Monday, July 16, 2012

20 things I've learned in Xander's first month


I made this list to send to a friend who is expecting her first son in a few weeks.  Thought I'd share.


1. Always keep a pacifier within arms reach!  He rarely uses one, but we have 8 kicking around here!  Thirty seconds of sucking on one can make a world of difference!

2. Just keep burping... Sometimes 3-4 minutes of backpatting and other burping techniques will produce nothing.  Keep trying.  Just when you are convinced there's no burp in there... BURP!

3. They say their bellybutton stumo will fall off in 7-10 days.  What they don't tell you is this: IT COULD BE A LOT LONGER  (23 days for Xander) and the longer it goes the worse it smells.  No one tells you that your beautiful baby will smell like a zombie and nasty brown stuff will rub off all over his clothes!

4. The gauze covering his penis (after hs circumcision) will not absorb any pee and will cause pee to go everywhere else including OUT the side of his diaper!

5. Newborn diapers are pretty close to useless :0(  Xander was 8lb 11.9oz and NB diapers go up to 10lbs.  Because they were supposed to fit up to 10 lbs we kept using them, but by 9.5 lbs they were really too tight and he continually leaked and got diaper rash.

6. Desitin, Balmex, Butt Paste, etc will do nothing for diaper rash if his diapers are too small because there is no ait circulation in the diaper :0(

7. If NB Huggies don't work for you and NB Pampers do - DO NOT go stock up on Size 1 Pampers.  Size 1 Huggies may work way better.  It's totally unpredictable.  We hated NB Huggies but size 1 Huggies seem to be way better for Xander then size 1 Pampers even though we loved NB Pampers.  Trial and error.

8. Xander hates those little mittens, but he will tolerate socks on his hands.  Also, he can't really get the socks off his hands so we are not putting the mittens back on every 2 minutes!

9. Also, long sleeved onsies are a lifesaver at night if they have the mittens built in.  No way he's getting those off!

10. Even when I am hot and sweaty Xander's hands and feet are often cold.  His temperature is really different than ours because he can't regulate it very well.  HATS, SOCKS & MITTENS!

11. Don't give up!  Chances are you are only 10 seconds away from a quiet happy baby.  When Xander is screaming and I feel like I have tried EVERYTHING without luck I go back to the first thing I tried and it might work!  Keep trying the same things over and over. 

12. Babies need daddies, grammies, aunties... (even though as mommies we feel we can handle it all ourselves!)  Daddy often does it differently and I might not do it that way, but Xander doesn't mind.  Babies benefit from lots of different approaches.  Trust those people around you who want to love your son!

13. Just because Xander nursed for 1/2 an hour doesn't mean he will go any longer between feedins than if he nursed 15 minutes.  If he was actually focused and not falling asleep he might have gotten more milk in 15 minutes than he did in 30 when he was goofing off!

14.  Cold baby = screaming baby!  We didn't think it was that chilly, but a breeze on a warm day can make him cold.  Close the doors/windows when giving him a bath or changing clothes/diapers if he is really unhappy.  He might just be cold. 

15. Anything will become a burp cloth if you don't have one nearby.  I've learned to put burp cloths or receiving blankets all over the house so I don't end up using my shirt, blanket, pillowcase, etc everytime he spits up.

16. Always take twice as many diapers and outfits in the diaper bag than you think you will need.  Even a 2 hour trip out can require 2-3 diapers.  Xander will often fill up the new diaper AS SOON as we put it on.  Like, within 30 seconds. 

17. Little boys WILL pee when you undo their diaper.  Everyone gets peed on.  We found this to work: open the diaper so some air gets to his penis.  Then lay the diaper back over and clean his belly button.  By the time you are done - he probably will be too.  For some reason, the air almost always made him pee in the first week.  Also, if you take his diaper off and he has an erection - he's going to pee!

18. Xander is not bothered by noises during the day.  We run the dishwasher, vacuum, tv with surround sound, the dog barks like crazy - he sleeps right through it!  We do not tiptoe around because it is great that these things do not wake him!

19. It's ok to be frustrated.  I thought I'd be all lovey - dovey and understanding when he woke up every two hours or cried all morning.  After 3 weeks with limited sleep I get frustrated!  LOL I try to be frustrated with the situation and not the baby!  Xander doesn't know he is supposed to sleep at night!  He also doesn't know that I'd rather not nurse him every 1.5 hours because it hurts!  He just knows he's hungry.  No matter how much I love him I still want to sleep.  And I will...when he's older :0)

20. When everything else fails - Xander usually calms down when he feels my warmth and he's snuggled up against my chest with his little head in my neck.  Babies want to be close and there's really nothing better than snuggling with Mommy <3

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Welcome Xander Jack Ingalls!

