Wednesday, November 25, 2015

One week of baby jimmy.

Mama Saigh loving every newborn snuggle.
It seems like yesterday that I was walking around with a gigantic pregnant belly. Now, Jameson (AKA Baby Jimmy) is already a week old, and time is flying by.

For those of you who have asked, Jameson Marshall Saigh was named after a few people. My dad's middle name is James, Papa Saigh's grandpa's name was Jimmy Saigh, and we have always loved the name Jameson. Marshall is Papa Saigh's dad's name. So, Baby Jimmy has a lot of love and background behind his name. Although we've had our challenging moments with Linna, and we're slowly adjusting to our new life as a family of four, I am honestly enjoying every moment. Baby Jimmy is the sweetest little boy, and his big sister loves him so much. I just wish I could freeze time.

While I'm still adjusting to my new sleep schedule, I'm also adjusting to a new life of changing diapers that involve a tiny penis with a mind of its own. Up until a few days ago, I was going though at least 2 diapers, 10 wipes, and at least one clothing change per diaper change. Baby Jimmy is exclusively fed breast milk (via pumping and bottles), so his poop is super seedy and runny. Getting all of the poo out of his little privates, while trying to control his crazy legs, and avoiding a huge mess from his sporadically peeing penis, has been a whole new challenge. We decided to not have Baby Jimmy circumcised (more on this later), which I'm thankful for, because I can't imagine having to deal with that healing on top of this new diapering adventure. I'm slowly mastering a diapering "plan of action" that works for us, and have to make diaper changes quick because Baby Jimmy HATES being cold (it's the only time he really cries).

Happiest big sister with her baby brother.

Baby Jimmy in the Moby Wrap, while Linna takes a bath.

Can't get enough of this little man..

Jameson is pretty much on his own schedule. He sleeps a LOT, and eats, pees and poops when he feels like it. I think his days and nights are backwards, because he'll sleep 4 to 6-hour stretches during the day, but just 3-hour stretches at night. Last night, however, Baby Jimmy gave me TWO 4-hour stretches of sleep. It was fantastic. I pump about every 3 hours, but will go up to 5 hours if I'm out doing something, or sleeping. I'm pumping about 6-8 oz. each session, while Jameson eats about 3-5 oz. every 3 hours, or so (I'm already freezing my milk). We don't wake him up to eat, but let him eat however much he wants when he's hungry. Baby Jimmy sleeps with me in the master bedroom, and Papa Saigh is sleeping with Linna in her bedroom. We are so proud of Linna because she goes to bed alone in her room every night (we read and lay with her for a few minutes). One night last week, I told Linna that Baby Jimmy could sleep in the Bassinest, so she could sleep in our bed with me. But, the thought of having Baby Jimmy waking her up at night sent her straight back to her own bed. My sister-in-law, mother-in-law, and Papa Saigh have been extremely helpful getting up with Linna between 7 and 7:30 a.m., so I can sleep in a little bit, since I'm up at night with Jameson. After experiencing postpartum depression with Linna, I realize how important sleep is. So far, I feel pretty well-rested, going to bed around 10 p.m., waking up a couple times a night to pump, feed, and change Jameson, then getting up around 7:30/8 a.m.

Big sister snuggles after The Wizard of Oz show.

Baby Jimmy loves his hand-me-down Wubbanub from his big sister Linna.

First bath after his umbilical cord fell off.

Baby Jimmy is still in his newborn clothes, and went from his birth-weight of 7 lbs. 12 oz., to 7 lbs. 4 oz. at his 1-week pediatrician check-up. His umbilical cord fell off at 8 days old, and I'm slowly realizing that his newborn days are numbered, which makes me SO sad. I've had my emotional moments, but allowing people to help me this time around has really made a difference in the "sanity" department. I struggle with my doctor's orders to "take it easy", but when I don't listen, I feel it... BIG TIME. I'm still healing, which is tough when you have a 4-year-old, a newborn, and a house to take care of. My sister-in-law, Holly, gave me one of the greatest gifts, cooking and preparing our family freezer meals that I can just pop in the oven or crock-pot. Not having to cook or menu-plan during the first week has been an incredible help. My mom has also been helping me out by picking Linna up from school some days, and taking her for the afternoon. My sister, sister-in-law, mother and father-in-law have also been incredibly helpful with Linna, and the household chores. I am so thankful for all the help from everyone, so I can spend time bonding with Baby Jimmy. I honestly couldn't do this without all the help.

