Entries Tagged as 'new moms'

Gatsby’s birth story, or how I live tweeted my labor again

28.03.14


As I shared, I was not particularly loving the final week or two of pregnancy and was trying pretty much everything to get this little guy out.

Stuff that does not work to induce labor:

  • Having the doctor strip your membranes
  • Spicy food: Mexican, curry, triple-chili powder chocolate cupcakes
  • Third trimester tea
  • Pedicures/foot massages
  • Labor Cookies
  • Scrubbing the floor on your hands and knees
  • Sweeping the floor
  • Skipping
  • Bouncing on a large ball
  • Walking miles and miles
  • Running on an elliptical
  • “The thing that got you into trouble in the first place”
  • Anything to do with your nipples
  • Evening Primrose Oil
  • Jumping off the bottom step
  • Squats and lunges
  • Eggplant Parmesan
  • Dancing
  • Full moons
  • Walking miles and miles

What Does Work to Induce Labor: Having a baby that’s ready.

Mommy and daughter bouncing on the labor ball @ohbotherblog

Gatsby’s Birth Story

On his due date, March 23, I woke up to some really mild contractions around 7am, while I was lying in bed. I didn’t think too much of it because I had literally been having contractions for about three weeks at this point. I kept an eye on the clock—they were about 8 minutes apart. As an hour ticked by and the contractions got a bit stronger, I began to realize that this might be it, but I still didn’t want to get my hopes up.

Side note: Having to rely on your own assessment of your discomfort to make that call to the doctor really sucks, especially when you’re a stubborn mule like me who likes to think she’s tough. Having your water break—like mine did with Holden—is at least a clear sign of labor, although, boy, does that make your contractions so much more intense.

Around 8am, I got up and took a shower (I had this weird thing with both pregnancies where I wanted to get myself “ready” to go to the hospital). My contractions were lasting about a minute, were 3-6 minutes apart and were still relatively mild. I called my doctor’s office at 8:36am and my parents at 8:42am. My mom took me to the hospital while my husband stayed at the house with still-sleeping Holden.

We got to the hospital around 9:45am. I wanted to make the walk to Labor & Delivery rather than take a wheelchair, and I could feel my contractions intensifying and coming faster. My OB met me in L&D for my exam: I was 5 cm dilated and still kinda thick by that point, so she wanted to put me on the monitor to see how I progressed before deciding if they would “keep” me… which pissed me off because 1) I knew this was it and 2) the contractions were getting stronger and being strapped to a bed (without meds) is pretty much the last thing you want when you’re in labor.

I was only on the monitor for about 20-30 minutes before they came back to admit me and take me to a room—I guess my moans of pain and the huge peaks of my contractions on the monitor told them this was the real thing. My OB told me then I was a bit too smiley when I first came in and that’s why she didn’t admit me right away… so if there’s a next time, I’ll keep that in mind.

In the middle of a labor contraction @ohbotherblog

Like my labor with Holden, the time from being admitted until receiving the epidural was a blur of pain. Contractions were coming every minute or so and, while they weren’t at the same excruciating level of my first pregnancy (when my water broke), they still felt like I was being eviscerated with a rusty bread knife every 60 seconds. I was still strapped to a bed, receiving IV fluid before they would give me the epidural and still on the monitor. So no walking or ball-bouncing. Just me alone with my pain.

Around 11am (so after about an hour), the doctor gave me the painkiller, Stadol, which doesn’t stop the pain of the contractions but “takes the edge off”—which means makes you kind of high so you can’t focus on the pain as much. It made things a bit better, but the real joy came when my anesthesiologist entered the room around 11:15am.

Getting an epidural @ohbotherblog

I endured one more painful contraction before the sweet, sweet nectar of anesthesia washed through my body and I began the blissful, zen-like ride of no feeling—like, I literally couldn’t even feel my legs. Also, I was still kind of high.

So now that I was feeling good, it was time to let my friends know where I was and to start…

My Labor Live Tweet, Part Deux

(ps – I also live tweeted my labor with Holden, which you can read here.)

In case you don’t feel like scrolling through all the pages, here is the “highly popular” video of me dancing to “Push It,” like I did last time:

Around 1:50pm (so after about 2.5 hours), the doc came in and said I was about 9.5 cm dilated and we’d start pushing within the hour… which came as news to me because I had no idea I had progressed that quickly. I was still feeling nothing. Like, my leg looked and felt like a huge hamhock lying in bed with me.

