Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cutting

I have to admit.... the thought of giving my impulsive 6 year old a table knife was not on my list of priorities. I guess its one of those developmental things you don't really track. I couldn't tell you at all how old Jaina was when she started using a knife to cut up her food.

At any rate, its a necessary skill to have and one that might need to be practiced for a while before mastering.



Jayce is thrilled with his new skill. He's also learning to spread butter on toast and make his own peanut butter sandwiches.

And this is why, my dear blogging friends, I had to have another baby. Because my middle 'baby' is growing up way too fast.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Last and Best Game of the season

Basketball is OVER!!!

WOO HOO!!!!

I spent the first 4 weeks of basketball games being massively pregnant and wondering when on earth the baby would come. Then I've spent the last 4 weeks of games dragging a tiny newborn around to games at 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM. If anyone was happy that basketball season was over, it had to be Jocelyn :)

This was our last game of the season. Neither of my big kids handled the ball much nor had the opportunity to shoot. But they learned the rules of the game and how to help out their fellow teammates in scoring a basket.

Jaina (number 32) has enjoyed learning about the game of basketball but fully admits that she likes soccer much better. (She's already signed up for a Spring team).


And neither one of them had scored a single basket themselves...

until today.

First attempt:

 Second attempt:

Third attempt:

 And it went in!!!!
That is one happy Jaina coming back down the court!

So, even though Jaina's team lost miserably (they didn't bother to keep score at this last game but they pretty much got crushed), it will go down as Jaina's best game ever!

Jocelyn was unimpressed.



She spent Jaina's entire game sleeping in Monica's arms. What a life :)


Now, although Jayce did not get to score a basket during his last game, he did play exceptionally well! He fully admits that he likes basketball MUCH better than soccer. That's why I love Upwards sports. It lets the kids try something new for 8 weeks with very little money or time commitment. 




He did get to shoot the ball, but unfortunately, it just didn't go high enough :(




But it was still a special game for him. Despite the hosting church not providing each player with a trophy (it comes out of the church's budget, not Upward's), Jayce's coach decided that his players needed some trophies anyway :)



We had several special people come watch the last games of the season. Thanks so much Gray, Monica, and Hannah for coming to support the kids!




There is no rest for the weary! The week of March 3rd is when Jayce starts his Spring baseball season and Jaina starts Spring soccer practice! Heaven help me!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

One Month


Jocelyn, at age one month:

- smiles
- reaches for toys
- recently outgrew all newborn sized clothes
- does not like my over active let down
- can burp as loud as her sister Jaina
- loves warm baths
- wakes up 1-2 times to nurse in the night
- naps wonderful in the morning
- is fussy in the evenings
- has us all wrapped around her finger

Monday, February 20, 2012

Getting into a groove



We're slowly, but surely, getting into a groove around here.

I hate schedules, absolutely detest them, but I don't mind a good flexible routine. Of course there are some things that we must live by the clock for... like if we don't leave our house by 7:15 AM at the LATEST, there is no way to get to the car line at school by 7:30 to have Jayce in his class by 7:40.

Therefore, my kids *do* have to wake up by 6:30 in order to get out the door in time. And a consequence of having to be up that early is to have a set bed time as well.

Traditional school pretty much does that to you. I've always said that if I ever decide to homeschool my kids, it will be for the freedom of not having a schedule. I'd let my kids sleep as late as their bodies allowed, eat when they are hungry, and we'd never have to sit in a car pool line again!


(But I'm not homeschooling because my kids really like going to school and I'm pretty damn lazy when it comes academics. I could see us playing all day instead of actually adopting a set curriculum.)

Anyway, back to schedules...

So, not only do my big kids have to get up at a certain time, leave the house by a certain time, each lunch when their class eats lunch, and have a set bed time, but we also have piano lesson times, basketball practice times, and therapy times.

Can we say "Over-scheduled?"

