Ethan's Age

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Weight Loss Wednesdays!

There are a bunch of bloggers who are participating in "Weight Loss Wednesdays," and I thought I'd join in!  You can usually find a full list of participants on Josey's Blog!  Feel free to join in, and let her know you are doing it too and she'll add you to her list!

1. Reiterate my goal and where I stand in reference to this goal: 
Goal Weight: 135#  so I have 21# to go.

Starting Weight: 156.8#
Last Week's Weight:  156.8#
Current Weight: 156.8# --> 0# loss (This is my first week, so nothing changed, obviously.)

2. Discuss what I am going to do to achieve my goals:
Progress on last week's activities: (EXAMPLES)
Walked around the neighborhood (roughly 2 miles)
Drinking more sparkling water

Activities & goals for this coming week: (EXAMPLES)
Walk around the neighborhood with Ethan 3-5x this week
Drink at least 2 sparkling waters a day

On-going Life Style Goals: (EXAMPLES)
Get out of the house at least 5x a week in some fashion.
3. Post a (reasonably healthy) recipe that I've tried, a cooking tip, a new idea for working out for people to try, a photo update of my weight loss, or anything else I feel like sharing.

I've found having items around that are easy to grab and eat while feeding Ethan are key!  I take an extra 30 seconds to set myself up next to my rocking chair with satisfactory snacks and a water.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Dear Ethan...

Dear Ethan,
You are one month old tomorrow.  I can't believe you've been around for that long, and at the same time it feels like you've been around forever.  Here are some of the things I want to remember about your first month here on Earth:

  • You really like to eat!  I'm so thankful that we figured out that your first two weeks where you were crying and fussing non-stop was food related, and we were able to fix it.  (And boy, did I feel bad that we didn't know, and you were just hungry!)  Your momma and daddy were reallllllly frustrated and concerned since you just were SO unhappy.  Since getting you well fed, you've been much happier.  
  • You really like to sleep!  When you are not eating, you most likely can be found sleeping!  A little man after his mom's heart for sure.  I'd love to sleep that much too!  
  • You really like to poop!  You will be SO embarrassed when I share this with your future girlfriends!  But if you are not eating or sleeping, you most likely are pooping... or staring at lights, but we'll get to that. I got to experience my first "being pooped on" joy this last week.  Thanks a bunch, little man.  
  • You had your first successful baths!  Boy, do you love the tub now!  As soon as you get in the warm water, and we cover you with a warm wet washcloth you are happy as a clam!  In fact, the first time you had a bathtub bath, you fell asleep!  Super cute! Now, it's a nightly thing and it's so gloriously peaceful for us to give you a bath!
  • You are facinated by lights and ceiling fans! If you could not have to eat or sleep, you'd be content to stare at both of these things all day long.  Don't get me wrong, I love lights too, but you are obsessed. You are also starting to track things like little jingly toys we shake at you!
  • You are starting to stare at us more too!  I think you are starting to recognize us, and "not us" when someone else is holding you.  I'm starting to see a bit more thinking behind those eyes, and I'm so excited to see your brain continue to grow and watch you experience things for the first time!
  • Your mom and dad are now liking you (not just loving you!)  It was a rough couple of weeks to start out, but now that we know generally what you want when you cry, it's much easier to have you around.  
  • Your mom is in LOVE with snuggle time!  As long as it's not the middle of the night, I could just hold you against my chest and watch you sleep for hours on end.  You are so dang cute, I could just die. 

We love you a bunch, and I can't wait until the next milestone, smiling!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Week 4

This Friday will be Ethan's 4th week out of the Uterus Apartment he was couch surfing in.

I'm very much in love with this little bugger, and we are starting to come up with a routine that works for all of us.

The first couple of weeks were really tough, as he was crying most of the day and night, and Jon and I were at our wits end several times.  I felt completely helpless and like a horrible mother that I couldn't figure out what was causing my little guy to be so upset.  I'd breastfeed him, rock him, shush him, burp him, change him... nothing would work.

We finally figured out that he was hungry and not getting enough from me.  We've since supplemented with formula and gone strictly to bottle feeding (2/3 of his diet is still from me, 1/3 is formula).  Since then, he's settled a whole lot and seemed full when he was done eating and has been way less fussy. He's finally back to birth weight as of his 2 week check up, which also confirmed that he's finally getting enough to eat.

