Monday, September 15, 2014

2 Weeks Old!

We are at two weeks since having Braelyn.  It's difficult being a new mom at times.  There are hours of sitting on a couch simply feeding where you're unable to do little else.  The to do list of misc. tasks will add up.  If you like to have everything planned out, like I do, you'll likely drive yourself crazy.  This is the time I should try not to have any to do lists.  There are days I can blissfully sit on the couch all day, and others I'm going stir crazy.

We are just now at two weeks and I'm already stressing about going back to work and what to do about childcare.  I wish that wasn't my personality.

I want to enjoy these days when she little and cuddly and dependent on me.  Before she grows up and becomes her own person, no longer thinking she needs me. I wish Neal could be home from work more to enjoy them too, because it really is truly wonderful to see him cuddle and snooze with her or play with her during tummy time!

I love that only moments after putting her in our Boba carrier, she's fast asleep and will stay that way the entire time I walk around with her.  I love watching Neal with her, the two of them falling asleep together is my favorite.  I love the way she grasps my finger when we feed.  I love the way she throws her arms out and eyes get big when she's startled or surprised by something.  I love the warmth of her baby soft skin against me.  She's simply the most special little girl to me.

Braelyn Updates
How Old:  2 Weeks
Medical Updates:  No official Dr. updates, next appointment isn't until later in October, but she seems to be getting bigger and stronger daily.  She can lift her head briefly as well as bang it strongly against Neal's chest if he's holding her and she's ready to eat!
Sleep: We had 2 difficult sleep nights this past week.  One of them, I think she could tell I was anxious.  We had a rough afternoon, one to which Neal came home to both of us crying, and sleep was difficult that night.  She's been making more and more noises while she sleeps, so it's keeping me up or waking me up.  Then I check on her, and she's still eyes closed, sleeping, just dreaming and wiggling some.  If her noises don't wake me, a nice puddle milk or extremely full breasts does!  The more noises she makes, the fuller I get!
Clothing/Diapers:  She's still in her newborn sizes.  They are a tiny bit more fitting this week, but all work well.  We started her on cloth diapers yesterday.  That will be a bit of an adjustment as we realized we can't keep them on as long as disposable.  So we are figuring that out and have had some great tips and suggestions from other moms on Facebook and Instagram.

Mommy Updates
Postpartum: 2 Weeks
Weight: Down 21.9  That's 7.7 lbs above my pre-pregnancy weight.
Waist:  Down 7.5 inches. 4.5 to go (ish) before I'm back to pre-pregnancy.
Belly:  The linea nigra will likely stay around for a while longer...oh joy!  Neal and I compared abdominal areas so I could feel what a non separated abdomen was like...and yea, I def have about 2 fingers worth of separation, thus possible diastis recti.  It's not something my Dr. seemed concerned about, so I'm just going to avoid straining my abs as much as possible and figure out ways to work around this and bring the separation closer.
Best moment this week:  Anytime Braelyn cuddles with Neal or myself and falls to sleep.  Especially in her Boba as I walk her and she makes sweet cooing noises!!!
Hardest Moment this Week:  Baby blues. One evening, as mentioned above, Neal came home to both of us crying.  It only took him about 5 min to calm her down and get her to sleep for the next few hours.  Then that evening, she would wake up, change diaper, feed, fall asleep, but the moment I put her down, she was awake and crying.  I hadn't realized Neal was leaving at 3am for work either so I was just all kinds of upset.  The blues have come and gone a few times for me.  Most days I'm really happy and content, there's just a little time period where they hit.

Braelyn feeding update:  My nips are almost completely healed!  I used olive oil, went around topless when possible, and just really watched how I would hold/feed her.  Feeding is not nearly as uncomfortable.

Question of the week:
What helped you through the baby blues?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

1 Week Old!

Braelyn turned 1 week old on Monday!  I love her to pieces!

 Here's our 3 Days Old and 1 Week Old Photos!

