Monday, January 26, 2009

More sleep issues

After a week of Riley having his nights and days mixed up, last Thursday night he slept 5 hours, BUT I only slept four of those because I came down with Mastitis. I woke up at 1 am with lots of breast pain and no matter how I tried to sleep I couldn't because any pressure on the breast hurt. The rest of the night I slept off and on in 15 minute stretches until I got a fever and chills. Thankfully I had my postpartum checkup Friday morning, and was dx with Mastitis. My mom came over to help with Riley since 4 hours of sleep isn't enough to function on with a newborn. She stayed till R got home from work and while I didn't sleep much I did get some rest.

He slept decent the next two nights and then had a bad one again. Then we had three good nights in a row but now we are back to having those awful wake periods again. I hate them!

Sleep seems to be our big issue right now. I want more of it and he is content with long wakeful periods at night. Thank god R is so good with him. I take the first part of them and then hand him over. I need my sleep! I then let R sleep in on the weekends so he can get an extra few hours.

At least he naps well! Last week we started him solely napping in his bassinet. I knew HE could do it but I wasn't sure about me. I liked having him close by, it eased my mind, but I also knew I couldn't let him get used to the bouncer, as someone (aka Holly) pointed out in my last post about sleep. In my defense (not that I need to defend myself) we don't use the vibration feature on the bouncer and he sleeps at an incline already so the the bouncer and bassinet aren't that different.

Our next transition will be into his crib, everyone says I will sleep better with him in the other room but I am not sure that is going to be true. I have a feeling my anxiety will creep up causing me to get less sleep. For now we are content with the small steps we are making. I am hopeful that tonight we will break the wakeful period trend with a car ride or extra long feeding. I think food might be part of the issue with him waking up. After all he isn't used to going for 4-5 hours without a boob in his mouth.

Our GREEN Baby

Today is our first day in cloth diapers. Yes that is right fokes Riley is a green baby and loving it. we had decided before birth to wait till Riley was 8-10 pounds to cloth diaper. I figured this would give us a week or two to get settled in at home before starting them. Then he was early, and I had PPD so we put it off a little more. Then at 5 weeks two days before we planed on starting them the washer broke. It is my mom's washer that broke but because we use her washer and dryer it still meant another delay. It took a week to fix the washer and then another week because of some sleep issues and mastitis (more on that in a different post). So today at 7 weeks Riley is in cloth diapers. For now we are just doing cloth during the day. I am using prefolds because they are cheap and have some Bum Ge.nius diapers for when we go out. I would love to use BG all the time but at 20 dollars each I feel it is more fiscally responsible to use the prefolds too.

So far Riley hasn't had any issues adjusting to them. I on the other hand, well lets just say the learning curve with cloth prefolds is steep. It took me almost 3 minutes to get the first one on, and I didn't shave much time off with the second one either. This isn't to say cloth diapering is hard, it just takes a little practice is all.

Here is a picture of our little green baby for everyone's enjoyment:

He is getting really big isn't he!?!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Who wants pictures???

R and I took Riley to JC Penny to get photos done last weekend. It went well and our little guy was so good for the camera, those are my genes because R hates getting his photo taken. Here are a few of my favorite ones.

Night is day and day is night

As a child my mom told me a lot how as a newborn when I would wake up in the middle of the night she would put me in the car seat and drive around town to get me back to sleep. I never thought I would be doing the same thing!

When good friends of ours A and S bought their son a crib rocker and A would wear their son in the Moby so they could get more sleep, I wanted to roll my eyes at them. Holding a sleeping baby, I thought to myself, I won't ever do that. Yesterday Riley napped in my baby Katan wrap.

Sleep has become the precious commodity that R and I trade. He takes Riley at 1 am when he has been getting up and staying up for up to 3 hours the last few nights, and I do all the changes and feeds by myself.

This week Riley has gotten his days and nights mixed up. Thus he is VERY cranky durring the day and awake at night and in the early am. It has been really hard on both R and I and we have been quite grouchy and short with each other. Last night I decided that if Riley was going to wake up and stay up that then he and I would go for a drive to get him back to sleep. His wakeful periods at night were causing very fussy LONG days, and I knew I couldn't take another day where he had to be held while he slept. The drive worked and so far today he has been a happy baby, and is once again sleeping in the bouncer. Ya! I am hopeful that tonight will be better, but if he does demand to be awake at night then into the car we will go. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Birth Story

I finally wrote my birth story! Here it is:

Short Story:

Water broke unexpectedly 16 hours after my version to flip baby from breech position. He did flip during the version and thus we tried to continue with our unmediated birth plan. However the cards were stacked against us because at 36 weeks 1 day my cervix was shut tight and not effaced at all, and I didn't have any contractions on my own. We ended up with every medical intervention and in the end I had a c-section.

I have this moment right before the c-section where I realize that Riley and my body know it is too early to be born. My body is doing what it thinks is best for the baby and trying to keep him inside. I find a peaceful place with needing the c-section. I may need help getting pg, I may need help getting the baby out, but I grow healthy babies. This becomes my mantra, and has stayed my mantra about my reproductive health.

