Wednesday, August 13, 2014

First Time vs. Second Time

Blogging is the last thing on my mind these days.  The night before Tony was scheduled to go back to work, I was feeling so emotional.  Similar to last time around, I wondered how I was going to get through the day without him and I knew I would miss him 100% of the day.  Much UNLIKE last time, I really don't count down the hours/minutes/seconds until he's scheduled to get home and I truly think it's because I'm kept pretty busy here!  Last time around it was just me and a baby on our own - this time it is me, a baby, plus a smart, talkative 2.5 year old.  I have someone to talk to (thank you, Presley!) and nursing is a 24/7 task to keep busy with and although I do miss Tony, I don't feel as desperate as last time.  One of our family friends told me I would be too busy to miss him during the day and so far that has pretty much proved to be true!  Of course EVERY thing would be more fun if the whole family was together - and no amount of "busy" will cause me to forget that.

Anyways, these few revelations got me thinking about the similarities and differences I've experienced thus far with my two different newborns/post partum experiences.

Unlike last time, it is SUMMER (in the South) and not the dead of winter (in the Midwest).
Like last time, I sometimes feel like I have no idea what to do.
Unlike last time, I feel a LOT more joy and happiness throughout the day. {And to build on that, unlike last time, I am not experiencing post partum depression or anxiety besides the normal stuff!}
Though, like last time, I also have moments where I feel like giving up or that I'm literally going to have a mental breakdown - usually from a fussy baby + lack of sleep!
A lot like last time, I am SWEARING this is our last baby.
But unlike last time, our children have a sibling now, so that takes off the pressure to have another.
I'm breastfeeding again, like last time.  And like last time, I can't help but think formula feeding would be SO MUCH EASIER.
Though, unlike last time, I know how much easier breastfeeding gets and how fulfilling it can be - so I am still hanging on and have a greater depth of understanding on the breastfeeding experience.
Almost EXACTLY like last time, Molly is pulling on my hair like crazy.
Unlike last time, I am NOT going to chop my hair off... though I plan to have a haircut very soon.

Something else that has been sharp on my mind lately is my patience.  I have noticed that it is a tedious task to exercise patience every single day from start to finish.  I feel like by the end of each day I am snapping at someone - Presley, Molly, or Tony.  And unfortunately, it is usually Presley.  She is into everything... she is pushing limits and also teething.  Something has been making her very whiny and moody lately - whether it's the age, her lifestyle change thanks to the new sibling, or maybe the new teeth coming in. 

Whatever the cause it has made things interesting around here and at some times it is downright difficult to deal with.  And for the first time today I told her to go to her room.  And I didn't just tell her, I (irrationally) yelled it!  Her reaction?  Her eyes went very wide and she said, "okay" and went straight to her room.  Bad mommy moment.  I don't feel bad about reprimanding her for what she did (which was purposely knocking over a TV tray that held my water cup... spilling my water on the floor)... it was just definitely the yelling on my part that I regret.  And the overreaction on my part is something I do not want to become a habit.  I realize I'm not perfect but I also need to remember neither is she.  So, about 30 seconds after Presley went to her room, I set down Molly and followed Presley to apologize for my yelling.  Nobody can really warn you that being a parent is so tough in so many different ways.  Or really, that it is SUCH a learning experience.  How can one little person that you love so entirely also become so frustrating?

All things considered though, the twos have been much more terrific for us than terrible... which makes me nervous for the threes since I hear they're the new "terrible twos."  We'll see.  We have one hell of an awesome toddler so I really and truly think our life will continue to be terrific with her. 

Aside from all this fun, not too much is new in my life.  Thanks to my awesome little sister I am reading the Fifty Shades of Grey books and while I had my doubts about the books I have really come to love them!  I think the characters are fantastic and the book is well written.  I can't wait until the movie come out for Valentines Day!  At that point we will just about have a three year old (!!!) and Molly will be nearly 8 months old... how different will our lives be by that point?!  This is also the first book series that I've read solely over my phone (thank you Kindle app!) - that's been a neat experience and also makes me want a phone with a larger screen.  I'm not sure if I prefer it to physical books or vice versa yet... I think I enjoy either method of reading.

