First post-baby run!

I decided that today was the day to try my first run, 5 weeks 4 days postpartum. I am a rebel, I know, not waiting the full six weeks. Close enough. I will start by saying that I have been walking briskly with the stroller almost every single day since day nine, so it’s not like I have been doing nothing, but I was still a little nervous about my first run.

I had to look back at my logs to see that my last real run was on February 27th on the treadmill. By far the longest I have ever gone without running since 2003 when I started running marathons. While on our walk yesterday, I did throw in two 5 min jogs just because I felt like it. I know you are not supposed to run with babies in the stroller until they have head control, but I was on a smooth road and Kai was in his infant seat right in front of me so I could see that his head was not bouncing and he was just fine. Let’s just say those little 5 min jogs were a rude awakening. I think I MIGHT have approached an 11 min mile pace at one point. I also realized that my target sports bras were in no way going to cut it for actual running. Ouch.

I was excited to get out today sans stroller and with my new big girl sports bra to see how things felt. I charged up my Garmin and my iPod in preparation, and I was ready to hit the road. I had a goal of three miles in my head, but knew I would have to listen to my body and adjust plans accordingly. I took off down the road and within the first two minutes I got an amazing runners high. I was smiling ear to ear because I was just so happy to be running again. This feeling lasted approximately 24 seconds, and then my body realized what was happening. Oh man it was hard. I hit the first mile in 9:53 and was thrilled with a sub-10 min pace. Then things got rough. Mile 2 was 10:36. My legs were heavy, my lungs started to burn. See also: thigh chafing. Mental note: body glide. On the way back I thought I was going to have to walk up the small hill in mile 3, but I shuffled along and completed the final mile in 10:56. Nothing like running each mile slower than the last.  My average pace was 10:29, so that shall be my starting point moving forward.

Four hours later I am already sore. Where am I sore you might wonder? A little in my legs maybe, yes, but I am mostly sore in my ribs (??). And my back. Hello no core strength. I am making sure to hydrate like a champ and am going to focus on eating like a champ as well. I read that when some women who are nursing start exercising more, their milk supply drops due to not consuming enough calories or not staying properly hydrated. Kai loves to eat (a lot), so I am going to try and make sure that doesn’t happen.

For now my goal will be to build back some consistency with running, which will not be easy while Steve is still training for Ironman (two more weeks!). I am probably going to have to resort to some treadmill time and hope that Kai doesn’t mind playing on his activity mat while mom runs, and I will get outside whenever I can when Steve is home. I know it is going to take some time before running feels good again and I can run under 10 minute pace, but I will think of it as a good challenge. As for my run today, three miles never felt so awful and so good all at the same time :)

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Kai: One month

Someone please tell me how it is possible that my baby is one month old already. He is so big and so different from just a couple of weeks ago, it’s just crazy. A lot has been going on since Kai’s two week update, including his first vacation to Door County and many outings to friends houses, shopping, events, etc.

At 18 days, we took Kai to Door County for four nights, where we stayed at my aunt and uncle’s house with them while the rest of my family camped in Peninsula State Park.

Normally we would be camping, but obviously that wasn’t happening this year. I was glad we still got to go up and spend time with family, though the trip somehow brought out a fussy side of Kai that we had never seen before. Oh my gosh, the crying. It was bad. It was very nice to have so much family there to help though. When he would get super fussy, everyone would take turns with him to give Steve and I a break.

With Auntie Bethie.

While in Door County, Kai slept in his Rock N Play in our bedroom. He had one particularly awful night where he cried from 9:30-12:30 non-stop, and then barely slept for the rest of the night. The other nights were better, but in general we had a captain fussy-pants on our hands.

I took him on his first hike in the Ergo carrier, which he slept through. I think the carrier is actually too big for me, as I couldn’t get the shoulder straps tightened enough, but it worked ok for the short hike.

Sleep in general: When we got home from Door County, we decided to put Kai to sleep in his crib in his own room (he was 22 days). The first two nights in his crib were magical. He slept like a champ from 9:30-10pm until 7:30-8am with only two wake ups. It was glorious. Since then, it has been a little more touch and go. He always has a good stretch when he first goes to sleep, usually sleeping for 4-5 hours. Then I feed and change him, and lately he has not wanted to go back to sleep in his crib. I rock him to sleep, set him down, and 10 mins later he is thrashing about and grunting non-stop until he gets worked up enough for me to go back in and pick him up. I always try putting him back down, but for the past 3 days the only way I get him back to sleep is by bringing him to the couch and letting him sleep on me on his tummy. I know this probably isn’t the best habit to get into, but right now it is the only way I get any sleep in the wee hours of the morning so I do what I’ve gotta do. Plus I kind of like cuddling him for a couple hours :-)

Also love when he smiles in his sleep and I can’t wait until he can flash us some real smiles. So all in all we’ve taken a step backwards in the sleep department, but at least he sleeps at night and isn’t up partying all night long.