I'm slowly getting over my anxiety about taking him out on my own.  The other day I went to the Dr with him, and he started to cry and cry and cry in the waiting room.  I felt so self conscious, and I couldn't get him to stop.  Finally I just whipped out the food source and decided to nurse him right there, and he was much better.  I need to get better about realizing that babies cry, and screw other people if they are judging me for it.  However, now that we have a formula back up, I can feed him easier when we are out if it's an emergency.

We also invested in a plug in swing, which he now sleeps in, and he's graduated to sleeping in his own room.  The space has been key for Jon and myself, and allowed us to have some baby-free time for our own sanity.  We are also still continuing the shift system for getting up in the middle of the night which has allowed each of us to get a couple chunks of sleep.

The little man is getting so big, it's hard to believe that he's only a month old as it feels like he's been here forever.  (And looks very dapper in his tux.)

We had our first successful bath a couple of days ago.  Before he would scream (but we were only washcloth bathing, so I think he was just really cold) but this time he was in our little bath container.  I placed a warm wet washcloth on his body and immediately he was content.  He actually fell asleep!

I guess we'll keep him.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Ethan's Birth Story

Tuesday: 12/13/11

Tuesday afternoon, my birth plan went to hell.  I was called by one of my midwives saying that my blood pressure levels had risen to the point where they were no longer comfortable having me labor and deliver at the Waterbirth Center.  I would have thought this to affect me more, but I suppose I had prepared myself, and felt thankful that this Blood Pressure counting game would soon be over.

By Tuesday at 5, we were on our way to drop off the dog at the boarders, and on our way to be induced.  I was still hopeful that I could have a natural childbirth, but supervised in a hospital, I could have an eye kept on my blood pressure.

I arrived at the hospital at around 7 pm, and was greeted by friendly staff and nurses.  This put me at ease right away, and we moved into our palatial labor suite.  They checked my vitals, and my BP was high (shocker) and they started to talk with me about being co-managed with the OB to make sure that it didn’t go any higher. 

I got a horrible IV in my arm, right below my wrist.  The reason being that I could labor with it in that location and be able to move my arm around.  Jon had settled in at this point and got all our stuff  pseudo unpacked. 

They checked me at this point (Which was VERY painful), and I was still at 1-2 cm and 80% effaced.  This was somewhat discouraging, since I was that far along back several days before on Friday.  So, they decided to give me Misoprostol to ripen my cervix to be able to work with the contractions later on.  This is a little pill that’s put on the cervix.  Jon and I then spent some time just playing cards and watching TV, expecting labor to begin soon.


Early Wednesday morning, I was checked again, with little progress, so, onto Pictocin I went.  I was anti-Pit for sure, but knew that I had to do something to kick contractions into gear.  Very quickly after starting the Pit, I started to feel the roller coaster of contractions.  The first few took me by surprise, and the pain was extreme.  After a few contractions though, I got into a zone.  I could feel them starting and as soon as they started I went into my own head, focusing only on breathing, and was able to cope with them excellently.  I felt proud that here I was in labor handling decent sized contractions.  This is what my body was meant to do!

So, I moved around a little and was able to deal with each contraction with a feeling of primal strength.  Jon knew that anytime I went silent, to leave me alone or give me smoothing hands on my hair or something non-distracting.  I rode them out and felt like I was finally being productive!

My BP was still high at this point, and by midday, it was still climbing despite medications to help it go down.  The midwives were talking about risking me out of their care altogether.  This scared me a lot, and I felt my hopes of a vaginal delivery were slipping quickly away.  By midday, I was only 5 cm along and about 90% effaced, so I had a lot of work to do, after hours on the Pit. 

Mary, the midwife on call at this point (as we had gone through a few shifts by now) ended up being the mother of a high school friend of Jon’s (Follow?) and I felt much more comfortable.  I continued to labor on the Pit, dealing with contractions well… until the early morning where everything changed.

Thursday: 12/15/11

Thursday in the early morning I was still laboring, and feeling pretty good.  Then in walks Mary and the nurse, they check me and I’m still the same, and my BP is up.  So, this meant three things…
1.     the Pit was too low, but they wanted to make sure that the pressure on the baby was ok before increasing it… meaning an internal monitor.  But being that I hadn’t dilated too far, I was concerned about the pain of placing the monitor.   I would need an epidural to prevent this pain.
2.     My BP was quickly getting me to the point where a C-Section was going to be the only option.  A way to avoid this was to get an epidural, which had been shown to reduce BP in many laboring mothers. 
3.     I had to decide whether to continue to labor, with the potential that I wasn’t going to progress and have to endure a C-Section.