I make sure my older kids are not following a schedule at any other time. As soon as its 3:00 PM and they are home from school, I could care less when homework, piano practicing, snack time, outside playtime, Wii time, and bath time get done. I just need them to be done by bedtime. My kids are pretty good with getting all their stuff done. I feel like I'm teaching them to be managers of their own time.

I do the same thing with myself: I make a list of everything that needs to get done. Then I do it when I feel like it. I felt like blogging right now, not vacuuming the master bedroom. I'm sure I'll do that before the kids come home eventually, but I'm not worried about it.

Jocelyn is not on a schedule at all. Or, let me rephrase that... she is not on a parent-driven schedule at all. She has her own baby-led schedule that she's on. And it has nothing to do with the clock.

I have to say that its been easier than I thought it would be. Sometimes I have to wake her up before she is ready to be awake to nurse her before I know we'll be stuck in a car for a long period of time, but other than that, I let her dictate when she wants to eat or sleep.

She pretty much nurses for 15-30 minutes every 2 hours or so. Sometimes she cluster feeds in the evening and camps out on my breast for much longer every hour. But the trade off is that she sleeps GREAT at night.

I had been laying down with her between 9-10 PM at night and she was sleeping until 5:30 AM, with only ONE middle of the night feeding. But the past few nights, she's been falling asleep closer to 8 PM at night and then waking up at Midnight and 3:30 AM and sleeping through until 6:30 or 7:00 AM. Since we have to get out the door by 7:15, I do try to wake her up by 6:45 so she can nurse while the kids finish getting ready for school.

She's starting to take longer naps during the day as well and has finally graduated from my arms to napping in the co-sleeper, with no tears shed at all.



And today she reached for a toy for the first time!


We are just so in love. She fits perfectly into our crazy family :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Jayce's Valentine's Day Party

This post could alternately be titled, "See, I do remember that I have other kids besides a new baby!"

I know the blog has been a little Jocelyn-heavy as of late, but I'm not going to apologize for that. She's not going to be little and this easy to take photos of forever so I'm maximizing on my chance with her right now. I promise as soon as 3:00 PM rolls around after school, I am the attentive mom of three children. But when I'm home with just the baby, I can pretend that she's an only child for a few hours.

So, back to Jayce's Valentine's Day party at school:


I asked Jayce why he was being friends with Daddy and sitting on his lap, not mine or Gray's. Always practical, he answered, "Because Daddy is sitting in my chair and I have to stay at my desk. I have no where to sit except his lap!"


Ugh, sweets galore. I've noticed that the kids barely touched any of their stuff. Way too much sugar in one sitting!


Jayce passed out his valentine cards in a very interesting order. Each student has a number on their desk depending on the alphabetical order of their last name. Jayce has memorized the order of the class this way and preceded to hand out his valentines to number 1 first, then number 2, and so on. The kids do not sit in this order at all, so it took him quite a while to hand out his cards.


Excuse the no make up and bags under my eyes. I'll just blame Jocelyn for both :) Who is sleeping in a maya wrap ring sling, in case you are curious. I should have had the rings a bit higher, though, now that I'm looking at this picture. I'm still learning my ring sling.


Gray hardly ever gets to attend parties so this was a special occasion!


The kids were asked to go and sit on the rug when they were done. So Brian did.


We just love his teacher :)

It was a great party!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Valentine's Day Present

And probably every other holiday present as well until we get the hospital bill paid off :)



Ah, well... she was worth it!


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Breastfeeding 101

You would think now with three kids, I would be an old pro at breastfeeding. I mean, jeez.... I nursed both Jaina and Jayce for the first 27 months of their lives. I am a faithful member of our local La Leche League. I'm surrounded by wonderful and supportive friends. I have kellymom.com and breastfeedingonline.com bookmarked on my computer.

I thought I've battled it all before: months of thrush, cracked and bleeding nipples, incorrect latch, a baby that didn't know how to latch, a lazy nurser, a baby that wanted to nurse all the time, mastitis, plugged ducts, supply issues, oversupply, overactive let-down, etc.

