Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Life With Two

WARNING: Gushy, hormonal momma bragging on her babies in an excessively long post with no pictures. (Don't worry grandmas, I'll post more pictures in a day or two!)

I have officially survived my first week home with a toddler and a baby! Granted, this is only the second day I've been by myself with the girls all day, but still, quite the accomplishment, no?

Naomi is doing wonderfully. She has such a sweet disposition already and is a very relaxed and calm baby. She seems to be a typical second-born. The only times she has really fussed were when she had lots of air in her tummy or had an upset stomach from me eating too much dairy (Charlotte has issues with milk, as do I, but I didn't realize this until I weaned her to whole milk... What I thought was acid reflux when she was younger, I'm now pretty sure was lactose intolerance). But other than those couple of times of spitting up and burping enough air to fill a Macy's balloon, she hasn't really complained much. She is a cuddler, which I love, but she's also content to sit in her bouncy seat and look around.

Naomi is quite expressive. Her facial expressions crack us up. She's very ticklish, especially on her neck and cheeks, so of course she is tortured tickled constantly by her Daddy. And I know they say babies can't smile or laugh at this age, but I am dead serious, she giggled in her sleep on Monday night. The belly and chest were bouncing, she had the biggest smile on her face, and she even made a giggling sound. Oh how I wish we had it on video! It was priceless!

How She's Sleeping and Eating

Naomi is a great sleeper! She has slept through just about everything. Jared was blowing off the back porch and the only thing between him and Naomi in her bassinet was about three feet and a sliding glass door. She was not phased one bit. Nor has she been phased by Charlotte's giggles, squeals, and loud talking.

Because she is such a great sleeper, she has a hard time waking up enough to take a full feeding through the night, so she tends to wake up every 2 hours. Last night I let her squirm for a little while and she got herself back to sleep so that when she did wake up to eat around the 3 hour mark, she was a more awake and ate more. I have a tendency to be a bit delirious through the night though, so when I hear her stir, I jump up thinking she needs to eat right away. After trying to wake her for a couple minutes, I've had enough time to come to and realize there's no waking her.

Breastfeeding has been much easier this time around. Not nearly as difficult or painful. For some reason she doesn't have a great latch on the left side so she takes in more air, but it seems to be getting better.

How Charlotte Is Adjusting

Charlotte has done a great job adjusting to the role of big sister. We have yet to convince her that her name is "Naomi" rather than "Baby", even though we talked about Naomi for months. She hasn't made the connection that the two are one and the same. :) She loves giving her kisses and gets very concerned when Naomi fusses or cries. She comforts her by saying, "It's okay, Baby. It's okay." Melts a Momma's heart! She hasn't shown any aggression towards Naomi and there haven't been any displays of jealousy. The only hint of anything of the sort was yesterday when I was feeding Naomi and Charlotte wanted me to see something in her room. I told her I had to finish feeding Naomi but as soon as I was done I would go with her. She looked at me with the most serious expression on her face and said, "Baby night-night. Baby in bed," telling me to just put the baby in her bed. It was a simple solution in her mind!

It took her a few days to realize that Naomi would be sticking around. One morning when either Jared or one of our moms was here, I walked out of the bedroom with Naomi in my arms, and when Charlotte saw her she said, "Baby again?!" Yes, Baby again... and you may notice a trend of Baby again from here on out :)

Labor and Delivery

I've had lots of questions about the labor and delivery. I guess that's what happens when you're only 5'1" and you birth a 9 lb. 3 oz. baby! I started having contractions around 9:45 on Sunday evening. They were 3-5 minutes apart but weren't really intense as far as contractions go. They continued throughout the night but didn't get any more intense for a while, and even started to get more time between them. I got really scared that it was false labor, especially since we had called/texted some of the family and we had 4 people here awaiting her arrival. Around 6 a.m. Monday morning they got much more intense and I was certain she would be born that day (December 7th, Pearl Harbor day and Charlotte's due date). We left for the hospital right at 8:00 and thankfully traffic was not an issue. I started bawling on the way there because I realized I had just hugged Charlotte for the last time as my only child. That still makes me tear up. Hormonal much?

