Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Not my own

It has always been funny to me how someone can say something to you in passing and it really stick with you. About a year ago I was staying with Julia Mundy (my Mary Kay director) we were discussing something, I cannot remember what, and somehow the issue of children came up. She was telling me a story about her son and how she always viewed him as not her own, but a child of God's. He was theirs of course, but more like he was on loan. She was responsible for raising him into the man God wanted him to be. I of course was not pregnant yet and thought "gee that's cool" then dismissed the idea.

Yesterday I had a fussy baby. A very fussy baby. He was overstimulated, overtired, having gas pains, acid reflux, and eating every hour and half. Mommy was stressed, daddy was stressed and Eli was more stressed than all of us. It was funny because as I was feeding him what seemed to be the 100th bottle that day I was praying "God please help me help my baby, I don't know why he is screaming, I want to comfort him but I don't know how" Then like a light bulb Julia's words came back to me. He is not my own. For some odd reason that took the stress away. I didn't know what was wrong but He did. That didn't make Eli stop screaming (singing and rocking did) that didn't help him rest for a longer period, but it did make me feel not so alone.

My parents had stopped by to see him and helped get him calmed down and ready for bed. Ryan gave him his nighttime bottle and let me rest for a little longer. It worked out alright. He slept in between nighttime feedings (even if it was only 2 hours in between feedings) and today he has been a doll. I am so thankful for a huge support system here, between grandparents and his aunts and uncles Ryan and I are covered! But for some reason the thing that helped the most yesterday was comment made in passing by someone not even trying to help me be a better parent. Sometimes God speaks to us through the most interesting ways.

"I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb. Before you were born I set you apart" Jeremiah 1:5

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Once we got home...

So after the circumcision was over they were suppose to keep Eli for 30 min to observe him. They brought him immediately to us (the dr had come in to check on me before the procedure and I was crying like a baby because the nurse had took him from my arms- he seemed very concerned about her behavior). He was very upset, and hungry, and it took a while to get him calm. We found 2 different pacis in his bassinet even though we had told every nurse NO PACIFIERS! Once we got him calmed down he nursed okay and then we were discharged. PRAISE GOD! Now don't get me wrong, we had AMAZING nurses at Clear Lake, except for that one stupid nursery nurse. We left weighing in at 7 lbs 10 oz, not too much weight loss.

We were told to see our pediatrician the next day because Eli was jaundice, so we scheduled an appt for Tuesday at 3:20. When we got home we placed him just his diaper by the window to soak up as much sun as he could. He was so sweet and not fussy at all. The next day he was still being sweet but started getting fussy at feedings. He was having a hard time latching and I could tell he was still hungry. He wouldn't feed for more than 3 minutes without falling asleep! Ryan and I tried everything we could think of: getting him naked, changing his diaper, holding him up, rubbing his head, tickling his feet, ect. At the dr he weighed in at 7 lb 2 oz for a total of 1 lb weight loss. The dr suggested us going to a lactation consultant and seeing if his frenulum could be cut to help with nursing. She said as of now she was saying to give him a 1/2 oz of formula at each feeding through an eye dropper. So that's what we did.

At 3:30 that morning he had a wet diaper. He had not had a poppy diaper since the hospital. Wednesday morning my mom and I loaded him up and took him to the lactation consultant. They were able to cut his frenulum and he nursed very well there. When we got in he weighed 7lb even and after feeding he weighed 7 lb 2 oz. YAY! The excitement was short lived. He was so fussy the rest of the day he was difficult to comfort and refused to latch on. He would just scream and scream and thrash those hands and feet. My sister in law (a former NICU nurse) swaddled him to try and help, he was out of that swaddle in 5 seconds flat. I was crying, he was crying, my husband's parents had been saying "just give him a bottle" for 3 days. I was at my wits end.

By 4 that evening he had not had ANY dirty diapers, no pee, no poop, no NOTHING. I knew at that point we should be concerned. I called the dr's office and left a message with the nurse line. The dr called back within the hour and said it was time to give him a full feeding of formula. I could still do the eye dropper I did not have to do a bottle. He was still screaming so much the formula would just run out of his mouth. I broke down and gave him a bottle. By 10:45 pm we had pee and poop! Thank God!

My mom came over and sat with me while I cried and cried. She suggested to make a plan. Funny how simple things like that slip your mind while you are emotional. I decided to pump and give him breast milk from a bottle for full week to give my emotions time to settle out and to help him get back up to weight. So that's what we did. We went to the dr that Friday morning for a weigh in and my lil guy was up to 7 lb 9 oz!!! He had a couple formula bottles while we were waiting on my milk to come in, but 90% of his diet was breast milk! We were THRILLED!

I kept pumping and have been able to stay 1 bottle a head of him most of the time. He does have to have formula sometimes if my milk is low one session. The decision to pump was not something Ryan and I decided lightly. I was devistated. I felt like I hadn't given breast feeding enough of a chance, but I knew in my heart my baby was not getting what he needed. His little body was getting more and more yellow, and clearly by the lack of urine he was not thriving. I had to do what I had to do.

We tried nursing again yesterday and while it took him a while to latch he did okay, however he was still hungry after 20 minutes on each side and I gave him an oz of formula to hold him over until I could pump again. That decided it for me, for Eli at least, I am a pumping momma!

I never thought I would be the type of mom who was so concerned about breastfeeding. However there is a lot of pressure out there to breast feed and I never knew how much that affected me. My baby is getting breast milk, just not in the traditional way. He is gaining weight and much happier now that we are pumping constantly.

