First Smiles

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So Little Time

I’ve wanted to write a post for weeks now (with actual words!) but am finding it hard to find any time to do it! Lachlan must be getting his 2 year molars in, because the last 5 nights have been HELL.  There’s no other way to put it.  Cael is easy….but the toddler is the challenge now.  He wakes up screaming, comes in the bed for a little bit, then gets up and won’t sleep for hours.on.end (awake last night from 1am-4:30am).  He wants me to hold him and rock him and that.is.it.  I’m exhausted on a level I never thought existed.  Each day is beginning around 5am now, and bedtime for Lach isn’t till 9:00 or 9:30.  Some days he isn’t taking a nap either, thus adding to the craziness.  Anyway, that’s why I’ve been sort of MIA around here.  I keep reminding myself that this is only temporary and sleep will return to my life eventually.  I can, I am, getting through it.  It’s hard though.  When your body is rested, it is so much easier to get through the day.  When you’re sleep deprived, everything is more difficult and your emotions are all out-of-whack.  Well, here’s a few bullets while I DO have a minute with both boys asleep!

  • Cael is 4 weeks old today and is truly the angel baby.  He only cries when he is getting his diaper changed, or hungry.  We have a bit of a “witching hour” – well – two actually before bedtime….but other than that, an angel I tell you!
  • He is a nursing champ.  He got it right away! Nursing is great now, and so much easier than it was with Lachlan.  My b.oo.bs KILLED the first 8 days or so and I had some minor cracks….but now all is well in boobland.  My boy loves to nurse (big gulps/no nonsense at nighttime, and more luxury eating during the day….) and would stay on the b.oo.b all the time if I let him.
  • He is growing so fast! I can already notice how much bigger he is and feel the time is FLYING by.  I have truly sucked at taking photos since Lachlan broke my point-and-shoot camera…..struggling to figure out my big camera and it’s plethora of features.  Still, I clearly need to step it up.
  • Lachlan is the sweetest big brother.  Honestly.  He is so gentle with Cael and loves to come and just pat his head and give him the softest hugs.  In the beginning he was so fascinated by this teeny tiny person that he wiggled his ears and tried to pinch his nose….but no more of that.  He just kisses on him and lays beside him and smiles.  I can’t wait till Cael is older and they can play together….I think they’re going to be the best of friends…..
  • Lach has been struggling with temper tantrums.  It’s challenging and drives us crazy at times, but I know it comes with the age and we’re doing our best to work through each one (screaming for 40 minutes straight because he can’t get his way for example).
  • My girl-parts feel like a million bucks.  What a huge difference from postpartum last time! With Cael’s birth, I tore internally again.  We found out last time that I was allergic to the stitches, so my midwife gave me the option of using a new type of stitches or to use SEAWEED.  Yes, seaweed.  I opted for the seaweed.  Partially because I (and she!) think I would have kicked her while she did the stitches on me.  I had a really traumatic postpartum recovery with Lachlan.  I ended up having to have SEVERAL inpatient procedures done to me because of complications from the birth.  I didn’t feel back to “normal” until MONTHS (like 9!) after the birth.  I feel amazing now and if I wasn’t still bleeding, I’d never know I even had a baby 4 weeks ago.  I’m so thankful! My midwife was just amazing and the seaweed did its trick!
  • Back to pre-preggo weight now (29 lbs total gained during the pregnancy) but pre-preggo jeans don’t feel the same….guess things moved…..again.
  • That’s all for now….but here are a few photos (from my cellphone!):

The Birth of Cael

Monday, September 20th.  39w6d.

8am.  Had great midwife appointment in the morning.  She said my body was very ready, 3-4 cm’s dilated, but now only about 50% effaced (had been 80% effaced at 38 week appt) due to the baby’s position.  He was still on the right side and she was hoping he’d move and put more pressure on my cervix (causing it to efface further).  She said it WAS possible I could go another week before going into labor.  I couldn’t believe that was a possibility because I knew Cael was a pretty big size already, and the pressure I was feeling was nothing short of HARDCORE.  Another week….no way.  N said she’d like to try doing Reiki before I left.  I had never been open to this sort of thing before and thought it was a bit “out there” for me, but had nothing but complete trust in my midwife, so told her to go for it.  She had me lay down on the bed and close my eyes while K looked on.  She started hanging a pendant over all of my chakras (head, chest, etc…..) and they would spin slightly (without her moving her hands to spin them).  She told me my heart was open and ready for this baby, but when she got to my pelvic area, she said I was completely closed.  The pendant stood completely still.  Interesting.  After she did this over all of the “chakras” on my body, she told me she was going to “open me up” and see if that helped.  K said she swirled her hands around and around and then almost “swooshed” each space above my head, neck, chest, pelvis and feet.  I immediately felt myself relaxing and heard only the wind chimes hanging throughout her office and the birds chirping outside.  Very surreal and so unusual for me.  She then told me she was going to see if I was “open” now.  The pendant was circling much bigger over each section on my body now, and when it got above my pelvis, it did massive loops without N even moving her hands.  K was blown away and I had to open my eyes to see it for myself.  My midwife was so excited and said I was definitely open and ready for this baby and that I may go into labor later in the day.  She had used this once before with the same reaction on a pregnant patient.  I was hesitant it worked, but left feeling relaxed and prepared for the possibility of laboring later in the day.  K and I went into work like normal.  N had advised me to do pelvic tilts/rocks and the ‘polar bear’ yoga position to help try to move Cael to a better spot for labor and delivery.  I did the positions every 2 hours for 10 minutes at a time, but never felt Cael move his position.

