Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Week One

It's officially been one week since Morgan was born. There are a lot of changes going on in our world. Not only are we transitioning from 1-2 kids, we are also in the middle of a PCS. Nate has become a big brother, and I am going through what some call the "4th trimester".

I want to celebrate Morgan's 1 week, celebrate Nate being a big brother, Jason being awesome, and me adjusting to postpartum life.

First...Morgan. She is the cutest little chunker. She eats and sleeps and poops. All. Day. Long. When she is nursing, she sounds like a Pterodactyl. She is in newborn clothes, but not for long. She loves to sleep on mommy and daddy's chest. Target was her outing at 5 days old and at 7 days old, she went to 808 Bounce to watch her big brother bounce. She had her first bath at 6 days old...didn't love it, didn't hate it. She doesn't have a sleep schedule yet, every night has been different.

Second...Big Brother Nathan. He is very loving towards her and asks where she is frequently. He will randomly kiss her on the cheek. He likes to give her his bear and blanket in the morning when he wakes up and she is still sleeping. He tries to share his toys with her, like a puzzle piece or a small car. Since he cut the umbilical cord, he asks if he can "cut it"(her stump is still attached). He really hasn't been rough with her. I think it is because we talked to him about her from the very beginning and he watched her being born. I have no doubt he will very protective over her.

Third...Myself. The 4th trimester is the first 3 months after baby is born. It's all the changes that happen to a woman's body after growing a human inside of you for almost 10 months. It's been a week and my body is changing. The first few days my uterus was still contracting. Super painful. Day 3 my milk fully came in and I was in SO much pain. I still get super engorged and pump at least twice a day to relieve some of the pain. In 7 days, just pumping twice a day for about 3 minutes, I've accumulated over 30oz of milk in my freezer. That's not counting all the milk Miss Morgan is getting. I am averaging about 3-5 hours of sleep at night and not all together. It seems like I am just taking small naps. Let's just say I'm tired, but still functioning well in my opinion. My stomach is slowly going down. I have lost about 10lbs. I still look pregnant. I still wear maternity clothes because I am in an in between size and they are more comfortable holding in that extra fat. I'm pretty pleased with how I look just 7 days after popping out a human though.

Fourth...Jason. The best daddy and husband. He celebrated his first Father's Day as a daddy of two. He was been on Nate duty so I can be on Morgan duty. He sleeps through the night so I can nap during the day. He tells me I'm sexy. He changes poopy diapers, both Nate's and Morgan's. He is handling all of our PCS arrangements from flights to hotels to rental cars to shipping and selling our cars and everything else we need to handle before we leave Hawaii. The guy never stops. Always doing something to help out. How did I get so lucky?

So that has been our last 7 days. With everything going on, I feel like we are adjusting as well as we can. Everything is falling into place and my stress levels have dropped tremendously. I can't wait to see how the next weeks go. My next goal is getting some family pictures of the four of us. We are in organized chaos. We are living our life and it is amazing. Crazy, but amazing and I wouldn't trade it for the world. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Morgan's Birth Story

Today was my due date. June 22nd, 2015. I would've been 40 weeks pregnant with little miss Morgan. She decided to come six days early. She is already on my good list because it's what I wanted for our PCS situation. So, instead of doing a 40 week bump brief, I am writing about how she entered the world.

Here is her birth story...

The day before: I never did a 39 week bump brief. That Monday, my 39 week mark, I decided to go to the zoo with Nate. I knew it would be the last time I could do it solo before Morgan arrived. A friend and I took our boys there and were there for 4-5 hours. I felt great. I wore Nate in his Tula, I was walking around perfectly fine, not a care in the world. We had a great time and we went home for nap. While Nate napped, my friend and I started planning for the night. We wanted to take our husbands out to Dave and Buster's as a Father's Day fun night, but then another friend's husband needed his appendix out. Jason and I took Nate over to her house to watch her three kids, plus Nate. I still felt normal. I wasn't tired. I was even saying how much energy I had that day and felt like she had at least another week to cook in my belly. We babysat from 4-10-ish so our friend could be with her husband. We went home, got ready for bed, and I was asleep by 11:30pm.

And it begins...
It's 1:00am. A typical time for me to wake up and pee. Nothing unusual. I'm not sure why I looked at the toilet paper, but I did and there was blood. My mucus plug. I didn't think much about it. You can lose your mucus plug and go weeks without anything happening. I went back to bed.

2:45am. I wake up again to go pee. More blood and mucus. Go lay back down. My back started to hurt when I got back in bed so I just laid there. Had to pee again 15 minutes later. More blood and mucus and a contraction.

