January 24, 2011
This moment is worth every sleepless night, uncomfortable feeling, contraction, hemorrhoid, pain - everything! The moment you feel skin to skin after 9 months of your baby growing inside you, the moment of seeing the child you helped create, the moment of pure bliss is so precious. It is hard to describe unless you have been there - hopefully what I have said above can give you some kind of an idea.
Now that Averley is 4 1/2 months old - and almost sitting up on her own, (Crazy!!) its getting more real to me that she is my last baby - it's bittersweet.
We shall see what the future holds for the Worl family - for now we are complete & will go & do whatever God has planned for us. If that means another child for us - no matter how - then so be it. I love my children & feel so blessed to have been able to carry them for 9 months while they prepared to enter this crazy world. I pray I can be the best mother to my children, the best teacher, spiritual guide, comforter, healer & anything else I need to be to make my children happy!
January 15, 2011
The day went pretty smooth - her daughter was off schedule a little from what they had told me but it wasn't anything we couldn't work with. Her daughter really is a pretty easy child to care for. We didn't have any issues really other than trying to get her to go down for another nap in the afternoon - once that happened it was smooth sailing. She is formula fed & on baby food - I forgot how bad the poop smells!!! I am NOT looking forward to Averley starting solids. Averley's poop doesn't really smell since she is on breastmilk & Declan's poop is solid and plops right in the toilet so I don't really smell anything with his either.
I wanted to start watching 1 child at first and see how it went. My biggest fear is Declan not getting the attention he needs/deserves. It was already a transition for him when Averley was born & now there is another baby that needs attention. I really need to make sure I take time out during the day to sit & play with him one-on-one. He's beginning to throw fits like no other & I don't know if it is his age or the lack of attention so throwing the fit gets him attention - even if its not the right kind.
I think I need a date with my son! Actually, I know I do. That is my next goal - to have a date with my son. Not sure what we will do but anything that gets us out of this house will do. I'll let you know how it goes!
January 13, 2011
Yesterday he did the same. Luckily my mom was with me to help out. Declan wouldn't even let us weigh him so I had to stand on the scale holding him & we subtracted my weight to see what he weighs. I cannot wait until he isn't afraid anymore - not sure when that will happen. Doctor said it is completely normal for him to be scared at his age and it will probably last until he is 3. GREAT!
While Declan was screaming for no reason the doctor checked out Averley. She is growing very well.- She was 6lbs 6oz & 20 inches at birth & now at 4 months she is 12lbs 6oz & 25 inches. 90th percentile for height & 50th percentile for weight. She had to get 2 shots and drink some anti-diarrhea medicine. She screamed of course - and not just a normal cry from a shot...she screeches! It is ear piercing!! The nurse couldn't believe it - she was taken back it. Of course, when Averley started crying from the shots Declan started crying out of fear.
Declan's turn - I had to hold him down on the table so we could get his measurements. You would think something terrible was happening to him. All we needed to do was measure him. At 18 months Declan is now 26lbs (about) & 33.5 inches. 75th percentile for height & 50th percentile for weight.
While there the doctor noticed the rash on Averley - I thought it might be from detergent build up on the cloth diapers or a reaction to the detergent we are using. He gave me some suggestions and then when he checked Declan he knew it was a yeast rash. He thought it might be with Averley but it wasn't as noticeable as it was with Declan. So - now I have to switch over to disposable diapers while we get the yeast cleared up on the kids & have to make sure it is completely out of the cloth diapers.
The doctor suggested using Lotromin so we are going to get some of that for their skin - until then I read that Apple Cider Vinegar can clear it up. So I have dabbed a few cotton balls onto the kids' skin and gave them both some diaper free time today. I've been really diligent in changing their diapers often since yeast likes dark, damp places.
With the cloth diapers the doctor said if we are using hot water to wash them then it would kill the yeast but I want to make sure. I am bleaching everything even though it scares me to. Bleaching the micro-fiber inserts, prefolds & cloth wipes doesn't scare me as much as doing the covers. But I know some people bleach the covers and everything is fine. I will just have to make sure I don't use too much bleach. I don't really know what other options I have without having to go out and buy something & not really know if it worked or not until I see if they get the rashes back. With bleach & the hot water I know for sure it will be gone. I will just have to make sure I rinse rinse rinse!!!
