Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A little about Noah

Since Noah is only a month old, he really doesn't do much other than eat, sleep (sometimes), cry, and poop. However, there are some other things that he enjoys.

First of all, he LOVES baths. Grandma Jensen loves giving them to him, and it's a good thing because with all that hair he has and everyone touching it it can get greasy pretty fast! The first few times we gave him baths and we could only give him sponge baths because his cord was still on he didn't enjoy them that much. Now that he can actually be IN the water he usually almost falls asleep, and one time he actually did fall asleep. He is definitely like his dad and I can imagine he will love the beach and will probably get some surfing lessons from Tom. For some reason I have a million pictures of him in the bath tub haha, but I will only post a few of the cutest ones

 This was the first sponge bath
 still got a few yawns even without getting into the water

Bath naps are the best naps

Still so content....

The second thing Noah loves is looking outside or at lights or pictures. He is always starring off out the window or at the pictures hanging on the wall. Sometimes if he is crying we can just open a window and let some light in and he will stop immediately. He just loves it.

Anytime there's an open window that's where he's looking

He especially loved Christmas because of all of the lights. He would stare at them forever

Starring at Great-Grandma's Christmas tree

Like any baby, the third thing he loves is being held. Grandma always holds him in my Moby wrap and then bounces him and he will fall right asleep...i'm talking like 2 minutes and he's asleep. He could be crying and then he's out. Grandma seems to be the one who has this down, but I did get him to sleep for 4 hours like that yesterday. 

 He slept like this for most of this trip to the beach
Ciara has it down pretty well too!

A few other things he loves are
*Noises: He sleeps best when there is a sound soother or when we are in loud places
*Being in the car: He can usally fall asleep quickly in the car...unless we are TRYING to get him to fall asleep in the car. He always knows that trick.
*Going on walks: He loves being in his stroller and going on walks. Pretty sure he loves looking up at the sky and all of the sounds.
*and Grandma: His first real smile happened a few days ago when grandma walked up to him. It was the cutest thing ever. She is a great grandma and I know he knows it. He's lucky to have her as a grandma, and I'm lucky to have her as a mom.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Noah's Birth Story

Well, now that Noah is a month old I figured it's probably time for me to write down his birth story before I forget it all. This will probably have much more than you needed/wanted to know, but I want to remember it all (Plus I'm pretty sure not many people read this anyway).

So here we go:

My whole life whenever I thought about how giving birth would go for me I always imagined I would go to the hospital, get the drugs, and have the babies. I never really thought much more about the actual process of giving birth or what other options I would have. So for the first 2 trimesters of being pregnant anytime anyone would ask me about it I would say "oh I'm getting the drugs" without any second thought. I'd heard that kidney stone pain was similar to giving birth and I've had two of those...no way I would do that without drugs (side note: anyone who says kidney stone pain is similar to giving birth has NEVER given birth before...not even CLOSE), so I just figured I wouldn't be able to handle it without drugs.

Well, at the beginning of my third trimester Tom and I went to a class at Kaiser and they told us all about the birthing process and gave us a tour of the hospital. During the class she was telling us about epidurals and how they make it more likely that you will have a C-Section. C-Sections scared me more than anything so that kind of started to make me a little scared. Then they told us that they had labor rooms with a tub, but that you can't use them if you have an epidural because you can't get out of bed....this really got me thinking: Do I really want to be stuck in bed while I'm in so much pain? Then we went on a tour of the hospital and I saw the tub and I was convinced...I wanted to do it without drugs.

Once I started thinking about doing it without drugs I realized I really knew absolutely nothing about giving birth. I didn't know any techniques to deal with pain, or anything about what happens leading up to or during the birth. So i started researching...then someone at my church told me about doulas. She told me that she had had one at her last birth and wished she had had one at all of her previous births. I looked them up and decided that I needed all the help i could get so i would give it a try. I called up the woman that she used as her doula and then we set up a meeting with her. Since i was 35 weeks pregnant at this point we kind of had to do it fast because she wanted to meet with us 2 times before the birth to teach us about the process. We met with her once just to make sure we felt comfortable with her enough to have her at the birth, and we absolutely loved her! She really helped to teach us about the process and what we needed to know. I think the whole birthing process was much less stressful since we knew what was going to happen. So we hired her as our doula, even though she was going to be gone on my actual due date (everyone said no one EVER delivers on their actual due date.....except my baby haha).

