Thursday, February 28, 2013

For Nolan

Yep, I have been at it again, and surprisingly all while on maternity leave! I'll be sad to return to work and have less time with this stuff during nap times. Got to love getting both kids to sleep at the same time :)

Late Night Sewing

After struggling to find a Big Sister shirt that fit Eliza in stores, I felt I was going to have to just make my own. You can find one zillion little brother and sister shirts in stores, but doesn't that make one other a "big"? Not to mention the countless I <3 and="" at="" family="" member="" navy="" old="" other="" shirts="" stores.="" various="" whatever="">

I did some applique work after I tried on another one before hand. With the pattern of the fabric, I wanted to run around the letters in a heavy pink. Bad mistake! It ended up looking horrible and I ripped a hole in the shirt fabric after I attempted to take the seam ripper to it. Oi! All that time and effort only to be a ruined shirt.

After I took the iron to the letters, the thought of a tutu skirt to make it even more girly came to mind and I had some remnant pink tulle available. Over all, I am happy with the way it turned out despite that I had to do it on a 24 month onesie and not a 2T shirt. If I am going to go to all this effort, I better get all the more mileage out of it!    

Monday, February 25, 2013

Better Than Chocolate

Besides having to deal with Mastitis during my maternity leave and also having to go a second round of antibiotics with another follow up OB appointment...

I asked if the nurse could weigh me since they hadn't after the baby was born. She had initially said, "the scale is over there, feel free to use it." This would be all find and dandy if it weren't for the fact that I don't want to know my actual weight number. All I want to know is pounds gain/lost. They understood and humored me. 

Going by the weight taken before I delivered and subtracted by my weight today....

I lost 22 freaking pounds!

I only gained about 14 in this pregnancy, so this puts me at a bonus pounds under my starting pregnancy weight. I don't know what I've been doing to get this result besides having a baby to begin with as I haven't been all that concerned or watchful of what I've been eating since baby. So all I can maybe guess is that breast feeding is AWESOME!  

Friday, February 22, 2013

Sewing Before the New Baby

It had been quite a long time since I sewed a quilt for Eliza. and sewn one that had much of any real skill or advanced technique. I have a lot of girl fabrics and wanted to bust loose with them. When I had seen this pattern, it was more so a chevron and not broken up.

I tried my best to not duplicate any of the fabric, but trying to balance everything out became a real challenge with all the different details going on. I struggled to go with a solid to bring everything together, and I ended up seeking outside opinions from the ladies at Joann Fabrics at the cutting table.

The backing turned out to be a lucky find in the red tag clearance section, which was an additional 50% off. Originally, this was an expensive fabric with all the embroidery going on of flowers and leaves. But I like how it contrasts enough and compliments the aqua quilt binding I did myself.
Little Brother

Oh did I ever fight with this quilt! From trying to find a neat variety of fabrics to combine, and then the pattern itself...I had to take several breaks from this sucker until I hit a real break through and plowed through it. The green boarder and outside of the hour glass grey came from the Michael Miller collection, while the dark blue was from Walmart. The rest were on sale finds at Joann's. 

The grey squares were an afterthought to break up the light blue. With the help of an iron and Steam a Seam, I was able to applique them on as if I had meant to do so in the first place. 

I just love this no pill fleece fabric that I backed it with. It is fitting with Nolan being a winter baby, but not too girly with these sparrows.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Big Sister

One of the most commonly asked questions about our new family is how Eliza is adjusting to the new baby. I, myself, was a bit curious as to how she would react, but had an idea as to how some of it would come out as.

To say Eliza is enthusiastic about Nolan would be an understatement. If given the chance, she would love to baby "sit" him...literally. The most frustrating and exhausting task has been trying to avoid Eliza smothering him and us both. Commonly, it comes out when I am nursing him. She wants to be right there, a part of the action and not even an inch away from his face. If I lay him on the floor for some tummy time, she'll lay down and throw her arm around him. She loves to point out his nose, after pointing out mommies nose....and then proceeding to poke out his eyes....ugh.

However, now that we are 2 months away from the big 2 year old that she is/has yet to become, I am not sure what is early terrible two's or acting out because of the adjustment.  Time outs have increased since Nolan came home, and I wonder if they are effective enough as a punishment. Maybe we will experiment with doing them in her room since we get a pretty good reaction when going down to bed.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Breaking News!

