Thursday, March 26, 2009

11 Days Old!

Well, our dear Matteo really has his days and nights switched, so we take shifts throughout the night and aren't sleeping too much, but other than being tired, we are all doing great! Sebastian is slowly adjusting... At times, he has no problem sharing his milk with his brother and actually wants to watch or will tell me to give him milk when he is crying. Other times he completely melts down though and cries and screams because he wants his steps. Each day is different in that regard, but I know that giving him Mami milk as long as he wants it is the best thing for him and for us right now it works. So onward we go!

Today I went to a Breastfeeding Moms group at the hospital lead by the same lactation consultant we visited on Saturday. I had a great time and was soooo excited that after weighing Matteo he had gained 7 ounces in only 5 days and is already back at birth weight according to that scale! Typically, you want babies to be back at birth weight by two weeks, so it looks like he is getting plenty of Mami milk. Yes! I so badly want it all to go super well this time and things are looking good. Enjoy the pictures and at the very bottom - finally is the LONG, LONG version of Matteo's birth story. Warning - it is detailed, so if you don't want to know, don't read it! =)

This is craziness, but so Paul. The day after bringing Matteo home from the hospital, Paul went and bought a new car - a Honda Odessy minivan. Yes, people, a minivan. We are old. What can you do. You seriously can't beat the convienience and storage in it. I haven't driven it yet, but I'm sure I'll learn to love it.

Matteo's mini nursery set up in the corner of our bedroom. Note how he is actually sleeping in the bassinett - and it's day time. Ugh!

Sebastian wanted to hold his baby.
My friend Sarah came to visit and meet Matteo. Here Jackson and Sebastian enjoy watching some TV on the couch. So cute!
Mami and Matteo sharing a late night conversation in the sling. I love his look in this picture.

Auntie Emily's friend from work made us this beautiful and yummy cake. Thank you!

Sebastian now loves climbing on our dining room chairs. He's never been a climber, but now he wants to sit at the table like this and eat his cheerios with a spoon like Mami. Here we are enjoying breakfast.

Sebastian and Matteo hugs. It's so sweet, because he is very spontaneous with his cuddles with his baby brother.

Matteo's Birth Story
Below is Matteo's birth story. As I forewarned above, it is long and detailed, so just skip it if you are not interested in the juicy details. =)

Beginning at 36 weeks…

At my 36 week OB appointment, we decided to take Sebastian to see how he would react. We were still undecided if we wanted him in the delivery room (depending on the time of day) and wanted to see if he would be okay in that type of setting. He certainly was not. He screamed and cried the whole time, even when Dr. McTammany blew up a glove like a balloon for him. He finally quieted down when we were listening to Matteo’s heartbeat and he said hi to his baby brother. I was excited, but not too optimistic anything would happen soon, when he said that I was 3 centimeters. I remember I was 3 with Sebastian for like 2 or 3 weeks, so I just figured we would continue the wait. Also, even though I was dilated and he was head down, his head was not engaged in my pelvis yet, so I really wanted him to get in position to be ready for labor.

At my 37 week OB appointment, Dr. McTammany said that I was already 4 centimeters. Woo- hoo! When was I going to birth this baby, he said! I made it my mission (or really, Paul did) that we would work had to make sure this little guy arrived early or on time. So started the walking marathons! We walked around the lake at the apartment complex, we walked at the mall, we went to the strawberry festival, shopping in Viera and to the FIT gardens. We were walking as much as we could to coax baby Matteo to start thinking about moving on down.

Then on Sunday, March 15 we went to Titusville to have dinner at Daniel and Emily’s house for my mom’s birthday and Daniel’s birthday. It was their first dinner at the new house and also there was a space shuttle launch later that evening at around 8 pm. We would have loved to have stayed because it was going to be a beautiful almost night time launch, but were scared that the traffic could get bad and IF I went into labor it might be hard to get back to Melbourne. So we decided to head back to Melbourne before launch time just to be safe…good thing we did!