Anyway, so after we met with her twice after that, it was just a waiting game. I really was expecting that I would give birth a week or two late and was hoping I would once December came because my doula was going to be gone for a few days. I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions for a few weeks, but on the 4th of December they started getting a little more intense. I went to bed that night, and at about midnight I woke up and they were definitely not just Braxton Hicks anymore. They started getting more intense and were getting sort of timable....but were still not close enough together to make us go to the hospital. Tom and I were up all night timing and too excited/anxious to sleep. The morning of the 5th they were more intense and pretty close together so we called the hospital and they said we should come in so they could measure me. We went in, but I was only 2 centimeters dilated and after an hour of walking around the hospital was still the same, so they sent us home but said that I would probably be back later that day. I got in contact with my doula to let her know that I would probably be going into labor that day, though. She gave me the information for the backup doula, since she was out of town, and we called her up to let her know that we would be going to the hospital soon. She told me that I really should get some rest before I went into active labor or I would have a really hard time, so I laid down, my mom got me some snacks and Tom rubbed my feet, and miraculously I was able to take a nap for a few hours and I only woke up a few times from contractions.

After I woke up the contractions continued, not bad enough to go back to the hospital, but still extremely uncomfortable (the early labor is what I would compare to kidney stones). I took some baths that really helped with the pain and then just bounced on my exercise ball. The contractions continually got worse but I was nervous to go back because I didn't want to get sent home again so we kept waiting. At about 10PM the contractions suddenly got a LOT worse and we knew i was in active labor. I couldn't talk through them and they were coming almost every 2 minutes. We hopped into the car and headed to the hospital (this was the WORST car ride of my life....being stuck in a seat in that much pain with contractions coming every 2 minutes is torture!)

When we got to the hospital they checked me and I was 6cm dilated. The contractions were coming faster and faster and by the time I got into my room and checked again I was 9cm dilated and feeling like I needed to push. Since I wasn't 10cm dilated yet they wouldn't let me push...there is nothing worse than being told you can't push. Since I was progressing so fast I didn't even get to go into the tub room (which was the thing that convinced me to go without drugs), but I WAS able to stand in the hot shower which helped a lot.

Once I got to 10cm they told me that I could start pushing. After pushing for about 2 hours and being in labor for over 26 hours Noah was born at 2:36 AM on December 6th (his due date). He was 7 pounds 6 ounces and 20 inches long. When he first came out there were so many emotions going through my body. I was so relieved, excited, anxious, happy, scared....but he was so perfect. I was a little worried about his major cone head...but they told me it would go away soon (thank goodness it did!), but he was just the cutest thing I had every seen, and had the cutest head of hair!

There is no way I could've done this without Tom, my mom, and the doula there with me. They all helped me SO much and because of them I was able to do it how I had planned without any drugs. There were a few times I wanted to give up, but they definitely helped me to keep going. I would highly recommend using a doula because she knew exactly what to say to me when I wanted to give up to help me keep going, and she also helped Tom to know what to do to make things easier for me. In active labor things can get pretty intense, and it was so nice to have someone there who had done it many times before and could help keep everyone calm, but who also did not try to take Tom's place and let him be a big part of it all. 

I have wanted to be a Mother my whole life. Anytime anyone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I would always say a Mom. Sometimes people would react by saying that wasn't a practical goal and that everyone needs to have a career plan, but I have always known that this is my main goal. This past month has been hard, but I feel like right now my life is complete. Of course I will have more kids in the future, but at this moment it feels complete. I feel like I am doing what I have always wanted to do, and even though being woken up every 2 hours at night is hard, it is what I have always wanted and always known I was supposed to do. I feel that there is nothing more satisfying than Motherhood. I feel so blessed to have been given the opportunity to be a mother and especially blessed to be Noah's mother. I am so lucky to have such a beautiful little family. I love every minute of it.

I was going to make this post about the whole first month of his life, but it ended up longer than expected so...I'll slowly post about that in the next few days.