Thursday, March 26, 2009

1 month!

I can't believe Arianna is a month old already! The time has flown by, but I also have a hard time believing I've been nursing in pain for a whole month. I thought for sure I wouldn't be as miserable this time around as I was with Marissa (two whole months). I feel like we've tried everything, and I'm so sick of hearing all the professionals I talk to saying "give it time"! I saw a lactation lady at the hospital the other day, and she basically said the same thing. Oh well, at least Arianna's doing great. Dan fed her a bottle of pumped milk the other night, and she guzzled the whole 2 ounces. She was ticked off the entire time, and didn't really stop screaming even when she was drinking it. But at least she figured out how - lol. She was pretty upset after she finished it, so I nursed her for a minute. Then she decided she was done with all the pumped milk, and spit up every last drop of it. And she's had several other HUGE spit-ups since then. Like HUGE puddles on my lap, soaking my pants, the chair underneath me, my phone in my pocket, the floor under the chair, etc. It's really quite awful, and even scary to see it happen, but she's been fine before and after each time, so who knows. I just hope we're not headed towards horrible reflux!

For a few nights she only slept 6 hour chunks, and they ended as Marissa was waking up, so I'm was pretty tired. I got so used to being spoiled already! But last night was much better at 7.5 hours straight :-)

A few weeks ago, I bought a Shark Euro-Pro tiny wacky sewing machine online (can't find any links to show you, but it's very odd). I read some good things about it on some blogs (like it was small, portable, and easy/simple to learn), and I'd been wanting to learn to sew lately. I really wanted to purchase a fancy nursing cover, but they can get so expensive, especially when they use fancy beautiful fabric. So I decided to make my own! I've spent the last few days trying to figure out the sewing machine. I'd never sewn anything before, and I wasn't even familiar with all the terms and parts of the machine. It didn't help matters that the manual that came with it is horribly written (most likely by someone who's first language was NOT English), has typos all over, and isn't very thorough. But Sunday night I sewed a straight line on some scrap fabric and it looked great! I was so proud to have figured it out all on my own! I am NOT a crafty person like this, so I was pretty impressed with myself. Lol. I was soooo nervous that I would mess up my beautiful fabric! Not that it would be a huge deal, since it was only like $8/yd. But still. It was hard to find time to work on it, especially since I couldn't do it while Arianna was napping in the living room, and by the evening when Dan's home, I've been too tired to do much. But I managed, and here it is:

I'm so pleased with how it turned out!

Strange little sewing machine

I also bought some fabric to create some art in our bedroom. I'll try to take a picture once that's done.

Marissa and Arianna are both napping right now. Arianna falls asleep for a long nap as soon as I swaddle her - it's like magic! And Marissa went to sleep at 2. Marissa had some MAJOR issues with naptime/bedtime recently. But she's finally doing better. She just decided she wasn't going to go to bed, and nothing we did could change that! She stuck it out for over an hour every time! Impressive stubborn streak, but soooooo hard to deal with! But now she brags to us that she's going to go to bed/nap like a big girl, and not get out of bed at all. So phew! I hope that nightmare doesn't ever come back!

Things are looking up around here, and I feel much better about life with two kids. Especially when they're so cute (and Arianna's pimple cheeks are finally getting better!)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

All about breastfeeding - sorry!

Well, I'm home from church still, since Arianna's pediatrician wanted her to stay away from church for 8 weeks just to be safe. I am NOT waiting til she is 2 months old, but I figured I'd give it a few more weeks before we go back. I think we'll start going next week.

I just got out of the shower while Arianna is napping, after 9.5 hours of sleep in a row last night. This girl is incredible! I keep waiting for it to all go down the drain...but it just keeps getting better!

HOWEVER, yesterday was another story. Friday evening Dan and I decided that I would only nurse on one side (which is perfectly pain-free), and pump on the other because it was so sore and not healing. I just couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I didn't see how it would ever start feeling better if I didn't do something drastic. So I started using the free manual pump the hospital gave me. I knew I'd have to nurse on the good side a lot more, to counteract not using both sides. Looking back on it now, I wonder why it didn't occur to me to feed her the pumped milk from a bottle. Lol. Duh. Anyways, she woke up halfway through the night to nurse, presumably because she was only getting half of a feeding each time. We got up Saturday, and I proceeded to continue the pumping on one side, nursing only on the other. I was prepared to nurse more often, and didn't mind doing that. But Arianna decided she was going to scream hysterically. All day. No matter what. I nursed her non-stop. She had recently pooped. She was still having plenty of wet diapers. There were no tags/etc. bothering her from her clothes. She wasn't spitting up, or even having any hiccups. She wasn't hot or cold. She just cried. Dan and I both tried every trick in the books. She refused to nap unless she was nursing or on Dan's lap for about 10 minutes at a time listening to his Christian rock music. It was insane.

