Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Almost 3 months later!

Wow, have I failed! I wanted to do weekly updates and that just didn't happen. I took on too much work and it really got the best of me. Note to self: don't take any work for at least 6 weeks after the next baby! November just about killed me. BUT we made it through and life is only going to get better!

A lot has happened since my last post! He was only 1 week old! Ollie will be 3 months old in about a week and time has flown. I'll kind of give some recaps of the first 3 months! (I was a better updater on my instagram).

-I stabbed my hand on accident and now have permanent damage. Yes, I was dumb.
-We have figured out that having our groceries delivered is THE BEST THING EVER.
-Carson shot his last wedding in October
-Ollie was blessed in November
-I had a lot of work and Carson and I decided it was causing too much stress on everyone so 2018 I'm limiting my working time because it was literally taking care of Ollie until Carson got home and then working until midnight or 1am every night. So the new plan is 1 wedding per month, 4 portrait shoots per month, and taking less orders with my other job as an editor.
-Carson and I have gone on a few date nights, success!
-We adopted our dogs out to help with my anxiety and to give them the best home possible... we just couldn't give them what they needed or deserved. Watson has been adopted into a family with 11 children so we're really happy with our decision. Still waiting to hear on Piper's situation. She has gone blind so I hope she goes to a nice quiet home :)
-Ollie had his first set of shots and did quite well with them.
-We had the best Christmas with Ollie!

Oliver has done so well! He brings so much joy to us and every day we're constantly saying how proud we are of him and amazed at his progression. We literally have the best baby! His last doctor appointment he weighed in at 15 lbs 1 oz (11.5 weeks old) and 24.5 inches. He's in the 86-87% for weight and height and 99% on his head haha! Probably why he's so smart, he's got big brains! We have been referred to physical therapy though because his had is flat on one side and the doctor is wanting to prevent a stiff neck or helmet, so we're going in January. He currently eats 6oz every 3-4 hours and sleeps in his own crib for 10ish hours a night! That's been going on a few weeks now and it's been heavenly. We bathe him about 8pm (which he LOVES the bath, he's starting to really splash and go wild in there) and then let him play for a bit and feed him and he goes down around 9-9:30pm and wakes up around 8-9am. He sleeps in his zen sleep swaddle with a humidifier and his dock a tot (with the owlet and nanit so we can monitor him since we're downstairs). He then wakes with big smiles and about an hour or 2 later goes back down for a nap and has a few cat naps throughout the day! He is such a talker and laugher, especially with dad. He loves his toys from Christmas and has really good hand control so he can push buttons to make them work. He smiles and is so proud when he can make the toys make noise or do whatever they're supposed to do. He is getting better neck control with tummy time. I can't believe 3 months has flown by! I'm a little sad about it, but each new milestone is so fun with him too!

I'll try to update more frequently now that life is more calm and a little more predictable :)

Sunday, October 15, 2017

1 week old!

Guys. I kept a baby alive for a whole week!

The first week was so great. After we got home from the hospital we settled into a semi routine and I think we did fairly well! Carson cooked our first dinner home and we had yummy crock pot bbq chicken. Our first night together was pretty good and every day I was slowly feeling a little bit better. We had quite a busy weekend with my brother's birthday and Carson had to go into work quite a lot that first week. By Sunday my milk came in and I was NOT prepared for that pain! I felt like I had come to terms with my delivery and my recovery process and then BAM, boob hell. Luckily it all cleared up in about 4ish days thanks to peppermint tea and cabbage leaves and lots of ice packs. I couldn't really deal with all my pain so Ollie and I just sat in bed in the evenings and watched happy, positive shows. Like "Hitch" and "The mighty Ducks" and "Heavy Weights" ha! It was so nice to just sit and watch a movie and not worry about work or editing. I still had stuff to do but realized I just had a baby so it was ok I take a chill.

We have had lots of support from friends and family and so many meals have been brought in. We are truly grateful! I've been meaning to finish up my thank you cards for all the baby shower gifts and meals brought in... and I've been itching to get back to L&D to give all the nurses cards and donuts. I hope to get that done soon!

Ollie did great his first week. He started to eat 3oz every 2-3 hours and slept pretty decent too! At first we had him in his bassinet and he wasn't a huge fan so we eventually gave in and had him sleep in the dock a tot on our bed.... I know, I wasn't going to co-sleep but desperate times call for desperate measures haha! No worries, we are safe with no blankets on him and it's a hard flat surface. We also have the owlet to let us know any oxygen concerns or heartbeat low or high. The bassinet isn't big enough for the dock a tot to sit in so we are feeling a little stuck for now.

