Friday, June 19, 2015


Being a mom of two who are 2 and newborn is hard.  I will say that I pretty much always feel like I'm failing one of my kids.  There isn't enough of me to go around.  I'm sure things will even out and life will become more routine eventually.  I'm looking forward to that day :). 

Meanwhile, I'm trying to just enjoy these moments as they happen, since I know these days will never come again; at least not with these two precious babes.

So here are a few picture highlights.
Lynnaea loves Corbin.  But she also struggles with not having mommy all to herself.
We visited Christina and baby Connor in the hospital.
And since we were there, we took a picture with nurse who helped us name Corbin!
Our kids have the sweetest little round faces.  I remember Lynnaea's being round like this too.  Love it!
This girl is so sweet and so pretty!
Daddy and his kiddos.
Another family pic.
Our little chunky boy.  He is eating a lot!
I busted out the de-allergenizer today (stupid allergies) and Lynnaea wanted to give it a try.  She is so cute!
And this pretty much sums up life these days.  It is hard.  But it is also a blessing.  It's true what they say:  nothing worth having comes easy.  But look at these precious loves.  They are so worth having.  And I am grateful they are mine.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Corbin: a Baby Story

I wrote a post like this shortly after Lynnaea was born.  I am grateful I wrote it, for it is the only place I recorded all the details of her birth.  Well, maybe not all the details.  Some were a little graphic for my personal comfort level of posting online for the world to see ;).  But the majority.

So I knew I wanted to record Corbin's birth that way too.  And who knows...  Maybe I'll feel more comfortable sharing some of the less "pretty" details about my experiences with childbirth.  We shall see as I write how I feel...  But the point is, I want to have these stories recorded.  They are for me -- and they are for my children.  Their birth days are monumental events.

So here is Corbin's birth day story.

The truth is, we really anticipated Corbin's arrival literally any day during the week before he was actually born.  I had experienced some false labor with him the previous weekend (May 30 and 31).  Both times, the contractions I experienced only lasted about 1 1/2 to 2 hours and they were rather mild.  But I figured this was a "sign" he would come any day.  So we vamped up the prepping and got the hospital bags mostly packed and Lynnaea's little "adventure" bag ready for when she was either dropped off at my friend Lea's or when Lea came here to watch her -- whichever ended up happening.

But each day ticked by, and there was no more sign of labor.  Other than the progress shown at the doctor's office, of course.  My body was continuing to prepare.  But I was not really feeling anything different.  I felt enormous.  But I'd been feeling that way for a while ;).  I was so convinced this little guy wasn't coming early after all, that we sent a message to someone we give a ride to church saying "Well, I know we said last week that we may be unavailable to take you to church due to the possible arrival of the baby...  But at this point, we aren't expecting to deliver a baby in the next 24 hours, so if you would like a ride to church, just let us know!"

Apparently that's the kind of thing you say when you want to hurry a process along ;).

I woke up at 4:55 a.m. on Sunday, June 7, and I was in labor.  In fact, I'd been in labor for a short while already -- and I knew that because I had been incorporating my contractions into my dream.  At this point, the only part of the dream I remember was being at my church building in Panama and having a contraction and knowing the baby was coming.  So I am guesstimating my labor started between 4:00 and 4:30 a.m. on June 7.  I got up and went pee.  Laid back down.  Couldn't sleep anymore and wasn't really timing my contractions but was figuring they were around 4 minutes apart.  They were painful, but not unbearably so (even for a wimp like myself!).  So I lay there thinking for a bit.  But then I decided I may as well get up and get moving; because I felt like this was going to happen for sure.  So I came out to the living room.  And started working on Corbin's baby book.  Haha.  It has been a personal goal for me to keep a baby book (filled out, mind you) for each of my children.  I did a great job with Lynnaea's up until she was 1.  And I've kept up with some things in it since then.  But I only just ordered the pictures for her 1 year birthday!  And she just turned 2...  So there you go.  And with Corbin's, I had the baby shower stuff to put in, etc.  So I sat there working on that for about 1/2 an hour.  But then the pain was really increasing (though the frequency of contractions was not), so I decided to wake Jeremy.

