Thursday, September 29, 2011

Looooong Day

Today was a fairly long day. We spent most of the morning in the house. Nowhere to errands to run. We did venture out for the afternoon for a visiting teaching appointment. That's right...visiting teaching...WITH two kids....RIGHT after naptime. Yeah, I was pretty proud of myself for accomplishing that one.

It wasn't until after we finished visiting teaching that Daddy texted and said he had to work late. Which meant I was spending the 2nd long day in a row with the two kiddos. Surprisingly, I held it together for the most part. I made an impromptu decision to grab some dinner and head to the park for a picnic. Wasn't I feeling adventurous? Addison was thrilled to get to go on the slides and I was thrilled that I didn't have to make dinner. It was a win-win. And frankly, once you've already accomplished loading everyone and everything into the car you may as well conquer the world while you are out and about. So we did. Wendy's dinner was less than desirable but luckily the park came through for us. We all had a blast for the break in our day...except for when the bratty rambunctious kids took over the park while their parents were oblivious - but that's another post for another day.

Addison is really easy to keep track of at parks. She finds her favorite slide and goes down it over and over and over. You can bank on the fact she will run that route like clockwork until it's time to go. Every once in awhile she'll switch slides....but it doesn't happen often.

And Jonas is content to just sit and enjoy the fresh air. He's easy to keep track of too. I'm pretty lucky to have such easy kids.

Overall, I was pretty proud of myself for surviving the long hours/days being the lone parent. I only had a few "mother of the year moments" but we won't discuss those. ;-)

It wasn't until the last hour that I was ready to scale the wall. I had JUST put Addison in bed and Jonas decided to wake up and not grant me my 5 minute reprieve I was sooo looking forward to. Thankfully Daddy came home right in time to give me my break. Phew! I think I'm finally getting the hang of this two-kid gig.


Addison has regressed a bit with baby brother's arrival. She has now learned that in order to get LOTS of attention in this house, you have to have a binky in your mouth....right Jonas? ;-)

Luckily it's not a real binky. She stole it from her dolly and thinks she's hilarious when she puts it in her mouth...and frankly she is. And I promise she IS wearing underwear in this picture folks.

And of course, we've also taken a few steps back on the potty training abilities. Nothing huge by any means so I'll gladly deal with the little bumps along the way. Those "bumps" being every once in awhile she has a little pee pee accident here and there. It's not that bad and she still makes it to the potty more than not. However, she is back to hanging out in pull-ups just until everything is back on track. The last thing I need is to scrub urine out of carpets while holding a newborn.

And lately she has also grown fearful of going potty by herself. Which is a problem because she has to go a LOT and it always seems to be while I'm nursing Jonas or giving him a bath. Insert meltdown here....from both of us. I start strong with my cheer-leading and tell her how big she is and she can do this! She responds with some tears and acts like she has never done this before in her life...when she has. I coach her on how to take off her pants and pull-ups and she freezes up and cries even more. At this point I lose patience with her because she has mastered this before - she's totally capable. And yes, I'm fully aware my lack of patience leads her to more tears and so the cycle continues. The whole process works itself into quite an ordeal but 95% of the time she pulls through and does it all on her own. The other few times I have to stop everything and help her. And lets not even begin to cover the topic of toilet paper usage. She's either unraveling it all while she sits on the potty bored, or she's not using it at all, or she's doing the following with it:

New discovery - unraveling a whole roll of toilet paper into the toilet is a BLAST! For Addison at least. She didn't have to clean it out of the nasty toilet water.

We've now started the tutorial on just how much toilet paper her tiny little bum needs. Hopefully taking these pictures doesn't encourage more of this behavior....but I'm the Mom....I must document these moments. It's the only way I can stay sane! :D

Honestly, Addison hasn't regressed that much. Especially considering how much she's really stepped into her big sister role with Jonas' arrival. I've watched her giving brother a binky when he's crying. I've heard her whisper "Shhhhhh....shhhh" to him when he's upset. And she loves to lean over him and say "Awe...Mama....he's so seet (sweet)". Just the other day when we were in the middle of a doctor's appointment and he was wailing, Addison was mimicking me as I was trying to calm him down and I could hear her say "'s okay's okay buddy". She is SUCH a good big sister and I can already see their adoration towards each other. I can't wait until Jonas is big enough to play with her and follow her around everywhere. They are the best of buds.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Snug As A Bug

I was under the impression that the second child would come programmed on how to hang out/chill out while the Mom tends to the older child or other important/necessary things. Is this not correct? I'm learning that it's not so much in our case. Mr. Jonas is a bit of a Diva. In a cute and adorable way of course. Is there a "male version" of the word Diva? Hmmmm.

