Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Babywearing 101

Being disabled, I need to be able to hold my baby and have free hands to move myself around and do things. I am turning into quite the babywearing expert. I have tried a few different slings/wraps/carriers and thought I would do a little review for those of you who are interested.

BabyBjorn Air Infant Carrier: $79.99 (Babies R Us)

This was my "go-to" carrier when Carter was a baby. I loved it and wore him 24/7 with no problems. It worked really well for us. Since I was a new mom and inexperienced babywearer, it was the easiest of carriers to operate and I thought everything was great. Now that I am a bit more aware of things, I have read that the position that the baby is in while in the Bjorn can be bad for development of the hips and spine. I am not completely convinced one way or the other. In fact, I put Brooklyn in it a few days ago and she seemed to like it...I had to give her lots of head support with my hand, but I will definitely use it in the future.

Hotsling: $48 (Target)

I am very indifferent on this sling. Carter hated it. I think he sensed my hesitance with it. I just didn't feel like he was ever supported enough when using the cradle hold. I gave up pretty easily then, but I will try it out with Brooklyn. I am hoping it works well, since there is no fancy way of tying or wrapping it. It would certainly make things easier if I could just throw it on, pop her in, and go.

Moby Wrap: $39.99 (Babies R Us)

This wrap is amazing...I have been smitten since the first time I put it on. It is very intimidating, since it is basically just a piece of material that seems as long as a football field. It comes with an instruction booklet, but I suggest videos to learn how to wrap and tie it. It isn't nearly as difficult as it seems. I had Brooklyn in it for the first time a couple days ago and she fell right to sleep. We went outside and it was a bit chilly, so I threw a blanket over my shoulder and was able to keep her warm and out of the wind. She was comfortable and so was I. This is by far my favorite way to wear my baby!

I hope this helped! If you know of any good carriers, please let me know!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Our New Life.

We are adjusting to being home as a family of 4. Although it is slightly more stressful, I wouldn't have it any other way. This family is my dream come true. I prayed for a life just like this and I have been blessed with a husband a 2 absolutely beautiful children. God is good.

This weekend has been a bunch of firsts for us. Yesterday, Steven and I took both kids outside. I put Brookie in the BabyBjorn and he played with Carter. We're going to have to be on our toes at all times now that we each have one to keep an eye on. Although Brooklyn doesn't move around yet, having her strapped to me via wrap/sling makes me a little less mobile. Especially while I am healing from the c-section. My incision is actually completely closed, but rules still apply! I am feeling better every day and hope to be back to 100% very soon.

Today was Football Sunday at our house. We had a few friends over and they brought their kids to play with Carter. Steven made pulled pork and we had chicken wing dip...I kept saying "Maybe I'll have a beer.", but never ended up doing it. I haven't had a drink since beer will likely knock me out! I did enjoy two Cokes...and they weren't caffeine-free! I know, I'm living on the edge.

Here are a few photos of Brookie that we've taken since we've been home.

And here are a couple from Steven's phone...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Welcome Brooklyn Rose!!

Brooklyn Rose has arrived! She was born on Friday, September 10th at 1:45pm. She weighed 5 pounds, 5 ounces and was 18 inches long. Our family is complete…and so is my heart.

When I had Carter, everything happened so fast. My blood pressure spiked, causing me to have a seizure and I have no recollection of his birth at all. The doctors and nurses at MetroHealth Hospital went above and beyond to be sure that Brooklyn’s birth would be the most amazing memory of my life. I am so grateful for everything they did.

Our induction was scheduled for noon, so they had us come in at 9am. I was admitted to a High Risk room and the nurse I had specifically requested, Ann Marie, began preparations. The reason I requested her is because she is hilarious…and she sings. All of the time. You throw her into any situation and she will sing the soundtrack. That was the type of person I wanted to make me calm throughout the day. She started my IV first. Of course, my body began rebelling and she couldn’t get it in. After a second try, we had success. A little later, Anesthesia came in to begin my Arterial Line. It was needed to monitor my blood pressure during the delivery, to prevent another seizure. Unfortunately, they are very painful…and unfortunately, my body was still rebelling. After 3 separate pokes, they finally got the line in. Next, anesthesia started their own IV in case they needed access to a vein. That took 2 tries as well.

After I was all done, I was able to spend some time with my mom, Carter, and Steven before the OR was ready. My cousin Megan was also there. She works as an RN on the Labor and Delivery floor. I really wanted her to attend the birth, so I was glad to see her in her scrubs and Spongebob Squarepants OR hat. I really enjoyed the time with them before I went in. I held Carter for a bit, reminding myself that he wouldn’t be my only child for much longer. Those moments were worth more than gold to me.

