Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Jacob's Birth Day

I've been meaning to sit down and write all about the day Jacob was born and "how it all happened." It was definitely a little adventure! I decided I better write about it soon before my memory gets fuzzy. I can't believe my baby boy is already going to be one month old in just a few days! I know he's still tiny, but at the same time he is already looking so much bigger to me! I am truly panicking about how fast my little one is going to grow up!

The day Jacob was born...Saturday, April 25th, 3 days after my due date...I woke up with no clue that it would be "the day." I had been having "practice" contractions over the previous days and weeks, but they were sporatic and had only ever felt somewhat uncomfortable at their worst...nothing that felt like "the real thing" to me. Well, late that Saturday morning, I don't even remember around what time, I had some contractions again, but this time they were moving out of the realm of uncomfortable into slightly painful. I didn't think too much about it at first because it was only slight pain and they weren't coming frequently. Ryan was on the computer and Thomas was distracted watching TV or playing with his toys, so I went into the office and sat in the recliner and talked with Ryan for awhile, then ended up dozing off. Ryan sensed something was really happening (he told me this later) because he let me sleep and when I woke up he had completely cleaned the kitchen and the kitchen floor til they were gleaming. After I woke up I continued to have contractions here and there, and they were continuing to be painful. This was in the afternoon sometime...I really didn't keep very good track of time! As time went on I started having a harder time with the contractions, and we decided we better start paying attention to how often they were coming. We realized they were coming just about every 10 minutes. At this point, Ryan was feeling way more convinced that something was seriously happening than I was. But we decided that if they kept coming and getting painful that we would call my mom so she could come out to be with Thomas, just in case we had to go to the hospital. (We would have just brought Thomas to the hospital with us and had my mom meet us there and take him to her house to stay, but he had the croupe at the time, and my brother and his wife and their 2 kids were staying with my parents, and I didn't want Thomas to get my niece and nephew sick...the croupe is very contagious). So, the contractions kept up and finally, when it was almost 5 pm, we go to call my mom. So I try, and I can't get ahold of her! Later I found out she was out running errands and had her phone with her, but it was on silent. It wasn't a big deal though, because Ryan's sister Sara lives even closer to us than my Mom, and I had asked her if she could kind of be "on call" along with my Mom as I approached and then passed my due date. So we called Sara about 5:20 pm and told her we thought something was probably happening, and asked if she could just come be with Thomas til we got a hold of my mom and she could come out to stay the night with him at our house.

Thankfully, unlike when I went into labor with Thomas, I was ready and packed for the hospital and most of my stuff had already been in my car for several days, and we only had to grab a few additional things to bring. Sara arrived shortly before 6 pm and Ryan was earnestly trying to get me out the door while I just kept talking to Sara. He was really getting nervous!!! Finally he got me out the door right about 6, and I guess by then I was pretty convinced it was really happening. It was hard not to be skeptical though! With my first baby, when I first went into labor, my contractions were pretty painful and coming just about 5 minutes apart for a few hours, and when we went to the hospital the first time, they sent us home! And I kept contracting like that for about 21 more hours before Thomas was born! So I was wondering if the same thing was going to happen with this baby boy...I really didn't want to show up at the hospital and get sent home again!