Poor Marissa didn't have a good day either, since Dan and I were up to our eyeballs trying to deal with Arianna. Marissa took over an hour to settle down in her bed and stop crying and throwing fits (which is SO not like her - she NEVER gets out of bed, NEVER cries to go to sleep).

It was the worst day and all day I kept thinking HOLY CRAP TWO KIDS. I know Arianna was annoyed because she wasn't getting as much to eat as she was used to, but I thought nursing more often would help. Sometime in the afternoon, I was just so frustrated, and although I knew I certainly wasn't starving her, I felt bad that she thought I was. So I gave in and stopped pumping and just nursed her on the other side. Unfortunately, that didn't really help. She was still grumpy, crying, and inconsolable! Dan and I were all prepared for a horrible night of sleep since it had been such an awful day. I nursed her at 10:30, she fell right asleep, and the next thing I knew, Dan and Marissa were coming in at 8am for me to fix her hair for church!

I don't know what yesterday was all about, but it certainly didn't bother her throughout the night, and today already seems to be going better than I expected. Yesterday was the hardest day yet of parenting two kids. But we worked together, tag-teaming both kids during their times of need. And we survived! Phew!

Well, I hear Arianna waking up from her nap. Time to go snuggle some soft cheeks!

Saturday, March 21, 2009


I'm having a rough few days. Yesterday morning I took the girls with me to the fabric store (I'm going to attempt to sew myself a nursing cover - should be interesting, since I have yet to take my new sewing machine out of the box), and overall it went fine. It was kind of a hassle to juggle the car seat, bags of stuff I bought, and try to hold hands in the parking lot, but it wasn't a total disaster for our first outing without extra help. However, Marissa has been giving me trouble about taking a normal nap, and just generally throwing more fits and is harder to deal with lately. I know it's a big transition for her, just as much as it is for us. And that makes me just wanna forget all our rules and scoop her up, hug her, and let her do/have whatever she wants. But I'm trying so hard to stick to my guns, not compromise, and keep things steady and consistent with discipline. And I know that I need to have some sort of balance with those two extremes, but it's hard to find that line. She is usually independent, but always was willing to discuss things and come to an agreement about what's going on (mainly because I only give her choices that I will be fine with whatever she chooses). But the past few days she has not even really been able to listen to my side of things and just totally set in her mind about what's going to happen. It's so not like her, and it makes me sad that things are changing. I know we did everything on all the lists to prepare her for all of this, but it's still upsetting that she is having a hard time right now. I know it will get better, and she will go back to being the well-behaved child she used to be. She still loves Arianna, and hasn't shown any signs of resentment towards her. She's also still better than some 2-year olds are to begin with. She's just becoming more difficult to reason with, and I'm not used to that! But it makes me so sad every time I have to tell her to wait, or that I can't do a certain thing, because I'm nursing Arianna (every hour). "Mommy, wanna play with me?"

I'm also totally exhausted. Not sleep deprived at all (9 hours in a row is just fine, thank you!). Just worn out. There is NO down time. NO time to just relax. I forgot how easy just having Marissa was. Between Marissa talking non-stop, any time she's awake (and even in her sleep), and always having to be ready to nurse Arianna (oh the PAIN! Why won't it go away?!), plus ALL this ridiculous laundry that I can't seem to catch up's a bit overwhelming. But I know it will get better, I will get used to the way things are, and I know I'll never catch up on laundry.

