dear Logan (3 weeks)
10:14:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments
This has been the happiest (and longest!) 3 weeks of my life. You change and grow so much every day, bringing new challenges and joys to our lives. It's amazing how fast the last month with you in our lives has flown by, when it seemed for so long that you would never get here. Now I can't imagine what life without you was ever like.
You have grown from spending your days and nights eating and sleeping, to now spending more and more of your time playing and exploring the world around you. You have found your hands and are discovering all that they can do, from grabbing the toys around you to holding your paci in your mouth. You love to look at your own reflection, even though you probably have no idea that the beautiful baby in the mirror is you. There is little grace in your motions, but I love watching your eyes light up each time you do something new.
You've also developed quite the personality in the last 3 weeks, which has meant a lot more crying and screaming at all hours of the day and night. I'm already convinced you have been cursed with your father's temper. You have taught me a level of patience I didn't know was possible, and we are learning more and more about each other every day. Your personality has also resulted in the happiest moments of my life... each time you gaze at me with those beautiful blue eyes and smile my heart melts.
You recognize your daddy and me and save your best faces and grins for us. You're happiest snuggling in my arms and although it can be exhausting, I love every minute of it. You've spent many of your days and nights cuddled on my chest, and many times it is the only thing that comforts you. It reminds me of the special bond we share, a connection that can never be broken. I'm embracing every minute we have together, just you and me, and I look forward to watching many more milestones in the days to come.
So very grateful
I've been having a bit of a pity party for myself lately. I love my son more than life itself, but I've been struggling with endless nights and days with a colicky baby and wondering if and when it will ever get better. Nick received a promotion the same week that Logan was born, so he's been busy working 12+ hours a day, 7 days a week while I've been adjusting and struggling as a new parent... and feeling like a single parent. Nothing has been the way I expected it to be. I never imagined life with a newborn to be easy, but I never thought we would be challenged in so many ways all at once.
11:02:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments
I was reading the post of a fellow blogger today and was quickly reminded of how blessed I truly am, and so many ways that life could be worse right now. Logan may be colicky and barely sleeping day or night, but he is here and healthy. For so long I began to think we would never have children, so his presence alone is a dream come true. And while Nick may be working 80 hrs a week and only home for a few hours each day, I am grateful for the time he is here with us and the fact that Logan will be raised with two loving parents in the same home. He may not be here to help with diaper changes and constant screaming, but knowing he will come home each day is enough to keep me going. I always know I have his support and he will do anything for his family.
So while the last 3 weeks might be far from the way I planned them, I wouldn't change anything. This is the life I've dreamed of... the life I hoped for... and for that I am grateful.
1st Photo Shoot- 1 week old
10:07:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments
dear Logan (2 weeks)
9:51:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments
We've survived our first week together, just the two of us. Daddy is back at work all day every day, and it's just me and you growing and learning together. There is nothing I love more in life than the way you stare into my eyes longingly, and the closeness we feel for each other unlike anything I've ever imagined. You're happiest in my arms, and although it can be exhausting I love being the one to console and comfort you.
You've only been in this world for 2 weeks, but it feels like a lifetime. I can't imagine life without you. You are developing more and more of a personality every day, and you remind me so much of your daddy. From those dimples to the silly faces you make, especially when you're grumpy, you're definitely your daddy's son.
Most days you are a smiley, happy baby throughout the day, always easily consoled and only crying when you're hungry, but at 10:30pm every night you become colicky and mad at the world. It has been quite the challenge. Your daddy and I were both difficult babies, so unfortunately we're not surprised. Most nights you stay wide awake screaming until 6am, despite every effort on our parts. It kills me to hear you screaming in pain the way you do. We've been trying a lot of new things like bottle-feeding (with breastmilk only!), gripe water, and some serious swaddling, and I think we're finally making progress. Your belly still seems to hurt, but you're sleeping more and more every night. We also bought you a magical musical sheep, and you're madly in love. You watch it with wide eyes until drifting off to your dreams. It has been a lifesaver. You aren't a big fan of the paci, and you are definitely a boob man. Nothing comforts you more. It takes a lot of convincing for you to try the bottle for feedings, and you still look at me as if it's some sort of trick. All I want is to make you happy and trusting of the world you're in, and I will continue to try everything I can to make life better for you.