Now, I was hungry.  But I was only drinking water.  Because when I was in labor with Lynnaea, I vomited all night long.  That was a miserable experience, so I was trying to see if we could avoid that this time.  But I was hungry and thinking about the energy I would expend over the next several hours.  I went and woke Jeremy up at 6:15 a.m. to let him know I was in labor and that the contractions were coming (officially, now, per the clock) every 4 minutes apart and were intensifying.  It was time for him to help me finish getting ready.  So up he got and then Lynnaea got up, because she'd heard us talking.  She was particularly clingy -- I'm sure she sensed change in the air.  She wanted me to hold her a lot.  So I was stopping frequently to pick up my toddler while having contractions.  That was interesting.

I called the hospital to let them know we were coming.  Then I got in the shower.  I did that with Lynnaea as well.  Knowing what's coming, I have this urgent desire to be as clean as possible.  Hahaha.  I got dressed and even tempted fate concerning the whole vomiting thing by wearing the same top I wore to the hospital with Lynnaea.  Oh, and Jeremy made me incredibly sweet chocolate milk so I'd have some instant energy from the sugar but not have to eat anything that might "press" the vomit button.  It was disgustingly sweet -- even for this sweet-craving lady.  I texted Lea to see if we could drop Lynnaea off within the hour (it was around 6:45 a.m. by this point).  I even managed to snap a picture -- the last preggo picture with Corbin on the inside.
Someone said I looked way too relaxed to be about to go to the hospital in that picture.  Well, I think right after that picture, I was leaning on a table through a contraction.  The contractions had definitely intensified to the painful point.  But we were ready.  Jeremy pulled the van out front and loaded everything -- including a bucket! -- into the van.  The bucket was in anticipation of the vomit, just FYI ;).  Then he got Lynnaea loaded and I s-l-o-w-l-y made my way to the van and s-l-o-w-l-y managed to haul myself into the passenger seat.

We got to Lea's, and she was waiting for us.  Lynnaea did amazingly well with the drop-off!  I was so nervous that she would be clingy and cry.  But she didn't.  I had a contraction that hit hard while we were doing the drop-off, so I was leaning against the car.  Lea later told me she could tell I was in pain -- that I was so sweaty, etc.  And I was.  I was sweating like crazy.  We had the a/c on in the car (naturally this little guy chose the hottest weekend to arrive ;)) and it was cranked up and blowing right on me.  We got back on the freeway and I called our moms to tell them.  Not because we wanted anyone there (I'm not inclined to have anyone waiting at the hospital, especially not in the delivery room), but because last time no one knew.  Ha!  So we at least told them.  Contractions were still about 3 to 4 minutes apart.

