February 26, 2010

Mystery Solved

Poor Jack has thrush. We think that's the reason he's been such a Cranky Pants McGee. Our midwives recommended treating him with apple cider vinegar, acidophilus and gentian violet which seems to have done the trick but as you can see has left its mark. Jack is now sporting a purple mouth and bum and I have the purplest nips you have ever seen. We make quiet a pair.

It's amazing how much he's mellowed since we started the treatment. He had one of the best night sleeps ever and so far today hasn't had one of his complete meltdowns. So we're hopeful that we will start seeing the mellower side of Jack.

In other great news Jackson is now officially above his birth weight, weighing in at 9lbs 11oz!!

My goal this week is to get caught up on everyone's blogs and what's been going on with your lives. Can't wait to get reading!

February 20, 2010

Beautiful Nightmare

My sister-in-law heard having a baby described as a "beautiful nightmare" and I couldn't agree more. Jackson has come out of his newborn coma of sleeping most of the time and a high maintenance baby has emerged.

I have never in my whole life felt so hopeless or inept. Although I'm sure it's not the case to an outside observer I feel as though all he does is cry and there is nothing I can do to soothe him. He gets the most terrible gas cramps. Poor guy whimpers, screams hysterically and moves his little legs around just begging for comfort but none seem to come. Thankfully Amy has the magic touch (along with the patience and strength) to calm him long enough that he can fall asleep for a little bit until the discomfort wakes him up again. Which only adds to the problem because he's not getting enough sleep which only makes him even more upset.

I've read in some books that cutting cows milk out of my diet might help aid in his digestion so starting today I've cut that out to see how that goes. At least doing this makes me feel like I'm doing something. Sure, I am responsible for feeding him but I feel like I'm responsible for putting the very thing into his body that is causing him so much discomfort.

This is hard.

February 16, 2010

Birth Story - Amy's Perspective

It was a great and blurry experience for me. Bit was due on Feb. 12th and our midwife told us to add 1 week to that date since we were first time moms. Therefore we were expecting Bit around Feb 19th not on Feb. 7th.

Melissa started having contractions early Friday morning and they continued to Saturday afternoon. I assumed it was warm up labor and that we would see Bit within the next 3-5 days (Boy, was I wrong). Melissa and I chose not to ever check to see how dilated she was because it would cause us to constantly watch the calendar anticipating his arrival. I was always being told that contractions needed to have a clear pattern and Melissa wasn’t experiencing a consistent pattern of length or frequency. We contacted the Saturday evening midwife to give them a heads up and to try to get some advice on how to get some sleep before the big day. Our midwife told us to drink a glass of wine and to try to get some sleep. About 9 pm, we busted open the wine but it didn’t seem to work so I gave her a half a glass more. Her contractions were getting closer together about 9 minutes apart but we still didn’t believe it was time. Melissa was becoming very uncomfortable and her contractions were now coming about every 6 minutes but lasting inconsistent lengths. We called our midwife around 12:30 am (2/7). I don’t think they thought we were in labor either and I kept thinking it was going to go away. By the time the midwives arrived and checked her she was already dilated to 5 cm and we were officially in active labor.

I will admit I started to panic because I wasn’t prepared mentally that this day was here. In my mind I still had one more week to prepare. Our dog Campbell was driving me nuts and was overly excited with all the action so at 1:30 in the morning I called our good friend Marili to take Campbell for the night. Looking back this was the best decision and we were so lucky to have such great support.

The labor went so fast it seemed like it was only a couple hours. Our midwife told Melissa that positions that make her uncomfortable were the best because it would speed up labor. Therefore, I tried to help Melissa the best possible way I could. She would sit on the exercise/birth ball and I would sit behind her and put pressure on her lower back. I also made sure she kept getting enough fluids in her system. After a few minutes, the midwives made Melissa sit on a birth stool to speed up the labor. This was VERY painful for her and I did all I could do to help her. Our midwife suggested a bath and Melissa was very excited for that so we moved to the bathroom. While in the bath (surrounded by candles), we put a wet towel on Melissa and I poured water on her belly to try to help relax her. She loved this and it was the best part of active labor but it was about to get a bit more difficult.

Our midwife checked Melissa again and she was about 7 cm dilated. We decided to break Melissa’s water so we could get things going. It was after this point everything went 100 miles per hour. She lay on the bed and I put pressure on her back. Contractions were close together so we didn’t get much of a break. After a few minutes, Melissa wanted to go to the bathroom and we would spend most of the remainder of our time in bathroom while Melissa went through transition.

