Daphne-1 Month

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Weight:  She is 9 lbs. She is gaining weight much faster than her brother.

Health: We had some issues with her digestion these past couple weeks. She has had some projectile vomit. So much that I am not sure how she was gaining weight. She also was constipated and wasn’t pooping for a couple days. She has some serious gas, and she looks like she is in pain when she is trying to pass it. I am not convinced that she is allergic to something I am eating. I don’t have the same diet every day, and her symptoms are not consistent with similar food items. We took her to our chiropractor before calling our pediatrician to see if an adjustment would help clear her out. I wasn’t sure if there was anything our ped could give her since she was so little, so I figured we would try this non-med way first. I am not even joking when I say it was less than 5 seconds after she was adjusted that she let out a huge poop. She also gave us some stretches that we can do with her to keep her immune system up, so I was thankful that we went this route.

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Diet: She is exclusively breastfed. She does really well, but she does like to comfort feed in the afternoon/evening time. So that makes it really hard because she will just cry until I give her the boob. She is a little better these past couple days after getting her poop clear, but it’s still every hour or two hours during the day. She will eat for 15-30 minutes each time, so you can imagine how my day goes when she wants to comfort feed.

Clothes: She is in newborn clothes and diapers. She can’t fit into any of her shoes right now.

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Sleeping:  I really cannot complain about our days of comfort feeding because she is an awesome newborn sleeper at night. She will sleep anywhere between 4-7 hours over night. I know, I know, we are super lucky. During the day she won’t nap for more than 45 minutes at a time, unless I have her in the wrap carrier. I do wonder if she just sleeps better flat because she is in the pack and play in our room at night and the rock and play during the day which is at an incline.

Likes:  Feeding. The wrap carrier. Riding in the car.

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Dislikes:  She does not like pacifiers. We tried to get this to work so I wasn’t feeding her constantly, but to no avail she has not taken to it. She hates the hours between 5-10pm. Dinner to bedtime is a struggle in our house right now.

Nicknames: Sister Friend, Girlfriend, Sweet Cheeks, DC, Daphie, Daph, and Daphne June. 

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Quirks:  She looks at you with only one eye open. She has started squeaking/humming in her sleep. It is super cute.

We parents are:  doing pretty good. I have my check-up this week, so I hope I get the go ahead to exercise fully again. I am getting antsy. I have been walking a lot with Daphne, but I want to start adding some weight workouts to build my strength up again. Working out really helps me feel more like myself. I am back in my pre-pregnancy pants, but I still have some stuff I would like to lose around the middle to feel more comfortable. Tom went back to work this week. I know he was so ready to get back at it, but it has been really nice to have him home this past month. I have successfully taken the two of them out solo to and from our sitter, but I have yet to try a place where we all have to get out of the car as a threesome where it wasn’t someone else’s house. I was going to attempt church today on my own with them, but it was down-pouring and that shook my confidence. Baby steps. Our house is just about done. We just have a few minor things left from the contractor, but we are fully living in the new wing. I want to do tours of the rooms here on the blog as soon we get all the decor up on the walls. It has been a huge stress relief to get settled into the new part of the house.

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George is:  doing amazing. I have been so proud of him this past month. He has had minimal issues with our newest addition. We have had to work on being gentle and not so crazy around her. He just has so much energy sometimes and has a hard time containing it when he is near her. 

The dogs are: doing ok. They are actually the two that have had the hardest adjustment this past month. Between the house changes, having strangers in our house daily, and Daphne coming home, it has been a lot for the dogs. We have had some behavior issues, but it is getting better with lots of outside time. Our vet also found a cancerous tumor on Crosby’s hip this week, so he will be having surgery here soon.

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Here is George at one month.

We love you so much girlie! We can’t wait to see the person you become, but for now I will enjoy all these newborn struggles.

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Thank you for your kind words in response to our birth story. While it was traumatic in some ways, it also brought us our beautiful baby girl. We are so excited to watch her grow, and of course I am going to document the journey here.

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Weight:  She is 6 lbs. She was 6 lbs 10 oz when she was born and 18 and 3/4 inches long. She weighs more than George at this point, but he was longer than her.

Health: She is perfectly healthy!

