Friday, June 26, 2015

just some thoughts

Today I thought I'd share a few thoughts / questions that have been running around my head lately:

one. comfy clothes. 
How long can I live in yoga pants after having a baby / c-section? I never wear yoga pants [unless I'm exercising .... so, never .... haha :] but they are the only thing I can wear comfortably these days. My incision site is still tender and sore, so wearing anything with a real waist band is just painful to think about. If I go out in public I usually put on a jersey skirt or dress, but if I'm inside, it's yoga pants all the way.

two. yoga pants. 
Speaking of yoga pants, what's a good number of them to have? I have two, but have quickly found that two isn't really enough. I'm hoping to get by with just one additional pair, that way one can be dirty, one can be clean, and I can be wearing the other pair. Three is plenty, right? I would like another pair [or two] but I am trying to hold out on buy more because I am hoping to be wearing normal clothes again sometime soon.

found here

three. normal clothes. 
I remember buying a few shirts after Emerson was born to better fit my post baby body and am wondering how long I can hold out before getting a few new tops this go around, certain parts of my are just bigger, you know? So it'd be nice to have things fit properly. I wore those shirts to the last thread and was strongly encouraged by Landon to get rid of them after a while because I wore them out. I have been wearing the same four or five shirts on repeat for weeks now, and am even still wearing some maternity tops because nothing else fits. I know that it takes time to lose the baby weight, and I'm not expecting all of the pounds to just shed off my body within days or weeks [though I would not be opposed if that happened], but I'm trying to wait a little bit before buying anything because I don't want to get something now and not have it fit later on. Though, let's be honest, I'm really not getting anything new because I'm cheap and because I just can't seem to muster the energy to get out of the house.

four. helping hands. 
Since coming home from the hospital we've had help from Landon's family; it has been so nice. On Sunday they will all be leaving and not be coming back for a while, and we'll be left on our own. It's a little bit scary. I think I'm more apprehensive about it since I'm not supposed to lift Emerson and I just don't know how I'm going to manage two boys on my own. I know there are lots of experienced mamas of two out there I know that a lot of you have recently added baby number two to your family and have since become pros at two kiddos. How do you all do it?! It's also a little bit exciting, we will be on our own as a family of four! And things can get "back to normal".

five. messy house. 
The other day Landon told me he felt like our house was just messier and dirtier than it usually is. Which is true. And even though it's kind of gross, it made me feel good about my housekeeping skills, or at least, what used to be my house keeping skills. Now, cleaning the countertops and picking up after Emerson seem to be one of the hardest things to keep up with. Not counting laundry... I'm sure one day in the next year I will find a way to keep things clean and tidy again, but until then, I'm trying my best to not care too much about the state of our house.

Anyhow, those are just some of my thoughts for this day. I hope you all have a fun weekend!

I'm linking up here today.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

our hospital stay

It has been two weeks since we welcomed Oliver into our family, and we have loved loving on him each day since then. Because his birth is such a special event, I wanted to be sure I recorded what it was like. I also wanted to remember our first few days with Oliver / our stay at the hospital and what they were like. So before more time passes and I forget the little details, I thought I'd share what our time at the hospital was like. There are also tons of pictures ... so, you've been warned :)

I mentioned before how Landon's parents came in and stayed with Emerson while we were at the hospital. I was so apprehensive about leaving him at home, but just had to trust that he would be fine. It was also reassuring to know that we weren't far from home and that we would be able to see Emerson a few times each day.  Landon was also able to leave the hospital and spend time with Emerson and his parents, which I think helped Emerson a lot. 

doing a little reading while waiting . . .  

we could see the helicopter pad from our room - Emerson loved it 

We didn't have many visitors while we were at the hospital. Our closest family is about five hours away, so it's not a trip many could make. Landon's parents and Emerson were the only visitors we had while staying at the hospital. It was very different from when Emerson was born - we had dozens of visitors coming in to see us all hours of the day. It was nice to see everyone and to introduce our friends and family to Emerson, but it also got to be a tad overwhelming and wasn't very restful. Most of our friends were good about asking if they could stop by, so we could anticipate their visit, but it seemed family was always popping in - right when I wanted to take a shower or change or nurse. We enjoyed family and friends coming to visit us, but I will say, it was kind of nice to have these first days with Oliver just to ourselves. I didn't have to worry about when I was feeding him or wanted to shower. And I was able to rest. A lot.

Each morning after breakfast Emerson would come see us for a little while and then his Gigi and Poppy would take him home [or out] for lunch. Landon usually went with them and they were able to enjoy some together time and Landon was able to enjoy some good food and help with Emerson. Sometimes Landon would come back to the room after lunch and sometimes he would go to the house for Emerson's nap time and come after he woke up. But he wasn't cooped up at the hospital, which I think he liked.