My feelings were so extreme about the choices I was being offered.  There was still no certainty that I would have my vaginal birth, but there was suddenly a certainty that an epidural was in my future. I sent Mary and nurse out of the room so I could have a major meltdown with Jon, where I explored how I felt that I had been laboring so well, and handled it well and all the hard work I’d done was now starting to look like it was going out the window. 

We decided to do as much as we could with the natural childbirth, so Thursday mid-day I got an epidural so they could turn up the Pit to get me more dilated, to hopefully be able to move labor along, and avoid a C/S.

The epidural placement was absolutely vile.  It hurt a while lot, and they had to adjust it a few times to make sure it worked.  I then fell asleep for several hours while they turned up the Pit.  I didn’t feel the contractions anymore, but I did see them on the monitor and they were large.

Around the middle of the afternoon on Thursday, I woke back up, but I had pinched something in my hip.  This hurt very badly, and I had to work hard to keep control, as I also started to feel the contractions as well.  One large contraction later, I was screaming in pain due to the pinched nerve on top of the contraction.  They started to move in baby related items, thinking that birth was a lot closer than it was, but then the midwife and nurse went off in the middle of a major contraction leaving me alone with Jon feeling pain on a whole new level.  I was very frustrated because I felt that the odds of having a baby in this very minute was high.

At around 8 in the evening on Thursday, the midwife checked me finding that I was fully dilated, so they let me start pushing, but the baby was only at +1 station.  They let me know that if it felt better to push, to go ahead.  So I started to push with each contraction.  They let me know that I was pushing very well, and I felt confident that I could still have my vaginal delivery.

So I pushed.


…4 hours later, I was still pushing… and he was only at +1 station.  Mary, the midwife Jon knew from before came back on shift, which gave me a lot of peace.  She apologized that I couldn’t accomplish what I wanted from my birth. 

At this point, I realized… I wasn’t going to have the vaginal birth I wanted.  And I was actually ok with it.  I had done EVERYTHING I could do
I labored hard
I worked hard
I pushed hard
And my body just wasn’t going to do it.

Friday: 12/16/2011

So, at 1:30 Friday morning, we started to prep for a C/S.  Thankfully, I had my epidural line in place, so they were able to give me my medication through there.  It was an odd experience, being wheeled into the OR.  I never knew a room could be bright and sterile looking.  If there was a heaven, it would be as bright as that room.

I met my Anesthesiologist who was very kind and explained everything to me.  Jon couldn’t come in until I was all prepped.  They used a sharp tool to find out where I was numbed and made sure I was ready to go.  I asked them to double check the numbing and then off they went.  I was so relieved to have Jon come and sit next to my head, and I saw Mary too who was such a mothering and calming presence in this room of intensity. 

Though I’d seen quite a few C/S on TV, nothing could quite prepare me for the weird sensations like your body being shaken around with the force of pulling a baby out.  After just a few moments I felt remarkably empty, and the room went silent for just a split second.

Then at 2:04 AM on December 16th, I heard my baby cry.  It was surreal, to hear the voice of something that up until  then seemed like such an abstract idea, and in that moment, my life changed… I was suddenly a mom.

Immediately, Jon went off to meet our new son, and I was left alone.  This moment was one of the oddest, as my job of baby incubator was over, and I was empty and alone.  Out of nowhere popped Mary’s hand, and she held mine as the overwhelming effects of the past 54 hours of labor and the anesthesia drugs took over.  This joyous moment was punctuated by getting very sick from the drugs and shaking uncontrollably, and I was thankful to not be completely alone.

Only then could I ask if my son was ok, and everyone said he was perfect.  He got a 9/9 on his Apgars, weighed 9 lbs even and was 21” long. 

I then recalled that I was still undergoing major surgery and asked if I was ok, which I was.  A few minutes later, Jon came over and I was able to formally meet my son, Ethan.

Meeting for the First Time

 He really was beautiful, and he looks just like Jon.

After a few more minutes, my body was hauled off the OR table and back to my bed where I was wheeled back to my room, holding my brand new son. 

We spent several whirlwind and exhausting days in the recovery unit, where Ethan learned to breastfeed, and Jon and I learned how to survive on no sleep.  We were so blessed to be surrounded by quite a few wonderful nurses and doctors, but I was eager to get home as quickly as possible.  Nothing felt better than the idea of being able to be in my own house, so no nurses could barge in at 2 in the morning to check my vitals and where I could shower in my own house. 

Ethan and I were discharged on Monday and we made our way home for the first time as a family of 3.  This journey thus far has been eventful, hopefully our adjustment to this new way of life will be smooth!

Ethan is Zoolander