Nursing: Kid still loves to eat. He is very demanding especially when he first wakes up, and I don’t even dare change his diaper before he gets to eat or he will fly off the handle. Plus he often poops while eating, so there’s that. I have started trying to pump once a day, and have had a mediocre success rate so far. I will keep trying it for a while, but right now I feel like it’s a huge pain and if we end up supplementing with formula sometimes when he is with my mom or I am not home, I am ok with that. We did try a bottle with grandma the other day, and he knew exactly what to do with it, no worries there.

Please also take note of his fluffy hair. I can’t even get over how awesome and old-manish it is, especially after he has a bath.

He doesn’t have another doctors appointment until he is two months, so I am not sure how much he weighs, but my guess is that he is close to 11 lbs. He is getting so big so fast.

Likes: eating, sleeping on Mom or Dad, his hands and arms (he found his fist and thumb and will suck on them quite a bit), his pacifier which he takes in with vigor, being outside, warm baths (but not getting out), being in places with a lot going on like restaurants, parks, etc., and looking out the window. He likes playing on his activity mat and has started to actually look at the toys.

Dislikes: getting dressed, having his diaper changed, going for walks in the stroller while he is awake.

Kai is getting better with his fussy times and sometimes spends most of the day content. However, there are still days/times where it seems like nothing will make him happy and we just have to deal with a fussy baby. He still has awesome and hilarious facial expressions like this one:

See also: baby acne. It started up right around 2 weeks and is still going pretty strong, though it has been looking a little better to me in the past few days.

I ordered us a ring sling to carry him around the house and when we are out and about, and so far he has tolerated it 50% of the times I have put him in it.

Mostly during the day we just chill out at the house.

But we also do a lot of activities like listening to music outside at Waterfront Wednesdays.

My mom has been an absolute lifesaver, stopping over almost every day to hang out with the little man and allowing me a break to do things like eat or take a shower. Kai also had his first babysitting time at Grandma’s house today while I went to give a massage. That’s right, back to working a bit already. I am fortunate right now that I work for myself and can gradually build my schedule back up, but at the same time it is stressful feeling the pressure to bring in enough clients so I don’t have to go back to a different job.

All in all we just love our little guy despite his demanding nature. It is so fun to watch him developing already, and I can’t wait to see him become more interactive with us and the world around him. It is already going by so fast, which I try to remind myself when he is fussy and I am frustrated and we are both crying while dancing to Dave Matthews in the living room (sweet visual, huh?). These challenging times won’t last forever (they will probably just change into other challenges). I am trying to soak in each moment when my little man is content and all is right with the world.

 

 

 

 

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Kai: 2 weeks

I meant to do a one week post for the little man, but somehow time got away from me and here we are over 2 weeks since his birth. He just had his 2 week check up with the pediatrician, and all is well. Her goal for babies is to be back up to their birth weight by their 2 week check up. Well, Mr. Kai weighed in at 9 lbs 10 oz, or a 19% increase from his birth weight of 8 lbs 1 oz. That’s my boy. He also grew 1 1/4 inches and measured in at 22 inches. These stats put him in the 96th percentile for height and the 77th percentile for weight. He has been in 3 month clothes from about a week old. He wore a few newborn onsies for our first few days home, but that was it. I had some newborn things washed and ready that he never even got to wear. Sad. Lesson learned though, I shouldn’t have washed all of his clothes until I knew what we needed. Most of his 3 month shorts are still too big, but he is rocking the 3 month onesies, shirts and rompers.

The first couple days/nights at home were rough, I’m not going to lie. The first night I put Kai to sleep in his bassinet in our room, and he did not sleep well. He actually threw up twice in his sleep which freaked this mama out, and was up more often than not. I will admit to having a little meltdown around 5am, when Steve finally took him out to the living room so I could get a little bit of sleep. Luckily, that was the worst night we’ve had. Overall he is a good baby, though he definitely has his fussy times and likes to be on his own agenda.