2:30pm.  Sitting down at Chic-Fil-A eating lunch with K, Lach and K’s dad.  Started getting contractions that felt different than the ones I’d been having the last few days (just regular BH contractions).  These were mildly painful and I couldn’t ignore them.  They weren’t coming regularly, but were painful each time….so I was definitely paying attention.

3:15pm.  Back at work.  Pulled out a pen and paper to time them.  They were coming every 7-10 minutes and hurt.  Started to think this was really something now.

4:00pm.  Told K I couldn’t focus at work and they were still really hurting.  Asked her to pack up so we could go home.  Talked to N to update her and told her I thought the reiki “did it”! She told me to call her in an hour so she could hear me on the phone having contractions…

4:30pm.  At home.  Contractions 6 minutes apart. Rushing around trying to get Lachlan packed up (chocolate milk, snacks, pajamas, diapers, etc).  I had semi-packed a bag for him, but realized I’d left quite a few things out of it!  All the while, I’m stopping to write down the contractions on the piece of paper.

5:30pm.  K’s mom has picked up Lach.  Did I mention I cried when he left? Was hoping he wouldn’t have to spend the night away from me….but I knew I wouldn’t be able to go through what was ahead of me if he had stayed.  Called N and told her contractions were about 4 minutes apart and hurt, but I still felt pretty good.  She told me she’d be there by 6:15pm with our doula/birthing assistant.

6:15pm.  Awesome birthing playlist playing over iTunes.  Tons of candles lit.  The place smelled like a pumpkin spice latte. I was kneeling on all fours on the rug gripping the fabric in my hands with each contraction.  Then it was over and I’d talk to K like all was fine.  N arrives with T, our doula.  I’m able to talk to them and am still really aware of everything I’m feeling.  N checks me on our bed.  7 cm! She tells me I have a really high pain tolerance and says that I have done so much hard work today.  That felt good.  Then she tells me I’ll  have the baby by bedtime.  That was pretty awesome.  Water was still intact and she asks me to walk around a bit.  I go to the bathroom to pee then do laps around our kitchen table.  I’m circling twice then get a contraction.  Each time K rubs her hands hard into my lower back, allowing me to try to focus on something OTHER than the pain.  I grip the underneath side of the table with each contraction.  I keep up this routine until I’m getting one contraction each time I circle the table.  Ouuuch.

7:45pm.  N and T have filled up the birthing tub.  It’s a massive tank, decorated beautifully by all the mamas that have birthed in it before me.  It’s hot and I get in, not sure how I’ll like it…knowing I only stayed in it for minutes for Lach’s birth.  The water is so hot and feels awesome on my legs and belly.  I kneel as push my nails into the tub while I get another contraction, then when it’s over I try to find a position I feel comfortable in.  I end up laying on my back/semi-sitting up with my feet pushed against the end of the tub.  I smell herbs from the kitchen stove all the way in the den.

8:15pm.  Things start getting really tough.  The contractions are close together now and I’m 10 cm’s dilated.  My water still hasn’t broken, and N doesn’t want to break it.  If she had, I’d have started pushing immediately.  She wants the water to break on it’s own so I can ease the baby out and prevent tearing badly like I did with Lach.  The contractions are hard to get through now and sweat is dripping down my face.  I guess being in a 100 degree bathtub would have something to do with that!  The lights are off inside our house, and there are only candles and a flashlight, and our porch light on.  I can hear every word of every song playing on my playlist.  Mat Kearney, Brian Wilson, The Fray, David Gray.  K holds a cold cloth on my forehead and says “Listen to the words Baby. Breathe in, Breathe out…..”.  I can’t talk at this point and N gives me 2 combs to hold in the palms of my hands.  I grip them so tightly against pressure points in my hands.  Anything to feel pain in a different place.  I have several moments where I want to weep and don’t know how much longer I can do this.

9:05pm.  N asks me to open my legs wide and I remember saying “no, no, no”.  It was so uncomfortable and I was at a point where I knew I couldn’t escape this pain, no matter how much I wanted to.  My water breaks and I immediately start pushing.  This was harder than anything I’d ever felt.  So much different and more painful than pushing Lachlan out. I tried to be gentle with my pushing, but felt an urgent need to get this baby out of me – fast.  This was the only time I was vocal during my labor.  Half grunts, half screams trying to do what was the hardest work I’d ever done.  N directs my attention back on her, trying to get me to focus to ease the baby out and prevent tearing.  15 minutes later my wet baby boy is brought up to me through the water. N unwrapped the cord from around his neck (and shoulder!) underneath the water. What a moment that was.  I did it.  It’s over.  He’s out.  Exhausted and in love and in awe that this little person just came out of me.  9lbs 2oz.  Born at 9:20pm on 9/20! My thoughts are all over the place…..He is beautiful and perfect and it’s over! Karli cries.  I cry.  Again, it was all worth it.  Every moment when you think you can’t go on, every tear.  I’d do it all again – in a heartbeat.