Then in the late afternoon, Emerson would come back to the hospital to see us again for a little bit and then they would all head out for dinner. Landon always went with them for dinner and would come back after a few hours. Obviously this left me in the room by myself a lot, but it was nice and quiet so I was able to get a lot of rest and spend that time with Oliver.

Obviously, every few hours the nurses would come and check on me or if I needed something they would come in, so I saw people, but was still able to nap quite a lot and nurse without worrying about being disturbed. I also watched more shows than I can remember watching in a looong time. One day a marathon of "Fixer-Upper" was on. I had only seen that show once before, but liked watching it, so that's what I spent my afternoon doing. And it was nice. It was a pretty calm and quiet hospital stay, which was really nice. And I was taken care of completely, which was also really nice.

he loved washing his hands in our room. ha!  

The nurses were pretty good for the most part. Some were better than others, a few were wonderful, and then there were one or two that were not the greatest. One of my night shift nurses was not the greatest and forgot to give me my pain medicine. I didn't really keep up with the times I was being given my medicine, I kind of knew how long I had to wait between taking the pills, but I wasn't recording when I took one or the other. The nurses did that. Well, one night I started feeling pretty terrible. I could hardly move and to hold Oliver hurt so badly. I couldn't adjust myself in bed because if I moved even a little bit my whole body writhed with pain. I needed my medicine.

The pain seemed to really sneak up on me too, one minute I felt fine and then suddenly, I was at a 10 in the pain department [you know how they're always asking you to rank your pain level on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest?]. Landon had stepped out of the room for a minute when my nurse came in to check on me. While I was talking to her I realized that she hadn't given me my medicine when she was supposed to, hours before, thus the reason for the severe pain. She left and when Landon came back in the room, I was crying because I realized how long it had been since I was last give my medicine [which made me really upset]. Crying only made the pain worse and then I started having trouble breathing. Landon was getting ready to call for the nurse, when she came back in, at which point she asked me if I wanted to wait a few more hours before I took my medicine. Um. No. I was crying because it hurt so badly and couldn't catch my breath. The nurse asked me my pain level and I couldn't even tell her, I just held up both hands - 10. Landon insisted she give me my pain medicine right then, but before she went to get it she had to ask me if that was okay. You think? The rest of the night [and stay] Landon kept close track of my pain meds and the times I was allowed to take them. God bless that man of mine.

I finally got my pain meds and started to feel better, but man, I was not fond of that nurse for the rest of her shift. During one of her last checks on me she asked if I wanted her to bring the day shift nurse in the room when it was shift change. I told her if I was sleeping, to let me sleep. Thankfully she let me sleep. After I woke up my new nurse, Kayla, came in and oh, how she was a God send. Seriously. She was amazing and I loved her. She was prompt with my meds, concerned with how I felt, checked on me with care, helped with nursing, and just had really good bed-side manner. It makes a huge difference what a nurse can do. I was sad to see her leave at the end of the day, but I was so thankful for her constant care that day.

For the most part I stayed in our room, napped off and on, watched shows, and held Oliver. What is sweeter than a newborn babe laying on your chest?  Landon and I would walk the halls occasionally to help me build up my strength and work gas bubbles out [TMI?] - man those can be so painful. Since I had a c-section I was allowed to leave three or four days after the surgery. So when Friday morning came, Landon and I talked about going home and I kind of decided we would just go home that day, I was feeling fine and thought it was the right thing to do. But then the hours passed and I thought about leaving the hospital already I got apprehensive about everything. So I decided to stay the whole time and go home on Saturday instead. Best decision ever. I'm so glad I took advantage of that last full day and night at the hospital. It was nice having help when I needed it, and to just be able to rest for as long as I could and not feel guilty about not being able to help Emerson if he needed/wanted me.

By the time my doctor and the pediatrician came to check on me and Oliver and tell us that we were cleared to go home it was around lunch time. We had spent that morning packing up, filling out paperwork, and resting as much as we could. In some ways I was sad to leave what had been our home for a few days, but oh so ready to get back home to my sweet little man. Is it possible to feel both at the same time?

I was thankful for a good experience while staying at the hospital [overall, ahem... ] but was so happy to see my Emerson's grinning face when we pulled into the drive way. Life is different in so many ways now, and I know there there are many challenging days ahead of us, but I also know that my heart has never been so full and that I have the sweetest boys in the world to me that I get to spend my days with. We are blessed indeed.

