4 Lovely Months

As of one week ago, our little princess turned four big months old. It’s really so crazy how fast the time has flown by. I’ve heard that I will continue to say this with each age, but I am head over heels with this age. The past month has been absolute perfection (even on crappy days like today) and it seriously gets better all the time.

Why? Our cute little tiny infant is turning into the mini person. She’s interactive and sweet and funny. She plays and rolls over and copies and laughs. She loves. Oy.

I am just mad about this tiny lady. Lately, she loves to touch and grab faces. I know this is going to become a painful little habit, but for now, it’s so endearing.

I just love her. Ohhh!! I almost forgot… She cuddles. Oh does she cuddle. It’s just so sweet.

What can I say… I’m smitten!

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Can We Call it a Day?

Today has not been going well. It started at 2 am when my husband got home from hanging out with friends. Without going into all of the details, I was super irritated. I had expected him back by 9 and when I called him at 930 he led me to believe they were wrapping up. This continued on until he finally came home at 2 am.

Anyway, with a 2 am argument weighing on us, the next morning was no picnic. There we were arguing about something else. I left without much to say.

Now, I hate fighting with my husband and I hate it even more when it isn’t resolved. It just lingers there… it weighs me down. I’m sure that Charlotte is picking up on that because holy shit has our day been rough.

It’s almost 1:15 pm and she has literally napped 15 minutes total since she woke up this morning at 7:40. On a normal day, she would have already napped 2-4 hours. It’s been a lot of crying and a lot of stress. I didn’t get much sleep last night and I just don’t have the energy for this.

To make things even worse, Charlotte’s 4-month check up is today… so that means she’s going to be overtired AND in pain from all of her shots. Ugh. I need a break.

No, mom... Even if you break the rules and try to let me nap in your office, I WILL NOT SLEEP. But, aren't I cute?

No, mom… Even if you break the rules and try to let me nap in your office, I WILL NOT SLEEP. But, aren’t I cute?

It can't be a coincidence that she keeps sticking her tongue out at me...

It can’t be a coincidence that she keeps sticking her tongue out at me…

My First Mom Nightmare

The other night I woke up totally jolted. I was just snoozing away, minding my own business, when I was hit with quite the nightmare.

My friend Annie and I went to yoga. This was a first for us, but we had a great class. I was so impressed with how well I was doing and had what I think was a conscious thought about making sure to go to yoga more often.

We were walking out together and I noticed that Annie didn’t have her daughter Ellie with her. Then suddenly like a ton of bricks it hit me… Where was Charlotte?

I started running. I couldn’t remember where my car was, but there I was, just running. I pulled out my keys to push the panic button, but ultimately, that’s not what led me to her. It was her cry.

I heard her crying from across the parking lot and when I arrived at the car, Mark was there. He looked at me with this severe look of disappointment. A total reflection of what I was feeling. And just as I thought it couldn’t get worse, a CPS (child protective services) worker popped up from the front seat.

I woke up instantly.

Holy shit.

I know I’ve been holding onto some mom guilt about the car seat incident, but holy smokes. That was intense and terrible.

Needless to say, it took every single ounce of self control not to wake up Mark. I just hugged my pillow, looked at a few cutie pie pics of my sweet girl, and somehow managed to get back to sleep.

I guess I’ve officially entered the scary, paranoid world of motherhood.

Lucky Number 18

I’ve been terrible about updating this week! I still need to post the little lady’s 4 month update, which was this past Tuesday, but for now, we’ll focus on the fact that our sweet princess is now 18 weeks old.

This past week Charlotte decided she wanted to sit up, so she’s been nonstop trying. From an inclined position, the wonder woman can fling herself up to a sit. She can’t really hold herself up in the sit, but she gets there and flops around before tumbling. She does it in her car seat, too. It’s cute. It makes it seem like she’s trying to help me get her out because she’s lifting her head and trying to lean forward. She also does it on the changing table. I’ll put her down and she’ll lay there with her head off the table for a few seconds desperately trying to get up. Thankfully she can’t yet because she’s already a TOTAL wiggle worm on the changing table. A complete mad woman.

Here’s a video of my little sitter. Sorry for the slo-mo… User error 🙂

Video of the Princess Sitting

Hmm… Other than that, it must be mentioned that she is sleeping WAY better. Most naps are super easy and she’s been taking a long (1.75-2.75 hours) nap most days… But not today. Her afternoon nap has been a little trickier. A couple days this week I let her sleep on the floor in my office instead of the “nursery”… Aka the conference room.

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Don’t be fooled by the photos. Toby is still not a fan of the little child. He’ll lick her face and hands nonstop, but the second she touches him back, it’s over. He growls and or barks and is then banished for a minute. Lovely.

