Thursday, May 31, 2012

Late Night Brainstorming

It's 11:25 PM. Any mother in her right mind would be sleeping right now. (Sleep when the baby sleeps and all that jazz.) Normally I would agree and would be attempting it at least. Sometimes, though, you just have to give in to that old part of you that still has her best ideas at night (at least I do).

It is interesting how the method for recording these ideas has changed. When the room looks like this you can't simply pick up a pen and paper and record.

My old method of coping was a flashlight that may or may not have been held in my mouth, a pen, and paper. Now, the pen, paper and flashlight have been replaced with this.

Pen and paper is still my favorite way of brainstorming, but I'm all for easier ways for nighttime ideas :)


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Learning Process

We are in a learning process, as you all know. Please bear with us! I desire to blog these days, but I'm just not sure what to blog or when I have time. Don't give up on us please! We'll be back I promise.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Alexi Joy Troyer - Birth Story

Friday, April 20:

This was our first past due appointment; our midwife had just arrived back from her vacation and our focus was now on having this baby ASAP. I knew the conversation was going to be about inducing, no one wants you going more than 42 weeks and we were approaching it fast. Induction was such and ugly word to my ears. As I wanted a natural birth, drug free, induction meant there was going to be drugs to make me go into labor. But there was no choice, an induction would be scheduled. She offered to do it right then, but I wanted to give myself a little more time to try to go into it naturally. We set it for Tuesday, April 24, trying to give ourselves time also to heal before introducing her to my siblings who were coming up that weekend.

I was 3 cm dilated still but most of the way effaced and her head was ready to be born. The last thing Bonnie did was to do a membrane sweep. She said that she had some patients that didn't even make it out to there cars after that procedure before their water broke, but others weren't affected at all. Can't say it was the most pleasant experience, but I was willing to try it hoping for a more natural beginning to labor. We hung around Alpena waiting for anything to happen (which it didn't) and eventually went home.

Saturday, April 21:

3:00 AM I had the normal bathroom run. First I noticed some bloody show, which worried me a bit because I didn't know if I should be. I came back to the bed but found myself increasingly uncomfortable and unable to sleep. By 3:30 I decided to relocate to the living room still feeling odd and very uncomfortable. Around 4:00 I had the first of many distinct contractions. It came in the form of sharp back pain and it took until 10:00 for me to figure out what it feels like for them to start. And by then they had slowed down enough that I made it through that day without too many problems, sleeping when I could, eating some knowing I'd need the strength.

The coping methods I used were deep breaths, pressure from fists (remember it was back labor), changing positions when necessary, and a system of timer watching. The timer watching went something like this: when I started the timer at the beginning of the contraction I would start deep breathing; when it got to the top of my pain threshold I would look at the timer and it was always at about 30 seconds and I knew that it would only get less painful from there on. I knew beforehand that it would be painful (and I thought it'd be more painful than it ended up being) so I prepared myself to deal with it then rest between them. I did find, because my labor was in my back first and in my hips and legs second that the labor ball did nothing for me. Also, I hurt my knee the week before delivery and couldn't get on all fours, so I was limited to sitting, standing, or lying on my side.

 I tried to sleep in bed that night, but by 3:00 I decided once again to relocate.

Sunday, April 22:

Sometime in the morning the contractions moved from my back into my hips and legs (which I found significantly more painful, but still tolerable) and they became about 6 minutes apart. By 6:30 I told Chad that he should get up and around and we should head to the hospital. At 8:30 we walked in through the ER entrance (main entrance was closed) and checked in. I opted to walk to the OB instead of being wheeled, the goal was still to use gravity as much as I could. Got dressed and all settled in the delivery room and the nurse hooked me up to the monitor. After a little while she went to talk to Bonnie (who was with another delivery patient of hers who had been there all night) and found that they thought she would deliver soon so Bonnie was going to hang there for a while. The nurse came back and checked my progress since Bonnie wasn't going to be coming for a bit. She had a surprise, first she didn't realize that I was as effaced as I was and then she was having problems finding the edge of the cervix because I was so effaced and the head was so far down. The final thought was that I was about 8 or 9 cm dilated, fully effaced, and the head was in position.

