Thursday, February 28, 2013

One month

The Bear! He is back!!
  Malcolm newborn.
Chilling on the bear - Malcolm One month.
Seems like I'm always putting platitudes out there like WHERE DID THE TIME GO? SUNRISE, SUNSET EVERYONE! But seriously....months are too freaking short.

I'm not sure my heart can handle all the love around here. I am literally exploding. 

Or the adorable, chewable cheeks. Seriously people. CHEEKS!

Malcolm met his great grandparents - 19th great grandchild! He's the 15th boy, only 4 girls in the entire 19!

Eliot teaching Malcolm how to use the play gym.
Malcolm spends a lot of time giving people this look:

Eliot is telling him, "Hey, Malcolm, you have two eyes and I'm you're big brother. Hey, hey, hey!" (Eliot is super into the fact we all have 2 eyes lately).

And he is beautiful. So very, very beautiful.
This month has been amazing little Malcolm. Your nickname is peanut head, peanut for short, or buddy. For the much smaller head you have than your brother. Even though according to the doctor your head is perfectly average sized - it just looks small to us. You were jaundiced for a few weeks, but nothing treatable, just watched. It was awful to bring you in to get your heel poked though. You screamed and screamed and my heart and hormones could barely take it. You love to eat, sleep, stare at picture frames, and your bouncy seat. You really don't care for the swing and hate your car seat. You and your dad get along great and you are interested in Eliot when he can sit still long enough for you to find him. It's rare, you'll get faster little Malcolm. I sometimes find myself feeling guilty for you being the second child. You get less one on one time, I don't read you a book every morning like I did for Eliot, I don't have quite as much time to stare into your eyes and just sit with you, although I take those moments when I can. Sometimes you cry a little longer than I would like because I have to split my time between the two of you and I can't leave Eliot mid-diaper change or something. But you have more in other ways. You have parents who are more comfortable parenting. We're more relaxed with you. You have a brother who, in the coming months and years, will be much more exciting and amusing to you than we can ever be. You have a cousin who isn't that far apart in age with you and I hope you three will all be great friends. So there's less and more. Mostly more of the things that count though. We love you little peanut head. Happy one month birthday. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

This Time Around

I fear that Malcolm's life will be measured in differences from his big brother. I try not to sit and compare constantly, but that's how we learn, right? Recording and acknowledging the differences we see in anything. Here's how I feel about things so far:

The unexpected:
  • Malcolm sleeps better than Eliot did. Thank god. Some of it is just that I can nurse him easier and I knew what to expect, but I think we all feel more well rested this time around.
  • Nursing is just plain easier and less often with Malcolm.
  • Malcolm is a calmer easier different baby. He's already napping in his crib (sleeping is another story) for up to 2 hours. Sometimes he even cries a little bit...and then FALLS BACK ASLEEP. This never happened with Eliot until he was over a year.
  • Malcolm actually cares when his diaper is dirty. Eliot never really did, not that we let our kids sit in dirty diapers but if you miss a poop or something and can't figure out why Malcolm is fussing sometimes it's his diaper. Eliot never cared.
  • It's easier to deal with Malcolm's lack of positive feedback when you have another kid giving you plenty of feedback. I can wait for smiles more patiently when Eliot is telling me I'm his best friend. Seriously, my heart melts.
  • How I fell head over heels for Malcolm just like Eliot. How fast that Mama Bear instinct kicks in. I have stood up for this little guy hardcore already.
Things I missed:
  • The snuggles and the rocking and the closeness you can only get with a newborn. Oh, the rocking. How I missed rocking a baby.
  • That newborn smell....mmmm....
  • The little happy noises he makes while he's nursing. The little noises he makes period. They're so cute!
  • Watching a baby figure things out. Little things like using his hands. You can see everything tick behind his eyes.
  • The simplicity of his needs. Eat, sleep, change, snuggle. Easy peasy.
  • His portability and lack of mobility. So much easier to shop/go out to eat with this little guy than an almost 3 year old who wants to go run around the minute he's done eating or feels antsy.
New Things:
  • Seeing Eliot and Malcolm together really is the coolest thing in the world. My heart melts every time they interact. I love these two more than anything.
Things I didn't miss:
  • Holy crap I forgot how often these little people need their diapers changed. I'm about to google when that changes. Every 3 hours around the clock? The waste and the exhaustion of it all!
  • The whole sleeping thing. Nobody wants to be up that often. I am dealing much better this time and Malcolm is solidly in our bed at night. No way am I getting out of bed that often to feed this little dude. Because he's napping in his crib I'm hoping for an earlier and smoother transition to his own space, but I'm fine with how it's working now.
  • The grunting at night. Seriously dude, just poop already.
  • Outfit blowouts. Especially onto me in public.
  • Worrying about things like SIDS

