Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Before and After: Beach Vacation

Besides for our all inclusive stay at Salem Hospital this summer, Craig and I did not take a vacation this summer. After looking at our schedules, we decided to rent a house on the coast for the first weekend in October. We were fully prepared for yucky weather (which would be the norm for fall at the coast), but we were blessed with sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 70's. Being that we live an hour away from the coast, we go quite often and stay overnight probably 5 times a year, but this time was completely different.

Before:Craig is a minimalist when it comes to packing for vacation. He is perfectly happy just bringing one towel to sit on on the beach.
Now: Grace is little, but she has a lot of stuff. For the house, we brought her pack and play, her play gym, a quilt, half a box of diapers, bobby pillow, bouncy seat, plus several changes of clothes. On the beach we carried out a sun shelter, the Ergo, her diaper bag plus three towels.

Before: In a four day trip to the coast I would have read at least 2 or 3 books.
Now: I read about 90 pages. Which is about 70 more pages than I read all summer...
Hanging out at a shipwreck, NBD

Gracie and Daddy
Before: We would have gone to several restaurants and I would have packed a nicer outfit for an evening out.
Now: We brought cereal, milk, snacks and sandwich stuff with us. We did go get dinner, but we brought it back to the house to eat. Gracie is usually okay if we go out with her, but if she is over something (like sitting in a restaurant) she lets EVERYONE know.
First time touching the sand
Clearly Grace was not impressed with the big WWII gun

Before: Naps on the beach all around.
Now: Well, one of us got a nap in on the beach.
Craig's nap did not last long

Even though things are different now, I love it! We had a fantastic first family vacation, and I can't wait to take more!
This selfie only took two tries. I feel like it should be in a selfie hall of fame. Even the baby is looking at the camera!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Day in the Life: Maternity Leave Edition

Back when I was blogging regularly I did a "day in the life" post. When I go back and look at it, that is still what my working life pretty much looked like. Erika just did a day in the life maternity leave edition and I knew it was something that I wanted to do as well. (P.S. go check out Erika's blog and her new little one!) Just like I can look back at my old day in the life post, I want to be able to look back at this time in my life and know what we did all day!

1:20 am Someone is ready to eat. Here's a hint, it's not me.
5:20 Gracie is up wanting a diaper change and a snack but she goes back to sleep after both. I also go back to sleep.
7:15 I hear Grace in the monitor. She isn't crying, more like yelling "why isn't anyone paying attention to me?" Craig goes and changes her diaper and I come in to nurse her. Craig leaves for work around 7:30. Grace is done eating, and she does her morning poop right as Craig walks out the front door. After I change her we come out to the living room and play on one of her many quilts. I am trying to practice rolling over with her. She has fun with it, but she is more interested in grabbing her feet than rolling on her own. We do a bit of tummy time, that makes her yell some more. Then a story on childhood cancer comes on the Today show and I am sitting there crying and holding her a little too tight, and she yells again "Gosh Mom! Let me grab my feet!"

8:40 Grace starts to rub her eyes so I give her a pacifier and put her in her swing for her morning nap. During her nap I take a shower, start her laundry and empty and load the dishwasher.

9:45 And she's up! After a diaper change, I get her dressed for the day and then she eats. We practice standing and then she plays on her play mat for a bit while I put her laundry in the dryer.
11:05 She is worn out from playing and is getting fussy. I nurse her again and then she falls asleep on my lap. After about 20 minutes, when I know she is down for good, I slowly move her off my lap and onto the couch next to me. This creates a small problem. Now that she moves around quite a bit, I can't leave her alone on the couch so I am also stuck here. (At least nap #1 was productive!) I do manage to sneak into the kitchen and make a quick lunch. Other than that, I read a few blogs, play on the internet etc.

1:15 She wakes up in a pretty good mood so I know there is only one thing that we need to do: baby craft time! I get all the supplies ready, get Grace down to her diaper and get started with part one of our newest Halloween decoration.

After Gracie gets a little foot/leg bath in the sink and I finish cleaning up. She is now pretty fussy so I nurse her and then get her dressed again. We go outside and get the mail and take a small walk around the yard, but its too sunny and bright out to spend to much time with out a hat. We just started using the exersaucer yesterday. I put her in it and go grab her laundry out of the dryer. This gives me just enough time to get her laundry folded and put away before she is over it.

2:30 She starts rubbing her eyes so I give her a pacifier and put her in her swing. I put away the quilt and her toys and wash her one bottle and my pump supplies. I call a friend of mine and chat for a bit about poop. (Her kid's poop, not mine)
3:00 This was a quick nap because she is awake and no one is changing her mind about that. She nurses again and then we head into her room and play in there until Craig gets home from work.
4:05 Craig walks in the door. He's later than usual. I like to go to Zumba on Mondays and Wednesdays but unfortunately I won't have time today. Boo. He take Gracie so I can go run a couple errands. (I have been using Vinted to clean out my closet and I sold another piece so I am off to the post office. Plus we need milk and a few other things from the grocery store.)
When I get back Grace is ready for another snack.
5:00 she goes into her swing for another nap and I make an easy dinner and we are able to both eat at the same time (pasta and bread sticks.)
6:00 She's awake again. Craig feeds her a bottle of pumped milk that we had defrosted for our vacation and didn't use. I go and pump, because momma can't miss a feeding. When she's done, Craig gives her back to me and we hang out until its time to start our bedtime routine.
7:15 We head to Grace's room where she gets a diaper change and into her night gown. We read a couple of good night books, she nurses one last time and then I swaddle her legs (girlfriend loves to have her arms by her head when she sleeps), she gets her paci and I turn on her sound machine. (Ocean noises it what is currently playing.)

