Friday, June 29, 2012

Photo Friday

Here's Lucas from the past couple days.
 And the one still photo I was able to capture of Ryan.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Wishing Away the Days

I can't wait until Ryan is mobile. Then I can finally put him down and get some things done!

Once Ryan is talking, it will be easier to get my point across to him. Hurry up and talk!

This infant stage is so demanding. I can't wait until Lucas is more independent.

I can't wait until Lucas is old enough to play with Ryan. They will entertain each other for hours!

Once the boys are in grade school I will finally have a little free time.

I am constantly finding myself impatiently day-dreaming about how much easier and more enjoyable life will be once my children are "just a little bit older". Once they're at that next developmental stage, life will surely run more smoothly, right?

Why am I always wishing away my days as a mother with young children? Even if life will be easier and I won't have to spend so much time taking care of others' needs, is that what I really want? In the moments of changing diapers and dealing with tantrums, yes. That is what I want!
But at the same time, people tell me that these young years are precious. They will never be this little or innocent or helpless again. They will only get older and more independent. Maybe that's not what I want after all.
How do you live in the moment as a Mom, rather than always wishing for the future? How do you appreciate this very moment, even when your children are being difficult?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Shopping With 2

Yesterday I went shopping for the first time with both Ryan and Lucas. There's something very nerve-wracking about leaving the house with a toddler and an infant! I'm not even sure what is scary about it. I guess I fear that Ryan will throw a tantrum and Lucas will start wailing and want to be nursed, and I will be stranded in the middle of the store with no way out. Or something like that. Obviously if that happened I could just leave.

So I got over my fears and went to WalMart. I needed to return something and buy a few things. Our trip went very smoothly! Not a peep out of Lucas, who I "wore" in the Mei Tai carrier. He slept almost the whole time.

Ryan sat in the front of the shopping cart and behaved nicely. He even fell asleep on the way home and proceeded to nap for 30 minutes in his bed!
Here are a few tips I have discovered that make shopping with young kids easier:

-Feed/nurse them right before leaving the house.
-Bring along snacks for toddler.
-Bring along toys for toddler.
-Park as close as possible to a shopping cart.
-Put toddler in cart before getting baby out of the car. (It is very hard to lift a toddler while "wearing" an infant!)
-Don't plan on being there very long.

By the time I got them in the car, drove to the store, shopped for about 30 minutes and drove home, it was time to nurse Lucas again. I didn't mind though. Any trip out of the house these days is exciting for me!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

2 Week Checkup

Lucas had his 2 week checkup yesterday and I am happy to say he is growing like a weed! Such an opposite experience this time for all of us. Ryan wasn't even back at his birth weight at 2 weeks, and it was then that we began to suspect he had colic. Lucas, however, gained 28 ounces in 14 days (double the average of 1 ounce per day!) and for the most part, he is still a pretty content baby.

Here are Lucas' growth stats as of 2 weeks:

Weight: 8 lbs, 9 oz (40%)
Height: 21.5 inches (75%)
Head: 14.5 inches (40%)

His doctor gave me permission to let Lucas go 4 hours in between feedings at night, since he is growing so well. Now if only I could convince Lucas that this is a good idea! He wakes up every couple hours and doesn't necessarily want to nurse, but just to be held.

We also talked about taking Lucas out to public places, such as the grocery store or to Ryan's speech therapy. He had originally told me to keep Lucas at home for the first month, but he said it would be fine to take him out now, as long as I don't let anyone near him to touch him. Because Lucas is over 8 lbs, I can start wearing him in a baby carrier, such as the Moby Wrap. So I might try to take him out and wear him sometime this week. I'm anxious to get out of the house, and so is Ryan!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Home Alone

Yesterday was my first day on my own as a mother of two. While it definitely had its challenges, the day went as well as could be expected. Here's a summary of half our day:

