Friday, June 28, 2013

Baby Language: It's a Miracle!

Being a new mom, there were so many times my baby would start crying and I had no idea why.  I felt like there was nothing I could do and just felt so helpless.  A friend sent me a video a couple weeks ago and it is truly incredible.  Actually, let's call it a game changer.  The video is about baby language.  Priscilla Dunstan is a women who discovered a language that infants use to communicate with us based reflexes for what it is that they want.  According to this theory, babies make a different noise when they are hungry, tired, have gas, or feeling discomfort.
Here is the video.
I watched it so many times, trying over and over again to get the "words" down.  I started listening for him to make them when I already knew what he wanted.  For example, when it was time to eat I would wait for him to do the pre-cry and listen for him to say "neh" which is for hungry.  This one was the easiest to pick up on.  After I heard it once, I heard it every time.  Next, I heard "eh" which is for burping.  I hear this one a lot.  It only took me a day or two and I swear, I heard every single "word."  9 times out of 10 I know exactly what my baby wants now and sometimes I even catch myself asking him if he's "neh."  This theory is seriously a miracle.
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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Newborn Pictures

Maternity pictures and newborn pictures were 2 things that I think I dreamed about the most while I was pregnant.  My maternity pictures turned out to be a dream come true and I have to say, these did too.  I am so happy with the outcome and when I look at these pictures, I can't believe this is my baby!  He looks so sweet and beautiful in every picture.

I have to admit that I was so not ready for any pictures of myself.  Being that he was still so new, I had not had time to shower in I think 4 days.  My hair was dirty, I had no make up on and somehow she made this a great picture.  When I was taking it I thought that there was no way I would like it but what do ya know, it ended up being one of my favorites.
The photographer did such an amazing job.  I was amazed at how well she works with newborns.  She photographed him for about 3 hours and during that time she put him in different positions, changed his outfits, did all sorts of stuff and kept him sleeping THE ENTIRE TIME!!!  He woke up one time to eat and thank goodness because I love the picture she got of his bright blue eyes. :)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Father's Day #1

Yesterday was our first time celebrating Father's Day and I have to say, it was a success!  We have of course had quite a few Father's Days with the pups but this year was the real deal.  All week Loyal kept saying how excited he was for Sunday, more excited than his birthday even.  It was really just so sweet seeing him talk about it.  (It actually made me a little jealous, I'm not going to lie.)
Anyway, he went to the gym in the morning which left me the perfect opportunity to set up his surprise...
I made him the BEST french toast.  He loves peanut butter, banana and chocolate.  I basically made a peanut butter and banana sandwich that I turned into french toast.  I put chocolate chips on his.
I got the idea from Pinterest, of course.   The surprise, the presents, the breakfast and the entire day were a big success.  Needless to say, I have set the bar high for when Mother's Day rolls around next year. ;)
I have to brag on my husband for a minute.  He really is the best Dad.  He is so hands-on with the baby.  Every time I come home from running errands, he meets me in the drive way so that he can get the car seat out and carry him inside.  He is always the first one to jump up and offer to hold him.  He is the best at calming him down by swinging him in his arms. (He's got the swing down better than I do!)  He is just so great with the baby and it seriously melts my heart.  So here's to Father's Day #1 and many more to come!  


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Happy 1 Month

Well, let me start with saying that I have made some changes around here.  After running across some of my pictures on another website, I decided it was time to start labeling my pictures...and with that, came a new domain!  After about a month of working with google to try and get this thing set up and working (long story), I am so excited that "Life as a Wife Blog" is finally up and running!
Now on to the bigger news...
As of yesterday, little babe is a month old!!!  Wow, that first month sure went by fast.  I am so happy that I have been able too spend every single day with this little guy and watch him grow over the past month.  I took Loyal to the doctor yesterday for his weight check.  Big boy weighs 10 lbs 12 ounces!
I put him down for some activity time, looked over and he was looking right at me!  He is starting to become much more aware of his surroundings.  My husband is so cute.  He asks me everyday, "Do you love him more than you did yesterday?"  ABSOLUTELY!!!
Happy 1 Month Birthday little baby!!!

