now and ever more

each journey begins with one step . . . a baby step

upcoming posts . . . May 30, 2013

Filed under: Baby,Misc Stuff — nowandevermore @ 3:40 PM
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So I have been thinking of ways to get myself to post more on this blog.  I started it as a way to cope with our TTC journey.  It was a great outlet for me as I did not have any friends (in real life) dealing with the same things as I was dealing with at the same time.  I did meet some wonderful ladies on BabyCenter and have stayed close to them as some still struggle to conceive and others have gotten pregnant and had their babies.

Not sure how many of my followers have continued to read my updates now that we have our son, but I didn’t want this to become 100% all about the baby now.  It will still continue to be mostly about him.  I think I have earned that right with our 3 year-long journey, but my life is more than just about him (although about 85% of my time is devoted to hm at the moment. 🙂 )

So I have been thinking of ways to do some different posts and expand what this blog is all about.

I finally started with my weekly post, Tell All Tuesdays.  This will probably continue to be primarily about the baby and my struggles as a First Time Mom (FTM).  But it might evolve over time.  I have tried to think of other possible posts for the other days of the week.  I have come up with 2 more.  Well, I didn’t come up with them, but I saw them posted on other blogs and I have decided to give them a try.  Hope the bloggers don’t mind.

They will be:

“Wordless Wednesday” – Thanks to The Ryan Report for this idea.  Here I will post photos of our little guy, comics that I think are funny or relevant, cute saying, etc.

“Favorites Friday” – Thanks to Laughing Promises for this one.  I will try to talk about some of my favorite items.  A lot of them will most likely have to do with the baby, but I am sure I will talk about other things as well.

Right now I have not come up with anything for Mondays or Thursdays, but I am thinking about it.  I should probably make sure I can handle 3 posts a week before I commit to 5.  🙂

So there you have it.  I am open to suggestions for topics.

Thanks for reading!

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tell all tuesday – breastfeeding May 28, 2013

Filed under: Baby — nowandevermore @ 6:13 PM
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Breastfeeding  is something I never really put much thought into before I got pregnant.  I have had friends who breast-fed their babies and I have had friends who gave them formula from birth.  Then I finally got pregnant and it wasn’t a hard decision, I wouldn’t even call it a decision.  I was going to breast feed, or at least try.  I read about it, I took a class at the hospital and I thought I was ready.

Fast forward to December 21, well, about 2am on December 22.  They wheeled our little guy into my hospital room and I felt helpless.  I said, should I try to feed him now?  I blame being in shock from the way everything happened that day and the fact that he was 2.5 weeks early.  So with help from the nurse because of my c-section, she placed him on the pillow next to me (football hold) and I attempted to feed him.  From what I can recall, things went pretty well, as far as I knew.  My milk had not come in, but I did have the colostrum so I knew he was getting something.  I would let him feed on one side and then switch him to the other.  The biggest challenge was keeping him awake.  The next day the lactation consultant stopped by and evaluated how I was doing and suggested the nipple shield.  It was a big help and helped me realize that he had not been latched that great but he was now.  She also helped me to tease him with some formula.  We took a dropper and put a drop or two in the nipple shield  and that got him to suck even more.  My milk came in the next day and things were still going pretty well.

Don’t get me wrong.  It was an odd feeling and a little painful.  Your hormones make your nipples sore, but then you have your child sucking on them, that does not help the pain much.  After being home, I did seem to get the hang of things and continued to use the shield.

I would continue to strip him down to his diapers or use wipes on his face to keep him awake to feed him.  We visited the pediatrician and determined that he was jaundiced and not gaining the weight he needed to be gaining.  So we started supplementing with formula (1/2 ounce after each feed).  I got him off of the formula at 7 weeks.  He was gaining great and I was happy that I was the sole nutritional provider for him.  I was still using the nipple shield and had no intention of stopping as long as it was working.

Then we had our 4 month appointment with the doctor and although he gained, he did not gain as much as the doctor had hoped.  So he said that I need to give him a bottle of formula at night.  I was to offer 6 ounces and he wold probably take a little less.

I can’t begin to tell you how upsetting this was to me.  I felt like we had come so far together and then all of a sudden I wasn’t enough for him.  I could not provide for my son.  The one thing I, as a Mother, was supposed to be able to do, I was not doing it good enough to meet his needs.  I remembered back to how much trouble the formula caused him small tummy before and I did not want to do that to him again.  And yes, I was taking it personally as well.

After crying about it and thinking about options, I decided to try something else and see how his weight gain was at the end of a week.  The doctor had told us to come back in 2 weeks to see how the formula was working.  I figured this gave me time to try my own thing.  I had read that the nipple shield can inhibit milk flow and also not allow the baby to get all of the milk out.  So my first plan was to wean off of the shield.  I put a call into the Lactation Consultant (LC) at the hospital and she called back and left a message.  Basically she said to start him on the shield and then about 3 minutes in take it off and put him right back on.  I did this a couple of times and it worked.  I also had a friend who weaned her twins off the shield and she said to just try it without.  I did this too and he fussed here and there.  He did better in the morning and afternoon without the shield, but at night he fussed too much so I would use it.  Then eventually I stopped using it.  I was thrilled!  He had been using it for 4.5 months and it only took a few days to wean him off.  Halleluiah!  In addition to weaning off the shield, I decided to try to pump during the day and give him a bottle of expressed milk before bed instead of the formula.  Surely this would work.

