Sunday, October 24, 2010

maxwell: beast/wells/newbaby/wellsmax

4 weeks old today! i still can't quite believe i have 6 children. i guess the 9 months of pregnancy weren't enough to prepare me. i really, truly, and seriously can't believe i've had a baby for almost a month. i think that most of my brain is taken up with other things and i'm just fitting the baby in between things. it's a good thing i'm nursing him so i get a good excuse to really hold him every couple of hours.

so, here's the rundown on the bub. he weighed 7.11 lbs when he was born, and at his 2-week checkup he was 8.1 lbs, so he's filling out quickly. he's working on a bit of a double chin. it's funny that he can seem chunky, since he's still a full pound lighter than gretchy was when she was born. ouch! i'll take the 7-pounders any day, that's for sure. he sleeping really well at night (i feed him at 8:15 and he doesn't nurse again until 5:00) and is taking some pretty good naps during the day. the kids all love him, of course, and it's nice to have so many helpers. pace hates it when i put wells to bed for naps, though, and says that wells will "miss him too much to sleep". we are very glad that wells (so far) is a low-maintenance baby. he is starting to make his first baby-talk noises, which is very cute.

here's the rundown on liesel. 2 weeks ago the dr. said that the next 2-3 weeks would be the hardest yet. liesel and i about died. we were like "um, i thought we already were doing really hard.....". the first week after he made that announcement actually went well (as well as being in lots of pain and having a no-fun external fixator can be), but last week was a bear. by far her worst since the first week after the surgery. her main pain right now is from the muscles being stretched so tight. her leg has now been stretched 4 1/2 centimeters, and her muscles are really fighting it. her dr. is really proud of how she's handling it. i think she might be his best patient ever.
we got good news on friday, though! we are done with the stretching phase, which means the muscles will have a chance to catch up, and the pain should get more manageable. we have a couple more days of turning the struts on the fixator to get her knee aligned better (her knee was slightly knock-kneed, and the bone in her lower leg was bowed, so the dr. is using the fixator to correct some of that). we'll go back to the dr. on tuesday to find out if the knee is in place. already, her pain is much more manageable in her thigh than it was last week. her knee is pretty sore today, but overall it's much better. she was able to walk around last night a bit at the halloween party we were at, which she couldn't have done at all on thursday. we are hoping that it keeps getting better!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! now we just hope the next 5 months pass VERY quickly (4 in the external fixator, 1 without the fixator, but on crutches/walker/wheelchair again to make sure the bone is stable).

oh, i forgot to tell about maxwell's labor/birth. friday night (october 1st) loren and i went on a brisk hour-long walk--my goal was to have maxwell over the weekend so loren wouldn't have to come rushing home from work (even though it was almost 2 weeks before my due date, i was done being pregnant--plus, i'd been dilated to a 3-4 for almost a week by then). saturday all day i was really crampy and achy and had some really big contractions, but nothing regular. by saturday night i was having more contractions--still nothing regular, but hard enough that i called loren while he was at the priesthood session of general conference and had him come home from it early. when he got home we went on another walk (not brisk at all--more like a waddle, and only around the culdesac a couple of times). it still didn't make the contractions any more regular, so i decided to take a bath to actually stop the contractions so i could go to bed. i got to bed at about 12:00 a.m. and slept until 2:00 when i got woken up by a whopping big contraction. i expected to start having contractions then every 2 minutes or so, since that's what i did with all the other kids, but i didn't have another one for 15 minutes. it was another huge one, though. i waited for one more contraction (15 minutes later again), and then woke loren up to tell him that even though the contractions were 15 minutes apart, it was definitely the real thing. we left for the hospital at about 3:00. i was trying out the hypnobirthing method for the first time (i highly recommend it, by the way, if you are going for a natural childbirth) so i started doing my deep breathing/relaxation stuff. at the hospital we got all checked in and i was dilated to a 7. the contractions were still 10-15 minutes apart, so i was totally able to relax in between each one. they stayed that far apart until i was a 9, and then i had a few that were 5 minutes apart, and then i felt like i was going to have to push soon, so the nurse got the dr. and i pushed through 3 or 4 contractions (these were the ones that really hurt--i do not like my transition/pushing contractions at all!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and he was born at 8:45 a.m. i got to hold wells right away for a long time before they took him away for cleaning and all that other stuff. he nursed right off and was making everyone laugh because he was gulping and swallowing like he was getting tons of milk, but of course it was only a couple of drops.
anyway, i really liked the hypnobirthing method--it was a very calm way to go through labor. the recovery was easier, too, because i hadn't expended much energy during labor. it was an all-around satisfying way to have my 6th baby.

this picture has nothing to do with anything in this post, but i think it's cute, so here it is. he's being a swim coach for madeline and gretchen. the other day i heard all this whistle-blowing and i looked out and saw the kids taking turns being coaches and swimmers. pace even took turns being a swimmer, doing laps across the pool. his "backstroke" is hilarious. he totally looks like he's drowning because he swims on his back with his face under water and his arms flailing around like crazy. he comes up every few seconds for a breath with a big old grin on his face. somehow he can make it across the whole pool like this. i tried to make a rule that he can't do backstroke anymore, but he wouldn't listen to me.