Anyway, he's not a fan of me putting him down...pretty much ever. Except to sleep at night and even then it involves four attempts at keeping the binky in his mouth until he's out. He likes to be held and rocked and cuddled. Which I do love to do....sometimes. But sometimes Addison pees on the floor (today) and sometimes she takes a bath and sometimes her clothes need changed and sometimes she needs to eat food. No matter where I put Jonas while I try to do these things...he does NOT like it. And of course we get to be serenaded with his angry cries while I continue doing those things...since you can't leave two-year olds in a tub of water unattended. And again...the crying....lets just say it's very hard on me.

Anyway, I've tried a myriad of ideas on how to get him just so and comfortable so he can hang out while I use my two hands for something else. I've laid him flat on a blanket, I've propped him up on the Boppy, I've swaddled him in his crib, I've laid him in the pack-n-play, and I've buckled him in his bouncy seat and put some relaxing music on. Nothing seems to last longer than five minutes before crying ensues. How did he get this way? I've never really held him non-stop so he doesn't know otherwise.

Well tonight John got to play the guessing game with him while I made dinner. And this little bundle is what I came back to...

Snug as a Bug in a....blanket.

John is now convinced he just likes to be snug and warm and cozy. Maybe that is the cure? I'm willing to try anything at this point. I just know I need to actually DO other things beside hold him non-stop....especially since Addison needs some of my attention.

Of course I AM a born cuddler so we do always reserve the evening time for Mommy/Jonas snuggles while Daddy is able to help out with Addison....and that is always a very nice way to end the day.

Venturing Out

Get this.....I came across a major realization tonight. Remember this comes after I've festered in this house with two kiddos - one still very much a newborn.

FACT: I am able to actually LEAVE the house....WITHOUT the kids! Whodathunk? Apparently not me. Not sure why I don't push through and do this more often. It's always such a battle getting through that front door when the day was already so hectic. Of course John is always more than willing to take the reins (especially now since he is the proud owner of FIFA 12 ;-). And after all, he IS the other parent. And competent. And could always use a glimpse of the craziness of two kids while being the lone parent.

So why exactly do I think I'm chained to the house and the kiddos? I've been racking my brain about this all night while I've been wandering through the aisles of Target on my little getaway. Not only do I forget to give myself breaks (before it's too late) but I also think I'm only "allowed" to leave when the kids are asleep or if I bring one of them with me and leave the other with John. And I promise this is my own weird/twisted thinking. John has always been more than willing. I've just been slow in doing it.

Well tonight I officially left the house and wandered the aisles of Target. Of course what do I do the WHOLE time I'm out? Shop and browse through the children's section and pick up household things I need anyway etc etc. I bought nothing for me - except for a A&W Root Beer and it was divine. Sigh, maybe the more I get out the more I'll actually spend time shopping for me? I must get more practice at this!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Our Growing Boy

Life definitely gets busier with two kids but I'm trying my darndest to stay on top of all the milestones (and document them) for Jonas just as I did for Addison. I don't want to deal with any "2nd child issues" that's for sure! (Yes, I speak from experience as I was that 2nd child).

Anyway, Jonas is a growing boy and while the weeks have been crazy we have definitely loved having him in our family. It feels as like he's been here all along - I know everyone says that but it's true! He's a perfect fit and I can't wait to see him grow into his little body and personality even more. And speaking of are some pics and stats of our little guy! These pictures were taken when he was barely 1 week old.

(We are lucky enough to know a great budding photographer who took these incredible shots. We got lots of poses and it was sooo difficult to pick which ones to post here. If you'd like to see them all just let me know! I'm always willing to show off our little cutie. :D)

1 Week Stats: 9/6/11
Weight: 9 lbs 1 oz (95%)
Height: 23 1/4" (95%)

3 Week Stats: 9/20/11
Weight: 9 lbs 15 oz (80%) (woohoo for regaining his birth weight and then some!)
Height: 24 " (95%)

**All the percentiles are approximate since he hasn't quite reached 1 month old yet. Needless to say he's a big and tall baby boy!

