Chase:Every:Second

enjoying every second of life and running


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Chase – Weeks 1 & 2 – Night and Day

It’s been a whirlwind since baby Chase joined our family. Time flies quickly so people were right telling us don’t blink, they grow up so fast. I want to recap some things we’ve learned in this first couple of weeks and some milestones along the way.

Chase’s birth announcements. The pictures were taken at 1 day old. ๐Ÿ™‚

Week 1 Photos

Chase loves to sleep with her hands above her head like this. We didn’t pose her this way. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Jumpsuit – Carters, Headband – Etsy Store CutieButtsBoutique

Week 2 Photo

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Purple Dress – The Children’s Place

Week 1 and 2 – Breastfeeding

The first week was all about breastfeeding. Chase took to it immediately in the hospital and never looked back. She has been very eager to eat, so much so that we had a little snacker on our hands. She was wanting food every 30 minutes to an hour. We wanted to encourage her love of breastfeeding so I accommodated any request. After a few days of that we gradually started extending her time between feeding gradually. This meant that she would eat more aggressively than snack, which in turn keeps her fuller longer. We were very fortunate that breastfeeding has went so well for us.

By day 10 we ran into either a growth spurt or that my milk supply wasn’t where she wanted it. We went from 2-2.5 hours between feedings to every 30 minutes or an hour at most. She has been extra fussy about being hungry. It’s draining especially at night because that means she won’t sleep more than 15-30 minutes without wanting to eat again. If it’s a growth spurt it can last 2 days to a week.

I’ve started doing some pumping to prep for introducing bottle feeding around 3 weeks.

Week 1 and 2 – Sleep

One challenge that we had was Chase’s nights and days were flipped. She would be a sleepy angel all day and then at night she was ready to party and eat often. Being her food source I was averaging 2-3 hours of sleep at night pieced together in 30 minute increments. Rob and I were walking zombies for that first week. Rob and I were prepared for sleepless nights of feedings and diaper changes. What I wasn’t expecting was you will get almost zero sleep because the baby doesn’t want to sleep at all.

To change her night and day confusion is not an easy process. We learned quickly that we needed to establish a game plan of establishing sleep pattern based on information we had read and advice from others. A couple of books that helped with forming our plan was “The Baby Whisperer Solves All of Your Problems” and “. With all the information my inner-runner became frustrated with all the varying information. It was much like researching marathon training plans, each has their own philosophy. In running you get plans that say “run less”, some that say “run more”, some say “recovery is key”, others that say “race pace training is essential”, etc. It’s enough to make my head spin. This all felt similar. Keep a baby up in the day so they know it’s day and not night, but not too much because then you over stimulate them and then they won’t sleep out of frustration. It’s like deciphering a sleeping baby time bomb. The information is all over the place. So I started writing down some of the sleep mission we would try to instill with Chase and experiment to see what works.ย It may seem obvious to you parents, but it really helps me have it written out to organize my thoughts, especially in my sleepy state these days.

Even when establishing this plan, we recognized quickly how important it was to be consistent. Any tiny change in the routine would affect how the evening would go. Here are some of the things that we implemented.

  • Every morning needs to begin like our work schedule will be and not vary (aka no sleeping in as it could confuse Chase about what is morning time).
  • During the day the lights need to be on and shades open to have as much light as possible.
  • Use nap times to get Chase use to her crib.
  • We will take morning walks with Chase, weather permitting.
  • Evening wind down will include: bath, vitamin, swaddle, breastfeeding, and story.

Week 1 and 2 – Milestones

Weight

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 – Chase weighed 7 lbs 15 ounces when she was born.

Friday, June 14, 2013 – Chase’s doctor appointment she weighed 7 lbs 7 ounces

Wednesday, June 19, 2013 – Chase’s doctor appointment she weighted 8 lbs 2 ounces

The doctor was very pleased with Chase’s weight gain. They want the baby’s weight to come back to birth weight by week 2 and Chase was ahead of schedule. Our next appointment is scheduled in two months.

