Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Seeing a Lactation Consultant.

So Natalie has never latched. Ever. Not once. She will. not. have. it.

To be honest, it hasn't been a huge deal. I've been pumping and have a great supply. I know that I'll have to pump when I'm back at work, so it's nice to be used to that. Because I'm at home, to take the extra few minutes at 3 am to pump after she's eaten hasn't been bad. I won't be home forever though. I go back to work in 40 days, and I would love to be able to just snuggle her up in the middle of the night and feed her - without the hassle of a bottle and pumping.

So today we took the trek to her pediatrician's office, to see the lactation consultant.

Barb was amazing. She double checked for lip or tongue tied (well, triple, as she's been checked by the LC at the hospital and one of the pediatricians already). Talie doesn't have one, which is good. The biggest issue is that she has a tight jaw and small mouth. Which will be great when she's a musician one day...but not so much now. We were able to get her to latch and even suck a few times with a shield! It's something she's never done before. It's a huge relief. I know that it will take practice to get her using it regularly, but still - it's progress!

We have another appointment next week, and hopefully we're doing better by then.

But besides that? LCs are amazing. Just sayin.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Life Snippets

- Natalie is 2 weeks old today. It amazes me how much she's changed just in these 14 days. She's still not nursing, and pumping is a pain, but I'm doing it. She gets hiccups pretty much constantly, which is hilarious and kind of pitiful. I love that she tracks us, especially if we're talking and not holding her (or someone else). Her hands are always by her face, and she won't sleep if we swaddle them in - I guess it's a comfort thing? She was like that in both her ultrasounds too.

- I'm pretty sure this child is all Sean's. She sleeps like Sean (hunkers down into her swaddle or drapes a hand over her face), she looks like him, everything. Thankfully she's (generally) a pretty solid sleeper like him too - and now that she regained birth weight I don't have to wake her up. *Knock on wood* she usually only wakes up once in the night, though sometimes that wake up is as long as 2 hours!

- I find eating and pumping to be a hard schedule to keep. I feel like as soon as she's asleep, I need to do them ASAP, or she inevitably wakes when I start. But at the same time, I want to work on laundry or cleaning or bill paying. I just need to work out a pattern. The hardest is the afternoon - I put her down around 10-11, eat lunch, and then she's up. She'll go back down around 2, but her afternoon nap is so sporadic and fussy that I really can't pump until Sean gets home - and after 6 hours, I'm sore!

- I can't wait for the cold to be over! This weekend was gorgeous so we took little bits out to the dog park and the plaza. It was so wonderful to get out of the house!

- I was so frustrated with Sean this morning. He promised me that he would wake up with Natalie over night so I could get some sleep. And of course he didn't. I'm holding him to it tonight - and making him clean the kitchen today (which I would  have done if I wasn't so tired!).

- I think her nickname is going to be Talie. From us anyway. I know Nat and Natty are kind of traditional but...I don't want a kid named after a beer. :P

Thursday, January 23, 2014

My new name is mama...

(written Tuesday)

It's been a week since little miss was born, and it's kind of surreal. I'm a mom. I'm in charge of this little thing, this precious sweet baby, and I'm responsible for her (well, Sean and I both are).

For her well-being, for her development, and for her world. It's all on us. I can't believe she's here. I can't believe that after 9 long months of waiting, she's here in this world. She's crying, smiling, cooing, and being adorable. All the time.

She still isn't nursing. I'm exclusively pumping, which sucks (literally), but at least she's getting breast milk and I'm keeping my supply. I'm calling a LC today (my insurance covers it), so hopefully we can figure things out. It's like she doesn't know how to open her mouth up wide enough. I'm not sure if it's a tongue tie issue or small mouth or what. It doesn't bother me too much, as I know I'll have to pump when I go back to work anyway. It means I can start to build a stash now and get my production going too. But it would be nice to just be able to snuggle her and feed her at 3 am instead of with a syringe (trying to avoid nipple confusion). Her ped isn't too concerned either though - sometimes it just takes babies longer. I still plan to EBF for the first year - but it might be out of a bottle.

