Tuesday, September 27, 2011
I had full intentions of making lots of pictures yesterday so I would have documentation and records of everything we did during my first day alone as a stay at home mom of 2.... but that didn't happen. Oh well. At least I managed to find the time to jot down a lot of what we did on paper.
Here's a peek into our day...
Our morning was crazy. I felt SO busy that I hardly had a minute to just sit down and catch my breath. Apparently Austin got accustomed to having mama all to himself. It's not that he wanted to be held constantly yesterday morning, he just couldn't go to sleep with the commotion of Garrison running around playing and being loud. (Which is really crazy considering we've had a hard time keeping him awake on most days.) So with Austin being awake off and on all morning things were crazy trying to make breakfast, feed Austin, hold Austin, clean up breakfast (and Garrison), change Austin, dress Garrison, take Garrison to potty while Austin fussed in his bouncy seat, play with Garrison, feed Austin again, etc. etc. Just craziness. But I have to say, Garrison Cade did great. I was very proud of how he played independently when I needed him to and how he became my little helper when I needed him to. (He loves helping so I already had a plan of things he could do to "help" while I fed Austin, and it worked out perfect.)
Here's a quick list of some of the crazy happenings of our morning:
*Austin tinkled all over his changing pad cover and the carpet in the middle of one of his diaper changes. You have got to be fast with boys! In the meantime, Garrison had been "grilling" us up a picnic to have in his room that just kept getting put off.
*Austin was fussy so he had to join us for the picnic... which was interesting, but worked out fine. (My date and master griller for the picnic is in the picture below. I can't even remember how I managed to have my camera with me.)
*Austin spit up in the pack-n-play, so after changing his onesie I put him in the swing to go clean it up. When I walked out, Garrison was pushing him away in the swing... a little faster than mama was comfortable with. I told him he had to do it nice and slow, but instead he decided he'd rather "work on" the swing. (Picture below) So he managed to take out some of the batteries. Wow. Lesson learned in leaving the two of them together alone. And I'm sure it will only get worse as they get older.
*At one point while I was trying to get Austin settled for a nap, Garrison came in the room with his bulldozer, pushing buttons and all. So much for a peaceful naptime for Austin.
*Austin didn't want to be put down for long once Garrison's naptime rolled around. Sooo I had to take Austin with me to put Garrison to bed and do the whole routine. I felt terrible because I could tell Garrison was sort of disappointed. In his words, "Why Ausin have to come in here wif us?". Broke my heart. I told Terrell (through tears) that I've got to figure out a better system for naptime.
Thankfully Terrell had to take a late lunch and got Austin settled so I could take a little nap myself. It made a huge difference! The afternoon went great. I got Garrison up and situated with his snack while I fed Austin. Then after Garrison went to the potty I got Austin settled so Garrison and I could go outside. Once we came back in we had some inside play time together before daddy got home. Yay for a good afternoon and for me surviving my first day on my own!
*Today has been really good. Garrison went to school and Austin followed his usual routine (the one he was getting the hang of when we had Granna or Nana here). I was able to rest, do laundry, get Garrison ready for his nap without Austin, and write this post off and on. Tomorrow is another full day with both boys so we'll see what adventures come with it!
Monday, September 26, 2011
Austin did great and seemed to enjoy his bath. Yay for no screaming the whole time like his big brother did for his first bath! It also wore him out. We had a hard time keeping him awake for the rest of the day. I think from this point forward, bath time will be in the evenings (maybe at the same time as Garrison's) and we'll hope for an extra calm, sleepy baby the rest of the night.
Friday, September 23, 2011
But I believe 2 extra special ladies have had just as much a part in our easy transition as all the things mentioned above. They are known around here as Granna and Nana. (My mom and Terrell's mom). I'm pretty sure their names over the past couple of weeks could be translated: Personal Assistants/Helpers/My Right Hand. =) They have been amazing and we have been spoiled. Not only did they prepare meals for us and do our laundry and other chores around the house, they also gave me the opportunity to rest, recover, take naps, and work out all my breastfeeding issues with Austin.
