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!


It’s a girl!! May 29, 2010

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!


Our first day with Hayden August 6, 2007

Wow there is so much that has happened in the last three days.  Our lives are 180 degrees from where they were on Thursday, and neither of us would wish it back to how it was.  Hayden is the most amazing thing that has ever happened to us.  We are at the end of day three, and already it seems time is going too quickly.

I think John has already filled in the pieces about what went on on Friday, but I will give the rundown from my perspective.  We were hoping Hayden would turn with the ‘version’ procedure, but it was not successful.  The doctor and her assistant were trying with all their might for at least 1/2 hour, pushing and pushing on my belly to try to get him to turn around.  Thank God I had an epidural, because it was quite uncomfortable to say the least even with that.  At one point I actually started crying.  I was sobbing really, and I am not sure exactly what the cause was.  I know some (maybe all – I’ve had limited exposure I guess) anesthesia makes me cry, so it might have been that.  It could have been the physical pain from the procedure or the emotion of knowing we were on the verge of meeting our baby.  Regardless, it seemed silly but I’m sure no one cared.

Unfortunately, they just could not move him out of my pelvis.  His head was able to move around, but without the ability to get his hips lifted out of my pelvis there was no way to get him into the right position.  So they got the next available c-section slot for me which was an hour or two from then.

Even with all of the excitement, I was absolutely exhausted.  Again, this might have had something to do with some medication or another, or it could have been the physical toll of the version in addition to having to awaken at 4 am to get to the hospital and a couple of poor nights’ sleeps in anticipation of the big day.   Somehow, while waiting for the c-section time to come around I managed to dose for a little while.

The cesarian took an unbelievably short amount of time.  They wheeled me into the OR and the first thing I saw were these huge overhead surgical lights with Stryker written on them.  One of our best friends in England, Gemma, works for Stryker so it gave me a big smile to see those lights.  Anyway, John joined me in the OR with his scrubs on, the doctors and nurses did some prep work, they draped a big blue paper sheet right in front of my face to keep me from seeing anything, and in a very short amount of time Hayden was born.  I felt some pulling and tugging as they worked him out.  He came out butt first apparently — I heard some talk about needing to work his butt out of my pelvis where he’d so stubbornly taken up shop.  Then the next thing I heard was that he had so much hair and the longest eyelashes.  I was like, ‘He’s out already?!’  John got to see him being born and also filmed it so I can’t wait to see that soon.

After a few seconds I heard him cry, and that got me crying.  His crying only lasted a few seconds, and that was the only time he made any noise in the OR.  I kept commenting how quiet he was (and how this indicated his intelligence in some way or another, he he).  I wanted to see him so badly.  They had to take him away to do Apgar testing and so forth, and John got to be there for that.  The first thing John told me was he has my ears.  This was a surprise for both of us as we’d just assumed that John’s ears would carry on to the next generation. 😉  I don’t know how long it was before I finally got to see him, but it did seem like an eternity.  I knew it would take a while and even with that expectation it still took far longer than I would have guessed.  Eventually John brought him to me and placed his face right next to mine.  Because of all the equipment everywhere his face was very close to mine — it was actually too near because I couldn’t see him properly.  But it was wonderful anyway, and I could see that he was really beautiful.

From there we went into recovery and I got to hold him and start to get to know him.  We had skin-to-skin contact right away from that point.  I also breastfed for the first time pretty quickly upon entering the recovery area, and he took right to it!  It was amazing — he knew just what to do!  The nurse was very impressed (told you he is smart).  John also had skin-to-skin contact after the feeding was over.  Then the nurse took Hayden to a little station near us and did some tests and injections while John started making calls to the families to tell them the good news.  Madeline was the first to be called and the first to know his name.  My mom was at the hospital so once he got off the phone with Nanny Mad we called Mom in to meet him.  Then after a short while we were wheeled up to our post partum room where we will stay until we leave tomorrow.