Things he's learned to do in his short 3 weeks outside of my belly:

  • Eat (I think we are finally mastering this but it is still a process)
  • Poop
  • Pee
  • Cry
  • Smile (when he's sleeping mostly and it's still rare at this point)
  • Sleep (he's a great sleeper - only needs to be fed once during the night)
  • Suck on a binky - he's definitely a binky baby just like his sister was.
  • Burp (mostly on his own but we rely on the Gripe Water when he can't seem to get the painful bubbles out.)
  • He loves to sleep in the Baby Bjorn whenever we go on walks. He will literally conk out within 5 minutes of us leaving the house.
  • He loves his sister and doesn't mind that she kisses him a billion times a day.
I think that is it for now. Can't wait to see what the next month holds for us. Hopefully a little more sanity and figuring out a new normal with a newborn.

Creepy Crawlies

For all you concerned readers of my blog....we are still alive. And things are finally starting to look up. We've had a few minor hiccups along the way since the last post I made but for the most part are starting to get into a swing. "Starting" being the key word.

Anyway, one of those routines is taking the two kiddos on walks around the neighborhood. The weather is beautiful lately and it always does us good to get out and enjoy the fresh air. Surprisingly we've been on a walk each day for the past three days. Granted it takes us longer to get ready for the walk than to actually go on it but I think that is the way life goes with two kids.

Anyway, Addison LOVES our walks. She gets sooo excited when I announce our departure. She knows her route, loves to listen to the doggies, and just beams while we stroll. The other day we happened upon a couple of caterpillars. For all those who know me, I refuse to touch any type of insect or creature that resembles a worm, a snake, a frog,....and a caterpillar. But I also refuse to pass my phobias on to my children. So, of course once I found the caterpillar I made a big to-do about it and asked Addison if she wanted to touch it. Surprisingly she said yes and crouched down but she was hesitant. She just kept tapping the concrete next to it while it inched along. (Still better than I would have done that's for sure).

So a few feet further we happen across another caterpillar. Again, I ask her if she wants to touch it and she says "Yes!" so she crouches down and slowly gets closer and closer and....touches it! Just barely, but I was proud of her. And also very grateful she didn't ask me to help her so I didn't have to disclose my phobia and start running in the opposite direction (yes, my mean cousins chased me all the time with worms which did NOT help my fears).

Anyway, I was so proud of her for pushing through her timidness and touching creatures she hasn't encountered before. Even at the end of our walk I pointed out a bug to her and thought surely she won't touch it. So I asked her and she did! Just barely but to me "barely" is a HUGE accomplishment! This Momma can't even do "barely!" Yay Addison for pushing through your fears!

And another accomplishment she made... Our afore mentioned walk took us to the neighborhood playground. Addison LOVES slides and points this one out everytime we drive by it. So needless to say she was excited. However, just as we walked up three older kids also started playing on the equipment. Remember Addison is fairly timid, especially initially, until she warms up to the situation. So, needless to say she did not want to play on the slide anymore. She kept telling me "Mommy, it's scawey (scary)" (she says this when she starts to get shy.) So, I assure her it's not, that the kids are nice, and even try to help her up the steps. But she is too timid and just stands and watches on the side. Secretly I feel so bad for her because I know how much she loves these slides. In any other situation I would have spent time helping her warm up to the situation and overcome her shy-ness. However, baby brother was getting hungry so we had to bail. And she cried almost all the way home because she didn't get to play on the slide. My heart broke for her but I promised her we'd come back the next day and sure enough we did - Today! This time Daddy came with us. Yet again, when we got there a few boys were already playing. And I don't think she's quite use to boys being more rambunctious so she stood there for a bit. However, Daddy did great with her and helped her overcome her fears and stood close by and encouraged her to go up the steps and down the slide. Sure enough she did multiple times...and eventually she did it many many more times by herself once Daddy sat next to Mommy on the bench. Yay Addison!

I realize this is may be a boring post but I just wanted to document for journaling purposes how proud I am of Addison. I think she gets her timidness from me but I love seeing her push through it eventually and join the crowd. She definitely prefers smaller groups than larger groups. And I'm learning that we need to attend more play dates and even enroll her in pre-school down the road so she can have more practice interacting with other kids. However, she is such a good girl and already seems to overcome more than this Mommy probably did at her age. We are so very proud of her!

Monday, September 19, 2011

News Update

We still live in the insane asylum. Technically, this Mommy is the only one that could be diagnosed as insane. Addison and Jonas are just suffering the aftermath of my tornado. I'm hoping the tide changes soon because I don't know how much crazier it can get before the calm of the storm settles in. I'm looking forward to that calm.

