Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Month One Pictures

I completely forgot that I took cute month one pictures to use on my blog post. So, I'll add them here!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Gwendolyn, Month One

With my first pregnancy, I managed to write blog posts each trimester but I didn't keep up with the month-to-month pictures as much, because, well, LIFEWITHANEWBORN kinda scrambled my brain. With pregnancy #2, I didn't write many pregnancy updates because, well,  LIFEWITHATODDLER. So, I've determined to try to write monthly updates for Gwendolyn so that she can't look back and say I favored Latham more. Gotta find new ways to show these kids that I love both of them equally. Here goes!

Gwendolyn Catherine is an adorable baby. She's so gorgeous. I'm just going to list a couple of things about her this month.

Head/neck strength: Amazing! Even fresh from birth, she was holding up her head and showing neck strength. She's continued to progress. I probably don't do tummy time as much with her as I should, but she seems to tolerate it well and has pushed up and lifted her head up a few times. Yay for her!

Eating: This girl is a champion eater. With Latham, there was so much stress; I had to use the nipple shield--he was't latching well--he would eating for hours at a time because he was eating so slowly. With Gwendolyn--wow!--30 minutes after she was born, the very first time that I tried to feed, she latched and latched well. She's been latching well and eating amazingly well. She feasts for 5-10 minutes and just gobbles all my breastmilk down. As a result, she's packing on the pounds. At birth, she was 9 lbs, 5 oz and, one month later, she weighs 10 lbs, 10 oz. I'm so grateful that she eats well and quickly.

Sleeping: This category terrified me more than any other. She hasn't been too bad. She'll get up twice at night, feed rather quickly, and go back to sleep. Getting her to go down initially to sleep has been harder, and she certainly doesn't ONLY stick to the two-times-a-night routine. But it feels more manageable than with newborn Latham. These last couple of weeks after a 6/6:30 wake-up and morning routine courtesy of the toddler, Adam has taken Latham to daycare, and Gwendolyn and I snuggle, feed, and then sleep until 9 or 10 am sometimes! That's nice when it happens. But with Latham changing from daycare 5 days a week to 3 days a week, that might just be a luxury that isn't often repeated.

Mood: Most of the time, Gwendolyn seems pretty content and chill. During Latham's bedtime routine (around 7:30/8), she seems to get the most fussy. That's not great timing, especially if I'm alone with the kids. When she does get fussy, her little face will just break down in tears and, oh, my heart just shatters into a million pieces until I can fix whatever is making her sad. She LOVES snuggling/sleeping on Daddy's chest. She is interested in this world--fans, lights, loud noises from the toddler, movement--and it's great to watch her examine the world.

Acne: She got the baby acne right at week 3, but it's gone away for the most part. It's typical, I know, and didn't harm her, but I'm glad that it's going away. I guess I'm superficial like that.

Connection to Latham: Her big brother LOVES "Baby Gwendon." I think she's more fascinated by him--he does make a LOT of noise and seems not to have an indoor voice at all (it's all LOUD VOLUME over here). He likes to hold her, though we do give a lot of supervision during those times. He likes to try to give her the pacifier and will say "it's okay Baby Gwendon" if she cries. When Gwendolyn and I pick him up from school, he always stands by her stroller as his classmates come up to see the baby. He shows her off but warns all of them "You no touch da baby. She MY baby Gwendon!" It's very sweet. I'm excited to see how she interacts with him in the next few months. And I certainly hope he keeps on loving her!

Month One has been a success! We love our little princess!  :)

Friday, May 8, 2015

Well...that escalated quickly

 The classic line from Anchorman perfectly describes our daughter's arrival into this world.

On Friday, April 17th, my parents arrived in town and Adam and I were very pleased. Now we wouldn't have to worry about what to do with Latham if I went into labor in the middle of the night. Thank goodness! That Friday, I had had an appointment and the doctor said I was 3-4 centimeters dilated and I would go into labor at anytime. That Friday evening, the contractions started coming more consistently, though they weren't hugely strong, and Adam and I decided to go into the hospital. The hospital staff checked me and, since I hadn't progressed past 3 centimeters, they gave me a sleeping pill and had me sleep in the hospital. When I woke up in the morning and hadn't progressed, they sent me home. It was okay. I had gotten some good rest and at least I knew I wasn't in active labor. I was embarrassed that, once again, I had come in with false labor (just like Latham).

