Tuesday, December 4, 2018


Big news again here. Did not expect to be making this post for a couple years. So the last trimester of my pregnancy or so, Travis started to make jokes about moving again. Now I've moved something like 14 times in the past 12 years. This will be 5 out of the last 7 holiday seasons we will be moving. That's our holiday tradition. Side note, every time it gets harder and more complicated as we acquire more things, pets, and children. This is the longest we've stayed anywhere, about 2 years or so. Anyway I was 38 weeks pregnant or so when Travis asks me, "So how much do you really want to move back to Colorado?"

Now I'd resigned myself to staying here a couple more years before Travis found a new job. He doesn't mind Nevada and he likes his job here. I however, am not Nevada's biggest fan. And in my defense, Nevada has been rough on me. When we first moved I was stuck alone in an apartment with a toddler most of the week while Travis commuted 2 hours one way and worked 10 hour days. Our second car hadn't arrived and then had some serious mechanical issues. Then we were stuck in a too small, somewhat sketchy apartment. I had my wisdom teeth removal (super painful and stressful). Then I had 2 miscarriages. And also my allergies were killer and made me feel like I had a bad cold for 4 months of the year. Plus my neck pain and headaches were the worst they've ever been. And the icing on the cake is desert climate is my least favorite climate. So generally, not too many great memories here. The friends I've made and Oswin are really the only big highlights to come out of Nevada for me. It was a great career move for Travis and that was necessary to get to where we are now. But, frankly, I won't be sad to see Nevada in the rear-view mirror.

So turns out Travis applied for a Colorado job, interviewed by phone, and they wanted to fly him out for an interview. I'd told Travis months before to apply for anything relevant in Colorado but not to get my hopes up unless it was serious. Unfortunately they wanted to fly him out the 20th of September. My due date was the 19th. They were very understanding of his situation and told him he could wait until I had the baby. This added to my anxiety when Oswin did not arrive on time. Anyone who has been pregnant and especially overdue can understand the wait to just get your baby out. Add to that a wait to hear if you get the opportunity to move back home. I was sooooo grouchy.

Finally, Travis was able to fly out a week after Oswin was born. Not an ideal time for Travis to leave, but better than possibly missing the birth. And here's the part of the story I left out in earlier posts. This is when Lyra got her stomach virus. Also I'd been saying she got it when I was 2 weeks postpartum, nope. That's when I got it. Anyway we were just sitting down to supper. I'd just gotten a text from Travis saying his interview ran late and he wasn't sure he would make his plane home but he'd text in a half hour or so to let me know. Then Lyra pukes everywhere. On the couch, on the floor, all over herself. Luckily, my mom had stayed an extra week to help me, knowing Travis would be gone. Still that was the most stressful 30 minutes ever. Cleaning a vomit covered toddler, trying to care for a 1 week old, still super sore from birth, waiting to hear if Travis would make it home that evening. I cried actual tears of relief when he said he was on the plane. And then I got to wait and see if I caught the virus, or if Oswin would. I was so worried I'd end up having to take a newborn to the ER. Not to mention I was very unexcited about the prospect of puking after having given birth. I mean for a while there anytime you cough or sneeze it feels like your vagina might fall out. Puking would be so much worse. I was also thanking my lucky stars that I hadn't had a c-section. A stomach virus after that sounds like the worst nightmare. Luckily, Oswin did not ever get it and I didn't until 2 weeks out and I had a speedy birth recovery. My leftover zofran from pregnancy was also a lifesaver. I think that's the only thing that kept me out of the ER to be honest.

Back to the point though, then we waited to hear anything. For ages. Travis even went on an interview to Vancouver Island in the meantime. Apparently, it's recruiter season. Funny enough, during that trip Oswin puked all over myself and the floor right around 10 at night when he was stubbornly refusing sleep. They always have to vomit when he's away. But that was minor and the only incident that trip. So then we were waiting to hear back from two awesome sounding locations. Finally we heard back from Colorado that Travis did not get the job. At that point I was expecting it. So I was sad we wouldn't be making it back to Colorado anytime soon, but at least the possibility of Canada lessened the blow.

Then one evening Travis tells me, " Well Canada is not going to happen," and hands me a paper. It was one of those moments where it takes your brain a second to process. I registered "pleased to offer you the position..." and the header of the company at the top of the page. Surprise offer from Colorado out of the blue! I've had a few of those moments lately where everything takes a 180 turn. "You're only 5 cm." Just kidding, "You're complete, that was your water breaking."

So we're moving to Colorado! I'm very excited. We'll be 3.5 hours or so from my parents. Oddly enough we will be in the same town Travis lived in and I visited the first summer we dated. He's worked for the mine before but when they were owned by a different company. It will be kind of surreal to be back there. We were in college, I had Roxi already but since then we've added another dog, a daughter, a cat, and most recently of course, Oswin. I used to drive back and forth on weekends from my apartment in Golden to visit. Now I'll likely be making a similar drive again, 8 years later, from my parents house. With a kid or two along for the ride. Anyway, I'm sure I'll have an anecdote or two to share from a cross country journey with the whole crew.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

7 Weeks Post Oswin (never expect title creativity from me)

Well we are 7 weeks out now. I don't want to jinx anything but Oswin slept 11 hours straight last night. I know that may not last and he's still sleeping swaddled, I don't know how he'll take to un swaddled sleep, but it's a nice change. Lyra, on the other hand, woke me up to put on her halloween socks. Oswin takes a while to get to sleep in the evenings but when he goes down, he goes down hard. Setting Lyra down used to be a delicate process. If you fumbled at all, breathed too hard or patted her for one second too long or whatever, she qoke up fully and you were back to square one. With Oswin you can kinda just toss him onto the bed and he doesn't wake up. Exclusively at night though, doesn't work during the day. But I'll take what I can get. 

