Friday, July 29, 2016

It's Friday!

Happy Friday!!

As I'm typing this at work!  Haha

Man, this week has been a tough one for me.  I've been working really hard to get the baby on a good schedule so we're both getting some sleep and I'm still making it to work on time.  It's been going pretty well, I was only late 2 days this week instead of 5.  I'm excited to report that now it only takes me two and a half hours to get ready instead of the four it was taking me.  I finally realized that I CAN put the baby in her swing and let her cry for a minute while I get dressed - it's helped out a lot.  Usually I just pump her full of boobie juice breast milk before I set her down so she's kinda milk drunk and doesn't really notice that mom's not holding her.  It's a good strategy.  

The food struggles are real though people.  This week has been kicking my hiney!  My emotions have been a little bit more intense this week and, as we all know, I comfort with food.  It's been really hard to try and resist that temptation this week.  It's amazing how many excuses or justifications that I can come up with to talk myself into getting something off of my meal plan.  I get so angry with Tim because he won't let me eat crap when I want to.  I'm not one of those people that can just have a candy bar or a coffee from Starbucks on occasion.  If I have those things, it's not just once in a while.  It becomes a weekly, then a daily thing.  I start to obsess about getting the next one.  I want more than anything to have a healthy relationship with food but the truth is that I just don't know how and I'm frustrated because of it.  I'm overwhelmed.  There's SO many resources out there but they all say different things.  I don't know which one to follow.  I hate meal planning because I don't know what to buy and it's easier to go to a restaurant and order off of a menu.  That option isn't available when I'm cooking at home.  I'm really struggling with that right now.

I know I have to get it together for Hadley.  Right now I just feel lost and a little desperate.  I know how to eat unhealthy.  I can tell you every restaurant within a 50 mile radius and I could probably quote their menus.  But if you ask me how to eat healthy and how to prepare it - I couldn't tell you to save my life.  Don't even talk to me about portions.  I couldn't tell a a single serving from Adam.  That makes me incredibly sad and I get down on myself.  What's worse is that I know that I self medicate with bad food but I still want to do it because I'm feeling low.  I wish I could get out of my own head sometimes.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Postpartum Progress

I'll be honest, since I gave birth the last thing on my mind has been my weight.  It's been hectic trying to get settled and figure things out with the baby and that's really been my focus.  For the first few weeks my eating habits were atrocious, basically I ate whatever whenever I could fit it in.  A lot of times that was whatever other people would bring over or takeout.  We didn't cook a meal once the first three weeks after we brought the baby home.  I hate typing that because I feel like a failure.  For nine months my sole focus was making sure I was eating what was necessary for the baby to be healthy.  I tested my blood sugars everyday, three times a day, my entire pregnancy to make sure they were in line with the foods I was putting in my mouth.  Then the baby came and it was like that just went right out the window.  The problem is that I'm still making her food and she's still getting all her nutrients from the foods I'm eating.

I've been thinking about that a lot these last couple of weeks.  If anything, Hadley is my biggest motivation to be better and knowing that what I'm putting in my body still has the potential to affect her has really been weighing on my mind.  I don't want her to have to face the same struggles that I have.  My relationship with food is my biggest struggle and I've struggled with that my entire life.  I DO NOT want that for my daughter.  I want her to have a healthy relationship with food from the start and the only way to accomplish that is to teach her.  I can't try to teach her something I don't know myself.  It just doesn't work that way.  So, these last couple of weeks have brought some better changes in my eating habits.  Tim and I stopped going to eat out and we started cooking at home.  Okay, by we I mean Tim - he does most of the cooking around here.  We have also tried to cut out processed foods and sugars.  He has done way better in that area than I have.  I have a bad sweet tooth and detoxing from sugars is super hard for me.  I may have had a few slip ups here or there.  Tim does a really good job of keeping me accountable though and I've been doing a lot better in that area.