Braelyn Updates
How Old:  1 Week
Medical Updates:  She had her 1 week appointment Tuesday morning and gained 1 oz since her birth weight! The Dr. said she looked and sounded healthy.  She's been feeding, filling diapers, and sleeping well. Now we don't have to have a 2 week appointment and will just have a 2 month one!
Sleep: She's not a bad sleeper (as I knock on wood). The Dr. even told me today I could try to not wake her at night every 3 hours and try for 4 or even 5 instead and see how she does.  He said since I'm having to really wake her up when I've set my alarm for 3 hours that she could possibly sleep longer, but she'll also likely feed longer once awake.  We'll see what happens this next week.
Clothing/Diapers:  She's in newborn sizes and we're still not cloth diapering. I'm giving myself a little time to learn more about being a parent to Braelyn and adjusting to life before throwing in one more curve ball.  I mean 1 week ago, I was the girl asking her husband if we should call the nurse in the middle of the night because she had a dirty diaper to change! Ha!

Mommy Updates
Postpartum: 1 Week
Weight: Down 18.8 lbs.  10.8 lbs to go before I'm at pre-pregnancy weight.  However, I'm thinking I may not want to be quite as small as I was.  I would feel back to 'normal' losing another 8 lbs.
Waist:  Down 5 inches. 6.5 to go (ish) before I'm back to pre-pregnancy...the measurment may be off since I took a really old waist measurement to use as I didn't take one early in pregnancy.
Belly:  The linea nigra is still really dark on me and I am sure it will stay that way for a while.  My tummy is softer than it's ever been, but makes a nice coushin for my baby as we learn how to nurse :)
Best moment this week:  Meeting Braelyn for the first time was pretty darn special! I couldn't stop telling Neal how much I loved him right after she was here. And then I proceeded to tell Brae the same :)
Hardest Moment this Week:  Being sore in the pelvic floor, having cracked nipples, and baby blues.  The blues didn't hit until Monday, 1 week postpartum. They came suddenly and strong. It was my first day home alone and I feared Neal wasn't going to be around. It's totally irrational, Neal adores both of us and our bond is strong.  However, right as I calmed myself of that fear, I started thinking if he got in a car accident and was taken from us.  It was terrible. I hate thinking about losing him and the hormonal changes only worsened my fears.
As for the pelvic floor, I think the pain will take some more time.  I'm taking ibeprofen as needed and trying to not overdo anything.  So far I just take easy walks and am working on my kegals.  
As for the cracked nips.  They are starting to heal.  Braelyn's latch looks good externally and her tongue seems fine and since they're healing, I do think her latch is good.  We shall see what the course of this next week brings and if they continue to heal.  I sure hope so!

Question of the week:
What's your best tip you've been given as a new mom/dad?  Or if you have't had a baby, what's your best tip for big changes in life?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Bringing Home Braelyn!

As the sun streams into my office and my house is calm, quiet, peaceful, serene...I'm at awe that there's a sleeping baby, my sleeping baby, snuggled up warmly next to me in her Snuggamonkey!

Total silence except little taps on the keyboard and the sweetest little coos coming from little Braelyn.

Mom is playing games on her iPad, Neal is resting in bed (don't worry, I was just there too, but could sleep no more), and the dogs are in their usual positions, sleeping soundly on the futon in my office. It's simply a perfect scenario at this moment.

Bringing home Braelyn was filled with a lot of excitement, some hesitation, and of course some fear. What will I do now if something 'strange' happens, like her poop is weird, she spits up, the latches don't get better and my tits don't make milk right, or oh goodness she just cries differently?  Am I REALLY the one responsible for her?  Where's my nurses?  Where's my doctor?  Holy S**T what did we do!?!

Thankfully, the first day has been a lot better than expected.
Proud parents getting ready to take baby girl home!
As we got her all dressed and ready at the hospital yesterday on September 3rd, Braelyn beautifully handled her heel prick test (tests for like 40+ different dissorders), the nurse made sure she was in her car seat right, and we were discharged.  Just like that...released into this world as new parents.  Filled with the knowledge from our classes, lactation consultants, and nurses discharge teachings, we were off.  Up until we had Braelyn, I maybe had only changed 3 diapers in my 26 years of life.  This is an WHOLE new experience for me.