Here's a couple snapshots of our life right now.

Weird Oswin quirk, one of the best ways to put him to sleep....hold him like this with his head leaned back at this really uncomfortable looking angle. 

This is 2.5 days worth of diapers for a toddler and newborn. Plus like 6 or so disposables for overnight. All I do is change diapers, I swear. 

Mom life. But you know you have good friends when they show up at your door with mac and cheese and wine when you send out a pleading text for company. 

Bought a new good swing when the little secondhand one we had broke and it is amazing. I regret cheaping out when I had Lyra. He naps at least one good nap a day in here typically.

Her face = her personality in a nutshell. They have themed brother/sister shirts but I keep forgetting to get a picture with both.

In general, everyone's doing pretty ok these days. Oswin's still growing like crazy. Breastfeeding is way easier this time around. Except for some weird reason both kids do not like left boob. At different times I've thought it was due to the way I hold the kids, their necks being sore, too much or too little milk, too fast flow, nothing really makes total sense that I can figure out. Super frustrating because that leads to different sized boobs. Comical, but mildly stressful. And then I'm trying to pump enough to fix that but not cause myself supply issues or pain. Plus, one time when I was still nursing Lyra I went on the internet and learned that very rarely a one sided nursing strike means you have cancer. I am basically 99.999% sure that is not the case here. So every now and then I have to have a chat with myself and calm down the 0.001% side of me that's crazy. Stupid left boob. I'm sure that I notice much more than anyone else does but still, not cool.

I forgot to include my postpartum pictures in the last post so here goes.  

2 days before Owsin was born, 40 weeks and 4 days is my final guess of how far along this was. In any case,  I was over it. I'd gained 42 pounds at this point. 

1 day postpartum, just after we got home from the hospital

2 days 

3 days

One week out, peak mom hair here. 

2 weeks out. Post stomach flu from hell. At this point I'd lost 22 pounds and weight loss stalled out. Weight loss kicked in again around week 5 or 6 but at a much slower pace. At 7 weeks out I still have an extra 16 or so leftover from this pregnancy. And I've been too lazy to get a good picture.

I've spent a bit of the last couple weeks wondering if Oswin has a milk allergy that is manifesting itself earlier than Lyra's did. At this point I'm not convinced it is anything more than normal baby stuff and I'm just being extra diligent and watching too decide if I need to go dairy free for a while.

Occasionally, he throws up everything in his stomach. Lyra used to do this too. At this point this has happened to me enough, I'm a pro at dealing with it. We happened to be out at brunch the other morning when he did it last. (My hipster kid loves brunch by the way. Lyra knows which restaurant we go to, and loves her "bakey." That's bacon, in toddler speak.) I was holding him upright and he aimed the first part straight down my shirt. If you're a mom who has had this happen, you know exactly how the space in a nursing bra right between your boobs is basically a pocket. A pocket for catching dropped food, vomit, basically anything gross or smallish sized. I even found a pacifier in there at the end of the day once, true story. So anyway, I know better than to move him since he'd already puked straight into my bra. I just let it happen and tried to minimize the spread of the mess. Then I just threw the vomit covered baby at Travis and ran to the bathroom to mop up the vomit puddle in my bra with a cloth diaper. Thank goodness for those, they're truly multi purpose mess cleaners.  I was impressed with our smooth handling of the situation. Oswin needed a full outfit change and I had to leave the restaurant wearing Travis' jacket, but no one around even noticed the chaos as far as I could tell. I even finished my mimosa. I mean, is it even really brunch of someone doesn't end up without clothing?

Good thing Travis wears jackets. 

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Postpartum/Newborn Oswin Update

I'm only on day 3, but so far I'm having an easier recovery and adjustment postpartum.

Physically speaking, I pushed a much shorter time during delivery which helps the general soreness. Plus, this time I am more prepared because I know what works for me recovery wise. I have one of those stomach binders that I think not only helps the "my insides are rapidly rearranging and it feels like there is a huge gaping empty space in there" feeling, but it helps support my back and stomach muscles. All of which were sore from pregnancy and pushing.  I didn't use that until probably 2 weeks in with Lyra. This time I had it brought to me in the hospital and have been using it when I'm on my feet since 24 hours out. I lucked out again and didn't tear, even with the pound bigger kid and the more rapid pushing. Even bleeding is surprisingly slowed down already. Travis says that's because I got that all out of the way during labor. He's been joking about the big clot I passed right when things got scary. He's like, "That's when your cervix fell out onto the floor and you went from 5 to 10 cm. Someone cleaned it up for you. " We can joke about the scary stuff in hindsight.

The main thing that hurts right now is my tailbone. Getting up or down or changing positions is the worst. Travis says its concerning to him when I make my labor noises trying to get off the couch. I think mainly I keep trying to stop taking tylenol and ibuprofen too early. But that's probably my most major physical complaint so it really isn't much to complain about.

I'm also used to the sleep deprivation so that's kind of business as usual right now. I'm sure that will get worse, but it helps right now. I didn't sleep the night I was in labor, but luckily I gave birth in the morning and had a day to let the adrenaline wear off and to settle a bit. Still didn't sleep much that night (the hospital isn't restful when everyone comes in to check you all the time)  but it was better than when I have birth at dinnertime. I'm basically back to 3rd trimester sleep, still up every few hours.

