Convinced

May 31, 2013

I am now convinced that God made babies more snugly when they have fevers so that parents will find a small bit of joy during a less than joyful time. Our Ellery Wynn has officially had her first fever or perhaps still has. Last night she woke up every 45 minutes and would scream out, but then go right back to sleep, at 3 AM I decided to give her some Tylenol assuming she was in pain because those pesky teeth are still trying to break through. I go downstairs, get the medicine, go over to her crib and as soon as she can sense me she goes hysterical and this mama’s heart began to feel a little guilty that I hadn’t gone in sooner. I picked her up and she felt like she was on fire. Turns out her temperature was just slightly over 100, but she was radiating heat and I felt terrible for her. I brought her in our room and woke up Andrew, then while we waited for the medicine to kick in she played in our bed. Thank goodness she played because then I felt way better, she was laughing and chatting and then I knew she wasn’t doing too bad. I looked at Andrew and asked the question I already knew the answer to, “can’t she just sleep with us for the rest of the night?” Of course the answer was, “no.” But hey, I tried. She went back to sleep in her crib and then I lay wide awake wondering if she was ok, I fell asleep finally around 4:45 and she of course woke up screaming at 5:00. We were up for the day at 6:30 and spent the day snuggling, watching Netflix leap frog, reading books in bed, and napping as much as possible. Poor little nugget had a fever most of the day and seemed to kick it a little bit before bedtime. As much as everyone says to enjoy the phase where they don’t talk I think it’ll be better when she can tell me what’s wrong. According to the Internet doctors say that babies don’t get fevers when they are teething? Really? Every kid I know has had fevers associated with teething.

Sometimes it seems like I have it all together, sometimes I actually do, other times not so much. So before you nominate me for mother of the year you should probably know these things. I’ve used the mum mum veggie rusks to buy myself time everyday for the past two weeks, her arsenic level is probably through the roof. I call them my secret weapon, it has gotten us through car rides, the move and unpacking. The other night I decided I didn’t feel like feeding her dinner, I was exhausted and figured nursing was probably sufficient, lucky for her at this same moment I found a peach packet that I let her suck down before bed. Yeah I was that tired. Yesterday she ate a rather large chunk of paper, didn’t gag or choke or anything. Was completely un phased by swallowing this piece of paper. While I’m sure bubble paper is a suffocation or choking hazard or some other death trap item I have let Ellery play with it everyday. Yes I’m in the room, yes I realize it still probably isn’t the best, but she loves it and it’s accessible. While unpacking my closet I let her chew on the tag of my straightener cord that was dangling down the vanity. At least I made sure it was unplugged and couldn’t fall on her. Somedays I feel like I’m failing and then I remember no ones perfect, and I cut myself some slack. So if today you feel like you’re failing remember the Johnson’s baby commercial last line “you’re doing ok mom.” Does anyone else cry every time they see this commercial?

My Raw Birth Story

April 19, 2013

So when Ellery was born I wrote our birth story. I read it probably once a month and it is very accurate. I still feel mostly that way about how it happened, but recently I have felt the need to write down the real raw story of how our Ellery came into the world. I’m writing this for me and I’m writing it for her and I’m writing it to never forget, but please don’t feel obligated to read it. Although you are more than welcome to.

My labor was done to me, it didn’t happen. I can no longer watch torture scenes in movies or television shows because it reminds me of my birth experience. The nurses came in every 30 minutes on the dot to increase the pitocin and near the end I would beg them to give me just 5 more minutes. They always said no, “I had to keep on track” and within a minute or two my contractions would get more severe, it especially stunk that the pitocin did just about nothing for my dilation so it was completely pointless.

I will likely never again get an epidural. Not because it wasn’t the most magical drug ever because it.was.magical. But because if by chance I have to have another c-section after laboring all day long I want a spinal, getting a c-section with an epidural was absolutely terrible. Here are the gory details of this hour in our life.

