Monday, 25 May 2015

Well ... that was crazy in the most incredibly awesome way (Quinn's birth story)

It's 3 am on Tuesday, February 3 and I just brought you into my room. You're sound asleep, but the hospital noises are keeping me awake. That's ok though. Sitting here, holding you and beginning to write your birth story is exactly what I want to be doing - no matter what time of day it is.

Quinn, you were born at 10:27 pm on February 2, 2015 and your arrival was nothing like anything your dad or I could have ever imagined. After three days of off and on labour, back and forth to the hospital, back labour, 8-10 hours of labour, an epidural and over an hour of pushing before your brother joined us sunny side up, with his arm above his head and the cord wrapped loosely around his neck - your dad and I expected a similar experience welcoming you. 

We couldn't have been more wrong. If your birth is any indication, you and your brother are going to be very different little people. Both absolutely amazing, but very unique. 

After a false alarm to the hospital at 2 a.m. Monday morning, neither of us were eager to head back until we were sure it was "go" time. Another doctor's appointment on Monday at 9 a.m. showed things were progressing, but slowly. So we headed home to try to sleep and relax.

Around supper time my contractions started to be consistent and strong, but the last thing I wanted to do was go back to the hospital only to be sent home again. Finally, I reluctantly decided we should head back to the hospital around 9 p.m. After a stop for coffee, we arrived at 9:21 p.m. and I was 3-4 cm dilated. The nurse went to admit me, get a labour room ready and prep for my epidural. We were thrilled to know we were staying and ready to settle in for what could still be hours and hours of labour. 

Wrong again. Immediately after the nurse left the room, my contractions started to pile up one on top of the other. It felt like I had about 3 or 4 back to back to back. I was distracted during my next contraction when my water broke. Yuck. With Brooks, I didn't experience my water breaking until the doctor broke it after my epidural and at about 9 cm dilated. I had hoped my water would break this time around as an indication that it was time to go to the hospital. In hindsight, I didn't need to experience that feeling. I wanted a shower immediately. Your dad called the nurse and after confirming that I did not wet the bed, my water had indeed broken, they hurried me into an adult sized diaper and scurried me down the hall to the delivery room.

I was told to go to the bathroom to try and pee and get fully undressed and in the hospital gown. As I grimaced through another contraction while washing my hands and looked in the mirror, I just knew there was no time for an epidural and began to panic.

The next contraction on my way out of the bathroom nearly knocked me to the floor and I painfully crawled up onto the bed so the lab tech could take my blood. Talk about high stress job. The poor guy dug around in my right arm trying to find a vein while I tried not to move or yell during what seemed like dozens of contractions. He finally gave up and moved around to try the left side and that is when I told the nurse I felt like I needed to push. It was also at that time I realized she had already turned on the bassinet warmer and my hopes of an epidural vanished. You were on your way.

Once my blood was finally taken, the nurse checked me and confirmed my suspicions. I was fully dilated and I was not getting an epidural. They quickly began to set the room up for delivery.

I was slightly terrified, started to cry and told your dad I couldn't do it. He quickly assured me I could do it and I was doing it. He held my hand, and although I could see the disbelief and slight nervousness in his face, he did what he does best and calmed me down. The nurses were incredible too and before I knew it, they were laying you on my chest barely an hour after we had arrived at the hospital. I honestly didn't even push. You and my body did all the work, I just listened to your dad and the nurses and did my best to help to slow what was naturally occurring with my breathing. It was really amazing.

My doctor arrived two minutes too late and looking quite shocked to see you were already here. But probably not as shocked as we were.

You were 7 lbs 6 oz and 21.5 inches of perfect. After getting over the surprise of all of your hair, the next thing the nurses commented on were the size of your feet. They are big. Very big for a petite little girl. 

It was the most intense experience of our lives and while we enjoyed the first private moments of getting to know you, we kept looking at each other and asking, "can you believe that just happened?" Sometimes when we asked, the question included some colourful language and laughing. We still ask each other that when we reminisce about your birth and will probably continue to ask for years to come. 

Quinn I hope one day you are blessed with having kids and I hope reading your birth story and your brother's will somehow prepare you for what you absolutely can't prepare for. I hope you can stay calm, find the humour in it and have a partner as supportive and loving as your dad by your side.

Thank you for giving me this story to write. I would do it all again, exactly the same, in a heartbeat.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Quinn - 3 Months

Before you were born Quinn, your dad and I talked about the first few months of your life and reminded ourselves that it may be a struggle at times. That we may be exhausted, emotional and irritable, but that we would get through it together. None of that is a reflection on you, but simply the truth about bringing a newborn home and for us (mostly me) adjusting to life as a family of four.

And now here we are. You are 3 months old. And aside from a couple hormonal weeks for me. It's been a breeze. Thanks to you and your sweet, easy going nature.

You may very well be THE BEST baby. Hope I didn't just jinx us, but so far it's true. You hardly ever cry. And really only fuss when you are hungry, tired or gassy. All of which are usually quick fixes.

You are already very independent. This trait has come in quite handy when your brother needs my attention, but may bite me in the bum as you grow older. You are super content to be sitting in your chair or playing on your mat as long as you are still a part of the action. Your favourite thing to do is talk to the baby in the mirror when you play and I wonder if your babbling and squeals are in response to all the hair she has. It makes sense, because you definitely sound shocked sometimes.

