Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Friday, December 26, 2008

All's quiet...

For once. I feel like we have been running full speed since Hulk has arrived! With visitors and holiday's and fun surprises (more on that in a sec) we really haven't had much downtime. But right now, I've got the baby sleeping on my chest in the Moby wrap, and the dogs and my mother are all sleeping. She is great to have here - but I'm really hoping she plans on leaving tomorrow so I can spend some downtime with my family this weekend! My mother is pretty high maintenance.

Today we went to the mall - I actually did NO shopping at all for Christmas. I shopped online for my nieces and nephews... but if you didn't get handmade, you got nothing from me. Both Aaron and I didn't get each other anything. And any presents that entered the house were for Hulk and not us - so I decided to go out and get a few things for myself that I needed. And the sales! Geez! I got over $300 dollars worth of clothes for $100. Insane. The only thing I didn't get on sale was a white noise machine - but we need it. I've been running a fan on high right near the baby's bed - and it's just too cold for that to continue (I point it away from him - but that means I'm getting a breeze all night long).

I didn't have time to tell everyone about the most wonderful surprise that I got - a quilt made for Hulk by all my quilting girlfriends. We get together about every 2 weeks to sew (and gossip) and have been doing so for about 5 years. They are the group that threw me the baby shower, and gave me the swing and loads of other presents. Well, I invited everyone over for lunch at my house on Tuesday - and they TOTALLY surprised me with an amazing log cabin quilt. I would post a picture - but the card reader in my computer is dead (very very annoying, btw). I was in tears when they said it was for me. They all pitched in and picked out the fabrics, got together multiple times to make the squares, and all sat together to sew on the binding. I still tear up a little to think of all the time these busy women took out of their lives to make my son such a wonderful present. He is one lucky boy.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Well - this Christmas is just about the biggest 180 from last year's.

Happy Holiday's from my family to yours.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Idea stolen from Serenity:

OK, maybe not wordless because I wasn't going to wake the sleeping baby to get the full shot of the shirt (it says All Mommy wants for Christmas is a Silent Night).

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Nursery Pictures!

Well - It's really hard to get pictures in a small room, but here are the shots I could get.
This is the wall with the changing table -

And here is the 'jungle' wall - with the CRIB!
And this is the wall with the glider (I made those cushion covers) and the curtains that started the jungle obsession:

All I have to say is that now that I can drive, it's a whole new world. I've got Aaron convinced to stay in bed for the overnight feedings - so he does the 'late' feeding after I go to bed early (I'm in bed by 8, Hulk will eat around 9 or 9:30 usually) and puts him to bed. I do the 1ish and 4ish... and we hang out upstairs until around 9 AM. Then I go downstairs, and do some chores or whatever, and we do an outing. Yesterday it was to the mall, today we did a few errands, tomorrow to my Aunt's house for lunch. Anything to get out for a bit! Then Aaron get homes around 6, and he takes over while I do my grown up things - like blogging or wrapping presents or whatever.

It's a loose schedule, and I feel like I've got some sanity!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

More answers and a decision

We saw my doula yesterday. She watched me pump. My milk is totally not in. What I thought was a HUGE stream is basically a little trickle. And when I said I was in 'discomfort' when I hadn't pumped for 6 hours... she said my boobs would have been rock hard and I would have KNOWN that my milk was in. That just isn't the case. I haven't pumped for nearly 30 hours, I've felt barely a twinge.

And all the pumping and waking up and stress over being on the pump when Aaron isn't here - worrying that Hulk will wake up and I'll have to try to comfort him with one hand while trying to hold the pump on with the other? I was actually told to pump every 1.5 hours when I was awake, and try to put him to breast 3 - 4 times a day. Surprisingly - I had trouble doing that - considering I was told to pump until nothing came out... so that would take about 20 - 25 minutes. After I finished pumping, 50% of the time Hulk would need to be fed - so I'd feed him the breast milk I'd pumped, and then try to get him on the breast - but he wouldn't calm down because he was so hungry... by the time I finished feeding him and settling him down - it was time to pump again. Oh - and when we were sleeping? I was told to wake him up every 3 hours to eat, and I should pump then. So Aaron had to wake up with me to feed him because I couldn't feed and pump at the same time. Both us us were miserable and the stress was pretty high.

