Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Breastfeeding is HARD! At least for me.

Yesterday I went to the midwives. I saw Dawn this week, and it was really good to be able to see her again! I really miss them! It turns out that I have mastitis. It must not be too bad because she said it would probably have gone away on its own. She still prescribed me ten days worth of antibiotics, which seem to be helping out already.

I have to thank my husband for convincing me to go see the midwives over this and also for calling to make the appointment. I was just moping around being miserable and thinking I was a terrible mother. Over the weekend my fever got up to 101.7 before I took something for it. (Why is it that bodies like to get sick over the weekend when you can't go to the doctor?)

Gory details at your own risk!

I'm not sure how I ended up with mastitis. I thought I was doing well with breastfeeding by the time I left the hospital. The lactation consultants came a few times, and by the time I was ready to go home, I felt pretty confident that Lilian had mastered a good latch. After a few days my right nipple would still hurt at the beginning of a feeding. A few days after that I noticed a big crack in my nipple. It just wouldn't heal. Finally, on Friday night I started feeling achy in my joints and by Saturday I was running a fever. I took an Ibuprofen and felt a lot better. On Monday I suppose Robbie had enough of my craziness and called the midwives for me. I went to my appointment and she reviewed my breastfeeding technique. She said Lilian had a perfect latch, so I really don't know what the problem is! She says this just happens sometimes.

So once the ouch factor goes away, breastfeeding may be a little better for me. It's still difficult to wake up so much during the night and have to stay in one place so much all day. I can't help but think that I'm doing something wrong since it takes her so long to finish a meal. I don't know if she's just a clingy baby and wants to be on the breast all the time or if I just don't have a very good milk supply and she has to eat often to meet her needs. Maybe I should just accept the fact that my baby may do certain things because that's who she is rather than because of something I am doing.

I went into this whole parenthood thing determined to breastfeed, so I'm going to do it. No one ever said it would be easy. It may be easy for some people, or even most people, or even for everyone else but me. But for me, it's been challenging. But it is also cute to watch her eat. I never knew how cute and funny babies look when they nurse. Hopefully it will begin to feel more natural each day that goes by. I should probably be more patient with myself since Lilian isn't even three weeks old yet! We'll get there.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

I have three special dads in my life. Nearly 11 years ago my mom met a special man who has made her so happy. He loves me like I'm his very own, and I am thankful to have him in my life.

Me and Dad on my wedding day

My father-in-law is another special dad in my life. Robbie has always told me about what a wonderful example of what a father should be his dad has been. I am very blessed to have a man like him in my life to be another father to me and a PawPaw to my baby.

Me and my FIL on my wedding day

And finally....the most special man in my life, my husband Robbie, has been the most precious father I've ever seen. I love watching him with our little Lilian, and I love to see how much he loves her. He sings her the cutest little songs, and I can't wait until she is old enough to appreciate how cute and funny he is being. I can tell he wants to be the very best father he can be, and I know he'll do a great job!!

Robbie and Lilian

Monday, June 14, 2010

Pretty Baby

This is me about two weeks before Lilian was born. It's hard to imagine that she fit in there, and she most likely gained about one more pound from that point until her birth.

This is my favorite picture of Lilian so far. I think she's such a pretty little baby, and I love this little dress. Look at those big eyes!

This was my attempt to match with Lilian's cute little green dress. Too bad I'm so sleep deprived in this picture and didn't really feel up to fixing my hair.

I don't think he sees it, but I think Lilian and Robbie look just alike when they are sleeping. They both like to sleep with their heads on their arms in the same way.

It seems like she's already grown so much in her short time outside of the womb! We have our first well baby visit on Friday, so I imagine they will weigh and measure her. She eats all the time, so I'll be very surprised if she hasn't gained her birth weight back by her appointment.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


I've decided that pregnancy and childbirth are easy compared to taking care of a newborn. I've never been good at handling sleep deprivation, so I think that is probably the most difficult part for me this week. Hopefully my hormones will get back in shape sooner rather than later. Other than lack of sleep, hormone adjustments, general discomfort, and the aches and pains associated with breastfeeding, things are going well. Lilian is the cutest thing ever. I wish there was a camera attached to my eyes and memories so I could just record and share the things that I see. She does too many cute things for me to grab my camera in time.

I'd like to give a shout out to my mom! She's amazing and I appreciate her more than ever now that I've had a baby. She stayed with us for a few days after Lilian's birth, and I really miss her now that she's gone back home. I wish we would have taken pictures with her and Lilian. All I have are pictures of her holding Lilian, but you can't really see her.