The doctor came in and told me it was time for a c-section, it was around 2 o’clock the morning of Ellery’s birthday. I signed some paperwork, she went over the risks and we were off. They wheeled me into the c-section room down the hall and assured me they would get Andrew before we began. I was glad I had previously had surgeries because I don’t remember feeling scared. Once I was in there a team of people hoisted my dead weight body from one bed to the other. I remember feeling extremely awkward and very heavy. I thought I was mentally prepared for a c-section, I had seen them on television, but somehow missed two details. The first was they strap your arms down at the wrists like you are on a cross. The second was how close the curtain is to your face. Like suffocatingly close. I vaguely remember asking if they had to strap my arms like that and he said yes in case I needed an IV or something. Looking back I would have preferred to have no curtain at all, I would have really liked to have seen my doctor, but maybe the blood would have freaked me out, I don’t know. There were 15 people in the room, some dressed in plain old street clothes, not sure how that was sterile. I knew there were a lot, Andrew told me later 15.

They started cutting me open, as they are cutting the anesthesiologist starts asking who is going to “get the dad” someone says I’ll go in a minute and he said, someone needs to get him NOW! I remember starting to panic at this point. I knew I was cut open and facing the door so Andrew would see my cut open bleeding belly when he came through the door. My husband passes out nearly every time he gives blood so I completely expected him to hit the floor when he walked in, luckily he did not, he did however see my cut open belly, yikes! How did I know that I was being cut open? I felt it, not pressure like people talk about, but pain and felt every bit of the cutting on my right side. I had a friend that communicated her pain to the doctor and they knocked her out so I decided to very calmly let them know I was in pain. Every minute I would calmly say, “I have pain on my right side,” he would put more meds in my drip, and this continued for a bit until I gave up. I was so determined to see her that I didn’t really care if I could feel the pain of her cutting me open. I was secretly panicking, but didn’t want to say anything for fear of not seeing Ellery in her first moments. Andrew was nowhere near me (or that’s how it felt) and he was too tired to talk to me. Luckily the anesthesiologist sat right next to me and did his best to distract me and keep me calm.

Here she comes…I again expected pressure, um not so much. I screamed the whole time they were pulling her out and the doctor kept saying breath like it’s a contraction. They were pulling, I was screaming, and finally she was out. My OBGYN came around the curtain holding my sweet girl, in a childish voice she said,”here’s your baby” and then she was whisked away. After they did her tests and weighed her Andrew held her and I caught my first glimpse of her, I remember saying,”oh my goodness, she’s so precious.” And then they essentially put me to sleep. The doctor pumped me so full of Benadryl that I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I think he did this because he knew I was in pain, but maybe this is standard. Then I woke up on and off and would say,”I have to nurse my baby.” It amazes me that motherly instinct is that strong. I probably couldn’t have told you my name at that point, but I knew my baby needed to eat. After I did this several times my OBGYN leaned over the curtain, looked me in my eyes and said,”Laura you can’t nurse your baby right now, your job is to sleep. Your baby needs to breathe better before she can eat, you will nurse her as soon as she can.” It didn’t register with me that something was wrong with Elle, she was having breathing problems, a c-section complication, so I was pretty mad that I couldn’t feed her because our agreement was within the 1st hour I got to nurse.

It was time to go back to the room, hospital policy says only staff can carry babies in the hallways, so Andrew couldn’t carry her. My doctor asked if I wanted to hold her back to the room since I was being wheeled and I sadly told her I couldn’t because my arms weren’t working. I’m pretty sure I fell asleep in the 30 feet from the operating room to my room, I would have likely dropped her. Then they started working on Elle to clear her lungs, they did a chest x-ray and had her on oxygen, I would wake up periodically and ask Andrew to show me a picture of her because she was too far away to see. Then I came up with a plan. I told Andrew to go get some ice and shove as much in my mouth as possible. I wanted to nurse her so bad and I wanted to be alert enough to hold her. This didn’t really work like I had hoped and I continued to be extremely out of it. I remember at 4:30 the medical staff had cleared out and Ellery was left alone with us in her warming bed hooked up to stuff and had oxygen in her nose. My OBGYN came in and I asked if my family who was STILL in the waiting room could come see her. She said yes if I was sure I wanted people to come in, I said “of course” considering they had been there since noon the previous day and were waiting to see our sweetie. I vaguely remember them coming in, no one could hold Ellery because of all her tubes, so they saw her and told me they’d be back after they got a little sleep. I soon held Ellery for a few minutes with the assistance of our nurse, but after a few minutes my arms stopped working again and I had to put her back in her warm bed. Then I fell asleep holding her sweet little foot and every time she cried I would wake up, say “mommy’s here” and she would immediately settle down.