The youngin is also desperate to crawl and move. I’m thinking its time to get this lady an old school walker.

She’s also laughing… Not huge laughs yet, but laughing. I’ll post some videos in the coming days, but for now, here are her 18 week pics!

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Our First Night Out

On Saturday, Mark and I went out without the tiny one for the first time since her arrival into the sweet little world. In fact, Charlotte has only had a “babysitter” twice… Once my parents and once Mark’s mom… Both for verrrry short periods of time.

My AMAZING girlfriends, Ashley and Carrie, volunteered for the job on Saturday and honestly, I couldn’t have had a better team for my first real night out. Ashley is a PICU nurse and Carrie is a wonderful momma to a sweet little nugget.

The girls were scheduled to arrive around 530/545, which gave me time to put Charlotte to sleep before we headed downtown for dinner and the broadway production of the Lion King… With my parents! I know, hot date! But it was great! I had invited myself to crash their date and got tickets way before Charlotte was born. SO FUN!

However, Miss C had other plans. Despite napping like a little champ the first half of the day, Charlotte decided that an afternoon nap was out of the question. She fussed and fought it for what felt like forever. Then finally at 430, she fell asleep.

She’s done this before and has ended up thinking she was down for the night and just sleeping through. I was torn at this. If she went to bed at 430, she’d likely wake up at 10 or so while we were still gone. That would require the girlies to feed her. I’m 100% sure they’d do an amazing job, but I couldn’t help but feel guilty. Charlotte wouldn’t recognize them and I worried she would be scared.

Oy. Whatever, it didn’t matter because she decided to wake up at 515… About 5 minutes before my friends arrived. Ughhhh! Stress. Of course, she was way overtired and melting down. So, Ashley went to put her to bed before we left and Charlotte was good for a minute and then it was a scream fest.

Long story short, Mark ended up going in to bottle feed her and put her to bed. I was a stressed out, anxious mess until I took down a glass of wine at dinner, which went from a yummy bbq/steak place downtown to Noodles & Co because we were running so late once Mark got Charlotte fed and in bed.

Regardless, it really was a fun dinner and the show was great! I managed to enjoy myself and only checked my phone for texts from the girls every 30 or so minutes. And of course, they were so great and kept texting me to make me less neurotic. Pretty amazing friends, huh?

All in all, it was a great night! Charlotte stayed sleeping until we got home, so I got to cozy up with her, give her a million smooches and feed her after a lovely date.

BUT, I’ve gotta say, somehow I don’t feel like the first-night-out bandaid has been ripped off quite yet. My nerves are still quite high. Time, right? I’m sure it will get easier to leave my girl.

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My First Mom F Up

I think today was officially my first real fail as a momma. Thankfully, everything wound up okay and our sweet girl was unharmed, but oy.

So, this morning Charlotte’s Nana came over (my Milly aka Mark’s mom) for a great early morning visit before we headed to brunch with my family. It was a nice and relaxing morning until it was time to go. Then in our normal way, we were kind of chaotic and rushing around. Mark grabbed Charlotte and plopped her in her car seat and I stepped in to put on her hat, booties and buckle her in. Then, we were on our way.

Mark sat in the back with Charlotte so he could feed her on the way. Yes, we are always late, remember? So, we picked up my Grandpa and made our way to brunch. By the time we made it to the restaurant, little C was snoozing in her car seat (success!!). Anyway, to get to the restaurant, we had to either take this handicap elevator thing or carry her stroller/car seat up the stairs. I voted for the elevator, but Mark insisted that it was too loud and would wake her. So, we started carrying her up the stairs.

I was complaining about the whole thing as we took our first steps and then I started freaking out. “Babe, she’s flopping forward! She’s falling!” I quickly moved so we were carrying her more level, but as we got her to the top step it clicked. The only way she could be falling forward is if she wasn’t buckled into her car seat. I moved the blanket away that was covering her in her car seat and just about died. I didn’t buckle her in. We drove for probably about 40 minutes with our baby unbuckled and then carried her up a flight of stairs in her stroller, which she almost tumbled out of.

Ughh. Mark, my sister, and my mom assured me that it was okay, but I couldn’t help but totally beat myself up about it. In fact, it’s still haunting me. The positive… I don’t think I’ll ever make that mistake ever again. The negative… I feel like crap about it. I guess we’re all only human. But still…

 

17 Weeks of Bliss

My sweet little pumpkin turned 17 weeks yesterday. This week has included a lot of rolling. The princess pie began sleeping on her tummy this week. I do not appreciate it at all. Back is best… but clearly Charlotte has not gotten the memo. Grrr.

She’s also just getting so big. She’s really starting to love her excersaucer and she’s just such a little love.