So I guess I'm writing this for all you moms-to-be or moms who were unable to breastfeed. Don't feel guilty, you do what you gotta do for your child. Also for you moms who are/were able to breastfeed count your blessings; there were lots of us who wish we could but are unable to.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Next Day

Well after being moved to postpartum we had a ton of nurses come in and give us instructions. It was well passed midnight and we were both exhausted. The next morning everyone came in and hung out with Eli. I felt like I had been hit by a truck. SERIOUSLY. I was expecting to be in some pain from birth the next day but I didn't expect every muscle in my body to ache. It was horrible. I could barely get out of the bed. My mom even had to come help me shower around noon.

I was loving time with Eli. His first daytime nursery nurse noticed his short tongue and suggested we use a nipple shield to help extend my nipple so he could nurse better. He seemed to be doing well. He had 4 bowl movements that first day! Not much urine though. No one was too concerned. The nipple shield seemed to help.

It was Sunday when Eli really became MINE. Ryan's parents were at the hospital and the nurse came in and told us they would be taking him back for his circumcision at 11:30 so he needed to eat before hand. Around 10:45 I decided to start feeding him, so Ryan's parents decided it would be a good time to go for a walk. Ryan hadn't seen the sun in days so he asked if I would be okay while he went for a walk. I said of course, I know Ryan and he does not do well cooped up all day. Around 11:15 the nurse came to take him, I told her he wasn't done nursing and she said he had to go. She reached down and "helped" unlatch him and took him. I sat there for several moments and then started sobbing, she had took my baby from my arms, from my breast. It broke my heart. I called Ryan and he came back as soon as he could. That was the moment when that baby became my son.

Don't get me wrong there are times when I look at him at think, is he really mine? But after that moment I feel in love with him so completely my life was changed.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Eli's Birth Story

Wow. I am a mom now. Talk about a revelation. Saturday March 3, 2012 at 9:25 pm God gave us a beautiful baby boy! I just wanted to share the story of how he came into the world, so here it goes...

We checked into the hospital Friday night at 7, the nurses monitored him for about 30 minutes and then started me on cervidale. It is a medicine that helps prep the cervix for labor. The nurses told me that it normally took 1 hr for contractions to start and that some people never get contractions with that medicine, but the most important thing was not to all... for 2 hours. No rolling over, no getting to go to the bathroom, no nothing. They placed a wedge under one hip to keep me from laying flat on back, and the adventure started! I got contractions 15 minutes into it. They were registering pretty strong on the monitor and after an hour they were only about a minute apart. Have no fear there was no dilation, just lots of fun contractions. It was a miserable 2 hours. After the 2 hours was up I could get up and use the restroom Ryan ran down to the subway and got me a sandwich (which I only ate 2 bites of) and I got some sleep meds and anti-nausea. I still couldn't sleep because the contractions were so strong. I broke down and got some pain meds about an hour later. I got some sleep somewhere after midnight. Poor Ryan didn't sleep much.

About 8 am the dr came in and took out the cervidale and started the pitocin. He also broke my water. After that the contractions (the ones that actually do something) started around 10 am. Everyone encouraged me to go ahead and get the epidural because we had no way of knowing how quickly it would go from there. The dr came into to administer the epidural around noon and promised it would not wear off. Around 2:30 I was at 4 cm and feeling good! About 5:30 I started running a fever, I had developed an infection because my water had been broken for so long. The dr and nurses carefully monitored the babies heart rate to make sure the fever was not bothering him . About 6 my epidural wore completely off on my right side. We got the dr back in there by 6:30 and I felt better. By 7:30 I was ready to push but the babies head wasn't low enough so I was sat straight up to let gravity do it's job. By 8 it was time to push, and the epidural had worn off on the right side... AGAIN! DANG! DANG! DANG!

I pushed for 1 hour and 25 minutes. I looked at Ryan several times and said I can't do this! At one point I even asked the dr to just PULL HIM OUT! My sweet husband and mom tried to encourage me by saying "I can see his hair! It's dark and curly!" I responded with "I don't care if he is bald, just get him out!!!" I didn't have the energy to yell at anyone though. It was more pathetic whines. It turned out he was facing my right hip so he was trying to get the widest part of his head through. OUCH! The dr had to go in and help him tuck his head and get out. OUCH AGAIN!

Now everyone says "When they lay the baby on your chest you will forget all the pain, you will experience love like you've never know." THEY LIED! For me when they laid him on my chest I loved him yes, but not like that. Not an overwhelming love. In fact I was still in so much pain I was thinking more about that than anything else. He looked like any newborn all red and squishy and he wasn't the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I know, I'm horrible. But I think it's important to be honest. I felt horrible. I felt like I wasn't going to be a good mom, shouldn't I have all those feelings? What is wrong with me?

The took him over and got him cleaned up and brought him back. Ahhh much better. Now he looked cute. But still no overwhelming love, love oh yes, but not the kind you hear about. I was shaking horribly. Our AMAZING nurse (seriously, if Eli had been a girl I would have named him after her.... she was amazing) suggested placing the baby on my chest. We were letting everyone else hold him, she said "no, trust me it's the only thing that will make it stop." She placed him back on my chest and soon after my shakes stopped. I tried to eat, that didn't work out well.

We got moved us to postpartum around 11:30. I was in so much pain. I was so tired. He seemed to nurse well though. Ryan got some sleep. We had him in the nursery that night, they brought him to us for feedings and then we sent him back so we could get some sleep.

I have lots more to post about the next day in the hospital but this post is long enough so I'll post that on another day! :)