Thursday, August 17, 2017

Austin: The Fourth Trimester

First, an apology to Older Austin: I’m sorry I haven’t documented your life like I did Connor’s.  I promise it doesn’t mean I love you any less.  Life is just busier with two small children and I’m tired so I prioritize sleep over blogging (and pretty much everything else).  But I do plan to use this blog as a sort of scrapbook so I want to get something about you into my little corner of the internet.

All right, let’s catch up!

Austin was born at 6:11 a.m. on April 27th, one day before his due date.  I went into labor with him the day before and had contractions off and on for most of the day.  I happened to have a check-up already scheduled on the 26th and the doctor confirmed the contractions with monitoring so I knew Austin would be arriving soon.  That evening, I got the house in order while the McHusband and Connor took Monte on a walk and I tried to get some sleep, but the contractions were getting stronger so we opted to call Vanessa sooner rather than later, mostly so we wouldn’t have to rouse her and Karis from bed in the middle of the night.  Better to get them to the house where they could go to sleep for the night.  Karis goes to the same daycare as Connor so besides Connor knowing them, it worked out for Vanessa to drop both kids off in the morning.

Based on how quickly Connor arrived, we all thought Austin would be here in much the same manner, maybe even faster.  He had other plans though.  My progress was very slow, but I stuck with my plan to try for an unmedicated birth.  I changed my mind around 5 a.m. when I was about 7 cm dilated, had been up for 24 hours, and didn’t know if I could handle the pain for another few hours.  We ordered the epidural, got some IV fluids going, and I got out of bed.  Once I did that, my body switched into high gear and I was at 10 cm very quickly.  That was the worst pain of my life, dilating those last few centimeters.  No epidural for me!
The doctor joined us and I was very happy to be able to push.  Austin came out with the cord wrapped around his neck and I was instructed to stop pushing.  What?!  Any woman who’s been where I was knows that’s easier said than done.  Thankfully the doctor worked quickly to get the cord unwrapped and I could resume pushing.  He came out a little gray, but pinked up quickly and was on my chest in no time.  He weighed 7 lbs, 15 oz (just like Connor), was 20.5 inches long (a little shorter than Connor), and had dark hair (almost as much as Connor).  Unlike Connor, he came out ready to eat and latched on almost immediately.
In the blanket Grammie knitted for him
And just like that, my heart doubled in size.

We were released from the hospital Friday afternoon and the night that followed was terrible, definitely one of the worst in my life.  And that’s saying something considering I’d stayed up all night two nights prior with contractions and, you know, enduring a natural birth.  Austin wanted to eat all night long and when he wasn’t trying to eat (because there wasn’t really anything for him to ingest just yet), he wouldn’t sleep except on me, but it was really hard for me to sleep that way.  So I was already going into this night extremely sleep deprived and the way things were going didn’t help things.

I wish I could say it got much better from then on once my milk came in, but that’s not the case.  I mean, most nights were better, but remember the scale.  That first night was AWFUL so it didn’t take much for another night to be marginally better.  Most of my maternity leave I dreaded the nighttime.  Austin just wasn’t a good sleeper, I wasn’t a good napper when he occasionally was…  It doesn’t matter if you’re reading this four months after he was born or four years or 14 years – I’m probably still trying to catch up from all the sleep lost during that time.

Eventually Austin got good at sleeping at night.  He’s 16 weeks old now and goes to sleep between 6 and 6:30, gets a dream feed somewhere between 9:30 and 11 depending on when the McHusband is going to bed, and is waking up once a night to eat before going right back to sleep until somewhere between 6 and 7, but usually closer to 6:45.  Now if I could just get Connor to consistently sleep that late (or later!) on the weekends, I might stand a chance of making a dent in my sleep deficit.

Austin is growing like a weed, as he should be at this point.  We do a mix of formula and breastmilk although he seems to prefer the latter and straight from the source if he can get it.  Luckily, when he’s hungry, he’ll usually take whatever he can get however he can get it.  I wish that I had a better supply for him, but I just don’t think it’s in my biology to be a milk machine.  But I’m doing better this time than with Connor and I will keep it up as long as it’s worth it.
A blanket the McHusband used as a baby, sewn by HIS grandmother.
Okay, some general Austin info for us to look back at…
  •          Refuses to take a pacifier and has since that first awful night at home
  •          Likes baths, looking in mirrors, and being held (a lot!)
  •          Uses a sleep sack that keeps his arms contained up by the sides of his head with some ability to move them
  •          Tends to suck on his hands for comfort even through the sleep sack
  •          Loves to look at Connor, who I think is going to prove to be Austin's favorite form of entertainment
  •          Wears size 2 diapers (but not for much longer) and 3 to 6 month clothes
  •          Has pretty good head control and tolerates the Bumbo seat for short periods of time
    First bath!  I hardly remember that skinny little baby.
I went back to work when Austin was 8 weeks old and I was ready to not be at home any more, but man!  Leaving him that first morning was so much harder than I expected.  I was much more emotional at just the thought of having him in daycare than I was with Connor, and maybe it's because Austin is at the same place as Connor, which is more institutional.  Connor went to a home daycare until he was 18 months old and having done both with an infant, I definitely prefer the home daycare.

Life right now is pretty boring.  I leave for work around 7:15, the McHusband drops the boys off at daycare, I pick up the boys around 5:15, rush home to get Austin fed and in bed, go downstairs to clean up bottles and prep the ones for the next day while the McHusband and Connor finish dinner, maybe grab some dinner for myself, the McHusband bathes Connor every other night, we tag-team putting him to bed between 7:30 and 8, I eat if I haven't yet, shower, dry my hair, pump, and go to bed, hopefully turning the lights out before 10:00.  Then I'm up at 5:20 to do it all again the next day.

I'm not sorry to say adios to the fourth trimester.  Those were tough months.  I can't wait to see what kind of person Austin becomes (besides a car guy since that's pretty much a given) and be there to support him as he grows.  I'm particularly looking forward to seeing Connor and Austin together once they can interact a little more evenly.  Right now, it's mostly just Connor rubbing Austin's head or feet.

So there you have it, the past four months wrapped up in one post.  It's probably for the best that I waited to write this up all at once because if I'd tried to do monthly updates, they'd pretty much all be major downers.  Did I mention that I'm not sad to see the newborn stage over and done with?