Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The first few days home with a newborn and my adventures with breast feeding.

Well our baby girl is 9 weeks old today! Growing up WAY too fast! She's already changed so much, it's hard to believe. I guess now it's about time to blog about her first few days home.... not that I'm blogging on the clock or anything. :)

She was SUCH a good girl in the hospital. She barely cried at all, only when they would check her temp (she didn't like the cold thermometer). She had lost a little more weight than they wanted her to while we were in the hospital. She went from 7, 11 to right at 7. They said it was normal and didn't see any cause for concern, but to bring her in on Friday (we went home on Thursday) for a weight check. Anyways, we were really excited about what a good baby we had!

And then we brought her home...

The first day was pretty good. She cried some, but we figured it was her getting used to a new place...makes sense, right? She slept most of the day, as newborns do. We let her hang out in her swing, which she loved!
My best friend for over 20 years was on her way from Atlanta to see us! I was so excited! Couldn't wait to show off our lil bundle of joy.

About 9pm or so, after Sarah had arrived, Riley started SCREAMING bloody murder. It was horrendous! I've never heard anything that awful in my entire life. She wanted to eat all the time, and I was exhausted from trying to breast feed constantly.

She. Just. Wouldn't. Stop.

By midnight she was crying, I was crying, Tony was crying and the house was in such disarray...it was pitiful. Luckily Sarah and Mama took her from us. They told us to sleep (which I couldn't really do anyway, but we tried at least).

She cried all night. We basically took shifts rocking her and walk-bouncing. I was trying to feed her just about every 45 minutes.

Looking in her eyes, I was starting to see some yellowish hue in the corners. That, my friends, is a sign of starvation. I panicked.

The next morning when we took her into lactation for her weight check, our poor little girl had lost over a pound in one day. She was starving and I wasn't producing milk.

I felt SO awful. All I kept worrying about was having a "fussy baby," and how that was going to impact US. I felt totally and completely guilty. It was MY fault.... But I had to own up to the fact that there was NOTHING I could have done to prevent that.

We rented a breast pump and started her on formula to get her weight back up. After that she was a whole new kid! Over the weekend she was back up to a few ounces shy of her birth weight. My milk started to come in (with the help of a pump) but it was still a very low supply.

Long story short, my adventures with breast feeding didn't last very long. I have next to nothing in terms of supply. I'm not beating myself up over it though. Geniuses are formula fed everyday. :)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Labor and delivery

Six weeks later, I am ready (well, have the time) to tell the world about my thirteen hours of labor and delivery. Yeah....thirteen hours....

Okay so let's start with the night before she was born...2/25/13. Surprise surprise, it was a full moon.

I was 2 days past my due date, and felt like a freaking WHALE. My hormones had definitely taken over any sort of rational thinking I could have possibly formed. 

Tony and I were laying in bed, around 10 pm, and I LOST IT. I completely fell apart. I was freaking out about labor and the pain, and wether or not she was ever going to come out of there! Poor Tony, he was so great during the entire pregnancy. He held me, I'm sure trying not to laugh (in hindsight, I'm sure it was pretty hilarious). He reminded me that "those have been coming out of there for millions of years," and that I was only 2 days past the due date...not 2 years. He definitely made me feel better.

I had been restless for days. I lost my mucus plug about 4 days before that night, so I was on pins and needles waiting for any signs of labor at all. A few days before, I was in a lot of pain and actually thought I was going into labor. The pain was really consistent, not an ebb and flow like contractions. I took a hot shower, and the pain went away. I'm guessing it was Braxton-Hicks contractions. Who knows.

Like I said, I was restless. T was sound asleep, and I was up watching Roseanne (my allllll time
favorite show). I finally turned the tv off around 1am, thinking I could finally get some sleep.

I woke up to some slight pain around 2, 2:30 am. It was not too bad, so I rolled over and tried to go back to sleep. A few minutes later, the pain was back. Was this labor? Were these contractions? The pain went away again. I decided to start timing the pain.

20 minutes.

Then 10 minutes...more intense pain.

7 minutes.

Holy crap OUCH!

Time to wake up Daddy!