Finally, I will leave you with a few photos of my cuties from recently.

Hopefully it won't be so long until the next blog - I plan on doing monthly updates for Molly as I did for Presley {minus month one... sorry Molly!} - so stay tuned!  And for all you fifty shades fans... Laters, baby!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

One week+ update!

I have been thinking so much over the last week about the need to write out what's been going on here lately... But it's been a little difficult to write more than the quick updates on Facebook. 

Labor and delivery this time around was amazing. Amazing. At the time I'm not sure I would have described it that way but pain is never easy to deal with at the time. First things first, an epidural was a part of my birth story - again. I labored from 8pm until 2:30am without medication at which point I was practically begging! I had made it to 4cm on my own in that time frame and I honestly felt like I was at the point with pain where I would clench up and not allow my body to keep progressing. 

From that point on, my body definitely sped up! The procedure was finished around 3am and I had no idea that I would be giving birth in a mere 3 hours!!! 

After giving birth I felt that immediate relief and we finally got to see and hold Molly! Another amazing feeling. I birthed the placenta, I got a stitch for my "scrape" and that was it. At this point I noticed my neck was so sore and wrote it off as a byproduct of pushing... Maybe I had my neck in a weird position or maybe I pulled something? Over the next few hours it intensified and was to the point where I couldn't use my neck to look around - just had to keep it completely stiff. Again, the pain was unbearable. I decided to have a blood patch a few hours after having Molly and it was unsuccessful at taking the pain away. 

We had the option of being discharged from the hospital the next day (July 1st) and we decided we would be more comfortable at home. We could have stayed due to my pain and Presley's bilirubin level being high-ish. Once we got home the pain got worse each day. By July 3 all I could do was lay flat 100% of the time to keep the pain at bay and even then I was still in pain at times. If you've never had a spinal headache - the pain is literally a constant 10 when you're upright. It was awful. 

Nursing a newborn takes some work... You are in charge of teaching this new baby how to eat. I was unable to do this because I couldn't even look down at her. For almost all her feedings we have been in the side lying position and thankfully this has been good enough. I notice my breasts never fully empty - probably due to Molly passing out every single feeding! (I kinda feel like this wouldn't happen as often if I were able to feed her sitting up.) Thankfully with the help of my husband (and mother-in-law and sisters) I've had the help I need to get her latched and she is a good eater! Molly weighed 7#12oz at birth and lost about 8% of her weight by the time we went home the next day. At her appointment this Monday she was up to 8 pounds! Woo! At that appointment we found out her bilirubin was at a 10 (it was at a 14 a few days prior) so that was even more great news for Molly. 

I decided to have another blood patch done on July 7. The drive to the hospital was excruciating as was sitting slumped over in the wheelchair until they could get us a room with a bed. Thank goodness they got us a room quickly and as soon as I was flat my pain went from a ten to a zero! Phew. I headed from the outpatient room to this triage area to get prepped for the blood patch and I have to admit I was super intimidated by it all. I met my anesthesiologist, Dr Jones, and he tried to find a vein for an IV. The first attempt was a hit and a miss and the vein tore - OUCH - so he had to get out an ultrasound machine to find a good vein (apparently I had small, rolling veins). After getting the IV in we headed to the procedure room and holy moly it was terrifying in there! Thank goodness Dr Jones understood how much pain I was in if I wasn't laying supine and he didn't have me sit up until he was 100% ready to go. This man was incredible. I was going to have some sedation for the procedure because of the pain I would be in once upright, but I opted out as it would affect my Breastmilk. 

