August 11, 2014

The Birth Plan I Wish I Never Had

I shared my kids birth stories on the blog back in 2012 (here and here), but I've never shared my emotions about those experiences.

When Marley was born in 2008, I was 23 years old, the first one of my friends to be pregnant, and not very informed on the whole child birth process. I read a few books and did some online research and was fine with what I knew.  I didn't have a plan besides to have my baby and if I needed pain meds that was fine with me. She was born and everything went well and I was happy.  I poorly tried to breastfeed for a few months but stopped because we were going on vacation when she was 3 months old and again, I was happy with that decision. I have no regrets about how anything went then or now.

Fast forward to 2011 when I got pregnant with Mason.  I knew he would probably be my last baby so I wanted to have a plan on what I wanted to happen in delivery and with breastfeeding. I read tons of books, tons of online articles, and I even created a breastfeeding group on Facebook. I had it in my head that I would hold off on pain meds for as long as possible since I now knew what the pain felt like and I would try to manage it better.  I also visioned him being born, laid on my chest and being so in love.  I wanted to breastfeed him for at least a year, if not more.  I knew what I wanted and had my perfect labor experience all planned out in my head.

 Then the day came, April 5th, 2012. I was 41 weeks pregnant and being induced.  I was okay with being induced, I was with Marley and had no problem with it.  I labored for about 10 hours before the doctor said the words no mom really wants to hear "you need a c-section"  I was crushed. This wasn't part of my plan.  Mason was born just a few minutes after they wheeled me into the OR.  They cleaned him up, brought him over for me to see and then took him and Mike to the nursery while I was stitched back up and taken to recovery.  I was there for a few hours before they brought Mason in.  When the nurse brought him in she also said something else that no mom wants to hear "he needs to go to the NICU for low blood sugar"  This was horrible and again not part of my plan.  I was taken to my room a few hours later, Mike went home, and Mason was in the NICU. I was all alone.  

I was in the hospital for a few days and was able to go down and see Mason, but wasn't allowed to hold him as much as I would of liked since he was hooked up to monitors and I was in some pain from the c-section.  I was discharged from the hospital, but Mason had to stay. It was awful. Luckily, we went home and dropped Marley off at her grandpas and then headed back up to the hospital to be with Mason so that was good that I was able to still go up there and see him.  He was in the NICU for a whole week.

Since I had wanted to nurse, but was unable to, I started pumping. They did bottle feed him in the NICU but also gave him formula too to help raise his blood sugar levels.  Once he came home, since I hadn't ever nursed him I continued to pump for 3 months all while also trying to get him to latch.  I'll never forget the day when he actually latched and had his first real nursing session. I loved every minute of it.  I slowly quit pumping and nursing him more.

When he was six months old he still wasn't on the growth chart and nursing was becoming painful. I had over 800 ounces of milk in the freezer that I started giving him and I decided I would nurse him, then offer a bottle. Once all the milk in the freezer was gone I would stop nursing him and start him on formula.  Remember my plan to nurse for a year or more? Yah, that didn't happen.  At that time, I was okay with everything that had happened and was just happy to have a healthy growing baby boy.

Fast forward again to October 2013, Mason is now 18 months old.  For some reason it's taken 18 months for me to come to terms with what happened and how unhappy I am about it all.  I am in tears every time I think about it or talk about it.  I can't help but feel like I failed. I couldn't birth my child and I couldn't nurse him either.  I talk with Mike about it, but he doesn't understand and says as long as Mason is healthy why does it matter how he got here, or what he ate.  Don't get me wrong, I am SO happy that he is healthy and growing and I know it definitely could of been much worse, but that doesn't help me deal with the sadness I am feeling about what happened back in April of 2012.

Just last week (Mason is now 26 months old) I think I realized why I was so upset about everything. It's because of that darn plan I had.  A friend of ours had a baby and had a scheduled c-section because her baby was breech.  Mike had mentioned that she was happy and excited about having her baby and wasn't upset about the c-section as long as her baby was healthy.  That was my epiphany moment.  I had this big plan to deliver him a certain way, to feed him a certain way, and had all the other little moments planned out.  I never once really thought, I just want a healthy happy baby because that's just a given, who doesn't want that. I didn't have that as part of my plan like I did when I delivered Marley. I was too worried about everything else being perfectly planned out.  Looking back now, I wish I didn't have a plan, I wish I would of gone into it thinking I just want to have a baby.  How happy would I of been then, cause that's the only thing that would of gone according to my plan.

August 8, 2014

Vacation Day 7

On our last day of vacation we ate breakfast with Mike's family and then headed home. 

We drove to Port Clinton, Ohio to stop at the African Safari Wildlife Park. I had purchased cheap tickets on Groupon and it was only about 30 minutes off our route so we stopped in and it was a nice break to get out of the car for a bit.  

They have a walk through zoo part with monkeys and birds and other animals that you can't feed. Then, they also have the drive-thru part where you feed the animals from your car. 

Marley loved it. Mason was a little scared at first, but we went around twice and he got to sit up front the second time though and was fine. 

After the safari we finished the 3 hour drive home, which got us home right at bed time. We were exhausted, but had so much fun on our trip. 

Hope you enjoyed coming on our vacation with us. 

You can read all parts here, here, here, here, here, here and here

August 7, 2014

Vacation Day 6

On our final full day of vacation we didn't have a plan so we just stopped and picked up some pamphlets from the gas station and found something local to do. We ended up at Six Flags America. 

