Monday, April 30, 2012

Oh Monday...

I cannot believe it's Monday already. This weekend passed by in the blink of an eye... as usual. And what better way to begin a Monday than with a trip to the pediatrician's office (for CeCe) and the PCP's office (for Ian). Never a full moment around here!

I called the pediatrician as soon as the office opened to schedule an appointment for the little munchkin. I was diagnosed with thrush last week and the OB suggested I get CeCe checked out, too. Fortunately CeCe received a clean bill of health and doesn't appear to have thrush. But that doesn't necessarily mean she doesn't have it or won't develop it. Ugh! But on a more positive note, CeCe now weighs 10 pounds 3 ounces! She has gained almost an entire pound in just one week. I must be doing something right!

This breast feeding business is difficult. CeCe initially had a terrible latch and I was in pain, then my breast was infected, then I developed thrush... why can't this be as simple as everyone makes it out to be?!? I'm determined to stick with it because my supply is good and CeCe is growing like a weed. I just hope the doctor can figure out what's wrong with my left breast so I can move on from the pain. But for now I pump on the left and nurse on the right. And like I mentioned before, despite all these issues, my supply is good and I've been able to feed CeCe and store extra milk. Yay! I scheduled an appointment with the OB to follow up from last week and to figure this out once and for all.

I'm thankful to be able to complain about breast feeding because it's something I was unable to do with Bella. She was in the NICU and I was very sick after delivery so it didn't work out. This time around CeCe didn't need the NICU and I had a much healthier delivery. I just wish I didn't have all of these minor set backs, but this too shall pass.

But Monday was fairly kind to me. I was able to take a nap this afternoon and spent time with friends this evening. It was a pretty good day, we survived and that's all I can really hope for these days. It is late and I've got a hungry hippo to feed, so I'd better go. Nighty night y'all!

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia

Saturday, April 28, 2012


After two nights of less than desirable amounts of sleep, we were sure glad to wake up and realize that it is Saturday. The only thing on our agenda today were Bella's swim lessons at the Y. It was nice to take it easy this morning and not stress about getting everything done before Ian leaves for work.

Bella did really well at her swim lessons today. She climbed out of the pool (unassisted) several times, blew bubbles in the water, kicked her legs (like a froggy) and scooped water with her little hands. Even though these lessons are mainly water acclamation skills, it's good to know that she is actually learning from these lessons. I think we're going to look into a more rigorous program for over the summer. I'd like for Bella to have better water survival skills than what the Y can currently teach her. I don't have expectations of her being Michael Phelps at this point, but I'd like for her to develop the skills for her to be able to survive for a few moments IF she ever fell in a pool (or any other body of water for that matter). Ian and Bella played in the splash pool for almost an hour after swim lessons and had a blast! Cecilia and I can't wait to join them... once we're both bikini ready! Ha-ha!

Cecilia has been regressing in her night time sleeping. She's a hungry little hippo and wants to eat every 90-minutes, so by the time we get her back down, it's just about time to get up and feed her again. It also hasn't been easy to get her back down the last two nights, so I've resorted to sleeping on the floor next to her. She's a tummy sleeper, like her mother and big sister, but tummy sleeping at 3-weeks of age scares me. So I lay her on a thin, muslin blanket and lay down next to her. I can literally hear and feel her breathing, so it alleviates a little bit of anxiety for me. Bella didn't start wanting to sleep on her tummy until she was almost 6-months and by that point, she could roll back and forth as she pleased. Cecilia can pick up her head (amazing, I know) but she can't roll over if she's in distress. I'm debating using the pack-and-play in conjunction with the Angel Care movement monitor in our room IF she's going to be sleeping on her tummy. I have a lot of research to do IF we're even going to consider allowing Cecilia to sleep on her tummy.

Bella is the only one getting a decent night's sleep around her. Her sleeping has not been affected by Cecilia and for that we are very thankful. I've heard horror stories of older siblings regressing in their sleep habits and that's the last thing I need right now. I can't imagine having to console a 3-week-old and a 2-year-old every 90-minutes. Hopefully Cecilia follows in her sister's foot steps with good sleep habits, but I know it will take some time for her to develop good sleep habits. As much as I don't want my little girls to grow up so darn, I long for the day that I have two children who sleep through the night.