Now my water hadn't broken yet and I wasn't feeling the urge to push, so we were still okay for a little bit, but Bonnie came in anyway. Come to find out the other patient had slowed way down and the thought changed to me probably delivering first. I was asked if I wanted to have them break my water to try to get it moving faster. I chose to wait and see if I could get it to break organically by walking around. To no avail...finally sat back down. We decided to get it moving so I wouldn't get too tired out. They broke my water and soon after I was feeling the urge to push. I started pushing and it seemed like forever before Bonnie said "I see long dark hair!" Also, when she said that I could not believe that my child would have dark hair, because I was born white blond. I pushed for about 2 and 1/2 hours and between pushes I dozed (just as I had during the whole labor) pulling laughs from Bonnie, the nurse, and Chad. Until the last 15 to 20 minutes of pushing I would describe the pain as unpleasant but able to be dealt with with no thought of drugs. And the last 15 to 20 minutes was only that long, and it was over.

I don't regret my drug-free birth at all, but that last 15 minutes was/is not easy to forget.

When they put my screaming child on my chest I could not believe that she had been inside me. She was complete, I had had a complete human inside me! While I was still pregnant a blogger that I followed gave birth and I read about her journey. She was surprised that she didn't have a wave of love sweep over her for her child right after birth; she had to start out choosing love. I can totally relate, but my views on love prepared me for that too. Love is a feeling, but even when the feeling isn't there love is a choice. It's a choice I know I have to continue to make in my marriage, and I knew it was one that I would need to choose as a mother. Didn't know I would have to choose it before it would come naturally, but I did and now I couldn't imagine not loving her.

That's Alexi's birth story. A journey I'm not likely to forget soon. (And forgive me if I have grammatical errors or if something doesn't make sense...I'm too lazy to reread this right now, I was doing good to get it all written)

Putting Life Back Together

When we got pregnant with Alexi we knew we were going to have a life change, and we also knew there was no way to know what that change would look like. The knowledge that we couldn't know made the months leading up to her birth stressful and a bit scary. I can say now that there is a big change, but there really isn't a good way to describe what it is. It's like life is a puzzle and we just barely had it sorted when the piece all fell on the floor. Then, come to find out, we didn't have all of the pieces. Life was good before her, and we had a pretty good handle on life. We just didn't know how much we were missing without her.

Some of the highlights of my days lately have shown me just how this simple little one has found her way in my heart.

  • The prewake-up stretches she gives that warns me she'll want me soon.
  • Her scrunched face as she has a little whimper in her sleep
  • The satisfied smile after a fart
  • Her very complete, back arching stretch when I first pick her up after waking up
  • Her cheeks that are becoming more chubby every day
  • Her body relaxing as she gives into sleep while lying on me
  • Watching her nap while I enjoy a cup of coffee or tea (read caffeine)
  • How in love Chad's and my parents are with our little girl
Now that we have all of the puzzle pieces we are back to sorting, even resorting the parts of life that we thought we had figured out before. It's a learning process, but it's something we are facing head on. Our house is a disaster, has been for months. Each day I tackle something little on top of keeping up in the kitchen and making myself presentable. Makes for slow going, but each step brings one more thread of sanity back into our life, one more puzzle piece in the right pile.

I'm excited to see these changes, and my prayer is that Christ's strength will rise up in me to make me into the wife and mother He's prepared me to be.

