Monday, May 20, 2013

Momma Babble V001

Famous question these days:
"So, how's motherhood?"

In two words:

A rollercoaster.

There are definitely wayyyy more ups than downs, but believe me I have experienced my share of both.

I've only been a Mommy for 19 days now, and I have had moments of pure joy and elation... and moments when I couldn't pull myself together after crying when I wasn't even entirely sure why I was crying. Darn HORMONES!!!

Let's start with the night my precious son, Jesiah (aka "Jesse") was born. I cried tears of pure joy as my dream of having a child finally came true. When they laid that 6lb 10oz sweet bundle of fresh baby joy on my belly, I cried. When they turned him over so I could see his sweet face and our eyes met, it was love at first sight. I knew in that very moment that I would do anything for this little boy. Through my tears, I remember saying to him, "We've waited so long for you, baby."

Definitely one of those "high" moments.

Less than 24 hours later, (around 5pm the next day) I was sitting on my hospital bed, exhausted, trying to breastfeed, feeling so darn guilty about the fact that my baby boy had to have that God awful IV in his tiny little arm to help regulate his blood sugars because of MY gestational diabetes. All at once, I started to cry... I couldn't pull myself together. I gave the baby to Jason and was knee-deep in tissues as my family started pouring into the hospital room, expecting to see a glowing new Mommy. I was so overwhelmed by all of the emotions I was feeling. I hadn't had any sleep in over two nights, breastfeeding had started out GREAT but as soon as Jesse got the IV put in, his desire to breastfeed went out the window which left me feeling incredibly confused and frustrated (by the way, his appetite came back full force on the last day in the hospital when he had the IV taken out and breastfeeding has been GREAT since then), and I just felt so guilty about his IV. I was hardly in any shape to have visitors, and as awful as I felt doing so, I had to text a bunch of people that I knew were coming to say that it just wasn't a good time. :-(  I wanted to show off my baby boy... but I literally couldn't stop crying.

Definitely a "low" moment.

Then there are the moments when I watch my husband with our baby boy. I swear to you, my heart feels like it could EXPLODE sometimes when I watch those two together. The way he talks to Jesse, handles him so gently, it makes my heart melt. I see them together and think that everything in my world is perfect and complete. I have an awesome husband and a sweet baby boy. I am a blessed girl.

Total "high" moment :-)

We came home from the hospital on a Friday and Jason had to start back to work that Monday. He started a new job within the year, so he doesn't have a lot of time built up to take off quite yet. So... after the weekend, it was just me and my baby boy. I had help being offered from all angles... but did I take it??? NO!

I wanted to be...

''And how did that work out for you?" you might ask.

It was great for the first couple of days! Jesse was breastfeeding like a champ, we were falling into nice little routines during the day, everything seemed to be going fine and dandy. But then the sun would go down. As it began to get dark, I would have this tightness come across my chest. I think I had some feelings of anxiety as the night time would approach. Initially, Jesse wasn't sleeping the greatest at night. He would want to nurse constantly and would fuss as soon as I would lay him down. I called my mom one night in tears... told her I wasn't even sure why I was crying. I mean, I have such a great baby and things have been going so well. She helped me to understand that I was experiencing normal new mommy feelings... that I was exhausted (this was so true), and having a newborn baby can be overwhelming. Thank God for mothers! She spent some time with me later that week and it was so wonderful just to have someone else here during the day. I think the loneliness was starting to get to me, too. As Jesse has become better with sleeping at night (and my body has adjusted to getting less sleep), those feelings of anxiety have quickly subsided.

Being a Mom has been an awesome experience so far... Yes, there are some low moments when my emotions and hormones take over, but for the most part, I am living the dream that I thought would never come true. :-)

Until the next edition of Momma Babble... xoxox

Friday, May 17, 2013

Jesse - Week 2!

Seriously... how is my newborn baby boy two weeks old already!? I know that they say "Time flies when you're having fun," but I think "Time also flies when you're sleep-deprived milking machine." :-) Loving every single one of those moments, though.
Jesse's Second Week! 
Loves: Eating, sleeping on Momma and Daddy's chest, sleeping in his Rock N' Play Sleeper, getting feather tickles and butterfly kisses from his Nan, getting his hair brushed, hanging out in his car seat, passing gas... and did I mention that he loves to eat?!

