Monthly Archives: January 2015

One week


Yesterday Killian was 1 week old and today marks 1 week since we brought him home. Today was also his due date and it’s kind of crazy to think I could still be pregnant right now and it wouldn’t even be much of a stretch!

This last week has been a bit of a blur and also really long at the same time. All 4 of us are trying to establish the new normal.

Helen Jeanette has been very positive towards Killian, smiling and saying ‘baby!’ every time she sees him. Just this morning she started calling him ‘Key’ which I love. Despite all this her little world has just been rocked and she’s definitely displaying some confusion and has been testing all the rules and throwing a lot of tantrums. We’ve been a little lax with things (such as how much juice she’s allowed, usually 1 juice box a week) but we’re trying to get back to a routine, even if it is a different one then before Killian. I’m optimistic that she will settle into life with a new brother and be happier then ever soon. She continues to be a sleeping champ and has only woken up in the night once since we brought Killian home, despite the fact that his crib is right on the other side of her wall.

Killian is a very sleepy and hungry baby. He loves to sleep on us during the day but at night he is happy to be swaddled and have a pacifier between feedings. When Helen Jeanette was his age she could go for 4-5 hour stretches at night but Killian wants to eat every 2.5 hours and he usually loses his pacifier and cries for it at least once between feedings. He’s a pro at generating laundry in the night (or day) by spitting up or peeing everywhere.

Chris was home for a week and spent a lot of time playing with Helen Jeanette and got a good amount of housework/cleaning/organizing/baby proofing done. He went back to work yesterday but he continues to get up a lot in the night to retrieve pacifiers or change diapers. He’s an incredibly supportive husband and father.

My recovery this time around has been slightly complicated by a uti and some intense engorgement. Neither of these are a big deal but they are very uncomfortable and led to several nights where I couldn’t sleep (in addition to night feedings). I took the weekend to try to beat the uti naturally, went to the doctor for antibiotics Tuesday, and am going back today for a shot since the antibiotics didn’t work. I’ve had someone home to help me every day and I’m trying to give Helen Jeanette the attention she craves but I’ve also spent a lot of time reading and cuddling/feeding Killian.

Overall things are going well and we are so excited and thankful to be a family of 4.


Helen Jeanette helping bathe Killian.










Today was our first day with just the 4 of us (although we still had people stop by and bring dinner) and I think things went well! We certainly didn’t accomplish much but we made it through without anyone getting hurt or falling asleep and neglecting babies.

First 3 days



There are several things I had forgotten about the newborn stage.

1) How long it takes to breastfeed a new born. I feel like I’m not doing anything else. A good session can easily take an hour with burping and diaper change and then he might want to eat again an hour after he finishes. So far his cluster feeds have been in the middle of the night which is not ideal, but hopefully tonight will be better.

2) How no matter how tired I am I need to decompress for a period anytime I lie down. Chris has a talent for falling asleep immediately and when he’s as tired as he has been the last couple days he can also sleep through a lot of noise. I am envious of this talent. It may work out though because Chris has his deepest sleeps in the early night hours and I have mine in the early morning hours, so he can generally let me sleep in.

3) How the first couple times when I’m in public without the baby it seems like people are being rude. In reality they’re just not going out of their way to be super helpful since I’m no longer pregnant. I’d gotten so used to pregnancy attention I forgot what it’s like to receive regular attention from strangers!

We’re still learning a lot about the differences parenting two babies (2 under 2!) but these are the things I had already known but forgotten. Possibly many more left to remember!




Killian’s birth story



I woke up the morning of the 20th at 1am with regular contractions about 8 minutes apart and started timing them. Around 4 am they were about 7 minutes apart and I went back to sleep for a couple hours. I still woke up with the contractions but I didn’t bother timing them and slept between them. Chris claims he had a terrible night sleep because of this and he was certainly exhausted the next day but I wasn’t super sympathetic.

In the morning Chris went to work and my mom came to help me pack and be available for Helen Jeanette whenever the time came. We went to Elmo’s diner for breakfast and went to Harris teeter to store up on Helen Jeanette snacks for a few days and chocolate for the nurses. At this point things felt early for me but my contractions were less then 5 minutes apart so I went to the hospital to get checked out. They found me at 4-5 cm but by the time I was checked in triage my contractions had slowed to every 10 minutes so they gave me the choice to be admitted or not. The choice was phrased more along the lines of ‘if you really want to stay we’ll keep you…’ so at noon I chose to go get lunch and labor at home. At this point I also decided it was time for Chris to come home so he came to meet me at a burger joint across from the hospital. Having been so close to the hospital and the diet it entails (only clear liquids) I went a little overboard and got us lots of burgers, fries, cokes, and milkshakes. They were delicious and I definitely think the energy was good later on.