Papa Saigh listening to blues music with Baby Jimmy, just like he'd do when he was in my belly.

Another perfect Minnesota Baby.

I know we're just at the beginning of Baby Jimmy's life, but I am loving our life as a family of 4. I know I said I was "done" having babies just a couple weeks ago, but I want 5 more (Papa Saigh, are you game?!)! Here are a few of my favorite baby products/gear that have helped us through Baby Jimmy's first 12 days...

Boudreaux's Butt Paste - With all Baby Jimmy's pooping, we ran into a little bit of a red bum. I'm not joking when I say that this thick paste cleared things up in a day. Plus, it's only about $5 at Target,

Kiinde Bottle System - I will write more about this amazing system later, but this bottle-system is a game changer. I can literally pump into the Kiinde bags, and the bags pop into a fast and easy bottle-feeding system. I can freeze the bags of breast milk, or feed Baby Jimmy right away after pumping. These bags can also be used as pureed food squeeze-pouches when Baby Jimmy gets older.

Moby Wrap - I don't know why I didn't use this baby carrier with Linna more often. I love snuggling Baby Jimmy, but I also have a 4-year-old to pay attention to, and work to get done. The Moby Wrap allows me to get things done around the house, while holding my baby close. Love being hands-free!

Zutano Booties - Baby Jimmy's tiny feet and ankles don't hold socks or booties very well, but Zutano's booties are one of the only booties that will stay put. I'm so glad I ordered a couple pair of these booties, because Jameson is in them all the time.

Medela Freestyle Double Electric Breast Pump - This breast pump is worth its weight in gold. Since I am exclusively pumping and bottle feeding (Jimmy can't figure out how to latch onto Mama Saigh's enormous boobies), this pump allows me to be completely hands-free while pumping my liquid gold. The pump is so small and powerful, and attaches to my clothing, or my hands-free pumping bra. At 12 day postpartum, I am pumping about 6-8 oz. per session.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

GIVEAWAY: The wizard of oz at children's theatre company.

4-year-old Linna and her baby brother Jameson (Baby Jimmy) at The Wizard of Oz.
We are so excited to give away a family 4-pack of tickets to the Children's Theatre Company's production of The Wizard of Oz! We had tickets booked to see this show last Saturday, but my water broke and I was in the hospital having our little Baby Jimmy. The staff at the Children's Theatre Company was nice enough to rearrange our tickets, so I could take the kids this past weekend instead. That's right, I took the 4-year-old and the 1-week-old to see The Wizard of Oz... By myself.

The show is super cute. It was a little scary for Linna whenever the Wicked Witch of the West made an appearance, but the more the witch came out on stage, the more relaxed Linna became. Linna loved all of the munchkin scenes, seeing Toto on stage (a real dog), and all of the music during the show. I thought the two stand-out characters were Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion. The actress who played Dorothy was a great singer, and did a great job making Dorothy her "own" character. The actor who played the Cowardly Lion was hilarious. He had both Linna and I laughing, and I couldn't get enough of his accent.

The show runs about two hours, and there were points in the show where my 4-year-old lost interest. However, seconds later a song would start, grabbing her attention again. We also had to miss the last 10 minutes of the show because Linna got a stomach ache from eating too much junk food the day before. Since I was in a rush to get her to the bathroom, I left behind my cooler and a bag of breast milk in the theatre, which was such a bummer. But overall, I really enjoyed my morning with my babies at The Wizard of Oz.

If you go see this show, allow at least 20 extra minutes for parking, because 15 minutes before the show is CRAZY with last-minute arrivals (especially on the weekends). We missed the first 5 minutes of the show because the ramps near the theatre were full, and we were running late. One thing about our experience that kind of threw me, was that fact that I was charged $5 for Baby Jimmy to enter the theatre. Apparently, there's a "lap ticket" that must be purchased for any child sitting on an adult's lap, even if the child is a week old. This small $5 fee was a little frustrating, but once we got into the theatre, we all enjoyed our experience.