In addition to all these things, they kept my oldest little man happy, busy, entertained, and loved on. I'm grateful for all the ways they helped us out and all the many things they did for us, but most of all I'm grateful that Garrison had them here and could ease into the transition after Terrell went back to work. The little man has had lots of special play time and attention with them here and I think it's been great for him. He's been one happy little boy over the past week and a half, which makes his mama and daddy really happy too.
Nana holding Austin right after he was born
I think they both look amazing in these pictures after being up all. night. long. waiting on the little man to arrive!
***Next week I'll be venturing out on my own with 2 babies to take care of (3 if you count Bailey... who also has to be fed and taken to "potty" haha). While I am kind of nervous and a little intimidated, I'm also looking forward to it. I feel so blessed that I'm able to stay home and I want to try my best to enjoy every moment because I know it will go by so fast. I'm just praying that I do a good job of multi-tasking and handling being out-numbered, and that I view each day as an adventure. (Which I got a taste of this afternoon when Garrison woke up from his nap crying, Austin got semi-fussy from being tired and ready for his nap, and Bailey was scratching on the door and barking at me because she needed to go out. Let the fun begin!) Look for an update next week on how things are going... and pray for me too. =)
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Ahhh, we have most certainly developed a love/hate relationship with the paci. I'll start with the positive and explain why we love the paci and believe in it's potential.
First of all, Garrison was a paci baby and the absolute best baby we could ask for in public. He did great at restaurants, great at the grocery store, great at the mall, etc. But don't misunderstand, we were never those parents who just left the paci in his mouth 24-7. We used it on an as needed basis and it made for a really happy, content baby. It was great. As he got older, we gradually used it less and less and even had a good experience with taking it away. So ultimately we are believers in the paci (or pie pie as Garrison called it).
We also think the paci is great for "holding off" on a feeding. If Garrison (or now Austin) was fussy and wanting to eat sooner than 2 or 3 hours, or just needing to satisfy the sucking reflex, the paci was great for holding him off and keeping him happy until it was time to eat. It was also really helpful when it was time for Garrison to drop a middle of the night feeding. The paci satisfied him and helped him learn to sleep through that feeding. Once Garrison was past the newborn stage it was also great in the car and helped him go to sleep at bedtime and naptime. And a baby who goes to sleep easily makes for a happy mama.
Now for the downside. The paci for a newborn is a big, heavy, foreign "object" in their teeny tiny mouths. Sooo, it falls out quite easily and frequently. Whenever Austin dozes off with it in his mouth and really relaxes and stops working so hard to keep it in, out it comes, and awake he does. Anytime he gets the hiccups or burps with it in his mouth, out it comes. Whenever he lets out a little cry or whimper from having gas, you guessed it, the paci falls out of his mouth.
The paci can also complicate and have a negative effect on breastfeeding. I haven't had any issues with it effecting his latch, so we're safe in that department.
Thankfully we don't use the paci that often and we try really really hard not to use it during the night. But whenever we're desperate for just a little more sleep or we're attempting to eat a meal together as a family, we will use it. This can often lead to us being quite disappointed in the paci and left to deal with a vicious cycle of a happy baby, until it falls out of his mouth, then a happy baby after we give it back to him, and so on. Ugh. Not fun. The good news is that we went through the same thing with Garrison and it didn't last forever. Like I said before, the paci was great for Garrison and made us believers. As for starting over with a newborn who has a hard time keeping it in his mouth for an extended period of time... the love/hate relationship continues.
An example from this afternoon:
Peaceful sleeping baby Austin....
Austin wakes up early from his nap and becomes a little agitated so mama gives in and gives him the paci. It's not time for him eat like he thinks so the paci seems to be the perfect solution...
Until it falls out and it's laying under his cheek...
Sunday, September 18, 2011
The 3rd weekend in September is the annual arts and crafts festival, Buggy Days, in our hometown and yesterday was Austin's actual due date. Even though it would have been nice to get to go and we've never missed a year, we just weren't up for traveling and a big outing with a newborn yet. (But I'm already looking forward to going next year with both boys and praying the weather is just as nice!)
Thursday, September 15, 2011
First of all I have to say that overall Garrison has handled things really well and he absolutely loves his little brother. He likes to check on him in the pack n' play, "hold onto him", kiss him, lay down beside him, watch him get his diaper changed, you name it. He is very hands-on and makes us nervous on a regular basis, but he does everything in the name of love and curiosity.
We haven't seen any signs of jealousy or that he dislikes Austin or isn't okay with mama and daddy taking care of or spending time with Austin. And we are so thankful for that! What we have seen is a sometimes emotional, moody 2 year old. Meltdowns and acting out have become somewhat of a regular thing at our house. And the crazy part about it is that half the time we can't really explain what caused it. Last night Terrell took Garrison's milk out of the refrigerator before supper and Garrison was devestated. Who knew that was such a big deal? Earlier this week I asked him to go potty after he got home from school so he could get ready for his nap (something we do everyday) and he threw a major fit and cried and cried over not wanting to go potty. Where did that come from? Terrell and I both were left scratching our heads. He has had multiple crying spells over not being able to hold Austin, or sit beside him while he's in his bouncy seat, or lay down beside him on his blanket. Sometimes we've just moved Austin to feed him or change his diaper but because Garrison wanted to hold him/sit by him/wasn't ready for him to be moved, he has a meltdown over it.
Garrison has also had some highs and lows lately. He's happily playing and even wound up one minute and the next he's crying and upset. Again there are lots of times when we can't explain why or how the mood change happened. It's really worn on our patience, but at the same time we know that these "episodes" are his was of adjusting so we just dig deep for more patience.
I'm trying to remain positive about how welcoming and loving he's been towards Austin, but there are also times I want to cry with him when he's having a meltdown because I feel like his little world has changed so much and he's just trying to deal with it all. Ugh, guilt rears it's ugly head again. I will say we haven't reverted to letting him get away with whatever he wants. I don't feel that guilty. Ha! There are still consequences for his actions and we still talk about the appropriate way to behave and what's polite/acceptable, what's not. And I do think we're making progress and seeing less and less of the mood swings and meltdowns. Having Granna and Nana over to play with him and spend time with us has been helpful too. I guess the test will come the week after next when I'm on my own all day everyday. I should definitely go ahead and start praying about that!
Disclaimer: We do not let Austin (or Garrison) sleep in the bed with us. These were just sweet moments captured one morning this week before we all started our day.
Monday, September 12, 2011
We left right after I finished feeding Austin and he slept the entire time. He was actually awake when we put him in the car but quickly fell asleep during the 2 minute ride. Once we got there we grabbed separate buggies and I pushed Austin while Terrell pushed Garrison. We had our list ready and shopped for groceries just like any other Monday (my grocery store day), except this time it was a family affair. Who knows when I'll be up for going on my own. Probably one day while Garrison is at school and I'm feeling brave. =)
Because I go to the same, small grocery store every Monday morning, lots of people who work there recognize us and know us. Garrison has become quite popular at the store. Some Mondays he actually leaves there with money in his hands for his piggy bank. Other Mondays the "meat man" is customizing all of my meat (even when I don't need or ask him to) and giving Garrison stickers that say "Pork Chops". Most Mondays we just talk and catch up with the same sweet ladies who regularly check us out and Garrison yells bye to all 3 of them as we exit the store. But this Monday was extra special because those same ladies got introduced to Austin, and Garrison was officially a big brother. It's nice to know they love my babies too and were so excited about our new arrival... and Garrison becoming a big brother. They paid lots of attention to him too instead of giving it all to Austin and I really appreciated that. I think our little trip to the grocery store was the perfect first family outing for the 4 of us. And I had to take just a few pictures. =)
Sunday, September 11, 2011
It all started with my doctor's appointment for Friday morning, September 2nd. What a day that would turn out to be! We scheduled the appointment one day before 38 weeks to have an ultrasound, find out the weight prediction of Mr. Austin, and hopefully reach a final decision on the best way to deliver. Terrell, Garrison, and I all went to the appointment because we didn't want to get a baby-sitter and Garrison had been with us before to see an ultrasound and done fine. So no biggie....or so we thought.
The ultrasound went great and we were really excited to see Austin. Since we already had a planned appointment with my doctor immediately following the ultrasound, the ultrasound tech didn't really tell us anything about the weight or "results". And boy were we in for a shock.
The first thing the doctor told us was that his weight was predicted to be 7 pounds, 7 ounces. (Quick note: we were praying his weight would be around 7 pounds or lower or 8 pounds or over so we would know without a doubt the best way to deliver. God had other plans though since his weight was smack dab in the middle.) Then he asked me if I had been leaking any because my water level was low. I didn't think I had been leaking but started to second guess myself... until he said it didn't matter anyway because he was concerned about the effect it would have on the baby. When your water level is low the cord isn't capable of floating as much which could then in turn cause distress for the baby. Then he said, "We're going to need to go ahead and make a decision because you'll need to be induced or schedule a c-section." Wow, wasn't expecting that! "So when do you need to know our decision? Are we looking at sometime next week or what?" His repsonse, no... you need to go in today or tomorrow morning. Huh?? What? Are you sure? I cannot even describe the emotions I felt when he told us. We sooo weren't ready for that news. Labor Day weekend was supposed to be when we would get all of our last minute stuff done... set up the pack n' play, put in the car seat, pack our bags, buy groceries, etc.
Finally we caught our breath and started asking questions, went over the pros and cons of both deliveries, and tried our best to determine what we should do. He went ahead and checked me after that and determined I was at a 1 and 80% effaced. Then he told us to take a minute and make our final decision so he could contact the hospital. At that point we actually went outside (Garrison was starting to melt and so was I). I started crying as soon as I stepped out of the office because I was so overwhelmed with everything and felt totally unprepared. We went back and forth on the pros and cons of both deliveries and I had a huge knot in my stomach. I had no idea what to do. I called my mom to give her the news and asked her opinion while Terrell tried to keep Garrison under control and made a phone call to his parents who were in Gatlinburg for the long weekend. Everything about that morning was pure craziness.
Finally after putting off the "decision" for as long as I could I just felt slightly more at peace about a natural delivery than a c-section. I knew Austin was smaller than Garrison, I knew the chances of another 4th degree tear were slim, and I knew my recovery time had the potential of being much quicker than a c-section recovery. Even though I was scared of both deliveries, I was a little more scared of the c-section. I think just knowing that it's surgery and Terrell may or may not have been able to handle it and I may or may not respond well to it and recover well scared me. Soo, we opted for being induced on Friday afternoon.
My parents literally rushed to our house to keep Garrison and move in for the weekend while we rushed to hospital. (Then they proceeded to take care of our child, set up the pack n' play and car seat, buy us groceries, do our laundry, and get our bedroom turned into a mini-nursery for us. They were lifesavers!) From there I was admitted around 1:30 or 2:00, can't remember the exact time, and got settled into our room expecting Austin to be born sometime before midnight. Unfortunately I didn't make quick progress so my doctor came in around 4:30 to break my water. He gave me the option of waiting things out and letting it break on it's own, or I could suffer through a minute of pain to speed things up. The experience was painful, but it did only last a minute. Thank goodness. After that, they started me on Pitocin. For the record: Pitocin is not nice. In the words of my nurse, "It makes for a very harsh labor". Great. I started feeling stronger contractions, but they weren't super close together and they weren't "unforgiving" yet, so I did okay at first.
Sometime early that evening, a nurse came in to turn off the Pitocin (or maybe just turn it down a notch, I'm not sure) because there was a dip in Austin's heart rate. She also had me turn over and lay on my right side because his heart rate had dropped while I was on my left side or back. So time for more waiting. Once his heart rate was back up, the Pitocin was turned back on/up and sometime after that they checked me. I was at a 2 and progressing slowly. Ugh.
Hours later it was more of the same. I was progressing slowly and my right side was going numb. My hip was actually starting to ache because I had been in that same position for so long. My mom arrived sometime before 9:00 that night and her and Terrell helped me through the "getting worse" contractions. I was so hot they kept cold washcloths on me and gave me ice chips. A little while later my nurse came back in to turn off (or down) the Pitocin because my blood pressure had dropped. At that point I was starting to regret my decision. A c-section seemed way easier. I even asked if it was still an option. It was, but they gave me pain medicine that knocked me out first. Thankfully I had some relief for a while.
After eventually waking up, I was checked again (after midnight maybe?) and I was at a 5. Praise the Lord! I finally received my epidural and felt much better... until I noticed a hot spot and had to get another dose. They continued to turn the Pitocin down then up then off then on based on Austin's heart rate and my low blood pressure. I'm sure that contributed a lot to the long labor. Meanwhile my mom, Terrell, and Terrell's parents are freezing cold in the hospital and attempting to pull an all-nighter because of my slow progress. It was definitely frustrating and once again I questioned my decision.
Finally around 6:00 am on Saturday morning, my nurse checked me and I was at an 8 and ready to push... but only to see if I could make the head drop, not to push and get him out. Then the shift changed and my new nurse came in and said I was ready to push and it shouldn't take long for me to deliver. That was music to my ears because my hot spot was back and spreading. It started on my lower left side and eventually spread all the way around my body in a narrow ring, including my back. Every time I felt a contraction, Terrell and my mom were fanning me with birth certificate papers and wiping my face and neck with a cold cloth. I was SO hot.
Anyway, time to get back on track. So the nurse informed me that I was ready to push, BUT, I would need to wait on the on-call doctor to arrive first. Oh the joy of having a baby on a holiday weekend. We were told she would arrive in around 20 minutes, but instead it was closer to an hour. If I'd had more energy I would have been really upset and letting some people know about it. I remember watching the clock and knowing it would be over soon. I also remember praying (throughout the labor starting on Friday evening) that I would be able to deal with the pain and that me and Austin would both be kept safe. And, I kept telling myself there was a reason I was having to wait for the doctor and couldn't get things over with just yet.
Finally the doctor arrived and I was able to push during each contraction and hold it for 10 seconds. Then once he started to come out they told me to push, then stop, push, then stop. We wanted a nice, controlled delivery so I wouldn't have the severe tear again. His head was out quickly but I didn't hear him crying so I asked if he was okay. I was way more alert during his delivery than Garrison's. They told me he was okay and then I pushed maybe once or twice more and he was here. =) I only had to push 20 or 30 minutes before he was born and only had a partial 3rd degree tear. Thank you Lord! They placed him on a sheet on top of my stomach and he was pretty yucky, but beautiful. Terrell decided he wasn't up for cutting the cord this time, so they let my mom do it. Shortly after he was also introduced to Terrell's parents.
*A week later I have to say, I did make the right decision about Austin's delivery and I'm so thankful for the speedy recovery I've had this time. It's still been a recovery for sure, but way easier, less painful, and much quicker than last time (or a c-section would have been this time). God blessed us with an easy delivery, healthy baby, and great nurses to help me start the healing/recovery process... even if the labor was the hardest thing I've ever gone through.
Another gift from God...
Austin Carson Selph with his "Little Brother" outfit on and his flowers from his big brother, Garrison.
Friday, September 9, 2011
Anyway, once we knew they were in the parking lot and could be arriving any minute, Terrell went out to the hallway to greet Garrison while I tried to make sure my emotions were in check before he came in. I heard some talking outside my room and then heard Terrell talking to Garrison, but I couldn't really make out what was being said... unitl I heard, "Where mama at, daddy?" I could have cried. A little over guilt, a little because I missed him, and a little just because he was there to see me, daddy, and Austin for the first time. I knew that crying wouldn't help anything but would instead make everything worse, so I tried to relax and just be happy about my boys meeting each other.