Much like the last blood patch, we hit a little hiccup halfway through the procedure. Both times the nurse tried to take the 20ccs of blood needed for the patch from the port of my IV. And both times it didn't work... They would try flushing it with saline and then trying to draw blood again and it wouldn't work. So they called in another doctor who came in to draw blood a different way and it worked thank God. Oh and did I mention this whole time I have to sit completely still because the Dr has the epidural equipment in my back?! TERRIFYING. He then injected 20ccs of my blood into my back which caused a huge amount of pressure in my lower back. It was all done and I ended up laying flat for about two hours in that bed afterwards. It was so comforting to get back to my outpatient room to see Tony, Presley, & Molly again. 

After two hours it was time to get out of bed and that was pretty awful as I was not prepared for how difficult it would be to stand or walk. Not to mention the pain in my lower back. BUT the headache was pretty much gone! The ride home from the hospital couldn't have been more different from the ride there... I was singing and sitting up and smiling and laughing! It was a great feeling. 

Over the next 24 hours the pain in my back got worse and made it extremely hard to move around, walk, get in/out of bed, etc. I started to lose hope that things would get better because it just kept seeming like something was going to go wrong. 

I woke up today and was still in pain (neck, head, and back) but I could tell it was already getting better. I made the mistake of not eating breakfast (it's hard to eat when you're in pain) and on the way to the bathroom this morning I passed out on the floor. It was absolutely terrifying not being able to control your body. I'm not sure what caused me to pass out, but I didn't feel great the rest of the day despite my pain lessening in my back. (See? Like I said, seems like it is always something!) 

By late in the afternoon I was feeling a little stronger and was able to sit out in the living room for the first time in so many days and visit with friends/family and even eat a family dinner! And? I was able to change two of Molly's diapers - first time in a week! Silly as it sounds it felt nice to do something normal again. 

So, that's where we are currently at with postpartum life! It's been a seriously crazy turn of events but it has made me appreciate my health. I have another 2-3 weeks of taking it easy and in that time period I won't be able to lift more than 15 lbs among other restrictions just to insure the clot in my back stays put. Tony will be home with me for another few days and then I'm on my own! And now I will leave you with a few photos from the last few days... 

Monday, June 30, 2014


You guys! Molly Lou Duggan is HERE! She is beautiful and healthy and perfect and I could not love her more. My heart was capable of this kinda love all over again after all! 

I went in to be induced Sunday, June 29th @ 7pm, the cervadil was inserted around 8pm. I started having regular contractions right away and we never even ended up needing pitocin! I made it to about 2:30am without pain management and that's when I got the epidural - I was around 4cm. It took several attempts for him to get it in successfully which was terrifying and painful - especially since Tony was not allowed in the room. 

I felt so much better after the epidural but never felt total relief as I could still feel a whole lot. A couple hours later I was checked (about 5:15am) and I was at a 6cm. It was around this point I started to have extreme anxiety and really started freaking out. I called the nurse back in 15 minutes (about 5:30am) later and I was hysterical. I figured out why - I was feeling so much pain and pressure during each contraction and realized my body was pushing!!!!!! She checked me and my bag of waters was bulging- she told me that she thinks I'm at a 10cm and ready to go. She called the doctor and a bunch of nurses came in to prep. My nurse allowed me to push involuntarily at this some as my body was literally taking over. 

Dr. Podraza (my angel!) ended up being there in thirty or so minutes (roughly 6am) and he told me Molly was posterior (sunny side up) and he flipped her - which did not feel great during contractions. I pushed 2-3 times, felt her crowning with the ring of fire, at which point he told me to stop pushing that she was going to fall out on her own with him guiding her. That happened just a few minutes later which was a WONDERFUL relief!!!! She cried right away, was plopped on my belly, and Tony cut the cord!!! I had one minor "scrape" that required one stitch to stop the bleeding. 

Molly was born at 6:12am and weighed in at 7#12oz - EXACTLY LIKE HER SISTER! She measured in at 20.25 inches and has black fuzzy hair. She looks somewhat like her sister and is just so tiny looking! She latched amazingly and breastfeeding is going so smooth. 

