Thursday, July 27, 2017

Breastfeeding

The next thing I want to talk about is breastfeeding.  You probably don't care.  You can stop reading now.

When I had Madison and Jackson I was determined to breastfeed them.  With them being born 4 weeks early I tried over and over to get them to latch but I was told (by nurses and LCs) they were too little.  I pumped as much as I could and bottle fed them that but the majority of their food was formula.  I was suffering with postpartum depression and not taking care of myself.  I had zero support on the breastfeeding front so when my milk stopped coming out I just gave up.  I didn't know I had options

When I miraculously got pregnant with Harrison NOTHING was going to stop me.  The first 4 weeks were an absolute uphill battle.  I had no idea how hard it would be.  I almost gave up a few times.  One of my saving graces was a nipple shield that a LC gave me in the hospital.  Harrison was having the same problem latching as the twins did but he wasn't early.  The shield was a god send and I was able to feed my baby!  But my most important saving grace was my friend Shauna who refused to let me give up even when I was in the throes of anxiety and depression and not eating or drinking and losing my supply and watching Harrison LOSE weight.  It was scary for a bit and at 2 weeks old his pediatrician insisted I give him formula.  I cried and cried in the room with my mother and doctor and because of Shauna's support I told the doctor no, that I would make it work, I just needed help.  Instead of giving up and giving him formula we came up with a plan.  My mother (I was living with her at the time) would make sure I was fed and hydrated and I would breastfeed Harrison then pump until I was empty in order to signal my body to make more milk.  I froze what I pumped.  We did that for a week.  My depression and anxiety cleared up immediately thank god but Harrison didn't gain as much weight as the doctor wanted.  So we tweaked the plan by now bottle feeding him what I pumped after each breastfeeding.  By 4 weeks he had gained enough weight and my supply was great.  I'm sure there were some small issues after that but very quickly it became such an easy thing.  I just can't describe how thankful I am for Shauna's support.

At 5 months old he was still waking in the middle of the night but I was able to get him back to sleep without feeding him.  I resisted so hard to let him cry it out but at 6 months I did it and it only took one bad night which wasn't even that bad.  He's been an amazing napper and sleeper since then.  I did seek the help of a professional sleep consultant in order to get that to happen and I know there is no way I could have gotten him to that point without her.

At 10 months old now he is breastfeeding 4 times a day and has some food here and there for practice.  He will eat anything I give him but I mostly give him avocado, whole milk plain greek yogurt, blueberries, and chicken.  He is easily pulling up to standing, got his first tooth last week, does lots of babbling and absolutely lights up when ever he sees Madison or Jackson.  He just adores them and the feeling is mutual.

10 months old.  I seriously couldn't love him more.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

July 26th

AAAANNNNDDD it's July.  I hate how fast time goes.  I never even made a post about Madison and Jackson's 10th birthday.  I need to do that next.  But first I want to talk about our house.

Obviously my last house update from August 28th was very grim.  I know this is silly to some but I was kind of amazed by it.  I was feeling very depressed last August and on a whim I went in to have my tarot cards read.  She told me that my baby would be healthy, that I would have a very long and happy marriage and that we would find a house before the baby was born.  She specifically said we wouldn't be IN the house before he was born but that it would be under agreement.  I wanted nothing more than to believe her but I was just in such a dark place.  It seemed like the impossible.

On August 31st, a house popped up in our daily email listings.  It caught my attention and I shortly got a text from Chris telling me to look at it.  The price had just dropped $15K so it was now in our price range.  There was an open house scheduled for the next evening but we immediately called to see if we could get in that night.  I showed it to my father and he said "you should be prepared to put an offer in tonight".  I had been thinking the same thing and so had Chris.  My father and I drove up with Madison and Jackson and met Chris and Billy at the house in Groveland.  I would have bought the house just based on the pictures but I wanted to see what the area was like.  As I drove up the quiet dead end street lined with beautiful spaced out colonial houses I said "This is it".  I walked in the kitchen door and was overcome with tears.  Jackson was jumping up and down yelling "Can we buy it? Can we buy it??  PLEEEEAAAASSSSEE??".  We walked through the rest of the house but I honestly wasn't looking at anything.  Chris and I got together out in the driveway and both smiled at each other.  It was the first time (except for the New Hampshire house) we were on the same page.  After looking at so many houses and feeling like we were literally on different teams it was such an amazing moment.  All we needed to do now was make an offer and pray the biggest prayer of our lives that it was accepted.

