Wednesday, June 30, 2010

First Day On My Own

First day on my own has gone pretty well. I miss Ricky like crazy, but because he had 4 weeks off, I had a good time to adjust to the idea of having 2 children. I am in the midst of developing a system to be able to work around both children's schedules and needs. I am trying to figure out how to feed Judah lunch, and still get Taylor fed by Judah's naptime. There's a lot of details to work out. It will be a rough few weeks, but once the routines are set, it can only get easier; until the teenage years that is. :)

For the most part, they are both good kids. Judah is not out of control with sibling jealousy, and he generally behaves well. I am not exhausting myself trying to keep him under control, because he IS under control. Taylor sleeps most of the day for now. The only issue is getting her to sleep on her own without me nearby. This will be the most difficult part of the next few weeks. Now that we are in the "cry it out" stage with her, she spent a much larger portion of the day crying. When Ricky was here, I could spend a little more time holding/rocking her, but now, she's going to have to become a little more independent since my attention is divided. I hate to hear her cry, (any parent does) but it's all for the best, and the later trade off will be 2 well behaved kids who are well rested and easy to handle. It's better for everyone.

Judah is so affectionate as well. Whenever he hears her cry, he'll tell me, "Baby?" to make sure that I am aware. Or if I have her on the floor and she starts to fuss, I'll tell Judah to go play with her, and he does! He is so cute! I know he'll be an awesome big brother.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sunny Days

Unfortunately, the Seattle weather is the same as it was in January. Not kidding. Seriously, look it up if you don't believe me! Today is the first day of summer, and it's lame and cold and sprinkling. I even had to turn up the heat this morning. I can remember many summers like this one having lived here my whole life. I have never gotten used to it.

But that was not the purpose of this post. Yesterday, Ricky and I finally got the whole family to church, and I'm glad that we did. Besides the feeling of "getting back to normal," I felt that God really met me there. Praying at home never stopped, but my prayers mostly consisted of "Lord, give me patience" or "Lord, give me strength" or "Lord, please make her sleep!" But during worship, I got a wake up call.

Worship is the time we try to focus on just Him, and He reminded me that that is why we have anything in life in the first place. Yes, He knows that taking care of a newborn is hard for me, but I do it for Him, and not for myself. He asked me, "If I didn't let you have a full night's sleep for the rest of your life, would you still live for Me?" The answer was obvious, so when I know that this trial right now is so temporary, why is it so hard for me to have a better attitude?

I still ask for the joy of the Lord in the monotony. Breastfeeding still sucks, and changing 30 diapers a day still sucks, and not sleeping much still sucks, but it's so temporary, and I do this for God. Not for me, not for my husband, not for anyone else, and so because of that, I should be joyful.

I am trying. :)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Coming Back to Normal

I have been feeling a bit better today. Judah stayed the night with James, so Ricky and I had last night and this morning to relax. I got to shower, and I even did my hair and makeup. I am actively trying to feel better about life, and just those few things made me feel a little normal again.

I am also actively trying to bond better with Taylor. First of all, I have been trying to actually call her by her name. Both Ricky and I are still stuck with "Baby" or "the Girl" because that's all we called her while I was pregnant. It was so different with Judah. We had him named before we were even married, so from the minute we found it was a boy, we called him Judah. With Taylor, the name still hasn't set in. Funny how different the experience can be.

Secondly, I have been kissing her, and talking to her, and smiling at her more. I know that those things come naturally to most parents, but like I keep saying, this experience has just been different. I have to work at it this time. The change in outward affection has most likely helped, and will continue to help my inward attitude.

The monotony is still very exhausting, but I know that this will all be a distant memory when I am driving the kids to soccer practice and picking them up from school.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Finishing Week 2

So here we are. We've finished week 2. Last night, Daniel and Mandy took Judah for a few hours, and James offered to watch Taylor for a bit. Ricky and I took the chance to go to dinner together ALONE since we know that will not happen very often until Taylor is older. That was nice to be alone, but of course, all I could think about was whether James was able to keep her asleep or if she was screaming.

I am feeling a little better. I mean, I know I am not sleeping much at night, but I think my body is adjusting to less sleep. I don't usually feel the need to sleep much during the day due to my "mommy brain." I am up and about doing laundry, and cooking once in awhile, and doing the dishes. That's good I suppose. Once Ricky is back at work, I'll hopefully be able to quickly adjust to taking care of two small children alone.

It's mostly the monotony that I struggle with. Taylor needs to eat every 2-3 hours, so every 2-3 hours, I have to sit and breastfeed for anywhere between a half hour to an hour depending on how awake she is to take a feeding. That is a lot of sitting. It gets old really fast, having to sit and feed, and change the diaper, sometimes 2 or 3 times between feedings, and trying to help her sleep. And around and around it goes, over and over again.

