Friday, February 12, 2016

so many intentions

Just pulled out the last tray of lactation cookies** (recipe here!) and Ms. Mack is (finally) asleep... (she likes to take 20 minute naps on me right after nursing... and that's it... she falls asleep every timewe get in the car, so I have her currently in her car seat (unstrapped) and she's finally napping!


Time is just flying by - Ms. Mack is 7 1/2 weeks old, and 9lbs2oz (unofficially - there's a scale available at the Thursday weekly BF support group - it's been GREAT for peace of mind, just to make sure we're on the right track!)  ((8week appointment on Monday for official stats!))
((there's a woman at the Thursday group, ironically a lactation consultant/nurse on staff at our pediatricians' office, who has a 3week-old little boy and she weighed him yesterday, he's only gained 2oz in 10 days... how familiar that sounded to Button... I felt so bad for her... she's at the point I remember, wanting it to work - wondering why her body wasn't working at something that should "be natural" - and losing sanity... she facebook-friended me, I think I'll message her Sunday about getting together for lunch sometime!))

(Also at yesterday's group, we had our "Valentine's Day Party" - all the babies dressed up and we brought yummy snacks (they ate all of my pink rice krispie treats!))
(best picture I got...
and her head's finally big enough (barely!) for headbands! 
good thing - there's still not enough hair for Velcro bows... lol 

Ms. Mack likes to watch TV (in this case - Locked Up: Abroad... don't judge! her eyes can't focus in the images yet anyways! lol)

She also loves to look out on the world, checking out the action:
 She will chill like this for hours,  head on a swivel!

Which makes it hard to get stuff done, but get stuff done I have:
 A pacifier leash (not that Ms. Mack likes anything but her Wub-a-nub... in fact I bought a second ($13!!!!!) - a caterpillar - because regular soothies do NOT stay in, and she won't take any other type of pacifier right now (in fact gags on the NEWBORN orthodontic ones - gags like someone is shoving a tongue depressor down her throat (seen it! totally accurate assessment!)) 
But maybe we'll use the leash one day... lol

And a dress! I crocheted the top and then the rest is just tulle slipped through holes... I need to tuck a few yarn ends in and trim the bottom to be even, but it's basically done! Now just to have somewhere to wear it... =P



Button update - he's doing well with baby sister (E taught him to say to anyone holding her, "Be careful, that's my sister!" He even said it to me once. lmao)
He does get a little jealous/upset if E is holding the baby, and wants him to "give the baby to mommy!" 
And I'm all, "NOPE! Mommy's had the baby AAAAWL DAY!"

He's also acting up (alot) at bedtime lately... it took E almost 1.5 hours two nights ago (in fact, I was the one to finally go up and get him to go down...)
Last night was an hour...
E suggested moving bedtime back (and then maybe he'll sleep in longer) - HA. Has he slept in longer the past two mornings after going to bed so late?! NOT A MINUTE!

Hopefully it's just the winter and being cooped up - once he can get outside more (at daycare as well) he can expend some more energy... 

(We did get good energy out last weekend, taking him ice skating for the first time ever!)
 (future hockey mom?? OMG I'm already dreading the before-school practices at 5am...)


Anyways - that's where we're at... 23 days left until I go back to work (visited yesterday - they were all counting down the days too, anxious for me to return... lol)

We're getting there on a night routine so I should be ok come that first Monday! (Night routine being - Ms. Mack nurses somewhere between 8-9pm, (sometimes) gets 2oz of formula (all E's decision and desire... *sigh*) and I'll probably pump, because then she'll sleep (in her bassinet in the living room) until 1-2am (I usually conk out on the couch around 10:30/11pm.  ((If she's growth-spurting, she'll be up to eat around 11p/midnight, so I'll skip the pumping then...)) 
After the MOTN feeding (anywhere from 1-3am, depending on if she ate around midnight or not) we'll both head upstairs and she'll sleep in the cradle bedside, waking once more anywhere from 5-6am (If it's 5am, we try to go back to sleep afterwards - amidst Button and E getting up and getting ready... If it's closer to or after 6am, we'll be up for the day).  
It probably seems silly that we both sleep in the living room for the first part of the night, and I'd like to get a routine down where she gets put down from the start in the cradle/crib, but with the inconsistent first MOTN feeding (midnight? 2am??) I think us sleeping downstairs helps E get an uninterrupted night's sleep...


