Ok. So I’m way behind in my posts. I’ve just been having too much fun spending time with this little man…
Thursday, 2 May 2013
Thursday, 21 March 2013
This week was a very special one for me. It felt like everything changed, in a very good way. As if overnight, Miles went from a blobby newborn to a sweet little baby. We bonded in a whole new way this week. I felt so confident as a new mom and I’m really starting to understand my son. I’m very lucky that he is still very mellow and easy going. If he does get a little upset, it seems clear to me whether he is tired, hungry, having gas pains, etc. I’ve loved Miles since the moment I found out I was pregnant but this week, well this week, I fell head over heals, crazy, I can’t get enough, in love with him. I love every moment of time we spend together and I truly feel like the luckiest mom in the world to call him mine. I just want to love him, cuddle him and kiss him all day long. And as if he wanted to tell me he feels the same way, at the end of the week, the morning he turned exactly 6 weeks old, he smiled!
Thursday, 14 March 2013
What to say about my 5 week old…honestly, right now I’m having a hard time remembering last week. I’m not overly tired since he is a great sleeper but all the days are blending together or perhaps its just that I’m so excited by our days now that I’m not able to look backwards. I know that we took our first trip out to dinner with Miles in the Moby wrap all snuggled against my chest. I know that our little cutie had to deal with reflux which just breaks my heart. I know his baby acne and cradle cap were pretty bad but thankfully these things don’t hurt him. I know that we continued with working on establishing a schedule and he’s taking to it pretty well. I know we were stuck in the apartment for a couple days thanks to crappy weather, and this is never a good thing because its so much better when we can be out and about in the world. I know that each day he was alert a little more than the day before and I love the awake time when I can sing to him and “play” with him. But mostly I know that I love our little Miles more and more everyday (if that’s even possible).
Friday, 8 March 2013
Breastfeeding is complicated. Simple as that. It’s amazing that something so essential as feeding your newborn can be riddled with such difficulties. Finding the right position, getting the right latch, nipple pain, and is my baby getting enough anxiety. Did the cavewoman deal with these issues? I’m sure like most things in life the stress we place on breastfeeding only adds to complications. Even after almost five weeks of nursing 8-10 times a day (thats about 350 sessions!), we still don’t have it down completely. Everyone says it will get easier and then just be no big deal. I hope that time comes soon.
There are however those magical times when he latches on perfectly, it doesn’t hurt, and I know that he is getting everything he needs. When this happens, its the most incredible feeling to look down at my beautiful little baby and feel a rush of love greater and more pure than any other feeling in the world.
Thursday, 7 March 2013
My sweet baby boy is one month old! I cannot believe four weeks have gone by so fast. Well, I guess they seem fast now that we are at four weeks but each of those weeks was a mini lifetime when they were happening. The hard work, the stress and the intense love can make a week feel much longer but now that we are standing with a month behind us it seems like it all went by in a flash. Week 4 was wake up week for Miles, he is slowly coming out of his super sleepy newborn (3 week early newborn) stage and becoming more alert. We get more eyes open time together which just makes my heart explode. Every time I see those precious eyes looking back at me I get so excited, I just talk and talk to him trying to get in as much love and words as I can before he falls back asleep. Luke and I also experienced one freak out crying fit. He was really going it at it but then mama came along and worked her magic and it quickly ended. I must say it was an incredible feeling to take my screaming son and know that I could comfort him. I know there will be many times where this is not the case and I will feel at a loss for how to help him but being able to calm him down for his first real moment of upset gave me a nice boost in mommy confidence.
We joined a new moms group in the neighborhood. I loved the first meeting and will definitely be looking forward to Tuesdays at 2:30 for the next six weeks. It’s so nice to spend time with other new moms and have that community. We also took walks everyday with Miles in his stroller. It wasn’t too cold and I loved just walking around and running errands while pushing him around all cozy in his stroller.
Happy one month birthday little man! You’re getting cuter and cuter each day.
Saturday, 2 March 2013
Luke wrote about Miles’ birth to share with our friends from the Bradley class we took to prepare for natural childbirth. I also want to work on writing about his birth from my voice/perspective, but I think it will still take me some time to be able to do that. So till then, here is the incredible version that Luke wrote…
Amanda and I are now at home with our beautiful baby boy, Miles Beckett McCormick, who arrived early last Saturday, February 2nd. He took us by surprise, arriving 23 days ahead of his due date, but not a moment too soon. We are still on cloud nine, so I wanted to share our birth story with you and the class. Here’s how it all unfolded…
- Early Labor -
Around 2pm on Friday afternoon, Amanda called me at work to say that she was having contractions that were more substantial than the ones she had been having over the last few days. In class, I remember being presented with this exact same scenario in one of our small group break-out sessions. My initial reaction was to flip out, but I remembered some of the ideas shared by the other dads-to-be: keep calm and stop by the store to pick up provisions on the way home.