We arrived at the hospital (so far vomit-free!) and I s-l-o-w-l-y made my way in to registration.  They got me straight back to triage (it was about 7:45) and the nurse named Julie told me if I want an epidural I needed to do that right away or I'd have to wait a bit, as the anesthesiologist was prepping to go into a c-section and wouldn't be available for an hour at least.  I decided this meant I was just going to have to grin and bear the pain, since I again wanted to try to go as far naturally as I possibly could.  After all, I hadn't even been checked.  So I gowned up amid the pain and got on the bed.  The nurse had previously said, when I first walked in, "So you've been through this before.  Do you think this is real labor?"  I assured her I was convinced it was!  After I laid on the bed, she was talking about a gal that had been sent home the night before who was dilated to a 5 because there was no other progress (like contractions).  I said, "Oh, please don't send me home.  This hurts a lot."  Haha.  She said, "Oh no, you're not going home.  I can see pain written all over your face.  You're in labor.  The girl last night wasn't. But she'll probably be back in today sometime."  Well, then she checked me.  She said she was pretty sure I was dilated to an 8/9 (!!!!) but wanted a second opinion, because she wasn't sure if that was my cervix or not because it was so paper thin (which would mean I was 100% effaced) and she wanted a second opinion.  So she called in another nurse. The charge nurse.  She checked me.  She agreed with the first assessment, but wanted the on-call doctor's opinion as well, just to be sure, because again, they couldn't believe how thin the cervix was that they couldn't even feel the "lip" of it.  So they apologized to me (to which I said that if they wanted to give me that kind of good news about my progress and it took 3 people to get it to me, I was fine with it!).  The on-call doctor came in and checked me.  And yep, that's where I was!  Holy cow!  I could only have dreamed of it being that way.  I knew the odds were in my favor that this would go quickly, especially without the epidural, with me coming in this advanced in labor.  I am in no way saying this was all fun and easy, of course.  I was hurting a lot by this point and telling myself (and Jeremy) that I just needed to relax and breathe through the pain... 

Anyway, so they got the IV in me and moved me in a wheelchair to the delivery room we'd be using.  I don't remember every detail as I was wheeled down the hallway, but I remember one nurse informing the triage nurse that they'd called my doctor and she was on her way in.  The phone call to my doctor was made at 8:23 a.m. and she lives about half an hour away.  So they got me into the bed and started running saline into the IV.  Time is funny.  The next 30 minutes both took forever and flew by.  I'm not sure how that's possible, but it is.  I was starting to feel urges to push (but only mildly, so I don't know if this was the power of suggestion or if that's just how things start).  My amniotic sac was still intact, though.  They checked me once I told them I was starting to want to push and I guess I was fully dilated, because the comment was that the only thing keeping me pregnant was that the water hadn't broken yet.  News also came that my doctor was moments from pulling into the parking lot.  And while another doctor was standing by to deliver if it came down to it, they were trying to hold out for my doctor to get in there and deliver.  I remember her coming in the room (I still had my glasses on for a while there).  I remember her breaking the sac (this was uncomfortable) and the comment that it wasn't a lot of liquid that rushed out.  I remember pushing for what seemed like another eternity. 

Now, previous to all of this starting -- while we were driving in -- I told Jeremy, "I don't want to scream, but I might."  I don't know why, but I have never wanted to draw attention to myself during labor.  And I've heard about screaming and moaning and even roaring during labor.  I remember apologizing a lot during this process.  Because, though I never did scream... and I certainly didn't roar...  I did whine a lot about the pain.  Haha.  So during my break between contractions and pushing, I'd apologize for being so whiney. 

Jeremy, meanwhile, was blowing on my face to keep me cooled off.  I was soooo hot.  Sweating a ton.  I can remember some sweat rolling down the left side of my face at one point.  Shortly thereafter, someone asked if I wanted my glasses on or off, because I was fogging them up.  I told them I didn't care -- so someone took them off.  I really didn't care.  I had my eyes closed the entire almost-hour I was pushing.

I also remember them telling me how awesome my blood pressure and pulse readings were.  They said it was like I was running a marathon.  In my mind, I was thinking of a witty thing to say to Jeremy about how clearly my diet (which includes things like pop-tarts and ice cream and sugar cereals) is a phenomenal one.  And then Jeremy beside me pretty much vocalized my thoughts and said, "It must be all those pop-tarts."  Hahaha.  It was funny -- and mentally I could acknowledge it (I was even thinking the same basic thing!), but still all I could do physically was say to him shhhhh and shake my head.  I was not really in the laughing mood.  It's funny now, though. I honestly can't remember if this all happened during the pushing part or right before.

