Thursday, July 31, 2014

5 and a half months. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?!?!

Ok blogging world, I've had many requests to blog and so I'm carving out the time to make it happen. Life here is GOOD but just so, so busy... I've gotten behind! I will try to be better, I promise. :) I managed to finish the semester- while having a baby midsemester- which was a feat! And now I'm into summer work- teaching, conference proposals, preparing to deliver PD to teachers in August and it's so busy! Plus my garden overfloweth. I feel like I'm 10 steps behind in everything.

So J is now 5 and a half months old- how in the world we got here I have no idea! Mama life is amazing (and tiring). I feel like every week I have a new baby! People tell us we got "lucky" and have an "easy" baby. Easy baby sounds like an oxymoron to me- but J does seem to have a pretty easy going personality and responds well to things that books and articles suggests, making him pretty much a textbook baby. He's a BIG guy too- at his four month appointment he was in the 99th percentile for height and 93rd for weight. He's over 21 pounds now and wears clothes for a 12 month old baby. Literally he is growing too fast. And he's exclusively breast fed- no formula here!

We started solids a month ago... J doesn't like bottles (sigh) so our pediatrician suggested starting purees so that I could leave him with someone and he could eat. I've been making my own purees and I use breast milk so I feel like he's getting some breast milk if I have to leave him. I just give him a little once a day- next week will be his first day being left all day and he's been taking well to food so I'm hoping he'll not be too unhappy (or make my poor mother in law unhappy by crying all day because he's hungry).

Here he is with sweet potatoes. :)

How can you not love that adorable face?!

J started sitting up- well, trying to- around 4.5 months. He seems to have mastered it now! He falls over a lot but he no longer face plants and doesn't need to tripod sit anymore. 

Here he is on the fourth of July, practicing sitting up:

Sitting up has opened up a whole new world of toys and playing. He loooves his toys! His favorite toys right now are a jack in the box, this horrible zoo toy that plays these god awful songs (M wants to hire a hit man to eliminate the woman who sings these songs), and one of those stacking toys with colorful rings. Oh, and he loves Sophie the giraffe and a ball that he can grab easily. Although he'll also play with tupperware or pretty much anything he can grab and put in his mouth. :)

Here he is on the deck playing with the horrible zoo toy last week:

And here he is at my alma mater sitting up for real earlier this week:

J had his first vacation at the beach this past month and he loved eating sand.  He tolerated standing in the water and letting the waves hit his feet.  And of course M bought him a cowboy hat to wear at the beach:
Photo: Ride 'em cowboy

And I'll end this post with a promise to post again soon- and a picture of our little family at the beach two weeks ago. This was M and I's 5 year anniversary and J's five month birthday. :)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Mama Life at 6.5 weeks

6.5 weeks post partum and I feel like I'm finally settling into mama life. It's a transition. There is nothing like giving birth and becoming a mom. It's amazing and completely overwhelming all at the same time, every single moment. It's taken me this long to finally feel like I can catch a breath.

I feel like we've settled into a routine where I'm getting enough sleep although I don't feel like I have any extra energy. I feel more confident in my "mom" abilities. I no longer can say I don't know anything about babies- I feel like I actually know something now.  I'm starting to get a little bit of work done. Not nearly enough- and I'm behind in all my classes but I'm not worried about it yet. I'm loving my time with my boy and it's worth it to put off all this work.

I can't believe how much he's changing so quickly. He's getting bigger and smiley and starting to get interested in us.

This is how we spend a large part of our day. I love this snugly baby. I hate putting him down but alas, I have to get things done sometimes. :)

My little chubby guy likes to lift weights, ha ha. Or play with his favorite rattle. :)

 Here Jacob is fascinated by a light fixture. He couldn't be cuter though. :)

All swaddled up and snoozing on my bed. :) He loves to free at least one arm from the swaddle. I find this adorable.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Five weeks!

I can't believe my sweet son is five weeks old. Every day feels like a second and a year, all at the same time. Little Jake is such a good baby- I think we got lucky. I jokingly told someone that he's going to trick us into having another baby soon. :)

My sweet friend (who is also a professional photographer) came over to visit and took some wonderful newborn pictures of Jacob and our family.

