Thursday, April 29, 2010

Cloth Diapers

So after doing cloth for a few weeks and trying an assortment of diapers I thought i'd post a little review. I know some people who read my blog are considering cloth, so I hope this helps!

We started out with the following:

12 bummis prefolds
6  bumgenius bamboo fitted diapers
an assortement of Bummis super whisper wraps and super brite covers

Since then I have also purchased the following:
1 BumGenius All In One Fitted Diaper
Flip diapering system

Prefolds -

The cheapest way to cloth diaper. They are what you imagine when you think of the old fashioned cloth diapers: the ones that need pins (or in my case snapies) and a cover. While they are economical I haven't found them the easiest to use. It takes a little more work to get them on right, and I have had a few leaks. While I have found they are great to have on hand i'd rather slowly build up my stock of other diapers to eventually replace these.

Fitted -

I really like the bumgenius bamboo fitted! Of course they have been discontinued since I purchased them. They need a cover over them like the prefolds, but you don't have to arrange them at all. Its like putting on a regular diaper and then simply putting the cover on over top! Quick and easy! It is a bit of a pain having to put the cover over top, but buying fitted diapers is cheaper then buying the all in one diapers. While I do love the fitted, once he outgrows them I'm not sure if i'll replace with more fitted or with another system. I think the fitted is a great option for newborns however because its cheaper then an all in one and the one sized systems i think fit babies better once they get bigger.  More on that later. =)

Covers -

I love the covers. I have to say the super brite I like slightly better because they have this extra leg bit to help prevent leaks!

All In One -

The all in one was free with an earth day promotion when I bought the Flip diapering system. While i LOVE how easy it is to use and put on I don't think i'd invest in a ton of them for a few reasons. First off they take MUCH longer to dry. It required 2 dryer cycles simply to dry the diaper. Secondly they are sized diapers so when the baby grows you have to buy new ones. I'd probably like to have a few on hand because they are nice and easy for babysitters, but I wouldn't go out and spend a ton of money on a bunch of them.

The Flip -

This is a neat diaper system! Its a waterproof shell you reuse and then a really absorbent liner that you change every time. Sort of like a prefold diaper but better and easier. The shell part of the Flip is one size too so you can adjust it as your baby grows! I have to admit at first I was a little unsure of the Flip... I was expecting leaks or a mess. But I am happy to report no leaks occurred! I only have 4 inserts at the moment, however that gets us just about through the night. The other nice thing about the Flip is you can buy disposable inserts! That sounds really convenient for going out! I may have to buy a few of those.

Whats next? I'm going to try out some one sized pocket diapers! I love the ease of the all in one but hate the dry time. The pocket is the next best thing because you remove the liner therefore it drys quicker!

Lastly a few other observations. In the one size diapers I prefer Velcro over snaps. The Velcro gets a much more snug fit around the waist while the snaps are close, but not perfect. Prefolds are okay for starting and a backup, but I'm not going to purchase anymore. Instead i'm going to purchase more either fitted or one sized diapers. So far most of the diapers I have are sized which is nice, but I am going to try some one size diapers to see how they fit. I have heard both good and bad about the one sized... so i'll keep you updated!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

One Month!



My little boy is getting so big!! Developmentally he really has changed this past week. He's gone from eat, sleep, poop to actually interacting with us! He smiles and grins and coos! The cooing has really picked up the past day or two. Even my mom commented on how when they first got here he didn't do it and now he does it all the time. I have to say I'm LOVING this phase! At first I really was in survival mode but now I can really start to play with him. Its so wonderful to talk and grin at him and get a real response!

I'm pretty sure today he's going through a growth spurt. Since last night he's been very fussy and wanting to eat almost every 20 - 30 minutes. Needless to say its been quite exhausting... even his swing which he loves isn't doing the trick! It'll keep him quiet for a while, but it doesn't put him into a deep sleep. His stuffiness is MUCH better though. We ran a humidifier in our room last night which I think helped too.

I also am proud to say I am getting the hang of nursing in public. Yesterday I nursed in Starbucks at the mall! I was so proud of myself. My mom asked if I was okay or wanted to move and I just shrugged and said we were in as good a place as any. I don't think most people realized what was going on anyway. I think its good me getting out with my parents and doing things because its forcing me to nurse in public, something I was nervous about. By the time they leave i'm gonna be a pro at it!

I also have to add here that breastfeeding is 100X better. My nipples are still a bit sore at times, but his latch is getting better and i'm no where near as sore as I was. He also seems to be eating quicker and more efficiently. I have to admit those first weeks were really trying and at times I wanted to give up but now things are going great!

Now off to do more adventures. Today's shopping agenda: New shoes. I totally stretched mine out thanks to my swollen feet! Ack!

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Real Day Out!

So first off, my parents are here! YAY! Its so wonderful to have help! I hadn't realized how wonderful it is to just have someone else hold him for a while!!

Yesterday I actually went out! As in, out out! Originally it started as a trip to Target so my parents could get a few things. Well, we were doing good and decided to go out to Trader Joes grocery shopping and then went to get some coffee and relax. I actually was out and about with him for a good 5 hours. It was so wonderful to be out of the house doing normal things! I felt wonderful! And he did great! I used my carrier and popped him inside and he was happy as a clam! We had a little fussing at Target originally but after walking at a faster pace he drifted off to sleep. It was so wonderful!

His congestion seems to be better in the day and then horrible at night. Overnight last night the only way he would sleep was propped up on my arm, which isn't very comfortable around my incision area for long periods of time. So, today we are going to get a humidifier to see if that helps keep him unclogged at night. His sleeping was all sorts of weird yesterday. He actually crashed and was asleep from about 9 to 11:30 so i got a few good hours, but after that he didn't sleep well all night. Yesterday afternoon however he was totally out for about 5 hours!! If only he could do that overnight I would be in heaven. I actually had to wake him up to feed him because I was uncomfortable!