It's a harsh reality to come to - but I'm not making enough milk for him. And my supply isn't increasing no matter what I've tried. I've pumped every hour. I've taken 18 supplement pills (9 of fenugreek and 9 of blessed thistle) a day. I've tried drinking a half a beer (that was a sacrifice, let me tell you). I've spent hundreds of dollars on lactation consultants and renting hospital grade pumps. I need to let breastfeeding go and just enjoy my baby.

What is cracking me up here is that when a Baby Story (the TV show on TLC) would come on that had a c-section, I would turn it off - because, you know, I would never have one. And when all the formula samples came in the mail, I left them in the garage, because OF COURSE I would breastfeed.

Surprisingly, letting it go was a huge weight off my chest. Sure, a little sad too - but I am concentrating on enjoying my little man, instead of stressing on something that unfortunately just isn't working. Of course, last night managed to be a really rough night - he just wouldn't settle down! But this is our first night of fussiness... so we are lucky. And I'm more lucky, because Aaron stayed up with him - and with the stopping of the pumping every 3 hours, I managed to sleep 5 hours in a row! I'm a new person today.

We picked up the crib today! Maybe we'll get it together and I can post pictures tomorrow.

Friday, December 19, 2008

There is something rotting in my Christmas tree

On Sunday, we went out and got our Christmas tree. Brought it in the living room on Sunday night. Monday, there was a somewhat bad smell in the living room, but I figured we have poopy diapers and dogs that haven't had baths in a while....

Tuesday, it smelled like garbage.

Wends it was worse.

Yesterday - it was disgusting. I only was in the living room for maybe 30 minutes and I couldn't take it anymore.

Aaron had pretty much looked everywhere - and couldn't figure it out (we were thinking a dead mouse in the heater or something like that). Finally, out of the fog of sleep deprivation, he put one and one together and realized the smell started when the tree entered the house. And that when he trimmed off the bottom, a birds nest fell out. We took a flashlight and tried to find the source of the rot... one of those times when you both hope you do and don't find the problem? We couldn't find it - so we took off the decorations and took the tree outside.

The smell is now out of my living room - but I have no Christmas tree. I'm not sure it's worth it to get a new one 5 days away from Christmas.

We both has good checkups today - Hulk is living up to his name, and weighs 9.5 pounds! I'm also healing well, and am within 5 pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight,which is cool. OK - off to look in the freezer for food - I'm considering cooking dinner! Shocking!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Every day is a little better

I would say that yesterday was my lowest day. I think my hormones were totally crashing - along with the whole fun of pumping/feeding and the THOUSANDS of opinions and advice I was getting on it all. We switched a few things up last night, and we are all feeling good today.

Tomorrow we have a very big day - Hulk's 2 week pedi appointment and my 2 week check up with the OB. So we are going to be out of the house all morning. And then Aaron will be working from home for the rest of the day - we are expecting 6 - 8 inches of snow starting tomorrow afternoon! And Saturday, the big plan is to go visit my doula, and then spend the rest of the day together just the three of us, at home, resting with my family.

My family. I like the sound of that.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


So. Since yesterday, weve had one more instance of Hulk breastfeeding - for a few minutes. You are all correct - the pumping AND feeding is really getting overwhelming. We are giving it until Friday, at which point we have a pedi appointment and we are going to re-evaluate everything. Most of the stress comes from the pumping/feeding at night. There just really isn't a way for one of us to do it without waking up the other - but Aaron doesn't really want me to just do it alone - even though HE is the one going out every day and driving and working. I'm hoping to convince him tonight to sleep in the guest room and take some Tylenol PM and try and get a full nights sleep. I spent until 2 in the afternoon today in bed with Hulk - feeding and sleeping on and off... so I could handle tonight alone if Aaron will let me - but I guess we will just have to see.

