2 Months New

Two.whole.months.

Somehow… I blinked and another month whizzed on by. Between month 1 and month 2 we had Christmas and NYE. We had sleepless nights and restful night. We had good days… and some not so good days. But overall, I am head-over-heels IN LOVE with this little homeboy and he is pretty much a dream baby.

I love my children, they are a gift. However, my momming lately feels… well, I’m weary. 3 kids is not at all what I expected. It’s far easier than I thought- but also, much harder in ways I didn’t expect. Most days, I know there is not enough of me to fill in the gaps of 3 littles who constantly need me. It’s frustrating but- I guess that’s the space in which I pray that God fills in. Cause it’s a big space and really He’s the best filler.

Anyway- Cameron is amazing. He is happy. He is chill. He is chatty and oh so sweet. He still doesn’t scream in the car, he is still a decent sleeper, he still allows me to set him down for periods of time and he’s content to just be. The good Lord knew I needed a baby like him. And knowing he’s likely our last- makes me mourn that I might not ever have another 2 month old. So my heart aches each time I look at him.

These boys all love each other. Crosby and Kobe both get the biggest smiles from Cam. They adore him and he adores them. Cam enjoys chatting with them and Crosby excitedly tells me every time that Cam is saying Hi and that he knows how to talk already! It makes me giggle- but honestly, I’m sure Crosby knows exactly what Cam is saying.

Camerons’s Likes: he still loves to snuggle! Thankfully someone likes to snuggle me! He loves baths and oddly enough, he really loves a fresh diaper so diaper changes don’t bother him at all! He loves his big bro bro’s, he loves to chat and loves to smile!

Cameron’s Dislikes: homeboy hates gas bubbles. I mean, HATES. I don’t blame him at all. Not even a little. There isn’t much he doesn’t like, thankfully!

Nicknames: Homeboy, Bubba, bro-bro

Weight:

We are in a pretty good routine, Cameron is fairly predictable and honestly super flexible. I am fully recovered and have felt great besides the extra fluff. I started working out once I was cleared to do so and I hope to get this body back to feeling good. In the meantime, I am learning extra grace is required- not only for me but for everyone else.

Having 3 boys is proving to be loud, busy, and extra fun! Learning to parent and show my affection for each one is unique and so different.

Laryngomalacia

Cameron is just shy of 6 weeks old now! Phew! Time is just flying right on by. My house has never been noisier, messier, and happier! In fact, I think there’s a load of laundry waiting to be swapped – and about 3 loads waiting to get put away.

Anyway… around 4 weeks old the cranial sacral/Chiro we had been seeing mentioned Cameron’s breathing and how noisy he was. She asked if this was normal and frequent. She encouraged me to have it evaluated. I took her advice and Cameron was seen just 2 days later by an ENT. I walked in with a piece of paper with a word I couldn’t pronounce and felt a little weird being there. I kinda thought his squeaks and snoring and noisy breathing was cute. I kinda thought his pausing in breathing was normal. And I knew I had an over supply and a forceful let down- but homeboy chokes and coughs and sputters quite often. But, I was working with lactation. We were just getting into a good routine.

Sure enough, after a scope (up his nose and down his throat) they confirmed what that little piece of paper said:

“Laryngomalacia”

Apparently this is insanely common. It’s not life threatening unless it’s severe. Cameron’s condition is mild, and we praise God for that because even though it’s mild, we have difficulties. What is this? Well, in plain terms, it’s a floppy airway. Some of the tissue near the voice box is collapsing causing an obstruction and also a squeaky musical sound upon breathing in, called a “stridor”.

For Cameron it is worse at night, while nursing or when he’s very tired. It is also aggravated with crying. He also has very infrequent apnea, retractions in the throat area, possibly some silent reflux, frequent choking/coughing and labored breathing. Because of the obstruction he is at risk of aspirating so we saw a feeding therapist for an evaluation, and thankfully what we are doing to avoid aspirating is enough to avoid therapy for now. Because babies with laryngomalacia have a harder time with steady breathing- especially with the suck, swallow, breathe pattern while nursing- they can burn a lot of calories, sometimes more than they are consuming. Thankfully, homeboy is gaining insanely well still. So for us, our case is very mild. It does “peak” around 4-6 months, so things *could* get worse but I’m believing it won’t. If things get worse and take a turn then there are some therapies we could utilize – surgical options being the very last option.