The next couple hours we basically just prepared because my contractions started ramping up again as soon as I left the hospital. Chris played with Helen Jeanette some while I packed a few last minute things and then Chris and I headed to target to pick out a gift for Helen Jeanette from Killian. We had a good time selecting way too many toys and books and then narrowing it down to a big stuffed Mickey (thanks to some Christmas books from Uncles Daniel and Rhys she says ‘mickey’ excitedly whenever she sees him) and two books. This was still probably 2 items too many but books are my weakness because they’re educational and when we get new books we don’t have to read the old ones quite as often.

We ended up checking back into the hospital at 4:30 with contractions coming every 4.5 minutes. This was still not very frequent because we were every 3 minutes when we were admitted with Helen Jeanette. This time my contractions stayed regular until I was actually strapped to the monitor at which point they immediately stalled and dropped to every 10-12 minutes. We kicked this around for a few hours, took walks, bounced on the birthing ball, etc. etc. I could make a contraction come but normal behavior they had slowed to intense but not consistent contractions every 10-15 minutes. I was still measuring only 5cms. The doctor was pretty puzzled but gave us two options. 1) go home and wait it out or 2) he breaks my water to get things moving. Even though he gave us the options he clearly thought we should go home and didn’t think 38 weeks + 5 days was the right time to induce labor. We talked about it for a bit but there was really only one decision to be made and Chris finally verbalized that we had to go home because there was less risk to Killian. I cried some just at the thought of having spent the whole day laboring, lined up childcare for Helen Jeanette, started my maternity leave, etc. with nothing to show for it and no clear idea when things would progress. We prayed some and I admit that while I should have prayed for God’s will, I really just prayed that things would get started again before I could be discharged.

At 10:30 we had completed the discharge conversation with the dr, gotten dressed, and were just waiting for the iv to be removed. I had a contraction and tried to roll onto my side when I heard a pop and felt a gush. I was completely thrilled and rushed into the hall to tell the doctor. Things were a little shaky for the next 10 minutes while they considered the possibility I’d just peed myself since all the tests were either inconclusive or invalid because the blood that was present would also give a positive on the test. Within 10 minutes though labor had kicked into high gear and removed all doubt.

So at 10:30 I was planning to go home, at 10:40 I was clearly back in labor with contractions 10x as intense as the previous ones, at 11 I was asking for an epidural, at 11:20 I was hitting Chris and screaming for my epidural, at 11:40 I was demanding some sort of drugs to tie me over to my epidural, at 11:50 they gave me the epidural, at 1 we were pushing, and at 1:21 I had a beautiful boy on my chest.

With Helen Jeanette I had an epidural at 4cms due to a stalled labor so I never felt the pain of the transition stage, and I was clearly not prepared for it. I went into this labor planning on an epidural but never realized how bad the pain would get. However, with Helen Jeanette I pushed for 3 hours and with Killian it only took 15 minutes. I was able to pull him out for skin to skin cuddles while his umbilical cord pulsed out the last of the blood from the placenta and Chris was able to cut the cord.

With both babies I was immediately wide awake as soon as they were born, however this time around I started to crash quickly and I told Chris and the nurse I wouldn’t be able to breastfeed because I couldn’t stay awake. I remember thinking how strange it was that after everything I’d just gone through I couldn’t hold it together enough to breastfeed for 20 minutes. Fortunately the nurse recognized that I wasn’t so much falling asleep as passing out and was able to get me some sugary foods and adjust my iv to help me stay awake. I had some low blood pressure issues this pregnancy that resulted in my passing out some in my second trimester, and this was evidently more of the same. Because my blood pressure was so low they weren’t able to remove us to the recovery room for an extra couple hours so we were able to get a little bit of sleep after he ate.

Yesterday was a pretty uneventful day in the hospital. Killian slept a lot, Chris went home and slept in the morning while my mom came here to hold him, my dad also came by in the morning to see him before he leaves for California, Mary Kyle came and ate dinner with us, and Rane and Molly came by in the evening. I took a nap in the afternoon but mostly can’t sleep here because people are constantly coming in and out. We are expecting to be released this afternoon and are very excited to introduce Killian to Helen Jeanette, but we’re also very nervous about teaching her to be gentle and not touch without mommy and daddy there.






We ended up deciding not to assemble her bed for another month or so. The logic was that she already had to get used to the new room and she’s still just so little to be climbing in and out of bed. This way there won’t be any concern about her falling out of bed while we’re also dealing with newborn chaos.

So far she has spent 1 night, 2 naps, and has started the 2nd night in her new room/floor bed. We’ve put a pool noodle under the sheet so she can’t roll off, even though it wouldn’t hurt her from where she is. She seems to really like the room. We’ve been talking so much about big girl rooms and big girl beds that when I took her to lie her down last night she just grinned in a way that suggested ‘finally.’