Saturday was a nice day. I didn't have very many Braxton-Hicks contractions (until the evening) and we got to hang out with family and friends on a beautiful day.

Sunday dawned with lots of Braxton-Hicks contractions. I went to church but spent most of my time outside the sanctuary, trying to breathe and drink water. We went to Target and walking seemed to help. My mucus plug actually came out in the bathroom at Target. How refined! After Target, I ate lunch and laid down and actually managed to sleep. After I awoke, I felt okay but was still bothered by Braxton-Hicks contractions. That continued all night until about 9 or 9:30 pm. The contractions weren't getting more consistent but they were getting more painful. Adam and I watched some "Friends" reruns and I tried to start a "Bones" episode while Adam had the Spurs game on. But, geez, it was painful. I didn't want to go to the hospital with false labor again, but Adam convinced me that we should go there. A little after 10:30 pm, we left for the hospital.

It was pouring rain and, of course, I didn't have a contraction for the first 5 minutes we were in the car. I was second-guessing my decision, but then some contractions did hit and I was in too much pain to think.

When we got to the hospital, we had the SLOWEST CHECK-IN EVER. Like, this lady didn't know anything about anything. SO FRUSTRATING. Finally, Adam just took charge and said, I'm taking her up, and that spurred the lady into action. We got up to the labor&delivery ward, and our nurse was super-nice and encouraging. She checked me and I was 6 cm! At least I hadn't been imagining pain! And at least I wouldn't be sent home again! Little girl Copeland was definitely on her way. The nurse asked if I wanted an epidural and, of course, I said "HECK YEAH!"

This was about 11:45 pm, and they gave me an IV so that I could get fluids in so that I could have the epidural. They also had to give me an antibiotic. Anyway, I kind of just wandered around the room, feeling contractions, talking with Adam to keep my mind off things. Poor Adam was missing the Spurs game, but he didn't seem to mind.

My doctor came in and checked on me. Since the anesthesiologist hadn't shown up, my doctor said that he would look for him since it was odd that the anesthesiologist hadn't responded to the call yet. Good fun.

Around 12:55, things started to happen. I had been feeling lots of intense contractions and pain and I felt like I needed to go to the bathroom to defecate. Yeah, that's what it felt like. I told Adam I wanted to go to the bathroom, but the nurse heard me and said that she wanted to check to see how dilated I was. In agony, I let her check and she announced "Umm, you're 10 centimeters!" And then she called out to the hallway to get my doctor in here right now. The baby was a-coming!

I was NOT pleased. I hadn't had an epidural, and things were moving fast. I know that I muttered, more than once, how I couldn't do this. It felt like hell. I felt like hell. The doctors and nurses and Adam all told me to push and that I could do it. But, JESUS, it was awful and weird and painful. I pushed. I think I only pushed three or four times. She popped out at 1:11 am (so that tells you how quickly things escalated) and they put her little bloody body on me and that was amazing. She was so heavy. Adam said that he looked at her and couldn't believe that I had pushed something that big out. She weighed in at 9 pounds, 5 oz.

I had two first-degree tears. One wasn't bad, but the other involved a broken vein and, apparently, there was a lot of blood. My doctor stitched me up wonderfully (seriously, I felt ZERO pain or discomfort in the following days), but Adam said that the amount of blood did worry him. I figure I'll just add that blood loss to my giant bill of why he owes me.

Anyway, not having the epidural may seem amazing and all that (especially with such a large baby, I'm told), but don't praise me. I would have taken the epidural in a heartbeat, and no one should think otherwise. Now that I've had a "natural" birth and an epidural-assisted birth, I can say, without any qualms, that I preferred the epidural-assisted birth.

Despite my birthing preferences, I love this little girl. I was scared to have a little girl, as my blog posts will attest to. But now that she's here, I'm just so wrapped up in happiness. She's my little princess, and she's so gorgeous. When she breastfeeds (which she's a champion at--yay!), she likes to hold my finger with her little hand. It melts my heart and I hope that she'll never stop wanting to hold her mommy's hand.  To paraphrase Shakespeare: 'Though she be but little, she is fierce[ly mine]!" Thanks for coming (wildly, forcefully, and uniquely) into my world, my sweet Gwendolyn!