Except - somehow, men - sleeping ONE FOOT AWAY - somehow miss hearing anything short of a siren going off during the night... right, mama's?
How many times, after a rough night, has Daddy gone, "wow, baby was good last night - I didn't hear them get up at all!"

Overall, the amount of sleep I get (whatever it may be, in whatever increments - I couldn't even tell you right now...) it seems suffice. I only need one cup of coffee a day!

 Ok - Ms. Mack's been napping for about 30 minutes, I probably have only another 15 - time to wrap it up!

(I fully intend to blog about the first month's weight gain and BFing and all that jazz - I've got it written down in a notebook! Old school journaling at it's best...)






**a woman made these for the Thursday BF group two weeks ago, and while I didn't pay attention, a few women the next week said they noticed a great increase in their milk! I've already eaten two freshly baked ones while writing this post!
I also used, instead of milk, white chocolate chips and craisins (my fave!) 

Saturday, February 6, 2016

We just live in their world..

So this is happening right now.. that's E crammed into bed with Button trying to get him to nap, and trying to get a nap himself.
Because he was up feeding a hungry baby every two hours last night from 8 to 2am.

Oh no, wait...

That was me...

Enjoy your nap, buddy. You must be exhausted.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

pissed off and tired

so here's how my week's been:

Sunday (had made plans days prior for movies with bestie Dee...

(ha. just kidding. baby's crying.

as she did all day yesterday.

she hasn't pooped for almost 48 hours, the last one being thicker and creamier - kinda FORMULA poop. thanks hubby for probably stopping her up while I was unconsciously sick all day Monday, trusting you were feeding her primarily pumped breast milk from the fridge. ASSHOLE.

***ok, back within the hour... 

so Sunday had been plans to go see the movie Room - a book both Dee and I loved Well, E came down with his man-cold sometime Thursday/Friday (of course, not taking anything for it for days... all the better to mope about with congestion.... and of course, I got the same cold Thursday night, woke up Friday morning feeling slightly feverish and stuffy. but -

Anyways - so E's had this cold for days, waits until SUNDAY to decide to go to an urgent care center to get an Rx for a Z-pack... and then on Sunday waits until after 10:30 to go (when I kept reminding him, after changing plans from movies to brunch so I could bring baby and then at least the adult baby (E) would only have to watch one child while sick).

BUTof course, he had to shower and shave first.

Before going to the doctor... (and yes, the guy had showered just the NIGHT before!)

so I'm seething, texting Dee all, "f*ck the mimosas, I need a martini!"

Finally he gets back (2 hours later. yup.) and I'm packing up baby girl and he was all, "Wait you're bringing her with you?!"

uh...
yes...

because also, hunnie, you'd not survive one hour being home alone with both kids, the way your patience has been with Button lately...

When I told him as much, he acknowledged, and then admitted, "I'd probably just keep feeding her to keep her quiet..."

Yes, we're back on that battle - E has somehow aligned with his parents' feelings ("OMG the baby's fussing - FEED HER! SHE'S HUNGRY!")

Seriously.  We were there (at the inlaws') for 3 hours the day before and all I heard was, "Is it too early to give her cereal in her bottle?" ... "Yea, she needs a bottle of formula at night to help keep her full..." ... "I miss her, and it's hard, what with breastfeeding and I can't help feed her..." ... "I think she's hungry, she needs a bottle..."  (no, she needs the boob again.)

and because his parents are like that (and have been like that - all about food - their entire Italian lives) DH is like that... even with Button: we'll eat (a big) breakfast (and by big I mean waffles, fruit, yogurt, cereal, etc) on Saturday mornings around 9.  And come 10, he's like, "ok Button time for a snack!"

anyways - so his comment Sunday about feeding Ms. Mack just to keep her quiet kind of annoyed me, especially because he admitted it out loud. (although I'm glad he did admit that...)

