Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Being a mom is hard… well duh.


Some people find being a mother as something that comes naturally. Which for me, it pretty much is. Until it comes time to make decisions. Then I freak out. Vaccines or no vaccines or maybe the delayed schedule. Magazines say that there should be no TV until he’s 2 does that mean I shouldn’t watch TV with him in the room? Is it okay to use disposable diapers sometimes or does it always have to be cloth? Should I teach him to read early or does that really affect the learning process like they say? What about baby sign language? Early potty training or let him tell me when he’s ready?

Making decisions for me is easy, but now I have this whole other person to think about. Screwing up my life is one thing, but he is his own little person. I don’t want to ruin his life. So I have to decide stay at home, or daycare? Part time work or full time, work at home? I don’t think I can make this work on just my husbands salary. I need to bring home money too. I have to “man up” and make these decisions. I have to trust that my natural mommy instincts kick in and I manage to do things right. Trust in my self and pray. I have the support of a wonderful husband, a close family, and some great friends that support me and will probably tell me if they think I am doing something stupid. So at least there’s that.

In the meantime, I am going to try a work at home business. It’s called The Feisty Monkey. I am going to make jewelry and purses. At least to start. I have ideas to grow. I hope it takes off, this will give me the ability to stay at home with my little guy so I don’t have to worry about some of the things that go on when I can’t be around. Wish me luck. I hope this journey doesn’t make me too crazy.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Being Dad



I want to take a moment to talk about my husband James. He is such an amazing man. Let me start out by saying that he never thought he would get married and he didn’t want to have kids. Before we were married, I let him know that I wanted a child and if he didn’t I couldn’t marry him. He said he would have a kid.

When I found out I was pregnant it was the day before fathers day, so I waited a day and told him. The first words out of his mouth are “We are going to have to sell the house.” My heart sank. He tried to make up for it though, he went to Dr’s appointments with me, he helped around the house, and he didn’t make a big deal out of it when I lost my job. As my pregnancy progressed, he would feel the baby, he read the daddy books, (and passed on a lot of information about my pregnancy to me) and he even took a new dad class. After which he came home and showed me how to swaddle using the dog as a baby.

When Connor came in January I was a little worried. I think James was too. He has never been around little babies, I had to force him to hold his niece when she was born. However I now can not imagine a better dad. He is reading a newborn book, he passes on the information that he thinks important. He gets up in the morning with him so I can sleep a little longer on his mornings off. Two nights ago, he stayed up with him so I could sleep a little. He hold him and cuddles him, they play together (as much as a newborn can,) he bathes him, feeds him, and loves him. He does everything a daddy should do. I think it is so amazing looking over at them and seeing him smile at his son.

I can’t wait to see them grow together.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Straight Poop.

I have never liked poo jokes, or fart jokes, or other kinds of potty humor. My husband and I have been married for almost 3 years and we still go to the bathroom with the door shut. Poo is not really on my list of things to talk about, it's natural but at the same time it's just icky.

With that being said, I can not believe how many of my conversations these days involve poo. How much he poo's if he doesn't poo. The color, consistency, volume, location, and anything else that you can think of about poo, we talk about it. It is shocking. I try not to be one of those mothers who talks about their baby all the time, but it seems like with my husband there is at least one conversation about our sons poop per day. We can't help it, it has become such a large part of our lives. It is so scary. What happens when it's all that's left?

Thursday, March 10, 2011


My little man was carted off to the NICU right after birth.The fact that he had to go there was so hard on me. It was the worst when I had to come home without him. All of the baby stuff was here an ready, but no baby. How could I do this? I wondered what I had done wrong to cause all of this to happen to my baby. I wondered what I could have done better, exercised more, eaten less, eaten more, maybe I shouldn't have had that half glass of wine at new years. I tore myself up over it for the first few days before I realized it didn't matter how it happened, it happend and we needed to focus on how to get him home.

 I later found out from a nurse he was in "pretty bad shape." All they would tell me was respitory distress. I missed the chance to do all of the things that I wanted to with my little guy when he was first born. The things they say help bonding. No skin to skin, no attempting to nurse right away, no waiting until the cord stopped pulsing, and I was even scared to give him his name. When he was taken away he was just Infant Male Knoke. We didn't name him until the next day. We thought we knew what we wanted but we wanted to get to know him first to make sure his name fit. We ended up changing his middle name we had wanted Connor Alexander, we ended up going with Connor Ezekiel. Ezekiel means "God Strengthens" and that's what we wanted, a strong little man who could come home to us. When we were finally able to visit over an hour later, he was hooked up to all kinds of tubes.
He had an oxygen tube, feeding tube down his throat, a heart monitor, respitory monitor, blood pressure monitor, areterial line, and an IV line.