Breaking News! Just like his sister, Nolan went tummy to back at 2 weeks and 3 days! I guess when my kids are pissed off enough during tummy time, anything is possible.

Maybe this kid will crawl sooner, and FORWARD for that matter.....

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Window Light

In continuing with playing with natural light and the fact we have wood floors in our place, I utilized a basket and textiles I've have laying around. Otherwise, I would love to have the extra money to spend on vinyl floor candy for studio shoots. *I will live within my means, I will live within my means...*

A Time of Mourning

Here I sit, being just over 2 weeks PP.

I sit and I contemplate my birth experience. Yesterday I had my OB take a look at my c-section incision to be sure it was healing right. Was given the approval of taking off my steri-strips.

I found out that the position of Nolan's head was diagnosed as Asynclitic. This is why I was never able to dilate past 4cm. This of course was not found out until we were in surgery.

Despite all these complications, I miss being pregnant. I missed out on experiencing the birth of my son. I go from being conscious on the table, to waking up with a warm blanket on me and the faint voice of my husband telling me we had a son and how he looked like me. There was no longer a life forming inside me.

I am not pregnant, but I am not 100% back to my self yet. So what do you call a woman in this stage?

We don't know 100% if we are done having children right now. I asked the Dr. about a VBAC and if it was possible. He indeed said it was but that we would cross that bridge later on. But the actual chances of me going into labor on my own seem like a fairy tale since both pregnancies have resulted in inductions. In order to VBAC, I can not have anything that would hyper stimulate my uterus as it could result in uterine rupture and require emergency surgery. This is why in order for the hospital to be able to handle a VBAC, they have to have a 24 hr anesthesiologist on hand at all times.

I know the ultimate goal is a healthy baby and mom at the end of the day, but I can't help but feel like the rug was ripped from under my feet on this birth experience.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Birth Story - You Don't Always Get What You Want

Ever since I found out we were expecting, I started praying for the chance to be able to go into labor on my own. As my weekly OB appointments came and went with no real cervical change, it was made known to me that a scheduled induction was going to happen in the next few days. I felt very depressed, sad and angry that history was repeating itself with this child. I actually kept the induction a secret from most folks, including my own pastors. If I was going to be robbed of the surprise, I wanted to have some control over the announcement being a surprise to everyone else.

Sunday evening (my EDD), we arrived around 6:00 pm to check in and head to L&D. My delivery room was actually the same room I gave birth to my daughter in. I changed into my super duper gown and administered Cervidil to prime my cervix which was more closed up than a nun. We were told to have a good meal before hand, but the steak we dined on in the afternoon had worn off. With the approval to be able to eat until midnight ,we had ourselves a little pizza party from the pizzeria down the street.

Our Dr. was a known early bird and wasted no time in checking out my progress after the Cervidil. I was 90% effaced and 1 cm. Water was broken around 6:30 AM and the Pitocin was started. I was in shock, including the nursing staff at just how much amniotic fluid I was leaking. It came out in gushes on the bed, the floor and while on the birthing ball. I knew it wasn't pee when I could see floating chunks of vernix.

With a chance to be able to get off the monitors after getting to a 2/3 cm, I went walking to model my pregnant self on the floor. My Dr. had been monitoring from his office just below the hospital and wanted me back on (and driving the nurses nuts in wanting updates). At this point I reached a solid 3 cm.


Baby was becoming very active and proving to be a real pain in monitoring his heart rate while the birthing ball was used. At this point I was 4 cm with contractions being regular in length, but irregular in spacing. I decided to go with an epidural with this labor instead of a spinal narcotic which brought itching and vomiting. There was much difficulty in getting the epidural in and it ended up only taking on my left side. They had hoped to have me lay on my right side to see if things would take, but it only made the baby's heart rate drop.

I did my best to breath through the pain of contractions despite the Pitocin increasing. After several more progress checks and the observation that I seemed to have a nurse in my room much more than before, my body started to convulse between contractions. 5 hours had passed and I hadn't gotten past 4 cm. I discussed with the anesthesiologist and my OB about possibly going with a spinal narcotic and dodging some of the nasty side effects with Benadryl and Zophran. Maybe if I could just get a chance to relax and a break from this pain, I could progress. But there was concern that if they were successful at another stab at my back and there was no progress, a spinal block would put me at risk for side effects of that much messing around with my spine.