Xander Jack Ingalls was born at 12:43am on 6/19/12.  He weighed 8lb 11.9oz and measured 23 inches long!  All ten fingers and ten toes were perfect and his 15 inch head was indeed covered in dark hair - most of it in the back that could nearly be gathered into a little baby ponytail!  He was (and remains) perfect.  His middle name is after his great-grampie Lloyd "Jack" Hartford who passed away exactly 6 months before Xander was born, on 12/19.  His first name is not after anyone special.  Just a name we loved.

As of today he is one day over 3 weeks old, and his first 22 days have been as uneventful as my pregnancy.  He is a pleasure to be around and only fusses when he is uncomfortable or hungry.  In three weeks we've had only four "rough" nights where Jason or I have had to get up and stay up with him so that the other might get a little more sleep.  Because I am breastfeeding him I have the pleasure or getting up every 2-3 hours in the night regardless of whether Jason takes him out into the livingroom.  It's not easy, but I couldn't imagine it any other way. 

For most of you, I am sure this a recap of what you have already read about on Facebook, however, for those who are not on Facebook, or who have limited time to hang on my every post.... Here's a brief recap of Xander's birth:

On Saturday 6/16, I spent the day walking circles around our kitchen island (and the occassional figure 8 around both the island and the table) because of excrutiating back pain.  In the true spirit of "false labor" this walking would alleviate the pain, so I would do it until I dared sit/lay again on the couch with my hot corn bag on my back trying to rest.  I called the OB Unit to let them know I was suffering (but knew I was not in labor as the walking made the pain stop) and they advised warm bath, two tylenol and a heating pad.... Yes, indeed the warm bath was wonderful and the hot corn bag was a help, but they only lasted for a brief time before I was up and walking again.  Oddly, laying down the sleep that night I found instant relief!  I don't know if I was just exhausted and slept through the pain, or maybe it was the heated water bed, but whatever the reason, I was grateful and slept wonderfully! 

On Sunday 6/17 I woke up in a wet bed.  Not wet like I peed the bed, but wet like I knew my water probably broke.  I called the OB Unit again and was advised to wait and see if my labor actually started.  Let's not forget I was due 6/12. Starting in the morning, on top of the back pain, I was also experiencing pain in my belly when I layed down, bent over or put any pressure at all on my belly.   I was so hopeful that Baby Ingalls (now lovingly known as Xander) was going to come on his own and we would be able to avoid any further days past our due date walking around the island in agony.  No such luck.  After a full day of walking, back pain, abdominal pain and "trickling" fluid - but only three contractions - Jason and I were on our way into the OB Unit at 10pm that night (at the request of my Dr)  to see if it was indeed amniotic fluid I was leaking all day -- because WTH else could it be??  Well, the fancy litmus paper test Dr. Heniser performed said it was not.  He did it twice infact and sent a sample to the lab... Nope, not amniotic fluid.  I know, I know...... I asked the same thing.  WTH was it?  He didn't really know.  It was suggested perhaps I had peed myself.  Right.  All day.  A little at a time.....  An ultrasound was done to see whether my fluid level was low and determine whether the baby was showing any signs of distress.  The baby looked healthy and showed no signs of distress, and, not only was my fluid level NOT low,  I had WAY too much amniotic fluid.  This was determined to be the reason I was experiencing so much pain in my abdomen.  There was also a strange consistency to the fluid and a lot of "floaties" in it.  This didn't seem ideal, however, the baby showed NO signs of distress, so, much to my chagrin, and against my better judgement, we then drove BACK HOME at midnight.

Monday morning 6/18 at 6:30am..... My water truly did break.  All over the carpet and bedroom and bathroom.  There was no mistaking it this time, and it was accompanied by my first true contraction.  I called the OB Unit and was advised to head in.  I was started on Pitocin because I'd not shown any signs of my labor progressing despite having a few contractions on my own.  I was in labor for a total of 15 hours - including pushing for only about 35 minutes.  I was not certain whether I was going to use any medications for pain until it got to a point when I was exhausted and the contractions were coming back to back with no period of relief in between.  I opted for Nubane - a narcotic that can only be taken if there is no chance the baby will be born before it wears off (about two to three hours) because it can affect the baby's respiratory system outside the womb.  While he was inside he was not using his lungs and we did not have to worry.  I was incredibly grateful for the relief and instantly noticed when it abruptly wore off two hours later.  Because I could not have another dose (and I could not see myself continuing in the state I was in) I consented to an Interthecal.  The poor anesthesiologist, who was called in after hours to administer the spinal, took slightly too long to arrive and was given the royal treatment AFTER he was done.  I might have been in pain but I was not stupid.  Even I knew you don't piss off the guy who is going to stick a needle in your spine!  Besides, the next morning when he came to check on me I told him I loved him and he was my favorite!  That makes up for any snarkiness I may have exhibited the night before :0)