So will we do it again? Are we a family of 4 forever? We've put that decision on hold for now. Having a newborn is both  awesome and impossible all at the same time. Not sure we want to do that again. We'd need a new car and there would be room sharing for a while at least. There would be less vacations and just a little less to go around but sometimes I feel that pull. I was one of 3 and I love it. But can I handle 3 boys? because you know it would be a boy. Can I handle never being pregnant or having a snugly cuddly newborn again? Give me a year. Lets see how 2 goes. Although this picture makes me want 100 babies. That man!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Malcolm's Birth Story

Malcolm Griffin. Born 1/31/13 at 7:10 pm. 8 lbs 7 oz 21.5" long. He's my beautiful boy. To reiterate from the last birth story.... If you don't want to hear it don't read it. This is for me.
Wednesday night I lost my mucus plug. That was how it started with Eliot but I really tried not to get my hopes up because it truly means nothing sometimes. I had been having terrible insomnia for weeks and I was kind of dreading going to bed. I fell asleep around 9 and woke up at 1:30 with a slightly upset stomach. I went to sit on the couch and noticed that I was having contractions! Finally, I thought! This is it! Contractions were coming 7-10 minutes apart so I tried to rest for a while. Around 4 am I did some laundry and started packing the rest of our hospital bag. When Chris and Eliot got up contractions were about 5 minutes apart. I told Chris this was probably it so he thought he should run into work to clean some stuff up. I called him home around 8:30 withe contractions from 3-5 minutes apart. I called the hospital and they informed me they were full. And did I think I could make it another hour? I did. Things seemed to be moving just as slowly as last time. The only good thing was that I was 4 days before my due date and so ready to have this baby I could cry. So I waited an hour and called back. They were still full. Could I wait another hour? I agreed but expressed my concern that I was gbs positive and needed a certain amount of antibiotics during labor. I was cleared to come in at 11. We arrived and were recognized by the security guard from our trip in on Monday (a whole other story) and all I could think is they're going to send me home and I'm going to have to walk by this guy pregnant at least 2 more times. We went up to the maternity ward, all the while having contractions I couldn't walk or talk through. They finally checked me and I was only 1-2 cm dilated. So depressing. Seeing as I was having so many contractions though they gave me an hour to progress. I walked in circles for an hour praying and hoping that the baby would decide to come today. During this time I noticed I had to start moving through my contractions. I was also fairly ready to beg for an induction. I wanted Malcolm out! They checked me again and I was almost a 2. No progress. Going home. The nurse went to talk with the dr about options and they decided that I was probably in false labor and muscle relaxants would stop it. Fine I said. I'll take them. She had been watching me and seemed to think I was acting differently because she asked if I wanted to stay and see if they stopped. No I said. I'll just go home. Stay she said. Lets see where this goes and if we can get you to relax and progress. So 4 muscle relaxants and a shot of morphine for good measure later I was in la la land with a warning not to get up to use the bathroom by myself. Which I promptly ignored. It was around 1 pm. I was told that if this was false labor the meds would stop it and I probably had a 60-40 chance of staying. I should mention that there were tears of frustration somewhere in there and Chris thought it was a good idea to ask what was wrong. I promptly bit his head off. What was wrong indeed.
So the morphine and muscle relaxants did nothing for my contractions. I was up in bed moving through contractions every 3 minutes and heavily resting between each one. Somehow Chris slept through most of this even though he was only 3 feet from me. I woke up about 5 pm and stalled about calling for the nurse because to me the contractions were just as intense and just as often and I was sure we were going home. I finally called the nurse around 5:30 and Chris called our parents to let them know we were probably coming home for the night. I remember telling Chris we couldn't get Eliot that night because he couldn't see me like that. But they checked me and I was at a 6! She had me guess first and I guessed 2.5. Ha! So Chris went to grab our bags and eat and I talked to the dr who told me I could have any pain meds I wanted. I was having no problem with the contractions at that point because they had taken me off the monitor and I could move around. I was having back labor so I tried a birthing ball while they filled up this enormous awesome tub. Then I realized I was alone. When the nurse came back in I asked if there was anyone who would stay with me. She said she would but then immediately ran out of the room so she asked if I wanted a doula. I did. It was 6 pm at this point and they said the doula would be there in 20 minutes.
The bath was finally full! I got in and it was awesome. They started my iv for the penicillin and I concentrated on one contraction at a time. My nurse was awesome and sat with me and told me how well I was doing. I really needed that. Just to be told I was doing it well and doing it right was just what I needed. From here on in things are a little fuzzy.