I wanted to give an update for me as well now that I have hit 4 weeks postpartum.  Right after I delivered, I looked like I was about 4 months pregnant.  This is about what I had expected.  Throughout the first week, my stomach went down pretty fast.  I could see a difference every day, which you can see in the picture below.
(Sorry about the blurry pics and please excuse the mesh hospital underwear and my husbands boxers - both are a must for postpartum!)
I have only weighed myself twice since he was born.  I didn't want to put too much into it, especially since I am not working out.  At 2 weeks post I was 5 pounds away from pre-baby weight and at 4 weeks I was at pre-baby weight exactly.  The pictures below were taken exactly 1 month after delivery.
Although I am back down to the weight I was at before getting pregnant, I still have some toning up to do.  My belly is still a little mushy but slowly getting better.  I have my 6 week appointment next week and hopefully I will get the go ahead to work out again.  I try to eat well but give in occasionally.  I think that my situation is mostly due to breastfeeding but who knows.


Friday, June 7, 2013

one-armed super mom

I spend all day with my sweet little boy and then just like clockwork, he turns into a cranky little monster for about 2 hours.
I can see it in his face that he is just tired and cranky. He will kick and scream and cry until I pick him up. He's fine once he's in my arms. He'll even asleep. But once I put him down, he's a screaming monster again. So every night I find my self carrying on with the things I need to do...laundry, dishes, dinner, feeding the dogs...all with one arm while I surrender my other to holding him. This usually goes on for about two hours or so.  Some nights more, some nights less. Need a visual?  Here we go...

We start with screaming.
After some shhhhh's and a few sways, he calms down. 
Then the lids get heavy and he's off to sleep.
I sneak him into his crib where he sleeps.  For 5 minutes. 
And then we're right back to step 1. 
{repeat 15 times}
And then at some point I will eventually get sick of the crying routine, give him a bath, feed him and like magic, he will lay in his crib peacefully until he falls asleep. 
And THAT is when I get my sweet little boy back. :) 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

my birth story

Without even starting this post, I know it will take me a while.  When I was pregnant, I searched and read so many different birth stories.   I loved reading them.  There were a few things that I learned along the way that truly helped me through my experience.  I know I want my birth story to be very accurate and detailed because those were my favorite ones to read. 

Here we go...
{Some things might be TMI but those TMI details were the ones that helped me the most.  With that being said, we might as well just dive right in.}
Saturday, May 4th was my due date.  The following Tuesday I had a doctor's appointment where they informed me that my cervix had not progressed and I would be induced the following Monday.  Thursday morning I started to lose my mucus plug.  A friend shared her experience with me and I am so glad that she did.  She said that after using the bathroom, she wiped and there was brown blood similar to the end of a period.  Shortly after, she lost her plug.  That is exactly how it started with me.  I guess I will spare the details of what that looks like because you can find a million pictures on google, which is what I did.  Other than losing that, everything else was normal.  No contractions.  The rest of my plug came out in one big blob on Friday morning.  As soon as I lost the rest, I had this strange feeling that something was going to happen soon.  I don't know why I thought that and I can't really explain it but I just had a feeling.  Later that afternoon, I had a doctor's appointment for fetal monitoring.  They strapped 2 bands with monitors around my belly, one for the heartbeat and the other for contractions.
 During the 20 minutes I was hooked up, the heartbeat sounded good and I had 3 contractions, all 10 minutes apart.  These were the only contractions I felt the entire day and they were very minor.  I remember having a back ache Friday night before I went to bed but no more contractions since the doctor's office. 

11:45 p.m.
I was laying in bed with Loyal watching tv before we fell asleep.  He dozed off before me, like normal, and I remember getting this really bad pain in my back.  I assumed it was the way I was laying and changed positions.  It didn't go away when I changed positions but it did shortly after.  It was very weird.  I remember thinking "omg, if that has something to do with labor I better go to sleep!"  I turned the lights out and went to sleep right before midnight.

