Friday, September 19

Life With A Newborn

I can't believe little Lucy has been with us for almost three weeks.  Where does the time go?!  The days seem to be flying by.  Anytime I am going through a rough patch, I have to remind myself that this newborn stage only lasts for so long.  I am so in love with my little newborn.  Her skin smells so yummy and is silky smooth, her hair is fluffy and soft, she has the tiniest feet, has two adorable dimples that match her daddy's, looks so cute even when cross eyed, loves her hands by her face, her favorite spot is right on my chest where she can hear my hear beat, she strongly dislikes taking a bath and having her diaper changed, has the chubbiest arms and meatiest thighs, and adds so much love and joy to our home.

Breastfeeding with Lucy has been very difficult.  I don't know if it is just me or my babies, but breastfeeding does not come easy.  You can read all about my struggles with P HERE.  I thought this time around everything was going to go smoothly.  I figured I was a veteran when it came to being breastfeeding mama, especially after everything I went through with P, turns out I was wrong. 

My milk came in on day two, which was amazing.  I wouldn't have believed my eyes had it not been for the poor engorgement stage.  Lucy was able to latch on great, which was also amazing!  I thought we were going to have this one in the bag.  At the beginning things were going pretty well in the hospital, but as soon as I became engorged she was unable to latch on.  The lactation specialist brought out the dreaded shield.  I wanted nothing to do with that, but wanted whatever was going to be best for Lucy.  I ended up having to pump, because I had so much milk.  Between the pumping and the shield I was able to get her to nurse.  

Each morning our pediatrician would come in to check up on Lucy's weight.  She was loosing more and more weight as the days went on.  My pediatrician was concerned and advised me to nurse her every two hours for the next day, otherwise we were going to have to supplement.  I set my alarm and nursed her every two hours as advised.  I was extremely stressed and wanted everything to just work out.  I wasn't ready to go through what I did with P.  I said a prayer and went to work.  The next morning Lucy had put on enough weight to not have to receive supplementation.  I was so relieved. 

We went home with the shield and I hoped for the best.  As soon as we got home I noticed Lucy having some problems with swallowing.  Each time she would nurse she would choke, turn bright red, sometimes purple, and scream.  My let down was and is sometimes too much for her to handle.   I felt terrible.  She would get so warn out, that she would only eat on one side, which led to me getting mastitis.  She was also wanting to eat every hour to two hours during the night, because she wasn't getting full enough.

I was advised to pump a little before hand or nurse reclined to make things easier on her.  Unfortunately my pump hasn't arrived in the mail yet, so I have been left to use a hand pump.  Each time I nursed I dreaded it, I figured I would try the bottle and see if that would help.  Unfortunately she choked just as bad with that.  The milk would just drip all down her face.  I started to become extremely frustrated and sad.  I was trying to do something good for my baby and was having no such luck, on top of trying to deal with P going through a hard time without her mama's complete attention, all while recovering from the c-section.  My back started to ache and I was at a loss.  

Tyson gave both Lucy and me a blessing.  I really didn't know what else to do.  The pediatrician said she will grow out of it, but can't give me a time frame.  I have had plenty of melt downs on the phone with mom.  Just venting to her has helped so much.

Last night was the first night she slept for four hours between feedings, didn't need the shield and ate on both sides.  It was a tender mercy.  She is back to struggling this morning, but just that extra amount of sleep has made all the difference.  
I'm not sure how long this will last or how much longer I will last, but I am going to continue pressing forward.  I will continue to try and not get discouraged.   I'm not sure what other options I have.  If any of you have any advice or have dealt with the same thing, I would love to hear from you.  In the mean time I will continue snuggling and adoring our new bundle of joy!  
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Wednesday, September 17

San Francisco

The days leading up to my mom leaving California, Tyson and I both knew I was going to need more help.  I was so grateful when Tyson offered to fly my sister out here, to be with me for ten days.  It meant the world to me to have Kiersten come.

Fresno just happens to be one of the most expensive airports to fly in and out of, which often times leads us to finding flights out of surrounding airports.  Tyson found a great deal on a flight going to Oakland.  It was too good to pass up, unfortunately it is about three hours away.  Tyson asked if I was up for a road trip.  I couldn't turn down a day to get out of the house, even if it was just be in the car.  Tyson reminded me that San Francisco happens to only be thirty minutes away from Oakland, so we decided to make a day out of it.

I have only been to San Francisco twice, both times were spent in the Financial District and by Fisherman's Wharf.  When Tyson said we could go shopping, I jumped all over the idea.  We loaded up the kids and were on our way.  

Both girls did amazing, even with the no nap and stroller for P.  We realized a little too late that we didn't have the attachments needed for the double stroller.  I think P was in heaven just being out of the house.  She had a slight obsession with walking onto the window displays in every store.  She was a crack up at Old Navy.  She had everyone laughing and smiling at her.  Her outfit even matched the mannequin.  It was adorable!