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Diet: She is eating just breastmilk. She latches like a champ, but she doesn’t nurse for very long. She usually does only 5-10 minutes each feeding. She ends up falling asleep. If anyone has advice on how to keep her awake to eat more I am all ears. We are nursing every 2-3 hours. I am pumping at least once a day because of engorgement though. It never hurts to start the stock up for when I go back to work.

Clothes: She is still very tiny. She can fit into premie onsies, but full premie sleepers are too short for her. She is still a couple weeks away from completely filling out newborn clothes. I am not upset about that because it means we get to wear clothes a little longer. Although she has so many clothes that she may only wear things once anyway. She is in newborn diapers.

Sleeping:  She pretty much sleeps all day. I feel like we are getting a little more sleep than we did with George. I remember crying in sleep deprivation a lot more with him. We do our last feeding before I get into bed around 11, and then she will wake up around 2:30/3, and then not again until 6ish. That’s when George wakes up as well, so that begins our day. I will take it!

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Likes:  It’s hard to say what she likes right now. I guess boobs?

Dislikes:  She is pretty chill. The only time she cries is right after we have given her a bottle. She screams in protest until I let her nurse. She will have just eaten 2 oz with a bottle but will throw a fit until I feed her naturally. Other than that, she doesn’t cry too much yet.

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Nicknames: Sister Friend, Girlfriend, Sweet Cheeks, DC, Daphie and Daph.

Quirks:  It’s hard to say right now. She doesn’t really cry; she just makes squeaks right now when she gets hungry. Girl has the longest toes I have ever seen.

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We parents are:  Not doing too bad considering we haven’t had a full night sleep in awhile. Tom is a really light sleeper so anytime Daphne makes a noise he is up checking on her. And I never sleep more than 2 hours at a time with feeding her. So it can be a little rough, but we are making do. It is nice this time because Tom actually has off for the next month with me. Our house should be done here in the next week or two. We were able to move into the bedrooms this weekend, and we are just waiting on the bathrooms and some things on the outside to be completely finished. It is nice that we have this time at home to take our time moving things and decorating the way we want instead of feeling rushed on a weekend. We are absolutely in love with how things have turned out! So besides the sleep, we don’t have any real big complaints!

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George is:  doing so much better than expected. I am going to write a post soon about his reaction to Sister and all the changes since coming home. He calls her Baby and Sister. He is very curious about breastfeeding and mommy’s milk. He thinks that I have booboos that Sister is kissing better.

The dogs are: doing just fine. I think they love the fact that we are all home all the time right now. They are pretty clingy and want our attention a lot. Grace tried to get in the pack and play with Daphne the first couple nights we were home. She likes to lick her head too. Crosby could care less about Daphne, but he seems to have grown closer to George. He is now sleeping in his bed with him.

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And I am totally going to be that parent and compare her to her big brother. Here is George at two weeks old.

The Days Following Daphne

Yesterday, I gave you a glimpse of how labor went for Miss Daphne.

This part of the story is long, but it is helping me process it and will serve as a good reminder that my family is perfect just the way it is.

It was almost immediately after giving birth that my blood pressure started evening out. I also was not feeling the magnesium that much anymore, and we started the countdown until I would be off of it. They require that you remain on magnesium drip for 24 hours after you deliver. This means you are still stuck to the bed (with the catheter), and you do not get any food, still. With George, I remember that day after was the worst. I was delirious and felt like I was swimming the whole day, never mind that I couldn’t go see my boy since he was in the NICU. Since Daphne never left the room, I like to think that made things go a little smoother for me that next morning. I just started going stir crazy counting down my 24 hours.

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My mother-in-law brought George to meet Sister early that morning. He didn’t really get that it was his sister, and he kept pointing to my belly when we would say Sister. He called her Baby the whole time. He was more excited about all the digger books that we got him for the occasion. He did give her a sweet kiss and then tried to poke her in the eye before he left.

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My dad was the next visitor. He was there for most of the day just hanging out holding his grandbaby. Both Tom and I were able to catch a few zzzz’s while he was there.

Then that afternoon, I took a turn for the worst.