Sleep: Like I said, that first night was the worst. For the most part, Kai seems to realize when it is nighttime and sleeps fairly well. On a good night, he wakes up about every 3 hours to eat. There have been a couple times when he has gone 3.5-4 hours at a stretch, but lately he is a very hungry boy and 3 hours has been the max. He wakes up, I take him to the nursery to feed and change him, then I swaddle him and rock him back to sleep. The first few times he slept in the bassinet he did ok, but he now prefers to sleep in his rock ‘n play. It has a slight incline which he likes, so we have been letting him sleep in that all of the time. Initially I worried that it will be too difficult to transition him to his crib when it’s time, but I have decided that I prefer my sleep and want him to sleep well too. Lately he has been having some tummy trouble (read: gas), so his sleep has been a little bit interrupted by that. He will grunt and thrash around in his sleep and seems very uncomfortable at times. Poor guy. At times like this, he is very loud with all of his noises, so it is hard for Steve and I to get a lot of rest. Daytime naps are all over the place. Sometimes he will sleep most of the day away, while other days he has lots of awake time. He usually takes a killer nap in the afternoon/early evening, but not always.

Nursing: Kid can eat. A lot. In the beginning when he was sleeping longer stretches, he would usually go 2-3 hours between feedings, sometimes a little longer if it was a killer nap. Now however, he often demands the boob every 60-90 mins during the day. He will get fussy, cry, and I think there’s no way he could be hungry since he just ate an hour ago. But when nothing works to calm him down, I give in and he will latch on and eat like he was starving to death or something. I am hoping this is a growth spurt and doesn’t continue for long, because some days it seems like I don’t do anything but feed him and change him. I am thankful that he is such a good eater though and that he took to breastfeeding right away without any problems.

Bath time: We only had to give Kai two sponge baths, as his umbilical cord stump fell off at 6 days. He hated the first one just as much as he did in the hospital, screaming through the whole thing. The second one was better, but ended in him puking all over himself right after he was all clean, which pissed him off and screaming ensued.

I was so glad when we could give him a normal bath, and lo and behold, he likes it!

He owns his pink bath chair that he got from his cousin Aiva. Steve washes his hair and I wash the rest of him, and he just sits there calmly loving the warm water and the big warm washcloth we lay over him. He doesn’t love getting out of the warm warm water, but we do our best to wrap him immediately in his hoodie towel to warm him back up.

Random things: At 9 days old, Kai had his first real outing. Of course it was to Costco with mommy and grandma.

He slept the whole time, which was a relief. I also took him solo to Target for the first time, which I was nervous about but as long as I kept the cart moving he stayed asleep. He has met tons of friends and relatives, and even attended his first party at 11 days old.

Here he is at 3 days old in his first cloth diaper:

Cloth diapering will be a whole separate post at some point, but is going well for the most part after some trial and error. As of now he is in cloth 100% of the time at home, but I have been putting him in disposables when we are out and about. This is partly because we have a bunch of newborn disposables that need to be used up, and partly for convenience. Also, he already looks so different from the above picture. Gah! My boy is growing up too fast. I may or may not have shed a few tears about this the other day. Dang hormones.

Surprisingly, he doesn’t mind tummy time, and we do it a few times a day. Kai has a super strong neck in my opinion, and is able to lift his head all the way up to look at me. We also do tummy time with him on my chest, which he likes as well, especially when he can catch glimpses of the view out the window behind me. He loves to look out the window and will sometimes just stare mesmerized at the sky or a tree or whatever he sees out there.

We have been enjoying our walks outside every day since day 9 when I felt good enough to get out and get a little exercise. Kai usually sleeps the whole time in the stroller, but sometimes he is awake and quietly staring around. I am in love with the BOB stroller and can’t wait to run with him in there when he is big enough. Pushing it uphill is no joke, and I have worked up a good sweat walking plenty of times now.

My heart melts when I see things like this. Steve is such an awesome and proud daddy. Love my guys so much.

Mr. Man had some of the most awesome facial expressions I have ever seen, ranging from super serious to highly perplexed to little smiles in his sleep. He also has the best hair, especially after bath time. It gets incredibly fluffy and soft, it just cracks me up. He also LOVES his hands. He is always moving his arms around, putting his hands in his mouth and sucking on them. He wears gowns with hand mitts to sleep in because otherwise he will scratch himself silly with his razor sharp fingernails.

At two weeks, we took Kai for his newborn photo shoot, which he completely rocked. I was so nervous that he wouldn’t cooperate, but he slept like a champ and let the photographer do her thing. We used Andrea Nicole Images, and Andrea was so great to work with. She put up one teaser photo on Facebook, and I just about died. Can’t even wait to see the rest of the pics.

