Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Recovery & Home Life

One of the biggest perks about adopting a newborn was that I was functioning at 110% when Elias was born. No recovery phase to work through, just pure excitement at every aspect of being a new mom. I felt great! So postpartum recovery after Nolan was born completely sideswiped Ryan and I. I knew that I'd be sore and tired, but I did not expect to lack most of my normal functionality. I was pretty much incapable of doing ANYTHING. It was long, hard labor and I had a second degree tear. My whole torso hurt from pushing. My back was killing me. I could barely walk. Stitches. Constipation. Hemorrhoids. I'll stop there. lol. 
As hard as it was on me physically, I think the emotional ramifications were even worse. The first couple days, just holding Nolan hurt me. I'll never forget the first or second night that we were home. Ryan had stepped out for a few minutes and Nolan started to cry in his bassinet across the room. It took me several minutes to stand up out of my chair, walk across the room and pick him up. I lost it. I couldn't take care of him by myself and I felt so helpless. And I suppose the hormones didn't help matters. 
Things got a lot better after the first week, and incrementally better the second week. I still have a some healing to do, but I'm almost there. I'm able to hold and take care of both of my boys and that feels good. :)

Nolan is doing great. Sometimes I feel like he wants to crawl back inside of me. lol. He just wants to be held all the time. He's a big boy - went straight into 3 month clothes, is eating a ton, and therefore sleeping a ton. We're already down to one nighttime feeding which I am very happy about. :)

We weren't really sure how Elias would respond to having a little brother. He's just so young, it's hard to know how much he understands. He was initially pretty nonchalant about having Nolan in the house, but he is definitely becoming more interested in him. We make a big deal about gentle touches and any signs of affection and I think it's catching on. :) Their interaction is so minimal right now, but every bit of it still makes my heart burst. I'm loving life as a mommy of two. <3 

Here are a few pictures of our first couple weeks together!
I mean, guys, I can't even handle the love in my heart for these cutie pies!
This boy. <3
My view in our living room. It's the best. 
Dinnertime. :) Momma's gotta eat!
Nolan's first bath.
Lunch date with my boys. 
Giving little brother his paci. ::melt::
Goodnight kisses. <3

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Birth Story - Nolan Daniel

If you read my pregnancy update post last month, you know that Ryan and I had planned on having a natural/unmedicated birth for Nolan. We wanted to labor at home with our doula as much as possible before heading to the hospital to deliver. Well, Nolan's birth did not go according to plan. I shouldn't be surprised right? Nothing in this whole journey of growing our family has EVER gone according to plan. lol. :) 

It started at about 5pm on Saturday evening July 11th, six days past my due date. I started having contractions at my in laws' house. We started timing them and though pretty mild, I was encouraged to see them coming at about 5 minutes apart. However, shortly after they started I began bleeding fairly heavily. I called my doctor and received instructions to go to labor and delivery. Upon checking in, we discovered that my blood pressure was high - 161 when it had been in the 120s through my pregnancy. After more monitoring, I was officially admitted at 10:30pm. 
The hospital staff was so respectful and low key about our desire to have a natural birth experience. So even though I was pretty much chained to a bed with monitoring devices, I was thankful that the nurses let us be. I got what little sleep I could in the uncomfortable bed while laboring through the night. Contractions were consistent and getting stronger at first, but unfortunately started to putter out by early morning. 

At 5am Sunday, my OB walked into our room and told us that I had preeclampsia. My blood pressure was still high and the protein level in my urine had tripled. My body was no longer responding well to the pregnancy and we needed to work toward getting Nolan out. She said that she would check on me in a few hours to see if my contractions picked up again on their own. If not she offered to break my water and see if that started to speed things up. While we appreciated her willingness to try more natural options before starting medication, I had only dilated to a 2 at that point. We believed it to be too early for breaking my water to actually do anything other than add to my pain. I would probably end up needing pitocin anyway. So we decided to just move forward with pitocin. My IV was hooked up with it at about 8am. 
By 11am, my contractions had really intensified and I was ready for my epidural. Now, I've been with friends and family when their babies are born. There is a substantial difference on mom's face before and after she gets her epidural. It's clear that she has gotten relief. I didn't quite get that experience. After the initial dose, I was still able to move my feet and feel my legs. It took the edge off the contractions but it did not take them away completely like I thought it would. Throughout the day, I was able to get naps in when the dosage was increased, but the effectiveness would fade within a couple hours. The awesome anesthesiologist just said that every body responds differently to epidurals, so...pretty much "oh well, sucks to be you."
Sometime around 11pm I woke up from a nap in a full blown sweat. I was so hot! I was getting claustrophobic from being stuck on the hospital bed with all the cords and tubes attached to me. AND I was feeling even stronger contractions because the stupid epidural wasn't working. I started to panic. It took a few minutes of this till Ryan reminded me about the various signs of the different stages of labor that we learned about in our classes. I was in transition - almost time to push! Light at the end of the tunnel!
Well, that tunnel took a few hours to get through. At some point in the middle of it, my wonderful nurse Jackie took pity on me and called for the anesthesiologist to see if he could do anything to help the pain. I don't know what he gave me, but it helped enough for me to get some relief and rest in before all hell broke loose I started pushing.

The pushing stage was total bananas. Seriously, the most intense hour and a half of my life. I felt every one of those pitocin contractions. I guess I kind of got to feel natural childbirth, only mine was amped up with meds and I didn't have any of the perks of a relaxing environment and ability to move around freely. yay me!! ;) Anyway, after lots of pain filled moaning and groaning, my body successfully pushed out a little human. :) Nolan Daniel Miller was born at 4:30am on July 13, 2015 weighing 8 pounds 5 ounces. My tall boy measured 22 inches long, and the nurses noted that his head was bigger than average at 14".
Nolan swallowed a ton of meconium in the womb. So after he came out, they put him on me just long enough for Ryan to cut the cord and then whisked him away to the warming table to get all that grossness sucked out of his gut and lungs. It was about a half hour before I could get a good look at our boy's handsome face. :)
Both grandmas and Auntie Meghan were troopers through the night, waiting for Nolan's arrival. This is their first glimpse of him. :)
36 hours of labor, but we made it through! We were exhausted and so happy to have son #2 in our arms. 
Family of four. Can hardly believe how much the Lord has blessed us. My cup runneth over. <3

Sunday, July 5, 2015

D-Day! :)

Happy due date Nolan! :) I'm going to miss carrying you in my belly once you're out. So no rush, but I am also excited to hold you in my arms whenever you're ready. Our doctors will give us another two weeks till they evict you. Lol. Let's try to do this without their help, mmmk? ;)

Still feeling good, friends! :) A little tired and a little achy, but not too uncomfortable. I have declined getting internal exams at my doctor appointments thus far, so I'm not sure if/how much I've dilated. I  do know that his head is nice and low, so that's good! I've been getting pretty consistent Braxton Hicks, but it has not progressed beyond that yet. Any guesses on when he will make his arrival? :)