Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Daddy went back to work yesterday

Matthew went back to work yesterday. Well, sort of. He took an assignment. It was a quick one and not far away. And, we figured that we could use the money since he didn't work at all the week after Julian's birth. The only thing not ideal about it is that it fell during Jonah's naptime. So, it was up to me to put Jonah down for his nap. I figured Julian would probably be sleeping anyway, which is what he does most of the day, and we asked Matthew's sister, Jen, to come over as backup in case Julian needed attention. Jen lives nearby now, but she has her own baby, who is about 4 months old now.

I was also waiting for a call from Julian's pediatrician's office to see if I could get him in for a quick visit to check his jaundice, to make sure it was clearing. I got the call to come in for a 2:40 p.m. appointment, which meant I'd have to borrow Jen's car, since Matthew wouldn't yet be home from work. Everything would kind of have to line up for me to get Jonah down for his nap and take off in time for Julian's appointment. My first taste of the two-kid juggle, I guess.

After lunch, Matthew left. Jen arrived. And, Julian woke up. And, he was a bit fussy and wanting to nurse constantly. I didn't want to leave a crying baby with Jen and leave her to juggle two small babies in need of attention, so I decided to bring Julian in with me while I got Jonah ready for his nap. I nursed Julian for as long as I could before starting the nap process, still hoping he'd fall asleep, but no luck. At first, I put him down on Jonah's floor propped up with the boppy, while I changed Jonah's diaper. But, Julian wasn't happy there, so I nursed Julian on one lap while I read books to Jonah on the other lap. Thankfully, Jonah seemed fine with it, except that he kept pushing Julian's feet away whenever they touched him. It was a bit awkward for me, trying to keep Julian latched on (for some reason he kept popping off but still seeming to want to nurse) on one side and stay relaxed while reading to Jonah, who suddenly feels like a huge kid sitting on my lap. Finally, Julian seemed content, if awake, so I quickly stepped out to hand him off to Jen. Luckily, her daughter wasn't nursing and seemed happy and content. I went back in Jonah's room and tried to give him a hug and kiss, but he protested saying he wasn't ready to take his nap. Instead of getting frustrated, I tried empathizing with him and talking to him about the new situation, telling him it's OK to feel confused. Eventually, he gave me a big bear hug and two kisses and lay down in his crib. I sang to him, said goodnight and left and he went right to sleep! I still had plenty of time to grab another bite to eat, nurse Julian again (who promptly fell asleep) and get him into Jen's car to head up to the pediatrician.

As Jonah would say, I did it! ~ Nicole

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Baby Cavanaugh Number Two

Remember my homebirth in the hospital? That was how Jonah came into the world, after 62 hours of labor.

Well, a little over a week ago, on June 28 at 4:20 p.m., Julian Dean Cavanaugh was born after only 5 hours of labor (8 if you start counting when my water broke). This time, there was no castor oil, no endless walks to get contractions going, etc.

And, there was no hospital. Just me, Matthew, my midwives and doula. Dani and Marc were at work. Jonah was off on a playdate and getting ready for a sleepover with his cousin, Hugo, in Brattleboro, Vermont. (I'll admit that Jonah was never far from my mind, even after Julian was born. It was his first sleepover, I hadn't seen him all day, and I worried about his reaction when he did return home to find a new baby in the house. So far, he's very sweet with the baby, but we are all adjusting to our new family. More on that later.)

Julian was also huge, with a birth weight of 9 pounds, 8 ounces, almost 2 pounds more than Jonah. He got a little stuck at the end (shoulder dystocia), but my midwives handled it well, turned him sideways and guided him out, and neither Julian nor I had any major complications as a result. (Thanks also to one midwife being a craniosacral care provider.)

Labor this time around was a trip. My body just did its thing. It was a little scary, I have to admit, because even toward the end I still didn't believe it was happening so fast. I kept thinking, "This is too much. How can I handle this for a long time?" Then, I kind of woke up when my midwives kept telling me that my baby was coming in just a few minutes. I kept saying, "Really?" over and over almost until the very end. It was pretty painful, too, and I thought I was being a total baby about it, but my midwives and doula told me the opposite.

As I write this, Julian stirs. He doesn't like to sleep at night yet, only during the day. My family feels complete now, though I never imagined I'd have two boys, and it's great! ~ Nicole