Well, as Ryan and I drove the 20-25 minutes it takes to get to the hospital, I finally became convinced that our baby really was close to arriving. (There are closer hospitals to us, but I loved the hospital I delivered Thomas at...Orem Community Hospital...and wanted to deliver there again, even though we've moved a little further away since then.) As we drove my contractions were getting worse, and with each one I really started feeling the urge to "bear down", or push, basically. This frightened me because it was an urge that was very hard to resist! I hadn't felt that at ALL when I was in labor with my first baby...when I talked with the nurses about it later they said it was because my first baby was posterior (facing the wrong way), and that the way pressure is applied when a posterior baby advances through the birth canal is often different, and might not cause the urge to bear down (though a posterior baby often causes back labor instead, which I definitely had a lot of with Thomas). Jacob was not posterior, and the urge to bear down was crazy strong and very new to me! Forgive me if this is simply disgusting, but I kept telling Ryan with every contraction, "I feel like I really need to poop!" We were both getting quite worried! As he drove he got on the phone to tell his mom we were on the way to the hospital, and as she is an experienced labor and delivery nurse herself, he was asking a whole bunch of questions and she started telling him everything he needed to do just in case we didn't make it to the hospital and he had to deliver the baby in the car or something! I was freaking out a little bit and trying to resist the urge to bear down, but she reassured Ryan that as long as my water hadn't ruptured or broken yet, the baby wasn't going to be born yet. During the drive I got seriously contractions were getting stronger and stronger, and though Ryan was driving pretty fast, it didn't feel fast enough for me! I kept telling him to turn his flashers on and just go as fast as he could, asking him, "Can you still get pulled over by a cop if you have your flashers on?" I confess I even cursed a few times at some of the people we got stuck behind that just seemed like they were moving sooooo sloooow!!! I was like, "I'm about to have a baby here, people!!!"

So we finally made it the hospital and drove right up to the entrance to the Women's Center and just left the car there and went in. (Wish I would've known the first time around that they will valet park cars for women in labor...with my first baby we parked our car and then I was really struggling to walk while having contractions! We pretty much just had to stop walking every time I contracted.) Even though we were parked right outside the door, I was hurting bad enough that I even considered having Ryan go in to get me a wheelchair, but I was too impatient...I just hung on him when we walked in, and when we got to the desk and told the nurse at the front that I was in labor, I saw some nurses in the back noticing me and giving me sympathetic looks. I had already pre-registered with the hospital, but the nurse/receptionist was still taking a minute to admit us, when a nice nurse came through the doors and said she would just take me back. This nurse, Ana, ended up being one of my delivery nurses and she was awesome. She took me to an observation room and then Ryan showed up a minute later. I got changed into a gown and then she came back to check me...she said I was dilated to a 5 and about 90% effaced. I told her I had been so worried we'd get to the hospital and get sent home, but she said "Don't worry...I don't send girls who are dilated to a 5 and 3 days overdue home!" That was such a relief to hear!

The nurse and Ryan and I talked while waiting for the anesthesiologist...well I talked when I could. At that point I was really hurting and I couldn't talk or do anything but breathe and concentrate during contractions. She checked me one more time shortly before my epidural, and I was at a 5 1/2. When the anesthesiologist came to administer the epidural he commented on how strong it sounded like my contractions were, concerned that maybe I was too far dilated for an epidural, but the nurse reassured him that she had just checked me right before he arrived. Shortly thereafter, maybe just 10 or 15 minutes later when my epidural had actually kicked in, Ana checked me again and said I was fully dilated! I had gone from a 5 to a 10 in an hour! So things were moving VERY quickly! And I had barely gotten my epidural in time! The nurses started getting all ready and then my doctor, Dr. Young, arrived. I was so glad he was able to make it, because I was told by my nurses that on Saturdays he and the 2 other OB/GYNs that work at his clinic take turns being on call, and it wasn't his day to be on call, so they said it might be the on-call doctor coming to deliver. I was a little disappointed at that prospect, but figured it wasn't a big deal since everything was going so well. They had called Dr. Young to let him know what was happening, but he had been driving home from somewhere and wasn't sure if he was going to be able to be there instead of the on-call doctor. Luckily, when he was relatively close by the hospital he called back to check and see if I had progressed, and when they told him I was completely dilated, he just came right in to deliver me! I was so happy when he walked in. He delivered Thomas, and I really wanted him to deliver my second baby!

Well, the doc didn't have to be there for long! My water hadn't broken, so he went ahead and broke it, and when they told me it was time to push, I almost couldn't believe I was really there, having our second baby! They could already see the top of Jacob's head! I pushed an incredibly short time...Ryan and I agreed it couldn't have been more than 5-10 minutes...and then Jacob officially came into the world at 8:02 pm! It was silent for a split second after he was completely out (which kind of scared me), and then when I heard him start to cry it was so exhilarating and surreal! I kept saying "I want to see him, I can't see him, hold him up!" And either the doc or Ryan said, "The cord is too short!" Apparently little Jacob came on quite a short line! So Ryan finally cut the cord and I got to see my little boy for the first time...he was screaming nice and loud and was healthy and perfect! He was born with a head of dark hair like his big brother, though he didn't have nearly as much hair as Thomas did. He weighed in at 9 lbs and was 21 inches long.