So here's to a new chapter of my life: being the mama to two little ones! yikes! :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Emerson meets Oliver

Thank you all so much for your well wishes and sweet words! We are so thrilled that Oliver is here with us and has joined our family. If you missed reading his birth story, you can read it here and here


Before Oliver was born one of the things Landon and I prayed for was that Emerson and Oliver would love each other and that they would be friends throughout life. That is still our prayer. We also prayed that Emerson would love Oliver when he joined our family. Emerson knew there was a baby in my belly, and he loved to pat my belly and say, "moot baby!" -for move baby, apparently I said that on more than one occasion. But we prayed that when Oliver was here Emerson would be just as excited and not be upset that there was a new little person he had to share his mommy and daddy with. 

Soon after I was taken up from the recovery room and settled into our room, Landon brought Emerson in to see us. Though at the time Oliver was still in the NICU being monitored, so it was just me he got to see during that first visit. Landon's parents had brought Emerson to the hospital when my time in the recovery room was up so Landon went to meet them in the lobby to bring them into our room. They stayed and talked for a little bit, and we gave Emerson his big brother gift. His Gigi also brought a few gifts with her for Oliver, and Emerson loved helping open them.

After a short visit, they all headed out for lunch and I stayed in the room [not that I could have moved if I wanted to]. While they were out at lunch Oliver was brought into the room to nurse, so after they were all done eating lunch they came back and Emerson was able to meet Oliver for the first time.

He loved him. I think he was most concerned because I was stuck in a bed and couldn't get out to hold him. But he gave me hugs and kisses and wanted to sit by me as much as he could. When he saw Oliver, he was curious and excited and just wanted to hold and kiss him. He looked at Oliver and said, "Me baby. Me baby," and then he'd pat him or hug him. We were so thankful he was happy to meet his little brother and it was the sweetest thing watching him smother Oliver with hugs and kisses.

After just sitting next to me and Oliver for a little bit, he decided he needed to hold him. So he sat with Landon and held Oliver for the longest time. All the while saying, "Me baby. Me baby," giving him kiss after kiss, and pat after pat. When we asked Emerson what the baby's name was he said, "OlivFlynn." And since then, every time he says Oliver's name, it's always, "OlivFlynn." 

Emerson stayed for a little while visiting us and then he headed back to the house with Landon and his parents for nap time. Landon went to help them and to get a few things done while Oliver and I stayed at the hospital. Emerson did not want to leave his baby and kept hugging him so tight. 

Landon's parents brought Emerson back to the hospital that evening after his nap for a short visit and then they all headed out for dinner. Each day we were at the hospital Emerson came to visit us twice: once in the morning and once in the evening. And each time he headed straight for Oliver. He always wanted to hold him and kiss him and to give him all of the hugs. And never wanted to leave the hospital, he was always so sad when it came time to leave.

It was absolutely the sweetest thing watching Emerson love on his new little brother. We are so thankful that he loves Oliver and seems to truly care about him, even at such a young age. Though there are times Emerson needs to learn to be a little more gentle or to just let Oliver be, we are so glad he loves his brother and that he is excited about him being home. Hopefully his love for Oliver just continues to grow and Oliver loves his just as much.

In the midst of all of the changes going on for all of us right now, we are just so thankful that the big change - of having a little brother - is one that Emerson loves. When he wakes up in the morning or gets up from his nap, the first thing he does is smother Oliver with hugs and kisses. He always wants to see and hold his baby. I'm so thankful Emerson had such a sweet time meeting his baby brother for the first time and that he continues to love on him each and every day. 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Oliver's Birth Story // Part II

I've been working on writing Oliver's birth story off and on any chance I get. In case you missed part one you can catch up on it here.

- - - - - - - - - -

After a short drive to the hospital we walked into the emergency room, checked in and were soon after taken upstairs to the labor and delivery ward. I kept thinking the whole time how very strange it was, going in and being there when all was calm. Doctors and nurses weren't rushing around, poking and prodding me, they were taking their time and carefully explaining everything that was going to happen that morning. I was hooked up to an IV and a monitor and asked all sorts of questions. Periodically nurses would come in to check on me, give me something, or have me sign something. While the nurses came and went and Landon and I waited in the room, I liked looking over the edge of the bed to see the steady heartbeat of the baby being charted. And I noticed at one point the other line that was marking my contractions. I hadn't paid much attention to that charting when Emerson was born, so I loved seeing both of the charts side by side. 

As time passed I became increasingly uncomfortable and the contractions began to get stronger and more frequent. At one point of of the nurses came in to check on some things and noticed that my contractions were three minutes apart and were getting stronger each time. As we neared the time for me to go into the operating room, I remember thinking two things: 1. I don't know how mamas have vaginal births [let alone ones with no drugs at all!] and 2. I'm not ready for this! 

Landon and I looked at each other, said a prayer together, I was terrified of walking into the OR to have our baby. I was ready, but at the same time I was not. I was excited, eager, nervous, worried, and so thankful. The only thing we knew for certain though was that our baby was coming - soon!

last picture with a bump - right before Oliver was born!