So I thought I had all my bases covered. None of that was going to happen this time with Jocelyn. Oh, no. I am a seasoned breastfeeding professional.

So why does it hurt so bad??

Breastfeeding, in theory, should not hurt at all. And for a lucky 20% of women, that's true. They never experience any pain or discomfort or tenderness... even in the first two weeks.

The other 80%? yeah... not so lucky. No matter how good that early latch is in those first few days, your breasts are just plain not used to having a baby's mouth on them. It takes a bit of getting used to.

The majority of problems are because of 'incorrect latch'. Its not as simple as just putting your baby, with a wide open mouth, onto your breast. Why did I forget this? I remember having to do something with Jayce called 'asymmetrical latch' where he takes in more of my bottom areaola and his upper lip rests just above my nipple. I didn't bother to do this technique with Jocelyn because I didn't think it was necessary for a good latch.

Well, evidently, it was.

She's torn me up one side and down the other in the first two weeks of her life. Despite the shallow latch (where she was visibly pinching the tip of my nipple in her mouth), she has been getting plenty of milk. Now that we've fixed our latch problem, she's getting TOO much milk at let-down.

But the damage has been done.

I went to see a lactation consultant at the local hospital on Friday. I learned some interesting things:

-Although my nipples look much better (no scabbing or blisters anymore), she is concerned about my big cracks in each nipple. She says there is definite signs of trauma still.

-She recommended Jack Newman's All Purpose nipple cream after every feeding. I told her I had slacked off on the muprocin and anti-fungal. She said to start doing it again and add hydrocortizone as well. 


-She says Jocelyn's latch is good now and my nipples should start to heal soon. 


-Her "clicking" that I'm hearing is her tongue "flipping my nipple" to try to control my over-active flow. She said this is normal and not concerning with her latch.


-I definitely am having vasospasms. She saw my nipple turn white several times and back to pink. She thinks that the vasospasms will go away once my nipples heal fully.


-Although I don't have signs of yeast on my nipple, Jocelyn has thrush in her mouth. I thought it was just breastmilk on her tongue, but its not. Its definitely yeast. 

Oh yay.  Yeast AND vasospasms. How did I get so lucky?

The yeast should be fairly easy to treat. I'm a big advocate of gentian violet. My friend has my bottle but I'll be getting it Monday to start our first treatment. Its purple and very very messy and stains like you wouldn't believe. I'll have to take pictures of Jocelyn's purple lips so I can add them to my collection of "babies with purple lips". This will make number 3. 

The Vasospasms are new for me. Maybe because my other two were born in the late Spring when it was already warm? Let me just tell you.... it HURTS! I am on 800 mg of advil around the clock. When it comes time to take another one and the dose has worn off, I cannot nurse her at all until my meds kick back in. She's already had several bottles of expressed breastmilk because of this. Luckily, she takes a bottle just fine :) 

I know we've had obstacles, but I'll look back at this time and barely remember it. Its just a small blip in our long nursing relationship. 

And just think.... now I can help other moms with their breastfeeding issues and add vasospasms to my list of knowledge.  Always look on the bright side, right?? :)

And I know this isn't a nursing pic, but I can't stand blog posts without pictures so here ya go....



On a side note....

Jocelyn smiles a lot. I know she's only a little over two weeks old and technically shouldn't be able to smile. But she does. Its usually when she is making crazy good eye contact with you and you talk to her in a sing-song voice. She smiles AT you, in response to you. Its crazy. I wouldn't believe it if she hadn't done it several times around other people, including the lactation consultant. She assured me that it was not the typical gas, she was being responsive. 

I'm just so in love :) 

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Jocelyn's birth story part four



My baby girl was finally here!

Now it was time for the placenta to be delivered. The OB/GYN on call had left me with headless baby resident to stitch me up. It was way past shift change, but I think she felt a connection with me or something because she came BACK after assisting a c-section so she could be there for my baby's birth. Even though I told her that she must be tired and to not worry about staying.