The pictures below tell a story of how the introduction went. They are all in order starting from the moment he came in the room and they all reflect Garrison's reaction to the reality of what we'd been talking about for months... a baby brother.
Garrison walked in with AnAn and they came right over to the bed to see me and Austin. I could tell right away he was apprehensive but still happy to see me. I don't remember everything I said but I know we talked about Austin and we talked about what Garrison had been doing with Granna and Papa.
After standing by my bed and taking a look at Austin... but saying very little, Granna and AnAn gave Garrison a closer look at his little brother. And at this point he really isn't sure about this whole big brother business!
He was then given a chance to hold Austin, but didn't want to even touch him. As I watched his reaction the guilt took over but I refused to cry and just told myself it was normal for him to need some time. Walking into a hospital room and seeing your mama laid up in bed holding a tiny baby has got to be overwhleming for a 2 and 1/2 year old.
After a few minutes, he warmed up to the idea of touching Austin and he even attempted to help hold him
Then he became really curious...
Then he became really sweet...
Then he was ready to be hands-on and was quite fascinated with his little brother. In his words, "I want to hold onto him"
Seeing the look on his face as he stared down at Austin made my guilt melt away and instead I wanted to cry happy tears. You have to click on the picture to see it. So precious.
Then he decided he loved him and would give him a kiss. Made my heart happy.
Our first day home, he wanted to help and be a part of just about everything to do with Austin... until he got busy playing and forgot about him. =) And I remember thinking, he's going to be fine. I'm emotional and nervous about this transition/adjustment for him, but I know he'll be fine.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Now that we're home and attempting to settle in as a family of four, things are a little crazy. I really want to document as much as I can, but I know it's going to take us a little while to find our new normal and adjust to life. But here are a few pictures I think are pretty special. Lots more to come in the hopefully near future. In the meantime, pray for us and our family (especially me as I have been super emotional and having breastfeeding issues, Terrell as he has had to deal with my emotional roller coaster, Garrison as he has had to adjust to having a new little brother and sharing mama and daddy, and Austin as he has had some jaundice issues and is learning what life is all about). Now for the good stuff...
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Now, I'm pretty much the cleaning lady/maid around here (it sort of comes with the job description), but I have to admit that I rarely deep clean. Terrell is great at deep cleaning when I need him to... we're expecting company or having a little get-together at our house. He's also always willing to help out when I ask (and he takes on the chores I hate like toilets and showers/tubs). I am really blessed. =) Overall though, housekeeping is mostly my thing and so far, with just having 1 child, I'm satisfied with my "clean routine." I dust and vaccuum on an as-needed basis pretty consistently and try to keep things picked up and orderly on most days. Of course there are days when the bed goes un-made, there are toys everywhere, Bailey has tracked in grass and trash from outside, and dust is piling up on all my furniture. But, I'd like to believe those days are rare. I'm sure they'll become more common once I'm taking care of 2 babies everyday! But I won't dwell on that too much because I might get overwhelmed...
Anyway, at this point in the pregnancy there wasn't much deep cleaning I could do, even if I did love it. Soo we made the decision to branch out, and today was a first for the Selph Household. We actually paid someone to come over and do the deep cleaning for us. It's kind of surprising when I think about it. As a stay-at-home mom and a family on a pretty tight budget, the thought never crossed my mind to have someone else clean for me. But it was my hubby's idea, and it turned out to be the best decision for this point in time and well worth the money for a one-time deep cleaning. Everything smells lovely now and I'm really glad we made the decision to go ahead and have it done. Now I just need to vacuum and dust the whole house one last time before delivering this baby. And make sure we're caught up on all our laundry. And put away Garrison's toys that he's outgrown to make room for Austin's swing, bouncy seat, and playmat. And transform our bedroom into a mini-nursery for those first few nights or even weeks. Okay, so there are quite a few more things to be done. But I have to say, the deep cleaning that took place today was a treat and blessing and makes me feel just a little closer to being ready.