 

My recovery: Well, it was rougher than I initially anticipated. Healing from a 3rd degree tear is very slow and painful, but two weeks later, I am doing much much better. Like I said, it took 9 days before I could even get outside to go for a short walk. Now I no longer have to take Advil every day, and I think in another week or so I will feel pretty much back to normal. I weighed myself for the first time the other day, and was shocked to find that I have already lost 25 lbs. I gained about 33 lbs total with the pregnancy, so I was pretty happy to only have 8 lbs to go two weeks later. However, my weight is completely redistributed, and I don’t have a single pair of non-athletic pants that fit around my hips. I have been rocking the skirts on a daily basis, which is fine with me in the summer. I am sure I also have far less muscle mass than when I got pregnant, and overall I feel pretty fluffy. It is weird for me to have a soft tummy with no abs in sight, but I know that once I am able to start working out more and running it will come back. I can’t wait to start running, but I have no problem taking the prescribed 4-6 weeks to recover first, as I know that is what it best for my body.

Overall we are loving our little man, even though he has his fussy/crabby times that leave us frustrated and exasperated. I am torn between wanting him to stay a tiny newborn and being anxious for him to get a little bigger and start smiling, etc. I suppose he is going to grow at an alarming rate, so I am trying to soak it all in while I can. But just look at this squishy newborn face. Sigh.

 

 

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Kai’s first 48

Our two days/nights in the hospital after Kai was born were sort of a whirlwind. The day he was born, he got to meet a lot of his relatives. Grandma was the first to arrive.

Grandpa arrived a short while later.

Then a lot of other family members were in and out throughout the day.

As I mentioned in Kai’s birth story, I really couldn’t get out of bed on my own for 7-8 hours because of the epidural/fentinyl cocktail I was on. My legs were totally wobbly and I had to be helped to the bathroom during that time. Sometime in the early afternoon I finally felt steady enough to take a shower, and it felt so good to finally get cleaned up. Kai also got his first sponge bath and hated it. He actually liked having his hair washed and his head run under the faucet, but he screamed bloody murder during the entire rest of the process. Once the horribleness was over, he loved laying under the warmer and talking to his daddy.

By the time all of our visitors left on Tuesday night we were pretty well exhausted. In fact, I really can’t remember anything that happened between that time and late Tuesday night when the nurses came to take the little man to get weighed in the nursery. I guess we were just relaxing/resting and hanging out with our little man. He was weighed and checked over at midnight, and when the nurse brought him back she said it was common for babies to already have lost up to 4% of their birthweight by that time. Mr. Kai had only lost .2% because he was such a good eater from the beginning. I declined having him stay in the nursery that night because I wanted him right next to me, and he was pretty good about only waking up to eat and letting us get some rest. Steve slept on the pull out couch in the room (which was apparently hard as a rock and left him with a sore back).

Wednesday was a lot more relaxed, which was nice. Of course we still had some visitors, but they were spread throughout the day and we got to have a lot of quiet time as well. Our pediatrician came around 7:30am to check him over and declared him a perfect little baby before taking him to be circumcised. When he returned from the procedure he was understandably out of sorts and very fussy. It seemed like every time we would get him calmed down, someone  else would come in and need to do something to him. He had a fair amount of jaundice, so he needed a heel stick to test his bilirubin. After we got him calmed down from that, a nurse came in to do his first diaper change and check on his man parts. Ugh, rough morning for the little guy.

After a while, he entered what the nurses referred to as the newborn slumber, and he slept for much of the rest of the day. We had to wake him a few times to eat, but other than that he was out. Wednesday night was nice and quiet. Steve’s parents visited for a while, and then it was just the three of us. When the nurse came to take Kai to be weighed just before midnight on Wednesday, I sent along a cute little outfit for him to have his pictures taken, and I told the nurse to keep him in the nursery until he was hungry. I slept until 2:30am when she brought him back. He ate and fell promptly back to sleep so we were all able to get some more rest.

Thursday morning our pediatrician stopped by for another visit, and he got another heel stick to check his biliruben. His levels were a bit high, but not high enough to require any further action like the bili-blanket. He would be tested again on Friday morning at his pediatrician visit, and as it turned out, we had to take him to get tested one more time on Saturday morning. His levels were stable, which was a good sign. The doc said as long as he kept eating and pooping a lot he should be good to go (spoiler alert: he did just that :-))

We hung out in our room throughout Thursday morning. I ordered breakfast, took a shower, and got all of our things packed up. Just before 1pm, it was time to load up and head for home.

