Archive | February, 2012

getting better

27 Feb

So I grit my teeth and persevere. Following an advice from la leche league consultant, I didn’t take Timothy from the breast when he emptied it thoroughly. This resulted in him hanging on my breast for 6 hours straight with only bathroom breaks on Saturday. Then we went for a walk to get him to sleep and he was back on my tit for another suckling marathon session. He still needed a formula supplement in the evening, but only 60 ml this time.

And on Sunday he was eating normal. And I was pumping and collecting after each feed and gathered 50 ml – enough to leave him with hubby and get for a little while for the first time. So rejuvenating. And then I got back and started pumping even more after each feeding. Now even if he is hungrier than what I have in the breast, I can feed him my milk from a bottle and not formula. I have 65 ml already in the freezer and about 40 ml and counting. All collected since I got home at 6 pm yesterday.

I so so hope the meds and pumping will do the job! Looks like my milk supply is increasing already. We didn’t supplement AND I was able to store some milk away! The world is getting brighter.

Sorry for typos. Mobile posting isn’t the most convenient thing 🙂

lost battle

24 Feb

He is screaming.
I have no more milk.
Hubby is giving him formula.
I am hysterical. I lost this battle. I feel useless. A failure of a mother. Defeated.

I know. It’s all about his well-being and much worse things happen. Nevertheless. I am highly distressed.


24 Feb

Timothy is getting more and more immersed in the real world, interacting with his toys.

The other day I grabbed his hand and showed him how he can kick the little toys hanging in his bouncer. I showed him a few times – and then he repeated the movement! Now he sometimes does it himself while sitting in his little bouncer. So cute!

He is also reacting to noise much better: this morning, I was playing with him using the black and white target rattle, moving it around him – to the left, above, to the right… and he was following it! Slowly, with a bit of a delay, but he was turning his head after it!

He still doesn’t like to be on his tummy. Whenever I place him belly-down, he starts whining in a very girlish 🙂 way (sounds like “eeeeeeeee…”) – even though he can hold his head up pretty well when on my chest. He’s very strong. But tummy-time just doesn’t please him. And I don’t have the gut to make him stay on his belly a bit longer, even though I know it’s good for his development.

Like I mentioned earlier, he started to smile at me. The smiles are still rare – but he does!

I am still struggling with breastfeeding. Shannon told me the amount of formula a baby needs calculates as his weight in pounds, multiplied by 2.5 – that gives the required amount in ounces. It looks like he is not eating enough. What he eats is (I guess) enough to keep him satisfied – but not enough to provide weight gain. I am now waking him up frequently, I keep him at the breast after he’s done eating (the breast is empty but he keeps gumming it – I guess that’s good stimulation?) and I pump after most feeds. Sometimes he doesn’t let me pump so I have to skip. I also eat cheeses, drink milk, eat nuts – hoping to make my milk fattier for him. It’s not all about the volume of milk, right? It’s the quality/fattiness, too, right?

This morning our pediatrician told us Timothy hasn’t gained much since last visit (Monday). They like to see babies gain 20 g a day – and timothy gained 20 g in 4 days… But overall since discharge from the hospital he’s been gaining about 15 g a day. So maybe – maybe – he was just lee hungry lately? or using more energy?

The pediatrician didn’t seem too concerned about it. Timothy is obviously well-hydrated and alert and doing well. We’re going back for another weigh-in on Wednesday. Until then, I am taking dompe.ridon, eating fatty dairy stuff, pumping and waking Timothy for his feedings at least every 3 hours. Although today he had an episode of hourly feedings. Hopefully, he’s doing this to stimulate more milk production.

Timothy is 2 Weeks and 2 Days

23 Feb

I would love to post more often, but so far it’s not happening. Well, better occasionally than never, right? 😉

So what is happening?

Last week, Timothy was getting more and more fussy. Most of the evenings, I was reduced to tears by the time hubby got home (although I usually was happy and content in the mornings… but all my hubby got to see was my evening tears). He was crying and fussing which, combined with his almost-hourly requests to be fed was exhausting. I would finish the feeding and almost right away he would start crying again. What, hungry? Again??? I wouldn’t be able to calm him down and then would start crying myself. It was tough.

The ray of light was him still sleeping 4-5 hours straight at night.

And then on Saturday he started marathon-sleeping. He would eat and then sleep for 3… 4… 5 hours straight. The same happened again on Sunday. On Monday we went to see the pediatrician (we found a pediatrician, yay!) and although we couldn’t remember what his previous weight was, we were under the impression that it went down.

So these infrequent feedings started to concern me – and as if on purpose, on Monday he ate only FOUR times!!! At his age – 2 weeks!!! That was getting ridiculous, I started getting really concerned.