My focus this time around has changed a bit.  I still want to lose weight but it's not even what I think about anymore.  I've weighed myself twice in the 5 weeks I've been home.  I used to weigh every day.  At this point, I just want to be healthy and I don't really care what my body looks like.  I know that my body will follow.  Right now I'm just concentrating on nutrition and trying to figure out how to eat.  It's sad that I'm 28 years old and I really don't know the first thing about eating healthy.  When I saw success before it was because I had someone or something telling me what to eat, be it the HCG manual or a trainer.  This time I'm on my own and I have to figure out how to do it in order to see the long term success I want.  Eventually I want to get back to the gym and start exercising but for now I'm content just going on evening walks with my family.  We try to get out and walk at least every other night if not every night.  For now, that's good enough.

Anyway, all that being said I still think it's a good idea to have an awareness of my progress, because weight loss is still good motivation, so I've uploaded some visual aides.  Before I got pregnant I weighed 337 pounds, as far as I know. These pictures (below) were taken in August of 2015 when my Aunt and Uncle came to visit us.  I really hadn't weighed myself for a few months before these pictures were taken so I'm guessing I was above the 337 but I can't say for sure.  Either way, I was huge.          

  This picture was taken while I was pregnant, two days before I delivered, and I weighed 311 pounds.  I got all the way down to 301 but those last four weeks of pregnancy saw an increase in weight.  My midwife assured me it was water retain-age and normal baby growth.  (This picture makes me miss my bump a little.)  It was the healthiest I'd felt in a long time.  I actually felt beautiful when I saw this picture.   

These pictures I took today - five weeks postpartum.  I weighed in this morning at 290 - that's 47 lbs down from 337.  I haven't seen numbers like this since I did HCG back in 2013.  This time I haven't even been dieting - just trying to eat better and walking around the neighborhood.  It's invigorating knowing that I accomplished this on my own.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

One Month

It's hard to believe that my baby is already a month old!  Time goes so fast and she's already changed so much in the short four weeks that we've had her.  Every day brings something new, be it a new sound she makes or her starting to focus on moving things around her.  I swear she's already trying to laugh at us.  For the most part, she's such a happy baby.  Although she does take her food seriously.  If we don't feed her exactly when she wants to eat she makes sure to let us know about it.  She doesn't like interruptions to switch sides or to burp halfway through a bottle.

It's so weird how our lives completely revolve around her and whatever she needs at the moment.  We just try to fit the rest of the daily stuff in around her, and sometimes it doesn't happen at all.  You need to poop mom?  Oh sorry, I'm gonna scream the entire time until you come and pick me up.  Shower?  Don't even think about it.  I went back to work this week and I'm actually pretty grateful my dad is my boss.  I've yet to get to work on time.  I have to alot myself a few hours time frame to get myself and the baby ready to go to work (she goes with me).  Gone are the days of getting up and just going.  I still wouldn't trade it for the world.  We'll get on a schedule and eventually we'll figure it out.

The hardest part so far has been our eating.  I'm sad to say that our eating habits have turned to shit.  We need to make a better effort to meal plan and cook at home.  We were so tired the first few weeks, and I didn't feel like even leaving the house, that we usually just ordered takeout.  Not a great way to start off and I've been kicking myself in the behind ever since.  Both Tim and I are dedicated to healthier lifestyle - even if only for her.  We committed and did it my entire pregnancy so I know we can do it now.  It's just so easy to get takeout when you're tired.  Anyway, it's something that's really been weighing on my mind - especially since I'm breastfeeding.  It's so important to me to eat healthy so Hadley has the best chance at being healthy herself.  I don't want her to be predisposed to obesity or diabetes because I can't get myself under control.

We still haven't had time to actually make it to the grocery store for an actual shopping trip but we did stop eating out.  Usually one or the other of us runs to the store to buy a couple meals at a time.  Now that I'm back at work I have to start planning for lunches there as well.  The eating habits at my work are atrocious because everyone eats out all the freaking time or the owner caters in food.  It's going to be hard to resist that temptation.  Luckily, Hadley is there as a reminder of what I need to be doing.  Hopefully I can get back on track, sooner rather than later.    

Monday, July 4, 2016

I'm A Mom!

Hadley Faith was born June 17th, 2016 at 10:14 pm.  She weighed 7 lbs 5.4 oz and was 20 inches long.  She was (and is) perfect.  Giving birth was an incredible experience - even though nothing went as planned.  When we talked about our birth plan we, Tim and I, decided that we wanted to do things as natural as possible.  I didn't want to be induced, I wanted labor to come on it's own, and I wanted to labor at home with Tim and my doula as long as possible before going to the hospital.  I didn't want any pain medication and I definitely didn't want an epidural.  None of that happened.