At 12:10, they came in to bring me to the OR for my epidural. Steven had to stay behind and wait while Megan and the rest of the team took me. The anesthesiologist had me sit on the bed while he inserted the epidural catheter. The first attempt hit a blood vessel, so they had to try again. Megan sat in front of me helping me think happy thoughts (Channing Tatum, for example) as they successfully got the epidural in place. The nurses helped me lay down on the operating table and went to get Steven. They got the epidural medication started and everyone took their places for the External Version.

The doctor began trying to flip the baby, along with another doctor. They each took an end and pushed in the same direction. After about 5 minutes, Brooklyn was head-down. By the time the doctor reached over for the ultrasound machine, she had returned to her previous breech position. They asked if I wanted to try again and I told them to go ahead. They pushed for another 5 minutes or so and managed to get her head down again…but Brooklyn had the last say as she turned herself even further breech than before. The doctor asked me if I wanted to proceed with the C-section. Part of me felt like I failed because my body just wasn’t doing what it was supposed to do, but I went ahead and said “yes” because I knew it was best for the both of us. They prepped me and proceeded with the c-section. One of the nurses yelled "Candi! Where's your camera?!" She ran back to my room and returned to the OR with my camera, which are normally not allowed during c-sections. Not only did they allow it, but the nurses were the ones taking pictures! Steven was allowed to watch the entire surgery…since he is going to school for nursing, this was really something he wanted to witness. Also, the fact that he missed Carter’s birth was always something that bothered him. Nothing in the world could’ve kept him away from seeing his daughter being born. He stayed right beside me, reassuring me that my blood pressure was looking wonderful. He and Megan were telling me everything that was happening. It really made me feel so much better. Ann Marie was singing the entire time...even my doctor joined in! The whole OR was laughing and having a great time! About 10 minutes later, the anesthesiologist asked me if I’d like to see them pull Brooklyn out. I hesitated, but she assured me that I would not see any of my parts cut open. She lowered the drape, lifted my head, and I saw a little butt! The doctor pulled and out she came! He handed Steven the scissors and he got to cut the cord. Brooklyn immediately started crying…what a beautiful sound!! I couldn’t help but breaking out in tears. She was here. She was healthy. She was ours.

(Sorry for the graphic photos. I am just amazed that I have them.)

(You can see my head poking up over the drape.)

(My awesome support team, Steven and Megan.)

They took Brooklyn over to clean and weigh her and the doctor began my tubal ligation. I couldn’t take my eyes off of my beautiful daughter. The most amazing part was that she never left my sight. When Carter was born, he was rushed off to the NICU and I wasn’t able to see or hold him for hours. This time was so much different. As soon as I was sewn up and ready to go, the nurse handed Brooklyn to me and we were wheeled back to our room together.

Right away, we were able to introduce Brooklyn to her Nana and her big brother. She immediately ate and we were able to spend even more time as a family. It was the most amazing experience of my entire life and I cannot thank the hospital staff enough for going out of their way to make sure everything was perfect.

Both of us were released yesterday and are getting settled in at home. I am completely in love with my family of 4. I am truly blessed. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers throughout this pregnancy. I couldn’t have done it without you.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Belly Pics...By Popular Demand!

We managed to get out of the house this afternoon and did a small maternity/family photo shoot at a park not too far from where we live. I really love the scenery there. It was nice because they also have an awesome playground. Carter and Steven played for awhile while we waited for the sun to go down a bit. Here are some of the photos we took. It was just the 3 of us, so there aren't many photos of us all...and the few that we do have were taken with the timer because my wireless shutter remote is not working all of a sudden. I'm just glad we were able to get photos at all...since I delivered Carter before we could do so with him. For some reason, Blogger makes them less vibrant, but here they are...


Saturday, September 4, 2010

6 More Days!

I'm still here. I'm still pregnant. I am very uncomfortable and still contracting at least once every 5-10 minutes, but as of Tuesday, I am only 2 cm dilated. We are going ahead with our plan to do the amnio on Thursday around noon, then if Brooklyn's lungs are mature, she will be born Friday. I will get my arterial line and epidural in the morning, then my OB will take me to the operating room and attempt an external aversion to get Brooklyn to go head-down. If successful, I will be moved to a delivery room and get started on Pitocin. If she does not turn, I will stay in the OR for a c-section. I am praying that she turns. This is my last baby and I would really like a wonderful birth experience.

We have really turned on the jets as far as getting everything ready for Brooklyn's arrival. All of her clothes are washed and hung up, diaper/hospital bags are in the car, car seat has been installed, and we pick up her nursery furniture on Tuesday. By Tuesday night, we will be 100% ready to bring her home. It will be so weird if she comes home from the hospital with us. Carter spent 15 days in the NICU. I keep forgetting that Brooklyn will more than likely be discharged when I am. God is good.

So, my goal at this point is to make it to Thursday, then the party will begin! Both Steven's mom and my dad are coming in from NY on Friday, so I am praying all goes according to plan. We are truly blessed.

My mommy gift from Steven, Carter, and Brooklyn!