We are now experiencing nursing issues. Why does this process seem to come so natural to 95% of the population and not to me? With Addison, I never made enough milk...thus she went hungry after nursing for over an hour....thus she cried. With Jonas, I make way too much milk....thus he drowns in my supply.....thus he quits and gets hungry...thus he cries. I'm convinced they need to have a recording of a crying baby to torment prisoners of war. That noise can take any human to their knees within minutes. Trust me....I know. I want to find those people that claim nursing is a "natural experience" and that instincts kick in and Mom and Baby just know exactly what to do. Eh....whatever.

Sometimes we have a good moment and I see a glimmer of light. Then other times it seems like we take a turn for the worse. The good news is that 1.) He is getting food....eventually. He's got the diapers to prove that so no stress there. 2.) His belly is pretty round and I take great pride in that - it took lots of sleepless hours and tears from me to get him like that. 3.) He's an easy baby when he's full. Once nursing is mastered....babies are fairly easy for me to take care of. 4.) I have milk! Woot! Too much, yes...but I have it! I have a nice little supply in the freezer so that puts both John and I at ease. The current negative right now is that it takes us quite a while to actually get a full belly. Lots of processes to put into action to make sure he doesn't get doused in milk.

I may be down but I'm not yet out. Despite the frustrations and tears I'm not quite ready to throw in the towel just yet. Mostly due to the fact that my body has milk - so sooner or later he will learn to eat it successfully. And it's the better milk...he needs that. In the meantime I owe Addison a pony for all the junk she's had to deal with...she's a trooper. I just hope I am too. Sigh. I hope to have better news next time once we overcome this hurdle. :D

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


This just in.....reality!

So, my previous post mentioned how much easier being a Mom to two is. And how I didn't expect it to be this easy - something to that effect.

I'm here to officially change my viewpoint. It's hard. Day #1 and #2 had us out in town running errands - MULTIPLE errands! And we did it all without a hitch. The two cuties just sat in the back seat and cheerily were along for the ride. The weekend hit and we lounged yet again w/Daddy.

Then Monday and Tuesday hit....aka: Reality. We haven't left the house. Well we did yesterday for a bilirubin lab and it was a nightmare. Then we came right back home to safety. But home isn't always that safe either - they still gang up on me and cry here too. But I feel more comfortable crying in my own home. I didn't so much in the hospital while we waited for the lab.

Poor Addison....she falls a lot. Doesn't watch where she's going and crashes into things a lot. Plus just plain trips over her own feet. She's at the stage where she is always pointing out an "owie". I'm at the stage where I just don't have the sympathy anymore....especially when baby brother is crying in my ear. She definitely gets the brunt of the crazy, psycho Mom. I just about lost it when she was wailing at the lab/hospital simply because I wouldn't let her play in a particular chair. All the while Jonas was wailing while his foot was getting pricked and blood was getting milked out of him. Immediately I get frustrated w/Addison since she isn't actually "in" pain....why does she pick the most inopportune times to get emotional? Sigh.

She is a sweetie though. ALWAYS so willing to help and put things away and kiss and hug on both me and Jonas and she tells me "Tanks Mom!" all the time....even when I ask her to do a favor for me or if I lose my patience with her. Talk about ultra guilt for this Mom! I honestly couldn't handle two if Addison weren't my first child - she alone makes this so much more bearable. She's always obedient and listens so well and is just a joy to be around.

Anyway, just wanted to clear up some confusion. My first two days were simply overzealous and unrealistic I think. We've regressed a bit since then. At this rate we could be holed up in the house for a good month. Maybe by the time we come out we'll be somewhat presentable and maybe just maybe I will have my hair fixed and make-up on by then. It gets easier right? I keep telling myself that.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Settling In

Addison and Jonas snuggling in her bed. She's pretty in love with this little guy.

We are now working on our 2nd week of being a family of four. I think we are finally starting to get our footing. How'd the first week go you ask? Not too shabby - not near as bad or scary as I was thinking it would be. Hormones have a way of taking the "ordinary worries" and upping them so that they seem a LOT more drastic than they really are. Plus I'm convinced it takes away a little bit of the rational thinking as well.

