Thursday, March 5, 2015

Miles' birth story

Okay so some of you might not be into the whole birth story details but I really want to write this down so I can read it to him later.

We were lucky enough to be followed by a midwife and I got to have my all natural labor and delivery like I wanted. I'm incredibly proud of myself for accomplishing my dream birth. So here it is...

It starts on November 6th, 2014 at 12:30 am. I was 39 weeks and 5 days along, nothing felt out of the ordinary, I think I even went shopping the day before. So at 12:30 ish Aaron and I are getting ready for bed when I go to the bathroom to find that I'm starting to lose my mucus plug. This made me a bit nervous as in that moment I realized things were happening!! I quickly told Aaron who told me to relax, that it could take quite some times before anything else started to happen. Well yeah he was right, it COULD take some time but it didn't. Shortly after we went to bed and as I layed down I felt a "pop" and a little gush of fluid. Yep that was my water breaking. At that point I decided to inform my midwife by email. We went to bed to relax since the first part of labor is often quite long. Aaron slept while I anxiously tried to sleep. I realized i wasn't gonna get much sleep as the contractions started. At first they were quite mild but I had no idea just how painful they would become so to me they were strong. Funny! At around 5 am I told Aaron we were getting up and he was not going to work that day. The contractions started to intensify a bit. At around 8 am after not receiving word from my midwife, I decided to call and leave her a message. I got a call back from my secondary midwife as the primary was already busy with a birth. The secondary midwife would be the one to deliver our baby. We had met her a few times and I liked her so I was happy with that. When we spoke she told me I should stay home and try to wait it out. I tried to have breakfast but nothing I ate stayed with me. 

We stayed home and tried to relax and work through the contractions. At around 1pm I told Aaron I was in a lot of pain and we should call the midwife. My contractions were a bit closer together so I though things were progressing. The midwife told us to come in to get checked out. The drive to the clinic was absolutely terrible. Considering that sitting down was very painful, the bumpy ride sure didn't help. I told Aaron to stop on the way to get me a Mars bar! I was STARVING!!! I remember being in contractions in the car while he went inside the gas station to get me a king size one. What was I thinking! (That also didn't stick, coming back up did not taste as good as going down for sure!) When we got there we brought all our stuff in and the midwife checked me. She told me I was not very far along, only 1cm dilated. I was crushed! I felt like I had been doing this for ever now and something should have happened. She told us we should head back home and try to wait it out. She recommended I take a nice warm bath and try to sleep. It turned out to be a pretty good idea since I finally had a bit of a break in contractions and was able to sleep in between them. I also spent a great deal of time in the bath. I'm not even sure about how long I was in there.  Believe my mother in law was there at some point. She came to check up on us and brought us sports drinks since I could not keep any food down, I needed hydration and electrolytes. 

At this point, the time starts to get fuzzy. The contractions picked back up and I was in a lot of pain! The only position comfortable was standing up which was getting exhausting. I was hanging on Aaron's neck during my contractions. Poor guy ended up with some back and neck pain from it. We called the midwife again and she told us we could come in if we wanted to. I was not looking forward to that car ride! She checked me as soon as we got there and sadly I had not progressed a lot. I was only at about 2 or 3 centimetres dilated.  She said we could stay, so as to not drive that aweful road again!  

I think she went off to go do some work, I'm not too sure. I was so concentrated on my contractions that there could have been ten more people in the room and I don't think I would have noticed. It started to get dark so we were coming into the evening. I still had not eaten anything. I was even having a hard time keeping water down. This made me feel very weak.

After what I can only think was a couple of hours, the midwife checked me again. That was very painful. She told me I was now 8 centimetres! Thank goodness! I knew at that point that I was in the final stretch before pushing! I was so relieved. I was so afraid she would say I was still not very far along. I spent the next little while standing through my contractions until she asked if I wanted to go in the bath. Yes please!! The water made me feel so good. I floated there for what seems like and eternity. Aaron said I even drifted off to sleep. I'm not too sure about that. All I know is that the contractions were at their strongest and that's when the mountain analogy hit me. Every contraction felt like I was climbing a mountain with a hidden peak. I could slowly feel it coming on and when I did I would say "no no no no no!". It would then start the get so bad I could no longer talk. I was contorting my back and my entire body was tensing up, which I  realized after was such a bad thing to do as it made me sore for days. As if there wasn't enough to be sore about. 