That cute little newborn sized outfit barely fit him in length, but we made it work.

I was wheeled out in a wheelchair with Kai in his carseat on my lap while Steve carried the rest of our stuff and went to pull up the car. And with that, we left the hospital as a family of three :-)

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Kai Lawrence

Kai Lawrence was born on 7/15/14 at 5:29am.

He was 8 lbs 1 oz, and 20 3/4 inches long.

Here is his birth story:

On Monday, 7/14, I went to the OB’s office where I saw yet another new OB. I had been having contractions for weeks, as I have mentioned, and my blood pressure was elevated the previous Wednesday at my appointment. I figured if it was high again on Monday, I would listen to what the doc recommended, but I would also ask about being induced on Tuesday or Wednesday if he didn’t come on his own before then. Well, my bp was still elevated on Monday, and I was 3 cm dilated and 80% effaced at the appointment. Based on that news, the OB recommended I head to the hospital for labs and that I would likely stay to be induced that evening. He told me to take my time, go home and get my stuff ready, and head over. He said that he didn’t really think I had pre-eclampsia, but I did have pregnancy induced hypertension, which is also not good. He said that since I was already dilated 3cm and was 39 weeks 6 days, he saw no reason not to get the baby out sooner rather than later. I called Steve after the appointment around 3pm and told him to leave work and meet me at home because we were going to go and have a baby. We took our time at home getting everything together and got to the hospital around 4:30pm. I was under the impression that I would be sent to triage to be monitored and have labs drawn, but when we got there they already had a room ready to admit me. Alrighty then, I guess this is really happening.

We got settled into the room and the nurse had me change into a hospital gown. Someone from the lab came in to draw blood, and the nurse informed me that that the on call doc would likely order pitocin to start shortly. I think I somewhat didn’t believe that this was actually going to happen, so I asked if I should start making calls to my parents, etc to let them know that it was go time. She said yes, it was probably a safe bet. At 6:30pm, pitocin was started, and a few minutes later the on call doc came in to talk to me. I ended up really liking her, which was great. She came in, checked me (still 3 cm at this point) and proceeded to say, “ok, I’m going to break your water.” Um, ok then. She used the crochet hook thingy to do that and told me that whenever I wanted my epidural I could have it, and that she was very liberal with her drugs. Good to hear. Shortly after starting pitocin and breaking my water, I started having more regular contractions. They still weren’t too painful, and I was able to order some items from the clear foods menu. Juice, jello, slushy, etc. I ordered some extra things to keep in the fridge in the room like the nurse suggested. At 7pm, the night nurse Pam took over and told me that she would be with me all night, 7pm-7am. She told me that she had been doing this for 30 years, and let me tell you, she was amazing. Loved her.

Things progressed slowly, about 1cm per hour, and sometime a little after 8am the contractions started getting painful. I asked how long it would take to get the epidural once I said I wanted it, and the nurse told me she would find out if the anesthesiologist was in the hospital or if he would have to be called from home. Turns out he was in the OR, and could be relieved at any time to come up to my room. I debated holding off for a while, but as Pam said, the contractions are just going to get worse from here, so if I was going to get the epidural eventually either way, I might as well get it sooner rather than later. So I told her I wanted it, and the doc gave her ok. Around 8:30pm the anesthesiologist came in and gave me the epidural. By the time he got there, I was having very painful contractions, so the timing ended up being good. Once the epidural started, it was sweet, sweet relief. It was an odd sensation having my legs numb but still able to move, but I was so grateful to no longer be in pain. I could barely even tell when I was having a contraction, it was great. I told Steve that I didn’t know how anyone could do this without drugs. Obviously there are women that do it every day and holy cats do I give them props. Not for me. I think I can normally manage pain pretty well, multiple Ironmans, marathons, and ultra-marathons will teach you how to do that, but this was a whole different ballgame.

Shortly after I had my epidural my dad stopped by to visit. I told him it could still be quite a while before the baby came, it was hard to say. He headed home around 10:30pm and shortly after that my mom stopped by. She visited for a while, and then I was getting tired, so she went to the family waiting area so Steve and I could try to get some rest. I told her I would call her with an update. Around 1:30, I was checked again and was 6cm. I called my mom and told her she should probably head home and get some sleep, because things were still progressing slowly.