3:00am. I start feeling more back pain and had that one contraction. I decided I should probably download a contraction timer app just in case this was the beginning or for future use. I really didn't think I was in labor at this point, just uncomfortable.

3:27am. I started timing contractions. I must have had a few painful ones to make me start timing them. I'm not really sure, I only know this exact time because I went back and checked the app.

Contractions started to get painful, mostly in my back. They were lasting 30-45 seconds and about 4 minutes apart on average. I decided to wake Jason up and just get the idea in his head that this might be baby time. All I said was i started timing contractions, they were about 5 minutes apart, I'm getting in the shower, and that he should get some rest.

It took him a minute to process, understandably, since it was 3:30 in the morning. He quietly said "OK" and rolled over. As I was getting ready to get in the shower, he walked in the bathroom. I guess he has a better sense than me because he got up and realized he shouldn't go back to sleep.

He asked me if he should pack up the car. We hadn't even installed the car seat yet! Nate was asleep and I definitely didn't want to wake him up since he was already woken up when we left our friend's house after babysitting. I told Jason to pack the car while I showered.

I was in the shower for about 20 minutes. The hot water helped ease the pain a little bit. I got out and started timing again. They were 2-3 minutes apart and as I stood naked in the bathroom, water started to trickle down my leg. Jason watched. I told him I don't know if I peed myself or if it was my water. It didn't feel like a lot. Jason decided it was time to go.

At this point it was 5am. Jason picked out some yoga pants and my Giants shirt to wear, he got Nate in the car, and we headed to the hospital. It took me about 15 minutes to get dressed and in the car.

Oh the car ride. I could hear Nate in the back seat. "Where are we going to? I awake from a nap?" And going over steel plates during a contraction sucks. Thanks, Hawaii, for your constant road construction.

We arrived at the hospital around 5:30, Jason dropped me off at the front so he could park and get Nate out. I had to walk down a hallway, up a flight of stairs(maybe 15 total), to an elevator, up 2 floors, and down another hallway. It felt like I was walking forever.

I finally made it to the triage desk. Jason and Nate had beat me there. No surprise. They had me go in the check-in room to get in a gown so they could check me and see how far dilated I was. I said I needed to pee and it took me awhile to go pee and get that gown on.

Once I got myself together and on the bed, they called in a midwife to check me out. She looked really quick, told me she wasn't going to check me because she saw hair. WTF!? So..I have no idea how far along I was. I am assuming 9cm? The nurse put in my IV to take blood. She wrote 5:50am on the tape.

Contractions freaking hurt at this point. I could hear Jason tell me to slow down my breathing or to actually breath. He was doing this while holding Nate. The plan was to have a friend take him, but it was middle of the night and she didn't get my messages. Understandable.

I think they were trying to find a labor room for me? I really don't know. I told the nurse I felt the need to push so she called the midwife back in. Sure enough, it was time. All of a sudden, around 6 people ran in, bringing in supplies to deliver her. She told me next contraction to go ahead and push. 4 pushes and Morgan was born. Just like that. Didn't even make it to a delivery room. Nate and Jason watched the whole thing. The original plan was to have Jason catch her, but he couldn't because the room was so small and he was holding Nate.

They placed her on me, we waited for the umbilical cord to stop pulsating, then Jason and Nate, together, cut the cord. It was really amazing. Although Jason couldn't catch her, having them both cut the cord is a once in a lifetime experience. A nurse said he would take pictures of them cutting it, but them came out horrible. We don't have any other labor pictures because, again, Jason was holding Nate and it all happened so fast!

Morgan Emily Kappes. Officially a family member. Born at 6:02am, 8lbs 4.5oz, 19 1/2in. She was perfect just like her brother. Chunky little thing.

The first pictures...

Then we waited. I was taken to a recovery area until they have a room for us in the Mother/Baby unit. My friend arrived to take Nate to her house. She brought me a glazed donut and a Dr. Pepper. She knows me so well.

We finally got a room and got settled in our new home for the next at least 24 hours.