I rubbed his head, and gently woke him up. "Honey, I think we're gonna have a baby today..." "Oh....okay..." annnnd he went right back to sleep. He's the hardest person in the world to wake up. I let him be for a few minutes. I got up, turned the lights on, and tried to remain calm. I didn't want to get everyone stirred up if it was a false alarm. 

The next contractions were MUCH more painful. Tony got up. He started timing them and I walked around in circles, bending and stretching, trying to ease the pain. The contractions started coming between three and five minutes apart, it was time to wake up my mom and call the doctor.

Mom was already up....no surprise.

I got Dr. Bolton's voicemail....I wasn't surprised. It wasn't even 5 am yet. I took a shower to try to ease the pain, it helped but noooootttttt much. We still hadn't heard from the doctor and my contractions were consistently three minutes apart. I didn't know if my water had broken, since I didn't know what that felt like. I was peeing CONSTANTLY while I was in the shower...so for all I know....

We decided to head to the hospital...we were both worried that the baby would come while we waited to hear from the doctor.

The sun was starting to come up, and my contractions were getting intense. We were enjoying the last few minutes of life as just the two of us, in between my crippling pain. I had just gotten through a bad one, but we were less than half a mile from the hospital. Tony looks at me and says, "I'm hungry. Do you mind if we swing through chick fil a real quick?"



I said, "I mean......I guess so......" Thinking he would hear the utter bitchiness and disdain in my voice.

Nope. He drove right on in. I was SO pissed! When he was ordering he actually asked me if I wanted anything to eat.....really!? He said, "I'll just get you a lemonade."

I. Was. So. Pissed.

It's pretty funny now I suppose. I was definitely ready to kill him and the over zealous girl at the window. Of course I was having a contraction the second we pulled to the window. I had to grit my teeth and stare our the window, clinching my fists, trying not to scream obscenities at the top of my lungs.

We got to the hospital a little before 6 am. We found the closest nurses station and got checked in. They found Dr. Bolton for us, since we still hadn't heard from her.

They took me into a triage room and hooked me up to all these machines, to measure contractions and both our heartbeats. I was having a contraction as they were hooking me up to the monitors. They told me they would come back around 8:30am and check me again, but I was about 4 cm at that time.

The contractions were getting stronger and stronger. No one was coming to offer me any medicine or check on me or anything! I was getting super pissed. I wanted my damn epidural!

By this time, all of my besties were awake and informed, and all our parents had arrived. Finally, after damn near breaking Tony's fingers, a nurse came in. This fool tried to tell me that I wasn't having any contractions.

Excuse me?

Tony said there was no way, as I was lying there, crying and sweating. "Y'all just aren't getting them on your monitor!"

Which was the truth. Damn technology.

Finally the doctor arrived. She checked me and I was at 6 cm. Everyone was pretty amazed at how well I was handling the pain. The way I see it, I can handle anything for thirty seconds. The problem was that the time in between contractions was getting shorter and shorter, so I didn't have time to recover.

At some point, my mom, dad and Tony's stepmom were in the room. I REALLY wasn't in the mood for visitors. Mom was being mom and trying to read the print out of my contractions. My dad remarked, "oh here we go...the surgeon general over here..." Tony's stepmom laughed. Mom was paying no attention to me, and I started to have a really bad contraction. After I was a good 10 seconds into it (and gritting my teeth), mom said, "oh Brittany, you're having a contraction..." and tried to grab my hand. I said, "no shit!" and slapped the crap out of her hand. Tony tried to warn her not to touch me. Too late. I didn't really mean to....but she should have listened! Sandy and my dad laughed...I would have too in retrospect.

Anyways, they wheeled me into labor and delivery. I was having the worst contractions at that time. Our parents were hovering in the hall outside the room. I started having a contraction, and I was doing everything I could to not scream or cry in front of them. It wasn't easy.

Dr. Bolton came in and said she was going to go ahead and break my water to speed up the process. I really didn't want to take any pitocin...the less drugs the better. Anyway, her breaking my water was AWFUL. It really, really hurt. I didn't expect it to be that bad...but after she broke it, the pain of contractions subsided a little bit.