May 11, 2013

12:35 a.m.
I woke up very suddenly to that same sharp pain in my back again except this time, it was much stronger.   I got out of bed and I knew immediately that I was in labor.  Again, I don't know how I knew but I just did.  I had read that contractions felt like really bad period cramps and I didn't feel anything in my stomach at all.  I did some googling and realized that I was having back labor, something I didn't know much about.  I had so many plans for labor and they all went straight out the window.  I wanted to use my exercise ball and it was so uncomfortable to sit on it with the back labor.  I tried getting in the bath tub to ease the pain and that was uncomfortable too.  Eventually I decided that I needed to lay back down and try to get some rest before we had to leave for the hospital.

2:24 a.m.
I got in bed (my sisters because she wasn't home) and started timing my contractions.  I couldn't call the doctor until my contractions were a minute long and 5 minutes apart.  The first 2 that I timed were almost a minute long and 10 minutes apart.  The next 3 jumped to 5 minutes apart.  So much for resting, this was moving fast.  I called my mom at about 3 a.m. so that she could come and help me.  Even though there was nothing for her to really do, we both felt like it was getting close to the time I should leave for the hospital.  I went downstairs to wake up Loyal and tell him it was time.  Somehow I knew I would be fine without sleep but I felt bad for him only getting about 3 hours.  After I woke him up, it was time to pack up the car and head to the hospital.  He jumped in the shower so I started making trips to the car.  Once I started moving, the contractions really progressed even more.

3:35 a.m.
We were now in the car and pulling out of the driveway.  I called the doctor as soon as we left and told her what was going on.  She said she was pretty sure this was it and to come on in.  By the time we were in the car, my contractions were coming about every 3 to 4 minutes.  I had only been in labor for about 3 hours at this point and I never expected to progress so fast.  The ride to the hospital was very surreal.  I expected to be nervous and I wasn't at all.  I felt so calm and in control of my body.  It was so quiet and so dark out with barely anyone on the road.  It was just me and Loyal.   
We checked into the hospital at about 4 a.m.  I changed into my hospital gown, got hooked up to an IV and waited for them to check my cervix.

4:45 a.m.
The nurse checked my cervix and 4 hours into labor, I was dilated 6cm.  I was shocked.  I had read so many birth stories where women labor for hours, get to the hospital and are only 2cm.  I was so worried about that.  Because I was already at 6, the nurse suggested that I go ahead and get an epidural so that I could rest.  I wasn't prepared for this at all.  The epidural was one of the things that I was nervous about.  I didn't want to get it until I was in unbearable pain, which I wasn't at this point.  We finally decided that I should just go ahead and get it because I was beyond exhausted.  The nurse called for the anesthesiologist and he got to my room at about 5:45 a.m. Once he got there, I was super nervous.  My whole body was shaking and I just remember wanting to cry because I was so scared.  I didn't end up crying and I somehow got my body to relax for the 2 or 3 minutes that I took for him to do it.  The nurse was so sweet and helpful.  She sat in front of me and talked me through the entire process.  It didn't hurt but was really uncomfortable.  The pain of the contractions went away almost immediately.  After this I was able to rest and take a nap.

6:30 a.m.
The nurse came in to check my cervix again and I was 8cm.  My water had not broke on it's own yet so the doctor came in to break it.  Because of the epidural, I didn't feel a thing.  They checked for meconium in my water and said there wasn't any.  As time went on and more of my fluid came out, the nurse realized there was a little meconium in my water.  She said there wasn't much but they still needed to do the necessary precautions to make sure everything was ok.  This was kind of a bummer because I was looking forward to them putting him on my chest right after he was delivered and now they would have to take him straight to the warming table to check him out. 