Your weight was in question again at a 10 week doctor's appointment, but a stronger round of thrush antibiotics and a little more formula gave us the all clear again at your 12 week appointment. You are now 10lbs 7oz.

We've increased your formula intake to four 6 ounce bottles a day and with that you are pretty solidly sleeping through the night. You go down between 9 and 10 pm and often require no soothing until 5 or 6 am and then may sleep until between 7 and 8 am. You love love love to snuggle and are most relaxed and cozy with your swaddle blanket up around your face.

And you still nap like a champ. If we stay home you go down in your crib for a morning and afternoon nap, but you also handle the disruption if we are out and about in the morning doing something for your brother. We met a lot of friends at the park on your 3 month birthday during morning nap time and you were happy as a clam dozing on and off in the stroller while the big kids blew off some steam.

I may have to cut the feet out of your sleepers. Not only do you have big feet that seem squished into the space designated for them, but you are tall. You've only just started to fill out the body of 0-3 and 3 month sleepers and don't seem big enough to go up a size. I always wondered why someone would choose to buy the sleepers with no feet and instead contend with the annoyance of baby socks or cold tootsies, but now I get it.

Hair. It's still thick and lush except for the slightly rubbed off patch on the back of your head that looks like a bad comb over. And I almost think it is getting long enough that it is starting to lay flat a little bit more each day.

You and Brooks continue to interact with each other and become better and better friends. He has to say good morning, good night or good bye to you and always asks where you are if you happen to nap longer than him. And if you are fussing or crying he runs to your side to tell you it will be ok. And you totally make his day if you treat him to a smile or some cooing. 

You have become more and more vocal and we've even gotten you to give us a slight giggle a couple of times. Unfortunately, I haven't caught it on video yet, but I am sure we will have proof soon enough. You think almost anything is funny.

You are moving around more and more. You seem close to possibly rolling over onto your tummy and enjoy lifting your legs up in the air to kick the toys hanging from your play mat. I love that you are getting more and more active and stretching your little body out, but I sure wish you would unclench your fists. Hahahaha. You constantly have one or both of them cocked as if you are going to punch someone in the jaw.

Quinn I will say it again. You are THE. BEST. The pride I/we feel already is incredible and you are just doing basic baby stuff. I can't imagine how much better it's going to get. We love you so much!

Friday, 17 April 2015

Quinn - 2 Months

Quinners! You are already two months old. I fear time is flying by even faster than it did when your brother was your age. You are already out of the newborn stage and becoming your own little Miss.

We love your smile. All of us. It's infectious and let's us know we are doing a good job. You cracked your first one at about 6 weeks and now you spoil us and your toys with one after the other while you are playing. And you almost always give your dad a huge grin in the morning when you hear his voice and when he gets home from work. The best part is how your forehead and hairline shift when you give one of your biggest smiles. 

At 6 weeks old we had to give up on breastfeeding. Your dad and I wanted to give you the same start your brother had and hoped breastfeeding would go smoother the second time around. Even though it seemed easier, at a doctor's appointment for our battle with thrush, we found out you weren't gaining any weight. After a discussion and advice from our doctor we called it quits. It was straight to formula in an attempt to fatten you up.

Your 7 week doctor's appointment put my mind at ease and allowed me to relax. You had gained a pound since we switched to formula. Yay!! We are on the right track and you are going to be a little chunker before we know it. At our 8 week appointment you had gained another half a pound and the doctor said you are doing exactly what you are supposed to be and he doesn't need to see you again until your 4 month appointment.

We celebrated you turning two months with a trip to public health and your immunizations. You did awesome! You gave out a scream with each needle but were easy to console. Your weight is in the 10th percentile, height 15th and head around the 60th. None of those numbers are a concern, however, much much different from Brooks' 90+ percentiles. He was and still is a bruiser and you are sweet and petite. 

We received all of your newborn photo images and although you didn't totally cooperate during the session, I couldn't be happier with the images we received from Ali (Ali Lauren Creative Services). They are beautiful and have the vintage feel I was hoping for. I can't wait to use them for thank you/baby announcement cards and get a few printed for around the house.

Quinn you are such a good sleeper. Knock knock knock on wood. You spoil me at night by going down around 9 until 2 or 3 am. Sometimes then you don't even want to eat, but just need a snuggle before you are back to sleep until between 6 and 7 am. Quite often you are a bit restless in that second set of sleep, but I can manage since I get 5-6 solid hours before it. 

And naps are leaps and bounds ahead of where we were with Brooks at this point. You like to play after your morning bottle and will cat nap off and on. Then after your next bottle I swaddle you tight and you nap for 2-3+ hours in your crib. After that it's more play and cat napping until bedtime. 

My favourite part of your sleep habits is when you curl up on my chest for some tummy snuggles. I soak it up. All of it. 

I think HAIR is going to be a reoccurring theme of your monthly updates. It is all anyone can talk about and rightly so. Strangers stop me all the time to comment and some even can't help themselves from touching it as if in disbelief. It's just awesome!

You have been spoiled rotten by the people in our life. We are so very lucky and at times overwhelmed by all of the love, support and excitement for our family. Just when we think the gifts must be done, we are surprised by yet another one.

Quinn, you are so content. We could all (especially me) learn a thing or two from you about being happy to just be.  You do it so well. We love you so much!