It's Been a While!

Friday, October 3, 2014

It's been a while, friends! I just wanted to give you an update on where I'm at in Mommyhood. I LOVE being a mommy!! I knew I would, but it's given my life a whole new purpose that I never could've planned for. For better or worse, it consumes me, and I don't want to do anything but just be with my little man. He grows so quickly and I don't want to miss a thing!

At first, it wasn't so easy being a mommy. We struggled with nursing A LOT during the first two weeks, and gradually everything became much easier throughout the first six weeks. Now at five and a half months old, Peter is a pro! Lately he's been very distracted, and the final feeding of the night (around 4pm) is a struggle - I'm thinking it's because he just got his first tooth! Otherwise, we're nursing so well that I haven't got the little guy to consistently take a bottle - my most recent mommy challenge. I would love to be pregnant again in the not too distant future, so I'm hoping that when we introduce solids, a bottle transition will be easier. Please leave me any advice you have on bottle transitioning!

My little man is a champion night time sleeper. At two months, he was pulling eight hour stretches and now, he can sleep for 12-13 hours straight! This is amazing! Except he doesn't nap long or consistently throughout the day. He is a very active kid, always bouncing around, and I think he just doesn't want to miss a thing. I have been a crazy lady about preserving his nap times, making sure we're home so I can feed him and get him into the crib within 30 minutes of our schedule. Trouble is, when he's awake, I want to make sure he get's time to play and work those muscles! So I rarely get out of the house except to go on an afternoon walk. I feel guilty for not taking Peter to mommy & me classes or something, but there's not enough time between naps, feeding, playing and reading! How do all you Mommies going to activities do it?!

With that extra play time though, Peter is already great at sitting up. He twists around, lunges for toys, looks up, and can do pretty much everything in that position except sit up on his own. Rolling belly to back came pretty early for him, too, but back to belly took a little longer. He's recently been "scooching" around on his belly and does this funny move where he get on his legs and rocks back & forth like he wants to crawl! Oh, and he sleeps like that, too - bum in the air! So cute!

As for me, I am so happy and feel so crazed - it's hard to believe I can feel both so intensely. My husband works ridiculously long hours, and that's been so hard for me. I would love to spend every minute of my life with him - we somehow never get sick of each other! And I know he is madly in love with our son. I feel badly that he doesn't get to see his son for more than an hour each day. :( We're still in Massachusetts, and are constantly on the look out for jobs so we can move back to Vermont. This has been a major stress in my life for the past year, and even more since Peter was born.

I feel wonderful about motherhood and everything that comes with it. It feels good to know that I can handle it, and I would absolutely LOVE to have lots more babies. There are times when I feel overwhelmed, but I mostly feel confident about how my boy and I are progressing. One thing that is hard for me is watching my baby grow. I thought I would be so excited and anxious to have him achieve milestones early - but I'm not. When Peter got his first tooth last week, I cried. Stop growing so fast!!

Another thing that has been difficult for me is losing the baby weight. UGH! I worked out and ate healthily during pregnancy to make this easier!! But because my baby doesn't nap - it's been a long journey. I have about 8lbs to go, and I would really like to lose at least 5lbs before becoming pregnant again. I'm mentally & emotionally ready, but not physically - so that's hard. Breastfeeding did not help me lose weight. Exercise was helpful, but my diet was the toughest part. I don't eat junk food, but I love to eat. I started losing after I cut calories - which caused a drop in my milk supply - so it's a delicate balance. It takes time, right?

I hope this ramble is relateable to you. I miss you! I miss writing - now I feel too frantic to truly write well. I miss my blogger friends. I still check on your pages to see how you're doing. I know I'm not alone in needing a break! Being a mom is the best and most important job in the world. It's my life now. :) You can follow me on Instagram for photo updates - I try to post at least weekly! I don't know when I'll post here next, but I'll leave you with this:

The days are long, but the years are short.

xo kristen genevieve

My Labor Story

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

After! I love you, Peter!
As many of you know from one of my previous posts, I had been preparing to have a natural childbirth. While everything didn't go exactly as I had planned, I'm very happy about the way my labor turned out. It was the most intense physical experience of my life, and I still don't know how to describe the emotional impact, 6 weeks later. In order to maintain authenticity, you may find this post graphic at times - you've been forewarned!

I started having contractions the morning of my due date, which I spoke about in my 40 week update. The whole weekend before I was feeling a little off, especially Sunday night. Contractions began around 1am Monday, April 14th, but didn't get too intense until late afternoon. I tried to sleep and eat but in retrospect, I didn't take care of myself the way I should have.

