Sunday, January 29, 2012

Baby Smiles & Beginning Laughs

This has been lightening up my life lately...

Just look at that smiley face.  And the beginning of some laughs... I can't wait to hear more!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Birth Story, Part 3 {Breastfeeding Woes}

Birth Story, Part 1 is here.
Birth Story, Part 2 is here.

After 18 hours of labor, a c-section, Liam finally being born and then being wheeled off to our new room for recovery, we were in store for a whole lot more unexpected experiences.  I guess no matter what you thought would happen or planned for, the whole birth and after effects can go a million different ways!

Given the nature of my delivery, I was kept on the epidural, along with my preeclampsia meds, for 24 hours postpartum.  This meant the catheter was still in and I couldn't move my lower half - I was starting my new role as a mom bedridden.  So my husband was on 100% parental duty for the both of us right away.

Thankfully he is an awesome dad, and was from the minute I went into labor.  He got to change all the diapers (the nice nurse helped him with the first one of black tar - meconium) and do all the swaddling for the first 24 hours.  He would bring Liam to me when ever he was ready to eat and I'd nurse, then he'd take him back and rock him to sleep - basically everything but feed. I felt pretty useless.

I felt even more useless when two days later (after two consecutive morning weigh ins) we came to find out poor baby boy had lost over 10% of his weight (when docs start to worry).  He wasn't getting enough from me.  Due to the meds I was on and surgery I'd had, I was very dehydrated and therefore delayed in getting the right amount of colostrum & milk in.  Poor sweet baby was so hungry and had spent the night before we discovered this crying inconsolable.  We were told to stay another night in the hospital (our 4th recovery night & 5th night all together) so we could make sure he didn't loose even more weight.

Per the recommendation of our pediatrician and the horror of the lactation consultants, we supplemented with some formula on the Friday after he was born (born Tuesday morning) in the hospital to get him caught up.
He guzzled the formula down and was immediately a different baby... satisfied and sleepy!

By the next day (Saturday - go home day) my supply seemed to have come in and he was off formula.  I've been nursing him since, though not without further bumps in the road (and some supplementation)...

More on how breastfeeding has been going at home later.  But just want to make sure all those soon-to-be mamas out there know that there isn't just one right way and things don't always go according to plan.  If you plan to nurse, just know it is hard work.  But if you keep trying it gets better!

Visit me and my mothership blog - Chasing Davies

Monday, January 23, 2012

New Mama Must Haves

Almost 6 full weeks at this mom gig, and there are a few things I highly recommend to get by for all you other mama-to-bes & new mamas out there! 

1. Best under eye concealer ever.  Maybeline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer in Brighter.  Seriously makes me look like I'm bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready for the day, even after only 3 or 4 hours of sleep.
2. My Brest Friend. I held off on getting this thinking it was just more stuff.  I was using a regular pillow to assist holding the baby on my lap while I nursed, but was needing 2 hands to do so.  After spending most my day nursing, I decided to try this to see if it would free up a hand and so it did.  Now I can use my Kindle Fire, phone or even computer off to the side of me while nursing = multitasking!
3. Which brings me to my thrid recommendation - the Kindle Fire or any other sort of tablet/smartphone. With that new free hand, you can stay connected to the world/email.  Especially great for late night awake time with baby when there is nothing but crap on TV.  I need something to do to keep from falling asleep, or crying of exhaustion.
4. A really great pair of leggings.  While trying to catch a few minutes of sleep when your little one does, running between diaper changes and feedings or sitting on the floor trying to entertain the baby - leggings are so super comfortable, but still make you feel like you are wearing real clothes (as opposed to PJs).  Not that you won't spend some days, all day, in PJs (ahem...), it's nice to switch it up here and there and wear something you can leave the house in.
5. Comfy (& warm during winter months) slippers.  These Target Suede Moccasins are great because they have a rubber sole, which means you can leave the house in them too... which I do, all the time.
6. It's all I can do to take a quick shower, let alone wash my hair and dry it.  So I've been using a lot more dry shampoo and washing less... time saver! (I love Suave Professionals Dry Shampoo Spray and cheap, too)
7.Hooter Hiders Nursing Cover - another something I thought I wouldn't need.  I figured I'd just excuse myself to another room around other people or use a blanket.  Nursing in another room gets isolating and blankets with a wiggly baby can be risky, so I decided to try this out and it really is great.  It has a wire to keep the top away from you so you can easily look down to see the baby, wide enough to cover you all up, and pouch it folds up and fits into making throwing it in the baby bag easy.
8.Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads - I tried using the reusable ones first, but was constantly leaking beyond them (embarrassing).  I haven't leaked onto my clothes at all with these disposable ones.  So worth it.

Becoming a new mom, especially if your nursing, is hard work!  I found these things to make it all a little bit easier.  Do you have any recommendations??

Visit me and my mothership blog - Chasing Davies

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Birth Story, Part 2

See Part 1 of the Birth Story here.

While listening to sweet Liam belt out his first cries as his holes were suctioned out by the nurse & my husband watching him and taking his first photos, I was on the other side of the tall blue sheet with tears rolling down the sides of my face.  I already loved this little boy more than ever and couldn't wait to see his face.  My husband brought him over to me minutes later and I saw the most beautiful thing ever.

The doctor's worked on closing me up - which actually takes long than to deliver the baby.  Get this, they completely remove your uterus from your body to sew up and check for bleeders.  I had a few bleeders, so closing took a few minutes longer.  Meanwhile, my doctor also informed me that we had indeed made a good call by going in for the c-section...