Morgan took to breastfeeding well, her brother is so excited, and we are just thrilled to have her in our family. We got discharged after about 30 hours or so and headed home to start our life as a family of four. We are complete.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Bump Brief #30

Bump Brief #30: 38 weeks

How far along? 38 weeks, baby is the size of a bowling ball. 
Total weight gain/loss: 168 last Monday, not sure of my weight today since the movers packed our scale. 
Stretch marks? No
Sleep:  Not going well. I am pretty exhausted by the end of the day and ca fall asleep fairly easy, but wake up multiple times during the night to pee, take tums, or to stretch my hips. 
Best moment this week: Going bowling and hiking Diamond Head! Bowling was strange, but it was so fun. Nate and his best friend had a blast. I knew I would struggle doing Diamond Head, but I am so glad I did it. It will most likely be my last hike and I wanted to push myself...and possibly this little girl out. My feet hurt a lot after. Jason was so sweet and gave me a foot massage after Nate went to bed. My hips hurt today, but hopefully it's because she is working her way down!
Preggo Problems: 1. Sleeping. If it's not one thing it's another. And the movers took our good bed. 2. Waiting. I know I still have 2 weeks and a lot can or can not happen in 2 weeks. But knowing she can come at any time really is exciting and making me anxious at the same time, especially when I am with Nate by myself. 3. Swollen feet. 
Movement: Oh yes, and she gets hiccups a lot. Movements by her don't hurt as much as Braxton hicks do. 
Food cravings: Cheeto puffs and Dr. Pepper. 
Interesting facts about baby (according to pregnancy app): 
1. She will definitely have hair, but we won't know the color until birth and it might change as she gets older.
2. Slowing shedding vernix caseosa, but some will still be present at birth.
3. 14 days until EDD! 2 more weeks!! 
Gender: Girl!! And her name is.....

Labor Signs: Still just a lot of Braxton hicks. There was a night this week I got a little scared and excited because I was woken up by 3 painful contractions, about 1 an hour. Then nothing. And nothing painful since then. So....we wait. Patiently and impatiently.  
Belly Button in or out? Out. Way out. 
Wedding rings on or off? Off. Just a fake one.
Mood: I go back and forth from being super excited to have two kids and seeing them both interact to being absolutely terrified. It changes all day everyday. I'm mostly excited. I can't to see what she looks like, even though I know she will look creepy just like Nate did. Of course I will think she is perfect, but let's be honest, newborns are kind of creepy looking. 

We are ready for her to arrive! 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Things We Did While on Oahu (Toddler Included)

Our PCS move is creeping up on us...4 weeks away until we move off island. Sad face. As Jason and I sit in our "home" we have made for the past year and a half, while we have no TV and no couch, I decided to write a blog of all the fun places we did, specifically with Nate in tow.

Before we moved here, I joined FB groups and did research on "kid-friendly" activities to do on Oahu. Let me just say, "kid-friendly" is a vague description. It really covers a wide range of ages. Wondering if a toddler was considered in the category for each activity, we asked around or just tried it on our own.

So this list is a compilation of "toddler-friendly" activities we did with Nate from ages 1-2 1/2 years old. If you are visiting, moving, or live here already with a toddler or just want a list that is all together, here ya go! If not, it is basically a list of memories that I got to experience with my son.

I'll break it up into groups.

INDOOR ACTIVITIES: Despite the amazing weather, it does rain here or it is too hot to be outdoors for a long period of time. Here are a few inside places we went to.
1. 808 Bounce Basically a huge area with a bunch of inflatables to bounce on. $10 everyday except Tuesdays which are "Toddler Tuesdays" for $5. Only have to pay for the kid, huge plus for me.
2. Windward Mall Train ride that goes through the mall, indoor play area, arcade, and a pet store.
3. Chuck E. Cheese. Self-explanatory.
4. Discovery Center Three stories of entertainment. A tad on the expensive side, in my opinion, especially because everyone has to pay over 1.
5. McDonalds. Not a great activity, I know. But some days, you want to get out of the house and let them climb and burn some energy. Or have some mom-time to talk with other moms.

1. Beaches. This may seem obvious. I list the beach first because a "toddler-friendly" beach is hard to find, meaning...small waves. and it's Hawaii. Beaches are a must.
a. Hickam (you need military access)
b. Bellows
c. Ko'olina lagoons
d. Kailua  (biggest waves out of the four mentioned)
2. Parks. They are everywhere. Drive around, find one, stop, and play.
3. Zoo Small, but cheap and has a playground.
4. Waikiki Aquarium  Also small, but still fun. Pack a picnic to eat there or walk to the beach across the street.
5. Dole Plantation
6. Sea Life park A super small Sea World type of place. Perfect for little ones and has a playground.
7. Botanical Gardens Walk, have a picnic, feed a ton of birds and coy fish.
8. Hawaiian Railway 90 minute train ride around some of Oahu. Long ride, but you can bring your own food and drinks.