Funny thing about my labor and delivery, NOTHING went the way I wanted it till my c-section. Because he was breech I had thought a lot about how I wanted the c-section to go if I needed it. I had a list of requests for the nurses and Dr, in the case of a c-section. I got EVERYTHING on my list during my c-section. Riley wasn't ever taken out of the room, I didn't have my arms tied down, I breast feed with in 30 minutes and so much more. I didn't get the birth I wanted but I got the best c-section!

Long story:
First the version:

The night before my version I didn't sleep well. I couldn't eat after midnight and because I was pg and thus hungry all the time I woke up at 4 am starving and didn't get back to sleep.

At 9 am we went into the DR. They monitored me on an NST machine and Riley looked great. He was doing well but they needed him to move a little more so the nurse put this buzzer to my belly. It didn't hurt at all just scared Riley into moving more. My Dr ended up needing to use this same buzzer during the version and I am so glad I got to feel it before hand otherwise I might have tensed up when we had the version.

With the NST over the DR came in and we checked fluid levels, mine were great. We also checked on cord position and where my placenta was, both looked good. They gave me the shot to relax my uterus and after 3 minutes I still didn't feel the heart pounding sensation they said I would. They decided to start the procedure and tipped me back so that my head was below my hips.

I had been hoping that DH could hold my hand through this but he couldn't, he stood to the side while the Dr and the nurse put their hands on my belly and turned him. It did hurt but only as much as Riley trying to turn on his own. The Dr got him almost completely flipped but Riley's leg was stuck, they used the buzzer on him and he pulled it out and flipped the rest of the way!

First words out of my mouth were "Good Job Riley!" I had known he could flip and was right about something being stuck. At this same moment my heart began to race, the drug they had given me kicked into full effect AFTER the procedure! I was so happy that I didn't care. Riley and I were monitored again for about 20-30 minutes. After that we were let go, and told to go walk to help him settle into my pelvis.

It was uneventful till...16 hours later at 3:45 am my water broke.


3:45 am Dec 6th I woke up to what I thought was just a little unine leaking out. I had yet to have this happen in pg, but I figured the new position of the baby was causing pressure in new areas. I went to the bathroom and LOTS of liquid came out. I started to wonder if this was my water breaking, but told myself I was only 36 weeks and thus it couldn't be.RIGHT? I went back to bed and as I layed down more liquid came out, this time I woke up Ryon. I still wasn't sure it was my water breaking because when I stood and did a kegel it would stop. Ryon woke up and instead it was pee. I came to bed again and the same thing happened. Now I knew it was my water and I began to panic. Our Dr had warned us Riley could turn back on his own with out me knowing it. I got out the Doppler (yes I have my own) and found the heartbeat down below my belly button, a good sign that he was still head down. The week before I had had many dreams about a prolapsed cord, so while Ryon called the hospital I convinced myself that Riley was okay.

Ryon called Kaiser Walnut Creek and they were full with people waiting in triage. We had to go out to Antioch! This would be a 45 minute drive even at this time of night. I hadn't yet packed my hospital bag, but grabbed my camera and extra set of batteries and off we went to get my mom.

On the car ride to the hospital I continued to gush water. I couldn't believe how much water there was! I started to go into denial about what was happening. I must have said over 100 time "but I have 4 more weeks left"

We got to the hospital and I was quickly checked in. They strapped me to the monitor and both baby and I were fine although I wasn't having any contractions. Riley was still head down! When they told me they were admitting me I asked them to make sure my water really had broken. The nurse assured me it had but ran the test anyway. It was +, my water had broken. Again I told everyone that this couldn't be happening, I wasn't ready and at 36 weeks gestation neither was he.

After I got settled in my room Ryon and I walked the halls. Because I hadn't had a GBS test done and my water had broken I needed the antibiotics, we called my IV pole my pole of power. We walked and walked and walked and walked for 3 hours. At 6am I needed a nap, Ryon mom and I all tried to sleep.

At 8 am I got up and walked more. Nothing helped start my contractions and by 10 am I knew we would need the pit. I was still determined to go pain med free, but needed some time to let it sink in that Riley was coming, whether I was ready or not. From 10 am to noon when we started the pit I visualized my ideal birth over and over and over again. I tried to emotionally come to terms with the reality that I would be having a pre-term baby and losing 4 weeks of pg. I wondered if I had enjoyed it enough, if I had cherished all the moments of him growing inside me. Eventually I felt like I had come enough to terms to start the pit.

1ish maybe 2 We started the pit, and by 4 pm I was breathing trough the contractions. I would get though them one at a time. Ryon and my mom were amazing coaches giving me all the had to help me through. I needed a lot of help, breathing through them. Riley tolerated the contractions beautifully but we had a really hard time keeping him on the monitor. Since I was on Pit I had to be on the monitor all the time. Emotionally I was okay with this because fetal death was such a HUGE fear of mine this whole time.