I waited impatiently while they cleaned him up and checked everything out and when I finally got to hold him it was still so surreal! I loved finally having that tiny little baby to hold and cuddle! I was so happy with how my delivery went, and I was especially grateful that Jacob was healthy and perfect. Even though my pregnancy was basically flawless and there was never any issues or reasons I had to worry, I sometimes felt so much fear that our baby would be born with health issues or something wrong. A perfectly healthy baby really is a miracle and a blessing!

Everything had gone so fast...we were only at the hospital about an hour and a half before Jacob arrived! My nurses and the doctor kept saying we couldn't have timed our arrival at the hospital more perfectly. My doctor told me I had "good birthing hips," which he said he was worried would offend me, but I told him not at all! He had said something to that effect with Thomas, too. He told me that next time, I was, quote, "in serious danger of giving birth on the freeway!" That made us laugh. An hour and a half felt like we were cutting it a little least for Ryan, who had been seriously stressed and worried about getting to the hospital in time! Hopefully I don't ever cut it too much closer than that!

I was so happy and grateful that my delivery went well...I couldn't have hoped for better. Everything went great when I delivered my first baby too, and as I got closer to my due date this time I kept reminding myself not to count on it going just like the first time, that I could even end up having to have an emergency C-section or something. But it was basically perfect!

I was also really glad that I actually got to have my baby room in with me at the hospital this time! When Thomas was born, his breathing rate didn't reach the optimal range it was supposed to within a certain time, and they were concerned that he had a little water on the lungs and could develop pneumonia, so he had to stay in the NICU the whole time he was in the hospital, hooked up to monitors and on a round of antibiotics. (It sounds scary to say "he was in the NICU," but in my small hospital it was basically just a special section of the nursery for preemie babies or C-section babies or any babies that had special circumstances. Babies with real problems or health issues were transferred to the NICU at the larger hospital in Provo.) So, I had to walk down to the nursery any time I wanted to see my first baby...I never got to have him hang out in my room with me until he was off the antibiotics and I couldn't even nurse him while at the hospital until his breathing rates improved. So I loved being able to have Jacob in my room with me whenever I wanted, to feed him or cuddle him or just to watch him sleep!

All of our visitors were planning to come see us the next day, so in the hours after Jacob was born it was nice for Ryan and I to just have time alone with our little newborn. I got to see the first real bath they gave Jacob at the hospital, which I hadn't gotten to see with Thomas...I didn't know that all you had to do was ask to be there! Ryan ended up deciding to stay overnight at the hospital on the pull-out couch they had in my room, and it was nice to have him there (though the pull-out bed isn't incredibly comfortable and he didn't sleep all that great!).

The next morning (Sunday) our first visitors were my Mom and Thomas. I was so excited for Thomas to meet Jacob, but was a little sad about one thing...he still had the croupe. When I took Thomas to his doctor when he first came down with the croupe, and I knew our baby would be arriving any day, my CNP said if Thomas was still showing croupe symptoms when the baby arrived, she didn't want him within 5 feet of the baby. But I couldn't cope with that idea...we decided when Thomas came to the hospital we would just have him wash up really good when he arrived, change into a clean shirt, and wear a hospital mask.

