Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Processing the Birth

I will be the first to admit, I used to roll my eyes when people would complain about their "less than ideal" births. I would think to myself, they should just be happy they have a healthy baby.

Honestly, now I get it. I understand the disappointment of not having a birth go the way you wanted. Of course the twins' birth wasn't what I had in mind, but I feel like I was able to move away from the feelings of being let down because that was how it had to go. There isn't much of a choice when your babies need to come now and it is a matter of life and death. It was totally out of my control at that point.

With Ezra, we were really, really hoping for one of those ideal births. Where you work hard and you get to enjoy your baby. Where the lights are dimmed and that baby gets to be on your chest and you get caught up in the moment and cry tears of disbelief and happiness.

We know how blessed we are that Ezra is here and healthy. But as one thing after another came up, I saw my hopes of my "ideal birth" fading away. Ezra was stuck and I needed a c-section. I couldn't help but wonder though if there's anything else I could have done. I should have walked more, waited longer for my epidural, tried more positions for pushing. I shouldn't have let them put one monitor after another on him. It feels like I gave up, and I don't like that. This was my chance to have the birth experience I wanted and I wasn't able to do that. Whether it was actually anything I had control over or not, I'm not sure, but I'm disappointed.

I'm disappointed things go the way we were hoping. I'm disappointed that because my epidural wasn't working well that I was medicated and very groggy during my c-section. I'm disappointed that I was really out of it and didn't fully realize what was going on with Ezra when he was born. In some aspects, I think it's a good thing I didn't really comprehend it, but what if he had needed me? What if things hadn't turned around and I was so out of it that I couldn't be there for him? Instead of hearing him cry, I was dozing in and out and watching them try and get Ezra to breathe. I'm sad that the first time I got to see my baby was a picture they brought me from the special care nursery. I'm sad that instead of getting to hold and snuggle my boy that I had to wait two hours until I finally got to meet him.

When I was making our birth plan, I remember how silly some of the things seemed. To me, all the rest seemed like little things. I get that some of these things are not important in the grand scheme of things, but I was just really hoping for a birth experience that would let me know the true joy of having a baby. We are not disappointed in the fact that we have a healthy baby, which was the ultimate goal, I think I was just hoping to find a little more healing in the process and to have more of a positive labor and birth experience rather than just a means to an end. And just like everything that happened with the twins' birth, I am processing this experience as well, although on a much smaller scale thankfully and we love our pudge no matter how he got here.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


I have been so excited for the day when Cohen gets to have another brother. A brother that gets to stay with us and that he gets to grow up with. I am excited to see the relationship between these two continue to grow and I hope they will always be good buddies.

 When my nephew Eli came over to meet Ezra he asked if I thought Cohen liked having a brother. I told him that I thought he did and then he said "Yeah, I think it reminds him of when he was a baby". Back when he had Carter. I grieve so much for that relationship that they will never have beyond the womb. Two babies from the same beginnings, now separated. When we found out Ezra was a boy I was excited because I would get to Cohen's relationship with his brother. Obviously, Ezra isn't Carter and the relationship will be different, but I still get to see their relationship as brothers.

Cohen is already such a good big brother. Aside from the occasional car toss, which could be aimed at anyone or nothing, he is so sweet with Ezra. He likes to sit by him and bring him his binky. If Ezra is laying on the floor, Cohen will come and lay by him and "hug" (lay on and squish) Ezra. It's pretty cute. He is very concerned when Ezra cries and always makes sure that I know he's crying. He even shares Stinky with him (for a very short time until mommy takes Stinky off of Ezra's head because well...Stinky is gross).

I love these boys and the relationship they already have. I can't wait to see it grow and change over the years.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The No Good Very Bad Day

Yesterday was definitely "one of those days" over here. We got up in the morning with plans to drop Cohen off at my sister's and for Ezra and I to go with my mom to support a fellow baby loss mom sewing diapers. It definitely didn't happen.

Somewhere between Cohen licking a stick of deodorant, eating toothpaste and then throwing up I knew the trip probably wasn't going to happen. Ezra decided he wasn't interested in napping, but was interested in screaming. He blew out his diaper and outfit twice in a matter of half an hour. Yes, I took pictures. It was all I could manage to do. Plus, I needed proof to show Danny how much I deserved a nap/vacation/candy bar.

At some point that morning Cohen and I had been outside pulling some weeds. He was helping me by putting the weeds in the bucket. I came inside to feed Ezra who decided he forgot how to nurse. Cohen thought it would be a good idea to bring the weeds and dirt inside the house and put them on the couch. At that point I just gave up. Cohen went back outside and proceeded to spread huge dirt clumps all over the stairs to the house and himself. He was completely filthy, but he was playing so I just left him.

