birdy love

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Bikini Body Mommies

Ashley and I are on DAY 3 and we aren't quitting!  If we make it a week we get to buy a new workout item.  2 weeks and we get a spa day.  The workouts are tough but we're doing it!  Kicking butt and losing ours.  And running/walking 3 miles is much harder when you're pushing 40 pounds of resistance from a stroller!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Hi there!

Well.  It's been awhile since I've written!  It's been interesting balancing priorities and figuring out which thing is important to do, obviously blogging has not been high on the list :) but I'm working on it.  Mason is 6 months old!  He is in the 50th percentile in everything, except he is already crawling and pulling up which isn't supposed to happen until he's 9 months old.  The doctor was impressed at his 6 month appointment!  I am not impressed because now I have to chase him around 3 months earlier than I expected :).  Mason gave me no time to prepare for this!  We had his 6 month pictures taken by Abby Smith from church, she did a fabulous job.
Love this smile!!

It was weird when the beginning of August rolled around and I wasn't preparing a classroom or getting the end of summer blues.  Since staying at home is my new job, I had to make some sort of "job description" so I would have some sort of structure (I know that's a little ridiculous) so now I have this cleaning schedule printed - thanks, Pinterest! - and have started price matching so I can get better deals when I go grocery shopping - thanks, Amy!  I know that sounds like a typical stay at home mom... watching a kid, working out, cleaning, grocery shopping, cooking, bor-ing stuff.  But I enjoy the challenge of trying to fit all of that into a day between a needy, sweet little baby!  And I enjoy stretching the money Tyler makes, it's a challenge to stick to the budget.  I am less stressed when my house has less mess.  Now let's be honest, have I followed that cleaning schedule religiously?  No.  Have we had pizza delivered to our house the past 2 nights?  Yes.  Oops :) 

Today my friend Ashley and I began a 90 day workout challenge with Bikini Body Mommy.  You can follow her on Facebook or Instagram, we did the Fit Test today and it was INTENSE!  I hope we can be great accountability partners throughout these next few months.  We're going on vacation together in a few weeks so hopefully we can stick with it then too.  If you're reading this and want to be my accountability partner you can start here.  I can always use more accountability partners!

Tomorrow is Glendale Christian Church's open house for MOPS.  My friend Megan goes to church there and so we'll both do that together.  I'm excited to meet more people!  It's been fun getting to know my neighbors and I hope to have a big neighborhood party soon.. just for the people we've met though, I'm not trying to host all of Rolling Prairie!!  Some are stay at home moms, some aren't, but they've all been really nice.  I love having normal neighbors.  The last houses we've lived in have had some real nut jobs as neighbors.  

I'm slowly decorating my house, while it slowly accumulates more baby things here and there.  "This painting would look great above the high chair and stationary jumper"... 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Baby Stuff.

When we brought Mason home we kind of had an idea of what to do with him, and thank goodness we had family in town to help us out.  After the first few days of chaos, I thought we needed some kind of schedule because I was going crazy because he was so unpredictable!  I later learned that babies are unpredictable :) and at 4 weeks we introduced a schedule - feed him, keep him awake for 1.5 hours after feeding, then let him take a 1.5 hour nap.  We have been doing this schedule with him since he is 4 weeks old and now he's sleeping 5-6 hours at night at 10 weeks.  I think that's normal but I don't know and I'm not sure if you can compare babies sleeping at night since they're all so different.  But I can't complain!  I am a lot more sane having an idea of what to expect, and he knows what to expect too. 

At 8 weeks we started feeding and putting him to bed at 9pm no matter where we were in the 'schedule' that day.  He doesn't always fall asleep at 9 but we're trying to establish that time as bedtime.  He started drinking 4 oz at 4 weeks and has drank 4 oz ever since.  I'm not sure if he drank that much before because I was breastfeeding exclusively, and now I pump and give him a bottle sometimes and breastfeed sometimes.  Most of the time I give him a bottle which requires a lot of pumping and it's exhausting!  Now that I'm back at work it's especially inconvenient- I'm sitting in my classroom right now, door locked, pumping.  Someone just knocked on my door and I'm not about to answer!  They can wait. 