We probably would have had better luck taking a photo BEFORE the show. Linna had
a tummy ache at the end of the show, so we had to leave 10 minutes before the show ended:(

FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A FAMILY 4-PACK OF TICKETS TO THE WIZARD OF OZ... Either "like" and share our contest post on Facebook, or comment on this blog post with your first and last name, and city you reside in. If you do both, you'll double your chances to win. All entries must be received by Thursday, November 26th at 9 p.m. One winner will be randomly selected and announced on this blog on Friday, November 27th. Good luck everyone!

The Wizard of Oz
Children's Theatre Company
2400 3rd Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55404
(612) 874-0400
Show runs through January 10th

Monday, November 23, 2015

Maternity photo-shoot with robert evans.

Baby Jimmy is now a week old, and I'm already missing my baby bump. It's incredible how I've gone from "This is my last baby.", to "Let's have five more!", in the matter of a couple weeks. During my pregnancy, I found an amazingly talented photographer to capture the final weeks of my growing belly. Robert Evans of Robert Evans Imagery captured the most beautiful photos of my first baby, Linna, and her baby brother in my belly when I was about 33 weeks pregnant with Baby Jimmy (at the time, we didn't know if he was going to be a boy or a girl). Minnesota is pretty lucky to have this talented photographer living and working right here in the Twin Cities, because he has quite the extensive portfolio.

Linna, Mama Saigh, and Baby Jimmy in my belly.
Mama Saigh and "the bump" in our unfinished basement of the new house.
Robert is the photographer who captured all the of wedding images for Katie Holmes and Tom CruiseBrad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, and Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton. I feel beyond lucky to have found this talented man to capture this special time in our family's life. Robert made our entire shoot so easy. He came to my home, which was great because I could just pop into my closet to select wardrobe choices for each shot, instead of having to lug everything to his studio. Robert made me feel incredibly relaxed, and had our 4-year-old daughter in and out of shots when her short attention span would allow for it. His photography partner, Nate Anderson, was also on hand to shoot video of this experience. The three of us had so much fun during our two-hour shoot, listening to Robert tell us stories from his celebrity photography experience.

Mama Saigh and baby.
I love this photo because I'm sitting on the same chair that I took all of Linna's monthly
and yearly photos in, as she was a little baby!
I received my images from Robert within a week of our shoot, and was blown away with how the photos turned out. He captured the developing bond that was forming between me, my daughter, and the growing baby inside my belly. While I was feeling swollen, uncomfortable, and just plain large during this pregnancy, Robert and Nate made me feel beautiful. It's fantastic how Robert turned simple spots in our newly purchased home, into gorgeous backdrops and settings for each photo. We had just moved into our new house the day before this shoot, and now, I love looking back on these photos to see how far we've come making this house our home.

Linna resting on Mama Saigh's baby bump. She's SO excited to be a big sister!

We had some fun during our shoot too!
It feels like it was just yesterday that I had Baby Jimmy in my belly, but now he's here and we're loving every cuddle, newborn cry, and sweet newborn smell. I'm so excited to, one day, explain to my kids that they were photographed photographing moms, moms-to-be, and families in the Twin Cities, so take advantage of this while you can, because he's sure to book up quickly!
by the man who photographed some of the biggest celebrities in America. The moments Robert captured of me and my babies will be something I will always look back on, because this pregnancy really did fly by. Robert Evans is now

Robert Evans Imagery
Phone: (818) 206-4243

Nate Anderson, Robert Evans, and Mama Saigh.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

VIDEO: Linna meets baby jimmy for the first time.

This is video of Linna, her MeMaw and PeePaw meeting Baby Jimmy for the first time, just 30 minutes after he was born. We had them come to the hospital without knowing if Baby Jimmy was a boy or a girl. I love Linna's reaction. Etta was our girl name.

Bringing baby home & getting hit by the "feelings truck".

3-day-old Baby Jimmy and his Big Sister Linna. So much love.
Monday afternoon, we brought Baby Jimmy home from the hospital. We spent two and a half days at Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia, and when we got home, I was hit by a truck of emotions.

