Monday, September 19, 2016

Life with 2

Brooks is now officially 3 weeks old and time is flying. Things have been going well and the transition to 2 kids has actually been easier than I thought but I attribute this to a few reasons:

1. My mom was here for over a week after Brooks was born, she was a huge help, especially with keeping Hunter occupied.

2. Kristian has been amazing and helps out so much and fortunately is able to get home from work early most days.

3. Brooks is a GREAT sleeper (hopefully I'm not jinxing this). When we first brought him home I actually had to wake him at night to eat. At his 2 week checkup he had gained back all the weight he had lost and then some so the doctor said we no longer had to wake him at night since he was gaining weight just fine. He typically wakes once a night around 3am to eat than goes back to sleep until around 6:30-7am. So that has been a huge help. Unfortunately I'm still not sleeping great because Brooks is a loud sleeper, he's always grunting or sighing or making kind of noise that keeps me awake, but I will take that over crying anyday!

He's been doing well with breastfeeding and has been exclusively breastfed this whole time which is new for us. With Hunter I breastfed but also supplemented with formula from the beginning. Brooks still hasn't even had a bottle though I have pumped a couple of times just to try to build my supply up. He will occasionally fight the latch, which can be frustrating especially at night when I know he's hungry.

I think the biggest reason the transition has gone smoothly is because Hunter is awesome. The fact that he's older and can do so much on his own and understands a lot has been a big help. He just adores his brother and anytime the baby is crying he runs to try to soothe him by giving him his paci or just saying "shhh shhh" and rubbing his head. He loves to give him kisses and hugs and so far hasn't shown much jealousy. It's actually been a big help having him around because he's able to grab a diaper or burp cloth for me or run and get paper towels from the closet if we need them. He loves to help. And Brooks seems to calm down whenever Hunter is around, he is fascinated by his big brother already.

The recovery process from the VBAC overall has been much easier than the C-section with the exception of one complication that I encountered. After I gave birth I wasn't able to pee on my own and had to keep getting a catheter in order to empty my bladder. We tried everything in the hospital and nothing worked. It wasn't that I didn't have the urge to go, I did, I just couldn't and it was the most frustrating thing. I had many breakdowns in the hospital room over it and what would be in store if I couldn't go on my own. I ended up being sent home with a catheter and had to have a bag attached to me that had to be emptied. I also had to meet with a Urologist to discuss what was going on. As it turns out this issue is not THAT uncommon especially given the circumstances...pushing for a long time, him being sunny side can cause trauma in that area. I never knew this was a potential complication but it does make sense. Fortunately after having a catheter in for a week I was able to go again on my own once it was removed. However, it took a while for me to be able to go fully and it was quite painful but everyday it got a little better and now I'm mostly back to normal when it comes to that situation. Other than the peeing issue though my recovery has been pretty easy, I was able to get up and walk as soon as my epidural wore off, I didn't have pain everytime I bent over, I wasn't totally out of it from all the medication that was used for my C-section and I seem to be losing weight faster. There are definite pros and cons to both the VBAC and C-section but overall I would choose a VBAC again.

It's hard to believe that Brooks has already been here for 3 weeks and will be a month old soon. The last month has been such a whirlwind and I'm doing my best to soak up every minute with him.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

A birth story - Brooks Michael

It's been a week and half since Brooks was born and I'm finally getting a chance to write his birth story which I wanted to make sure I documented before I forget all the details.

Brooks was due Sept 5th and we had set up a scheduled C-section date of Sept 8th. My doctors were totally on board with me trying for a VBAC, since I had had a C-section with Hunter, but the catch was I had to go into labor on my own. They wouldn't induce me. So we had the date setup for a few days past my due date to give me some extra time for him to come on his own. To be honest I didn't think he would, I completely expected to be having another C-section.

On Sunday Aug. 28th I went with Kristian to visit his grandmother for her 96th birthday which is Aug. 29th (Brooks birthday!) I felt okay but later that night I kept commenting on how active he was being (more so than usual). Around 10pm we climbed into bed and were watching a show on the Food Network when I felt a pretty big movement that seemed like a head butt against my cervix. It made me pause for a minute and then I felt a small gush, I sat up and felt another bigger gush and I jumped out of bed and said 'Oh my god my water just broke', it wasn't even a question. I ran to the bathroom and even more came out so I sat on the toilet while Kristian started freaking out. I told him to call my brother because he and my sister-in-law live right up the street and I would need him to come and stay at the house with Hunter until my mom, who lives an hour away, could get there. Then I called my doctor who told me to go to the hospital and Kristian called my mom and his mom.

At this point I wasn't really in any pain and I even debated taking a shower since I hadn't showered all day and felt gross. But I knew Kristian was impatient to leave so I threw on a little bit of makeup and then went and woke up Hunter to say goodbye. He was sleepy and didn't really understand what was happening and I kept trying not to cry because it was my last time seeing him as an only child.

Finally we left for the hospital and as soon as we were in the car the contractions started, I timed them around 2-3 minutes apart and they hurt! We made it to the hospital in about 30 minutes around 11:30. Immediately got in a room and got settled. I was having a lot of contractions and really thought I would be dilated around a 4 or 5. I had only been 1cm at my appointment the week before. The nurse checked me and said I was only 2cm! I told them I wanted an epidural ASAP. The contractions were pretty intense already. With Hunter I had an induction and they gave me an epidural before contractions even started so this was all so new to me. I was however, thrilled I had actually gone into labor on my own and took this as good sign that I would get my VBAC. As of midnight I was exactly 39 weeks pregnant and it looked like he was coming exactly 1 week early.

