Last Day of July! Updates on the Updates

This is going to be an update to my last post (or maybe last 2?) I received so many great ideas, shared experiences and pieces of advice from so many of you and I have to say thanks! Parenthood is tricky business and all the tips and tricks help make navigating through it much easier!

Vitamin Drop/Gripe Water Update

Well, I didn’t get to post yesterday because I slept late and then had a pretty rough morning. Real Henry has been a real handful and we decided that it was because of the vitamin drops with iron. We aren’t sure of course but have decided to do an experiment and stop giving him the drops to see if his discomfort settles down. I figure it will take a day or two to get the iron out of his system and then we will decide what to do from there. I know for a fact that iron messes my stomach up horribly so it’s quite possible that it is seriously causing him some pain!

Kai from Oh Darling Let Us Be made a good point in the comments the other day that babies have a reserve of iron in their systems that will get them through until they are 6 months. She had some other good points and the best advice was to make decisions that were right for you and the baby. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard about the iron reserve so I feel confident that stopping the vitamins won’t cause a major catastrophe, if any trouble at all.

While the gripe water helps a lot its temporary relief and doesn’t fix the problem. Also after some more reading on Kellymom I found that it said we really shouldn’t rely on products like that, we should actually solve the problem. I haven’t researched their opinion on the drops yet though. Of course I’ll do some more research but for the next few days I won’t be giving the drops to him and I’ll see where that gets us. Everything is conflicting and trial and error at this point lol

Depo Provera Shot Side Effects, Baby Blues or Post-Partum Depression

Other than a fussy real Henry things are doing okay here. While Aidan’s sister was here the other day we got into a discussion of birth control and it dawned on me that I got the Depo shot before I left the hospital. A light bulb went off and I decided to look up the side effects.. Sure enough depression is a common one. Within 24 hours I felt better just knowing that my moodiness and sadness might just be a chemical imbalance because of the shot. My anxiety has lessened just realizing that it’s possible that the depression was self caused. Does that make sense? I feel like I have more control over it. Weird or not, I do feel better but will still monitor myself. All I know is that Aidan better make that urologist appointment soon because I won’t be getting another shot!

Don’t Leave Meeee!

Speaking of Aidan, he goes back to work on Monday and I admit that I am dreading it! It’s been a pretty rough week and I know it’s going to be really hard next week when he can’t help e at all. I’ll get through it though, I just have to channel my 21 year old self when I had two babies under two and took care of them just fine.

Another Newborn Trick: Fresh Air

Yesterday when real Henry was fussing I decided to take him outside to see if that would calm him down. It was a trick that I remembered working when Regina was an infant and blog Henry got a chance to play on the porch with his bubble machine. It worked! Both babies were happy and I was relieved! We stayed out there for an hour and even though it was super hot and humid the quiet made such a difference for everyone. After that the rest of the afternoon seemed much more manageable. I wish I could go for walks with them, that would definitely be a big help but my stomach is still really sore. In time though that will be a daily activity I imagine!

Dresser Research for the Nursery Update

We almost ordered a dresser from PBKids yesterday (and the day before)  because I received a 20% off coupon in email. We didn’t pull the trigger though. The dresser is really nice and much bigger than what we have now but the price is $900 and even though we have 20%  off that just took away the amount that we’d have to pay for the shipping. Not a great deal. So we are waiting. IKEA has a similar dresser for $250 and I can’t shake that out of my head. Sure the quality won’t be the same but come on that is like $700 less. $700! I think I am just going to try talking Aidan into that option. We could also get a chest, a toddler bed, shelves and organizing stuff and still not reach the $900-1,000 price tag of the PBKids dresser. Reality bites when you aren’t a millionaire but there are always options and smart decisions to be made :)

Okay well, I think I’m done blabbing today, thanks for listening! I hope you all have a fantastic Friday (omg it’s Friday already?!) and a great weekend! Thanks again to everyone who has shared their labor and newborn experiences! It really means a lot to know we aren’t alone with our struggles and advice is definitely always a plus!

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Miscellaneous Topics

To be honest I don’t know what to write about this morning. Usually I will get a few ideas rolling in my head on what I want to focus on while I’m making my coffee but today my brain is kinda empty. Not there isn’t stuff I want to talk about but nothing really feels like it’s enough to be a full topic so I’ll just do a random brain dump if you don’t mind.