January 12, 2011
When Averley was first born I had a lot of help. Ryan & my mom were on vacation the week after she was born and they were both able to help me get rest when I needed it. I never got more than an hour at a time since I was nursing but even 20 minutes of sleep was helpful. Once Ryan & my mom went back to work my dad was on vacation. He would come over & take Declan to the mall or out to eat while I stayed home with Averley and rested. I am so grateful to have family that is able to help out like they do. Without them I don't think I would have made it those first few weeks!
Declan sleeps through the night usually between 7pm & 8pm to 7am. He has done this since around 6 months old. He occasionally has night terrors & will cry out but quickly goes back to sleep. I can remember nursing Averley a few times at night and hearing him scream out of nowhere. It scared the crap out of me! I can't imagine what it is that is so scary to him but I guess anything he sees during the day his mind can twist into something scary.
Averley is now only up 1 time a night for the most part. She goes to sleep around 7pm, nurses between 2am & 4am, then is awake to eat again around 7am. She still has her nights when she is up more than she should be....that is when I am exhausted the next day and would rather sleep than shower :)
These past two weeks we have been trying to work on getting away from swaddling. We currently use the Miracle Blanket (www.miracleblanket.com). We started with not swaddling during naps - it wasn't until yesterday that it actually worked really well. I was able to put her down in her crib awake, unswaddled & with her pacifier and she would fall asleep on her own. We attempted to do this last night as well. She made it until 1:30am - I nursed her and tried to put her back down & she wasn't having any of it. I ended up swaddling her again and she finally fell asleep around 2:30am and woke up at 7am. I can't wait until she sleeps through the night!! Today I am tired - but lucky me my mom is on vacation this week & will be coming over soon!
We will be taking Declan & Averley to the doctor today for their 18 month & 4 month visits. I know Averley will be getting shots but I am not sure about Declan. We shall see! I'm looking forward to seeing how much they have both grown these past 2 months.
January 10, 2011
This decision wasn't made until about 3 months before my due date - at that point we went through every bill we had & tried to find every way we could to reduce unnecessary expenses. Right off the bat we would be saving money by not needing childcare - for us that was $150/week. Also - the savings in gas money from me not really going anywhere during the week.
One of our first decisions was simply get rid of cable television. Some may say they couldn't do that, but why not? Do you really need to flip through hundreds of channels and watch commercial after commercial just to occupy your time? You say you don't watch commercials - you have a DVR. Well lucky you - you are the perfect candidate to get rid of cable! You see, we got rid of our cable bill and switched over to watching our shows on Hulu through our PS3 (which we got half price off Craig's List). We pay $10/month for Hulu Plus & $9/month for Netflix. Our "entertainment" bill was cut down to 1/3 of what we were paying. Not only are we saving money this way, but we now don't use the TV to occupy our time. We have 2 kids to do that!!! They are the only entertainment we really need anyway :)
Our next decision was to switch from disposable diapers to cloth diapers. Yes, I know..."ewww, gross, how can you do that? What about the poop?" blah blah blah! We have spent about $500 (on the high end) for cloth diapers & accessories (wet bags, diaper sprayer) & that is pretty much all I am going to need to spend on cloth diapers for the time my kids are in them. How much do you spend on disposables each month? And, about the poop thing...no matter what kind of diapers you use you still have to wipe a poopy butt! I don't have to swish it around in the toilet because I have a sprayer attached to it! Makes it so much easier :) And the cloth diapers these days are super easy - they make them with snaps or velcro now and there is no need for the "rubber pants". There are a lot of options now when it comes to cloth diapering - just google it! The other great thing about cloth diapers is you can re-sell them. Yes, people buy used cloth diapers. They are clean & if they are in good condition you can make about half or more back on what you spent. Can't do that with disposables can you? Probably one of the best decisions we ever made. We also recently switched over to cloth wipes - so after we wipe their little butts we can just throw the wipe right in with the diapers and wash them all together. Saving money there too!
We rarely buy anything "full price" - unless its food. Clothes for us we only buy with Christmas or Birthday money - for the kids they are either hand-me-downs, on a major discount or from Once Upon a Child. We search on Craig's List or Ebay for deals before we will go to the store and buy something off the shelf. You can almost always find something you want/need for cheaper than what you think. If you found a great deal - search a little more, you might surprise yourself!
