Wednesday, August 26, 2009

First Day of School

So here it is...the first day of school....I held back the tears. I can't believe she is starting kindegarten already!

Daddy Matt putting on her bookbag
It is bigger than she is...Talking on the phone to Dede on the way to school...Her teacher...showing her where to put her lunch
Excited to start the day...shortly after this picture Matt and I got shoved out the door....

Weekend Trip

So.. getting time to blog is getting harder and harder

I wanted to post some pictures from our recent trip to Tampa for my Papa's 86th birthday party which was a sucess. We visited Ashley, Justin, and Sean... who tried to get a good lip lock in with baby P. We went to church with Baga.. and had Sunday lunch with Nana. Then Sunday night we made a pit-stop at my Baga Sue's house for fajitas and a rest. We headed back to J ville early Monday morning to prepare for the first day of school for Miss B.

pics of papa's b-day

My Aunt Leenie (My mema's sister)..... baby P LOVED her. She cooed and smiled... ADORABLE

Church with my Mom aka BAGA (first picture taken by Miss B)

Pictures of Baby Sean.... notice that in the one that Ashley is holding her... Sean gets slightly jealous and tries to push her away.... my favorite is the look of concern on B's face in the background.

Then he decided that he liked her.....

Baby P hanging out with Nana who got her some cool Georgia Bulldogs stuff... and B scored a Gator T-Shirt (Go Gators!) And mommy and daddy scored a cool Gator/Bulldog Flag for the upcoming season!

Baby P taking a snooze on Aunt Missy

Pitstop to see Baga Sue and Baga....P is smiling more and more now and cooing too!

All in all it was a great trip! Thanks to everyone for their hospitality. I hate that we don't live that close anymore.. but I am looking forward to our next trip down! Love you all!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Breast Advice Ever


So we have been having issues......

As you guys read earlier... P got her first feedings from a bottle.. then when we were readmitted to the hospital we had some issues latching due to P being so lethargic from the high bili and my engorged breasts, so we pumped and she took bottles again.

Anyone who has studied breastfeeding or been to a breastfeeding class knows that every expert recomends that you don't give bottles or pacifiers for the first four weeks because it teaches bad latching habits. If this was the cause of our problems or not I don't know.

About a week after birth I developed severly cracked and bleeding nipples... to the point that I was dreading each feeding. Knowing that this is not normal... I searched for a solution... thus entered the nipple shield. A lovely little silicone shield with holes in the tip that fits over the nipple and allows for proper latching and no pain for mommy. EXCELLENT... so no issues...

As you have also previously read P eats like every hour..... some women at this point conclude that they don't have enough milk for their baby... THIS IS NOT TRUE....... your body produces milk for your childs demands... its a very scientific system.. the more your child eats, the more milk your body produces. Apparently this concept is too difficult for some moms to grasp because at this point most moms quit. IF YOU ARE READING THIS AND ARE BREASTFEEDING AND THINKING ABOUT QUITTING.. DO NOT QUIT...CONTINUE WITH THIS POST

So... P is still eating every hour...6 weeks old.. and getting extremely fussy, and not sleeping AT ALL. She only slept for a total of 8 hours in a 24 hour period, when she should be sleeping at least 16 hours. Feeling like part of the continual feeding problem was due to the nipple shield... I quit using it. AHHH THE PAIN.... this baby sucks hard.. she is an aggressive eater... and back to dreading every feeding again. This is not supposed to be how it is. Having a different experience with B, I know that this is not how breastfeeding is supposed to be. I feel very bad for the mothers who have not had an easier experience first and feel like their bad experience is just how it is... no wonder they quit... I would too if I didn't know there was a pot of gold at the end of this torturous rainbow.

After a terrible.. no sleep.. constant feeding day.. and not feeling like I was satisfying my baby...I felt like I was going to go insane. I couldn't make my baby happy.. I felt like a bad mother because I wasn't making my baby happy... and even worse because I was dreading feeding her because of the pain it was causing me. After many tears (from all parties involved) and my refusal to feed my baby formula...I began to search for answers. Found this fantastic website... FANTASTIC if you are breastfeeding and having troubles. I also decided to contact a lactation consultant in my area that was recommended by the site.

