Thursday, May 26, 2011

Fluff :)

I wanted to show off my little fluffy bum. Cloth diapers are the cutest :) None of her onesies are long enough to snap over them, tho... going to have to get that figured out eventually!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Comment Trouble

For some reason, Blogger won't let me comment on my own posts... I wanted to take a second to reply to your sweet advice on my breastfeeding post.

I really appreciate all your advice. This is just getting me down. I know we'll make it through -- mostly because I'm too stubborn to quit -- but it *is* really stressful. I pump some to help Grace latch but haven't fed her anything from a bottle as of yet. It's just to take the edge off engorgement. Although we've had zero troubles with confusion over the paci, I'm afraid of what might happen with the bottle.

I called the number for our local La Leche League on Sunday and haven't heard back yet. I'll have to try the LCs at the hospital, but I really would rather not go back there.

Serena, she is gaining weight beautifully. At her 1 week appointment, she had put on 12oz from when we were discharged: everything she'd lost plus 4oz extra. That, at least, is reassuring. She's getting what she needs even if I'm struggling. Would you mind emailing me privately? I do have a question for your LC friend. My email is sandjpreston08 @ live . com (without the spaces.) Thanks!

Mrs G, that sounds awful! You must have an iron will.

Rachel, no tounge-tie that I'm aware of. We don't go back to the dr. for another 2 weeks; if I'm still struggling then, I'll have to ask. I'm glad to hear that the 1st baby doesn't necessarily set the pace for all the rest!

Thanks again, ladies. I needed a boost. And, I'm so grateful for all your prayers. They certainly do make a difference! My sister's coming up today so it'll be a nice change of pace. Maybe I'll even sneak a nap!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Joys and a Big Disappointment

It's been a long 2 weeks. Our new little family of three got off to a great start, as I wrote in Gracie's birth story. But even with a good start, a few things have been rough. First, the absolute joys:

  • I love not being pregnant. I love laying on my belly. I love kissing my little girl's feet instead of trying to push them out of my rib cage. I love touching my toes and tying my own shoes. I don't miss pregnancy a bit, yet at least!

  • I love cloth diapers! They're easy and fun. We're only doing them part-time while we adjust to our sweetheart, but it's enough to know I'm NEVER spending money on disposables again!

  • I love "wearing" Gracie in her Moby. It's so much easier than a stroller while we're out and about. And at home, I can actually get a few things done. I think a wrap or carrier is a "must" for mommas whose babies are only happy being held -- like mine.

Unfortunately, there's been one, big, huge bummer with having Gracie here. Maybe someone can help me...

I hate breastfeeding.

As good as her birth went, we didn't get off a well on breastfeeding. Since she was born on Sunday, the lactation consultants weren't available until the next morning, when Gracie was nearly 30 hours old. She was asleep when they came in, so we just talked -- they didn't actually see her nursing. We met with another just before discharge when she was over 48 hours old. Now, in those 48 hours, she fed just fine... for her. But she did some serious damage to my delicate skin. My skin was cracked and bleeding due to her ferocious suck. You see, she's a comfort sucker. She'd go for HOURS if I let her.

Well, the LC helped me adjust her latch so she wasn't causing more damage. She also suggested I use a pacifier when Grace just wants to suck, at least while I heal.

Two weeks later I'm FINALLY starting to heal. I don't scream when she latches on anymore -- that was a fun few days (not). I'm glad Shaune was able to take off work because I needed him here to do counter pressure on my feet or shoulders while Grace latched on or I completely couldn't do it. We're past the worst as the skin starts to regrow, but I still hate it.

I almost broke the other night and went to a store to buy bottle feeding supplies. I get why women don't do this. I'm not sure what stopped me, but we're still here, still struggling through it with prayer and determination.

Does it get better, eventually? I really do want to do this for her health and mine, but I just don't know how much more constant pain I can put up with. The problem is that with her being constantly hungry, I'm not able to heal quickly. I have lanolin, and pH-balancing treatments, and "shells" that keep air flowing and clothing not touching. Everything helps a little but my nerves are still so raw. Breastfeeding is just downright exhausting.

I'm really disappointed. I wanted this to go well :( And it's such a big thing, it's overwhelming my joys of everything else. Anyone overcome this before?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Gracie's Birth Story

I finally have a moment of quiet while my dear baby girl plays with her daddy, so I can steal a second or two to tell you how she got here :)

I woke up with a ripping contraction at 4am on Saturday, May 7th. All the sudden I felt silly for going in on the 2nd with false labor -- there really is no comparison. They started every 10-12 minutes apart; I was able to stay in bed and rest between them. I was glad it was Saturday because I didn't really want to be alone through it all. Shaune was a champ, helping by doing counter-pressure on my back through contractions.

We spent the day preparing for Gracie as the contractions came closer and closer together. We walked around the block. We watched a movie. We returned library books and walked around the Lincoln Home site (right next door to the library). We walked the botanical gardens at Washington Park. We even got ice cream and pizza! It was a special time to spend on our last day as just a couple. By evening, the contractions were about 3-4 minutes apart and getting very strong. We started seriously considering going to the hospital.