John and Hayden came up to the post partum area a short time before I could be wheeled up there, and they gave Hayden a sponge bath.  I am told that he hated the bath, especially getting his feet cleaned, but he loved having his hair washed.  All I know is my son was three hours old and after his bath he was wheeled into our room with his hair spiked up.  His daddy had already made use of all that hair by making sure he was very fashionable from the start! 😉

The epidural had a terribly annoying side effect of making me very itchy.  As I recovered they gave me some drug to counter the itching, and this put me in a thick fog where I knew where I was but had to concentrate really hard for things to make sense.  I think it also greatly enhanced the extreme fatigue that I was already feeling all day.  I really didn’t like that, so they gave me Benedryl the next time which was supposed to be better, and while that somewhat lifted the fog it caused me to feel like I could not keep my eyes open and that I was going to fall asleep in the middle of conversations.  I kept apologizing to everyone because I was convinced I was not making any sense or was looking like I was half asleep, which I’m afraid I was.  The lactation consultant came in during this time and I talked to her and even managed to get Hayden latched on, but I finally had to tell her I couldn’t really take in what she was saying and was just dreamily going through the motions and could she come back later.  She was very nice about it but I felt like a complete idiot.

We had a few visitors on the first day.  My mom and Jim, Dad and Gretchen, my stepbrother Andy and his girlfriend Lindsay, my brother Dusty and his wife Tami and their two boys.   He slept pretty well that first night, too, even despite the constant traffic caused by the nurses checking on the two of us throughout the night.  He nursed a few times throughout the night as expected and was really good (and asleep!) the rest of the time.

That first day went by in a blur, because of all the medications and their funny side effects but mostly because of how extremely exciting it was to have met and start getting to know our Hayden.


Night Time August 5, 2007

Filed under: Dad Blogs on Hayden — JDG @ 4:34 pm
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I think I like nighttime.  It’s quiet.  Everyone is asleep and you just get to watch your baby sleeping.  He spent a lot of the night either feeding with Kara or sleeping on me last night.  He is so precious.  I am starting a plan to steal him from the hospital.


His First Day Through Daddy’s Eyes August 4, 2007

Filed under: Dad Blogs on Hayden — JDG @ 2:36 pm
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Wow what a first day.  It is hard to know where to start.  I felt so much for Kara, she was pushed and probed in valiant effort to turn Hayden so that she could avoid the cesarean but it wasn’t to be.  She was so brave during this process and the subsequent surgery.  The hardest bit for me was when he was born I could see him (he came out butt first!), but Kara couldn’t and couldn’t for about, in fact i have no idea how long it was, it felt like an eternity.  He made a little cry when he came out to announce his arrival on earth and Kara was devastated she couldn’t see him immediately.  Of course once she saw him all was forgiven.

Kara did fantastic. I am so proud of her and love her so much.   The focus off this page is Hayden though so I better start talking about him!  What a stud!!!  He has this full head of hair (which I’ve already started spiking) that just makes him like this little grown up man.  I was really expecting him to be a little smaller and a little more fragile!   He is very tough already!

I can’t stop watching him.  I just hold him with his head facing me and could watch him forever.  Yesterday he had his eyes open for about 30 minutes and just had this look that will never leave me.  Just a mix of fascination, curiosity and this understanding that I was his daddy and he is stuck with me.

Straight out of the womb he was all about breast feeding.  He is a superstar.

He is perfect in every way.  I am so lucky to have him.


I’m Finally Here August 3, 2007

Filed under: Hayden Blogs — JDG @ 6:36 pm

I got beaten up a bit this morning as these nice doctor people tried to make me turn upside down inside my mummy’s belly.  I wasn’t having it so they had to cut my mummy to get me out.  I came out butt first which I think is funny!  I don’t think mummy and daddy do!!!

I got to meet my mummy and daddy and they are the best!  My daddy takes too many pictures of me though!  But mummy gives me food.  Yum Yum.

I love getting my hair washed (and I have lots of it) and then Daddy spikes it for me!

I don’t like getting my feet washed though!!  Gross!