Of course, I started packing up my stuff and left work as quickly as possible, but given that we hadn’t even hit 37 weeks, I was trying not to get myself or my co-workers too excited. I told a few people causally that “Amanda was having contractions, but who knows…” which spread quickly across the office as “Luke’s having a baby!” They were applauding/cheering as I left totally embarrassed.
Our apartment was totally unprepared for our labor, so on the way home I picked up labor-friendly foods, gatorade, and of course: BENDY STRAWS!
I came home to find Amanda relaxing and watching some TV. She filled me in on the details of the last few hours. Her contractions were long and irregular so it was hard to get a handle on how or if things were progressing toward active labor. I started to pack for the hospital, and then the two of agreed that was too early to start thinking like that.
Though unusually timed, the contractions were pretty intense. We could still talk in between so we patiently took them one at a time. We touched base with our doula and as the afternoon wore on, we ate some food, listened to music, busied ourselves with projects, and used different positions on birth ball to stay relaxed through contractions. They calmed down after a nice massage or a distraction, so we took that as a sign that this wasn’t the real deal. 36 Weeks? No way… At 9pm Amanda took a bath and they stopped all together. We thought it was just a crazy day, some good practice for the real thing. I had an early morning, so we went to bed…
Around 12:30 am Amanda woke up to another contraction and dealt with it by walking around our apartment. While relaxing between contractions on the couch, her water broke, which soaked through her clothing and left a little spot! She woke me up to let me know but was very calm. After hearing the story about the couple who didn’t deliver for 2 weeks after their water broke, I tried to keep things in perspective. After all, we weren’t even at 37 weeks. The contractions were quiet again, so Amanda insisted I go back to sleep…
- Active Labor -
About an hour or so later, things shifted gears. Amanda woke me up and said “I think we should start packing.” We started assembling the things we needed and paused to deal with contractions together. They were becoming more regular hovering around 3-4 minutes apart. Bradley Method classes really helped me observe other signposts of progressing labor. For example, Amanda started moaning with her contractions around 3am, which I took as a positive sign that we were really getting into active labor. We called the Doula to come over, and then our Midwife, who after listening to Amanda for a contraction over the phone, wanted us to come in ASAP.
It occurred to me at this point that maybe the Bradley classes had desensitized me to the progression of labor. Amanda was handling things so well throughout that I thought we still had a good amount of time, despite all of the other signals. On the other hand, a birth partner with less exposure to what the stages of labor would look like, might have gone to the hospital too soon. I’m glad it was a team decision, and I’m also glad we spent as much of our labor at home as possible.
When the doula arrived it was time to go to St. Luke’s Roosevelt. It was great: she helped Amanda through the contractions while I finished packing our bag. Weeks before, I was a little unclear about exactly how to partner with the doula, and how she would fit into the situation. We found a nice balance in which I focused emotional support & encouragement and the doula helped Amanda with technical and physical reminders to help her through each wave. Many times, she reminded Amanda to “stay with her breath,” which helped her regain control when things started spiraling outward.
With everything packed, we were ready to go. The walk from our door to the elevator is a few hundred feet. Jessie and I helped Amanda make it there step-by-step and stopping for three contractions along the way. After the third, Amanda announced that she had to go to the bathroom and she would rather “do it in the hallway” than walk all the way back to the apartment. Talk about slipping into the “animal brain.” I was thinking through the logistics how it would work when Jessie stepped in and convinced her to go back. Crisis averted! When we got there, Amanda had to throw up as well. Unfazed, she just kept on.
The drive to the hospital in active labor was pretty rough, but Amanda handled it so well. We had a town car waiting for us down stair. Jessie and I sat on either side of Amanda and coached her through the drive. I’m sure that we hit every bump and pothole between Brooklyn and Hell’s Kitchen, and each one broke my heart as it added to Amanda’s discomfort. On the bright side there’s very little traffic at 4:45am. I was in total awe of how well she managed. I kept telling her how much I loved her, and how proud of her I was.
We finally arrived at the hospital around 5am. We had to go to Labor & Delivery rather than the Birth Center, because our little guy was two days shy of full-term. Nevertheless, the triage process was fast and painless. The midwife’s exam around 5:15 revealed that Amanda’s cervix was four centimeters dilated with 100% effacement. This confirmation of our progress, was a huge emotional milestone for me. For the first time that night I let myself believe that we were really on our way to meet the baby. I learned later that Amanda was slightly discouraged by the low number.