When Xander was born (besides Dr. Heniser and the two nurses) it was just Jason and I sharing in a moment you can never duplicate under any other circumstances.  An amazing flood of emotions including immense relief and overwhelming instant love.  I truly cannot remember a lot of what happened in those last 35 minutes.  I remember Dr Heniser telling me we were ready to go and how to push...... then I remember him telling me to open my eyes and look at my beautiful baby.  Jason told me he was a boy and the rest is a blur.  He was perfect and healthy and that is all that mattered. 

We've had so many cards, gifts, flowers, visitors and comments on Facebook for our new baby boy and we are so appreciative!  Again, I am overwhelmed by how loved our little guy is and he's just brand new :0)  Thank you so much!

Lots of Love, Joelle, Jason and Xander

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Two More Weeks!


So, here we are, in the home stretch.  I know I have said that several times already, but, honestly.... two weeks left, two weeks left.......

A lot has happened in the last month since I updated the blog.  Mainly I have gone from content to have our little peanut snuggled up inside me forever (easier to keep track of, no dirty diapers, no two hour feedings, lots of good sleep, easy to soothe, no boyfriends/girlfriends to deal with in 15 years, etc....) to wanting him or her OUT NOW.  It was truly like someone flipped a switch.  One day I was just over it.  And, as I am sure every woman reading who has ever been pregnant will attest, it surely does not get easier in the next two weeks.  I am kind of tired of fighting for space in my own abdominal cavity.  My lungs are crushed, my stomach squished and my heart appears to be in the wrong place based on the location of my heartbeat... but, you know what?  I'd do it again in a heartbeat.  It's truly amazing how the process works.  I bitch and moan (and moan and groan) and lumber around crabbig about this or that, but really I have no real reason to complain.  We have a healthy baby in there and that is the only real thing that matters <3

We did have one slight issue on Tuesday, May 8th.  I'd spent the weekend having pretty significant pain in my lower back.  Sunday (as per my usual weekend agenda) I did nothing really except lay around.  It didn't seem to get better, but I figured, "Geez, I am nine months pregnent.  My back is going to hurt, just like everything else!"  Monday was more of the same.  Tuesday I noticed the standard "4" on the 4-10 pain scale from the weekend was shooting up to an "8" or better every hour or so.  I mentioned to Jason I wondered if I was having back labor - Mr. Practical assured me I was not having a baby today.  I rode to work with my Mom and wiggled around in her car for the hour drive denying there was any chance I was actually in labor. Within a few hours the pain had tethered me to my desk at work and was actually intensifying every 15 minutes.  I'd already been in contact with my Dr. several times, and when I started throwing up they had me come in to the office.  My mother came to get me and off we went.  So, let's cut to the chase.  No babies were born on 5/8.  These were not "real" contractions that were actually going to lead anywhere. (Uh huh.... they felt real.)  A fetal non stress test found the baby to be in no distress at the office, however, his/her Momma was in significant distress.  Seems there was also a strong possibility of a kidney stone happening as well as what-the-hell-else was going on!  Off we went to the OB Unit at MDI Hospital where we got a preview of things to come.  Five hours of fetal monitoring, a bag and a half of fluids, an U/S of Baby and an U/S of my bladder and kidneys led to the conclusion that I was significantly dehydrated and had angered my uterus causing the contractions.  The U/S tech saw no evidence that I actually passed a kidney stone or had one blocking anything, however, given my history of having them twice already and the presence of several in my kidney, my Dr. felt it was still a strong possibility. 

Also of significance, the U/S tech noted our baby had tons of hair on his/her little head!  