I had a doctor's appointment Thursday the 16th to do another ultrasound.  At our appointment the week before, my midwife brought up the possibility of inducing at 39 weeks.  Apparently it's standard care for women that have gestational diabetes to get induced at 39 weeks to prevent complications to the baby.  My blood pressure was slightly elevated but still within a normal range.  However, my blood sugars had been so good and baby was looking healthy so there was no medical reason to induce.  But, as a precaution, she wanted to check everything again on the 16th and take another look at the baby to make sure she was still growing normally.  When we went in on the 16th to do our ultrasound, Kristi (the midwife) had us do a non-stress test to listen to the baby's heartbeat.  We'd been doing these for the last couple weeks at the beginning of our appointments to measure baby's heartbeat, check for contractions, and so on.  When she took my blood pressure it was significantly higher than it had been previously.  I've not had any blood pressure issues my entire pregnancy so my midwife was pretty concerned that it had been increasing and was so high.  We talked to the OB and decided to induce to prevent any further complications.

Sitting on the labor ball while Tim rubs my back
We left Kristi's office and headed home to get our bags, which were luckily packed, and headed back to the hospital where we were admitted.  We called Melissa, my doula, and she met us there.  We got admitted at 8pm and I got my first dose of Cervidil at 9 pm.  Cervidil is a gel that is put on the cervix to induce labor.  It is the closest thing to natural labor that there is and it works almost immediately.  Kristi started off with a very light dose to get things started.  She didn't want my contractions to be too intense right off the bat so that I could rest through the night since we induced so late.  I had been having mild contractions all week anyway but the first dose made them much closer together and slightly more intense.  Melissa stayed with us until about midnight and then she left so Tim and I could rest.  She came back the next morning at 7 and never left my side.  Kristi gave me the second dose of Cervidil at 8 am Friday morning.  My contractions went from mild to super harsh within minutes.

Here's the crappy part about Cervidil.  When it's put on your cervix, you have to be lying flat on your back.  Then you have to stay flat on your back for 30 minutes so it stays put.  Then you can sit up, but you still have to stay in the bed for another 30 minutes so the staff can monitor your contractions to make sure they aren't too intense and too close together, which can happen if too much Cervidil is used.  If  they are too intense then I would have to get more medicine to make them slow down.  Luckily Kristi knows what she's doing and my contractions were fine - from their perspective.  For me, I went from 0-60 in 10 seconds - or so it felt.  Mind you, I was flat on my back and unable to move at all for an hour while I was getting monitored.  Laboring on your back is freaking awful!

Anyway, I suffered through that first hour of monitoring and then I was able to get up and walk around.  My favorite place to labor was at the end of my bed, sitting on a birthing ball.  Melissa would sit in front of me, under my hospital bed, and push against my knees while Tim sat behind me rubbing and pushing on my back and hips.  It didn't get rid of my pain but it did help relieve some of it.

That mask didn't go far
My labor was actually going pretty well, painful, but I was managing okay . . . until I had to get back into the bed so they could monitor the baby.  I only had to be monitored for 20-30 minutes but with my contractions being so intense it felt like freaking forever.  At that point I started talking about getting an epidural.  I had talked to my birth team and Tim about this situation and I asked them to remind me, in the event that I did ask for it, why I did not want to have one.  They did exactly as I asked.  They did not tell me I couldn't have one or that I shouldn't - they simply just reminded me why I didn't want one.  Right around this time my water broke and my contractions got a lot more intense.  Once my water broke, we realized that there was meconium in my amniotic fluid.  Baby was still doing great so there wasn't a lot of concern but they did call Kristi to come in and check on things.  When she got there I was in so much pain, and still talking about an epidural, that she suggested we try nitrous oxide.  I guess this is something they offer laboring women, though I had never heard of it.  Kristi told me it doesn't take away the pain of labor but it would help get my mind out of it without any side effects to the baby.  I decided to give it a try.  I had this little portable tank with a mask that I could use as liberally as I wanted.  Apparently, I used it very liberally because things got fuzzy for me after this because it really took my mind out of it.  I couldn't really focus and it made me very sleepy.  I really wasn't aware of who was in the room or not - the only focus I had was every contraction.  I would sleep in between and then when I had a contraction I would breathe in the nitrous.  I continued this pattern for some time until I had to get back into the bed to get monitored.