But then the pain started!  It was obvious to me that the latch was not good.  It would not be too bad during the day, but at night when he would wake up, I would nurse him back to sleep and that is when the pain was the worst.  It literally felt like someone was pinching my nipple with their fingernails.  He would pop on and off a lot also.  I quietly cried to myself for 2-3 mights.  Why  does this has to be so hard?  I called the LC and made an appointment for Saturday (May 11).   I was going to ask for help with the latch and also talk about ways to give him formula but not lose out on the benefits of breastfeeding.

That day I called to make the appointment, I had weighed him like I had been weighing him everyday for that week and I was so disappointed that he had only gained about 3-4 ounces.  I knew then that I would give in and give him formula that night.

So my original plan did not work.  I had so wanted to be able to go back to the doctor in 2 weeks and tell him that I had only been giving him breast milk and he gained a great amount of weight.  I would weight him every day and start to stress.  One day he would be up 5 ounces and the next he would be up only 2 (from the doctor’s weigh in).  For those of you unaware, stress can have a major impact on your milk supply.  So I would stress because he wasn’t up and then I would try to pump when he napped or when I would put him down at bedtime.  I was not getting very much.  Maybe and ounce total.  I was disgusted!  Oh and in April I also got my period for the 1st time.  Most women who breastfeed do not get their period until they stop breastfeeding.  Unfortunately I was not one of them.  😦  And a few days before your period starts your supply drops temporarily.  So that was probably part of the reason he did not gain as well as he should have.

I felt so defeated at the end of that week.  I felt like a failure.  Not only did it take 3 years and 3 IVFs to get this baby, now I have issues with feeding him!  Felt like another kick in the gut!

After a lot of soul-searching and a LOT of tears, I decided that formula would not be the end of the world.  It wasn’t like I was giving him poison (although I am sure there are women out there who feel that way).  I would still be breastfeeding him most of the day and ONLY giving him ONE bottle of formula.

So I gave him the bottle that Friday night and he took all 6 ounces, like I knew he would and then spit up about an ounce of it a few minutes later, like I knew he would.

During my appointment with the LC, I fed the little guy and she weighed him before and after.  It appeared as though he was only getting 1 ounce.  So not great, but we already established that.  She set me up with a SNS (Supplemental Nursing System).

Women use these if they are having trouble early after delivery and even women who adopt babies use them.  Believe it or not, they can use the SNS to help stimulate their breasts and actually make it possible for them to lactate without having actually given birth.  Aren’t our bodies amazing!

I tried it one night and it is a little tricky.  I need more work at it to get the hang of it.  I tried it with 4 ounces and it seemed to take forever, so I scrapped it for that night and will try again soon.  The idea behind this was to basically allow him to nurse and get the formula at the same time.  I was going to hook it up to my right breast since that one was the one that was not producing much.  Hopefully this will help it produce more.  Again, I need to work on this better.

We have had a rough past week or so with sleep (upcoming post), so my main goal is to get him the bottle so that I can get him to bed.

We went back to see the doctor after 2 weeks (May 18) and his weight was 12 lbs 13 ozs.  A gain of 13.5 ounces in 2 weeks!  Doctor was pleased and so was I.  I actually weighed him this morning and he was 13 pounds, 13.5 ounces.  I can definitely tell he is bulking up.  He is getting those cute chubby legs and his belly is expanding.  He is still a happy baby, like he always was so I know he is ok and is getting what he needs.

The main point of this post is that breastfeeding can be very tricky!  It can also HURT A LOT!    Also, there is no way of knowing how your body will respond to it.  Breast size does not matter.  I had a friend who I saw pumping one day and she may have been an A cup and she was getting A LOT!  I am a D (DD after the baby) and as you know am not doing so well.

And if you try and decide that you just can’t do it anymore ( I have almost been to that point a few times), it is ok!  You are NOT a failure.  Your baby will be just fine.  It is a tough thing to do, although I suspect it comes a lot easier for some women.  Oh and also for those women who just don’t want to breastfeed, it makes you no less of a Mom than those who do.  As a Mom we need to make sure our little ones are getting what they need, breast or formula.  Making sure they are healthy and happy is our number one, however they get there!

Here is a little funny I thought you might enjoy!

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This was my first “Tell All Tuesday” post and it wasn’t quite as well put together as I wanted.  Like I said, this past week has been horrible for his sleep.  That will probably be my next post.

Thanks for reading!

 

5 months . . . May 21, 2013

Filed under: Baby — nowandevermore @ 9:45 AM
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Our little guy is 5 months old today!