On the 1 week mark we had my friend Alyssa come and take some photos of the 3 of us. I was still quite swollen but I love these photos! We also went to his first dr. appointment on his 1 week mark and he is basically a perfect child. HA! He gained 5oz (so 9lb 6oz) and evidently shrunk... 21.25" inches. What? They said the hospital might measure differently so don't pay too close attention to it. Also, his head is off the curve in size, which I could have told you that since it took a vacuum to get his big head out ;) It just means he's super smart right? I love my big head baby. He also graduated to size 1 diapers on his 1 week mark. He's growing up too fast :(

Some of my favorite things about week 1:

After Ollie is done with his bottle, he smacks his lips so loud. I laugh every time and it's the best. He also has been super smiley and I was able to get a few captured with my phone. (Not during newborn photos though, that little stinker... newborn photos gets it's own separate post, I'm waiting for film to come back). He likes to cough exactly 2 times while he's being burped and sometimes will end it with a coo.

I have yet to be peed on. Poor Carson has been pooped, peed and sneezed on and takes it like a champ haha! His sense of humor really keeps me going. I've had a lot of anxiety and he's done everything to make things easier on me.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Ollie's Birth Story

I've been wanting to write this for what seems like ages! I didn't want to forget anything but having a newborn means the days go by too fast and you look around and think how is it already night time again? It's kind of scary because I really do love this newborn phase. I don't want him to grow up (well maybe just a little bit so he's sleeping through the night haha). I can't believe it's been almost 2 weeks with him... I can't imagine life without him now! I just stare at his perfect little face and look at my husband and think "I totally scored the jackpot with these two boys."

I was looking forward to Sunday night, October 1st because starting that night at midnight I could be called in for an induction. I was 41 weeks October 2nd and I had finally come to the end! Carson was a little bit anxious about missing the phone call in the middle of the night so he called L&D to see where we were on the list. We found out 3rd in line but we wouldn't be called until the day time, and they instructed us to get some sleep. We felt good about that and we were able to sleep pretty good! At about 7:20 am I got the call to come in. She asked if we could be there within an hour and I said yes, so we set a time of 8:20am. Looking back I wish I would have just said we'd be there in 15 minutes but I had no idea we wouldn't be able to be induced that day. So we got up, got ready and had breakfast. I was super excited and finished packing up everything we needed for the hospital. We put everything in the car and I checked my phone to see I had missed a call from the hospital. I called back and the lady said it suddenly had gotten really busy and that I was put on hold until they could call me back in. I felt so mad at myself that we missed our time by minutes and had we just gone in a little sooner I would have had my baby that day! We stayed by our phones all day hoping we'd get the call and nothing came. We went to Judd's for lunch and got a few things at Target that we needed and then Carson decided to go into work. I stopped by The Cottage and ran into my friend Ciera and her mom. We shopped a little there and then they offered to take me out to frozen yogurt and buy an outfit for little Ollie at Gap. It was a nice distraction and so nice of them to do that! I then drove home and waited for Carson to be done with work. We called L&D again to see if I was close to being called. The nurse was very nice but said there was no end in sight and they were swamped but to stay by our phones. I was totally crushed! I had hoped I wouldn't have to spend another night pregnant because I was in a lot of back pain... had been for the last week. I had also gained a ton of weight the last 2 weeks and was worried about how big the baby had gotten.

Monday night we ate mac and cheese because I was craving it pretty good. The previous night I thought would be my last supper and we had haystacks (one of my favorite meals). Mac and cheese was a good choice too, but I was bummed I was having a second "last supper." We went to bed around 11pm hoping we'd be called at any time. I woke up about 12:30 am and went to the bathroom and to relieve some back pain (sleeping was horrible for me towards the end and I would have to get up every few hours to stretch my back). I went to the bathroom and had a good pee, meaning there was nothing left in me to pee out haha. I went back to bed and we have a platform bed so I would have to put my leg on it first and go into a crosslegged sitting before I could adjust into having my legs flat out. Well when I was crosslegged, all of a sudden the pressure from sitting that way and being wide open in a way, I felt a gush of liquid. I got out of bed quick because I didn't want to get it on the sheets and hobbled to the bathroom as more liquid was gushing. I was ecstatic! My water broke! Now that'd HAVE to admit me. I called to Carson to get me a pair of underwear and a pad and he was a little unresponsive. He has a hard time waking up in the middle of the night haha. I called out again and said I wasn't joking and we were going to the hospital. I put my makeup on and got our bags and headed to the hospital. All the while I'm still gushing. I knew it wasn't my bladder because the sensation was the same as when I have a period. I know the difference! Also, TMI, but when I went to the bathroom, I made sure to feel the consistency of it and it was clear and sticky. Pee is not sticky guys! I say this because of what happens next.

