Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Repeat C Section {Natalie's Birth}

I can't even count how many times people told me how easy a repeat c section would be. How this time I knew what was coming and I would just wake up and walk in. Like it was that simple. It may not make sense, but I was a hundred times more nervous for Natalie's c section than I was for Molly's. With M I was so afraid of something happening to her I just wanted it done and I wanted her in my arms. Those twenty minutes laying on my back after being side to side to stabilize her were torture. A planned c section just leaves so much time to dwell.

I knew Natalie's birthday would come quick. With Holidays things seem to sneak up on you and time just flies by. Before I knew it the week was here. Part of me wanted it to rush by and the other part wanted time to freeze. One, I would never be pregnant again. I would never feel a baby kick. I'd never have that cute belly that makes everyone look adorable no matter how huge it is or how many chins you have. Two, it would never be us three again. Which is ok, but at the same time bitter sweet. Three, I didn't know what was coming. I didn't know what two kids would be like or how well I would be at it. I was afraid and for honestly the first time as a mom I felt inadequate.

I remember the day before surgery I went in for my NST and pre-op class. My hands were shaking and everyone just kept saying their congratulations and how much easier the second surgery is. How I'd be fine. I'm not fine! Maybe it's the fact that I knew what to expect. I knew what it was like to get an epidural. I knew how sick I felt in surgery. I knew what it was like for an epidural to go too high. That crushing feeling. All of those things I let cloud the most important thing I knew. What it was like to see them for the first time. That cry. Those soft cheeks. That first time nursing. The chaotic yet calming first days.

I let my nerves get the best of me. So the day was here and my surgery was set for 12pm. We all got dressed and ready for the big event. Molly went to my sister's house to wait until it was time for her to come to the hospital. We got there right on time at 9am. How can you not be punctual to something you've been waiting nine months for?

Before we knew it the clock said 11:45. Seriously, I think I had a mini heart attack. I wasn't ready. I wasn't ready for surgery. I wasn't ready to meet her. No joke, I was worried she wouldn't love me. I can laugh about that now that she wants to be on my chest 24/7 and lays there just watching me at night. I was lucky to have a good friend in surgery with me. She came in our room to explain the process and what we were about to do.

"Right now? You mean we're doing this right now?" Yes. Right now. You know those moments that are just so big in life and it feels like you're standing right at that threshold and part of you wants to dive in and the other part just wants to throw up because life as you know it will never be the same. It's hard to take those steps towards your new life. Not just out of fear, but from your feet that are now jelly with anticipation, excitement, and yes a little bit of fear.

So I walked the hall to our future with my friend at my side and my husband as my rock waiting to join me. The spinal block wasn't as bad as I had made it out in my mind. Yet again it took three tries to get it in. I think the surgical staff had a good laugh at my nerves. Before I knew it the curtain was up and it was time.

Adam rubbed my hair and kept my mind from being so nervous. The spinal block still went too high. It wasn't as bad as last time, and I knew what was happening. My stomach was still in knots and a felt on the verge of throwing up the whole time. It was manageable. They were right. The second time knowing what to expect was easier.

I don't know how long it took. All I know is before I knew it they were warning me of the pressure and then I heard the most beautiful sound any person can hear in this life. That cry. They brought this beautiful little girl around the curtain. Full of black hair and so tiny. So polar opposite of her sister. So ours. She was ours. The love that just courses through you. In those first seconds when you make a million promises to that little life that is in your hands. That life that somehow you were seen fit to be blessed with and was created through you. A life that God planned and brought to life through you and your husband. It truly is a miracle and the beauty of birth, any birth, is the most breathtaking thing. It's the process in which a life comes from one world into the next, and you were that vessel
No matter where it happens or how it happens or which way they came out it is so beautiful.

Natalie Sue, I truly pray that not an ounce of you ever doubts that I love you more than anything. That your life has made mine worthwhile. That your future is my future, and I will do anything to support the paths that you chose. I hope that I can be the kind of mother that teaches you to chose those paths wisely.

In those moments when I first saw you and you laid next to me cheek to cheek I made a promise to you to be the mother you deserve. I hope I measure up and I hope in times you don't think I do that you know I am trying my best and I'll always make it up to you.

I love you.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Reassessing Routines (dealing with terrible twos)

The past several days have made me take a step back and reassess my opinions on routines. Since M was a newborn I've rejected the idea of having a set schedule. I still do believe that newborns and babies do not need a routine. Natalie can eat and sleep whenever she desires just like I did with Molly. She's not on my time. I'm on hers. So I don't regret not having anything in place up until this point.