And, my baby is one month old today! AH! How did that happen??? It doesn't seem like its been a month!! I promise to post a 1 month photo later today. Now I am off to eat breakfast before he wants to eat breakfast! Or second breakfast at this point. ;)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Bigger and Smaller

So I decided that I am going to start keeping better track of my baby weight loss. I told myself I wasn't going to do any serious dieting or exercise until at least 6 weeks (thanks to the c-section the exercise thing is definately out) but I am curious to see how I am doing. I am embarrased to admit I gained a LOT more this pregnancy then I wanted to... however it wasn't because I ate horrible food. In fact I tried all sorts of different eating habits and nothing seemed to change how much or little I gained. In the 1T I had to eat almost 24/ or else I felt sick, and then in the 2T and most of the 3T I was hungry all the time. I tried to eat healthy foods, but still, at my 42 week appointment I was up 53lbs. Yes, 53. Not a number I am proud of, but it is what it is. My last weight was at 234 and I started out this pregnancy weighing 180. 

As of this morning I am 198! So, while I still have quite a way to go, I am happy that the weight is coming off. Of course I still also have to loose the 15lbs I gained while trying to get pregnant so that puts my total current weight loss goal at 30lbs. Honestly I'm okay with this. I know I still have quite a way to go, but its only been 4 weeks so I am not stressing about anything yet. Now if in 4 or 5 months I still have this much weight to loose its gonna be another story! Hopefully in 2 weeks I will get the OK to start exercising again and then I will get back into tracking my food and get the rest of this baby weight gone!

So while I am getting smaller my little man is getting bigger! Today I pulled out the 3 - 6 month clothes and began to wash them because his 0 - 3 months are just getting smaller and smaller. He's getting so big so quickly!!! I just want to stop him from getting bigger. I was looking at a picture of him in the hospital and I can see how chubby his face is getting!! Everyone told me they'd get big really quick but sometimes I feel like every morning he wakes up and looks bigger!

Now I have to go get things ready... my parents are actually coming today! Their flight is in the air! I'm so excited. =)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Cloth Take 2

Yesterday we restarted with the cloth diapers. His diaper rash cleared up nicely and I purchased a cloth diaper safe diaper rash cream to use... so we have been disposable free for 24 hours now! I've discovered that I probably need to purchase a few more diapers to make it through a full 2 days without needing to do laundry. Right now we are at about a day and a half. I have tons or prefolds, however we only have 6 fitted and we are using the fitted overnight and prefolds in the day. The reason? Its easier to put a prefold on in reduced lighting when you are half asleep. =)

After 24 hours of cloth I have to say, its really just as easy as disposables. The actual time it takes to change the diaper is exactly the same! I'll never have to worry about running out of diapers and needing to run to the store because I know when I am low and can just throw them in the wash! Sure, the diapers themselves are a little bulky compared to disposables but its so much more cost efficient this way not to mention better for him! I've heard stories of babies getting chemical burns from the stuff that is put in disposable diapers to make them super absorbent! My next step is to purchase a few all in one, one sized type diapers to see how I like them. I like the prefolds and the fitted, but the all in one may be easier for going out.

Eirik is still stuffy, but doesn't seem to be having any other real symptoms so we're still keeping an eye on him. No chest congestion, cough, etc. His new thing however is that he refuses to sleep in his cosleeper... he wants to sleep on me. I'll put him in his cosleeper while he's fast asleep and within 5 - 10 minutes he's grunting, thrashing, and awake. I'm not sure if he just doesn't like being on his back or if he's got some mild stomach issues that make sleeping on his back uncomfortable. He'll sleep in bed next to  me in the crook of my arm so that his head is propped up. I'm thinking of getting one of those slightly inclined sleep positioners to see if that helps. Not that I don't love to cuddle with him, but my back is killing me in the morning!

Hopefully tomorrow night my parents will be here! They have rebooked their flight, so fingers crossed nothing else happens! Now I am off to have a quick shower before Eirik wakes up again!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Breastfeeding Success!!

After visiting the lactation consultant yesterday Eirik and I started the process of relearning the latch. Needless to say, last night was more then a little frustrating. He kept trying to latch on the way we had been and when I tried to get him to do it the right way he would get frustrated! It doesn't help that he loves to try and shove his hands in the way so I can't see what I was doing. To make things even more fun he has some sniffles which means he didn't sleep well either.

Today my husband and I had decided to go to Target. Previously i'd just been sending him, but after the success yesterday at Trader Joes I decided today I was going to visit Target! We arranged and timed everything so we left the house as soon as he finished eating. The plan was to go to Target and get everything done before he woke up again. The store is 10 minutes down the road and I didn't need that much stuff so I had hoped that he would sleep the entire time. We made it through almost the entire store and then, in the check out line, he awoke. My husband and I went over to the starbucks in Target, got some coffee, and I sat in a quiet area in the back and nursed him. Even though I knew no one could see me it was the most nerve wrecking experience! I kept looking around feeling like someone was going to see something or come ask me to move or that I was going to accidentally flash someone. But instead all that happened was he latched on almost perfectly and ate! Yes, thats right, after a frustrating night of not latching correctly for some reason today in Target he decided to do it first time!

Now I am just keeping everything crossed his snuffles from last night and earlier this morning don't turn into a full out cold. He was really congested this morning but i suctioned it out and he's seemed to be fine since then. No fever or any other real cold symptoms. I'm really hoping maybe something just stuffed him up! The last thing I need is a sick baby!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Out and About!

I finally made it out today to do something!! It was so wonderful!! It wasn't exactly an exciting one, but its the first time since Eirik was born that i've done something other then be in the house and go to the midwife!

We actually did go to the birthing center today. They do free lactation consultants and Eirik is still having some latch issues. He's getting better slowly, but still not perfect. So we decided today to stop by and get a free consultation. I have to say, it was great! The woman was so helpful and quickly adjusted his latch! His latch wasn't deep enough which was causing him to spill milk and probably not eat as well. I'm hoping that the new latch will help with his fussiness. The hold is also MUCH more comfortable then the one I had been doing. She also sized me for a bra. I found out that while I had purchased the correct size bra, the next size up was MUCH more comfortable. So, I now have another really well fitting nursing bra!