Breastfeeding is so far going better than with Lyra. I had a crazy oversupply with her and she had jaundice. I think both of those things got ahead of me. This time I think Wyn is a better eater from the get go and isn't having any jaundice issues so far. He seems to have kept up with my supply a bit better, I definitely don't have trouble getting him to wake up and nurse. I think we're starting to turn the corner into drowning in milk territory though so I may have to start with the pump soon. But with that, my biggest struggle was mental. I didn't want to have to pump and kept thinking I was making things worse and either just trying to deal with the engorgement pain or being really inconsistent with pumping. This time, if I have to pump, I'll probably just donate the majority or see if Lyra will drink it.

3.5 week update:

Ok, so I got busy and didn't complete my post. Basic update, this baby is huge. Like 6 month size clothes at 3 weeks huge. He weighs as much as Lyra did at 2 months at less than 1 month.

Still have an oversupply but much less than with Lyra. I maybe get 4 or 5 extra ounces a day if I have to pump some. And it's only ever once a day, if that. I think he eats more than she did. Plus I got a killer stomach virus at 2 weeks postpartum. Lost almost 5 pounds overnight and haven't had a stomach virus that bad since I was a kid. That kinda killed my supply, turned out to be lucky I had extra. Lyra also had the virus at 2 weeks out. That was brutal. Sick toddler while trying to recover from childbirth, puking a couple weeks postpartum, 10/10 would not reccomend. I'm so thankful I didn't end up with previa and a c section at the end.

Mentally, I've also felt better this go around. In hindsight I wonder if I had some postpartum anxiety with Lyra. I've felt a little extra hormonal this time around but it's soooo different. So far the transition to two kids has been easier than the transition from none to one. I don't know if that will continue later on. I think it's because no kids to 1 kid was a full lifestyle change. Adding a second kid is adding a lot of busy and extra work, but it's not a full routine change.

Sleep has been ok so far. However, I'm going to be waiting for him to be a terrible sleeper for, oh, probably the next 5 years. I just can't let my guard down there. Lyra still gets up on occasion during the night. I listen to a lot of podcast episodes on nighttime wake ups now. I've discovered some good scary fiction ones.

I lost 22 pounds the first 2 weeks and since then haven't really lost anything else. So still about 20 pounds up. But I don't think that's too bad for not being far out from birth yet. Everything else feels pretty much back to normal, much faster than I felt normal with Lyra. The one thing that still hurts a lot is my tailbone. I've heard that can last for months so that sucks. But this time I'm going to a chiropractor and getting massages regularly so I feel pretty good otherwise.

It has also been weird to adjust to a baby that isn't Lyra. Oswin is similar in a lot of ways but very distinctly a different person. It is weird but also really neat to see how different personalities a tiny little person can have. Oswin loves his hands up by his face which makes a lot of in utero movement make sense. He wobbles his chin a ton when he cries which is adorable and hilarious. Lyra used to do the bottom lip stuck out sad face, Oswin doesn't really.  She also used to do the funny super red faced grunt poop noises, Oswin doesn't which is sad. Oswin is also so grunty all the time. He sounds like a little pig, it's adorable.

Cut to 5 weeks out....

And a final update at 5 weeks out because life is busy with 2 kids. Oswin is smiling now, almost laughing today. He likes when you bop his lips with your fingers. He also likes Lyra which just melts me all the time.  He's starting to struggle with sleeping which is a bit rough. But overall, settling in to things better than I was led to believe, honestly.  Hopefully I'll be back with another update sooner than this one came together.


He takes all his naps on the go and in someone's arms. 


Travis and Lyra are blurry because he's trying to avoid the camera. 

Monday, October 1, 2018

Oswin's Birth Story

After 18 months of waiting, 3 pregnancies, 2 miscarriages and countless changes in plans, we are finally home with another baby. Oswin Finley Howard was born the 28th of September, 2018 at 8:34 AM. He weighed in at 8 lbs 3 oz (a pound bigger than his big sister was) and 21.5 in long. I planned on a homebirth but ended up transferring to the hospital partway through.  All in all though, things went as well as they could have and I feel pretty good about how everything turned out. No one had a horrible traumatic experience and everyone is safe and healthy. I think it helped that I dealt with the placenta previa earlier in the pregnancy and had basically accepted both a homebirth or a hospital birth as a probable outcome. I'd even had a lot of time to process that I might have a c-section. I also had co-care with an OB I really liked and a hospital I was comfortable with as a backup. So I'm glad that all that forced me to remember I might not get an unmedicated, vaginal, relatively complication free birth experience like I had with Lyra. For the most part I had my ideal birth experience with Lyra. Minus the fact I wish I could have pushed her out in like 5 minutes instead of 5 hours.

So, first, to recap Lyra's birth experience for comparison and reference. She was born at a birth center in Alaska. I went into labor early one morning and had her by dinnertime on her due date. I dilated fully in about 6 hours (pretty fast for a first time mom) but pushed for 5 (an eternity for anyone who's been there), so a total of about 11 hours of labor. My contractions were always pretty close together, I never had long break times maybe 4 or 5 minutes at most. I didn't have any significant complications, no meds, no tearing, a bit of extra bleeding after birth but my uterus was tired. Almost transferred to the hospital due to the extended pushing but didn't have to. The full story is both on my own blog and on my birth photographer's blog with pictures to go along with it.

Normally, subsequent babies come faster and earlier than first babies so everyone kind of thought this boy would follow that. Especially because I had such an early positive pregnancy tests and all his ultrasounds showing he measured early. NOPE. Side fact, I had an irritable uterus with Lyra and had Braxton Hicks contractions constantly, especially at the end. Usually with subsequent pregnancies that's also worse. But I actually had less with this guy.