Chris returned at some point. He helped by putting cool washcloths on my back and neck during the contractions. The nurse had the awesome idea of putting them in a bucket of ice water first. I was so hot and it really helped. The doula arrived and things really got serious. She kept telling me what a great job I was doing and really gave me confidence. People were in and out of the bathroom a lot. They had a Doppler to check Malcolm's heart beat under water but I'm not sure she ever got it to work. I either moved too much or once the battery died. The noises I was making during contractions were louder and louder. The doula told me to keep them low when they started to get high pitched. Right around then it started to be pretty intense. I remember almost crying as I felt the next contractions coming because they were so crazy and long and just a lot to handle. The nurses wanted to check me then and I refused. Basically all I could think was that me getting out of the tub and them checking me would actually cause contractions to occur and there was no way I was going to make it harder than it already was. Plus. I was doing it. As long as I got a break between each contraction I had no problem keeping it up. Then I had a lot of pressure. The nurse said I could stay in the tub as long as I wasn't making pushing noises. Of course the next contraction that is exactly what I did. Pushing is the craziest thing. It's so very involuntary. That first push didn't hurt. Someone ran to grab the dr and the nurse asked me to get out before I had an unintentional water birth. Strangely I've never wanted a water birth and totally agreed with her. But I asked for one more contraction in the tub so I would be fresh to move to the bed. I had that next contraction and it HURT. I could feel Malcolm right there and I announced as much. I got out of the tub and remember seeing the toilet and thinking I probably should use that but knew that the time wasn't right. I think I may have complained about getting out and how it was going to hurt more out of it. Which even at the time seemed silly. It was going to hurt no matter where I was. I hated pushing. A contraction was coming on as I saw the bed so I immediately dropped to my knees and pushed and screamed while doing it. Ha! I screamed and roared in a room full of people. It was crazy. The screaming came from a place of both pain and power. Like an extra push to the push. I have no idea how many contractions I had like that. I think only 2-3. The dr was not excited about the spot I chose to push. The nurses asked me to get up in the bed and I believe I fairly firmly said no. There was no way I was moving with a baby in between my legs like that. Plus I was not going to lay on my back for anything. Sounded like the most painful awful idea in the world. They kind of looked at the dr and I believe the dr said something about how her back couldn't handle it. If I would've been in the frame of mind to retort I think I could've given her some words about pain. Chris told me later she also said it was unsanitary. Indeed. I was pretty sure I couldn't move though. I think I said something completely futile about someone making it stop. Even I realized that was a stupid thing to say, who could make that stop? Finally Chris told me I had to get up in the bed and I found out I could move. I got into the bed and I remember hearing the doula tell me to think about stretching. He came so fast though, not sure it did much good. The dr announced I probably had 2 more good pushes and he'd be out. The doula confirmed his head was halfway out. She also reassured me that it was almost over and I was doing it.  I pushed maybe 1-3 more times and he was out. At the end I wasn't sure I could do it. I wasn't sure I'd make it. Not that your body gives you a choice but pushing was the only time I doubted my ability to get through it. I could've handled contractions forever but not pushing. Maybe because he came so fast. I actually can't even remember the pain of pushing anymore, I just know it was awful. My mind literally blocked it out like some sort of protection. I got you on this one mind, I know it hurt - and bad. You can't fool me into having more babies just from that trick.
I  had some fairly bad postpartum bleeding. They tried to make it stop just by massaging my uterus but it didn't work. I ended up with 3 different drugs and an IV full of fluids to make my blood pressure come back up and stop the bleeding. That was the second IV they had to stick in me since the first one fell out some time during the birthing process.
After he came out I got to hold him and keep him with me for a couple hours, unlike Eliot who had to have oxygen right away. Poor little Malcolm was so swollen from coming out sunny side up that he could barely open his eyes though. He did get a 9 and 9 on his apgars...already a little overachiever. We snuggled, he nursed, and then he fell asleep for basically 24 hours. Again, very unlike Eliot who wanted to nurse around the clock for days. Malcolm is a very calm baby so far, he's had a little trouble with jaundice, mostly they think because he had a pretty big bruise on his arm where the dr must've grabbed him. We go back in for our (hopefully) last heel prick today. I'm loving this time with him and can't stop snuggling him. I often spend my time as a baby couch and I don't mind at all. Eliot is very nice to him, but is acting out in other ways. We're struggling to maintain patience with him while we're a little overwhelmed and tired ourselves. I hope we're being good parents. Sometimes I'm not even sure what the rules are any more and if we're being reasonable or not. Maybe that sounds crazy.

I'm glad I did it without the epidural. No, it wasn't a completely natural birth but I'm ok with that. What I wanted was not to have the epidural again. I hated it last time, and I did it and didn't have to deal with the numbness of the epidural and possible side effects.

So there it is - Malcolm's entrance into the world. Welcome baby Malcolm. I'm loving every minute with our new family member. You are so wanted, so loved, and so amazing.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Welcome Malcolm

Welcome to the world little Malcolm Griffin. Born 1/31/13 at 7:10 pm. 8 lbs 7 oz 21.5 inches long. Who knew our hearts could grow this much. More soon.