Hayden and Layla's Place

Layla’s First Week (or so) May 31, 2010

Filed under: Mommy on Layla — karagoodwin @ 3:51 pm
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It’s been about a week and a half now since Layla was born.  She has been a little doll.  She eats really well and really only cries when she is hungry or if her belly hurts (in which case the cry ends after a burp or other such relief).  I wonder if she has been having a little growth spurt the last couple of days as particularly in the evenings she seems to eat for hours on end with little breaks here and there.  She sleeps all the time.  She has more wakeful periods every day, but I think she is only awake a total of about two hours per day. 

So far we have been really lucky with her at night, as she is sleeping well and gets up every 2 – 3 hours to eat (that’s from the start of one feeding to the start of the next).  Her feedings last 45 min to 1 hour at night, including changing her diaper which inevitably wakes her up enough to want to eat some more.  There has only been one night when she decided to wake up right before we were going to bed, and then was awake for a couple of hours (which meant I was awake for a couple of hours).  But the vast majority of the time so far she is going straight down after feeding and allows me to get a couple of hours of sleep before the next one (except for last night where she was up every 2 hours, so I was only getting one hour of sleep between feedings). 

Speaking of feeding, a little off-topic but something I didn’t want to forget was how long Layla fed right after she was born!  With breastfed babies there’s always the big question of how well they will latch on in the beginning.  I didn’t get to feed her until about an hour after she was born.  First they did their tests and all the different things they do to babies right after they are born (and in the meantime they were taking care of me and all the things they do to mommies right after the baby is born).  So once I finally got her back I was able to get her to latch on pretty quickly.  The nurse came over a few minutes after she was already eating, intending to help me and not realizing she’d been latched on for a while (she was impressed – well done, Layla!).  Those first few feedings were so sweet because I almost felt sorry for Layla as she used her instincts to try to get to her food but wasn’t always quite able to get there – either not opening wide enough, not going in the right direction, getting her hands in the way, etc.  So sweet.  Anyway, I hadn’t eaten anything since about 8:00 the previous evening, and by about 5 am, deep into labor, I was starving.  They wouldn’t let me have anything to eat, and there was a good half hour to an hour where I would have given anything for one little cereal bar.  So I imagine Layla was famished by the time she finally got to eat, and she breastfed for over an hour in that first session!  I had to switch sides three times as she just kept going!  If that first session and the following week and a half are anything to go by, we are going to have another good eater on our hands.

In the hospital they gave us 2 swaddle sleep sacks.  We had used these with Hayden and he had responded really well to them, but we must have gotten them when he was a bit older as the ones we have are too big for Layla.  The ones they gave us at the hospital are newborn size, so I washed them once we got home and as soon as we started using those at night she has just slept so well.  At the hospital she would not sleep well in her basinett, even if she was swaddled in a receiving blanket.  I would lay her down so we could both sleep at night and she would cry after about 5 minutes.  When I picked her up she was fine and didn’t necessarily need to eat.  The postpartum ward was not very busy while we were there, and both nights the nurse had come in during the middle of the night and had seen me sitting up in the dark trying to sleep, holding a sleeping Layla on the Boppy pillow.  This was the only way I could get her to sleep in the hospital, and both nights the nurses asked if they could take her to the nursery and rock her until she was hungry so I could get some proper sleep.  I decided to go that route because I wondered if I would ever get any sleep again once we came home and I didn’t have a nurse to rock her while I slept, but she has done a great job since we got home and I think it’s thanks to the swaddle sleep sacks.

The last thing of note is that her umbilical cord fell off this morning.  I seem to remember Hayden had his for a couple of weeks or more; hers definitely seems to have come off faster.  Whenever Hayden sees me changing her diaper and comes to see what’s going on he would ask what was on her belly, so I think he will be glad that it’s gone!


The Usual Suspects

Filed under: Mommy — karagoodwin @ 2:47 pm

Here are all the Goodwins as newborns, lined up for comparison (1. Layla, 2. Hayden, 3. Mommy, 4. John).  No surprise our babies are born with all that dark hair.  I think I look quite big compared to Layla and Hayden (and even John), but I was born THREE WEEKS late.  Here’s a fun fact: I was born on June 9 but my mom’s due date when she was pregnant with me was….. drumroll….. May 21.  This is, of course, Layla’s birthday.  She was due June 3.



Filed under: Dad Blogs on Hayden — JDG @ 12:13 pm

Of late Hayden’s made this shift from calling me Daddy to dad..  The fact it’s only one syllable rather than two really changes the way it sounds.  It sounds really direct so it’s funny hearing him shout Dad at me.  I feel like I’m being told off!!!!

It could be worse for me as from time to time he calls his Mom “Kara!”  He did call me “John” once but I tried to ignore him so he didn’t do it again 😀


Big Brother!!