I also miss the midwives who cared for my during my pregnancy and delivery. I never realized how much I looked forward to my visits with them during my pregnancy and how attached I got to them. I know they have so many patients and probably don't remember me, but they have become an important part of my life. I'll never forget them! Titi was always honest with me about my weight gain and told it how it was. She inspired me more than anyone to maintain a healthy weight, exercise, and eat a healthy diet. I am happy to report that the habits I picked up during pregnancy are, so far, staying with me. I did indulge in a few things after the birth, but at this point, I don't want any junk food if I can help it. Dawn helped me through a really stressful time during my pregnancy by teaching me about what she called "creative budgeting." She also encouraged me to turn to my family, which for some reason, I am always scared to do. I went to my appointment with her feeling like a "pathetic loser" (which I called myself in front of her) and she went all mom on me! :o) I feel like we have been able to get things back on track after her help with calming me down and a little encouragement about life. How often do you gain life skills by going to an appointment with a health provider? And finally, Debbie delivered the baby. She was there during the most memorable and amazing event in my life. She was actually the first to guess that Lilian was a girl when we sneaked an early ultrasound for Robbie to see. I'm really glad that I get to see her one more time at my six week check-up. I would have never guessed that I would miss them so much. I hope that at least one, if not all, of them are still there for our next babies. I don't think I could ever use any other health care provider for pregnancy now that I've gone through this one with them.

I wanted to post some pictures with this post, but our internet is acting very slow right now. I'll have to do that later!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Birth Story

My guess date was June 2nd, but instead of a baby I had a prenatal appointment. At that time the midwife (Titi) asked me if I wanted her to sweep my membranes. I did not go to that appointment prepared to answer that question, so I just went along with it. I figured if she suggested it, then it's probably okay to do. (I'm not doing that again.) By the time I made it to my car I felt premenstrual-like cramping. I called Robbie just to let him know what happened and that I was feeling premenstrual.

Around 3:30pm on June 3rd I noticed something that HAD to be bloody show. I wasn't sure that's what it was at the time, though hindsight being what it is, how could I have NOT known that's what it was? Robbie got home around 4pm and I told him about it. He was so excited! I was still feeling crampy from the day before, so around 4:30 I decided I felt like taking a long shower. We were supposed to go to a church function that night, but I just felt like taking time in the shower before we left. I asked him to check on me every 30 minutes just to make sure I didn't fall asleep in the shower or something. I was planning on taking a VERY long shower.

Time went by pretty quickly in the shower, and I stayed in there until 6pm. When I got out to get ready to go, I thought, "I'll just lay down on the bed for a minute." Well, apparently Robbie fell asleep too! He came and woke me up at 7pm. Well, we knew that we weren't going to make it to the church function, but I still wanted to go to Sonic! I was starving! And I wanted one of their Strawberry Limeade drinks. When I stood up to go to the bathroom, something leaked out of me. I told Robbie, "Something just leaked out of me and I don't think it was pee!" We weren't really sure what was going on so we started making a bunch of phone calls.

At around 7:30pm on June 3rd my membranes ruptured, though I did not know it at the time that's what it was. I wasn't having contractions as far as I could tell, so I called the midwife (Debbie) to see if that's what it was. She told me a few things to do, and eventually she just said to come to the hospital to get checked out. We made it to the hospital around 9pm. The drive there was really calm and peaceful because I wasn't feeling any pain and I still didn't think the baby was really coming. I was kind of excited though.

When we got to the hospital they took me to a triage area, hooked me up to some monitors and used some sort of paper to see if my membranes had ruptured. They had! The nurse checked me (I think next time I'll ask them not to do that), and I was still at 3cm. After awhile the nurse told me I was having contractions and they were coming 3-4 minutes apart. I still wasn't feeling them. Robbie left to make some phone calls and I started to feel my contractions when he was gone. This was probably a little after 10pm. It seemed that things took off really quickly after this. It was funny because I was watching a Family Guy episode where Peter delivers a baby. :o)

By the time Robbie got back I wasn't having fun anymore. I actually started gagging during my contractions, and I had not started any kind of coping mechanisms. It was a good idea that we never had a chance to go to Sonic because I probably would have lost my dinner at that point. I remember at some point the nurse brought a birthing ball in there, but I just didn't feel like getting out of the bed yet. I was waiting for them to get my room prepped which seemed to take forever. Debbie came in there and talked to me for a little while. I felt kind of guilty and rude because it was very difficult to talk. I suppose she's used to women getting like that! There were a couple of other mothers she was attending at the same time. Because I was a first timer, they thought I would take a long time.