We went to the hospital around midnight. It was a wild night - the day had been hot, almost 75 degrees, and when we got to the hospital, they informed us that their air conditioning had broken down earlier that day, so the air was thick. The hospital was also pretty busy that night, whether it was due to the full moon & lunar eclipse that night, who knows! ;)

I was 4cm dilated at my first exam. Then my contractions became much more intense. I tried my relaxation and breathing techniques with my wonderful husband coaching me, but I was so exhausted that I kept falling asleep in between contractions. Startled awake, I couldn't focus enough to get control of my body. At my second exam a few hours later, I had only progressed to 5cm. Around 7am, the pain and lack of control was so unbearable that I asked for an epidural.

As the anethesiologist entered the room, I began to cry. I never cry in front of strangers, but I felt so disappointed in myself. I knew intellectually that all I had to do was get control over my body, but I could not physically do it. I didn't know how I was going to make it through the pushing stage if I was so exhausted already.

Within 10 minutes of getting the epidural, all of my disappoint vanished and I knew in my bones that I had made the right decision. I smiled again for the first time in several hours, and I could actually have a conversation. That morning, I slept for three blissful hours. I finally had a chance to recharge my batteries.

In the early afternoon, I had another exam and was told that I was 10cm dilated. I couldn't feel the contractions or my legs, so I just took their word for it! (By the way, not being able to feel my legs was completely freaky.) The doctor came in shortly after and asked me to try pushing. Well, I had no feeling, so my pushing was for nothing. I had to wait almost 3 hours for my epidural to wear off before I could push!

When it was time to push, I felt that pain coming back and I started to get anxious. I didn't want to feel pain anymore! Looking back, I'm grateful that I was able to feel enough to instinctively push. But because my labor at that point had been over 25 hours (with contractions starting over 39 hours prior), I don't think anyone expected that this phase of labor would go so quickly for me. My husband kept bugging the nurse to come in, and she was slowly making her way. I was thinking, "this baby is coming, where is everyone?!" It only took about 10 minutes, and the doctor almost didn't make it! He rushed in and quickly put on his gloves, and my little man was born just a few minutes later. I'm definitely lucky in this respect - some women push for a couple hours.

After Peter was born, I was in complete shock. My body was in so much pain after being numb for several hours, and I had a strange feeling because my belly was gone. And sorry if this is TMI, but the stitches were the most difficult part for me emotionally - I had so much anxiety in those few minutes and couldn't truly enjoy holding my son.

Soon after Peter arrived, a lactation consultant arrived to assist me with my first breastfeeding session, but I was so in shock that I just couldn't handle it. So we were transferred upstairs to the Maternity ward (where it was even hotter!). My husband went across the street to the Whole Foods and got me a huge plate of mac n cheese, my first meal in over 24 hours. It was so delicious and I was so ravenous that I basically inhaled it!

We had a great nurse that was very helpful with recovery & nursing advice throughout the night, but it was anything but easy. I'll do another post on that later. Essentially, it was the craziest experience of my life and much more intense that I could have possibly prepared for, but looking back, I wouldn't do anything different. I'm so grateful that I was able to forgive myself so quickly for getting the epidural, because I truly believe it allowed me to have a significantly better birthing experience.

I hope my story is helpful and not fear inducing to those of you that are still pregnant. It's such an intense experience that you can't prepare for or understand until you go through it. I finally see that. Despite it all, I definitely would do it again! I love my little man! Becoming a mom has enabled me to roll with the punches better. 

I love connecting with other mamas! Please share your labor stories with me! Also, coming up I'll have posts on Peter's first week home, my nursing experience, and more updates on my baby! For more photos of little Peter, be sure to follow me on Instagram!

xo kristen genevieve

I'm a Mom!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I'm so happy to share with you that I am now a Mother! I'm sure those of you how have followed my pregnancy could guess that since I've been gone for so long. I've tried to update my Instagram, but truthfully, I've spent most of my time snuggling with my little man!

I've missed blogging! My blog has most definitely taken a backseat to being a mom. I feel like I'm constantly nursing, which makes getting to a computer to type nearly impossible. But now that my little man is one month old and I've begun to learn his wake/sleep patterns, I'm hope to have more me time.

Upcoming, I'll have a post about my labor story, my nursing experience, and the first week home. Thank you all for following me throughout my pregnancy and for your well wishes on Instagram over the past few weeks! When I'm alone at home, it's nice to feel connected to other ladies who have had the same struggles and joys. Thanks for reading!

xo kristen genevieve

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