Ultimately, it didn’t matter! About an hour and half later she started telling everyone that she was feeling the urge to push. The nurses brushed her off, explaining that it was very unlikely and it wasn’t advised to do another vaginal exam since her water had already broken. But Amanda insisted that she really had to push so our doula rushed out to get the midwife. Dubious, our midwife came back for an exam and sure enough, Amanda was fully dilated and ready to go.
From the car ride onward, I was getting ready for Amanda’s “Transition” moment, when I would have to step in and help her though the most challenging moments. No such luck! She just kept going with superhuman resolve, and I was so proud of her!
- Pushing & Birth -
Pushing is hard work, but Amanda and I were fueled on by the thought that we were about to meet our baby. Until then, everything was happening so fast and unexpectedly that this was the first time we were able to let the reality and joy of the situation sink in. Because the baby was pre-term, a pediatrician was in the room to cut the cord ASAP and conduct a newborn exam immediately after the birth. During the pushing stage, there was a dip in the baby’s heart rate which made the Midwife decide that he had to come out now. During this time the Midwife insisted on an episiotomy, which was an intervention we were not expecting nor one we wanted but in the whirlwind of events was done.
Amanda pushed like a total pro (about 25 minutes total) and at 7:23am our baby boy Miles, came out active with a loud and lusty cry — 7 lbs. 8 oz. The pediatrician let the exam slide and we were able to let the cord keep pulsing and have immediate skin to skin contact between mom and baby. No one could believe that this was a 36 week 5 day baby at 7lbs 8oz!!
The three of us held each other tight as Amanda and I kissed each other, and shared this amazing moment. Everything felt so surreal – the experience of giving birth as well as reality of giving birth 23 days before our due date. And there was our beautiful little boy, alert and peaceful, relaxing on Amanda’s chest.
A short while later Amanda birthed the placenta and it was absolutely beautiful. I have a great video of our Midwife showing it to us and explaining how it all works, and about a dozen pictures. We were both totally in awe.
Mary, thanks so much for your help bringing our little guy into this world. It wasn’t in the Birth Center, but nevertheless it was the birth of our dreams: laboring at home, medication-free, and a happy healthy baby. Amanda and I wouldn’t have been prepared to follow through and adapt our birth plan, without the valuable lessons learned in your class.
There is a lot more to the story for Amanda as a result of the episiotomy, tearing and bleeding complications and honestly, we are still processing these post delivery issues. So in the spirit of your “POSITIVE BIRTH STORIES ONLY” pin, we thought it best to just leave you with just the incredible story of the labor and birth. The complications were difficult to deal with, but Amanda is now doing amazing and recovering extremely well.
Friday, 1 March 2013
Week 3 was Miles and my first week flying solo all day. And I must say, we did a pretty good job. Lucky for me, at 3 weeks old, this little guy is still very much just interested in sleeping and eating. I’m amazed at what a perfect clock he is, stirring from his naps exactly on time for his next meal…and then back to sleep he goes. We thought about going outside this week but it was just too cold, so other than one quick trip to the Duane Reade, we stayed cuddled up inside together. I’ve taking to calling our sweet baby, monkey, all the time. I hope he doesn’t end up thinking that’s his name. He just looks like the cutest little monkey and he keeps getting cuter each and every day. We had a few more alert moments this week, luckily for daddy, they seem to take place just as Luke is getting home. Miles took a couple more baths this week, which he is still not a fan of. Probably, the biggest thing that happened was that I had to leave my baby for 3 whole hours to go to the doctor while Grandma Karen watched him. I cried on the walk to the subway. But we survived and of course Miles just slept in Grandma’s arms the entire time I was gone.
I feel like I’ve hit the baby lottery with Miles. He is perfect. His sweet innocent face and calm loving demeanor are just too good to be true. Luke and I stare at him for hours and just fall deeper and deeper in love with him as each moment passes. There are times I long for the newborn stage to be over, so he’ll be a little less fragile or a little more interactive, but I know also that this time is a gift and it will be over before I know it. And truly there is nothing more incredible than holding my tiny son close to me as he falls asleep in my arms, so peaceful and so happy…both of us.
