Saturday, February 25, 2017

Gemma's 1 Month Update

I can't believe how fast 4 weeks have gone by! So much has happened in this first month.

Gemma lost her umbilical cord stump at 7 days and had her first bath.
She smiles when she's awake but only when she wants to.
She has had awesome head control since she was born and pretty much holds it up on her own.
Her eyes are blue and getting lighter by the day.
She eats every 1-3 hours and I'm still breastfeeding. We made it to a month yay! It was rough to start and pretty painful. She has a shallow latch. But it doesn't really hurt anymore unless she cluster feeds and it really did get better right around 2-3 weeks like everyone says.
She's mostly a really great sleeper. We cosleep (because you gotta do what works when you have to be able to function the next day) and she mostly sleeps all night with about 3 feedings. Sometimes she has a bad night if she's gassy.
She really is a calm baby which I wasn't expecting at all since she was always moving and kicking me when I was pregnant.

Gemma was born with a very mild case of clubfoot on both feet. The doctor right after she was born said she only needed stretches and physical therapy. Then at her first week checkup on post, her doctor said it wasn't clubfoot just tight ligaments and recommended the same thing and referred us to a physical therapist. However, the physical therapists recommended we see a pediatric orthopedic specialist to get her feet casted, that they thought she'd need that and not just stretches or even splints.

So when she was 3 weeks old we quickly got a referral to the specialist and got her in to see him that same week. I was sort of thinking/hoping the specialist would say she didn't need casts, but that wasn't the case. He said it was clubfoot and that she needed casts right away (probably should have already been done) for at least 4 weeks and then special shoes/brace after that. So on Thursday she got her first cast which will be changed weekly.

Since we are moving so soon, there are added difficulties with finding a doctor stateside to immediately continue treatment. We can't finish before we leave and she can't have much of a gap between castings and what not. Fingers crossed/ prayers that it all goes smoothly. It's really stressful on top of everything else with moving but we know it's what's best for her so she hopefully doesn't have any delays in walking.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Gemma's Birth Story

"I never knew how much love my heart could hold until someone called me mommy."

Our baby girl, Gemma Lee, was born at 12:42am Sunday January 29th, 2017. 

Almost everything I read about second babies said that they usually are born earlier than first babies. So, I was pretty set on Gemma being early since Elsie was born at 39 +3 days. It turned out to be a bad mentality to have when days kept passing, my due date arrived, and still no baby. My mom flew in to help with Elsie and there was still no baby. The end of pregnancy is rough with so many aches and pains and the anticipation, and it's even worse when you've passed your due date. So we just tried to keep busy and walk the baby out, plus by that point I had already tried almost everything else to start labor (pineapple, sex, red raspberry leaf tea, evening primrose oil, hip circles on a yoga ball, etc.) 

On Saturday night, 40 +6 days pregnant, I had decided to go to bed after a day of little in the way of contractions, it just didn't seem to be happening that day. I went in to be around 10, laid down and had a relatively painful contraction. Jay came in to go to bed and I told him I had a few contractions at this point but after having gone to the hospital in false labor the previous week, I was determined to stay home until I couldn't handle it anymore or my water broke. So I stood next to the bed while having a contraction and felt a popping sensation (almost felt like her head turned in to place or something). Still no water breaking. Then with the next contraction or two I felt a little gush of water. This all happened within about 15 minutes. I told Jay who said something like "Are you kidding?' because he was trying to go to sleep haha. (It was just funny because I had a feeling it might happen this way because it's similar to how Elsie was born)

After my water broke the contractions got more intense, as they do, and I had to stop walking and breathe during them. They were already on 2-3 minutes apart. I called the hospital to tell them we were on our way. With my first labor only being about 5 hours total, I knew to go in right away because the second is often a lot shorter.

Longest 5 minute car ride of my life! Got up to the Kriessaal (l&d) and the midwife took me to my room right away to hook me up to monitors. She checked my cervix and I was still 2cm like I had been all week. The contractions were still only a few minutes apart and getting stronger. The midwife let me stand because the thought of sitting for 20 minutes to be monitored was terrible. Jay had to go down to do paperwork for our health insurance and the 20 minutes he was down there felt like hours. 

My waters had only broken a little at home, so while I was standing being monitored it was gushing all over the floor, so much so that Jay asked if I was peeing (haha). The nurses gave me whatever their first level of painkiller was in my iv. It did seemingly nothing. I was waiting on my epidural that I requested as soon as I got there. I didn't have one last time but it sounded so nice this time. They were waiting on bloodwork. 

At one point I threw up. Shortly after that I felt like I needed to poop. All that was a sign that I needed to be checked again, and when she did I was at 7-8 cm. And in walked the anesthesiologist. The midwife said basically that they could do the epidural but then I had to sit still for 20 minutes and given my history of fast labor it probably wouldn't take effect before the baby came. But it was up to me. While I was trying to decide, I felt the urge to push and then the midwife checked me again. Yep. No time for epidural. Crap. 

Time to push. Not sure how long I pushed, or how many times. It felt like forever but obviously can't have been that long. I had arrived at the hospital around 23:00 and out came Gemma at 00:42. We were all laughing about how fast that was. 

Just like last time, I got to hold Gemma for hours. I delivered the placenta, and got stitches while holding her. Still tore a little but not as bad as last time, even with warm compresses. 

Gemma was 3600 grams (7lb 15oz) and 50cm (19.6in). Almost 2 pounds bigger than Elsie was. She was born facing up at the new moon that night.

We went to our room around 03:00 and Jay went home to sleep. We stayed in the hospital 2 more nights but could have stayed a third. I really love the hospital I delivered at (same one as with Elsie) but I was ready to go home to be with my little family. 

So that pretty much sums up the birth of my second daughter. I was in labor for just over 2 hours. It was crazy fast and surreal. Truly amazing.

It is true what they say, that you don't have to share the love for your second child, your heart just grows for them.