Afterwards we went to Trader Joes to get some groceries... and this time I made it in the store! We're going to have to get the babywearing thing down however. Scott had to carry the carseat around the store while I pushed the cart... not the easiest thing to do. So, tonight we are having more time in the carrier so he and I can both get used to it so next time we go out he can simply go in there. But, I digress. It was so nice to be out and walk through the store and do SOMETHING! It wasn't a long outing, but refreshing. Tomorrow I think we're going to do Target!

Now I am off to wake up my zonked out baby because he needs to eat.  He may not think he does, but my body tells me otherwise. =)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Smiles and Grins

We officially have smiles!


So its not the best picture of one, but its the best i've managed to capture so far! At first it was really just the gas/sleep grins however just over the past few days he's been really grinning when looking at us! Its the most amazing thing to have him staring at you and suddenly burst into a huge grin!

We've discovered that he LOVES his swing. It was a 5 dollar craigslist purchase and has turned into a lifesaver! He is quite happy to take a nap in there while I get things done. I'm nervous about trying to do too much carrying him around after being so sore the other day, so this is a great option. I don't like leaving him in there too often or too long however because I start feeling guilty.

I definitely have a cold, however thankfully its not a horrible one... just an annoyance. I had the sore throat and it has now progressed to the runny nose. I am just keeping everything crossed Eirik doesn't get it!

And, still no updates on when my parents will get here. I'm sure you've all seen on the news how the volcano seems to be getting worse and shows no signs of stopping. I am hoping they can make it here sometime this week! Of all the annoying things to occur... a volcano!

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Little Too Optimistic...

So my last post was just a little too optimistic... of course!

Eirik has his first diaper rash, which means back to disposables. Most of the diaper rash creams are not good to use with cloth diapers because they build up a residue. So, until he gets better, we're going to be using disposables. I did find a review of a cream online I am going to buy because its supposedly awesome and good for cloth!

While carrying Eirik around yesterday was great my body is really not up to it yet. I am feeling sore today, so no more carrying today. I'm trying to get him adjusted to it. He likes it, but yesterday when he woke up and realized he couldn't move around he was NOT a happy camper.

Then there is the fact that I am catching my husbands cold. I had hoped and hoped with all my might that I would avoid it, but no such luck. Last night the sore throat started. I am sucking on zinc losenges and drinking tons of water in hopes that this thing will stay away. Usually I go for the airborne but I'm not sure about taking that while breastfeeding.

And last night Eirik had a fussy night. I think he must be having another growth spurt today because all he's really wanted to do is eat and eat and eat. I have him in the swing right now (we discovered this morning he loves it!) but he's not really asleep. He's kind of tolerating it while I take a little break to eat, drink, and use the bathroom.

And, most disappointingly, my parents flight was again canceled! The volcano seems to be getting worse instead of better! We are hoping they make it here Sunday or Monday... but we just don't know at this point!

Its just one of those days...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Babywearing and Cloth Diapers!

We have successfully done a day of cloth diapering! I will admit last night overnight we did use disposables because my husband hadn't done any cloth yet, but as of today we are fully cloth! That does mean we'll have to do laundry tomorrow so we have enough diapers. I have to say, its so easy! You do have to change them more often because unlike disposables they don't really pull the moisture away the same. But, we change him every time he eats anyway, which is about every 2 - 3 hours. We'll see how things go, but hes not complaining! The prefolds are easier then I imagined!!

We also attempted baby wearing today. Eirik has decided he wants to be extra clingy now, so he really only sleeps well on me. Thats nice for a while, but laying around with a baby on you all day and trying to do everything with one hand gets difficult quickly. So, today I pulled out my mei tai wrap! I got it online from a wonderful person who makes them ( ). Well, I shoved him in and he was happy as a clam! Well, until he got hungry.  But as I type this he's zonked out fast asleep in there again and I can actually get some cleaning done!

And finally on a rather disappointing note my parents flight today got canceled. Why? A huge volcano went off in Iceland causing all airports in the UK to close. Of all t he weird freak of nature things to happen... a volcano! So, they are coming Saturday instead. I'm disappointed, but it gives me a few more days of recovery!

Finally, me wearing the mei tai wrap!


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

One Day I Shall Sleep Again...

Ah sleep, how I miss you! I have always been a person who loves sleep. I'm one of those "i need a solid 8 hours to function" people. In college my friends thought I was weird because I went to bed at 10 or 11. My reason? 8am classes and I exercised before hand, therefore I was getting up at 6:30 every day. I know everyone says you don't sleep when you have kids, to sleep when the baby sleeps, etc. I have to say I knew that sleep would be the one thing I would miss the most. It takes adjustment to go from a solid 8 hours to waking up every 2 - 3 hours for up to an hour to feed Eirik. Slowly however I think I am adapting to my new sleep schedule! I also am adjusting to going to bed later and getting up later. Before I was the person who was in bed by 9:30 and up at 6 or 7 and now I am up till midnight and sleeping till 9:30 or sometimes 10! Eirik has his fussy hour from about 8 till midnight so I know he's not going to go down to sleep between those times. After that I usually get a good chunk of about 3 - 4 hours before he's up again. After that its been hit or miss as to if he really goes back to sleep. This morning he did, but that was partly because I just let him sleep on my chest instead of putting him back in the cosleeper.

In other updates I had my 2 week check at the midwife yesterday. They peeled away the little sani strips covering my incision (I still haven't had the guts to look at it in a mirror!) and told me everything looked perfect. They said slow and steady as to resuming "normal" activities. I do feel better every day, but still its slow. Yesterday after my appointment we stopped at Trader Joes and I realized half way across the parking lot there was no way I was making it through the store. I reluctantly went back to the car and sent my husband in to shop instead. I just have to keep mentally telling myself over and over "it was major surgery".