After a bit of time in the water, the midwife suggested that I get out and try the exercise ball on the bed. I was on my knees with my upper body on the ball. At some point she asked me if I was pushing. I said I think so. I wasn't sure. Seems like my body was just doing it on its own. She looked at me and said I was definitely pushing and that if it made it better I should continue, that I was probably at that stage. I had heard that pushing helped to ease the contraction pain, it was very true for me. While I was pushing she checked me and said I was ready. She told me I could stay in the bed or go back to the bath. I decided I wanted to go back to the water. It had never really been a firm plan to deliver in the water but at that point it seemed like the best idea ever. I started down in a sort of owl position i guess and was really comfortable but the midwife told me i had to be laying  down more so that she could have access. That's when i started pushing a lot. The midwife checked on the baby in between contactions and pushes to make sure he was doing okay. At first when i pushed, the midwife said i was not pushing right. When i finally started pushing properly, things really picked up. Without even knowing it, the baby was really engaged and before i knew it, she told me she could see hair! She got Aaron to touch the baby's head. She asked if i wanted to but i was in my head, i was completely concentrated and i was not sure i wanted to be side tracked. I now regret not feeling his head, its something i will do next time for sure! 

The worse part came next. Crowning! Holy Hell!! That ring of fire is right! Of course you need to push with contractions, well once he was crowning I stopped having contractions for what seemed like an eternity!! Finally I had a contraction and with one long push his head was out. It felt so relieving. The midwife checked for a cord around the neck and that stung like crazy! One final push and his shoulders were out. Aaron grabbed him and pulled him out in one swoop. He was born at 2:06 am on November 7th at 8 pounds 1 ounce and 20.5 inches. He was born calmly into the water. Will be a swimmer like his daddy! 

Aaron placed him on my chest. He was really quiet. I wasn't worried, he was looking at us. They put a towel on him and a stinky hat too. The smell of that hat will forever stay with me. I'm a bit annoyed that this smell was part of my experience because I really didn't like it.  I ended up asking them to remove the hat. At this point we still didn't know if baby was a boy or girl. I asked the midwife and she said we had to find out together.  Before we could lift up the blanket to see, I picked him up and lifted him closer to my face. When I did so I put my hand under his bum. Oh! I said! It's a boy!! Girls don't have those! I was so happy! I sorta knew it all along. Aaron cut the cord and I birthed the placenta. Aaron did some skin to skin while I was helped out of the tub. I shook all over! 

I was then taken to the bed to cuddle my new sweetheart and get fixed up. We took our first family nap. It was perfect. He was perfect. I didn't sleep much. I was too busy admiring him. They brought us fruit and yogurt, all I wanted was a huge bagel or something filling! I texted everyone I could to announce his birth. We left the birting center at around 11 that morning, it snowed. The first snow of the winter!! 

The whole experience was actually wonderful. It hurt like hell, and I'm not exaggerating here. Like. Hell! But it was a good birth, no complications, textbook really. It took a total of about 26 hours, and 7 of active labour. Looking back now I feel like I could do it any day again. Having a midwife follow up was definitely the way to go and we will definetly do it again. 

I though for sure I would cry after he was born but I was still stunned! All I could say was "omg, I just had a baby!"

Sadly the pictures did not turn out very good because the light was very low and we didn't want to use the flash.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Mastering the art of breastfeeding!

I'm not there yet! No, that's for sure. There's a book called "The womanly art of breastfeeding"... They aren't kidding! It takes time to become a master. Maybe I should have read the book. 

Now this is going to be another one of my PSA blog posts because I feel like many women go into it naively, I know I did. I was aware that some women have a hard time breastfeeding but I thought I was not going to be one of those women. Wrong!! 