A few minutes after making that call, I started to feel quite a bit of pain again. I asked the nurse to press the self-administer button on the epidural, which she did. That seemed to help a little bit for a short while. Then it was as if the epidural just stopped working completely. The contractions were so painful. We pushed the button two more times and nothing. The anesthesiology nurse was called in and gave me another injection of the epidural straight into the port. It did nothing. Pam decided to check me again and I was 8cm and almost completely effaced. Each contraction was super intense and it felt like they were coming one right on top of the next (in reality, they were still 2-3 mins apart). Finally the anesthesia nurse offered fentinyl and I said yes. She injected it straight into the epidural port and with the next contraction, I could feel that the edge was taken off. Two contractions later I felt nothing. It was great. At this point I could still feel that my legs were numb but I couldn’t move them at all on my own. I tried to doze off for a while now that I was no longer in pain, and Steve and I both managed a bit of a nap.

Around 3:30am I was checked and was fully dilated. The OB came in and determined there was just a tiny bit of cervix left on two sides and told me we were going to try a push. They coached me through it since I couldn’t feel the contractions, and with one push I was complete. It was go time. I was told that for first time moms, it could take 1-3 hours of pushing, which was a little bit intimidating. I started pushing at 3:40am, and was making great progress in the beginning. The doc was very encouraging when she told me that I was doing great and there was no way this was going to take 1-3 hours. I started to get the hang of pushing, especially since now I could feel the contractions again. Steve was on my left holding my foot and Pam was on my right doing the same. There was a resident there as well, who kept telling me she could see his head, and to “curl around the baby” with each push. To be honest, she was really annoying me and I wanted to tell her to shove it. She kept making me think that the end was just around the corner when in reality I still had a long way to go. I pushed and pushed for nearly two hours, and was completely exhausted. Turns out Mister Man was stuck on my pubic bone, and no matter how hard I pushed, his head just couldn’t get through. It got to the point where his heart rate would drop after each contraction, meaning he was getting stressed. They put an oxygen mask on me and the OB came in to assess the situation. She said we couldn’t keep going like this because the baby was under too much stress. She called for a vacuum cart and quickly explained to me that she was going to try to suck him out with the vacuum, but if it didn’t work quickly, she would have to do a c-secion. I remember being so scared and looking at Steve with tears running down my cheeks. He looked kind of scared too and I told myself to hold it together and be strong. Before I knew what was happening, the doc had the suction attached to his head, and when the next contraction came I pushed as hard as I could. I heard her say great job and he was almost out, and with the next contraction I pushed again and out came his head. One more push and he was out and I immediately heard him screaming and crying. They plopped him down on my chest right away and I started bawling. Partially tears of joy, but I think mostly tears of relief that he was out and ok and it was over.

After a few minutes the nurses took him over to the warmer to get his measurements and Apgar scores (8 and 9). Then they handed him to Steve, who held him while I got stitched up.

I ended up having a 3rd degree tear from pulling him out so fast, and it seemed to take forever for the doc to stitch me up. In reality, I have no clue how long it was. Once that was done, he was placed on my chest again skin to skin, and he latched on to nurse almost immediately. The nurse was super impressed, and said that this is rare, especially for first time moms. That’s my little over achiever.

Around 6am Steve called all of our parents with the news, and my mom headed right over. Thus began a crazy day full of visitors, which was both great and so exhausting. At 7am Pam came in to say goodbye and tell me that I did a great job, and that she was so happy that he made it out before her shift was over. I gave her a big hug and thanked her for being awesome all night and told her that I was glad that she got to see the baby born before she left.

It took forever for my epidural to wear off, probably because of the amount they had to give me along with the fentinyl. My first trip to the bathroom was in a wheelchair, and I couldn’t stand or walk on my own for at least 6 or 7 hours. It’s still hard to believe sometimes that he is here and he is ours, yet at the same time it seems like he’s been with us for longer than just five days.

 

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Bathroom Remodel – Before & After

Since I have no cute squishy baby to show you as of yet, how about some pictures of our newly remodeled bathroom instead? The main bath was the last room in our house that needed to be redone, and when we found out we were expecting, we knew we really wanted to tackle the project before the baby’s arrival. Let me start by showing you some before pics of the monstrosity that was the bathroom.

Super narrow entrance, tiled walls, and don’t get me started on that floor tile. Believe it or not, when we moved in, this floor tile was probably the nicest flooring in the house. Scary, no?

The shower/tub. Disgusting. No amount of cleaning products or scrubbing could remove the nasty grime in there. 

The vanity/medicine cabinet. Not the most awful part of the bathroom, but significantly ugly none the less.