I went outside to survey the damage and told my mom we weren't coming to the diaper party. I plopped Ezra in his bouncy seat and put Cohen in the bath. After scrubbing the dirt off of him and getting him out of the bath, I sent Danny a text to not come home without chocolate.

And then............NAPTIME. Glorious naptime. I love naptime. Things went much better after nap and we managed to survive the day, someday we will look back and laugh. Also, I ate two candy bars, I deserved them. Here's hoping today is a little more boring.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Conversations with a 2 Year Old

Mom: Cohen, are you awake?
Cohen: No.

Mom: Cohen, do you want to eat?
Cohen: No.

Mom: Cohen, are you eating cat food?
Cohen: Uh-huh. Yeah.
Me: Can you please stop? We're going to have dinner soon.

Mom: Here's a cracker.
Cohen: Thank you, Grampa.

Cohen: Sssssssssssssssssssside.
Mom: Okay, you need to wait a minute.
Cohen: Wait.
2 seconds later....
Cohen: Ssssssssssssssssssssssside.
Cohen: Ssssssssssssssssssssssside.

Very serious postman: Bye, bye!
Cohen: Bye, bye baby. 

Dad: Cohen, it's time to go to bed.
Cohen: No!
Dad: Yes, get Stinky and blankie.
Cohen: Ming! (milk)
Cohen: Ana (water)!
Cohen: Cracker!
Cohen:  Sssssssssssside!
Cohen: Buddy!
Cohen: Kitty!
Cohen: Doggy!
Cohen: Fan!
Cohen: Buggy!
Cohen: Book!
Cohen: Mow!
Cohen: Auntie!
Cohen: Gramma!
Dad: No to all of those things, it's bedtime.
Cohen: Bed. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

A Few of his Favorite Things

Slowing down today to remember where Cohen is at. I walked through the house and just took pictures of the places he had been. Life as a 2 year old:

The "ming" cup. The first thing he asks for every morning and frequently throughout the day. We generally end up misplacing at least one or two and at the end of the day I find about 4 of them all over the house.

Cars. Always cars. He likes to line them up on the table, drive them on the back of the couch, and play with them on the windowsill. Yesterday we went for a walk and he had a little car with him that he tried to drive down the sidewalk and stopped at every crack and drain cover to drive his little car over.

Blocks. He likes to build the blocks on the little cars. And then, of course, push the car around the house.

Buggies. His other favorite. At least these ones are fake!

Photo books. We have a drawer with several of these photo books from various parts of our lives and he loves to get them out of the drawer and look at them. He will point to each person and make us say who it is, or he will find all the pictures of Daddy or Mommy. His favorite ones are this photo book from our wedding and the book we have that is the blog in printed form from the year the boys were born.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Trip to the Lake

It has been unusually warm and sunny around here and we have been trying to take advantage of the weather. When I saw it was supposed to be 90* I knew we had to get out and do something rather than sit and bake in the house. Karen and Christine were going to the lake so we decided to be brave and go with them. I think I can now say I've been welcomed into the mom of 2 club.

We got to the lake, played for a little bit, and had lunch and played some more. Cohen even got in the lake, although not past his knees. The big kids wanted to walk around the lake and find a dock to jump off so we decided to make the trek with them. I had Ezra in the Ergo and Cohen was walking, but I figured we had enough arms to help him if he got tired. We found the dock and the kids had a blast jumping in.

After a bit, Ezra was getting fussy and I wanted to get heading towards home before Cohen got too tired. We decided to walk back on our own. It was a long walk for me, and longer for Cohen. Eventually he refused to walk and I ended up carrying him on my hip along with Ezra in the Ergo while they both screamed. We got a few looks, but we just trudged on. By the time we got back, Ezra was starving so I fed him. He proceeded to blow out his diaper requiring an outfit change, so I got him changed. Meanwhile, Cohen left his own surprise in his diaper. Then Ezra blew out his diaper for a second time. We had been planning on packing up and leaving pretty quickly, but 45 minutes later we were still there attempting to get everyone in a happy place. It took us so long that everyone else made it back and we were still there.

But, eventually we got everything packed up and in the car with a little help. Both boys slept on the way home and we were all exhausted! And that's the story of my first big semi-solo outing with both boys.