So first off my problems started right as Miles  was born. He did not latch on within the first couple of hours after his birth. I was told it was okay. That some babies are tired and need to rest first. Ok, fair enough. The issue is that because he wouldn't latch on, we went home not really knowing what his latching on looked like. Thankfully with a midwife follow up, she was at our house a few hours later to see how we were doing. At first we though he was latching on because he was sucking and swallowing but then the midwife noticed he was swallowing too much. Basically he was sucking his tongue and swallowing his saliva. No good. We worked long and hard to get a good latch. He ended up hurting me and needing to be fed colostrum with a spoon. Miles was also jaundiced so it was extra important that he get a good amount to drink to help elimate the jaundice. For those first few days we had the midwives coming to our place and giving us tips and tricks and game plans. Boy am I ever so grateful! We were always calling on the midwife, sometimes in tears to get help because it just wasn't working. 

Throughout the next 6 weeks we had a tongue tie cut on him, we went to see  several lactation consultants and ended up renting a hospital grade breast pump. I pumped every 3 hours day and night and Aaron fed him the pumped milk with a tube attached to his finger. It was a rough couple of weeks. Miles also went to see a chiropractor that helped him to work out some tensions he had. When he finally started to eat full time on the breast I started going to the breastfeeding clinics, which I still attend once in a while, and met other moms in similar situations. The support of other moms and the lactation consultant was invaluable. I also remember going to my midwife appintments and having a bunch of different staff who had helped us along the way come and check up on us and alway encourage us. I felt so validated when my midwife told me it was okay to be sick of it, that I was doing more than most nursing moms have to do to feed my child. She said it wouldn't always be so hard and one day I would be nursing because at the moment all I was doing was breastfeeding, that I would know what nursing is one day, i would just feel it. And I get it. To me nursing is this bond I'm getting with my child. I'm not gonna say we are always nursing because it's still rough at times but at least now I know the difference. There should be a reunion with the midwifery clinic soon and I can't wait to go and tell them about our progress! 

I'm so very glad I pushed through. Yes I recognize that it is hard and sometimes for your own sanity you just have to feed your child the less painful way and if that's formula, then all the power to you. I do however believe that most woman can breastfeed (not gonna say all because some women do have medical issue that prevent them from breastfeeding), it's just a matter of working at it, but I know that everyone has their limits, and that's okay too. Every drop of breastmilk your child has gotten is worth it. A little is better than none!  I was just too dang pig headed to give up on my nursing dreams. I'm happy to say Miles has only had breastmilk, not a drop of formula. Sometimes I feel bad when I say this because I really would hate for someone to think I'm formula shaming them but honestly, I worked my little butt if to accomplish this and i think I deserve to marvel in it! 

Now Miles drinks about 8 times a day and is putting on weight steadily. I still worry that he gets enough as his nursing patterns change. I don't think the worry ever goes away. Sometimes it's hard knowing that he requires me to be present always, that I can't simply walk away and leave him to have a bottle with his daddy (although I do have some frozen milk). The logistics of having to pump the missed feeding is just annoying to me for now. But in a way i'm happy I get to be the only one who can provide his nourishment. We only have them so little for a short while, I'll take it! 

Look at his milk drunk face! 

Now just let me explain....

having a baby is hard work! There! All the explanation one should need as to why I have not updated this blog in well... Almost 4 months I think! I can't even take the time to go see when I last posted, this should give you an indication of just how little time I have on my hands!

First off, hi! It's been a while. How have you been? Us? Marvellous! I can't even begin to describe how much I love my life with my little guy. And big guy too. I love that I get to have "my boys"!

So I figured, if my phone doesn't crap out on me while I type this, I could try and update the blog from my phone while my little chub sleeps on me, because yes, he hardly ever naps any other way, no that I haven't tried! So here we are. Almost 4 months old, a curious, lively, sweet little boy inhabits my home, my heart and my head! He is doing great and so are we. We love and dote on him constantly! He is doing good on weight and lenght gain which reassures my breastfeeding mommy heart.

It's been a struggle to get to where we are in our nursing/breastfeeding relationship, and it's not perfect. I think I should take the time to do a separate post for breastfeeding and then another to tel the tale of this birth!