Not only did we enjoy Grandma Bell's help during the first week, but John was able to take a few days off of work as well to help with the transition back to normal life. The day Grandma was to leave, I spent the morning teary eyed. She only lives two hours away but more than anything I was afraid of going back to normal life and saying goodbye to all the wonderful help. She was the first phase of a two phase step to being a "stay-at-home Mom of two". I think it was also that I was convinced I'd be lonely once all my adult help left. Luckily I broke through it and was dry eyed enough to say my goodbyes to her. However, once Addison figured out she was leaving - she burst into tears and kept sobbing for Grandma. Yep, that alone brought my tears welling back up. She and Grandma Bell were the best of buddies. They hung out every hour of the day for five days. They even slept in the same room together! Grandma Bell was her constant during a time of lots of change. Luckily, Grandma left her a coloring page to color and Aunt Jenny came over soon after so it didn't take long before she was on to other things.

This could be one of the reasons it was so hard to say goodbye to Grandma. She gives Addison ice-cream for dinner - she's pretty amazing!

Daddy going back to work the following Thursday was another adjustment for both of us. Same situation, different day. I spent the day prior worrying if I could do it by myself while also worrying about being lonely etc. Again, the hormones added to all of it. It probably helped that his last day of vacation got cut short and he had to go into work. That way it gave me less time to prepare or worry about it all. However, Addison still had a hard time with saying goodbye to him. She and Daddy are best buddies. She likes me alright, she cries when I leave to run errands so I know she likes me. But I think she just likes me to be in the house while she plays/wrestles with Daddy. Daddy and Addison hang out and play all the time, especially this time since I was busy nursing the baby for the most part. She broke down in tears when he was leaving for work. We kept trying to explain that he'd be back that evening to play some more and eat poppies with her but it wasn't helping. The poor girl - it breaks my heart to see her cry the truly sad cry.

As for swinging it as a mother of two - I'm doing okay. Our first day was actually pretty good...until 5:00 came. The phone was ringing off the hook, and Addison was in tears over something, Jonas was hungry and crying in my ear, and frankly I was this close to joining them. I guess that was my first lesson - when things are going great - they can change in a minute! And I'm sure that works in the opposite way as well. Overall, I still felt pretty good about surviving my first and second days - and we even got out of the house to boot! Including a last minute doctor's appointment for Mommy wherein I had to scurry two kids under two and myself out the door and drive to the doctor - all within the hour! Woohoo - we made it! Thank heavens for pumped milk, no make-up and wet hair, and Addison already being partially ready for the day. And thank heaven for weekends that allow us to hang out with Daddy yet again and just be lazy and enjoy each other's company.

So, here is a synopsis about how each of us are adjusting so far.

ADDISON: She L.O.V.E.S. "baby brudder". She is always kissing on him, announcing his presence in the room, cuddling on him, watching him eat, poop, cry, pee, - you name it. It's all fascinating to her. She doesn't have one ounce of jealousy over him at all. Hasn't even tried anything malicious on him either. She is still learning to be soft with him but even that isn't too difficult to teach her. She just plain loves him. She'll look at him and say "Aweee, baby brudder!" "So Tute (Cute)", "I give him tiss (kiss)?", etc. The only adjustment I've noticed her making is that she always seems to want to cuddle on the parent that is holding baby brother. She especially wants to cuddle on Mom while she's nursing baby brother. And frankly, any/every thing that would upset or break the nursing latch is too much of a risk to take. Luckily Daddy is always quick to interject and distract her with a game or cuddles of his own. And this just in...Addison knows how to go to the potty by herself! :D It was a matter of necessity since she doesn't have help from me if I'm feeding baby brother. I've watched her do it a few times and she just took off with it and amazed me. She still struggles with learning just how much toilet paper her little bum needs to be cleaned. As evidenced by the roll of toilet paper covering the floor, and the ginormous fist full she seems to need to wipe herself. And Mommy is a bit concerned over just how clean she seems to get over wiping herself but I block out those fears and just congratulate her (while secretly vowing to scrub her down when I get the chance). Just last week we had this interchange about her new toilet skills while I was nursing baby brudder:

Mommy: "Addison did you go to the potty by yourself?"
Addison: "Yes Mama!!" (I love her inflection in her voice nowadays - it's adorable)
Mommy: "Go wipe your popo with the toilet paper and put it in the potty okay?"
Addison: ::Trotting off to the potty yet again, just to come back with wet hands and rubbing them together::
Mommy: "Why are your hands wet honey?"
Addison: "Da watah Mommy!"
Mommy: "What water honey?" (Knowing full well she isn't tall enough to reach the sink faucet quite yet"
Addison: "Da watah in da potty Mommy!" (All proud of herself)

Nasty eh? Cute but nasty. Especially since all this happened pre-flush. I shudder to know what was floating in the toilet water while she so willingly washed her hands in it. We had a quick tutorial on that being gross and not to put her hands in the potty anymore b/c that is where the poopoo and pee pees go. And I then commenced scrubbing down those dirty little hands while chuckling at the whole situation.

