Honestly the last four weeks have flown by. I can't believe Braden is already a month old. I'm pretty convinced that time speeds up the older you get...Anyways, life as a family of four has been pretty great so far. Having Dave home for a whole month has been wonderful. We've had a ton of fun together and it's made the transition so much easier. He goes back to work on Monday and then reality will really set in I'm sure! I still can't believe we missed the Microsoft paternity leave extension by 2 weeks!! Dave would have three whole months of paternity leave! What do you even do with three whole months off??
Braden has been a real peach. He sleeps at night, just waking up to eat every 2-3 hours and takes his naps during the day! The second time around is easier that way. We aren't nearly as anxious and paranoid. With Connor we could hardly handle letting him cry and with Braden we are so much more confident that he is okay and that sometimes babies just cry. This time around we're starting our sleep training right away - preemptively, rather than in 6 months because we can't handle rocking/nursing/helping him to fall asleep for every nap/bedtime like with Connor. He's already responding well to it and puts himself to sleep within a few minutes for nap times. We'll see if it sticks!!
Connor is doing really well adjusting to being a big brother. We really had no idea how he was going to take it...he's a sweet boy, but he's also very not used to sharing mom and dad! He was a bit skeptical at first and would cry whenever Braden cried...but he quickly got over that. Now he thinks "baby" is pretty hilarious and wants to play with him...sort of like a very interactive toy. Which inevitably leads to a lot of conversations about being gentle and careful...he doesn't quite get it yet :)
In other news, I had my first ever kidney stone! When people say it's worse pain than childbirth, it's an understatement. I was sitting at the computer editing some photos of Braden when I suddenly felt a weird pain in my side. At first I thought I had tweaked my back. I laid down on the floor with a heat pad and tried to stretch...but it only got worse. Worse to the point where I couldn't hardly get up off the floor. I knew we were in trouble when I started throwing up from the pain. At that point Dave called the emergency room to describe my symptoms and the front desk told us to come in since it could be appendicitis(right side). By the time we made the 15 minute drive to Swedish I was in agony. They had to wheel chair me into emergency because I couldn't even walk. I laid in the hospital bed for what felt like years before they finally hooked me up to morphine drip. Instant relief. Also, the staff were super nice to Connor and gave him a special beanie baby bear for keeps. He watched PBS kids quietly on Dave's phone while Braden slept through the entire 4 hours we were there...it was a miracle.
After testing me for pregnancy (hah!!) they gave me a CT scan which revealed a 7mm stone sitting at the entry to my bladder...it had made the entire painful trip from my kidney down my ureter and was just sitting there. They told me I'd probably pass it in the next few days, gave me some pain meds and sent us home. That sucker didn't move for an entire week. Every day for around 4 hours a day randomly that pain would come back as the stone tried to move. We finally ran out of pain meds and had to go back to the hospital to pick up more...which unfortunately coincided with another round of severe pain. We hadn't bought our double stroller yet so poor Dave had to flag down a patient (who happened to be headed to her oncology appointment...) and a nurse in the parking lot to help push me in the wheel chair and Braden in the stroller.
The nurse who helped us is seriously a saint. I pretty much cried the whole way home because of how kind she was to us. We got hooked up with a urologist for the next day - and at that appointment we scheduled my surgery to have the stone removed two days later. But of course, that same night the stone passed all on it's own. If you've never seen a kidney stone, look it up...they are literally little spiky rocks. So weird.
The whole experience was really insane. I typically have a very high tolerance for pain, so to be so debilitated was extremely frustrating. However, it really showed us how many people around us are there for us and really care and want to help. So many friends and family offered to watch the boys and help out. It was so humbling and brought us a lot of peace, especially since my parents were still on their trip abroad in Europe.
Unfortunately with kidney stones, if you have one, you're likely to have more. In fact, the CT scans revealed that I have 4 still sitting in my kidneys like little ticking time bombs. They may never pass - apparently people go their whole life with kidney stones that never move. Drinking lots of water, avoiding sugary foods, drinks, and soda can help prevent kidney stones. But ultimately, if you are predisposed to produce stones, there is no infallible way to prevent future stones from developing. Which honestly really sucks. However, I have never been more motivated to watch what I eat in my entire life. So I've got that going for me, which is nice ;)
Anyways, the new normal starts on Monday. Wish me luck!! Hopefully these boys decide to play nice :)