Friday, July 25, 2014

[almost] two weeks with Winston

I really need to blog his birth story and my 39w update, but for now, here's a random collection of thoughts on where we are with this little man. 

I'll start by saying, he's adorable. So sweet and cuddly. Loves to be held or worn. Likes being swaddled and white noise. Doesn't like having his diaper changed or a bath. He's done really well with some of our errands so London is able to have some sense of normalcy in her life (we've been to story time twice and went to Marbles today!). 

Nursing him is one of the hardest things I've ever done. By Day Five, my nipples were cracked and bleeding and the pain was so bad I couldn't shower without crying. Every time he latched was torture. To date, we've seen four Lactation Consultants, three Pediatricians and a Chiropractor. We had his frenulum clipped last Friday in the hopes that it might help (it didn't) so, much to my dismay, I'm using a nipple shield and Newman's All Purpose Nipple Ointment to try to help the nips heal until his latch gets stronger. He's not effectively emptying the breast so I'm basically massaging the milk into his mouth at every feeding. I've had multiple clogged ducts already. It's a struggle, y'all. The good news is, I have such an awesome support system who has provided me a world of suggestions to try - I'm so fortunate that these difficulties are happening with a second baby because I know what to do and who to talk to. At this point, I would really appreciate prayers for solid weight gain at his 2w appt on Monday. Otherwise, I'm taking it one feeding at a time. 

In a related note [I think], he's sleeping horribly. I often fight with him for 2-3h trying to get him to sleep longer than 15m at night. He can't stay awake long enough to get a good nursing session, so he wakes up hungry a few minutes after I lay him down. I'm slightly embarrassed to admit he slept in the rock 'n play for most of the night but I got 2x 2h stretches of sleep so that makes it a little easier to swallow the fact that he's not in his crib. 

My recovery has not been ideal, what with a 2x second degree tear and the fact that I'm certainly overdoing it, chasing a two year old and trying to keep up with at least a little bit of housework. The uterine cramping has been much worse this time and my bleeding seems to be worse as well. I've been taking Motrin pretty much around the clock to combat the cramps & breast / nipple pain, and taking advantage of a 30m nap with the boy while L takes her nap. 

I'm trying to give him and myself some grace, since we are less than two weeks postpartum and having so many feeding issues, but it's hard. Real freaking hard. Add a wild toddler who's acting out and having lots of potty accidents and you can understand my patience is a bit thin, at best. Several nights I've only gotten two hours of sleep. But, again, we have an amazing support system of friends and family who have been feeding us and coming to entertain London so I can focus much of my energy on getting this boy fed, a blessing for which I'll be eternally grateful. All I can do is keep feeding the baby and thank God for each day we all survive! I know it'll get easier (at least I am clinging to that hope!) and that I'll miss this sleep-deprived, snuggly newborn days, but when you're in the thick of it, it's hard to remember that. 

Thanks to everyone who has wished us well, sent gifts or cards, brought a meal or cup of coffee, or just played with London for a few hours. We wouldn't be able to do it without you ! 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Recipe: pizza pancakes

Can't really take credit for this one. Ben & his friend Billy found the recipe, I just brought it to the kitchen. It turned out well, makes for a quick and easy dinner, and you can modify it to whatever you would want on your pizza!

Original recipe found here:

2c bisquick baking mix 
2tsp Italian seasoning
1c milk
2 eggs
1/2c shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 tomato, diced
1/4 green pepper, diced
Handful of pepperoni, quartered (about 1/4c)

Combine baking mix & seasoning in a large bowl
Combine eggs & milk in a smaller bowl; combine with dry ingredients until just moist 
Fold in cheese and "toppings" (tomato, pepper & pepperoni)
Heat a greased skillet on med-low
Spoon mixture into heated skillet and let cook until bubbles pop, a few minutes on each side until golden brown
Optional: serve with warm spaghetti sauce 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Letters to Baby: Hurry up and Wait

