Friday, December 28, 2012

back to work

Going back to work after almost eleven weeks of loving on little Minden everyday has been by far one of the hardest things I think I have ever done. 

Once, while Nate and I were still dating, he mentioned he would like me to be a stay-at-home-mom to our kids. I laughed him off and insisted that I would never want that. Then came a long the most precious little baby girl EVER, and immediately I wanted to take it all back. 

Those days at home with her during my maternity leave I dreamed about what it would be like if that were possible for us. If only I could just find a little side job; something I felt passionate about and that would still pay me the same. Enough to give us a little time apart (important for both of us socially) and to make me feel like I wasn't just sitting at home all day. Although it isn't possible for us at this point I still dream of a day when it could be.

The evening before I went back was a battle. I wanted so much to enjoy my last afternoon at home with her, but I couldn’t stop myself from feeling sad. This resulted in the worst headache I have ever had, running a slight fever and lots of tears.Oh man did I cry. I cried that night, the next morning, the entire ride to work, at work and then again on the second day back to work. I sat in the lactation room sobbing while I looked through pictures of her on my phone. I wished I could just stick her back in my belly. Where I knew she was safe and always with me.

I just feel like I missing out on so much time with her. I used to know about every smile, tear and dirty diaper. I am so thankful my sister could come watch her this week to make the transition a tiny bit easier for me. I am sure with time it will get easier. I will start to cry a little less each day until I am no longer a basket case over it. I will keep praying for the strength to get through each day.

Each evening I will continue to hold her a little tighter and kiss her twice as often. I will cherish each and every minute we have together.

My saving grace today is that it is Friday, which means two whole days with my baby are within reach. I just simply cannot wait!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

christmas wishes

We would like to wish our family and friends a very merry and blessed Christmas. We have so much to be thankful for this year. May your day be filled with lots of love.

Also a very merry first Christmas to our baby girl, Minden. Today is so much sweeter having you here with us.

Friday, December 14, 2012

BIG brother cooper

Sweet little almost a month old Minden with Cooper.

I know what you have all been dying to know. That is, how is Cooper handling his new role as a big brother? Truthfully. Really well.

The first two days at home he barked and whined every time she cried, but he has calmed down. If we were changing her diaper he was right their on my leg trying to get a look. 

Her first bath he was right there making sure we knew what we were doing.

He LOVES his little sister. I am sure this love will be reinforced once she figures out he will eat any food she drops. 

The first time I set her on the floor, he ran right over to get a better look, then started pouncing around. It was so sweet; he wanted her to play with him. Soon enough little pup. 

Coop adjusted really well to our little addition. I honestly think he will have a harder time adjusting to me going back to work. He has barely had to spend any time in his kennel since she was born. 

What a good BIG/little fur brother. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

2 months of Minden

Baby Minden,

Another entire month has flashed by right in front of me. Even though your arrival into our family is fairly recent it feels as if you have always been a part of our lives. I am loving every minute of being your mommy.

Nursing is going well. A huge high-five for that one little girl! You are tipping the scales at 12.2 lbs this morning, and you wear 0-3 month clothing also fitting into some 3 month clothing. It seems like something finally fits you and then a week later you have grown out of it already. You have been taking a daily bottle from your dad. You do pretty well with this, but most often prefer to finish nursing on the breast. Makes me feel special and needed.

We don't have much of a schedule yet. Just when I think we have one you with switch it up on me. Most nights however you lay down around 9 pm and will sleep pretty solid until 2 am. After that feeding you are more restless, but will keep drifting off until about 5:30 am or 6 am. You are still in bed with us, and I am not worried about it all. You sleep so much better there, and it makes nursing during the night 10 times easier. I was completely against co-sleeping before you arrived, now I say whatever works!

You have become more social these last few weeks. Giving me smiles and cooing at me. I love it! Especially since you have become more fussy in the evenings. There are times when I have tried every trick that I know to calm you and nothing seems to work. It always passes though. Hopefully you will grow out of that soon.

We are learning more about what you like. I know that when you are tired you like me to pat your back and rock at the same time. You love to nap on my chest like this. You are a light sleeper like your mother. Any little noise can wake you up. You used to sleep through Cooper's barking, but that doesn't happen any more.

I love getting to know you more each day. Your cheeks are getting chubbier and our hearts are getting fuller with love for you. Something I thought was impossible.

