Sunday, March 27, 2011

List Love

Five baby related things I love right now:

Having this app saved me during those trying weeks at the beginning. It helped me keep track of when and for how long Sadie nursed. It was also nice for keeping track of dirty diapers.
My arms and shoulders are so grateful for this thing. I took it with me to the hospital, best decision ever. I even have that cover for it!

Summer SwaddleMe Blankets
I love swaddling Sadie for bedtime. Since her arm movements are uncontrollable for the most part anytime we tried to put her to bed without it she would wake herself up with her flailing arms. These help keep everything under control.

Not the exact one we have, but close enough. We got this seat as a hand-me-down from my aunt and uncle and it has been a LIFE SAVER, Sadie freaking loves it! If she is fussy and we have tried feeding her, changing her, cuddling her and nothing is working this seat will work 95% of the time, it's magic. We have another bouncing seat, which she likes, but just not as much as the vibrating one, which is a bummer because Robert and I were so excited about the bouncing one!

Pee only nighttime diapers
Man, there was a time at the beginning that it felt like every diaper we changed was a poopy diaper and that sucked during the middle of the night. We had to turn on more lights to make sure we got everything cleaned up which woke Sadie up more, which made it harder to get her back to sleep. Not to mention cleaning a poopy diaper is a lot harder than cleaning a pee diaper! She has finally transitioned out of that phase and usually will only have 2-3 poopy diapers a day. Don't get me wrong, there are some days where it feels like every diaper is a poopy diaper, but generaly we are in the clear at night.

Four non-baby related things I love right now:

Dr. Pepper Ten
So good. Perfect combination between Dr Pepper and Diet Dr Pepper.
CoverGirl LashBlast Mascara 
Now I am not a huge makeup person. I am totally fine leaving the house with none on, except for mascara. I have to have mascara. I have really blond eyelashes, so if I don't have on mascara I look like I have no eyelashes. I've caught myself a few times since Sadie was born leaving the house with out any on and it's scary. This is great mascara, go buy some.

Bath & Body Works Carried Away Shower Gel and Lotion
Showers are pretty much the only "me time" I get these days, so I like a sent that smells nice and carries me away, if you will.

How I Met Your Mother Reruns on Lifetime
I've never watched HIMYM before but I started watching it in reruns on Lifetime. One word, addicted. I want to join Netflix again just so I can catch up to the current season that is on CBS!
Three pre-baby things I miss:

Being able to watch a television show all the way through without having to pause it.

Sleeping in past 8:30 on the weekends.

It not taking 30 minutes to make sure we have everything when we want to leave the house.

Two post-baby things that make losing those pre-baby things it worth it:

First, I can only pick two!?! Ok, here are my top two:
 Snuggling with Saide after a feeding when she is all drowsy.

Watching this little human that has been entrusted to me grow and change every day.

One thing that gets me through every day:

He is my best friend, my husband, the father to my baby. He is my rock. I really don't think I could of gotten through these last six weeks with anyone else. I am so excited to see what the rest of our lives brings to us.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Baby Weight

Now I am not talking about the weight I gained while pregnant, I'm talking about Sadie's weight. It's normal for a newborn to lose some of their birth weight within their first few days of life. This is normally from a combination of all the sleeping they do to recover from their birth and waiting for mom's breastmilk to come in. Sadie was a healthy 8 pounds when she was born and by the time we left the hospital two days later she was down to an acceptable 7 pounds 7 ounces. Two days after that she was down to a not acceptable 6 pounds 14 ounces. Percent wise that is more than the 10% doctors are comfortable with a baby losing.

