What I’m Doing Lately…

It has been a very long time since I have written a post. A very long time. I don’t feel to guilty. I have been very busy adjusting to a new little person about the house. He and big brother have been keeping me crazy busy. Multitasking is my life at the moment. Rarely do I have just one thing going on. For instance, as I am writing this blog my foot is tapping constantly on my little baby’s bouncer to keep a sleepy baby, well, asleep.

My two beautiful children have me slightly frazzled lately and since its Christmas time, I have that much extra to try and accomplish. I still have a few things to get and a few things to do, like decorate the Christmas tree that is sitting ready in its stand. Sigh… But I am soo tired! Happy, but tired!

Along with all that has been going on I am trying out a new way of eating. I don’t want to call it a diet because that’s not really what it is. Trim Healthy Mama is what its called. THM for short. So far so good. I have lost a little weight on it and to be quite honest it feels good. I am not starving nor do I really feel deprived because there are so many recipes out that follow the THM guide lines. I feel like I need to start doing something before my weight gets out of hand and I became more self conscious than I already am.

My hope is to get the Christmas tree decorated and the house cleaned before the weekend hits. That gives me one and a half days to git-r-done. Seems easy right?! But who knows what will happen between now and then.

Both my boys are now waking up from their naps so that means I have to go. It feels good to get a blog out. Hopefully it wont be to long before I post another! Until then I will leave you a picture of my sweet boys. How I love them!

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My Postpartum Recovery

I thought I would share with you what I have been using/doing to help in my postpartum recovery. Now that I have been through this twice I have some comparisons to make and advice for some of the expecting mothers out there. Keep in mind I am not telling you what to do. I am only sharing what has helped me 🙂

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First off. I told you about my amazing vitamins a while back. Click here to read that post. I absolutely love my vitamins. I packed them in my hospital delivery bag making sure not to miss a day. They really do help with my energy level and keep my body in excellent working order. When in your postpartum weeks you really need to take care of yourself. I know its difficult with a brand new baby but if you start lacking in certain areas like sleep and substance, life really does become more difficult. Just because you had baby doesn’t mean you need to forget all about your health! You are the one caring for this child! Make sure that you have good vitamins and remember to take them daily!

Next, the belly band! I was so excited to use it and now I can tell you… I LOVE IT! After I had my first son Danny I felt really self conscious of my flabby tummy. It doesn’t stay that way for to long but its a little shocking to see when your baby finally pops out. I was prepared for it with my second child but I can honestly say the belly band did help a lot with pulling my stomach in faster. They suggest wearing it for the first six weeks after delivery. I wore it religiously for the first two weeks now its a little more sporadic. Its really not that comfortable. I started using it the second day after delivering my second son Eli and I instantly started feeling better. I helped my aching back and because it added a lot of support, it made it easier to get up and move around. When your baby pops out you don’t have much stomach muscle so the support it offers is wonderful. Every day I wore it I could see a difference. I could pull it just a little tighter every morning and visually I could see my tummy shrinking. Now that I am three weeks postpartum the effects of it are slowing down but my core is tighter and stronger and I honestly feel like I have healed faster because of it. I definitely suggest using it!

Another item I have fallen in love with is Bio-oil. This helps with any kind of skin blemish including??? You guessed it! Stretch marks! Now I don’t have horrible stretch marks but there are visible and they bother me. I didn’t start using the Bio-oil until very late in my pregnancy. however, I have been using it constantly since baby was born and I love it! The red areas are already starting to fade, the skin feels tighter and oh so soft after using it. The smell is my one complaint but it isn’t that bad. It’s a little strong while applying it but fades over time. I know I said I might take a few before and after pictures but just couldn’t bring myself to do it 🙁 You can Google results from Bio-oil and find many before and after pictures there.

One other thing I did was purchase some postpartum clothes. I didn’t spend that much or purchase a whole new wardrobe! I just bought a pair of lose fitting yoga type pants and few lose fitting shirts. I went up a size from what I normally would purchase and it worked great. Of course all the shirts are meant to be lose fitting as well. This has helped eminentsly with my self esteem! I was wearing my husbands clothes the last couple months of my pregnancy so being able to switch back to women’s clothes made me feel like a normal woman again! That is very important in the recovery weeks. Stay comfortable and wear things that help you feel pretty.