That night.. we tried every position imaginable in my desparation to get a good latch that didn't hurt... football hold.. side lying... I even thought about throwing her over my shoulder so she could breastfeed from the upsidedown position. No luck.. still pain.. .still frustration.... still the gassy unhappy baby that I could not console. My mind ran through every scenario.. could this be colic? could she be lactose intolerant(milk products stay in breastmilk) ? should I change my diet? Is she allergic to me? I called the lactation consultant she heard the desparation in my voice and agreed to meet me that night at her office.

So, Matt being the good involved Daddy that he is.. tagged along with me. We met Kristin aka Angel at her office in Jacksonville (about 30 min from our house). Good thing P got hungry just when we got there (I fed her right before we left too). Kristin has this very sensitive and accurate scale in her office, we weighed P before the feeding... 10lbs. 14 oz. Wow! At least feeding every hour was giving results. Then we fed... the latch was painful... it felt as if everytime she latched on my nipple was being cut with a dull knife. Kristin saved me... delatched P.. readjusted and then showed me what was happening.

Apparently, I have an over abundant milk supply. My milk lets down super fast and is like a hose. P was saving herself from drowning in milk by moving her mouth to the end of my nipple and using that to control the flow with her gums.. causing me a great deal of pain. So Kristin showed me some techniques to help P control the flow... when I hear the slurpping that she does with almost every feed.. that is a sign that my milk is coming faster than she can swallow... scoot myself in a lateral position so she is laying on top of me and gravity is helping the milk to flow out of her mouth so that she can suck it in instead of it shooting down her throat. The gas and fussiness explained by this over abundant milk supply. She was just getting the fore milk.. the sweet watery milk that comes first in a feeding... the hind milk is the milk that comes after a little break in your let down.. it has all the fat and provides the fullness for the baby. P was just getting the fore milk, not the hind milk... providing in a gassy.. not full baby. Many moms mistake this for not satisfying their baby, and thus feel they have to supplement with formula or switch completely. Not true... these simple misconceptions can be avoided by a little education. This is why I feel that every new mom should go to a breastfeeding class. You can't learn everything from the internet and TV...

Anyways... P is so much more satisfied now.. slept through most of the night, I am not frustrated anymore.. and I feel like I can do this for another 11 months now. HOORAY!

And I have to give a few props to my hubby... a lot of men wouldn't have gone, but he went to the lactation consultation.. to support me.. and he is really happy he went because he got a better understanding of breastfeeding too and is able to help me if I am getting frustrated. He sat on the couch with me last night and helped coach me through the new techniques we learned... it was super helpful and I am super greatful to have an involved Daddy.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

What a Week!

So it has been a week since I last posted... and a lot has happened.
First, last weekend Grandma and Papa from Georgia (Matt's Dad and Stepmom) came in to visit for the weekend. They got here Friday night and Saturday we cooked out! YUMMY.... This was their first time getting to hold baby P... and they brought gifts from their recent trip to Hawaii, as well as additional things that various people had sent them. A personalized blanket for baby P which she loves!

Then Monday night I drove down to Tampa for the first time because I was supposed to be going back to work. However, I didn't get work clearance from the doctor... so I ended up driving back on Tuesday. Stressful to say the least
So..Thursday again and I actually got 6 straight hours of sleep last night! P went down around 10:30...and she woke up again to eat at 4am! I was super stoked...I hope it happens again tonight! I have included pictures which say more than this post does!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Morning Magic!

Sothis morning I did something I have feared doing until this point.... I went out of the house with both girls for more than 2 hours! And I survived!

This is how I came to venture out of my comfort zone.....