I held out at home until about 10pm -- 18 hours after true labor started. At that point I felt the urge to settle in and not move; time to go, since we certainly weren't prepared for a home birth! Due to contractions slowing us down, it took another hour to make it to the car, across town, and across the hospital parking lot -- a 10 minute process on an average day. We arrived at 11, just after the doors were locked for the night, necessitating admittance through the ER. The ER is about as far from L&D as possible, so an escort took me in a wheelchair past the dark empty cafeteria, gift shops, waiting rooms, etc. It was a surreal experience. Every contraction I had to keep from flinging myself out of the wheelchair -- I don't like to labor sitting down!

Aparently Saturday was a busy day for babies, so we had to wait in the triage room until an LDR room could be cleared by moving a current patient to Pediatrics. It was midnight before I was in my own room. One of the reasons we chose the hospital we did was because of the jacuzzi bathtubs in each LDR room -- after being checked (only 6cm!) I climbed in and camped out for the next several hours.

My OB was on duty that night, but I didn't see her until 4am -- 24 hours into this ordeal. When I got into my room they had started me on a saline drip due to dehydration. She came in to check me, then discuss interventions. Four more hours of laboring had only brought me to 7cm. I REALLY wanted to continue laboring naturally. The pain was intense but my conviction was stronger. Shaune helped me focus and kept encouraging me: "You can do this, and you will." We asked the OB to come back shortly. We used that time to pray about our options, since she was very hesitant to NOT intervene, especially since I had convinced her to only do intermittant monitoring. I either had to let her act, or go on the monitor full time (which would restrict me to bed). When she returned, I had decided to let her break my water in the hopes of making things go quicker. She got the kit and it was broken at 5:25am -- 26.5 hours after I'd begun laboring.

It only took one more hour (back in the tub, of course!) for me to progress to more than 9cm. I started breathing the "right way" and feeling the urge to push. The labor nurse came in to assist and had to help me keep from pushing yet since I still had a "lip" on my cervix. I Kegaled with her help and Shaune's for another half hour while Pediatrics were called for Gracie and the doctor got ready for me. I got the go-ahead to push at 7am. Grace Abigail was born at 7:18am -- a perfect Mother's Day gift!

She came out absolutely beautiful, partly (I believe) because I didn't have to push for very long. She didn't have time to get mushed and bruised. I did tear a little, and while the doctor was putting in stitches and Shaune helped rub Gracie down, I just zoned out and listened. The nursing team had just changed shifts and a couple of them were chatting -- no one believed this was my first baby since transition and delivery went so quickly. They were also impressed that delivery was as short as it was because I apparently have "the shortest contractions ever" -- only about 30 seconds. We got a lot done in those 30 second intervals!

I wish I hadn't have had any interventions at all -- no saline, no breaking of waters -- but in the grand scheme of things, it couldn't have gone any better. The rest of the day, every time a new nurse came in, I heard, "You're the first-timer who did it all naturally, right?" It was extremely rewarding. She was so vigorous and alive immediately after birth. Her 1min and 5min APGARs were both 9. We were able to enjoy her right away, and I was up on my feet (and in a shower!) in less than an hour. It was a beautiful experience, and I'm so grateful to my dear husband for helping me so much through it, and for keeping my focus on the end result:

Grace Abigail, moments after birth. We've seen that pouty face many times since then!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Photo Bomb

Because everyone loves pictures of a baby :)

I'm working on Gracie's birth story, but just a teaser: it went nearly exactly how I would have chosen. I'm extremely grateful.

Little blue eyes :)

Loving on my baby!

We sent her to the nursery for a couple hours so we could sleep (a friend from church was a nurse on the floor that night, and we totally trust her). Gracie came back decorated!

Heading home for the first time

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Welcome Gracie!

I just wanted to take a minute to let you know I got the best Mother's Day gift ever! My little girl was born this morning!

I'll have pictures once we're home from the hospital. Until then, here's the details:

Grace Abigail (going by Gracie)

May 8, 2011

7lb 9oz, 20.5 in

I stuck it out through 27 hours and did it completely naturally -- nothing until after, when they convinced me to take a couple regular tylonol "just in case." We're both perfectly healthy and enjoying settling into a routine as a family of three. She's got a full head of hair and bright blue eyes -- simply lovely!

Thanks for all your prayers over the past week!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Fake Out

** sigh** Seriously, I woke up this morning entirely convinced I'd have something better to post. I was awakened (significantly before the alarm) by contractions coming in quick succession. They took my breath away and made me stop dead in my tracks. I held out til the dr. opened then called for advice -- "Go in!" they said. So I did.

Little stinker. She's got an opinion, that's for sure. She's still tucked in there, all nuzzled up in my rib cage, and I'm at home again.

I spent a little over two hours on a monitor at the hospital. Those two hours I had consistant contractions 2-4 minutes apart... the whole time. And yet! They're not accomplishing ANYTHING! I'm dialated exactly the same as I was last week. 2 MINUTES! I didn't even know they could BE that close together and not doing anything. At least I have a better idea as to why I've been sooooooo exhausted...

So, we're home. Disappointed and slightly crabby, as well as extremely drained. At least we didn't call everyone. And hey, now I've got a little more time to try and finish a few projects. Well... until the next time she pulls this stunt. Of course, at that point, I may just hold out ("what if it's still not the right time?") and end up giving birth here at home accidentally. That would be ok too.

Hope you all are well! Sorry to be a downer :( I'll have brighter thoughts soon enough.