I remember having people help me with the pushing part.  I had a nurse helping me lean up and "hug" my legs to my chest and curl around my tummy (as they described it) during my contractions.  I don't know why, because now I can clearly picture what they were wanting me to do, but at the time, I just couldn't do exactly as they wanted.  There were people reminding me to breathe certain ways or to not breathe during pushing.  People telling me to bear down when pushing (and describing how to push -- which, if you're wondering, is described as taking the biggest poop of your life). 

Which leads me to my other thoughts during the labor and delivery process:  there is nothing glamorous about childbirth!  I'm not saying it's not a beautiful amazing wonderful thing.  Just that it's not glamorous.  The amazing thing is that you don't even care so much at that point.  You don't even care, really, how many people are in that room while you're on display and whining ;).  In fact, I found out the next day that I had no idea about several people (hospital staff) that had been in the room (this because I kept my eyes closed). 

Oh and here's another thing I kept saying while I was pushing:  This is never going to end!  I'm never going to get this kid out!  Seriously, I kept saying that.  And, in the moment, I really felt that too.  It took me a while to get the groove of pushing.  It's indescribable, really, but I had to actually figure out how to push correctly and effectively.  And once I did, my goal was to push like that every time, because I could actually tell that I was making progress, even if it still felt like I'd never push the kiddo out.

So somewhere along in these moments, his head crowned.  And I ran out of contraction and push.  Well, let me tell you that that was intensely painful.  It's true what they say, you do "forget."  I'm only 5 days out from all of this and though I remember quite clearly that it hurt like you-know-what...  I actually can't remember the actual pain.  But I know this was the infamous "ring of fire" feeling.  And now I know why it's called that.  I'm just sorry I had to sit at that point and wait for another contraction so I could push again.  Oh yeah, and Corbin would keep moving in between contractions, which hurt sooo bad.  I was frustrated at the time, because it meant there was no relief from the pain.  It felt like more contraction, but wasn't -- so I couldn't push. 

Anyway, somewhere along there they told me to push and then to stop.  Turn out the cord was wrapped quite tightly around little man's neck.  And then I was told to push again.  And oh my gosh, if I could describe it, I would.  But I have never known relief such as that in all my days.  He was out and on me in the same moment.  But I can remember the relief.  It was so amazing.  Jeremy announced we had a boy!  He was wiped off while laying on me for a bit and then moved over to the machine for all his stats and also to get a little oxygen since he wasn't screaming at that point.  He was squeaking a bit, but they like to hear the loud crying.  And that didn't take long for him to do.  So he was wrapped up and returned to my arms.  He was born at 9:58 a.m.  My total labor/delivery time was about 5.5 hours.

But meanwhile, I had to deliver the placenta.  I can remember the feeling of contractions coming on and knowing I had to push again to get that placenta out.  I was actually dreading it, because I was so done.  But then it was like two small pushes and I felt it fall out of me.  Which sounds so gross, I know.  But seriously...  With no pain meds whatsoever, I felt everything.

Somewhere around this point, I realized my doctor had at some time gowned up (when my eyes were closed ;)).  I also found out just how big my baby boy is.  I found out just what I had pushed out!  The nursery nurse was guessing at 9 pounds 2 ounces.  He was 9 pounds 6.6 ounces.  BIG BOY!  And apparently, that story circulated:  about the gal who came in nearly fully dilated and with no time for an epidural who gave birth to a 9 1/2 pound baby.  Because every time I'd have a new nurse come in my room for the duration of our hospital stay, they'd say something like, "Oh you're the one who pushed out the big boy with no time for an epidural!"

True, he is a big boy.  He doesn't fit in any newborn stuff.  But he's still so small!
His little feet were so purple for so long it seemed!  But they say that's normal.  It just looked weird to me.  But then, I didn't see Lynnaea much at first because she had enough struggles post-delivery that she went to the nursery for a few hours.  Not so with Corbin.