We get into L&D and they have me go in to have the liquid tested, answer medical questions, and put the belt on to monitor baby's heart and such. They come back and say the liquid was negative for amniotic fluid and that I probably peed my pants. Uh NO, I didn't. So I'm assuming it was a build up of discharge maybe? SO WEIRD. So then they say they're going to call my doctor and will let me know what happens. They knew I was on the list to be called for an induction and said it was really busy upstairs and just haven't been able to call ANY of the people waiting to be induced. I really thought they were going to send me home and I was super depressed... how long were they going to let me go on like this? I was worried about Ollie and scared he had pooped in there and just wanted to get him out ASAP. After 20 long minutes they came back and I wondered what took them so long. Come to find out, my doctor told them to admit me. What? I was so so relieved. They were getting a room ready for me. Yay!

We get to our room and they hook up my belly to the monitors and come in to get me IV started. The tried going in my forearm and just couldn't get the vein, they were being really wiggly I guess. So after digging around with that one, she tried my hand and no luck either. I was worried I was dehydrated and my veins were being bums. They called in another nurse and she was able to get it in my other hand. Whew! We started pitocin and the nurse said we'd just take it nice and slow. She wanted to wait on having my water being broken because the guy that was on call was sleeping and we might as well ease into things for me to see how I would progress. I also had to get 2 doses of antibiotics in me because I was positive for group b strep.  A few moments later she came back in and said Dr. Lunt was there and offered to break my water. I got scared and told her no, I would just ease into things like we had planned. Once she left I asked Carson what I should do and we decided to have him come break my water. Might as well get this thing going! So he came in and broke it, I didn't even feel anything! So far so good. He did mention that baby had pooped in the womb so I would have extra doctors in the room when I delivered. I was happy I was being induced because I was right about him pooping in there... SCARY!

I was quite nervous because contractions would be more intense now that the water was broken. They started coming and I could handle them at first but then they became more intense. I didn't want to call for an epidural too soon because I was afraid it would slow me down and so I thought I should just sit through the pain. Carson was a little worried and called the nurse and said I was ready for my epidural. He said that I didn't have to prove anything and I didn't have to go through any unnecessary pain. So I had labored about 45 minutes. The anesthesiologist came in and he was super nice. By then the contractions were really painful and intense and I was crying and scared about the needle. I sat on the edge of the bed and had Carson cradle my feet because it helped ease the contractions a little bit. My nurse Buffy was awesome and helped me with my breathing and after the numbing poke in my back, I didn't feel anything going on with the needle. He said we were done and I was shocked, that was easy! Yay! They said it would be about 10-15 minutes for me to feel the effects, but for me it was pretty instant. My contractions were still going but I couldn't feel them. Hallelujah. I was so excited. This was going to be a breeze!

Buffy ended her shift at 6am and the new nurse Shelly came in. I was nervous for the shift change because Buffy was so awesome. We had realized Carson had videoed her wedding the previous year and it was nice to have familiarity. We met Shelly and I realized it was all going to be good! She had a calming presence and almost a motherly type care and that was good for what was coming next. I started to have left ovary and low back pain. I mentioned this and pushed the button for more pain juice and she put me on the peanut ball on my side to relieve the pain, thinking that maybe baby was resting right there. It didn't help, just put more pressure on the pain... but I was dilating when on the peanut so we did that for a bit. The pain continued but it wasn't anything I couldn't handle, not like the contractions before the epidural. The pain slowly started to spread to the middle back and then to the right. I gained feeling back in my legs and could lift them. I didn't have contraction pain in my stomach though, so it was obviously still working... just had that dang back pain! The back pain was consistent, not letting up, but with each contraction it would worsen. Carson applied counter pressure on my knees which helped and I pushed the button for my epidural a million times. No relief came. I was starting to dilate pretty fast and called my mom at a 7, and then I was an 8 about 20 minutes later. Her and Carl came and while I was in pain I could still laugh and talk to everyone. I had the song Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash stuck in my head and thought about how awful it would be if I had to feel the ring of fire during labor. I wasn't prepared for a natural birth. My nurse told Dr. Chalmers about the song stuck in my head and when he came in to check me and start a round of pushing, he was playing it on his phone haha! It was a nice comedic relief.