I've experienced what is known as a wet tap and lost some spinal fluid as a result of the epidural. This has caused extreme pain in my head and neck and has literally been debilitating. I had a blood patch (another epidural where they put my own blood into my spine to fill up the missing fluid and block any leak) and it is supposed to help right away but it hasn't. They suggested having another but I am not doing that. I'm taking pain meds and drinking fluids and caffeine - all things that are supposed to help. Finally I've found a drug with relief! So I will be taking it every four hours until this gets better. 

I am so happy and will be even more happy once this pain hopefully goes away and I can enjoy my family even more.

Thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers - they truly helped and have me a labor and delivery to be proud of! Not to mention a gorgeous baby. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

38.5 Week Pregnancy Reflection {BABY TWO}

If you've been following along in our pregnancy journey this time around, you may be aware that I was just as recently as last week switching doctors because of a change of insurance.  And if you've been following along ultra closely, you will know that this is my THIRD doctor this pregnancy alone!!!  It's been one wild ride the past 38 weeks, but as you know, pregnancy doesn't last forever and we are nearing the end.

I visited my new doctor on Friday and let me just tell you I fell in LOVE with the staff at this new office.  Every single person I encountered was seriously just a joy to be around and I laughed so much at my appointment!  Just when I thought surely things couldn't get better, I met my new doctor - Dr. Michael Podraza and liked him just as much as everyone else I had just met!

Okay, so enough bragging... back to the doctor visit... it's hilarious that at 38 weeks we spent a good portion of the appointment going over family medical histories and also briefing them on how my current pregnancy has been going up until this point.  They took a urine sample, checked my blood pressure, then checked my cervix, and finished up with an ultrasound.  (Urine was fine - blood pressure was excellent - cervix was at a solid 2cm - and baby/fluid/heart looked wonderful!)  It was at this point that Dr. Podraza told me that while my gestational diabetes has been controlled by diet that there are still risks associated with going past the 39 week mark with Molly.  We talked over the options and together decided that induction was in my near future and that it would be the best option for me and Molly both.

As some of you may know, the chances of needing a c-section increase when you induce labor rather than waiting for it to come along naturally.  (But as you also may be aware, going over the 39 week mark with gestational diabetes also increases my chances of needing a c-section as babies from moms who have GD tend to be gigantic.)  The doctor also explained that my chances of needing a c-section after induction are reduced since I have had a previous, successful vaginal delivery.  The plan is to check into the hospital where they will insert cervadil and then twelve hours later we will start with pitocin.

It all seems a little bit unreal to me right now and that it is happening so fast!  I went to the doctor thinking I had at least another two weeks before labor would begin but it turns out I only had TWO DAYS!

How far along?:  Almost to the 39 week mark!

I am feeling:  Overwhelmed isn't the word I'm looking for... maybe in shock?  I'm feeling excited about the reality that Molly will be here soon and we will get to begin life as a family of four.  Of course I am also feeling hesitant about the pain associated with labor and delivery - but I'm also pretty confident that I can do this again!  I am already feeling anxious just thinking about being away from Presley more than a few hours because that's the longest I've been away from her at a time.  I have such guilt thinking about how much attention Molly is going to need for a long time and worry how I will be able to give Presley everything she needs/deserves in the meantime.  I'm looking forward to breastfeeding again and hoping it goes as well as it did with Presley!
Things I am currently reminding myself #1 We've done this before, we can do it again.  #2 Look at how well Presley sleeps now.  Sleep will become a great part of your life again and you will forget all about the sleep deprivation days!  #3 It will all come more naturally this time.  #4 There is SO MUCH to look forward to and be excited about.  #5 Don't be afraid to ask for/accept help from others.  #6 It's easy to worry - dig a little bit deeper and find the hope in each situation that makes you anxious.  #7 You have a husband who loves you and supports you and will do anything to help you make it through each and every hurdle life will ever throw at you.  You are not alone.  And even when you are alone or when you do feel alone, you are capable and strong.  You have done this, you can do this, you will do this (you have no other choice!) and not only WILL you do this - you will be a freaking rockstar!!!!  Also, you have a beautiful 2.5 year old daughter who loves you and depends on you - do not let her down#8 Finally, the newborn phase is much scarier in your head than it will be in reality.  Chill out and just be present.
*Self: Reread this as needed.*
What I miss most:  I miss having time to prepare.  I wish I would have gotten my last-minute ducks in a row sooner... but I am a true procrastinator!!!!
Best moment of the week:  Meeting my new doctor and his staff, touring labor & delivery at the hospital, and all the comfort associated with finally feeling ready for Molly.
What I'm excited about:  I'm excited to get this show on the road!  The human body is amazing and I cannot wait to see how mine reacts to what lies ahead.  I'm excited to meet our baby, I'm excited to do this again right next to my amazing husband, and I am excited for Presley to meet her baby sister.

