Tuesday, March 30, 2010
I did a mini photo session with my sweet Silas yesterday!
Although he slept well, it was not all that easy because I am still not at my regular energy level. He pooped and peed on most of my blankets too :) But I am sure there are many many more photo sessions to come with him! Hoping to get some with his brothers very soon.
Today I am venturing out of the house with my three boys, solo. My older guys have gymnastics and they missed the last 3 sessions, so we are going today. My husband has a long dentist appointment so he can not join us! I will take a wrap or a sling, which Silas loves to be in, and we may be really brave and go to our food co-op for lunch. Friday we are taking Silas to his 1st playgroup playdate at the park! The weather is going to be gorgeous this week!
Everything has been going great in our 1st week as parents to three. He sleeps so well and when he is not sleeping he is calmly awake taking it all in. I love to just hold and stare at his sweet face all day long. He smiles so much in his sleep too.
Breastfeeding is going really well. I plan to post on this later, discussing the pain I have gone through, pain I don;t remember so much with my other boys, and my annoying quest for the perfect nursing bras and tops.
I have sooo much milk though I feel like I am overfeeding the poor guy! He poops and pees all day long! He has already grown a double chin :) I am uncomfortably engorged as I type and regretting not buying up a pump...so off to take a warm shower and looking forward to getting out in the sunshine!
And for those that like birth stories, I am almost done with his, will probably post tomorrow! I have been really limiting my time here on the computer, as I do not want to spare any precious moments I could be spending gazing at my sweet baby....oh, and those other kids too :P
Wishing you all a beautiful day!
Saturday, March 27, 2010
I am still working on reliving the epic birth story of Mr. Silas Avery:)
We decided on a middle name, Matt picked that too :)
But in the meantime I am trying to be good and take it easy. I am not so good at the resting, I should know by baby #3 how important resting is... I am still sore and quite crampy but in complete baby bliss.
We have had MANY visitors and repeat visitors in the last few days. All were more than welcome to come meet Silas, as I know they were quite anxious too, but it did leave me a bit exhausted.
But I am thankful they all came and more than grateful for all the gorgeous flowers and gifts and treats they brought!
And resting is a bit harder when your husband, who meant well by taking the kids to the skate park to give me a rest, sprained his ankle and had to go to the ER last night...oy vey, were both laid up now :)
Silas had a pediatrician appointment yesterday. I dreaded taking my 2.5 day old baby out into the world to be stripped and examined on a cold table, but we did well. He only lost 1 oz from birth and everything else is fine. He lost his umbilicle cord stump already at the Dr. office. She cleaned it up and said it is fine, my other boys had theirs over a week though. But I am glad to not have to mess with it.
He is nursing like a champ and my milk (and my porn sized boobs:) came in. I am a bit uncomfortably engorged, but it is getting better with frequent feedings, warm showers and cabbage leaves. It is quite painful when he latches still, but I am toughening up.
His eyes are a bit jaundice, like my other babies, but nothing a little nursing in the sun by the window will not cure.
Not long ago Matt and I were just gazing at him in baby bliss and he made the biggest smile ever, I was so happy we both caught that moment....and then a moment later he peed and projectile pooped on me :)
Not crazy about this pic Max took, but it shows how exhausted I am :)
And proud Daddy resting his ankle.
(me 9 months pregnant)
Just days after conceiving in early June of 2009, I knew I was pregnant. In all honesty, this was surprise baby #3. We never planned any of our pregnancies, but please do not mistaken these as unwanted in any way. My husband and I practice the rhythm method of birth control, and there are times we are being risky and we know it. I know my body and my cycles and know when we are close to days of possible conception. So lets just say I was kinda wanting another baby :)
I had a few pregnancy tests from about 6 months earlier when I thought I was pregnant, but found out I wasn't before I used them. It was a busy morning the day I took it to confirm I was indeed pregnant. The kids were getting dressed, my husband was in the shower...I just strolled in and sat on the toilet and peed on the stick and held it up to my husband. He was really taken by surprise, but of course we were both overcome with joy...ok, and a bit of panic about having a 3rd baby!