We decided to use my kitchen scale. We placed a salad bowl on it and started weighing him before and after each feeding. Turned out he was eating about 90 ml each time. But I couldn’t find ANY information online re: how much milk he actually needs at this stage. Is 90 ml four times a day enough?..

I started to freak out. But I just couldn’t wake him and feed. He was just not interested.

And then on Tuesday he woke up and decided to revert to his 8-times a day feeding. And I was in tears again for it seemed there just wasn’t enough milk. After three days of feeding 4-6 times a day, there wasn’t enough. He would finish the feed frustrated, purple with crying, I would start crying, too – in deep distress for my hungry baby…

In the evening my hubby brought proper scale (our friends lent it to us), and I got a prescription for some meds that help with milk production, and I started finishing each feeding session with a 10-15 minute pumping session just for stimulation. There usually isn’t anything left after Timothy eats, but I do it.

Timothy ate about 30 ml a couple of times in the evening and then slept the usual 5 hours between midnight and 5 am and then… ate about 70 ml. And went back to his occasional eating and long sleeps. But now I am weighing him and I know that he eats 70 ml on average. Sometimes 90 ml, sometimes 60 ml.

So now when he fusses after eating, I am calm. I know he is not hungry. I know it must be a burp or a poop or just tiredness bothering him.

I still don’t know if he eats enough in a day. He seems satisfied. I wake him up to feed him, I don’t let him sleep for 4-5 hours anymore except at night. Well, we are going to see the pediatrician again tomorrow am and we’ll where we are at now.

On other fronts, our umbilical cord finally fell off yesterday.

And he smiled at me for the first time yesterday. Not the involuntary “stomach smile” after a feeding, but actually looking me in the eye and smiling with the mouth excitedly wide open. So cute!!!

He plays for longer periods of time. I have a toy that has a black and white target on it and he looks at it and talks to it and stretches his hands towards it and touches it. He can play for 5-10 minutes now!

ok, he woke up- gotta go!

Useful Advice

17 Feb

There are a few advices that proved to be very useful.

One is covering the nipple with nipple cream before the feeding. Too bad I got this advce two days after givng birth when my nipples were already sore. Cream helps him suck in much larger part of the nipple, resulting in much better latch.

Anohet advice is usng the football hold position for breast-feeding after c-section for it doesn’t put weight on your sore belly.

And when the stitches start to heal – change bf positions frequently so that the baby doesn’t suck on to the same sore parts over and over.

Making clear distinction between day ane night is a great one, too. We keep Timothy around during the day, with all the lights and noise and we keep things dark and quiet with minimum communications and almost diaper changes. This way he sleeps 3-5 hour stretches at night. Although he eats almost every hour during the day.

Hope this helps. And please share your bits of advice and wisdom.

First Pediatrician Visit

15 Feb

Yesterday we had our first pediatrician visit. We don’t have a pediatrician yet, so we went to kids’ clinic in the hospital where he was born. His first home, so to speak 😉

They sent us to wait in the cafeteria ’cause shortly before us there was someone with a case of chicken pox. No wonder the waiting area was empty (I wondered about that). I hope it wasn’t enough time for us to catch it!

The wait at the clinic wasn’t too long (about an hour and a half), which I spent drinking milk. I never used to drink milk. I hate milk. But now that I am a breastfeeding mama, I seem to crave it all the time!

Timothy is doing great. Although he lost almost 7% of his weight by the time we got discharged from the hospital (48 hours after delivery), as of yesterday he was almost back to his birth weight. I was so proud I am capable of giving him enough milk! I hope it stays that way. Even if sometimes I feel that he is permanently attached to my breasts and my nipples are extremely sore. I enjoy breastfeeding so much!

I was sort of terrified of the way the doctor carried Timothy, holding him by his neck and… one leg. As if he were a chicken, not a baby. Oh well, they know better just how tough babies are…

Timothy was screaming is if we were killing him 😉 It was well past his feeding time, plus most babies don’t particularly like being undressed.

Anyway, he’s doing great! I can’t be happier 😉

PS He slept from 1:30 am to 6 am, fed for an hour, and now slept from 7 am till now. 10 am. I feel so rejuvenated! I foresee another day spent attached to my breasts. But I’ll take this pattern over feeding every 2-3 hours. We like our sleep!

one week old!

14 Feb

Timothy is one week old today! Unbelievable.
He is behaving in a very civilized pattern: while he tend to breastfeed almost non-stop during the day, he sleeps for 4-hour stretches during the night. And I am a tight sleeper, so even if he wakes up and fusses a bit here and there, I don’t hear it.

My incision is getting better. I still get shooting pains if I move too quickly. Standing up and sitting up are the most challenging things. Standing up with him in my hands after feeding hurts. But it’s getting better.

He now has some “playtime” – short periods when he is looking around, staring at this or that. He can focus on me for a minute or so when I am talking to him.