So she'll be sticking close to me for awhile, because as sad as that is - I didn't quite trust him not to seriously just feed her to keep her quiet...



Segue into Sunday night/Monday morning - bout 3am, as I just finished nursing Ms. Mack.

and start to feel nauseous...

Yup, here comes the 24-hour stomach bug...

and as I'm resting my cheek on the cool toilet seat (disgusting, right? it felt SO GOOD at the time) between bouts of upchucking, all I could think was - "GODDAMMIT I have fought hard to get 6 weeks into breast feeding, I better not lose my milk supply! SOB!!"

((Thankfully E had already called out of work the day before due to his man cold that mostly dissipated by Monday morning, so he was around for baby-care while I rocked in a ball all day...))

Of course, I'd already read and discovered it's best to keep nursing baby through illnesses so they're exposed to the antibodies. and of course, E was skeptical of the scientific truth behind that ("Is it just people saying that? or like, doctors?")

So as I sat and pumped around 9am (got almost 5 oz!!), he gave her a bottle of (previously pumped) BM.  And then I hit the delirious stage - twilight sleep dreaming of what was on TV (Homeland), jumping and running to the bathroom thinking I had to hurl (nope, diarrhea. awesome) and trying to sip/suck down water (GOTTA KEEP MILK SUPPLY UP!)

I even got to vomit while pumping... yup. Was laying on the couch, pumping (one side at a side - you try that 'ish laying on your side!) and E was sitting catty-corner on the sectional holding baby, and I said - "I think I'm gonna need a bowl or pot or pan... "
He started to move and I was like, "YUP definitely gonna - HURL" (and yea, spewed a little on the floor, while saying/crying at the same time - "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry it's on the floor HURL!" (the second bout I held in until he got the pot there) 
That's love - holding the pot while your wife is pumping breast milk, vomiting green liquid (bye bye water...) and then cleaning up the previously puked green liquid from the couch, carpet and floor...


**pause the story, time to feed baby...
or maybe better yet - to be continued...

(remember - we're only on Monday afternoon now! lol)

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Hypothesis, experiment and results!

Hypothesis: diagnosis of low milk supply; pumping after every nursing session for one week, plus increasing water intake, upping calcium and protein, adding More Milk Plus and Mother's Tea should increase milk supply (and therefore end the need for supplemental bottles of BM!)

Experiment: on day 4 of pumping, taking 1-2 Tbsp brewer's yeast, 4 pills of More Milk Plus and1,000mg calcium, and prenatal vitamins daily. increased protein in diet, making sure to drink lots of water!

Results?!?!
This morning's pump after she nursed was biggest yet at 3 oz! She actively nursed the whole time latched, and basically refused any more milk after taking 1/2oz via bottle!!!

Note: must do weighed feeding to prove to E that it's beginning to work and she'll be soon getting all she needs directly from the boob..

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Four Letter Word...

the pump is back...
quick synopsis (or "TL;DR") :
    went to BF support group last Thursday (run by an IBCLC) and attempted a weighed feeding (was a hot mess... I think I changed her diaper after her "Starting" weight, and the whole thing was with variables like clothing on...) and it said she took in actually negative 1/2 oz. (not possible, right? told you it was a hot mess)
Spoke with the IBCLC then and there to make an appointment for a formal weighed feeding (conveniently made it for the very next day, Friday!)

at the appointment, Ms. Mack was 8lb2.5oz (an oz gained from just the day before, as I had re-started her "supplement" of 2oz BM overnight...)

