25 June 2011

it was more than the baby blues

Today I had a good day.  I'd say my best one yet since LE was born.  It involved a day with my Engineer and bestie, Sarah, and of course my baby.  I slept well last night, took a nap, went for a swim, got a massage, and even fit in some long desired family photos (which means somehow we all got showered, dressed, and no one was crying). 

We've had some adjusting to life as new parents pains.  LE is what Dr. Sears describes as a "high needs baby."  The girl doesn't like to relax and she'll let you know if you're not doing something quite right (which usually is taking her outside for a walk in her carrier).  But supposedly the "high needs" ones become very sensitive little people.  She's just like her momma...a little on the needy side.  She's got my hair, eyes, mouth, body, and personality.  I think the Engineer is probably a little concerned about two high maintenance women and praying for a boy next time around. 

I was quite teary for the first couple of weeks after LE was born.  Mostly concerned that LE was in pain or uncomfortable.  I was checking on her and worrying more than sleeping.  Then last week, just as LE seemed to be getting better and into more of a groove, I started to lose mine.  I became incredibly anxious and stopped being able sleep all together.  It was only a period of a couple of days, but it was scary and taking care of a newborn in such an exhausted state was almost impossible.  Luckily, I have a very supportive midwife and now an incredible therapist who helped me get back on track and learn to manage my anxiety and sleeping problems, a.k.a. Postpartum Depression.  I also must say a big thank you to my parents and Sarah for coming out to help take care of Maya and get me well! 

This has been one of the most trying experiences of my life, but I know it takes the lows to help us appreciate the highs in life.  LE is certainly a high for the Engineer and I, and I'm looking forward to enjoying her more and more each day!


24 June 2011

m.r.o.

So, it's been a rough week and I'm just now getting to my Father's Day post for the Engineer... (of course, I think he'll understand since he's been part of the week with me.) 

It's been fun to watch the Engineer become a dad.  He's pretty great at it.  The other day he took our noisy LE for a three hour walk, so I could sleep in peace after a rough night.  I'm pretty sure I fell 10 times more in love with him for that. 

LE loves her daddy.  They make faces at each other (she's such a serious little thing with the most perplex looks sometimes) and he blows raspberries on her belly and face (even though she doesn't quite fully appreciate this one yet...give it a month or so and I'm sure he'll have her giggling). 

The Engineer and LE have something special in common.  Their initials match, making them both MRO.

 Nap time with daddy. 

A close up on that cute face.

 Not happy about having to be burped.  (Father's day onesie!)

But daddy is the best at it!

Happy (belated blog post) Father's Day, babe.  I couldn't have picked a better babydaddy!


**I'll leave you with a great article the Engineer shared with me on how fathers parent differently and why it's important.

15 June 2011

she's so adorable

But you already knew that...


 Big yawns.

 Little feet.

And now for the 2nd most adorable thing ever...

LE got her very first package in the mail this week.  I know, you're thinking what I'm thinking "The girl is only 2 weeks old!"  But apparently LE makes friends fast.

 My college friend turned blog friend, from Indiana, had a baby girl this year too.  You should check out their adorableness at http://www.acupcakeformoose.com/.

Etsy presents are always the best - Thanks Mama Moose and Cricket!

11 June 2011

when the babes is fussy

We totally can't wait to get in the pool... 

For starters our increasingly fussy LE is quiet there and it's as hot as balls outside, so swimming would be a nice alternative to walks.

 LE loves having daddy wear her.

 Doesn't she have a bit of a summo wrestler look with her cloth diaper on?

Baby smiles.

09 June 2011

the wolfpack

LE meets her family...

 "and we're the three best friends that anyone could have..."  Seriously, does it get any cuter?

 Cousin kisses.

 
For all of you who were amused by my brother's squeamishness with pregnancy and babies...  I definitely had to pose him with her, but aren't you proud?  I certainly was.  She pooped while he was holding her :-)  He called me later that day, because he couldn't stop thinking about how I actually have a baby now.  I think it might take him a couple of visits to process his new love (yes, brother, that feeling you are experiencing is indeed what they call LOVE).

 Grammy and Pap.

 Auntie Sarah (I think these two have some kind of soul connection...as Auntie Sarah can sense things about Maya...such as her birthday).

Opa.

She also met her Auntie Amy, Uncle Micah, and Oma, but we some how managed to not get the pics of them on our camera.  Thanks everyone for visiting Maya and loving on her!

07 June 2011

when a lactation consultant breastfeeds

Well first lets just say "ouch"...

(I'd like to preface this post by saying breastfeeding is hard and I know each mom has her own story and those stories don't always end happy.  There's enough mommy guilt out there, so if breastfeeding didn't work for you it's my sincere wish that this post doesn't provoke any mommy guilt for you.  Breastfeeding is NOT a precursor to being a great mom!)

When LE (Little Engineer on this blog or Maya if you see her on the street) first latched on after delivery my first reaction was "That's what a strong tug feels like!"  We did the breast crawl, which allowed LE to crawl from my abdomen to breast and latch herself.  Yep a newborn can indeed do this (especially after an uncomplicated, natural delivery). The girl hasn't skipped a feeding since.  She ate 15 times in her first 24 hours...hence the "ouch".  I had a little bit of bleeding and bruising, but it all cleared up once the milk was in and my bowling ball boobs settled down.  (Going up 2 cup sizes overnight is also a bit painful...).  So, lesson being even if you know exactly how to get that perfect latch and what everything should feel like...it still doesn't always go perfectly textbook.