Maybe its just me that feels self conscious after giving birth. I feel like my body is a complete mess and I wonder if I will ever get it back in shape! I know I will, but looking in the mirror with a postpartum body can be a little shocking and/or depressing. I cant be to hard on myself though. After all my baby is beautiful and healthy so I must have done something right 😉

Any who… all the items listed above have really helped me. I didn’t do very much after having my first son and the transition was difficult for me. I am so glad I took the time to research and take better care of my body this time.

Next on my list is to start doing some stretching/yoga DVD’s. My body is sore and my back aches. I know doing some small workouts will help with that. Along with a couple chiropractor visits 😉 I have been waiting to start these until I got some stomach muscle back and well, adjusting to a new baby has taken up most of my time lately.

Hope you find this helpful and are able to use if for future references. Just remember to find what works best for you and take care of yourself! If it means spending a little extra money than do it! Postpartum depression is a serious thing and anything you can do to help yourself feel healthy and beautiful will help protect you from that. It has helped and worked for me anyway. Best of luck to all you mommies out there!

Hospital Stay

Our hospital stay lasted two whole days. It was a bitter sweet experience. Once baby Eli was born all we wanted to do was go home. Its always nerve racking going home with a brand new baby. When you don’t have experienced nurses around to ask probing questions it can be a little scary. This being me and my husbands second child, we felt more prepared and wanted to head home that much sooner. Due to some small issues we were asked to stay an extra night. Only wanting to do what was best for baby Eli, we consented.

We expected our stay to be more comfortable than it was three years ago when our first son was born because the labor and delivery rooms have been newly remolded! The bummer part was they were still in the middle of their remodel so only half their floor was operational. We were told before we settled down for the night that because they were short on rooms, we would have to be moved to a different floor. Dustin wouldn’t get the big comfortable couch to sleep on and our room was going to shrink four sizes.

Here is the room we moved out of…

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Beautiful isn’t it?! And this is the room we moved into…

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Like I said. Total bummer. The only good part of the move was the nurses on the upper floor were more helpful. I needed this as Eli was having a hard time coughing up all the fluid in his lungs. He kept choking and had me very worried. The nurse said it was because he was delivered so fast. Apparently when they are delivered that quickly they don’t get a chance to have all the fluid squeezed from their lungs. It wasn’t until late that night that Eli seemed to breath normal.

The first night was pretty rough. Eli had me up every two hours and the bed I was in was so uncomfortable. Though I really cant complain… This is what my husband slept on…

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It folds out into a bed. A very uncomfortable lumpy bed. Poor guy 🙁

I was trying to nurse Eli at first with not much success. Hes little tongue kept getting in the way so I asked for a nipple shield that helped him get a better grip. It also helped me work around his tongue that seemed glued to the roof of his mouth. The nurses would come in every few hours to take Eli and my vitals. Thank goodness they always waited till he was awake. The nurses on the upper floor were fantastic!

Once we made it through the night the morning brought in the pediatrician for Eli, my doctor, who came back from vacation THAT morning, and a bunch of new nurses as well. It was great seeing my doctor. He is very thurow and answered a few questions we had.

I also took a shower that morning. I was so glad that I packed extra clothes and shower items! I felt like a new woman after I was all cleaned and in some comfortable clothes. I was also glad I packed a few snacks from home. My body likes regular and normal so having snacks that I am use to eating was nice. Every day that passed by I began to feel a little more like myself.

We also had a few more visitors that day. The most important one being big brother Danny! As a surprise I bought him some of his favorite candy!

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He was a little nervous walking into the hospital room. We showed him little brother Eli and he looked confused. I showed him my tummy was empty because Eli was finally born. Danny walked up and touched my tummy and said “Eli’s all gone!” It was pretty cute!

We tried to get Danny to hold him but he was so nervous he really didn’t want to. Danny decided to share a sucker with him instead 😉

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Danny started handing out all his suckers. Good thing I bought a bag full of them!

It was a short visit and it was really hard to watch Danny leave. I wanted our little family to be together. I kept telling myself we would all be home soon. Danny gave Dustin and I kisses and headed back out with Grandma and Grandpa and his aunt and uncle.

Aunt Emily told me later that Danny was talking about how much he missed mommy, daddy and baby Eli. That brought tears to my eyes! It always feels wonderful to be missed!

We made it through our last night and headed home. Walking from the room to the car made me feel a little dizzy. The car ride wasn’t that great either but we were finally headed home and that was all that mattered!