Finally around 2:30am I was able to get the epidural, I was really nervous because with Hunter the epidural was one of the most painful things I had ever experienced. I explained my fears to the doctor and she did a great job going slow and making it as pain free as possible. It still hurt but not anywhere close to what it had been before. After that was put in I was able to get some rest.

Around 6am the nurse came and checked me and I was at 7cm! She insisted the baby would be here by 10am or lunch at the latest. Unfortunately, I stalled out and when they checked me a couple hours later I was still at a 7 and the contractions were spacing out. So the doctor decided to start some Pitocin to jump start labor again. As soon as it was in I had the strongest contractions and back labor and was miserable. The doctor had to come and up my epidural to give me some relief but at least it was helping more things along.

After a couple of hours we realized that my temperature was starting to go up and was around 99.8, this made me panic because the reason I had a C-section with Hunter was due to spiking a fever that they couldn't get down. they gave me Tylenol and increased the Pitocin some more in the hopes we could get him out before my temp got too high. Unfortunately my temp kept going up and got up to around 100.3, thankfully I was getting very close to pushing, I was feeling a lot of pressure and I was at 10cm, we just had to wait for the doctor to come back. It was around 2pm when I started pushing. We knew that we were on the clock so to speak since my fever was going up and we had to get him out before it got too high.

Pushing was a LOT harder than I thought it would be. I figured it would be painful, which it was, but it was just hard to do it correctly. The epidural had been turned down so that I could feel the contractions and would know when to push which was helpful, I think had I been totally numb there is no way I could have done it. The pushing took forever, at one point my doctor had to leave to go next door and deliver another baby while I continued pushing with the nurse. Apparently the other woman was having her 4th and the kid came out in two pushes, needless to say I was jealous. After about an hour, the doctor asked me if I wanted to watch in a mirror, thinking if I could see how close I was and could see his head it would motivate me more. I really didn't want to but finally agreed. Not sure it worked to motivate me but it was a little interesting to see what was happening down there. Even Kristian watched despite insisting he wouldn't look. Also, as an aside I have to say that my husband was an amazing birth coach. He help lift me up every time I had to push, he helped me hold my legs and gave me oxygen between contractions. He yelled at me (in a nice way) that I was doing great and I was so close etc.

Finally it was getting down to crunch time, my fever was spiking, which I knew because I was sweating my ass off and the doctor said if I couldn't get him out by 3:30 she would have to use the vaccuum on him which I REALLY didn't want so I kept checking the clock every 5 minutes. At 3:35pm Brooks finally made his entrance into the world. To be honest I had my eyes closed and was so focused on pushing I didn't even realize he was out until they laid him on me. I couldn't believe it, I still can't believe I actually pushed him out.

They laid him on me for probably less than a minute when we realized he wasn't crying. So they whisked him over to the warmer and one of the NICU doctors started working on him, trying to give him air and get him to cry. Meanwhile the doctor was still working on me to get the placenta out and stitch me up since I had a 2nd degree tear. But my main focus was on the baby and the fact he wasn't crying. I just kept saying "why isn't he crying, make him cry" and both Kristian and I were crying. After a couple of minutes we finally heard a faint little whine which was soon followed for louder cries and it was the best sound in the world. Apparently taking 1 1/2 hours to get him out put him into a little bit of shock and that's why he wasn't crying at first. Kristian brought him over to me and we did skin to skin and I continued to cry. It was amazing and painful and intense and I 'm so happy I had that experience.

Brooks weighed in at 7lbs 13oz and 20.5", the same exact measurements as his brother (plus 1 oz) who was born a week and a half later, so had he gone to his due date he surely would have been over 8lbs. He also looks a lot like Hunter did at that age.

We tried nursing but he wasn't interested, so we got cleaned up and then Kristian went to the waiting room where our parents were with Hunter. He brought Hunter back first and he was SO excited he skipped down the hall and came in with biggest smile on his face. He came over and gave his brother a big kiss and crawled into bed next to me to start inspecting him. He was fascinated by his belly button! After a little bit Kristian went back out to get our parents and once they came into the room we told them the baby's name. Everyone took turns holding him for a few minutes and then it was time for us to go back to our post partum room.

The first night went well except that the nurse kept coming in every 30 minutes or so to check on me or the baby or give medicine or make us do skin to skin etc. So very little sleep was had. Brooks temperature was a bit low at first so that's why we had to focus so much on skin to skin and trying to get him to eat. By the next day it was back up to normal. The pediatrician on call checked him out and said he was perfect and he passed all of his newborn tests. My mom brought Hunter to visit us on Tuesday and Wednesday and he got a big kick out of the hospital and the cafeteria and seeing his little brother. We finally went home Wednesday around dinner time.

I'm so thankful that I was able to go into labor on my own and get to do a VBAC, after having an emergency C-section with Hunter where I had to be knocked out and missed the birth it was really important to me to at the very least be awake this time. Having a vaginal birth was incredibly painful, exhausting and has come with a few post partum complications which I will talk about in another post but overall I'm still so happy I was able to do it and with the exception of one specific issue the recovery has been easier so that's been nice.

After 2 years of trying and 1 miscarriage I'm so grateful for this little boy.

Last picture taken at 38 weeks

Saturday, September 3, 2016


It is our pleasure to introduce our son
Brooks Michael
Born August 29, 2016 
at 3:35pm
7lbs 13 oz and 20.5"

He is healthy and perfect and we are in love. 

Birth story to come....