Our hospital offers a home nurse check with-in a few days after you go home, which we decided to take advantage of as first time parents. During this check we found out Sadie was down to 6 pounds 14 ounces. The nurse did a good job of freaking me out about this, so much so that I was certain we were going to have to take Sadie to the emergency room right then in there! However, my doctor is a little bit more laid back about these things, which is good, I freak out and she calms me down, it's a nice cycle. So, the nurse called my doctor and let her know what was happening to see what she wanted us to do. It just so happened that Saide's newborn appointment was the next day so my doctor said to be super strict about feeding her every two hours, even if she does not seem hungry or want to wake up. Have you ever tried waking up a four day old baby to eat when they don't want to? It's hard, but we did it. The next day when we took Sadie in she was up to 7 pounds 1 ounce, which is a substantial gain in 24 hours! My doctor told us to stick with the strict every two hour feedings for the next week and then bring her back in for a two week weight check. When I say every two hours that really means feed Sadie for at least 20 minutes and then an hour and 40 minutes later feed her again. It was a rough week. I don't think I would of made it with out Robert, he got up at night with me for almost every feeding. Even though he could not FEED Sadie he would do other stuff around the house or just sit and talk with me during those long nights.

The next week I took Sadie in for her two week weight check. Most doctors, books, etc say that a baby should of fully regained his/her birth weight by two weeks. Sadie was only up to 7 pounds 9 ounces. My doctor was still not worried because, even if she was a little underweight, Sadie looked great! She looked healthy, she was alert and did not seem like there was anything wrong with her. My doctor said to keep up with the two hour feedings for another week and bring her back in for another weight check.

Robert ended up coming home early the day of the next weight check, which I am so thankful for. Sadie had only gained an ounce. One ounce... in one week. Obviously something was not working and Robert and I felt it was time to look into other options for getting weight on our baby girl. My doctor still did not seem concerned about her lack of weight gain as Sadie was still looking so healthy. In fact it was Robert and I who brought up the question of supplementing. I honestly think if we had not asked our doctor would not of suggested it. Which I understand, some breastfeeding moms can be very offended when the mention of supplementing is brought up and, like I said, it's not like Sadie looked sick or unhealthy. But at that point it was killing me that my baby was not gaining weight like she should be and I needed to put aside my need/want to breastfeed exclusively for the well-being of my baby. My doctor was 100% on board with the supplementing and suggested we supplement starting in the evening and through the night two ounces after each time I breastfed. After that appointment we went and stood in front of the formula at Target trying to figure out what the hell we doing. Then we went home, I breastfed while Robert made a bottle. After I finished breastfeeding Robert fed Sadie her first bottle. She downed those two ounces so fast! It kind of killed me a little seeing that. Had I been starving my baby so much that she had to inhale two ounces of formula? I'll get to my side and emotions about this in a minute. We ended up supplementing her more during the day and evening than during the night. During the night she really did not want anything to do with the bottle. But during the day she would take the bottle after a breastfeeding just fine.

The next week was the big one month weight check. What if she was still not back up to her birth weight? I was so freaking nervous/scared for that weight check. The receptionist at the office even wished us luck when we walked in! It was an amazing appointment! Sadie was FINALLY back up to her birth weight! More than that she was above it at 8 pounds 6 ounces! Obviously the formula was working for us and we were going to stick with it.

Now for a little bit of back tracking with my thoughts. I think my milk took longer than the normal three to four days the books and classes say to come in. I think I was closer to five days which is why Sadie's weight was so low during the home nurse check. I do not think any of this is/was due to problem with Sadie's ability to latch or breastfeed, I do not believe we have ever had any problems in that area other than when she is not getting milk towards the end of a feeding. It never hurt, other than the initial latch which was more uncomfortable than hurt, during feeding. She always looked like she had a great latch. She would come away with "milk mouth" after a feeding once my milk came in, so I knew she was getting milk.