All this to say...I love my girls. I love our little family. I just needed a place to let out my feelings.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Wow, it seems like lots has happened since I posted last. I think bullets will work best today:
  • My parents and sister were here for a whole week. It was a little crazy, because my mom can't drive or do everyday things as easily (because she broke her shoulder right after Christmas and it's taking a long time to heal), and of course all the new-baby craziness! But we had so much fun, and they were all so helpful.
  • Dan got a short throw-up bug last Monday. Marissa got the same bug Saturday at 4:30am. Dan obviously handled it himself, but this was Marissa's VERY FIRST sickness, and it was awful. She handled it so well though, and mostly managed to get to the toilet/bucket on time. She was so pitiful and cuddly (see pics below), but she's completely back to normal now (aside from not having ANY appetite). The hardest part was keeping germs away from Arianna. So far I haven't gotten sick, but I've been extremely obsessive about hand-washing and Clorox-wiping. My hands are bleeding from all the washing!
  • Arianna has still been sleeping amazing at night. We've been trying to go to bed at 10, but she hasn't gotten the memo yet. But by midnight she's usually asleep, and sleeping for 5+ hours, then 3 or 4 more after that. I've been waking her up with us around 9 every morning, and she's starting to take naps around the same time each day already. I've had several 7-8-9 hour nights, and I've been waking up to go to the bathroom/check on her, then I go right back to sleep! It's totally crazy, and I love it, but I keep reminding myself it can't possibly last forever!
  • She makes up for all the sleep at night by nursing literally every hour most of the day (except when she takes 2-3 hour naps, or is in the car seat). I really don't mind, except when Marissa wants me to play with her, and except for the fact that nursing is still excruciatingly painful sometimes. Again, I keep reminding myself that it won't last forever, and the pain will go away eventually.
  • I am really enjoying her new-baby-ness much more than I did with Marissa, because the pain with Marissa was MUCH worse. I am working on a comparison post about Marissa's birth/newborn-ness and Arianna's birth/newborn-ness. If only I had the time, hehe.
  • Arianna is a hiccup queen! The poor girl hiccups multiple times within an hour time period, multiple times each day! Sometimes it's just funny, but sometimes it really ticks her off!
  • Marissa is growing up so fast: She used to say "pin-pass" but now pronounces princess correctly! Boohoo...
  • I am totally swamped by laundry. Since my parents and sister were here I have all their sheets and towels. Which is a lot, but not horrible. But on top of that, I have tons of extra sheets from Marissa's sickness - two sets from her bed (we thought she was done, but she wasn't!), and our flannel king set (which doesn't even fit in the washer all at once!) cuz she joined us at 4:30am, plus all the pj's she got nasty, plus towels and blankets we used around the house that day. PLUS all the regular laundry that I let myself get behind on since Arianna was born. I didn't do any except for Arianna's clothes, and I didn't really trust Dan to do it properly. I am slowly getting caught up, but the hardest part is folding and putting it all away!
  • It has been sooooo gorgeous outside! We were outside for a long time talking with some neighbors, and Marissa got tired of playing on her bike. She went inside through the open garage, opened the door to the mudroom, got her green stool, took it back outside, and put it in front of the front door so she could reach the doorknob! I just cracked up when I saw what she had done
  • I keep forgetting to write down how Marissa says Arianna's name: Yah-yanna - it's so cute! And she holds Arianna's hand and makes her wave to people saying "Hi, my name is Yah-yanna', Marissa is my big stister!"

Friday, March 6, 2009

Friday night!

Yay, it's Friday night! Dan was gone on a short overnight trip last night, and I'm so glad he's back. And my parents and Rach are coming tomorrow for a whole week!

Things are going pretty well. I've been getting good chunks of sleep at night, and Marissa still loves helping, etc. But yesterday morning I woke up after almost 7 hours of sleep straight through. Arianna was fine, and nursed when I woke her up, but I was not fine. I ended up on the couch, in tears, all morning, shivering. I called my doctor, and they called in a prescription for me. My friend from church, Alicia, and her kids (ages 4, 3, 2) were coming over for dinner and some playtime (lots of fun for Ris and me, and so nice to have some adult conversation since Dan was gone!), so she picked up the prescription for me. I'm pretty sure it's mastitis. It's already MUCH better, but yesterday was rough. Marissa watched tv ALOT, and had some behavioral issues throughout the day, but she's better today too. It was horrible timing though, since I knew Dan wasn't coming home til today! I'm hesitant to say it, but I think I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel! It still annoys the crap out of me when people (like LLL) say nursing shouldn't hurt. I can't even describe the misery I've experienced trying to get nursing established with Marissa, and now Arianna. I will be soooooo glad when I can enjoy nursing finally! I really love enjoying Arianna as a tiny baby. When Marissa was this tiny, I was sooooo miserable for 2 months plus, I never felt like I got to enjoy her! But I've been cuddling Arianna lots, and I really don't feel too sleep deprived (yet...). Yesterday I caught her sucking on a few of her fingers - too cute.

Well, we are all watching "The Little Mermaid" (HOLY COW - her questions about this movie are ridiculous! How do you explain every little detail to a 2 year old? So funny, yet slightly annoying!) - Marissa LOVES movie night and popcorn, and Dan and I are enjoying the rest time after a long week. I'm looking forward to our first outing as a family of four - church on Sunday. I have a feeling I should set my alarm pretty early though - gotta love trying on normal clothes for the first time after having a baby!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Arianna Grace (WARNING: Possible TMI)

