I’m 35 weeks pregnant today! I can’t even believe it. Time is moving very quickly now.
I wrote these words on July 14th with the intention of updating all of you on my third trimester. Turns out that wouldn’t happen. CUT to today, September 22, and a LOT has changed. The post sat in my drafts for the past two months, but I can explain, I promise.
Meet Briar Olivia, born August 5th, 2017 at 3:46pm! She weighed 7lbs, 13oz and was 21 inches long.
I was 38 weeks and 1 day into my pregnancy when Briar was born. I carried her to term and that is a huge achievement for me. Why couldn’t I finish my update at 35 weeks? Well, my blood pressure started giving me trouble, my body was very quickly deteriorating, and things got a little busy. I was in the hospital every other day for monitoring, it seemed. And each time sent home. My blood pressure would be up in the midwives office but “normal” at the hospital. My SPD made it so I truly could barely walk, and I was in a significant amount of pain. I couldn’t even shift weight on my legs or lift them to shave in the shower without crying out. Once I reached 37 weeks we started to discuss moving things along naturally. Now, I’m all for allowing baby to come when BABY is ready, but I was in so much pain and so miserable that it was affecting me in many ways, maybe even my blood pressure – who knows?
At 38 weeks exactly I was in the hospital to have cervical gel applied, and sent home to see if it worked. If it didn’t, I would be induced. It didn’t send me into labour naturally, so I WAS indeed induced.. I will save the rest for her birth story, but she arrived as healthy as can be and we got to take her home the very next day!
I’m really, incredibly proud to say that I am able to breastfeed Briar for about 75% of her needs right now. The rest is top up of donor milk. I’m really hoping to make it to 100%. I have never had an exclusively breastfed/breastmilk fed baby before (read about my struggles with Brynn here), so I have been doing a lot of learning as we go along here. It has always been my goal so I have done a lot of research but I have no experience with actually DOING it. So we’re learning as we go.. Not only for that reason but because.. well, transitioning to two is NO joke. I so badly wanted to be a champ and get through it like it ain’t no thang, but our second baby really uprooted life as we knew it and we started all over. I’m only JUST starting to settle into the routine of things now and Briar is 7 weeks old tomorrow. Not that I am complaining, as I wouldn’t trade a second of it for this sweet chunky nugget. But, it’s been tough. It’s really been tough..
Let me just say that the first month was a shit show, pure and simple and pardon my Francais. But no other word can describe it better. Brynn was still home all day, Mike started a new job the Monday after the weekend she was born (no joke!), I was struggling to try and establish a solid milk supply while feeding her with a syringe, supplement system, and refusing bottles come anywhere near her face.
It was CHAOS. I was stressed.
THEN, at 4 weeks into our journey, I developed Mastitis. My midwife prescribed me antibiotics and it was great, I started to feel better right away. THEN the hives came. We’re talking the itchiest, angriest hives covering 99% of my body in pure redness that felt like fire ants all over me. I couldn’t feed my daughter, I couldn’t do anything for myself, I couldn’t stop scratching despite the knowledge that it was terrible for me and making it all worse. I finally broke down and had to go to the ER. I waited for HOURS, itching and red, to get to start steroids. They took a few days to work, meanwhile I was in agony applying natural, unscented lotion non-stop, taking cold showers, lying under cold, wet towels with a fan blowing on me.. It was SO uncomfortable.
You’d think I’d give up. Surely breastfeeding isn’t worth all this trouble, right? At this point I wasn’t even making much for her, anyway! But just like you never go to bed angry, you never make an important decision when you don’t have a level head. So I decided to give it some time.
And then.. it all changed. Somehow, for some reason, I started producing more of what she needed. I started leaking more regularly, and she fed a few times, satisfied from my breast alone. HUGE win! I’m so glad I didn’t give up. I still really hope to share news with you all that we exclusively breastfeed, but because of my history, I am over the moon with what we CAN do, if it’s the most we ever achieve.
Okay, I just talked about breastfeeding for a while. I apologize if that was crazy boring, that was just the biggest struggle for me for the first few weeks of Briar’s life. Now that Brynn is in school every day, Briar is feeding better, and I am adjusting to having TWO children, things are getting a little easier. I still have my days for sure, but what mom doesn’t? I’m loving having time with just Briar during the day while Brynn is at school. She loves going to school and has made a best friend already. They’re inseparable and it’s really adorable. I’m back to photography after a very brief maternity leave (it’s a photographer’s busiest time of year, I don’t wanna miss out on that business) and it feels wonderful. My first few shoots made me giddy, I missed shooting so much.
Even though things are really busy and there’s a lot going on, I really want to work hard to check in more often with you guys, bring you updates, tell you about cool new things, and share some recipes again. I promise you will be seeing more of me now that I am not in pain, in the hospital, sick as a dog in bed, or nursing 24/7.
Things are only going to get much more exciting from here!