Also at 8 weeks I started getting more relaxed with the schedule because I have started to interpret his cries and can (most of the time) know what he wants.  At 12 weeks we'll start transitioning to eating every 4 hours instead of 3... we'll see how that goes, when Mason is hungry he gets MAD that the bottle isn't heating fast enough so I usually have to breastfeed him until the bottle is ready.  He prefers the bottle because it's easier but if he's hungry enough he'll nurse.  Lazy.  I also like knowing how much he is eating and if he eats 4 oz it'll hold him over until the next feeding time. 

Going back to work has been bittersweet- it's nice to have a break from motherhood and do what I'm used to doing, but I miss his sweetness!  I do love picking him up from the sitter though, because as soon as we make eye contact he gets a huge smile and it lasts for about 5 minutes!  Nonstop smiling and loving on mommy.  I'll take it!  It makes our evenings special when that's the only time I see him.  Last night (morning) he woke up at 2am to eat, so I fed him, but after he ate (and pooped his diaper so much that we had to change clothes because poop was up his back... awesome) he just wanted to smile and play so we did!  I didn't get back to bed until 4.  Then woke up at 5:45am to feed him and get ready for school since I have to leave at 7 for the sitter's house.

All for this cutie pie!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Hospital Things I Need to Remember

Before I went to the hospital I scoured Pinterest trying to figure out what to bring to the hospital, so here's my list! 

What I brought for myself:

Nursing tank top (should have bought a bigger size!)
Nursing Pillow (mine is a My Brest Friend, and I don't really like it because I'm never able to get it to stay under my boobs.  It always slides down and sits in my lap, which I think is wrong?)
My own pillow (this was the best idea!  Those hospital beds are uncomfortable!)
Socks with grippers (cold feet)
Flip flops for the shower (because you never know...)
Shampoo/Conditioner/Body Wash/Loofa
Matching pajama top & bottom (because I'm fancy)
Comfortable clothes to wear home (yoga pants, shirt, sweater cardigan)
Laptop (I shopped online a little)

What I wish I would have brought:
A blanket - the hospital blankets are paper thin - one for me, one for Tyler
A pillow for Tyler... I tried to bring one for him and he said no then regretted it I think!

Tyler was able to get snacks from the doctor's lounge and that was a lifesaver because I was starving.  He also brought a book to read (Duck Dynasty) but I didn't bring anything to read because when I wasn't trying to figure out breastfeeding I was taking a nap.

Here's what I brought for Mason:
Onesie to wear home (bring several sizes since you don't know how big this baby will be!  Our original 'going home' outfit ended up being too small for my big fat baby)
He wore the same outfit while he was in the hospital (I think the nurses changed him when he was in the nursery) so there's no need to bring lots of outfits.  Also don't bring diapers, wipes, etc. because they will provide those things.

I forgot to bring a baby blanket and a baby hat, and wish I would have!

The BEST decision we made was to send Mason to the nursery at night - we had the option to keep him in our room but didn't, thank goodness, because we were exhausted and needed the sleep!  I use the word "sleep" lightly because nurses are constantly coming into the room to check vitals, refill the water (at 2am, really?!), give you medicine, etc. 

I wish I would have taken better care of myself after giving birth.  I didn't follow all the steps to recovery (taking sitz baths when I was supposed to, taking my medicine when I was supposed to) and it caught up with me and was PAINFUL.  So next time I'll listen to the doctor :). 

We had friends and family bring us food which was awesome!  All I want to do is eat since I'm breastfeeding.

Mason is 10 weeks old today!  He smiles at us and is starting to laugh, it's awesome.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Six Weeks After

I was originally supposed to go back to work on April 1, but extended my maternity leave until April 28th.  I'm SO thankful we were able to do this.  Mason is just so little and I don't want to leave him yet!

When I extended my maternity leave I also told the district I wouldn't be returning next year.  That was a little difficult.  The decision to leave Kindergarten was easy (2 years is enough!) but I had entertained the idea of teaching middle school, AND there was a science position open which I would have loved. I also enjoy teaching a lot and who knows if I would enjoy it enough to teach as my full time job instead of stay at home?  On the other hand, I do feel like staying at home with Mason will be a rewarding full time job too (going back to school on the 28th will be a vacation from being "on call" 24/7!), even though I will have to work harder for the adult interaction that I no doubt will need to stay sane.

Breastfeeding has gotten easier, I've been pumping and feeding through a bottle primarily but occasionally he'll nurse (only when he's not feeling lazy... it takes more work for him to nurse).  Pumping every 2-3 hours is exhausting!  I've started a pretty nice milk storage in the freezer so I'll have enough when I go back to work.  I also eat a ton so I can produce enough milk.  It's not hard to eat more, I'm constantly starving!  I feel like a teenager again.

