Monday, January 18, 2010

Week 3

Although I haven't posted in quite a while and certainly not on Hayden's three week birthday, I have been online a lot lately. Mostly google searching Hayden's symptoms that have been making her scream in pain. My instinct was telling me gas pains and that seems to be what it is. Hayden can blow a 9" hole in her shorts with the man farts she has which could be seen as funny. But the laughter never starts because her crying and screaming overrides the funny butt noises.

She is still on her reflux medication and we found out today that we can still give her the Mylicon drops for her gas. They really seem to help - or maybe it is just a coincidence that it calms her down and puts her to sleep. Whatever helps her be more comfortable is all that matters to me.

Other than that, we are all doing pretty well. The nights vary with sleep but I am getting pretty used to the routine. I try to get some sleep between 9 and midnight while she is sleeping but T is still up. Then I feel a tad more refreshed and ready for the rest of the night.

We are still working on the breastfeeding. About a day or so ago I think my nips finally produced a thin layer of steel to protect me from little Ms. Piranha! It certainly isn't as painful as it started out being. But the big news is my new toy that is so awesome! I was fitted for a breast pump at the hospital. They even did a demo on me so I knew how to use it. Today was my first day of pumping - I pumped twice and ended up with a total of four oz - and it was AWESOME! It doesn't hurt at all and totally easy to do. Other than having to fine tune my timing so that I don't pump before she feeds, I am feeling very confident in pumping! These are things that make a new mom so excited like a new sports car would make a teen driver so excited!

I did learn that I should definitely use both horns at the same time (in other words, pump both girls at the same time). I tried doing just one for the first round and realized that my two girls are tied together in some ways. When one is being pumped the other feels like it should perform as well. After soaking my sleeve, I realized that a double pump should be used as...a double pump. Look ma, both hands!

I do want to look into those bras that hold the horns. Hey, I like that nickname for the girls...horns! Actually, the horns refer to the cups that go over the utter. Anyway, I would like to be hands-free so that I can read, type (blog, google search, etc.) or do anything other than holding the horns on the utters.

So, according to "them", things begin improving/getting better/etc. at about the six week mark. That would mean that we are over half way there! Nothing has taken away the love I feel for Hayden...nothing ever could. And T has been an AMAZING help with her as well as around the house. I would have jumped off the roof by now if not for him. He has kept the house looking so nice and just the way I would if I could do any of my house work. But doing house work is VERY difficult when you have a cutie britches on your boob. I am getting through laundry, though, and I have all kinds of plans to get everything else done as well. Patience, I suppose.

I had a beer tonight. I was told by many, including my Step-MIL, that a beer will increase your milk supply. Isn't that a hoot? Talk about a full circle! I am pumping to gain more freedom and to be able to have a beer (or more than "a") at some point soon...and a beer will help me get to that goal! Go figure!! It was absolutely delicious! After not having a beer or much of anything carbonated in so long, it was a bit rough going down but it was amazingly yummy!!

Hayden's first bath in the whale tub (now that her belly button is healed) - the pics look like she was enjoying her bath...don't be fooled!
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One morning when we took a nap...
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3 week picture
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Keep positive thoughts coming our way that Hayden's gas gets better soon. It is so miserable for her...makes me sad...but I read it is VERY common in newborns and babies so she is another statistic there...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

2 Week Update

The battle of the reflux continues but it is definitely getting better.  So is our understanding of her and our new routine.  Hayden and I have been sleeping in the living room - her in her bouncy seat or swing and me on the couch.  Doc recommended that we keep her on an incline while she sleeps so that's why she is not in her crib like we had hoped.  But, as soon as we knock out this reflux completely, we hope to have her in her crib.  I am sure some are wondering why we don't put the swing/bouncy seat in our bedroom so that I can sleep in the bed next to my husband like normal people do.  As often as she wakes up throughout the night to feed, I would rather T get his much needed sleep since he has to work all day.  And I guess I am supposed to nap when she does but that usually doesn't pan out.  Especially with all that needs to be done around the house and the other things I would rather be doing than wasting two hours sleeping.  Sounds crazy, huh?  But, come evening, I am out like a light!

