Monday, September 30, 2013

cooper (1 month old)

Wow! I can't even begin to understand how fast this month has gone by. I feel like time is literally just flying by and I don't think I like it. It is so cool to see Coop growing and changing but I feel like it is going too fast. This past month has been so incredible. There have definitely been some tough times but overall this is so amazing. Seeing this little guy that we created grow and change is so cool. He is the perfect combination of James and I. He has James' cheeks, ears, & eyes and he has my nose, lips, finger, & toes. His hair is actually from both of us! We both had lots of dark hair when we were born, so it will be to see how it changes as he gets older. He is perfect in every single way! 

Cooper @ 1 month

Weight: 10lb 13oz That is right... over 2 pounds since birth! It is actually 2lbs in 2 weeks. Our little chunky but is a growing boy for sure!! Like most newborns he lost weight by the time we left the hospital but by two weeks old he had gained it back and now has gained lots more!! 

Sleeping: This past month has had its ups and downs in the sleep department. The first night at home was horrible! We were up all night and by the next morning we looked and felt like zombies. We soon realized sleeping in our bedroom was too hard and it was much easier to stay up with him. We stayed in the living room for 2 weeks and soon realized Cooper only liked to sleep on top of us. If we put him in the basinet or pack n play he would wake up every hour and if we put him on top of us he would sleep 3 to 4 hours. So as you can probably guess we chose sleep! I have always said I would never let my child sleep in bed with me but I guess the joke was on me! Cooper has been in bed with us since week 2! Now a days he sleeps 4 to 5 hours at a time. We normally feed him around 9:00-10:00, 2:00, and 5:30-6 and I am totally okay with that. I have talked to some friends that their babies wake up every two hours so I feel pretty blessed with his sleeping habits. 

Eating: Man oh man this is a very sour subject for us. From day one we have had problems. I had planned to exclusively breast feed for at least 6 weeks and then once I got a job go to morning and night feeding and formula during the day. Well since the beginning Cooper has had stomach issues. This boy has gas like a grown man. At first we thought it was my diet so I literally cut out everything, I was pretty much only eating cheerios (without milk), chicken breast (without seasoning), and wheat-thins. It sucked but I felt it would be so worth it once Cooper's gas issues went away but that never happened. He continued to have lots of gas and lots of crying spells. I could just see the pain in his eyes and it broke my heart. And on top of that Cooper had jaundice. The doctor wanted us to put him in the sunlight and give him sugar water and start supplementing to get as much fluid as possible to get him to use the bathroom more and flush the jaundice out. That was a really hard decision for me. I so badly wanted to only nurse him at first but I knew my babies health needed to come before my personal needs. I decided that as long as I could still nurse him that meant he was getting all the good things he needed from me so we chose to supplement until the jaundice was gone. It took a lot longer than expected to get the jaundice out of his system and with all of his belly issues it has been a nightmare. It has been a month of trial and error and just trying to figure out what would work with his system. 
So as of this weekend we have decided to give him formula during the day and I nurse him at night. His belly issues have gotten better because we put Karo Syrup in his bottles. Letting go of my dreams of exclusively breastfeeding was so hard and I still struggle with it but I just try to tell myself it is fine. He has already gotten so many beneficial things from the time I have been nursing him. He has obviously done well with the formula by his 2lb gain so I am happy to finally getting this pain to go away. Let's just hope it continues to work!

Liking: This little guy is a cuddle bug!! He loves being held and just rocking and being loved on. It is absolutely the sweetest thing and melts my heart. He loves hanging out in his swing, bouncer, and boppy. He loves being swaddled. Loves the carseat and really loves riding in the car. And most of all loves his mommy and daddy ;)

Disliking: he hates bath time, like really hates it! He screams the entire time. He hates tummy time unless it is on our chest. He doesn't like getting his diaper changed or changing his clothes.