I've said it before, and I'll say it many more times, it is easier being able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Just 6 more weeks and she'll be sleeping 8 hours straight through the night, and up to 12 hours shortly after that. 6 weeks seems so long from where I sit... But mommy and daddy will be getting plenty of sleep, Judah will have a playmate (sorta), and things will begin to "normalize" (whatever that means). I just need to be patient, which is not coming easily.

Lord, please give me Your patience, because mine is completely inadequate. I need Your grace and Your mercy to cover me and pull me out of these feelings of detachment, apathy, and weariness. I want to be the best mother I can be, and I need Your help to do that. These children belong to You and I want to raise them in Your righteousness. Show me Your way and Your bearing to get through this difficult beginning, and lead me beside still waters.

And thank you for Ricky.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Getting Past Week 2

I forgot how hard this was the first time.

I feel that I am handling it better than the last time, but I am convinced that God makes us forget the hard parts on purpose. Seriously, I have everything going for me. My hubby gets to stay home for an entire month! My recovery has been way faster than last pregnancy and delivery, and I am not feeling "completely" drained of energy. However, I still have an emotional struggle that is hard to get over.

First of all, breastfeeding is hard. It takes a lot of time and energy and patience to breast feed. It's best for baby, and I know that, which is why I tough it out, but that doesn't mean it's any easier. The routine gets really monotonous as well. You have to constantly watch the clock; feed every 2-3 hours, 15 minutes this side, 15 minutes that side. It usually goes longer than that however, with a diaper change in between, and sometimes, several diaper changes.

Secondly, I am having a hard time with naps for myself. Ricky will have Judah under control, and I have a chance for a nap while the baby is sleeping, but I just can't sleep. I sleep just fine at night, but during the day, my mind is in constant motion and I have trouble relaxing enough to drift off for a snooze. If I can hear Judah playing downstairs, or if my father-in-law is working on the house, or if there's a meal coming up soon, then I just can't sleep. I have almost given up on daytime naps, which leaves me with only interrupted nighttime sleep. I am doing alright, but I know it will catch up with me, and before I know it, I'll be on the edge of a breakdown. Of course, coming out of the 3rd trimester of pregnancy, I wasn't getting much sleep anyway, so I suppose my body is somewhat used to the sleeplessness.

Ricky is always offering to feed her at night, which I am grateful for here and there, but for the most part, it's up to me. I have the equipment, and if I go too long without feeding her, then I am in pain and wake up anyway, so I may as well feed her when the time comes.

I don't lie on this blog, so I'll say it here. I am having a harder time bonding than I thought I would. I felt pretty detached the entire pregnancy. With Judah, it was so new and exciting and we couldn't wait to be parents. Now that we are past that stage and having the second child, it's lost all the magic. It's not that we don't love her, but all the "ooh's" and "ahhh's" are gone, and I don't find myself bursting at the seems with how cute she is. It only seems normal, and I'm sure that parents having their 4th or 5th child feel the same way, but I feel almost guilty about it. However, I need to keep reminding myself that it hasn't even been 2 weeks. We felt much better after week 2 with Judah, so my goal is to get past week 2. Who knows? Maybe after that, everything will change. I sure hope so.

In other news, Judah spent the weekend with his grandparents which was a huge blessing for Ricky and I. We love him to death, but he takes a lot of energy, and it was nice to have some more time to focus on setting a routine for Taylor and just relaxing between feedings. Judah had a great time too. He went to the zoo and did all kinds of fun things.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Ok, So Here's the Baby Story...

I had started having contractions starting early in the morning. I had been having a lot of false labor the last few weeks, so I didn't think much of these contractions. They were fairly light, enough to be annoying, but not painful, and they were anywhere from 3-30 minutes apart. I didn't pay much attention to them most of the day.

I did call Ricky and ask him to come home early. I was so miserable and needed help with Judah pretty badly. Judah was sick with a cold for the first time in several weeks (great timing) and I was drained of energy. He came home about 3ish and we tried to chill the rest of the day.

About 11pm, right after Ricky and I had gone to bed, the contractions suddenly became much more intense, longer, and painful. It only took a few minutes before I was "breathing it out." I timed the contractions for about an hour to make sure these were "real" labor contractions.

Right at midnight, we called James, Ricky's dad, to come and take Judah because we were officially in labor. We waited for him, and called the hospital. Once James arrived to take Judah back to his home, we finished the last of the packing, and headed off. I cried when Judah was leaving because I knew it was the last time that I would see him before he was no longer an only child.