JOHN: Frankly he has been nothing short of amazing with all of this. (And no he did not pay me to say that! ;-) He has really stepped up into his role as Mr. Mom and been supportive to a sometimes hormonal wife, jumped up to clean and/or make dinner, played/wrestled with Addison, taken her to her numerous potty breaks, ran a few errands here and there while she was in tow, watched her while Mommy went off to a few errands with baby Jonas, tucked us all in for our afternoon naps, and cleaned the living room I don't know how many times. Who is this man I married and where has he been for the past four years? ;-) Just kidding. He's even done several loads of laundry AND folded them! I told him nothing is sexier than a man folding laundry.....and it's true! He is a great Daddy and always takes time to wrestle with Addison and give her that one-on-one time that she definitely needs at this stage of the game. No wonder their buddies eh? And yes, they've had numerous "poppy eating moments" as evidenced by the kernels that keep appearing on my nicely vacuumed floors. Oh well, I'll take it! It's been fun watching him in his role as Daddy. It's definitely one he wears well!

JONAS: What can I say? He has been a welcome member of our family. I couldn't imagine him not in it and he's only been here a little over a week! He's a really easy baby so far. He sleeps and eats and poops and pees - what every newborn does right? But he sleeps sooo good at night. We learned with him that you don't have to wake the baby at night to feed him. They won't starve to death while sleeping - amazing concept right? Anyway, he started doing 3 hour sleeping stints that turned into 4 hour and that are now in 5 hour stints at night. I'm loving chest is not. I still force myself to sleep through the pain since I know those moments may not last for long. He's a good In the hospital we both struggled with figuring out nursing, latching, etc. I don't know why Mother Nature makes your milk come in 3 days later long after you check out of the hospital. That's when I need the most help w/nursing! We even worried for the first two days home when he wasn't giving us enough pee and poops. Luckily we have figured it out now and he has caught up on his dirty diapers. He's a happy and content baby when his belly is full. But it does seem like he wants to eat non-stop. He is definitely a binky baby but until we perfect the latch he's not getting the binky back. He's such a cute little baby and definitely has Addison's features with some of his own intermixed.

Jonas kicking back and relaxing - what he does best. Don't pay attention to the fact he's surrounded in a pink Boppy - his sister was so kind to share hers. ;-)

ME: How am I adjusting? Fairly good so far. I'm definitely much more confident this time around than I was with Addison's birth/newborn phase. Poor Addison, it wasn't her fault - I was just a basket case being a first time mom and managed to fret about everything with her. This time around, I had heard stories of how most Mom's adjusted to two kiddos and I figured mine wouldn't be far from theirs. However, so far it's been pretty do-able....but I do reserve the right to be realistic and realize things can change in a heartbeat. I think most of it is due to the fact that nursing has gone so much better this time around and once that hurdle is out of the way - everything else seems doable. And I've been less bitter about lack of sleep when I wake up for the night feedings. It probably helps that I endured all those bouts with insomnia before he came along. I've learned the sleep will be made up eventually. Plus, since he sleeps all the time, all three of us manage to get a good afternoon nap in every day. I'm going to enjoy that while it lasts! That's the other matter how much sleep I seem to get - I just want more of it. Not sure where all my energy is going but it seems zapped most every day. I have enjoyed several moments of just sitting back and admiring my family and hugging on both Addison and Jonas at the same time. It really is a good time in our lives and I don't want to miss out on it by being preoccupied with other things.

Anyway, we are all doing good and learning along the way. We wouldn't have it any other way and just love having Jonas in our family. Enjoy the pics of brother and sister loving on each other - right now it's mostly Addison loving on brother but I'm sure it won't be too long before Jonas wants to love on her.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

My Name Is Jonas

He finally made it! Jonas McKay Hufford was born Thursday, September 1st, 2011 at 7:39 pm. He was a whopping 9 lbs 6.5 oz (yes, I'm getting credit for every.single.ounce!). He was 22 1/2 inches long and his head circumference alone was 39.5 (average is 35). Like many before him, he carries on the huge Hufford noggin (his sister included). We just love having him in our family and can't stop hugging, kissing, squeezing, and smelling him. Read on for his exciting (and overdue) birth story!