Eating: Jesse does great in the eating department. He eats every 2.5-3 hours. Sometimes, on rare occasion, he will go longer (closer to 4 hours) between feedings. We do a diaper change before each feeding, and sometimes after the feeding as well. I am pumping to start storing breast milk for those occasions when someone watches him or when Daddy wants to feed him. We haven't introduced the breast milk in a bottle yet... but I have a feeling that's going to happen in week 3! Didn't want to confuse him with the breast, but he has to get used to taking a bottle as well so Momma is able to {{eventually}} leave the house. ;-)
Sleeping: Jesse is your typical newborn... eats and sleeps! During the day, he will eat and then be awake for about 30-45 minutes, and then he usually falls asleep for around 2 hours. Sometimes Momma tries to take a nap during those 2 hours... sometimes she tries to get some housework done... sometimes she updates her blog! :-) I miss my little buddy when he's sleeping... it's tempting to wake him up ;-)

Fun Facts: We are still in newborn size sleepers for most of the day. Still using newborn diapers, too. There have been a couple of times when Jesse fell asleep that his eyes weren't completely closed and we could see his eyes moving like crazy as he fell into REM sleep. It can be pretty freaky to watch, but I hear it's something they usually grow out of by their first birthday. Everyone likes to say that Jesse looks like his Daddy, but I'm starting to see a little of myself in him too... his chin, his ears... definitely mine ;-)

Mommy Moments: Every day gets better and better in terms of developing routines and adjusting to getting less sleep. Some days, I get thrown for a loop when something new comes up... but generally speaking, life as a Mommy is going great! I'm hoping to start a new post series called "Momma Babble" where I can share a little more in depth some of the thoughts/feelings/emotions I've experienced in Mommyhood.

Firsts: Professional photo shoot (can't wait to see his proofs!!!), trip to Grandma and Pappy Caudill's house for dinner on mother's day.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Jesse's First Week

Jesse's First Week!
Loves: Eating, sleeping on Momma's belly with his bottom up in the air and feet tucked under his body, going on car rides, hearing the heartbeat sound on his mobile, cuddling with Daddy at the end of each day.

Eating: When Jesse was born, he took to breastfeeding like a champion. However, he developed blood sugar problems right after he was born as a result of my gestational diabetes and had to have an IV placed in his teeny tiny arm to give him some glucose to help stabilize those blood sugar levels. While he was on the IV, his desire to breastfeed went out the window. This was extremely frustrating and disappointing for his Momma, but as soon as that IV was taken out on his last day in the hospital, Jesse's appetite was back in full force! My milk came in that Sunday and he has done AMAZING with eating since then. On Monday, he weighed 6 pounds 4 ounces. On Friday, he weighed 6 pounds 11 ounces.... a 7 ounce gain in 5 days! ...Yeah, you could say he likes to eat ;-) 
Sleeping: In the hospital, Jesse didn't sleep hardly at all during the night. Between constantly being poked and prodded to check his blood sugar and all of the other routine checks, we just didn't get good sleep. During his first week at home, Jesse did fall into a better sleeping routine. He would have a 2-3 hour stretch in the middle of the night where all he wanted was Mommy and didn't want to be laid down. However as we approached week two, he's doing much better with laying down and going right to sleep after feeding. I try to cherish our late night feeding sessions... even when he's fussy, because I know that he won't be this little for long! He's already changing so much each day... it breaks my heart.

Fun Facts: Jesse has perfected the whole "Peeing on Mommy" trick. No matter what I try to do to arm myself against his aim, he gets me all the time! Jesse also likes to "toot" while he's being fed. His Daddy is proud ;-)  His umbilical cord fell off after 7 days and the plastibell used for his circumcision fell off after 11 days. He has a little bit of a birthmark on the back of his head. He LOVES to have his hands up by his face. He likes to be swaddled, but only if his hands are positioned so that they are near his face. He dislikes sponge baths and getting his diaper changed. He wears newborn size diapers (thank you to everyone who has pitched in to build up our supply of newborn diapers - I was fully stocked with size 1's... only had a single pack of newborns because I didn't think I was going to have a little baby). His 0-3 month clothes swallow him... and again, thank you to everyone who got us some newborn sleepers! Even in newborn sleepers, his feet do not reach the footies of the sleeper.

Mommy Moments: I could seriously just stare at Jesse's sweet face all day long. I'm so relieved that breastfeeding is going well. I get a little overwhelmed sometimes during the day because I'm here by myself all day long, but it's getting easier each day.

Firsts: Smiles (even though I'm pretty sure they are gas-induced), trip to the doctor's office, visits from family and friends.
It was a great first week!