We refinanced our house. That brought our mortgage down almost $200/month - HUGE savings for us!
I made the decision to start watching 1 more child once Averley reached 4 months. Whether they need me to watch their child 1 day or 5 days a week - its extra money we didn't originally have. INCOME
I also decided to start selling Scentsy Wickless (www.scentsy.com/hworl). I looked around at many different direct sales companies - I hadn't even heard about Scentsy until I attended a home party a friend of mine was hosting. That night I chose Scentsy. It is an amazing company to work for & has many great opportunities for advancement & incentive trips. It hasn't even been 2 months since I started selling & I've made back almost 3 times what I paid for the starter kit.
We started buying our meat in bulk. We have a group of about 8 families and we split a whole cow or pig. You can get a lot of meat for a great price if you do it that way.
I'm breastfeeding. I can't believe how much money that has saved us this time around. I made it about 5 weeks with Declan before I gave up. I hated myself for doing this - I just didn't feel like I could do it, I wasn't enjoying it like everybody who nurses says they do. It was a very selfish decision on my part & I am determined to not make the same decision this time with Averley. I have made it 4 months now & I still don't "enjoy" it like most mother's do but I feel good knowing its the best thing I can be doing for my child & its saving us money by not needing to purchase formula.
Eventually I will be making Averley's baby food as I did with Declan. I can buy fresh fruits & veggies, cook what I need to, throw it in a blender with some water if necessary, pour into ice cube trays, freeze, pop out & put in ziplock baggies. Each cube is about 1 oz of food so I know how much she will be eating & its homemade! This saves money if you have the time to do it.
Hopefully I can find the time to "coupon" - that can be a major money saver. Some can even say its a way to have an income when you leave stores with them owing you money! I just need to find the time to actually sit & right everything out and find what I need for some good deals. I have a hard time buying things when I am not in an immediate need for them even if it is a super good deal. I don't like having 5 of something on my shelf even if I only really paid for 1 of them. Its something I need to get over if I want to continue to find ways to save us money!
I know there are more ways to save - what are your ways you save money?
I spent 2 hours of labor at home and 4 hours at the hospital. I tried to stay on my feet as much as I could. My plan was to have a completely natural labor & I accomplished it! I had a Bradley Method trained doula by my side (she is also a really good friend of mine) and my husband there to coach me. Delivering my son was so amazing - the pain was obviously there but giving birth to a child has to be as close to heaven as one could get. The miracle of birth is so amazing to me - from conception to delivery every bit of it amazes me.
18 months later and here is Declan now:
He is hilarious at this age. Everything he does makes me smile and laugh. It is so much fun watching his mind work and try to figure things out. He's working on putting words together so they make sense out of his mouth. I can't believe he has grown so much in just 18 months. It goes by so fast!
When Declan was 6 months old we found out we were expecting our second child.
Our baby girl wasn't due until September 23rd - but she had other plans! Here is my birth story for Averley I wrote a few days after she was born:
This might get into details some might not want to read - so if you don't want to hear/read/know about it then stop here!
It started Wednesday (9/8/10) when I got to work around 8am. I was having some contractions throughout the day, more than I have had in a day that were noticeable. I didn't really want to say anything to anyone just in case it was nothing. I texted Ryan sometime before 11am to let him know I was having contractions, I wasn't timing them but they are noticeable. He asked if I was in tears yet and I said not even close - just noticeable contractions and I would keep him updated if things changed after I ate.
My mom & I went and got Penn Station for lunch, while we were out I remember telling her that I was having some contractions and if they continued I might be having a baby tonight but we will see if they change after I eat lunch. We got back to work and I ate my lunch - then the contractions kind of slowed down a bit but were still there so I pulled up a contraction timing website and started timing them. I still wasn't thinking anything of it - figured they would eventually go away.
My mom & I had a meeting with a lady at work at 2pm and we discussed how I was already 3cm and have been for about 2 weeks so I could go any time now. When I was pregnant with Declan I was 3cm for about 2 weeks when I delivered him so it really could be any day! I left work about 3:15, picked up Declan from the sitter's and went home.
