midwife check today because even if there was progress, it doesn't mean much. With G, the hardest part of my labor was getting to a 2 or 3, and after that I focused internally and survived through an extremely hard posterior labor. Therefore, I really doubt I am dilated any now...despite the week of discomfort, cramping, and contractions.

notice his smushy nose and uber chin rolls!
My best guess is that until my water breaks (and there will be a huge amount), labor won't move forward that much, or be too painful. But after that glorious event, I imagine labor will be hellacious for about 2 hours, then he'll be here. One can hope.

I pray he stays healthy through everything, and that I survive too. Death is a lot bigger fear than it was last time. I know that's not very positive, and I try to push it out of my head, but I am truly concerned that something bad will happen. Down Syndrome is honestly looking pretty good among my other fears.

I hope today is his birthday so that I can find some peace, comfort, and kiss his super chubby cheeks.

Love to all.