The ENT suggested most babies grow out of it by age 2-3. Some cases even resolve around 12-18 months. However, because it’s an obstruction of the airway we are instructed to keep him upright as often as possible, especially while sleeping and after feeding, to be extra careful to avoid viruses and closely monitor his breathing for constant retractions, more frequent apnea, aspiration, weight loss or falling off his growth curve, and an increase in feeding difficulties including the choking and coughing.

I’m super thankful to know this is a common issue, but also one I never even knew of. I’m also very thankful it is mild. It’s already a bit stressful, I have compassion for those who’s cases are more severe. There is nothing worse than watching your child struggle to breathe – even if it’s occasional. To be proactive I have asked my brother in law (an insanely knowledgeable fire fighter) to teach me CPR and some basic first aid for infants and children. I should probably already know, and I have some tools for emergencies, but I need more knowledge.

Again, I’m very thankful! He’s really the sweetest and I feel very protective of him. I’m believing that we will see success, healing, and things won’t get worse, only better from here on out!

1 Month New

One full month. How on Gods green earth is this even possible? Everyone warned me that it would be a hard transition, and don’t get me wrong, it’s far from easy…. but no one warned that time will go so fast that you blink and weeks have passed.

I am feeling well rested, well, mostly! Homeboy is not that bad of a sleeper, and I keep praising God for these little gifts He’s given me- like sleep. And a baby who doesn’t scream bloody murder in the car… or a baby who I can set down for a while and he isn’t hysterical. Gifts. Gods great gifts.

These three are also Gods greatest gifts too! It’s taken the full month but these two big Bro bro’s are finally becoming more smitten over their little brother. Especially since he’s starting to coo and attempting to smile!

Cameron’s Likes: being held. Sleeping. Gas drops (haha), snuggling mom’s boobs… I’d say nursing but that’s been a struggle. But he is nursing, thank you Jesus. He’s really enjoyed his baths so far as wells

Cameron’s dislikes: Gas pains. Waking up alone. He’s not a fan of the brothers forcing his eye lids open or shoving their fingers in his face/mouth… but mama can only catch so much shenanigans!

Nicknames: Homeboy, Cam, bro bro.

Weight: 11+(ish) lbs.

This has been the BEST recovery between all three. Even with its obstacles (nursing issues, mastitis – awful! – thrush.. more nursing issues), my mind feels clear. My patience isn’t completely shot (thank you Lord), things are going so so well. I’m getting roughly 6-8 hours of sleep (pretty interrupted but not horribly!) and I feel like we settled into a routine quite well and quickly! I did have any repairs post delivery so my physical recovery has been great. I did lose a lot of blood so I’ve been working on iron intake, and my recent labs showed major improvement!

We are beyond thrilled to have 3 boys and my love for each is so unique and special!

Cameron Richard Brooks – 11/17/2019

I am so super excited to share our newest little’s birth story! Along with sharing the story I am including some of my favorite birth pictures captured by the talented Susan Johnson, CDA Birth Photographer. So, with that, be warned! There is some slight nudity and blood. Don’t like that stuff, don’t look.

I had been having prodromal labor for a few weeks. So waking up on Saturday morning (the 16th) with cramps and contractions I wasn’t at all phased, in fact I was annoyed. I was 40 weeks and 1 day. However, that morning I had some spotting and mucus. That was different to me… but, I settled it in my mind that it was because of the exam I had the day before… when we also discovered I was sitting at 4.5-5cm. The contractions were allll over the place— 3 minutes, 6 minutes, 5 minutes…. Starting and stopping, building in intensity then gone.

Around 11am the contractions were about 6 minutes apart and building in intensity. I was feeling confident that just maybe this could be it. I called my husband and he decided to make his way back home and my doula decided to come over and check in with me and she had some tricks up her sleeve to maybe help keep labor progressing. After doing 3 hours of stairs, sink squats, cowboy walks, crying, processing/talking/weighing all my options with Pam we gave it a rest. Pam had suggested that we drop the boys off with Papa Kent and go to Costco (around 430p). This is when contractions started again— and whoa. They were good and strong the entire time we were walking around Costco. I was crushed when they stopped once I sat in the car for our drive home. I was angry. Frustrated. Exhausted. Anxious. I think I felt a million different things.

Once we were home (630p) we sat down to eat and I felt incredibly moody. I excused myself to the restroom. Upon standing up something shifted. I felt a pain that was incredibly unfamiliar to me. But it didn’t feel like a contraction. I started to panic. Something felt different. Something felt off. I called Rebekah and Pam cause “something feels different” and I wanted them to check on me. I mostly needed assurance that Cameron was ok. Pam arrived minutes later and upon her arrival I felt like labor had started up again and progressing and just maybe things were finally moving in the right direction. Pam was amazing and rallied the troops, started setting things up and made the call to my photographer who arrived not long after.