I labored till 8pm before they placed the internal monitor. I was not happy about this. I was so worried it would hurt him. This may have been my hardest concession in labor because it was something that I knew could cause HIM pain.

Some time around 10 pm I get checked, I am 4cm. I want the epidural but hold out till 12:30 when I get checked again and am still 4 cm, I break down and get the epidural. Emotional I am exased, I haven't slept since my water broke and the day before had little sleep due to concerns over the aversion. The epidural man is really nice and doesn't make Ryon or mom leave the room. I tell my mom how sorry I am for letting her down, for letting myself down. I really wanted and tried to go with out it but couldn't. Everyone tell me how strong I am and how proud they are, but I still feel very defeated. My midwife holds me and the epidural doesn't hurt. I stay really really still during it just like they tell me too and everything goes well despite my fear of needles.

The epidural works and I try to rest mean while they bump the pit WAY up.

3am I am shaking during contractions and having to breath through them again. We turn the epidural up, still no help and the epidural has cause my blood pressure to plummet. Riley is still doing great, but they are concerned about me, so they give me meds to increase my BP. About an hour latter the contractions are causing the top of my
stomic to contract pulling me into a ball. I can't control it, no matter how hard I try. The midwife needs to see how strong my contractions are because on the monitor they aren't close or long enough but I can't tolerate an increase in Pit.

We get the monitor in and find that my contractions at quad peaking off the charts but only 40 seconds long. I am also still only 4 cm. I labor till 7 am when another check shows I am still 4 cm dilated. They can't turn up the pit, and I can't labor like this much longer, it is time to consider a c-section. My midwife assures me I did EVERYTHING I could to do this vaginally. I am very upset about the c-section but I also know in my heart that my body isn't ready to let the baby come out.

I have this moment where I realize that Riley and my body know it is too early to be born. My body is doing what it thinks is best for the baby and trying to keep him inside. I find a peaceful place with needing the c-section. I may need help getting pg, I may need help getting the baby out, but I grow healthy babies. This becomes my mantra, and has stayed my mantra about my reproductive health.

8:37am Riley is born. He is PINK! All the Drs and nurses comment about how pink he is, but it takes me a while to realize that this is a good thing. His Apgar scores are 7 and then 9. I am able to "hold" him within moments of birth. I kiss his whole body, and then he goes back to the warmer. He weighs 6 pounds 13 oz! I tell myself again my mantra. He is healthy and that is what matters most!

As I get put back together I have a little break down, and start asking all kinds of questions to the Drs. They have to give me a little something so that I shut up, but they only give me 1/8th of a dose so I won't forget anything.

Per my request Riley doesn't leave the c-section room, and when he does it is because I am going to recovery. They put him on my chest to go to recovery! I was getting my skin to skin bonding time less than 20 minutes after birth! Ya something finally went RIGHT!

In recovery Riley gets a bath with both of us there, I also learned to breast feed. Dallas went home and after an hour in recovery I get to go to the mom and baby side of things. We are now a family of THREE!

Funny thing about my labor and delivery, NOTHING went the way I wanted it till my c-section. Because he was breech I had thought alot about how I wanted the c-section to go if I needed it. I had a list of requests for the nurses and Dr, in the case of a c-section. I got EVERYTHING on my list during my c-section. Riley wasn't ever taken out of the room, I didn't have my arms tied down, I breast feed with in 30 minutes and so much more. I didn't get the birth I wanted but I got the best c-section!

After Birth Recovery

Ryon and I went home with Riley three days after birth and PPD hit me HARD the first night home but once the meds kicked in I have been doing much much better. C-section recovery wasn't as bad as I thought it would be but it DOES suck.

One Month Old

Wow how time flies....

Roo is now one month old and is growing so fast. I mean that both in the way all new moms mean it and because Roo has almost jumped off the growth chart. Newborns gain .5 an ounce to 2 ounces a day, Roo is doing 2ounces just about everyday, he is truly growing fast.

I have been breastfeeding almost this whole time. We did some formula in the hospital and for the first two days home, not from a bottle though we used a great system that let him nurse on me and get formula out of a tube. Breastfeeding is now going strong. I have a fast letdown which causes Roo to get a lot of air but we are finding ways to keep him from getting to much air. I will say it does sometimes hurt like hell, today he wanted to nurse for 2 hours and it just about killed me. I gave in and gave him the pacifier, and he went straight to sleep, poor little guy was just tired.

Being a new mom is wonderful. I truly love it! It does have hard days and hard nights but it is the most fulfilling job I have ever done, to bad it doesn't pay in real US currency or come with health benefits. I always thought I would suffer through the first few weeks of my child's life. Sleepless nights and a small being with countless needs, and the inability to express him self did sound like a dream job to me, but it is. Don't get me wrong PPD and PPA hit me hard on day 3 but after the meds kicked in and now since we have adjusted them further, I am doing great!

It really is everything I wanted it to be, being a mom. I love my son. I look at him and am so thankful he is in my life, and that we are both healthy. His smiles even though it is just from gas makes my heart skip beats. I am very much looking forward to the future and all that it brings but also really enjoying the time right now.