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!

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!

Madeline's Birth Story (Part 1)

or more accurately titled, "the story leading UP to Madeline's birth story!"

I last posted on Saturday December 19th that baby girl was still inside, and I had been mall-walking and hot-wing-eating...

That Sunday, we had all my in-laws over for Christmas gift exchanging (since we'd be in the hospital over Christmas).  That entailed 7 adults and two teenager girls (plus us - 2 and a toddler) for whom I made chicken lasagna from scratch... ("oh this? just something I threw together!")

I had contractions throughout the evening and just pegged them for being on my feet all day, and probably not as hydrated as I should have been...
They continued through Monday - the same kind of contractions I'd been having really for a few weeks - regularly inconsistent: some were 4 minutes apart, some were 15... but, here and there would be a slightly stronger-than-usual contraction that made me sit back a little and wonder...

I went to my regularly scheduled weekly doctor checkup that morning (Monday December 21st) and saw one of the covering physicians from another practice (something my practice does so you've seen a few of the possible doctors that may be covering/on-call at the hospital whenever you go into labor...)

Just like the visit before, as the doctor felt baby girl while I laid back on the table, she felt a contraction hit (why do they feel the need to tell you, "oh that's a contraction!" - REALLY?! yea, pretty sure I knew that!)

She finished the exam, I sat up and chuckled and said, "yup there's another one" (contraction)... and as we finished chatting (I'm sure me talking about how I was ready for baby to come - sore pelvic bones, can't reach my feet, etc) I had 1-2 more contractions... (I was still only 1cm dilated...)

at that point, the doc was like, "um ok - so you've had like, 4 contractions in the 15 minutes we've been sitting here - what do you want to do?!"

To which I said, "I have options to Wednesday's scheduled surgery??

I felt silly, with "not real" labor (according to my mom... it should make you unable to concentrate on anything! ...) whining that I was uncomfortable (who isn't in the last few weeks of pregnancy?) and wanting to move up delivery by just 48 hours...

Of course, the doctor made a few valid points - if I'm not attempting a VBAC, why go through labor pains and "real" contractions?
And - it was more dangerous to be headed into a c-section while in active labor, the whole point of scheduling them 1 week before an EDD was to totally avoid mom being in labor...

so - a text to E ("so there's an opportunity for this to go down today... call me!!") followed by phone discussions of the logistics (who would pickup Button from daycare?? who would watch our dogs?? who would take care of Button the next day with daycare drop offs and pickups?? *in-laws had been scheduled to help with that given our 12/23 scheduled date - they were all still working!!*) and we were off, me from the doctor and E from work, to meet at home, grab hospital bags, and head into L&D!

(Of course, once home - I had to do things like start a load of laundry... (the car seat liner still needed to be washed!) and organize the nursery a little more, and pack the last minute items for my hospital bag, and get the guest bedroom ready for my parents who would be flying in the day of hospital discharge!)

Once E got home from work, we loaded up and headed to Button's daycare to drop off his overnight bag (MIL would be picking him up that evening and bringing him home with her...) unfortunately, it was the middle of naptime, so we peeked in on him from the door and whispered, "We're off to meet your baby sister!"

We got to the hospital, and started the checking-in process...
 my view from bed!

(doctor introduced herself, of course it was one I hadn't seen yet in all the office visits I'd had... she went over the surgery, said she'd check out my appendix while in there, and remove if needed, which was kind of random... lol)

(In the meantime, just like her big brother - once Momma got hooked up to the fetal monitors, contractions occurred regularly every 4-6 minutes for almost 2 hours... And those now-regular contractions had started to feel a  bit more intense...)

The Dr started mentioning the possibility of bumping a scheduled 5pm CS to get me in earlier... she looked again at the print-out of contraction dips & peaks and said, "yea - we're definitely bumping the 5pm!"

It was around 2:30 at this point, and we all prepared for an OR time of 3:30 to meet our baby girl!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Gone tits up!

OK, I think that saying means things have gone wrong, so instead, apply it literally:
I'm sitting on the couch, with a peanut smuggled up on my chest.. a chest which is half (one boob) hanging out..

After a mental breakdown last night that had me swearing munchkin hadn't gained weight and was latching shallow, and was not transferring enough milk and we were repeating button's poor weight gain.. Today has brought about a new lease on life/nursing - doctor appt indicated she has gained 0.5oz/day since last appt which was "perfect" -  and I attended a BF support group moderated by an IBCLC (international board certified lactation consultant) where she latched and nursed PERFECTLY - I have a new drive and confidence that we're gonna do this!!

Just a quick update for now.. I have so much to write just as soon as I have an hour or four to sit at the computer (I had time two days ago, but I used it to edit newborn photos I took, and to order birth announcements..)

Time to tuck in the boob, move baby girl to her PNP and attempt to get a little shut eye..