On a more positive note my parents are coming tomorrow! I am very excited because I haven't seen then since last June. They are staying for 3 weeks, which is wonderful. Even though I'm sure they will go out and do their own thing it will be nice to have people around, especially in the evenings. I realized yesterday just how lonely I have been! My father in law came over and brought us dinner and it was nice to have more people around! Then I talked to my friend on the phone later and again, it was nice to have someone to talk to!

Now I am off to shower and eat lunch while Eirik takes his morning nap. Todays big adventure: we're starting cloth diapers!! I'm excited and nervous at the same time!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Natural Instinct

I always knew I wanted to have kids, there was never a doubt in my mind. The thought of having a baby and being a mother was something that made me smile happily. I did always have one doubt in the back of my mind: Would I know what to do with a baby? I pushed this thought off while trying and even in my early pregnancy, but as my due date got closer I became more and more anxious. I'm sure some of you remember my "What the heck was I thinking?!" posts.

I've never been around a lot of babies. My brother and I are about 2 1/2 years apart and he has no kids (nor the inclination to have any soon). I never was surrounded by young cousins because my family all lives in Europe. We had family friends, but all the kids were in my age range so again, no babies to interact with. As I grew older and graduated from college I only had one friend have a child. So, my entire infant experience was based on a few short encounters with my friends child. Needless to say, I was a little nervous about the whole having a baby thing.

In the hospital when they told me we could start pushing soon I had a meltdown. I started to bawl (hormones and lack of food and sleep were probably contributing factors). What if I was a bad mother? What if I didn't know what to do? Could I really do this?? Those months of anticipation were over and suddenly my baby would be here in a few short hours.

Of course the way things worked out with the c-section I didn't exactly get the initial bonding experience I hoped for, however when I saw him and he lay on me and looked at me I just felt this rush of gut instinct take over. It wasn't scary at all! Holding him just seemed to come naturally to me. I wasn't afraid of hurting him or holding him the wrong way... I picked him up without thinking and moved him around as if I'd been holding babies all my life. Diaper changes? Somehow that just seemed to come naturally too. I admit I don't think i've changed a single diaper in my life... yet when then time came I did it as if i'd done it a million times before. All those things I was so afraid of never came to pass.

My friend even commented on this when she came to visit me in the hospital. She said quite plainly to me that I seemed pretty comfortable and I realized, I was.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Slow Recovery

Today I am feeling more "normal" then I have since coming home. I know they say c-section recovery is hard and its major surgery... but I am one of those people who hates to be stuck doing nothing. I mentally feel fine, when i'm sitting/laying down I honestly feel perfectly normal. Its not until I get up to move or try and cough (which lets just say hurts like HELL... laughing, coughing, sneezing, anything like that) that I remember why I am stuck upstairs in the first place. The weather outside is beautiful and I would love nothing more then to take Eirik out somewhere yet I am still hardly making it up and down the stairs. 

But, today is better. I feel a lot less sore when I move around and even moving is a little bit easier. I'm not going to be out doing things at my usual pace any time soon, but I feel like maybe by the end of next week i'll be able to do something... like go to Target! Is it sad that I am looking forward to something as simple as going to Target?? 

The c-section itself has been really rough on me. I wasn't really mentally prepared for it so when it happened it threw me for a loop. I've never had any sort of surgery before and I wasn't really mentally prepared for how difficult these few weeks would be. As much as I would love to have more kids at the moment all I can think of is "what if I need another c-section?" I'm sure in a few years i'll have a different attitude about things... but at the moment thats all that I can think about. I don't know how I could go through this all over again, especially having one child. Maybe if I was more mentally prepared for the recovery and knew what to expect this wouldn't be so difficult for me. But, I guess unless you have to have a c-section for some reason you don't really plan on one and do that sort of research. 

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Boppy

When I became pregnant I heard raves over the boppy. I was told it would be a lifesaver, it was wonderful, one of the BEST investments people made. Thanks to craigslist I found a boppy at an amazing price and was sure it would help me just as it did others!

I didn't bring it with me to the hospital (we already had too much stuff as it was) however the second I got home I used it. I was excited because in the hospital we had been having various latch issues and some of the positions honestly hurt my arms after a while! It was okay to use, but I found it a little frustrating at times. it would slip positions and depending on where I was sitting by the time he was half way through nursing the pillow would be doing almost nothing.

As I said above, we've been having some latch issues, especially on one side. The only hold i've found that hes really good with is the football hold. I had been using a regular pillow to do this hold but yesterday I thought "Ah ha! The boppy!" And sure enough, it was MUCH more comfortable for me! I thought to myself "This is great! He is more comfortable, I am more comfortable, this will make things easier". Riiighttt...

All afternoon yesterday he would nurse and nurse and not sleep. At 9:30 when my husband came home I was almost at my wits end becuase he STILL hadn't gone down for any significant sleep. He just wanted to nurse... and to make matters worse he was getting fussier every time. He was thrashing and kicking and acting like something was wrong, but I could not figure out what! I burped him, I soothed him, I swaddled him, I tried just about everything, but all he wanted was to eat and even then he wouldn't settle down. Finally at 11 my husband took him away from me and told me to sleep for a few hours, he'd be fine.

At 1:30am when my husband came back into the room with him I suddenly had an "AH HA!" moment... one that would have saved me many hours of frustration. While he latched great on the boppy and it was more comfortable, my flow was reduced to almost nothing so he was getting practaclly NOTHING out! I don't know why my brain hadn't put the fact that he wasn't taking deep sucks with this conclusion hours earlier...exhaustion? Heat? The fact i'm a new mother? Needless to say the boppy went in the corner and my regular pillow came out again. A quick 45 minutes later he was passed out in his cosleeper happy as a clam and there he stayed until about 5:30 this morning.