Like my other two pregnancies I was easily tired and had morning/day sickness for 12 weeks. At about 14 weeks I made my 1st midwife appointment and knew we would have our baby around the Spring Equinox, March 20th. The rest of my pregnancy was uneventful, I marvelled at my growing belly and was super anxious to meet him or her. We elected to not have a sonogram and therefor did not know the sex. Matt really did not want to find out, I kind of did but decided a surprise would be nice.
(just after we arrived at the birthing center)
(warning, I labored for 22 hours, 12 hours were hardcore labor, this may be a long story!)
On Monday night/early Tuesday morning at 2 am I awoke with a contraction. It was strong enough to make me think that at two days past my estimated due date (just like my other boys)...this may be the beginning of real labor and that I should rest. I fell asleep to have another at 2:30 and then they came every 20 minutes or so and I tried to sleep in between them.
At 8:30 am they were 15 minutes apart and I was growing anxious and unable to sleep through them. My boys woke up and bounded down the stairs and I set them up with breakfast and a movie in their room so I could continue to labor downstairs.
At 10:30 I woke Matt up and told him this was it, they were 10 minutes apart. He immediately jumped out of bed and we got ready to go. I called the midwife and we agreed it was no rush and we would meet at the freestanding Birthing Center at 1:00. Matt was nervous so when his mother arrived to stay with the boys we left a little early at 11:45.
I was hungry and Matt went to Dunkin Donuts for me to get me bagels with cream cheese :) Not something he would ordinarily do for me as he is anti all fast food in any way, but he did this time for me. And even went in b/c the window in our Honda would not go down. I had a contraction in the car waiting as they were now coming every 8 minutes.
Thankfully we missed rush hour going into the city, but I still could not help but curse and then apologize to my dear husband as he hit bumps during contractions. And PA is known for the worst roads after a hard winter, so the bumps were almost constant!
Amusingly we both had to pee very bad! Matt was seriously bouncing in his seat within blocks of the Center, and haha, he actually pulled over 2 blocks away to pee in a bottle he could not wait anymore, I teased him about his water breaking and swore at him for bouncing the car up on to a curb when he pulled over.
At 12:30 we arrived and you have to be buzzed into the building, they asked who it was, I said, "Mary Beth, I am having a baby". When they buzzed me in I darted to the back bedroom where I planned to birth and ran to the bathroom, the nurse thought the baby was coming out and ran in behind me. I told her I just had to pee really bad!
The midwife on duty, Kara, and her nurse Vanessa came to see how I was. They watched me get contractions every 2-3 minutes and thought I was close and said it was a good thing I came when I did. At 1:00 when they checked me I was only 4 cm and 50% effaced.
I was crushed. With my last baby I was 10 cm when I arrived, I expected to hear at least 6 or even 8 for as strong and close the contractions were.
The other midwife on call, Lori arrived after doing rounds at the local hospital and came in to see how I was progressing. She did not want to check me again but asked if I wanted to stay or go back home, I decided to stay. I live 30 minutes from the center and did not want to risk delivering in the car coming back!
(breathing through a contraction with banana in my mouth)
At 2:00 I got in the jacuzzi to ease the contractions that were still coming every 2 minutes.
At 3:00 we decided to try walking around. I went up and down the steps in the center and then we went outside. It was blustery and rainy but we huddled together under an umbrella and walked very slowly along the city blocks. Me in my hoodie, sweats and flip flops, Matt in loafers and flannel PJ pants. We had to stop for me to lean on cold brick walls and office building doorways while I breathed and yelled through contractions. Quite a sight to see I am sure. :) It was really odd to be laboring right on the sidewalk in the city.
I decided I was hungry again, and the bag of fruit we brought was not enough so we got in the car to go to the health food store a few blocks away. I labored in the car and cursed at Matt when he came back for taking so long. He ran into people he knew and was explaining what we were up to.
At 4:00 we went back to the Center to eat the squash soup and rolls Matt got, I ate between contractions 2 minutes apart. The food made me very nauseated with bad heartburn.