Which brings us to the story of how he got his name.  So once we knew for sure he was a boy, we knew we didn't have a name picked anymore.  You know, since Justin Timberlake just named his kid Silas (and that was our planned-on name since we were expecting Lynnaea!)...  So Jeremy didn't want to stick with that name anymore and now we had to come up with a new one!  So there we were, discussing this post-delivery and I mentioned how Jeremy and I never agree on names.  He wants Xerxes now!  Haha.  And the nursery nurse perked up in her corner where she was doing whatever she was doing and said, "You know what name I like that I have only ever seen once in all my years of working with the babies?  Corbin."

And that's how it came to pass.  Jeremy liked it and the uniqueness of it (if she's only seen it once with all the babies she's seen!) and I like the name (cuz it ain't Xerxes! ;)).  And so we stuck with our original middle name choice, though we also started considering Daniel.  But he is Corbin Nathaniel, and I think that is a nice name :).  And I really like that nursery nurse named Denise.  She was amazing.

Somewhere else along in here I started shaking a lot, so they got me all covered up with warm blankets.  They say it's normal because my hormones will be all over the place.  It's funny, though, because I was so hot and sweaty during labor and delivery and then afterwards I was piled under warmed blankets.  Haha.

Jeremy stayed most of the day with me.  He napped when Corbin slept and I tried to nap.  But seriously, my mind could not shut off, even though I was so exhausted!  I kept reliving the whole labor and delivery process and my stress level just shot up like crazy.  Haha...  I guess you could say I was a little traumatized ;).  The day actually passed really quickly.  Unlike with my delivery with Lynnaea, I was completely mobile right away.  I'm not saying moving was pleasant.  Quite the contrary.  It hurt to move.  My inner leg joints are still sore.  And I did tear a little, so I have stitches.  So it took a lot of effort to move myself.  Even so, I wanted to feel more human.  So after I had eaten breakfast and lunch, I asked if I could get a shower and they said I could.  Yay!  Which worked well, since they moved us to another room after that. 

Jeremy left to get Lynnaea around 6:30.  She'd been with my friend Lea all day.  And, thankfully, as we checked in with Lea, all had gone well. Lynnaea was a champ and didn't cry.  She is an amazing little girl.   And Lea is an amazing friend.  I'm so grateful beyond words we could have a place for Lynnaea where she feels comfortable and happy.  A place where we feel she is loved and cared for as we would care for her.  It's amazing what matters when you have your whole heart wrapped up in another human being (and now 2!).  We decided we wanted life to be as normal as possible for Lynnaea, so Jeremy went home with her so she could sleep in a familiar environment.  It meant I was alone to face the first night with a newborn.  And it meant I only got 2 1/2 hours of sleep.  But hey...  No better time to be re-introduced to the lack of sleep that accompanies newborn parenting, right!?!

So Jeremy came to get me around lunchtime the next day when they discharged us.  And Lynnaea met her baby brother for the first time (I was worried she would cry and be upset if he brought her up there Sunday and then I didn't go with them when they left, so we just opted not to bring her until Monday when I would go home).
She made herself totally comfortable watching TV in the hospital room and eating snackies while Jeremy and I got everything ready to leave. 
And I actually remembered to get a "going home" shot of Corbin (I forgot that detail with Lynnaea). 

And actually, this was all so much easier than the first time.  My recovery has been phenomenal.  I am still sore in the areas where I pushed out almost 10 pounds of baby.  That's to be expected.  But I have felt good and have been out most of the days since Corbin was born (choosing to go out and do stuff so I don't feel the same level of depression I did post-Lynnaea).  But with Lynnaea, I had that bad epidural and had spinal headaches for a week afterward -- which meant I had excruciating head pain unless I was laying flat on my back!