HIKES: This is a difficult one because I can't tell you how in shape you are. I also babywear so doing hikes while carrying Nate in a SSC(Soft-structured carrier) is often how I accomplished them when he was smaller. At 2 1/2, I still bring a carrier, but he can walk most of the way on all of these. On all of them I  bring water, hat, sunscreen, extra clothes(leave in car) and a small snack. None are stroller friendly, except Pali Highway and even that one is iffy with a stroller. Do these at your own risk and there are more hikes people say are kid-friendly. These are just ones I have personally done and feel comfortable wearing a toddler or letting them walk on.
1. Diamond Head
2. Moana Falls
3. Makapuu Lighthouse
4. Aiea Loop
5. Friendship Hike
6. Pali Highway Lookout

MILITARY SPECIFIC: These are things/places/activities to do on base and require a military ID.
1. ASYMCA Playgroups on different bases Monday-Thursday. Different bases have different times and days. $2/playgroup per kid.
2. Splash pads. Schofield and Hickam are my favorite 2.
3. Camping at Bellows AFB
4. Hickam beach and/or Dog Beach
5. Parks. Drive around a military base, there is a park around every corner.

We did so many things! Hawaii will hold a special place in my heart. We were able to do a lot here without a toddler being a "burden" on living an active and fun lifestyle.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Bump Brief #29

Bump Brief #29: 37 weeks

How far along? 37 weeks, baby is the size of a birthing ball. Feels like it sometimes, but ultrasound tech says she is approximately 6 1/2lbs. Good size to me! 

Total weight gain/loss: 168 today. Up 2lbs from last week. Total weight gain is 21lbs so far. 
Stretch marks? No
Sleep:  Still not great. Mostly because I have to pee 3-4 times a night and my stomach is so heavy. I actually counted how long it takes to roll over from one side to the other. 5 Mississippi. Count to 5 Mississippi and that's how long it takes. A long time. Especially in the middle of the night. 
Best moment this week: Had my last ultrasound and made the final 3 appointments, the third being after my due date. Exciting! I usually book one appointment at a time, so booking the final 3 seems surreal. I also got a stork pass for closer parking at the hospital. The spots are always full, but still cool to have. 
Preggo Problems: 1. Braxton hicks contractions are extremely uncomfortable when I get them while driving. I have to lean in this weird position until it stops. She is still pretty high, so it hurts my ribs. 2. I feel hungry all day long. I will eat a meal, feel full, then feel hungry 30 minutes later. 
Movement: Yep. Movements feel less like karate chops and more like rolling, smoother movements. They are not as shocking, but still hurt since she is getting bigger. 
Food cravings: Anything I don't have to make myself? and...Subway. and...cereal.
Interesting facts about baby (according to pregnancy app): 
1. She is practicing inhaling, exhaling, sucking, and gripping.
2. She is now considered "full term".
3. 21 days until EDD! 3 more weeks!! 
Gender: Girl!! And her name is.....

Labor Signs: Just braxton hicks. Ultrasound tech says she is head down and the cyst has shifted more to the left, meaning, vaginal delivery is even more likely!! I have started trying a few "natural induction" methods. Will they work? Who knows. But I am trying them. Not because I am trying to rush her, but because we can't book our flights for our PCS without her here and without a birth certificate. Because I want as much healing time before a 13 hour trip on a plane. Because I want her to be as old as possible on a flight. Because I'm excited. It's kinda frustrating when people are telling me not to rush her out. If we weren't in this situation, I wouldn't really give it a second thought. I know that even doing these methods are not going to work if she isn't ready. But I want to try. So if you think I am trying to rush her just because I am done with being pregnant, that is really not the case. Yes, I am uncomfortable, but the reasons behind me trying natural inductions are for other reasons. 
Anyways...here are a few natural induction methods I am trying:
1. Birthing ball
2. Raspberry leaf tea

3. Sex
4. Essential oils, specifically Clary Calm from DoTerra.
5. Nipple stimulation
I looked up castor oil and evening primrose oil. EPO is a no-go for me after some research Jason found. Castor oil is up in the air, but not likely going to use it. 
Belly Button in or out? Out. Way out. 

Wedding rings on or off? Off. Just a fake one.
Mood: Right this second? Fantastic. Nate is napping, I just ate lunch, Jason is home and off work until we move, and went to a pool with some friends today. 
Besides my awesome morning and afternoon, tired and overwhelmed with PCS stuff. Movers come in 2 days, so trying to get last minute things organized and ready. Once they leave on Friday, I think I lot of weight will be lifted. Literally and figuratively.