With my Pitocin at an all time record high with my OB at a 40, no new progression and my body hitting a serious wall, I was faced with a very hard decision. Even though the baby was not in distress, something was just not right for being a second time mom. We were allowed to take a minute to ourselves to pray about what would be the best choice for us all. One direction had an unknown if it would work, while going with a c-section was a guarantee end of these contractions and the birth of our son in immediate sight.

Going with a c-section, things started to happen very fast. I was signing forms, being prepped for a catheter and crying like a baby when they had to rip off my epidural tape which became caught in my hair.

A different anesthesiologist was brought in for the spinal block. I am not sure what it is, but my experience with them is they lack some serious bed side manners when they ask stupid questions during a contraction. After many needle sticks, my OB had to step in and ask him to stop, as I had been through enough and he wasn't being successful. I had to be put under general anesthesia. No first cry to be heard and my husband wasn't able to be with me through it.

Before I was knocked out, the last thing I remember was insisting I be knocked out while sitting up so that when I was laying on my back, I wouldn't feel any more intense contractions. When I awoke to the warmth of a blanket, I tried to lurch upwards...felt the pain and remembered the decision I had made. With one slight glance, I saw there was a nurse in the recovery room and in my best Frankenstein mumble, requested pain relief immediately. Then I heard a faint voice of my husband coming in to inform us that we had a son at 3:57 PM, 7 lbs. 13 oz, 20 inches long and he looked a lot like me. After some of the pain was managed, they allowed Nolan to come into recovery where I attempted to nurse for the first time. This was a moment I lost out on with my daughter due to all the medications making me loopy. I was very surprised at the sight of blonde peach fuzz hair on this round little head. I had expected dark brown or black, but not this light of hair.

When it was time to leave recovery, my PP room was all set up. All I wanted to do was to hold and cradle my son in my arms after all the events that went down. It was discovered while in surgery that Nolan's head and neck were tweaked in an unfavorable position called Asynclitic, leaving him wedged and stuck. We don't know if there would have been anything that I could have done in getting him unstuck if it had been known prior.

The next day feeling a little more human
In my recovery, my husband has been wonderful in caring for me and our children in and out of the hospital. Despite my times of crying about how different this birth and recovery experience has been compared to my last vaginal birth, the upside has been not having such trauma to my feminine under carriage and getting an additional 2 weeks more maternity leave. At least there is SOME benefit to this route and BOY did I EARN IT! 

But I have my wonderful Nolan James Matthew G in our family.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

My Little Carry On

With having a baby boy, one has to become a bit creative in the photo department. There are lots of cute things to adorn little girls with, just like there is a plethora of outfits for them in comparison. 

I had this idea for a fun creative shoot a while back, but the challenge was finding the suitcase in the 1970's Pan-am era. With luck, I found a set on a FB garage sale site and they sold all 3 for 5 dollars. The bow-tie was easily crafted after a Pintrest search while I found an easy free pattern to do the pennant bunting banner.

Getting Nolan ready for this shoot was a task in itself, in addition to keeping things clean enough as I continued the shoot. I swear this kid poops it out just as fast as he nurses.

I also have a love/hate relationship with studio lighting. I MUCH rather go outside and work in my surroundings than wrestle with all the set up and break down of equipment. But with single digit temperatures going on right now in the snow belt, I just don't have a whole lot of options...or fun fancy props that you see used in many newborn shoots. With this being said, I decided to prop Nolan by the window on the Boppy. Then I waited to see what expressions would come about. I almost think I like these simple ones compared to the studio set up just purely because of the lighting. Sometimes less is more when it comes to shooting newborns.

Friday, February 1, 2013

He Has Arrived!

Nolan James Matthew was born Monday January 28th @ 3:57 PM weighing 7 pounds 13 oz and 20 inches long via c-section.

An induction did not go as planned and I will follow up with a birth story about that. But recovery has been much harder compared to my last vaginal birth and I am slowly trying to reintroduce some of my hobbies for my mental health sake and also learn to balance having two kids under two under the same roof.