Remember this moment.

His little arms wrapped around me. The soft breathing of his chest. The way his chin rests so perfectly on my shoulder. How his head leans against mine. How his body snuggles up right next to me. Clean baby smell.

 

My guys world is getting bigger this week has he’s starting daycare. I’m heartbroken. I know it’s what we have to do. I know he’ll be ok. I’m just really going to miss these cuddles and snuggles whenever I want.

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Paid Leave…

As the end of my maternity leave nears, I’m becoming angry. Not at the adorable little guy I’ve gotten the opportunity to spend the last 16 weeks with, but at the country I live in.

I’ve taken 16 weeks of maternity leave. Only three of those were paid my full pay. The other six were a percentage based off how much overtime I worked in the weeks previous my leave.  The other seven weeks were unpaid.

I’m very grateful that we saved enough and that my husband makes enough that I was able to take some extra weeks before we dedicate about $500 a week on daycare for two kids.  I don’t have the luxury of not working. Even if I stayed at home and didn’t pay for daycare, we wouldn’t have enough to live due to the cost of living where we live. I have to work to make my insurance affordable and to pay for daycare with a bit extra for our other bills.

It is ridiculous that I am expected to go back to work. I did it with my daughter at 11 weeks, and I can’t even imagine now how I did it. We had a crappy daycare with her. With my guy, we have the BEST daycare I’ve ever seen. His sister has now been going there for over a year and we absolutely love it. They actually care and love each child. He will be taken care of and not ignored. He also gets to spend three weeks home with my husband before he starts daycare. However, it  breaks my heart that I’m going to miss so many things.

His first time walking, crawling, rolling over, certain words, etc could very well happen at daycare. I expect some of them to and that breaks my heart.  I really wish this country would pay for more time off for new parents. My poor husband only got five weeks total and he used his vacation for most of it. I know we are luckier than some, but something needs to change. It takes much longer than a few months to heal from child birth and pregnancy. It takes much longer to adjust emotionally and mentally.

Everyone isn’t as lucky as we are and that needs to change. Every parent deserves paid leave after having or adopting a child.  I really hope the good old USA realizes that sooner rather than later for other parents. It may be too late for me to participate, but I hope the future gets better for my children and others. Although, the country is pretty messed up in other ways too. That’s an easy way we can take to hopefully raise better, happier humans that can help solve the world’s problems.

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Struggles…

Time is flying with kiddo #2.  We’re in the process of lots of changes around our home and time is just flying. I’m struggling as I’m getting near the end of my maternity leave. I go back to work next week and I’m sad. I don’t really want to return. However, we have to in order to survive to live.  It’s just one of those facts of life.  I know I’ll adjust and get used to it, but right now I’m struggling.

Added to the fact that my husband and I only seem to communicate about the kids. I feel that happens. I feel that’s normal. I just feel… lost? I suppose it’s because I don’t have any mom friends nearby and I’ve basically been in the house forever with a baby. Combined with the fact that this could be my last maternity leave, I’m feeling all sorts of blue.

I know things will get better and I know that I am very lucky and very thankful for that.  It’s just adjusting. I’ll get there. My mind just has to catch up.

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Parenting two…

I’m not gonna lie – this is tougher than I thought it would be.  My first born daughter was really easy. She had the occasional tantrum but overall she was REALLY easy. There were trying moments, but we were well rested and happy.

Now there are two of them. Her brother is a REALLY easy baby. He self soothes himself most days since birth (I have no idea how – trying not to jinx us). He’s easy going and also knew day and night from the start. He’s very chill.  He took to breastfeeding easily. He’s been a dream.

She’s been tantruming which is totally acceptable and normal as this was a huge change to her world. She loves him. She tries to help so much with him. She cares for him and he saves most of his smiles for her. It’s REALLY cute watching them together.

However, things are tough at moments. I’m overtired. I don’t handle being exhausted well. I knew this with her now with having two kids I don’t get the extra rest. Also with kid number two – no one helps. Seriously, I have never felt so alone this maternity leave and journey into motherhood of two.  Where did everyone go?