011c

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Tell All Tuesday will start next week.  I just did not feel like doing the post today as my heart is heavy from the tragedy of the Oklahoma tornado of yesterday.  So far they have said that 20 9 children have been killed (just saw revised numbers) and it breaks my heart to imagine what those parents must be going through.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those lost and to the community of Moore, Oklahoma.

Thanks for reading.

 

catching up . . . May 18, 2013

Filed under: Baby — nowandevermore @ 2:52 PM
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I know I have been a little MIA lately.  Things have continued to be a little crazy with the little guy.  I am still dealing with a lack of sleep, but I think it is getting better.  At least I have been able to work on getting him to nap more during the day which will help him sleep during the night.

At his 4 month appointment he was only 11 lbs 15.5 ozs.  The doctor was a bit concerned because his weight had not increased the way it had been increasing, so he asked me to start giving him a bottle of formula once a day.  I did not want to do this.  He said try it for 2 weeks and then come back in and we will re-evaluate.  When I got home I was a mess.  I started feeling as though I was a horrible mother who was not able to provide for my child.  I decided to try to wean him off of the nipple shield since he had been using that for feedings since birth and I had read that it can inhibit supply and what he is able to get.  I was pleased that he took to the breast pretty easily without it.  It took maybe 3 days before he was off it completely.  But then we started having latch issues.  I would also pump when he slept for naps and went to bed for the night and give him a bottle of breast milk before bed instead of the formula.  I weighed the little guy everyday on the baby scale and was not seeing a big improvement.  A week after the appointment he had only gained 3-4 ounces.  So I decided that I would give in and give him the formula.  I called and spoke with a Lactation Consultant at the hospital and met with her on the 11th.  That went well (more to come).  After a week of supplementing and still nipple shield free we met with the doctor yesterday and his weight was 12 lbs 13 ozs.  The doctor was pleased and so was I.

I am not happy having to give my baby formula, but I have to put it in perspective.  He is getting what he needs to grow big and strong.  He is still getting most of his needs from me and ONLY getting ONE bottle of formula a day.  As long as he continues to gain at a good pace, I am happy.  I was actually causing myself more stress trying to do everything possible to give my baby only breast milk in stead of formula for those 2 weeks that I think I made things worse.  Stress can cause a decrease in milk supply.  And not to mention I got my period AGAIN!

He is doing well and meeting his milestones.  We traveled to my parents house the Monday after Mother’s Day for a couple of days and while there he rolled over, from his belly to back.  I put him on his play mat and it was instant.  So cute!  We got him to do it 7 times!  I think it will be only a matter of time before he is able to roll all the way over from back to belly.  He sits up well (with help) and is able to hold his head up great.  So sitting up will be happening soon!

He is going to be 5 months old this coming Tuesday!  More and more of his personality is showing through.

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This is a quick post as he is sleeping and I need to get some things done around the house, but I wanted to give a quick update and let you know that hopefully this Tuesday I will be starting a regular posting.  (I want to get back to blogging on a regular basis)   I am calling it “Tell All Tuesday.”  I will be discussing topics from a first time mom perspective.  Telling it like it is.  Not sugar-coating anything.  For example, I took a breast-feeding class, but until you actually do it, you just really don’t know what to expect.  I will talk about the ups and downs and be honest about the hardships that I have overcome, etc.

I have my own list of topics to discuss in the coming weeks but  would love to know if there is something you would like me to talk about.  If you are expecting or recently had a baby and you have questions about anything and would like me to discuss it, let me know.  This also applies to those ladies going through infertility treatments.  I will be more than happy to discuss that topic as well.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Thanks for reading!

P.S.  Here is our little guy from Mother’s Day.

006c

 

Happy Mother’s Day . . . May 11, 2013

Filed under: Baby — nowandevermore @ 10:19 PM
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Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Mother’s Day.  And this goes to the Mom’s of furry babies as well!  I received this poem from the Lactation Consultant at the Hospital today (more about that later) and wanted to share!  Brought tears to my eyes.  ♥

A Child’s Angel

Author Unknown


Once upon a time there was a child ready to be born.
So one day he asked God:

“They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow,
but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?”

“Among the many angels, I chose one for you.
She will be waiting for you and will take care of you.”

“But tell me, here in Heaven, I don’t do anything else but sing and smile,
that’s enough for me to be happy.”

“Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you every day.
And you will feel your angel’s love and be happy.”

“And how am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me
if I don’t know the language that men talk?”

“Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear,
and with much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak.”

“And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?”

“Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray.”

“I’ve heard that on earth there are bad men. Who will protect me?”

“Your angel will defend you even if it means risking its life.”

“But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore.”

“Your angel will always talk to you about me and will teach you the way for you
to come back to me, even though I will always be next to you.

At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from earth
could already be heard, and the child in a hurry asked softly:

“Oh God, if I am about to leave now, please tell me my angel’s name.”

“Your angel’s name is of no importance, you will call your angel…Mommy.”