Thanks to my epidural, I could barely feel the resident and nurses massaging my belly trying to get my uterus to contract and my placenta delivered in tact. Then I started to realize that everyone kept counting the minutes.

"How many minutes has it been?" the resident asks a nurse.

"Twenty since birth."

Back to pushing on my belly.

I think it was 10 minutes later when another woman (nurse? resident? attending? I have no idea based on the scrubs she was wearing) came in to assist. Again, she kept asking how long it had been since baby's delivery. She worked on me a few minutes before consulting with resident. The resident then made the decision to call the OB/GYN back into the room to see if she could get the placenta delivered.


The attending doctor came back in and started working on me. I think it was another 30 minutes before she was able to get my placenta out, only by manually extracting it. I wisely chose not to look or pay attention to what they were doing to me. Angie and Amy said it was not a pleasant sight. All I could think was that it was a damn good thing that I chose to have an epidural. I've heard manual extractions without drugs is NOT pleasant at all!

My placenta was finally delivered close to an hour after birth. I've heard it didn't look very good at all. Something to do with calcification of the placenta due to its age. I couldn't tell you what it looked like because as soon as it was removed, I pretty much felt myself beginning to pass out.

Supposedly my blood pressure dropped to 80-something over 50-something, which is why I felt so woozy. Someone lowered my bed and put an oxygen mask over my nose and mouth. All I could think of during this time is why my daughter Jaina hates nitrous oxide at the dentist. Having the mask on was annoying and it smelled like plastic. Yuck.

I finally started to feel a bit better, so I took off the mask and sat up a bit. I thought maybe I felt so awful because I hadn't eaten in hours. I am never hungry during labor anyway. I asked for some crackers and some juice.

I later regretted that decision when I threw up a few minutes later. Angie got to really play the part of my doula then; she went flying for the kidney shaped basin as fast as any experienced mom would do for their own kid. She also made me feel better with cold compresses to my forehead. I don't know what I would have done without her!

Finally, sometime after 11 PM, I was moved by bed to a room upstairs. My epidural still hadn't worn off and it was weird to watch people have to lift me by blankets to transfer me to the bed. Amy and Angie came up to the room with me to help me get settled. I sent Brian home to the kids to make sure all was well there.



Jocelyn had her sponge bath in the room with me and then Amy rocked her to sleep. She had nursed off and on for two hours and then blessed me with a 4 hour nap.




The next day, the kids came to see their baby sister.




They were pretty enamored with her :)

The rest of the day was spent with lovely visitors. I am so blessed to have such wonderful friends that came to keep us company.

We were told by both OB/GYN and Pediatrician that both baby and I were in perfect health and could go home at any time. But the nurses said that they had a strict 24 hour policy. There was no getting discharged before 9:11 PM that night, even though our discharge orders were prepared hours before.

I had everything packed up and ready to go. Brian told my mom there was no reason to watch the kids, so he just brought Jaina and Jayce up to the hospital at 8:30 to pick us up.

At 9:15 PM, a nurse came in to scan her for jaundice. The little forehead scanner thingy had to read below 7 for us to go home. It read 8.9 instead. That meant that she had to have a heel stick so they could check her for jaundice that way.

It only took 15 minutes to do the test; it took two hours for the results to come back. No jaundice.

We could finally go home!

Our complete family of five walked into our house at 11:30 PM. It felt wonderful to be home.


Monday, February 06, 2012

Jocelyn's Birth Story Part 3

Part One
Part Two



So, I was acting pretty calm about the whole c-section thing. I think part of me knew that the baby was head down and all was well. The maternal-fetal specialist that was on call came in just a few moments later. He was able to assure me that the baby's head was indeed down, however... the baby's head was a little left of center and not engaged at all in my pelvis. No wonder my contractions weren't doing anything! To dilate your cervix properly, you need the the weight of the baby's head to help out. That wasn't happening. Also, most babies are either in the posterior (sunny side up) or anterior birthing position (the preferred position for easy delivery). But this baby was turned to the left side, giving us a lovely profile view.