We offered asking price along with a letter pleading that they accept it.  Billy called me the next morning and said "I have bad news...they are canceling the open house....BECAUSE THEY ACCEPTED YOUR OFFER!!!!  I stood in my parents living room and cried fantastically happy tears for the first time in a long time.  Within a few days we had an inspection (with some issues but we just didn't care).  Harrison was born 15 days after the offer was accepted.  The psychic was oddly specifically right on with her prediction.

The mortgage paperwork seemed to take forever and ever but almost two months after seeing the house for the first time we closed on the house and moved in that night.  Harrison was 5 weeks old.

Our house high up on a hill
The view our my bedroom window.  The sky never disappoints up here!


The view out the 3rd floor (Jackson's bedroom)

Another view out my bedroom window.  That's a ski hill way in the distance.  We can see people skiing from our house and hear the snow makers.

Our holiday card last year

Our house as you drive back down the road

Some cool things we were lucky enough to find in this home that I really never dreamed we would...
1.  a fireplace
2.  on top of a  hill for a fantastic view all around
3.  underground electricity!
4.  central air
5.  A POOL!!!
6.  plenty of space
7.  a master bathroom
8.  a finished attic where all of the kids toys go!
9.  first floor laundry (better than no laundry but I HATED going to my basement to do it in my old house)

Since moving in I have painted Jackson's room, Madison's room, Harrison's room, our bathroom, the first floor bathroom, the kitchen and main hall.  I have the kids bathroom started and just need to buckle down and finish it.  We had to get a new washer and dryer which I love!  I took a bunch of pictures of the inside when the rooms were empty but I haven't taken any since we've been all moved in.  I should do that.

Our wishlist for improvements...
1.  take up carpet in living room/put in wood floors and build some built ins around the fireplace
2.  update all of the bathrooms
3.  update the kitchen with a new layout
4.  new carpet on second and third floor
5.  paint the master bedroom, the second floor hall, and the playroom



Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Baby Harrison

He was born at the end of the summer.  It's now winter and I'm finally making the time (at 12:51 am) to write a post.  By now he's not a floppy baby anymore.  The clothes he wore when he was born are already packed away.  He can see us and smile and coo at us and can even roll over from front to back.  He can get his hands to his mouth so he can suck on his fingers.  He is an amazing sleeper and has been since the day he was born.  Except for a 3 week period around 4-7 weeks old, he has slept from 11pm to at least 7am.  This baby has rocked our world like nothing I ever imagined.  I knew once he was here I would wonder how on earth we ever lived without him and I was spot on.  He has changed our lives in every aspect while also managing to make it feel like this is the way it's always been.
Harrison William Goodwin 9/15/2016
  My heart literally bursts with love every time I see his face. He is seriously a precious, special baby.

For now I just want to talk about his birth and our hospital stay.

On September 15th I went to the city for my twice weekly NSTs.  My blood pressure was elevated and my platelet count had been going down.  They didn't want to wait to deliver him any longer and risk them going down so low that I would need general anesthesia to deliver him.  I was sent to the hospital and about 7 hours later (9:37pm) he was born while listening to "Home" by Phillip Phillips play over the speakers.  I cried listening to the words and how fitting they were and that it was playing as they were taking him out of me.

He was perfectly healthy and stole our hearts.  Unfortunately I just don't deal well with anesthesia and I continued to throw up for 12 hours after getting my spinal.  I remember desperately wanting to look at him but every time I would open my eyes the room would spin and I would throw up.  Around 10am the next morning I finally started to feel human again aside from the horrible pain from the c-section and I could start to focus on Harrison.