Holding him was a procedure. Luckily most of the time we were there we had two amazing nurses, Dawn and Jessie. Erin was great too. I don't know how I would have been able to get through it without them. My babies first nursery was the NICU. This was not what I had expected. My second home became the NICU, this is not what we wanted for our family. We were there for 11 days. It was a celebration every time we progressed a step. Things got muddled as I was there for at least 12 hours a day.I think the progression went something like, he first got out his iv line, then the arterial line, the blood pressure cuff, the feeding tube got moved to his nose, then the oxygen tube, then the feeding tube. The monitor stayed on until he was just about ready to come home. After a few days of him being there, he needed to be treated for jaundice, this was very hard for me becuase I couldn't hold him except for feedings. He did however have the coolest little glasses.

He went from the overhead light inside the cube to the light from underneath that glowed blue. His grandfather (My step-dad) visited him every day before work and during lunch. He recited "Horton Hears a Who" to him when he came. My mom vistied when she could, but my brother was sick and was trying to pass it around. His Grandma D, visted once when we snuck her in, (we were only allowed 4 visitors) and his Grandpa J came and held him once as well. His Grandma M came once and then got sick and couldn't come back. So it was nice to have Grandpa B come and hang out.

His first bath was at the hospital as well.   I got to do it while the nurses hovered to make sure I didn't drown my baby. This had to wait until almost everything was gone, he was down to just his feeding tube and monitors. He only fussed a little when he first went in, but he really seemed to enjoy it, until I took him out and he got a little cool.

Having him there was so hard, I don't know how people can do it for months. I don't think I could have stood it for much longer than I did. They tell you to rest while you can, it's good advice. All I can really say is I am glad they took such good care of him and I am so happy to have him home.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Birth.

Just a quick note, a lot of the blog has to be attributed to my amazing doula Veronika. She can be found here: I plagiarized most of the birth story from what she wrote for my son, mostly because I would have written pretty much the same thing. I made a few changes but it was all her. If she ever sees this I hope she isn't made because I am way too lazy to rewrite it. BTW anyone from the Fox Valley WI area, you want this woman as your doula. Even if you don't know what one is. Hire her.

 Around 4 am on a very cold Friday morning, I woke up to use the restroom. I guess this is a common way for water to break, 4AM is a special baby time I guess. I sat down on the toilet, went pee, and fluid just kept coming out. I knew it wasn't pee, but there was a flood. I wait until it stopped, stood up and told my husband who was soundly sleeping, "Honey I think my water broke, I am going to go and call the Dr." He mumbled something. I call the Dr's office and luckily my Dr was on call, she called me back a few minutes later confirmed that it sounded like it was my water that broke and suggested that I go to the hospital since the baby wasn't due for another four week. I sent my doula a text
“This is your fault for leaving town at the tail end of a full moon,
my water just broke!!”