I also had a surprise for Danny when we got home. I pulled out a rocket ship that had been sitting in his closet from his great grandparents. Its made of cardboard that you piece together and then you color all over it! Danny was thrilled as you can see…

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It kept him busy the whole first week we were home until it finally fell apart. Cardboard and duck tape only hold up for so long. Its still in pieces on my floor. I cant bring myself to throw it out yet because he still colors on all the broken pieces. I think we’ll keep it a bit longer 😉

Eli is now two weeks old! Time really does fly with a newborn!

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We are adjusting well and seem to be finding a new normal. Its definitely a challenge having two children. Going places is double the trouble but I cant stay home all the time so we make sure to have the essentials and never stay out long. We usually have some one like dad or grandma to help us out, just till I get things down a little better. Stay tuned, I’m sure I will have some really funny stories to share with you as times goes by 😉

Eli’s Birth Story Part 2

We get into our beautiful big delivery room and the nurse gives me a change of clothes. I know the drill. Change, leave my panties off and make myself comfortable. Well I did two of the three 😉 I didn’t know the nurse would check me so soon. I honestly wasn’t sure I wanted to be checked. What if she said I was barely dilated?! It didn’t matter, she wanted to check me anyway. “Okay” I said, “let me slip off my panties first.” Dustin looked at me and said “You didn’t want to take them off again huh?” Now if you read my son Danny’s Birth Story, you will find this a little funny. I get checked and told I’m a solid 3 cm. Yay! Only 7 left to go 🙁

My mother arrives as the nurse starts my I.V. and Dustin settles in beside me holding my hand through the progressing contractions.

I can do this I keep telling myself. Laying there was bring back all the memories of giving birth to Danny. I wasn’t looking forward to all the things to come. I kept telling myself I could handle it. I did it once after all, I can do it again. But I wasn’t prepared for was how quick and strong the contractions came on. With my first son I had time to prepare. This time I felt like I was right in the middle of labor within the first 3 hours… Little did I know, I was.

The nurse wasn’t very reassuring either. She was new, only having worked there for three months. She was very nice but her being so new made me nervous. As the nurse was checking me in she asked how I wanted to labor. I said naturally. Then I thought id mention the little drug they put in my I.V. last time. I still don’t remember the name of it.

The awesome thing about this little drug is it doesn’t numb the pain. I can still feel and operate everything like normal it just made me feel a little sleepy and helped me relax. Its a drug they can administer every hour because it wears off fast and you can have it until your 6 cm dilated. Every time it wore off I asked for more. I felt like a poker player asking the card dealer to hit me again. I only had the stuff once while in labor with my son Danny. This time I wanted more. I felt so unprepared with how fast my contractions grew. I had a very hard time relaxing. I didn’t want to use the drug over and over again but without it I felt like I’d lose control. I wanted to do this as naturally as possible. I guess I equate natural as not using the epidural. I used this sleepy relaxing drug when I was in labor with both my boys but I still say I labor naturally.

After laying on my back for a while the nurse asked me to move around. Its not good to lay in the same spot for long periods of time. The body needs to circulate. I didn’t want to move. Every time I moved it would bring on a contraction, even if I just had one. So I moved to my side and yep… got hit with a huge contraction. The nursed asked later if I wanted to use the bathroom or walk around. “I can try to use the bathroom” I said. I didn’t feel the need nor did I want to move but for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to try.

I started moving and thus started another contraction… “Ahh! Can’t a woman go pee” I thought. It was frustrating! I moved from laying to sitting. Got a contraction. Then from sitting to standing and got a contraction. “Seriously?! I just want to pee!”

I went in and tried. Honestly, I cant remember if anything came out. I got out of the bathroom and sat on the bed. Sitting made the contractions hurt less. It wasn’t as comfortable as laying but it made it easier and I was all for it. I sat through maybe two contractions and then started feeling the urge to push. It wasn’t very strong but it was there. Walking around must have moved him down a little quicker.  Hmm… I told my mom and husband who then told the nurse who then wanted to check me… Great, I have to move again.

I laid down and yep, there it was waiting for me. It was a long contraction so I got to stare for a while at the nurses gloved hand that was about to check me… “Ahh, that’s going to hurt too” 🙁 She checked me and said I was at 6 cm.