I decided to go on a walk to see if anything changed, it was about 4:15 and Declan & I headed out to walk around the neighborhood. I didn't go far since Ryan wasn't with me so we just made a little loop on our street. I stopped by my neighbors house on the way back and started chatting with her. I told her I thought I might have a baby tonight, I have been having contractions all day and everything I have done so far to get them to change haven't changed them. She said, "Has she even dropped yet?" I asked her what she thought and she placed her hand on my belly and said, "No, I don't think so..." Ha...guess she was wrong :)
I texted my mom around 4:45pm and told her to come over. We were having Bible study tonight so she was thinking about coming over anyway. She called me right away and said she just wanted to stay home and relax so I hung up on her (haha). She called me right back and said she was on her way. I didn't tell her I thought I was really in labor - I honestly thought I might not be but it was a good idea to have her there just in case we had to leave and she could stay with Declan.
My parents get to my house a little after 5pm thinking they were just going to hang out until Ryan got home. I told them both mom needs to stay because it really might be the day. I didn't want to get overly excited because I know that is something that could stall labor so I tried to just act like this all really wasn't happening. I started to cook dinner - the easiest thing I could make, spaghetti! Ryan got home around 5:30pm and I told him it might be happening tonight. He didn't want to hear it - after all, it really wasn't the best timing with his radiology conference for continuing education starting Thursday and lasting until Saturday! He was thinking kind of like me - these might just be really hard Braxton Hicks and they will die down eventually.
As I made dinner I had to focus through quite a few contractions - I sat down and told my mom & Ryan maybe they will stop after I eat. I ate...nothing changed. So I laid down to see if that would change them. They slowed down a little bit but still continued. Ryan was timing them on the computer and now switched over to his I-phone App. to time them so we could start getting the bags packed for the hospital just in case this was it. I was in Averley's room getting her things - he was in our room getting our things and I would yell, "START" and "STOP" whenever I had a contraction.
Around 6:45pm my mom said, "We should be taking pictures!" I told her to get the camera and we got 1 picture of me on the medicine ball before our Bible study group started to arrive. I was in and out of the discussion - our group knew I was having some contractions and we all kind of thought it was fake too. I would come into the discussion and sit on the medicine ball or lay my upper body over the medicine ball and read a verse, then I would get up and walk down the hall and breathe through a contraction. By about 7:30pm I went back to our bedroom, relieved my bladder and was having some pretty strong contractions. I stayed back there and soon my mom joined me (Ryan had told her to go check on me). I was laying on the bed breathing through a strong contraction and she sat on the bed with me. I asked her to go get my phone so I could call my sister...try to keep my mind off things. I gave her a ring and asked her if she was ready to meet her niece. She was in disbelief. "Already? Nu-uh...are you serious?" It was pretty funny - then I started having a contraction and my mom took the phone outside so she could talk to her. She came back in and we called my brother - he too was in disbelief. I was trying to call anyone I could just to get my mind off things, maybe in the back of my head thinking that things would change. We called & texted my bosses at work to let them know I wasn't going to be back in! haha Ryan came into the room about 7:45pm to check on me, asked if I needed anything and I told him I needed some water and a Fiber One bar because I was hungry. He brought it to me and then said, "We have 4 more verses left..." Yeah, okay Ryan..lol - you go get those done! I actually did tell him I was okay and I would be fine, go ahead and finish. (Must have still been in denial)
I had gotten out of bed and relieved my bladder another time, something about contractions really makes you have to pee - or at least makes you think you have to pee. As I got off the toilet I had a couple strong contractions, so bad I couldn't pull my pants up and was leaning on the bathroom counter breathing through them. After that was finished I walked out of the bathroom and had another one right away and had to lean up against the wall. Ryan walked in during that one - about 8pm. I heard everyone out in the living room still chatting and I said, "What are they still doing here?" He said they were just hanging out chatting. I told him in probably not the nicest voice, "THEY NEED TO LEAVE NOW!" He went out and hurried them out the door, I believe the last person left around 8:15pm and I had had 2 contractions within that time.