Filed under: Dad Blogs on Hayden — JDG @ 1:29 am
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As promised my next post would be about how good Hayden’s been with Layla.  There is no easy way to prepare a two year old for baby coming home and we had talked to him about the baby for a while and also Kara had been taking him to see the babies at daycare, but I don’ think he ever understood what was going to happen once the baby was born.

Overall I think he adjusted really well.  Just after she was born he was talking about going to target and buying her a toy.  (he wanted to get her Chick Hicks!  not sure that is her idea of a perfect toy!)

Just the other day I was sitting close to him when he was playing and he turn to me and said “I want to carry the baby over and get her toys and play toys with her”.  Seperate occasion he was playing with his toys and looked over and said “I want the baby to play with this toy and hayden play with this toy”.  He has hasn’t quite realized that the baby can’t play toys yet, but it’s real nice that he wants to involve her!

Everyone has been great with getting Hayden presents for everyone that Layla gets so I think that’s helping a bit.

I think he is going to grow up to be a fantastic big brother.


Layla’s birth May 29, 2010

Filed under: Mommy on Layla — karagoodwin @ 4:14 pm

NOTE: You may have already read John’s blog about the birth.  We decided to each write about the birth from our own perspectives, and not read the other’s until we were done.  I have finished mine now and read his and there is definitely overlap (as you would imagine), but hopefully you will enjoy the different perspectives. 🙂

I was just getting into bed on Thurs, May 20, ready for a good night’s sleep, or at least as good as I could expect being in the last weeks of pregnancy.  As I said goodnight to John I felt something unusual, as though I was wetting the bed a little!  I got up to see what was going on and after a few moments of being unsure of whether my bladder was doing strange late-stage pregnancy things or if my water was actually breaking, it became obvious that it was my water breaking.  I had John get the phone to call the doctor.  I had learned through our classes and various readings that once your water breaks there’s no going back; the baby is coming one way (naturally) or the other (c-section).  However, because I had not been having contractions (at least nothing more than usual, as I had been having mild contractions throughout the day for weeks which is normal) John was completely unconvinced that anything was going to happen that night.  No matter how many times I tried to convince him otherwise he kept saying that they were going to send us home once we got to the hospital because I wasn’t having regular contractions. 

The doctor said to make our way to the hospital, but there wasn’t a big rush.  We called my mom to have her come stay with Hayden, and while we waited for her I took a shower and we both got our odds and ends ready for the hospital.  My mom lives about 45 min away and there was heavy rain that night, so it was over an hour before she got here.  That gave us plenty of time to try to get everything organized.  John had the car all packed away and ready to go by the time we were ready to leave, and you wouldn’t believe how much stuff we took – birthing ball, pillows, bags, cameras, etc. 

I think we got to the hospital a little after midnight.  They had me go to the triage area first to assess me – I was 3 cm dilated at this point – and take care of the paperwork, but I was only in there a short time before they moved me to my labor and delivery room.  There they hooked me up to the fetal monitor, which I would have to have on for most of the labor.  Because I had a c-section with Hayden, the fact that I was trying to deliver the normal way put me at a higher risk due to the chance of my previous incision rupturing, thus the continuous monitoring.  Luckily, they had wireless monitoring available so I could still move around the room.  The wireless monitor was quite testy, though, and it seemed like the nurse was constantly coming back in to readjust it. 

When we were first in L&D I still was not having very strong contractions.  Once I was hooked up to the monitor we could see when there were contractions, and in the beginning I would think I would feel something and I would have to ask the nurse if I had just had a contraction.  At this early stage I decided to try to get some sleep.  I was able to get a little bit of sleep on and off, but with the excitement of it all, the noise of the monitoring, and the nurse coming in every once in a while to readjust the monitor it was more quiet rest than actual sleep. 

After a while I decided to get up and move around as I felt this would help things progress a bit quicker.  I walked around the room, moved around on the birthing ball, did some pelvic circles that I had learned in yoga, etc.  There was a bath in the room with jets, so I think around 3 am I decided to try that out.  I stayed in there for a little while, but my contractions either stopped or the water did a very good job of masking them.  The water wasn’t that warm and the fact that it seemed like it was slowing things down for me put me off, so I didn’t end up staying in all that long.

