Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"C" is for Content

I've got three weeks under my belt as a new mom, and time is flying by.  I had 19 days of absolute bliss, and BAM! day 20--fussy central.  I think Tully had some major gas or growing pains because he let out high-pitched squeals and cried from 2:30 am to 9:30 pm.  Poor little guy.  But everything seems to be better now, and he is back to his content self .  He really is a good baby, and I've enjoyed learning all about his likes and dislikes.  He slept for 7 hours two nights ago and 5 hours last night.  I'll take it!!

My mom has done an amazing job keeping track of Tully's adventures (and helping me keep my sanity) these first few weeks, so instead of duplicating her work, I'll let you visit her blog, which has tons of photos and stories.  Here are several great posts on Tully:

Waking Up
Poopy Time
Daddy Pics
Newborn Photoshoot
Grammy and PawPaw Visit
Mailbox Story
Trip to Grammy and PawPaw's

As a new mom it takes a lot of effort to make complete sentences and paragraphs, so I'll give you a random list of my thoughts and answers to frequently asked questions instead.
  • My ideal ratio of adults to newborns for first two three weeks: 3 to 1.
  • Number of hours of sleep between feedings at night: 2 to 7.
  • Number of diapers changed so far: 249
  • Diaper brand of choice: Pampers Swaddlers > Huggies Little Snugglers.  Better fit and less leaks with Pampers for us.
  • Average frequency of diaper changes: Every 2 hours
  • Time spent nursing: 4-6 hours per day.  I'm like a walking, talking milk factory.
  • I really like the Baby Connect app for my iPhone: it tracks feedings, diapers, stats, meds, and everything else I need for the baby, and it syncs with the website.
  • Tully's nicknames: Milk Monster, Tully Bear
  • Tully loves to stare out the window and at the overhead lights.
  • He is a master at escaping mommy's swaddles but not daddy's.
  • He started cooing.  It's so sweet.
  • He hates cold wipes during diaper changes.
  • It's amazing the things you can do with one hand or a foot: change TV channels, type on computer, eat, etc.
  • La Leche League meetings and Susan, the lactation consultant at Saint Francis South are both are excellent resources.
  • I never have enough CLEAN burp cloths/swaddle blankets/onesies WHERE I need them WHEN I need them.
  • I think my washer and dryer are on repeat.  They haven't quit running in three weeks.
  • I'm starving all the time!
Books I'm reading:

These two books are nearly polar opposites as far as parenting styles go, but with all the advice I get as a new mom I figured I better read about both sides.  So far I'm leaning towards attachment style parenting and demand feeding (LLL/Womanly Art of Breastfeeding), but I am considering implementing pieces of parent-directed feeding (Babywise).  We will eventually need a schedule, so we'll see how it goes.  For now I'm on Tully's schedule, and Tully says it's time for nap, so I better get some sleep while I can!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

"C" is for Crowder (cont.)

Remember my friend, Stevie, who was diagnosed with brain cancer last year?  If not, see my post, "C" is for Crowder, from last May.  Stevie successfully completed radiation therapy and has had several "clean" follow-up scans.  Woo hoo!  Head for the Cure has organized a 5K race which will take place on May 14 to honor Stevie for her faith, strength, and courage.  I am really excited to take part in this event and raise money for TEAM STEVIE.  Please join me in Stevie's fight against brain cancer by donating to Head for the Cure. All proceeds will benefit the Brain Tumor Trials Collaborative at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston where Stevie received treatment.  Our team goal is to raise $10,000, and we are almost half way there.  My personal goal is to raise $100, and these funds will go towards the team goal.

Click here to donate!

To hear more about Stevie and her story, view the video below or visit her blog, http://prayforstevie.blog.com/.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

"C" is for Childbirth

Tully is here!  He was born on April 5 at 6:13 pm weighing 8lb 2oz and 20 inches long. 

John Tully Cockerham
My birth experience was everything I wanted it to be.  My husband, John, was there from start to finish, and I couldn't have done it without him.  He was so calm and supportive.  He was exactly what I needed, when I needed it, even if I didn't know I needed it.  The Bradley childbirth classes definitely prepared us for the whole process, and I am grateful to have had my best friend and companion by my side the entire time.  He has proven to be a great father!!  My mom has also been a major player this past week, and I would be lost without her too.  From labor and delivery to cooking, dishes, laundry, diaper changes, rocking, talking, and kisses for sweet Tully--my mom has done it all.  When I've thrown in the white towel from complete and utter exhaustion John and my mom have been going strong.  Thank you both!