So I was home by 2:00 Monday afternoon and we just have been settling in to our new life.  Jeremy is off of work for 4 weeks (he had tons of sick leave to burn), and he's been amazingly helpful.  There is lots of adjustment going on for sure.  For all of us.  But it's going well.  I'm not getting much sleep and we're struggling with breast-feeding again (Corbin isn't a great latcher, so we are currently taking a break from nursing and I'm pumping) but we were more prepared for things this time around, so it's less emotionally traumatic for me.  I'll probably detail more stuff later, since this is his baby story :).  I just wanted to get this documented for posterity's sake :).

So here we are, a family of four:

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Still A-Round

That's right.  A play on words.  Because I'm still around.  And still a round mommy.  I am waiting to pop.  Doctor's appointment Tuesday showed even more progress:  almost 3 cm dilated and 90% effaced.  I still scheduled my next appointment for this coming Tuesday (which will be 40 weeks).  Here I was Tuesday at 39 weeks.  Pajama pants and a t-shirt.  So very classy.  I promise I didn't go out of the house looking like that ;).
Jeremy has been on swing shift this week.  It has been wonderful to have him home in the mornings.  He has helped me be able to either a:) get things done when I feel like it (like today) by entertaining Lynnaea, or b:) sit around like a bump on a log and rest when I feel like it (like yesterday) by entertaining Lynnaea ;).  And then we take a "family nap" where we all 3 (plus one in my tummy) pile into our bed after lunch.  Jeremy usually gets about 45 minutes to an hour of sleep before having to get up for work.  Lynnaea and I can get around 2 hours.  It's pretty awesome.

We are still having night-time troubles with Lynnaea.  Well, the last two nights she slept through the night and it was so amazingly blissful.  It feels good to be rested.  We are just taking it a day at a time and trying to figure out what's going on that she has gone from an amazing sleeper to an unpredictable one.  Many of my friends say they've been through this stage, so I'm hoping that is all it is.  Parenthood truly is an adventure! 

So here are a few more pictures of the cuteness in the new recliner and whatever else I choose to post (don' know yet what I'm posting ;)).  Lynnaea loves what I have dubbed the "big rock-rock chair" and she frequently commandeers it as her own ;).
She is the cutest!
No feet in view...  That's my large tummy from my perspective.  I had just finished washing dishes.  My shirt is always soaked in the front.  If I did twitter, I'd type it like this:  #pregnantgirlproblems.  But I don't Twitter or tweet.  So I won't ;).
This girl loves books!  And I love that she does.  She goes and picks books off her bookshelf or out of her library bag, and then sits and "reads" them.  The ones we read more often, like Big Girl Panties, she can actually accurately say some of the story.  It's awesome.
Here she is opening some presents from my parents (yes Dad, Mom still puts "and grandpa" on everything :)).  She got a really cool puzzle that makes 6 different animal pictures.  It's a little over her head and she mostly just likes to build towers using the cubes...  But still.  It's awesome, and she'll grow into it.
She also got a bunch of animal magnets.  These days our refrigerator is covered in magnets.  And I kind of love that :).

So we enjoyed several days of nice comfortable weather.  In the 60s.  It was a beautiful thing.  I did a bunch of baking and freezing to prep for summer time (when I refuse to bake).  Also, my sausage feet returned to normal non-sausage feet.  It was another beautiful thing!  Sigh...  But I'm pretty sure those were the last of our nice comfy chilly days.  Today the highs were probably in the upper 70s (maybe even 80s) and my feet are starting to swell again.  Plus I was on them more today ;).  And this weekend is going to be in the 80s.  Part of me is hoping to have the baby on the hot days because then I'll be in the air-conditioned hospital :).  Hahaha.  We'll be hooking up our a/c here soon, I am pretty darn sure.  I'm not pleasant when I'm uncomfortably hot and sweating. 

Yesterday I took Sam out for birthday ice cream.  I can't believe he is 11.
And okay, that's definitely a yucky picture of me, but I don't care.  It's just how it is.  I'm a fat preggo lady.  And I'm almost done!  Woohoo! 

So hopefully the next time I post, it will be with news about whether we have a boy or girl popping out :)!