Quickest 30 pounds I ever lost

The scale has been my very best friend for the past few weeks. Altogether I’ve lost 28 pounds (as of Sunday) and my belly is just looking chubby not pregnant any more. I know it will take another month (or 6) for my uterus to get back to being small and where it needs to be so I am feeling pretty great about all that. I haven’t lost all the baby weight so quickly since having my first when I was only 20 years old. I hadn’t even done anything different this time around, the weight just came off and I won’t complain about it.

Once again — ignore the mess in the background, I really need to re-organize their room! Oh, also ignore my fancy clothes :)

C-Section Recovery

My cut sight still really hurts though and even though it is supposed to be “healed” after 2 weeks the recovery time for full healing is 6-8 weeks, which I think they should just say flat out so people like me don’t get their hopes up. Like, it still really hurts and Advil just doesn’t help. Don’t get me wrong, it definitely feels much better than it did in the beginning, I can lie on my sides now and before I couldn’t. It’s easier to move now but I hurt myself more often because I’m not as guarded. It stinks, but it will get better in the next month apparently.

Have any of you had c-sections? How long was recovery for you, meaning how long did it take until you could go about life and not be stopped because of sharp pains or feeling your uterus being sore?

Post-partum Depression or Baby Blues?

I was feeling great for the first two weeks after Henry arrived. Cheery, happy and not all that stressed or anxious. It felt good to get the baby out and see the numbers on the scale getting smaller. My mood though has been changing this week and last night I started debating on whether to set up an appointment at the psychiatrist to get on anti-depressants. Just in the past few days I’ve been feeling really overwhelmed and stressed and want to cry about everything. Surprisingly, I never had post-partum depression but I have suffered from major depressive order for most of my life. It just feels like it’s coming on but maybe it’s just the baby blues? I stopped taking meds when I found out I was pregnant with blog Henry almost 3 years ago and felt well enough to function without them. Of course there where a lot of up’s and down’s but I was handling it all quite well.

Right now I just feel really bad and I am actually afraid that I am going to spiral downwards if I don’t address it soon enough. If it is depression of any sort it’s not a biggie and can be resolved but I do wish I felt better in general and didn’t need any help like I’ve been doing. Such is life, right? I’m gonna give it another day or two and see if my mood improves or worsens then go from there. The good thing is that I’ve noticed right away and didn’t deny that something might be off like I had done for so many years in the past.

Hand-me-downs, all around but no where for us to put them!

Last week when my sister came to see the baby she brought 3 boxes of clothes that her 4 year old had out grown. I am really grateful because clothes are expensive and with fall around the corner it sure makes life easier to not have to shop! All of the clothes are in great shape and I had worked for a couple of days sorting, washing and putting them away. I finished that up yesterday and then went through blog Henry’s drawers and put away the stuff he doesn’t really wear anymore. I also got down all the rest of his old baby newborn and 3 month clothes and washed them for real Henry. He can wear blue now :) Those still need to be folded and put away but I am running out of drawer space!

We are talking about ordering 2 dressers that are bigger then the ones we have now but haven’t ordered anything just yet. Do we go with the usual Pottery Barn or somewhere else to save some money like IKEA? If we do IKEA we need to screw them into the wall because of the big recall they announced, which would be a mega pain with the plaster walls but it could save soo much money! I want big drawers tho so I might look at CB2 also just to see what they have. We will be putting a new big kid bed in that small room around Christmas too so we have to measure it all up and make a floor plan that will work. Decisions, decisions. I like these kinds of projects though so maybe it will cheer me up.

 

He eats all the cookies, all the time

 

Blog Henry in a hand me down cookie monster costume, over top his new favorite Buzz Lightyear hand me down pj’s :) He’s in heaven and I’m happy to not spend money lol

Well, I hope you all will have a great day, thanks for listening to my randomness :)

Push and Push and Then Get Cut Open Present

It’s usually a given that after you have a baby the other parent of said baby buys the delivering mother a little something for all the torture and pain she went through to bring the darling little thing into the world. The gift could be in the form of flowers, balloons, something delicious to eat, or more recently something extravagant.

Poor Aidan was clueless after blog Henry was born and didn’t bring me a dang thing. This was very upsetting to me as I watched him scarf down a value meal from Burger King right in front of me after laboring for 26 hours. I still wasn’t allowed to eat and was exhausted so some flowers or a whopper waiting on the sidelines would have been very appropriate at the time. I didn’t let it go but didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to sound like a whiny brat. That is until he brought up the fact that his best friend was shopping for a Push Present for his wife was expecting. Then of course I let the flood gates go and I told him rather passionately how hurt I was that he didn’t buy me flowers after Henry was born.