I honestly think I had, and still have, low milk production. I tried everything to increase my production; drinking tons of water, making sure I was eating all the time, pumping after every feeding. The only thing I could not do was stop myself from worrying. I have read that how relaxed, or not relaxed, you are can change milk production. But how was I supposed to relax while my baby was not gaining weight!? It was a very hard for me once we started supplementing. On one hand I was so happy that my baby was gaining weight and growing like she should be. On the other hand I was beating myself up. Looking back at the weeks before I could now see the times when she would was crying as hunger cries and there was nothing I could do, I felt like I had been starving my baby. That is a terrible, terrible feeling I do not wish on any one. Even once we started supplementing I could see the times during the afternoon towards the end of a feeding when she would stop getting milk and she would start getting frustrated and bang her head against my breast grunting and crying, my baby was hungry and there was nothing I could physically do about it. But as soon as we gave her a bottle she would gurgle a little sigh of contentment. It's a tough situation to go through and I just kept wondering if I had somehow brought it on myself. I say that because breastfeeding is really, really hard mentally. It's hard feeling like all you are is a milk machine. It was hard feeling like I could not hold my baby without her rooting for a breast.

I have since come to terms with it all because all that really matters is that my baby is healthy and getting enough to eat, whether it comes from me or from a bottle does not matter. In fact there are times when I prefer bottle feeding over breastfeeding it is more convenient for public feedings. I always feel uncomfortable whipping my boob out in public and I hate those nursing covers, I'm constantly having to adjust it and it gets hot under it so when Sadie gets done she is all sweaty! However breastfeeding does not require the packing up of bottles or formula before leaving the house all the equipment is always with you! It also sucks when Sadie has gotten to that so hungry point and the boob isn't working for her and I have to put her down while she is crying to make and warm a bottle. Speaking of warming a bottle, I would highly recommend a bottle warmer. When we first started with the formula we tried to give it to Sadie with cold water straight from our fridge. She did not enjoy that. Think about it though, she was used to breastmilk which is naturally warm so why would she be ok drinking this cold stuff now? For the first few days we just ran the bottle under hot water, but that took FOREVER and we were wasting tons of water. The bottle warmer takes like 2 minutes and uses around 10ml of water. I can use those 2 minutes to soothe Sadie and get her calmed down so she is not gulping the bottle down and then spitting it up 5 minutes later.

My only concern is that my milk production is going to stay low. So far I have not seen much of an increase as her appetite has increased. I also worry about how things will work once I go back to work and she starts daycare (which is next week, eeekkk!!). Will I be able to pump enough during the day to last her through daycare feedings? Will I have to send formula bottles with her too? I know I will figure it all out, I just hate the not knowing how yet. I also hope that I can keep up with the pumping at work. I work in a very small office and even though I have my own office that I can close the door to there still is not much privacy. Plus my pump is pretty loud so for at least two 15-20 minute sessions a day I will not be able to answer the phone or take calls from clients, not sure how that is going to go over with the boss. But like I said, I will figure it all out as it comes.

I guess my whole point of this insanely long post is that while breastfeeding is best for babies it might not be all that is best for you and your family. I am still going to stick with the breastfeeding as long as I can because I am aware of the benefits it has for Sadie but if that ends up not working out and being best for us I am not going to beat myself up over it. Yes, I will be sad and disappointed but I will deal with that and move on with enjoying my healthy baby girl.

Monday, March 14, 2011

This Texas Baby: Baby Shower

So I am like 4 months late in posting these photos but eh, better late than never right?

My baby shower was held at the beginning of December at my boss's house. It was hosted by my boss's wife Tammy, the accountant/bookkeeper for my company Doreen, Robert's co-worker's wife and my friend Darcy and my friend and co-worker Melanie.
Tammy, Darcy, Me, Doreen, Melanie

The food was provided by Cindy, my company's traffic person, she also has a catering business.
Cindy and I
The food was AWESOME. Here, look at it:
Asparagus wrapped in pastry dough

Chicken Salad Croissants

Ham Salad Sandwichs (I think!)

Amazing cheese crackers

Pasta Salad

Fruit Plate with Amazing Di

Yummy Sangria Punch

The decorations were amazing! It was pink and brown everywhere. There were ribbons tied to everything. Pink paper poms were hanging up. Even the Christmas tree had pink tulle on it! Here are just a few photos:
General overview of the room. That's the "sugar & spice" banner I have hanging up in her room.
Closer up of the banner.
Also, now in Sadie's room. Darcy bought hot pink letters at Hobby Lobby and spray painted them light pink and then sanded them a little to the hot pink showed through.
Pretty flowers that were everywhere.

