Saturday, March 19, 2011

Dear Avalon, You are 6 weeks old!

Dear Avalon,
You are six whole weeks old! I can not believe how quickly this time has passed since you were born! I feel like you have been apart of our family forever, but yet, you are still so new! You are up to 10lbs 6oz as of your last visit, which was a few days ago. You are growing beautifully and filling out amazingly! You have just about out grown all of your newborn sized clothes and are filling up 0-3mo clothes nicely. It amazes me still that you have had nothing in your system except breastmilk. I know my body helped grow you, but it amazes me and makes me feel like a wonderful Mommy to see you continuing to thrive from me alone! Your Big Sister absolutely loves you! She has recently calling you "Sweetheart" and I want to cry everytime she says it. She pays close attention to your hunger cues and regularly tells me that "Baby Sister is really, really, really, hungry Mommy, she needs to Nurse!" (You usually do) and she is now trying to change your diapers, regularly getting all your needs (diaper, inserts, wet bag and wipes) and pays close attention to what I do to "Make baby sister happy." I am returning to work on Monday. I have lots of mixed emotions about my return, but you are very close, and I am hoping to be able to take lunch breaks to see you and nurse very frequently. I do not want to leave you but know that you will be happy, as I believe I have picked out a very good care taker for you. The only obstacle that we have yet to over come is a bottle. You still have not ever had one, and I am happy about that, however, our time has come that you need one while I am gone. I have plenty of Milk pumped for you, and Daddy will be giving you your first bottle tomorrow. I am hoping it will not be a big confusion for you and that you do well, I kwow you will do well. I treasure every day that you are with us in our little family. I can't wait to watch you grow up!

Mommy <3

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Mommy, I do it, It's not your turn it's mine!

As you all know I am a HUGE breastfeeding advocte. Breastfeeding is the norm in our house. I do not allow bottles tht have anything other than "juice" in them as play toys for Lillie. Strict? Maybe, But it is the easiest way for me to show her on her level what is the normal way to feed your child. She gets upset when she sees a child being fed by a bottle, and asks "Why arn't they nursing Mama, baby no nurse?!?!" This is a win in my book. One day, I understand that I will have to explain to her what formula is, and why it is used, but for now, "nurses" (bewbies) are how babies are fed. It feels amazing to be able to be the complete opposite of how society thinks about breastfeeding, I absolutely love it when she sees another mom breastfeeding her baby or toddler, covered or not! It is normal for her to play with my pump parts, or nurse her baby dolls or stuffed animals. She brings me a "nurse helper" (bra) when I get out of the shower, or am changing to go somewhere. I have not made suggestions to her as far as what to call breastfeeding,or breasts, or anyhting, this is what she has chosen to call them, and I deff. think its cute to hear it! Lillie weaned when I was about 18 weeks pregnant with Avalon. Although I am fairly sure the composition and flavor of my milk changed, she self weaned. It was a slow and gentle weaning, and I don't remember the last time she did nurse. I believe it was at a friends local indoor play area, and it was very short, at least that is the last time I remember her nursing. With Avalon coming so soon after she weaned I was woried that breastfeeding Avalon was going to be a big issue with Lillie, and I did not want her to feel resentment or jealousy about the new nursing relationship that Avalon and I would have. We talked with her about how baby sister was was going to nurse, and how she was a big girl and didn't need to nurse anymore. Sometimes when we talked, she was "ok" and seemed to understand. Others, "No baby sister can't nurse, my nurse." SIGH. This was probably my biggest fear in transitioning from one child to two. Lillie deffinately proved me wrong! When she met Avalon for the first time and Avalon made as much as a whimper if Daddy was holding her, "Daddy I need to take Baby Sister to Mommy, she needs to nurse!" I MELTED! That honestly was the sweetest thing I think I have ever heard her say, ever. I knew at that exact point that she was going to be an amaing big sister! As the weeks hve passed, the jealousy has not kicked in about Avalon nursing. (Yet) Lillie is the first person to say that she thinks that Avalon needs to nurse, it amazes me! We were shopping the other day, I had both girls in the buggy. Lillie has seen me use my pinkie to soothe Avalon when she just needed it. I looked down and she had her finger in Avalon's mouth, "Mommy, Avalon's nursing on my finger. It's not your turn to nurse her it's mine!" I melted again! Although she doesn't fully understand, it amazes me how compassionate this little girl is for "Baby Sister". All my worries about breastfeeding and Lillie not understanding as well, or wanting to nurse again have compleely subsided. I can't wait for Avalon to be able to understand as much as Lillie does, and to help further develop both of their knowledge about what is the most normal way to feed babies. Who would have thought that my single greatest fear, ended up being the one thing that Lillie pays most attention to, and wants Avalon to be able to do, anytime that Lillie deems necessary. I may have one if not two little Lactivists in training, watch out world!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wham! Bam! Thank you mam!