Right now I'm renting a Medela Symphony from the hospital, but I'm getting a Hygeia Enjoye from insurance this week. The parts are interchangable too, so I'll actually have 3 sets of parts (the hospital sent me home with two sets, and the Enjoye comes with a set too). I've heard great reviews about the Enjoye, so I'm excited to try it!

And now - here's some baby pics!
(Sean holding her for the first time [clean, anyway])

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Natalie's Birth Story

Tuesday morning, I woke up at 3:30 am, like normal, to pee. I always pee sometime between 3-5, so it wasn't really unusual. Just your normal pregnancy wake up.

When I got back to bed, the sciatic nerve pain was awful. I spent the next hour trying to stretch my glutes, doing yoga, cradle posing, rocking on my hands and knees, and even having Sean massage my butt. Idk what finally worked, but I was able to fall back asleep around 4. 20 minutes later, a mild contraction woke me up. That was strange. I'd been having contractions for weeks, but never ones that wake me up. I fell back asleep after a 40 second wave, and 20 minutes later, woke up with another. 

I started timing them at this point. They were still 20 minutes apart, and no longer than 40 seconds, but they were regular. Very regular. Sean's alarm went off at 6:15 am, and I told him what was going on. At this point, my contractions weren't that strong. I mean, I was having them in bed, with Sean sleeping next to me. He woke up and got dressed for work, knowing that he might not make it in. 

I piddled around the house, folding laundry and doing dishes, while Sean cleaned up the guest bedroom. I also packed the rest of my bag, realizing that this was probably the start of real labor.

Around 9 am my contractions were about 5 minutes apart, so I called the doc. They had me head into triage. Sean even packed a deck of cards thinking we were still at the beginning of things! 

By the time we got there at 9:30, my contractions were definitely uncomfortable. I was able to easily get through them holding Sean's hand and breathing, but they were closer to 3 minutes apart. They sent me to triage, where the nurse looked like she just knew she was sending me home. She hooked me up to a contraction, blood pressure, and heart beat monitor. After taking some stats, she went to check how dilated I was. She looked at me - and said "there's no way - it feels like you're at a 7 or 8!" She actually had another nurse double check! The second nurse, Amy, took one feel and then went to get a room ready. Not so fast triage nurse! HAH!

My contractions still weren't very painful. Hell, I even called my mom to tell her I was in labor and she didn't know I was having contractions (even though I had one on the phone with her). I got back to the room and they put me on the wireless monitor and hooked me up with an IV. The IV was awful, but it's hospital policy that I have to have one. *grumble* My monitors were wireless, but I had to be monitored hooked in for 20 minutes of every hour. Which doesn't really matter when you're only in the room an hour before you start pushing. Funny how that works (or doesn't?). By the time we got in the room and everything, my contractions were finally picking up. I labored entirely standing up - having Sean push my hips in and sway with me was the most helpful by FAR.

The doctor came in around 11 am and I was fully dilated, but my water hadn't broken yet. She broke it, sent my contractions into overdrive, and by 11:15 I was pushing. No joke. Pushing was mentally hard. And physically, but not in the way I expected it. I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to push. I mean, that's a set of muscles that you don't use every day, and especially not in that way. I ended up with a squat bar and people holding my legs. I was almost crying because I was so frustrated that my body and mind couldn't figure it out. But at the same time, it's not like I've done this before. But apparently I was able to get it (thank god for the nurses, doctor, and Sean coaching me like nobody's business), and little Miss Natalie Patricia was born at 12:23 pm! She was 7 lbs, 2 oz and 20.5 inches long.

Things I'll do different next time though?
1. Bring my bag in when we got into triage. We figured we would have time for Sean to go grab it. We were wrong. I didn't have my hospital bag until close to 5 pm!
2. Make sure I have snacks WITH me. Not in my bag. I was stitched by 3 pm, but I had missed lunch hour so I had to wait until 5 for food. And I missed lunch. I had a headache and was cranky by the end.
3. Pack a newborn sized outfit. Even if I don't think I'll need it. - Sean's mom had to go buy clothes for little miss to go home in!
4. Keep exercising through my pregnancy. My arms and back were much sorer than anything else the next day because of how I pushed.