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Three Month Professional Photos

Well, our photos have officially arrived! For the most part, I’m very happy with them; although, I wish the little one wouldn’t have been so stingy with smiles. She looks pretty un-trusting in many of the photos. Oh well! There’s always 6 month photos, right? Maybe I should start practicing now… right after tummy time we will have camera time. 10 minutes of a large camera in her face daily. What a good idea 🙂

 

Such a sweetie pie.

Such a sweetie pie.

Mmmm... fingers!

Mmmm… fingers!

I could eat her up..

I could eat her up..

 

Nope... not a smile...

Nope… not a smile…

Mini smirk.

Mini smirk.

Me & my girl.

Me & my girl.

In sepia

In sepia

Tiny person in a big sweater :)

Tiny person in a big sweater 🙂

Baby in plaid in a bucket! AHH! Too much!

Baby in plaid in a bucket! AHH! Too much!

Another pic (with an equally unamused Charlotte) in a bucket.

Another pic (with an equally unamused Charlotte) in a bucket.

Sweet face.

Sweet face.

Bathtime cuteness.

Bathtime cuteness.

Cherub princess

Cherub princess

The closest we got to a smile...

The closest we got to a smile…

Such a punk... not only would she not smile for these, but she wouldn't even look at me.

Such a punk… not only would she not smile for these, but she wouldn’t even look at me.

Our little family.

Our little family.

Love these two.

Love these two.

Boo & her daddy.

Boo & her daddy.

Family snuggles.

Family snuggles & Charlotte’s only smile!

We love our little pie.

We love our little pie.

Kisses for the princess.

Kisses for the princess.

We do this all the time...

We do this all the time… see how much Charlotte enjoys it?

Look at those tiny squish arms.

Look at those tiny squish arms.

 

 

 

The C Word

Throughout my pregnancy, I refused to even say the words “cesarean section” let alone actually consider the possibility of having one. To me, that was just about the furthest thing from what I wanted. As someone who had never been a patient in a hospital before and really, never experienced much worse than a broken finger, I just could not get over the idea of someone cutting me open and stealing my baby out of me. Stealing my childbirth experience. Preventing my baby from receiving the benefits of a natural childbirth. Preventing my baby and I from sharing those first minutes of skin-to-skin time.

With that said, I have to admit, when we were discussing a c-section and finally agreed upon it as the next step, I barely felt an ounce of anxiety surrounding the surgery. My only concern was the skin-to-skin time, which unfortunately, I was told was not a possibility. However, the nurse agreed to bring the baby up to my face so I could kiss her and meet her. So, how did that anxiety magically disappear? I’d say 20 some hours of crazy ass labor and the fact that the contractions and pain were still very much a battle until I received the spinal. The only anxiety I could hold onto was the worry that I would contract as they were putting a needle in my spine.

The plan was for me to go in with a nurse, the anesthesiologist, my doc and maybe a couple others and that once I had the spinal, Mark would be allowed in. He was worried about me. He held onto me and said, “Don’t worry. If you get scared, just look at Sarah. She’ll be in there with you.” Me: “Who’s Sarah?” Mark: “She’s the nurse who has been with us for the past 12 hours…” (as he points at her.)

I literally did not recognize her at all. My eyes had been shut for a solid 15-20 hours. I think MAYBE I opened them 5 times, very briefly, during the entire experience. Sorry, Sarah. (Honestly, I don’t even remember if that was her name??)

Anyway, I survived the spinal and was finally able to relax a little. However, the anesthesia was making me very shakey. It was as if I was freezing. My entire body was quivering uncontrollably. They assured me this was normal. Then, Mark was by my side.

They strapped my arms down to the table so they made a “T” with my body. Thinking back, I’m surprised this didn’t make me uncomfortable. Somehow, I just wasn’t able to think of anything but my baby. This was it. The pain had finally stopped and I was going to meet my girl.

Now, we had skipped the class about C-Sections and I truly didn’t really know what to expect. The doctors started the surgery and everything seemed to be going fine. Then, there was a ton of movement. My whole body was moving and it felt like a lot of pressure and tugging. At one point, the entire table moved, at which point I heard my doctor snap at someone to lock the table down.

Things started to seem as if they weren’t going well. I heard them discussing options. Let’s try to dislodge the head by pushing up from the vagina. (I was so zoned that somehow this didn’t send me into a panic. I just looked at Mark and he seemed calm, so I stayed calm). Somebody step in, I need backup! Let’s try pulling her by her leg!

So much was going on and it felt as if it had been hours.

After what felt like a long while, she was finally out… but there was no crying. I instantly became alarmed. I started asking “everyone” why she wasn’t crying. (Mark informed me that while it felt like I was asking many people, I just kept asking the anesthesiologist who would walk out and back into my view.)