We left around 5:30 pm and I started having irregular contractions. They were 8 minutes, 12 minutes, 5 minutes, 15 minutes apart and not painful – just a tightening feeling. I chalked it up to false labor and after about an hour stopped monitoring them. Then around 9 pm they felt a bit more regular and stronger – sure enough they were 8 minutes apart and growing in intensity although I still wasn’t in pain or major discomfort. At 11 pm, we gave our parents a head up that we thought this might be it. We were going to try to rest and would call if things progressed. We also called our Doula, Lisa. A doula is a labor coach – someone who has attended to many women and helped them get through their labor with different techniques such as massage, breathing, etc. Since we were really hoping to have a natural birth, we knew that having a doula would increase our chances and also make our labor shorter and less painful with her help. Lisa said to try to eat something, stay hydrated and sleep and call her when contractions were about 5 minutes apart so she could come over. She thought my labor would go fairly quickly since I was already at 4 centimeters so she didn’t want me to wait too long to call. So off to sleep we went. Apparently, I was asleep in minutes and Paul tossed and turned and couldn’t sleep – so he went to research minivans some more.

Around 1:30 am, I woke up with painful contractions. They seemed closer together but I tried to rest a little longer. After 30 minutes of not being able to go back to sleep, I woke Paul up (or tried to wake Paul up) so he could help time my contractions. At first he said, “okay, that’s cool…” and rolled over and kept sleeping. I was like, “no, really, we need to time these!!!” He finally woke up. Sure enough, they were getting stronger and were about 5 minutes apart, sometimes four. I was still not positive this was it, but the stronger they got the more I knew it really was it!!! We called our parents who headed our way and Lisa who arrived around 2:30 am or so. By then I was about 2-3 minutes apart and certainly in strong discomfort – but still dealing well using our birth ball and pressure on my back, squatting and moving constantly. I could still talk through my contractions and was still grabbing last minute things to take to the hospital. Paul loaded the car and my mom arrived just as I was really starting to think we might need to head out to the hospital. I had a lot of pressure and contractions were coming pretty quickly. Although I had really wanted to wait until Darlene and Jim arrived so my mom could go to the hospital with us, they were still about 30 minutes away, and I decided we just needed to go. My mom stayed with Sebastian and we drove through the 3 traffic lights to get to the hospital.

We got checked into the hospital at 5 am. I was at 8 centimeters and they called the doctor to tell him it would be soon. Good thing because that’s when I hit the hardest part of the labor and I was so thankful to have Lisa there to coach me through the toughest contractions, especially when I was feeling the urge to push but there was no doctor yet! I think I got through this toughest part of labor telling myself how in minutes we would see our little boy and also that I could get through this contraction – because the next one would be harder, so this was an easy one! Way to play mind tricks on yourself right?! I had to stay on the bed laying/sitting because they had to monitor the baby for 20 minutes before I could move around again and it was agonizing! All I wanted to do was stand up or squat, but with Lisa’s help and breathing exercises I made it through. Luckily, this transition phase only lasted about 30 minutes, because after maybe 5 good pushes or so, Matteo was born at 5:49 am.

Although we had a birth plan with clear wishes for Matteo to be placed directly on me, to leave the umbilical cord attached until it stopped pulsating and to breastfeed immediately, there was meconium in my water when it broke at delivery, so he had to be taken over to the baby station in the room to have his lungs suctioned. Meconium is the baby’s first bowel movement and sometimes while pushing or if there is any stress on the baby they will pass some of it in utero. Then the baby breathes it in or swallows it and can lead to respiratory issues. Many times the baby has to go to the NICU if their breathing does not sound clear enough, but luckily, after being suctioned Matteo sounded pretty good. They let him stay in the room with us for 30 minutes and when they came back to check him he was all clear thank goodness. While he was with us, he nursed for the first time and he certainly knew what he was doing. We enjoyed the beautiful sunrise and enjoyed seeing our little boy.

Although I felt much better following the delivery than I did with Sebastian, there was still a variety of issues. For the second time, I lost a lot of blood – almost to the point of needing a transfusion – but thank goodness for some reason my vitals all stay pretty good. There were lots of very large clots and I had a few tears, but mostly where I had already torn with Sebastian. Because of all the blood loss, which they call post-partum hemorrhaging, they had to give me some pitocin to help my uterus contract and a shot of something else (can’t remember the name) to help with the bleeding. I was bummed to have to have an IV and get hooked up at that point, but I at least figured it wouldn’t affect Matteo much if at all at that point. Luckily, after an hour or so of nauseousness I felt much better and by 9 am they moved us to our post partum room.

We felt so lucky that we only had to stay in the hospital for the day on Monday and Tuesday. After the OB and Pediatrician rounds on Tuesday morning since both Matteo and I looked good they said we could go home! We were home by 7 pm on Tuesday. Yippie – then the fun really starts!