At 5pm they checked again, still 4-5 centimeters, more devastation. I could not believe it. He was not dropping, they could not break my water b/c he was not low enough...but I had been laboring so hard....I was already so very tired.
(the birthing ball was a big help!)
6:30 pm, Six centimeters. Progressing, but slowly. I was so exhausted already. Dozing between contractions and swearing and moaning during them.
At 7 pm the midwives changed shifts, Lisa left and Nancy came in. My nurses also changed and Jamie was my new nurse. They were both so wonderful while I labored. Stroking my arms, massaging my back, putting cool cloths on my head, giving me sips of ice water...I was so thankful they were present. Matt was also an amazing labor partner as always. He rubbed my back and tried to keep me relaxed.
Around 8 pm I got back in the jacuzzi, the loud sound it made distracted me a bit during the very strong contractions. I was so exhausted I actually fell into a deep enough sleep in 1-2 minutes between contractions to dream. Every time another contraction would come, my limp hand would emerge from the water for Matt to hold and let me squeeze his hand. I would awake and come back to reality, to the moment and try to get through the next contraction. When the contraction ended my arm and hand would drop back into the water. I labored in the jacuzzi for what seemed like hours. I felt like i was in a meditative trance like state while I was in there. When I finally decided before getting out that I wanted narcotics, they told me it was too late, it was time to push.
I finally got out and made it to the bed and laid on my back. The midwife then was able to break my waters by just barely touching the sac while I had a contraction. This was very painful and I think I yelled at her but the baby dropped down just after she broke my water. So then I began trying to push. I was feeling pretty sick and would throw up a little bit after each contraction. It was near impossible for me to get in a good push, Matt and the nurse had to hold my legs up and back, I just could not do it, I was exhausted.
It was so different than 4 years earlier, in this very same room, when I delivered my 2nd son Sam. I did not have that super woman strength or motivation this time around.
It was very painful for me on my back, because like my other babies, this one was posterior, so they had me get on all fours on the bed. When your baby is posterior, facing the wrong direction, it causes you to have very bad back labor. I barely had the energy to hold myself up on my hands and knees. I cried pretty hard and then threw up a lot. I really was having a hard time at this point. I remember banging the top of my head on the headboard during contractions, trying to displace the pain and distract myself, and some out of frustration.
I would look Nancy, my midwife, in the eye, and tell her I just could not go on, I could not do this. I begged to just be able to go to sleep, for it all to just end. But they all cheered me, told me I could, and I had to. The midwife then asked if I wanted to try the birthing stool. (a U shaped stool)
Matt sat behind me on the bed and I leaned on him for support while I sat on the stool. I was digging my elbows into his thighs, but he beared through it and gave me the physical and emotional support I needed to get the baby out.
I pushed for over an hour while on the birthing stool when the baby finally dropped down far enough that they could see his head. Hearing this news gave me the 2nd wind I needed to get my baby out and into my arms. My midwife asked if I wanted to feel his head, I didn't with my other two babies, so this time I was eager too.
(I think that maybe I started pushing too soon, in reflection, I wished I had waited longer, but at the time I just wanted the baby out so bad)
After feeling his warm and wrinkly head full of hair I felt this incredible surge of energy. I pushed really good 3-4 times for each of the next few contractions....I also screamed like a wild woman when he finally began to emerge. My, for lack of better words, butt hurt so bad that I kept screaming this to my midwife. There was not really the ring of fire pain, but such incredible pressure I thought I would burst open. I know I screamed louder than with Sam's birth. I had this feeling that I had lost all control and didn't remain as calm as I did with Sam.
His head finally emerged and two pushes later his shoulders and the rest of his beautiful little body was born at 11:30 pm.
Unlike my other births, I did not cry when I finally pulled my sweet baby to my chest, but my dear husband did. It's not that I didn't feel the same overwhelming emotions, I was just so very exhausted. I also didn't even think to see if "it" was a boy or a girl until 2-3 minutes after he was born. I finally peeked and and then was hit with beautiful floods of emotion as I told my husband we had another boy! I knew this all along, maybe it was intuition, but I just knew my entire pregnancy that we would have another boy.