When I was in labor & Liam wasn't descending down enough, not only was he face up (his forehead wanting to lead the way out vs. crown of his head), but he was also stuck on my pelvic bone.  His head actually couldn't get through.  I wanted to laugh at this.  I have "womanly" hips and his head was of normal size - what do you mean he couldn't get through my pelvic bone?!  Well, my hips may be wide enough, but the bones on the inside at the top of the birth canal are not.  This means, all future babies will also delivered by c-section - at least now we know and no more 18 hours of labor to start with just for fun.

After I was sewed up and ready for the recovery room, I began to get really shaky.  The first hour of recovery is typically (according to my hospital's policy) when I'd hold my baby skin to skin and have alone time with just me, my husband and the baby.  But because I was shaking so bad, they wouldn't let me hold him!  Instead they went ahead with taking his weight and measurements (right in the room next to me) and in the meantime, gave me demerol & warm blankets to calm my post-surgery shakes.

By the time he was measured, weighed and printed, my shakes had calmed down and I was able to hold my baby for the first time. It was an instant bond that I'll always hold close to my heart.  After an hour of cuddling time, we were rolled to our new room where we'd stay for 4 nights...

Stay tuned for Part 3: Hospital stay, beginning breastfeeding woes, baby weight loss and my recovery bumps.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Few Faces

Liam makes a lot of faces, here are just a few sweet faces:

I could just stare at his sweet face all day... oh wait, I do!  Ok, back to it!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Birth Story, Part 1

The birth story of my baby, Liam, really starts 8 days before he was born.  I was admitted into labor and delivery on Wednesday, December 7th (37 weeks and 5 days along) with patterned and strong contractions.

We weren't sure if this was the real deal, but earlier that morning I had lost "the plug" and contractions had started to get stronger and stronger, culminating 5 minutes apart. So there we were in a recovery room, the triage rooms were full and they weren't ready to commit me to a labor room yet, being monitored.  I was putting up the contractions on the screen that I was feeling and they were getting closer and stronger, so that was good, but I wasn't progressing in my dilation.  I came in at 2 and 6 hours later I was only at a 3, so was sent home. I got in the bath for an hour, and boom, contractions slowed way down and over the next few days almost stopped all together.  What the heck!?

At home waiting for something to happen!

Monday, December 12th I had my weekly routine doctor's appointment at 12:45pm.  I went to work in the morning and then met my husband at the appointment.  I was expecting and hoping to have progressed in dilation, but was still at 3 and 70% effaced (where I was at when I left the hospital the Wednesday before).  I was bummed.  But then, my doctor found that my blood pressure was a little higher than usual for me, there was a little protein in my urine, and my reflexes were "jumpy".  She looked at us and said, well, I think it's time.  "I want you to go straight across the street [to labor and delivery] and check in."  Apparently, all these factors were preeclampsia indicators.  The only cure for this is delivery of the baby, and since I was 38 weeks and 3 days along at this point, it was time. Preeclampsia basically means pre-seizure, so it's dangerous for mama and baby.

We checked in to the hospital and this time, given a real labor & delivery room.  This was really going to happen.  We were going to be induced and meet our baby in a matter of hours!  An hour or so later, the staff started the "pit drip" (pitocin to induce labor), but also the "mag" (magnesium drip to manage preeclampsia). The pit and mag have to be balanced because while pit induces labor, a side effect of the mag is it slows labor, so we figured it was going to be a long journey.  They started each out slow tweaking and turning up the drip slowly after seeing how my body was reacting.

My doctor broke my water (ew, that was a weird feeling) and I got an epidural (hated the feeling of them in my back).  The epidural completely deadened my right leg, but I could feel my left leg and hip - this worried me.  As I progressed, the anesthesiologist kept having to give me shots of the "strongest stuff he could give me" to help with my left side and the massive amount of pressure pain I would come to feel.

By the evening I was progressed to a 5 dilation and 80% effaced.   I was still feeling good, watching TV and socializing with my husband, parents and nurses.   Then things started to progress quickly.  Finally!  I went from a 7 to 9 in 45 minutes and at midnight, I thought it was only going to be a bit longer!

Boy was I wrong...

Four and a half hours later, I was still only at a 9-9.5 dilation and in the most pain I could ever imagine.  For some reason, I just wasn't getting over that last little bit and baby boy's head was not dropping.  My doctor and nurse kept putting me in different positions to try to maneuver the head down further hoping that would take out the last little bit of cervix.  By 6am on Tuesday, December 13th we were talking about my options.

My doctor said the baby's head could just be stuck on my pelvic bone, or I could just need more time.  It was hard to say, but I was getting tired fast (um, 18 hours of labor at this point).  So because I had already put in those 18 hours, we decided to try one more position for 30 minutes.  My doctor came back to check on me, and no change.  I couldn't scream c-section fast enough.  It was time for this to be over.

My doctor and the hospital staff flew into action and prepared me and the OR for surgery.  My husband changed into scrubs and joined me at my head just in time for it all to begin.  I was able to stay very calm because of the amazing people working on me.  They were very clear on what was happening (a play by play if you will) and what I should and shouldn't feel.  The anesthesiologist stayed at my head the whole time ready to tweak anything should I feel pain.

I'm guessing here, but about 7-10 minutes after they begin, the baby was delivered.  At 7:17am on Tuesday, December 13th I heard the sweetest cry ever.

Liam came into this world at 8 lbs 3 oz, 20.5 inches long and with strong lungs!

...Part Two later this week on everything else that happened after birth and in the hospital!

Visit me and my mothership blog - Chasing Davies