April 24, 2015

Two Months Old

Our baby Brandon is two months old!  It's astounding to me how similar and how different he is from his big brother.  I was looking back at some photos of Andrew when he was this age and seriously, these boys look the same.  There can be no doubt that these two kids came from the same gene pool.  But they definitely have some differences too.

While their nighttime sleep habits are similar, Brandon is a champion napper (and I'm really hoping I don't jinx it by mentioning it!) in his crib!  He usually takes 3 naps during the day, and every once in a while I even manage to get it overlapping with Andrew's nap!  He sleeps in his own room for about half the night now.  I put him down between 7 and 7:30 and he sleeps until 12:30-1:30am.  After that he sleeps in the pack and play in our room because he still wakes up about every 2-3 hours after his long stretch.  (Aaron is a champ and gets up to bring him to me every time until he leaves for work.  What would I do without that man?  He's amazing.)

He has started smiling at us!  It's so fun to see him as he's becoming more aware of the world around him.  I love to see him happy rather than just content.  He also coos occasionally, but for the most part Brandon is a pretty quiet baby.

He weighs about 11 pounds now, but he only started wearing 0-3 month clothes a couple of weeks ago.  And even now, there's plenty of room for him to grow into them.  He's not as chunky as Andrew was, so the clothing fits him differently than it did when Andrew was the same weight.

We've tried a little babywearing this week, since we got a boba wrap passed down to us.  He wasn't too sure the first time we tried it, but after that he figured out that it's an awesome way to take a cozy nap.  The only drawback I've found so far is that if I wear him in the wrap early in the day, he doesn't nap as well in his crib later.  Well, that and I haven't figured out a good way to eat while wearing him- I don't think he would appreciate a chunk of salsa landing on his head while he's snoozing away...

New things for Brandon this month:
0-3 clothes
Sleeping in his own room at night
Met all the Brayley cousins, aunts, and uncles
First trip to the zoo

March 24, 2015

One Month!

Well, Brandon is one month old!

He's still a pretty small baby- I tried to put him in a 0-3 month outfit the other day and Brandon looked like he was drowning in it!  So he still wears newborn size. 

But even though he's small, he is a great eater! He nurses pretty quickly but chows down every 2 hours during the day and 2-3 hours at night. And at night he's usually pretty good about going right back to sleep after eating, for which this mama is very grateful!

Brandon spends a lot of time in the bouncer, thanks to an older brother who also requires some attention during the day.  He falls asleep in my arms often after nursing, and as much as I wish I could just cuddle him each time, Andrew is not okay with that.  Plus I need to do things around the house every once in a while!  Fortunately, Brandon seems to be pretty comfortable hanging out (sleeping) in the bouncer, especially if he's swaddled and has his pacifier.  As he has more and more awake time during the day though, it's getting harder to put him down without waking him up.  He loves being held, especially when sleeping!

He went to church for the first time!  He was one day shy of four weeks/one month old, and I was a little nervous about it, but we all did okay.  Our pew was just more full :)

Having two kids is definitely more complicated (at least when they're little) but we're starting to figure it out.  We have some rough times where both boys decide they need me (I've only got two hands!) but Andrew is learning to be more independent so we're surviving.  Plus, it helps that I'm finally feeling like I am physically recovered from the birth enough to handle everything.  Now if only I could fit into my old pants again...

March 6, 2015

Brandon's Birth Story

So here's the story of my VBAC with Brandon!  (Be forewarned: This post is super long and detailed- and I'm going to mention blood and mucus and all that awesome stuff...)

So on February 20th, I started having contractions.  Real ones, not the Braxton Hicks ones.  They were somewhat painful, but not close enough together to be worth timing or anything.  But I lost my mucus plug so I had a feeling things were getting started!  I had been dilated to 2cm at my appointment earlier in the week, which was already a change from my lack of dilation a few weeks prior.  I knew that in order to have my VBAC, I needed to go into labor naturally, and it seemed that my progress was good so far.  So I called my mom and let her know what was going on.  She and my dad were getting ready to go visit my sister for the night in Richmond, plus there was a big snow storm coming... great timing, right?

So the next morning (Saturday) I talked to my mom and let her know that I had been able to sleep mostly through the night, but that contractions were still happening.  She and my dad decided to leave a little early from Richmond and come directly to my house instead of going home.  By the time they got here, the snow was already making lots of trouble on the roads and my contractions were getting stronger.  We went over Andrew's usual routine and made plans for my dad to drive us to the hospital in their all-wheel drive in case we needed to go in the middle of the night (and in the middle of the awful storm). 

Contractions woke me up at 2:15 am.  We timed them for an hour and they were consistently 3-5 minutes apart.  The doctor on-call told us to come in, so we woke up my dad and headed out.  It was dangerous and slow but we eventually made it to the hospital.  Of course, soon after we were taken to the triage room and I was hooked up to the monitors, my contractions started slowing down.  (Dilated to 3 cm at this point, and fully effaced.)  I was monitored for a while and then they had me walk the halls to try to see if labor picked up again.  It didn't.  So they released me and my dad came back to get us.  I was so exhausted and frustrated!  We totally thought it was the real thing!

For the rest of the day (Sunday), my contractions were irregular, but I was having bloody show so I decided to go to bed early in case I woke up in the middle of the night again.  So I went up around 9 and the contractions start picking up again almost immediately after I lie down in bed.  I tried to go to sleep anyway, but they were way too strong and way too close together.  I texted Aaron around 9:30 and told him to come upstairs and help me through the contractions.  After a while of that, we went back downstairs where my mom was still up, and she tried to convince us to leave for the hospital again.  I really didn't want to go through everything like the night before, so we waited until the contractions had been going for over two hours before we called the doctor.  He basically told me that if they were stronger than the night before, I should come in.  So we headed out again, hoping that this was finally it!

Got to the hospital just after midnight.  They didn't even bother hooking me up to the monitors in triage this time because when they checked me, I was dilated to 7cm and my sac was bulging.  "This is the real deal, mama- you're at a 7!"

I had told them originally that I wanted to go as long as possible without an epidural (and possibly not get one at all) but it really didn't take too long before I was ready for it.  Each contraction was bringing a lot of lower back pain with it and I was contracting every 2-4 minutes.  Even so, I was so exhausted that I fell asleep sitting up between contractions a couple of times.  Even after I got the epidural at 3:00am, it took several presses on the "extra boost" button (which I could only hit every 10 minutes) before I finally felt real relief around 4:00am.  At this point the nurse turned off the lights and I fell asleep (off and on) for about an hour.  I don't know if I would have had the energy to make it without that nap!  Epidurals are amazing!

At 5:00 I was fully dilated and my sac was still intact and bulging.  The doctor broke my water and then left so we could let the baby's head descend naturally.  At 5:35 I'm feeling ready to push so we start, with just me, Aaron, and the nurse in the room.  That was going super well until the baby crowned and she told me to stop pushing.  So I stopped- the plan was that the doctor was supposed to come in then to finish the delivery.  But less than a minute later, I felt the baby start sliding out, even though I wasn't actively pushing.  The nurse had to literally hold his head in place with one hand while dialing and calling for the doctor and a tech with the other.  As soon as the doctor got there and got his gown on, I gave one little push for the head, and one more for the body and our son was born!  31 minutes from first push to baby boy.  He was covered in vernix and some blood but it was so great to finally see him and hold him!

I tore (second degree, almost third degree I think) so the doctor was taking care of that for a while, but I got to watch (from across the room, but still...) while he was wiped off and weighed and Aaron got to hold him for the first time.  And now we have a family of four!