When he first came out he did not cry immediately and was a purple-blue color. After a minute he finally let out some cries and pinked up immediately. (I was happy to learn the midwives do not believe in sucking that baby with the suction ball, they think this is unneccesary and uncomfortable and baby will clear that out on his own)
I slid back on the bed and laid my sweet boy on my chest and my husband and I just gazed at him while I put him to my breast to nurse. He latched on and nursed eagerly.
They cut the cord after it stopped pulsating, about 20 minutes after he was born. (this is very important!) Matt chose to not cut it, just like the other times, as this is a little too much for him :) My placenta delivered very soon after with just one push. It helped that the baby was nursing which makes it easier. I was happy and surprised to hear I did not tear at all! We got to check out the placenta and cord, which is just an amazing thing to me, to see what nourished and held my baby for the last nine months. We also brought it home. I took a piece and made a homeopathic tincture ( http://www.placentalremedy.com/ ) and we will be burying the rest under a newly planted tree in a few weeks.
After letting us bond for those early moments, the midwife and nurse came to check Silas out to make sure everything seemed ok. The beautiful thing about birthing here, rather than a hospital, is they do this while he is still laying on your chest. There is no whisking away of the baby to clean, weigh, examine, ink, etc. The baby lays with you for as long as you want until you are ready to let them weigh him. With my hospital birth with my 1st son, I was so upset by this, I hated that his first moments of life were him on a table screaming his little head off while they did all that too him, I wanted him to be with me so very bad!
A few hours later, when I was ready, we found out he weighed 7lb and 4 oz, 21 inches long. Exactly what my husband guessed. Matt told me he really wanted to name him Silas and I agreed. Silas means of the forest or man of the forest, which is very fitting for our tree hugging, outdoor loving lifestyle.
(Daddy giving Silas skin contact warmth while I showered)
It was after midnight and I was ready to sleep, but 1st I got up to get a shower. Although I was exhausted, I still felt wonderful. While I showered and Matt rocked the baby, my nurse changed the bedding and then left us peacefully to rest. Silas slept between Matt and I until 5 am when I awoke, energized and ready to go home. I was a bit sore, but nothing like my hospital birth when I had an episiotomy. This time I just felt like I ran a marathon the day before.
They made me English muffins with peanut butter and jelly, as I requested. At the Center, they will make you anything you desire after you deliver! All good healthy food, donated by Whole Foods.
At 7am we all got dressed and ready to go home. The discharge nurse came in to check our vitals and to get Silas's foot prints and finished up some paperwork.
(just before we left to go home)
The nurse walked us to the car and Matt and I headed home to introduce our sweet new baby to his big brothers and his Grandma and Ya-ya.
(I have done birth photography for two clients, and debated while I was pregnant to let a photographer friend document this birth. I decided in the end that I did not want to. Mostly b/c it is such an intimate setting at the Midwife Center. Just a midwife, a nurse and my husband and I in a small dark bedroom. If it were a hospital birth I would have asked her to come. These are photos my husband and I took. There are not many, and the quality is really bad b/c it was dark and I did not want a flash, but I am still pleased with the few memories he captured. I also chose to not video this birth, like I did with Sam and Max's.)
Now almost 20 days later as I reflect on this birth, I have to ask myself, if I were to do it again, would I go drug free? At first I thought I was no longer an advocate for an all natural birth, but after that sweet baby was laid on my chest I knew I would and could do it again. We do not plan on an "again", but if it should happen, I will most definitely go drug free, and AT HOME!!
I loved my experiences with the midwives at the birthing center, but I also would love to have a home birth. I let Matt talk me out of it this time around, mostly because he was so nervous about it, and financially we could not make it work, as we would have had to pay a large sum of cash vs. our insurance covering it all. But IF there is a next time, I will be laboring and birthing in the comfort of my own home :)
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Baby Silas was born at 11:30 pm last night (3/23) after 20 hours of intense drug free labor!