As the contractions started getting stronger, John had to start helping me by pressing down hard on my lower back through the contractions.  He was a great coach, making sure I remembered to breathe the right way through the contractions and trying different things to help me through.  A couple of times we took a walk through the halls.  At this point the timings are all a bit blurry, but I think it was around 9 am that I started feeling so very tired.  I was falling asleep in between contractions, and at this point the contractions were very strong so when they would wake me up they would require a lot of concentration to get through, but because I had been sleeping and not getting prepared in the right frame of mind I couldn’t really get in the right zone to help get me through the pain.  My goal had always been just to go as long as I could without an epidural, but I was always open to getting one at some point.  I asked the nurse how long it would take to get some relief once I decided I wanted one, and she answered all my questions about it and said to just let her know if I wanted one.  As she left another contraction came along; I’m not sure she was even fully out the door before I was pressing the call button and asking for the epidural.  I think I had about four more contractions in the time it took to get the anesthesiologist there and get everything set up before I got it and felt the relief.  I had to have an IV of fluids before I could have the epidural, which added time.  I couldn’t really get up to work through the contractions once I had the IV, so that made them more difficult to get through (relied on John a lot for counter-pressure).  When she was giving me the epidural she told me when the “painful” part was coming, that it would be about 30 seconds of pain.  When I didn’t flinch during the “pain” she and the nurse commented how great I did, but feeling that needle felt like a massage compared to how I had been feeling during the contractions!  (Again, if I had been able to focus more through the contractions I think I could have convinced myself it felt more like pressure than pain, but I could not get in that frame of mind at that point.)  The anesthesiologist said that she normally gives people a “12” on whatever epidural scale is used, but when I had Hayden and had to have a spinal for the c-section I REALLY hated the fact that I couldn’t feel or move my legs so I asked for a lower dose of the epidural than normal to keep as much feeling as possible while also having relief.  She said she would start me at an “8” and it could always be adjusted if I wanted more.  This would assure that I would lose as little feeling as possible in my legs.  She also gave me a little button I could press to give myself more of the drug as I desired, but the 8 dosage was perfect and I never needed anything more.

Once I had the epidural, the nurse checked me again to see how I had progressed.  I was up to 9 cm dilated at that point.  The baby’s head was moving down well (I don’t remember what “stage” she was in at that point), and I will never forget that during that exam the nurse commented on how much hair the baby had!   Then she left and I went to sleep.  I don’t know for how long, but I know John was really hungry at that point and he left to grab some food.  He said that when he came back he found it amazing to watch on the monitor these contractions and see me laying there sleeping through them!  I am guessing I slept for around an hour, then the nurse came back to check on me and said it was getting very near time to push.  She called Dr. Moon and she said to go ahead and start pushing and she would be there soon.  So I pushed through 2 contractions with the nurse, then we waited for the doctor to arrive.  Once she got there I think I pushed through about 4 more contractions, and out she came!  She did have a lot of hair!  John said he thought it was a boy because her face looked so much like Hayden, but as the doctor was laying her on me she checked in the right area (not the face 🙂 ) and said, “It’s a girl!”  Woo hoo – we had a matching set! 🙂


I want the baby to go away

Filed under: Dad Blogs on Hayden — JDG @ 12:48 pm
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We knew it would come, and on the first day we got Layla home we were outside playing and Hayden wanted me to do something, think it was play monster trucks or something.  I said that I couldn’t right now, and Hayden looked at me, looked at Layla told me “I want the baby to go away!”.  It was so sad but completely understandable.  Poor little guy is adjusting!!

Since then I was on the couch holding Layla and Hayden wanted to play on the couch with his cars.  He looked at Layla and told me that he wanted the baby to go over there.   He’s also said “I want the baby go back to the bed!”.  To be honest he kicks Kara and me off from time to time!!

I’m being a little unfair highlighting these things as he’s actually been fantastic since Layla’s birth, so the next post will be all about how he is the BEST big brother in the world (obviously tied with Dusty!! especially when Dusty makes Kara hit herself – that is funny!!!)


Get up daddy!

Filed under: Dad Blogs on Hayden — JDG @ 12:28 pm

Hayden is bossy, funny and has become a bit of a daddy’s boy recently. Well this was all summed up at 7.15am this morning. Over the monitor the first words out of his mouth today – “daddy get up!!”. I didn’t even know he knew what that meant! So much for the lie in! Luckily Layla’s been a superstar and only getting up twice, and superstar Kara has been getting up and feeding her and not waking me up.


It’s a girl!!

Filed under: Dad Blogs on Layla — JDG @ 2:04 am
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I mentioned in my long recap of the birth how I was convinced she was going to be a boy.  I didn’t believe she was a girl until the Dr told me after she was born.  Part of this I might be able to explain away because of how I thought Kara’s pregnacy was pretty similar to her first, and was carrying high like a boy.  Part of it might have been because if I thought it was going to be a boy – then I was prepared for a boy and had got myself really excited and prepared to have another boy, and also preparing myself if she wasn’t girl.  Hayden has been so awesome who wouldn’t want another one like him!!!

Deep down though I think had always wanted a baby girl!! I am so happy and proud of my little girl.  She is so beautiful in every way.  Everything little she does truly is magic.  She seems to have this extra shield of fragility than Hayden, but I think that is protective dad kicking in already!

The only thing I was thinking about today though is I hope the tradition of the brides parents paying for the wedding is starting to shift? 🙂


Honey, I think my waters broke?