Here I am opening some of the presents:
Robert CAN NOT WAIT for her to wear this.
It says "Made in Texas" considering Robert and I are HUGE Texans this went over well.
It's a pink monster hooded towel. I love this thing, I almost bought it every time I went to Target before my shower!
This is me asking Melanie if she wants to take the bow home for her cat to play with!
Duck hooded towel.
Texas Rangers 101 board book. Robert went to several of their world series run games during the fall so he was excited about this.
In the back of the book you can insert a picture of the baby! (Ehh, sorry for the CREEPY look.)
Darcy brought a whole bunch of stuff to decorate onesies with, I think this was super fun! I would highly recommend this as an alternative to your normal shower games. She brought paint and print outs of different things that you could either use as a stencil or cut out with fabric that she then ironed on and sewed around. Here are just a few of the ones made:
Melanie made this one.
My friend Cari made this one. She called Sadie "bonus Mere" the whole time I was preggos.
Tammy made this one. One of our dogs name is Hudson and Tammy's kid's name is Hudson (name came from my dog!) and it is still a secret as to which Hudson she was referring!
But, we all know the star of the party was the CAKE! Holy cow, that cake was amazing. Melanie ordered it from Swedish Hill Bakery in Austin. If you are having any sort of party in the Austin area, I would highly recommend a cake from there, soooo good!
They matched it to the shower invite.
I am VERY excited about it!

Well, that's about it. As much as I was down on the whole shower thing to begin with I really enjoyed it. My only complaint was how stinking hot it was that day! I had a super cute sweater dress I wanted to wear with tights and boots but of course it ended up being one of those 80ยบ + days we had in December, way to hot for a pregnant lady to be in a sweater dress!

Friday, March 11, 2011

This Texas Baby: 1 Month

Hopefully I will create something cute like my pregnancy updates for here.

Nicknames: Sadie-cakes (me), darling (Robert)

Temperament: Overall you seem to be a very happy baby when you are awake, which I am so thankful for. I am not sure I would do with a crying/screaming baby while home by myself!

Things I Could Do Without: How frustrated you get with breastfeeding in the late afternoon/early evening. You will just lay in my arms mouthing my boob and freaking out when all you have to do is CLOSE YOUR MOUTH, you do it fine the whole rest of the time. Sometimes you will also bonk your head against my boob in frustration, good thing it's a cushy surface! I could also do with out the grunting/moaning/groaning/whimpering you have started doing in your sleep. It's super cute during the day, but at night, when I hear it over the monitor, it just makes me think you are waking up so I end up watching you on the video for a good 5 minutes to assure myself you are sleeping still!

Item/Toy We Love The Most: Bouncy seat and bottle warmer

Item/Toy You Love The Most: Vibrating seat (you should see our living room we have an automatic bouncing seat, a vibrating seat, a swing and a play mat all in the middle of it!) so glad my aunt and uncle passed this one down to us! 

Things I’m Loving Most Right Now: Your involuntary chin quiver, all the hair you have and your awesome mohawk!

Things You’re Loving Most Right Now: Your morning stretch after I unwrap you from your swaddle. Falling asleep on daddy's chest.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

After the birth

I was looking through pictures that Robert's mom took during Sadie's birth to see if there was one I felt comfortable posting, haha, sadly there really isn't! But! I do have some pictures of after the birth I am ok with posting!

Look at how fast her little hand is moving, it's just a blur!
Robert holding her for the first time.
Getting her first bath!
Our first family picture. (Ignore how icky I look!)
After I held Sadie for a few minutes the nurse took her to get her wiped off, weighed, measured and all that stuff while the doctor finished with me. Once all that was done and over with the 3 of us were left alone for a good little while. I remember thinking how quiet it was, after all the noise and commotion of the birth it was nice to have the quiet, although it just made me realize how tired I was! The lactation consultant came in and helped us establish breastfeeding, which seemed to start off great. After an hour or so of alone time the nurse came in and got Sadie to take her to the nursery for a bath and other things. This also gave me time to start getting up, go to the bathroom etc.