Weighing in at 7lb 4oz and 21 inches long.
I let my husband name him and although I was not crazy about it at first it is growing on me. I get to choose the middle name, but have yet to pick one :)
I will post a birth story later when I am rested. Not that many may want to hear it! I don't think I want to relive it! Lets just say I may no longer be an advocate for a drug free birth!
We are home and resting and Silas is only 13 hours old and nursing like a champ :)
Monday, March 22, 2010
It all started with obsessing over the adorable bib and burp cloth sets I saw on Etsy. So I thought, maybe I can make them? I made quite a few sets, some for me and I gifted a few.
Then I wanted a boppy cover in the same pattern...
And then decided a small diaper tote should not be too hard...
And then I really wanted to put this fun fabric to use and really tested my skills with this bag, which I LOVE and learned much more about sewing in the process...like basting and pleating...
And since I am a babywearing Mama who can never have enough carriers, I made a few more ring slings to add to my collection!
Then the boys and I did a few projects together...
And one of my bigger projects, which left me a bit exhausted with sewing...
I reupholstered my glider rocker. I got it for a shower gift with my 1st baby so it was, well Loved :)
In addition to all the crafting I did my fair share of organizing, getting rid of things, tossing, donating, cleaning and rearranging during my nesting period. I have not felt like nesting much this last week...think that part is done :)
Cooking, well I have not done more than heated spaghetti sauce or whipped up a pot of oatmeal as I have been avoiding the kitchen...thankfully I have a super fabulous husband who likes to nourish his family :)
Baby update....I had contractions all night, every 1/2 hour or so, now they are every 15-20 minutes and last about 30 seconds each...but not sure if they will continue and result in real labor today...
I had a dream I had the baby, it shot right out onto the floor! It was super tiny, I think a girl, and seemed ok and I breastfed it...then it turned into a doll...
"A bird in the house is a sign of a death. If a robin flies into a room through a window, death will shortly follow." from here
WHAT!! I really should not have googled that!!! :( now I am kinda freaking out....I kinda want to cry...I'm not all that superstitious...ok, maybe a bit...damn bird!!
I am nervous enough about the birth of this baby that I DID NOT NEED TO READ THAT! I am just a tad bit superstitious, I come from some very superstitious people, my mom and especially her Dad.... DAMN BIRD!
Matt came down the steps this morning to tell me a bird was in the fireplace in our bedroom. So I follow him up and yes, there was yet another bird trapped in the fireplace...
We have an antique window there, for decoration, and to prevent birds in the bedroom! This is I think the 3rd one since we remodeled the bedroom and exposed the fireplace which was all plastered over. Think we need to put a screen on the chimney...
I hid in the hallway and peeked in at the poor thing smashing off the ceiling and floor...it finally saw the open window and flew out. Matt remained calm...much calmer than when we used to get bats in our old 3rd floor attic apartment :) Then, he screamed like a girl and hid under blankets, shh, I didn;t tell you that!
But I will put it out of my head, the bad omen of the bird in the room, besides, it did not fly into an open window, it fell down the chimney! Thinking happy positive thoughts about our morning visitor...
And no, no signs of labor...does not feel like a baby plans to arrive today :)
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Pregnancy Tickers from WiddlyTinks.com
Today is my "estimated" due date. I understand it is just an estimation and some babies stay put for close to 42 weeks, but it is hard to have a date set in your mind for NINE long months to only go to bed feeling overly anxious and a bit disappointed that baby is not quite ready yet.
My midwife told me the 3rd baby is a wild card, to not assume baby will come as scheduled or that baby will just shoot right out :) My sister told me yesterday her 3rd baby was 17 days late!
I am trying to be patient. I am trying to enjoy these last few days of pregnancy, as this will most likely be my last. But I am so anxious to meet this baby and bring him or her into the world! I am overly anticipating the moment my husband announces whether it is a boy or a girl!