As Neal drove his work truck, my mom took myself and our little girl home in our truck.  Braelyn was great in the car ride home as I sat next to her in the back seat taking pictures and stealing kisses as we went home.
Car ride home!
Upon arrival at home, Walden and Sasha, our four legged babies, greeted her so sweetly with wet puppy noses and an attempt at far too many kisses which we had to politely dodge.
This was Braelyn as she first met the of her and the puppies to come, they are just all on my mom's camera!

Then she just snoozed on Neal's chest forever and ever.  This will likely be my most favorite scene to witness for many months to come.

My mom mowed the yard as Braelyn, Neal and I rested before taking some family photos.

This is me 3 days post partum.  As you can see in the second picture, I still have my belly, it's now just all soft and giggly.  I don't hate it, it's kinda cozy for Braelyn actually!  I am going to wear a BellyBandit to help shrink the stomach and uterus back down, but so far my doctor was very impressed with how much my uterus has already shrunk.  I'll be posting weekly about my post partum recovery as well as about the weekly growth of Braelyn, this is just a little glimpse as this post is more about bringing her home than about mine and her changes. :)

When the evening arrived, we had some delicious veggie filled lasagna my mother made [it's a true masterpiece, so good and yet somehow filled with tons of veggies to help me well umm go bathroom too ;) ]  Yep, everything is all different as my intestines make their way back to their original 'homes' before Brae took over.  So far, so good.  Going to the bathroom doesn't hurt like I thought it would, but I'm not 100% comfortable yet either.  And yes, maxi pads, ice packs, and witch hazel (Tucks) are a women's bestie after giving birth!

As we ate our home cooked delight, we watched a movie, White House Down, where I got to oogle at Channig Tatum and those man muscles as Braelyn slept cozy in her Snuggamonkey.  It was getting late and I was exhausted, very much ready for bed, but Braelyn was still sound asleep, so we decided to wake her up for a feeding since it had been a while from her last.  She only ate for 20 minutes and was thankfully ready for bed.  This was much easier for me than the 2 hour feeding we had earlier on day 2.
Little Girl as we watched our movie!  So stinking cute!
Through her first night at home, we fed for those 20 minutes around 9:45 pm, an hour around midnight, 20 more minutes around 2:30am, 25 minutes at 6am, and 30 minutes around 9am.  It wasn't so bad at all for the first two feedings, but at the 2:30 one, she spit up SO much of my golden milk, I thought I might cry.  She did it again just after our 9am feeding too.  I'm SO thankful my mom was here, because when I showed her the spit-up, mom said, "Oh that's nothing, you used to cover the entire rag."  My mom helped lift my fears that Braelyn was going to not have enough of my golden milk and told me our little girl looked just fine, no more jaundice than what we should expect.

I still can't believe we had stretches of 2-3 hours of sleep last night!  It was amazing!  I have her sleeping in the bassinet on the pack-in-play beside the bed in our master.  I swaddle her up, put a towel on one side to slightly position her on her side since that's what we've found she likes best, and then I put one more blanket on top to snug her in so she can't wiggle out.  I'm hoping this will work for a bit longer, but am sure she'll soon want to be put to bed another way.

It's going on 2PM and she's been sleeping most of the morning with a few shorter feedings and then she just falls back asleep.  It's about time for me to go check her diaper, which will wake her back up, feed her, and hopefully she'll stay awake a little bit so I can play with my cutie some.

I want to thank all of our friends and family for their thoughts, prayers, and kind words during this transition Neal and I are making into parenthood.  We truly appreciate all of the support we've been given and I hope to keep you up to date on Braelyn as she grows with our family!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

39 Weeks Pregnant, Almost There!

Tomorrow is Braelyn's due date & the start of week 40!  We'll see if she arrives, but I'm not going to put all my eggs in that basket since Neal and I are never on time for anything...oops!

I do hope Braelyn wants to come by the end of this week so I can no longer be pregnant...I am getting pretty sore and tired. 