So when all my due date guesses passed me by and I was still pregnant, I was very surprised.  And frankly, quite displeased. I was 100% more ready to be done with pregnancy than I ever was with Lyra and I felt terrible and sore and exhausted. I didn't want to medically induce for anything other than a health reason or if I got all the way to 42 weeks.  But I had a few timelines and his due date was a little questionable. On Thursday the 27th I went in for my last appointments. I was somewhere between 40 weeks and 1 day at minimum and 41 weeks and 1 day. My best guess given all the factors was that I was 40 weeks and 5 days.

My OB did an ultrasound and monitored the baby and deemed him just fine in there. I had him check my cervix and I was 3cm dilated, 80% effaced and baby was at -1 station. I wanted to know a starting point and to have an idea if things were favorable should I need to induce. Basically the verdict was, "Not bad, I'll take that." I also had him sweep my membranes. Basically detach the amniotic sac right around the cervix to try and get a hormonal reaction to jump start labor. My OB was on call and suggested induction the following Thursday (42 and 1 by his timeline). He wasn't pushy at all and it was a reasonable suggestion on his part but I was hoping to not get to that point.

Factoring in when the OB suggested inducing, that Travis was just starting his weekend, my mom couldn't stick around indefinitely to help, and Amy (Travis' mom, an OB nurse) was also trying to make it to Travis' sisters birth in Portland (we were due the same time because why wouldn't that happen), we decided to try some at home labor inducing tricks. I went with the non invasive lowest risk things that appeared to have some evidence that they actually work and don't raise your risks for c-sections, inductions, distressed baby, etc. I went home and tried to bring on some contractions by using a breast pump. Didn't work really, caused some super mild ones while I used it but they disappeared really quick afterwards. Finally, I took my midwife's suggested castor oil recipe and tried to go to bed hoping labor would start in a couple hours. I felt mildly nauseous but other than that not much happened and I was just figuring nothing would happen that night.

Then around 11:30 I started thinking I was feeling some mild contractions every few minutes I also started to have a little bit of bleeding. We woke up Amy and called our midwife out shortly after that. Neither Amy or our midwife were terribly concerned about the bleeding, just something to watch at that point but it spooked me a little more and I was glad I had them both there to watch me. I mostly labored on my yoga ball  or standing and used my baby wrap that Travis rigged as a rebozo to hang from the ceiling. Probably one of my favorite ways to get through contractions. After another hour or so we called out the doula and birth photographer. That's also when we woke up my mother, we initially didn't so that she would be a little more rested than we were to be Lyra's person when she woke in the morning.

My sense of time gets a little fuzzy after that point because labor started to get more intense. I started to have heavier bleeding and began passing a few clots so I started to feel a bit panicky. I was still having bleeding that was "the upper end of normal." Then I felt what seemed like a giant clot (I believe it was somewhere around apple sized but it's hard to tell with those things) and I pretty much made up my mind things were not ok anymore. The midwife asked to check my dilation (something that hadn't been done yet since seeing the OB). At the same time my contractions had hit a new level of intense that was worse than anything I'd experienced with Lyra. I also started to feel pushy and have some of the contractions where I couldn't stop my body from pushing involuntarily. So I was expecting to hear I was very close to fully dilated. At this point I think it was around 5:30 to 6 am so I'd been in labor for as long as it took me to fully dilate with Lyra.

However, when the midwife checked I was only 5 cm. And I knew I had started at a 3. So there I was, passing some big clots that were so terrifying to me. Both Amy and my midwife were trying to reassure me that while the bleeding wasn't normal or great, I wasn't dying and the baby was doing well but we started to discuss the plan for what to do next.

In hindsight part of what happened for me was that all the blood and clots took me straight back to my last traumatic miscarriage. It physically felt the same, passing those clots, and happened in the same area of the house. I didn't think through that at the time and no way could I have vocalized that that was part of my mindset and decision making process but talking to Travis after the fact made me pretty sure that was a good portion of it. I was prepared for some level of sadness or triggering during labor, but bleeding like that didn't actually cross my mind. I knew you could bleed but didn't know you could bleed like that and be ok.

Another big factor was that my pain level was crazy. I'd done unmedicated labor with Lyra and this was a whole different level. So I was bleeding and freaked out, experiencing pain like I never had in labor before, and super stressed that I was starting to push uncontrollably when I'd made hardly any progress and was nowhere near ready for pushing. I also knew I couldn't make it through a slow labor like that without pain meds. I wanted an ambulance to take me to the hospital and get me all the drugs and stop the bleeding asap. With Lyra's birth I did eventually want meds and was debating a transfer because I wasn't sure I was getting her out. But there was much more of a debate and I was more indecisive. This time I was decided in a second and it just took me a bit to convince everyone that's what I wanted and needed. I'm still surprised by my conviction tobe honest. It took a minute for everything to be organized but we got an ambulance there and everyone scrambled to transfer.