I've decided that I'm sure there will be more days with screaming babies in public, boys up past their naptimes, and less than ideal situations while out. While I was slightly embarrassed, we survived. We may be "those people" once in awhile, but I'm okay with it. And we are ready for more adventure!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sunday, July 14, 2013


As we continue to adjust to our little family of 4 here at home, I am so thankful for my family. When we moved back to my hometown, I wasn't so sure about having 90% of my family within (literally) a few blocks. But, it has been so wonderful. They have been an amazing support to us through the boys' births, losing Carter, and now Ezra and all the in between. And I love having them close by. I know we couldn't do any of this without them!!

Thank you to my wonderful family...for the meals, the grocery drop offs, the toilet paper, the ice cream, the company, the support, playing with Cohen, holding Ezra, and even helping clean our house! (I swiped a few of these pictures from Karen). We are missing a few siblings on here, but we love you all very much!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Fess Up Friday

I haven't had time to blog very much, but I do have a few confessions I could share with you.

I miss my blog

I had to email my mom late last night asking her to drop off a roll of toilet paper if she came out because we were down to our last few squares and I didn't see us getting to the store before Danny got off work

I am back to considering putting on sweatpants as "getting dressed"

I mistakenly thought that babies came pre-programmed to know when to sleep and eat

I have wished for a beer many days over the last few weeks and I don't even like beer.

I hide in our computer/sewing room to eat my breakfast so I don't have to share. Even though Cohen just hangs over the gate and begs anyway.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Parent's Grief

I shared this photo over on our facebook page, but wanted to share it here as well. I've never seen such a powerful, accurate picture of what it's like to lose a child. A parent that doesn't want to let go of their baby, who can't stand the thought of leaving them alone in a grave, who will never get to hold that child again.

I always thought that I was strange for having thoughts about wanting to go and get Carter out of his tiny coffin and to hold him. I thought I was odd for wanting to take a blanket to his grave so he didn't get cold. Clearly, I am not the only one who has these seemingly unnatural thoughts. Although, we of course want to take care of our living children, so why wouldn't we want the same for all our babies, even if they aren't on this earth anymore. A part of us goes and stays with our babies when they are buried. It was so hard for me to walk away and leave my baby there in the ground. This picture just says it so well...

Monday, July 8, 2013

Birth Story: Ezra Andrew

*Warning: This is a birth story, things related to birth are discussed. Consider yourself warned!*

Well, I know that I had been saying all throughout my pregnancy that I wanted a true labor experience, and we got it. Probably even a little more than I wanted. I went in with my birth plan, a list of things that would be nice if they happened, but knowing nothing was set in stone and that ultimately, I wanted a healthy baby.

I had a Dr's appointment on Tuesday and things were progressing slowly, but nothing major. I spent the rest of Tuesday and that night in "false labor". I was eventually exhausted and knew they didn't want me to labor at home for very long since I was going to attempt a vaginal delivery after a c-section. I woke Danny up, not really thinking this was true labor but wanting to know what was going on, and we went in to the hospital. While I was having regular contractions, they weren't doing anything. I got a shot of morphine and was asleep by the time I got in the car. I slept the entire day Wednesday. Wednesday evening our doula came over to work some magic and so we could try and get Ezra in a better position and get things moving. It was suspected that he was head down, but face up. After that we went on a long walk and sure enough things started happening. I decided just to go to bed early and not worry about it and see what would happen.

About 1 am I woke up having contractions and a lot of pain in my back. I took a shower, made sure things were going to continue on, then woke Danny up and told him it was real this time. We called my mom to come over and stay with Cohen while we headed into the hospital. They checked me in and agreed that I was in labor. We called our doula and had my mom call my sister Karen, who was going to be taking pictures for us.

Around 3 am we got checked into our room and spent the next hours in labor. After a few hours of back labor I begged for my epidural. I work with the anesthesiologists whenever I am at work so it was weird to be on the "patient" side for a change. People always say 2 things about nurses: We "make the worst patients", and "if anything is going to happen, it will happen to a nurse". I think I may have lived up to both of those in the hours to come.

I got my epidural and was much more comfortable. I felt a little like I was cheating as I laid in bed and waited to get to the pushing phase. After a little while the doctor came in and told me they were seeing some decelerations in Ezra's heart rate and they wanted to put on another monitor to see more accurately what was going on. She also decided to break my water while she was there. They found out he had meconium in the fluid and that there would need to be a respiratory therapist and pediatrician there when he was born in case he had gotten any in his lungs. Everything looked fine with his heart when they got the monitor on. Then they thought Ezra was having some extra heart beats which they were also mildly concerned about and put on an additional monitor.