Rebekah arrived around 7pm and labor had started and stopped again…

…so after an exam we decided to break my water (I was 5-6cm and it was about 830p) because he was so buoyant with so much fluid. This was an agonizing decision for me. It was an option that had been open to me all day. However, I prefer a hands off, no interventions birth. To me, this felt like a big deal. I didn’t want anything interfering with the natural process. I trusted things were the way they were for a reason. After awhile, I grew confident that once we released the fluid he could add more pressure and keep labor progressing. It turns out that I had TONS of fluid and immediately went from 5/6cm to 7cm and he finally lowered down and engaged. Had we not broken my water, I feel confident it could have been hours longer or perhaps another few days of the starting and stopping and prodromal labor.

We danced a little, we did (more) stair exercises, and cowboy walks, we did sink squats and rested…we laughed a lot (uh hello silly cat that jumped into the birth pool), I cried a lot, I sang a little…. it was exactly what I had dreamed of.

When we broke my water around 845pm I immediately entered active labor. It was intense. It was fun and exciting and hard. I reflected a lot on the hard work I had put in with my counselor this year to process secondary birth traumas (that played a major part in trusting my provider, trusting the process, my body and my baby— and more importantly trusting the Lord. Trusting His ways, His timing and His direction. This was a major year for me in my spiritual journey and maturity), personal trauma, and restoring emotional and spiritual health.

I asked to have an exam around 12:05 am because my contractions had so much pressure with them. I was 8cm and she said she could probably stretch me to a 9-9.5 so I said yes- do it! I immediately started feeling pushy. It was then that I hit transition and started doubting. I felt like I couldn’t do it any longer and the intensity was so strong that I began to fight against the contractions. My body was involuntarily pushing and it was squeezing me so tightly that I couldn’t catch my breath and I felt sick. I felt embarrassed, I felt weak. I felt hot, tired and chaotic. I kept saying over and over “I can’t do this”, “I don’t wanna do this anymore”— at one point I even said “I change my mind, I don’t wanna do this, I want an epidural!”.

One of my goals this time was to stay present and catch my own baby. At one point I remember thinking that this is what I wanted but I didn’t like being so present and involved. I desperately wanted to drift into labor land but my mind was already made up.

At this point I sat up and asked to get back into the tub. As I inched my way to the end of the bed each contraction and tightness enveloped me and I couldn’t quite move. Then with the next contraction “ok he’s coming”. I felt a distinct change and swift decent as Cam made his way down. In my mind I was so surprised- I hadn’t been present enough to notice that with the other two! And with that, my entire perspective changed and I became excited and determined to meet him. Soon after that I delivered his head. With beaming joy I kept saying “Hi Cam! Hi baby! I can’t wait to see you!”. With the next contraction I remember saying “I can’t get him out!” Everyone assured me it was ok, and I lifted my left leg to a semi squat (I was on my hands & knees, almost off the edge of the bed) and grunted and pushed with all my might and out he came!

Upon exit he came flying out with tons more fluid (sorry for the squishy shoes Rebekah!!) and he decided to poop as soon as he came out, christening our carpet with meconium. I reached down and grabbed my baby and with the help of my midwife we unwrapped the cord draped around his shoulder and I brought him up to my chest with the biggest smile on my face! All I could do was smile and laugh and giggle.

“hi baby!”

“I did it!!”

“Is he ok?” (He was more than ok!)

I never made it back to the pool, but oh how relieved I was! I had had troublesome iron levels during pregnancy so upon getting comfortable and the cord finished pulsating I got to cut the cord and we worked on bleeding management and getting the placenta out. That stubborn placenta. I did end up with some tinctures and a shot of pitocin for bleeding and to help with the placenta but all was managed amazingly well yet firmly by my midwife.

Cam latched very well and immediately and we snuggled up to rest before doing his newborn exams. I was in heaven, floating on cloud 9! He looked so tiny! I kept thinking there’s no way he’s more than 8 pounds! He looked so little- but he was perfect!

Our team fed me, got us snuggled up, tucked us in, cleaned up our house and away they went. We snuggled, slept and rested. Home birth was everything I could have asked for, I am so thankful for the birth we had and I am even more thankful for the team we had.

Welcome Earth-side

Cameron Richard Brooks

11/17/2019

Born at home @ 12:23am

8lbs 15oz & 23” long