Movement

We’ve being doing 1-1.5 minute stints of tummy time and can already see Chase’s neck getting stronger.

By week 2 she already has better use of her hands and isn’t accidentally scratching herself as much.

At the end of week 2 her kicking has really picked up. Swaddling may not last as long as we were anticipating with the way she kicks.

Week 1 and 2 – Essential Items

iPad 2

Before Chase was here, Rob and I would use our iPad 2’s daily for surfing the internet and reading books or magazines. Now I would say that the iPad 2 is next to me all day long with Chase. We use them for reading her stories, looking up baby health information, setting alarms for feedings, listening to music with her, and to use my favorite app BabyConnect. It’s an app that allows you to track diaper changes, feedings, sleep, activities, milestones and more. We use this app all day long to record as best possible what baby Chase is up to.

Mountain Buggy Terrain and Peg Perego Car Seat

I love our carseat and running stroller. While I’m not yet running, we have taken it an our Quinny stroller on our walks. I love them both, but the Mountain Buggy would be my favorite between the two because it is equipped and ready for a long run. I love the idea of being able to take off for a run soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

Us out with the Quinny stroller for our first walk as a family.

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More Quinny time.

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Out with Mountain Buggy Terrain.

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Halo Swaddling Blanket

We are swaddling Chase when she gets fussy and we have both the Swaddelme and Halo. I would say Halo wins for us because the wrapping is easier to accomplish with Halo. Also, it has a full body reverse zipper, meaning it zips from top to bottom. This allows for you to unzip the Halo to do diaper changes without fully unswaddling the baby, score!

Wubbanub

You have a baby? You need Wubbanub. They are amazing. They are Soothie pacifiers with a little stuffed animal attached. Seem unnecessary? Well as soon as you see how a regular pacifier goes flying and rolls away a 100 times when the baby accidentally knocks it out of their mouth, you will really see the value the little stuffed animal brings to keeping the pacifier nearby. Plus Chase seems to enjoy practicing grabbing it herself.

Week 1 and 2 – Not So Essential Items

Receiving Blankets as Swaddling Blankets

Receiving blankets are a must for draping over the baby to keep them warm, draping over me for breastfeeding when company is around, for covering her carseat in a pinch when it’s sunny, the uses go on and on. The one use that I wouldn’t recommend is swaddling. I know that there are all sorts of instructions out there for swaddling with receiving blankets and they even do it in the hospital that way, but for us it’s not a decent enough swaddle. Chase is very strong and using a Halo Swaddling Blanket is the way to go.

The First Years Sounds for Silence Premium Sound Machine

We were at BabiesRUs and bought this sound machine without doing any research, which was a mistake. This thing is a piece of crap, just like the reviews say when I looked it up at home. I ordered the Graco Sweet Slumber Sound Machine. Hopefully it works out better.

Week 1 and 2 – Lessons Learned/Tips

  • There is even less sleep than people warn you about.
  • When the baby naps you can do one of the following: sleep, eat, or shower. But don’t plan to do more than one per nap.

Week 1 and 2 – My Recovery

My recovery is going well. I have a follow up with my OB at week 3 since I didn’t tear. I hope to get clearance to do more exercises and potentially start running.

I gained 40 pounds with my pregnancy, which wasn’t surprising. I was under weight per pregnancy standards and as soon as my training changed I started to gain weight. So far I’ve lost 21 pounds since having Chase and that’s without being back to training. I feel good that the 19 remaining will come off over time and I will need to work on getting back muscle tone.


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Running for Two – The Interview

In a previous post, I mentioned that after the IL Marathon weekend my tweets about completing the 5K and 10K 8.5 months pregnant were picked up by the local news station in Champaign, IL. They came and did an interview and wrapped it up with the birth of Chase.