Another nurse came in to remove my catheter and help me get up and go to the bathroom. Someone told me this while I was pregnant, and I totally agree now, that first pee after having the baby is amazing, like the best pee ever. Haha, so weird, but so true! After so many months of having to pee every 5 minutes and always feeling like I had pee I finally felt empty. The nurse went through the fun new bathroom routine I would have to use for the next few days and then helped steady me as I walked back to bed.

A few hours later, after moving rooms, my mom arriving and hanging out with my new little girl some more I was ready for a shower. It was great too, also great, shaving my legs during that shower!

I almost hate talking about how easy I feel like my recovery was, I don't want anyone to take it as me saying "oh look at me, look at me, I had it so good!" but at the same time I do want to talk about it because I feel like a lot of the birth stories I read while pregnant were pretty bad and focused on a lot of the negatives. Maybe I was just reading the wrong stories! So, yes, I feel like I bounced back pretty quick and easy from the birth. The nurses were coming to me every 6 hours with Motrin and offerings of hydrocodone. The Motrin I never refused and I only took the hydrocone twice. The after pains of my uterus contracting back down were a little painful, close to the early contractions of labor, especially during or after breastfeeding, but the Motrin helped with that a lot. By the time I got home I was pretty much off all pain meds except for the occasional Tylenol I would take to help with those after pains. I never felt soreness or pain in my baby birthing parts and I was not scared for my first BM (which happened pain free, in case you were wondering!).

I am so thankful I did not have to have a c-section, I can not imagine a better physical recovery from childbirth than what I had. I know if a c-section would of happened it would of been fine and I would of recovered the best that I could but I loved being able to walk and move around freely without a twinge of pain.

Now, don't go thinking I have had everything amazingly easy... two days after we got home we ran into a problem we are still battling.

Monday, March 7, 2011

This Texas Baby: The Birth Story - Part III

After getting my epidural at 5am I slept until about 7am, which I would have to say was the best sleep ever! I woke up at 7 because of shift change and the nurses coming in to check on me and because I was freezing. When I told the nurse this she brought be a WARM BLANKET! How awesome is that, felt like it just came out of the dryer, it was the best. The new nurse told me that my doctor should be by around 8 to check on me and see where I was at. She also told me that she would not be doing an internal check before my doctor came. Once your water breaks they recommend limiting the number of internal exams you have as to keep the amount of bacteria introduced low. Well, I noticed that I was starting to feel some of the contractions again, granted nothing like the night before, but just lots more pressure than I had been feeling. The epidural did not leave me completely numb, which I was happy for, I never wanted to be completely numb, I wanted to be able to feel some of what my body was going through. The closest I can relate it to is when you sit in one position for too long and your foot/leg falls asleep and gets all tingly and itchy.

Robert's mom and I chatted off and on over the next hour while I dozed in and out of sleep. The pressure of the contractions kept getting more and more pronounced, to where I had to slow down talking during them again, so around 7:45 or so I hit that little "more drugs" button. Around 8 we woke Robert up so he would be awake when the doctor showed up. Also around 8 the nurse came in to let us know that we probably would not be able to donate our cord blood. Donating the cord blood is something that Robert and I decided pretty early on that we wanted to participate in. Cord blood does so much good and can be a life changer in certain situations. Thankfully neither one of us has a family history of anything that would make us privately bank our cord blood, so we wanted to donate it to the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center. The nurse said that they have a 9am cut off on Fridays to collect cord blood because they can not store it over the weekend. We were both pretty bummed about this, but it seemed like everyone was in agreement that there was no way I was going to be having a baby by 9.