When you give birth, the nurses will check your uterus to make sure that it is distended or not out of place. They push super hard, and it is not comfortable at all when they do it. However, I do not remember it being this painful when I had George. I had to grab on to the handrails of the bed and brace for impact each time they checked my belly because it hurt so bad. But they said that everything felt normal, and I was looking great.

I was also starving at this point since it had been over 24 hours since I had real food. My nurse got the approval that I could have clear liquids, which included strawberry jello and a popsicle. That was the best damn jello I have ever had.

I started to have some heavy bleeding, which also alarmed me because I barely bled at all after George. The nurse said for now it looked normal and there were no clots coming out, but she said she would keep an eye on it.

I began feeling really faint and like a huge weighted blanket was being put on my body. I wondered if it was because I ate the popsicle and jello too fast and thinking maybe it was my blood sugar levels freaking out on me. I remember turning to Tom and telling him that I didn’t feel good and I was going to pass out. Tom said I was really flush, and my blood pressure went down to a 49/39. He called the staff in, and I can remember there all of a sudden being around 10 people in our room. I felt some gushing like I peed my pants, and they realized that I was basically bleeding out.

They pushed on my uterus, and oh my the pain. Even giving birth and contractions cannot compare to this pain. They determined that I was hemorrhaging. Once everything was out after the birth, my uterus was supposed to contract. Because I had a blood clot though, it wouldn’t fully contract. So each time it would try to contract, it would just fill up with more blood.

It seemed like a lifetime was going by while they made a decision on what to do and continued checking everything. I know they were asking me questions and telling me things about what they were going to do, but I just remember being hazy.

I remember telling Tom that I was not doing well and telling him that I loved him. I was going in and out at this point because I recall Tom begging me to answer him and to stay with him. It was an out of body experience because I was yelling back at him, but nothing was actually coming out of my mouth. He just kept leaning over my face and kissing my forehead telling me that he was there and that he loved me.

There was a moment that will haunt me for some time. I looked up at the ceiling and said a prayer to God thanking him for letting me get Daphne out safely and to help Tom take care of them. I was having a hard time breathing and things were fading quickly for me and I felt like I needed to make peace with it. I am not trying to be dramatic; I really thought I was dying.

Tom said this is when I was in shock.

They gave me a ton of pain meds (morphine, fentanyl, and ephedrine). Let me tell you though, they did absolutely nothing for the pain I was about to endure. The doctor had to go elbow deep in my vagina to dig out the blood clot. THE WORST EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE. The pain was excruciating, and it brought me out of the daze I was in moments before. I felt like I was in a horror film where they were trying to get an alien or demon out of my body with no mercy. I was kicking and screaming just hoping it would stop. I am in tears just recalling it. I also am still having nightmares every time I close my eyes because it was so horrific.

I almost wish that we had taken a picture of the blood clot. It was like a whole other baby was in there. The largest piece was about the size of a large grapefruit, and then there was several smaller remnants that came along for the ride. It kind of looked like a ball of yarn after a toddler gets a hold of it. One big mass, and then a tangled mess unraveling around it. Many of the doctors and nurses told us that it was the largest blood clot they had ever seen.

It was estimated that over the course of the ordeal, I lost about three pints of blood. I had to have a blood transfusion, which is a first for me. It really brings home being a blood donor.

Once they had the clot out, the gave me a huge shot in my leg to get my uterus to contract fully this time.

It took me a while to feel back to normal, but with the new blood, I was starting to stabilize again.

I feel extremely fortunate for the staff that was on hand, and my husband for talking me through the whole thing. I thank God that He pulled me through so I could continue being a mom to my sweet babies. It is because of these moments that I will never again have another child though. It’s not that I can’t, and I feel very fortunate that I did not have to have a hysterectomy because the clot was so bad. This is just not something I can risk happening again or put Tom through. I have told Tom that if I even mention a third kid to pull up this post as a reminder that this is not a safe idea. The gravity of this ordeal is just not something that I feel like I could overcome again.

Soon after the transfusion, I was back to counting down the time until I got off the magnesium so I could get some mac and cheese.

Tom’s side of the family came that evening to meet little Miss. This was nice to keep me distracted because I was not able to sleep because every time I tried all I could see and hear was myself screaming from them pulling out the clot.