I'm not saying the boppy is bad... as I said above, I know so many people who rave about it! Maybe when he's a bit bigger and we have breastfeeding down better i'll go back to the boppy and it will prove useful for me. Until them i'm just using a regular pillow!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Heat Wave!

We are in the middle of a bazzar april heat wave. Maryland has weird weather to begin with, but this is just downright strange! I can not remember the last time it was this hot for my birthday. Usually its warm and nice enough to be outside, but sweltering hot? Nope! Average weather for this time of year is mid 60s or so, low 70s maybe. How hot is it today? 90! 90 degrees! As if that isn't bad enough I have NO AC and am stuck upstairs due to the fact that is the ONLY bathroom in the house! Needless to say I have fans going full blast and am sitting in front of them. Of course I really feel bad for Eirik... i can't tell if he's too hot or not! He's not really fussing... and they say keep one more layer on him then you have on. However when I have on as little as possible what does that mean he should have on?? Thankfully there is a storm system coming through tomorrow to cool everything off.

Just when I think maybe Eirik has developed some sort of awake/asleep pattern he goes and changes it on me. The past few days he's been taking 2 really long afternoon/evening naps. So, my plan has been to go to sleep when he settles down for one of his long naps... however today he has yet to take a long nap since about lunchtime! He's been pretty much awake and eating all evening long. He took a few short naps, but nothing significant. Back to square one! Maybe this means he'll sleep better tonight? I can hope right!

Finally here is a photo I took this afternoon while he was wide awake!


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Breastfeeding Saga

So if there is one thing you are told over and over again its "breastfeeding is hard". Its one of those things you hear, yet secretly hope you are the person whose child comes out of the womb all ready to eat like a pro. I was one of those people... I had dreams of my son being able to latch on perfectly the first time and having no issues what soever. HA!

He did come out and latch on... just not correctly. Those first days in the hospitals he mauled things up pretty nicely... lets just say things were swollen, cracked, and purple! With the help of some nurses and an amazing lactation consultant we managed to get things back on track... somewhat.

We got home and suddenly, on my own, it was almost like he'd forgotten everything we'd learned. They say thats normal, that babies forget... but no matter how normal it is it was frustrating. I tried nursing in every position I could think of... what worked once seemed the next time to just be a disaster! I tried different pillows... nothing seemed to really help.

It all culminated last night around 11pm when he woke up to eat. We had so far had a pretty good day breast feeding and I had hopes of a quick (30 - 45 minute) feed and then off to sleep. You see, i stupidly hadn't gone to sleep yet even though he slept from about 4pm till 11pm with one meal in between. Yes, I broke rule number one: Sleep when the baby sleeps! For the next 3 hours or so he switched from one breast back to the other, one position back to the other, and every now and then would drift off for an entire 5 minutes only to have to repeat the entire process. Somewhere around 1:30am I started to bawl. My poor husband just sat there, unable to do anything. I was sore, I was tired, and I had a baby who had no interest in anything but me.

He did eventually fall asleep... and he slept for about 3 hours, one of his longest night stretches yet! Of course he was up this morning doing a similar feeding routine... eating, then laying down for about 10 minutes before eating again. I did however follow rule number 1 this time... when he passed out this afternoon around 2 I handed him off to my husband and upstairs I went for a few hours of shut eye.

Here's hoping tonight goes better then last night.

Pictures Not working...

So last night I was playing with settings on my flickr account, thus making all the recent Eirik photos I posted not work anymore. Promise i'll get them fixed up!

Monday, April 5, 2010

1 week checkup!

Today we had our first real adventure out! Not far, just to the pediatrician. Since Eirik was seen in the NICU they wanted us to go visit the ped ASAP. Of course right before we left he decided he had to eat, making us a smidge late. Then there was all the paperwork to fill out... and how embarrassed was I when I kept trying to write my name on everything?! It didn't help the schools were on spring break so the waiting room was FULL. There I am in my sweatpants and nursing shirt trying not to look too exhausted and self conscious.

The nurse took all his measurements. This little guy does not like being naked! His height was 22 and weight was 9lb 9oz. Of course after all that he was still hysterical so I did the only thing I could think of at the moment to calm him down: feed. Of course as soon as he latches on the door open and the doctor comes in. I think he was more uncomfortable then I was, so he said he'd come back in a few minutes. Go figure! He came back and looked Eirik over and announced everything looked great. He actually thanked me for breastfeeding! I guess a lot of parents don't. No signs of jaundice, everything looks great, come back next month!

Of course being outside today was just a tease. The weather where we are is unseasonably warm at the moment. The usual temperature is in the 60s and today its been almost 80! Outside its so beautiful and here I am, stuck in the house with limited mobility. It wouldn't be so bad if I could at least make it up and down the stairs... but I can hardly make it up and down by  myself so there is no way I could carrying Eirik! Anyway, no more then twice a day up and down... doctors orders!

My husband is off teaching tonight: its the day of the week he has the most lessons. Eirik and I have spent the evening laying on the bed while I caught up on some TV shows on Hulu. Its strange being alone with Eirik. I have my routine and am so used to doing things one way, and now I have to think of everything before hand and make sure he's okay. I originally had him laying in his cosleeper in the other room while I used my main computer, but I realized i'd rather be cuddling with him, so off to the bedroom we moved.

Sleep last night was actually a bit better! He slept from 10pm to 12:30! I woke up thinking something had to be wrong because he hadn't woken up yet. Of course the rest of the night was a similar pattern to the previous two: eat, burp, sleep for about 30 - 40 minutes, repeat. I don't mind the waking up and feeding, i just wish I had more then 45 minutes or so to sleep between them!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!


Full day number 2 at home and I am doing MUCH better. Last night I went downstairs and watched a movie while eating dinner. It was a nice change. Night number 2 of breastfeeding went much like night number 1, with the exception that I am getting more used to the little 20 minute stretches of sleep every 30 - 40 minutes. i keep telling myself this will get easier soon... it hasn't been that long and my milk is just coming in. So far today I feel like all I have done is nurse! I did go downstairs and put a chicken in the crock pot for dinner as well as eat lunch before returning back upstairs. I then had a shower which made me feel 100X better! Nothing like a shower to make you feel like a new person. I'm starting to generally have more energy and feel more like myself except I can't do much... which is really frustrating for me.