Since our excitement at the 35 week mark we have had an uneventful three weeks.   No contractions and nothing significant to note.  My BP is great, my blood sugar remains in the 70s at each visit and I have been trying desperately to get in 80oz of water each day.  Fast forward to Friday, 5/25, at our weekly appointment.  My Dr. says, "Why is your baby's head not in your pelvis?" "Gee, I'm not sure, Doc.  You tell me."  Seems our baby is much more comfortable in the lateral position.  Again, we had a head on the upper right and a baby bum on the upper left.  Not ideal for labor - which is not ideal for 37.5 weeks.  So, we have to go back on Tuesday, when we will be 38 weeks to see where our stubborn little one is laying.  Potentially we are considering the "turning" process if need be.  I know, I know.  Everyone has an opinion.  No one has had a positive experience, or heard of a positive experience when it comes to turning a baby in utero.  I have not made up my mind.  I can honestly say I trust my Dr. 100% with my health and our baby's health.  There's no point worrying about it yet.  A lot happens in a baby's life in two days.... we could find he/she has returned to the proper position by Tuesday. 

Also on Friday, I had my first "I don't want to be pregnant anymore" meltdown and then had a surprise Baby Shower (that really was a surprise!) thrown by Jason's  co-workers from City Hall!  It was perfect timing and just what I needed.  We are so close to the end.  I am sure our next post will include pictures of Baby Ingalls (who will by then have a name for you all to use) and I will have resumed use of my lungs :0)

Thanks for hanging in with us on this ride!  Can't wait to introduce our little bundle to the world <3

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Somehow it has been six weeks since I've updated the blog.  I keep saying time is flying by, but I guess it really has gotten away from me.
On March 24th I had a wonderful shower/BBQ here at the house with a mere 30 of our family and friends!  I have no idea how we fit that many people into this little house, however, they were here and I have the pictures (and gifts) to prove it!  We received an amazing amount of thoughtful and wonderful gifts for our baby and are so thankful for everything.  Pictures of each gift have been posted on Facebook so I won't bore you with the list again.  The majoriy of them are still in our livingroom and piled up under the tv.  I figure this is kind of how our home will be for the remainder of the decade so we might as well get used to it now!  Baby Depot called the day before the shower to say the crib and combo unit were in so we went up on Sunday with our gift cards and cash and brought them home.  Within the week our Baby's room was transformed to an actual nursery.  It has been so nice to sit in the new glider rocker in the evening with the lamp on and just enjoy the room.  All we need now is a baby!

We've had two appointments and an ultrasound since our last update.  Because I have not been able to complete the Glucose test Dr. Heniser has been testing my blood sugar at each visit and took my A1C - all fine.  My BP has remained stable and my weight continues to rise one pound a week as it has since I found out I was pregnant.  The baby's HR has hovered consistently between 150-155 at every visit.  At the last visit Dr. Heniser said the baby's head was final down as opposed to up.  While we were at the ultrasound I got up to use the bathroom halfway through and apparently the baby flipped, because when I laid back down the tech said the head was up! Tricky little one :0)

The ultrasound was two part -- normal black and white for the first half, so the Dr. could be sure all the measurements were right for our due date and 4D for the second half.  We got very few good 4D pictures of the baby's face since there were feet and hands in the way!  Apparently our baby is an acrobat contortionist.  Everyone should have a talent.  We both looked away while she measured the leg bones so that we would not accidently determine the sex (sorry guys!) and we are still in the dark.  We will find out in 7 more weeks - as will you.

No cravings for weeks. The baby and I have been battling for body rights.  I tolerate most everything, however, I do not enjoy the feet poking out through my uterus and bulging out of my belly.  I have been pushing them back in which typically leads to a karate kick to the bladder or some other organ just to let me know I have not really won the war -- only the battle. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Welcome to the 3rd Trimester!

I cannot believe we are already one week into the final stretch of this adventure! It is shocking to me that it has gone by so fast. It makes me sad, because I know it will not slow down even after the baby is here with us. Barring any upcoming problems, I can see myself being one of those women who rave about being pregnant and has not one negative thing to say about it! So far - it is the best experience of my life. I love every thump and bump I get to feel, every heartbeat we get to hear, and every Dr. appointment we get to attend!

At our last visit (Friday 3/9), Dr. Heniser said he plans to order an additional ultrasound to be sure that the baby is appropriate size and growing without issue -- he feels everything is fine, however, with my history of Gastric Bypass he just wants to be sure everything is on track. You will not hear any complaints from me! An additional opportunity to see our little peanut is a blessing any way you look at it! He also said he is going to start monitoring my sugar at each visit as I am not able to complete the Glucose Test for Gestational Diabetes due to my sugar intolerance. Again, he feels everything is fine, however, he wants to stay on top of it just to be sure! Have I mentioned I love my Dr?? He's amazing and I appreciate his attention to detail and commitment to healthy babies and mommies! For all you wives' tales believers - the baby's heart rate was 148 this visit (but I could feel him/her moving like crazy, which can increase the heart rate by up to 20 points). My BP was 118/68 and I finally showed some swelling in my legs and ankles. I made it through the first 27 weeks without any so I guess I should consider myself lucky. I guess that also means less running around at work and more feet up!