I nursed her on left side, she got about 1/2 oz (not shocking, lefty is such a dud...) nursed on the right and she only took a little over 1/2 oz.... YIKES...

I put her back on the right breast, and lo and behold - she took a total between both feeds of 1.5 oz, making her feed total 2oz.

According to this formula (weight (8.2lbs) x 2.25oz div. by number of daily feedings) Ms. Mack needs to be getting at least 2.3oz per nursing session, or about 19oz daily. Given her 2oz she took in via the weighed feeding, she was only getting, given 9 daily feeding sessions, 18oz.  (Given the 2-3 nights I stopped giving her the extra 2 oz at night, no wonder she only went from 7lb14.5oz on 1/13/16 to 8lb2.5oz on 1/22/16...) The 2oz were started up again the night before the lactation consultation, hence the 1oz gain from Thursday's group meeting to Friday's private consult...

SO.  All that to say, the IBCLC thinks I have very "borderline low milk supply." (not sure how that works, considering I pumped on a hospital grade pump after she nursed at the appointment, and got almost 2 more ounces... Doesn't that mean that Ms. Mack's just not very efficient at nursing?)

IBCLC's recommendations?

That four-letter word, PUMP.

Pump after every nursing session for one week to kick milk production into high gear...

Add in More Milk Plus (an herbal supplement full of galactagogues) and 3Tbsp brewer's yeast daily, and lots of water - oh and 1,000g of Calcium and 60-76g of protein... no easy task!


so here we are, day 3 of a vicious cycle that feels like it starts all over again the second it ends:
nurse (as long as she'll go for : 10m-18m per side)
give 1oz bottle of BM so Ms. Mack is getting all she needs
pump for 14 minutes (2 seven-minute cycles with let-down phases at the beginning of each)

so far I've always pumped her extra ounces plus some (I get to skip pumping at night feeds... and last night, after she went down around 11pm, that was only one at 3am!!)

But I feel like the entire day passes in the blink of an eye: nurse, pump, wash bottles, pump, nurse, wash...

As long as it's for one week, I can do this... I really hope these boobs start cranking out more milk than a dairy cow... I am counting down the days/hours until the week is up and I meet again with the IBCLC for a weighed feeding to see how much she's getting...



(oh and E wants to go to dinner at his parents tonight... I think I'll bow out (with baby!) as it'll be such a pain to pack up all the pump paraphernalia, never mind the hour-long feeding process... and having to re-explain paced bottle feeding to them?? (and listen to the "you're not feeding her enough!" bullshit from FIL?
nooooo thank you!


(also - Dr appt tomorrow, hopefully we've got good weight! I always dread these appointments, fearing more bad news...)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Meet-Up!

Part I of birth story here
Part II of birth story here


We'll see how long this takes to type and post (starting it at 12pm ET on 1/20/16! lol) as Daddy is back to work full time, and it's just me and baby at home!

We left off with Mommy and Baby in recovery, catching our breaths after a somewhat rocky start (Apgar of 5?!)

We got to do skin-to-skin (less than an hour after birth! yay for that, after a C/S!) and tried nursing (she latched! DAMN GIRL already a head start on your brother with nursing!) and poor E ran around trying to find cell-phone signal (it was like we were in some stone basement!) to text family and let them know we were all healthy and happy! (He eventually had to nearly leave the entire L&D floor to get signal...)

We heard a couple come into the bed next to us in recovery - a 10lb baby!!! Dad walked by the foot of my bed to use the bathroom, and I saw him through a break in the curtain - holy linebacker, no wonder the kid was so big!

After the requisite 2 hours in recovery, we were wheeled off (nurse needed some help steering my bed lol) to our MotherBaby room, aka home-away-from-home for the next three nights... the feeling in my legs had begun to come back (by the time we left recovery, I could wiggle both sets of toes!) and the legs were starting to fiercely itch - unsure if it was from any meds, but it was DEFINITELY due to those blood-pressure cuff thingies they put around your legs from knee to ankle... SO EFFING ITCHY!!!