10:00 a.m.
Time to get checked again except this time the doctor was there to check.  I was 10cm.  I could tell by the look on her face that something wasn't right and sure enough, he was "sunny side up."  He was still in head down position but he was face up rather than face down.  This explains all the back labor because the back of his head was putting so much pressure on my spine.  I wasn't very familiar with this situation so I got a little nervous, especially by the look on the doctors face when she told me.  She said I would still be able to deliver vaginally but it would be much harder to push with him in that position.  She wanted me to lay on my side with a leg elevated for an hour on each side.  Sometimes this can get the baby to flip but in my case, it didn't.

12:00 p.m.
My 2 hours were up and he didn't flip.  The nurse said we could go ahead and start pushing because he had moved down far enough. 
It was just me, Loyal, my sister and the nurse in the room.  It was very intimate and I didn't expect that.  The pushing took a little time to figure out.  I am so used to yoga breathing where you inhale and exhale.  They wanted me to hold my breath while I was pushing and I felt like that made it really difficult.  I just wasn't used to it but I eventually got the hang of it.  The only way I can really describe pushing is the way that someone told me..."it feels like you are taking the biggest #2 of your life."  And that it does.  {Sorry, TMI again.}  The other thing about pushing that was a little weird for me was that you are pushing so hard which makes your entire body clench and tighten up but they want you to keep your pelvic area relaxed.  What?!  That was hard to figure out.  It took a lot of concentration to breath correctly, push as hard as you can and relax your body.  Not to mention, they also wanted me to hold my own legs up.  This was all too much so Loyal and my sister ended up holding my legs for me so that was one less thing for me to do.  I had been awake pretty much the entire night and at this point I was so run down and exhausted.  It was taking everything in me to keep going and somehow I did.  My contractions were coming about every 3 or 4 minutes.  I would push 3 times during each contraction and in between the contractions I would fall asleep.  I don't know how I did it and we laugh about it now but that was the only way I could keep going.  I pushed for about an hour and a half before the doctor decided to give me Pitocin.  She said that I was doing a great job pushing but because my contractions were so far apart, it was giving the baby time to go back up after I had just pushed him down.  The Pitocin made the contractions come about every 1 to 2 minutes now.  This was helping but the problem now was that since he was face up, I couldn't get him past my pelvic bone.  The doctor said that we were going to use the vacuum to try to get him out.  She looked at me with the most serious face and said that there were risks involved and because of that, she would give me only 3 tries.  She then said "you are an amazing pusher and you are doing such a great job but, I need you to do better."  I knew this was my last chance and I was determined to get him out.  After this, everything went so fast.  It seemed like in the blink of an eye there were doctors and nurses in the room, our doctor was sanitized from head to toe, the bed was broken down and everything was set up for delivery.  She got the vacuum in place on the top of his head and it was time to push.  I gave it everything I had and gave the best push of my life.  I felt the vacuum working and just as I felt him moving down, the suction broke.  Apparently the hair on his head was causing the suction to keep releasing.  This happened on every push, the suction kept coming off.  It was so frustrating to feel it working and then get messed up.  I think I pushed 4 more times with the assistance of the vacuum and finally the doctor said "here he comes, look!"

2:01 p.m.
I couldn't look.  I had one more push to get him out completely and I knew if I looked I would break my concentration.  I pushed as hard as I could and when I opened my eyes I saw the most beautiful thing I have ever laid eyes on, my baby boy.
On May 11, 2013, Loyal Vern Hoover IV entered the world at 2:01 p.m.
8 pounds 2 ounces ~ 21 inches

I remember looking at my husband and my sister right after I saw him for the first time.  They both had tears in their eyes.  My sister and I lost it as soon as we made eye contact.  The birth was so incredible and what made it even better was being able to share that moment with 2 of the people you love the most.  As soon as he was delivered, my husband cut the cord and he was off to get his first check up.
When they were done with him, they gave him to my husband.  He came and sat in the chair beside me and we both just stared at our new baby.  I always assumed I would be the first one to hold him but it was such a great experience to see my husband hold him.  I felt like I needed a little time to overcome the overwhelming amount of emotions I was feeling.  I just sat and watched them bond and I fell in love with my husband all over again, seeing him in a new light.  Then it was my turn.
 May 11th was honestly the best day of my life and the moment I saw my first born child for the first time is one that I will never forget.