For the rest of the night Craig and I hang out. It's Monday so I watch The Voice and eventually do my nightly pumping session before I turn off the lights around 10 ish.

If you made it through that whole thing congrats! If you just looked at the cute baby pictures, I don't blame you! What does your typical day look like? Have you ever done one of these posts?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Stuff and things

Maternity leave+napping = too much time online shopping. So far I have done really well at just leaving things in my cart and not checking out.

Except for the three pairs of TOMS I ordered.

And some baby stuff from zulily. Like these pants.
Light Yellow Tree Owl Leggings - Infant

I cannot stop eating sweet stuff. Lemon flavored things (cake, bars, oreos) and smores have been a particular weakness. But I guess those are "summer" flavors so now I need to eat all the pumpkin.

I haven't been reading much...or like at all. Boo on me.

Have you seen the trailers for the Gone Girl movie? If I play my cards right, I may get to go see this. But who am I kidding, I'll get it from red box.

I've missed blogging. I've been reading blogs on my phone (usually in the middle of the night) but actually getting on my laptop is tough. I'd like to get back on it, but my life is pretty consumed by one thing right now (it's a cute thing though)

Have a good one!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Grace's Birth Story: Part 3 AKA Not in anyone's birth plan

People tell me I had a quick labor. I suppose I did. After we were admitted into our mother baby room, Craig and I did what most people do, we stared a lot at our pretty little girl.

Besides for staring, Craig and I had to figure out how to do parent stuff. Grace got her first bath, her feet printed, and had some other tests ran all the normal stuff they do. Grace also had to figure out how to do baby stuff. We all had a very big day.
The next morning Craig decided to run home to get a couple things (he did not have a well packed hospital bag!) and a nurse practitioner came around to give Grace her first real check up. She started looking over our perfect little bug. She looked at me and said, "It sounds like she is having some congestion. I think I am going to have one of our NICU doctors come up and take a listen just in case." I had heard that same noise and the nurses said it was just fluid from birth. I figured she was just being cautious.

The doctor came up to our room a couple hours later. He looked and listened and decided to send neonatal respiratory therapist to our room to do some suctioning. He said she had a small nose and it was probably just congestion that the bulb syringe couldn't get. The RT came up and after making Grace cry tried suctioning out her nose, but not much came up. After he conferred with the doctor, the decision was made to admit Grace into the NICU to monitor her breathing and oxygen levels. 
See her small nose?
Grace was taken down to the 3rd floor NICU and hooked up to monitors for observation. Her space included a couch and a recliner chair so Craig and I could be with her. At this point we could hear and see her struggling to breath. We could also see her oxygen levels were between 60-80, and should have been above 90. The nurse practicioner switched out the regular hospital bassinet for an infant hospital bed and put her on forced air. They explained to us that newborns have to breath out of their nose. Her lungs were fine, but because she had such a small nose and there was probably some swelling she wasn't getting enough oxygen when she breathed. 

Because I was still a patient, I had to go back to the mother baby floor every few hours for my post partum checks and to get medication. Just before 9:00 pm, the nurses and Craig convinced me to go back to my room and try to get some sleep. I was going to come back down to Grace's room at midnight to nurse her and to let Craig take a nap. I went to my room and told my nurse about the plan. She took my vitals, gave me my medication and I tried to get some sleep. Sometime around 11:15, the charge nurse came into my room and woke me up. She explained that there were"a lot of deliveries" and they were out of mother baby rooms. Because I "didn't have a baby" I was one of the few women they could move to a room in the neighboring pediatric unit. I tried to explain that I was going back down at midnight and asked if it could wait that long. She said that was fine and left. Of course, in my hormonal state, that sent me into a fit of crying and tears. I finally rang my nurses button and said something like "how do I move rooms. What do you want me to do?" After all of that got figured out, my stuff was taken into a pediatric room, and I headed back down to the NICU to see Grace.

The next day (Wednesday) I was discharged as a patient and Grace was taken off the forced air. The NICU nurses got us moved into one of the two family rooms in the unit, so we could have a private bathroom/shower, and a little more space. Unfortunately the room that was open was the one without windows, so we were basically in a closet. From there we just waited. Plenty of Craig's family came and met our new bundle of joy. On Friday morning we got moved to the room with windows. (That is room #6 if you are keeping track.) The NICU doctors ordered a few more tests including two ultrasounds, but thankfully all came back normal. They also talked with the doctors at the children's hospital in Portland and got Grace started on some nose drops to help shrink the swelling in her nose, but mostly we were just waiting and wanting to go home.

Eventually on Sunday June 15, Father's Day, we got the good news that we were going home. The doctors were pleased with how the drops were helping, and were pretty sure that as she got bigger, she would grow out of this issue. We were to make some follow up appointments with a pediatric ear nose and throat specialist once we met with our pediatrician. I am so happy to say that Grace is doing so much better now. She breaths normally through her nose now and has no trouble nursing or with a pacifier. 

While we were in the hospital, I tried to look at the positives. We had a team of professionals that we could ask any question we wanted. At one point (after her ultrasounds) we wanted to give her a bath. A nurse helped us bathe her and gave us some tips as we did it. I had at least one visit a day with a lactation consultant (I truly believe this is why we have done so well nursing.) Nurses would bring us ice water whenever we needed/wanted it. Even though I was no longer a patient, the nurses also made sure I was comfortable, and even brought me ice diapers to help with the soreness from delivery. They also helped Grace make her first craft: