Thursday, August 4, 2016

Grant's First Week Home...

Week #1 at home with a newborn is a complete blur.  It might be the long nights or the lack of sleep, but the days are already flying by, which is slightly terrifying.  Technically, I'm still on summer break and my maternity leave hasn't officially started yet, but I know that in the blink of an eye, I'll be sending both kids off to school for the day and heading back to work.  I'm trying to enjoy all the little moments that seem to end too soon... like cuddling with my handsome man all curled up on my chest.  Of course, there are plenty of moments that can't seem to end fast enough... like a newborn waking up every 60 minutes at night (or washing all the Dr. Brown's bottle parts... I have a love/hate relationship with those stinkin' bottles!).

Georgia's welcome home signs for her brother

I arrived home from the hospital on Monday afternoon of last week.  We spent the day getting adjusted to life back at home and I did my best to stay off my feet and let my incision heal.  I'm not sure if it is because this is c-section #2, the difference between having staples vs sutures, not standing in a NICU for 16+ hours/day (as well as the drive into/out of the city) or just the general knowledge that walking will get easier as the days go by, but this c-section seems to have been slightly easier on my body.  It still is a BITCH of a surgery and sitting/standing/being in the car/turning over in bed was definitely not fun last week.  The binder that the hospital sent me home with wasn't very comfortable and didn't seem to fit my short torso (aka - it was sucking in my upper abdomen, which is NOT where I needed the support).  During a middle of the night feeding session, I ordered THESE underwear from Motherhood Maternity.  They arrived a few days later and they were life changing!  I know that several readers are pregnant and expecting within the next month... order them and you won't regret it!  I feel like it definitely targeted the area where I needed support the most, especially in those first few days.

Besides that, the c-section scar is quickly healing up and every day gets easier.  By mid-week last week, I had some pretty gross ankle swelling from all the IV fluids, but that completely disappeared by the end of the week.  Instead, the nasty night sweats seemed to have taken the place of the ankle swelling. #itsalwayssomething

Tuesday was back to normal life... Grant had a follow-up appointment at his pediatrician's office and Georgia had a swim lesson.  Originally, Grant was scheduled for his first pediatrician appointment on Wednesday, but since he was looking a tad yellow/jaundice before his discharge from the hospital, they wanted us to move up his appointment to the following day.  Grant's pediatrician felt that he didn't look very yellow, so she let him skip blood work for the day and just asked us to come back again on Friday for another bili level check.  He did lose more weight since leaving the hospital and was down to 5lbs, 15.5oz (from his birth weight of 6lbs, 8oz).  The doctor wasn't too concerned and noted that they would check his weight again on Friday.

Hanging out with big sis

A little boppy floor time

Home from her swim lesson and ready to hang out with her little brother

If you don't believe that a newborn can give you the stink eye, feel free to give them a sponge bath.  If looks could kill...

Traumatized child

Grant performed a neat little trick those first few nights at home... he made us think he was a good sleeper!  Trick was on us as his true colors starting showing later in the week.  Those first few nights with 3-4-5 hour stretches already seem like a lifetime ago.

Chilling in his pack-n-play

Sucking down a bottle with Mimi

On Thursday, we woke up sleep deprived, but had to get into motion since we were expecting a family photographer to join us for some morning photos.  We clean up pretty good all things considered!  Georgia was too cute during the session and pretty much told the photographer her entire life story.  I can't wait to see how the pictures come out, especially since this is a new photographer for us.  Our usual gal seems to have disappeared off the face of the planet and Nick is convinced that she went into the witness protection program!

Photo session sneak peek from my iPhone

I need to take a second to say a huge thank you to everyone who has stopped by to check in on us.  We have such generous friends/family/neighbors.  The UPS guy and Amazon drivers have been at our house non-stop and we've eaten quite well with Mimi cooking us up several delicious meals and several neighbors stopping by with casseroles and gift cards to local restaurants.  Most of all, almost everyone has brought something for Georgia, which is just beyond sweet.  She's received books, toys, clothes, stuffed animals, etc.  It's like Christmas in July for the kid!  We're so grateful for everyone who remembered the big sister during this crazy time.

Unfortunately our Team Boring homecoming took a downward turn on Friday.  Grant went back to the pediatrician and his weight continued to go down to 5lbs, 14.5oz.  That wasn't as big of a concern as his yellow/jaundice state.  The pediatrician did a heel stick and let us know that he would call us as soon as he had the results.  He called us back around 10pm that evening to let us know that Grant's bili levels were rising (up to 16) and that we would need to come in first thing Saturday morning to check in again.  Worst case scenario.... he might need to go back to the NICU for a night or two if it hit level 18.

Cue hysterical crying Mama.  The threat of the NICU pretty much sent me into hysteria for several hours on Friday evening.  I've already done the NICU mommy thing x2.  There was no way that I was in any mental state for a 3rd NICU stay for this family.

Our pediatrician recommended that perhaps a switch to formula for the evening might help knock down his bili level for the morning appointment (fun fact that breast milk is slower at knocking down bili levels).  Luckily, we had some free formula that some company had sent me the previous week in the pantry so we whipped up a bottle of formula and gave it to Grant.  He chugged it... and then spent the next 30 minutes throwing it all back up.  Grant hadn't spit up ONCE since being home from the hospital and now here he was spitting up the entire bottle... 10 hours before a weight check and a bili check.  If you thought I was hysterical before, you should have seen me then.  So, back to breast milk we went and kept our fingers crossed for the morning.

Mimi got one of the first gas smiles!

Nick, Grant and I were up early on Saturday morning to head to the pediatrician for the 3rd time that week (sigh).  Thankfully, his weight was back up to 5lbs, 15oz!  So, to review:

Birth Weight (7/22) - 6lbs, 8oz
Discharge Weight (7/25) - 6lbs, 4oz
1st Pediatrician Visit (7/26) - 5lbs, 15.5oz
2nd Pediatrician Visit (7/29) - 5lbs, 14.5oz
3rd Pediatrician Visit (7/30) - 5lbs, 15.5oz

We had to wait until the afternoon to hear back about the morning's bili level.  Thankfully, the bili level went down to 13.6 (from 16).  So, a victory on two fronts.  Even better... because both levels improved, we didn't have to go back to the pediatrician again for a week.  Not that I didn't enjoy the daily car rides, but I was done with the back/forth and Nick was way done with me yelling at him about every potential pothole as I held my incision together.  The only good news is that Grant was a champ in the car every single time and never made a peep.  Let's keep our fingers crossed for a 2nd kid that loves being in the car seat.

My boys taking a mid-afternoon nap

Poor Mimi was set to fly home on Saturday afternoon, but rebooked her flight for Sunday in case Grant needed to be re-admitted to the NICU.  Approximately three minutes after she cancelled her flight, the pediatrician called that we were in the clear.  Of course.

Other randoms...

On Saturday evening, Nick remembered the Cheerios Challenge that had been going around social media this summer.  Of course, I knew what he was up to when he asked if we had any Cheerios.  The neighbors joined in the fun texting pictures back of their baby with Cheerios stacked on his head too.  

KC finally accepted her fate as the cat in a house with children... just not happily.

Unbelievably, we flipped the calendar on Monday and welcomed in August.  Guess I can cross off "Baby due" on 8/19 and scheduled c-section on 8/12!

Georgia had previously enrolled in an online kindergarten jumpstart project that started on the 1st, so we sat down mid-morning on Monday to work on our first assignment while Grant napped.  She loved every second of it and is counting down the days until kindergarten starts at the end of the month.

Drawing her favorite scene from "The Kissing Hand" in her composition journal

Grant wasn't too impressed with kindergarten work!

Note the outfit change before the next video.  This boy diaper change thing is crazy!  Nick has gotten sprayed several times already.  So far, Grant only cries when naked during diaper changes and finds it highly entertaining when he pees on us.  

In other news, we now have two guys in the house who snore...

Nick gets bonus points for babysitting TWO kids on Monday evening so that I could head to the neighbors for "The Bachelorette" finale night with my girlfriends AND my first glass of wine in a LONG time!!  I enjoyed every sip.

So, all in all, a pretty good first week at home.  We're doing our best to keep things "normal" for Georgia.  Nick has been trying to squeeze in as much pool time as possible still and he's taken her to the driving range and to friends' houses for play dates and I've worked with her daily on her kindergarten packet.  Grant has been a great baby, especially when you hear horror stories about babies crying all day/night.  He really only fusses when he's hungry (just like his sister) and he's a noisy little sleeper (just like his sister).  Onto week #2...

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Summer - Week 5...

Whelp... week 5 of summer turned out to be quite exciting in our house.  I kept telling everyone that I highly doubted that I would make it all the way to August 19th before giving birth to this baby.  Nick was convinced that I was going to go late this time around (considering I had a scheduled c-section for August 12th already on the books, he should have known better!).  

As I stated in the my week 4 recap, I was really pleased that I was able to give Georgia a solid month of summer fun before I had the baby.  Obviously, things have greatly changed this week in our household and I'm much less mobile than I have been and Daddy and Mimi have taken over the entertainment portion of our lives while I heal up.  I'm hoping that after another week (and my post-op appointment), I might be able to start getting around a little bit better and earn my freedom to drive again.  You know you've been a constant at the pool this summer when the lifeguard asked Georgia yesterday, "Did your mommy have the baby?  She hasn't been here this week!"  

My recaps from the previous weeks:

I last left off with Day #27 of summer... a Monday.  That evening, Mimi flew back to Massachusetts.  I joked with her that I'd probably be seeeing her sooner rather than later, even though she already had flight plans to come back on the eve of my scheduled c-section in August.

Last minute ride with Mimi before she headed to BWI

Day #28 of summer... I started off the day by receiving my P17 shot.  I had officially made it to shot #19.  My nurse joked that the following week, she would owe me a gift for graduating and getting all prescribed 20 shots (HA - if only...).  Bottom line, I'm not sure if the P17 shots helped me carry the pregnancy to almost term, but even if it just bought me an additional week or two, I'll take it.  I'm really grateful for my home health care nurse, Gena.  She was awesome, lives just up the street and we easily chatted each week before she poked me in the butt!  We're really hoping to use her daughter as a babysitter in the near future too!

That afternoon, we headed to the pool for our usual swim lesson and then Georgia and I headed right home to prepare for some guests.  Most of my teammates came over that evening for a little pizza party/s'mores bonfire/gossip session.  It was great to catch up with everyone.  It's always weird to be away from these ladies during the summer months since we spend almost every minute of the day together during the school year.  

Day #29 of summer... Georgia and I were off to the library to switch out some books and kill a few hours while our cleaning lady was at our house.  While we were there, I remembered hearing about a field of giant sunflowers somewhere nearby, so I did some quick googling and found the field.  It was about a 20 minute ride, so we took our books and set out on a mini little adventure to McKee Beshers Wildlife Management Area.  We drove over to Poolesville, turned down a dirt road and parked in a random dirt lot where there was a picture of a sunflower and an arrow pointing into the woods.  Georgia was super excited to see the flowers.  We had planted a sunflower in our yard earlier in the year, but unfortunately, the deer got to it, so it never stood a chance.

G and I headed into the woods for a short walk and then came to a massive field filled with sunflowers as far as the eye could see.  So cool!

We could hear faint voices in the distance (and we saw a stroller on the edge of the field), so we knew we weren't alone in the field, but we never saw any other people in the field as we explored.  

Looking back, I'm glad that we got to spend the afternoon exploring together not knowing that it would be one of our last outings for just the two of us.

Georgia wanted to stop for lunch on the way home and even though I was tired and would have preferred to go home, we stopped and had lunch together at Panera.  Again, looking back, I'm glad I took the time and got in one last lunch date with my big girl.  

Now that I know how the week ended, I'm actually wondering if my "labor" started later that evening.  I was so uncomfortable as Nick and I caught up on the last season of "House of Cards."  I barely slept that night.  I tossed and turned, peed 10,000x and was just uncomfortable.  I told Nick that I felt like I had a giant bowling ball on my chest.  I moved to the guest room at some point in the night knowing that I was probably keeping Nick up with all my up/down/all around in our room.

Day #29 of summer... I was absolutely exhausted from all my tossing in bed the night before, so Georgia and I decided to have a "do nothing" day.  We stayed in our jammies and just hung out on the couch most of the day.  We both laid down to take naps in the afternoon knowing that we had big plans to go to the carnival that evening.  Again, I tried to nap and was just uncomfortable again.  Georgia took a great nap, which was perfect since we had a late night ahead of us.  Again, if only I'd know...

Day #30 of summer... I never imagined that day #30 would bring us a baby boy, but it did!  Grant was born at 9:53am that morning.  Most of that day was recapped in this POST.

Day #31 & 32 of summer... Our days at the hospital were recapped in this POST.

Day #33 of summer... Grant and I were both discharged from the hospital early that afternoon and Nick and I were just so excited to get home and "settle in."  Ironically, I received lots of emails/texts from friends and neighbors telling us that they would stop by once we "settled in."  I've decided that with baby #2, there really is no "settling in" period.  It's more like you just return home to normal, except you also have a little baby with you.  Yes, you get to sit on the couch a bit more, but not really.  If the baby doesn't need you, then your other child does.  Or you feel guilty about just sitting on the couch, so you want to get up and do something to help around the house.  I knew I should be just sitting around letting myself heal, but I also wanted to be NORMAL for Georgia's sake.  

Mimi sent us this picture of Georgia waiting for us to get home from the hospital.  Love the BIG SISTER shirt and the SCOUT toy that she insisted on buying for her brother (since she still loves her Violet)

Georgia was so excited to help us with the baby when we got home.  She may have wanted to do EVERYTHING all at one time.  

Reading to her brother

My favorite pictures were Georgia helping to give Grant a bottle.  The look of pride on Nick's face says it all...

Little dude was chugging 1oz of expressed breast milk like a champ all day on his first day at home

Trying out Georgia's new chair... and KC getting her first smell of Grant!

Someone was glad to see me!

Since Grant's bili levels were a tad high and we had a scheduled pediatrician appointment the following morning, we put him by the windows to try and suck in some of those sun rays!

Overall, I'd vote this week as our most exciting week of the summer so far!!  Not much can top this one.