Dear Baby,

First, let me start by saying, I'm sorry you don't have a name yet. It's not that we don't care - quite the opposite. For some reason we are obsessing over weird details we never even considered when choosing your sister's name. It's hard to name a boy! Something strong & masculine, but not doesn't sounds like a pit bull or super hero. Something that goes with "London Claire" but nothing that rhymes, starts with L, or has geographic origin. What will your nickname be? Should we use a family name? Will people mistake it for something else? Will there be 4 others in your kindergarten class? It's a lot of pressure! But I promise, the names we've narrowed it down to are all pretty awesome and I know, soon, it'll just hit us which one is perfect for you. Maybe after you're already here, but I'm (finally) ok with that. 

Anyway, the point of this was that we are not ready for you to come. 



Beyond just not having your name picked out, your nursery is not even close to finished. Your closet is empty, the crib isn't set up, sheets haven't been washed. I don't have your coming home outfit washed. I have no idea if we own any socks for you. All of this stresses me out quite a bit. You see, your mama is what some people would call a bit of a control freak. Type A. Whatever. So to have all these things left undone is unnerving to me, and causes me to hope you stay inside for at least another month. 

But yet, for some strange reason (maybe because I hate being pregnant and I'm relatively sure if you don't come out soon you might actually break my ribs), I'm so ready for you to be here. I'm over analyzing every possible pre-labor symptom. I packed my hospital bags (sort-of) tonight. I RSVP to things in the coming weeks with the preface that we'll attend if you haven't made your arrival yet. So I guess as much as I am not ready for you, I am as ready as I could possibly be to meet you, and hold you in my arms, and stroke those sweet tiny feet that have been threatening to crack my rib cage for so many weeks now. From as much as I can tell, things are pretty cramped in there so I think you're ready to come out, too. 

And since I'm "full term" and you've been measuring plenty big enough, I'll just go ahead and give you permission to come any time you're ready. Which, we all know, by me saying that means you'll be two weeks late. But hey, maybe then you'll have some socks?

Can't wait to see your sweet face, and watch your daddy meet his son for the first time. We love you so much already. 

Your mommy

Friday, June 27, 2014

Recipe: yummy burgers

So we bought a cow, right? But would you believe that this week was the first time we've made burgers on the grill with the *amazing* ground beef? They were delicious, cooked to perfection (way to go B!) and London even loved the mini-burger I set aside for her. And for the three of us, it was enough to freeze dinner for another night (read: to be enjoyed in my post-baby sleep deprivation haze). 

Inspired by this post via Pinterest:

1.5lb lean ground beef
1 heaping tbsp BBQ sauce
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Onion powder and black pepper to taste (I use both of these pretty liberally)

Mix all ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl
Form patties approx. 1-1.5" thick
Press firmly with your thumb in the middle of each patty to create a significant indentation; this will allow the burgers to stay "flat" and cook more evenly
Grill each side to your liking OR sautée 4-6min on each side in a buttered pan over medium heat 
Serve on buns and top with lettuce, tomato, etc. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

36 weeks

How far along?: 36w3d
How big is baby?: the size of a large cantaloupe; approx. 19-22in and 6lbs
Weight gain?: none since last week; 21lbs total
Stretch marks?: none
Sleep?: terrible. I have a lingering cough plus the reflux makes me wake up choking and often vomiting, so the sleep is interrupted and normally quite uncomfortable
Best moment last week?: London's 2nd birthday celebrations. Two is the sweetest age! Don't get me wrong, she's a total diva and the tantrums wear me thin, but she just loved celebrating her birthday. 
Food cravings?: nothing of note, besides beer and Italian subs
Symptoms?: reflux, more aches & pains than I could ever list, and one less than pleasant symptom I will spare you the details of
Exercise?: yoga and chasing London
Movement?: I'm constantly feeling his little heel up by my ribs
Belly button?: no change but definitely visible through clothes 
What I miss?: sleep
Labor signs?: as of today, my cervix is starting to thin & dilate and baby's head is low. Great news, considering I never got that far on my own with London, but not necessarily indicative that he'll be here any time soon. 
What I'm looking forward to?: continuing to work on his nursery. Ben is working hard to get it ready!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

