The trip to Indiana last Saturday was uneventful, which was good. I mostly just pumped and then gave Leo a bottle although I nursed a couple of times. We stopped a lot and made horrible time, but I think that is the way it goes with babies. Olivia and Leo did great. Olivia held Leo's hand several times on the trip at her suggestion. They were sitting next to each other, so it was easy to do and super cute.
Steph made us feel totally welcome here with all she's done to fix up the upstairs rooms for our stay. Olivia was pumped to be back at Aunt Stephy's house.
It's been a pretty good week, but exhausting. The interview on Tuesday was all day from 9 to 5:30, so I had to pump three times while I was there. It was hard being away from Leo for so long. The interview went well, though, I think. I got mastitis on Wednesday night. I thought I was dying. Rough. I am feeling better this evening and hope the pain is gone by tomorrow night.
Olivia is loving the cows and horses here again. Here are the kids outside the barn yesterday:
Here is Olivia playing doctor:
Here's Leo in his rocker outfit:
Here he is swaddled, perhaps for the last time. He doesn't like it anymore.
Here is us before we left. I hold both kids often. Today when I went in to get Olivia out of her crib after her nap, I was holding Leo. When I picked her up, she said, "Mommy so strong!" True.
Leo continues to be a great baby. He is very alert much of the day. He swings his arms and bats at objects already. He loves the mobile. He still is a grazer at the breast or bottle, so feeding him continues to be challenging only in the time it takes. Since Wednesday he has been eating constantly. I am not sure if this is because of the mastitis, or what.
Leo's two week well visit was Wednesday. He did great. No shots, but he had to be stuck for his repeat PKU test. Olivia tagged along and held Leo's hand while they stuck him. She is doing great as a big sister! He was 9 lbs 13 ounces. He is in the 90 percentile for height and weight--just about the same as Olivia was then.
Here are some random shots from the past few days. Heidi left yesterday and Mom is here now. We leave for Indiana on Sunday for my job interview at IUS on Tuesday. Big stuff!
Olivia came home from CHOM with Heidi yesterday and started vomitting. She also has fever. Leo has the cold we all had. His umbilical cord was infected and he has a blocked tear duct. We went to the doctor today. Ugh. It's been a hard 24 hours. I hope it gets easier soon. I have no idea what we would have done without Heidi here. I'm freaked out about my help going home.
Leo in his hat made by Aunt Heidi--her first ever knitting project! Love it!
My mother's ring that Nicholas bought for me when I was really down in January. Little did we know that Leo wouldn't come until February!
So, here is my push gift instead! The first ring is just because I am fabulous.
Leo is often so alert it surprises me. He really likes this mobile!
And here is Olivia and Heidi having tea this morning.
In other news, I took Leo to the lactation nurse yesterday because I am still having trouble nursing. Sort of. I haven't given Leo ANY formula since Wednesday and only about an ounce then. So, I have enough milk. (In fact, I am about 8 ounces ahead now. Six ounces in the freezer! Score!) The problem is that it takes Leo forever to nurse and then I have to top him off with expressed milk. So, it takes about an hour to nurse him, feed him, and then pump. The good news is that he is gaining and above his birth weight. He weighed a wopping 9 lbs 5 ounces on Friday. The nurse told me I am doing everything right, and she thinks it will resolve itself in the next few days. I am hoping she is right because this is definitely not sustainable after my help goes home.
The breastfeeding is going better. Leo has had less than two ounces of formula in the past three days, so I am catching up to him. The problem remains that it takes almost an hour to feed him every single time. I nurse him, give him expressed milk, and then pump. By the time I'm done, an hour has passed. That is not sustainable when my help leaves since Olivia cannot entertain herself for that long several times a day. I am hoping he will get to be a more aggressive nurser and I can just nurse for 20-30 minutes each time and be done with it.
Otherwise, all is well. I was carrying Leo in the Moby wrap yesterday and Olivia said, "Mommy carry Leo in her pocket." Haha! She's so cute! She had a little bit of a hard time sharing me with Leo yesterday, but I am hoping today goes better.
Steph left this morning. She was SUCH A HUGE HELP! I'm afraid what will happen now, but Heidi is coming tomorrow afternoon so I won't have too long on my own. Here is Olivia carrying Steph's "backpack" on their walk yesterday.
Today was a much better day. I was so sick yesterday, but I am feeling better. Last night I got a little sleep--in the reclining rocker with Leo on my chest, but sleep nonetheless. Leo and I went to the lactation consultant for a weight check for him and advice for me. He was 8 lbs 11 oz on Friday, the day we left the hospital. Today he was 8 lbs 13 oz, so we are headed in the right direction! His jaundice is better, they said.
As for me, (warning: too much information to follow) my painfully engorged breasts are doing better after getting advice to ice them for 20 minutes every two hours. My milk is flowing better, too. I haven't supplemented Leo since this morning, and I am pumping about an ounce after he nurses. Of course, he is still somewhat jaundiced, so I end up giving him that ounce after he nurses, so I am only ever one feeding ahead. That's okay.
Olivia continues to be super sweet with Leo, although she does want all his toys. She wants to sit in his bouncy chair, too, but she still can...sort of. She continues to talk about being the "big sister" and she is always "checking" on Leo. She had a good time when we pulled him up in his bouncer to the dinner table. She thought it was hilarious that he doesn't have teeth so he couldn't have pasta salad.
Leo is really strong, trying to lift up his head when I burp him and trying to turn over on his side. His newborn rash is getting better with Eucerin. I'm hopeful to have a good night of nursing and sleeping tonight.