After his meals, he stretches his arms and legs and then proceeds to smile. It is a reflex “stomach” smile, nevertheless, it is so adorable!

He makes the sweetest satisfied noises while eating.

He starts breastfeeding in frenzic brushing of his mouth with his mittdns (his nails are too long and sharp, so he is wearing mittens). He gets so agitated that he pushes the nipple away and goes for his fist again. Sometimes someone needs to hold his hands while I direct him to the nipple. It’s so funny 🙂

He holds his head pretty well -except for right after a meal when he gets all limp like a rag doll.

He had his first bath two days ago and seemed to like it. He was all quiet and observed what’s going on with great interest.

We went for his (and mine) first walk yesterday. It was rather cold, he skept really well all the while.

We are now in line for his first pediatric checkup since the discharge.

We are exhausted, but we’ve never been happier. I can watch him forever, he’s just so adorable.

I’ll try to catch up on my blogging and share a bit more about his first days. But right now – cheers to being one week old!!!

PS I already lost about 18 pounds. I could hardly believe how swollen my legs have become during pregnancy – they look so thin now! Only 8-9 pounds to lose to get back to my pre-pregnancy weught!

Labour, Part 2

10 Feb

So, at 9 am I was 7 cm dilated. I was on epidural, but I could hardly sleep. For one thing, I was hanging on to the sound of my baby’s heartbeat. Is it too slow? Is it too fast? Is my baby in distress?

Every hour or so someone would come in to check my blood pressure. My temperature. Baby’s vital science. Make me move, change the pose if the baby falls asleep (how could he ever “fall asleep” being squeezed inside me every minute for one minute, is a mystery to me). At one point, the baby’s heart rate got way too high – over 200 a minute. They made me move, they administered drugs…

About every 2 hours or so they would check my dilation, but after that euphoric “7 cm at 9 am”, things stopped progressing. They would shove their fingers inside me, and I would feel them stretching me, touching the baby’s head (he would respond by moving around), looking concerned. On the one hand, one side of my cervix wasn’t opening the way the rest of it did. It was asymmetrical. On the other, there just was no progress. 9 am – 7 cm. 11 am – 8 cm (they like to see 1 cm per minute). 1 pm – still 8 cm. The contractions kept coming 4-5 times in a 10-minute interval.

And that’s when things started to get really blurry for me. You know what happened? A very sharp pain started building up in my right hip. As if a dozen knives were being slowly driven in my hip, turned around their axes, released, and then driven in again. Remember, I was on the epidural!!! It wasn’t as painful as contractions, but close to it. And, unlike contractions, the pain never went away completely, it just stayed there. It was getting worse and worse. By 3 pm I was moaning and cringing and wailing again. There was nothing they could do to help with the pain and they couldn’t figure out the reason. And my dilation was still at 8 cm (and still asymmetrical).

So we had a talk and decided that it’s been long enough. Long enough for the pain, long enough for the overall labour experience (almost 24 hours since it started), and it was time, unfortunately, to move on to c-section. If it weren’t for the pain, we could have waited a bit longer, hoping for the contractions to pick up, but at that point – I couldn’t. I kind of hated myself, my weakness, but it just was too much stress, worry for the baby’s well-being – and waay too much pain.

So they went away to prep the OR. I stayed waiting for the super-epidural for the OR (the fact that no needlework was required – just changing the IV bags for the stronger stuff, only made me more impatient to get it, but they couldn’t do it in my room).

Finally they wheeled me down the corridor, sent my hubby scrubbing, wheeled me inside, made me move on my own to the operating table from my bed (I started wailing for real in pain), lay back (that was even worse for my pain) and started fixating me on the operating table, setting up the division so that my germs won’t reach the operating site, administering the new drug (almost instantaneous release of pain!). Then they let my hubby in, and he sat by my head. I was on my back, with my arms stretched both ways (like the letter T), with IV lines and monitors attached, shaking uncontrollably from the anesthetics, exhaustion, stress, and whatever else…

Did I mention my water had quite a bit of meconium when they broke it? I was worried about that, too. About the baby. About his well-being. It occurred to me then and there that the fact that I am about to have a “major surgery” as all the books call c-section, was the last of my worries. If it even were a worry.

And then I heard someone saying “oh my god, he’s a BIG boy” – and right away I heard him cry. I turned my head and saw them putting him on the table to wipe and get checked. He WAS big. So big he wasn’t even red or purple the way most newborns are. And seconds later I found out he was… 4.5 kilo!!! (that’s one ounce short of 10 pounds in case you’re wondering) and 54 cm long.

I was crying with relief, happiness that the baby is fine – and with the knowledge that we made the right decision. That I wasn’t weak or impatient or egoistic thinking only about myself, agreeing to have a c-section. I just plain COULDN’T give this baby the natural birth he deserved. He would’ve never passed through my pelvis. The hip pain was most likely his head trying to break through my pelvis. Literally break.