As I'm typing, everyone else in the house is still asleep. We all went down for naps around 1:00pm and I was the first one to wake up. Ian, the girls and the dog are still fast asleep. I'm feeling somewhat refreshed and I'm hoping everyone else feels the same when they wake up. But right now, I'm listening to the "Gruntasaurus Rex" (a.k.a. Cecilia) and the "Snorasaurus Rex" (a.k.a. Ian) and enjoying an otherwise quiet house. The "Talkasaurus Rex (a.k.a Bella) should be up soon and I'm guessing that everyone else will be wide awake shortly after that. For now, I'm enjoying a few quiet moments to myself.

Well, that's all folks. I hear some stirring from upstairs and I think my afternoon of quiet bliss is about to expire. I sure enjoyed it while it lasted.

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia

Thursday, April 26, 2012

I'm not superwoman

After thinking that this recovery has been a breeze, for almost two weeks, I was quickly reminded yesterday that I am not invincible. I began picking up my 30-pound toddler on Monday and I am now paying the price. I won't get into details, but let me just say that I am glad I have a follow up appointment with the OB this afternoon. It's just a minor set back, or so I hope.

I now see why the OB suggests no heavy lifting, even if I didn't have a c-section. My body needs time to rest and heal. Being pregnant for 38-weeks and giving birth is hard on the body. I suppose I had forgotten this due to the fact that I was feeling fantastic. Needless to say, for the next week or two, I will be taking it easy.

I keep thinking that I cannot wait to get back to the gym, but I know that I should probably wait a bit longer. Luckily, breast feeding is great for weight loss so I will continue to take advantage of that "work out" until I am cleared by the OB. Plus, CeCe isn't old enough for the child care center so I can't go to the gym when I'm at home with both girls. Taking walks with the family, eating healthy and providing nourishment for CeCe will have to suffice for my weight loss goals, at least for now.

But right now, both girls are sleeping and I'd be a fool not to join them. Sleep when the baby sleeps or babies sleep... that advice never gets old. I'm definitely not superwoman!

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Flying solo

Today was my first official day as a mom of two. Obviously I've been raising two kids for the past 2.5 weeks, but today was the first day that I was totally alone with both girls for the entire day. It was a whirlwind day and I am exhausted, but it was actually a pretty good day!

The day started early and when I wasn't watching the clock (counting down the minutes until Bella's nap time), I was entertaining Bella and tending to CeCe. While I nursed CeCe, I turned on the TV for Bella. During one nursing session, Bella asked me for a snack... WTF? We're not at the movies, kiddo! We went on a walk and played outside, while I wore CeCe in the Sleepy Wrap. The morning went okay and despite several meltdowns, Bella did really well sharing my attention today.

Nap time could not have arrived a moment sooner and all three of us napped into the early afternoon. Bella went down without so much as peep, but CeCe fought nap time for a little while. It wasn't until I placed her on her tummy that she fell into a deep sleep. Yes, I know... call child protective services, as I placed my child on her tummy to sleep. I'm a tummy sleeper, Bella is a tummy sleeper and I'm sure CeCe will be a tummy sleeper. And don't worry, she sleeps on her back at night for extended periods of sleep.

Between feeding Bella, nursing CeCe and entertaining both kids, I didn't accomplish much around the house. I did manage to finish up some thank you cards and wash some dishes. My floors still need to be vacuumed and mopped, but that will have to wait. My girls need me and housework will temporarily be put on the back burner (eek, I can't believe I just said that).

My big accomplishment for the day was making it through the day without any major incidents. We survived and will do it all again tomorrow. I'm dying to get out of the house, but must admit that I'm a bit nervous to venture out with both kids. Hopefully within the next week or so, I'll be brave enough to do so. Being homebound is NOT for me, that is for sure.

Here's to hoping that the upcoming days are just as good as today! Being a mom of two is a lot of fun, but a lot of work.