new mom @ 1 month
I am doing really great! Motherhood is everything I could have imagined plus so much more. I am loving every minute of having Cooper in my life. I think the hardest part of being a mom is being confident in my decisions. I just want to do everything right and sometimes I have to remind myself that no one is perfect and every new mom makes mistakes. Lack of sleep is surprisingly not affecting me as much as I thought it would. It seems like my body has just adjusted to my new sleep schedule. I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight but my body is no where near being back to normal. After having an 8lb 11 oz baby I didn't have much more to lose so the weight came off way easier than I could have imagined, so I guess I am grateful for that but these stretch marks and body changes will take some getting used to. 
A couple weeks ago I was offered a 4th grade teaching position at my dream school. I was beyond excited to finally be a real teacher and especially at such a great school that is literally 2 seconds from our house but the thought of leaving little man is terrifying. We never thought I would get a job after the school year already started so in my mind I figured I would just be a SAHM until an opening became available so when this opportunity arose so quickly after Coop being born it was a shock. It is something I can't pass up for so many reasons. Having a job will take a lot of stress off of James financially, it will allow us to provide Cooper with all of his needs (and most of his wants), and it will allow me to follow my dreams of being a teacher. Cooper will be going to my aunt's mom's house where she is an in-home sitter for 2 other kids. She is great with kids and I know he will love it there but I will miss him so much! I guess weekends will have a whole new meaning now! Being this little boy's mother is the best gift I could have ever been given and I am thanking God every single day for it.

new dad @ 1 month
James is doing a fantastic job at being a dad. He had pretty much no experience with babies before Cooper was born so he was terrified to say the least about having our own little one, but you would never know it now a days. Actually within the first 24 hours he became a natural at it. He is a pro a swaddling!! He is such a hands-on dad and loves Cooper so much. It is truly amazing to see the love this man has for our son. He was able to spend the first week at home with us and it was such a special time for our family. We were able to spend lots of time bonding and becoming a family of 3. Now that James is back at work things are a little different. He works all day and then when he gets home he hurries to wash his hands and grabs Coop as soon as he can!! He spends the entire night playing, cuddling, feeding, and changing little man. He is such a great dad, it just melts my heart!

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

cooper's birth story

The past three weeks have flown by and before I forget any of the details of the absolute best day of my life I want to take the time to write Cooper's birth story so I can always look back on such a special day.

A couple weeks before Cooper was born I started to feel the pains of pregnancy. Up until then there were some rough patches but overall the pregnancy was amazing and I really enjoyed my being pregnant. By week 37 I was feeling it. I was just done. It was August in Louisiana and I was exhausted. I wasn't sleeping, I was swollen, and very uncomfortable so when the doctor informed me that I wasn't making much progress the question of induction was brought up. My grandmother and my mother had all of their children late and the thought of being pregnant more than 40 weeks was a no go for this mama to be. I wanted my little man here as soon as possible. So we scheduled my induction for August 26th at 10 pm.

Last bump picture!!! Extremely large and in charge!!!!

When the day finally came it seemed like the day dragged on forever. I just wanted it to be 10pm and in the hospital. My grandmother and I spent the day around town trying to stay busy and get any last minute items purchased and ready. Once James got off of work we went and grabbed dinner, dropped the puppies off, and then headed home to wait for 10pm. At 9pm we called the hospital to make sure there was a room available and then started packing the car up and getting ready to head out. Once arriving at the hospital we were checked into our labor and delivery room and started getting the ball rolling. The nurses gave me some meds to soften my cervix and then in four hours they would check to see if I needed another dose or if they would start the pitocin. We were told to just relax and try and get some sleep. Well that is easier said than done... at least for me. Hubs was snoring on the couch all night long while I tried to keep busy watching tv and playing on the iPad. At 3:30 the nurse came in and checked my cervix. She decided I would not get another dose of meds and at around 6:00am they would start pitocin. Even though we were being induced I still had hopes of having a semi-natural birth without pain medication. I knew that getting pitocin would make it a lot harder but I decided to just see what happened. I was not against the epidural I just felt like my body was created to birth children and so many women before me did it so why couldn't I?

Well 6:00am came and went  and the nurse never came to give me the pitocin (there was an emergency delivery that required all of the nurses). Around 6:30am James and I were talking and laughing and all of a sudden I felt a rush of water. I looked at James and said "Either my water just broke or I peed myself!! Go get the nurse!" When the nurse came in she confirmed my water had indeed broken and I was 2cm dilated. She was surprised my water had broken on its own and we decided to hold off on the pitocin and see if things progressed naturally. She knew my wishes and even though she didn't think things would progress on their own she decided to give me a little time to see. Well she was wrong, things started progressing and they progressed very quickly. By 11am I was at 7 1/2 cm and still doing it without an epidural. The contractions were intense but breathing is everything. It is crazy how much breathing helps the labor process.