My doctor brought in one last form for me to sign, went over the risks of having a c-section, and then went off to get ready for the surgery. My nurse gave me another grown to wear around my back so I didn't have to worry about being completely exposed while walking down the hallway [bless her] and told me I would be able to keep the baby with me during recovery as they had enough nurses on staff. Something I was so grateful to hear, and such an answer to prayer as I just wanted to hold our sweet baby as soon as he was born. 

We walked through the recovery room to go into the operating room. Landon kissed me good-bye while I went in for them to get me prepped for the section. The first thing I noticed was that the room was freezing cold and the table looked smaller than the one I'd had Emerson on. The nurses helped me sit on the table and gave some instructions of how I should sit while the anesthesiologist gave me the spinal. I was shaking from nerves and the cold so my nurse held my shoulders and kept me still. The whole time reassuring me that everything was okay, it was almost done, and rubbing my back. It wasn't too long before the anesthesiologist was finished and I laid back on the table. I remember the nurses moving me and my gown and pushing my legs to go this way and that, telling me to relax - it's a little difficult for me to relax when a not so gentle nurse is barking at me to relax and do this and do that. As the medicine kicked in, I cared less about how incredibly exposed I was and less about how much I was being poked at. 

Soon I was shaking, dizzy, freezing, and felt nauseas. I wanted to hold on to something - someone - but there was nothing for me to hold onto. A nurse laid a blanket over my chest to help keep me warm. Another asked how I was feeling, I couldn't talk. So she asked yes or no questions and I just shook my head in response. After a while I felt a little more stable and the doctor and Landon came in. Later no the anesthesiologist told Landon my blood pressure had dropped to 30 and she tried two different medications before it went back up. No wonder I felt awful! When Landon sat down and gave my hand a squeeze, I just squeezed harder and didn't let go. The doctor talked to me and asked questions, but I still felt dizzy and couldn't talk at all, so Landon did all of the talking for me. After about ten minutes of pushing, pulling, and pressure on my belly we got to see our baby for the first time! The doctor held him up and they lowered the curtain for a minute so I could see our sweet boy. Then he was taken to be cleaned up a little bit and checked out, while the doctors continued working on me. 

I remember hearing Oliver cry and watching them clean him up, check his heart, suction his mouth. My doctor came and talked to me for a little bit as I was laying on the table and the other doctors worked on finishing me up. I wanted to see Oliver, I wanted to hold him, but something was keeping him away from me. I could hear the pediatric nurse tell Landon something and Landon came and told me there was excess fluid in his lungs so they had to keep him under the warmer and continue to try to suction it out. Oliver kept crying and crying, which was good, but it wasn't a steady cry and they called a pediatrician into the room to look at him. They decided he needed to go to the NICU for a while until the fluid cleared from his lungs completely; I was devastated that I wouldn't get to hold him and do skin to skin with him right away, but I knew that his health was of the utmost importance and just wanted him safe and healthy. Before they took Oliver to the NICU I got to hold him for a few minutes and pray over him and thank God for his little life.

I stayed in the recovery room for two hours, during which time Oliver was in the NICU. Landon went back and forth between spending time with me and being with Oliver. The nurse in the recovery room was wonderful and so encouraging, and she kept checking to see if Oliver could join me in recovery. I was so tired, all I wanted to do was close my eyes and sleep, but she kept me awake and talking [maybe that's part of their job?] and even had me pump at one point since I couldn't nurse right away.

After my recovery time was up they wheeled me upstairs into our room and I fell asleep as soon as they left. It felt so strange - being in a room by myself, no baby, no toddler. I was supposed to have a baby in my arms, but that's just not the way it worked out for us. So I slept, which felt pretty good after the night and morning I'd had. About two hours later a nurse brought Oliver into the room so I could nurse him and came back after a while to take him back to the NICU, he still hadn't been cleared to leave for good. Thankfully I didn't have to wait too much longer and they brought him back a little over an hour later. I think. I was pretty out of it and keeping track of time wasn't my strong suit that day.

I held him the rest of the day, feeling as though I had already missed so much of his short little life. I was thankful that the nurses had waited to give him a bath, it was something I missed with Emerson and I didn't want to miss it again. But apart from them giving him a bath, and a short visit from family and Emerson, he was in my arms the whole day long. 

I am so thankful that he chose his birthday too, as that was one thing I had hoped and prayed for so much. It worked out well to have a surprise c-section date - one that also just happened to be the day my contractions started. What a blessing and answer to prayer! And even though I wasn't able to hold him right after he was born and have him stay with me in the recovery room, I am beyond thankful that he was only out of my arms for a few hours and that it was nothing more serious than having excess fluid in his lungs. We feel beyond blessed to have this sweet little boy at home with us. He is a joy and a gift and we are forever thankful that we have been blessed to be his parents.