So, after a week of extra cooking in Mom's belly, we decided to finally evict Jonas last Thursday. We were all excited as the day approached but I think I was the MOST excited. It was all still surreal honestly. I was definitely looking forward to not having to lug a huge belly around any longer but it was so hard to wrap my mind around the fact we would be meeting our newest family member after it was all said and done. Needless to say, in all the excitement of the big awaited day I did not get enough sleep the night before. I was more excited and nervous than a giddy child on Christmas Eve. I tossed and turned and then by the time it was actually time to head to the hospital - I was ready to lay down and sleep some more. Thankfully, adrenaline kicked in and carried me the rest of the way!

Grandma Bell had came up the evening before and she and Addison only took 2.5 seconds to pick up where they left off. They had a blast together and she has been a wonderful assistant all along the way. (Along with many others I might add). Anyway, we finally got all our gear ready, breakfast eaten, and van loaded and hit the road. First on the stop was dropping Addison off with her other favorite grandparents, Mama Jean and Papa Joe. I was actually more sad about this part than Addison was. I tried to hide my tears but I kept thinking about how much I'd miss her. I couldn't remember the last time I left her for a whole day! Luckily she was in great hands and she was very excited to play with Grandma and Grandpa so it made it easier for Mommy.

After we dropped her off, John, Myself, and my Mom headed on to the hospital to check-in. They got us all set up, I got comfortable and we waited. It was very interesting how similar the whole schedule and day's events were to Addison's induction day as well. Maybe that means he will be just as easy a child as his sister has proven to be?! :D

The nurses finally got the Pitocin started at 11:00 am and then our wonderful Doula (and sister-in-law) Sarah arrived. Not only did she bring along her amazing skills but also some of her humor to help take my mind off the pain. And I definitely was having it at that point. Nothing major in the beginning- very similar to the mild contractions I had the weekend before - but it definitely validated my questioning if those were legitimate or not.

We all took advantage of the down time and quickly began placing bets on when Jonas would arrive, how much he'd weigh, and how long he'd be. Most were kind and submitted lower weight numbers - others were not (including John who guessed the weight exactly) and guessed in the higher numbers. All of this was not leaving a good taste in my mouth. At the time I couldn't imagine birthing any child bigger than Addison's weight at 8 lbs 8 oz.

It wasn't long before the contractions got harder and more painful and as many times as they checked me, I had made NO progress. However, he was spending his time floating around in my belly so at least he continued to get lower and stationary with each contraction. It was hard not to be frustrated at all the pain and no actual dilation. I was almost at a 4 at this point and I opted for the epidural. With Addison's situation, I jumped from a 5 to a 9 within 45 minutes and I didn't want to chance the epidural not taking effect in time like before. I really wanted to try and enjoy this birth instead of spending it barfing and in searing pain. So, luckily the epidural was ready and waiting. I remember being in a little bit of pain with the poking but mostly I was a hormonal mess and couldn't keep it in any longer. I had the anesthesiologist and nurse quite concerned when I was covered in tears after they were done. I quickly recovered and laid back to enjoy the pain relief.

However, even with the epidural, and being free of pain, I was not making progress dilation wise. My doctor was busy with other deliveries and by the time he made it back to me he decided it was time to break my water. However, it managed to break itself just by him checking my progress. And it was a TON of water. He even thought so. Right away I could see part of my belly just deflate and the pressure I'd felt for the last month finally lessened. It was quite nice.

Just as I had expected, contractions came on harder and longer once the water was broken. Part of me was excited since I was confident I was finally dilating more from it all. However, I was also feeling the pain creep back in more as well. Just like I had with Addison. I immediately called the nurse to ask for them to up my epidural dose and couldn't find a single person. Apparently the lady next door was delivering her baby and had managed to take my nurse AND my doctor in the process. It seemed like forever as I kept feeling each contraction like I had never even had an epidural. Other nurses kept coming in and trying to suggest other remedies such as rolling over, changing position, giving it time, etc etc. Nothing worked for me. And I vividly remember going from a 5 to a 9 with Addison within 45 minutes and feeling the same exact pain. I did NOT want to relive that experience. They finally fulfilled my request, and sent the anesthesiologist back to up the dosage. It couldn't have come soon enough. Luckily it all finally started to settle in and the bliss of numbness came back just in time. So much so that each time they asked me to roll over, I had to call a small crew to come assist me with my legs. No complaints here.