I'm constantly torn between wanting life to stand still, to keep you my tiny little newborn forever, and looking forward to watching you grow into a little man. My life has taken on a whole new meaning since the day you were born, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Even when you've been screaming for hours and I haven't slept in days, there's no where else I'd rather be. One look into your eyes makes my heart melt. I never knew I could be this happy in life.
Logan's Birth Story: Reflections
Nearly 2 weeks since the most traumatizing day of my life, and I am still far from accepting the way in which Logan was brought into this world. Above all I am grateful that he is here and healthy, but I still can't let go of the natural, unmedicated birth I planned and hoped for. It would be somewhat easier if only a few small details were different from my ideal birth, but instead I feel as if everything about it was the opposite of what I wanted.
10:21:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments
The hardest feeling to deal with has been feeling like a failure. I have struggled with this feeling for quite some time now, due to our struggles with infertility prior to conceiving Logan. I never completely dealt with our infertility, but easily pushed it out of my mind when Logan became a reality. When I didn't go into labor on my own I felt like I had failed once again. But the ultimate feeling of failure came after I gave everything I had to bring my baby boy into this world safely, and was still told it would never happen and a cesarean was the only option.
I feel cheated out of the amazing experience I looked forward to for so long. I'm angry that my son laid alone for 4 hours before I got the chance to meet him. It breaks my heart to think that he wasn't immediately put into my arms to be comforted and consoled.
I will likely never get to experience a vaginal birth, and I don't know it I will ever really come to terms with my experience bringing Logan into this world. I wonder if I could have done more, or done anything differently to change his delivery. I wish I could feel proud of myself when I look at Logan, but instead I only feel lucky.
Birth Story: Part 2
Read Part 1 of Logan's birth story for the reason for induction, the first 8+ hours of labor, and the reason I opted for an epidural rather than the unmedicated birth I hoped for.
5:38:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 2 Comments
Thursday, February 2, 2012. A day I will never forget. A day that marks the most traumatic, emotional day of my life. A day that brought my precious son into the world, and for that I am grateful.
Following the administration of the epidural, my labor became much more peaceful but also much less exciting. Progress was initially slow, and I found myself becoming more and more disappointed in my own body's inability to do what it was intended to do. I had struggled to become pregnant, I was unable to begin labor naturally, and now my body was continuing to fail me despite increased doses of Pitocin. Nick remained by my side, encouraging me to remain positive and remember that we were doing what was best for our son.
By mid-afternoon, my cervix finally began dilating. At 3:30 pm and 6cm, I requested to have the anesthesiologist turn off my epidural so that I could feel the final stage of labor. At 3:45pm I was 8cm. Things were finally working, and I was becoming hopeful and excited for what was to come. My inlaws arrived from NC, and by 5pm I was 9cm and almost ready to push. My epidural was finally beginning to wear off, and I had much of the feeling back in my legs and could feel more and more pressure. My nurse felt confident I would push for only 20-30 minutes, and I couldn't believe I was finally going to meet my baby boy. I invited the inlaws to stay in the room, and by 5:30pm the excitement began.
It wasn't long before the nurse told me the last thing I wanted to hear: Logan was face-up. My doctor had mentioned it that morning, but was sure that he would naturally turn as he passed further through the birth canal. My nurse reassured me that it was still possible for this to happen as I pushed, it might just mean that I ended up pushing longer than expected. She couldn't have been more right.