I had about 4 more bad contractions after that before the anesthesiologist came in for my epidural. I have never been more excited to be stuck with a needle! Ya know, at the childbirth class, they told us the epidural is sometimes the worst part of the whole labor process. They said the needle sometimes would make dad's pass-out! It honestly wasn't bad AT ALL. It didn't hurt worse than getting blood drawn.

All I can say is THANK GOD FOR EPIDURALS. I was 7 cm before I had mine, and it wasn't by choice that I went that far without it. It was a full moon that night, and there were SEVERAL other women in labor. Anyways, I don't have a clue why anyone wouldn't get an epidural. It was amazing...in less than 30 seconds, the pain was cut in half! After it kicked all the way in, for about 20 minutes I felt really drugged out. Some of our family came in, and I know they were laughing at me. After they left, I actually took a nap. When I woke up, I didn't feel drugged anymore...I actually felt NORMAL. I even asked my nurse if I was having contractions. She laughed and said, "yeah, and if you think you felt bad before...just be glad you're not feeling these!"

The epi did make mine and the baby's blood pressure to drop a little bit, which is common. They gave me some meds and it came right back up on both of us, no biggie.

I had my Dave Matthews Band station playing on Pandora basically the whole time I was in the delivery room. I definitely recommend having some sort of music playing that you enjoy. It makes the experience more bearable.

Let's skip ahead...

Around 3pm I was fully dilated and the baby was positioned correctly. I was starting to feel pressure, but not pain. The doctor told me that was good because it would help me feel where to push. She told me we were going to start pushing, but that process (especially with first time moms) can take over 2 hours. So we did a practice round, so I could know what to expect. I got the hang of it pretty quickly...and so did Daddy. He was SUCH a great coach!

I was worried that he would be be grossed out by the whole process...but he definitely wasn't. He just said it was absolutely amazing to see his future wife bring his daughter into this world. Melt my heart...but more on that later.

I started to feel pain, so the nurse said I should go ahead and press my "happy button," to get some more of the epidural meds. She said it would take about 20 minutes for the medicine to kick in, and that would be when I was actively pushing....

Well, five minutes later...I was actively pushing. Tony was an amazing coach! He was great at keeping the count and holding my legs. As usual, he read me perfectly. He knew when to get me to push one more time, and when to let me rest. I was worried that he would get grossed out by the whole thing or wouldn't be able to handle it. He still says it's the most amazing thing he's ever seen. <3

Twenty minutes later, our baby girl had FINALLY arrived! 7 pounds, 11 ounces, 19 inches long...born at 3:27 pm. The first thing I checked was to make sure she was a girl. Weeks before she came everyone kept joking about how funny it would be with all this pink if I ended up having a boy. No...that would NOT be funny.

She was perfect. I instantly fell in love. It was the most amazing experience ever.

Since I initiated my second dose on my epi about 20 minutes before that, I was shaking VIOLENTLY. I couldn't control it AT ALL. My body was basically in shock, but I felt no pain. I was high on love. :)

I didn't even feel any of the afterbirth or anything like that. We were too busy staring at the life we had created to be worried with anything like that. I didn't want them to take her away from me, but my shaking was making her nervous. So they took her and cleaned her (and me) up.

I have NEVER been so happy in my entire life. It was truly awesome! We were both overcome with love and joy...I get chills thinking about it.

Her temp was a little low, so they had to keep her under the warmer in the room for a little bit. That made for a good time to start bringing in the parade of onlookers that had amassed in the waiting room. Tony went out to let them know she was here. He made a video of it, it was so sweet.

They all erupted in cheers when he said, "7 pounds, 11 ounces, 19 inches long." All and all we had my mom, dad, tony's mom, dad, step mom, my brother, sister in law, their 4 kids, my sister, her girlfriend, tony's sister, brother in law, and their 2 kids. 17 people waiting there all day. We felt so loved and supported.