When they gave him to my hubby, I saw that he had a deep red angry wedge on his forehead – where he got stuck in my pelvis. And a swelling between his eyebrows – where the skin from the squished forehead sort of got “permanently” wrinkled (it’s back to normal now). The top of his head already became a “cone head” – where he descended and got stuck in the birth canal.

But overall, he was beautiful and healthy.

Everyone kept questioning my pregnancy, whether I had gestational diabetes – why would a normally-built me have such a huge baby? – and I was getting frustrated. Wasn’t I telling all along that big babies run in my family? That I was 9.7, my dad was 10, my nephew was 9? Didn’t I share my concerns with my OB at around 36 weeks about not being able to deliver my baby? And then about going over 40 weeks and having to deal with meconium? Wasn’t I right on both accounts? No, I had no diabetes, no issues!

They spent the whole first 24 hours of his life drawing blood from his heels (poor thing, it hurt him!) to make sure HE is not diabetic…

But these are really my thoughts and feelings now. At the time I was crying with relief. They gave the baby to my hubby, finished sewing me up, and wheeled us to some room while our private room was getting ready.

My hubby was sitting in a chair next to me, holding our baby, I was trying to stay awake, the nurses kept poking and checking and cleaning me. And then I requested the skin-to-skin and they gave me my previous baby.

I felt so calm and serene and… whole. He took the breast right away with a perfectly wide-open mouth. Perfect latch, I was told. Big, strong baby.

Many women talk about euphoria, adrenalin, instant bonding… Maybe I am different. Maybe the c-section made it different. I didn’t feel any of this. But I felt accomplished. Calm. Happy. And the bonding? It grows with every passing minute.

I’ll tell you about his first days later. I think he’s about to request a feeding, so I better stop in this logical place and continue my story at some later point.

Again – thank you all so much for you support. Receiving your comments meant a lot to me. It meanS a lot to me.

I’ll just finish by saying that we’re all home now. The new chapter of our lives has started!

and the baby is here!

8 Feb

More eetails to follow. He was born yesterday, feb. 7, after 24 hours of labour. I have no idea who he looks like, but I feel like we’ve always had him. I already can’t imagine that we used to live without him.

Thank you all for your comments yesterday! They were very encouraging qnd helpful in taking my mind off of the ordeals

in l&d!

7 Feb

Went yesterday for my 40w1d appointment. My ob told me the baby is not engaged any longer and the plan is to have a nonstress test on Wednesday, ultrasound on Friday, yet another appointment next Monday, and a scheduled induction NEXT WEDNESDAY – at 41w3d!!! Yikes!

She did a cervix check in a pretty brutal. Fashion and on my way home I started having pretty intense mensrual cramps. That was at about 3:30 pm.

They felt sort of short to me, but they were pretty close apart from the getgo, like every 4-5 minutes. I started pooping all the time and some slime with dark blood clots made the appearance. By the time my hubby got home, the contractions became so painful I couldn’t. Sit or stand or lay still. We called his friend who is a family doctor and he said it looks like I am in labour.

So we went to the hoepital (the car rude was horr) and after attaching me to monitors and checking my cervix, they announced I was 50% effaced and 2 cm dilated. Which is not enough to get admitted. Thankfully, they allowed me to stay in the assessment room. The contraction were really bad, coming every 2-3 mknutes, I couldn’t. Walk so they gave me a yoga ball. I was yeling soon. In 2 hours they reassessed me and admitted, although I was 34 cm dilated. I asked for the epidural and they told me the anasthesiologist is in a c-section. That was around 11 pm.

The pains were getting horrible. I never even imagined I can produce the animal. Sounds I did. I was hanging on to my hubby for dewr life, in tears. It felt like someone install a pine cone in my rectum and was inflating it.

The dictor tried to break my ware, but I couldn’t let him do it, it hurt so much.

Finally around 1 am the anasthesiologist arrived. Sitting still while going through a contrwction was incredibly hard. Hut then, 15 minutes later, the pains stopped.

The broke my water aroun 2 am, inserted the catheter (didn’t feel a thibg), and then they kept checking on me every 1-1.5 hours.

As og 9 am, I am 7 cm dilated and fully effaced and the baby is in the birth canal. Hopefully, he’ll be born today.

I am exhausted. I snoozed a few times, but couldn’t really sleep, listening intently to the baby’s heartbeat.

Epidural is a god-sent miracle. My left leg is deeply asleep, my back hurts from the uncomfy poses, I am incredibly hungru… but compaed to yesterdays 7 hours worth of contractions – it’s nothing.

Soery for typos. I am on my phone. Will keep you updated.