However the worry soon returned as I could see my contractions getting stronger (on the chart :-) and they were having a tough time keeping track of his heartbeat. Once they would find it, it would drop. I kept trying to read the eyes of the two nurses to see just how "serious" the situation was and I couldn't help but get worried. Of course everyone acted like it wasn't a big deal but I had a feeling they were just humoring me. By that time, my doctor came in, checked me, told me I was at a 9 and with a few pushes felt confident I could get myself to a 10. I pushed a few times and he seemed to get more vocal with each push. Typically he is a quiet and reserved doctor so I didn't know if this was also a bad sign or not. No one would tell me anything except to keep pushing etc etc. I did as I was told but it was definitely different to push when I couldn't feel anything and had to have my doctor tell me when I was actually having a contraction.

Things were finally moving along and they began setting up the area for delivery. It was all very exciting but I was still concerned with the heart rate situation. I think I pushed for a little less than an hour when Jonas finally arrived. He came out quiet and no one seemed alarmed but me. The doctor just started wiping him down and set him on my belly where he finally started crying. It was a muted little cry just like his sister's cry had been. I got to hold him on my stomach long enough for him to poop all over me. Then they took him to the warmer and started suctioning him. Apparently he had pooped while coming out and had ingested just a little of the meconium. And apparently the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck as well (which was why the heart rate would drop with each push apparently). My doctor assured me he'd be fine. He said if it weren't for my fast and effective pushes he'd have resorted to either forceps or lastly a c-section to get him out. And here I thought they were all just humoring me with compliments on my effective and beautiful pushes. Regardless, I'm glad whatever I was doing helped bring this little guy here safe and sound and quick.

It was so surreal once he had arrived. I couldn't believe he was MY baby and he just came out of ME?! I actually didn't tear up as much with him as I did with Addison. With Jonas I was just in a very peaceful and content place and just watching everyone around me as they did their thing. It was nice to see John, Sarah and my Mom googling over the sweet boy while I sat getting stitched up from a 2nd degree tear. Thankfully, the epidural was still going strong and I couldn't feel the stitches either. I must say epidurals are wonderful things when they actually WORK! :D

Within a few minutes we had called Grandma Jean, Grandpa Joe, and Addison and were anxious to have them come down to meet our newest family member. Addison was sooo excited and never skipped a beat when she met him. Daddy brought her in the door, she looked at me, and at the baby and said "Ahhhh Baby Brudder!" It was so sweet to see her immediately love and kiss on him. I thought for sure she'd be weirded out by the experience, me in a hospital bed, other people around, this new baby with her Mommy, etc. But again, she proved me wrong. She couldn't stop loving on him and kissing on him. She is going to be a great big sister and I think he'll just adore her as well. She especially liked the present she got - her own "baby brudder" doll...just like the real-life version! Now we both get to tend to our babies together.

It's amazing to me how easily it is to just welcome in a 2nd child to our family. How surreal yet how perfect it all is - like it was meant to be this way all along. Overall, I remember just having this overwhelming feeling of peace and contentment and happiness. Jonas is such a cute little boy. He definitely has similar features as Addison did when she was born yet he is still very masculine in his tiny (er big) 9 lbs 6 oz frame. I can't believe I birthed a two-month old! All I can say is thank heaven for epidurals. The nurses couldn't stop talking about how big he was, how they were amazed he was a vaginal delivery, and how big his head was. They also couldn't stop talking about how cute Jonas and Addison were. Honestly, multiple nurses told me multiple times throughout our stay. I couldn't help but agree and be proud of our beautiful little family. I'm so excited to figure out life as a family of four!

Here is the amazing birth video Aunt Sarah put together for Jonas (get your kleenex's ready!):

**Random sidenote: We were between two different names for Jonas before he was born and I still couldn't decide even after he arrived. Luckily it didn't take long before John and I decided to name him Jonas McKay (even though we had practiced: Mason James for the last few months). Jonas was John's family nickname as he was growing up. And McKay was the middle name of a close friend of John's as he was growing up. I'm so thankful to have our little boy named after his Daddy and such an amazing friend. It's so neat when both names can have such a special meaning.