Mason has started to respond more to us- he's smiling!  And he's able to follow us with his eyes when we move around.  It's exciting to say "Hi baby!" and see him respond with his big grin.  He also rolled over at 3 weeks from his stomach to his back!  He's a pretty strong baby and can sit up in his Bumbo at 1 month.

Sometimes he'll lie down on his activity mat (on his back- if we try tummy time, he'll stay on his tummy for awhile but the roll over to his back) and other times he's tired so he falls asleep.  This outfit is one of my favorites!  He's so soft and cuddly in his fleece flannel.

This is Mason crying- Oliver feels like he needs to watch Mason when he's crying, and other times when it's the middle of the night and Oliver is tired, he will go far away from Mason - usually on the couch - and bury his head in pillows and covers as if to say MAKE IT STOP!  

The pictures below are our pictures from Mason's first Easter!  He looked so handsome in his blue plaid and khakis.  Tyler cleaned up pretty nice too ;).  Mason slept through church again and we went to Tyler's parents house for lunch.  Justin and Lesley came to our family lunch too since they're basically family!

Tomorrow is my 6 week doctor appointment.  I don't anticipate any problems since I think I'm healing well.  I haven't worked out since I had Mason because I didn't want to mess anything up if it hadn't healed yet, also I just wanted to be told I could from the doctor.  I can fit into my old clothes but they just don't fit right!  I have more weight in places I'm not used to, so I'll be working to get rid of that so my clothes can fit and I don't have to buy a new wardrobe.

Altogether the first 6 weeks have been pretty good.  It's exhausting but exciting, and seeing Mason smile makes all the exhaustion go away.  It's all worth it!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

First Week of Parenting...

When we left the hospital we went to Tyler's grandparents house to show Mason to them... we had to leave early because he had a blow out diaper and we had nothing to change him into (Rule #1 - Always Carry a Diaper Bag).  We got home and I really didn't feel the "Ok, what do I do now?" feeling.  All he does is eat, sleep, and make dirty diapers so if he cried it was one of the 3 options pretty much.

The first night was rough.  We don't have a bassinet, instead we have a Rock-N-Play Sleeper that's light and mobile.  Tyler preferred him sleeping in our room; I did not.  We went to bed around 9:30 with Mason in our room at the foot of our bed in his sleeper.  He made so many noises!  Of course we paid attention to every noise he made, no matter how insignificant.  He was eating every 2-3 hours but was really fussy in between so from 9:30 to about 2am we got hardly any sleep.  We ended up moving him into his room (after a feeding) and using the monitor instead of having him in our room.  It was so much nicer!  The little noises that he makes didn't pick up on the monitor so they didn't wake us up and we were able to sleep for a solid 3 hours.  (It's funny that 3 hours is a lot of sleep now!)  I fed him again  at 3 hours and kept that schedule the next day.  Altogether Tyler got 5 hours and I got 7 hours of sleep.

Breastfeeding was the hurdle to get over.  Before I had Mason I went to the Mother-Baby Support Center to see Sheila the lactation consultant.  She helped me get the basics, but it was hard to put them totally into practice because I didn't have a baby yet.  We were discharged on Friday from the hospital so the Mother Baby Support Center wasn't open until Monday.  Breastfeeding was a struggle from Friday-Monday until our appointment.  It wasn't enjoyable for Mason and it certainly wasn't enjoyable for anyone else in the house!  Sometimes it would take 45 minutes for him to latch on- once he did latch on it was fine, but getting there was such a hassle.  We saw Sheila again on Monday at 4 and took Mason when he was hungry.  She changed my hand positions and the angle of his head, and he latched on immediately!  It was amazing!  Also a huge relief because my breasts weren't draining milk properly so they were huge and painful.  Sheila asked me if I had ever had implants because they were so large and firm.  It took a few days for the milk to properly drain but we are so thankful that she helped us out.  Now breastfeeding is enjoyable and it's a time where I have at least 15 minutes of alone time with my baby. Very sweet!

We went to the doctor on Monday too, Mason is perfect!  He has great head control and is strong for a newborn.  The doctor (Dr. Finstad) hadn't anticipated him to gain weight since most babies don't gain their weight back very fast, but Mason weighed in at 8lbs, 7.5oz!  It was encouraging to know that even though breastfeeding wasn't going well he was still gaining weight.

