newborn

And Then There Were Two… Catriona’s Birth Story!

Well, this is a long time coming as our little girl has now passed the 7 week mark, but here it goes!

After teasing us for a few weeks with hard a frequent contractions that would last hours and then fade away our little girl decided to (finally) join us mid May, just before her due date.  Catriona’s labor and delivery happened so quickly that it truly took both Conan and I by surprise.  On the day of her birth Conan was leaving for work at a ridiculously early hour as he had a 5 hour commute ahead of him.  Before he left the house at 5am he woke me up to see if I was feeling up to him being so far away.  I had actually slept the night before and had not been feeling any contractions at all and a decrease in fetal movement for the last 24 hours.  I told him that I was fine and he should go.  He informed me that if I called after 9am he would be on the ferry on Lake Champlain and unable to turn around.  I rolled over and promptly fell back asleep.

At 6:30 I woke up feeling a little crampy, looked at the clock, tried to go back to sleep, and then being unsuccessful at that endeavor decided to get up for the day so I could enjoy a shower before Liam woke up.  By the time I was showered and dressed I noticed that the cramping had turned into contractions, but that they didn’t have a rhythm and weren’t as strong as they had been for the previous few weeks.  The contractions were was all in my back, so I decided to take what was left of my free time before Liam woke up to do some pelvic tilt exercises to encourage Catriona to get off my spine.  By the time 7:30 arrived, and Liam woke up, I was in much less pain (the pelvic tilt exercises actually worked!) but the contractions were settling into a rhythm .

At this point I figured it was just going to be another false alarm.  I did stop and time them, they were every 5-6 minutes.  At that point there was no need to call the doctor or my husband, but I did take the time to text my sister-in-law to see if she could come over and give me a hand before I went to get Liam from his room.  After a few weeks of false alarms I knew that the continuous contractions could make me very cranky, especially if Liam was having a whiny/cranky two-year=old type of day.

So I waddled upstairs, picked up Liam for my good morning hug, and immediately had to put him down as I was hit by a very hard contraction.  Liam asked me what was wrong, and I told him Catriona was making my belly hurt again.  He then proceeded to kiss my stomach to make it feel better (and at that point I knew it was going to be a good day with him).  We made it downstairs slowly (he wanted to walk by himself) and without incident, but the contractions were speeding up and getting even stronger at an alarming rate.  I was starting to have to stop and breathe through them.  After getting Liam changed and set up in his chair for breakfast I texted my sister-in-law again and asked if she could come over early as I thought it might be a good idea to go to the doctors office and get checked just in case.  I then called my husband at 8:15 am and told him he might want to turn around, but that it  could be another false alarm.  I called the office and was scheduled for a 9:30 appointment.  Conan decided to turn around just in case.  I called up my mom to let her know I was going to drive myself to my doctors to get checked for 9:30 and she (thankfully) insisted that she come and pick me up.   Everyone was ready to spring into action though I was not yet convinced that it wasn’t a false alarm again so I continued to putter around the house doing some last minute cleaning and helping Liam get cleaned up and pick out some clothes for the day while stopping every 4 minutes or so to breathe through a contraction.  When my sister in-law arrived she decided she needed to take some last minute early labor pictures of me.  They prove that while I am breathing through contractions I didn’t care if I had a double chin in pictures or not (lol).  I never did quite get around to getting Liam dressed.

At 9:15 my mother arrived and we headed down to my doctor’s office.  They got me into a room pretty quickly and the nurse practitioner checked to see how dilated I was, looked up at me and said “you are a seven, you aren’t going to have time for an epidural”.  I am pretty sure I stared at her in disbelief and then repeated “seven?”  I could clearly remember being seen centimeters dilated with Liam and the pain was MUCH worse than what I was currently dealing with.