She came back around 2:20pm and said it was time. So even though I couldn’t feel what I was doing, I was going to push this baby out. They wheeled over the mirror—always a surreal experience—and I watched as, with three pushes that I couldn’t feel, the baby slipped on out. The process took less than four minutes. No drama, no tearing (thank god—guess those padsicles weren’t really necessary).

They put my beautiful baby boy on my chest and I was still in shock that it had all happened so quickly. But here he was, right on time.


And nothing would be the same again.

a birth day and a blogiversary

26.03.14

So, we’re celebrating two milestones this week:

Announcing Gatsby William Feeser @ohbotherblog

Gatsby William
Born March 23, 2014
7 lbs., 9.3 ounces
20 inches

Mom and baby are doing well. I’ll post all the fun details on his birth story and what finally got him out (right on his due date!) soon, but I also wanted to share that we’re celebrating another “birth day” today:

Happy Birthday, @ohbotherblog!

It’s my blogiversary! One year ago today I made my first post… which I obviously just made to have something to post, lol. Oh well—look how far we’ve come!

Thank you to all 13 of you who’ve read my posts over this year and to those of you who helped me get this thing started. Based on the past 24 hours since we’ve arrived home, I’m going to have a lot more stories to share in the future!

on still being pregnant aka things that don’t work to induce labor

21.03.14

the last week of pregnancy @ohbotherblog

So, ask any pregnant woman: the last few weeks of pregnancy suck. You’re the biggest you’re going to be, you’re probably swollen, you feel so full of baby you could burst, you feel ugly pretty much all the time, you don’t really have an appetite, people are literally asking you several times a day whether you’ve gone into labor yet (spoiler alert: no). There’s the disappointment of getting up to pee three times in the middle of the night and not having your water break any of those times, haha. For me, I’ve also been having pretty real-feeling contractions for three weeks and this kid’s head is already so far down in my junk, I swear I feel like I’m sitting on him.

So here’s where I am:

How Pregnant: 39 weeks, 5 days
Due Date: March 23 (I know, I know, but Holden was born at 39 weeks, so sue me for seeking the same release.)
Cm Dilated: Three (3), as of yesterday
Cervical Status: “Thick”
Doc Says:

  • She stripped my membranes yesterday, which is where she uses her finger to separate the amniotic sac from the bottom of the uterus (feels just as good as it sounds), in the hopes of stirring up hormones to help the cervix progress.
  • She said his head is “right there”—uh yeah, I know it is.
  • My cervix is not yet effacing so she told me to walk and bounce to move it along.
  • I have another OB appointment on Monday, where I will have a Non-Stress Test (NST) and a check of my amniotic fluid levels. From there we’ll figure out what happens next.

I’m not one of those women who glows during her pregnancy or feels like a gorgeous earth goddess. I’m not nesting. My house is like Crazy Town—Holden’s terrible twos have decided to come early and Sally (the dog) is so protective of me that she sits guard in front of me while I pee. So yeah, I’ve been doing stuff to try to get this kid moving and get us out of Pre-Baby Purgatory.

the last week of pregnancy @ohbotherblog

and so, I present…

Stuff that does not work to induce labor:

  • Having the doctor strip your membranes
  • Spicy food: Mexican, curry, triple-chili powder chocolate cupcakes
  • Third trimester tea
  • Pedicures/foot massages
  • Labor Cookies
  • Scrubbing the floor on your hands and knees
  • Sweeping the floor
  • Skipping
  • Bouncing on a large ball
  • Walking miles and miles
  • Running on an elliptical
  • “The thing that got you into trouble in the first place”
  • Anything to do with your nipples
  • Evening Primrose Oil
  • Jumping off the bottom step
  • Squats and lunges
  • Dancing
  • Full moons
  • Walking miles and miles

the last week of pregnancy @ohbotherblog

I’ve been told eating Eggplant Parmesan works and a friend gave me a recipe for meatloaf that she swears induced both of her labors, so maybe I’ll give those a shot. But otherwise, I guess I’m going to put a fork in these ridiculous experiments. I’ll still continue to walk and bounce on that damn ball, though.

