Monday, July 22, 2013

Confessions of a New Mommy

According to the baby app I have on my phone, Sebastian is now 24 days old!  Wtf?!  Seriously, where did all that time go?  Seems like he was just born yesterday!  Today is actually David's first day back to work after taking 3 weeks off for paternity leave (he was originally going to take 2 weeks off but was able to extend his leave in order to help me with the transition...such a good hubby!).  This means that this momma has been on her own all day!  Good news... the baby is still alive with no injuries!  Bad news... mommy has not had the opportunity to get out of PJs and shower yet!  :(    

Not gonna lie... I'm really, really tired.  Unfortunately, against the suggestion of all mommies out there, I haven't really been successful in resting/napping when the baby is sleeping.  As a result, my thoughts are fragmented and scattered.  This is what is jumbled in my little head at this time...

  • I was right... David is an awesome dad and seems to have transitioned into his new role as Sebastian's daddy pretty naturally. I love watching my three loves napping together with Sebastian on David's chest and Pookie nestled right next to them.  
  • Pookie is a great big sis!  We are so very proud of her.  She literally watches over her baby brother throughout the day and "protects" him from strangers/visitors.  Even though she's not getting as much undivided attention as she used to, she hasn't once been a pain or has shown any ounce of aggression.  Such a good girl. 
  • This is selfish, vain, but true... I want my pre-preggo body back (plus a little better) stat!  I miss my old clothes.  It is very depressing being in this limbo size.  
  • The healing process is a bitch!  I knew it would be tough but didn't realize how tough or how long it'd be.  I guess it doesn't help that I'm allergic to all of the effective pain killers so I have to solely rely on Tylenol.  I am just now feeling "normal" down there.  
  • I can't seem to catch a break... last week I was diagnosed with PUPP which is a rash that normally occurs during pregnancy but can flare up post-partum.  My research tells me that about 70% of people who get PUPP also gave birth to baby boys (something about the cause being tied to male DNA?).  I am currently on prednisone, a strong anti-histamine, Benedryl, several different types of ointments, and have ice packs all over my body.  I am SO itchy and uncomfortable and am praying that it goes away soon.  Unbearable (not to mention super gross and unsightly)!  :( 
  • Breastfeeding is no joke!  We've had several appointments with Sebastian's pediatrician and the lactation consultants at Evergreen because at two weeks Sebastian wasn't back to his birth weight yet.  As a result, in addition to breastfeeding, I started supplementing his feeding times with pumped milk as well.  I feel like I can never produce enough for him... he is hungry all the time.  As of Friday, although he finally reached his birth weight, he is only in the 1 percentile so we need to help pack on some pounds ASAP!  At this point, in addition to breastfeeding and pumping, we now also have to supplement with formula if I'm "dry" and he's still hungry.  I'll be honest, I was disappointed and felt inadequate as a mommy when we had to start with the formula so soon.  Not that its bad to be on formula but I had set a personal goal of exclusively feeding him with breast milk for at least the first 6 months.  But, we of course, will do anything to make sure he's healthy and growing!  I hope that my milk supply increases soon!  I've been trying to drink as much water as possible, and also have some mother's milk tea and lactation cookies coming soon!  Wish me luck!
  • His features... when he was first born, our initial thought was that he was all David, all Korean.  Slowly, he's starting to resemble bits of mommy too.  ;)  Daddy features: Eyes, face shape, hair, flat feet.  Mommy features: Tan skin, gap in between big toes and adjacent toe, lips, nose, eyebrows, and dimples.  He also sleeps like me - tongue slightly out with some drool and eyes slightly open like a creepster.   Oh, and when he makes his frowny/grumpy face, you can totally see me... especially when he  scrunches his eyebrows together!  ;)  Neither of us have long lashes but he was blessed with some pretty long ones... lucky boy!
  • I love it when he becomes a limp biscuit and falls asleep on me.  He looks so sweet and angelic that it makes it hard to catch some needed z's instead of just staring at him.  
  • It cracks me up when out of nowhere in the middle of breastfeeding he lets out a super high-pitched squeal of frustration when the milk is coming too fast.  I wish I could record the sound!  ;)  
  • David without fail laughs out loud when Sebastian startles himself while sleeping. So funny!
I know I've got more thoughts in my head but that's all the time I have for now (its pumping time)!  Here are some pics of Sebastian's first 24 days...

Pookie welcoming her new baby brother!

First time in the car seat... just got home from the hospital!

First meeting!

Helping daddy with the diaper

Daddy with his babies

Milk drunk


First trip to the lactation center

Favorite facial expression

Already stylish!  He's even experienced his first Nordstrom Anniversary Pre-sale shopping session!