I was talking to my doula today, and the thing is - I just love this little guy SO much. And I worked so hard to get pregnant, stay pregnant and then birth him - I just don't feel like I can just give up on breast feeding. I know it is the best thing for him... but I also know that I was raised on formula and I turned out pretty damn OK. It's a struggle to decide. For now, I'll keep pumping and working with the little guy - but I do know that this can't go on like this forever!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Better today

Last night, when Aaron got home from work, I was totally overwhelmed. I was basically hopping up every 30 minutes to feed or change or pump or eat or answer the phone all day. Side note on the phone thing - why is it that people I barely talk to EVER on the phone now are calling me daily? Like my father and my mother in law. AUGH!

Anyway - Aaron took charge - waited on me hand and foot, even put up Christmas lights! We were both in bed by 8 - and the plan for the evening was that I would still get up to pump every 3 hours, but we'd let Hulk sleep until he woke up. The lactation consultant had told me to wake up Hulk every 3 hours to feed, and I think that was what was killing us. Sure - the fact that I was pumping and not getting to actually FED him was there too - but Aaron just wasn't getting why we were waking a sleeping baby ever 3 hours? None of our friends ever heard of that. I thought it was because of the minor jaundice he had - but a friend whose son had SEVERE jaundice didn't even do that. So last night, even though I got up 3 times to pump, Hulk only got up 2 times. Of course. Aaron didn't manage to get any sleep... but we are getting somewhere.

The best thing?!? This morning, I fed him (from the bottle, all breast milk - so at least we have that). I then put him in his shaky seat to sleep while I pumped. I pumped for a few minutes, and he got fussy again - so I picked him up and was patting his back - he nuzzled his way down to my breast! And ate for about 10 minutes!!! I was SO excited. He was already full from the bottle - but it was great progress. I'm pretty happy.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Day one

Well. Today was my first day on my own... mostly. Aaron left for work at 5 AM (yeah - he is crazy like that) after a pretty good night with Hulk. If you add it all up - I probably got about 5 hours sleep (in 1.5 hour stretches - but I'll take what I can get!). When we got up for his 6:30 feeding - my mother was up and ready to leave. I kind of thought she would stay until lunch - but she was totally ready to go. I convinced her to stay for a bit more, and snuck another hour of sleep, and she fed him while I showered. But then she was gone.

I don't know if the struggle is just that we aren't breast feeding yet - so I have to pump and then feed him (he is pretty much getting 90% of his food from breast milk! Just not from my breast.). And then, today, he was up wanting to eat about ever 1.5 hours - 2 hours, where his pattern before was every 3 hours. So I was trying to time the pumping so I could do it before he woke up hungry - and I didn't manage to hit that window ever. So I'd be pumping, he'd be crying.


I know it's only been 10 days - but I'm getting frustrated. The lactation lady came and told me to just do skin to skin if he wasn't accepting the breast - which he still isn't... so obviously she's seen this before and things work out - but I just wish one bit was easy, you know!? What if he never breast feeds? I'm happy that he is gaining weight well and getting mostly breast milk - but I thought this whole breast feeding thing would work out. And of course, I read two blogs today where they talk about how the whole breastfeeding experience was so wonderful and helped them bond.... not like I'm NOT bonding with this little guy - I really don't think it is possible to explain the amount of love I have for him already.... but I want to have the whole breast feeding thing too!

OK. Pity party is over. I'm sure that this will all work out - I just need to keep working at it! The visiting nurse came yesterday, and was also very encouraging. Hulk is up to 8 lbs 14 oz - so is gaining to 1 oz a day that the doctor wanted to see. I just don't have any experience with this - so I have no idea what to expect and what is good or bad. We'll get there.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Products that I already love...