I was EXTREMELY thirsty all throughout labor. I asked for water, ice chips and they also brought me apple juice. All was so so relieving. But with the amount of pain I was in, I was throwing up. I threw up 3 times during labor and was afraid to keep drinking but man, I was SO thirsty! Nothing could quench it. They finally gave me zofran and that helped keep down everything.

We started some practice pushes and everything was starting to really hurt! I mentioned my pain but felt like nothing could really be done about it? By the time I was dilated to a 9 I was in some intense pain. It's all a blur for me now but it was pretty horrible. I was crying non stop and every time we had to push I would scream out like in the movies and felt pretty dramatic. They would give me 30 minute breaks between pushing which was nice and I found some relief there. When I was fully dilated to a 10 (we were just waiting on the last bit of cervix to go away) the real pushing began. I felt everything. I was in pure agony. I felt like no progress was happening and began to get exhausted. I started to panic and think he was never coming out and they would have to knock me out and do a C section. I was desperate. They offered to call the anesthesiologist back in to give me another big dose of the good stuff but that it would slow my pushing power and would just prolong labor. I needed a break though and begged for more meds. ..... and they didn't give it to me haha. I felt absolute dread when I realized I could have relief and I wasn't getting it. I wish they wouldn't have even said that because originally I thought there was nothing that could be done for my pain. They said I was so close that I might as well power through but I did not feel like I was close at all. We did some more pushing and my doctor said he would be honest with me and that I had another hour of this to go. I had another feeling of dread because I could NOT last another hour of this. My nurse had to calm me down multiple times because I felt like I was having a panic attack. Everyone in the room was really positive and said I was doing awesome but I felt like an absolute failure. I could feel the uncertainty in the room and knew I wasn't really doing awesome haha. Every push I would scream and they would tell me to use that energy into pushing instead of screaming but I couldn't help it. I was in such intense pain that I couldn't even breathe. I got an oxygen mask and that helped a little but I felt like I was going to pass out and die right there. I wanted to be knocked out. I felt like I was outside of my body and that this couldn't truly be happening.

My doctor suggested we use the vacuum to get him out but said there were risks involved. I didn't really care about the risks, anything to get him out or I would be begging for a C section (which I'm SO SO glad it didn't come to that, but I was desperate at the time and would do anything to make the pain stop). My doctor said I had plenty of room to get this baby out, that wasn't the issue, it was my stupid pelvic bone that Ollie couldn't get over. After more pushing he decided to use the vacuum finally because I was getting to exhausted. The vacuum hurt when it was put inside, but then again everything hurt so it was just added pain. Yay. I still had to push with the vacuum and they kept saying "ok one more time!" and then again and again "one more time!" I was losing patience and the ability to keep going and I think I yelled out "you keep saying that and it's not the last time!" haha. They assured me this really was the last time, they could see the head and his hair and so I pushed again and he finally came out! I had my eyes closed and they had to tell me to open them to see Ollie. They laid him on my chest as they were cleaning him off and Carson cut the cord (which I didn't even see, I was SO unaware of everything and everyone). I do remember holding Ollie's hand as they dried him off before they took him from me. I guess he was pretty purple/blue and had to go on the cpap machine (because of the poop in the womb). I was unaware of this at the time. They also weighed him and announced he was 9lb 1oz and 22". Of course he was I thought, I knew he was going to be a giant! I didn't even feel the delivery of the placenta and asked if I tore (even though I knew, I felt the doctor kind of rip me open to try to help get Ollie out). He said yes, 3rd degree. I totally was bawling and he assured me it wasn't the worst, that was 4th degree and it would be ok! I didn't even feel the stitching because everything was so swollen. After Ollie stabilized, we got to do skin to skin and I finally got to look at him. I knew I loved him but I wanted other people in the room to love on him because I wasn't in the right state of mind to appreciate that moment. Carson got to do the first feeding and I was glad Carson was so happy because I was not. I was relieved but traumatized. I'm happy about my decision to not breastfeed because I wouldn't have been able to emotionally anyways after all of that. They drugged me up and I became so sleepy. I remember telling my doctor that I was sorry for being a biotch and he laughed and said I certainly was not a biotch. ha!

I couldn't have done it without all of the support in the room. I had Carson, my mom, and my photographer Megan and videographer Dustin in the room, along with all of the nurses and doctors. I had Carl and Carson's parents waiting outside as well. For most of the labor I had Carson on one side and my Mom on the other. My mom had cold hands which was so nice because I ran a fever the whole time during labor and delivery and I was so hot!