The maternal-fetal specialist said that I did not have enough amniotic fluid to try to turn the baby into a better position. However, he thought with just a touch of pitocin, the strong synthetic contractions would move baby down into a better position.

Ugh, pitocin. I knew immediately I wanted an epidural. I did not feel like laboring in a bed hooked up to an IV on pitocin without pain relief. Remember, this baby had already given me 19+ hours of painful contractions on two separate occasions. I was just done. I didn't want to feel another contraction ever again. '

By the way, he checked me and I was 5-6 centimeters dilated! So those piddly contractions were doing something! He was sure that my body just needed a jump start and the baby would be out in no time.

While they were trying to get my blood drawn and my epidural started, my friends Amy and Monica showed up for some moral support. Brian had gotten there by this point as well. You're only supposed to have 3 visitors while you are in L&D, but we had four the whole time (Brian, Angie, Amy, and Monica) and no one said a word :) Maybe it was because everyone was so well-behaved?

Let me just tell you.... getting an epidural before your contractions start is very different than getting one when you are in transition like I was with Jaina. It was easy-peasy. Before the anesthesiologist started, I questioned him on his rate of unsuccessful epidurals and how many patients required a spinal patch afterwards. He wasn't put off at all and answered them honestly. I really liked him. I told him that we couldn't name our baby after him, though, because we already had a Jason and a Jayce in our family and those were enough!

I got my epidural around 6 PM and at 6:30 the pitocin was started. It was a really small dose, like 2 mg or some sort of measurement. Immediately I started having contractions on top of each other. I could feel the pressure from the peak of one so I knew when I was having contractions, but I felt no pain. It was the perfect epidural.

At 7 PM, I was dilated to a 7 or 8. They upped the pitocin a bit to 4 and then 8. The mood in the room was super relaxed. Angie was updating Facebook; Amy was taking pictures; Brian was being his annoying self; and Monica left to go get everyone Taco Bell :) I laid in bed and texted all my friends that weren't on Facebook :)



A little before 9 PM, I started to panic a bit. I felt something coming out. And since Jayce came literally flying out of me, I was a little scared that the same scenario would take place again. A nurse checked me and I was completely dilated and the head was down low. Luckily, the baby was not what I felt coming out. It was all that other lovely mucousy stuff that accompanies babies sometimes :) Again, Brian was extremely glad we were not having a homebirth. He hates the mess. At one point, he even noticed that people were tracking my amniotic fluid all over the floor. Oh well... no one said birth wasn't messy!



A doctor I had never met before came in and told me to hold off on pushing until she got everything ready. I asked her if she would delay cord clamping and she said that she would milk the cord and give it a minute before clamping. That was good enough for me. Then I asked if Brian could put on gloves and help deliver. She went above and beyond by actually instructing Brian on what to do every step of the way. It was the most involved he had ever been during a birth!






The baby came out at 9:11 PM. The doctor told Brian to flip her over and announce the gender.



"Its a girl!"

I couldn't believe it. I literally have spent my entire pregnancy with about 95% of people in real life telling me I was having a boy. Only my blog readers and a few friends thought that it might be a girl. I kinda had to do a double take because her girly parts were really swollen and for a second I thought Brian was just an idiot and couldn't tell the sex. But then I saw he was right :)

They handed her straight to me.



I was kind of laying at an awkward angle so I wasn't interested in breastfeeding until they had delivered my placenta and stitched me up. However, that seemed to be taking a really long time. So I passed the baby off to my friends and my husband to hold.



Kinda glad I did that.

And I might want to mention that I am really glad I got an epidural.

Because the next part of the story isn't all that fun.

Stay tuned for the final installment of Jocelyn's birth :)

(imagine maniacal laugh right now. I'm so mean!)