Things here are going awesome. We are into a groove, and I'm totally and completely in love. I'll save the mushy post for later... but I wanted to tell you about a few things that are making our lives so awesome that I wanted to share. All of these items were suggested by my doula, and I'm so glad we listened!

The Amby Baby Bed. This is like a hammock for the baby - and he loves it. We get him mostly asleep (or sometimes he is passed out) and put him in... and if he stirs, it gently rocks him back to sleep. I would highly recommend this to anyone.

The Blessed Nest. It's expensive, but the best nursing pillow ever!!! As a woman of size, I was nervous about what I heard about the Boppy not 'fitting'. The is a wonderful pillow filled with organic buckwheat hulls. Everyone who has seen it or used it can't stop talking about how awesome it is.

The Moby Wrap. I just started using this yesterday, and it's FREAKING AWESOME. I can hold Hulk and walk around, or sit in the chair - and he is right there and totally comforted and warm. I'm also trying to do a lot of skin to skin time, since we aren't 100% on the breast yet, and I can wrap him up for Kangaroo care with this (I actually haven't tried that yet - but I can see how it totally will work.).

I think we are going to leave the house in a bit to get our Christmas tree - I dressed Hulk for the occasion:

He is sitting on a Minky blanket that I made for him (minky on one side, flannel on the other)... what a hit that has been! I made then for all my friends who have had babies lately, and two for myself... what a great and easy present. Super soft and nice and warm. Great combo for a newborn in New England's winter!

Friday, December 12, 2008

That's a good story for the baby books....

The only really challenge that we have been having is breast feeding. My milk has been slow to come in - he latches well, but gets frustrated because he isn't getting full flow yet. Which is understandable! Big baby + no milk = an upset baby! So we have been working with a lactation consultant. The first plan (that the pediatrician suggested) was just let him nurse for as long as he would without getting upset (he would get upset when he would suck and not get much) supplement with formula, and then pump for 15 minutes. I then talked to the hospital lactation consultant, and she suggested using a Supplemental Nursing System (SNS). You put formula or breast milk in this thing around your neck, and then run little tubes to the nipples, and when he sucks, he always gets something. At the hospital, with both Aaron and the LC helping - this would go awesome. He would latch on, feed for 40 minutes to an hour, and then I'd still pump just for the extra little something.

Then we came home. The big problem with the SNS is that when Hulk nurses, he is super grabby... and those little tubes are tempting for his little grabby hands. So - I first have to spend 5 minutes setting up the freaking system, then trying to get him to latch and NOT pull off the tubes. It was SO frustrating and just NOT a good experience all around. We decided to have another consult with a LC - and when I called her and told her what I was currently doing (feed with the SNS, then use the bottle to finish the feeding and THEN pump) she said - wow, that is a complicated feeding plan. And I started crying. She told me to just pump and feed him from the bottle until she came the next day. It was like this huge weight was lifted!

Her visit was awesome. She said we were doing all the right things - he latches, it's just that he is an instant gratification kind of guy. She thinks once my milk fully comes in, we'll do great. So, my plan was to try at the breast 2 or 3 times a day - but mostly, use the expressed breast milk in a bottle, and then pump - feeding him every 3 hours, and with me pumping at least every 3 and as many as every hour and a half. And has been going great.

Here comes the actual funny part of the story. Last night, I was up feeding Hulk. I just finished feeding him, changing him and getting him settled (the needs of a newborn! So easy! Eat. Sleep. Shit. Repeat. Many many many times). The weather here was REALLY kicking up - we had a bunch of rain and wind - and is was below freezing - so the rain was icing up on the trees. It was a trip to listen to while rocking in the nursery. I sat down to pump, did that for 15 minutes, and was putting everything away when the lights went out. I was figuring that would happen - but I woke up Aaron and told him the power was out (since he was up next for feeding) set my alarm for the next pumping session, and went to bed.