For now I'll just share with you how great he is and how wonderful he makes me feel even with the sleep deprevation. Miles loves to grab toys and ferociously swing them around, he's a major talker, he's loves to get his diaper changed, he's learning to love baths now that he can splash around, he's a little smile monster and he loves music, and even dances to mommy singing (which lets face it is not very good!). But most of all, he makes his momma smile, even cry sometimes she loves him so! Sometimes in his sleep I catch myself just looking at him, taking in the sweetness in the quiet of the room. I want to remember this forever! Time is already flying by, it feels like just yesterday I had a newborn and now he's on his way to sitting up and rolling over!! I can't believe it. It's not always rainbows, it gets though when he's crabby, tired or pulling on my nipples but I would not trade it for the world.

I've been taking pictures of him monthly to track his growth during this first year. Just like for my pregnancy, it will be nice to look back on these pictures when he's older. I have better quality shots on my computer, but as we have established, I'm updating from my phone so those will be used for now!

4 months is creeping up in 5 days! I just love looking at these and seeing just how much he's grown in so little time. 

Isn't he just the best?!! 

See you soon friends! 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

It's a.....

So I know I am late for this but the past four weeks have been hectic to say the least. I guess I was supposed to update as of 40 weeks but I never made it there! I would have been 40 weeks pregnant as of Monday November 10th but someone decided to show up early. Not that I minded one bit, I was really for it!

So I have a lot to say about our experience and how labor and delivery went, I have even more to say about how the past four weeks went but I am currently sitting with a baby strapped to me just waiting to start crying because its almost time to eat. So I am just gonna say that its a boy!!!! We are overjoyed!

Say hi to our little man:  Miles Francis Marcil Peer, born at 2:06 am on November 7th!

more to come soon!!
( i don't know how all those other blogging moms do it!!)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

38 weeks... still pregnant!

I guess I should not be surprise as this baby is my first but I am so done being pregnant.

I never thought I would say this but i'm so uncomfortable. I just want to sleep on my back and not be in pain all night long. Everyone says I should take the time I have left to catch up on sleep but sleeping is too painful. In the morning after Aaron is gone to work, I do manage to get a bit more sleep but it never lasts very long.

Baby has been having a lot of hiccoughs and it is super annoying because my entire belly will shake and i'll feel it in my hip bones. The heartburn is an all day event too! I have a routine of Gaviscon and Pepcid!

I have almost all together given up putting my own socks on because when I bend over it feels like i'm gonna pass out from the lack of air! Thank goodness Aaron is a good sport and helps me with clothes!

So this week is Halloween, this might be the first year in many years that I did not spend an incredible amount of time on crafting myself a costume... my costume this year is "Incredibly pregnant girl!" and I could not care less... I'm happy to sit here and do nothing, but hey, if you feel like bringing me some of your kids' candy I will not oppose!

So this week me got our Stroller!!! I'm so excited, I just got the call that it's in store and I hope Aaron got my text to go pick it up after work!!! Here's the stroller we chose.

And thank goodness for credit card point and gift cards. We managed to pay almost all of it with gift cards I ordered with my credit card point and gift cards we got from my coworkers! I was a splurge but we really fell in love with it.

So last week I was all about getting stuff done and ready for the baby's arrival. I scrubbed the house and got our bags ready. I made myself nursing tanks and did some reorganization. But this week, so far, I haven't done much. I don't feel very motivated because I'm just to lazy and the couch beckons me. I think it might also have to do with the fact that i'm just about done getting ready. I also never thought I would say this but at some point, you have to stop and just realize that there is only so much you can do! I mean I do have normal house chores to do... like the vacuum right now is screaming that it needs out, but again, laziness wins! And I need to sanitize my bottles, but I was told to wait a bit since that only lasts for a little bit and this baby is showing no signs of coming in the next few days. That might end up being a job for a helper!

My next big project is creating our thank you cards /birth announcement cards for everyone who attended the baby shower!

But not today... updating this blog is my project for today! So here's the 37 and 38 week picture updates!

Yes I know I look like i'm wearing the same thing but I swear the pants are the not the same and I totally did laundry in between the pictures... I just don't have too many shirts left that actually cover the entire bump!