Go Huskies!

An attempt at tummy time!  ;) 

He loves his MamaRoo!  First day alone with mommy on watch!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Maternity Photos

On Saturday, June 1st our friend, Crystal, came over to take our maternity photos.  We started out by taking some pictures in the nursery with Pookie and then headed out to a former buffalo farm in Mukilteo (sadly, this beautiful spot is slowly turning into yet another Target plaza).  

We were both nervous to be taking our maternity photos so close to our due date because of all the excess weight we both gained!  Luckily, Crystal is amazing and worked her magic!  It was so fun to work with her and for two camera shy (read: awkward) people, she made us feel comfortable!  As soon as I saw that she had started her photography business a couple years ago, I knew I wanted her to shoot our photos!  I've known her since the 3rd grade and always knew she'd end up doing something creative!  I highly recommend that you check out her work here: Crystal Marie Photography blog & Crystal Marie Photography Facebook Page.  

Here are some of our favorites: 

Sweet Talker

I thought this was funny so I thought I'd share this little exchange I had with the hubs the other day...

Me: Do my legs look different to you?  As in are they a little skinnier?
Husband: (Slight pause) Yeah, actually they do! They don't look like just straight, thick tubes anymore. 
Me: (Appalled look on my face)
Husband: Um... I'm not saying you had cankles or anything... um... 

Wow, what a sweet talker!  I suppose I shouldn't set him up with questions like that, eh?!  Seems like a lose, lose situation to me!  ;) 

Sebastian's Birth Story

Wow... what a difference a post and almost 3 weeks makes!  I still can't believe my last post on here was complaining about still being pregnant at exactly 40 weeks and then fast forward to now with Sebastian crying his head off upstairs while David is changing his diaper.  Crazy!  I really want to document Sebastian's birth story so bear with me.  This might be a little TMI so feel free to skim or skip altogether...

It wasn't long after I published my last post that Sebastian decided it was time to make his grand appearance.  At around 4:30 PM on June 27, David was nearly out the door to play in his league's championship baseball game at Boeing when I was talking his ear off about my many pregnancy ailments.  Before his departure, he had a conversation with Sebastian through my belly asking him to be cooperative and come out on his estimated due date (the next day).  Pookie was seated on the other side  of me and at some point had also laid her head on my belly and I think was sending him vibes to come out and play.  ;)  Anyway, I got up for some reason that I can no longer remember and then felt a rush of liquid.  Since I had no signs of labor, I figured I had peed myself (embarrassing, I know).  I went to check and something told me this was no ordinary bladder control issue.  At that point, I sent a text to Maureen asking her if there was an obvious difference between peeing yourself and your water breaking.  She thought it was my water so David decided to call the hospital to see if we needed to go in.  Let's just say after that call, he had to bail on his game and we scrambled to get our hospital bags and Pookie's stuff in order.  

We got to Evergreen Hospital around 6:30 PM.  By that point, I still wasn't in any kind of pain but was leaking fluids.  Since I wasn't visibly keeling over from labor pains, I went into a triage area where they did the non-stress test and basic monitoring.  The nurse mentioned that when the weather was hot, they saw a lot of pregnant women thinking they were in labor when it was just a false alarm.  To be sure of my condition, they said I needed to do some kind of exam similar to a pap smear.  On my way to the room, we found that I had left a trail of liquid behind me so I was spared having to do the exam!  :)  From there, I was officially admitted and headed to my hospital room.  The awesome news was that my OB was on call that night and if Sebastian was able to make it out by 7:00 AM the next morning, she would be able to deliver him before the shift change!  No pressure or anything.  :) 

When we got to my room, we went through a little nurse shift change.  The nurses assigned to us that night were Sherry and Christine.  Since I wasn't experiencing labor pains, my doctor gave me two options - to wait it out and naturally wait for labor to start or induce labor by way of administering some pitocin.  I really just wanted to get the show on the road so we decided to use the pitocin.  After a while, the pain started.  Oh, the pain!  To further speed things along, every 20 minutes or so I was tasked with doing a different activity or moving into a different position.  David and I walked the halls of the Evergreen FMC, bounced on a ball, did some lunges, stretched over the foot of the hospital bed, and some other things.  At one point, Charlie and his girlfriend Sam popped in to see how we were doing.  I was in a good amount of pain by then so didn't really chat - I don't think they were there for very long but you'd have to ask David since I was definitely "in the zone".