Not much happened next until early in the morning when they came to do their 24 hour check on myself and Daphne. I was doing much better which meant getting off the magnesium and having some Kraft mac and cheese. But Daphne was losing too much weight.

So they made me start pumping to supplement after every nursing feed. Pumping and nursing meant that I was basically milking every hour, which also translates to no sleep.

Her weight and my blood clot got us an additional night stay for observations.

We were moved to a post-partum room, and Tom and I just waited it out watching hours of Law and Order and Alaska Bush People.

My blood pressures were amazing (if I do say so myself), and all our doctors and nurses were even astonished how quickly I bounced back after everything I went through. And Daphne gained a few ounces over that 24 hour stretch.

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Saturday came and so did our discharge paperwork.

Apparently May was the time to have babies though, and our paperwork did not get sent right away. Because of protocol, since we were still there at noon, I had to have all my vitals checked again. However the nurse tech did not make it to our room until 2:00. (Our discharge paperwork was done minus the doctor’s signature at 11:00 am, but again because of the overwhelming number of births, our paperwork was not an immediate priority).

My parents happened to come to the hospital at that time as well.

So the unexpected vital check and waiting for the past 2 days to leave, on top of having to perform a good blood pressure in front of a group…well let’s just say did not happen. I had two readings that on paper would have signified that I was having a stroke (193/127).

Needless to say, they wouldn’t let me leave. I had to have my blood pressure checked for the next four hours every 15/30 minutes. I also had to do some lab tests with my urine and blood to make sure I was not still pre-eclamptic. Apparently 70% of patients with pre-eclampsia during pregnancy will develop it after the birth as well. The first two hours I did fine, and they were down to a more normal rate. But the longer, I was there they started climbing again. All I could think about was that they would never let me leave, and I would psych myself out into a bad reading.

Tom really was a saving grace here. He helped with the readings, and talked me off the ledge many times to keep me calm. He also advocated for me when it was hitting that four hour mark after we were supposed to leave initially, and I was working myself into a tizzy. We just wanted to be home and be able to tuck George into bed for the first time in four nights.

We finally were given the green light to go, and I would have to come back in for a follow up to determine if I needed medication.

I have had two very different pregnancies and two very different labor experiences. However, both were traumatic in their own rights. I am now confident that our family is meant to be just the four of us, and Miss DC completes our family dynamic.

I am eternally grateful for nurses like Amy, Christine, and Amber who were instrumental in my safety throughout the whole ordeal. Amber never left my side during the whole birth process. She was there from the moment they started the pitocin until well after Daphne was born. She was a delight. Christine was our day nurse and really was instrumental in helping me stay comfortable after the blood clot situation and got me some sweet snacks before my 24 hours was up. And Amy helped us get out of that joint and was an advocate for us as well when doctor’s wouldn’t even come to our room to tell us they were keeping us “hostage.” She also let Tom really take the reigns with taking my blood pressure so I wouldn’t experience as much white coat syndrome. They really made the experience as easy as possible.

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I am more in love with Tom after watching him become a dad for the second time. I know I would not have gotten through all of this without him encouraging me all the way.

I thank God for gifting me the chance to be Daphne and George’s mom. It is the greatest gift I have ever been given. They make my world complete.

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While it wasn’t easy, we made it home safely, and we are now trying to figure out our new normal.

I have so much more to share about how things are different this second time around, how big brother is doing, and just all the pictures I can manage to get of this little nugget.

Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, and kind words that you have shared with our family. While this blog is mainly for me to remember, I enjoy being able to share pieces of our journey with each of you.

Daphne’s Birth Story

It’s hard to believe that she is finally here!

Our Daphne Christine.

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While we had an induction planned, everything about this birth story was not planned. But what birth story is?

A couple weeks ago, my doctor scheduled our induction for Saturday, May 20th, because he didn’t want me to go a day past 37 weeks. Last Wednesday (May 17th), I went in for my final check up. Knowing we only had a couple days, we got everything squared away at the house, and I had everything done that I needed to do at work before I headed to this appointment. That day was also Tom’s last day at work before he started his paternity leave, so we felt good about the finality of this pregnancy. I even brought my hospital bag with me that day wanting to be more prepared.

I just had a feeling that I wasn’t going to be leaving that appointment without a baby.