My deflated balloon stomach keeps deflating leaving me more and more disgusted with it. I know it will go away over time...  but at the moment I have so much saggy skin it makes me cringe! Again, i have to keep reminding myself its only been a week and every day it does look a bit better then the day before!

Tomorrow we have our first visit to the pediatrician! The only thing I have that fits currently is a pair of sweat pants some oversized tee shirts... should be an interesting visit!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Day 1 At Home!

So we've  been home now for just a little over 24 hours. The first thing I did when I got home was go "What the hell do I do now?!" I stood there staring at Eirik wondering what happened next. I knew I would be stuck upstairs mostly because that is where the bathroom is. First things first however: make pediatrician appointment for monday and send husband out for pain medicine! Overall day 1 went pretty well. It was a little weird at first being home and suddenly having a baby. Things I used to just do such as, get up and go pee, now required me to think about "well, what is he doing?" Thankfully hes not very mobile so its pretty much just me making sure he's happy. After my husband came home and drugged me up he took Eirik for a while, allowing me to get a much needed nap. I awoke 2 hours later totally disoriented and confused as to where I was and what was going on. Boy, i was tired!

The cats honestly were kind of indifferent to him. He smells funny to them and when he cries they get confused, but overall they just ignore him and stay away. Caligula did nuzzle Eirik's head twice yesterday, but that was because he had a hat on and Caligula couldn't smell the difference.

Bedtime however was another story. I have a cosleeper and had bought a little tent to go overtop to keep the cats out. Well, thanks to hormones I went crazy thinking that the second i turned off the lights the cats would jump on the top or he'd stop breathing or something bad would happen. So, my poor cats ended up kicked out of the bedroom after all. Honestly they reacted a lot better then I thought they would. We had a few scrabbling incidents, but nothing to horrible. I know, overprotective mommy mode and insane hormones probably made me crazy, but I slept better. Well, when I did sleep!

Last night he decided to cluster feed ALL night long. I'd do one side, he'd pass out, then 10 minutes later he'd want the other side... then he'd fall asleep AGAIN and i'd settle down thinking I had about an hour or two. Nope, within 30 - 40 minutes he was awake again, repeating this all night long. Thankfully he settled down this morning and I got a few hours of decent sleep! I didn't actually get out of bed until almost lunchtime! Most of the day has been spent feeding, but my milk supply is most definitely in now so hopefully he'll get into a more predictable pattern of feed/sleep.

I did go downstairs this evening to eat dinner and watch a movie. It felt nice just to not be upstairs anymore! Its really nice being out of the hospital but with the weather so nice outside i'm going stir crazy! We are going to the pediatrician monday, so that will get me out of the house a little bit. Maybe by next weekend, if i'm feeling better, i'll do something crazy like... go to Target!

Tomorrow is Easter and for the first time I can remember I am doing nothing... no cooking, no special easter dinner... nothing. I will however dress Eirik up in a cute easter outfit and take tons of photos of it!

Here is a picture from this evening: Eirik and Daddy having cuddle time. =)


The Long Awaited Birth Saga!

WARNING: This is insanely long... just a heads up. =) 