The past week has been trying and challenging as we have slowly gotten to know her and her communication.  I think I am starting to know her hungry cry - or at least my girls do!  I can feel the gates open on the milk supply when that hungry cry begins.  It is the strangest feeling when your milk "lets down".  It is a very bizarre "pins and needles" feeling that isn't all that pleasant.  Sometimes even hurts a little and ends with a feeling that your girls are going to explode. 

There have been other cries as well.  The burpy/gassy cry which usually takes place around 9 or 10 at night.  The reflux cry that usually happens right before we give her the meds in the morning.  This cry is becoming less and less as the days go on.  The fighting sleep cry that doesn't last very long because she is asleep before she finishes.  T explained to me that ALL babies cry - that's what they do.  But she doesn't cry ALL the time.  Only when she needs something.  Otherwise she is a very peaceful baby and quite happy when she is awake and looking around.

She is sleeping for about 2 to 3 hours at a time at night.  She wakes up to feed and, after one side, she is usually right back down again.  My milk has definitely beefed up supply based on her demand.  I can usually fill her up on one side.  The challenge is still the soreness and the pain associated with the feedings.  I literally cringe when she wakes up knowing I am going to have to put that there.  I am still taking 800 mg of Ibuprofen twice a day to help take the edge off of the pain and I am liberally applying the "butter" where I am supposed to in order to "soothe" the pain.  But it still is very uncomfortable which tends to take away from the "bonding" that is supposed to happen.  I end up watching TV or looking at the computer in order to distract myself from the pain.  I still talk to her lovingly from time to time but mostly I try to take my mind off the pain.

Which leads me to my next step - the pump.  I am hoping to purchase one from the hospital (I can get the same high quality pump I registered for at a lower rate as well as a 15% discount they gave me while I was there) this week.  There have been some that have suggested I not pump until the 4 week mark in order to get a good handle on the supply and demand of baby.  But I do believe that I have plenty of milk to give so I don't think pumping will be an issue this early on.  Especially since she has been getting satisfied off of one side during the day.  I can pump the other while she is feeding.  I am looking forward to pumping for the following reasons:

  • give my girls a break from little Ms. Piranha
  • give my brain a break at night - T can feed her on weekends
  • allow me more flexibility during the day - I can go to the grocery or run any other errand without worrying about being home at a certain time to feed or have to feed her in the car.  I can just take a bottle with me or leave her with T and he can feed her.  The flexibility is a HUGE selling point for me.
  • I want to get back to the gym
  • I can enjoy some adult beverages from time to time and not have to worry about a 2 hour window
  • allows me to visit other people's houses and not have to whip anything out when she starts to cry - other than a prepared bottle!
  • Freedom
  • I hear that pumping actually hurts less than a Piranha sucking baby!  =]  SOLD!
Today was Hayden's 2 week doctor's appointment.  She did phenomenal.  The medicine we are giving her for reflux must really be working.  Her weight is up to 9 lbs, 1 oz (it was 7 lb 11 oz at the last visit last week) and her length is 22 inches.  This is a great sign!  She is average weight which I am very happy about - I don't want her to get too heavy.  And it is amazing that she has grown 2 whole inches over the last two weeks.  But I certainly have noticed the change.  She feels heavier and longer to me.

A funny thing happened - and I think this is part of the initiation into motherhood - on our way from the room where they take her weight to the room where the exam would take place.  Hayden has to be naked to be weighed and this includes her diaper.  When her diaper was removed, it was obvious a clean up was needed.  The nurse wrapped some thin paper around Hayden's potty areas and told me to put the new diaper on in the exam room (said it would be "easier" that way).  Weellll, Hayden wasn't done with her business and ended up peeing ALL over me and the floor when we made it to the exam room.  Some even went in my shoe.  Yum.  Luckily, her pee doesn't smell...at all.  And it has dried since.  I have to say that I found it pretty funny that she peed all over me.  And there was quite a puddle in the floor as well!  How does such a little baby have so much pee???  Well, geez, how does such a little baby have such loud, raunchy farts and man sized burps?  I don't know but I can say I am certainly proud!