I'm being very careful about watching for signs of postpartum depression this time around, as I had it pretty bad with Linna. But last night, I don't know if it was the hormones, the fact that we were finally home, the exhaustion, or the overwhelming amount of love I was experiencing, but I had a good, long cry.

Papa Saigh and his mom took Linna to dance last night, so Baby Jimmy and I curled up in our bed, and I just let the tears flow. I was feeling EVERYTHING. I felt sad when I looked in the mirror, and didn't see my big pregnant belly. I felt overwhelming happiness watching our 4-year-old love up on her baby brother. I felt frustrated and annoyed by all the unfinished projects we have going on in our house. I basically just... FELT.

There's something about birth that unleashes an incredible amount of emotions in me. I wasn't a very sensitive person before I had my first baby, but these babies have turned me into a puddle of mush. Last night, Linna was being difficult around dinner time (she's been "challenging" since she turned 4), so I made her leave the table and go upstairs. She threw a fit, pushing all of my buttons, and I completely lost it with her, raising my voice more than I would have liked. Ok, I yelled at her. I made her go to bed early, but laid with her for a few minutes like I always do before she goes to bed. As we laid there, she put her hand on my face and whimpered "I love you, Mama. More than anything."

Cue Kim Kardashian ugly cry.

I laid with Linna in her bed, and cried. I cried because of the way I yelled at her. I cried because of how sweet my baby girl is. I just cried. Every emotion I was feeling came pouring out in the form of tears, and I told my daughter how much I loved her. I told her that the tears I was crying were happy tears, and that she and her baby brother made my heart feel so much happiness. I laid with her until she fell asleep, and then made my way to the bathroom to finish my cry in the tub.

I needed that cry.

I feel ya, little guy. Just cry it out.
I felt so honest with myself. I could breathe, and felt like a new person. I know my hormones are all over the place, and talking with other moms who experienced this same wave of emotions has been comforting. Unlike when Linna was born, I'm accepting the help that's being offered to us, and think I am so much more "relaxed" this time around. Finding our family's new normal has been challenging, but I am feeling so incredibly lucky to be the mama of a perfect baby boy, and one amazing little girl.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Jameson marshall saigh is here.

As I sit here in my hospital bed writing this, my precious and perfect baby boy is sleeping soundly right next to me. I know I should sleep when the baby sleeps, but I just can't stop starring at this little man. 

Jameson Marshall Saigh, AKA Baby "Jimmy".

Jameson Marshall Saigh (Baby "Jimmy") made his grand entrance at 2:41 p.m. on November 14th. My water broke at home at 7:40 on Saturday morning. I was laying in bed, having irregular contractions and slight back pain, and Papa Saigh and I were discussing whether or not we should ask his parents (MeMaw and PeePaw) to head to our house from Mankato (my parents are currently in Florida). We decided to call and tell them not to hurry, but to head to our house whenever they could, because we might head to the hospital if my contractions kept progressing. Ten minutes later, we were calling to tell them to hurry and get here, because my water broke and I was bleeding slightly (pink blood in the fluid). We decided to take Linna to the hospital with us and have MeMaw and PeePaw meet us there, because I started having pretty strong contractions at home.

(VIDEO: Telling Linna that my water just broke, and that the baby is probably coming today.)

I was immediately admitted to the hospital, gave Linna a hug "good-bye", as she was off with her MeMaw and PeePaw. I decided to start some IV drugs right away because I was already dilated to 4.5cm and 80% effaced, and we had the epidural guy on stand-by. And now, the worst part of my entire labor experience. The nurses tried to administer my IV not once, not twice, but THREE times... AND they weren't successful until the FOURTH attempt. I hate needles, so along with a lot of tears came a few f-bombs (and some other words that don't need repeating). I was so upset. I had to get into the bathtub to remove myself from the situation, and try to relieve my back pain. Once the nurse successfully administered my IV drugs, I had an epidural started as well. My epidural with Linna went very smoothly, and other than a little bit of pressure, I didn't feel any pain during her birth. This time around, was very different.

Last "bump" photo, in the elevator at the hospital.

Last pic as a family of three.