The toilet. Looks innocent enough. The truth is, this thing was horrible. It did not flush properly, often requiring multiple tries. It also had a huge crack on one side which was always a little disconcerting.

And lastly, the view out to the rest of the house. You can see here how narrow the entry was.

Since we were on a tight budget, Steve did all of the work himself with the exception of demolition weekend when he had help from a friend. We asked for Menards gift cards for Christmas, and thanks to some very generous family members, the gift cards covered a lot of the big purchases we had to make. The plan was a complete gutting of the old bathroom. We purchased a new tub, shower fixtures, vanity, toilet, light fixture, mirror cabinet, and tile. So everything. The one structural change that was made was widening the entry by about six inches. The wall you see above on the right is the back wall to the closet in the nursery. Said closet was unusually deep (and unnecessarily so), so we decided to widen the bathroom and cut into the closet a bit. Steve kept wondering if all the extra work was worth it for six inches, but as you will see it did make a big difference.

Obviously the first step in the actual process was demolishing the old bathroom. Steve started on a Saturday morning, and by early afternoon it looked like this.

The tub was gone (smashed to pieces), and the walls were coming off. Behind all of that wall tile in the shower was mold. So gross. Steve’s goal for that first weekend was to get the old tub out, and the new tub in and plumbed so that we could take showers, as this is our only full bath. I admit I was skeptical that this would get done in one weekend, but after many hours of work and at least five trips back to Menards, that part was finished. Steve hung a huge sheet of plastic around the shower so we wouldn’t get the walls wet, and this is how we showered for several weeks.

Dexter anyone? It was annoying, yes, but it worked and it was nice to be able to shower at home instead of having to go to the gym every day. God forbid I exercise any more than necessary. Also, Steve is not a morning person and was extra motivated to get the shower done quickly so he would not have to go to the gym in the morning. From this point forward, Steve worked on the bathroom pretty much every single day after work and on the weekends, in addition to his marathon and ironman training. Poor guy. He would take the plastic down to do whatever step was next in the shower (tiling, grouting, caulking, etc.), then put the plastic back up so we could shower. He wanted to get the shower completely finished before tackling the rest of the bathroom. We do have another half bath, so we had another toilet and sink to use while the rest of the main bath was under construction. After a few more weeks, the shower looked like this:

We chose white tile with a grey marbled look, and navy blue glass accent tiles for the strip towards the top. We also tiled in the corner shelves, two in each corner, and added glass sliding doors because of our mutual distaste for shower curtains. Once the shower was done, it was on to demolishing the rest of the bathroom.

Gutted. You can see the widened entry here with the new green board on the left. The next step was the floor tile and fixing up the walls with several coats of mud where the hideous wall tiles were.

We chose a darker grey tile for the floor, which I love. We decided to paint the walls grey as well with leftover paint from the nursery. No need to buy more paint when we already had some left. After the process of tiling, grouting, sealing, etc, it was time to put in the new toilet and vanity, along with the new mirror cabinet and light fixture. The new toilet gave Steve plenty of problems, as it wouldn’t stop leaking at first. There were a couple of times that it came dangerously close to ending up in the dumpster, but he luckily got it figured out. He also had to cut off the bottom of the vanity by an inch or two, since the new mirror cabinet was bigger than the old one and the faucet was actually too tall for the cabinet to open. It was either cur the vanity or buy a whole new faucet. Alright, lets jump to the before and afters, shall we?

Looking into the bathroom. Look how much wider it is! The one and only thing I did was to paint the woodwork around the window white to match the rest of the woodwork in the house, which you can’t even really see because of the window shade. I also picked out the shade, valance, and rug.

The tub/shower. I can’t even tell you how nice it is to have a clean tub and shower to use. There is so much space on the corner shelves and it is so nice and bright. We also got a shower head that can be used as a hose. Thinking ahead for bath time for the little man.

A toilet that does it’s job in one flush. Hooray!

New vanity and mirror cabinet, so much more modern. Love it!

The new light fixture and mirror. I am actually sorry I don’t have a picture of the old light fixture. It was of the large vanity bulb variety, super tacky.

And one more angle looking out so you can see how much wider the space is. We are so happy with how everything turned out, and I am so impressed with Steve’s skills in home improvement. He worked so so hard on this bathroom for many many hours and it shows in the final product. Now you can see why I put together the crib by myself, because Steve was busy in the bathroom. The nursery was my project, and the bathroom was his. I am so thankful that he is handy with these things, because I can’t imagine what this bathroom would have cost us if we had to hire out. We wouldn’t have been able to do it, that’s for sure. Now it feels so good that the big house projects are all complete (of course there are always some other little projects to do), but the big stuff is done. Phew!