Really at this point is the part that is funniest in hindsight. So I've been laying on the bed for a bit, I have nothing on from the waist down and I haven't really been able to move positions on my own, being ginormously pregnant and having a baby head low in my pelvis and intense contractions and all. There's some debate about how to get me out to the ambulance, I hear talk about taking down the 3 baby gates. Everyone is busy making plans about how everyone is getting there, what to take along, how and when to bring Lyra (she is somehow miraculously sleeping through all this) and I'm in one track mind mode. I am in more pain than I've ever been in my life, I'm bleeding, trying not to push, and I want to be in an ambulance on my way to drugs at the hospital, like, an hour ago. I also am 100% motivated to make it to the front door in one shot between contractions. No way in hell am I having one in the hallway. That's the worst, I like to be set up in a comfortable position during a contraction. Then I had a big contraction where I pushed and felt another bloody gush and was horrified and basically kicked into flight mode. So everyone helps me up, expecting to assist me in putting on a skirt or something, gathering my stuff and getting me to the front door. But the second I am up, I take off. Travis stopped to get shoes and I'm like, "Where the fuck are you, I need you right now. Keep up." My photographer and doula were laughing about it later saying everyone was basically chasing me down the hall because no one expected me to move so fast. Next thing I'm really aware of is being right at my open front door at nearly 7 in the morning, half naked, with paramedics I don't know (but Travis has met/will meet being a volunteer firefighter) screaming about how I'm pushing, I need a bucket (I was afraid the pushing was making a mess) and I want to get in the ambulance. People are tying to offer me clothes or a sheet to cover with to get in the ambulance, and I give zero fucks.

I make it into the ambulance with a sheet wrapped around me somehow and Travis is allowed in the back with me. I'm not sure if this is because he mentioned the firefighter thing or after my vocalizing through a contraction and kinda freaking out the paramedic decided he didn't want to be alone back there with me either. In any case as they're setting me up to go I feel a huge gush. I think it's blood and am really starting to panic. The paramedic tells me its very clear and it's my water, there's no blood. He lifts the sheet, looks between my legs and says, "Alright, looks like baby is going to come here after all." And starts talking about getting the midwife or OB nurse in here. I'm absolutely not comprehending any of this. I'm still about 15 seconds behind and I don't understand that I'm not bleeding and I'm thinking I'm only 5 cm and these guys don't know anything. Travis explained later that what he and the paramedic saw was part of the still water filled amniotic sac starting to come out and that my waters did indeed break. It was a slower leak than I had with Lyra and I didn't feel the pop I did with her or my last miscarriage so I didn't recognize it.

So somehow in the time between being checked in my bed and my mad dash to the ambulance I'd dilated the other 5 cm. In hindsight that's probably why the pain was so extreme. And the bleeding was from the rapid cervical change as well. Amy had reassured me I was making the right choice to transfer earlier with the bleeding when I was so far from the hospital and wasn't close to complete. If I would have known that I was almost done I would have probably felt a little better too, but no one could predict that. And it makes more sense why I felt pushy.

So anyway, we only know it was nearly 7 am when I started pushing because that's when Travis tried to call and get someone in the ambulance. Somehow his mom ends up in the back of the ambulance and she's the one who convinces me that I'm no longer bleeding and I'm fully dilated and can push because I know she at least has experience with this that the paramedics don't. And I should make it clear that the paramedics really were great. They originally didn't want anyone in the back with me and then basically followed Amy's lead with helping me and that's exactly what I needed. Not to mention they got an IV line in first try during a contraction,  that took some serious skill. And so then I pushed all the way to Reno. At that point I felt a bit dumb because I wasn't at home. I had been wanting to watch the sunrise before things got intense and I guess I kind of got my wish as I'm watching the sun rise in between my legs out the ambulance windows between pushes.

Sometimes I wish I was a little less dramatic. Like when we roll into the hospital and I'm screaming mid push all movie birth style. I was definitely louder and swore a lot more with this labor. But sometimes I just can't help it. So we make it to a room and get me on the bed. Luckily, the birth photographer we went with was already in the room (she works at the hospital, conveniently). My doula was there as well but I'm fuzzy on more details as I couldn't see without my glasses and I was deep into labor zone. My midwife was there as well but I have no memory of when or how everyone arrived. At first the nurses told me to stop pushing and wait for the OB. I didn't even bother explaining that wasn't a possibility and I heard Amy tell them for me.  My OB wasn't going to make it on time so his partner (who I hadn't met) was the OB they brought in. There was one single comment she made that made me angry but didn't turn into an issue. I asked to change positions because I was hoping to get the baby moving down faster. I actually like pushing on my back laying down in bed, which isn't generally a very effective way to push and I always assumed I'd want to avoid before I gave birth. But it's the only way I feel like I have a chance to rest and it just works for me to deliver.  Anyway though I asked to change, I think I said hands and knees because it seemed doable and I wouldn't have to move far. Someone suggested standing leaning over the bed. The OB made a rude comment along the lines of "That's fine, as long as she knows she's delivering in bed. The last time I had a midwife transfer and she tried to deliver standing the baby fell on the floor and had a fourth degree." I was braced for potentially clashing with this OB so I wasn't bothered other than I wish I could have been in a position to say what I thought about that. I don't like being told what I'm "allowed" like that or being bullied and scared into things.  Plus, I wasn't actually fighting to deliver like that. In any case, I just ignored it and kept pushing. I tried on my knees leaning over the back of the bed for a bit but then wanted to lay down again pretty quickly.

It seemed like forever but I really only pushed for a little under 2 hours which was so much better than the 5 I had with Lyra. The second scary part was after I got Oswin's head out everyone started telling me I had to stop pushing because he had a really tight double wrapped nuchal cord. Meaning it was around his neck really tightly twice. It took everyone by surprise because he had a great heart rate during labor. Luckily, I was able to comprehend what was happening and stop pushing. That takes some effort.

And as an aside, this is where I have a huge problem with OBs like the one I was delivering with. I want feeling very inclined to listen to her advice after her comments earlier. I had enough people I trusted telling me to stop pushing and was aware enough to realize what was happening. All it would have taken was a "I'd prefer you stay in the bed to deliver,  it's how I feel I can help you deliver safely," would have changed my entire perception of her. No need to jump straight to scare tactics. This is why I like the OB we picked so much, he treats you like you're capable and have a right to make decisions as long as he says his opinions and passes on the facts, he's pretty ok about going with your plan. 