The thing I was most excited about was seeing Madison and Jackson meet their baby brother for the first time.  They were so genuinely happy to welcome this baby into our family.  They never talked about anything negative or selfish.  They just couldn't wait to have him with us. As usual their reactions weren't quite as animated as I expected but the video is still so sweet.




Madison holding her baby brother for the first time

Jackson holding his baby brother for the first time
Our first picture as a family of 5

They kicked me out of bed so they could lay with him
The second night in the hospital Harrison's blood sugar was in the 30s and even though I was trying to breast feed him all day I just had nothing in there to give.  I remember pumping 5 ml of colostrum and feeding it to him with a dropper hoping it would get his sugar up.  It would work but then it would go down again.  The doctor told me he was going to need to go to the NICU if I didn't give him formula to get his sugar up so I told them to go ahead.  He spent that night in the nursery drinking formula.  When he came back he spit up for hours and smelled horrible so I was determined at that point for him to never have formula again.  I pumped and breastfed my butt off and we never had another issue while in the hospital.

Harrison had many visitors while in the hospital including my parents, Chris's parents, Shauna, Bryan, Keira, Aunt Karen, my grandmother, Ana, Danielle, Uncle Mike, Aunt Kristen, Raphael and Alyssa, Brenda, Rachael and Nichole (hope I didn't forget anyone!).
My 97 year old grandmother holding Harrison




I continued to have high blood pressure the whole time I was in the hospital so I had to stay a 6th day.  

And just like that it was time to go home...to my parents house.

These pictures already seem like a lifetime ago.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

36 weeks 4 days

I started having some contractions this evening which did slow down so I think I'm good but it got me thinking that I really haven't updated much so I better get one in.

I am officially the most pregnant I've ever been.  I had Madison and Jackson at 36 weeks 2 days.  The kids start 4th grade tomorrow morning and I was so upset thinking that I would miss their first day of school.  It's bad enough we aren't in our home for me to take their first day of school picture and now I was going to miss it all together??  Tomorrow night...fine.  Just not tonight.

I had a lovely baby shower last weekend organized by my amazing friend Shauna with tons of help from my mother and mother in law and other friends too.  We got everything we need for the baby that Shauna hadn't already supplied us as loners.  It is all filling up my parents' living room at the moment.

I really did breeze through this pregnancy aside from the hassle of gestational diabetes like I had with the twins.  That is, up until about 5 weeks ago.  I just started getting very achey in my back and hips and the sciatic nerve pain.  All of that has gotten worse and worse over the weeks.  I did WAY too much activity two nights ago and now I can't walk at all without the sciatica shocking me.  Physically I'm so ready to have this baby but emotionally I'm a wreck (nothing to do with hormones) and I really would just love for things to be all ironed out before I have a baby.

I had only one name that I wanted for this baby.  I really had no interest in any other name but I didn't want to get  my hopes up that Chris would agree to it.  Thankfully a couple weeks ago he said we could use the name.  Still no middle name but I guess we will figure it out eventually.  We are keeping the name a surprise mostly because people can't keep their opinions to themselves.

The house hunt is basically a shit show at this point.  The stress I have endured over it is just so unfair.  I know other people go through worse but for me this has been the hardest year of my life and I still don't see a light at the end of the tunnel.

As of this weekend the kids and I are living with my parents.  There is a bed here next to a bathroom for me for all those middle of the night trips.  Hopefully Chris will join us soon but for now he is still at his parents' house.

At the baby's weight check last week he was 7lb 7oz.  80 something percentile!  Madison and Jackson were roughly 5th percentile at birth! (5lbs each).