Arriving at the hospital was a bit difficult. It was 2am, I was missing Judah, hormones flaring, and I was convulsing because I was feeling cold. Ricky says that I shook a lot during labor the last time around, but I don't remember that. The contractions were getting steadily worse. During the evaluation, I was dilated 4cm, so it didn't take too long for them to admit us. We settled into our room, and I asked for an epidural. I had no energy to even think about trying to go natural. Props to my sister-in-law for toughing that out. It was about 4am when I received the epidural, and I fell asleep almost immediately, as did Ricky. We had both had a hard day previous and were both exhausted.

We had a really nice nurse who let us sleep as much as possible. She came in about 6am for an evaluation, at which I was only 5cm! I was so disappointed and let down at that news. If I had only progressed 1cm in 4 hours (since admittance) then how long would I be there?! So I went back to sleep.

About 8am they came to check again as Ricky and I were waking up. I met the doctor that would most likely be delivering. She was doing the evaluation, and shockingly said that I was 9cm dilated! At the same time, she accidentally broke my water because I was so close to bursting! I was so happy and relieved that things had moved quickly. Of course, things started moving even more quickly after that.

You are told to get help the moment you feel the need to push (timeline is a little blurry here) which happened shortly after they left. I kept asking the nurse to check me and see if I could push, because I felt I needed to push. She told me to push gently, because I was about 9 1/2 cm and they don't want you to really push unless you are the full 10cm. I pushed gently once, and then started asking for the doctor because I felt that things were "moving fast." The nurse checked again, and sure enough, the baby was coming, so she went to get the doctor. Once the nurse came back, she and Ricky started helping me to push, however, I would not fully push because I was afraid that the baby was coming too quickly. I seriously believed that if I pushed too hard, the baby was going to fly out and off the table! Ricky kept telling me "Push!" and I just wouldn't do it. Once the doctor finally came in, she was asking if I was pushing, because she could tell that I wasn't. When she finally sat down and was all ready, then I finally pushed. I pushed once, then twice between screaming/crying. I remember them telling me to "Push, push, push!" while trying to gather my energy, but before I could push again, there she was.

They handed her to me all wet, and all I felt was shock and relief. Shock because I didn't realize that I was really done. I had expected to push a little longer than that! And also relief because it was all over. I had pushed less than 5 minutes.

She was born 9:12am at 6 pounds 15 ounces and 18.5 inches long.
Here's where things get a little more complicated. Since it was still morning, we were able to see lots of family before they all headed back in to work. James, Ricky's dad, stopped in with Judah, and Judah was wheezing pretty badly. He has a flare up every once in awhile when he's sick. Ricky had to go back to the house with James and Judah to get medicine for him. So I was at the hospital by myself while my husband and son are gone trying to get breathing medication. As it turned out, the medicine was out and we had to use a "backup" method which makes Judah SUPER hyper. Once they got the breathing under control, Judah went back to his grandparents house, and Ricky came back to the hospital.

Later that night, the grandparents called us because Judah's breathing was getting worse and the medicine didn't seem to be working. Not only that, but whenever he has a flare up, he needs to be monitored every few hours during the night and given medicine as necessary. This is not something we wanted to put on the grandparents. Ricky and I decided that the best course of action would be to have Ricky stay home with Judah to monitor his breathing during the night, and I would stay at the hospital, since it would be almost impossible for me to get discharged from the hospital that soon.

So off Ricky went to take care of Judah at home, and I stayed at the hospital by myself. Judah had not had a flare up in several months, and this was the worst possible timing for something like that to happen, but I guess it comes with the territory and the title of parent. It sucked being without my husband overnight. I didn't mind being alone so much because I was able to sleep pretty well, but it did make it hard emotionally that Ricky wasn't there. Luckily, the nurses were a bit understanding of my situation, and they tried to get as much discharge paperwork ready for when Ricky picked me up the next morning.

Ricky and I weren't discharged until noonish. It was so nice to be home finally.

Of course, now comes the hard part of dealing with 2 kids with limited sleep. I am so blessed to have Ricky home for the entire month to help with Judah.

Today she is 1 week old, and Ricky and I are about to implement the Babywise system, which is also hard, but we'll get through this. Physical recovery has been a breeze this time around, but it is still trying emotionally. You have so many feelings at once, and most of them, for me, are melancholy. I remember the same thing with Judah, and about the 2nd week, things started to improve dramatically. It makes it a little easier to be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I have to make it to the end of the tunnel.

I am trying to improve my outlook from depressive, to having the joy of the Lord. I know that Judah has been the joy of our lives, but we need to be patient through the hard parts and sleepless nights. It's only temporary after all. I love my family, and Ricky is my pillar to lean on. I love him so much.