It's been really weird to experience all that I've read in books and have been teaching moms the last several years.  I definitely have a gained a new sense of empathy, especially for the desperation that mom's feel in those first couple of days. 

LE has been an amazing feeder from the first latch.  Mostly that is luck, but I also can't imagine not knowing all I know about breastfeeding.  About 3 or 4 times a day I give the Engineer and myself a lecture.  It's starts like this: "Ok, here's what I would tell my patients...."  He knows this is when he needs to listen up.  It's for both of us, which may seem weird, but I need to hear these things too...even if it is from myself.  For example, I gave us the Second Night Syndrome lecture right before we went to bed on our 2nd night.  And it was a good thing I did, because even though I knew it was normal I still about lost it in the midst of a baby that just screamed and screamed all night. 

Now things with breastfeeding are starting to feel on the up and up.  And it's t:he followings moments that make feeding every 1-2 hours, "ouch" latches, sore nipples, and bowling ball boobs seem more than ok:

 Looking up at momma through the corner of her eye.

Milk drunk, followed by big gummy smiles (that I haven't been able to capture via camera yet...)

And that, my friends, makes it all worth it.

03 June 2011

maya's birthday

It started around 8 am with a little pre-church hanky panky.  I felt crampy, but had been feeling that on and off, so I went about the day as usual.  I did some laundry and dishes and then we went to church.  After church the Engineer asked me how I felt and I said "Still crampy, but it's on and off".  He gave me a funny look and said "You mean you're having contractions?"  I replied "No, just crampy."  I called Sarah to let her know I was crampy and maybe things would be happening in a day or two.  She assured me she had a feeling the baby was coming that day.  She felt it in her bones.  I didn't put much stock in that feeling, because, well I was a first time mom and it would probably be a really long delivery.  We then ran some errands to finish off the to do list I was constantly creating.  After lunch the Engineer bargained for a nap, as I was keeping us constantly busy.  I let him sleep for an hour and then we went for a 2.5 mile walk.  (In which I would like to note the Engineer couldn't keep up with me on...it was hot in his defense and I was clearly pumped up with adrenaline).

Pre-walk, last in front of mirror pregnant photo. 

On the second 1/2 of our walk I started to have more intense "cramps" and would have to slow down my walking speed during them.  I finally decided that when we got back we should call the midwife and let her know what had been going on that day.  After speaking to the midwife she told me to make sure I slept well that night as I would probably be having a baby in 24 hours (this was around 5pm).  Since our walk was so boiling hot we decided to take a swim and I got in to do a few laps while the Engineer just dangled his feet in the water and laid back to rest (again I was exhausting the poor guy...).  I was finding that I would have to stop swimming to breathe through my "cramps."  (still wasn't ready to call them "contractions" yet.)  Once we got back to our condo and I took a shower I decided things were getting more intense and we should call our midwife, birth assistant and Sarah.  This was maybe around 6pm (from here on out time is fuzzy).  Our midwife, Story, said she would come over to check me and see how far along I was.  Maybe another 30 minutes or so went by and I informed the Engineer I felt like I was pushing.  He rushed to prepare our place and try to comfort me and direct everyone to our place.  It wasn't much longer before I felt a pop and gushing water (just like in the movies, which everyone swears never happens...).  Once Story was there she decided not to check me since my water had broke.  She was trying to get all her supplies together and ready when I said "I feel like the baby is bulging" and sure enough her head was there.  Story informed me I could have a baby in two pushes, but it wouldn't be a good idea because I would probably tear.  Luckily our birth assistant, Mary Beth, arrived soon after to finish preparing while Story focused on me doing warm compresses on my perineum and directing me on how to push in order to avoid any tearing.  Another hour and some change later of pushing and we had a baby.  I was in a squatting position and reached down and caught her myself. 


I had the baby in our bed (I know everyone is curious about this since it was a home birth) and I moved in and out of side lying and a squatting position.  All I could say throughout the process was that I wish I could have a break...just a couple of minutes in between contractions, because it was so intense.  The Engineer tells me that at one point Story said I was amazing at birth, to which I replied in a pathetic mumble "That's good because we're going to have lots of babies." 

It was insanely intense and so fast that I felt like I couldn't comprehend what was going on.  The Engineer tried to suggest things from our list of birthing techniques, but I could only close my eyes and survive each contraction.  At one point he put in my relaxation c.d. and with in 15 seconds I was like "no."  He did an amazing job coordinating everyone, setting up our video camera (Auntie Sarah, who was meant to video tape, didn't make it on time, although, her instinct was incredibly correct.), and comforting me.  I remember thinking I must be doing ok by his positive feedback.  It was the most beautiful, whirlwind birth ever and I am so thankful we got to experience in the comfort of our own home with the constant care of a midwife and birth assistant.  I honestly couldn't have dreamed of a more perfect birth (Not that I'm dying to do it again anytime soon...).  The female body is amazing.  I'm in awe of what my body was able to do.  My only advice is exercise, exercise, exercise - I really think this was a huge factor in my birth experience.

Story and Mary Beth weighing Maya.

I'll leave you with a few photos that we've taken since Maya's beautiful birthday. 


 Skin to skin with daddy.  We spend a lot of time naked around here.

 Daddy comforting Maya.  I must tell you that this girl completely adores the Engineer.  She could sleep on his chest forever.  That is until boobs pop in her mind and then she wants me.  I'm pretty sure that's all she sees when she looks at me.


 Skin to skin with momma.

Our first non-medical outing.  A walk in the park.

We love you Maya Rosslyn!