I was a little heartbroken because Tommy's visit didn't go that great...he was very cranky during the duration of it. He was sick with the croupe, very tired because he wasn't sleeping well at night (he had actually fallen asleep in the car 5 minutes before my mom arrived and she and Ryan had to wake him up), and he was hungry too. Tommy was definitely excited to see Jacob...when he first came to my door and saw me and Jacob, he wanted to run to us...but Ryan had to stop him and make him get all cleaned up first, which didn't sit too well with him on top of how grumpy he was. I think he just wanted to finally see his baby brother and didn't understand why were getting in the way! He was still coughing (that terrible croupe-y cough) frequently, and we kept telling him he had to wear his mask if he wanted to hold Jacob, but he refused, and I was so sad. I was afraid he would leave without even holding his little brother. It was fun watching my mom hold Jacob and meeting him for the first time. We kept trying to get Thomas to wear a mask, and right as we about gave up and decided to just let my mom take Thomas home, he finally said he would wear the mask. I was so glad, because I was so devastated that he would leave without so much as holding his little brother...I had been looking forward to that for so long! But I was still sad because the first time we ever saw Tommy hold Jacob, I couldn't even really see the expression on his little face, because of his mask. That was (and kind of still is) hard for me to get over. But I kept telling myself that the fact Thomas was sick and terribly cranky that day was nobody's fault. Even though I was so unhappy about Thomas having to be so restricted during his first time meeting Jacob, the thought of my brand new baby ending up with the croupe was terrifying to me. And Jacob never did get sick, for which I'm incredibly grateful.

One thing that helped finally convince Thomas to put on his mask was the gift I told him that Jacob had gotten for him. I had heard that its sometimes a good idea to get young children a small gift or toy when they have a baby brother or sister, just so they feel special too and not overlooked when so much attention is put on the new little one. So I bought Thomas a pack of 4 little Matchbox airplanes/helicopters and packed them in my hospital bag, intending to give them to Thomas when he first came to visit. When Tommy wouldn't put the mask on, I told him Jacob had a present for him if he did. When I gave Thomas the little planes he was pretty excited. They are some of his new favorite toys and when he plays with them he always talks about how Jacob gave them to him.

Throughout the rest of that day we had lots of family come to visit: Nate and Fabi and Julia, Eric and Hayley, Sara and Jon, my Dad, Zane, Amber, Ciara and Dalin, Travis and Jared. It was a party in my room for the majority of the day! It was fun, even though my room did get a bit crowded at times...I think my nurse at the time was annoyed! The nurses are all about moms getting their rest, but I felt great and was in no mood to lay around in my hospital bed napping or something. I wanted to be up and moving around, feeling normal again...I was just so incredibly happy to not be pregnant anymore! (My sister-in-law Jenise had her fourth baby in December, and she had said something to me recently about how the minute your baby is born, you already feel like you can breathe again. I hadn't thought about that much when Thomas was born, so I paid particular attention to how it felt the moment Jacob was really was immediate, glorious relief as I felt my big ole belly deflating!)

I really enjoyed my hospital stay...Orem Community Hospital is awesome. I delivered Thomas there and even though we had moved a little bit of an inconvenient distance away since Thomas was born, I really wanted to deliver there again. Its a small hospital with really nice, big rooms, and my nurses (except for one really weird one) were all great. Since its so small and intimate the nurses really take good care of you, pay attention to you and remember who you are. I don't think I even remember seeing another mom during my whole stay! And I LOVE the hospital food...I seriously got so excited for every meal! I stayed the full 48 hours after Jacob was born and I was a little sad to leave when it was time for me to be discharged! I remember feeling the exact same way when I had Thomas too.

Going home:

When we arrived at our house, Thomas was so excited for his little baby brother to be home! Aunt Sara & Uncle Jon had watched him while Ryan came to get Jacob and I. Thomas' croupe had improved a lot during the couple of days Jacob and I were at the hospital, but he still hadn't gotten over it completely, so we were still a little nervous about Jacob getting the croupe too. We tried to teach Thomas not to cough near the baby and we made him wash his hands a lot (which he didn't love). I was so glad Jacob didn't ever get sick, and even happier when Thomas was all better and I didn't have to worry about either of my babies being sick!

Okay, so a couple of funny stories from the hospital...they both might be a little bit TMI (too much info!), but I HAVE to remember them!