As you know my pregnancy with real Henry was miserable and during one of my major complaint sessions to Aidan I told him he better buy me diamond earrings, one for each baby, to make up for the fact that he was so insensitive the first time and to make up for the torture I was going through at the time. I was joking of course, I am not that bratty, but apparently my whining stuck with him.

After real Henry was born he placed this on my lap..

IMG_1802I was really confused but seriously excited when I saw that little blue box! Nothing bad comes from Tiffany’s! When I opened it up, lo and behold Aidan remembered me busting his chops and had bought diamond earrings, one for each baby I brought into the world!

IMG_1810

I wasn’t kidding before when I said how great this man is and how he would do anything to make me happy. I couldn’t believe it and put those beauties right in my ears! He is the sweetest guy ever and really surprised me with the way he made up for not buying me flowers after blog Henry was born.

Note to guys (or partners): buy flowers when your lady delivers or else!

I have been wearing these every day since I received them and now that my engagement ring fits back on my finger I feel so happy and grateful to have such beautiful gifts from such a great man.

Please don’t think I am bragging, it’s just that things like this have never happened for me up until recently and I am still very excited to have some one who cares about me so much!

A Gassy, Miserable, Uncomfortable Baby and A Solution

Real Henry had his two week check-up yesterday and he is doing great! He gained another half a pound since last weeks appointment and over all he has gained a pound and 2 ounces since birth, which they say is good for breast feeding babies. He has also grown an inch and 2 cm length wise! I’m not sure what his head measured at but he was the same with weight and height and he is in the 50th percentile straight across the board.

One thing I didn’t mention to the doctor was how gassy his multivitamins make him. They have iron in them because breast-feeding doesn’t pass through iron to the baby, so they are important but make for a miserable and uncomfortable baby. Poor guy.. Last night was the worst of it so far and the only thing he wanted to do was gnaw on my nipples to try to comfort himself. He was so cranky and Aidan and I felt terrible for him!

Then like magic I remembered that blog Henry used to get really gassy and fussy sometimes, too. We didn’t realize it was from the multivitamin at the time but we did research and ended up buying him gripe water which really, really helped. So Aidan went over to the CVS last night (it’s sold pretty much everywhere) and as soon as we gave real Henry a dose of it he calmed down. Within seconds, literally!

I let him suck on the pacifier after Aidan gave it to him and sure enough all of those gas bubbles broke apart and found their way out of his bottom. He finally fell asleep and we didn’t have any more trouble or a discomforted baby all night long.

The brand we bought is called Mommy’s Bliss and it really works wonders. Before giving this stuff to your baby ask your pediatrician because obviously I am not a doctor giving medical advice, just a mom who knows what works for her babies!

My motherly advice is that if you are breastfeeding and the doctors give you a prescription for the multivitamins with iron (and they will) ask about the gassy side effects and if it’s okay to give the baby gripe water. Formula fed babies get iron in their formula so they won’t get a prescription for extra vitamins but still could be gassy and uncomfortable so this could still apply! In any case, if you know ahead of time you won’t have to call and ask them when your baby (and you) are already suffering.

I just wanted to share this info because I think it helps to know ahead of time that gas might occur and turn your baby into a screaming, inconsolable little person but there isn’t anything serious wrong! It can be scary when you don’t know whats wrong and obviously they can’t tell you! Knowing a solution that works to alleviate their pain and discomfort is also always a good thing too!

Keeping Track of Life

Last August I thought it was time for me to try out using a daily planner to track all the appointments we had going on every week. I was sick of all the little cards the doctors hand out and having to search through my wallet for them when I thought There were appointments coming up. I missed a few appointments in the year and with school starting I knew I had to get better organized if I wanted our household to function better.

I had been given a few calendars through out my life but never really stuck with using them because a) I thought they weren’t very pretty b) I felt silly pulling it out of my bag and c) I didn’t have all that many appointments. Life changed though and we were racking up appointments left and right, on average I’d say we had 3 a week, and it was getting increasingly harder to keep up with everything. So one day when I was in Barnes and Noble I decided to make a big girl purchase and my life has since improved for the better.

  
The planner I picked out wasn’t anything fancy but it was pretty and it fit well in my bags. I wasn’t sure that I would get used to using it and didn’t want to waste a lot of money so it wasn’t expensive, maybe $12. At first I felt kind of funny using it, but I quickly got over that feeling and actually started feeling good when I’d have to say, “Let me check my book” or “I don’t need a card, thanks” when making upcoming appointments. I grew to love the feeling of being organized and in control of what was going on in our weeks!