-Change 2 poopy diapers.
-Make Ryan and I a speedy breakfast while a hungry Lucas patiently waited in his Pack N Play.
-Nurse Lucas while eating with one hand. Ryan ate peanut butter for breakfast.
-Remember to feed dog after he throws up.
-Lucas naps so I put on a Mickey video for Ryan while I clean last night's dinner dishes as well as those from breakfast.
-Lucas is still asleep so Ryan and I vacuum and pick up all his toys.
-Ryan dumps out all his blocks that I just cleaned up.
-I get myself and Ryan dressed, then sit down to nurse Lucas again.
-Ryan climbs up on the couch and bites Lucas. Ryan gets a timeout.
-After his timeout Ryan unlocks the back door and runs outside without any shoes on. He slips in a puddle and lands flat on his back, smacking his head on the tile.
-I change Ryan into dry clothes and make sure his head is okay.
-Meanwhile Lucas is throwing a fit.
-Finish nursing and clean up Ryan's blocks again.
-Start a load of laundry.
-Change poopy diapers.
-Start preparing lunch while holding Lucas. Ryan dumps out his blocks again.
-Ryan unrolls half a roll of paper towels.
-Ryan and I eat lunch. He eats 4 noodles and a fruit pouch.
-I load Ryan and Lucas in the car in order to drive Ryan to sleep for a nap.
-Ryan falls asleep. I carry Lucas inside, then bring Ryan inside and lay him in his bed. He wakes up.
-Lucas is asleep in his carseat, so I lay down next to Ryan to get him back to sleep.
-I doze off but Ryan does not. Just when Ryan is getting sleepy the dog barks and wakes up Lucas.
-I have a small breakdown and fear that Ryan will never nap again.
-Nurse Lucas again. Ryan is extremely grumpy.
-Meanwhile, Ryan unlocks the back door again and runs outside shoeless.
-This time I get up and yell at him to come back inside.
-He comes inside and brings me a gift.
-It was a piece of dried bird poop.
-Change poopy diapers. Wash hands really well.

All in all not a horrible morning. I managed to keep my boys fed and clothed, and even did some dishes and laundry! But Ryan progressively got naughtier as the day wore on. By the evening he had received countless timeouts. Let's hope he takes a nap today and behaves himself!

Sunday, June 17, 2012


It has been so nice having Adam home for the past two weeks to help me out. It seems appropriate that his last day at home before going back to work is Father's Day....a day to honor him being a Dad! Over the past couple weeks Adam has helped me out by spending lots of time with Ryan.
He even tested out my Moby Wrap for me! Ryan was not too happy about it.
And of course Adam spent some time bonding with Baby Lucas!
Happy Father's Day Adam!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Blessed with Food

We are so blessed. Since Lucas arrived we have had dinner delivered to us at least every other night. It is such a relief to have a couple weeks off from cooking! We have had dinners cooked for us by my fellow MOPS Moms, as well as people from our church, friends, and family. I get so excited to try other people's cooking because it gives me ideas for what I can make once I'm back in the kitchen.

So far we have had: Chicken Sausage "tacos" with sauteed spinach, tomatoes and cilantro yogurt sauce, Roasted Chicken with Rice and veggies, Tater Tot Casserole with Salad, Meatloaf with Corn, Bread and Ice Cream, BBQ Chicken with Pasta Salad and Strawberries, and Chicken Stir Fry with Brown Rice. Such a variety of healthy and delicious meals!

I've been so spoiled with these meals that it's going to be hard for me to start cooking again. I still have 3 freezer meals that I prepared while pregnant, so that should help with the transition. Now I'm looking for some easy dinners that I can make with one hand. Any ideas?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Night Owls

As I mentioned before, Lucas is a pretty easy baby so far. He sleeps a lot during the day. However, nights have been a bit more difficult.