So as I sit here trying to deal with my hormones and adjusting to mom of two, there have been some really low moments. I’ve been struggling. I feel like I’m not good enough for them. I feel like I’m doing everything wrong. I feel like they deserve so much better. I worry that he’s going to have issues as he sits in the rock n play so much when she’s around. I can’t just jump to his cries if I’m helping her use the bathroom (as she decided she wanted to start potty training).  Will letting him cry hurt him? I don’t want her to resent him or hate him. I need to tell her no at times though to feed him.  It’s a struggle and at times I feel like I’m drowning. At other times, everything is okay.

being-a-mother-is-hard

It’s a daily change and sometimes the sweet moments between them make everything worth it.

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Birth Story 2.0

Now that little dude is over two months old and currently napping in his crib, I have a moment to write his birth story.

This pregnancy was an eventful one. I had my subchoronic hematoma which resolved by 15 weeks following some heavier bleeding. I made three trips to labor and delivery to get NST tests due to contractions or bleeding after it resolved.  The third time – I stayed.  My contractions had been every six minutes on June 19th.  I called my amazing husband and we decided I should go get checked since my last delivery was so fast.  We threw the stuff in the car, but I totally expected to be home later that day.

We got checked and the contractions weren’t causing any progress – just registering but not close enough to be kept.  We were told we were going home. The next minute after being told we were going home the on-call Doctor stuck her head in and asked if we had an induction scheduled due to my high blood pressure.  No? Not at all. She asked if we’d be open to one for the health of our baby and myself to which we said yes.  So wait – are we not going home?

Turns out we didn’t go home. I talked to my doctor and she told me I should have a fast induction. I was already at 4 cm upon arrival and my first labor was so fast – he should be here today. Since I was over 38 weeks and he seemed healthy, she wanted to induce to insure I didn’t develop preclampsia.  We agreed and around 6 p.m. I got hooked up to picotin after three IV attempts and one finally being in. (What  is up with nurses not believing me that I have difficult veins? First time missed (while using the vein finder), second time got it in but her phone fell out of her pocket and knocked it out causing an exorcist scene with blood shooting up out of my arm and everywhere. Third time, they missed again while using the vein finder. Forth time – finally got it in and taped it down a ton.)

Picotin contractions are awful.  They checked me a few hours after slowly upping medicine and I was at 5 cm. Very slow progress. They told me to get comfy and watch a few movies. Why yes, I will get comfortable with these awful medicine induced contractions. We watched the Bachelorette and Inside Out. Husband had dinner and coordinated our little one’s pickup from daycare with her amazing Aunt.  Checked me again – still no progress.  Around 2 a.m. they upped the medicine the max they normally do and I was in a LOT of pain.  I finally decided to try an epidural as I was not making any progress and getting depressed.  My epidural during my first birth didn’t work.  Thankfully – this one did. Only issue is when they tested the medicine they hit a blood vessel and it felt like I was going to pass out and I wasn’t able to breath. Talk about a horrible feeling.

Once the epidural kicked in and worked, they upped my medicine every 45 minutes.  Still no progress – I was stuck. Around 8:30 a.m. my doctor came to see me and apologized that I’ve had an awful night. She really expected baby to be here by now.  My main goal was avoiding a c-section and I asked how long I could go, what risks we had, etc and agreed to have her break my water.  She told me most second time mom’s have a baby within an hour of the water being broken.  They propped me up into the sitting position with a peanut under my legs to help him move down.  She went off to deliver a few more babies.

The nurse checked me once and I was at around 8 cm – finally some slow progress.  My epidural was starting to wear off so they helped me position and try to get some more meds in me as time was getting close. My doctor came in to check as I was having a contraction and felt us get to 10 cm. She then quickly started throwing up her delivery wear while calling for a nurse to come assist. Baby was coming quickly!

At 9:31 a.m. – our little dude arrived. It was about three pushes and very easy after you get over the long induction.  Right before my final push, I felt him kick me one last time on the inside (totally creepy yet cool) as he did NOT want to come out.  He had a bit of trouble with his body temperature and needed to be suctioned so he could breath better so our first hour together was a bit disruptive. They kept taking him off my chest to monitor him and warm him.  As a second time mom, I knew this wasn’t normal and kept asking what was wrong. They kept telling me he was fine. My amazing husband kept an eye on him and watched what they were doing as they weren’t’ telling me anything.   He was finally at a level they were comfortable with and he got left on me only to not latch. He instead stared at everyone in the room.

