I'd love to introduce my new pride & joy to the blog...Charlie Marie. I can't make it too easy for her to say I didn't do everything for her that I did for her older sister. But the cold hard truth is that's just how it goes when you add another kid! And another...and another....if you're brave. At this point I've told Bryce I'm pretty sure our family is complete. Of course this probably shouldn't be discussed in the postpartum period (I'm kind of a mess in the beginning). It's just been so much work. I never want Charlie to feel bad, but she's a tough baby. She's ridiculously adorable & I know this too shall pass, so we are just enjoying the good times and loving her through the hard ones. It's been sort of an anxiety filled journey from the beginning. At 3 months old I feel like I can finally relax, well, as much as a mom can relax when you seem to always have something to worry about.
|A picture of my favorite things - new baby in my arms & epidural catheter in my back haha|
I was anxious when Charlie's due date came and went. I just wanted her out and in my arms. Not because of my discomfort, but because I didn't want anything bad to happen while I was still pregnant. When I was a week over due my doctor advised me to be induced because of the risks to consider being pregnant after 41 weeks. Pile more anxiety on my plate please. I work in women's health so I know inductions are happening on the daily, but I also hear the horror stories and they always seem to happen to other health care workers I know. I went in to be induced and it was such a slow process. I was told because I'd had a baby before it would be smooth sailing, but it was obvious my labor did not want to be forced. With about as much pitocin as you could possibly be given I finally started to progress. During the last "upping" of my pitocin I had an extended contraction that put Charlie under a lot of stress. I could just hear how dangerously slow her heartbeat was and that it wasn't coming back up. I pushed the call light and was absolutely panicked saying "come back up, come back up, please come back up". My mom said that the monitor was picking up some random high number like 200, but I listen to babies in the womb at my job all day and I knew it was low 80s. I was beyond stressed and on top of that no one had come to my room! It was the longest minute of my life and her heart rate finally came back up. When the nurses came to change shift and review my information at the bedside, I saw them reviewing the strip and this look of concern was on my RN's face as she goes "oh, well that wasn't good". I'm like YA TELL ME ABOUT IT. So again, just more stress and I just wanted her OUT more then ever. When the time came to push she was born 3 minutes later. This huge weight was lifted off my shoulders as she was placed on my chest and I just started giggling while holding Charlie the next few minutes. She was just perfect and meant to be in my arms! Then they dropped the news on me that her clavicle had broken during delivery. Cue the stress. Why did that happen? Did I push too hard? Too fast? Is she in pain? What's going to happen? It apparently just happens sometimes, and it decided to just happen to my sweet baby. She was going to be okay though. We wrapped her arm to her body for a couple weeks as best we could and breastfed her to help with pain. You can guess how it made the first few weeks at home. I was always anxious to change her clothes and we avoided baths. If I absolutely had to change her I was afraid I would re-break it again. She would cry hard sometimes and I was afraid it was because she was in pain or I was holding her wrong. I didn't like when other people held her either...ugh what a mess I was! Luckily Bryce was home for 2 weeks and we had lots of help with everything, including Lucy. She has taken to being a big sister so well. After 3 months I'm sure she doesn't even remember not having a sister in the house.
|We had to wait to take pictures of Charlie when she was almost 2 weeks old because of her clavicle. I was surprised that she did so well and all of them turned out so sweet.|
In the hospital I was ready to enjoy the bliss of 2 days just getting to know my baby. I felt tons better after this delivery then my first. I guess pushing 3 minutes vs 1.5 hours will do that to you. I don't really want to remember the details of my hospital stay...it stressed me out even more then childbirth. From staff that ignored me or acted annoyed to Charlie choking to a point she stopped breathing in my arms. I ran with her to the nursery and watched staff fumble with their equipment until she finally cleared her airway and started breathing on her own. I shudder at the memory. They had me carry all of my belongings and walk out to the car with Bryce & Charlie when I was discharged. I was okay with it because I just wanted to get home! Once at home I finally had my chance to relax for probably the first time since she was born. We had Charlie's 1st pediatrician check and were told she was perfectly healthy & the clavicle was not going to be a big deal at all. It would heal super fast. Again, more relaxing.
|I love the first baby smiles from a full belly and passing gas :)|
The weeks went on and her clavicle did heal. She liked to scream a lot though and we figured out she had a pretty upset tummy/gas/reflux so we helped her out with that as best we could. She seemed to get better from that, but she continues to just be a high-needs baby who's really sensitive. She's not chill and I don't think I am ever able to hold still when I'm holding her. I've walked countless miles with her around my house. When I'm not walking around with her, Bryce is. It's so different! I've felt like a spaz trying to figure out how to be a mom to her even though I've done this before. Lucy is probably the most patient. If Charlie's screaming and I just have to put her down for a minute to take a time-out, Lucy will start singing rock-a-bye baby and stays super calm. It's been amazing to watch and learn from her! So even though she tells me "Mom, Charlie cries all the time", we all still love her to pieces. She's so beautiful and when she's being cute it melts your heart like butter on the stove. I'm so happy to be her mom and I feel like she's taught me so much.
|I love when babies look right into your eyes|
I'm not able to relax completely since the crying episodes can sometimes make my stress levels go off the chart. I'm still so much more relaxed now that the first 3 months are behind us. Charlie seems much happier as she's now able to hold her head up and look around and see the world. I'm getting into my exercise routine again so I get a mental/physical break from the craziness and it rejuvenates me so I can continue.
|A happy moment at Wheeler Farm|
Charlie started smiling at me at an early age. She continues to knock my socks off with her darling dimples. I'm so excited to have a baby with some! She has a strong neck and kicks hard with her legs. She's super close to giggling and makes funny noises when she's happy. She takes a binky about 50% of the time (another thing that has stressed me out as the binky solved all of Lucy's problems ha ha). She's an awesome nurser and she's pretty good at sleeping at night. She wakes up about 1-2 times to eat and goes back to sleep very well. I can't complain about getting precious sleep!
|The first outfit I bought for Charlie when I found out she was a she!|
So even though she might not be your textbook perfect baby and Baby Wise can just go in the garbage for now, she's perfect to me! My bond with Charlie is so strong as I've really tried to help her be comfortable. She makes me work for it so those happy times make me REALLY happy ha ha. And the truth is she is getting better and I know she will continue to do so. I'm grateful to be a mom again and have been humbled by this experience. I have an amazing supportive husband who's my teammate. When one of us wants to leave the house and never come back the other one is able to talk some sense into them haha. I know there is a God because He's walked me through this whole process and at times even held me when I cried (and there was a lot of that - oh post partum). I'm grateful He has trusted me with a precious spirit. I feel like my kids have life figured out more than me. I'm learning from their innocence, purity, quickness to forgive, and their ability to show unconditional love. We are in a good place!
|A tender moment at the pumpkin patch. She's my little buddy.|