After what felt like an eternity, our nurses finally felt sorry enough for me to call the anesthesiologist to administer my epidural.  In our birth plan, I had wanted to be drugged from the get go so I was surprised we had to wait so long until I received any pain relief.  I was really dreading the administration process based on some stories from friends but it surprisingly wasn't as bad as I thought it'd be!  Phew!  It started working pretty quickly but unfortunately, it wasn't as effective on the left side of my body so I was still feeling all of the pain/contractions.  Eventually they called the anesthesiologist back in and he pumped me with more drugs.  After a little while I was finally comfortable but when the nurses came back in to check on the epidural level relative to my body, they found it was a little higher than ideal and any higher would result in me having difficulty breathing on my own.  At that point, they  stopped the epidural altogether.  :(  From there, I was able to get a little nap in and then the next thing I know, I'm being woken up to start pushing!  I asked for more drugs but they said it was too late. FML! I'm not sure how long I was in active labor and pushing but it felt like a really long time!  I always imagined myself screaming or swearing my head off but for the majority of the time I just had my eyes closed and stayed relatively quiet.  Well, with the occasional plea to be killed on the spot.  ;)  David was a very good coach throughout the entire process - he made sure Jack Johnson was playing in the background and even had a picture of Pookie ready for me to focus on. He also supplied me with mints whenever I requested it (almost non-stop at one point) and held my barf bucket for me in between puking my brains out. It took me a while to figure out how to do the breathing and pushing effectively - it was so frustrating!  I have so much respect for people that can go through the birthing process without any pain medication... y'all are crazy!  If we ever have another child, I will definitely ask for the epidural and hopefully it won't be shutdown prior to the active labor part.

Although Sebastian was head down, his chin wasn't tucked in so the larger part of his head was up against my cervix.  My doctor and nurses tried to put me in different positions to get him to turn and to be honest, neither of us can remember if he actually got to the "proper" position.  When his head was finally visible, I was asked if I'd want skin to skin contact once he was out.  I definitely wanted that bonding time but requested that he be cleaned off first.  No offense, I wasn't interested in having all that stuff all over me.  ;)  David and everyone was cheering me and Sebastian on as he slowly made his way  into the world.  I was just in too much pain to take a look and didn't really open my eyes until I heard "he's out"!  With that, I saw my little man only halfway out (legs still inside) and then I was instructed to pull him out and place him on my chest Kourtney Kardashian style!  My first thought?!  Um... but he's got gook all over him! ;)  But, alas, I ended up doing as I was told.  Everything after that was a blur.  I remember David cutting the umbilical cord (apparently it was thick and tough so it took more than one attempt), I remember looking over our new baby and seeing my doctor hard at work with a thick needle and thread to stitch me up due to my episiotomy, and then Sebastian getting his vitals taken and his first bath.  All of that seriously seems SO long ago!

Since I had GBS and am also allergic to amoxicillin/penicillin causing them to give Sebastian a "less effective" antibiotic, we had to stay in the hospital an additional 24 hours so they could monitor him as an extra precaution.  At first we were disappointed to hear the news, but I think it turned out for the best because we were able to take advantage of the lactation consultants (who are awesome at Evergreen), and David was able to perfect the art of the swaddle and diapering by watching all the nurses.  :)  During our stay, we had some visitors pass through including our parents (my parents were watching Pookie while we were at the hospital and so my mom even brought her a blanket with his scent on it for her to get used to before we got home), Charlie, Sam, Henry, my friend John and his wife Crystal.

As you can tell by the lapse in time between Sebastian's birth 'til now, we've been a little busy since we've been home!  ;)  We're still getting used to the constant nursing, diapering, and clothing changes cycle... we are SO tired! But, even though we admittedly get frustrated sometimes, we wouldn't change it for the world!  We're loving being a family of FOUR!  Thanks to everyone who has come by the past few weeks to welcome Sebastian into the world and for bringing us yummy goodies!  To name a few... the new grandparents on both sides, Charlie, the Nikonovs, the Os, Becker, David's Aunt and Cousin, Mingie, the future Mr. & Mrs. Fox, the Otnesses, lil' Jen, and last but certainly not least, Sebastian's Uncle Lester who flew all the way from London to meet his new nephew!  :)

Sebastian's Stats:

  • Birthdate - June 28, 2013
  • Time - 6:37 AM
  • Weight - 6 pounds, 12 ounces
  • Length - 19 3/4 inches

Here are some of Sebastian's first pic on the outside: 

Triage area for non-stress test & monitoring

Heinous picture but here's a pic of what I was supposed to focus on while pushing

First bath!

Can't believe that little guy lived in my belly for 9 months!

Bonding with daddy


Aw... taking the first watch while mommy took a nap