All the sudden that urge to push was to strong to ignore. “Breath” the nurse said. “Try not to push yet.” Uh yeah… That is just not how it works. I can ‘try’ all you want but its not something I can control. I had my mom on one side and my husband on the other… The urge was so strong I WAS pushing. I was trying to breath through them but it doesn’t matter… When the urge is present, there’s no stopping it! The nurse stood there and said if I felt the urge to go with it. I thought I wasn’t suppose to but now she is telling me its okay? This is the total opposite of what the nurse while I was in labor with Danny told me… I know I’m not suppose to push until I reach 10 cm. So I kept trying not to… Again… I can say I tried but there’s really no stopping it.

The nurse left the room for I don’t know what reason. To get the doctor? To get the other nurses? I still don’t know why she left. I know she didn’t think baby was going to come that fast. Well, ha ha, she was wrong.

While I was trying not to push baby was coming out. It finally hit me when I felt babies head crowning. He was crowning and then some. I looked up and saw no nurses or doctor, no one was in the room except me, my husband and mother. Ahh! I looked at my mother and said, well okay, I screamed, “Hes coming out!” This wouldn’t have been so scary if there were help! My mother looks at me and then lifts the blanket and says “Yep! Hes coming out.” I could tell she was trying to stay calm. She didn’t know if She should run into the hall and get someone or stay by my side to help catch baby. Dustin was standing by my side the whole time holding my hand. He was also getting ready to catch the baby! Another contraction and push and I could feel his head was almost completely out.

Just as the next contraction hit a flood of nurses ran in the room, grabbed their gloves and raced over to catch Eli. My nurse wasn’t even the one to catch him. Nope it was a different nurse. It was actually the nurse that worked with my sister three months ago when she delivered baby Tyrion. My mother, who also helped my sister, knew this nurse and felt much better having worked with her. I actually got to meet this nurse when I went in to see my sister and her son after she delivered. I also felt better knowing she was helping.

The funny thing is I wanted to tell that nurse, while I was pushing, that I knew her from helping my sister. I didn’t, but the thought crossed my mind. I think I was just relieved to see an experienced nurse in the room finally. I liked my nurse, but it was clear she didn’t have much experience.

The doctor walked in about a minute or so after Eli was born. Praise God for wonderful knowledgeable nurses who can deliver babies! I got this tiny moment with Eli before they whisked him away.

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It scared me when they took him away so fast. I got to hold my son Danny for quite a while before they took him for tests. I thought since they took Eli so soon something was wrong…

I heard him screaming and crying and I kept asking everyone if he was alright! “Yes hes perfect” they kept saying. “Then why cant I hold him?” I asked the question over and over again. I thought they might be lying to me so I wouldn’t get worked up. I searched through the nurses for Dustin who was with Eli and finally made eye contact. “Is he really alright” I asked sobbing? “Yes” Dustin said, “I promise you he is just fine.” It was such a relief to hear but I still wanted to hold my baby!

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Eli was born at 10:32 a.m. weighing 8 lbs 1 oz and was 19 1/2 inches long. He was beautiful and healthy! Once they were done with their tests Dustin brought a bundled up baby Eli to me and I finally got a good look at him! His eyes were open so I got to look into his baby blues. I was so in love! I had to keep wiping the tears out of my eyes to see him.

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I was so glad to have the labor part behind me. I was finally able to hold and see our son! He was absolutely beautiful just like I knew he would be!

Eli’s Birth Story Part 1

I was 6 days over my due date. We had a date set for the next week to be induced and I though for sure Eli wasn’t going to come out until he had to. My induction week was all planned out with doctor appointments and a baby stress test was scheduled (because I was over my due date). I looked at the week all drawn out on my calendar and wanted to cry. I have a toddler and all these appointments along with my 3 year old son had me stressed out. This was not how I saw it going and it wasn’t how I wanted it to be. I was tired, I was stressed and I was very, very pregnant. All bad combinations.

It was a Saturday night. I was cleaning my house again in hopes that maybe, just maybe, tonight would be the night. I have to admit I did feel a little different. I felt like my body was preparing for something. The thought that it could actually be tonight got tossed around in my head.

I woke up a couple times with my heart racing in the middle of the night. I told myself to calm down and I tried to go back to sleep. All the sudden I felt a pop. My eyes shot open and my heart started racing again. “Umm… Did my water just break?” I bolted out of bed and ran to the bathroom glancing at the clock on my way by, 1:48 a.m. I got to the bathroom, checked, and I was defiantly leaking!