However this past week has brought on what people refer to as the "terrible twos." I hate to say terrible. For the most part M is a little sweetie. Then all of a sudden an urge rushes over her and she throws the remote across the room. Or she runs whenever she sees a coat or shoe. Then she might rip her diaper of fifty times. Small things. Not terrible, but most definitely testing her boundaries.

This step back didn't happen because of her actions, but because of mine. You know those times when you repeat back in your mind what just came out of your mouth. Yeah, that happened. I was disgusted and disappointed in myself. It was too loud and just wrong. If I would punch someone in the face for speaking to her like that than why am I? Why is my voice this loud? Why did I just tell her she's bad?

My poor reactions got me to thinking about what was getting us to this point. What was our day like? What just happened? What is my mood? Is she tired? Is she hungry? This method of thinking is something I'm glad I was taught through working at Head Start. Don't look too much at the behavior, but more at what led up to it. That is how you correct it.

A pretty clear pattern emerged. How much did we play that day. Was I on the floor with her a lot. Did we have things to keep us busy. How much interaction had we had that day. The days that were worse which led me to poorly react to her. This is when I decided that at this point in her life a routine would benefit us both. It would above all things hold me accountable to get that time in. It would keep her busy. Now granted these times are a lose outline of what I want our day to be. With a nursing infant my best would be to nurse during whatever we are doing. That may not always happen.


9  BREAKFAST @ TABLE                                  

9:15   DISHES & COUNTERS                              

10:00 BUBBLE GUPPIES                                  

10:30 ART                                                        

11  LUNCH @ TABLE                                          

11:30  PUZZLES/GAMES                                                                                   


12:30 BOOKS







I wanted to copy and paste the schedule I came up with. Feel free to steal this. I made it in Word and printed out a copy for the fridge. This probably won't be what every day looks like. This is what I want to strive for most days. With a newborn it won't be structured in the least, but hey a girl can dream.

I'm ready for this though. This girl is growing up. She needs more in her day, and I have the past experience to give her days like this. I am definitely excited to do this for her and have N grow into this schedule as well. Now we just wait and see if her terror streaks tone down just a smidge.

Last night as I wrote this out on my phone I jotted down some ideas to get us started. Below are some activities to get us started.


Toilet roll stamps
Bubble wrap painting
Spaghetti painting
Water colors
Ball painting
Paint with utensils
Make a rainbow
Paper plate animals
Draw with pens
Dry erase board
Cut with scissors
Make a collage
Draw with chalk
Fly swatter painting
Colored ice cubes
Paint with spices
Today's topics


Count objects
Matching game


Words with


Match colors
Name colors
Mix colors
Color collage
Color mix with ice


Sort shapes
Match shapes
Name shapes



Word books
Point and name


Matching mom and baby
What does it eat?
What does it do?

Special activities

Wash cars
Tape down race track
Pet shop
Make food in kitchen
Play with boxes
Play dough
Paper plate paddle with balloon
Paper ball fight
Obstacle course
Sensory bin ( rice noodles toys etc)
Whip cream play
Bang on pots
Use magnets on baking sheets
Pour sand on baking sheets
Sand maze
Play with paper, foil, packaging, etc
Shredded paper
Vinegar and baking soda
Kitchen bowels in bath
Bath glow sticks
Plastic cup phones
Nature basket

Thursday, February 14, 2013

When Breastfeeding Doesn't Come So Naturally

You would think my second time around I would have this down pat with no issues. Molly came out sucking and latched like a champ in seconds on her first try. Besides my nipples catching every possible thing that breastfeeding can lead to, it was a breeze. So when Natalie latched right on I thought I had hit the jack pot. No.

I realized that first night that she was a pretty lazy eater. She would nurse for a couple seconds and then pass back out. She did this on and off the whole night. That third day I was struggling with her latch. Which led me to decide to pump exclusively those first few days home. She just wasn't getting it. She could latch, but she didn't want to keep up the work.

About three days in to pumping Adam suggested I try again since she seemed more alert. It worked. Besides her getting bottles at night she was nursing really well. This was all until three days ago.
She does not want to latch to save her life. She flails around. She screams. She will latch for a couple seconds and then go back to panic. I'm at a loss. The second you give her a bottle she chugs the entire thing.

I'm sure this was my doing by giving her bottles. Why would she not want the easier route? Drinking from a bottle requires much less effort on her part with the same goods. Little does she know she's breaking my heart. Yes, I'll be that dramatic.