I’ve felt all along that this baby is going to be a sweetie, so maybe he’s just that content to hang out inside me until his time comes. Maybe he’s a little mama’s boy in the making. Maybe he’ll be that chill in real life? (Doubtful, I’m sure.)

In the meantime, I’ll continue to enjoy being part of a terrible twosome, even if this little miss has been driving me a bit batty these past few weeks.

the last week of pregnancy @ohbotherblog

what’s in the hospital bag?

15.03.14

packing for the hospital, baby #2 @ohbotherblog

I pretty much had no idea what I was doing when I had Holden. I mean, I seriously had to ask the nurse when I would know to change her diaper. That, coupled with the fact that I didn’t know if I was having a boy or a girl, meant I really didn’t have a clue as to what to pack for the hospital.

So here’s what’s coming with me this time.

Gatsby’s Bag

packing for the hospital, baby #2 @ohbotherblog

packing for the hospital, baby #2 @ohbotherblog

packing for the hospital, baby #2 @ohbotherblog

packing for the hospital, baby #2 @ohbotherblog

packing for the hospital, baby #2 @ohbotherblog

  • Ridiculous(ly adorable) baby boy sleepers and jammies
  • Teeny baby hats
  • Swaddle blankets and a burp cloth
  • Ridiculous(ly adorable) photo props – hats, “Just Born” onesie sticker and little tie (awww)
  • Wishful thinking?

My Bag

packing for the hospital, baby #2 @ohbotherblog

packing for the hospital, baby #2 @ohbotherblog

packing for the hospital, baby #2 @ohbotherblog

packing for the hospital, baby #2 @ohbotherblog

packing for the hospital, baby #2 @ohbotherblog

packing for the hospital, baby #2 @ohbotherblog

  • The boppy pillow and Hooter Hider for nursing
  • Toiletry stuff
  • My maternity uniform of nursing tanks and black lounge pants
  • Robe and comfy pants
  • Phone charger and Anker portable charger
  • The “Gatsby” charm to add to my necklace

Okay, kid. Let’s do this.

holdy’s busy (booby) bag

11.03.14

Busy bag for toddler while nursing the new baby @ohbotherblog

I’ve been getting some great advice on getting Holden acclimated to becoming a big sister (which will hopefully happen any day now, gah!).

Several people have recommended special toys or activities for Holden to play with specifically when I’m nursing Baby G, so I put together this little Busy Bag for her… with the knowledge that I’m totally going to call it the “Booby Bag,” because I’m inappropriate like that.

So what’s in the Booby Bag so far?

Busy bag for toddler while nursing the new baby @ohbotherblog

The Busy Book: I had a coupon for a free Shutterfly photo book. Holden loves to look at photos of herself on my phone (narcissistic, sure, but it entertains her in a pinch!) and she loves to read, so I made her a book of familiar faces and activities to look at while I’m occupied.

Busy bag for toddler while nursing the new baby @ohbotherblog

I figure I can add to the bag as I go. I had someone recommend Play Doh and someone else say, “oh hell no” to Play Doh so jury’s out on that…

Any suggestions for the Booby Bag?

readying the big sister for baby #2

06.03.14

So Gatsby could come any day (seriously, kid, you can come any day). One of the most frequent questions I get is how I think Holden will respond to the new baby.

Introducing baby #1 to baby #2 @ohbotherblog

Honestly, I think (and hope) that she’ll be great. She has been very interested in my belly throughout the pregnancy and knows that “her baby” is in there.

A normal baby-related conversation goes like this:

M: Where’s the baby?
H: pats my belly. Baby.
M: Is that your brother?
H: nods earnestly. Yes.
M: Are you going to love him?
H: nods earnestly. Yes.
M: Are you going to help Mommy?
H: nods earnestly. Yes.
M: Are you going to change his diaper?
H: nods earnestly. Yes.
M: Are you going to share your toys?
H: deadpan. No.

I’ll take it, haha.

She’s also been very interested in the baby’s gear. I have the bassinet set up in my room for G’s arrival. Holden likes to put her stuffed animals in it, turn on the music and rock them.

The other day I peeked in and saw this:

Introducing baby #1 to baby #2 @ohbotherblog

I think we’re going to be just fine.