This was one of my favorites:

As was this one:
Photo: Our little pea in a pod. :)

She went all Anne Gedes (sp?) on us:

I love this one of my dog photobombing the picture:
Photo: We haven't forgotten about the dogs either. Rosco won't let us forget him. :) #dogphotobomb

Jacob had a great one month appointment. Apparently this guy is quite the eater and getting chunky (in a good, baby-fat sort of way.) At 29 days told, he had surpassed his birth weight by over 3 pounds and had grown 2.5 inches. Here's a picture to illustrate how much he's grown:

Photo: We grow them good on the farm. :) This little guy has gained over three pounds and grown 2.5 inches this month!

I've started working again and I'm managing to get a little bit of work done (all from home, of course.) As long as this little guy stays cooperative I will be able to finish out the semester with some grace.
Photo: Trying to get back into the groove of schoolwork. This PhD will truly be a team effort from this point forward. At least today I have a cooperative (tired) teammate. :)

It's been an amazing month and I can't wait to see what month two brings our way. :)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Jacob is two weeks old!

It's hard to believe. It's passing by so quickly and this baby is changing so fast. Here are some pics of the past couple of weeks.

At the hospital. What a tiny baby!

Coming home from the hospital:

 Introducing Jacob to the dogs:

 My sweet boy:

One week old!


 More to come! Including a picture of him at two weeks old. I'm a little behind on uploading pics! Forgive this sleep deprived constantly nursing momma. :)

Friday, February 21, 2014

Jacob Wyatt's birth story 2/18/14

Photo: Best. Day. Ever. Meet Jacob Wyatt Lupo, born at 8:50 this morning, weighs 7 lbs, 4 oz, and is absolutely perfect.  He couldn't wait to meet us and we have never been happier. :)

Meet our beautiful son, Jacob Wyatt! He was born two days before my scheduled c section at 39 weeks and 3 days and weighed 7 lbs, 4.5 oz and was 20 inches long. What a story of his birth- not at all the planned, simple c section I had scheduled for February 20th. It was an amazing journey and this week has been just the most overwhelming, awesome, tiring, and fantastic week of my life. I will share it all! I know most won't read it and that's fine- this is my therapy to get it all out and my way of remembering the details of his birth. :)

Jacob's Birth Story

This story actually started on Saturday February 15th. Everyone always told me that I would wake up and feel "different" one day if I was going into labor. I definitely felt that on Saturday at exactly 39 weeks. I had a very easy, comfortable pregnancy. I woke up Saturday and felt so uncomfortable. My lower back was killing me- kind of like I had my period. I had pains in my lady parts and it hurt to walk. I had been hiking daily during my pregnancy so this was all very unusual- and I had zero pains or discomfort. Then I felt like I had period cramping. M and I spent the day finishing the nursery (see my last blog post!) and I really couldn't even help- I just sat in the rocker and watched him, providing moral support. My friend and M made me call the doctor who said I was just 39 weeks and now uncomfortable. He said unless I was having regular contractions that I was fine. Ok, great. That night contractions started. Nothing regular but some were very painful. This went on all night. I barely slept.

I woke up Sunday convinced I might be having a baby. I decided to get up and do some of the things I had not yet done to prepare and then I'd call the doctor. I paid all my bills. I cleaned out my desk and organized papers. I packed up the bag to bring to the hospital (yup, hadn't finished that) and the dog's bag for when they'd go to the dog sitter. And then all the contractions had stopped. I felt crampy and my low back still hurt but nothing else.  I had some mucousy spotting (probably started losing my mucuous plug) but felt fine. I felt really dumb but decided to call the doctor again- to tell him what, that I had contractions but wasn't now? Well, yes. He said I was likely in the "early labor" stage and that I could either come in, they could check me, and if I was dilated they'd likely just do the c section then and there. Or he said I could wait at home to see if things progressed. He said it was still possible to make it to Thursday. Since everything had stopped I decided to wait at least for now.

I took a nap and some light contractions started back up again. I went to dinner with friends- it was our last big hurrah before the baby was born- and contracted the first half of dinner. My friends, of course, thought I was insane but we carried on and had a blast.

Here we are: 

That night I contracted some during the night but got some decent sleep- not as bad as the previous night and then the next day, Monday, I had a big, long stretch of no contractions. This was of course just as I was about to call the doctor too- but since things had not progressed I decided not to call the doctor.

Instead, I took advantage of feeling- even the low back pain had subsided finally- and took my dogs on a long hike. My back pain had eased, my period like cramps gone and I felt like I had the first 39 weeks- pretty great. I cleaned the house. Ate dinner. Then during dinner the contractions came back- and with a vengeance.

