Thursday, September 24, 2015

Pregnancy #2 and Noelle's Birth

It's funny...when you don't have any kids and you are pregnant w/ your first you have hours and hours to write about your pregnancy, how you feel, how the baby is growing (i.e. what fruit it is during a certain week), what you eat/don't eat, etc. BUT, when you have a kid and you are a work-at-home Mama and you are pregnant with your second, those hours and hours get filled up w/ more important things like work and spending quality time with the other kid. I guess all this is to say, with Q's pregnancy, I was an over-sharer...with N's pregnancy, this single post will have to suffice. I just wanted to make sure I documented some of it so I could remember and N would know she's just as special as big sister Q!

The News
We tried for a lot longer for N than we did with Q. I think that happens a lot...people assume the first was easy so the second will be a piece of cake. We tried for about seven to nine months (Jeremy and I disagree, but I'm pretty sure I'm right here). Regardless, it wasn't the two we tried for Q and it got a bit frustrating and I was a roller coaster of emotions. I knew God had everything under control in His timing, but each month I didn't get preggo was torturous. I know a lot of women go through years of doing this and I shouldn't complain, but I do know the pain and I can sympathize.

After trying ovulation kits a few months, I finally gave up and just left it alone for God to do His thing. Of course, that's when we got preggo! I took the test one day while Jeremy was at work and I got to share the news with him when he got home right before a date night. We have a message board in our bedroom that says "I love you...". We write things to each other on that board every once in a while and I surprised him by writing "I love you...for knocking me up!". He didn't see it for a few minutes and when he did, it was a double take with "Are you serious?!". We had a great date night celebrating after that and thus the journey to two began.

SO Tired
Early on I had a lot of cramping. People said this was normal as the baby attached itself, but I was worried enough to call the doc. They had me do some blood work and it turns out my progesterone levels were low. I ended up taking progesterone for 10 weeks and the side effect was drowsiness. Thank goodness for my gut instinct but I was seriously so tired.

Speaking of gut, the nausea kicked in this time around week six. Yay. Q's birthday party was on her birthday and I remember thinking I was going to hurl. We hadn't told anyone about the pregnancy except for my mom and Dennis (we wanted them to know early just in case something happened) and I felt like crap at the party. I put on a smiley face, but I was not in the mood for cake or screaming kids. I got some new medicine for the nausea this time around. During Q's pregnancy, I took Zofran and I HATED the way it made me feel. This time, I got Diclegis. It worked, but the unfortunate side effect was drowsiness. So, the combination of progesterone and anti-nausea meds made me a complete zombie. I just wanted to sleep all the time! Poor Q got used to me saying "You can watch Curious George for a while...I'm just going to rest my eyes." An hour and a half later, my poor 3-year old was still watching George. Thank the Lord for a sweet toddler who plays well by herself and doesn't get into trouble! Probably one of the memories that sticks with me the most is falling asleep on Christmas morning. We got up with Q, opened gifts, played with Santa gifts and I passed out on the couch. Merry Christmas family.

Gender Reveal
We have such awesome friends (extended family really). They wanted to have a gender reveal party for us after the 10-week genetic test. It's crazy how early you can find out the gender these days. It was SO HARD to hand over the envelope to my girlfriends after I got it at the doctor. But, I was glad I held out because our party was so fun! We opened a box with PINK balloons! I really didn't have any feelings about the gender. When I was preggo with Q, I just knew it was a girl, but this time around I wasn't sure. Jeremy on the other hand was sure it was another girl. He had come to terms with the fact he would be surrounded by beautiful women the rest of his life...lucky him!

Weight Gain
This time around I didn't gain as much weight as I did with Q. I pretty much expected this since I was busy chasing Q around and I did a lot more walking this time. I continued to walk Q to school even up to 30 weeks (3 miles round trip in our really hilly neighborhood). Plus, we always took long family walks in the evening since it wasn't too hot. The weather during N's pregnancy was SO different than Q's. During the summer of 2011, we had record-breaking over 100 basically all summer and into the fall. It was miserable to be pregnant during that time and impossible to get out and walk. Plus I was sitting at a desk all day eating whatever I could get my hands on. This time around, we had record-breaking rainfall (even some really devastating flooding) and it was so mild. Walking in the evening with a breeze felt amazing and I wasn't sitting at a desk all day...I was up and about playing with Q (which I much prefer). :) I think overall I gained about 40-45lbs. as opposed to the 65lb. with Q. I'm praying I lose that weight just as fast with breastfeeding and chasing two sweet girls.

40 Weeks

Q's Reaction
She did a great job the whole pregnancy. She understood that I had limits (bending over, running, etc.) and seemed very concerned about me. She would ask "Can you not do that because of that baby in your tummy?" She put things under her shirt and pretended to be pregnant sometimes and even breastfed some of her dolls. One time she told me "You can feed my baby, you just have to put her mouth by your boobie." :) Toward the end of the pregnancy, I borrowed a birthing ball and Q always made sure I had my ball to do puzzles with her, color or watch TV. She regularly walked up to me and kissed my belly saying "Hi baby sister!" I could tell throughout the whole pregnancy that Q was going to be an awesome big sister.