Last week when I was trying to write a doctors appointment in for September I realized that I was at the end of my pages in the planner and started to think about what I would like to replace it with. I had seen a lot of different planners on the internet when I looked in the past and even though I loved my little Barnes and Noble planner I thought it might be time to upgrade to something more permanent. Something that I could just buy refills for each year. I knew I was in good habit of using the calendar and it wouldn’t be a waste of money! Also I thought it might be a sort of reward for being so organized with or many appointments through out a full year.

I told Aidan about my need for a new planner and showed him the one I was secretly hoping for on the Filofax website. I really like their planners as they are leather, have a few pockets to hold business cards in and various other sections that I could put to use. From that website we looked on Amazon and sure enough the exact one I was wanting was listed there for $15 less and had free shipping! He placed the order and I was super excited to get my upgraded daily planner!

  
When it came 2 days later I have to admit that it was larger than I expected it to be. Aidan noticed that too and asked if I knew it would be so big and if I liked it still. While the size through me through a bit of a loop I have to say yes! I still do like it very much! It fits in my bigger bags and if I am using a small bag it’s nice enough that I can carry it separately and not feel awkward about it. I already started using it to fill out the rest of the appointments for the month and through September which I had to randomly write in my old planner.

  
Aidan makes fun of me and calls me an old lady because I’d rather use a real planner than keep appointments in my phone. I’ve tried to use my phone for appointments before, but I just don’t like it. I prefer to be able to see everything and write it down instead of having to click on each date and set reminders, etc. It’s just easier for me.

Do any of you use planners? If not how do you keep track of all that you need to remember each week? I have found this really is the best way for me, even though it took a little getting used to at first!

Cluster F$#@ing! Owww!

Even though there wasn’t a lot of time between when I stopped breastfeeding blog Henry and started breastfeeding real Henry there have been some things that I had completely forgot about breastfeeding in general. More specifically, I forgot all about cluster feeding.

Are you familiar with the term? If you are a breastfeeding mom, or were in the past, I am sure you remember it all too well! Even if you had long forgotten about cluster feeding (the way I had) I’m sure just reading the term brings you back in time.

In the off-chance you need a refresher, or you haven’t gotten to the point in your baby’s life that you’ve become familiar with cluster feeding, I’ll tell you what it is.. It’s hell. Just kidding (sort of!) These short periods of time aren’t really a lot of fun for you or your boobs but it will give you something to talk about! ;)

Basically the baby wants your nipple in his or her mouth for most of the day for about 1-3 days. It can be slow torture if you aren’t expecting it and can really put a damper on any plans you may have. The phase passes for a while and everything returns to normal before it retakes over your life for a few days again.

Cluster feeding happens about 4-6 times during the baby’s first year. Usually, the first time is within the first few weeks of life and then about once a month until 3 months. Then again at 6 & 8 & 12 months. I found with blog Henry each time it was for less time and by the end of his first year it was only about a half-day long event. It’s rough in the beginning though, I won’t lie. Most research seems to think that cluster feeding is a way for the babies to stimulate your milk production and I have to agree. It only makes sense!

So, if you are a first time breast feeder don’t get discouraged or think there is something wrong with your sweet little baby when he or she suddenly turns into a boobie eating monster. It’s normal and necessary. Just accept it, hunker down, watch a lot of tv or read a lot of books and sleep, drink plenty of water, and eat when you can. The phase will pass and in the end you will have enough of a milk supply to keep up with your growing baby. Also, keep in mind that once the few days of torture pass your baby will return to their regular eating schedule and don’t let me forget to mention all of the calories you’ll be getting rid of!

Right now I am going through the first cluster feeding with real Henry and it is a serious pain in the boobs. My nipples hurt and I am exhausted but knowing it will end today at some point or even tomorrow is the light at the end of the tunnel for me. Babies grow so quickly and I like to think of this time as a way to bond closely with them, it’s not ideal in the sense that you can’t control when it happens but it really does force you to slow down and focus on just them while it is happening.

Does anyone remember the torture they went through with their own babies and cluster feeding? Do you have any tips to get a first time breast feeder through these stages? Horror stories and lovely stories are welcome!

A great breast feeding resource that talks more about everything breast feeding is KellyMom.com check it out if you ever have any concerns or questions, I’ve found it to be very helpful!