Everyone asks if it was incredibly painful or how I managed to do it without the drugs. I say, it just depends on each individual situation. I am proud and thrilled that it went as well and “easy” as it did for me this time and I was able to have the fully natural birth I’d really wanted. At the same time, I can’t say that I could’ve done it with our first or that I can do it with the next (if there is one!)

I am just thankful that I didn’t require any interventions – especially pitocin since it can make labor so much harder. I am also thankful that I didn’t have to be induced and that Matteo came when he was ready. I can see the difference in how I have felt and also in his reactions. Breastfeeding has gone better – still challenging, but better – this time around and I really do credit it to my body being truly ready for this major event. Yay for no formula! We will persevere this time and make it through as an exclusively breastfeeding pair. =)

I feel like I have learned so much about birth in the past two years. It’s something I’m passionate about so I know I’ll keep learning and reading about it and always look to do what’s best for our babies and for my body…essentially, do what my body was made to do. It is such a miracle! I could not have asked for a better or more beautiful birth experience. We were very blessed.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Finally - some more pictures!

Sorry this has taken so long, but as you can imagine things have been busy. Matteo is doing great! We were discharged from the hospital on Tuesday evening and were lucky enough to have both Nana and Abuelita helping us for the first few days. We also had our first pediatrician appointment this afternoon and Matteo checked out great! Praise God for a healthy baby! I still am working on the detailed birth story, but here are the highlights:

We went to dinner at my brother's on Sunday night and on the way home I started having irregular contractions. After watching the beautiful shuttle launch, I walked a few laps around our lake at the apartment complex and they started becoming more regular by 9 pm - about 8 minutes apart, but I was still comfortable. So I decided to try to get some sleep and managed to rest until 2 am when I was starting to get uncomfortable with contractions 4-5 minutes apart. We called the parents to come over to help with Sebastian and by 5 am we left for the hospital. I got checked in and was contracting 1-2 minutes apart. I was already 8 centimeters and after waiting for the doctor for about 10 minutes I was ready to push Matteo out! He was born a little before 6 am. So, labor was quick, quick, quick and I can't complain - no interventions, no medications and a beautiful, alert and happy baby in about 4 hours. I promise to work on the detailed version and get it up for all of you who are interested in the juicy details. =) In the mean time, enjoy these pictures from the first few days.

This is Sunday evening, the night before Matteo was born. Here Sebastian was just cuddling with his brother before bedtime.

Welcome Matteo Paul!

Us with the newest addition.

The sunrise a few minutes later over the intercoastal.

All wrapped up.

In the afternoon when Sebastian came over to meet his little brother Matteo. Our first family picture as a family of four!

Wow! Sebastian was certainly intrigued and loved pointing out his new brother's features - eyes, face, mouth, nose, hair!

Sebastian's first reaction to seeing Matteo when we brought him home. He was soooo excited! He just kept saying baby, baby, baby and jumping up and down. It was the best reaction ever! So cute!

Welcome home Matteo!

My favorite picture of Matteo so far. So handsome!
As you can imagine we have TONS more pictures. For those of you who want to see all of them, I dumped them all on Picasa for you to browse at your leisure. Click here to see them all. Enjoy! And I promise to update more soon!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Still no baby, but lots of fun today!

Well, still no baby. I have 10 days until my due date, but I am already 4 cm and getting contractions throughout the day. So I am hoping that means something will happen sooner than later, but you never know! We are keeping up our walking regimen and enjoying lots of outdoor activities in the nice weather. Today we took Sebastian to the Brevard Zoo and he had a great time. We had been before, but they opened a whole new interactive section with lagoons for the kids to splash around in and play which he loved. We were so excited because he was even venturing off on his own and we were able to just sit nearby and watch. Here are some pictures.

Splashing in the lagoon. I love his new water sandals. =)

Concentrating on collecting all the sharks. Notice the lip.

The giraffes were a huge hit today. It was feeding time and they were right up next to the viewing area and letting everyone pet them. Sebastian loved it!

He thought the giraffe's tounge was so funny...he even touched it - yick!!!

Sebastian being silly on Daddy's shoulders.

Here are some other pictures from throughout this week.

I made a pasta salad with different shapes and he loved eating the wheels - especially when he learned how to put them on his fingers. Also, he is really enjoying meal time now in his new big boy booster seat. He sits right at the table with us. We've also noticed this cuts back on the number of fits he throws while eating because he can't throw himself backwards like he could in his highchair.