Once they left I went out into the living room and called the on-call doctor for my practice. Ryan eventually had to talk to her because they had me on hold too long and I was having a contraction and couldn't talk. I was pacing my living room floor and with each contraction I would put my hands over my face (I have no idea why I did this but for some reason I did) and would moan throughout the contraction. I would also cry throughout these contractions, thinking about how hard transition was with Declan and I wasn't looking forward to going through that when we got to the hospital that night. Little did I know that I was actually going through transition right then and there. Ryan would come and let me lean on him when he could - he was trying to load up the car throughout all this. The lady at the on-call doc line told Ryan the doctor would be calling him back. When the doctor eventually called back she could hear me in the background but thought Ryan was very calm for me to be in hard labor like I was. He made sure to tell them I was the quick delivery mom (apparently I am well-known in their practice from my quick delivery with Declan...they were in for a big surprise this time!) and that I am also a tub mom but we probably wont be able to use the labor tub. She said to go ahead and come on up - we were already in the car and on our way!
While we were on 465 I told Ryan he should probably call his family and let them know what was going on. He said, "Do you think we should wait to see if you are going to be admitted?" HELLO?!?!?!? I am getting admitted dear husband of mine - do you not see what is going on here?? Once we were at the stoplight right off 69 I told him that with the next contraction I am sure I will have the urge to push - I could feel the urge coming on with the last contraction but breathed through it.
We pulled up to the valet service and the doctor and nurse were there waiting for me with a wheel chair. Ryan flashed his lights to let them know it was our car they were there for. I got in the wheel chair and they wheeled me to the elevator being held for us. I was pushing at this point - the urge was too strong to breathe through, the nurse was trying to get me to stop but it was happening. On the way they had me take off my watch and rings, I got them off right at the doors to labor & deliver. They wheeled me into the 2nd room after triage (Declan was born in the 1st room, lol). As soon as we got in there they said, "Drop your shorts, lets go!" I don't remember kicking my shoes off but apparently I did because one shoe was under the bed and the other was somewhere else. I got my shorts partially down and I remember being in the bed and my shorts being pulled off me the rest of the way. Ryan said, "Oh, there's the bloody show." Darn it...I ruined my shorts. haha I honestly don't think it was real for Ryan until he saw that. He was trying to get the video camera ready while the doctor checked me. She said, "You are complete, ready to go and your water bag is bulging. I'm not going to break it because then you will deliver even faster." Another contraction came and I asked if I could do the grunting push instead of the counts of 10 push and they were okay with it. They pretty much let me do my thing which it wasn't like they had any other choice anyway, lol. So here I got with the grunting and Ryan is trying to fix the camera that isn't working. I am laying on my right side (the same way I delivered Declan - must be my comfortable spot) and I grunt some more and bear down and this loud POP comes out of my crotch and a water fountain literally gushed out of my crotch and almost hit Ryan. He had to jump back and we all kind of laughed at the site of a stream of water arching out from between my legs.
The video camera wasn't working and we didn't have time to try to figure out what was going on with it anyway. I grunt pushed and beared down a couple more times and her head was out and her body flew out after. The doc named the time - 8:45pm. She said, "I want to know the time from hitting the door to delivery." and a nurse said, "we got in here at 8:43pm - 2 minutes!" It was quite an experience! :) Everyone was laughing and couldn't believe how fast it happened. It was 4 minutes from the time we arrived at the hospital to delivery.
I keep trying to think which delivery I would rather have - the way Declan's was when we made it to the hospital with about 4 hours before delivery or Averley's - where we get there "just in time." I have to say, I would do Averley's all over again. Being able to stay at home, in my own environment, is what made labor a little easier for me this time. It wasn't easy by any means....but just easier. It was better - more comfortable to be at home, more relaxed - I could do my own thing without having doctors try to monitor me the whole time I am laboring. Free to do what I wanted to do, free to eat and drink, etc. It was the best labor experience I could have hoped for.
Here is a picture of me in labor 2 hours before she was born & pictures of her right after she arrived:
And now Miss Averley is 4 months old:
She is smiling and squealing - its great. I love watching my kids grow & learn new things....even if its as small as holding onto a toy!! I love it!
So there is the update on my life the past 2 years - I will have more blogs to come. I hope to write more as often as I can depending on how much time I have! My next post will be a bunch of videos that I find important or fun!!
I will also write a blog about how we went from a 2 income family to 1 income - the things we changed in order to make this happen.
Thanks for reading!!!