Things I'm glad I did/packed:
1. I mostly labored at home. I was able to get a good breakfast in, buy a gatorade on the way there (which was AMAZING), and clean the house a bit for our guests.
2. Packed my own toilet paper. I got this advice the week before I went in, and threw the roll in my bag at the last minute. It was a great decision.

Monday, January 13, 2014

40 Weeks.

How far along: 40 weeks. 

Size of Baby: a small pumpkin

Weight gain: No clue!

Symptoms: Everything. You guys, I'm a mess. My back hurts, I've been having contractions all week (but nothing regular), my legs hurts, I'm out of breath when I finally get myself out of bed. I have heartburn if I eat things that are too spicy, and in general, food just doesn't sound good. Every time someone makes any sort of comment about if baby is here yet it makes me cry, because she obviously is not, and thanks for reminding me how miserable I am because of it.

Clothes: all maternity.   

Cravings/Aversions: Everything kind of. Food just doesn't sound appealing. 

Movement: Still kicking and moving.

Worries: I've now started worrying about her size. I want so badly to do this natural, and with her being overdue...gah. It terrifies me that my first baby is overdue. That my body apparently doesn't know how to go into labor on its own. 

Milestones: Oh hai due date. And good bye. 

Best moment of the Week: Sean and I saw 3 movies this week as kind of a last hurrah. :p Also, I had another ultrasound! They wanted to make sure baby has enough fluid in there, and she does. She also has super chunky cheeks!! It's adorable. :) I can't wait to see them in person!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

39 Weeks. Full Term, Baby!

How far along: 39 weeks

Size of Baby: a mini watermelon! 

Weight gain: No clue!

Symptoms: Definitely nested this weekend. But baby's room is officially done (and her rug will be here next week!). And the heartburn!! It hasn't been too bad up until now, but man! I've also been having contractions, but they're not regular in any way. Some days I'll have one, and other days I'll have 10 or more. I'm 3-4 centimeters dilated too, yet no signs of miss pokey butt. 

Clothes: all maternity. I just wish my puffy work coat was maternity too :(  

Cravings/Aversions: Bagels and cream cheese, oddly. 

Movement: She's a rolling queen. I think she's a huge fan of shifting. Sean's been playing the "move the baby" game - if he pushes on her, she wiggles away. It's hilarious. 

Worries: Not a single one. Zero. Except for maybe going into labor at work. That would be awkward.
Eta: I'm actually kinda worried about being induced due to high blood pressure. I'm not swollen or anything, but my pb has been high at dr appointments. Like, high enough that I got sent to the hospital on Tuesday (where it promptly dropped back into normal range, of course)

Milestones: Babe is actually full term according to the new standards. 

Best moment of the Week: Getting things DONE. We've hung pictures in our house. The google fiber guys paid us a visit, so we should have it by the end of the month (!!!), Baby's room is done and finished. Sheets and blankets are clean for when people come. The pack n play is in the bedroom (to be used as a bassinet). I've made cloth wipes, and our dipers will be delivered by the end of the week. SO MUCH ACCOMPLISHED. 

38 Weeks Beautiful

(From Friday!)

I've been needing some inspiration lately. At 38 weeks pregnant, I am very, very pregnant. I've reached the point where I bump into things, it's hard to put shoes on, and I sometimes need a push from Sean just to get out of bed (and I'm not talking a pep talk - a literal push). Baby is hanging out so low I feel like I could sneeze and she'd be here. My stomach is riddled with stretch marks.

In my heart, I know that it's beauty. It's the beauty of the life I'm growing, the ability to do this. I have a true love for my body, regardless of its size or color. But sometimes, I'm overwhelmed about much I an outside observer of myself. It doesn't feel like my body. I'm very excited to meet our little one, even if it means I'll be flabby and exhausted. 