Oh, and if I didn't mention before - the induction will begin TONIGHT at 7pm!  So if things go well hopefully we will be meeting little miss Molly Lou in the next few days!!!  If you feel so inclined, please keep us in your thoughts & prayers as we could use the encouragement along the way and I promise to keep everybody informed as best as I can!  Thanks for following along with me in this crazy, exciting journey towards baby Duggan #2!!!

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You can also find links to my Facebook and e-mail address in the sidebar here on my blog.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

38 Week Pregnancy Reflection {baby two}

How far along?:  Phew, didn't think I'd still be posting these at this point!  I am 38 weeks along in my second pregnancy and I wholeheartedly thought I would have had Molly by now!

L: Me @ 38 weeks with Presley
R: Me @ 38 weeks with Molly

I am feeling:  I'm not feeling terrible, to be honest with you... I just think I am getting mentally exhausted of being SO pregnant.  I have some pregnant friends who are still in the early stages of pregnancy who have said they're jealous that I'm nearing the home stretch... but I have to be honest and say I think they are crazy to be jealous of ALL this right now!!!!  I know they mostly mean they're wishing they were getting ready to meet their baby's already... but holy moly - the third trimester is TOUGH.

Size of baby:  Still about the size of a watermelon (YOWZA!) at about 6.5 lbs & 19-22 inches!

Movement:  Molly still moves most when I'm in bed for the evening... lately I will feel her down low in my belly on the far right side and simultaneously will feel what I'm guessing is her feet up in my ribs on the far left.  So I am really thinking she is going to be leggy like her dad!  And FINALLY, Tony witnessed Molly when she seriously looks like she is trying to crawl out of my stomach.  And he was as freaked out as I always am when it is happening!!!!!  It's seriously creepy.

What I miss most:  Ahhh... so much at this point.  I just miss the comfort of not having a 6+ pound person inside of you at all times.  As hard and as equally uncomfortable as the newborn stage will undoubtedly be, I am so looking forward to some relief.

Cravings:  PIZZA.  Which is so bizarre to me.  Tonight we are having Papa Murphy's Gourmet Vegetarian Pizza.... delicious as always! 

Best moment of the week:  This morning I was telling Presley how excited I was that she was going to be a big sister soon.  Usually this doesn't return a response from her as I figure the whole thing is too much for her to really comprehend... but today she replied, "Yeah!  Molly... soon?" and after my enthusiastic reply I gave her a hug and my eyes started watering big time.  She is going to continue to be such a wonderful helper and will be such a fantastic sister.  I just can't wait!  I really hope Presley is excited for this huge change.

What I'm excited about:  I'm excited to meet my new doctor on Friday - yes... new doctor at 38 weeks.  What am I thinking, you ask?  Well, I had a change in insurance so it was a mandatory change.  And this doctor will be my first male OBGYN - so that is going to be another big change!  I'm also very excited to celebrate with friends & family this weekend for Miss Molly's upcoming arrival.  It's easy for me to be somewhat of a hermit these days, so it will be extremely nice to see everybody.

**Don't forget - if you want to make a guess at when Molly will be here, you can enter right HERE.  There will be a prize.  And the prize will be awesome.  And I'm not sure what that prize will be yet.**
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