I try to cluster-feed Lucas in the evening, often nursing him every hour from 7pm and on. This way I know his tummy is nice and full before bedtime. I try to do a feeding around 9pm, with Lucas swaddled. Usually he will fall asleep while nursing and I can lay him in his bassinet asleep. So far he will sleep for about 2-3 hours, until the next feeding around midnight. I get up, change him, and rock him while nursing him in his room. Then I bring him back to our room to lay him in his bassinet. This is when it gets tricky....he always wakes up when I lay him down. Sometimes I nurse him again, or try patting him or rocking him. He will fall back asleep eventually, but only in my arms. And every attempt to lay him in his bassinet wakes him up. I am so groggy at this point that I end up holding him in bed or sleeping with him right next to me. (This makes me nervous....especially if Ryan climbs in our bed at night without me knowing). I find myself thinking "OK he's asleep, I'm going to lay him in his bassinet now. And then suddenly I look at the clock and 45 minutes have passed. I just can't keep myself awake! I generally nurse him again between 3 and 4am, and then again before getting up for the day around 7am.

Ryan is also having sleeping issues at night. (What's new?) He's been sleeping in our bed for a long time now because it's the only thing that works. But that is no longer working with Lucas here. So Adam has been sleeping in Ryan's room, trying to get him to stay in his "big boy bed" at night. Let's just say they're up at night as often as Lucas and I am.

Even though Lucas is only 10 days old, I am very aware of the importance of teaching him good sleeping habits. I don't want him to end up with the same sleeping issues that Ryan has! Any advice for getting Lucas to sleep in his bassinet at night? Or am I expecting too much from a baby this young?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Mommy Recovery

So far recovery for me is a lot easier and faster this time around! With Ryan I was so incredibly sore from giving birth. I remember going for a walk around the block when he was just a couple weeks old, and afterwards it literally felt like my insides were going to fall out. Not true this time around! Today is day 8, and we actually went for a short walk today and I felt great.

My muscles have been very sore, but that is already a million times better than just a few days ago. I must have used every single muscle in my body to push out Lucas, because I even broke blood vessels on my back, face and shoulders. Up until a day ago I wasn't able to pick up Ryan. Now, other than a constant back ache, I am almost pain free.

Another postpartum symptom I experienced after both births was chills and a low grade fever. Sometimes I would get the shivers so bad that my whole body would shake uncontrollably. It felt like I was suddenly getting the flu. Thankfully the fever and chills have passed. It's so strange how our bodies recover from childbirth!

After having Ryan I almost completely lost my appetite for a few weeks. I had no desire to eat more than a few bites at each meal. I am happy to say that I have a normal appetite this time. I am no longer ravenous like I was while pregnant, but I have the appetite for 3 regular meals and sometimes a small snack. After 1 week I have lost 25 pounds, and although I still have about 30 more to lose, I am happy with my body's progress so far.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


So far Lucas is what I would call an "easy" baby, if such a baby exists. He sleeps a lot during the day. He does have some periods where he is awake and calm, as well as times when he is awake and fussy. But he nurses really well and in general seems satisfied afterwards, usually falling asleep. A dream baby! Nights are a different story so far, but that is a post for another time.
Thinking about Lucas so far makes me wonder what it would be like if he was our first baby. Would we think he was easy? I'm not sure. To a new parent, any baby is difficult to take care of. But when Adam and I compare Lucas to Ryan as a baby, Lucas is a peace of cake! I've caught myself wondering what I would do with all my free time if Ryan weren't here. If Lucas was my only child, I'd probably take lots of naps and have an immaculate house. Ha! Or not.
 Ryan so far is quite a loving big brother. He gives Lucas lots of kisses. Lots and lots. All the time. It's really cute, except Ryan doesn't understand his own strength, or just how fragile Lucas is. Sometimes he accidentally smothers him when he's really trying to be gentle. Other times he does deliberately hit Lucas or throw things at him, and we are trying really hard not to let this happen. We've probably told Ryan to "be gentle" about a million times this week. But I know this is part of him feeling jealous, so I'm trying to spend extra time with him whenever I can. I can't wait until Ryan and Lucas can play together!
So yes, I am truly blessed so far with Lucas. What does cause me some anxiety right now is handling Ryan and Lucas together. Luckily Adam is at home for a couple weeks to help me with this transition. I know it's something I will adapt to once I find my routine.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Lucas' Birth Story

Here it is...Lucas' birth story!

I had gone to the doctor at 3pm on Friday and found out that I was 4cm dilated and 75% effaced. I went home and had some mild cramping that evening, but nothing special. I woke up Saturday feeling nothing, so I assumed it would still be a long time before labor would start.