Within the hour or so after Jacob was born, I was of course wanting lots of photos...of Jacob, of Ryan and I each with Jacob, of all 3 of us...the camera was getting lots of use and everytime we put it down we would get distracted and then when we wanted to take photos again we couldn't remember where we'd put the camera. Well, at one point, we seriously could NOT find the camera. Ryan and the nurse looked everywhere, and of course I was still confined to the bed, but I was looking as much as I could too. I was thinking, "We've been using it constantly, where could it have gone?" Then I said something like "I hope its not buried under my blankets or something!" Well, at that moment a little feeling of dread came over me...the nurse looked, just in case, and sure enough, it was tangled up in all of the blankets covering me! I was practically sitting on it! I had apparently put it on my lap and forgotten all about it being there and it somehow disappeared into the blankets. I was terrified for a split second when the nurse discovered it there, but thankfully the camera was completely fine. (Well...the cord did get a little dirty (gross, I know) and one of my incredibly nice nurses was nice enough to take the cord off and clean it in hydrogen peroxide or alcohol or something. Crazy! Yeah, I was much more careful with the camera after that. =)

Second story: My first few times changing Jacob's diaper at the hospital made me nervous. I know, I've changed a newborn's diapers before, but Jacob just seemed so fragile to me and it had been so long since I'd had a newborn...I felt almost like a first-time mom again when I changed his diapers the first few days. Well, one time when I went to change his diaper at the hospital, I unwrapped his blanket and discovered that he had had a complete meconium blow-out!!! That black, nasty, tar-looking poop was everywhere! All over him, his clothes, and even the inside of the blanket he was wrapped up in! There was no way I was going to be able to clean him adequately with wipes, so I called the nurses station to let them know that Jacob would probably be needing a bath...the stuff was seriously everywhere! A nurse that wasn't mine came and got him and when she saw the mess, she was like, "Oh yes, he definitely needs a bath!" Then my nurse, after she had seen the mess, came in and said she was amazed! She said it was probably the biggest meconium mess she had ever seen a newborn make and that she'd be surprised if he had any of the stuff left in him! Eeeeeew....

So on that lovely note. =) I was very happy with Jacob's delivery and felt like everything went great. I also felt like I recovered very easily and quickly, even though I had had to get a few stitches. I have to say again...I'm so happy not to be pregnant anymore!!! Aaaaah, the relief of not having to pee every 20 minutes! And no heartburn! And no waddling! And no swollen feet! And more than anything, I'm so grateful that I have had two healthy babies, and two great deliveries. Childbirth really is a miracle, especially when it occurs with no problems or issues. I definitely don't take it for granted!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mother's Day

I figured I'd write a little blurb about Mother's Day. I still didn't feel ready to take Jacob to church on Mother's Day, so he and I stayed home, but Ryan took Thomas to church and when they got home it was the cutest thing...Thomas runs into the house saying "Mommy, look what I made you! Happy Mother's Day!" and he hands me this sweet little pink card his nursery leaders helped him make. I melted when he said "Happy Mother's Day!" On Saturday Ryan also gave me a sweet card that was signed "Tommy, Jacob & Daddy" (still blows me away that I have three boys to love now!) and he brought me a pretty, very spring-y bouquet of yellow flowers. The flowers were particularly sweet of him because he actually had been working in Vernal, 3 hours away, all day both Friday and Saturday, and had stayed overnight in a motel there Friday night. When he got home from Vernal Saturday night I was so surprised when he appeared with flowers. It meant a lot that he had made the effort to stop and get them for me, when I could see he was obviously so tired and just ready to finally be home. Thanks honey. =)

Me and my babies

Monday, May 11, 2009

Baby Days (Part 2)

I didn't really finish my last post, and I really didn't get around to writing as much about what I wanted to write about...Jacob! He is a sweet little baby. In spite of all the new challenges, I really am loving having a little newborn again. I still feel remnants of "nesting syndrome" and I'm always tempted to try and rush to get things done while Jacob is sleeping, but I often have a hard time resisting not just sitting there and holding him to my chest for a long time while he sleeps, all tiny and curled up. That's one of the things I enjoy most about having a newborn, is how small and cuddly they are. He's 2 weeks and 2 days old today, and even though that is still so young and new, it scares me. I am already panicking about how fast he is growing and changing. I know he will pass out of this phase so quickly, so I'm trying to soak it all up while I can. I even love the sound of his cries...not that I love it when he cries, but I just love the newborn cry. Its so sweet and innocent and helpless, and everything about it just activates the instinct in you to want to hold and comfort and nurture that tiny little infant.