2/24/09, 3:33am, 7lbs 15 oz, 19.5 in

Monday, the 23rd, I had a NST and they said I wasn't having any contractions (even though I thought I was), but she was looking just fine. When the midwife checked me, she said I was a good 3 cm, which was definitely a change from the week before. She also said I would probably be crampy and spotting a little after the exam, and now I realize I should have asked her if she did anything to make it that way on purpose. Anyways, we went home, and I was a little crampy, but still just felt awful in general like I had been for a while. The midwife mentioned that they could break my water to see if things got going on their own, and I had pretty much decided that I'd call Tuesday to schedule breaking my water on Wednesday morning. Monday night after dinner, we all went to buy groceries together, and I was walking slow, but still fine! We went to bed around 11 and Dan fell asleep really fast, as usual. I never fall asleep fast, but I started feeling slightly different contractions at 11:35. I timed them as much as I could, but I was starting to doze off a little. The ones I kept track of were about 9 minutes apart, but they weren't every 9 minutes. I think I must have slept a little, but at 12:53 Dan woke up to me being pretty miserable. By 1am I knew it was time to get going. I called the midwife on call, and she said to head to L & D to get checked. We woke Marissa up, got everything together, and took her to our friends' house around 1:15. We stopped back home around 1:30 to grab the map of the hospital so we'd know where to go. Contractions weren't extremely consistent at this point, but they were at least 9 minutes apart, and very painful and tight. I made Dan run a red light on our way to the hospital, because since Marissa's labor was so fast, I was worried about the timing of things. We checked in to the hospital at 2am, and were put in just regular L & D, instead of the birth center right away. They wanted to check me first, and I needed an IV for GBS. There was also not enough staff at the birth center, so I had to wait a bit. Thus begins the longest hour of my life. Lol. They had me all strapped with the monitors, the IV for GBS, and I had to lay on the table thing. Contractions were really starting to pick up in pain and timing. At the end of every one, I thought I was going to throw up. I didn't, until towards the end, it was a really bad one, and I threw up 3 times in a row. They finally checked me at 2:30 and I was 5cm. Finally, the midwife came to see me, and she took one look at me and realized I needed to get going! She went to the birth center and started getting the tub ready. At 3 they were finally able to move me, and that was a long ride in the wheelchair (not really, but it seemed like it)! They unhooked the IV, I got right in the tub, and immediately felt some relief. I was cold from the wheelchair ride, and the tub was nice and hot. I got a short rest from contractions, but then they got really bad. I remember thinking that this better mean I'm getting close, because I couldn't do it this way for much longer! During one of the really bad ones, I felt the urge to push. So I asked the midwife to check me when it was over. She said I was 9, and I could push if I felt the urge. So the next one, I started pushing. Dan says I pushed for about 10 minutes. At one point, I remember asking if she was "right there" because it was starting to feel different. The midwife said she was, and I was relieved because I was starting to wonder if I'd make it! After that, I opened my eyes and watched for her to come out! I was gripping a bar in the tub with my left hand, and Dan's hand with my right hand. I was holding on soooo tight (my arm muscles were sore later), and for every push/contraction I completely suspended myself in the water by holding on to the bar and Dan's hand. Arianna was born at 3:33am and I saw her come out! Her head came out underwater, and it took a little while for the rest of her to follow. She didn't just slip out (like it looks like on tv shows), but the second she was out, the midwife put her on my belly. All of a sudden, both nurses and the midwife all lunged at her saying "there's a cord around her neck" - none of them were freaked out, but since they all said it at the same time, it freaked Dan and I out! They took the cord off her neck, and she just sat there and looked at me. They had warned us that waterbirth/natural born babies don't pink up right away, and don't necessarily even cry for a while. We were prepared for that, but when it actually happened that way, it made us nervous! The midwife assured us that she was fine, and I just sat in the tub with her on my belly for several minutes. She was all slimy and calm. It was wonderful (because I totally missed that part with Marissa). After a while (since I wanted to wait to cut it), Dan announced that he thought he might like to cut the cord. I was shocked, since he passed out during childbirth class for Marissa. But he actually cut the cord. They took her from me for the first time, and went to just check her out, while I climbed out of the tub. I went straight to the bed, delivered the placenta, and the midwife stitched me up a little. They brought her back to me as soon as I was on the bed, and she just laid on my belly/chest for a while. She was starting to root around, so I attempted to nurse her. At some point (not sure on the time), she nursed for about an hour on each side. I was never away from her until sometime around 7am when they finally weighed her. Sometime mid-morning, I was able to get up and use the bathroom. They gave me one motrin sometime around 7 probably, and I haven't had another drug since. The plan was to come home Wednesday late morning - until the wee hours of Wednesday morning, when the pediatrician informed me that they always monitor GBS+ babies for 48 hours, especially since I didn't have time to get the full dose. I was VERY upset, not to mention a bit hormonal and overtired, so I cried a lot that morning. It was surprisingly hard to be at the hospital all alone, since Dan went to get Marissa. He stayed til about 9 Tuesday morning, and they came back to visit throughout the day, but I was alone at night. But the thought of facing another night alone was tough. The nurses were so nice though, and one of them spent a long time with me during the night when Arianna wanted to nurse every hour on the hour.

All in all, it was a wonderful birth. It was everything I had hoped for, and I feel really great already. Arianna is a champion nurser already, and we are enjoying every minute of her! Marissa is a wonderful big sister, and is so gentle, understanding, and curious about Arianna. I love my girls!