In any case. I've had a crush on this photo for ages. And I'm glad I finally took one of myself, thanks to this tutorial.

It makes me see the beauty once more.
38 weeks. 6 days. 

Due in 9 short days. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 - Review Time!

I'm jumping on the bandwagon!

2013 was a HUGE, important, fantastic year for us. It has given us so many blessings and so much hope for the future - I can't even begin to explain. So here's a super short rendition!

- Sean and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary
- I paid off my two smallest student loans (every little bit counts!)
- Sean started his last semester of law school!

- We had a ridiculous snowfall - two storms that brought us a combined 27" in one week (and left us without power for 2 days)
- We road tripped to Des Moines to visit Lyndsey for her birthday

- We remembered Patty passing away 5 years ago
- I turned 25
- We took a vacation to Las Vegas (and enjoyed wonderful warmth while it was freezing back home!)
- I applied for (and didn't get) two promotions at work - they didn't promote anyone

- I finally found a successful way to meal plan
- I walked the March of Dimes with a great friend
- Sean and I enjoyed our last year of Barrister's Ball (law school prom, basically)
- We said goodbye to my grandpa, who passed away due to complications with Parkinson's

- We found out I was pregnant on our 8 year anniversary of being together
- Sean graduated from law school 
- We managed to keep my pregnancy a secret during his graduation and festivities!
- I did a DITL post

- We announced to the world that we were pregnant (and to his family at his graduation party)
- We put an offer in on our first house
- Sean started bar prep courses

- We took a very impromtu, very short trip to Florida for Sean's cousin's wedding
- Sean took the bar exam

- Our little baby is continuing to develop - and here's the heartbeat!
- We took possession of our house and moved in!
- We found out we were having a baby girl - but didn't tell anyone yet
- Sean turned 27

- My car got a new transmission (thankfully I have a lifetime warranty on it)
- I felt baby kick for the first time

- Sean was sworn in to the Missouri State Bar Association
- We started painting/renovating our house
- We went down to Mizzou to tailgate for our last homecoming sans baby
- We saw Wicked (Sean's birthday gift from August)

- We had our baby shower - and announced we were having a girl!
- We traveled home for thanksgiving - the last time we'd get to go home before baby arrives
- We put together the nursery
- Sean and I also took our birth classes (finally)

- We celebrated Christmas Day by ourselves, which sucked. But thankfully family came in for the weekends!
- Sean got a full time, big kid job!
- We got a deep freezer for Christmas, and promptly starting filling it with frozen meals for post baby
- We hit the one month to go stage. And I packed my hospital bag.
- We rung in the new year with our great friends, which has become an annual tradition.

It's been a crazy, whirlwind year - that's for certain. I can't wait to see what 2014 brings us and to meet our baby!!!

38 Weeks

How far along: 38 Weeks

Size of Baby: a Leek

Weight gain: I think I'm right around 30 actually. 

Symptoms: More with the waddling. And the tiredness. And the hugeness lol. 

Clothes: all maternity. And even some of those are becoming too short shirt-wise. 

Cravings/Aversions: I was definitely digging some Mexican last week - we went to El Maguey with friends. It was delicious. 

Movement: Lots of stretching. The bigger movements are dying down, and I definitely can see my belly roll when she moves. 

Worries: Very few again. Bag is packed, food is cooked, I contacted a photographer and it's doable. The only thing left to figure out is child care, but seeing as Sean's new job offers him a TON of paternity leave...I'm not too worried. 😊

Milestones: baby is full term! (Ok, these standards changed in October, but whatevs). She's blinking and sucking and all that good stuff. 

Best moment of the Week: seeing Sean's family. And my aunt came by while visiting her inlaws. We found out Sean's job gives him TEN WEEKS of full paid paternity leave - he probably won't take it all being a new employee, but it means so much. And he won't have to take vacation days when we go to Colorado in the summer, because his paternity leave can be split into 2 parts, and taken within six months of birth. WHAT. Now. Here's to hoping baby girl comes soon! (Also found out that my doctor won't induce me until 41 weeks, provided fluids are good!)