  We arrived at the hospital a between 4:15 and 4:30 they checked me to make sure that my water had broke then they checked me into a room. James went to the car and brought my things in and we got comy.  They came in and checked me and  found out I was already four centimeters dilated. James was exhausted, so I sent him home to take care of the dog and get a rest. I called my big brother, and my mom who said she would come over, and let Veronika my doula know that she could show up whenever she wanted. She asked if I needed anything and I told her a winning lotter ticket. (She brought one and I won a dollar.)
 Around 8:00 or 9:00 am, my mom and Veroinka joined me in Hospital room, number 339
 I walked up and down the hallways with my mom and Veronika waiting for the little guy to progress. Sometimes I’d have to stop to handle the contractions better. My mom and Veronika knew when they were coming becuase I wouldwould get quiet, hold onto the railings, and close my eyes and breathed deep. It was an experience
When we all got bored of walking around, I decided to take a nice warm bath. We hoped the warm water would tempt him to come out a little sooner, but he was too comfy cozy in the mama’s tummy. after that I tried bouncing and rocking on a birthing ball to get him jarred loose, but no luck!
The doctors kept harassing me that the labor wasn't progressing and they were worried about infection. They have me anitobiotics in an IV as soon as I got there and they kept pumping them into and I threw up. I put of off as long as I could but they said I really shouldn't wait any longer. So, around noon, I got pitocin to help my uterus contract and help my cervix dilate some more. This made my contractions much stronger and more painful. James was there and held my hand, (which was zamazing because he didn't want to be there and he is afraid of hospitals. ) he was by my saide the whole time. The contractions started getting stronger and stronger,  they hurt so bad, I finally yelled,
“Marrrryyyy POPPINS!”
…and that made me feel a little better.
It was my magic code word for painkillers. At about 4:00 pm, I was finally eight centimeters dilated. I was getting so tired of the intense pain and couldn’t get any rest, so I took an epidural, which helped me rest and gain some energy.
By 6:00 pm the doctors told your mama it was time to push but my OB had to leave for the day so a new doctor came in. He was very friendly and thought I was doing a great job.  He was only my doctor for a few minutes before he got a call to do an emergency c-section at another Hospital, so he rushed across town to go help the other mama and baby.
We were so excited we thought he would be here soon, we were wrong. I did some practice pushes to get a feel for what I was supposed to do.I got the hang of it real quick and was a pushing pro after a few minutes! A nurse came by to check how close he was to finally being with us, and she could see his black hair coming down the birth canal!
After awhile, the doctor who would be catching the kid showed up and introduced herself.  She was very nice and energetic and determined to get him out of there!!
I kept pushing while my mom held one of my legs and Veronika had the other. James was close by andholding my hand. My mom took care of the counting to ten while i pushed it was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Veronicka offered words of support and rubbed my back and feet while I was resting between pushing. I reccomend a labor support team to anyone.
I pushed and pushed for three long hours with everything I had. I was exhausted, and I didn't think I could do it anymore. The new doctor was getting concerned.  She gave me two options; either get a c-section, or use the help of a vacuum to help get you out. This is not what I wanted. I had hoped for a natural birth and that was already gone, now I had to make a hard choise. I couldn't do it. I was so worried about the little guy vaccums are known to give brain damage and can cause all kinds of problems, and don't get me started on how scary the thought of a C-section was. Though it sounded a little bit amazing becuase I wouldn't have to do anything anymore I could just lay there and be done. I asked James to help me. He said I didn't want a C-section so they got the vacuum. Two more pushed and he was finally out.

They whisked him away to the other side of the room, all I saw was a purple head and a mass of black hair. The neonatologist had been waiting in the room, (standard for preemies there) and it was a good thing. The little man wasn't making any noise. There were so many people around, I sent James to watch over him. I kept asking how the baby was doing and they kept telling me he was fine. He was purple, I saw him I knew he wasn't fine. I appreciate they were trying to make me feel better, but I wanted to know the truth. I kept hearing him encouraging the little guy to breathe.
 "How is he?"
"He's fine! Come one little guy breathe for me."
How is that supposed to be reassuring?
My mom bullied them into letting me hold him before they whisked him away. I got him for all of about 30 seconds. Before he had to go. I made James go with him, I didn't want him to be alone. I laid there worried, and getting stitched up waiting impatiently on word of my little man. Finally James came back and let me know he was fine, and that we would be able to see him soon.

First Time Holding Him

To be continued with the NICU post.

The whole shebang...

So I didnt post a lot after my inital post, things just got crazy, so I will have to play some catch up. During my pregnancy I had some nasty morning sickness. It was awful, if I moved I would get sick. This caused me to lose my job. I won't go into it. I am sure I could report them and get money for having lost the job, but it wasn't worth the fight. So I stayed at home and things at home got bad finicially and we are still trying to play catchup. I lost my dream of having a home birth and it turns out that was a good thing. I will write about the  whole birth experience in another post. So, I ended up having my little guy at Theda Clark in Neenah. It was amazing. Everyone there was wonderful. After little man was born he was in the NICU for 2 weeks. (This also warrants it's own post.) I don't think I could have gone through all of it without my mom and my doula. He has been home for four weeks, and he is amazing and wonderful, I never thought that I would talk about poop so much in my life. Let me also say that my husband has been a rockstar daddy. I think he should also get his own post now that I think of it. So, I guess this post is just to say that I am a horrible slacker and I now have a lot of catching up to do with all of these posts. I should start now. :)