I think maybe baby Miller X knows we have yet to choose a name. I have been making lists, my husband and I toss ideas around daily, but we have yet to settle on a few concrete names for a boy or a girl!
This morning, my sweet 4 yo Sammy came to cuddle with me when he woke up. He can be a bit feisty at times and an obsessive booger picker, but he still loves to cuddle with me and he LOVES my belly. He tells me more than a few times a day I am "beautiful" and the "bestest girl ever", he melts my heart. This morning he asked when this baby was coming, and that he did not want the baby to come yet b/c he loved my big beautiful belly. :)
Today my super wonderful mother in law, (yes, I love her and we get along better than my own mother and I) is taking my boys for the afternoon and my husband and I are having a lunch date. I always envy the couples I know that have regular dates with their husbands. My man and I RARELY get away sans kids. We really enjoy being around them, go figure :) and when they are gone, we feel lost without them.
I do think it is important that we make a better effort to get out together alone, so when he came in from work at 6am and woke me with a kiss and his idea of a lunch date, I was so excited. Just hoping if baby does decide to come today, (s)he lets me have my dessert first! And although your supposed to not talk about kids on your date, we may have to settle on some names over our meal!
I feel like baby has dropped, thinking that might have to do with all the walking I have been doing. (S)he is no longer restricting my breathing. And as anxious as I am to have another drug free birth, I do hold a small amount of fear. This could be due to the fact that I watched Sammy's birth video a few weeks ago. Bad idea, I much prefer the memories I had of it being "easy" and "fast"....haha, the memory is a bit different that the reality of the video!
And although my midwives are not likely to have me admitted to induce labor in any way, I like to remind myself with articles like this one, that baby will come when baby is ready and I do not need to be induced in any way. Although if I do not deliver by weeks end, I will be trying all the old skool methods that may or may not work :)
Here is the link to my self portrait pregnancy series. I need to do one more silhouette for 40 weeks so I can create some type of story board...
Happy Sunday to everyone! I hope the weather is as gorgeous where you are, as it will be today here in Pittsburgh!
Friday, March 19, 2010
Oh, and meet our friend Tango :)
My 4yo son named him yesterday. He is fearless and will come up to your feet for a treat :)
(ok, my pics are cut off a bit...still trying to figure out how to size them right, I;m new to this blogging stuff!)
And some new baby birds I was able to capture...hoping mama bird nests here again :) Nice and low in a bush for me to peek in!
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Our Lil Rascals :)
We hung out at the park for three hours! It was too nice to go home and the kids were having so much fun and getting some much needed sun and Vitamin D :)
They seemed to reach a point of getting so loud I almost found myself hushing them....then I realized we were outside and this is what they were supposed to be doing, being kids and just going wild :)
My super fabulous husband rode his bike to the park to meet up with us and then took the six older kids on two different long hikes down onto the park trails into the woods while us Mommies got to sit and chat it up.
He showed them onion grass, ant hills, groundhog holes and buds emerging from the wild berry bushes. We are nature lovers and Matt really enjoys sharing this with kids. I want to go on and on about how amazingly grateful I am for my husband, but I have decided to make a separate post for him in the near future. :) He deserves one of his very own!
One of my favorite pics of him, I really need to take more :)
I would have loved to join them on their hike, but baby was dropping yesterday and I was feeling a lot of pressure and pain.
Me and my friends baby Milo, he fit perfectly on my belly :)
I also got a few shots of his 1st ride on the swings :)
It is just amazing at how sunshine and warmth can really lift your spirits, to clear the gray moodiness of winter, to clear your head and make everyone smile. I am grateful for this weather, grateful for good friends. And grateful this pregnancy is coming to an end :) I am so ready and so anxious to meet this little one! Now if only we had a name(s) for him/her! Thankfully the midwife center I will be delivering in allows you to leave w/o naming baby...well they give you a few days :)
Here is one of my last belly pics! I am headed to an appointment with my midwife, I am hoping this is the last until she is actually catching this baby!
Planning to go to the park again today with the boys. We're going to stop at the food co-op and grab lunch to have a picnic in the park on another gorgeous day!