The first rule of being induced is to expect the unexpected. I knew this going in and was prepared for things to change, but it still caught me off guard.
We got to the hospital a little late, both nervous and excited. We were quickly settled into a room, an IV was started, and tons of paperwork was filled out. Initially I was hooked up to a monitor that had no room for movement and my nurse at that time was not quite as happy to be relaxed about things. She did go find us the monitor that was on a transmitter so we could walk around, but kept saying over and over that a lot of times it had issues. I think she was utterly shocked when it worked so well. The midwife on call showed up and they started the pitocin. I felt fine, walking around, drinking juice and other fluids (as well as a little illegal food) and trying to generally keep myself entertained. They slowly upped the pitocin levels and for a while the contractions did start to feel a bit stronger, but then I felt nothing again. That’s not to say I wasn’t having contractions… according to the monitor I was having them quite regularly and frequently. I just wasn’t feeling anything. The nurse shift changed at 7pm and I met my new nurse, who I liked MUCH better. She was personable and friendly and made me feel relaxed.  At about 8pm my midwife came in to check me, but as she came in I had a contraction that actually felt painful and felt a pop which turned out to be my water breaking.
At first after my water broke I still felt pretty good… but things VERY quickly went downhill. Each contraction became stronger than the one before and soon I was having them every 1 – 2 minutes apart and screaming in pain because they were so intense. My midwife checked me about an hour and a half after my water broke to see how much progress had been made. In that hour and a half I had gone from almost a 4 to a 4. I knew then my hope of natural labor was gone and begged for drugs. The epidural I didn’t want was now reality. Thank god the anesthesiologist came VERY quickly. Unfortunately he had the worst bedside manner ever. He never said a word to me, he was gruff and down to business and directed all his comments to my midwife and the nurse. No “its okay it’ll be quick” nothing. Thankfully it was quick, and not as bad as I feared. My midwife was amazing talking me through the entire thing. Sitting perfectly still while having intense insane contractions is almost impossible… but I did it. Before long as promised everything started to go numb… so numb in fact my legs were dead. I have to say while people rave about epidurals I personally hated the fact that I couldn’t feel my legs. It drove me insane.
The positive thing is I did actually get a little sleep. I dozed between blood pressure cuff readings. There was one spot where my epidural did not reach that was a horrible back spasm so I kept having to hit the button for more drugs to alleviate it as I couldn’t move. The midwife that had been with me left and a new one came in. They checked me in the morning and found things had been progressing overnight and hopefully not too much longer. Slowly the morning went on, but finally we were told “maybe at 10 we’d start pushing!” At this point we were getting more excited. At 10 my midwife checked me and said he was still high up so they’d let me labor down for a while, which was okay. Around 11 the nurse (a new nurse who I was not as fond of) came in and said we could do some practice pushes. So, we started to push. They also turned down my epidural so I could feel the contractions more. At first things weren’t so bad, but with the epidural slowly weakening the pitocin contractions became stronger and stronger and my pain became worse and worse. By 12:30 the pain was getting unbearable. We tried different pushing positions but found that still nothing was changing. His head was the wrong way and he wasn’t moving anywhere until that straightened up. Another hour of pushing and no change in movement meant I was spent. I had begun to throw up from the pain and exhaustion and I had nothing left to give. I tried… I tried pushing but I knew my options were changing. At 1:30 I gave in… I was done.
I cried. I bawled in fact… sobbed. It didn’t help that everyone who was in the room, from the NICU nurse to the anesthesiologist was sweet and encouraging to me because they knew this was not what I wanted. Quickly things were put into motion and before I knew it I was being wheeled down the hall and into a freezing cold operating room. I was petrified and still having contractions and shaking uncontrollably. The anesthesiologist was amazing encouraging me, getting me warm blankets, asking me how things were. My midwife went in with me as well as my husband. They kept asking me if I could feel pain or pressure and finally I said pressure. Then I felt a little pressure and suddenly I felt this huge release of pressure and I heard “it’s a boy”. I didn’t even realize they had cut me and he was already out. Then I heard him crying and it felt so surreal and amazing. I had told my husband to go be with him, my midwife would stay with me. Soon they bought him over and put him on me… it was the most amazing moment ever to look at him. I know people say instant love… but it’s almost like he was always part of my life. I feel like the second I saw him it felt normal and natural to think of him as my son… as if that’s what he always was and would never be anything else. Sadly he was quickly taken away to recovery and I was sewn up. It honestly didn’t take much time at all before I was being pushed down the hall and into recovery.
Since he was a c-section, he was overude, and he had muconium they had to do a bunch of testing and bloodwork on him. I lay there staring at him as he looked around. Before long they had him laying on my chest to see if he’d breastfeed. He was on in seconds sucking away. It was at this point I finally found out just how big my son was… born 10lbs 3.8oz 21inches long. WOW. After a short while of laying there, recovering we were all taken upstairs to our final room. They had given me some pretty good pain medication so thankfully I was still in no pain at all. I had my son… and that was all that mattered to me. It was such a whirlwind amazing experience… seeing him, holding him, realizing that he was my son. It felt strange to me that in that moment I turned into a mother. He was perfect. I’m almost positive every new parent says that about their child, but it was the only thing that came to mind when I saw him. He was perfect and adorable and he just stared at me with these beautiful eyes… even thinking back on it now makes me tear up.
That first night was a rush of so many conflicting emotions…  between him being wide awake and alert, me not knowing the first thing about what I was doing, and still being upset over the entire c-section saga it was quite a night. First rule of business was to update people as much as possible. To our disappointment we discovered the free wifi isn’t that good and does not work in our room... so that was out. I called a few people and ate “dinner”: A lovely liquid dinner of juice, jello, water, and broth. Yum yum yum. I hardly got any real sleep that night because Eirik was awake and alert and wanting to feed quite regularly. My night nurse that first night was amazing however… she was very helpful with breastfeeding and took great care of me. She made sure that I was comfortable and even took Eirik out with her for about an hour so I could get a little sleep.
Tuesday was another trying day. I had experienced a few very bad latches and Eirik has quite a strong suck so my nipples were already becoming VERY bruised. He actually slept quite a bit during the day, but I didn’t really get to nap. All morning my room was a buzz of people checking me, checking the baby, asking if I was okay, taking his picture, doing his hearing test and then Cara came to visit me. By the time Cara left and I was getting ready to feed again they told me that he was now slightly jaundiced and we really needed to make sure he was eating enough. Easier said than done! We had quite a fight with him to wake up and eat. Of course at this point the lactation consultants had left but we did eventually get him on and eating something. At this point I was fairly exhausted so we both lay down and decided to sleep. Of course at this point the phone rings… it’s the pediatrician who had seen him earlier in the day. Since he was so overdue and my water was broken for so long before the c-section they had been running regular lab tests on him all day and were concerned he was showing signs of an infection. His white blood counts were all high as well as his CRP and instead of going down they were going up. They wanted to give him IV antibiotics but to do this meant a trip to the NICU. Scott went down with him when they came up and I quickly followed behind in a wheelchair. There is nothing more heartwrenching then watching your child helpless being hooked up to monitors and stuck with needles. I cried… not a lot, but I sat and cried watching him. I still wasn’t moving to well at this point so I couldn’t stand with him so Scott stood next to him instead. He had more blood taken for bloodwork as well as a blood culture. The results of the culture take 48 hours and those have to come back negative before we can bring him home. If it comes back for positive he needs 7 days of antibiotics… that’s a 7 day stay in the NCIU. We talked with our night nurse before going back to our room alone. We decided that since he is very stable and that I would be down every 2 ½ hours to nurse anyway it would be better for us both to get some sleep. They offered to give him IV fluids that night if I wanted to sleep, but I knew that was just a slippery slope to go down. Even though I was exhausted and sore, better to go down regularly.