 At one point they were trying to get the monitor on Ezra's head and it wasn't connecting or picking up his heart beat. I could hear the nurses talking and one of them sounded a little worried and it totally freaked me out. I started bawling because I thought something was wrong and I was going to be back holding another baby who had died. My doctor and everyone else were good to get me calmed back down again. It's amazing how fast all those feelings of terror and other emotions come back.

Eventually I was dilated to 10 cm and it was time to start pushing. We knew that Ezra was in a funny position but were hoping that he would cooperate and we could avoid a c-section. We tried everything to get him to change position, me changing positions, the doctor manually trying to position him but he was being a stubborn boy. He earned himself an ultrasound to check his position and to check on some extra beats his heart was having. We found out he hadn't moved and that he was having the extra beats that were showing up on the monitor, which was something they just wanted to watch. I was starting to have a lot more back pain through my epidural so anesthesia came back in to give me some more medication in my epidural. When he went to put the medication in it was one of the worst pains I have ever felt. It made my back seize up and I could hardly move. After a few minutes it got better and we continued on.

After nearly 4 hours of pushing, numerous monitors and little issues, he wasn't coming down. He was stuck. They emptied the room to let Danny and I chat. I didn't want to give in and have a c-section, but I also didn't think I had enough energy to keep trying. Our doctor came back and Danny told her I didn't want to say I needed a c-section and she told me that I really did need one because we had tried everything and he just wasn't making any progress. I was nervous about how I would do and whether my epidural would have the same issues as it had earlier. I remember thinking how slow everything was moving as this was clearly different from my last c-section. I asked that Danny be allowed to be in the room with me the whole time as the previous time he hadn't been allowed in until right before they started and I wanted him with me, which they allowed thankfully.

I laid down on the table and the anesthesiologist went to give me more medication in my epidural. Sure enough the same thing happened and I was in horrible pain. I was also only numb on one side. We talked about just putting me all the way to sleep, but after a few minutes the pain got better and I was numb on both sides. The anesthesiologist then asked if he could put a mask on my face. I should have known, but didn't realize until I woke up later that he was giving me gas in the mask and medications in my IV to make me sleepy. I should have known the ole "breathe in this 'oxygen'" trick as it happens all the time at work as people go to sleep for surgery, but I was just too nervous about everything else I think.

I woke up drowsily after who knows how long and wondered how I had fallen asleep during my c-section. Ezra was born at 11:21 pm that night , after nearly 24 hours since labor started. Ezra was out and had been taken over to be worked on by the pediatrician and respiratory therapist as he wasn't breathing who had been called to be in the room because of the meconium, which didn't end up being an issue. His Apgar scores were 1, 4 and 5 ( Cohen's were 4, 5 and 6) so he wasn't cooperating very well. They couldn't hear air moving in his right lung and he wasn't breathing well on his own. He earned himself a trip to the special care nursery for a few hours while I was in recovery. I was still so out of it from the cocktail they slipped me that I didn't really know what was going on. I remember trying to see him and hear if he was okay but I was so drowsy. By the time he got to the SCN he was doing much better.

I had to be in the recovery room for 2 hours so I had Danny going back and forth to give me updates. Someone brought me pictures of Ezra as I hadn't actually seen him before they took him away. It almost didn't seem real that my baby was finally here. After I had done my time in recovery, they took me back to my room and brought Ezra back to stay with us. He was a big boy at 8 lbs 7 oz, 21 inches long. He had giant chubby cheeks and a nice conehead from being stuck for so long. Welcome, little boy. It's good to finally meet you!

Friday, July 5, 2013

4th of July

We survived the 4th of July. The neighbors started in early with their fireworks and we got a chance to see how Cohen would react. He's always been so sensitive to noises and he did about what we expected. Whenever one went off he would stop whatever he was doing and run and cling to one of us.

 After naps we headed over to my brother and sister-in-laws for a BBQ. The weather was perfect, warm but not too hot. Ezra decided it would be a good idea to blow out his diaper while I was feeding him and it required an entire outfit change on my part. After that he spent most of the time sleeping and getting held while Cohen played with his cousins and ate practically an entire bag of Doritos.

Ezra also got to spend some time with his cousins. It's so different having a baby that can be held and passed around instead of trying to hide him and being super paranoid about germs.

Once more fireworks started going off we decided to take Cohen home and put him to bed after we continued to find him clinging to anyone and everyone anywhere near him. Our goal was to have him asleep before the big fireworks started going off and he was completely overstimulated and wound up. It worked! We put him in bed with a fan and a noise machine and he went to sleep and didn't wake up. It was pretty much a miracle.