Our little dude waited until everyone left as it was a busy morning in labor and delivery and then latched on for the next 45 minutes.  That pretty much sums up his life – he LOVES to eat.

We’re so happy he’s here and healthy. And I now have complete respect for anyone who has ever been induced – I think it’s more horrible than normal labor. Would I do it again? Absolutely for the health of me and my baby. However – it sucks. At least I get one amazing little guy out of it.

We’re adjusting to having two kids – a toddler and a baby. We have our ups and downs, but it is starting to settle down and I’m hopeful that we can actually do this.

 

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Two.

Two. It’s a very simple number, yet for me it has so many meanings. It is:

  • The number of times I thought I was miscarrying (one I did, the second pregnancy is still holding on)
  • The number of children I will soon have
  • The approximate number of weeks away we are from meeting our little dude
  • the age that our daughter will soon be

I can’t believe it. It’s been two years. When I started this blog, I did it to heal and to try and help me make sense of pregnancy loss.  It helped a lot. I’m not the best at keeping up with it lately (or my other blog for that matter), but please know that it’s still on my mind. I still pray for those suffering loss. I still remember what it was like. Two is the number of living children I will soon (fingers crossed) have as I feel little dude kick away in my stomach.

In a lot of ways, my first miscarriage helped shape me. It helped me be more appreciative and more grateful. I never try to take any day for granted with my family as you never know how long you have. I pray we have 100 years together. My miscarriage made me be more appreciative for every moment with the sweet sweet girl that is the joy of our life.

It also made me appreciate this pregnancy more that it did not end in miscarriage. After my miscarriage three years ago now, I had an easy pregnancy. It really was. This one was turbulent.  I still remember crying hysterical grateful tears when they told me that I wasn’t miscarrying this time, it was just a subchorionic hemmatoma or sch. I am now almost 36 weeks pregnant with what appears to be a healthy baby boy.  I’ve had trips to labor and delivery for contractions and bleeding within the last few weeks and he still hangs on. He’s just a trouble maker, but my loss before made me so grateful for when things are right. It also made me more aware and not afraid to go get checked as having answers is so better than not knowing.

I’ve been told to keep it semi easy until Sunday to make sure little dude stays in until 37 weeks. It appears he’s following his sister’s path and will be here a few weeks early again.  I’m so unbelievably excited, scared, and nervous to meet him. Juggling two kids will be a challenge with minimal family support and the fact that I don’t like to ask for help – I just suffer through. We have some great friends that I’m hoping will help us when I’m struggling.

I didn’t start this blog with the intention of rambling about how grateful I am for my previous lessons learned from pregnancy issues. I meant to be blogging about my darling sweet two year old, so before I end this let’s do a bit about her.

What are her favorite foods? She will try almost everything. She loves condiments – especially ketchup, noodles, ice cream, yogurt, any kind of fruit (and I do mean any!). She had some steak and sushi recently again and she loved them both.

How many words does she say? Probably close to a thousand. She talks a TON. She’s constantly amazing us with words and short sentences. Her latest one is, “Coming Soon.” We think she picked it up from the movies she’s asked to watch. Best thing she says “I love you, Mommy” or “I love you, Daddy.”

Developmental wise? Right on track from the quizzes and ahead in some areas. She can count from 1-10 some days solo, other days with assistance. She knows her shapes and a lot of colors. She has fantastic fine and gross motor skills.  She runs, jumps, plays, and is an extremely active two year old. Switching her daycare was the best decision we ever made as watching her grow this past year is such a blessing. I’m constantly amazed by the social, educational, and emotional skills she’s learning.

Favorite activities?  Anything outside – bubbles, going to the park, playing on her new play structure outside, visiting Disney World, trains, and going on adventures with Mom and Dad.

How do we think she will adapt to big brother? To be determined. We don’t have any expectations for her. The next few months will be a big adjustment for all of us. She calls for baby brother and knows he’s in my tummy, but how she reacts when he gets home will be determined by her. I’m not trying to set any expectations so she can just be herself.

So the number two – you give me hope, and for that I am grateful. Praying for the next few months to go smoothly as we adjust and adapt and a safe healthy delivery and baby boy.

 

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Motherhood, while full of awesome and incredible moments, is also full of times of overwhelm, loss, confusion, and moments where one simply feels like they’re just not cut out for this journey. – findingjoy.net

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