Avalon Anneliese is here! She was born Superbowl Sunday. Feb. 6, 2011 at 3:23am. She weighed 7lbs 12oz and was 22 1/4 inches long. Enough with the stats lets get down to the nitty gritty. Lillies birth was hospital induced, and very medically intervined. I had and epi. Iv's, monitors etc. I wanted to have her at the birth center, but due to a friends complicated birth and a trip to nicu, Mike was strongly against this choice. I gave in. I was getting my baby in the end and it didn't matter. Or so I thought. I don't regret my choices but when we found out we were expecting again, I knew better than another hospital birth. It was not for me. I finally convinced DH that the birth center was what I was doing, and hoped he was on bored. After much deliberation and research he was. He attended birth classes with me, asked questions, and knew the same stats that I did when people started to question our choices in birth. I knew what I wanted, and I was very lucky to have the midwives completely on bored with me. I was "overdue" with Lillie so I fully expected the samething with Avalon. I worked up until the Friday blefore I had her, and was fully expecting to be back at work on Monday, "overdue". Avalon had other plans. I had been having braxton hicks for weeks. I am one of the lucky women who have a very active uterus. Sat. was a normal day. We woke up had breakfast at our normal breakfast joint, and answered the question..... "So when are you due?" "Today" I was not expecting to be in labor anytime soon, much less the next morning. We went about our normal day, running errands etc. We ended up at my inlaws house, and Lillie wanted to spend the night. I reluctantly gave in. She had never been away from me over night. EVER. But her cousin was there and they were playing and having a good time. It was inevitable that an overnight stay was going to happen soon with baby on the way. It would give Mike and us a night out, and one night kidless, or so we thought. We went out to eat, I wasn't hungry. I told dh I felt off, I was still having irregular contractions, and was tired. We finished dinner and went home. I fell asleep about 9:30 or so, still contracting, but nothing I was not used to. I woke up at 1:30 ish in pain. My contractions were a lot stronger and they hurt. I timed them for about ten minutes, and realized they were about two minutes apart and 30 sec long. I hesitated to wake Mike up. We were supposed to be at church at 7AM if this wasnt real labor, he was going to have a hard time going back to sleep, I didnt want that for him. About 1:45, I decided to get into the shower, see if I could make them go away, I woke Dh up and asked him to time them. The shower failed at making them stop, they were getting stronger. I was in labor. I called my Midwife at about 2:00am, she asked a few questions, told me I was probably in early labor to relax, rest, and call her if I felt "pushy" or if contractions were closer. I agreed as we both were only a few minutes from the birth center. Avalon was posterior, I knew I was in for back labor. I knew I would be on all fours letting gravity work in my favor, I also knew my bags were half packed. I packed, and gave orders what went where when I couldn't pack. Things were moving very quickly. By 2:30 everything was in the truck, by 2:45, I was trying not to push! Mike called my parents and the midwife, and told them we were on our way. We left the house at 3:05, after trying to not have her in our yard, literally, and got to the center at 3:10. I was checked, kinda. I was complete, and her head was less than a knuckle away. The midwife knew I wanted a water birth, so she had the tub drawn, but didn't know if I would be able to walk across the hall to it, I informed her I was getting in the tub. Mike was getting stuff in, and calling people to let them know we wouldn't be at church for set-up, and I frantically asked the birth assistant to go find him. I was in the tub, he was there, I was ready to push. I have had 2 contractions since getting to the center. I had another contraction, which I informed the midwife I was not going to push through, I needed a second to gather myself and really do this. Two contractions later she was here, 13 minutes after we arrived. I pulled her up to my chest. Avalon was here. I had really done this. My body had not failed me! I rubbed her chest, they gave me warm towels to clean her up with and we waited for her cord. It eventually stopped pulsing and it was clamped, Mike cut it, and because we were in the bathroom, we didn't get up to birth the plcenta. It came out a few minutes later, with an easy push. After a few more minutes, we went back into the bedroom, after a hemmorage scare. I got on the bed and Avalon was placed back on my chest. I was checked for tears-NONE! She was nursing within 30 minutes of her being born. My parents arrived shortly after, and got to meet their 2nd grandaughter. After everything had settled we did her well baby check, gave her a vit k shot, which she didn't even cry over, and got her vitals. She was perfect! Paper work was started to get us back home, and I ate and drank. We left the center at 5:30, two hours after she was born. I had my placenta encapsulated, so baby, placenta, and us were back home in less time thank it takes some people to go out dinner. I felt amazing, no pain meds, no tylenol, nothing, it was great! We went bed for a few hours, Mike ran up to church to drop somethings off and came back home and crashed. Mom was there to help with anything and we all were up to visitors after church at 12. I have absoutely no regrets about my labor, and wouldnt change anything about the whole hour and a half that it took. I do this all over again in a second!