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Jesiah's Birth Story

On Tuesday April 30th at 7pm, I was admitted to the hospital for a scheduled induction.
My doctor, Dr. Rosado, was there waiting for me when I stepped onto the unit (even though she wasn't on call at the time - LOVE HER!!!). She got me situated and checked me, letting me know that I was 1cm dilated. She stripped my membranes and inserted the Cervidil to hopefully get my cervix to soften overnight.
Dr. Rosado
Around 3am, I woke up to some pretty bad cramps. I got my phone out and started timing them, and sure enough, they were coming about 3 minutes apart. Those cramps were the beginnings of labor, contractions that were wrapping around the back of my back and across my tailbone... making it incredibly difficult to get comfortable in the already not-so-comfy hospital bed. I was awake from that moment on... it was neat to watch the sunrise, though, on the morning of the day I would *hopefully* be welcoming my son into the world!
At 7am, Dr. Malloy (another doctor that I love who was on call till 8am) came in to remove the Cervidil and check me. Much to my dismay, I was still only 1cm dilated. I was slightly more effaced though. She was able to break my water... and then the real fun began. The Pitocin was turned on, and I asked if I could get out of bed and move around since the contractions were so bad across my back. The nurse suggested that I roll around on a labor ball to let gravity help pull the baby down and dilate my cervix. So, I rolled around on the labor ball for a while... and then I ended up standing and rocking back and forth for a while. I was breathing through the contractions pretty well, but the nurse kept coming in and bumping up the Pitocin. My contractions were about 2 minutes apart, lasting over a minute each time... so I only had about a 45 second break between them. I was pretty uncomfortable... but I could still manage a few smiles during those brief breaks between contractions :-)
My nurse kept coming in to bump up the Pitocin and to check my pain levels. She repeatedly reminded me that I had the option of the epidural. While I was completely open-minded to the epidural, I wanted to see how long/how far I could labor without it first. However after being checked again a few hours later and finding that I was still sitting at 1cm, the nurse explained to me that the epidural could help to relax the cervix so it could dilate more. From the time I asked for the epidural, I only had to wait about 15 minutes until the anesthesiologist walked in the door. INSTANT RELIEF.
Dr. Rosado came back at lunchtime to check me again. Since I was still only 1cm, she decided to use a foley bulb procedure to get me to dilate some more. Basically, they inserted a balloon into my cervix, inflated it with liquid inside my uterus, and then placed traction on the balloon to get it to pull through my cervix (see diagram below). When the balloon finally pushes its way out of the cervix, it opens the cervix 3-4cm. Immediately following the foley bulb, I was a good 3cm dilated. Dr. Rosado said the procedure bought us 9 hours of labor. I already had the epidural at this point, so it didn't hurt one bit.
At 4:30, Dr. Rosado came back to check me. At that time, I was 5cm and 80 effaced. They placed internal monitors on the baby to help monitor the strength of my contractions and the baby's heart rate. The internal monitors indicated that my contractions were good and strong, and they decided to continue to increase the Pitocin as long as the baby's heart rate would tolerate it.
Around 7pm, I was checked again by Dr. Rosado. I was now 6cm dilated and 100% effaced. It felt like things were progressing so slowly, but Dr. Rosado said that she felt that active labor was just now starting, and I should start dilating about a centimeter per hour. At 9:40 when I was checked, I was dilated to 7-8 centimeters. The doctor told me that if I continued to progress at that rate, I would probably be pushing by midnight! The nurse kept encouraging me to rest and sleep, because the pushing process for a first time mom could take up to 3 hours. ...And rest, indeed! I cat-napped all day long, watched TV with my hubby, and just relaxed as my body did it's thing. The epidural was a great decision for me. Dr. Rosado was going to come back at 11:30 to check me again.
Around 10:30, I starting feeling the contractions again. My nurse assured me that the epidural wasn't wearing off; it's just that when the baby has moved so far down into the pelvis, there is only so much relief that the epidural can offer. I was breathing through the contractions again, and while the pain was intense, the deep breathing helped to distract me from some of the pain. Around 11:00, my nurse came in the room to check on me, and I remember looking at her and saying, "Katie, I think I need to push..." She had the family leave the room and she checked me... sure enough, I was 10cm!!! She called Dr. Rosado and showed me how to push through the contractions. At 11:20, I started pushing. Dr. Rosado came in at 11:30 and got ready for the delivery. I pushed 5 times and at 11:34pm, my sweet baby boy and I met for the very first time. My hubby, mom, and mother-in-law were present for his birth.
The next morning when Dr. Rosado came in to check on me, I thanked her for not giving up on me. She knew how badly I wanted to have a vaginal delivery, and although my induction process was long, she didn't resort to doing a C-section for the sake of speeding things up.
It was an incredibly long day, but it was a good day. I was able to rest and relax through most of the day, and when it came time to push, I was able to feel the contractions so I knew when I needed to push. I had no idea how good it would feel to push when the time came. I thought I would be terrified of the pain of pushing, but it was actually relief to push through those contractions. If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing.
My prize, my sweet baby boy, was waiting for me at the end of that long day... and he was totally, completely worth it.
 We are so in love with our baby boy!


Friday, May 10, 2013


We are so proud to announce our sweet and pure bundle of baby boy joy!
Jesiah means Gracious Gift from God.
Could there be a more perfect name?!
We love our baby boy and I can't wait to share his birth story with you.