(seriously, any day, kid).

prepping for baby #2: padsicles, part two

12.02.14

In a previous post, I talked about the genius idea that is the padsicle. Now 34 weeks along, I’m getting a bit more serious about delivery and baby prep, so I decided it was time to make these suckers.

I used Tall Mom, Tiny Baby’s “recipe” for these ice-cold relief pads and made a few tweaks. So I present:

The Padsicle

Ingredients:

  • The biggest freaking sanitary or incontinence pads you can find
  • Aloe vera
  • Witch hazel
  • Gallon freezer bags
  • Tall Mom, Tiny Baby recommends jojoba, lavender or tea tree oil. I couldn’t find jojoba or lavender oil at my CVS and I wasn’t into the thought of putting something as minty/eucalyptusy/medicinal-smelling as tea tree oil on my lady parts. And I was impatient and wanted to make these, so I forewent the essential oil on my padsicles.

post-partum padsicles @ohbotherblog

The Process:

  • Open the pads, but keep them on their backing plastic so you can re-wrap them.
  • Pour two tablespoons of witch hazel over the pad
  • Pour one tablespoon or so of aloe vera and mush it all over. I used the actual tablespoon to spread it out.

how to make padsicles: witch hazel and aloe vera @ohbotherblog

A fantastic friend of mine texted me before I made these to warn me that it’s not a more-the-merrier situation when it comes to the padsicle ingredients… meaning that the pad absorbs the ingredients and if you put on too much, the pad is less likely to absorb what you really need it to… if you get my drift.

  • Wrap the pads back up, and pack them inside a freezer bag.
  • Slip those bad boys in the freezer and they’ll be waiting for you after you get home from pushing that watermelon through your hoo-ha and you’ve run out of the ice pack-mesh panties-pad sandwich materials that you stole from the hospital.

Padsicles ready for the freezer @ohbotherblog

Tall Mom, Tiny Baby recommends sitting on a towel when using the padsicles. Duly noted.

Alright, Baby G, one step closer to being ready for you!

prepping for baby #2: padsicles, part one

28.01.14

32 weeks. It’s getting to be about that time—time to start prepping for the G Man’s arrival (I know—already?!).

About 17 months ago, I sent a link to a post I’d found online to a friend who was about to have her second baby. It was called, “A candid list of things to do in the last weeks of pregnancy.” I remember it being full of helpful advice, so I saved it to come back to before I had my second kid. And I saved it for one specific piece of advice in particular.

*If you have no desire to shatter the beautiful illusion of childbirth or femininity, or to hear about post-partum horrors or if you have any intention of wanting to feel any little bit of attraction toward me any time in the near future, please just stop reading now.*

The Padsicle

One of the (many) things no one tells you about childbirth is the havoc that a vaginal delivery will wreak on your lady parts. No one warns you that, after pushing your watermelon-sized bundle of joy through your hooha, followed by the afterbirth (which, spoiler alert: hurts almost as much delivery), you will be accompanied, shell-shocked and delirious, to the bathroom by your nurse, who will introduce you to your new bathroom routine for the next 2-3 weeks (at least).

She will hand you a Peri bottle (a squeeze bottle) that you must fill with water—water that you must squirt into your urine stream to dilute it so that you don’t burn the ever-living-hell out of your freshly-sewn flower every time you pee. “Peri” stands for perineum. Don’t Google it.

You’ll then be given the ingredients to assemble the Dagwood-esque sanitary pad sandwich that will comprise your undergarments for the near future:

post-partum padsicles @ohbotherblog

  1. The largest pad you’ve ever seen
  2. An ice pack
  3. TUCKS Medicated (witch hazel) Pads
  4. Epifoam, a steroidal foam to help with inflammation.

Stacked on top of one another, these items will all be held in place by extremely large, extremely stretchy (and honestly, extremely comfortable) mesh panties. If you care to see the process step-by-step, check out Emily’s post here on Real New Mom. She calls it the Undie Sundae.

Don’t get me wrong—I am by no means throwing shade at this process. Trust me, you will cry for the soothing nature of this pad sandwich when it feels like your vj is hanging down to your knees.

Pro-tip: Steal as many of the pads, ice packs, TUCKS Pads and mesh panties as you can from the hospital. Otherwise, you will find yourself crying to your SO to go to the store and buy the freaking-biggest-pads-you-can-find-I-don’t-care-if-they’re-incontinence-pads-for-old-ladies-dammit, whilst straddling a bag of frozen peas… I’m guessing, anyway.