Discussing the epidural w/Kristi, the first time


That bed was my enemy!  I hated having to lay down because it made every contraction so much worse.  Once I got back into that bed it was over for me and I knew I needed an epidural.  At this point, I was just so out of it and I was so tired.  I had such amazing support from Melissa, Kristi, and Tim.  They all knew I didn't want an epidural and when I got to the point that I was asking for one they made sure it was what I really wanted.  They didn't want me walking away with regrets.  For that alone, I am so thankful for all of them.  They helped me to be empowered and knowledgeable about the decision I made.  More than that, we tried everything else before that decision so when it came down to it, I knew what I needed and I was okay with it.  I'm pretty sure I still cried though.

After my epidural
 I ended up having to get two epidurals.  The first one only numbed my right side and for some reason all of my pain was centered on my left side.  Every contraction seemed like it was intensified by 100 on that side.  I can't even describe how awful that was.  So, the anesthesiologist had to come back in and redo the epidural.  After it was done, my left side was more numb than the right.  The epidural is an amazing thing.  I didn't feel a thing, including my legs, once I got it.  I pretty much went right to sleep and slept for a couple hours.  Once they gave me the epidural my blood pressure bottomed out and the baby's heart rate dropped to 70 beats per minute from 150's.  Things got really serious for a minute and Kristi ended up giving me an epinephrine shot and my blood pressure and the baby's heart rate returned to normal and stayed that way.  My contractions also slowed down to about 7 minutes apart though the intensity didn't change (not that I was feeling them).

First look at Hadley
From there, things were pretty relaxed.  I got some much needed sleep while Tim and Melissa kept vigil.  When it was time to push I was alert, finally, and relaxed.  The epidural had worn off enough that I had some feeling in my legs and I could feel the contractions - though they were not nearly as intense as they had been.  I could feel the baby moving into position with every push.  Kristi got me a mirror so I could see her head emerging as I pushed.  It really gave me a focus on what I was doing and it was incredible to see.  Once the baby was crowning Tim stepped aside and a nurse took his place holding my leg.  He stepped up next to Kristi so he could catch Hadley as she came into this world.  He held her head while Kristi unwrapped the umbilical cord from her neck and suctioned out her nose.  Once her shoulders came out,  he put her on my belly and I saw my daughter's face for the first time.  Her eyes were wide open and she was screaming.  Her cry was so loud - she did not sound like a typical newborn.  She was pissed and wanted the whole world to know it.

That moment was truly something else.  Nothing could ever compare to the rush of feeling that entered my body the moment that I touched Hadley for the first time.  Tim and I just looked at each other in absolute awe and everyone and everything else just faded away until it was just the three of us.

She was so alert!

My labor and the birth of my daughter didn't go as I had planned, at all, but looking back I wouldn't change it.  Well, I wouldn't do nitrous again just because it took me out of it so much.  I think that's why I ended up getting the epidural.  But, I'm absolutely okay with having gone that route.  I'm so thankful for Melissa especially.  I think everyone should have a doula, specifically her because she's amazing.  Kristi couldn't be there the entire time - she was delivering two other babies at the same time as mine.  Melissa was there the entire time.  Not only did she give me support and encouragement but she was 100% there for Tim as well.  He was able to rest when he needed to, and when things got scary she was there to reassure him.  We both agree that we could not have gotten through this without her and should we have more children we will make sure she is there again.  When Kristi was able to be with me she was nothing but encouragement and comfort.  She validated my concerns and gave me choices.  She also did everything she could to give me the vaginal birth I wanted.  This girl did not have to have an unnecessary C-Section!!
And Tim.  What an amazing thing it is to have such a great partner.  I couldn't be more lucky.  There wasn't a moment in the 26 hours that I was in labor that he wasn't there.  I don't think he ate, drank, or went to the bathroom the entire time.  He was always within reach and in all the photos that Melissa took the one constant is that we were touching each other.  Either he had his hands on me or I was reaching out to him.  I took great comfort in his presence and I still do.

Proud Papa