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Sleep Success

We are on our 7th night of sleep training. Evan is a little over 7 months old. Last night I put him to bed and he didn’t cry. DID NOT CRY. It was like he was a different baby. I went to bed at 7:30. Bliss.

Now, don’t get me wrong, getting here was not easy. Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, event Day 4… those days (nights, actually) were not pretty. I felt wretched letting him cry. But you know what? It had to happen. My other boy was not sleep-trained like this. He likes to sleep. I’m almost convinced he loves it. I never expected our 2nd son to be a horrible sleeper.

I was anti-CIO. I was. But when mom has to go to sleep at 7pm every night, keeping a breast in her son’s mouth to keep him pacified, and make dad sleep in another room, well that can’t last forever. This was a last resort. And it worked. You gotta do what you gotta do for the well-being of a family.

And guess what? He doesn’t hate me. He’s a happy, bubbly, crawling baby during the day, just like he was before training. And finally he’s resting on his own. Phenomenal.

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Evan’s Birth Story

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Evan and Dean came into this world in very different ways. I have to admit my second son, Evan’s, birth was a much more pleasant – not the labor part, yikes I’ll share that soon – but everything else was simpler, easier, and less worrisome.

Instead of going a little past my due date this time around, I went WAY past. 11 days, according to my midwives. I never hold any stock to their silly estimations anyway, but by seven days out, I was done. Done, done and more done. I was cranky and in pain and completely tired of everyone asking me where he was. Seriously, if you’re pregnant do what ever you can to hide your due date. Or lie about it. I think statistically more than 75% go past it anyway, so you might as well give yourself some wiggle room before the questions start pouring in. Not that family and friends don’t mean well (it’s sweet that they’re thinking of you) but when you’re that pregnant, fielding questions is the last thing you’ll want to do.

In hidsight, however, going so far over my due date was a hidden gift. On the morning of my induction I hobbled into bed for my examination to find – surprise! – I was 5cm dilated. 5cm of progress having only suffered minor, on-and-off contractions at home! A.MAY.ZING. Those first few centimeters with my first son, Dean, were by far the most painful centimeters of my life.

Rather than be induced, I was able to progress naturally for a couple more centimeters until they broke my water. Minor discomfort, no big thang.

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“It is going to hurt eventually,” the midwife reassured me. Yeah, I knew it would. So I attempted to mentally prepare. I wanted to try to labor unmedicated again.

The familiar lower-back brutality progressed quickly. Instead of not being able to sit comfortably like last time, I labored on the birthing ball quite a bit. And I made a point to change positions around the room. I had to get antibiotics for Group B Strep, another new thing for this birth, but I was unlocked from my IV whenever possible. Yay.

Up until this point my husband Jeff and I had been fairly bored, binge watching Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix. It’s oddly my go-to pregnancy show. The early episodes of course. The new ones blow. Now, however, Jeff was in full labor-partner mode, pressing on my back, changing the music, reassuring me in any way he could.

Eventually I made it into the tub. What a help that was! I had to wrap my hep-locked IV in a plastic bag and try not to submerge it, which was annoying. But other than that, it was delightful. Still painful but tolerable. The midwife can in an watched me at one point. I can kind of recall not wanting her there, but also glad she was around. Jeff was the DJ, searching for all the mellow Dave Matthew’s Band music he could find on his laptop.

When I awkwardly stumbled out and got back to bed, I had reached my breaking point. I asked them about an epidural and they decided to check me again before getting the juice. 9-10 CM. Groovy! But I wanted the damn meds anyway, so they called it in. But they knew there was no way getting to me in time.

I can’t recall how many minutes later I was screaming I couldn’t take it.

“Do you feel like you have to go to the bathroom?”

I knew what she meant. Poop. No, but I felt like I had to pee. Or I was delusional. Who knows. But apparently it was time.

Ten to fifteen Oh My God MY INSIDES ARE SPLITTING APART minutes later, I was told to grab Evan and pull him up to my chest. I was shaking all over. That is the second worst part of labor, the shaking. Uncontrollable, lasting for nearly an hour, shaking. They say it’s due to the hormones.evan

If you ask Jeff about my pushing phase his face will light up with excitement. “You should have heard the words coming out of your mouth,” he told me. “F-this, f-that!”

Yeah, I remember. I got primal. I even remember reaching down at the very end, wondering if my body was splitting open. I guess that was the “ring of fire” moment. “Ring of Hell” is more like it. But quick. Last time, 1.5 hours of pushing; this time, fifteen minutes max.

After spending some quality cuddle time on me, little man was whisked away to warm up.

8 pounds, nine ounces, 21.5 inches of boy was born at roughly 3:45pm. Well worth the debilitating 20 weeks of nausea, long gestation, and quick but intense med-free labor!

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Scaredy Cat

I will probably edit this post a hundred times.

Firstly, because I’m anxious about getting some posts up, so I will push “publish” way too soon. Secondly, because I’m a perfectionist and nothing is good enough until I review it after I forget it exists.

I’m scared of everything.

I was not always this way. I can pinpoint a time in my life when I’m fairly certain worry started infiltrating my psyche. My uncle died. I was in my mid-twenties and I got the call at 8 a.m. that he had passed away the night before on his kitchen floor from cardiac arrest. His very young son was home but his wife and daughter were not, so he lay on the floor, helpless, until they found his lips turning blue. I can only imagine the horrible scene since I was hundreds of miles away, forgetting my family in my post-collegiate selfish phase.

It was then I realized bad things happen unexpectedly.

Years passed and many living situations later I was browsing Facebook and happened upon some devastating news. A former roommate of mine had suddenly lost her husband. He passed out, his heart stopped and he was never able to be revived. She was six months pregnant.

It was then I realized bad things happen frequently.

Those examples certainly aren’t the only two sad events I’ve lived through, but they have resonated with me for years. Because why, why did these horrible things have to happen to these wonderful people – with no warning, no preparation, no reason? So I constantly try to control the bad things in my life by playing it safe. Playing everything safe.

Sometimes I’ll check my husband’s breath in the middle of the night just to make sure he’s still alive.

I’ll avoid talking about my son, because he’s not out of my belly yet, and who knows what can happen during delivery?

Really, it’s no way to live.

I want out of my head, my worry, my constant fear. I know I’m not alone in this type of psychosis, but that doesn’t help in rectifying the situation.