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia

Monday, April 23, 2012

Oh Monday...

It's Monday... sigh. The days and weeks seem to disappear in the blink of an eye. I wish the weekends were a day or two longer, so that I could enjoy more time with my family. I suppose things could always be worse and I could be having to return to a job outside the home every Monday. Instead, I am able to spend the week with my two beautiful girls and for that I am very thankful. 

My sweet CeCe Rose turned two-weeks-old yesterday. I cannot believe it's been two weeks since she joined our family because it really only feels like yesterday. She is sweet as can be, but definitely has a feisty side to her. We love her to pieces and we cannot imagine life without her. 

We had a follow-up appointment with the pediatrician this morning to address CeCe's jaundice. Thankfully Dr. Hosemann didn't think it was necessary to retest, so CeCe avoided the dreaded heel prick. She said that her skin and eyes looked "perfect" and she felt confident that the excess bilirubin has been expelled from her system. Yay! CeCe was also weighed and I am very pleased to say that she now weighs 9 pounds 9 ounces! She has surpassed her birth weight by 6 ounces and has gained 1 pound 3 ounces since her last appointment with the pediatrician. I am proud to say that all the nursing and pumping has paid off and CeCe is growing like a weed!

My little partner in crime and I ran a few errands after her appointment, which included a pedicure (for me) and a trip to Babies-R-Us. CeCe slept the entire time and was the perfect shopping partner. Bella is at Grandma Ruth's for a few days so I'm trying to take advantage of having just a newborn at home. I must admit that I miss Bella more than ever, because I truly enjoy having both my girls at home with me. Luckily she will be home tomorrow afternoon and I'm sure I'll miss all the quiet moments I'm experiencing today. 

Sleepy head
Nap time
Speaking of quiet moments... I'd better take advantage of a sleeping baby and a quiet house, with a quick nap. I have a TON of housework to do, but I've learned to lighten up (a bit) and not obsess over having an immaculate house. My floors need to be mopped and I have laundry to put away, but it can all wait. A well rested mama is far more important than household chores. 

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Life with two

We're only 11-days in, but I'm happy to report that life with two kids is great. I know we're still in the honeymoon phase but I'm really enjoying having a newborn and a toddler. My newborn is super cute and totally dependent and my toddler is super cute and totally independent. My point is, it's fun to see the two vastly different stages of childhood right before my very eyes.

Don't get me wrong, life is hectic and we're exhausted, but having two beautiful daughters is worth all the chaos and lack of sleep. CeCe is a great little sleeper but I'm still getting up to nurse or pump at least once every night. Speaking of nursing, it's going rather well. We're both getting the hang of it and CeCe appears to be gaining weight, so I'd say we're succeeding! And pumping means Ian can feed her, too, which is a big help. I've built up quite a little stash, can you say MNO?!?

Ian has been working off and on this week. He went into the office two days this week, but arrived home by 4pm to lift Bella out of her crib (as I'm not supposed to lift anything above 10lbs). And the days he went into the office the baby sitter was here or Grandma Ruth came over to lend a helping hand. When outside help comes over, they are put on Bella duty. That leaves me plenty of time to spend with my sweet CeCe Rose.

I even ventured out of the house with both kids yesterday. With some coaxing from some friends, we met our play group at a local park for some outdoor fun. It went surprisingly well and both kids slept the entire afternoon, what more could a mom ask for? Thank goodness for my Sleepy Wrap, which allowed me to have two free hands while I carried CeCe around, otherwise our outing would have been a disaster!

And no one warned me about the massive amounts of laundry I'd be faced with. OMG, the laundry situation is out of control! Bella sometimes goes through two outfits a day and CeCe sometimes goes through two or three outfits a day. Not to mention the blankets, lovies and all the other articles that need to be washed. I've been doing laundry on an almost daily basis, just for the girls. I am beyond behind on my own laundry, but that will have to wait.

Life with two has been a lot of work, but it has been a lot of fun, too. I know we will have our good days and bad days, but for now, I will cherish the good days.

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Adventures in nursing

I wanted to take the time to write about my latest venture: breast feeding.