And sure enough, Daphne and I both didn’t pass our tests that day. She didn’t practice breathing during the ultrasound, and my blood pressure was too high for my doctor to let us go even two more days until our induction. So I checked into Labor and Delivery, and Tom met me there within the hour after securing George plans with his parents.

We got to our room at 5pm, and I was calm about the whole ordeal at this point. We were having a baby!

They started hooking me up with the IV. They checked my cervix, and I was already dilated to a 3, which is awesome that I was already there naturally. Because of my blood pressure, I was being put on magnesium again. I was really hoping to avoid this because of the bad and awful reactions I had with George. And because of the magnesium, I had to have a catheter. Ugh…

My in-laws brought George by after picking him up from the sitter’s. When he walked in the door, he said, “Mommy hurt?” So many emotions right there. It just hit me that my little baby boy was all grown up.

Soon after they left around 7pm, they put me on pitocin and got the party started. I started having contractions coming together almost immediately. I was also really feeling the magnesium. I was freezing out Tom because I was burning up so much and kept asking for the air to be turned down. The weird thing about magnesium though is that it was just my face that was on fire.

Since I was not allowed to walk around, at 11 pm I decided to get an epidural. It just seems silly to have to deal with all that pain to be able to do it more naturally when nothing about magnesium is normal. The only reason I wanted to try naturally was so I could walk around during labor, and that just wasn’t an option. Give me the drugs then! This time was a lot harder for me to get the epidural. It was much more painful of a process. Tom was in there this time though so that was nice to be able to hold his hand.

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At 12:30, they came and checked my cervix again and broke my water. I was only at a 4. I was a little upset that I wasn’t progressing faster, but I embraced where we were at.

I started shaking uncontrollably at this point. It was like I was cold, but I was hot from the magnesium. I just remember repeating to Tom, “I can’t make it stop.” I shook like this well after the birth was over. This was awful to not feel in control of your body at all.

The nurse had me flipping sides every few minutes in between contractions to help activate Daphne. Every time I had a contraction, her heartbeat went way low. They thought that the umbilical cord may be wrapped around her neck.  I just remember being exhausted after every flip because it was so hard to move my legs due to the epidural it was taking all my strength to rotate. At one point they had me on all fours to help alleviate some of the contraction pain. The thing that they don’t tell you about epidurals is that it doesn’t take away all the contractions like one may think, and you still feel ALL the pressure.

I was having contractions every few minutes and some severe pressure in my hooha. Finally at 3:00 am, the doctor came back in to check on my progress.

It was no wonder I was feeling pressure, because Daphne was crowning and her head was making it’s way out! Her heart rate was going down during contractions not because of the umbilical cord, but because my vagina was wrapped around her neck. So they got everyone into position quickly, including my legs into stirrups.

Seven minutes and 6 pushes after they said let’s start this, Daphne Christine was born at 3:20am and laid on my chest.

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They waited a couple minutes to cut the umbilical cord while she laid on my chest. It as so magical to have this moment. We never got this with George since he was whisked away to the NICU so quickly after birth, so this was amazing to have it this time around.

Once Tom cut the literal cord, they took her over to do her tests while they did finished cleaning and stitching me up.

They did struggle to get the placenta out. And when it did come out, it was very apparent why I needed to have this baby early. It was in shreds. Tom said it looked nothing like when I had George.

But soon it was over and Daphne was back on my chest avoiding the NICU completely as a pre-term baby at 36 weeks and 4 days. Here she was already passing her brother on tests. She weighed 6 lbs and 6 oz, and every bit was beautiful.

I remember dozing off a little bit before the sun rose, but after that I was trying to nurse her every hour or so. Tom and I also admitted that it was so very weird to have her in the room. People kept commenting that it was easy for us since it was our second time and knew what to expect, but we both were like uh no the last baby I didn’t get to see for almost two days after he was born. I don’t know how to do these first few hours of life business!

So after about  7 hours of labor, our precious baby girl made her debut into this world.

While she is now born, the story does not end here. The next couple of days were just as eventful and every part of this birth story. Before this week, I had contemplated having a third kid, but one particular part event of last week has me saying there will never ever be any more kids in our future.

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But you will have to come back for that part of the story. For now you can enjoy those baby cheeks!