I'm really excited because I took Jacob to get some professional photos taken last Friday, when he was just a day shy of 2 weeks old. I have to wait 2 weeks to get a CD with all the edited photos back, but I saw a lot of the shots as she took them and they were just gorgeous. I am so excited to have some photos of my beautiful baby boy in this fleeting stage of his life, especially because its something I didn't do with Thomas, and have always regretted. We also didn't have a camcorder when Thomas was born, and we didn't get one until he was about 5 months old, so I can't go back and watch him when he was a little newborn. This time around I am feeling so anxious to document as much as I can of these first precious weeks!

I feel like Jacob's been a relatively easy baby so far...well, easy for a newborn anyway! He's not fussy or colicky at all, at least not so far, and I'm so grateful. Thomas was such a mellow, easy baby all-around, and I told myself that I was probably going to be in for it when we had our second baby! But that hasn't been the case at all. (So far. I keep telling myself that. Knock on wood!) Jacob does eat a lot!!! I know newborns eat very frequently, but sometimes it seems Jacob wants to nurse unusually frequently...I sometimes feel like I'm nursing him twice an hour! And with that comes a lot of messy diapers...I can barely keep this kid in a clean diaper, and I'm always shocked when I go to change him and he's only wet! But its nice to know that he's definitely getting enough to eat, and I'm glad that he's healthy and growing. He actually had his 2-week doctor's appointment today, the first one since the pediatrician saw him at the hospital (And it was my first time out of the house, alone, with both kids. Oy. More on that later.). Today Jacob was 9 lbs 11 oz (he weighed 9 lbs even at birth) and measured 22 in (he was 21 inches at birth). That puts him in the XXth percentile for weight and the XXth percentile for height. So he's already above average! I'm curious to see how Jacob grows, and if he'll be a giant kid like his big brother. His nurse practicioner said that Jacob's weight gain was great and that he was doing very well. That's what a momma wants to hear! The only thing I feel sad about is the poor little guy has a clogged tear duct in one eye, so he develops a lot of gunk or drainage in that eye and I have to clean it really regularly. The CNP said that its relatively common and should clear up on its own sometime between 2 and 12 months. I just feel bad for Jacob because I'm always having to mess with his eye and clean it, and sometimes, especially after he wakes up, he has so much stuff it makes it hard for him to open his eye all the way! I'm hoping it does go away on its own because the CNP did say that on some occasions you have to take the baby to an eye specialist and they'll insert something into the duct to open it up...that scares me! So I hope that won't have to happen.

A funny note about Jacob's dirtying a lot of diapers...a lot of the time when he goes poo it is SO LOUD! I say he "squelches." Its so loud and juicy-sounding (forgive me, but its so funny and I want to remember!) that I'm convinced that when I go to change his diaper he will have totally blown out, or the poo will just start flowing out like lava. But often there's very little there! So weird. I have to say, newborn poo is nothing compared to changing the diapers of a toddler who eats the same diet as I do. Ew. I really need to get Thomas potty-trained!

Ever since Jacob arrived, Thomas just looks huge to me. I mean, I've always known he was a big kid and that he's growing up so fast, but now, with a newborn, I look at Thomas and I'm almost surprised by what a little giant he is! It seems like it wasn't that long ago at all when Tommy was my little newborn and I was just trying to figure the whole mom thing out. Before I know it, Thomas will be in school, Jacob will be Thomas' age and I'll again be saying, "Where'd my little newborn go?"

One thing I'm hugely grateful for is that Jacob seems to have adjusted to the idea that nighttime is for sleeping. He definitely wakes up during the night to nurse, but he usually sleeps longer stretches at night than he does during the day, and after I feed him he usually goes right back to sleep. This is all complete luck on my part...I really haven't done anything to establish a regular schedule or sleep-pattern with him yet. I'm hoping that he will continue to be a good sleeper at night! That's one area I was expecting to be in for it this time around, because Thomas has always been a great sleeper. Thomas slept through the night at 5 months and has continued to do so ever since, except for maybe a few interruptions when he was teething. I hope my luck holds out! Watch, my first two kids will be totally easy, mellow babies, and then my third will be an absolute monster. =)

I still need to get around to writing down Jacob's birth story. It was kind of interesting, and everything happened quite quickly. Let's just say, I cut it a little bit close for Ryan's comfort!

