Thursday, February 26, 2015

Madison Jean - Part II

I hope you enjoyed reading about Madison's birth story. It was a challenging experience, but ultimately so worth it. She is amazing and it's fun to see her growing each day. This post is about some random things about Madison and my postpartum recovery.

Madison was the only name that I suggested that Marty liked. I had a decent list of baby girl names that I liked and tried to convince Marty to like, but Madison is the only one that he would agree to. We were thinking about finding one more name that we both liked and then seeing which one fit her best once we saw her, but we couldn't find another name, haha. So Madison won and I think it fits her perfectly. We originally had a different middle name picked out, but I started wondering if we should do a family name instead. I originally didn't care to do that, so I'm not sure where along the line I changed my mind. Maybe it was because her middle name worked out so perfectly. Marty's grandmother's name was Jean and my grandmother's middle name was Jeanne, so we decided to have Jean as her middle name. I love that it's different and still sounds so beautiful together. And we can call her MJ if we want. We'll probably go with Maddy, but I guess we'll see what sticks. :)

Madison was about 6 lbs when we left the hospital (babies tend to lose some weight right after they are born) and by her 2 week appointment she had gotten back to her birth weight of 6.5 lbs. Now at 5 weeks, she's about 7.5 lbs. I can definitely tell a difference in her face - she's getting chubbier cheeks like her mom. :) She has started cooing and being a little more interactive. I'm looking forward to when she'll start smiling more!

Recovery from the c-section has been surprisingly easier than I expected. I was on bedrest for a couple days following the surgery but by the time we left the hospital I was able to walk a couple laps around the hospital floor. I've been trying to do a daily walk since. I really think that helped me recover faster. Now at 5 weeks postpartum, I feel almost completely normal. I still have about 15 pounds to lose, but I'm not sweating it. I'm breastfeeding and that is burning lots of calories! Hopefully that weight will come off before I know it.

There are 2 products that I'm wearing that will hopefully help my body bounce back to pre-pregnancy form. The first is the Shrinkx Hip Compression Belt. It fits low around the hips and helps pull them back together after being widened from pregnancy. The hormone relaxin is in a woman's body throughout pregnancy and for about 6 weeks postpartum. It helps the joints relax (hence the name) and stretch to accommodate the growing belly. It also allows your body to be manipulated back into place postpartum, which the belt uses to narrow your hips. My doula also used this to her advantage for my 2 postpartum massages - they were the weirdest and coolest massages as I could feel her moving things back into place, especially with my ribs and hips. The next item is the Belly Bandit Tummy Wrap. It's supposed to help pull my tummy back into place. I wish I had taken photos of my belly right before delivery and each week after to see how my progress is going, but I thought of it too late. Maybe next time I can do that. As long as I can fit back into my pre-pregnancy jeans, I'll be happy. :)

Madison has been doing pretty good at night. She doesn't like to sleep by herself yet, so we currently use a cosleeper. She usually sleeps from 1 or 2 until 4:30 or 5. It almost feels like a full night's sleep, and with a nap or two during the day, I don't feel too sleep deprived. The morning is always the hardest time to wake up when she wants to eat though. I've never been a morning person! However, I've always kind of been a night owl, so staying up until 1 hasn't been hard for me. I need to start working on getting to bed earlier though, otherwise it's going to be a nightmare when I return to work and need to get up after Madison's morning feeding instead of going back to sleep.

Maternity leave has been awesome. I can't believe it's about half over. Time needs to slow down - I'm dreading when I have to start taking Madison to daycare. Until then though, I'm going to enjoy my days with her and our afternoon nap time snuggles. :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Madison Jean

Baby girl is here! Actually yesterday marked 5 weeks since she was born! I can't believe it's been that long already - time is flying.  I've been meaning to get this post up about her for the past month, but time kept getting away from me. I also am not very efficient with my time, something that I had heard happens after you have a child, but I hadn't quite comprehended how that worked. I understand and empathize with all moms now! :) Being a mom is the best (it's still weird to think of myself as mom, haha) and I just can't get enough of my beautiful little girl.

Anyhow, I'm so excited to finally have this post done and to share more about our little baby girl! Madison Jean was born January 20th at 10:12pm weighing in at 6 lbs 8 oz and measuring 19 inches long. She was born with a full head of hair and the cutest little face ever. She was so tiny and has the most delicate features. It was love at first sight for Marty and me. I don't know if I can put into words how it felt when I saw and held Madison for the first time. Here she is not long after she was born:

Birth Story
The birth story is a little long but I hope you find it interesting enough to read it all. Writing about this is a little difficult. I had a birth plan in mind, but I also knew to have an open mind about how things could go since this was my first time and I really didn't know what to expect. Even still, things ended up going very differently than I had anticipated.

My plan was to go as long as I could all natural, without any pain medicine, and hopefully make it all the way through delivery. My doula was going to be there to help me through the process. My only concern was that I was getting induced* and I had heard that contractions are way more intense and painful when induced - I worried about being mentally strong enough to make it through without painkillers. I was keeping an open mind though because in the end, having an epidural would be fine. There'd be no reason to make myself suffer if I couldn't handle the pain and it's not like there's a prize for making it through all natural. It was just something I wanted to do if I could.