So I'm at a cross roads. I hate to say that I don't see how pumping will fit in to our daily life. It was hard enough when she nursed nonstop with M to care for also. I felt guilty for saying 'just a second honey' every five seconds because N was eating. I really don't see how pumping and then feeding a bottle every two hours will work. It was no big deal with nursing because I knew in time it would pass. This schedule would be the next year. That's time taken from both of them.

I know breast milk is best. I've been an advocate for breastfeeding and would be no matter what I fed my children. I can still advocate breastfeeding while feeding my child formula. I know this, but so much of me as a mom identifies myself as a breastfeeding mom. It's what I do.

So on one hand there is breast milk is the "healthier" option. There is the fact that M got it for 13 months. There is the fact that it's free. Umm hello! Word on the street is that you use two cans a week. That's $46!! To say I was shocked is putting it mildly.

Then there is the side that wants things simple so that I can relax and enjoy my girls. I just want an answer. Flopping at a boob is easy, but what do you do when it's not that easy? Making a bottle is easy. The past three days of pumping and making bottles and then feeding said bottle has not been easy. I have M looking at me waiting for me to get done only for me to go get a bottle to then feed her sister. Who granted already takes up a lot of time. Which is ok. Newborns take up a lot of time, but with this it's almost all my time. My toddler wants a drink. She wants to play. She needs to go potty. While I'm tied up in this every couple hour 45-60 minute ordeal. Which by the way when you have some place to be is not quite conducive with two children.

So that's my cross roads. If this girl doesn't start latching I just don't know which road to chose. I guess right now I'm trying to find the road laden with the least guilt.There is only one choice that I can't go back on, and that makes that choice pretty darn scary.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Mother Of Two And A Whole Lot Of Guilt

The day I became a mother of two was a day I will never forget. It's also a day I'm sure I will go over with my girls time and time again for many reasons. I wish my mother was with me to guide me through that day and the following days as I am sure I will with them. That second child is such an emotional thing. Maybe not the same for all, but for me there were so many nerves, so much doubt, so much guilt, but so so much love.

I remember my nurse telling me about all the things that were about to happen. Walking down the hall, getting the spinal block, the pressure I'd feel, and all that good stuff. "Right now? We're doing this right now?" I responded. Yes. Right now.

Right now was something I had anticipated and dreaded all at the same time. It was time. I was going to have two kids. Would I be as good as a mom? Would the love be the same? Would there be enough? I had so many worries and guilty emotions my whole pregnancy. Now I was about to meet the little one that had been kicking me. That had been so innocently brought into this world, and here I am worried that I will love her like I love her sister. She being just as worthy of our love and I'm worried will I miss our times as three? I can't even begin to express the guilt that came along with those emotions. How could I feel this way? How could I worry about the love I will have for this innocent life that I created.

Well let me tell you. It was a stupid worry. I saw her face and there was no worry in sight. No question as to whether or not my love for her equaled that of her sisters. They laid her next to my cheek and there was that soft skin feeling. That first kiss on that fresh cheek. The first look into each other's eyes. That knowing feeling that you are mine and I am yours and nothing will come between that as long as I'm living. I am your mom.

If only the guilt and worry stopped there. The next three days were not what they were with M. Which of course caused me guilt. Instead of being wrapped up in my little love I was also worried about her sister. Was she ok? Did she understand all of this at all? Would she forgive me for being gone these three days? So I laid there in my hospital bed with guilt for my new daughter who was not getting every ounce of my attention and focus and guilt for my oldest who was no longer going to get every ounce of my attention and focus like before.

Finally home and of course the guilt and worry will be gone, right? No. Every little action was over analyzed. Every cry. Every thrown toy. Every fit. She's hurt by her new life. She isn't adjusting. I've hurt the feelings of my so very loved toddler. Let me tell you from what I hear I don't have it bad. M really adjusted pretty well. She didn't start peeing all over things. She didn't steal binkies and bottles. She didn't wake up a million times. She hardly cried. Still every little thing I took to heart and it killed me. It killed me to think that I hurt her by bringing home N. Bring on the guilt!

Here's the thing. Bringing home a sibling is probably never easy. Whether they're 9 months, 18 months, or five years apart. Someone told me something very true about a new sibling. M is my toddler. I know her on a different level than I knew her those first weeks. Our relationship is something different and a year from now it will be too. N is my newborn. We are learning each other and in 18 months our relationship will also be totally different. So there is no guilt in having those two very different relationships. The love is just as great. It's just as strong. It's just different.

Three weeks in and we are really getting in our grove. The three of us go places. We have some what of a routine for a mom who doesn't believe in structured schedules. We are learning what it is to be parents of two children and how to find that balance. If the guilt sets in I tell myself something I personally know to be very true. The best thing I could ever give these two is each other.