Back to delivery, I had planned on delaying cord clamping but it had to be cut off before I could even finish delivering him. But I mean, breathing is pretty important. I got to hold him for about 10 minutes but honestly didn't get a good look at him because we were both a little stunned and he was up high on my chest. Then he just wasn't pinking up very well and they took him across the room for at least 20 minutes, timing is fuzzy but it was a long time for me. I still couldn't see and Travis went with Oswin. I had my doula, midwife, birth photographer and Amy all with me and everyone was in a good mood the whole time so it was clear Oswin was going to be fine but it's not a good feeling to be worried about your baby who is struggling and you've been waiting for so long to hold him.

Travis explained afterwards what all happened.  He had pretty high APGARS but pretty mottled color. They took a pulse ox and he was mid 80s when they want over 90. They ended up using a CPAP and deep suction to clear out fluid from his lungs and get him breathing better. They also did his newborn stuff and got his stats and what not. Luckily, they didn't have to take him to the NICU at all and he ended up back with me after a while.

The timing ended up working well where Lyra and my mom were concerned. They showed up (with my glasses) to meet Oswin shortly before we moved to the postpartum room for our 24 hour stay.  The rest of the time there was pretty unremarkable. We were able to go home a little over 24 hours later and thus far things are going pretty smooth for adjusting to life with a toddler and a newborn. He was worth all the wait and the trouble but I'm so ready to not be pregnant for a while. So far Oswin is an easy new little dude and my recovery is going even better than I hoped for. Probably just jinxed it all but guess we'll just see what the next few weeks bring. I'm already working on some postpartum posts but this one is long enough as is!

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Due Date Update

How preggo I am: Too pregnant. My favorite guess for a due date is today. With all the ultrasounds he was due at the earliest on the 16th and the latest on the 26th. The official count puts me at 40 weeks 3 days right now. No signs of imminent arrival whatsoever so far, sadly. I had Lyra on her due date and the was never any debate about her due date so this is driving me crazy.

Baby size: Newborn sized. Watermelon, spaghetti squash, something like that.

Food cravings/aversions: Blue cheese. I love blue cheese this week.

Sleep: I tried to sleep in this morning. I was up at 6.

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Mood: I need this baby out. I am so tired of the comments from the general public. People are so freaking rude. I mean, yes, I am quite pregnant but keep your opinions to yourself. I don't need to hear,  "Wow, you sure look like you're going to have that baby soon," for the 18th time today. It's not like I haven't noticed I'm pregnant yet.

My mood right now.

Names: Still no name.

Lyra stats: She is very entertained with both the grandma's here right now, thankfully.

Labor signs: None. I'm going to be pregnant until mid October probably. My mother in law has started joking about slipping me some castor oil to induce. I told her to go ahead and try but she better never accept food or drink from me for the rest of her life. She says she's joking. I warned her I'm absolutely serious.

Other symptoms: My hips have been hurting a ton. The chiropractor has actually been helping quite a lot. I asked everyone for tips. My OB was super honest though when I asked what would help. "Delivery."

Heartburn is hitting with a vengeance. It hasn't been as bad with this one as it was with Lyra. Until this week. I'm basically a dragon. I'm 95% sure I could actually breathe fire.

Best moment this week: Getting the grandmas in town for backup with the toddler. We also had a hilarious family discussion and realized how many crazy animal stories both sides of the family have. Storytime included everything from, "the time Chandler woke up with a dead chicken in his room," to "the times Martin was attacked by bats." There was also "Roxi gets in a fight with a porcupine," and "Roxi gets mauled by alpacas." "Mom's taxidermy hobby" and "Dad's undead vulture," are more personal favorites of mine. I could write a whole novel. The best part was immediately after storytime Travis encountered a mysterious creature in the garage while we were packing up for the night.

Other stuff: I don't think I have anything extra this week.

Looking forward to: Birth. Not being pregnant, miscarrying, recovering, or waiting to be pregnant for the first time in 18 months. Finally, will have a baby out and here and feeling less in limbo.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Full Term!

How preggo I am: 37 weeks, officially full term (although I expect it will be a few weeks, I'm still thinking the 22nd or around there is most likely) I'm officially on baby watch. It's a bit surreal to just be on alert to go into labor with a full term baby and not be worried about it being too early or my placenta being in the way.

37 weeks!

Baby size: Smallish newborn sized probably.

Food cravings/aversions: Pumpkin. It is also basically pumpkin spice season and I'm antsy for cooler weather and not having an allergy attack every time I get a slight whiff of outdoor air.

Sleep: Why do I even include this? It will be crappy for the next few years. I keep having apocalypse dreams lately. I either need to write a book or find some good apocalypse fiction to read or watch.

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Mood: I swear I'm generally a cheerful nice person but this pregnancy I am a grouch. I'm still annoyed with how many comments about my size that I'm getting. I get it, I'm very visibly pregnant. But what do you expect? I'm not exactly huge to start with, I have a nearly full size baby inside me. But the "ready to pop?" and the, "is it more than one in there?" questions are just so rude. And after months of them, I'm done. Also basically no clothes fit, which sucks.

Names: Maybe we'll name him someday. This is the last detail besides some burp cloths I have to make so I'm starting to dwell on it.

Lyra stats: Trying to get in some good quality time in with her before this next one shows up. We let her stay up the other night and watch a movie and then went to the park to look at stars. She was totally into it. It was entertaining, even the part where she was cuddled up on me, farting on purpose, and announcing it.

Her new favorite toys are empty dvd boxes, so that's ridiculous.