When I was pregnant with Bella, I planned to breast feed. I was so prepared to breast feed that I didn't purchase any bottles. Unfortunately, complications for both Bella and I posed significant road blocks to my master plan. I hemorrhaged after delivering Bella and lost a lot of blood. As a result, I was severely anemic and my body was too weak to produce breast milk. Bella was admitted into the NICU after our initial discharge and I literally had 15-minutes to feed her at each feeding. Add to that a very lethargic newborn and the odds were stacked against us. We decided to supplement with formula until my production improved and Bella's condition improved. I utilized the services of the lactation consultants at the hospital to improve our situation. I thought it was temporary, but I was mistaken. When we were at home, I worked tirelessly to increase my supply but I simply could not keep up with Bella's demand. I tried EVERYTHING: herbal supplements, tea and the list goes on and on. My supply never improved and we continued to supplement. Each day I attempted to nurse Bella, but our nursing sessions would turn into a total meltdown. Bella wouldn't latch and would scream while staring at my boob. I would cry and cry, trying to get her to latch. I turned to pumping and vowed to exclusively pump. Unfortunately my supply continued to diminish and after about 6-weeks of pumping, my supply was gone. We decided to exclusively formula fed Bella. Needless to say, I was beyond disappointed.

When Bella was an infant, I was constantly questioned about why she wasn't breast fed. At first the subject made me VERY uncomfortable and I felt guilty for not breast feeding her. I didn't have confidence in my decision. I was a new mom and I hadn't developed my thick skin yet. Other moms often made comments and I often left situations with tears in my eyes because of the judgment. Eventually my confidence improved and I was able to defend my decision to formula feed Bella. Yes, I said defend... because I was often at odds with other moms because I didn't believe that "breast was best" for us. A turning point for me was meeting other moms who formula fed their children for various reasons. I finally had support and it felt good.

Fast forward to today... I am happy to say that Cecilia is a breast fed baby. My delivery and recovery has been MUCH different than it was with Bella. I didn't hemorrhage and Cecilia didn't require a stay in the NICU. The odds were not stacked against this time. Upon delivery, Cecilia and I had skin-to-skin contact. Within an hour, I was able to nurse Cecilia. Again, I worked with the lactation consultants at the hospital and even hired a private lactation consultant. I surrounded myself with an amazing support system and I will continue to rely on those people. Despite several minor setbacks (nipple soreness, a blocked duct AND mastitis), we have survived 9-days of breast feeding! I was able to overcome these setbacks with the help of the wonderful lactation consultants. They worked with me to troubleshoot the issues and I have been able to work through things. Breast feeding isn't easy and it requires a lot of hard work and determination. Cecilia and I are making this work and I am so very happy. I would be just as happy if Cecilia was formula fed, but the money we're saving makes both Ian and I very happy. I kid, I kid...

Breast or bottle... all that matters is that I love my daughters and I need to make the best decisions for them. I feel confident in the decisions that I have made for both Bella and Cecilia thus far. People will always judge, it's my role as a mother to be confident in my decisions. This time around, I am confident and it feels really good.

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia

Monday, April 9, 2012

Welcome Cecilia Rose!

She's here and she is absolutely perfect! The Easter Bunny brought us more than baskets filled with jelly beans and treats this year... He brought us a beautiful and healthy baby girl! We are beyond excited to welcome her into our family. We are feeling overjoyed and very blessed today to say the least.

Weighing in at a whopping 9 pounds 2 ounces and measuring 20 1/4 inches long, Cecilia Rose was born on Easter Sunday at 1:40pm. Labor and delivery went so smoothly that it almost makes me want another one... I said almost.

I woke up this morning to get ready for Easter Sunday services at our friends' church. As I was brushing my teeth, I felt liquid trickle down my leg. Initially I thought I had peed myself but my instincts immediately kicked in when the trickle didn't stop as I walked to the toilet to check things out. I called downstairs to Ian and told him I think my water broke but I was going to take a shower before we headed to the hospital. I mean, I had to shave my legs, right? We also quickly gave Bella her Easter basket and after a "bye-bye mama!" from her, we were on our way.