Once I was all cleaned up, everyone started coming in. It was convenient that she was under the warmer and didn't need to be picked up. I wasn't a fan of having her passed around right away. Everyone was so happy...there were a lot of tears and pictures

Considering I was in labor for THIRTEEN HOURS, I wasn't really in that much pain. Really guys...I don't know if I was just a different case or what...but it really wasn't that bad! Don't get me wrong, I would have NEVER done that without an epidural... but it wasn't nearly as bad as I though it would be! I had a handful of godawful contractions, and the time in between pushing out her head and the rest of her was really uncomfortable but that's it. The only time I took any pain meds afterwards was to sleep because the nurse told me, "c'mon girl...take it so you can get some sleep."

My doctor told me it couldn't have gone any better. I lost very little blood, didn't tear, and they didn't have to cut me. I stopped bleeding about 4 or 5 days later.

We spent 2 nights in the hospital, which is standard. The entire staff at DCH Northport was EPIC. They couldn't have been better. We were both very, very happy with the whole experience.

The whole time we were there, we had visitors in and out loving on us and our girl. Once her temp came up, she had no more problems while we were in the hospital. Once we got home, well, that's a different story.

Phew... finally 6 weeks later I complete the labor and delivery entry. Maybe now I can get caught up on the rest of her life so far. I'm tellin' ya, there is VERY little spare time when dealing with a newborn. It's challenging but SO rewarding. We are adjusting very well to life as parents. Every day we learn something new. We definitely don't have all the answers, but we're making it work. More on that later. I'm so glad I've FINALLY blogged the whole experience out. It's something I don't ever want to forget. <3

Newborns take precedent over blogging....

Well, I'm a mommy! Riley is 5 weeks old today.  I keep meaning to blog, but she keeps me so busy. She's taking a good nap now, so I am going to do my best to catch up. I want to keep my blog entries categorized, so this is pretty much a pointless post. My next post is going to be about my THIRTEEN HOUR labor and delivery....so enjoy that.

Thanks for sticking with me, guys. I'm back, ready to conquer the bloggisphere!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Smothered and covered.

Well, Riley's due date has come and gone. I'm really just annoyed with the whole situation right now. Let me explain...

I'm feeling COMPLETELY smothered. I feel like everyone has put me in a glass bubble. I understand it's just that everyone is concerned and excited but I'm SO over it.

When I do get sleep, I'm woken up by calls and texts asking how I'm feeling and where the baby is. Where the hell do you think she is? Geeze...

Do people, particularly in my family, really think that they won't get notified as soon as something happens?! I'm so over it. Everyone is telling me what to do to bring her out...yeah, I read the same crap you did on the Internet. Let's see if I can cover it- walk, squats, spicy food, sex, riding in the car, hot showers... Anything else?

I know people are trying to be helpful but I just want to be left alone right now. I know the support is there and I appreciate it. I just want some space.

Last night my mom literally asked me if I wanted her to sleep on the floor in our room.............. Really?

Thankfully Tony hasn't become overprotective. He is concerned and ready to help, but he's not smothering me. I can't tell you how much I appreciate that.

I am sitting here on our bed, waiting til I can't stand it anymore to go in the kitchen to get something to eat because I just DON'T want to be asked how I'm feeling.

I am uncomfortable, swollen and annoyed. Anything else?

I have lost my mucus plug... Came out late Friday night and Saturday morning. Mine wasn't bloody or anything, just looked like thick snot. Yummy... Anyways from what I've read and heard from other mommies... That's no way to determine when labor will begin. It could be a week, a day or an hour. Gotta love the exact science of pregnancy. More later.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

It's almost time!

So here we are....Tomorrow is 40 weeks (but my due date isn't til the 23rd...?)! Anyways, I'm just patiently....or not so patiently... awaiting the contractions. I decided that I'm keeping track of how many times I go to the bathroom today. Since I woke up (2 hours ago), I've already gone 5 times. Tons of fun.

No labor signs yet. I've got a lot of pressure, but no actual contractions. I go back to the doctor in the morning. Last thursday I was a little over 2 cm dilated and 50% effaced. Pray for progress!

I finished the main painting for Riley's room last night. Gonna hang it today, then all the nursery lacks is the curtains. I hope the lady making them will be done tomorrow. I really want to have everything finished tomorrow at the latest. We'll see.

I'll post pictures of the nursery once it's as close to done as possible. I'm really proud of it. It's turned out super cute! Girly, but not too girly.  Love it!