Got up at 3. No power. Breasts getting a wee bit sore.

Got up at 7. Breasts are THROBBING. NO POWER. I tried to get Hulk to take some sucks - but to no avail. I then remembered that we had this thing that we could plug into the cigarette lighter of the car and it converts into an outlet. Aaron went to look for it, and couldn't find it. I called my LC, as I was getting nervous about what to do. My breasts were feeling like they were going to pop off my chest! She said if possible, to go to a church or gym or something and pump ASAP - because besides my discomfort - we were kind of sending my body mixed signals. It was finally starting to get the idea - and then I didn't pump for 8 hours.

Thankfully, a neighbor had that same type of converter. So - I've been sitting in the car, in the garage every 1.5 hours pumping. Don't ever let anyone DARE tell me that I'm not trying everything to get breastfeeding to work for us!

The good news is the power is BACK!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


First night home was a bit of a killer. We are all adjusting (even the dogs!) pretty well. I'm working on getting my milk in using an SNS and pumping - last pump got me 22 ccs. The c-section recovery isn't horrible, but I need to be better about keeping on top of the pain meds. I'll go 10 hours between a pill (I'm supposed to take them every 3 hours) and it will hit me al of a sudden.

I'm tired, happy, stressed, in love, scared and excited all at the same time.

I had no idea what having a baby would be like - and it's nothing like and more than I ever expected.

Happy and tired. Hopefully more pictures soon of Little Hulk (we decided not to throw his name out on the internet - but trust me, we picked a good one. Everyone approves.) Off to watch 'Hulk TV' (which is me sitting in a chair watching my son sleep. Nothing better in the world).

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Story

Well. Adjusting to life with the cutest little man ever.... but I wanted to share our birth story before I got to far away from it.

Thursday night, Aaron dropped me off at the hospital to spend the night with the cervidal inserted. I was nervous for everything to begin, but hopeful that maybe the cervidal would be all that was needed to get things going. I slept pretty decently, but they did give me a sleeping pill to help with that. In the morning, I woke up around 6, took a shower, Aaron arrived, and we started the pitocen. I thought it was going to just start contractions right away.... but that wasn't the case at all. I had little contractions that I didn't really feel on and off all morning. The doc came in around noon and we decided to break my water to get things going. And things did get going... but not super strong until about 2. I was walking the halls and bouncing on my ball (they had some in the L&D unit - but I swear they were for munchkins! A neighbor brought mine from home). I was pretty tired at this point, so some advice that my doula gave me was to rest when I could. I climbed into bed - and then I started having this awesome combination of 'pit' pains with 'real' contractions. I couldn't get on top of it - and was definitely questioning the whole 'no medicine' decision. Aaron suggested the tub - which was an awesome suggestion.

I totally relaxed in the tub - and stayed there for about an hour. It was a great tool - but I then wanted to get checked and see how far along I was (I hadn't been checked yet - I started the morning at 1cm). We did the check - 3 cm. I was really tired and upset at this point - I'd been laboring for about 9 hours. I thought I would lay down and rest - and then the contraction started up about 3 minutes apart, and pretty hard (I was on a pretty high dose of pit also). I admit that I started to panic at that point. I told Aaron our 'code word' that I MEANT it - I wanted drugs. He talked me off the epidural cliff, and they gave me a type of morphine, and called in my doula to help. She arrived just after they gave me the shot, and really helped me though the next 3 hours of labor. The worst bit was that I was starting on back labor - but it was more on my left hip than my back. That was convincing me to ask for an epidural.

At this point it was about 10 pm, and my doula and I decided that if I hadn't progressed past 5 cm, we would do the epidural. The pain from the back labor was really intense, but I was moaning through the contractions, and it was working pretty well. Aaron and my doula were rubbing my back - Aaron was working out what we thought was a cramp in my hip. The doc came, and after 3 full hours, I now was to 4 cms. I started crying, and we all decided it was time for the epi. I was on my side, and we were talking about how that was the right decision, and hopefully now I could relax and dilate some more, when I just started throwing up. I think it was a combination of the pain and the mophine. I actually felt better after that!