I was scared and excited. I had been waiting for this moment for 41 weeks! What had me so afraid was knowing what it was going to be like. I knew the struggles I had a head. I kept telling my self to stay calm because this was the day I would meet our son! The day when I would no longer be pregnant and it was all happening without medical help. I walked around the house a little, checked on our sleeping son and then went in to tell my husband my water broke. He looked a little surprised but he was also very calm and happy. I told him to go back to sleep as it would be a while before we’d need to head to the hospital. I grabbed a blanket and my pillow and went to lay on the couch. As I lay there I was thinking I should probably let my mother know my water broke. She, after all, was going to bring my sister over to watch our son and also help me in labor. I text her to let her know.

“There” I thought, “everything is in order. I’ll just lay here and try to sleep until the contractions really start to build.”

By this point I had had a few small contractions. Then all the sudden… OUCH! “Okay, that one hurt.” Caught me a little off guard too. “Their not suppose to hurt like that for a while.” A few other small contractions but most of them were pretty close together. Then… OUCH! Another big contraction. “I may not be able to sleep through this after all.”

I hear my husband move around and he gets out of bed to check on me. I say everything is fine and he really should try and get some rest.

I lay there on the couch and my husband meanders back to bed… I’m trying to get comfortable, to relax. Its hard to do when I have to keep looking at my phone to write down the contraction times. So I move around in the living room to try and find a more comfortable working spot. No success… The contractions were getting stronger at that point and I was wondering why my mother hadn’t text me back. So I text my sister. I asked her to wake mom up and have her check her phone. I wait… still no answer. I was beginning to get frustrated.

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My husband wanders back out and says he cant sleep. So he starts playing ‘the guys.’ That is what our son refers to as Call of Duty on Xbox 360. I figure that’s great. He can start writing down my contraction times as I try to relax.

Dustin looks at the times I have written down so far and says “your contractions are 5 minutes apart?” He looks at me like I should be getting ready to go. “I know but they need to be stronger before we head in, we have more time” I said.

He looked at me a little unsure. At this point the contractions are coming on stronger and harder. I’m starting to cry because I’m getting nervous and they really are beginning to hurt. I keep thinking it cant be time. I have only been contracting for two hours. I don’t want to rush to the hospital. We can wait longer.

My husband continues timing them while I start to squeeze the couch in pain… “Breath” I tell myself, “relax and breath.” They are starting to last longer and then my husband looks at me and says “babe the last three contractions were three minutes apart. You need to call your mom.”

Okay, hes probably right. I pick up my phone to call hoping she answers. I think shes going to say okay that’s exciting let me know when its time to go. She answers, thank goodness, I tell her about my contractions and start crying a little because I get another huge one while I’m on the phone. “Umm… why didn’t you call sooner! You need to go!” She said. Really I think? Its only been two hours since my water broke. “I am headed over with Emily right now. Get your things in the car you need to head out as soon as I get there.”

I hang up and tell my husband who looks relieved someone finally talked some sense into me. He starts packing the car while I try to fix my hair, brush my teeth and change my clothes. As I walk around getting ready I start to think that maybe it is time to go… A contraction starts and I have to lean over the bed and really breath to get through it. My husband walks in and watches me. “Yeah okay, its time to go” I say. He laughs knowingly.

My mother and sister arrive. I give babysitter Emily instructions on what to feed Danny when he wakes up and where everything is. I tell her his favorite movies he will want to take to grandma and grandpas house later and ask her to tell Danny when he wakes up that mommy and daddy love him! It was hard to leave Danny behind. I don’t know how many times I walked in to check on him before we left.

We head out into the cold but I have to wait for a contraction to pass before I can get in the car. It passes and we are on our way! Dustin turns off the music and reaches for my hand. It was nice. I didn’t want to hear anything, I didn’t really want to talk. I just wanted to sit there and concentrate.

It felt like a while before my next contraction hit. I prayed that the car ride wouldn’t slow them down or stop them. I was ready and I didn’t want to be sent back home. Then… OUCH! Okay… its probably not something I need to worry about.

We get to the hospital just as they open the front doors. It was exactly 5:30 a.m. Phew! We made it! We start walking to the hospital and I have to pause for yet another contraction. Dustin asks if I want a wheel chair. He did that when I was in labor with Danny. No babe, I still don’t want a wheel chair 😉

We arrive at Labor and Deliver, check in and get shown to our room. Now, they just remodeled these rooms and they are beautiful! Seriously so big, clean and new! It was comforting to walk into. Once we arrived, things really started progressing…