My doctor finally showed up around 8:15 and chatted with me a little about how I was feeling and how things went during the night and as she was getting ready to check me out I remembered something the nurse told me after I got my epidural. She told me "let us know if you start feeling any anal pressure." Haha, sorry now if this is TMI, but eh. So, I let the doctor know that I had been feeling that for the past little while. I figured it was just my body saying I need to to go the bathroom and that's why the nurses said to let them know so they could get me up and to the toilet or something. The doctor said that might be what was going on but she would see when she checked me out. Well, the doctor gets down to business and almost as soon as she starts she goes "oh, ok" and then looks and me and says "you're ready to go."

Uhh, excuse me? I'm ready to go? Go where? Go to the bathroom because I need to poop? Nope! Ready to go have a baby! Yeah, even more so than that the doctor said I was at a +1 station, which means baby's head is way down and ready to go, the doctor said a +2 is where you can see the baby's head just by looking. Apparently that pressure I was feeling was the baby's head.

Ok, lets back track just a little... at 5am I was only 3cm dilated with my cervix still facing the back. And now at 8:15am I am a +1?!? And this is the reason I am 100% happy with my decision to get an epidural. I truly believe that the epidural allowed me to relax and not fight my body and just let it do what it needed to do. I think I was fighting the contractions so much before that I was stopping my progression. But, man, that epidural helped me calm down, relax and sleep. Which I think was exactly what I needed. It might not of been what I thought I wanted for my labor but it is what ended up being right for me.

Believe me I am not the only one that reacted a little shocked. My doctor was surprised, Robert was surprised, the nurses were surprised. The nurses were so surprised in fact that they spent the next 15 minutes running around like crazy people getting stuff ready, that they did not already have ready, for the delivery!

At this point Robert went to go tell his mom what was going on and I remember just sitting there in shock. After 9 months the time was finally here. I was finally going to meet this little creature that had been growing inside me. It was surreal. I also remember my doctor just sitting on the stool in front of me calmly waiting for the nurses to finish getting everything ready. I think seeing her so calm helped keep me calm.

Finally around 8:30 everything was ready and I was told on the next contraction I would put my hands on the backs of my thighs and pull back with Robert holding and pushing one foot back and a nurse holding and pushing the other foot. Robert's mom also ended up pushing on my back when I would bear down to push. I am not going to lie, the pushing part was really hard. It was hard to figure out where and how to push. Robert told me later on that when I was pushing the right way you could for sure tell and when I wasn't it was like nothing was happening.What's funny is for most of the pushing it was me telling the nurses and doctor it was time to push, I could just feel that my body was having a contraction and it was time to push, I did not need anyone telling me to push. While pushing the doctor told me to take a deep breath and hold it for 10 seconds and then release it. Let me tell you, those were some of the longest 10 seconds of my life! There were a couple of times I really thought I was going to pass out, thankfully I didn't!

Even though the pushing was hard, I would not say that it hurt. I could still feel my contractions and all the pressure, even though the epidural, but I would say I never really felt any pain or "ring of fire". Once her head was out I knew I still had the shoulders but I figured they would be a breeze compared to the head. Not so much, yes the head took forever to get out but the final push that got it out didn't really hurt. But the shoulders were all pointy and sharp, that was a little uncomfortable. Once her shoulders were out the rest of her slid right out, along with a lot of other gross gushing sounding stuff!

At 9am on Friday, February 11, 2011, after 30 minutes of pushing, my beautiful baby girl was born. It was the most amazing thing when they placed her, all slimy and purple, on my chest. I think I wanted to cry but I was just so drained that working up the tears was near impossible. The main thing I remember is looking at Robert and noticing how he could not stop smiling! He was probably the happiest I have ever seen him. He told me later that if anyone had tried to talk to him or ask him anything he probably would of started crying.

So, there you have it, the story of how Sadie May Morton came into this world.

(If I am feeling up to it I might document our first few days together, in the hospital and at home although they were pretty calm days and my recovery. I have plans to start updating more often with our day to day activities, but  it's kind of crazy how fast the days go by!)