We settled into the room, and within the hour Big Brother was brought (by MIL and SIL) to meet his new sister!
I wish I could have been the one holding baby and Button in my lap, but alas - fresh incisions don't like that...

(can you see all the people taking pictures in the window reflection? lol)

We had a myriad of visitors over the next few days (fBFF came, and announced she was pregnant! *by shoving her phone in my face with a picture of her u/s pulled up...* (lol) she was just 6.5 weeks or so at the time, and so is kind of nearing the end of first trimester now - her EDD is a week after my bday in August, and given a (most probable) ERCS a week early, she'll deliver almost exactly on my birthday! not sure how I feel about that... lol )

The first night I got hit with horrible HORRIBLE HORRIBLE pain at the incision site - it increased over a span of 20-30 minutes until I couldn't concentrate, couldn't do anything except clutch the bedrails with white knuckles, breathe through it, and just wait for the new IV pain med to kick in (took over 30 minutes...) I totally had an out-of-body moment because of that pain... some of the worst, if not the worst, I've ever experienced...

Aside from that - I managed pain meds much better than with Button's recovery, and felt pretty good the whole time in the hospital (and at home later - filled the percocet Rx and took them every now and then for the first 36 hours or so, and then was able to stop them and the Motrin...)

The catheter came out the next day (Tuesday) midday, and then the IV came out - I was able to get up (verrrry slowly) and shower (verrrry slowly) but MAN - nothing felt better than sitting there under the hot water... I didn't want to get out!  But I got on my new comfy (button-top for nursing!) PJ's and felt so much better climbing (or, slowly scooting) back into a clean and fresh-made bed!

Ms. Mack also had her first bath around midnight the first night (and weighed in at 7lbs6oz) but couldn't complete her hearing screening because she kept crying...

Once I was camera ready, baby girl and I got our first selfie (lmao - I am SO not the vain type that needs to be "Camera ready" first...)


And then we went crazy with taking pictures:

(obviously this is just a very small selection of the MANY MANY paparazzi shots... lol)

The second night (Tuesday) they finally were able to finish her newborn screening (PulseOx was perfect - 95 and 96 I think - her hearing was perfect, her bilirubin levels were so good they skipped the blood test for that!) and she weighed in around 7lbs4oz (I think... lol)

Overall - the staff were great, and the hospital was fabulous as always providing plates for E at each and every meal... and now - I don't know if my chart somewhere said, SECOND KID! but I did notice that I never got a visit from a lactation consultant or the on-staff newborn photographer! I guess they were like, "man she totally got this!" (which, ironically - I did kind of have it! She was latching great - ok, still issues in the hospital with the left nipple (which I've diagnosed as flat) but by the time we left, she was latching on it! without a nipple shield, which is good because the dietary staff did accidentally take it with a food tray one day, lol)


We were ready to go on Christmas Eve (Thursday) and once the OB and pediatrician discharged us both (her discharge weight was 7lbs1oz)**, we got my happy-meds Rx and paperwork, showed the nurses the car seat and that we knew how to strap her in, and we were off to go pick up big brother from MIL's house - and then to finally head home as our new family of four!

**Noting weights because, come the first two pediatrician appointments (and weight-checks) we feared we were on track for a repeat of Button's (poor) weight gain...

(we caught the elevator down with 10-LB-Baby and parents from recovery! and man, that kid was BIG! and to be honest (and mean?) momma still looked 8 months pregnant and a little worse-for-the-wear... she also didn't speak any English, which was kind of weird considering baby-daddy was Caucasian...)

Ms. Mack -
on the day you came home, the weather was so DREARY! Gray, overcast and rainy - this Christmas Eve was not a white one, but a warm one at about 60 degrees!
Welcome home, baby girl!
(don't worry, you'll grow into that crib! before we know it, you'll be sitting up - and then pulling to stand - and we'll be lowering it again!)