Tuesday afternoon Brilei had cheerleading. 30 min class no problem.. feed the baby before we leave... by the time we get back feed her again.... easy right? So in knowing that I would only be gone in between feedings I threw on a dress... for anyone who has ever breastfed knows that dresses are difficult breastfeeding attire. And as luck would have it... 15 min into cheerleading Presslei gets hungry... (remember the growth spurt I told you about? Well still going on, she cluster feeds from 5pm to 9pm and it's almost non-stop boob action for little P) So I go to the bathroom to try and figure out how I am going to make this one work.... I have the nursing wrap... how do I get my baby in my dress without showing off everything I own? So out the top is the only option....put the nursing wrap over... success.. we are latched on with a little difficulty but we did it. Now I head back out to finish watching the cheerleading class. Of course when we get out it is pouring rain, P is still nursing. Okay... I can do this.. wait in the lobby until it lets up a little... by then P may be done and we can make a break for it. Well in the lobby we had a little issue with B... she told a little girl who had a "different looking" eye that she had a crazy eye. MORTIFIED.... the little girl and her mom walked off before I could make B apologize.... okay... what to do now? One girl nursing... one girl who is being a bully... pouring rain.. ahhh. Finally rain lets up, we break for the car. When we get home Matt and I make B write an apology card for this girl that she has been mean to... lesson learned. Even though it seemed crazy.. I felt like the afternoon accomplished a lot.... when B was nursing it was easy to avoid doing it in public. If she got hungry I would just leave whatever store I was in.. .go to the car and feed her in privacy. But with two.... not so easy to just stop whatever task I am doing and feed on demand. So I have been avoiding going out.... but guess what? I did it... it can be done!

So thus... I felt confident to take B to Morning Magic... a two hour play group that includes 4 classes (theatre, tumbling, art, and music) 30 min each. She has been needing to have some unstructured kid time... so this was my solution to that. I got up at 8 this morning.... class starts at 10. Feed P... hop in the shower... get B breakfast and dressed.... pump for my freezer stock....feed again.. leave. We made it on time... P slept through most of the morning and I didn't have to feed her until the last class was over! Hooray! Another successful outing. AND I used the cloth diapers out of the house too! First cloth diaper change that has occured out of the house... and it was cake! I love them... super easy to use once you get your system down!

So now I am home and figured I would write about my success......P is sleeping soundly... B is watching Babes in Toyland....I am glad I am getting the hang of this thing.

I think it's harder having the second baby because I am so used to Brilei being so adaptable at 5.. if she gets hungry.. I run through the drive through.. if she needs to go to the bathroom.. we go. I forgot how much your life revolves around nursing and diaper changing when you have a newborn, and it makes it that much harder to adapt when you are used to the self sufficient five year old. But I LOVE IT.....

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

This Blog thing.....

So... I guess now that I am living away from friends and family I have to finally surrender to "blogging". I have to admit... it is an easy way for people to keep up with what is going on... and I certainly would rather do this than twitter. So here is where I will post the latest on Matt, Amy, Brilei, and Presslei.
June 29th... the day our family of three grew. Baby P was born at 10:17am. She came out screaming and BIG. Her apgars were 9 and 9. Which is pretty much perfect. Daddy cut the cord and they let him stay holding her next to me until I was done being put back together. However, when we got to the recovery room, Baby P decided that she wanted to go back in my belly because she was not behaving. She started having some respiratory distress and they put her on the Pulse Ox (a monitor that detects the amount of circulating oxygen) Her numbers weren't looking too good so they gave her some help with some oxygen. Then the pediatrician had to come and evaluate her.. she got her first chest x-ray which showed a little fluid in her lungs. So then the NICU resident was called to come and evaluate her. Since I had still not held her yet (almost an hour and a half after getting to the recovery room) The nurse said I could hold her until they took her off to the NICU. I held her and guess what? She made a complete turn around. Her numbers were looking great with no oxygen. I had a little talk with her and she is already a good listener. (She gets that from her mommy) So no NICU for baby P.....

but she still had to go to the nursery to be monitored. I was super bummed because that meant that I had to go to a room with no baby in my arms. Since I was still numb from the chest down they wouldn't let me go and see her. I am VERY against formula feeding her.... so I pumped what little I could and Daddy went down to the nursery for the first feeding. Then around 5pm I finally got to a wheelchair to go and see her. They told us that she would have to stay in the nursery for the night... Mommy shed some tears first night in 39 weeks I spent apart from her.. but I was determined to get to the nursery every two hours to feed. So right as Matt was getting me to the wheelchair for the next feeding.. the nursery called and said she could come off the monitor and to our room...hooray!