At about 11:30 everything changed. Cooper's heart rate dropped. As in it went from the 150's to the 50's and thats when all hell broke loose. I lost my breathing, people were running around like crazy, the nurses were flipping me around in all different positions to try and bring it back up but nothing was working. At this point I was gone. I would open my eyes but I couldn't see, I couldn't even really comprehend what people were saying to me, and the pain began. And man was it intense, it is crazy the difference breathing makes! The doctor came in and they had me signing papers in case an emergency c-section was needed and at that moment I knew I needed to get the epidural. My biggest fear was having to have an emergency c-section and not being able to be awake during the birth of my child. I knew I needed to get the epidural just incase. Being awake for my baby's first breath and cry were much more important to me than my dreams of having my baby without pain medication.

So the anesthesiologist was brought in and the epidural was put in. But it wasn't as easy as that. The epidural did not work!! I was still feeling everything, actually I was feeling more!! The pain was way more intense with an epidural than without. I know it sounds crazy but it was and I was freaking out. That was the only time I raised my voice! I had done so well staying calm until then. The anesthesiologist didn't believe me. She was saying "You will still feel something, it doesn't take all the pain away" as I am pretty much crawling up the bed in pain. I was pissed! Luckily my nurse knew something wasn't right and went to get another doctor. They ended up taking the first one out and putting a new one in and it worked! Within a minute I felt relief and knew it was working.

While all of this was going on they gave me some medicine to slow my contractions down and hopefully bring his heart rate up so that we could avoid a c-section. Luckily between the medicine and the epidural it worked and slowly his heart rate began to rise. It was such a relief to know he was better.  The last three centimeters went by so slow! I didn't get to 10 cm until 5pm! Luckily I had such a great support system there to keep me distracted and entertained! We had my mom, grandmother, best friend (Cooper's godmother), my aunt, my cousin, my brother, and James' parents there to support us throughout the labor process. It was so nice to have them there. When I was contracting I was able to tune them out and concentrate on my breathing but when I wasn't contracting I was able to visit and make the time go by faster and then once the epidural was in we just laughed and talked all afternoon. They were so supportive and I am so grateful they were there for me on such a special day. It meant the world to James and I.

This is right before his heart rate dropped and everything went out the window!
At around 5:15 our family went out to the waiting room and I began pushing. We chose to ask Cooper's godmother, Ashlyn, to be in the room taking pictures while he was born. She is my absolute best girlfriend and I knew how honored she would be to witness her godson's birth. We have been best friends for 17 years and she is like the sister I never had. At first it was so hard because I didn't know what I was doing. And with the epidural I couldn't really feel what I was doing either. But after a few pushes I got the hang of it. After an hour and a half of pushing our little man was born at 6:39pm on August 27, 2013. It was the best moment of my life. Seeing that beautiful boy for the first time and hearing him cry took my breath away. All I could do was cry. He was perfect in every single way and he was our baby. When the doctor placed him on my chest and I looked into those eyes I couldn't believe that the baby I have been praying for was finally here. He is everything I ever wanted and more. The nurses took him to check him out, clean him, and weigh him while the doctor sewed me up. Once he was cleaned and weighed they brought him to me for skin to skin and to try and breastfeed. I couldn't believe how fast he began rooting and looking to nurse. He had a little trouble latching the first time but eventually got the hang of it. After a little while they needed to wrap him up and we allowed our family to come back in and meet our beautiful 8lb 11oz baby boy! The love and support we received was so special. Sharing such a special moment with people that love us so much is something I will never forget.

My doctor was so supportive  throughout my entire pregnancy and delivery. I couldn't have asked for better!
doesn't this picture just make you giggle?!?

Watching this man as a father is so sweet. He was so scared at first and then as soon as they put Coop in his arms all the fear faded away and he was a natural.
this picture makes me tear up. she has been so supportive throughout this journey and this was the first time she saw him!
Parrain and Cooper
Cooper's great-grandmother 
mimzy and pop
Our hospital has a button that the new dads get to press and a song plays throughout the entire hospital to let them know a new baby has been born!

Cooper's birth was far from easy and very eventful but he is here and healthy and that is all that matters. We are absolutely smitten with this boy and just can't get enough of him. He has brought new meaning into our lives and changed both of us in so many ways. All of the small things don't matter anymore, all that matters is our little family.
The Gautreaux's

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

little man is finally here!!

Cooper James Gautreaux
August 27, 2013
8lb 11oz   20 1/4 in
That's right our beautiful boy is here and perfect in every single way. The last two weeks have been filled with laughs, tears, dirty diapers, and lots and lots of cuddles! 

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