***look at that - Ms. Mack fussed just once and went back to sleep while I typed, and she's just starting to wake 50 minutes after the start of the post!***

Next up - the fun 10 days Grandma and Grandpa were here, and the two CRAZY days we added your aunt, uncle and two cousins (don't forget their dog!) to the mix!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Madeline's Birth Story: Part II

(check out Part I here!)

At about 3:15 on Monday the 21st, the flurry began... a nurse walked in as E had been texting family, ("she's coming today!!! ETA sometime after 3:30!!!") and said, "Dad, you're not in scrubs yet??"
 While he threw on his supersized scrubs, they had me, while in the bathroom, scrub my own stomach with some weird soap... (I had just showered, c'mon guys!)

We loaded our bags onto the cart thingy that would follow us to recovery, and then on to our permanent motherBaby room...

The shakes began (from mostly being cold) and E got left outside the OR while I was prepped (given spinal block and foley catheter, thankfully in that order...)
 E's famous hallway view, pre-baby-meeting!
(check out his similar view from when Button was born...)

Meanwhile, getting my spinal was such deja-vue from 2.5 years ago - except this time, I conquered the shakes! Of course, the two heated blankets draped on my lap and shoulders helped, as did knowing what exactly to expect in the upcoming hour... warmth flowed from the spinal site down the backs of my legs, and with E being escorted in as soon as my catheter and surgical drapes were placed, surgery was off at about 3:45pm!

The oh yea! scent of cauterized flesh (yuck, right?!) and a bit of familiar tugging, and before I knew it - before E even knew it, he had no time to get the camera up and ready to video!!! - they were telling me - showing me over the curtain! - Ms. Madeline Claire, born at 4:09pm on December 21st! 
And here's where there's a split in the story telling... see, from my point of view (behind curtains, arms splayed out, my ears the only receiver of news from the baby and team) - I heard the suction and a quick gurgle as the surgeons literally removed her from me, and thought ok, not a great busty cry, but noise! HI BABY!! WELCOME!! I mean - they'd held her over the curtain, and she was all, DAFUQ JUST HAPPENED?!
A little silence, maybe 20 seconds - and juuuust as I'm thinking, ok - well she's much quieter than her brother! - out came the warbling newborn cry, and I started smiling big...



E's story on the other hand, is where shit got scary... I didn't hear any of the drama until the Baby Team (and Daddy) had left the OR for recovery a few minutes ahead of me at the end of the C-section, when the doctors mentioned her first Apgar score was FIVE... 

so back up to the point where the surgeons got baby girl out and suctioned... she was handed off to Baby Team, where E followed them over to the warmer, camera out taking pictures... 

In his narrative to me later, he only realized something was up when he saw, through the view finder, a nurse start to slap the bottom of baby's feet, and an oxygen mask come out... He then noticed her color - an ashy gray (she'd still not "pinked up" with new oxygenated blood...)
 (nurse is slapping baby's feet, and I think the nurse on the left has the oxygen mask on baby...)

At this point, E put the camera down, and started watching the nurses' faces for news (so the 20 seconds or so I was waiting clueless for some newborn wails, E spent 20 hours as a nervous wreck, waiting for something...her limbs were limp as the team moved them around...)

They suctioned her again, and according to E, she let out her busty newborn wail (and took that first/second gasp of oxygen for her blood cells) and immediately pinked up, from head to toes...
My pink wailing baby girl!! Her next APGAR (less than a minute after the first disastrous Five) was 9...

The new family! (minus big brother, of course... lol)

At 19.5" and 7lb11.6oz, Madeline Claire joined the family!

speaking of Ms. Mack, Daddy is rocking her now (she's spoiled, has gotten used to a set of arms 'round the clock... sigh) and is giving me the signal that he'd like his first shower in two days, so it's my turn to try to cajole her to sleep... (good news, she's above birth weight today! by 3.5 oz! nursing's going well, will definitely go more into that later)

But first, next up: big brother meets his new baby sister!