So the next two nights progressed as you would imagine.. sleepless Mommy and Daddy.... urgently waiting to get the okay to go home. Which came Wednesday afternoon. However, the pediatrician said that P's bilirubin (broken down red blood cells) was a little high and we would need to bring her to the pediatrician in the morning to have it checked. So we spent the night at DeDe and Grandpas house with the hopes of heading back to Jacksonville the next day.

No such luck. We went to the pediatrician... was there for almost four hours... P was stuck 3 times trying to get blood... it was torture. The Dr. said she would call us later with the levels. Around 3pm she called and said the levels went up... 16. She wanted to see us again in the morning before admitting us to the hospital.
Around 5pm I was trying to feed P and she vomitted black stuff... not normal for a baby. Called the on call pediatrician... and immediately took her to the ER. TGH was great... we walked in, the pediatrician called ahead and they already had a room and everything ready for us, no waiting. Once in the ER room, they needed to get an IV to start getting fluids in her...... she got stuck 8 times before the nurse was able to get an IV access in her left hand. Once the fluids got in her she started perking up a bit which was a good sign.. but her bili level had risen to 19, so we got admitted. At this point its midnight.... exhausted we went up to our room on the pediatric unit, P had a little bed with tanning lights in it....and was going to get her blood checked every 6 hours....again with the torture. We stayed until her levels finally went down the next night at around 10pm we went home.
The next day we followed up at the Dr and levels were back down to 10.... finally in the safe zone! At this point it is Saturday (4th of July)... so one more night in Tampa before we made the long journey to Jacksonville. We made it in about 4.5 hours, stopping first at my grandmas house in Brooksville and again about 30 min away from home. Both girls did well though, and mommy got some much needed rest in while daddy drove.

The first night at home was a success.... P slept in her crib.. Mommy and Daddy slept on the couch. The second night was a little more sleepless... followed by sleepless third and fourth nights. By the fifth night, I got smart (or desperate) and P slept in the pack n play in the living room while mommy slept on the couch. Which is still the arangement to this day, and will be until she starts sleeping a little longer than 3 hours at a time.

So things are going well.......

This is my last week of maternity leave... and I am really bummed about it. I don't want to leave my babies, and most of all I don't want to start the hectic life that commuting to Tampa is going to create. Last week my sister came and was a HUGE help, especially since Presslei decided to go on a growth spurt and feed every hour for almost three days. I know we would not have eaten if she hadn't been here to cook for us. Plus, cousin Noah was a huge help by giving Brilei a much needed playmate, they had a blast and it was really exciting to see how they are old enough to interact and play together now. Just to think that soon Presslei will be big enough for Brilei to boss... I mean play around with.

As some of you may know we have chosen to use BumGenius cloth diapers. I started using them last week while I had my sister here to help me work out the kinks. We used them the first night and then Presslei developed a nasty looking diaper rash. Since you aren't supposed to use diaper cream with the cloth diapers (the oil ruins the absorbancy) we went back to disposables until it cleared up, which was only a day because we determined that Miss P is allergic to cocoa butter and I was using cocoa butter wipes. So Matt was sent to Target to get sensitive hypoallergenic wipes. So far so good. I had to order 6 more diapers to get me through more time because the diapers that my sister gave me (she used them with Noah) are a little too stretched out to fit tightly around P's legs and we had some leakage issues. Hopefully when her legs get a little fatter I can utilize them as well. I also have ventured to use re-usable wipes. Not exactly sure how its gonna go, but I will keep everyone posted.

So for now... P is sleeping, B is dancing... and I am about to get a quick snooze in.