By late morning I was having some contractions that were a bit painful, but nothing consistent. I continued on as usual.....did a little grocery shopping, changed the sheets on the bed, watered my vegetable plants and helped Adam clean the garage.

By early afternoon I began to notice that the contractions were approximately 8-9 minutes apart. They were still very mild, although I did begin practicing my breathing during each contraction. I immediately knew that I did NOT want my stomach touched during a contraction, nor did I want to talk. Breathing out slowly seemed to make me the most comfortable. Even though I was using these coping techniques at this point, the pain level was still quite low. I was mainly feeling the pain in my lower stomach and hips. I told myself not to get excited because it was likely still false labor at this point, and not the real thing.

By about 3pm the contractions had stopped. Darn! I continued on as usual, cooked dinner and got Ryan ready for bed. As I was laying in bed with him a little after 9, I started having mild contractions again.

Once Ryan was asleep I came out to the living room and started timing my contractions. It was probably about 9:30 at this point. I guess I would call this the official start of my labor, because this is when I was actually experiencing real pain about every 6 to 7 minutes. Adam started timing each contraction while I sprawled myself on top of my big bouncy ball.

Over the next couple hours things got more intense. The pain was radiating all across my middle, including my back and hips. I started to moan through each contraction because I had heard that can help. Adam ran the bathtub for me and although it helped a little bit, our tub just isn't big enough for me to stretch out in. At this point my contractions were every 4 to 5 minutes. I got out of the tub, got dressed, and Adam called my parents. During one contraction I had Adam push on my lower back. That was the only thing during my entire labor that actually helped with the pain. I now understand how painful back labor can be!

My Dad arrived and picked up Ryan around 11:30. It felt too soon to be going to the hospital, since I wanted to labor as much as possible at home. But my pain felt so out of control at this point that we decided to go. The contractions were coming faster and each one lasted an entire minute and a half.

The ride to the hospital was pretty short. I remember Adam asked me what freeway exit to take and it made me really mad. In my mind, I was thinking that a good husband would have mapped out the course beforehand! We arrived and when they offered me a wheelchair, I gladly accepted. We checked in right after midnight, prepared for a long night ahead of us. As they wheeled me into triage I was in tears from the pain. They hooked me up to the monitor and checked to see if I had progressed from the previous day. To my surprise I was 8cm dilated!

That number was so incredibly encouraging to me. If I had made it this far so quickly, surely I could last just a little bit longer! They transferred me to a room and over the next hour I lay in bed unable to do anything about the pain. With each contraction I gripped the side of the bed or Adam's hand and moaned really low and loudly. My back felt like it was being ripped in half, but due to the position I was in, I couldn't apply any counter-pressure to it. I was attached to an IV and so debilitated by the pain that I couldn't move.

At about 1:30 I begged Adam to go get a nurse. They were offering me a shot of something for the pain in my IV, and I was very close to accepting it. But first I wanted to know if I had progressed at all. If I had not, I was pretty sure I'd take the medication. I just wanted to give up at this point on the idea of having a natural labor. Forget about it, it's too hard! But when the midwife came in and announced that I was at 10cm and ready to push, all plans for pain meds went out the window. The midwife broke my water, which just felt like a warm gush.

I was so ready to push that baby out. Pushing out Ryan was physically challenging but not that difficult, probably because I had an epidural. They told me I was a good pusher, so I assumed this time around would be the same. But when I started pushing something just felt wrong. I had always heard women say that pushing felt better because they were able to do something proactive with the pain. But I didn't experience this. When the midwife stopped me after a couple pushes and asked if I was feeling the pressure to push, I surprised myself by saying no. I actually didn't feel any pressure, only horrible pain. That's when the midwife said the words "Oh. He's sunny-side up."