The doctor was very happy with how she is progressing.  After the appointment, we had to go to the lab down the hall to get some blood work done on Hayden.  I hated that she had to have that done.  As much as I hate having my blood drawn, I really hated the thought of her having her blood drawn.  BOO!  While we waited, I had to feed her in the restroom.  Very awkward.  I guess some women would have hooter hider'd the feeding in the lobby but I'm just not that comfortable yet (and may never be).  Finally they called us back and pricked her little heel.  She did great!!  A few small cries and then she was out again.  My little sleeping beauty!

T and I decided to chance a lunch out with her today.  We went to Pei Wei and she slept through the entire lunch.  She didn't wake up to feed until we got home.  Then it was game on!  She is sleeping now although I can tell by her grunts and noises that a meal is coming up soon.  Yep, meal time.

2 weeks and counting:
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Friday, January 8, 2010

Birthday wishes

I remember when my birthdays consisted of cake, ice cream, snow storms and parties when I was little.  I remember when my birthdays consisted of going out with my girlfriends, having drinks and dancing the night away when I grew older.  My, have times changed!  Yesterday my birthday consisted of huge crocodile tears, emotional breakdowns, the pediatrician's office and a lot of worry. 

Hayden was showing signs of being in some pretty bad pain which I was associating with bad gas.  I did some research online and noticed that she had a lot of the symptoms of reflux.  By yesterday morning, my heart could not handle hearing her cry in pain after every feeding.  T woke up finding me in tears on the couch holding her.  That emotional meltdown continued periodically throughout the day.

T called the pediatrician's office and they were happy to squeeze us in - we barely had time to shower and get Hayden ready.  The doc confirmed that her symptoms were textbook reflux and prescribed a Zantac-type medication that she will need to take twice a day.  Her weight was a little under where "they" like it to be at her two week appointment - 7 lbs 11 oz - 3 oz less than her birth weight.  But the doc wasn't all too concerned with it saying that she has seen babies at much less than their birth weight than that.  T and I were thinking that maybe she will be tall and thin! 

In the meantime, she will be taking her meds and, hopefully, feeding more to help her gain the weight she needs to.  After we got home yesterday, I made sure to wake her every two hours to eat...she would only eat about 10 minutes on one side but at least it was something.  We continued this throughout the night.  She actually woke me up every two hours or so and would take another 10 minute feeding.  My girls are aching with milk that isn't being used but I can't force her to eat more than she is hungry for.  Hopefully, as the medicine kicks in a bit more, she will gain her appetite back and we can get her eating more at each sitting.

The doc told us to keep Hayden upright 30 minutes after feeding and to let her sleep on an incline - like in her bouncy seat.  So we both slept in the living room last night.  That allowed her to sleep peacefully in her bouncy seat while I slept on the couch - much more comfortable than sleeping on the floor in her room.

Although my birthday was a very stressful and emotional day for me, there is one thing that is for sure.  I couldn't ask for a better gift than Hayden.  She is such a trooper.  Two weeks old with, what is equivalent to, adult heartburn.  She doesn't understand this pain and she doesn't understand when I tell her it will be ok.  She just knows that she hasn't experienced it before.  I wonder if she remembers how much easier it was when she was tucked inside of me - back when there weren't two big people sticking a syringe in her mouth and squirting foul tasting meds in her.  But she continues to be sweet, aware of her surroundings and happy.  I am so proud that she is mine! 