Day two brought a lot of visitors to the hospital. Mom and Olivia came twice. Nicholas stayed with me much of the day. My friends Janice, Michelle, and Sylvia all came to visit. Plus, I received lots of beautiful flowers. I learned from last time, to take advantage of the time in the hospital to rest. So, between night feedings, I sent Leo to the nursery so that I could sleep. He is the good baby I had predicted. He has been a pretty good nurser, although because he has jaundice, I have had to supplement. I think that will stop soon as my milk is almost enough for him now. He is a pretty good sleeper, too, except for the past two nights, he has decided not to sleep at night, just during the day.
Mom caught a cold from Olivia while she was here, so she left just as I was coming home from the hospital on Friday morning. I caught the cold, too, which is a real bummer trying to recuperate, nurse a newborn, take care of Olivia, and rest. So, we were on our own from Friday morning until Saturday afternoon when Stephanie came in. It went okay, but was tiring.
On Tuesday night, I thought my water might have broken...just a little bit. I was having some sign of that during some of my ever frequent contractions. But, I wasn't sure and my contractions weren't painful, so I went to bed after looking up on the internet that labor should be started within 24 hours of your water breaking. I had a doctor's appointment on Wednesday anyway. I woke up around 5:30 (after being up some of the night with contractions/bathroom breaks/etc.) and was more sure that my water had broken...just a little bit. And I was having bloody show and frequent contractions about 4 minutes apart. I called the doctor at 6:30, and he said to come in when the office opened at 8. I was quite sure this was it by then, so I woke up Nicholas and had Mom take my picture with Olivia.
Early labor (which was much like the previous 4 months of contractions):
We got to the doctor's office a little after 8. Dr. Chwe was in surgery, so he couldn't see me right away. The hooked me up to the monitor, and my contractions were registering off the chart. I was in a little pain. It took a long time, so the doctor on call checked me to see if my water had broken. When he did, there was a huge gush of water, so no test was needed. I was 4 cm dilated and 90% effaced. That was at 9:30. There were no rooms at the hospital for me, so I labored in the office until about 11 o'clock. Nicholas helped me remember to breath and kept me focused.
When we finally got a room downstairs, I sent Nicholas out for our bags. He wasn't gone long. I really liked my nurse Allison. I was never able to read the book I brought because I had to focus to get through the contractions, and I was never comfortable enough between contractions to read. Dr. Chwe checked me at about 11 and I was 4.5 cm dilated and 95% effaced. He wouldn't allow me to walk the halls like I did with my labor with Olivia. He said the slow part of labor was over, and things would start moving quickly now.
He was right. By 1 o'clock I was 7 cm dilated. Between 11 and 1, I thought to myself, "Am I crazy to do this naturally again?" I decided I was and decided to get the epidural. I had heard too many good stories about them to make me fear them. (I worried it would make my labor longer and I would end up getting a c-section. I worried about the headache some people get. I worried about not being able to push effectively. I worried about not being able to walk for 14 hours after my labor ended.) Those fears were in vain. Dr. Carter gave me the epidural, and it was great! I immediately began to feel relief from my pain, and was actually smiling for at least a half an hour after. That was at about 1:30. I could still feel my contractions, though, and I could move my legs and my toes.
Around 2 o'clock, Leo was distressed. For about seven minutes his heart rate dipped well below normal. My nurse made me turn to my left. Then my right. Then she gave me oxygen. That finally helped. It was scary, though, and I cried. I was afraid for Leo. I was afraid I had done the wrong thing getting the epidural. I worried I would have to have a c-section, and I worried for Leo's health. Nicholas held my hand and was really reassuring. Just what I needed then.
I wore the oxygen mask for the rest of labor. Leo's heart rate periodically fell below normal during my contractions, but then came back up. Dr. Chwe said that overall Leo looked good, and not to worry. I tried not to.
By 2:30, I was about 9 cm dilated and Dr. Chwe said it would be about 15 minutes before I could start pushing. I asked my nurse not to change shifts. She stayed! She was supposed to go to the well baby nursery, but she stayed since I was so close to pushing.
By 3:10, I was pushing. I was able to be in a better position to push this time because Olivia got stuck on my pelvis and I almost had to lay flat. This time I could sit up and pull my legs up to me. That helped. Even with the epidural, this part was very hard and hurt a lot. It was really tiring, too. There were several points that I didn't think I could do it. Finally, around 3:28, I just couldn't stop pushing. The nurse said to just keep on going. I did. Then she said, "Stop, stop, stop. Don't push!" Leo was crowning and the doctor wasn't there yet. He came in about five minutes later, during which time I was doing funny breathing to stop myself from pushing. Dr. Chwe walked in and said, "No one crack any jokes" because if I had laughed, Leo would have shot right out of me. With my next contraction, that is what happened. Amazingly! I got to see him being born, unlike with Olivia where I was so oblivious because of the pain. Leo had the cord wrapped around his neck twice, which is why his heart rate kept dipping. I didn't get to hold him for about 30 minutes because he had trouble expelling all the liquid from his lungs. But, he wasn't in any real danger. They kept him in the room the whole time.
Welcome to my big, sweet boy!!
After Leo was born, Dr. Chwe worked on the placenta. That hurt a lot, just like last time. Dr. Chwe apologized and asked me if I wanted to "press the pain medicine button". Haha! I didn't even know I had one! So, I wasn't getting that much apparently. I pressed the button, and that made my left leg go numb for about an hour or so later.
Here he is after his first bath.
And here is Olivia meeting him for the first time. She loved him! I'm so thankful for both of my beautiful children!