Filed under: Dad Blogs on Layla — JDG @ 1:42 am
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Famous words right!  But as we were heading to bed on Thursday May 20th those were the words of my lovely wife.  It was exactly two weeks before the due date, and an early baby had never really entered my mind, and I didn’t really accept what she was telling me.  I figured this was just one of those false labor signs or something and when she called the hospital either they would tell us not to come in, or just send us home once we got there. Well apparently I was wrong….. The water breaks you are coming in and you are having a baby within the next day or so.

We called in Grandma to take care of Hayden, we were both pretty calm considering (I think for me mainly because I was in denial!).  Kara took a shower and I got everything ready and loaded up the car.  Got to the hospital and checked in and got our room after a short stint in the triage room.  It was all a little surreal and unexpected for me.  With Hayden’s birth we went into the triage room, and after the attempt to shift him from his breach position, it was straight to the cesarean.  So this was new territory.  I think the reason for the surreal feelings were more related to the fact I was still in denial that there was a baby coming sometime soon!!  It was also strange because Kara wasn’t getting any contractions yet!!

We were both getting pretty tired and as nothing was really happening we tried to get some rest, but it seemed every time we laid down a nurse would come in and check something.  I think Kara got a little bit of sleep but I’m a terrible sleeper outside of my bed so nothing for me, which I would regret later!  It didn’t take too long for Kara’s contractions to start and then sleep was out of the question.  I felt pretty useless early on.  It was obvious she could pretty just shake these contractions off with a little bit of breathing so I tried to offer up the odd hair tickle and back massage.

I’m not sure at what point the change happened but there become a clear point at which Kara suddenly started to really feel things and then I started to get really really useless.  I wanted to help and kept asking what I could do, where I could put pressure, and try to help with the breathing but I seemed to forget everything I’d read in my book!  Luckily Kara was a rock star and toughed out a lot of pain.  It’s hard seeing her in such pain though, it’s a real bitter sweet thing.  You know the pain means progress, but it seemed to just sap all her energy and hard to watch.  I have nothing to compare it with, and I don’t know how it feels, but I know for sure it hurts a lot!!    Because of the time of the water breaking (10.30pm) we missed a night’s sleep and I could see that Kara was starting to get really tired and low on energy.  I think it was the right thing to do when she asked for the epidural, it was a shame it took probably 30 minutes from asking for it, until when it started to take effect as those seemed the toughest and most painful contractions of the lot.  At that point she was somewhere around the 8cm dilated mark. I was very proud of her.

As soon as the drugs kicked in the difference was unbelievable.  To the point where she took a 90 minute nap!!  It was funny watching her sleep and then see on the monitor she was having large contractions.  The contrasts is amazing!  The next thing we knew the nurse woke up Kara, checked her, and it was time to push!!  That last hour or two just slipped away and now the baby was ready.

Kara was a natural at the pushing.  It seemed to be over so quickly and suddenly we had Layla!!  I can’t believe I’m going to put this in writing but as soon as she was born I was so convinced that it was Hayden mark two.  All that hair and it just looked like him.  I automatically thought she was a boy and said that she looked like a boy.  When Dr Moon tipped her over and told me/showed me it was a girl I almost hit the floor.  I was overjoyed but just shocked.  We had gone back and forth about finding out, but I’m so glad we didn’t.

With Hayden because he was breached we were unfortunate that Kara had to have a cesarean.  I say unfortunate, there is nothing  unfortunate about Hayden and Kara’s doctor is fantastic and cesarean was a big success, just because Kara really wanted to have that “birth experience”, and as I realized after Layla’s birth so did I!!  There is nothing, and I mean nothing, like seeing your princess give birth to another little princess.  Seeing Layla being born is something that will never ever leave me.  I also feel so privileged to be a part of the birth.   Obviously Kara did all the hard work, but I was at least able to help and support and be real close, and really felt a part of it, something you lose with the cesarean.  I can’t imagine what it would have been liked in the old days when I couldn’t be there.  I wouldn’t want to have missed this for the world.  My wife is a rock star, and Layla is a true little princess!


Where Mr Rich is? What’s Mr Rich doing?

Filed under: Dad Blogs on Hayden — JDG @ 1:16 am

Couple of weeks back our friend Rich was in town.   He stayed a couple of nights so we could catch up, play some golf and drink some beers.  Hayden took to him pretty much straight away and we just introduced him as “Mr Rich”.   So from that point forward Hayden always wanted to know the exact whereabouts of Mr Rich at all times.  “Where Mr Rich Is?”, “What Mr Rich Doing?”

Hayden can sometimes be shy but not in this case!!  He wanted to play cars with Mr Rich and seemed to really like having Rich around for a couple of days.  I also have a feeling that Rich really liked his new name “Mr Rich!”