Breastfeeding

I’d go into mre detail when I have the energy, but to say breastfeeding is easy, it isn’t. Definitely not the beginning. Since Baby E’s jaundice levels are a bit elevated, her pediatrician wants to make sure she’s fully fed as often as possible. She recommended pumping to get any addition milk leftover and top her off after my feeding. In addition to doing that, I’m toying with the idea of pumping a full bottle so Brian can help feed her while I take a break. This will take some pressure off the whole process. I hope I’m doing the right thing by not exclusively breastfeeding.

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Pictures

Getting strapped to monitors. I hated the monitor. Felt so constricting and if I moved we had to readjust.

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A few hours after the birth.

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There are more in between shots. I just need to download them from the camera.

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Birth Story

I’ve been having contractions on and off all week, but nothing substantial.

On Friday, I had already given up the fact that we may not be having the baby on her due date despite having pretty uncomfortable contractions. I still didn’t have that heavy feeling as if the baby dropped, but for some reason I was overly tired. We had a daycare tour scheduled that day and I kept getting strong contractions on and off. After lunch, all I wanted to do was go home and nap. I guess my body was telling me that I needed to reserve my energy for what’s to come. I did massage some of the accupressure points that people recommended if I wanted to naturally induce labor.

I didn’t move off the couch until it was almost dinner time. My contractions kept coming but at an inconsistent interval. We decided to stay close for dinner and went and had Mexican food. During dinner, my contractions were going off every 6 minutes and were getting stronger. We quickly finished off dinner and went straight home and started counting and timing the contractions. By 9pm, I decided it was time to call the doctor. Not only were my contractions getting more and more painful, but they were consistently at 4 minutes apart.

The doctor told us to go ahead and head on to the hospital. We checked in and I was strapped to the monitors by 10:30. I had mentioned that I wanted to hold off on any pain reliever for as long as I could. By then, the contractions were already 2-3 minutes apart and I was already 3-4 cm dilated. After 3 hours of stronger contractions going off at a minute and half each, I wanted that epidural. I was much too afraid of the pain that was to come and knowing that it was only going to get worse I couldn’t relax. I tried a few different positions but by the time I was able to move, the contractions would slow me down and I would tense up. My blood pressure was up to around 149/90 the entire time. They put me on an IV before they had to give me the epidural. I’m not sure, but the pain from the IV needle bothered me just as much as the contractions themselves. Nothing was pleasant at that point. 20 minutes after the IV, I finally got the epidural. The process wasn’t so bad, but the sensation was terrible. I immediately started shivering and I couldn’t control my breathing because of it.

I continued laboring painfree for another hour or so before the doctor came and broke my water at 2:30am. By then I was at around 8-9cm dilated. The contractions slowed a bit so they gave me a couple of doses of pitocin to regulate them. By around 4am, I was at 10cm, but my cervix wasn’t completely effaced yet. By then I think the epidural wore off because I started feeling every single contractions. Perhaps the pain meds were only effective up to a certain pain threshold because they wanted you to be able to push effectively. Who knows. From what I experienced, it felt like I wasn’t getting pain relief. I breathed through the rest of the labor until finally I felt like I wanted to start pushing. At 5am, the nurse came in and said I can start pushing during my next two contractions. That process actually helped with the pain, but she wanted me to continue to labor on my own with any pushing for the next 3 contractions. At some point I just wanted to push. I could feel the baby bearing down. I had Brian call the nurses back in and we started the process of pushing. At some point, they positioned me for the delivery, the doctor came in and within 10 minutes the baby was out. I remember asking over and over if the baby’s head is crowned yet, and the nurses offering me to feel the head. I refused because I was too afraid to actually feel the process. I think the whole process from the first push to delivery was 30 minutes. I just remember being soo tired from laboring that during the entire delivery process I kept mumbling that I couldn’t do this anymore and hearing words of encouragement from the nurses and Brian. None of that helped, it was more annoying than anything. I prefer being quiet the entire time but didn’t have the energy to tell people to be quiet and so I can focus on their instructions.

My only thought during that moment after delivery was yes, the baby is out, yes she’s ok, and yes I survived this. It wasn’t traumatic, but it’s definitely an experience I’ll never forget. Relief is really the term that sums up the overall experience. For the next half hour, the doctor delivered my placenta, and stitched up my second degree tear. The stitching process was just as painful as anything else. He finally realized I was feeling pain (I didn’t know I wasn’t suppose to), so he injected some lidocaine before finishing up. The process felt like it was taking forever and I wanted them all to leave so I can be with the baby. Finally, we got our moment and it finally felt real.

They kept me in the room for a few more hours until I was able to get up and use the bathroom. Once I was able to do that, they moved us into the postpartum room. Since we didn’t get any sleep that day we decided to let the baby be cared for in the nursery that night so that we can get some sleep. They only brought her in when she was awake and needed to be fed. Despite that, I think we got very little sleep.