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Here is a link to the interview. The hosting of the video seems to have a performance issues, so you may have to refresh a couple of times to get it to work. It’s really nice that they aired this on their local news and make it available on their website.


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Daddio

Sunday was Father’s Day and it was extra special because this was Rob’s first one. I wasn’t sure what my pregnancy status would be on June 16th so I gave him the big part of his gift early. I got him the Big Green Egg in Large. I think he was totally surprised. Rob has enjoyed smoking meats on his charcoal Webber grill, so this present would kick it up a notch.

Chase and I also got a bib and onesie saying “Daddy’s little co-pilot”. ๐Ÿ™‚

On Father’s Day Rob smoked his first beef brisket at it was amazing! We had it sliced and had the leftovers as steak tacos.

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I made him breakfast of eggs, center cut bacon, and whole wheat waffles. Then for dinner to go with the brisket I made smores cupcakes that I got from the following blog. Mine were not as fancy, but since I never bake this was pretty fancy pants for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Rob is a wonderful father. He is so hands on with her, from changing diapers to telling Chase stories, he is always there to do whatever she needs.

Chase’s first doctor’s appointment.

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Out for a walk.

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Happy Father’s Day to my husband! Chase and I are lucky to have you!


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June 11, 2013 – The day we met our sweet daughter

We are happy to share the news that our sweet daughter, Chase Christine Johnson was born on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 (her due date). She was 7 pounds, 15 ounces, and 20 inches long.

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Labor Story

Monday, June 10th I was able to work from home this day. It was nice to have the opportunity to keep my feet up being 39 weeks and 6 days pregnant. Rob and I had our 40 week appointment that morning. I was expecting to hear some news on my progress especially since I spent most of the weekend cramping off and on. One of those stints lasted 4.5 hours, so I felt good that something had to be going on down there. Turns out I was wrong. The doctor said I hadn’t had any progress. I was still a finger tip dilated if that, my cervix was still posterior (meaning the baby’s head wasn’t yet pressed up on my cervix), and the baby was at a -3 station (which the baby is way back, you want to get to zero and then +1 and +2). I was nervous about what all we need to be prepared to discuss if we made it to the 41 week appointment and were still in the same spot. The doctor said we would then get an ultrasound, do a non-stress test, and start talking options and dates. My doctor is not pro-induction, so that would only be happening if it was medically necessary.

Needless to say I pouted. I know it was a selfish feeling, Baby J is doing great and that’s all that matters, but it just felt like meeting her was still so far away. Rob and I had lunch and I sulked that all of the cramping over the weekend appears to have done nothing to help Baby J get here sooner. False labor is so annoying.

At the end of my workday I decided I needed to go for a walk. While it may not get the baby here any quicker since she wasn’t yet engaged, I needed to walk off some stress (since I can’t run it off these days). I texted Rob and said that I was planning to walk on the treadmill until he got home from work and then I would want to walk with him through the neighborhood. I put on my running shorts and sat on a bench to tie my running shoes. I made my way to the bathroom and felt a hitch, that’s the only way I know how to describe it. Kind of like if you have a joint in your hip or knee that catches funny. It doesn’t hurt, but it has a feeling of catching. That’s how this felt, except in my vagina. I took one more step and my running shorts filled with water and it ran down my legs. My water had just broke. It was clear, which we learned from our baby classes is a good sign that there are no issues. Since I was just told that the baby wasn’t close to ready, I was immediately concerned for her and wondering if bending to tie my shoes had somehow broke my water. I called Rob first and everyone in the meeting he was in began cheering in the background. Rob made his way home and I called the doctor’s office. They assured me that I didn’t do anything to break my water, it just happens sometimes. Rob got home and we were already packed for the hospital so it was easy to get out the door.