I started maternity leave on Monday. I got to the point where I just couldn't function at work anymore. I wasn't focused. Plus I've just been really annoyed with the run-around I've been given there. "Oh you're going to be manager in November.....well, definitely December.....Okay we're shooting for the 1st week in January.....how about early May?" WHAT THE F#CK!? So here I am, with no income while I'm out on leave. Awesome. If we weren't living with mom and dad, who knows what we would do. I'm so thankful for them. I need to be more appreciative.

In other news, I've been getting these little bumps on my chest. At first I thought they were just little zits, but they are more like skin tags. My mom said to just use tweezers to pull them off. Ouch. The restless legs have calmed down considerably. That's a plus! I've been trying not to, but my doctor says I can take Benadryl every night if I want to....to help with sleeplessness and restlessness. I'm just not a fan of taking medication if it's not completely necessary. Plus, it makes it harder for me to wake up when I have to pee...so I end up rushing, and usually not making it all the way to the toilet. Awesome...

My feet are SO swollen. Mom keeps telling me we're going to get pedicures...I really need some pampering. My hands are swollen, too. Ughhh. I'm definitely over that.

I got my hair done last Thursday. Our hair dresser came to our house! Sweet. I've been on this red kick lately, but this time it's a little too red. I like it, but not all that much. I wanted it to be darker than this. Oh well, gotta deal with it for now. Maybe I'll just wash it a few more times to see if some of it comes out.

I know I say this just about every blog entry lately, but I'm SO over being pregnant! I'm tired but restless, emotional and annoyed. All I really want to do is lay in bed, eat green apples with crunchy peanut butter, and watch crime dramas all day.

I'll try my best to update tomorrow...that is unless we get sent to the hospital a little early! :)

Friday, February 1, 2013

37 weeks pregnant, we have reached full term!

Wow...I have a full term baby in my belly!

I went back to the doctor today, we are right on schedule with 37 weeks! I can't believe I'll be a mom in 3 weeks! Holy crap!

She is head down and dropping! Heart rate is 150! Everything is going smoothly. According to "statistics," Riley is right at 6 pounds and 19 inches! My little peanut! Let's hope she doesn't get tooooooo much bigger. *Fingers crossed!*

I've gained about 25 pounds. ICK. My doctor commended me on how well I've done, though. She said I've done extremely well the whole time! That made me feel great. I had a lofty goal of trying to gain only 10 pounds...whoops. She said the weight gain is fine, and with breastfeeding, I should have no problem getting it right back off.

That made me feel really, really good.

Time for a confession... around 5 am I woke up and was dying to pee...I didn't make it all the way there. -___-  I let a little loose a little too soon. I just had to laugh at myself. These things happen. Mom says it's payback from when she was pregnant with me.

At least I don't have hemorrhoids.

God, don't let those be my famous last words....

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

25 things I want to teach our daughter.

I guess I've been listy lately....here's another one!

25 things I want to teach our daughter.

1.       Stand up for yourself. Never let anyone tell you who YOU are or what YOU believe. God (with a little help from Mommy and Daddy) has given you the great capability to form your own opinions, and your own set of values and beliefs. This is the greatest gift imaginable.

2.       Know that you can ALWAYS come to Daddy and me with anything. There is NOTHING you can’t ask or tell us. We won’t judge you, and will always protect you. We will give you the best advice possible. Never be afraid to talk to us, we love you unconditionally.

3.       Don’t be quick to judge. As human beings, we tend to form opinions based on little information. Know that there is always more than meets the eye. Use that beautiful mind of yours, and dig a little deeper.

4.       If you lose your family, you lose everything. This is something my Mommy has always told me. There is NOTHING you can do that will EVER make us stop loving you, but you must be willing to love back. You have an INCREDIBLE set of families backing you up, little one. You will come to know that this is your greatest blessing.

5.       Form your own opinions on religion and spirituality. We will raise you to know that there is a loving, all powerful God. How else could Mommy and Daddy have survived on April 27th 2011? How else could you have come into our lives? You will find that organized religions don’t provide the answers for everything. Spirituality is not all black and white, nor can all the answers be found in one place. It’s up to you to decide what you will and won’t believe, just know there is something up there watching over us.

