Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Whirlwind

Proud Daddy! Brand new Maurie Lu!

Sisters!

Well...Maurie Lu will be six weeks old tomorrow! The last few weeks have truly been a whirlwind and I am certain that new challenges and joys are ahead of me.

First, I am going to attempt to summarize Maurie's birth. I had the pleasure of being much more prepared this time around. My focus was putting my house in order and preparing mentally, physically and emotionally for having a new baby. My doula gave me three books to read and I got through two...Hypnobirthing and Birthing from Within. Both of them were great helps to me. The third book was Active Birth and I used it more like a manual. Anyways, all of the breathing and mental techniques I read about I used at the right time. There was a story in Birthing from Within about a mother who had made a goal of having her baby within the time it took for her friend to make a birthday cake. She had a small jingle to remind her and she was determined to work with her baby to bring about a positive and timely birth. I decided that I wanted to have my baby in three hours and I kept saying and thinking "Three will set you free." No one else would have understood this, but I did and I can say that I had Maurie Lu in about that time. My water broke at 10:05pm and Maurie Lu was born at 1:59 am. I labored at home until 11:45pm and once I got to the birth center I spent some time laboring on the bed and then I eventually got into the tub. I didn't labor in the tub for more than an hour before Maurie was born. Because it was so fast, it was also very intense. I was very composed at first and took the contractions very quietly because it seemed to help me cope. Towards the end, right before Maurie Lu was born, I was a lot more vocal and I started to get worried that the pain I was feeling would last a long time. Thankfully I was wrong and the non-stop contractions was me bringing Maurie Lu into the world and did not last very long (although in the moment it felt like a long time)! Cody was again my champion. He applied counter pressure, held me and encouraged me. I love him so much. My doula was amazing; she, too, gave me physical support, emotional and mental peace of mind and encouragement that I was doing a good job. Every woman who is going to give birth should have a doula!

Maurie Lu was covered in vernix (the milky whitish stuff that allows babies to live in water for 9 months) and she was very calm when she arrived. She took awhile to breath and had us worried for a moment, but all was well. She was patient and calm as the midwife cleaned her and weighed her. (She was 8 lbs 8 oz. and 20.5 inches long). She did not cry at all in the beginning. She is still patient and calm. She usually grunts when she is uncomfortable rather than crying. When she cries, I know that I am taking too long. Since breastfeeding has proven to be a major pain again, I again try to get as much time in between feedings as I can. I have healed much, much faster overall this time and I am so grateful for that. Overall, Maurie Lu's birth has been a blessing because I have been able to heal from my past, more traumatic experience with Jane.

Since Maurie Lu's birth I have experienced the normal sleep deprivation, pain--after-birth contractions were way worse this time--, weakness. emotional instability etc. I was anemic before the birth and have continued to feel the effects of that afterwards. My midwives were and are very adamant about me taking iron and controlling my diet, but it takes a lot of discipline.

The most surprising challenge of the last few weeks has been Jane. She is a very active little person and I cannot keep up with her at all. I barely could when there was no baby, but now I am very behind. Two is harder than one because Maurie is not old enough to play with Jane and I am not strong enough to play with Jane. Everyone says that before I know it they will be romping around together, but until then I have relied on preschool to help Jane get energy out and quiet time to help her unwind. Cody and I counseled together one evening and sought Heavenly Father's help in raising Jane and since then we have been small miracles...she sleeps in her own bed (a queen bed, mind you) and has quiet time for at least an hour every day. She is a much happier child and I am a much happier mom! Sometimes I forget that my children are on loan from Heavenly Father and that he can help me figure out how to help them and teach them.

To illustrate that life is not as structured and easy as I have made it sound, here is a little snippet...I was exhausted one morning and can vaguely remember Jane coming in and out of my room. At one point I knew I should I get up to check on what she was doing, but couldn't muster up the strength and courage to do it, so I slept. When I woke up I had a soaked bottom. I had told Jane earlier that the bottle of witch hazel was for my butt and she kindly administered the liquid in the proper place while I was sleeping. She also played with (pulled) my hair, I think. It was a blur. Then, when Jane saw that I was awake she excitedly told me about the stickers she had been playing with. I sleepily followed her to her room and found my brand new book of stamps applied to a small piece of paper. For a moment I wanted to scream, but then I decided to laugh instead. I explained that she couldn't use my stamps and then spent the next while trying to salvage the stamps...which I did! =) So, some mornings look a lot like this.

Anyways, this is the new me. Mom to a rambunctious three year old and a brand new baby. I love them to pieces and however new it is, I would never want my life without them. I spend most of my days at home trying to keep laundry and dishes clean in between naps (mine and theirs), breastfeeding Maurie at "my station" (an incredibly comfortable recliner), making dinner, getting Jane to and from preschools (YMCA and a preschool I do with some awesome ladies from church) and reading and writing in a spare, precious moment. Life is good. I have been hoping to be able to stay home with my children for a long time and now it is a reality. I appreciate it a lot more, I think, because I know what it is like not to be able to.

I hope all is well in your lives!

Best,
Lucy






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