Wednesday, May 30, 2012

1 Month

By Natalie
Jack turns 1 month old today! Yay, we made it an entire month. Jack is sleeping more over night and in the morning. Yesterday was the first time I had slept for longer than 2 hours at a time. It was quite refreshing. Now, if we can get these troublesome evenings under control....

Jack still loves his bouncer and the swing. He is looking around all the time. He loves to look at the owls on his swing. If they make him mad he shakes his fist at them.

He is starting to track objects. He loves ceiling fans. He has been doing some tummy time, and is super strong! He wants to hold his head up like a crazy man. When you put him over your shoulder he's trying to hold his head up and climb over your shoulder.

Walks are getting easier. We made it twice around the block yesterday without Jack screaming. It was a miracle. I've been playing white noise on the iPhone while we go for walks. I guess Jack isn't that into nature.
Micah is the swaddle master. Jack spends most of his evenings trying to break his hands free from the swaddle, but Micah has him in there good and tight!

I spend quite a bit of time bouncing Jack in the bouncer. It vibrates but this isn't enough, he wants to be bounced vigorously. I have a blanket in the nursery so I can try and sleep while using one arm to bounce the bouncer.

Becoming a Milk Cow

By Natalie

Breastfeeding is tough. I'm amazed at my friends who have stuck with it an entire year. These early days are especially hard. I'm feeding him every 2-3 hours, and it feels like I do nothing else. I'm not sure how you do it when you have 2 children. It takes me about 40 minutes to breastfeed. It takes about 5 minutes for me to give him a bottle (of breast milk!).

The past month I've been pretty chained to Jack. If I do leave the house I can't leave for longer than 2 hours, and the entire time I'm afraid that he's hungry. Or I'm stressed that I'll get called back to the house. Micah does a really good job of not bothering me when I'm out. He wants me to get some time away.

It's hard to work in any extra pumping time to get a supply going. I've been trying to pump everyday at 10 to build up extra supply. This didn't work out too well last week because of appointments at 10 and his schedule was very bizarre this weekend. Then I had an unfortunate incident where the freezer broke with my extra milk. It wasn't that much, but it was my FREEDOM.

How do you build up your extra supply? I don't want to get engorged. He really doesn't nap in the afternoon, my only shot is in the morning.  He wants to nurse continuously in the evenings. I barely have time to make more milk. Evenings are not Jack's strong suit.

I'm seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.  He has slept for 5 hours straight the past 2 nights. So I've been able to pump over night and then give him a bottle. I'm lucky because he has no problem taking a bottle from me. I'm determined to stick with it. It's just rough! I've been told it will get better.

Milk drunk!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

2 Weeks Update

By Natalie
Jack is 2 weeks old this week. Hard to believe! He'll be 3 weeks on Monday, so this update is a little tardy.  One afternoon I decided to take matters into my own hands and take some pictures. If I waited around for Micah to get to it, I'd still be waiting. These are supposed to be newborn pictures, but Jack is already too alert! I think I missed the newborn window.

Jack's best time of day is early morning. His not so great time is from 9-11 or 12 or 1 AM. I think he takes after the Kemp side of the family of being a night owl. Micah spends his evenings swaddling Jack and playing white noise. Jack is soothed best in the bouncer and the box fan close by. Jack likes lots of noise!

Jack and I went to the 2 week appointment and he weighs 8 lbs 1 oz. His birth weight was 8 lbs even. The pediatrician said that they just want him to be back to birth weight at 2 weeks. He's right on track.  He's measuring 21 inches, he's grown an inch! The pediatrician appointment was not fun for either of us. Jack had 2 shots and I had to soothe him on 4 different occasions as the nurse and doctor were in and out of the room. We go back in June!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Jack's Birth Story

By Natalie

On Saturday, April 28th around 2 AM I started timing contractions. We called Amy, my midwife around 7:00 AM and told her that the contractions were coming 5 minutes apart and were fairly strong. We decided to meet at Allen Birthing Center at 8:00 AM. We arrive at the birthing center and I'm only dilated to a 3.  We had called my parents to meet us up there, and called Micah's parents to start heading to Dallas.  Amy sends us back home.

I continue to labor at home, and am in quite a bit of pain because of my hips. The contractions aren't miserable it was the continuous pain of my hips. I never got relief between contractions. Micah and I would rest every 2-5 minutes and then when a contraction would hit Micah would come and sit on my hips while I'm laying on my side. We did this for hours. The contractions get pretty regular again and we meet Amy up at the birthing center at 8:00 PM. I was only dilated to 3 and half. I could've cried. Amy gave me a shot for the hip pain and told me to get some rest.

I go home and get some relief from the shot. Praise Jesus. I'm able to take a 3 hour nap with some pain relief. Then I wake up around 11:45 PM on Saturday night and it's back to painful contractions because of my hips. At 1:45 AM on Sunday, April 29th my water breaks. I continue to labor at home. We meet Amy at the birthing center at 4:00 AM and I'm dilated to a 7. Time to go into real labor! Yay, we can stay at the birthing center. Amy gives me another 1/2 dose of pain medicine for my hips. I get in the pool and feel awesome. I don't have anymore pain during the contractions in the water. I am able to rest in between each contractions and breathe through the contractions.

Around 10:25 AM I feel the urge to push. Amy examines me and I'm dilated to a 10. It's time to push. I push in the water for awhile, and am not making much progress. I still feel great. Then we decide to push while squatting for awhile. My hip pain returns. After an hour or two nothing happens. We send everyone home and I take a nap.  I have about 7 contractions during my nap. When I wake up the contractions have pretty much left me. I have reverse dilated to a 6! We start doing EVERYTHING you can think of to jump start labor again. We went on a walk. Nothing. Use a hand pump to express breast milk. Nothing.

We make the decision to transfer to Allen Presby to get pitosin to jump start labor again. Amy, my midwife transfers with us. She is wonderful, and encourages me the entire time. As I knew they would be it is terrible, awful contractions with no relief on pitosin.  Since I've been now laboring for 2 days straight I get an epidural. I dilate to a 10 around 11 PM on Sunday night, and it's time to push. My mom is holding one leg, and Micah holds the other leg. They push on my back to help my curl into the contraction. My mom said it was the most heartbreaking thing to watch. She said I pushed for 2 hours every 2 minutes. At 1:00 AM on Monday morning I ask to take a break from pushing and pull myself together. The doctor comes back and says it's time for c-section. At this point my water has almost been broken for 24 hours.  I ask for 15 more minutes to push, and get no where. Amy gives me a hug with tears in her eyes and they wheel me to the OR. Amy is present during the surgery and takes pictures for us.

Jack is born on Monday, April 30th 1:34 AM weighing 8 lbs 0 oz and 20 inches via c-section. I was 41 weeks and 5 days at this point!

This is obviously not my labor plan. Who wants to endure 48 hours of labor? Nothing worked out how I thought it would. I felt pretty sad about the way it turned out especially after having a version to turn him. During the c-section, the doctor said there was a band around my uterus. This band could've prevented Jack from coming down the birth canal. The band could've been there the entire time or was created during the very stressful labor. I'm so thankful to my midwife, Amy. I couldn't done it without her.

The silver lining, this face......