They took Charlotte to a table behind me. I was desperately trying to look over my shoulder to see what was going on, but couldn’t see. I’d look at Mark, he just kept saying everything was okay.

I swear it felt like 20 minutes, but finally, I heard her. Her sweet cry. I was so excited! I kept saying, “she’s crying!” After however many more minutes, they brought her over to us. We kissed her face. It was totally unreal. They said that they had to clean her up and take her to the NICU. I clearly was not fully understanding the severity of the situation, because I asked them to bring her back over before they took her to the NICU. Mark said that they had to take her right to the NICU. We would see her after. Then, he told me that he was going to stay with me instead of going with Charlotte to the nursery as we had planned.

Hello, sweet girl!!

Hello, sweet girl!!

I was still so incapable of actually thinking through things, I agreed and said that he’d go there after. The doctors continued to put me back together for the next hour. Then, finally it was over.

The room looked like a total blood bath. There was this weird hanging organizer that looked like one of those over the door shoe racks. Each clear pocket was filled with what the doctor informed me was bloody gauze. Gross.

I was wheeled back to my room where we were informed that I would have to stay for the next couple hours. Charlotte was in the NICU. I was in my room. I started to freak out. Through tears I begged my doctor to just wheel me over to the NICU so I could be with my baby. It was pretty heartbreaking. Not only were we not able to have our skin-to-skin moment, but I wasn’t even able to be with her. It was so crazy to me. I had experienced nearly 43 weeks of pregnancy; this crazy, intense, unimaginable labor; a VERY intense surgery… and now, I was supposed to just sit in an empty room? Charlotte was born at 5:17 am and at this point, it was around 6:30.

They said they’d come back at 8, but I would need to be able to get up for them to take me there. Of course, I immediately start hitting my legs in attempt to get feeling back.

I sent Mark to the nursery and I stayed with our doula-in-training, Jennisee. It was really helpful to have her there. In the moment, she was driving me nuts because she kept talking about stupid stuff that I had no interest in (aka: it wasn’t about the baby I had just birthed), but in hindsight, it kept me distracted.

Once Marky got settled in the NICU, I was able to FaceTime with my sweet girl. Mark took the iPad and put it in her NICU bassinet and I used my phone. Talk about an Apple commercial waiting to happen.

Talking to my baby.

Talking to my baby. Such a glamour shot.

Welcome to the world, tiny person!

Welcome to the world, tiny person!

Finally by around 8:30, I was cleared to go see her. Yes, just 3.5 hours after major abdominal surgery I was walking. Crazy what a little motivation will do to a person.

We spent the next 1.5 hours in the NICU with our girl. The lactation specialist came by and using a little colostrom that I had pumped while trying to induce labor, I was able to get my sweet little princess to latch (we dripped some colostrom onto my nipple). It only took 15 minutes of trying and from then on, she was a pro. We got our skin-to-skin time. I kissed her face and her fingers and her toes. Everything was so quiet. Just Marky, Charlotte and I. It was what I had been longing for for the past 10+ months.

Finally, we were all together.

Falling in love.

Falling in love.

Thinking about her very tough little day.

Thinking about her very tough little day.

Daddy snuggles in the NICU.

Daddy snuggles in the NICU.

So, it turned out that our sweet girl was stuck in my pelvis. Typically, it takes 30 seconds to deliver a c-section baby. They simply slip a hand/finger under the baby’s head and deliver head first. However, the tiny lady was stuck. They tried everything to get her out and finally were able to dislodge her by pulling her out by her arm. In fact, once delivered, they x-rayed the arm to make sure there was no damage. Thankfully, none.

It took them 6-10 minutes to deliver her (compared to the average 30 seconds). The trauma of the c-section was a lot for Sweet Charlotte. When she was born, the only thing she had was a heartrate of 50. In anticipation that she would not be breathing, they immediately hooked her to oxygen and began the process of resuccitation. It took them 4 minutes to bring back our girl, and once she was back, she was great. They took tests and monitored her in the NICU, and thankfully, everything was perfect. Our girl is a fighter. Later, our doctor would tell us that our surgery was one of the most difficult she’s experienced in many, many years. They did a little extra cutting on me to get her out, but all in all, it was a great success.

By 10 am, they released Charlotte from the NICU and let us take her back to her room. Finally!

Loving my girl.

Loving my girl.

As a whole, our journey was pretty crazy, but when I look back, it somehow still seems beautiful. I was able to experience the craziness of pitocin, the beautiful rhythym of natural/unmedicated labor, and the partnership bond with my amazing husband and my beautiful girl… More importantly, we were staffed with an amazing group of individuals who took care of my baby and me. I wouldn’t change our experience. It is ours and I cherish that.