6.       Education is powerful, but not everything can be learned from a book. We are going to fill your life with as many adventures as we possibly can, teaching you tons of stuff along the way. You will find that days where you are all by yourself, discovering your world through your own eyes, will teach you more than you ever thought possible.

7.       Don’t be afraid to scream your opinions from a rooftop, but don’t be afraid to remain silent. Sometimes it’s best to say nothing.

8.       Ask questions when you have them. Ask for help when you need it. Never be afraid to admit when you don’t understand something. Don’t be half-sure. KNOW!

9.       BE SILLY! LAUGH! LOVE LIFE AND ALL THE PEOPLE IN IT! Don’t take yourself too seriously, baby. If you make a mistake, own it! If you fall down, laugh at yourself…but always have the courage to get back up!

10.   Don’t live in the past. Mommy forgets this sometimes. It’s easy to dwell on things that have happened, bad and good. If you spend too much time on what’s already happened, you’re gonna miss what’s coming up!

11.   We will argue. We will fuss. We will fight. This doesn’t mean we don’t love you. Life does not come with a set of instructions. There are going to be times when you can’t stand your father and me, and you’ll think we’re ruining your life. Your grandmother and I went through this more times than I can count. We will never do anything or say anything that isn’t for your own good. You are our daughter, little one. Above all else, we will love and protect you.

12.   Be quick to love and slow to hate. Thousands of people are going to come in and out of your life. Some will change your life, some you won’t remember the next day. Treat everyone with the kindness and respect they deserve, but guard your heart and your body with a steady mind. These are the only ones you will be given.

13.   You will understand the value of hard work. Your father and I want to give you everything under the moon, and then some. However, we will not raise you to be a brat. You will work for the things you are given, and you will appreciate them. Of course, there will be surprises along the way, but we will make sure you are a hard worker.

14.   A true friend will never turn their back on you. They will never judge you and never walk away when you are in need. You will have a lot of friends come in your life. Have the courage to know which ones are worth your time.

15.   Food is not a reward, it is a necessity. You do not live to eat, you eat to live. We will never use food as a reward system for you. We want to raise you in a healthy environment, and spend time together as an active family. This means family walks, hikes, bike rides, and tons of other fun stuff. We will have friendly competition. Loser takes out the trash.

16.   Be passionate about something! Be it sports, music, art, whatever! Pick something and love it with your whole heart. We will support that love to the fullest!

17.   Be proud, but not prideful. Own who you are, but don’t push yourself onto others.

18.   Just keep smiling. Even when times are at their worst, smile. It will make your haters hate you even more, but that just means you are doing something right. You will be surprised how much this simple gesture can make your light shine a little brighter.

19.   Pretend. Make believe. Create, imagine, dream, and do. Don’t be afraid to be your own best friend.

20.   In the words of Katt Williams (who you won’t know anything about until you are much, much older), YOU NEED HATERS. When people are hating you, it means you are doing something right! Don’t delight in their childish antics, but take their criticism as praise. If they are willing to take time out of their day to worry about what you are doing, just keep on doing it!

21.   Please, please don’t take middle school or high school too seriously. I know, at the time, it will be the only thing you know to do. I promise nothing that happens in the day to day will matter much in the long run. Have fun, make friends, and be yourself. Just…don’t take it too seriously.

22.   Don’t be afraid to be great! Never let the actions of others around you, be it your friends, family or otherwise, influence you to be any way but awesome. There is nothing wrong with achieving.

23.   Never say anything behind someone’s back that you wouldn’t be willing to say to their face. Don’t lie about someone or something someone did to make them look worse, or make you look better. Chances are, if you are doing what you know is right, you’ll be fine. If they are doing something to make them look bad, trust me, no one needs you to point it out.

24.   Never do something just because someone else wants you to do it. If you don’t want to do something, don’t EVER be afraid to say no. Stick to your convictions! If you lose a friend over it, then they weren’t a real friend to begin with.

25.   YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! Inside and out, my darling daughter, you are a ray of sunshine. I haven’t officially met you yet, but I know how special you are. How could you not be? Just look at your Daddy and me. WE LOVE YOU!