The most exciting development in our pregnancy occurred on 3/8/12. The baby was particularly active in the morning when I first woke up and Jason was finally able to feel the kicks! I can now tell the difference between feet and hands/elbows. And, it's really fun to have someone else be able to share in the fun! We have ordered our crib and combo unit because they take 8-12 weeks to come in. We have the money to pay off the crib -- compliments of Grammie Dow and Grammie Brady - and we are hopeful we will win the lottery so we can pay off the bureau! We actually went to Hollywood Slots for the first time on Friday and our $10 we took in lasted us two full hours... because we are cheap. At one point we were up a whole $5 - a 50% gain - but we gambled it away.... Guess we will need another avenue for making our millions. Until next time!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I'll be in the baby's room swiffering the walls.....

As of Sunday, 2/19/2012, we officially reached the 6 month mark! Holy cow, how did that happen?! Seems like just yesterday we were waiting on a little pink line to appear :0)

On Monday Grammie Dow and Jason painted the nursery! A beautiful dark Classic Brown on the bottom and Potpurri Green on the top. The colors are a perfect match to the bedding set and will be great for either a boy or a girl. There is a blue tape line separating the two colors currently (in the picture) but there will be a white chair rail in the very near future. While they were busy painting away, Gracie & Grandpa Dow kept me company in the living room watching Card Sharks all morning. Even though I know our baby will not be sleeping in his/her nursery for many, many months it still feels great to be getting so close to having said nursery ready to rock! Next stop Burlington to get the crib.

On February 10th I officially turned 34. It was a great day which began with a Peanut Butter/Chocolate Cheesecake (made by my amazing fiance) for breakfast. We had an appointment and got to hear the baby's heartbeat again - 157. It has consistently remained in the 150s for months -- some of you will remain convinced this means we are having a girl, however, my Dr has indicated that this old wives' tale holds no water. He said the baby's heartrate increases by 20 points each time he/she moves and we were able to hear the swishes of movement while listening to the heartbeat. So, at rest, the number might have been more around 135. And we finished the day, after our appointment, in Bangor for dinner and a movie.

Saturday Karen and Emma arrived! We had a great afternoon watching Emma play with Gracie and showing Karen our baby goodies (some of which were from other people, although 75% was from her already...) and then we were off to Pat's Pizza for dinner with family and friends! Before dinner we showed Grandpa Joe & Grammie Terry the ultrasound pictures and videos and filled everyone in on the latest Dr appointment. It was a great night and I was SO happy to have so many of my family and friends in one place!

The most exciting news to date is that our little carrot (this week the baby is as long as a carrot, according to Baby Center) finally made big enough movements for me to feel them on 2/3/2012! We were eating moose meat tacos with hot salsa and right there at the dinner table it was unmistakable. I was so excited and relieved all in that one moment - quite overwhelmed really - that I definitely cried. It was the start of quite a ride. We expanded from sporadic flutters that felt like "whoopdee doos" (or going over a really big frost heave) a few times a day to hour long workouts involving bladder kicking in just two and a half weeks! I decided today, after a week, that the kicking of my bladder has a much less profound effect if said bladder is empty as opposed to full. I'm starting to notive those trends the books talk about indicating when our baby is sleeping and what his/her schedule looks like (roughly). Because no one else can feel the movements from the outside yet, I find myself making several announcements a day - "The baby's awake!" Just my way of involving the whole family :0)

For those of you greatly amused by my cravings.... I think we are finally at the end of a three week Salami and Cheese with extra mayo and tomato bender...... I have consulted the Dr multiple times to confirm that my child will not be born with three eyes or only one ear as a result of this Salami consumption. I still eat three packages of those delicious cheese crackers with peanut butter each day and feel quite cheated when I onlt get two (but I suppose Jason should be allowed to eat one or two now and then). Speaking of.............. I am starving. Wonder what I should have for dinner #2??

Monday, January 30, 2012

Irritating the baby already............

video

The last post would not allow me to post more that one video so you are blessed with two this evening :0)

After working very hard to irritate our baby into moving, the ultrasound tech requested I get up and use the bathroom in an attempt to flip the little one over so we might get a few "baby pictures". It did seem to work as he/she was face up on the second look, however, it apparently also seemed to irritate the baby as evidenced by the shaking of the fist. We have a feisty baby!