Looking back I feel like I was robbed. At the time I felt rescued. Time gives clarity, I’ve processed this for nearly nine months, and now it’s time to heal. I still love and respect my doctor, I still have no regrets about the day of the actual birth (we really did do everything we could), I don’t feel like a c-section hurt my bond with my child in anyway what so ever, and even though it wasn’t in my time frame I still got to nurse and she never had formula. I still got a beautiful, healthy, awesome kid out of the whole ordeal and I’d do it all over again for her without a second thought. Now I’m on a quest for an awesome OBGYN in our new town who will help me VBAC with our future babies or baby…one at a time.

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Tear Free Travel Tips

March 19, 2013

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I can’t say I’m a travel expert, but we have taken two 16 hour road trips with our Ellery Wynn so I have 64 hours of experience and I thought I’d share some of the things that have made this a little bit easier. I will start off by saying we have a really good baby that likes to ride in the car and sleeps great in her carseat so I know that this list probably won’t help everyone, but hopefully some of the tips will be useful.

1. Do as much driving while they sleep as possible. Andrew and I know ourselves well enough to know we cannot drive through the night. I don’t trust myself at all and Andrew doesn’t want to risk it. For us we pick a time we think we can drive until, 1:00 AM is kind of our max. So we book a hotel around halfway and leave to arrive around 1:00 or earlier the first day. When leaving the hotel we leave an hour before her nap so she only has to entertain herself for 1 hour before napping, this has worked out great.

2. Eat in. Andrew and I would have NEVER stopped to eat when we drove alone, but with a baby we stop and have a sit down dinner so she can be out of her seat for a good 20 minutes. This mostly means fast food, something quick, but just no drive through.

3. Break your own rules. The only rule I don’t advise is taking them out of their seat while driving, but everything else is fair game. As a rule my Elle is not nursed to sleep and she doesn’t nurse after 7:00 PM. You better believe I nurse her to sleep in hotel rooms and I let her eat handfuls of puffs in her carseat if it keeps her happy.

4. Have a secret weapon. For us that was Pocoyo TV. Download a couple of those 7 minute episodes before you go on your trip and whip it out when they are losing it and you need to buy a little time. She maybe only watched an hour total in 32 hours on the road, but it was the perfect thing when she was getting restless.

5. Create a good sleep environment. We have a nighttime routine, we try to stick to this on the road; book, song, pray, white noise. I actually did it all from the front seat and it still worked. I highly recommend getting a carseat canopy to make it dark for naps and also at night because the lights from cars can really disturb their sleep. Look online for specials, we got ours for free, just had to pay shipping. The white noise app we use in the car is Relax M HD.

6. Cater to your baby. Andrew and I don’t plan our entire life around our kid, she is learning how to be part of our life, not the reverse, but when it comes to travel it’s all about her! Ride in the back and entertain them part of the time, stop more than you want to, just put yourself in their shoes and do whatever you can to make them happy. I would advise making a car bin. I use one that can fit between me and her when I ride in the back. I loaded mine with finger puppets, a doll, 2 sets of flash cards, 5 small board books, a container of puffs, an oball, and a couple other small toys. I also put diapers and wipes in there to make diaper changes quick at rest areas. I also bought two new toys for the trip and those seemed to really entertain her because it was something new.

I can’t claim that we had a totally tear free trip, but it was close, we had a few fussy moments, but she did better than I could have ever imagined! As an adult I get restless in the car and I’m not strapped into a carseat. Hope you found these helpful, happy travels!!!