May 13th

Here I am two days later. I seriously think it will be impossible for me to ever finish a post in one sitting!

So about my first-time-out-of-the-house-alone-with-both-kids excursion. I had been feeling relatively, somewhat, sort-of confident about my ability to handle 2 kids until I left the house with both of them, alone, for the first time, to go to Jacob's first doctor appointment on Monday. I figured going to a Doctor's appointment would be a pretty low-stress place to try out being alone with them, since it wouldn't be crazy busy like a huge store where we would be surrounded by tons of people. Plus, a pediatrician's office would of course be very kid-friendly. Alas, it was a hard day for me. I left the Doctor's office feeling very depressed, wondering if I would ever be able to go anywhere more difficult, like a store or a mall with both kids in tow. Of course, my mood was probably highly influenced by the fact that poor Jacob spent the last 10 minutes of the appointment shrieking in agony while a nurse poked his heel and then spent what felt like forever squeezing drops of blood from his foot onto a sheet to be sent in and tested for diseases, all while Thomas was getting into every drawer or messing with every instrument in the exam room. Immediately after the appointment I nursed Jacob in the car and then had to get Thomas and I something to eat too. I had thought about heading to Babies 'R' Us or Target after the appointment, but everything had taken so long and I was so stressed already I simply could not bring myself to even try. It was so late that Thomas was just going to have to skip his nap altogether while we were out, and then Jacob spent 10 minutes crying in his car seat on the way home, which wasn't a really long time but was hard for me because there was little I could do to comfort him while I was driving. I drove home thinking, basically, "I may feel ok about my ability to mother two children while I'm at home, but dealing with two children while I'm out of the house is a whole other story." I am of course going to try as hard as I can to enlist Ryan's help as often as possible, usually by leaving Thomas home with him and taking Jacob with me. But there will be times I won't want to have to wait for Ryan to be done working or when I'll simply have to go somewhere when he can't help, and I dread those times. I'm especially at a loss because Thomas is horrible at staying with me if I let him walk. I very, VERY rarely let him out of the cart or stroller when we go shopping/running errands, and when I do I almost immediately regret it. He won't stay with me, no matter how seriously I talk to him about it beforehand, and no matter how much he promises me he will stay by me, he is so hard to keep a handle on! So I feel like I have to keep him contained when we're out, and that leaves me with few options. I bought a double stroller, but if I'm somewhere, i.e. grocery shopping, where I require a cart, I'll have no space to put anything if I have both a newborn in a carseat on top of the cart with a toddler in the basket, or the carseat in the basket with the toddler in the cart seat, whichever. I thought my answer could be putting Jacob in the Baby Bjorn and Thomas could sit in the cart seat, but I tried Jacob in the Bjorn the other night and he did not like it at all. I really hope that changes. I've thought about trying a sling, because he might prefer that over being upright...he often fights to be in a lying-down position when I'm holding him in an upright position, like to burp him or something. *Sigh* It all feels so complicated, I'm starting to feel like I will never be able to go shopping or to run errands again, with both kids, without it being incredibly tough. Plus, just getting ready to leave now takes quite some time, and I thought it took me a long time when I had just a toddler! Any encouragement or advice from you moms of two would be awesome...are the only two options really just being stir-crazy and cooped-up at home or stressed and pulling-my-hair-out away from home?

Anywho...I didn't mean to end this post on a negative note. But I tell myself not just to write about the things that are happy or easy or fabulous about being a mom, but the hard, everyday reality things too, because its cathartic, first of all, and also because its so nice when I'm reminded that so many other moms are in the same boat. Sometimes I look around me and think every mom on the planet has it all figured out, except me!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Baby Days

Its hard to find time to blog lately, or at least finish blogging! The below was written almost a week ago now! I am just finally getting around to adding photos...its hard to choose because I've already taken almost 500!!! (Sometimes I think digital cameras are both a blessing and a curse...)