Ahh! Shh! Push It!

It’s Saturday morning and that means the baby is now officially 2 weeks old. The past two weeks have gone by really fast and although it hasn’t really been much time at all it feels like he’s already been with us forever.

Two weeks ago at this time I thought I would die from the pain of trying to get this baby out. After my non-stress test the day before the doctor decided that I should be induced that day because my fluid levels were just too high and dangerous. I was measured in having 24 ml of fluid but the normal range at 40 weeks pregnant are 5-8 ml. It was a lot of fluid and the fear was that my water would break and cause cord prolapse. While Aidan and I were both relieved and excited to soon meet our baby we weren’t expecting to be induced that day needed to do a bit of scrambling to find someone to take blog Henry for the night. Aidan’s sister came to the rescue and while he was back at the house to meet his sister I was having a pill inserted inside of me to kick start the labor.

For the start of labor I was able to move around quite a bit and walk through the pains. Because my water hadn’t broken and I didn’t have an epidural I didn’t need to be chained to the awful delivery room bed. After many hours though the nurse came in and said they would prefer I didn’t get up anymore because they kept loosing the babies heart rate on the monitor. That sucked but at least I wasn’t in bed for the first 8 hours or so.

After a few more hours they told me it was time for pitocin because I wasn’t moving along as well as they had hoped.  At the time my pain was high but not terrible so I put off the epidural and said I would let them know if And when I wanted one. When the pain finally started to feel like it would be unbearable I asked for the epidural. That was the worst mistake for me. I’ve had three other births all with epidurals and never once had an experience like the one 2 weeks ago. Maybe if a different person was administering it things would have gone more smoothly but that wasn’t the case and in the end I told them to forget it because it wasn’t going in right and causing horrible, horrible pains in my spine. The needle was hitting in all the wrong places and even today my left leg isn’t moving properly. (It gets better everyday so I’m not worried about any permanent damage or anything it’s just aggravating when my leg won’t move the way I want it to!)

From there things just got worse and worse and I really had to beg them for a C-Section. I knew something was wrong. The baby wasn’t dropping. I was 10 cm dilated and the baby just kept bouncing around in all the fluid every time they checked me. Even after they broke my water (oh my god talk about a flooding situation) which they were taking their time about doing, the baby wasn’t coming down. They had me push for an hour and I kept passing out from the pain and begging Aidan to kill me in between each contraction. Poor Aidan. At one point he yelled at me, “They aren’t going to give you a c-section! You will die and the baby will die!” That right there shows how stressful the whole situation was for him. He wasn’t being mean, he just didn’t understand what I was going through at all. The babies heart rate kept going down. They finally said I could have a C-section and I couldn’t have been more relieved.

I never wanted a c-section, not in the least bit and had heard so many horror stories of infections that came afterwards. I was against it 100% but I knew there was something wrong and I knew the pain I was experiencing wasn’t normal. Maybe it was my fibro, maybe I was a wimp but I really couldn’t take it. I had no ability to move my left leg as it seemed as if my bone was out of the hip socket. It was awful and so I was thankful and overjoyed to be cut open.

After the surgery and after I heard them exclaim “It’s a boy!” and after I heard him cry and caught a glimpse of his black hair I passed out. There are pictures of us, Aidan holding the baby and me passed out in the background. After having three other children, I can tell you that this was the hardest most difficult and abnormal childbirth I ever went through. I made the right choice for me and as it turns out for the baby too.. His neck was wrapped by the umbilical cord twice and around his body once. He wouldn’t have ever made it out vaginally. The nurses who seemed irritated that I couldn’t push him out were suddenly much more empathetic. Not that they were ever mean, but I knew they were annoyed.

The recovery has made up for the birth though. It has been coming along so smooth and quick. I hurt more this time than I have in the past but that’s to be expected. I was walking the first night and getting around well for the remainder of the hospital stay. At home I’ve been doing really well and even though I was dreading when my pain meds ran out I’m actually doing really well without them. Every day just gets easier!

It’s been 2 weeks and I am doing great and most importantly Henry is doing great. The baby is so awesome and already has such a sweet personality. He lets us sleep and he stopped crying during diaper changes. He really doesn’t fuss much at all and it makes all of the horrible things I went through from the beginning of the pregnancy up until he was finally born feel.. so not important. He’s awake more often and super alert, more than his brother was at his age and more than I can remember the big kids being at his age.