My contractions started in the car, but they were mild so we were able to enjoy some Dave Matthews Band and Jason Mraz on the way. We were check into our room by 4pm. They checked me and I hadn’t yet made progress. We needed the head to press against the cervix so that they umbilical cord couldn’t be there first and potentially cause a threatening prolapse. I was instructed to stay in bed for about an hour and continue to contract. My hospital allows clear fluids so I was given a cherry popsicle and jello for dinner.

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When I was checked again I was 2.5 cm dialated and the baby’s head appeared to be on the cervix. They ย wanted me to try different postions and movements to get the baby down from the -3 position. First, they had me in the yoga position called child’s pose with a stack of pillows for about an hour.

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Then I was allowed to walk for an hour. The contractions were getting more intense. When walking and a contraction would come on I would stop and grab the railing, focus on the ground, and breathe. Between contractions I was still able to relax and joke around, but I knew things were about to get more intense and it wouldn’t be that way much longer.

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Next I was put on a balance ball. Walking and the balance ball were my favorite methods of dealing with the natural portion of my labor process. The ball was quite comfortable because it provided support and counter pressure on my pelvis. We had seen birthing position options in our baby classes, but we hadn’t planned on doing yoga or the balance ball. It ended up being nice incorporating them into the process.

During a contraction I was able to focus on the ground, breathe, and roll slightly back and forth. The contractions were getting very intense. The rests between were shorter and some of the contractions would peak for as long as 2-3 minutes.

After that I was back in the bed and was checked. It was 12:30pm and I was 4.5 cm. The contractions were becoming unbearable. While they were becoming more intense they felt 100 times worse in bed than on the ball. After the contractions I was getting full body shakes in my legs, arms, and face. They said that it was hormones and completely normal. Also, my hips were killing me. I needed the epidural. It was after 1am when the anesthesiologist arrived. Other than the actual delivery this was the hardest thing I’ve had to do, to focus and be still amid painful contractions. It took all of my focus to remain perfectly still. After it was in place I fell into a deep sleep. I snored so loud like a lumbar jack sawing logs and Rob didn’t get any sleep because he was keeping an eye on the monitors.

At 5:15am they checked me and I was 6.5 cm. Rob was finally able to rest lightly. They flipped me from one side to the other since I was completely numb below the belly button and by 7am I was 7 cm. I got to have apple juice for breakfast.

Some of the nurses were trying to tell me that because of my marathons and running background that I could manage natural childbirth. I’m have to respectfully disagree. Maybe that’s true for some women, but they are completely different in my book. No matter how painful a marathon can be, I can adjust my pace or even walk if needed to manage. There is no negotiating the pain level of a contraction. I can’t adjust the intensity.ย So my hats off to those women who deliver naturally.

While I was getting an epidural, I was not okay with IV pain killers because most of them can pass through the placenta and affect the baby.

I had joked with the nurses that I would only consider a natural child-birth if the was a trophy or medal at the end. ๐Ÿ™‚ Our nurse said that even with an epidural, giving birth is medal worthy so they made me a finish tape and a medal signed by the nurses. Isn’t that so awesome?! ๐Ÿ˜€

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It was a beautiful day for Chase to be born.

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So if you were wondering, we picked out the name Chase before we even started trying to have a baby. We decided that if we had a boy it would be Chase Robert and if it was a girl, Chase Christine. We decided on the name Chase because it represents to of our favorite sports, running and flying. Running just because of the term “chase” and in flying when you are a flight of two, they refer to the second plane as flying “chase” (as shown here we are flying chase with our friend Jack).