Today I may venture out on my own to get my nails done and, maybe, look for a few more newborn sized clothes for Hayden.  This will be my first time away from her since she arrived.  And my first time driving since then.  T said he would watch her while I was out but I am a little worried about if she needs to eat while I am gone.  But I am going to try and feed her really well before I head out so that she will be good and topped off for a couple of hours.  I am also hoping to get these Christmas decorations down today.  As much as I love Christmas, I am tired of looking at the decorations!  I usually have them down on New Year's Day so I am feeling way behind on this task.

Tomorrow will mark Hayden's two weeks out in the real world.  In a way it feels like it has been two years and, in others, it feels like it has flown by.  Two more weeks and I can start pumping!  I am looking forward to that!  Having bottles prepared will help me be able to do things for myself and not be attached to Hayden via boob every couple of hours.  I am hoping to get back to the gym at that point not to mention T and I wanting to have a date night (or more than "a").  So bring on the pump!!

I am going to try and get some more sleep before she wakes up again so I will sign off for now.  Stay tuned for a two week pic tomorrow of my sweetest pea.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Week in Review

After nine months of being pregnant with, what I thought was, a boy - announcing our beautiful baby girl Hayden Grace.  She decided to wait to be born until after Christmas Day - December 26 at 1:17 AM.  She came out as if she were on a slip and slide at 7 lbs 14 oz and 20.5 inches long.  My instant reaction was shock and a feeling that none of this was real.  But, by the time the wheelchair made it to the recovery room, I was in love with my new baby girl and couldn't imagine ever wanting a boy or ever NOT wanting a baby.  Not just any baby.  A Hayden baby.  I couldn't stop looking at her.

We are now a week and 3 days into our new life together and it has already been a learning experience with ups and downs.  It's hard to bring home a human being who has no form of communication other than crying when they need something...and then trying to figure out what that something is.  To top it off, I had to learn a lot of other things that are very foreign to me - breastfeeding, diaper changing, holding a newborn, etc.

But, other than sleep deprivation, painful (and persistent) breastfeeding, explosive poop and projectile vomit, things are going pretty well.  Hayden is so incredible and only cries when something is bothering her - hunger, poopy diaper, gas, etc.  She is already reacting to stimuli and giving us knowing looks.  Ok, maybe that's coming from a biased, in love Mommy but it seems to be true.  She is strong and loves belly time already.  She does little baby push ups and tries to lift her head.  She's so awesome.

I would totally go through a play-by-play of each day we've been home but the time has completely run together and I have no idea what all has happened in this whirlwind of a week.  But I did want to start her new blog with an entry before the two week mark rolls around.  Each week I will mark milestones that she may have reached and any other highlights in her growing life.

I am not one to believe in organized religion, as everyone already knows.  But, if I did believe in heaven, Hayden would be the closest thing to heaven for me.  I have never loved so deeply that it borders obsession!  I can't take my eyes off of her and I adore holding her close to me - her belly on mine.  She's amazing and I feel lucky every second of every minute of every day to have her as mine.  Add this awesome new little life to the amazing husband and wonderful stepdaughter that I am so lucky to have and you will see that my life is beyond complete.  It is beautiful.

Looks like boob buffet is about to open for dinner so I will have to end this entry here.  I am looking forward to sharing the adventure of our new addition and the wild ride of parenthood with you.  Wish me lots of luck as I get through the supposed toughest part - the first 6 weeks.  Counting down - four and a half weeks to go! 

What is Hayden doing?
* Belly time - baby push ups, trying to hold head up
* Cooing to Ellie the Elephant
* Enjoying her bouncy seat - especially when it is on vibrate
* Observing the world around her with the intensity of her Daddy
* Practicing breastfeeding with Mommy - we make a good team!
* Having lots of gas, uncomfortable at times
* Nights are irregular - there have been times I have gotten 4 hours sleep, last two nights has been about 2.5 to 3 hours.
* Developing tears when she cries - breaks my heart
* Still has dark hair that continues to grow, dark eyebrows and blue eyes

Newborn
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1 week, 3 days
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