So, every 2 ½ hours down I went. The first time scott went down with me but the second I let him sleep and had a nurse take me. He had to go teach lessons that evening and it would be better for him to have sleep. I could play catch up during the day and while he is out teaching. By now I was slowly but surely making progress. They gave me a compression band which worked WONDERS. Instead of slowly limping I was actually walking. I actually pushed the wheelchair down to the NICU instead of going down in it. I also started makings sure to keep track of when I took what pain medicine and when to take it again. After both breast feeding experiences the night before I had horrible cramps which made me realize I needed to be more vigilant. I also got the OK to shower, which felt amazing. Even though I just sat in the shower it felt so wonderful to clean my hair and really helped me feel like a normal person again.
Just as I was getting ready to scarf down some lunch before my next feeding the NICU doctor came upstairs to talk to me about Eirik. They said while he wasn’t really showing signs of infection he was now showing signs of jaundice. Really this didn’t shock me because most infants seem to end up this way. Of course though she then bought up formula supplements because “my milk wasn’t coming in yet and if he got much higher they would have to keep him in the NICU for treatment”. I started crying. A combination of hormones and EVERYTHING else going wrong already just made this little setback seem 100X worse. She talked more and gave me all the things I’d heard given to people before … all the “its not going to prevent breastfeeding” and “we just want to make sure he’s okay” etc.  After a lot of thinking we agreed to talk more about it when we got downstairs to the NICU and after my consult with a lactation specialist.
We went downstairs and met with the lactation consultant who was AMAZING. She was supportive and really helped us work on not only the latching issues but as well as the whole jaundice thing. My milk in fact was coming in so she talked to the nurse practitioner on call and they agreed that I could supplement with my own milk. So, new plan… breastfeed, pump, supplement with my milk. We wouldn’t use a bottle, we would finger feed so not to give him any nipple confusion. This was a solution we were all happy with… at least at the moment. Scott and I went back to our room much happier. The next feeding again went well so the lactation consultant left us and promised to check in the next morning.
I don’t know if anyone else has experienced this before, but in the world of medicine there is the traditional doctor and the more natural/openminded doctor and the two but heads… not directly but they tend to leave the patient in the middle. So while in the daytime everyone was happy and thrilled with me supplementing with my own milk, once the lactation consultant was gone it was another story. I went down for my next feeding early because he was wailing his head off. My friend Kerry came to visit so down we went. When I got there the night nurse instantly talked to us about what supplement we were going to use… which confused me. So, when my husband came in after Kerry left (only 2 people at a time in the NICU) the nurse practicioner came in and talked to us more about formula. Scott and I reluctantly agreed to give him “a little” formula after I had not only fed him, but pumped and given him my own milk too. Thankfully the nurse wasn’t watching as we gave him the formula because I’d say about 70% of what went in his mouth came right back out. He was not amused by this change. At the second feeding my husband drank half of it because we both didn’t want to give it to him!
The NICU is closed to everyone from 6:30am to 8am for a nurse shift change, so based on Eirik’s feeding schedule we decided to get downstairs for a quick 6am feed before going back down about 8:30 for a more normal feed. We got down at 6 and settled ourselves. He wasn’t too hungry yet, but something is better than nothing. They never gave Eirik a real room, he was in the holding area for incoming emergencies and when they want to shuffle the less serious patients around so the more serious ones can have their own room. So as we are sitting there I can hear a huge commotion on the other side and people rushing to the OR to meet a c-section. Moments later they are back and the sound I could hear almost bought me to tears… it’s a baby trying desperately to cry and all that is coming out is a mewling noise. I thought it had to be a little premie baby but then I heard someone say it was over 6lbs. I hear words like “abruption” and “blood in the lungs” and “we need an intubation kit ASAP”. All I could do was sit there and hold Eirik tightly. It put everything back into perspective about how lucky we were to have him and how even though things didn’t go the way we planned he was healthy. A few moments later a nurse came back and assisted us out the back way. It really took everything I had not to bawl the entire way back.
When we returned to the NICU for the 8:30 feeding we got good news: Eirik could come back upstairs with us! He was still under NICU care and the nurses would come visit him and do his antibiotics, but he could stay next to me. The morning nurse practitioner was very nice about the brestfeeding and said to just make sure he fed at least every 2 – 3 hours. Needless to say my entire day was spent feeding him! I think he must have heard what they were talking about because he suddenly decided to have 2 marathon feeding sessions. We were just glad to have him back upstairs with us because it meant no more having to run downstairs every 2 – 3 hours. Then that night we got the best news ever: his blood culture was negative! No infection! Provided that his billi count the next morning was still good he was coming home!
The next morning was filled with anticipation and anxiety. Would he be coming home with us? Was his jaundice bad enough to need the lights? My husband took it worse than I did, pacing around the room, getting agitated we hadn’t gotten answers yet. Soon however we were told everything looked good and a NICU nurse would be up to discharge him shortly. We had the room packed up and ready to go and then once the NICU nurse gave us the OK all we had to wait for was my nurse to come and discharge me. Before long we had him belted into his carseat and I was being wheeled downstairs and outside.
Now I have had a chance to really reflect on everything that happened it leaves me sad, angry, and mostly disappointed in myself. I know that I should just be happy he is here safe and sound, but parts of me reflect on the whole experience and wonder “did I really try hard enough?” Could I have tried pushing longer? Should I have spoken up about laboring down longer? Did I just give up because I was tired and groggy and hungry and sick? Would things have ended differently if I had spent money on a birthing class? I’ve been told by others with similar experiences these reactions are normal… and to be expected. At the moment the thought of having any more kids upsets me because it means the potential of another c-section. I know that some people have no issues with c-sections, but for me the thought of another major surgery is too upsetting to think about at the moment.
Now, as I close here I know a few people who read this blog will be having c-sections so I’ll give you a little advice:
1. Get up and moving as soon as you can! I know it’ll hurt and you’ll want to fall back in to bed, but the more you move the more it helps. Crazy I know, but all that walking to and from the NICU was my turning point!
2. Take the pain meds, and take the max they will give you. Don’t be a hero! If you take the medicine to help you up and moving at the hospital later down the line you’ll do much better.
3. Swelling afterwards is common. My legs and feet are so swollen at times that I can hardly walk! The best thing you can do is drink LOTS of water to help flush things through your system. 

Friday, April 2, 2010

Introducing Eirik Lysander!

Born on Monday March 29th at 2:11pm via a very unplanned c-section. I have a very long birth story/reflection on all the events of this past week I am working on... so patience please. =) However, here are a few photos to tide you over!