*Side note about why I was getting induced: baby girl had measured small throughout the pregnancy and my dr and the high-risk dr both were concerned about how efficient the placenta and umbilical cord were at delivering nutrients to her and didn't want to risk going past my due date in case she wasn't getting enough nourishment. I wished I could've been able to go into labor naturally and I feel like things would've gone better if I had, but oh well. Baby girl was born healthy and that's what really matters.

Tuesday morning, on January 20th, we headed to the hospital. It was kind of weird since I had always envisioned that we would be rushing like you see in the movies. I was calm with just a tiny bit of nerves that I was trying to ignore. I remember it was ridiculously foggy that morning and traffic was bad. We made it to the hospital without incident and were all checked in and settled in our room by 9:00am. At 9:30 they started the pitocin. I could feel the contractions, but they weren't painful at all. Marty and I hung out and watched a movie while we were waiting for things to start happening. At 12:30 my dr arrived, checked me (I was 3cm dilated with 70% effacement), and broke my water. Let me tell you, it is the weirdest thing ever! Sorry TMI, but I couldn't believe how much liquid came out and continued to come out with each contraction. I swear I lost about 10 lbs in water weight right there, ha! After they broke my water I started to feel some discomfort when the contractions occurred.

The contractions continued to get more intense and painful. I labored for about 7 hours naturally and then decided that it was just too much for me and I wanted an epidural. The relief I felt after I got it was indescribable. We were hoping that my body relaxing from the epidural would help me move along more. I was stuck at 5cm dilated at that point.

Unfortunately, once I got the epidural, baby girl's heart rate began to decelerate. They stopped the pitocin to see if that would help and it did - her heart rate returned to normal. Sometimes pitocin will get your body to labor on its own once it gets started. That was not the case for me. Once the pitocin was stopped, my contractions stopped. Without the contractions I wouldn't dilate any further and I couldn't have a baby at only 5 cm. They started up the pitocin again, slowly adding more, but baby girl wasn't liking it and her heart rate went down again. They tried this 3 times and every time her heart rate decelerated. It was frustrating. They weren't sure if it was too much stress on baby girl or if she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her somewhere. It made me regret not trying to tough it out longer without the epidural since the issue didn't come up until after.

Since we weren't making any progress (and once they break your water you are on a time limit to have the baby), the only other option was to have a c-section. I was devastated. Here I was, originally wanting to do a natural birth, and I would have to have a c-section. It was the worst possible outcome and one that I didn't think would ever be in the realm of possibilities. :( Once I finally accepted that it had to be done, they prepped me and moved me to the OR.

Some say that you can feel a tugging sensation when you have a c-section, but I didn't feel anything. I just remember being very thirsty and occasionally shaking like I was cold, even though I didn't really feel cold (I found out that was from the medication and normal). The entire procedure was short, taking maybe 30 minutes. I'll never forget when I first heard her cry. I wanted to hold her right away but they made me wait until they cleaned her first. I finally got some skin-to-skin time, but only for a few minutes before they took me away to the recovery area. I wish I had been more demanding of getting that skin-to-skin time to bond right after they pulled her out, but the whole thing was a whirlwind and I was exhausted. After spending about an hour in recovery we finally were taken to our room. It seemed like an eternity before they brought baby girl back to me to hold. By the time I got her I think it was after midnight. It was surreal to hold her in my arms. My beautiful little miracle, my sweet baby Madison. I was completely exhausted, but I forced myself to stay awake so I could hold her just a little longer.

So even though I was disappointed that I had to have a c-section, I was so happy that Madison was born healthy and that I didn't have any complications from the surgery.

Since this post is already very long, I will end it here and have more about Madison in tomorrow's post (it's already typed up and scheduled to go so it will definitely get posted tomorrow). :)

Past Pregnancy Posts:
Week 40
Week 39
The Nursery
Weeks 34 - 38
Weeks 31 - 33
Weeks 29 and 30

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

#MonthlyMani: Valentine's Day

This is my first post since baby girl was born.  I can't believe it's been 3 weeks already!  Time flies when you're sleepy and trying to figure everything out about having a newborn.  I promise to have a post up about her with pics soon. :)  In the meantime, this month's mani theme is Valentine's Day! 

I decided to switch it up from the usual pink that I do for V-day and add some animal print.  I also opted to do this because I had some leopard stick-on nail polish - let's be honest, trying to wait for regular nail polish to dry while taking care of a demanding newborn is not a good idea. :) 

{Kiss Silver, Sally Hanson Leopard gel strips, Kiss Red}

I only used the stick-on nails.  I've never tried the gel part so I'm not sure how well that works.  I added a red heart on my ring finger to make them more "Valentinesy" and because I love the way red looks with leopard.  I also loved the way the silver polish looked last time I used it so I decided to outline the heart in silver to make it pop.  I'm not sure if I like it better with or without the silver outline.

I hope you all have a fun time celebrating V-day!  Check out my post from last year for some outfit inspiration.

As always, check out the rest of the gang's nails:
Kristi from Delightfully Kristi
Piniel from Pins-Place
Kate from Into the Stratosphere
Miche from Buttons and Birdcages
Jacki and Lesli from Sistas from Cali
Marlena from Here, Pretty Kitty
Melissa from The Fashion Huntress

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