Labor signs: Nothing. He's down super low though and in a good birthing position at the moment. I've been "nesting" I suppose. Although I tend to think that it is just my natural state to overly clean and organize my life and home.  I am trying to stay as up to date on all chores as possible. Plus I've made little breastfeeding stations and postpartum care stations around the house. I've stocked a few freezer meals and snacks. I may make a few activity baskets for Lyra too for when baby needs quiet time.

Other symptoms: My hips hurt, getting up and down from laying or sitting is rough. I'm visibly wincing or making those "ooooh this hurts" noises. This is different from Lyra's pregnancy. I'm pretty convinced it's due to his positioning much lower down. Plus the extra weight I'm carrying can't help. I've gained about 35 total so far, still seems like that slowed a lot the last few weeks so I'm hoping that won't be too rough the last bit. I've just never been this sore for this long, ever. I am basically in a constant state of discomfort and/or pain. The headaches I had earlier in the pregnancy were worse pain level wise and close to as consistent, I wouldn't trade for those, but this is still wearing.

I also am pretty sure I pulled a muscle in my right ribs from allergy induced sneezing and coughing. It is getting fairly excruciating actually. I'm hoping that doesn't last long or bother me in labor.

I can tell with the soreness and general hugeness, my balance is off. I'm trying to be careful but I feel a lot clumsie. Fingers crossed I don't hurt myself too badly before I get this baby out.

Best moment this week: Hitting that full term mark. I've been waiting a long time for that.

Other stuff: I finished 2 of the crib sheets! They were a pain to make because I couldn't find fabric big enough (and the fabric lady cut the single one that was big enough too short) to cover the mattress and foam I have to use to close the gap between the crib and bed.

Also, here's an example of this kid's ridiculous gymnastics that I managed to capture on camera. Keeping in mind this is not the craziest I've seen, he's usually calmed down a bit by the time I get the camera out. Stomachs should not look like this. Generally I think these pictures are his butt sticking out when he pushes his legs straight. Lyra did not do this and she was not a tame fetus by any means.

Pretty sure I was also having a Braxton Hicks contraction the same time I took this one. 

This ones a bit older when he was laying more to the right.

Another earlier, laying on the right picture. 
Just for reference, my belly is generally not freakishly misshapen. 

Looking forward to: My mom shows up in a little under 3 weeks!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

8 Month Update

How preggo I am: 36 weeks! I just need to get 1 more week in and then he is allowed to come any time at home.  I'm really hoping I don't go late but everyone is going to be here on the early side so naturally that will happen. I'm also feeling much more ready to be done being pregnant than I was with Lyra. I want to get this baby out and take a freaking break from being pregnant already.

Baby size: About 19 in and 6lbs. Close to being ready for birth. For reference Lyra was born at 20.5 inches and 7 lb 4 oz

Food cravings/aversions: I want pizza. Like really quality home cooked pizza, not Dominos or something. And also cheese stuffed bacon wrapped dates. Handy as apparantly dates are good for things like cervical ripening and likelihood of needing pitocin and shorter labor. Small studies but it's enough excuse for me to make delicious food. And apple juice. Which gives me heartburn but I still want it.

Other symptoms: Same things as per usual really. Typical 3rd trimester with a side of severe allergies, wildfire smoke, and irritable uterus. Not as irritable as with Lyra though, I don't think. It is hard to tell. I might just be busier and/or less stressed about it now that my placenta moved. I did get a virus a couple weeks ago. So did Lyra. She had a fever the first non smoky day we had in like 2 weeks. Then I got a sinus infection which was extra fun. I pulled a muscle in my side and now it hurts anytime I sneeze, blow my nose, or cough. Which is approximately every 30 seconds soooooo that's not fun. My hips are really sore too. Also different from my experience with Lyra. My heartburn is less extreme so maybe this baby will have less hair.

I also had the most ridiculous morning sickness experience of all the pregnancies. I had a morning where I went from 100% normal and feeling fine to "absolutely going to vomit, right now" in under a minute. And upon throwing up, had a similarly shocking speedy recovery and was back to feeling 100% normal and great in under 3 minutes. Besides hysterical laughter because I was so surprised and I half pulled a muscle moving too fast.

Sleep: Still shitty. The newest thing this last week was waking up with a crazy dry mouth, super uncomfortable. Blasting a couple humidifiers all night seems to help.

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Mood: I'm so done, I have no more patience. We're trying to get our car fixed, Travis hit an antelope, and it is taking far too long on the insurance company's part. It happened almost a month ago and we still haven't been able to schedule it somewhere to be fixed. It currently has no AC which means it's a horrible car for Nevada in the summer. The insurance company finally came through though so now we can finally get it scheduled. It's basically going to take like 6 to 8 weeks total and we'll be pushing it right up to when I deliver to get it done.

Also I have the worst hair luck, EVER. I go through these cycles. First I move somewhere new, I'll go to Great Clips or Fantastic Sam's or something for a while and be low key frustrated with weird hair issues, for example, an inch or so section of hair that's an inch longer than the rest of my hair but only 75% of the time. Or someone who dyes my hair red and darker instead of blonde like I wanted and tries to talk me into it, "No, it is the lighting, it's definitely blonder." Seriously. Then I find someone who I think will be really good or is really good but I stop going for some unlucky reason or another or we move again.