Thursday, July 28, 2016

I'm still alive...

but a part of me definitely died a little.  As if it wasn't hard enough to have to leave the house for the last time we added a ton of stress by not being fully prepared/packed for the actual moving truck day.  I could barely do anything at all.  I would get up to empty a cabinet and a minute later my back was toast and I would have to sit down.  My sciatic nerve was also an issue (still is) so it was even hard to sit and sort through things.  The yard was full of basement/shed items which we had sorted into trash/keep/yard sale piles.  The house still had all of our furniture in it and the kitchen, bathroom, and closet still needed to be boxed up.  I don't even remember what Chris and I accomplished that morning but my mom came over around noon and got to work on the kitchen.  I had to run some errands around 2 so the kids and I left.  We got back home at 3:30 and all three bedrooms were empty!!!  My dad had come over with the moving truck and they got right to work.  They moved all of the furniture out on to the lawn.  That struck me as really sad so I did some crying there.  I believe they loaded up the truck and the two of them brought it to the storage unit and unloaded it.  Mind you it was over 90 out and so incredibly humid and the house has no air conditioning.  I think I worked with my mother in the kitchen the best I could but I honestly don't even have any memory of what I did exactly.  I mostly felt completely useless.  When they brought the truck back they emptied more furniture out of the living room.  Eventually Chris's brother and our 17 year old nephew came over to help along with our friend Dave.  My mom and I went out to pick up chinese food for dinner.  After dinner they loaded the truck one more time and brought it to storage.  My dad returned the truck and came back with his car and anything that was left at the house was small enough to fit in our cars to be moved.  Everyone kept telling me I had to leave and get some rest but there was just too much to do and supervise.  I couldn't rest unless I knew everything was going to the right place (storage, my in law's house, or my parents house).  At 9:30 (the kids were still up and with us) everyone but my parents had left and Chris was starting to panic because the house needed to be empty and it really didn't even seem close.  The walk through was the next day and Chris and my parents were all working and I couldn't do anything!  We had to call it quits for the night and we all left for my in laws to sleep for the first time.  We managed to have the walk through pushed off until the next evening and Chris decided to only go in to work in the morning.  The kids were invited to go to the beach with friends the next day so they got picked up early and I was able to go up to the house and do a little bit.  I boxed up the bathroom and emptied the front closet but that is seriously all I could do in 3 hours.  Well that and cry.  When Chris got out of work he came to the house with his mother and she helped me finish up the kitchen.  While I was there alone I was whining to my friend Shauna how hopeless it seemed that we would get this done so she packed up at work in Boston and came right up.  She is a TASK MASTER!  She got there around 1.  I had an appointment I had to go to from 3-4 and when I got back the house was completely empty.  I couldn't even believe my eyes.  The kids were back at the house at that point too.  A junk truck came at 4:30 and took everything away from the trash pile and a bunch of old junk that was still in the basement.  All of our cars were filled with stuff to be brought to my parents house then the fun times began.  I went in each room and bawled my eyes out trying to soak in all the memories I could possibly remember.  Room by room I said goodbye with such an ache in my heart.  The kids were following me around and hugging me.  Luckily they didn't cry at all!  They are such easy going kids.  I made Chris come in and we all hugged in the front hall for the last time.  We all left and closed the door and drove away for the last time.
We went back to my inlaws, had dinner then went out to buy an air mattress to sleep on in the basement.  
Today I had a baby appointment in the morning and Chris's mom took the kids to the movies then Chris and I had to go to the closing.  I tried so hard to not cry but I did at the very end and I ended up giving the girl a hug (she's pregnant too and due next week).  Someone said "can you even reach each other with those bellies??"  It was just the perfect thing to make me laugh.  I think I made her cry too.  
Chris and I went to lunch at Bertucci's after then I tried to do a little retail therapy at the Vineyard Vines warehouse sale but they really didn't have anything good.  I went back to my inlaws to an empty house.  Chris's mom had taken the kids to her friends pool.  I made the most of the quiet and cool AC.

Finding a house is continuing to be impossible.  Anything in our budget is either too small, needs too much work, or is on a main road. Everyone thinks we are being too picky but the move in ready houses, in quiet neighborhoods, in our budget are more like first time home buyers homes which is what we just left!  We are in our 40s now are are ready for a grown up house that we are proud to have our friends and family over to.  I think we deserve that much.

The plan is to stay with Chris's parents until closer to my due date so that I can be with my parents after the baby is born.  I'll be recovering from surgery, hopefully nursing a newborn, and possibly dealing with postpartum depression so I will want to be with my mother for all of that.