Birth Story
I woke up at 5am on Tuesday and told John it was "go" time.  Contractions were underway, and we notified parents, co-workers, and our midwife around 9am.  We labored at home until contractions were three minutes apart for two hours and arrived at the hospital around 11am.  The staff at St. Francis South (SFS) Hospital was amazing and so supportive of all our decisions.  We did intermittent fetal monitoring, and it was SO much easier to labor without the monitors on my belly.  Also, I only had the hookup for the IV in my arm but no IV tube was linked or running.  I was a "don't-touch-me-don't-talk-to-me" laborer, so the less things on me, the better.  After arriving at the hospital Tully went into a sleep cycle, and they gave me the option of eating/drinking juice or starting a small amount of pitocin.  To stay in line with our natural childbirth plan I opted for food and water.  Tully woke up within a short period of time, and I vomited up everything up.  Awesome.  We accomplished the goal of progressing labor without drugs up to that point, but I did end up requesting an epidural, which was administered when I was 7cm.  (Soooo close to 10!)  I'm sure I hit the transition phase of labor, which is where you think you can't go on, and when I did John asked if I wanted to wait 20 minutes to see if I could get through it.  In accordance with our plan, I waited the 20 minutes, but I still wanted the epidural.  Although I was disappointed that I didn't deliver naturally, I had done the best I could do, and we all agreed I made the right decision for some pain relief.  Tully arrived a couple hours after the epidural and managed to inhale a huge amount of amniotic fluid on his way out.  Silly boy just couldn't wait to take that first breath of air.  The nurses quickly suctioned off the fluid and gave me my sweet baby boy.  We bonded in the hospital over the next 24 hours with minimal interruptions from staff.  I really was amazed at how little time they took him away for standard screenings and the circumcision.  He stayed with me almost the entire time.  This was really important to me, and we had chosen SFS because they didn't have a nursery, which meant they intended for the baby to room in with me too.

Funny story about the sleeping arrangements overnight in the hospital--in addition to John, my mom was there to support me during labor and for Tully's birth.  I asked her to stay that first night in the hospital with us too.  There was a fold-out couch and the hospital bed.  Two sleeping spaces for three people.  Hmmm...So John and I crashed on the fold-out couch, and my mom took the hospital bed.  Every time the nurses came in to get my blood pressure or temperature, they would walk over to the bed and start talking to my mom.  I'd have to wave from the couch and show them my hospital band, so they could tend to me instead.  I was released just after 24 hours of delivery, and I know my support team was happy to sleep in regular beds that second night.

This past week has been a blur with lots of learning, but most of the time I've been too "drunk" on feel-good mommy hormones to notice anything but my precious baby.  Breastfeeding my little milk monster takes up the majority of my day.  He goes on these binges where he feeds every hour, which is more exhausting than not getting sleep.  It's SO worth it though.  I was worried that he wouldn't latch or that my milk wouldn't come in, but everything has worked out just fine.  The bonding experience with breastfeeding is something I can't even describe.  It is the most rewarding, heartfelt thing I have done in my entire life.  It can be frustrating at times (in the middle of Target while shopping!), but I love, love, love it.

We've gone on several family walks with our dog, Zach, and he's adjusted well to the baby.  He was overly excited and liked to lick at first, but after 48 hours he settled into our routine (or lack thereof), and he politely sniffs the baby when he wants to see what's going on.  He's going to be a good big brother.

Here are a few pics of sweet Tully's adventures this past week.

After the first bath

Listening to daddy
Making faces for Grammy

Hanging out with PawPaw
Trying to decide whether to go fishing or golfing first with PawPaw
Snuggling with mommy
Taking a nap with Great Papa Jim
Ready to leave the hospital
Tully's visitors, Lauren and Lacey, helped us load up and leave
Tully and his big brother, Zach
Tully is a little confused here--he thinks he is a Baylor bear.  Right state, wrong school, Tully!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

"C" is for Credulous

I pulled a really good April Fools joke on John last week.  A couple hours after we'd eaten lunch together on Friday, I got an email from our friend, Ben, with several funny ideas for pranks to pull relating to the baby.  I set a plan into action late that afternoon by leaving a note on John's car at his office.   Then I headed home to wait to make the phone call to falsely tell him I was in labor.  At 9+ months pregnant, John knew I could go into labor at any moment, so I was fairly confident he would go for it.  I've had lots of irregular contractions, so I opted to tell him my water broke instead.  It was hard to lie to him, and he sensed the unease in my voice over the phone but mistook my uneasiness for real concern that something was happening.  I was hoping he'd tell his co-workers it was "go time," but he quietly left the office and called me again when he got in the car.  I could tell he didn't know it was a joke, so I didn't want to ruin it just yet.  I asked him if he'd gotten my message, and that's when he saw the note on the windshield.  He told me I was sweet for leaving what he thought was a love note, and we hung up.  When he called back less than 20 seconds later, I knew he had grabbed the note at the next stoplight and read my message that said, "APRIL FOOLS! I'm not in labor."  He said I got him good.  I'm hoping he doesn't get any crazy ideas for paybacks any time soon!
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