We arrived and right as we were paying we received a phone call that our dog had run away. He was staying at home and a friend was coming by and letting him out a few times a day.  He had apparently ran towards the woods and never came back. She said he had been gone 2 hours at this point. I immediately called my mom, and some friends to see if they could go over there to help look for him. I also found a photo and posted it on facebook, in several local moms groups and on my personal page. We were freaking out. We were 11 hours away and helpless. He's never done this before so we didn't even know where he might head to.  Within 30 minutes I received a message on facebook that a lady in one of my groups had him at her work!!  Since my mom was on her way to my house anyways, she stopped and picked him up and brought him home.  He was a mile away and had crossed three roads to get where he was, one of them being a very busy road.  Luckily, he was safe and back home so we could relax and start having fun at Six Flags. 

We all rode all the rides that we could as the park wasn't crowded at all so there were no lines.  Mike and I even went on a few roller coasters alone since the kids weren't tall enough. 

His head kept falling down so Mike used the camera strap to hold it up. Worked quite well actually. HAHA! 

Marley was bummed that she wasn't tall enough for the big fun rides.  She was tall enough for the skycoaster though! So her and Mike suited up and took a ride.  

If you watch the video, right when they pull the release to swing down you will see Marley's legs on the right side flip up in the air.  She almost flipped all the way over! I was video recording and when I saw this in real life I was freaking out. I don't think she was supposed to flip like that.  Mike didn't even know it had happened until I showed him the video. We both decided she's not going on one of these again until she's a lot bigger. It was so scary! You can actually kind of hear the gasps from other people that were watching. 

We finished up the day and headed back to Mike's sisters for dinner. After dinner she kept the kids while Mike and I went out for yogurt at Sweet Frog.  We got our yogurt and ate it outside in the peace and quiet.

August 6, 2014

Vacation Day 5

On our fifth day of vacation we headed to Washington, DC. 

First we went to the National Zoo. 

It was a nice zoo and it's free admission but you have to pay $22 for parking.  We only stayed for a few hours because it was so hot.  

Then we headed to White House and the National Mall.  We parked up near the White House and then walked to the museums. It's pretty far and it was still hot so it wasn't fun at all. 

Best part of the trip for Mike was petting and feeding a squirrel. 

We went into the Museum of Natural History. I picked this one because I thought the kids would like it the most and I wanted to see if it was the same as in the Night at the Museum movie. 

After we left the museum we headed back to the car since we only payed for 2 hours of parking.  However, we didn't read all of the 15 parking signs posted on the numerous poles around where we parked and you can't park there after 3:30 and we arrived at 2:30 so we ended up getting a ticket since we didn't get back to the car until almost 5pm.  OOPS!  

August 5, 2014

Vacation Day 4

We arrived in Annapolis at Mikes sisters house on Monday evening. We didn't really have any plans for what we wanted to do while out here, just relax with family. 

We woke up on Tuesday with Mason under the bed. He moves a lot when he sleeps I guess. 

After breakfast we headed out to Sandy Point State Park at the Bay Bridge. Mike and Marley went swimming and we did some walking around. It wasn't very warm out and we weren't really prepared for the beach so we didn't stay more than an hour. 

We headed back to Mike's sisters and just hung out and talked for the rest of the night.

Totally saw a cactus in Maryland- Is this normal?! 

August 4, 2014

Vacation Day 3- Sesame Place

Day two of Sesame Place was waterpark day.  We got there an hour after they opened and did all the slides before it got to busy. Then we played in the big splash area until late afternoon.  We changed and rode a few more rides before it was time for dinner. 

We had reservations for Dinner with Elmo & Friends.  It was a buffet again and the kids got more souvenir cups and lots of visits from the characters. By the end of day 2 Mason was fine with them and didn't cry at all.  

You can see in the video below that he actually ran up to a few of them and was so happy too! 

After we stuffed ourselves we got in the car and headed to Annapolis, Maryland for the rest of our vacation. 

August 1, 2014

Vacation Day 2- Sesame Place

On day 2 of vacation, which is now Sunday, we arrived bright and early at Sesame Place.  We had breakfast reservations for Cookie's Country Breakfast Character meal.  It was outdoors under a pavilion, and was a buffet breakfast.  

The characters made their way around to each table, and Mason didn't want any part of it. 

By the end of the meal he was getting a little better, but still not thrilled with these giant characters. 

Our breakfast was done around 9:30 and the park doesn't open until 10 so we got extra time in the park before it opened to the public which was nice since we didn't know what we wanted to do first. 

This was our first ride of the day, and Mason didn't like that either even though it looks like he's having fun. 

It wasn't very crowded at all so we rode every ride, some twice.  

This is the Let's Play Together Show. It was pretty neat because the characters were so close. The kids enjoyed that a lot. 

We left around lunch time to go check into our hotel, grab some lunch and relax for a while. We headed back in the early evening to ride some more rides and grab some dinner. All kids meals come with a souvenir cup and plate which was nice, cause that meant we didn't have to buy more souvenirs.  We stuck around for the Neighborhood Street Party Night Parade.  I loved how they stopped and danced for several songs. I had done some searching before on tips for visiting Sesame Place, so I found out the best spot to sit during the parade (between the fire station and Abby's Surf Shop) so they were right in front and came up to the kids several times. Very cool parade! 

After the parade ended we headed to our hotel to rest for day 2 of Sesame Place!