The came to put in the epi, and that worked pretty quickly! I was nervous that after making this big decision, that it wouldn't 'take' for me like I had heard others say.... but that certainly wasn't the issue. I was telling everyone that I loved them, and we all decided to lay down and take naps to get ready for the big show. Unfortunately, things weren't going to progress that way. The little guys heart rate would decelerate with each contraction. The doc turned off the pit for a while - and his heart rate went right back to normal. He said we would turn the pit back on at a lower dose, and watch it. He gave us about 45 minutes, and unfortunately, things didn't get better. The doc came in - and told me we needed to change plans... I was going in for a c-section. Considering that this was pretty much the only thing I DIDN'T want to occur - I handled the developments pretty well. I knew that something just wasn't going right.

At this point I don't really remember much. They prepped me and whisked me away. The actual c-section wasn't scary at all. Both Aaron and my doula were allowed in the room, and it was great to have them there - but I couldn't keep my eyes open. I really wanted to see what was going on - but I was completely out of it. I did wake up to learn he was a boy, and gave him a kiss as Aaron took him to the nursery. The doc then explained to me what the issue was - he was sunny side up, and the cord was short and wrapped around his neck - the sunny side up part was why I was dilating so slowly and the back labor, and the cord issue was why his heart rate was slowing down. Once I got into active labor, my uterus was pushing him down, but he couldn't make it because of the short cord. So - the c-section was obviously the right decision - even though it wasn't in the plan!

Aaron was with the baby in the nursery, they finished sewing me up and brought me back to the room - and it all hit me! I had a baby! And he was perfect. Sure, not the birth I had envisioned, but wonderful all the same.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Meet Our Son!

Here he is!

He entered the world last night, at 11:41 PM via c-section. 8 lbs 12.6 oz, 21 inches long, red hair blue eyes! Busy admiring him - full birth story soon.

I'm in love.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Due Date baby

Well... assuming no action between now and then, I'm being induced on Friday morning! OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG.

My BP was 160/100 at the doc's office this morning. Everything else looks fine (baby's head is low and I'm 1 cm), but they would really rather I deliver than sit around with my blood pressure this high. So - although not my perfect idea of going into labor - I'm going to be having a baby! Soon!

Tonight Aaron is going to come home at a decent time, and bring me to get my toenails painted (this is a very important item on my checklist). Tomorrow we go into the hospital at 4 PM, they give me cervdril and a sleeping pill! Then on Friday morning - we fire it up. And apparently, then a baby comes out!

Aaron is in charge of updating you all!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Baby's first playdate

On Sunday, I went over to visit my neighbor. She was due a week ahead of me, and had her little girl a week ago! I, of course, had to go over and see the cuteness:

She had just finished breastfeeding - and I found out that my pregnant belly is the perfect shelf for a contented 5 day old baby.

Too cute, right?

Monday, December 1, 2008

300 posts

Wow. I don't have much to say... but I noticed that if I post today, it will be my 300th post! Crazy!

The rest of my weekend was good. I decided to go for a massage on Sunday - and I went to different place than usual. They had one of those pregnancy pillows - so I could lay on my stomach. At first, it felt great - but then I got really nauseous and starting sweating. It was horrible! Once I turned over on my left hand side, I felt a lot better. It was weird.

The other thing is that I've become a horrible driver. Aaron and I went somewhere in 2 separate cars, and he followed me. I thought I was doing just fine, but he told me I was almost totally off the road the whole time, and that I narrowly missed hitting a post with my side mirror. Sigh. No more driving for me.

I'm wondering if you guys have any guesses as to whether I'm having a boy or a girl? You know I still don't have any vibe on that!