At 9am my cervix hadn’t made progress, I was still at 7cm. Since my water broke at after 3pm the previous day, we needed to get the baby out within 24 hours to due to risk of infection. At this point the nurse was talking with my doctor’s office about potentially on boarding pitocin to keep my labor moving forward. I would rather not have to, but would if it was what was best for the baby. Luckily by 11am I was at 9cm and we didn’t have to introduce pitocin. ๐Ÿ™‚ It was really going to happen! They started setting up the room for delivery and I was allowed a popsicle for lunch, gotta carb up! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Monitor of baby and the contractions

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Just before noon I was 10 cm and we started the practice pushing to see how much progress the head would make. It was a challenge to push when I couldn’t really feel anything. I did notice the pain in my hips and pelvis. It was a pressure that felt like I had a serious running injury or something. After 40 minutes pushing, we had made head decent progress. The nurses then had me “drift” for an hour. Which meant just resting and letting the contractions help her continue her decent. They said that it would be better for me and the baby to just let things marinade if you will. It would be less stress on both of us. I took an hour nap and Rob looked up pushing techniques on his phone. When I woke up we started trying again at 2:30pm. Rob coached me on some tips he read that said instead of just focusing on pushing through my bottom (or pelvic floor), to concentrate on making a really good crunch more in my transverse abs in my upper rib area. I gave it a try and it made a world of difference. The nurses were like “oh my goodness” and on the second set, they said “stop”! The baby was past the pelvic bone and we were ready for the doctor. We waited about 15 minutes for my doctor to arrive and it was funny hanging out with my legs up chatting about random things with the nurse and techs.

Our doctor is amazing. It was so great to have him there. He immediately put some sort of mineral oil on me and we started pushing. He was very impressed with my pushing ability and it really didn’t take much to move the baby into place. The cool part was my doctor was determined to not have me tear. So he actually had me not push through a few contractions, added more mineral oil, and let things naturally stretch on their own. It totally worked! He was so patient and careful with the delivery.

Baby J was born at 3:11pm, exactly 24 hours from when my water broke the day before and on her due date no less!ย She came out arms and legs wide open and whaling. The doctor and nurses said she was so pink! They didn’t have to even wipe her down or get her to breathe, she was already at it. They put her up on my chest and Rob and I completely melted. It was the most amazing blessing from God and I felt that love wrap around the three of us. We had made our family.

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We are so overjoyed for this little girl. She is more than we could have ever dreamed for.

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Our doctor supports delayed cord clamping, which means letting the placenta pulse out the last bit of nutrient rich blood before Rob cut the umbilical cord. Our hospital supports skin-to-skin, which means if the baby is healthy they leave them right on the mother’s skin and don’t do any sort of weighing, shots, or eye treatments for the first two hours. Instead they let the family bond and start breast-feeding if the mother plans to try. I was planning to breastfeed and Chase took to it immediately. She nursed for 15 minutes three different times during that first two hours.

The baby never leaves the room unless there is a medical reason. So all of the weighing and standard treatments were done in our room. Chase weighed in at 7 pounds, 15 ounces and was 20 inches long. ๐Ÿ™‚

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After her treatments she got her first sponge bath and hair washing. She love the hair washing part. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Proud daddy. ๐Ÿ™‚

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All swaddled up.

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Me with my motherhood club finisher’s medal and the best prize of all, our precious daughter.

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Our hospital has a photographer that comes and does photo shoots that the parents can purchase. I came prepared with outfits for Chase. Here are some of photos from her shoot (1 day old).

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Rob got me the most beautiful push present. A 1 carat pink sapphire surrounded in diamonds from Tiffany’s, called Soleste. We had talked almost 10 years ago about a pink sapphire as a future ring for me, but then I completely forgot about it. Rob didn’t and felt this was the perfect time for something pink to represent our baby girl coming into the world. ๐Ÿ™‚ Rob did some special ordering to get this ring. Tiffany’s is very selective in their standards for diamonds and other precious stones, so it takes some time to get it arranged, but it is totally worth it! I love it!!

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Finally we were able to go home and we were so excited for Chase to see her first home that she will grow up in and meet her big sister Coco. ๐Ÿ™‚ Daddy getting Chase ready for her first ride.

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In upcoming posts I will share with you how things are going with Chase, my recovery, and products that been a big help to us. Thanks for reading and sharing in our joy!