Monday, May 4th:

I lucked out and managed to get both the boys napping at the same time, so I am hoping my luck holds out long enough for me to write down a few things and add some photos from our past 9 days as a family of four!

Its crazy to think we are a family of four! It is still, even now, a little surreal to me that we have a second child. I am still getting used to saying "the boys" or "the kids." But I am absolutely loving having a sweet little newborn again, even with the lack of sleep and the challenges of having a toddler and a baby. I feel like I'm handling the 2-kid thing okay so far...the biggest challenge I've had so far is probably just finding time to shower! I think I'm handling the lack of sleep better this time around then I did with Thomas...I used to have breakdowns and cry when Thomas was a newborn, because I was so tired. I think the fact that I've always been a natural night-owl (and have become more-so since I started having kids) helps me to deal with the sleep issue (though I can't say I feel *fabulous* with the amount of sleep I get). I think I'm managing to keep the house in relatively decent shape, even though I'm trying to let things that aren't a priority fall by the wayside for now. The dirty laundry pile is growing a bit scary high, especially because I can barely keep up with keeping Jacob's clothes clean!

I am feeling very much like being a hermit at this point...I'm sure I'll get stir-crazy eventually, but for now I have little desire to leave the house, especially with Jacob. I wasn't too paranoid about taking Thomas out when he was born, since it was July and always in the 80's or 90's, but this time I feel a little more cautious...its still cool out and it seems the sick season is still hanging around. My biggest dread is when I will go out by myself with both kids for the first time. I think I'm going to put that off as long as possible! And I think a lot of the time I'll try and take just Jacob and leave Thomas at home with Ryan...because really, Thomas is the one that would probably be the most challenging when I'm out running errands! Caring for a newborn seems so easy now, since I've had a toddler! Its funny how, when you're a first-time mom, even though you're stressed and tired and overwhelmed at times, you have no idea that in many ways, that time as a parent is probably the easiest you will ever have! You only have one child, and for quite awhile he isn't mobile at all, sleeps a ton, and is extremely portable. You only have one child's feeding and sleeping schedule to worry about, you can easily sleep while that one child is sleeping, you only have one child to take along with you when you go out of the house, and you can lavish all your attention on that child without worry or guilt. Why doesn't anyone tell you the first is the easiest?!

My Boys: (I love how Tommy has his arm around Jacob.)

Thankfully, we haven't had any real issues yet of Thomas being jealous of Jacob. He seems to be perfectly happy to have his baby brother at home and he's very interested in him and attached to him. When Thomas first wakes up in the morning or if he doesn't know where Jacob is he will almost always ask "Where's baby brother Jacob?" He always wants to hold him, saying "I want him!" or "What abou' me?". Thomas has never acted out against Jacob in any way or said anything at all that indicates jealousy, and I'm so glad. I feel like I'm trying hard to be aware of Thomas' needs, to pay special attention to him when I can and to maintain most of the aspects of what his life was like before Jacob. For instance, when its hard for me to put Thomas down for nap or bedtime because Jacob is crying or hungry, and when Ryan isn't available to help, I'll bring Jacob in to Tommy's room for storytime, and Thomas gets so excited, asking if Jacob can sleep in his bed. Of course I tell him Jacob can't stay in his bed, but I lay Jacob down safely next to Thomas while I read them both a story, or Tommy will help read the story to Jacob. Its so sweet and I'm so happy that so far Tommy seems to be adjusting incredibly well. The only negative thing Thomas does have more of a tendency of doing lately, though this was pretty common even before Jacob arrived, is getting into things or doing things he knows he's not supposed to. Like I said, that's pretty common behavior for him anyway, and I don't think he does it more lately because he's envious of or mad at Jacob or mad at me or Ryan because of Jacob...I think he simply realizes that he gets away with it more than usual because Mommy is busy feeding or taking care of Jacob a lot of the time and he simply has more opportunity to get away with it! least for a few minutes before Ryan or I bust him. =)

The storytime buddies:


*To Be Continued...*