Tuesday February 18th 
I went to sleep Monday night and barely slept with horrible contractions. As I contemplating waking up my husband (who basically had asked every 10 minutes since Saturday if it was time to go to the hospital) my water broke around 3 or 4am Tuesday morning. I had pink liquid dripping down my leg, then gushing out everywhere. I went downstairs, drank a glass of milk, and called the doctor at 4:30am. It was go time. He said come in, they'd examine me and if that was indeed my water breaking that I'd be having a baby that morning. Gulp!

Surprisingly I didn't wake my husband up right away. I went into my email, canceled everything for the week, packed up a few last minute items, activated our plan for arrangements for the dogs, and then woke up M. The doctor said we didn't have to rush so we took showers, savored the moment, and arrived at the hospital around 6:30am.

The Hospital

Ironically after my water broke my contractions stopped but by the time we were at the hospital they were back and much worse and closer together than they had been for the past few days. I was having fairly intense contractions every 2-3 minutes.  We got there right before a shift change so it took a little while to get going, which was painful since I was contracting but couldn't take any pain medicine for it. The nurse checked me right away and told me that my water had indeed broken and that today would be the day I'd be having a baby. I started crying. I couldn't believe we'd be meeting our son so soon.

My birth plan included general anesthesia and a c section because of my chiari malformation. General anesthesia procedures work a little differently than most c sections with epidurals or spinals which is the norm. To ensure the baby doesn't get any of the medicine, all preparation for the c section are done while I'm awake before I have had any anesthesia. I walked (contracted, stumbled) into the OR which was scary. I was prepped for surgery- while awake- which is terrifying and extremely uncomfortable and all the while contracting heavily which didn't make it easier. Laying on a cold table while your lady parts are washed and exposed while nurses and doctors run around preparing is well, unpleasant. I was so overcome with emotion I just sat there crying and contracting. The anesthesiologist, who couldn't give me anything kept whispering in my ear that I was doing great and that we were almost ready. He was so sweet it just made me cry more. He was providing, what I think, was a different kind of anesthesia- kindness- and it made all the difference. When the doctor was standing over me with a scalpel and all the nurses were in place he told me I'd be going under and that my son would be out in just a few short minutes and in my husbands arms almost immediately.

My husband wasn't allowed in the OR (this only allowed if the patient is awake during surgery, as in an epidural or a spinal) but he was literally right next door waiting to do skin to skin with Jacob as soon as he was born. As I would miss my husband meeting Jacob for the first time- which made me sad- the nurse had been instructed to photograph M meeting Jacob and doing skin to skin. I promised M I wouldn't share these photos as they were just for me but they are the sweetest ever and just make me tear up thinking about them.

The birth

It took the doctor 90 seconds to pull the baby out (they do it extra fast with general so the baby doesn't get any medicine) and Jacob Wyatt was officially born at 8:50am. Then it took 30-40 minutes to stitch me up and about 10-15 minutes to wake me. When I woke up I was in horrific pain. It took a long time to get the pain under control- much longer than they had hoped or anticipated- so M had about 1.5 hours with our son before I was able to meet him. I remember them asking me, while I was in mortal pain, what the baby's name was going to be. I was shocked my husband hadn't yet shared it! But we hadn't talked about when to share so he hadn't felt comfortable. I wouldn't give it up easily but eventually through my pain I shared as they were relentlessly asking. Jacob Wyatt had a name. :)

Meeting Jacob Wyatt
Once my pain was under control- which happened eventually and then I didn't have any further issues- M and the baby were brought in to see me. I teared up, of course and couldn't believe I was meeting my son for the first time. The nurse put the baby in my arms and my husband and I just stared at each other and kissed the baby and then each other, and then the baby, and then each other again. It was all a dream after that- the entire rest of the day.

The next few days were a blur. Too many visitors. Not enough sleep. I figured some things out- like to stop taking narcotics and tell people to stop visiting so I could sleep more and things got better and easier. Here are a few pics from day 2 and day 3:

And this is day four, all dolled up to go home. Those eyes, they just make me melt. :) I'm absolutely in love! I won't say it's all easy and fun- but it's all worth it. I have a lot of emotions- and I'm sure I'll be blogging about them over the next few weeks/months. It's just so crazy to be on this side of infertility. I mean all the way on this side. Everything is still so new, so different, so unreal. It's hard and wonderful and I'll keep blogging about how M, Jacob, and I maneuver this journey.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Nursery for Baby Boy Lupo is finally complete!