Keep growing little girl.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

minden's birth story

****I wrote this about a month after Minden was born. I wanted to try and write it while everything was still pretty fresh. I know it's a little late, but enjoy!****

Here I am one month after Minden’s birth finally sitting down to write her birth story. After reading hundreds of other baby’s birth stories I am about to type hers. It all feels so surreal.  The excitement of finding out we were expecting is still so fresh in my memory. To have her sleeping next to me as I type this is almost more than my new mommy hormones can handle.

Nate and I knew we wanted a natural birth. Unfortunately, I feel like I had a pretty skewed perspective of what natural birth meant. When I thought too much about it; it made me feel nervous and weak. Was this something that I would be physically and mentally strong enough to handle? I just pictured myself lying in a hospital bed twisting and turning in state of pure torture. I had never talked to anyone who had a natural birth. This made it seem impossible to me.

Once we found out we were expecting; it was time to get educated. We chose to use chiropractic, prenatal yoga, a doula and the Bradley Method to achieve the natural birth we desired. Each one of these was so instrumental in our birth story. As this was my first birth, I was not completely comfortable with a home birth. I just felt there were too many unknowns at the time. We decided to go with the midwives at the University of Iowa Hospitals and clinics.

Up until the night before Minden’s birth I had felt such a rush to get things done. We nearly had my “to-do” list complete. That is with the exception of packing the bag for the hospital. We still had three weeks to go, and in my head I was confident I would probably go closer to 42 weeks. I was feeling tired and decided the bag could wait until next weekend. I remember I even fell asleep earlier than usual that Sunday evening. At this point I had been sleeping on the couch for a few weeks.

I woke up that Monday morning around 5:30 am and just felt off. This wasn’t surprising as I had been fighting a head cold for a few days. I got up and headed to the bathroom. It was in there that I started to notice that it felt like I was constantly peeing. I went and woke Nate to tell him. I knew that at this point in my pregnancy it was completely possible to pee yourself. The fluid was clear, and I wasn’t too concerned. I told Nate I still just wasn’t feeling that well and wanted to take the morning off from work.

However, the fluid continued to leak and I began to worry as my due date was still over three weeks away. I decided I would call the labor and delivery nurse. She told me to lie down on my side for one hour and see if the fluid pooled and then gushed out when I stood up.

After only laying for 20 minutes I could feel the fluid still leaking and I started to have low back pains. My stomach then began to cramp and I rushed to the bathroom. As we had learned in our classes it is normal for your body to flush itself before labor. At this point I decided I would call the nurse again. She told me that she would talk to the midwife and call me back.

Nate left for work at this point. I wasn’t sure if I was experiencing labor, had eaten something bad or possibly had the flu. I remember him kissing me goodbye as I was on the floor on all fours bearing through what I thought was a cramp. I kept saying over and over that I didn’t want to be the lady who thought she was in labor and wasn’t. I just kept picturing I would get to labor and delivery, they would take one look at me, tell me I wasn’t in labor and I would have to walk out of there hanging my head in shame.

For the next hour I moved around the house never really sitting. The pains would come and go. I never looked at the clock to see if they were regular or how long they were lasting. I was just focused on getting through it one contraction at a time, or cramp at a time as I thought. The pain would start in my low back then wrap around the front. I walked from room to room resting on counters and squatting by the couch.

It was now 9:30 am and an hour had passed with no call back from the hospital. The pain was getting more intense and I couldn’t wait any longer for an answer. I called the nurse and she apologized as she thought someone had called me back. She transferred me to the midwife. I explained what I had experienced, and she recommended that I come in and get checked out. I later found out that because of the shift change there was a miscommunication between the midwives regarding who would call me, and that is why I had not heard from them.

I called Nate around 9:45 am and explained to him that they wanted to see me. He said he was expecting a patient at 10:30 am. He asked if I would mind driving to the clinic, getting adjusted and then we could head to the hospital. Realizing that he had no idea how intense the pain had gotten, I let him know that he just needed to get home as soon as possible.

On the way to the hospital I tossed and turned in the back seat. I kept repeating to Nate that I didn’t want to be the lady who went in for false labor. He said that during the car ride was when he became convinced I might be in labor. I remember him asking me if it felt like what I thought a contraction would feel like. I replied that I didn’t know. Everything was new and different than the negative perceptions I had associated with labor in the past. While I was in pain, it was more manageable than I expected at that point. Nate called our doula and informed her that we were headed to the hospital to see if my water had broken.