Monday, June 3, 2013

Savannah Trip

This past weekend we took a super quick trip to Savannah for one of my best friends wedding.  The wedding was on Saturday and with work and the baby, we decided to just go down for one night.  Savannah's only 4 hours from us so I figured that it would be a pretty easy overnight trip without too much that could go wrong.  Being a little nervous about our first mini vacay, I strategically planned everything out and of course, everything could not have possibly gone any more wrong.
The wedding was at 5pm so we decided that we would wake up, get ready and get on the road without rushing.  We ended up leaving at about 10am, which was perfect.  We would have plenty of time to get there and grab something to eat, maybe walk around a little bit, before we had to be at the wedding.  I planned that we would stop for lunch at noon, about 2 hours into the trip.  This way we could eat and I could feed the baby too.  That was a great plan until we hit a ton of traffic about 20 minutes after we left the house.  It ended up taking us over 2 hours to get through downtown, when it should have only taken us 20 minutes at the most.  So, 2 hours in, the baby is now screaming in the back because he's hungry and instead of nursing him like I had planned, the only other option was to use one of the bottles I brought for the wedding that is in the cooler on ice.  We were in dead stopped traffic, couldn't get off the interstate to find somewhere to warm the bottle and the baby is still screaming.  Loyal ended up attempting to warm the bottle in the sun on the dash and I'm now starting to panic.  I frantically start searching the internet to see if you can give a baby cold breast milk while I'm leaning over the seat trying to keep the paci in his mouth.  Eventually I go diving head first over my seat into the back, which basically ended with me in a headstand in the backseat.  I gave him the bottle, he stopped screaming and everyone finally calmed down.  Once he ate, he was perfectly fine.  We got out of the traffic and finally started moving again.  Because of the set back, we would now get to Savannah an hour before the wedding.  Loyal and I were starving, my boobs were engorged since I didn't nurse and we were quickly running out of time.  On our next gas stop we grabbed fast food and some batteries so I could pump in the car.  We were not off to a very good start. 
We made it to Savannah with just enough time to unload the car, change our clothes and feed the baby again before the wedding.  We managed to get those things done and as soon as it was time to walk out the door, the baby starts screaming again.  Panic #2.  In the attempt to calm him down we left with the breast pump bag instead of the diaper bag so Loyal had to run back in and swap those out.  Keep in mind that I'm not supposed to be doing much activity yet, so at 5:00 the wedding should be starting and here I am running through Savannah with a stroller and my full butt underwear, that I still have to wear, giving me wedgies every 5 seconds.  Talk about a nightmare at this point.  My friend is soooo sweet and waited to start until we got there but I still felt like the worst guests ever.  So embarrassing.  Luckily, the baby fell asleep in transit and stayed asleep throughout the wedding.  Thank god.
The wedding was lovely and so intimate under the beautiful trees of Savannah. 
When the wedding was over, we walked to the restaurant.  This time we didn't have to rush and the walk was really nice.  On the way was the square that we got engaged at so we stopped for some pics.
At the reception we had about and hour or two of some nice and quiet non-screaming baby time until our little monster decided it was time to wake up and let himself be known.  After that, Loyal and I traded off holding him over in the corner while the other scarfed down 4 or 5 bites of food at the time before we would switch.
Once the music got turned up and the shots were ordered, it was time for us to go so we could put the baby down.  Oh how our lives have changed.  Even though we couldn't stay and have fun doing shots with everyone, I am so glad that we got to be there for such a special part of their lives.  
The next morning we went out for breakfast and walked around River Street a little before heading home.
I think the next trip we'll try flying.
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