How far along: 39
Gender: She’s a girl
Weight gained: 29.6 lbs
Inches gained: 11.5 around largest part of belly
Working Out: Lots of walking!
Clothing Choices:  Anything that’s comfortable, be it my husband’s gym shorts and t-shirts or a long dress
Belly button: No denying it’s an outty.
Sleep: I’m always tired.
Best moment this week: Knowing that by Friday, whether she’s here or not, I’m done with work for a while.  I would like her to be here because I’m only taking 4-6 weeks off and don’t really want to ‘waste’ a week just being pregnant.
Hardest moment this week:  Stressing she won’t come until after my mom is out of town.  Mom gets here on Saturday (she’s due tomorrow so that’s 3 days after her due date) and then mom leaves the following Saturday, which would be 10 days post her due date.
What I’m missing: Sleep
Movement: She still moves a good bit.
Cravings:  Fruit and milk, mostly fruit!
Queasy or sick: Nope.
Looking forward to: Being able to see what our little girl looks like!  Will she have hair on her head, what characteristics from each of us will she have, will she be big or little, tall or shorter?

Strange Dreams: I had a real scary one about giving birth in our bed and Neal not believing that I was in labor so he wouldn’t come help, and she came out feet first and was about the size of my hands put together…really small…and wouldn’t cry much.  I mean I have felt her feet, I know she’s larger than that, but it was still scary!

Week 39 Workouts
  • Wednesday - 1.5 mile dog walk
  • Thursday - 2 mile dog walk
  • Saturday - 2 mile walk on the treadmill at the gym + and arm band workout
  • Sunday - 1 mile family walk
  • Monday - just under a mile dog walk

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

38 Weeks Pregnant! Come Out Come Out Wherever You Are!

OH baby girl, I am SOOO ready to meet you!  Your 'due date' is officially 8 days away!  Tomorrow starts week 39, which is a week a LOT of babies apparently are born!  I know most babies don't come on their actual date, but I am just praying, praying, praying you come just a little before that date, on that date or very shortly thereafter!  I know our 'due date' is right on too since we do Natural Family Planning and I know the date of conception ;) soooo you can't fool me little girl...I know it's about time!

By the time I go to bed at night, I seriously feel my stomach weights 50 lbs.  I feel like it's just going to fall off the rest of my body when I roll over in bed.  All day long, I think about how much I want to go to sleep.  It's very difficult to focus on tasks sometimes when all I can think about is Sleep OR Food!

I know the longer she brews in there, the better, but man oh man do I want to hold her in my arms rather than in my belly!

How far along: 38
Gender: She’s a girl
Weight gained: 28.7 lbs
Inches gained: About 11
Working Out:  I did alright this past week.  I am not disappointed :)
Clothing Choices:  I splurged last minute on 3 more dresses, including the one I'm wearing in this photo.  They are all maxi dresses and were $15 - $20 at Marshalls.  None of them are maternity dresses, they are all just nice soft, stretchy, jersey fabric.  I'm excited to wear them post pregnancy as well!  I may return one I haven't worn yet, but so far...this decision was a happy one on my part!
Belly button: Outty!
Sleep: What is sleep?
Best moment this week:  Neal coming home today and asking "When's our baby going to get here?!"  It seems he's just as anxious as I am!
Hardest moment this week:  Working + Lively Happenings + finding time for myself, the dogs, Neal, cooking...I'm seriously just so tired, I'm not able to do it all.  I'm actually going ahead and putting Lively Happenings on vacation mode tomorrow morning through mid September.  I wish I could do LH, but I kinda have to choose my 'real' job over LH at the moment since it's the one that brings in the bacon.
What I’m missing: My body being able to move like it used to without being so sore!
Movement: She has a very solid foot or elbow or hand pressed against my right side a lot of the day...but it's kinda fun to massage it and feel her move :)
Cravings:  Milk!
Queasy or sick: Not feeling too bad, just sleepy!
Looking forward to: Braelyn’s arrival!!! Can you please come tomorrow!?
Strange Dreams: I had a wild one about a sea lion.  I STOLE him!  I wasn't supposed to have him, but I wanted him, so I took a baby sea lion!

Workouts Week 38
  • Wednesday - Easy doggy walk
  • Friday - Easy doggy walk
  • Sunday - Gym time with the hubby! I walked 2 miles on the treadmill and did leg day
  • Monday - Knocked Up Fitness Yoga Fit Workout (find it here!)