Transition Labor is a bitch and it is where I felt the most helpless. Melissa was in so much pain at this point. I just tried to stay in and kneel down at eye level and give her water and cool her with a damp towel. The apprentice to our midwife, Meg really helped Melissa during transition. Melissa was asking when is this going to end and Meg told her she has to go through it. Meg told her instead of tensing up and trying to escape the pain she needs to let go and relax into the contractions to make this part go faster. I won’t lie I didn’t think Melissa could relax into the contractions and to suggest so was crazy. I was wrong it was at this point Melissa went to another place in her mind and she went with it and relaxed and got in rhythm with the contractions. Labor is a dance and song and Melissa was finally in perfect rhythm. It seemed to not hurt her as much when her mind got to this place. We left the bathroom to the bedroom for the final chapter, pushing.

I was never told so but I had the feeling Bit was not 100% at this point. I believe his heart rate was lower or higher than it should be. Our midwife normally would have slowed Melissa down during this point to prevent tearing but instead she made her hurry. Melissa would push during contractions as hard as she could. I think Melissa thought nothing was happening because she kept saying I am not doing this right. She seemed to be losing motivation and seemed to be getting worn out. Once we saw his head we put Melissa’s hands on the head so she could see all the work she had done. It was the first time I saw Melissa smile and she started pushing like a champ. I don’t know why but for the next three contractions the midwife asked Melissa to take a short walk to the living room and back in between contractions. It seemed to work. Bit’s head was out with a cord wrapped around his neck and arm which our midwife easily slipped off.

In all the excitement I forgot the thing I was most nervous about doing was about to happen. Our midwife asked me to get ready to pull out Bit and put him on Melissa’s belly. I did it and told Melissa it was “a Jackson”. I got to see a glow around Melissa that I have never seen. She did it without a hospital or drugs at our house! This even seemed more amazing when we were told Jackson weighed 9lbs 8oz. Her strength and bravery amazes me and I can’t believe what she had done. No one believed she could do it and I think we even doubted it sometimes. Melissa’s active labor lasted less than 5 hours total including less than an hour of pushing.

Melissa looked at me after he was born and told me she would do this again. I told her to tell me this again in 3 days…and she did. Jackson has amazing parents who fought hard to conceive him and showed strength when he was delivered. I will never forget this moment when our life changed for the better.

February 12, 2010

The Fog is Slowly Lifting

Thank you all for your wonderful comments, we are completely overwhelmed with all the love and support.

Jackson is doing great! We're slowly starting to get into a groove. Not to say there haven't been tears from all three of us because there has, but it's all been totally worth it. I think we painted a horror picture of life after baby, how hard and how utterly exhausted we would be. We've been very lucky, Jackson has been the best baby, we have the greatest friends ever who have come by bring us food and my mom came on Wednesday and has done an amazing job looking after the three of us.

This little boy is completely indescribable; we love him beyond words and of course think he is the most beautiful thing in the world. This whole thing seems completely surreal. I still don't associate him with all the bumps, kicks and hiccups I've been feeling. We look at him for hours and still can't believe he's ours.

Amy and I are both working on our birth stories so you can get an idea on how it went down from both perspectives. We hope to post that soon.

February 7, 2010

Baby Bit is Here!!

Please join in our excitement as we welcome Jackson Miles into our family. Jackson was born at home on February 7th at 4:55 am weighing in at 9 pounds, 8 ounces and measuring 20.5 inches long. Both his Mamas are utterly in love.

February 1, 2010

Do we stay or do we go?

We have debating a lot about do we spend these last couple weeks at home resting or do we take advantage of this time and spend as much of it as we can out doing things. Every time we go out somewhere we catch ourselves looking around wondering if it will be the last time we are there for a while. We’ve been keeping pretty busy doing stuff with friends, having dinners for two at restaurants, and just taking advantage of the freedom of being able to easily go out. Along with the fun though we have also tried to stay on task with finishing up our to do list.

Speaking of which, we did an infant CPR class over the weekend. I was surprised at how jarring it was to push down so hard on a little baby’s chest (even if it was just a doll). I can’t imagine ever having to do that to a real infant, it almost makes me sick thinking about it. At least no we feel prepared that if something does happen we have the tools in our back pocket to do something about it.

The rest of the week is full of fun friend activities. We’re having a bunch of people over tomorrow to watch LOST, a friend’s birthday happy hour and a baby shower this weekend. All of these things help distract from the number of days we are away from our due date. I hope we don’t regret not spending more time at home and just resting.