At 6pm my doctor returned to the room, and apologized that she would be leaving shortly and most likely not able to be present for the actual delivery of Logan. I was not at all upset, and told her to go home and enjoy an evening with her family. She's a wonderful doctor and I wouldn't have wanted anyone else to follow me throughout my pregnancy, but I honestly did not care what doctor was there to catch my baby at the last minute. I had a fantastic nurse and a supportive husband and inlaws at my side.
I continued to push. I pushed with every muscle in my body. I focused on my son, and with every pain and effort I knew I was one step closer to seeing his beautiful face. I felt a surge of energy and power, and used every bit of it as my nurse and family cheered me on. So I pushed, and pushed, and pushed. And nothing happened.
Despite every effort of myself and the nurse, Logan was not turning. He was descended as far into the birth canal as he could naturally go due to his positioning.
Every detail from this point on is a little cloudy. I can feel the tears forming as I remember these moments, and the frustration and overwhelming fear that grew from what should have been a joyous occasion. Instead, it was a nightmare.
I pushed for a total of 2.5 hours. At one point the on-call physician introduced herself and almost immediately insisted I have a cesarean section. I refused and informed her that I was determined to have my baby vaginally. He had shown no signs of distress throughout the Pitocin administration and pushing, so I felt it was safe. She allowed me to push a little longer. We tried various positions, but Logan wouldn't budge.
My nurse suggested using a vacuum to assist in delivery, and after much hesitation and discussion I agreed. I didn't like the idea, but I still felt it was safer that surgery. I never imagined I could experience so much pain. I had previously had both the nurse and doctor try to manually turn Logan with 2 hands completely inside of me, and still that didn't compare to the pain I felt with the vacuum. I vomited, I cried, and I pushed with everything inside of me. After two unsuccessful attempts and a fever of 102 the doctor left me little choice- I was going to deliver via emergency cesarean.
Before I knew it my room was full of people preparing for the emergency surgery. As I signed the consent with tears rolling down my cheeks, barely able to breathe I was so distraught, my doctor informed me that due to Logan being so low for so long, my uterus would likely tear during surgery. She also made sure I understood that due to the significant swelling of my bladder due to prolonged pushing, it was also at high risk of rupture during surgery. I couldn't form words or even coherent thoughts, so I simply nodded my head and waited for the inevitable.
I was rushed to surgery and everything happened so quickly. I continued to vomit on the OR table, and could barely hold still I was sobbing so uncontrollably. With my fever, the high risk of complications, and all of the other disappointments of the day, I had no idea what to expect. I just wanted it to all be over. The NICU nurses were on hand to assist with Logan, and I used the last bit of energy I had to pray that he would be okay.
Miraculously, at 8:38pm, Logan was delivered and immediately let out the most beautiful cry I had ever heard. There was no sweeter sound. A full assessment showed that despite passing meconium and a 20+ hr labor, he was perfect. He was healthy enough to be taken to the well-baby nursery in his father's arms, and for the first time all day I felt relief and peace. My baby was here and going to be okay.
I didn't meet my son until 12:30am, but it was the most magical moment of my life. The moment I laid eyes on him my tears finally dried. He was worth so much more than every pain and disappointment I had experienced over the last 24 hours. My nightmare ended and our new journey together began. His dark blue eyes took away my sadness and opened my heart to the joy of motherhood. I had never been more proud. I stayed awake all night (and the next 3 days), staring longingly into the face of the most beautiful, precious soul I had ever met. Every cliche about becoming a mother immediately became true. My life was complete.
Logan's Birth Story- Part 1
It all began with a routine scheduled appointment with my OB at 40+5 weeks. We learned that I was still only a fingertip dilated, 70% effaced, and Logan was engaged but still at +2 station (no change from the previous 2 weeks). It was the time I had been dreading... the time to begin talking about induction.