Mom and I were went over to the hospital, I popped my head into my friend’s office (who was also my OB for both of my children) on the way out to tell her I was 7 cm, and she said she would pop over to the hospital to deliver me shortly and then we headed out.  The walking continued to be slow with all the stopping I had to do, but we made into the hospital (which is basically across the street), updated Conan, and got to a room by 10:15.  By the time they got my base vitals, IV inserted, and started administering the first round of antibiotics (my GBS was positive on top of everything else with this pregnancy!)   I was starting to feel the urge to push… it was 11 am and neither my doctor (Lauren) nor Conan was there yet.  My doctor walked into the room 10 minutes later followed closely behind by my husband (who must have broken some serious speed records or hit the best batch of no traffic possible).  The first round of antibiotics completed, and Lauren looked at me and said , “you are trying to not push right now aren’t you”.  after I affirmed that she did a quick check, said I was just about 10 cm and asked if I wanted to have my water broken (she did warn me that delivery would be quick because Catriona was more than ready to come out at that point)s, which I quickly agreed to.  Delivery was less than 15 minutes at that point and 3 pushes later we had our beautiful baby girl.

While she was coming out we did have to pause between pushes as her cord was wrapped around her neck twice.  After delivery she also needed a couple of puffs of oxygen as she was in shock from her quick change of scenery and did not start breathing on her own immediately.  There are no words to describe how stressful and elongated those moments after birth were when we didn’t hear a cry right away and then when she did start crying how weak it was.  Thankfully she bounced back quickly and only needed a couple of puffs of oxygen before she was able to maintain a good level without assistance and we were finally able to hold our little girl in our arms!

There are no words to describe how happy Conan and I are that despite the challenges with this pregnancy we are blessed with a beautiful and healthy baby girl.  Watching her big brother fall in love with her has been an amazing experience.  She has completed our family perfectly.

Sleep Schedules

Sleep…. oh how I miss sleep.

I remember about a year ago when I was still pregnant and just getting to that hard to find a comfortable position to sleep in phase how much I couldn’t wait to have Liam so that I could get a full nights sleep again.  Obviously I was a bit delusional to have that thought.  I blame pregnancy hormones and two nieces that had recently arrived and were both excellent sleepers from the start.

I probably should have know better… Liam would always start kicking at 10pm while I was at work and the womb party would continue until the wee hours of the morning.  I actually swapped to night shift for the last two months of my pregnancy so that I could get sleep (and not have as heavy of a work load).

And then Liam arrived.

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Unlike his cousins that were 4.5 months older than him Liam did not sleep through the night right away.  As a new Mom I was totally ok with this.  It probably took me the first month of his life to get over the urge to check on him every hour around the clock…. it took my husband even longer than that.  I figured he would grow into his sleep cycle naturally and made the decision that we were not going to sleep train him.

This has been a hard plan to stick to… especially around the six month mark when everything I was reading was telling me he SHOULD be sleeping through the night, or at least not waking up every 3-4 hours anymore.  6 months into mommy-hood, back to work full-time, and missing spending time with friends and family I was ready for a full nights sleep.  I did have the benefit of a long morning nap on the weekends when my husband would get up with him, but the one or two 4 hour stretches of sleep a week were wearing thin.  I really don’t know how my husband and I survived it, but we did together.

Liam ad Gary

Then, all of the sudden, at 8 months a Christmas miracle happened! Liam slept through the night… and not just once, for almost 4 weeks in a row!  Long enough for me to get use to it and no longer wake up at 3 am in a panic because the little guy had not woke me up yet.  Almost 4 glorious weeks of sleep.  I started to feel human again.  All of the sudden my brain was working without the aid of 6+ cups of coffee a day (no I did not drink that much coffee while I was still able to breast feed, but as soon as the supply dried up my caffeine addiction went into full swing again).  I could hold and follow complete conversations without drifting off into a daydream halfway through them.  My medical director probably sighed a giant sigh of relief.  For 3 weeks I got no grade less than 100% on any assignment with school.  It. Was. Amazing.

I really don’t think one appreciates sleep this much until they have been deprived for a while.  The Liam changed again.  Yeah, I get it.  The first couple of years of a kids life is all about change, and they should be celebrated…. but sleep! I love sleep!

Now he is sleeping most of the way through the night, and waking up for a 4:30 am bottle, then sleeping until 6:30 am.  Now for most people this might not be the worlds worst schedule, but I work second shift.  This means I get home from work at 1am, get to bed and asleep no later than 2… just to be woke up again.

It’s awful.  Saturday and Sunday are officially my favorite days of the week again even though they are work days.  Maybe this sleep stage will only last 3-4 weeks too?

I like to take baby selfies at 6:30 am

I like to take baby selfies at 6:30 am