On Tuesday we had Mason's newborn pictures taken by Art from the Heart Photography.  Teresa Norris was a very, very patient, artsy grandma.  I liked all of her pictures on her website so I'm confident that she got some great ones of Mason.  We didn't dress him in any outfits, just naked baby!  I didn't want to get a picture taken where a majority of his body was covered by an outfit- I wasn't paying Teresa to take pictures of an outfit, I like fat baby rolls and little baby details.  The whole photo shoot was tense as we were careful not to wake him while we positioned him in different poses.  I had to feed him twice during the whole thing.  After Teresa left, he slept for a long time!  He was just exhausted from the whole thing.  We'll get to see the pictures in 2 weeks, I'm excited to see them!

Altogether the first week hasn't been bad, he eats every 2-3 hours and we're able to get interrupted, but quality sleep (I'm speaking for myself here, I think Tyler is having a harder time coping with interrupted sleep!)  But I like the fact that he's already sleeping in his room, and the transition from sleep to breastfeeding is seamless.  He still cries when we change his diaper of course but after that he feeds just fine.  

He's a happy baby!  We love him!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Mason's Birth Story

Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday were the longest 3 days of my life I think!  I did all I could to relax.  On Tuesday morning I woke up with a cold- very unfortunate.  I slept all day trying to feel better but I was still pretty stuffy and it was hard to breathe.  Tuesday evening before we went to get induced we had the Vesely's and Jones's over to eat, it was nice to have friends around to ease the anxiety!

We went to the hospital at 8pm and got checked into our room.  The gown they gave me to wear was massive!  I got hooked up to my antibiotics (because I have Group B Strep and have to have them) and my IV, and also two monitors- one to monitor my contractions, one to monitor Mason's heart rate.  I didn't know those monitors were going to be hooked up, they were very uncomfortable and kept moving around when I'd try to get comfortable sleeping, and also because my belly was straight out in front and it was hard for things to stay in one place.  My nurse's name was Suzannah and she was really nice.  Very thorough with her explanations of what was happening and everything she was doing.  Mom and Dad got to the room around 8:30pm and we just sat and talked in the room for a long time.  It wasn't until 9:30pm that the nurse put the first pill thing in to soften my cervix.  Each time she came in to check on me she would say "You're having contractions... can you feel anything?" and I hadn't felt a thing!  I thought "Is this it?? Is this the hype of labor and I'm not even feeling it?!" (little did I know... keep reading) so since I had been contracting she checked me to see how dilated I was - still 1cm and 80% effaced (bummer).  At 1:30am they put the second cervix pill in me to try and get me to dilate/efface more.  At this point I'm still not feeling contractions or any pain really.  Every once in awhile I'd feel a dull pain but it wasn't a big deal at all.  She checked me again at 5:30am... 2 cm, and 80% effaced-still!  So, because nothing had progressed naturally where it needed to be, they started Pitocin at a low dose (a 2).  I knew going into labor that if I had Pitocin I was more likely to have an epidural because I knew the contractions were going to be more intense, but at this point I was still on the fence of epidural/natural delivery.

Once Pitocin started I felt the contractions get more and more intense as time passed.  They still weren't crazy painful but I definitely felt a little pain.  After I had been on Pitocin for a little bit, Suzannah checked me and I was at a 3.5cm so Dr. Lehnert came by at 6:30am and broke my water (that was painful and I just happened to have a contraction during the middle of the water-breaking, also unfortunate!)  After he broke my water I still could feel pain getting more and more intense but still very tolerable.  I practiced my yoga breathing to manage the pain, so when it got more painful I had a breathing pattern down.  I got a new nurse at 7am named Kelly who was also really nice and great.  Around 8:30am Tyler noticed that my IV had a kink in it and said "Oh let me help you with that" (famous last words)... since my IV had a kink in it, the Pitocin that I was supposed to be getting in doses was all backed up!  Right after he undid my IV I had the MOST painful contraction (compared to the other ones of just dull pain), it caught me off guard and was intense.  I threw up twice during it, it lasted a solid 4 minutes.  Miserable!  (THIS is the start of labor pain, I thought)  Kelly was confused because the last time she checked on me I was content and had a pain level of 2 on a scale from 1-10.  Then she walks in and I'm writhing, throwing up over the side of the bed and squeezing Tyler's hand/arm/leg/whatever I can grab.  My mom just happened to show up at this time in the room and tried to make conversation with me, I responded with "I don't really want to talk right now."... so mom went in the corner but her phone was going off and I was "Put your phone on silent!"  The atmosphere was intense to say the least, I was trying to cope with the contractions with everything I had.  The nurse checked me after that big contraction and I had dilated to a 4cm.  After she checked me I said I WANT AN EPIDURAL!  My goodness, the contractions were not letting up and they were a minute to a minute and half apart, lasting about 30 seconds each.  They kept getting more and more intense too.  It took an HOUR AND 45 MINUTES for the anesthesiologist (Dr. Belk) to arrive with the epidural.  Most painful 1:45 of my life, it seemed like I couldn't catch a breath before the next contraction started. I knew that I would have contractions during the actual insertion of the epidural because they were happening so close together.  I ended up having 3 the whole time he was there.  The nurse/doctor to tell you to stay still while the needle is being put in so the epidural is put in properly.  That was so hard!  It didn't take him long to put the epidural in but I had a contraction while it was happening anyway.  He numbed my back first, so the epidural needle was painless.