While I was waiting in triage, Robbie and Debbie would go in and out a couple of times. Because I had not felt my contractions yet, I was not worried. Until then I had been watching the monitor and marveling at the fact that I could not feel what the monitor was showing. I suddenly started feeling them at one point when I was completely alone and I became worried I would not be able to handle those contractions for 12-14 more hours! Robbie came back at some point and helped me start using low deep sounds. Finally my room was ready, but by then it was difficult for me to walk. I'm glad I decided to get wheeled to the room rather than walk; the breeze felt really good.

When I got there I really did not want to have to get out of the chair, but somehow I made it to the bed. When I got there, I had a contraction and blew chunks all over myself! Poor Robbie, I almost got him in the face. They began filling up the tub for me. At some point Debbie came back (she had several ladies to tend to). I remember I was just standing there for some reason, probably looking overwhelmed and lost, and I started having a contraction. She just ran to me and hugged me through the contraction. It took a little while to make it to the tub. I had to lean over the bathroom sink and rock my hips through a wave while Debbie rubbed on my back. I finally made it to the tub and spent the rest of labor in there. Oh boy what a relief!

All I remember is that contractions never seemed to completely go away, even in the water, and Robbie really helped me remember my low sounds. He would vocalize with me and I appreciated him doing that so I would not feel so self conscious. It was the perfect way for him to help me! I tried to visualize each wave as an ocean wave entering a cave and going back out again, as if it was pulling the baby out of me. That was my favorite idea out of all the stories I read, and I tried to use it. I also tried to take each wave one at a time. Debbie (midwife) turned off the lights in there and kept telling what to relax-usually my shoulders. I don't remember what made her decide to get me out of the tub, but she and Robbie helped me out of the tub. I remember saying, "I need to poop!" as I was getting out. Debbie replied, "That's the baby!" I remember feeling a mixture of not really believing her and extreme happiness.

I remember thinking right before they helped me out of the tub that I didn't know how much longer I could handle it, and I definitely understood why women would want relief. I also remember thinking that I wasn't getting any breaks between rushes. I'm not sure if I said these things out loud. Robbie told me I didn't talk during labor. I think the only thing I said was, "Oh sh*t!" when Debbie told me it was time to start pushing. Robbie said that was comic relief!

I made it back to the bed and Debbie checked me for the first and only time that she did that. I was at 9.5 cm. I was so surprised, relieved, and really happy! Debbie got me to do little pushes to get completely to 10cm because I had a little lip of cervix in the way. I think she left the room for a little while and when she came back she said it was time to push. Whoa! Already? Really? (This is the part where I said, "Oh sh*t!" because I don't think I was emotionally ready. I got ready quickly because I thought, "I don't care what happens! I don't care how much it hurts, I'm going to get this baby out! I'm not going to hold back because that will only slow things down. And if I poop on myself oh well!" Yes, I thought all of that, and then got to work. Once I got those thoughts out of the way, I was able to completely focus on the task at hand.)

I don't remember how long the pushing stage lasted but Robbie said it lasted about 30 minutes. I remember being scared of crowning before but it really wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Debbie REALLY did a lot to help me do a good job pushing. After reading many birth stories since then, she was probably protecting my perineum-another reason why crowning may not have been as bad as I thought it would be. And then, all of a sudden, she was out! Debbie immediately put her on my chest and she stayed there for the rest of everything. They helped me latch her on, and I was able to breast feed before they did anything to her. Robbie says the first thing I said to her was, "Hey little thing!" He says that's the sweetest thing he's ever heard and he'll never forget it. I did NOT like when they massaged my uterus after. So Lilian Nicole was born at 2:41am on June 4, 2010. She weighed 8 lbs 3 oz and was 20 inches long. I'm completely in love with my little baby and so impressed with the work my body was able to do! I can't believe I achieved an unmedicated birth, but I am so thankful that I was able to do it. What makes me really happy is how much Robbie is happy with the care I received from the midwives. He didn't trust them at first, but now he really does!

** Note: After the wonderful care I received with from midwives at The Women's Specialists of Houston, I decided to start the journey to become a doula. You can read that story here.

Barely an hour old.

Proud Papa

Going home!

Home in the Rock 'N Play Sleeper

Cute Baby!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

EDD +1

Yesterday was my due date and I did not have my baby. I went to the midwives yesterday and I am dilated 3cm. She tried the membrane sweep. I'm not sure if that worked or not because I do not know how long it takes to work (if it decides to work at all.) My little due date ticker says to take heart because first babies are on average 8 days late. Nice. How come just about everyone else I know had their babies early? Am I doing something wrong? I mean, I AM a little nervous about giving birth, but isn't everyone? That can't possibly be keeping me from having my baby.