I asked her if that was bad, and she basically said no, but that it would make pushing him out much more difficult and painful. This is when things started to feel really out of control to me. They gave me oxygen because my oxygen levels were dipping while I pushed. I pushed and pushed and it felt like forever. Meanwhile, the midwife was trying to maneuver the baby's head while pushing my skin out of the way. It felt like she was sticking knives inside of me, and I was so angry with her at this point. I kept saying "What are you doing? Is he getting close?". At one point she answered "No" and I was so discouraged. Obviously I wasn't thinking clearly because I almost asked her for a C-section. I just didn't think I had the energy or strength to push out the baby.

But then they had me to turn to my side while pushing, and that seemed to help. Then on my back once more, then to the other side, and suddenly his head was crowning! I got on my back and pushed out his head. I didn't even notice the "ring of fire" that people describe. She had me cough and then push once more, and Lucas was finally out! I had only pushed for around 30 minutes, but it felt like an eternity. Lucas was born at 2:17am, just two hours after arriving at the hospital.

At that point all I felt was relief. Yes I was happy to finally meet my baby and see that he was healthy. But more intense was this huge flood of relief that washed over me. It was over! The absolute most physically challenging and painful experience of my life. I thank God now that my labor was so quick. If it had taken longer, I probably would have given in and accepted pain medication. In total, real labor was probably 5 hours, with 30 minutes of pushing. Sounds short, but felt torturous. A blessing in disguise.

Lucas lay on my chest while I got stitched up (thankfully just a 1st degree tear this time!). I couldn't see his face for the longest time....only a head full of thick dark hair! I was shocked. He was smaller than his brother, but still healthy and perfect at 7 lbs, 8 oz and 20 inches long.
 For about an hour after delivery my entire body was shaking. I kept asking if this was normal, but they never really gave me a straight answer. I'm assuming it was muscle fatigue, but it was kind of crazy how violent my shaking was! After that stopped Adam and I just sat and looked at Lucas, talking about the birth and getting to know our new son. This was by far my favorite part. I must have been on a post-birth high because I felt so happy. Later in the morning the grandparents came to meet Lucas, and Ryan met his little brother for the first time.
So that's it! A fast and furious labor story. I will update more later about how sweet Lucas is, and how I am recovering so far, as well as how Ryan is adjusting to big-brotherhood.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Mini Mullet

One of the first things I noticed about Lucas after he was born was his hair. So dark! And so much of it! We have been joking that he has a mini baby mullet. Shorter in the front and long in the back. Here is proof. The first picture was taken after his very first sponge bath at home yesterday, so his hair was fluffed up. In the second picture you can see that it's already long enough to hang over his shirts!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Freshly Born

Here are a couple pictures of Lucas right after he was born.

 This picture is of Ryan the day he was born. Although I see some resemblance, I am so surprised by how different they look!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Lucas Reid Nullmeyer

Lucas Reid Nullmeyer was born on Sunday, June 3rd at 2:17am. He weighs 7 lbs, 8 oz and is 20 inches long. He's got a head full of thick dark brown hair, and he seems so tiny next to Ryan! We came home that same evening, less than 24 hours later. I am feeling quite sore, but so far recovery has been easier than last time. I will post more pictures when I find a spare minute. And of course I plan on writing the birth story soon, while it is still fresh in my mind. So far Lucas enjoys sleeping, so that is a blessing!

Friday, June 1, 2012

39 Week Appointment

I had my 39 week appointment with my midwife this afternoon. Everything is looking good! My blood pressure was good, baby is still  head down and low, and I actually lost 5 pounds this week. Here are my stats:

Total Weight Gain: 49 lbs
Blood Pressure: 128/77

I am 4 cm dilated, which isn't a change from last week. But I am now 75% effaced, which is the thinning of the cervix in preparation for labor.

The midwife predicted that this baby will not be as big as Ryan was. Her estimate is that he is somewhere between 7 and a half and 8 pounds right now. I don't really understand how they make these "estimates"....they seem more like blind guesses to me.

Once again she warned me that my labor will likely be much quicker this time. I'm hoping for a speedy labor, so that makes me happy! However, I don't want to give birth in the car on the way to the hospital, so we'll have to make sure we go to Labor & Delivery once things really start happening. I am having a tiny bit of cramping right now, so this might be our big weekend!