I remember waiting a short time for the elevator after we parked the car. However, it was taking too long and we proceeded to the stairs. I just wanted to keep moving. When we first got to labor and deliver we stood there for a few minutes before someone helped us. She took us back to a triage room. She told me to get changed and asked me to provide a urine sample. I headed straight to the bathroom. While providing a sample, I looked down and there was blood in my urine. That was my “this is it moment”. I panicked and called for Nate.

From that point on things began to move really fast. The pain became much more intense. I wished that I had eaten something that morning. My hands and face began to go numb. I stayed in the bathroom. Nate rubbed my back as I began to throw up. I remember telling Nate I couldn’t do it anymore, that I wanted the epidural. Nate says he recognized the emotional stages from Bradley Class and he thought I must be getting close. That gave him the confidence to help talk me through my feelings of doubt. I just kept thinking I was probably barely into this process and I didn’t know how much more I could handle. He kept reassuring me that I could do it, and reminded me to slow my breathing.

Almost an hour had gone by and no one had checked on us. Nate went out to see what was going on. They were never informed that we were there. The nurse came in and told me I needed to lie down in the bed so they could get 20 minutes on the monitor. The thought of lying down sounded unbearable at this point, and I let them know I felt that way. Once they got me into the bed I wanted out. I felt the urge to go to the bathroom and I told them. My midwife decided she wanted to check me. I was 9 cm dilated with just a little bit of the cervix left.

They wanted to move me to a birthing suite as soon as possible. Just a few minutes later they wheeled me across the hall and asked me to transfer beds. I flipped onto all fours into the new bed, and refused to leave that position. The midwife checked me again and confirmed that I was fully dilated.

On the next contraction I began to push. I pushed like this for awhile before trying a side-laying position. At this time our doula rushed in to join us. She helped me get into the third position that I would eventually deliver in. I remember pushing being extremely exhausting. I also remember the amazing support around me. The nurses, midwife, doula and Nate telling me how great of a job I was doing. It was their encouragement that kept me going.

Nate says I was comical during pushing. He says I would ask silly things between contractions like whether or not I was giving myself a hemorrhoid. He says his face and hands also got tingly at this time. I had brought a water bottle to the hospital, and I remember he kept offering me water, but then I could also hear him chugging from it.

I pushed for an hour and one minute. I looked down and watched Minden come into this world. It was amazing. She was more beautiful than I could have expected. Then I began to panic as they cut her cord. This wasn’t in our plan. We wanted her to stay on the cord until it stopped pulsating. However, she was stunned from a sudden and quick labor and the pediatric team needed to get her breathing.

Once she was breathing they let me hold her for a few minutes before taking her to transition. Nate went with her and that gave me great relief. When I hold her now it still makes me sad that we didn’t get to have the skin to skin contact that we had planned for immediately following birth. I wanted that for me, but more importantly for her.

I remember how energized I felt after birth. I just wanted to get up and go see her. The nurses and midwife were great. They commented on how well I did. They even said they could tell I had done prenatal yoga. They made me feel strong and proud of what I had just accomplished. My doula stayed by my side during this period.

I didn’t get checked into the hospital until after Minden was born. I remember signing the paper afterwards that says they would be allowed to use the vacuum or forceps in an emergency situation. I was relieved that it wasn’t necessary. Not even two hours later I was up and headed to see my baby girl.

I can confidently say that what we did to prepare in the weeks before her birth that gave me the ability to give Minden the natural birth she deserved. The chiropractic adjustments not only gave me relief from the aches and pains of a growing belly, it also kept Minden in the correct position and prepared my body for labor. Prenatal yoga allowed me to find my inner and outer strength. It prepared me not only physically but mentally. Our doula gave us so much information before and during our birth. She stayed with me after and kept me informed on everything going on with my baby. She helped educate me on the hospital processes. She has a great working relationship with the hospital, and that was very beneficial for us. Finally, our Bradley classes helped us prepare for a partner coached child birth. It also forced us to think about my diet, and other aspects we would not have otherwise.

We are so excited and truly blessed to have Minden in our lives. I am happy we took the steps we needed to achieve the birth we desired.