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39 weeks

Baby is the size of…. let’s go with a baby. Like a full sized, could come out at any time but is apparently very comfy and cozy on the inside and might be in there forever baby.

Ok, I know I am still a week from my due date. But damn, I never expected that the last couple of weeks would be such a mind game. I’m not sure why I allowed myself to get it in my head that he would come early. Maybe it was all of the comments about how he “dropped” so much a few weeks ago, or others predicting an early arrival, or the fact that I’ve been having contractions for weeks, or me just being done done done. In any case, I am still pregnant, the days are moving very slowly, and I am very uncomfortable most of the time. Patience has never been my strong suit, and though I have gotten a little better with it over the years, I can feel it wearing thin. Wah. Ok, thanks for letting me whine whine whine for a minute.

How I am feeling: see above. Really, I should not complain. Yes I am uncomfortable, but that is to be expected at this point, no? I can’t bend forward or roll over in bed or get up off the couch without gargantuan effort. I feel little feet in my ribs and poking out my sides. I am exhausted from not sleeping well. But, I know that compared to some other women at this point I don’t have it bad at all. I was able to go swimming at the pool yesterday, and it felt good to float around (I don’t know if I can call it actual swimming anymore) for 30 mins. I am still having lots of Braxton Hicks contractions, and over the weekend and on Monday I had a few that were slightly more intense and a little painful. Of course I got my hopes up, but now I am back to nada. Last week Wednesday at the doc I was 2 cm dilated and she estimated that the little guy was already 7.5+ lbs. Of course that is just an estimate she did by feeling him through my belly, but she has been at this for many years and has felt a lot of bellies. If she is correct, and I do make it to my due date next week, I fear that the kid will be huge. I can’t wait to see what she says at my appointment tomorrow. She also commented that I haven’t really been gaining any weight for the past few weeks, and I told her I was eating as much as I could but I just get full so fast. I would say my appetite has picked up a little over the past week though, so I won’t be surprised to find that I gained a pound or two. As of last week I was up 31 lbs, so right on track I guess.

Another reason it would be really great if baby boy decides to come out this week: my new OB will be on vacation next week, and my old OB will not return from maternity leave until the following week. So the week of my actual due date, I will have to see a brand new doctor that I don’t know and that doesn’t know me. Not ideal. I don’t care so much for the actual delivery, but what if I go past my due date and we need to make a decision on how to proceed? I would feel a lot better having a doc that I have seen before, but oh well. I am going to discuss this with my current doc tomorrow and see what she says.

The upside to not having a 4th of July baby was that we got to enjoy a fabulous holiday weekend with friends and family. I got my toes done for the occasion.

It started with brunch at a friends house on the morning of the 4th. Then in the evening, my mother in law, sister in law, and niece Aiva came over to grill out.

Those eyes! After dinner we headed over to the Sussex fireworks and met up with my cousins and their families. We were wondering how Aiva would like her first fireworks (she will turn one on my due date 7/15).

The answer? She LOVED them. She sat on Uncle Steve’s lap the whole time and was mesmerized. She would even get a little upset when there was a pause in the action, waving her arms until they started back up. I have never seen a kid that young love the fireworks so much instead of being scared by the noise. It was so cute and hilarious.

On Saturday we went to a party at our friends lake house complete with a pontoon boat ride.

And of course dessert!

No, I did not eat all of that by myself, it was a shared dessert plate. I swear.

Party ladies! Please excuse the fact that my eyes are closed and I look like I could take someone out with that belly. Sheesh!

Sunday was less eventful since Steve was out on a 5 hour bike ride and I was back at the house. I spent my day making banana bread, doing a little cleaning, and reading a book. I cannot even tell you how many books I have read over the past few months. Let’s just say I am getting lots of use out of my Kindle, the Amazon store, and library books. Then on Sunday night we went to tour the Labor and Delivery unit of the hospital where I will deliver. I was secretly hoping that my water would break or something while we were on the tour. How convenient would that have been? Alas, no such luck.

So there you have it. 39 weeks, still pregnant, unbelievably bored and just waiting for the little man to arrive. Luckily I have a busy day scheduled tomorrow with clients and my OB appointment, and though the house is pretty clean at this point, I suppose there is always more organizing that can be done. If you’ve made it this far through my rambling, congratulations. Please cross your fingers for me that this is the week!

 

 

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