More backstory, probably taking the cake for the worst story was when Lyra was about 4 months old and I decided to use the first several hour break I'd ever had away from her to go get my hair dyed and cut. So it had been like 6 months since I'd done anything with it, I was excited for my first taste of freedom. Then I'm chatting with my stylist I'd used before a few times and trusted enough to dye my hair. She asks how my hair has been doing postpartum and I explain I'm having some of the usual expected hair loss and my scalp seems a little more dry and itchy since having a baby but nothing too drastic or crazy. This is where everything goes downhill. She tells me I have lice. I freak out because if I have lice, so does my 6 month old who sleeps with us, and our house requires decontamination. I'm also super disappointed my first day out post baby is ruined and I'm embarrassed. I held it together until I left but basically went home and cried and made Travis go out for de lousing things. And we spend the next couple hours hardcore searching for lice just to find no lice. None. No lice anywhere, on anyone. Good thing Travis is a skeptic and is like, let's research before you just put all this on your head. Upon inspection Travis is like, "Ehhh I mean, your scalp is a little dry but not even extreme...." I still do some intense moisturizing treatment to be sure and after a couple hours my hair is essentially back to pre baby normal. I debated going to get a doctors note to make a point but I didn't want to spend the $30 copay, especially after spending the same on unnecessary de-lousing products. So I never went back to that hair stylist again. It is kind of a funny anecdote in hindsight but at the time it was awful.

Besides the imaginary lice incident, there was the Justin Bieber haircut debacle. That started out as an edgy assymetrical pixie/bob type haircut I had done somewhere I trusted. Then I believe we moved or I couldn't travel to Spokane all the time for a haircut, something like that. So I got it trimmed locally. And it wasn't as awesome anymore but it wasn't terrible. But the next time was. And so then I was like, let's just do a pixie. And then that made me look like a weird cross between Justin Bieber and my baby brother before he hit puberty and if he was white. I mean my brother isn't bad looking, we look eerily like opposite gender, different color twins. I just didn't want to look like his twin brother. I was working on the slope at the time and the company man literally called me to his office once because he was worried he made me feel bad with teasing about my haircut. I still have to laugh because my true feelings were more embarrassed for anyone who didn't realize that I realized my haircut was something out of a horror story.  I gave myself the Justin Bieber nickname because sometimes you just have to laugh. The poor stylist I found in Anchorage to help fix the worst of it clearly was a little taken aback by it. That was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. I was coming off nightshift and quite tired and probably had a beer first. I told him, just do something with it to try and improve it for growing it out. I know there's not much to work with and I will be legitimately impressed if you can make it worse than it is, so have some free reign and know I won't be mad. That's how I ended up with my first pink and purple hair ("Maybe some bright colors to just...distract...from the rest of it...."). And that pixie from hell haunted me quite literally up until the imaginary lice incident, that was the last of growing that out.

So anyway, cut to now. I have a stylist who does my hair well, but is so unreliable about scheduling that I just couldn't anymore. I'm talking 5 out of 7 appointments cancelled and/or rescheduled. So I found a new place, scheduled a few weeks in advance and verbally explained what my hair looked like and what I wanted. And I'm not dumb at this point, I sent in photos and gave myself a week before I really wanted it done (for maternity pictures) in case something happened. And 48 hours before my appointment my hair stylist emails to say she can't do it and refers me to someone else. So here we are.  I'm unsure when and how and if I will get my hair done somewhere around here again. I had Travis help me mostly dye it back to my naturalish color with 4 dollar Walmart dye. A frightening gamble but it mostly worked. We're probably giving it a round 2 and hoping for the best. Travis has had to help try and fix or manage so many of my hair disasters at this point that he says he's going to open up his own business.  Something like, Travis' Mediocre Hair. So that's my long winded story about why the last of my patience is gone and why I'm a brunette again. With a few weird patchy spots but, oh welllllll.

On the plus side I found a birth photographer I really like and I'm not stressed about not having one anymore. She's worked with my midwife and doula a lot before and has birth experience as a nurse too. I also found out my mom will  still be able to make it out here as planned as well. So maybe now I can have the last 6 weeks of pregnancy calm and planned as much as possible??

I have everything almost as set up as I can have it before baby gets here. The nursery is done, our bedroom is prepped with a birth space and baby sleeping space, breastfeeding/pumping stations are set up, some meals are frozen. I still need to do a few more freezer meals and stock a couple last minute homebirth items but we're good to go other than that.

Names: My vote is still Oswin Finley. Travis is still Finley Oswin.

Lyra stats: She is 3 now! She's started soccer which is adorable and funny. While "Baby Shark" is still an all time favorite song, a new favorite is "6 Cats," this random YouTube video that is both obnoxious and really catchy. Horrible combo, really. She has a new weird (for a toddler)  food she likes, blue cheese. Her tastes alternate between sophisticated and hating traditional toddler food, and super typical toddler preferences. She won't touch ketchup but she loves edamame. Still obsessed with sushi

She briefly went through a napping phase again but I think that was a growth spurt and she's coming out of it again. She gained 2 lbs for the first time in like a year though. Watching her growth patterns has been interesting. When she was exclusively breastfed, she was on the high end of the growth chart, around 80th percentile. Once she switched to solid food and picky eating, she dropped quite a bit and now she's definitely on the petite side, around 15th percentile. I haven't worried as she's clearly grown mentally and I think she has grown a bit in height, but it was weird. She was in 2T clothes by around 18 month and she still hasn't outgrown it all.

Best moment this week: I got out of jury duty! I was figuring they wouldn't want me as a juror seeing as I was basically full term, but I don't even have to go at all.

Other stuff: I took maternity pictures and I love them! Lyra cooperated beautifully. I also had to take some rainbow baby photos with rainbow scarves. Because there is no better time to climb around in your underwear on rocks in the middle of the desert than when you're 8 months pregnant. Here's my absolute favorites.

Looking forward to: Getting this kid to 37 weeks, that feels like one of the last few milestones and then he can show up whenever.