From the very beginning, my epidural was "odd". I literally felt so high, and was not only numb from the legs down, but from my chest down. I couldn't keep my legs from falling off the bed (which, of course, I found hilarious in my "high" state), but I also couldn't cough properly, which was extremely frustrating. I went from 4.5cm, to 6cm, then 8cm, in about an hour. When I got to 8cm, they called the doctor to come in, because I was literally crossing my legs to keep from pushing the baby out. I can't tell you how difficult this was. When the doctor finally arrived, they set me up to push, and I immediately knew that this birth experience would be different from my birth experience with Linna.

I could feel... EVERYTHING.

Snuggling my little man.

Baby Jimmy isn't sure what to think of his new world.

The doctor game me a local anesthetic to make the experience a little bit better. The pain wasn't excruciating or anything, but the pressure was intense! Papa Saigh and I were able to watch the birth from a mirror that the nurses set up, which again, was an incredible thing to see. While I probably would have rather been a little more numb, I felt pretty amazing after experiencing the feelings of pushing my baby out. I only pushed for about 20 minutes, and when they placed the baby on my chest, I immediately asked what it was. Papa Saigh said, "it's a boy!", as his eyes filled with tears. I couldn't believe it, and I still can hardly believe it. Baby Jimmy had a great set of lungs, and didn't stop crying until they brought him back to me after they weighed him and checked his vitals. I fell in love from the moment I looked at his full head of hair and perfect little face.

We called MeMaw, PeePaw, and Linna, and told them to head to the hospital, without telling them if the baby was a boy or a girl. Linna was beyond excited to meet her new baby, but when we told her it was a boy, she said, "but I wanted an Etta (our girl name)". Her disappointment didn't last very long, as she cuddled right up to her baby brother. Watching the two of them together has made my heart double in size. I can't believe I am the mama of TWO babies... A gorgeous little girl, and perfect little boy. I was pretty worried about how I'd ever love another baby as much as I love my first born, but it's unreal how much love is pouring out of me right now.

My heart.

Baby Jimmy after his first bath. Look at all his hair!

I seriously can't stop cuddling and starring at Baby Jimmy. He is unbelievably cute, and beyond sweet. I love his newborn cry, and his precious whimper when he sleeps. He's not even 24 hours old yet, and he's already pooped twice, figured out how to latch on to my massive boobs (with a nipple shield), and is pretty alert when he's awake (although he sleeps a lot). I'm pumping a good amount of colostrum with my new Medela breast pump, and feeding it to Baby Jimmy via a bottle. He's taking a pacifier, bottle, and the boob with no nipple confusion. He is absolute perfection, and I want five more of him. Man, how things change!

Papa Saigh is staying with me and Baby Jimmy in the hospital until Monday, and I am enjoying every minute of my "vacation". I think I desperately needed a little bit of a break from the 4-year-old, and I know it's just a matter of time before I have to go back to "real life" as a new mom of two (with no nurses to help). I am soaking up this precious time with my little man, because I know he's going to grow up just as fast as Linna has. We are so thankful for all the love we've received from all of you, and I am feeling like the luckiest person in the world right now. 

Now, time to enjoy some more snuggles with my little guy!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Baby saigh #2 pregnancy: Water broke at 7:40 a.m. on saturday morning.

It's time! I just got to the hospital after my water broke this morning at 7:40. Papa Saigh and I were laying in bed, contemplating whether or not we should have his parents drive up from Mankato because I was having some contractions and back pain. Ten minutes later, my water broke. Going into labor the second time around is MUCH different, as we have a 4-year-old to consider. Linna decided to have a melt-down this morning, so instead of tending to me, Papa Saigh got to deal with the kiddo. Anyway, I'm bleeding a little bit with my water leakage, so we decided to head to the hospital with Linna and have my in-laws meet us there. Papa Saigh is currently in the waiting room with Linna and we are just waiting for his parents to get here. I'm all hooked up to monitors, listening to the baby's heartbeat, and waiting for an IV to get some drugs for my back-pain and contractions. I'm a wimp when it comes to pain, so the epidural guy is standing by too. Can believe we'll be meeting our newest baby today (hopefully)!