Ha!  Right after I got the epidural.  So happy to have a break from the pain!
I leaned back onto the bed and felt immediate relaxation.  The atmosphere of the room went from very intense to very relaxed in a matter of seconds.  Relief!!!  Soon after I got the epidural my sister came in and talked to me, I was so much happier at this point.  After the epidural had numbed my lower half Kelly checked me and I was at a 9.5cm and 100% effaced!  She said we would start pushing soon and I'd probably have Mason before noon (this was around 10am)!!  We waited until I was fully 10cm before we started pushing, but it didn't bother me any - "Oh I'm having an intense contraction?  Can't feel it!".  After waiting about 30 minutes we started pushing (so at 10:30am).  Kelly was coaching me through it, she was wonderful!  It took me awhile to figure out how exactly to push.  She had my legs in stirrups but since I couldn't feel them they were a little useless!  Tyler was on my right side and Kelly had my left.  After pushing a few times I realized that I could actually feel the pressure of a contraction coming on so I knew when I needed to push.  We pushed for an hour, waiting for contractions to come each time before I could push.  She also gave me an oxygen mask so after every push I put the mask on my face- I was addicted, it was so nice being able to breathe!  Since I had the cold it was hard to take those deep breaths (the breathing pattern for pushing was deep breath in, deep breath out, deep breath in, hold it, and push for 10 seconds).  During this hour Mason's head started to come out and they could see his beautiful blonde hair!  She asked me if I wanted to touch the head- gross, no- and if I wanted a big mirror so I could see the progress of what was happening down there... another no!  Ew no way just get him out I don't want to see what's happening!  Around 11:45am Dr. Lehnert and his crew came in, Kelly and Tyler still had my legs and Dr. Lehnert was at the end along with a few other nurses who handed him what he needed.  Before every push I kept saying "Yall ready?":) We pushed for 45 minutes and Mason was born at 12:31pm!  I ended up having a second degree tear, but no hemorrhoids (I did poop on Kelly once, oops).

When they took him out he was so purple.  He pooped on Dr. Lehnert.  Tyler cut the cord.  Mom was taking pictures.  I thought I'd cry a lot but I was so overwhelmed with emotions that I only cried a little- I couldn't believe I had just delivered a baby out of my body!!  It was amazing, hearing him cry (loudly) and seeing him for the first time.  I loved him immediately.  After they cleared his lungs, they put him on my chest with a blanket.  He was crying and wiggling and it was the sweetest sound!  He weighed 8 lbs, 13 oz, and measured 21 inches long.  I couldn't believe all that baby was crammed in my belly!

Tyler was by my side the whole time and we were just in awe of this creation God had given us.  People who give birth talk about how much they love their baby after, but I rarely hear of the dynamic between the husband-wife.  After going through the delivery, I am so much more in LOVE with Tyler.  He was a wonderful support person, and just incredible all around.  Watching him look at Mason and the overwhelming emotion he felt too made me so thankful that God had put us together.  I can't even describe the feelings I have for him now!

We tried breastfeeding within the first hour and weren't very successful.  We also had to stay in the delivery room until 2:55pm so they could make sure everything went ok.  Kelly rolled me in a wheelchair to our post-labor room (Room 5125) and that's where we stayed until Friday afternoon.