I know I posted a bit of a preview before but we finally finished today (at 39 weeks!) I have to give almost 100% credit to my wonderful husband. He really wanted to make a nice nursery and so he picked the furniture, he painted the room, helped choose and put up all of the decals (tedious work), built a shelf, painted hooks, put everything together, hung curtains. I arranged the closet! I can take credit for that! And washed all the teeny tiny baby clothes. :) I also arranged all the books on the shelf, ha ha.

So here's all of our work finally come to fruition:

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

38.5 weeks- just over a week to go!

Busy few weeks here but I wanted to update while I have the chance! I had my oral preliminary doctoral exam last week which is one reason I've been terrible about updating... so much work to get that together but it's over! And it could not have gone better! The panel of professors on my committee said it was one of the best exams they'd seen and I feel like I'm on a really good trajectory with this PhD. I've also been busy trying to get ahead in my coursework... which is hard because honestly it's hard to even keep up most weeks but I have managed to get ahead enough so I can just enjoy this baby for a while before picking up my coursework again.

We've also been under extreme stress trying to buy a car (M's car has seen better days so we are getting rid of it)... aaah, the process just plain sucks. We did it though- almost. We now OWN a new (used) Ford Edge. But the backup camera doesn't work so it's at the dealership getting repaired and we have a rental. So close. I can't wait til we have a car that we can set a car seat up in.... it's a little nerve wracking being this close to delivery without reliable transportation. The car is such a family car too- I feel like a real mom driving it around. I was okay with my Honda Civic but M feels like this car is safer and wants me to take the new car and he'll drive my old Honda.

I had a crazy, busy super stressful week planned but it looks like mother nature wants me to stay home and rest as she's created a massive blizzard headed our way which will totally derailed all my plans this week. Oh well, as long as we have a car that can get us to the hospital if needed... and as much as I wanted to finish my research project in the school, I'm kinda secretly happy that I might just be lazing around the house Thursday and Friday instead.

Here's a pic I took a few days ago around 38 weeks. I feel like I'm already bigger though, ha ha! I was feeling great til this weekend and I swear I hit 38 weeks and felt like I got run over by a truck. Today is better- I think I was exhausted from stress and pushing myself too hard but after barely getting out of bed for a few days and sleeping a ton I'm starting to feel normal-ish again... although I am getting contractions and some light back pain which is not super fun. Nothing regular and I'm still pretty sure that baby boy will stay in til my c-section which is next Thursday February 20th (at 39 weeks and 5 days) but contractions certainly give a pregnant woman pause.... especially since I've felt nary a Braxton Hicks contraction this entire pregnancy.


How far along: 38.5 weeks
Baby is the size of: a leek! He's 7 pounds and over 20 inches long.
Total weight gain: 25 pounds exactly.
Maternity clothes: Maternity leggings are my best friend. I live in stretch pants and long t shirts and I look horribly fat in everything, ha ha.
Stretch marks: Oh yea these set in a few days ago. Absolutely HIDEOUS. I have marks that look like giant purple bruises. Sigh, I knew that I could get them right at the end but I hoped to be in the 5% of people who don't get them. Oh well. It's worth it!
Sleep: I've been sooo tiiiiirrrreeeed. I sleep 10 hours at night and take 3 hour naps during the day.
Best moment of this week: Finishing my exam and feeling like I'm one step closer to being a mom. :)
Could live without: Heartburn! Total and complete exhaustion! 
Movement: I've got a wiggly 7 pound baby inside me, yup, I feel that quite often. Sometimes it tickles and feels super weird!
Food cravings: Papaya. Seriously, can't get enough of it.
Anything making you queasy or sick: When I have no heartburn I can eat everything. Under heartburn attack I can't eat anything or even drink water. Luckily that's not too often.
Labor signs: Some Braxton Hicks contractions- nothing regular. As of last week I wasn't dilated at all.
Belly button in or out: Still in! But it's teeny tiny. :)
Wedding rings on or off: On.  That may not last though...
Happy or moody most of the time: This was a rough week. Lots of stress. But I'd still say happy most of the time.
Looking forward to: Having a new car with a car seat set up so that we can actually safely bring home our son. I'm also looking forward to finishing up with school work and just relaxing. I'm aiming to finish next Monday or Tuesday.