Monday, April 30, 2012

Declan at One Month

I can't believe my baby boy is already one month old! He has been such a joy in our lives thus far and the transition has gone pretty well with a few bumps along the way (more to come on those!).

It's been so much fun to watch Emery being a big sister. We always knew she'd be great at it, but I really can't say enough about how good she is with Declan and how (for the most part) gentle she is around him. So far she thoroughly enjoys kissing him every chance she gets, bringing him toys, putting socks on his feet...and taking them off and putting new ones on, bringing him his pacifier and getting it into his mouth as best as she can...sometimes stuffing it in until he finally gives in and takes it, holding him, and I've even caught her lying on the floor next to him softly whispering in his ear or singing him songs. :)

Some updates for the month:

Declan is growing fast! As far as I can remember, Emery (although a pound lighter than him at birth) fit in her newborn sleepers until she was about 3 months old. Declan on the other hand has already grown out of his newborn onesies and most of his sleepers. Even some of his 0-3 month clothes no longer fit. At his 3 week check up he was 22 inches long and 9 Ibs 12 oz (up 26 oz from his 1 week check).

We've caught at least a dozen smiles out him that weren't just while sleeping, he is very strong and has been able to hold his head up really well since birth, he can stand up and support all of his weight for at least a few minutes before getting bored or tired, and today he was almost doing push-ups with his arms on daddy's chest!

He seems similar to his big sister at this age as far as temperament. I have a pretty fast let-down, so he tends to gulp lots of air and gets pretty gassy these days. He'll usually have a couple pretty fussy hours in the day when he tries to get all his gas out. It used to be later in the mornings and then it moved to evenings, but lately it has been from about 3-6 am, which has left me pretty exhausted since nursing is the only thing that helps calm him, but of course this only causes more gas so it's a vicious cycle. The rest of the day he's a pretty happy baby though, as long as he isn't left to sit in his bouncer for too long and gets to eat every 2-3 hours. All in all Declan is our little cutie and we are so overjoyed that he is a part of our family.

Happy one month birthday to our little Declan man!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Birth Story: Declan James

I'm finally getting Declan's birth story up even though I wrote it the afternoon that he was born. I guess you could say things have been a little crazier around the house with the addition of another one! 
As most of you know we chose to have a home birth this time around for a number of reasons, and we're so glad we did. Everything went so smoothly, the timing couldn't have been more perfect, and our birth team was amazing. 
So on Friday, March 30th (at 38 weeks, 6 days pregnant) Emery and I met my sister-in-law and two nephews at the mall to do some walking since it was too cold and rainy to go outside. I was trying to do as much walking as I could this past week to get things moving along and our little guy in position. During this pregnancy I've had tons of Braxton Hicks since around 20 weeks, but this day I began having bouts of Braxton Hicks that seemed to be time-able.  These weren't painful at all, but I had a very vague feeling that something was different. Funny thing too, my sister texted to ask what our plans were for the weekend and I texted her back, "Well, tomorrow I'm having a baby but not sure what our plans are for Sunday yet." LIttle did I know, ha!!
In the middle of the night, at about 12:30am, I woke up (after going to bed 2 hours earlier) to contractions that were somewhat painful and coming every 5-6 minutes. This time they definitely felt like the real deal so I woke Dustin around 1:00am and told him to start filling the tub. We started getting things set up and labored for about an hour longer before calling our midwife to inform her that labor had started. She called her apprentice and told us to call her back when we felt we wanted them to come over. During this time contractions weren't horrible, I needed to stop talking, moving, and breath through them but they were really manageable. Dustin helped by putting pressure and a hot pack on my low back during a contraction to help relieve some of the low back pain I was having, since this is where most of the pain was concentrating. 
At about 4:30am contractions were about 1.5-2 minutes apart and lasting between 40 seconds to a little over a minute, so we called our midwife again and told her it was time to come over. We also texted my parents to be on standby to pick up Emery when she woke up for the morning (usually about 7:30am). We all figured she would wake up long before our little guy was born, and knowing her and how empathetic and emotional she is, we wanted my parents to take her during the hard part of labor. 

Both of our midwives came by about 4:45-5:00, set up, and we continued laboring with contractions getting stronger. Around 5:45am I hit transition and began having very painful contractions, began throwing up, and started feeling a lot of burning and pressure in my cervix.  I could tell I wasn't far off from the pushing stage. 

I wanted to do most, if not all, my laboring outside the tub because I felt better being able to walk/move between a contraction and I really liked the pressure and hot pack on my low back during each contraction. I was hoping to use the tub for the pushing stage when need be. Well I hit that stage with a vengeance! At about 6:30 I started feeling the urge to push and I really wanted to sit on the toilet before getting in the tub. While on the toilet I had two pushing contractions. These were ridiculously painful and I felt my body completely take over almost without my help. With the help of Dustin and my midwives I then made it to the tub. After about 4-5 really REALLY strong painful pushes our little guy's head was out. I had one more extremely painful push to get his shoulders and body out. In between his head and shoulders coming out I kept saying, "I don't want his head going back in there, I DO NOT want it going back in there!!!" Of course, Dustin and my midwives thought this was hilarious because, obviously, he wasn't going back inside! I think I was just expecting his body to follow immediately like Emery's had during her birth, but he made things a little harder of course. The pushing stage was much harder and more painful than it had been with Emery, so I am so thankful that it didn't last very long! 

Everything went fast (as it did with Em), but I had no tearing, no swelling, and very little blood loss. I can't even believe how much less post-pardum pain I had with this birth compared to Em's birth. I think birthing in the water, with our small birth team, and in the comforts of our own home and bed made this birth so much better all around. 

Declan James was born on Saturday, March 31st, at 6:58am (at 39 weeks), chunky, pink, and crying! He was born with a full head of dark hair, which we could not believe because Emery was basically bald at birth with a few blonde wisps. He weighed 8 pounds 4oz and was 20 inches long (the same length as Emery but a full pound heavier).
Of course, we were so blessed that Emery didn't have to leave at all and woke up about half an hour after Declan was born and was able to meet her baby brother right away. Dustin went to get her and brought her to go potty. While in the bathroom she heard Declan crying and asked Dustin, "baby brother crying in mama's tummy?" When she was brought in our bedroom to see him she just kept kissing him and repeating, "he came out of mama's tummy!" 

We chose the name Declan because it is Celtic (I come from a mostly Irish family). Declan means, "man of prayer" or "full of goodness." James is a family name, so we wanted to carry on the tradition. It was Dustin's grandpa's middle name, his dad's name, and it is also Dustin's middle name. James is Hebrew and means, "supplanter." 

God is so good and we are so thankful to Him for our precious little boy! "Behold, children are a heritage of the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward!" Psalm 127:3