Mom Friend Support
When I was pregnant with Q, I didn't have a lot of mom friends. This time around, I was surrounded by mom friends who were so supportive, helpful and generally let me vent about pregnancy. Several friends let me have/borrow maternity clothes and passed on lots of baby stuff to use when N arrived. I was overwhelmed by how kind people were. Several friends offered to get Q and give me a break, some of them made food for our family and I always had friends help me with physically hard things when we were at play dates. Lots of people say moms are judgy and mean to each other, but I have seen the opposite. I am so blessed by my community of mom friends...I don't know how I could do this whole mom thing without them!

Wishful Thinking
There were a lot of things to be anxious about having another baby but the thing I dreaded most was having another c-section. The last one wasn't horrible, but healing from that while caring for a newborn, breastfeeding, not sleeping, etc. was not fun. I know there's no fun way to get a baby out of your body, but I REALLY wanted to have a VBAC. My doc was totally fine with it but it's dangerous to induce a VBAC so you have to go into labor naturally. I tried everything under the moon to induce labor but nothing worked. I wasn't dilating or anything! My doc swept my membranes twice (OUCH!!) and nothing was happening. Finally at 40 weeks and three days, we decided N was getting pretty big and opted for the repeat c-section to be safe. I would have loved the vaginal birth experience (not for some emotional, prideful reason...mostly for the healing time) but N and I are healthy and happy. Plus, I won't pee every time I cough!

Noelle's Birth
We were scheduled for 10:30am on Tuesday, July 7 and we ended up going in about an hour late. Jeremy decided going through hours and hours of labor would not have been fun since waiting for a few hours for the c-section was torturous for us! :) I knew what to expect since I'd done it before, but I was still nervous about the spinal. I had a spinal headache after Q's birth and sticking a needle in my back just sounds awful no matter how many times you've had it done. Despite my nerves, I made it through and they brought Jeremy in just in time. This time around, he didn't get a stool to sit on so he watched over the curtain the whole time (I can't imagine seeing my spouse cut open on a table). It seemed like it all happened so fast this time. My doc told me I'd feel pressure and then he said "She has dark hair!" Jeremy looked at me and smiled really big...I knew he'd won the gene war again! :) Our sweet angel was 8lb 12oz and 20 inches long. She didn't look as chubby as Q when she was born but she definitely looked like Q in every other way. Jeremy makes beautiful girls!

Recovery Craziness
After I was all stitched up, I was taken to recovery. I rested there with my incredibly sweet nurse taking great care of me. After a while (I honestly don't know how long...maybe 30 minutes) Jeremy got to bring Noelle to me so I could nurse and love on her. Nursing my second kid seemed so much more natural than it did with Q. I remember the nurse having to show me what to do and shoving Q's mouth on my boob. Such a bizarre feeling for a first-time mom! This time, I took her and threw her right on. (That's not to say I didn't have INCREDIBLE pain and soreness later...just physically easier to manage breastfeeding this time.) Anyway, after I fed Noelle, the nurse laid me back down to push on my tummy to help my uterus contract. This was another thing I dreaded about the hurts like CRAZY! Well, when she did it this time, a lot of blood clots came out (sorry TMI). She immediately acted concerned but told me maybe it was because I was sitting up a little feeding Noelle. She waited a bit and then tried again. Still lots of blood clots...apparently they call this hemorrhaging. At that point the torture started and my mom got really worried. She and Jeremy's mom were the only ones who were allowed to come back and I think seeing me like that worried her. She is such a wonderful mom...she immediately texted and emailed our prayer warriors to pray for me. God is good! The nurse called the doc who had already left for the day so the on call doc came and put me on Pitocin to get my uterus to contract. There was a lot more tummy pushing and torture. They tried another drug and that wasn't working either. Long story short, they finally got a mix of drugs to start working and thankfully gave me some awesome pain meds to deal with the torture.

Quinn Meets Noelle
Our nurse for the day was so awesome! She let us sneak Q back to the recovery room even though no kids were allowed. She had a son about the same age and she empathized with us wanting Q to meet Noelle. Jeremy went and got her and the first thing she asked when she came back was "Why did the doctor have to cut your tummy?" She asked a lot more questions about my tummy and all the wires, tubes and "band-aids" and it was so sweet to hear her concern. After that, she was ready to hold little sister. She told us she wanted to sit in a chair and hold her. It was really sweet and I knew in that moment she would be great! Every time she was at the hospital after that, she demanded to hold Noelle...little maternal girl.

What a blessing this sweet baby girl has been. She's such a good baby and it's hard to imagine our family without her now. I always loved having a sister and I hope Q and N grow up to be the best of friends!