Friday, May 11, 2012

A Big Day - The First of Many

We've been growing in many ways over here. Physically little girl is getting longer and heavier; gaining head control; growing the sharpest nails I've ever had tickle/scratch me. Emotionally the Mr. and I have been growing more and more in love with this little pretty lady, and I'm very happy to report that I have recovered from the feeding lesson and bottle time is one of our favorite times. She is spending even more awake time and during that time has started focusing on our faces for brief pauses. And, if you ask my mother and me, she is most definitely smiling at more times then when she is farting!! Oh, and vocally she is expanding her skills too; she has added an ah (short a) with her cries and whines. Watching this rapid growth is the most rewarding thing I've ever experienced!

Yesterday we had a big things happen. First, I was able to button and zip my first pair of regular jeans!

Alexi took her first walk in the stroller to meet the ladies at the credit union and the food market.

I told the fun news of our walk to one of my dear friends and this was her response. I love my friends!

When we got home she had some tummy time in her crib which turned into her first nap in her crib. She was very chipper when she woke up too!

I'm so glad that this is my life! God is good!!


Monday, May 7, 2012

The Question of Revealing

The dilemma has presented itself. How much of life am I willing to reveal, knowing there are strong opinions out there? I believe I have come to a conclusion (or will have by the end of this post), and will now embark on the journey of writing about our first two weeks.

Leading up to the birth of little Alexi I focused on the desires I had for a natural birth and how to cope with pain to achieve that. During that time I focused only a little on the things I needed to know for the first couple weeks. Yes, I did do initial study of baby baths, cord care, and what to expect diaper-wise. I even had read a book on breastfeeding. But my focus was clearly on the birthday of our child. (eventually some version of a birth story will be posted)

After meeting Alexi for the first time, the baby nurse (a certified lactation consultant) helped be to latch her on for the first time. Hasty instructions were given and I was left with my baby girl to bond and for her to eat. Many of the nurses that we had in the next 24 hours were ready and willing to help me with breastfeeding but I found myself struggling.

I wasn't sure how to ask the questions I had, so I asked nothing. I was stressed being there in the hospital, and that affected both how I nursed and how she fed. When we left the hospital she had dropped from 7lb 11oz to 6lb 15oz. Over the next week she gained weight and was doing great physically; I could say honestly that she was doing great. As night time would roll around, though, Chad could paint a pretty terrible picture of my mental state. Getting barely any sleep coupled with being on call all of the time (and having my energy literally sucked out of me each feeding) I was a wreck. As I got more tired and stressed, Alexia's latch got worse and soon I found myself in lots of pain. I so wanted breastfeeding to work and to love it that I was growing super frantic. After nights and nights of lots of tears and me not functioning, Chad started suggesting a switch to formula.

The last thing I wanted to consider was switching to formula when baby girl was doing fine. It felt so selfish to talk about taking away her perfect food for the formula. I was a formula fed baby and turned out perfectly healthy, I had just read so much and believe that breast really is best (I mean God made it). I also really wanted to experience the bonding that breastfeeding can be. All of these desires just made me so stressed to make it work that there was no getting her to latch correctly. I was looking for permission to give up. Mostly I was looking for permission from myself. I had conversations with my mom, support from my Mr. and did research on switching to formula online.

I took a deep breath and said yes to Chad one afternoon and walked out of the house. He had the bottle, the formula, the instructions, and the baby. She took the bottle perfectly. It was hard on me, still is at times, but I wouldn't take back that choice. Even without getting any more sleep, I immediately felt the difference of not having baby girl suck the energy out of me and having the ability to have husband take a turn feeding. And about that bonding, Alexi has spent the most time looking in my eyes and bonding with me since the switch.

So there it is, our baby girl is formula fed. The choice was made for momma's sanity and that's okay. I have theories how it could have been a better situation with different preparation, but for the time being, we are recovering from being over exhausted and cherishing time with our little newborn.


Thursday, May 3, 2012


Being parents is understandably tiring and Mr. and I are working on readjusting to life now. I did great capturing photos of the first 4 days of life for this little girl, so I thought I'd let y'all enjoy more photos until my brain starts working again.