4:28:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments
Before any decisions were to be made, it was important to me to have a full biophysical profile done of Logan to help determine what was best for him. I have always been against elective inductions and wanted to avoid one at all cost, but ultimately the most important thing was what was best for Logan. The doctor sent us on our way to triage at the Women's hospital ER to have the U/S and additional lab work done. Three hours later we learned that due to low amniotic fluid (4.5) and Logan measuring nearly a week ahead of my due date, my doctor had decided to admit me and begin an induction at midnight. This was the first in a long series of events I had to accept would be nothing like I had planned or ever wanted for the birth of this precious little boy.
As difficult as it was to accept that I would not have the natural birth I had hoped for, I must admit that I was excited and anxious to finally meet our son. I remained positive and was very hopeful that things would still go they way I had imagined. Nick went home to gather the last of our things, and I made myself comfortable in the room that Logan would make his appearance in. A few friends stopped by from work, and we anxiously awaited midnight when the administration of pitocin would begin. As anti-induction as I have always been I am even more against the use of pitocin to induce pregnancy, but I knew this was what my doctor felt was best for my son and I trusted her opinion and expertise (and, for the record, still do).
Contractions began shortly after the beginning of the infusion. I was dilated 1cm at the start of pitocin, and still 70% effaced. Not a great starting point, but I still felt confident in my body. My doctor assured me we were going to do a long, slow infusion of pitocin and hope that it kicked my body into active labor and wouldn't need further intervention. When she arrived at 8am the next morning I was 90% effaced, but still only 1cm dilated. No progress at all after 8 hours of pitocin. My contractions were very intense (my pitocin had been increased rapidly throughout the early morning by my nurses) but I was still hoping for an unmedicated birth. Birthing ball at my side, iPod in my ears, my husband at my side, and determination in my heart.
The first of bad things to come was around that same time when I developed a slow leak of amniotic fluid... meconium-stained amniotic fluid. Another potential complication that had kept me awake at night through the last few weeks of pregnancy. I informed my doctor and she suggested further breaking my membranes to help facilitate labor. I agreed. Within no time my contractions became unbearable, coming only 60 seconds apart and sending my body into full convulsions. My cervix was rechecked... still 1 cm. Everything was beginning to fall apart. I asked how much longer I should expect to be in labor, and my doctor truthfully answered that it would likely be another 12-18 hours. Not what I wanted to hear. I felt like a failure... not only did my body fail to begin labor on its own, but now, despite continued efforts, we were getting no where.
I fought through the pain as best as I could. Unfortunately due to the pitocin I was strapped to my bed for continuous fetal monitoring and could not walk or use my birthing ball as planned. I tried a dose of Nubain shortly after and although it successfully took the edge off my pain so that I could again breathe through the contractions, it only helped for approximately 20-30 minutes. I moaned, I cried, and held my husband's hand... and 3 hours later I broke down and asked for an epidural.
If the story ended there I would still be disappointed, but the epidural was only the beginning of difficult decisions I never hoped to make. But honestly, at the time, I didn't even feel like I had a decision. The pain was so intense, I knew there was absolutely no way I could survive through 12-18 more hours of that pain and still have any energy left to push for delivery. I accepted and moved on, and tried to enjoy my new-found relaxation and comfort.
Reliving this story for the first-time is already draining me emotionally... and I'm not even to the hard part yet. I remind myself that regardless of how the story unfolds, the ending is the same- a precious, beautiful, healthy baby boy. Part 2 to follow.
- ► 2013 (38)
- watch me grow! (3 weeks)
- dear Logan (3 weeks)
- 52 weeks of Logan: week 3
- So very grateful
- Watch me grow! (week 2)
- Watch me grow! (week 1)
- 52 weeks of Logan: week 2
- 52 weeks of Logan: Week 1
- 1st Photo Shoot- 1 week old
- dear Logan (2 weeks)
- My Valentines
- Logan's Birth Story: Reflections
- Birth Story: Part 2
- Logan's Birth Story- Part 1
- He's finally here!
- ▼ Feb (15)
- ► 2011 (57)
- ► 2010 (65)