Another bonus of the day was being able to see our friends Aaron and Angelica.  They happened to be moving back to Sacramento the very next day.  We were happy to get to see them before they moved.  We grabbed a yummy lunch together and remained about our time together in New York.  

I scored myself a new pair of boots and the comfiest cardigan.  I have a thing for grandma sweaters.  Ty says I have too many, but I disagree.  One can never have too many grandma sweaters.  Even though I happen to live in one of the hottest climates, I look forward to fall and being able to strut my wool.  We had fun picking out P a new fall wardrobe.  As much as I like shopping for myself, I LOVE shopping for my girls.  

We spent the entire afternoon and evening shopping.  To say we were spent was an understatement.  I am just grateful we made it back in one piece.  I am not sure it was the smartest idea to take two kiddos out shopping all day, while trying to recover from a c-section, but it was totally worth the exhaustion.
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One of my favorite things I have witnessed is watching Penelope step into her role as a big sister.  She has done it seamlessly.  She adores her sister above all else.  The first thing she does when she wakes up in the morning is walk straight into my room and greet her baby sister.  She has to know where she is at all times.  She gets ultra protective when someone she doesn't know too well holds her baby.  Penelope loves being helpful anyway she can.  She loves bringing me binkies, blankets, and diapers.  I love watching the way she mimics everything I do with her doll.  It is seriously the sweetest thing.  The other day she had me laughing so hard.  She found my nursing shield, pulled up her shirt and put it on her belly.  She was ready to nurse.  

^^^PC: Stephanie Ryan^^^

I wondered how the transition would go, but P surprised me completely.  P even likes riding in the car now because she has her new best friend by her side.  I can't wait to witness their relationship blossom.  I love my sister so much and am so happy I was able to give my baby one of her own.

P has started to have a little harder time with me not being able to hold her and give her all of my attention this week.  It has been really difficult for me.  I want more than anything to hold and squeeze her.  I miss our time together.  I try to get on the floor and give her loves the best way that I can, but it is not the same.  I know that she can feel the difference too.  It has been breaking my heart a little more every day.  I have three and half more weeks left till I can pick her up.  The time couldn't come quick enough.  I didn't know how difficult it would be to not be able to do the little things.  No putting her in the bath, getting her out of bed, putting her in her car seat or highchair and no putting her into bed or carrying her up and down the stairs.  Luckily we have been able to snuggle on my bed each morning while we watch frozen.  She nestles right up to me and holds my hand.  

When the days are rough, I just have to look at these pictures and I am easily reminded of the gift they are to each other.  I know things will get easier, I just have to be patient.  I love my girls more than anything and am grateful to be their mama. 
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Sunday, September 14

Lucy's First Bath

I am always nervous to give my babies their first bath, not wanting to get water on the cord or drop them.  I am a  worrier, I tell ya.  My mom is always the first one willing to take on the task.  She has had plenty of practice over the years, with having five babies of her own.  I gladly let her take the lead with both Penelope and now Lucy.
 ^^^ P wanted in on the action, so my mom put her in the highchair so she wouldn't miss a beat. ^^^
 ^^^ I love this face so much. ^^^
^^^ And this one, of course. ^^^
Poor Lucy was spent after her bath.  She was not a fan.  Hopefully once we can fully submerge her, she will love the bath just as much as I do.  I have been thoroughly enjoying inhaling all of that new born clean baby scent.
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Coming Home

I had so many emotions going through my mind as I waited for Tyson to come pick us up from the hospital. 

How was I going to take care of a brand new baby and my one year old? 

How was I going to make it up the stairs?

Could I handle the nursing bit once again?

How will I get in and out of my bed?

Will the pain killers work?

And believe me, there were a million other questions floating in my head.
 I was also excited to be back in my own bed and my own house.  There really is nothing like home sweet home.  I also hadn't seen my puppy in almost a week.  I couldn't wait for her to meet our newest addition.

Tyson had some troubles getting my prescriptions filled, so it took him a lot longer than we had anticipated to come pick us up.  By the time he finally got the medications, I was ready to leave Clovis Community Hospital and take on my new role as a mama of two.

 ^^^ They always look so tiny when you first put them in their car seat. ^^^

 It felt so good to walk through my own back door and to be welcomed by GiGi and Penelope.  She was so EXCITED to have her mama and baby sister home and we were just as thrilled!  Tyson had the house spotless, knowing that would put a smile on my face.  We gave Penelope her Bitty Baby, so that she would have her very own baby to take care of and my oh my was she thrilled.  

Most of the things I worried about weren't even a big deal.  I tend to stew things up in my mind and let them get the best of me.  I had the wonderful help of my mom and husband who helped me make the transition.

I have been home for over a week now and am starting to think I can do this!
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