Addison has arrived! Well, she arrived 6 weeks ago so I’m super slacking on the updates, but turns out having two little ones leaves very little down time! Ha! I’m going to try to keep this post focused on the first month rather than the additional two week so I have something to write about for her 2 month update!
Addison has been…unpredictable…literally since the moment labor began. As a reminder, her due date was Sunday, February 19. Two weeks prior, on Sunday, February 5, I spent the whole day in bed with the stomach bug that Greg and Owen had a few days before and had been having some pretty strong Braxton Hicks contractions. I came out of the bedroom to make some toast and lie in the living room watching the Super Bowl with Greg. After the game, I went back to bed and had a much more intense contraction. I went to roll over in bed to get my phone to tell my mom that we might be going to the hospital that night when my water broke in bed at 11:30pm. I got a shower while Greg got our bag together and a friend came over to listen out for Owen while my parents started the drive over.
Greg and I got to the hospital around 12:45am. Because my water had already broken, they moved me from the Observation Room to a Labor and Delivery Room pretty quickly. Soon after that, they took some blood to check my platelets to determine if I could have an epidural. My platelets were at 69 which means unfortunately, the anesthesiologist on call that particular morning would not give me an epidural. I was pretty crushed. I got super lucky with Owen because my levels were the same, but that anesthesiologist on call gave it to me anyways. The next few hours were really rough. I have never been one who wanted a natural, epidural-free childbirth. At all. And to be completely honest, if no epidural is what my future childbirths would look like, we may be done having kids. Ha! Around 4:15am, I felt Addison drop and I realized then it was time to push. When the doctor and nurses came in, Addison was already crowning and at 4:26am, baby girl was born! She was 8 pounds 3.6 ounces and 21 1/4 inches long!
Continuing the theme of unpredictability and nothing going as planned, my parents were going to stay with us for a few days to help out at home and with Owen. Well, while I was in labor at the hospital, my mom got extremely sick. So much so that the next day, she went to a Quick Med and was given a slew of medications to help her get through it. She and my dad went back home for her to get better since she was extremely contagious and thanks to rest and the medications, they were able to come back later in the week! Thankfully, Greg’s dad was incredible and took a day off work to be with Owen until we got home and was a tremendous help. And Owen loved having some solo Granddad time. 🙂
We took Addison to her four day old pediatrician appointment and she was 7 pounds 12 ounces, which is a normal amount of weight loss from birth weight. Unfortunately, Addison’s jaundice levels were high so we had to return the next day to get her blood tested again. We were told that they needed to be at 14 or lower and her’s were 14.9. We went back again on Friday and they had gotten even higher – 16.9 – so she had to do home phototherapy. Basically, they gave us an iPad-sized tablet thing that had UV lights on it. It had to stay shining on Addison’s skin for at least 23 hours of the day – basically, all the time except for during baths or the process of changing. We went back again Saturday afternoon after having her on the lights since Friday morning and her levels were at 14.2 so they let us stop with the lights! We had to go back yet again the following Monday to follow up and they were at 14 so at that point we were done for good with the jaundice testing!
Overall, breastfeeding is going well. She’s consistently gained weight and has dirty diapers. But, man is it a battle! She fights me to eat – not because she’s not hungry, but I think she’s still figuring out how to eat. It can be pretty frustrating because I don’t know if she’s just slower to figure it out or if it’s because this time around, I know what I’m doing, whereas with Owen, it was new to both of us! In addition, she’ll eat on one side and act like she’s done and then about 45 minutes later, she decides she wants to eat again which can be really irritating. But she’s definitely improved and we have fewer frustrating moments than in the beginning. So far, she has had two bottles and she did alright in taking those. She kind of fought Greg, but in the same way she can fight me. She eventually ended up finishing the bottles!
Another battle: sleeping. Oh lawd. I should clarify though. Addison WILL sleep during the night…if she’s lying on you or in your arms. I’ve spent several nights over the past six weeks sleeping in the living room recliner with her lying on my chest or falling asleep in the glider in her room after feeding her. The frustrating thing is that she has spent entire nights sleeping in her crib in her room in between feedings so I know she can do it! She’s just inconsistent and I’m not quite sure how to handle that. For a long time, we fought her on it and tried to make her sleep in the crib but that just resulted in us getting zero sleep in the night which left us cranky and irritable the next day. I’ve finally just given in and if she doesn’t go to sleep in the crib after trying once or twice after I feed her, we just go sleep on the recliner. I’m hoping this isn’t one of those instances where I’m starting a bad habit, but right now I just need us all to survive with the most amount of sanity as possible.