34 weeks

How far along?: 34 weeks 4 days
How big is baby?: the size of a pineapple! 19-22 inches and about 4lb 9oz. He has likely reached his birth length and is now packing on the pounds. He obviously had a growth spurt since my last appt because I went from measuring 30w to 34w in only two weeks!
Weight gain?: back up to where I was a month or so ago - overall I think I'm at 19lbs, so on track to hopefully gain only a few lbs more than I did with L
Stretch marks?: nope - even the dr commented on how lucky I was not to have any!
Maternity clothes?: refusing to buy any more but I did get some super comfy non-maternity pants ( from target last week. And I'd like to get some nursing-friendly tops and gowns or pajamas before the hospital. 
Sleep?: ugh. Getting very tough. I'm fighting a cold or allergies, so I'm snoring like a chainsaw (poor Ben even slept on the couch!) and the heartburn (or whatever) is still causing me to wake up choking & vomiting. I tried sleeping propped up but ended up with a horrible headache. And most nights I have to get up 1-3x to pee. But at least I don't have insomnia!
Best moment last week?: we had a nice little adults-only getaway in Virginia Beach last weekend! 
Food cravings?: nothing to note
Symptoms?: aside from the previously mentioned, my pubic symphysis pain has flared up again and the mid-back / rub pain has started. I can tell it's getting crowded in there! Hoping to see a chiropractor to help alleviate some of the issues. 
Exercise?: signed up for 6 more weeks of yoga!
Movement?: frequent and often painful but at least I know he's healthy & active!
Belly button?: out mostly, but didn't stop me from wearing a bikini this weekend
What I miss?: adult beverages 
Labor signs?: he's head down (confirmed by ultrasound yesterday) but that's all for now - and hopefully for awhile!
What I'm looking forward to?: London's second birthday party next weekend!

Friday, May 23, 2014

32 weeks

... Which means 10 weeks (at the very most) to go! Hoping for only 8 weeks but you never know - this little guy seems to want to do things differently than his sister. And London is so much like me, so if he's anything like Ben he'll be ... less than timely. 

How far along?: 32 weeks
How big is baby?: according to WTE, he's the size of a head of lettuce (approximately 3lbs 9oz) and about 19in long, which means he's almost reached his birth length and now it's time to pack on the pounds 
Weight gain?: lost 3lbs since my last appt
Stretch marks?: nope
Maternity clothes?: picked up some used pieces from another mama in exchange for making her daughter some hair bows. Win!! Hopefully I'm done buying maternity clothes forever. 
Sleep?: interrupted, sometimes by waking up choking / vomiting. The joys of heartburn. 
Best moment last week?: some of my nearest and dearest hosted a beautiful "sprinkle" to celebrate me & the boy. It was such a fun afternoon with some of my favorite ladies, and we were so blessed with kindness and love!
Food cravings?: tacos
Symptoms?: heartburn is still kicking my butt. The pubic symphysis stuff seems to be getting somewhat worse, so I can really tell if I've overdone it with too much walking. 
Exercise?: yoga
Movement?: getting crowded in there! The movements are starting to become uncomfortable, especially if I'm sitting down and he's pressing into my ribs. Hiccups are more frequent too
Belly button?: partially popped
What I miss?: I can't bend over to put London in her crib anymore, can barely buckle sandles on myself, and it's very difficult to get comfortable in child's pose
Labor signs?: Baby is not currently breech, hooray!
What I'm looking forward to?: heading to the beach this afternoon ... Assuming I ever get out of this doctor appointment. I've been here over an hour and still haven't been called back / not awesome for an appt that shouldn't take more than 15min total.