When we arrived, they ran two tests to ensure my water had broken and checked my cervix. My water was indeed broken and I was 7cm dilated. I was admitted and all the fun stuff was started so that I could receive my epidural. Within an hour or two, my epidural was in and pitocin was started to really get things going. Before I knew it, I was 10cm dilated and ready to push. The OB suggested I take a couple of practice pushes and he'd return to access my progress. Apparently I am an excellent pusher because after a few practice pushes, the L&D nurse told me to stop because they needed to prepare the room for delivery. I pushed her out in less than 10 pushes and in less than 10 minutes.

We had immediate skin to skin contact which was AMAZING! I didn't have this with Bella due to complications for me and I enjoyed every second of it with Cecilia. We managed to perform delayed cord clamping, which helps newborns get extra nutrients. Labor and delivery went so smoothly and I could not have asked for anything more. I wasn't able to nurse immediately because Cecilia was so big and her glucose level needed to be checked. But she was a natural at nursing and latched on very quickly.

We are still on cloud nine from such a wonderful labor and delivery experience AND finally being able to meet Miss Cecilia Rose. She is such a strong and alert little girl, so I think we're in for a wild ride with this one. She is incredibly sweet, but feisty, too. She knows what she wants, but once she gets it, is happy as a lark. I'm pleased to report that I am feeling great and Cecilia is also doing quite well. It looks like we will be discharged tomorrow!

Welcome to the world, Cecilia Rose... we're so glad to have you as part of our family!

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Pregnant and miserable

I'm in a HUGE blogging slump. I've had quite a bit to blog about, but I haven't the time or energy to do so. The past week has been a hectic week, to say the least.

Monday night I was up for half of the night with contractions. The contractions weren't strong and they were somewhat irregular. I was having contractions about every 7-10 minutes, which aren't frequent enough to warrant a visit to labor and delivery. I was awake for about 4-hours and eventually went back to sleep, once the contractions subsided. I wasn't "impressed" with the contractions and I figured I would mention it to the OB at our weekly appointment later that day.

At the OB appointment, I received some surprising news... I was 4cm dilated! Woo-hoo! Not that being dilated means much at all, when contractions aren't regular. I did begin to contract at the OB's office, but neither of us seemed concerned about it. Although I'm scheduled to be induced on the 11th, the OB didn't think I'd make it to my induction date. I'm optimistic that I will go into labor on my own, but when exactly remains unknown.

We went to lunch after my OB appointment and I was absolutely miserable. I was feeling crampy and having contractions. We quickly ate and headed home so I could rest. When we got home I used the restroom and noticed blood in the toilet (TMI - sorry) which is how I figured out my water broke with Bella. I thought it was go time so we made arrangements for Bella and headed to the hospital. Unfortunately our trip was in vain because my contractions were still 8-10 minutes apart, weak and I was still only 4cm dilated. Needless to say, I was sent home. Bummer. My mom made arrangements to fly down on Wednesday in case this baby decides to make her debut early. Even if she doesn't arrive before the induction date, it'll be nice to have an extra set of hands around to help with Bella.

That was on Tuesday and here we are on Saturday... still waiting. And yes, I realize at this point baby #2 would still be early and she will be here before her actual due date, but still, I am so ready to meet her! I delivered Bella 11 prior to her due date and I have surpassed that with baby #2, as I am now 10-days away from my due date. Luckily (I guess) I am only 4-days away from my induction date, so if anything, we will be meeting this little sometime this week. I'd prefer to go into labor on my own, but it appears my body is taking a break from laboring. So in the meantime, I am trying to make the best of being enormously pregnant (if that's even possible).

Some women love being pregnant and I am proud to say that I am NOT one of them! Pregnancy is exhausting and can be down right miserable at times, but the end result is well worth all the blood, sweat and tears. I am very fortunate to be pregnant with my second child and I do not take that for granted. But, I sure do not like being pregnant, let alone this pregnant.

Well, I'd better get back to being miserable and uncomfortable. Hopefully I'll have more exciting news within the next few days... fingers (and toes) crossed!

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Baby #2