The one thing that Addison and Owen have been the same one is that baby girl has reflux like big brother. We’ve gotten her on Zantac and that seems to have helped a ton with the pain she was in, but she still spits up quite a bit. Again, not consistently like Owen, but when she does spit up, I swear it’s everything she ate for the past few days.
Owen and Addison are so different from one another in so many ways. Physically, to Greg and me, Owen and Addison look nothing alike – it’s rather funny! Addison has much more almond eyes and it took a while for us to even see them! But their differences go deep. Ha. I’ve told several people that I legitimately feel like a first time parent all over again because I’m clueless and just guessing with this girl! Owen was predictable and like clockwork – he ate every 2 hours pretty much on the minute. That includes at night, which means he was waking me up every 2 hours. A huge difference here is that after I fed him at night, he would go back to sleep immediately which means I got a solid hour and a half of sleep at a time, whereas with Addison, she doesn’t go back to sleep right away (if at all) and might require sleeping in the recliner. She’s just much needier than Owen was and it can really wear me down.
Honestly, it took a change of mindset for my attitude to change. I was so focused on how different the two were and how this time is more challenging in ways and it kept me from sleeping and would make me irritable and at my wit’s end. One day I just sat and thought about it and made the decision to focus on who Addison is rather than fall into the comparison game. This has brought so much more joy. By no means is anything any easier. She’s still not sleeping without us and still wants to be held constantly; the difference is that I’m choosing to find joy in holding her because I know she won’t want this forever and I’ll miss it.
Owen does an amazing job with Addison. He’s such a good big brother! When we first brought her home, he was a mixture of uncertain and indifferent – not in a bad way, just not really phased by the change in our house. We tried to be really intentional about including him in anything we did with her and making sure he still got our attention. For example, when I feed Addison, I would go into her room, but I kept the door open so he could wander in and out so it was never shutting him out or that Addison was taking Mama away from him. He’s LOVED that! He’ll come into the room and bring toys or play with toys in her room and wander around. Poor girl has not gotten the quiet, peaceful feedings that her brother got, but our house is neither quiet nor peaceful anymore so this is life. Ha! As time has gone on, he has really become fond of her! He’ll give her a kiss or put her blanket on her and is just so sweet with her. I can’t wait to watch their relationship grow!
The hardest part about having both of them is when Owen wants my full attention or wants to be held while I’m holding Addison. It absolutely breaks my heart and there were plenty of guilty feelings in the beginning. Something that has completely saved me this go around is our baby carrier. We had it with Owen, but hardly used it. It’s a completely different story this time. I use the carrier everyday to hold Addison so I can still play and interact with Owen. The bonus is that she falls asleep in it!
Speaking of Owen, he is doing great! He’s had another ear infection since his 18 month appointment, but we took care of that with medication. He loves to explore, loves Lucy, and loves to help me with pretty much anything. If there’s something I want him to do, I just word it as “helping Mama” do something and he’s all about it! In fact, Owen gets mad if he finds out a chore has been done without him! He cracks me up. 🙂 My Nana is a hairdresser and she gave him his first haircut! It was getting rather long in the back so she trimmed it and also shaped up around his face and he looks like such a big boy now! No more baby!
As a whole, everyone is doing well! I didn’t struggle with any sort of postpartum depression or anything with Owen, but I got close this go around. It really all came down to the amount of sleep I got the night before. Once I figured out that I need to just be flexible with Addison’s schedule instead of focusing on what I did with Owen, it all changed and I became much calmer and more peaceful – even though the circumstances didn’t change. The entire time I’ve been thankful to have Addison in our lives, but in the midst of really difficult and tiring days, it’s hard to see the positive, but it’s there. I just have to adjust my focus.
I mentioned in the last post that Greg and I have decided to leave Wesley Foundation and enter into the local church pastor life. Since then, our Board of Directors have been conducting a job search and Greg and I have been patiently awaiting a phone call to find out where we’re going! Honestly, I’m at complete peace about this, even while waiting blindly. I feel confident this is where God is having us go at this stage of life and I’m excited to see what the details of that calling are! Here we go!