(I realized that 3 weeks was already one week ago, I will get better at being current with these posts…someday)
Thursday, 21 February 2013
Miles has been in our family for two weeks now! We love this little guy more than words can express. He makes us laugh, smile, and just stare in awe…
I’m not even sure how to reflect on our first week together. It was a week of ups and downs, the greatest joys and difficult challenges. But overall, I have to say, our little man was very easy going in his first week. Once we were home, he mostly slept, ate and needed his diaper changed. We had a few moments of alert eyes open time and we absolutely cherished those moments. The first night at home, I don’t think I slept at all and spent most of the time just watching Miles to make sure he was still breathing. It can sometimes be a scary thing being a mom, the love and protective instinct has been beyond anything I could have imaged and all I thought about those first few day was how I just wanted him to keep breathing. I just needed him to be ok, and when you are looking at a newborn, there are about a million things that will send the mind going crazy over all the things that might not be ok. But then there are the extreme highs, when he would fall asleep on my chest after nursing or look at me with his beautiful blue eyes…and then of course there is smelling his head, oh that smell sends the greatest sensation throughout my whole body.
Miles had his first visit with his pediatrician, Dr. Gilgoff, who we love. Unfortunately, we learned that Miles lost more than 10% of his birth weight and that was super hard for me. It’s my body that is responsible for his food and it was upsetting to learn that it might not be doing its job of taking care of him. We had two days to get his weight up, and boy did we work hard, we nursed constantly. The doctor recommended supplementing with formula, which I really didn’t want to do but ultimately I wanted him to gain weight more, so we tried some formula although he really didn’t want it and probably only consumed about a half an ounce over the 48 hours. Luckily, when we went back to the doctor, our perfect little boy had put back on plenty of weight! Crisis averted.
The first night was a little bumpy but overall not too bad. He wasn’t really interested in sleeping and wanted to be held but he didn’t cry too much and we made it through. We thought perhaps he didn’t like the quiet of the night since he slept so well throughout the day with the TV on and us moving around and talking, so we decided to put on some white noise and wow what a difference. He slept soundly (as long as he was well swaddled) in between each feeding all night long. And since that night, we have been extremely lucky, he wakes up like clockwork every 2.5-3.5 hours, gets his diaper changed, nurses, and then peacefully goes back to sleep. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this never changes!
Week two was spent relaxing, sleeping , eating and just hanging out. Our little man sure can sleep! I don’t think we heard him cry for more than a few seconds this entire week. He is so calm and just a absolutely perfect little baby. We are having some difficulties with breastfeeding, his latch is tight and painful and it can get pretty discouraging for me to want to keep going but I’m doing my best to try and work with him on improving and so far we are still at it. I really really do not want to give up on breastfeeding so we are going to make this work no matter what.
I’m still amazed at his night time routine. He sleeps so well at night and just wakes up for his feedings and then off he goes back to sleep. I’m fully expecting for him to leave this peaceful newborn stage and realize the world is a rough place and cry and cry but for now I’m going to enjoy my happy little man.
Other milestones for Miles…his cord stump fell off which meant that we could give him his first bath!! I’m hoping he warms up to the idea because he wasn’t such a fan the first two times.
Week 2 was our last week with mommy, daddy and Miles home together. It was wonderful to have this time to establish our little family. Now let’s just hope mommy and Miles can do just as well with Luke back at work…
Tuesday, 19 February 2013
Its hard to believe that my 36 week belly shot was the last one because our incredible and beautiful son was born February 2nd when I was 36 weeks and 5 days. Miles Beckett McCormick arrived early but perfect at 7:23am, 7lbs 8oz, 19 3/4 inches. He couldn’t wait to join our family and we couldn’t imagine our family without him. It’s crazy to think that this week I would have been posting my 39 week photo and still be days away from our expected due date. But we are beyond luckily that we didn’t have to wait to meet our precious little man and we’ve been able to love him and hold him for the past 17 days. So much more to come…
Wednesday, 30 January 2013
Look at that belly! I definitely see a big difference from just last week. It is sticking straight out more and has even dropped a little. Besides just appearance, things are happening internally as well! I’ve been having contractions here and there. Not just Braxton Hicks but actual 45 second, 15 minute apart contractions that last for a few hours and then pass. It’s completely normal. Some women begin to experience preparation for labor weeks before they go into active labor. So it’s nice to know that my body is getting some work done leading up to the big event.
I had an appointment with my midwife today and told her about all the activity and even though she normally doesn’t do internal exams until week 38, she thought it would be helpful to see if anything was going on. Aaaaand….it turns out I’m about a finger tip dilated and the baby’s head is WAY down. How exciting! Now of course, it doesn’t necessarily mean too much since I could be 1 cm dilated for weeks and could certainly still go past my due date but I can’t help but get my hopes up that we will meet our little boy sooner rather than later. We need him to at least wait until he is full term on Monday but then after that, all bets are off and I’m happy for him to make his appearance as soon as he is ready. The midwife did say, “I’m not sure you’re going to make it to 40 weeks.”