After everyone left to go get lunch, my photographer and videographer got their last minute shots and then it was just Carson and I and Ollie. The nurses came to check on my bleeding and swelling and they were not pleased with what they saw. I stayed in the delivery room for more time because I couldn't even think about getting out of bed onto the wheel chair. They gave me 3 different medications to slow the bleeding down and nothing was really working. We finally got me into the wheel chair and I held Ollie as my nurse wheeled me to the elevator to go to our room upstairs. Everyone congratulated me as we passed them and I would say thank you and then bawl my eyes out. My nurse thought I was so cute about it but also was worried about how much I was crying. She mentioned to me that I might be high risk for postpartum depression and we talked about asking for help if I needed it. I also assured her this amount of crying was normal for me but that I would indeed be proactive on my mental health and I am not afraid to acknowledge it. She hugged me and said she didn't want to leave to go to another patient, that she just wanted to stay with me. It really helps to love the people who are taking care of you. She was awesome :)

I finally was able to feed Ollie and love him. I rested a bit too and ordered some food (they have the best mac and cheese!) and Carson changed the first diaper (which was a poop) and he's never changed a diaper in his life haha! Luckily a nurse was there and she helped him through. I was so proud of him! At 6 I met my new nurses. We talked about the plan to get me up and out of bed by midnight and I was afraid. I could hardly lift my bum up for them to change my pad and ice pack, how could i get up to walk! Midnight rolled around and I got up and they wanted me to sit on the toilet even though I still had my catheter in. I was terrified! I told my nurse I would need help, meaning I would need her to do everything for me... I didn't even want to know what was going on down there. I've never had stitches and of course they had to be in the spot where I have issues (UTI's and IBS constipation). Bless her soul had to spray me down and help wipe me. Nurses are life savers guys! I loved Amanda and would count down until her next shift was on.

We had Ollie go to the nursery that night so I could focus on sleeping (we had been up about 38 hours) and I was in such pain that I just wanted to be knocked out to sleep. About 5am I woke up Carson so he could go get Ollie, I missed him! I also had just got my catheter taken out and I was so nervous for my first bathroom visit. We hung out with Ollie until about 8am (and ordered yummy breakfast) and sent him back to the nursery for some extra sleep. Carson had to go into work for a meeting and so Ollie and I hung out alone. I couldn't pee and the nurse was a little worried I was too swollen, but by around noon I was able to finally go! I did it by myself too and felt super accomplished. Ollie was sent back to the nursery and a nurse came in and said Ollie was ready to eat and that they could bring him to me.... but that a nurse named Mary really wanted to feed him and love him which I thought was so sweet so I said Mary could totally keep him (I was so tired and it was such a relief knowing that he was liked in the nursery). Mary was such a sweetheart and I also counted down until her shift was back on. I loved having so many nurses that made me feel safe and taken care of. We decided to stay the second night so I could experience everything with the help of nurses so I felt comfortable enough to do them at home. That meant taking a shower there! I was so nervous but it went really well. We decided I would walk to the nursery and my shoes didn't fit.. I was crazy swollen everywhere. But I made it! I just couldn't breathe well when I was up so it wasn't for too long. The last night I was about due for my percocet at 3:30 AM so I decided to get up and walk to the nursery to go rock Ollie in the rocking chairs. I'm glad I did because the nurse in there wasn't too happy to be there and I quickly took him back into our room. He wasn't getting love like when Mary was there haha.

The final day he got checked again by our pediatrician and the good news was that his heart murmur went away and passed all of his tests with flying colors! We got the go ahead for discharge and I was able to put on makeup and got Ollie dressed to go home. Luckily he still fit his newborn outfit! We stopped at Target to get me underwear and my medications (we stayed in the car) and then finally made it home. I was so nervous for our first night alone with Ollie and no nurse help, but it went really well! Ollie is such a great eater and his sleeping isn't too bad. We are so blessed to be his parents and even though his birth was so horrendous, I would do it all again to get him here. He's an angel baby and Carson and I constantly say "how did we make something so perfect?" :) I plan to do weekly updates on Ollie just like I did with the pregnancy and continue this on for our family blog. It's already been a week and 4 days and I don't want to forget anything.

Special thanks to Megan Leech and Dustin Merrill for these beautiful memories. They made sure to deliver the right amount of the positive to have me remember the birth in a more beautiful way. I will treasure these forever!

Oliver 10.03.2017 from The Bison and The Bird on Vimeo.

Almost 3 months later!

Wow, have I failed! I wanted to do weekly updates and that just didn't happen. I took on too much work and it really got the best of me....