So that’s why this time, I’m making me some Padsicles.

post-partum padsicles @ohbotherblog

A search for “padsicle” online brings up all sorts of fun articles on these little pieces of frozen heaven. I’m going to be using Mary’s recipe from Tall Mom, Tiny Baby.

I hit up the drug store today to get all the ingredients (plus some bonus epsom salt, cuz why not?). Stay tuned for a future post, in which I make these big mamma-jammas.

sahm for a week

18.01.14

My parents, aka my daycare, decided they deserved a vacation this week (they totally did). I decided I needed a trial run on this stay-at-home-mom thing to prep for Gatsby’s arrival in late (?) March, so I wanted to try “working from home” this week.

Long story short: we survived! We took advantage of every Gymboree class opportunity that was available; I’m talking two-a-days sometimes. We took several walks to the park in weather that was *just* a bit too cold. We read every book. We danced to Yo Gabba Gabba! We had multiple tea parties. We watched all the Toy Stories. Several times. We rode the stupid quarter rides at the mall. We toured a preschool and did Holden’s first art project. We got a rug burn on our forehead. Bonus: we started potty training… kinda.

stay at home mom for the week @ohbotherblog stay at home mom for the week @ohbotherblog stay at home mom for the week @ohbotherblog stay at home mom for the week @ohbotherblog stay at home mom for the week @ohbotherblog stay at home mom for the week @ohbotherblog

What I learned:

  • I love spending time with this kid.
  • Having a schedule is going to be very important: those Gymboree classes were lifesavers for structure to my day, giving me adult interaction and allowing Holdy to expel some energy.
  • Doing this with two kids is going to be really, really hard.
  • She’s growing up too fast.
  • I cannot stay in the house all day.
  • Trying to work from home with a toddler is not realistic for me.
  • Yo Gabba Gabba! is pretty weird.
  • I need to find some backup babysitters.
  • I should join a mom’s group.
  • I need to do more art projects with Holden so she doesn’t think a paint brush is a utensil and shaving cream + glue a yummy treat.

Ready or not, some things are going to be changing, and soon. It’s exciting and scary, all at the same time.

 stay at home mom for the week @ohbotherblog

stuff for baby #2

06.01.14

As I’m approaching my 30th week of pregnancy (!), I’m realizing it’s time to get ready for this little guy’s arrival.

We have tons of baby stuff from when Holdy was an infant, so it’s really just filling in some gaps here and there. Here are two of the cool things Santa brought this mama to start the preparations.

stuff for baby #2 - double stroller and backpack diaper bag @ohbotherblog

1. Joovy Caboose Ultralight Stroller in Black

With two kids under the age of two and the fact that I’m on my own most of the time, I’m thinking a double stroller is going to be a must. I did quite a bit of research on the double stroller that would work for us and decided on the Joovy Caboose. I chose the Joovy because it:

  • Is lightweight (21 pounds)
  • Fits in the trunk of a compact car (apparently a rarity for double strollers)
  • Has a universal carseat adapter that will allow me to put the infant seat in the front while G-Man is little
  • Has the option for Holden to either sit or stand

I also got the Joovy Caboose Too Rear Seat, which turns the rear seat into a full-size reclining option for Holden. Apparently with this accessory, the Joovy is a great option for families with kids who are close in age, like Holdy and Gatsby will be. We’ll see; I’ll report back on how it works out!

2. Dadgear Backpack Diaper Bag

Word from friends with multiple little ones is to get a diaper bag backpack for optimum kid juggling. Again, I did some online research and decided on the Dadgear Backpack. The Dadgear won me over with its:

  • Flip-down baby wipes access window (no more digging!)
  • Diaper “hammock” at the top of the bag that keeps the diapers easily accessible
  • Two bottle pockets on the sides
  • Comfy straps

I’ve started using the backpack already and love it. It’s a bit different going from the Organizing Utility Tote from Thirty One Gifts that I had previously been using to the backpack, mostly because that bag was entirely open (which was sometimes problematic). I’m going to be quite a sight with my backpack and double stroller, juggling two little kids, haha.

I have a few things on the Baby #2 Wish List that I’ll share soon. But… the preparation process has started!

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