The nurse checked my dilation and said that I was 7 cm dilated. I could have done cartwheels! When they first checked me with Charlotte I was 2-3 and progressed very slowly. Having all those small numbers behind me was so encouraging. By the time the doctor came in to check me, I was at 8 and he went ahead and broke my water. It wasn't long before I was at 9, then seemed to hang out around there forever. I felt the urge to push before the cervix was completely gone so I had to fight through that. Torture. Pure torture. Especially since the nurse was demonstrating how to blow through the contractions by blowing right in my face. I'm too nice to say anything, even in labor, but in my head I was throwing a pack of Tic-Tacs at her.

After maybe 15 minutes or so of feeling like I needed to push, I finally got the green light and began pushing away. It only took 15 minutes of pushing (as opposed to 20 with Charlotte), but it was much more intense and painful this time around. I guess an extra two pounds squeezing out will do that. I'm also really bad about pushing "with my face"- holding my breath and tightening all the muscles in my face while I push- so I managed to pop a blood vessel (or two or three) in my eye, which I did with Charlotte as well, but this time I also got lots of splotchy freckly bruise type marks on my face. They're faded now, but let me tell ya, I was scary looking for a few days! Red eye with a splotchy, swollen face. It wasn't pretty, ya'll!

Funny story about being pretty during labor... Shannon came to meet her niece and complimented the pearl earrings I was wearing. I laughed and told her that I had been planning for a while to wear them when I delivered Naomi. I had looked back at the pictures right after Charlotte was born and realized how horrible I looked. At the time, I couldn't have cared any less about that, but now when I see myself in those pictures I think, "Yikes!" And the Southern gal that I am, I believe pearls not only make any woman look better, they'll make you feel prettier too. So for the last month the only earrings I would wear were my ridiculously fake pearls so I would be ready for labor the moment it happened :) (Hindsight: The pearls really didn't do much for me looking better. They're pretty, but apparently not miracle workers.)

Almost immediately after delivering Charlotte I was sure that I would want to do that again. In the middle of delivering Naomi and even for a few days afterwards, I was pretty sure that would be my last delivery. It was just so much more intense this time around that I knew the rest of our children would be adopted. But a week has passed and I'm on board with the possibility of another pregnancy and delivery. The recovery has been much easier this time. I'm exhausted, yes, but I feel better than I did after Charlotte.

I was able to have another completely natural, drug-free delivery, which I am very grateful for, but I do have to give a lot of credit to my wonderful husband who coached and encouraged me through it all. After my delivery with Charlotte, he kept saying that Tim Tebow wore Brittany Rollins pajamas (a reference to the "Chuck Norris wears Tim Tebow pajamas" saying that was so popular amongst those in the Gator Nation). Naomi's birth was right after a game that doesn't need to be remembered so no Tebow references were made this time, but Jared was encouraging and supportive throughout the entire process. I know I would not have been able to make it through naturally if he weren't by my side.

Life With Our Girls

Having two is not as challenging as I expected it to be. Granted we're only one week into it, but things seem easier this time around. I'm not as nervous or anxious, I don't feel the need to call the pediatrician for every little spit up. I feel like I can enjoy it more now that we're parenting experts ;) But I really am enjoying it so much. I love saying "our girls." I love snuggling with a tiny baby again. I love seeing Charlotte give her baby sister kisses. I love that we're experiencing all of this for the second time at the same time of year that we did with Charlotte. I love the shock that I get when I put down Naomi and pick up Charlotte. She's not a baby anymore and having Naomi has made me realize just how far from the baby stage Charlotte really is. It has made me appreciate how much she is growing and changing, even within this past week.

God is so good to us. I can't get over how great of a life we have.


luke and wyatt's mom said...

I loved reading all this, reminds me of my early days with the boys. I tried really hard to not be overly anxious with Luke (I did call the doctor once when what seemed like an enormous amount of spit up came shooting out of his mouth at the ripe old age of 4 days!). I was definitely calmer with Wyatt without having to try.

I'm glad you are all adjusting well. I'm eager to hear about the first all girls outing to Walmart (or where ever)...that's fun!