Now our baby is 4 days old, and we’re still trying to figure things out. As much as anything, the whole breastfeeding process has been the most challenging. It’s hard not to be discouraged when the baby doesn’t latch on properly and when everything about it feels painful. I’m hoping we can continue breastfeeding for the long haul, and I hope we figure this out pretty quickly. Our lactation appointment is tomorrow. In the meantime, it looks like we’ll have to supplement her with a bottle so that we can get her jaundice under control.

At the moment, we’re taking things day by day. It’s hard to focus on anything beyond that.

Is it all worth it? Of course…

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2011 in Review

I had a 2010 in Review post, but realized I never published it. I guess I wasn’t done with my thoughts at the time.

Anyhow, here goes 2011. I can’t remember much before this fall…not sure why. I usually can remember the smallest details. I suppose it’s my pregnant brain getting to me.

Goals Planned for this year:
1. Have a baby – We’re getting there. There’s very little indication that this baby is coming in any day now. I suspect that when she’s ready these silly contractions will hit hard and fast. She’s probably already got a little bit of both of our traits. Slow like her dad and hasty and impatient like her mom. We’ll see…

2. Get a new fence – Not even close; however, we’ve got a few quotes back.

3. Refinance House – Done, although I wish we had waited a few more months because the interest rates are even lower. Boo.

Things we did this year:
1. We took a trip to San Francisco back in April. San Francisco was great. Much older than I anticipated and smaller even. The trip was fairly short but we did as much as we could. I think my favorite part was walking across the Golden Gate Bridge and seeing Alcatraz. Unfortunately, we’ll have to return to experience the good food. I just can’t remember anything we had thatwas good, especially real Chinese food. I’d also like to go one of the nearby wineries. Maybe this can be our 2012 trip…

2. We took a trip to Montreal in September to celebrate our 5th year anniversary and Babymoon. We picked Montreal after going back and forth on Hawaii and other beach destinations. Our trip to Montreal started with a 2 day layover in Chicago due to the hurricane that hit the NE area. That’s ok because we got to explore some other great restaurants and neighborhoods in Chicago. As for Montreal, to me it was just another big city. It’s interesting to see the French Canadian culture up there. The main thing I’ll recall is that everyone there smokes and looked very pretty. My favorite part of the trip was just lounging around by the hotel pool everyday and our peaceful walk around Mont Royal. Unfortunately, there weren’t alot of attractions in Montreal, even the art museums were disappointing. At least that’s one city we get to check off our list.

3. We helped my parents move to Dalhart so that they can be under the care of my sister and her family. This occurred literally a week after our Montreal trip. It was a tough decision and they were getting to the point where they could not live by themselves. After being called several times at work and having to rush over to help one of them who’s fallen in the house or losing sleep because I’m terribly worried that something bad will happen over night, I just couldn’t let this continue. They finally gave in and agreed it was time that they can no longer be independent. While it’s a huge relief for myself, I can’t help but feel the burden that’s been put on my sister and her family. But I’m glad she’s ok it.

2012 Goals:
1. Learn how to be a parent.

2. Take the baby on a tour to of Texas (to visit parents, grandparents, great grand-parents).

3. Lose the baby weight and maybe run that half marathon I’ve been wanting to do.

4. Fix/replace that fence.

5. Get Reesey’s cataracts fixed.

6. Replace our kitchen sink.

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Nervous

As we get closer I’m feeling more nervous. About everything. Holy crap we are having a baby! I can’t imagine what our lives will be like. Busy times 10…

Yes I am excited and I can’t wait to meet our little one. I’m hoping the birthing experience is quick and complication free. Sure I had a few odd things happen here and there but it was relatively smooth sailing. Brian would say otherwise. I guess because of my complaining he asked if I was done after this.

I know in my heart that once I see the squishy baby it will all be worth it. It could have been worse. I could’ve been put on bedrest or be completely swollen all over. As much as I enjoyed carrying the baby for almost 9 months I’m ready for her appearance and for all these annoying little symptoms to go away. I want to be able to sleep on my back. Get rid of the Hemorrhoids and achy wrists…along with the weird numbness in my thigh.

I really hope I make progress by my next checkup on Monday.

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End of week 38 belly

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Nature

Not sure how else to stimulate this baby to come out. I know I have a week and a half left till my due date, but I really want this baby to come out, for many reasons.

My dad is still not doing well. In fact, he’s getting worse. I fear that the clock is really ticking on him and I really want to go see him soon…

It’s hard to grasp onto this reality. There’s a part of me that’s truly upset, and a part of me that’s excited because of the baby.

What terrible timing this has all been.

I should get out of the house to avoid thinking about all of this. It’s just too hard to deal with at the moment.

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Hemorrhoids

Don’t read if you’re not interested.

Apparently hemmys are common in pregnancy and I’ve been able to avoid getting it until Sunday night. It just came from nowhere and is quite possibly the most painful thing ever!!! Ever!! I had two days of work left and had to leave early yesterday and work from home today because I can’t sleep, sit, walk etc. ugh. I finally got the doctor to call in a prescription so I’m hoping that alleviates the pain and discomfort. I was hoping to do lots of walking while waiting for this baby to come.

I’m also scared about the birthing experience. If this is painful, what is pushing going to do?? My sister said hers grew to the size of an orange after the birth. Yikes!!

Make it go away!

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