Celebrating Abuelita's birthday. Love the face!

Singing happy birthday...but notice his "prayers" hands. We thought this was so funny because as part of our Lent practices we are trying to use our family prayer table every night. We always light our family candle and then we pray. He knows when the candle is on to fold his hands and so I guess when he saw the candle on the cake, he figured that was the right thing to do. It was too funny.

Sebastian reading one morning in bed. Notice the title of the book - "Waiting for Baby," a new favorite. We are all anxiously waiting for baby! I can only hope that our next post will include pictures of him and our new family of four!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Enjoying Brevard County!

Well, now that we are so close to the due date, we are sticking close to home and have been exploring quite a bit of Brevard County these past few days. I am feeling good - tired at times, swollen and with some aches and pains, but doing well. The doctor says that I am already dilating (yay!) and we are just waiting for the baby to engage into position. At least he is head down which is good. So Paul has me walking marathons (just kidding) and I've been trying to sit on my exercise ball a lot and keep moving. That's the best thing I can do at this point so he comes early or on time. Please pray for us that we have a healthy and good delivery soon! Enjoy some of our recent pictures...

Paul's cousin Andrea came to stay with us for a few days during her spring break. Unfortunately, the weather was pretty chilly, but she still managed to have a nice time and get some sun. We had to go to the beach since it's only 10 minutes away even though it was cold!

Sebastian loved playing with Andi. He had so much fun playing with her and asks about her on a daily basis now. The other day he got in his car and when I asked him where he was going he said he was going to see Andi. It was too cute.

We went out on the beach and took some impromptu pictures of Sebastian loving his little brother. He loves to give him "carinitos" and give him kisses. I wish it wasn't so dark and I wasn't wearing such a loud shirt. Oh well! =) I'm down to the bottom of the barrel in terms of what clothes fit me now!

Saturday we went to the Strawberry Festival in Melbourne. Sebastian got to see the fire truck up close.

Yummy....having strawberry shortcake with Mami.

Still shot of "ojitos," Sebastian rolling his eyes.

Me at 37 weeks and 4 days. Only 17 days to go!

Our family. I find myself getting sentimental at these last shots of us as a family of three! So many changes are in store for us just days away! These pictures are at the Florida Institute of Technology Botanical Gardens which are only a few minutes from our house. It was a great place to walk around and enjoy the great weather.

Sebastian with his Nana and Abuelita.

As we were trying to get a picture of the boys, Sebastian thought he'd try on Papa's hat. Good thing it didn't go flying, because below that bridge was a long way down and a little river! It was pretty funny.

This weekend we took out more baby things. Sebastian was helping Daddy pick out some baby toys. He liked seeing these "new" toys that he doesn't remember.

King of the House. Enjoying the Lazy Boy chair as he watches his favorite Mickey Mouse Club House on TV. Hot Dog!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

March is here! Should be a big month!

Now the countdown is of today I have only 20 more days until our due date! Woo-hoo! The serious swelling has started and I am not too comfortable - especially playing on the floor all the time with Sebastian, but we are making it one day at a time. Enjoy some recent pictures and stories...

After Mass on Ash Wednesday. Sebastian was fascinated with the ashes and kept saying ashes and pointing to our foreheads. He thought it was so cool to go up and get ashes. It was really cute and a neat way to start lent. It's amazing how much more he is starting to understand during the Mass.

I love this picture of Paul reading "Daddy Hugs" to Sebastian at bedtime.

Wow! Look at that bed head. His hair is doing some crazy things lately after he wakes up!

I know if I tried to give him Total at home he would never eat it. But at Abuelita's he goes into her pantry, pulls the box out and brings it over to have a snack. We think the novelty is that he gets to pick it out of the box, but who knows. He loves it! It's like a shot for a commercial. =) Seriously, what toddler east Total!?!

This weekend at our friend Jackson's 2nd birthday party. All the kids wanted to blow out the candles!

This weekend my mom hosted a family gathering to give baby G2 a few gifts and just be together before the baby comes. I think this is a pretty nice family picture!

Sebastian playing with a fun light up toy that Abuelita gave him for being a big brother.

Nana and Papa gave him a card that had this great sticker in it that said "Awesome Big Brother." We put it on his back and it was so cute!

Sebastian trying on a "big brother" shirt.

Us with the cake.

Trying to get a picture of me and Jen with Finn and Sebastian - impossible. This was the best I got. The boys are so active! I can't even believe how big they have gotten.