Sunday, October 26, 2014

1 month

It's so hard to believe that a whole month has already past since Holden's birth day!  It seems like just yesterday he was born but it also feels like he's always been with us.

Holden was really pretty good to me his first month in this area with nighttime sleeping.  He would wake up every 2 1/2 to 3 hours to eat and fall back asleep pretty much as soon as he was finished eating, sometimes he'd be asleep before he was finished as he would drink the last of his bottle with eyes closed.  During the end of week 1 and into week 2 we were back in bed about 20 minutes after we got up.  I realized that he was refluxing after some bottles though so I started sitting up with him a half hour after he was finished to keep him in an upright position.  Even with that time factored in, the longest we're out of bed is an hour.

Daytime naps have ranged to little cat naps to five hours.  I wish he could pull off one of those five hour naps at night but so far we haven't been that lucky.

Well, this has been a frustrating area for me.  We went from trying to exclusively breastfeed to exclusively formula feeding in the span of Holden's first month.  As I learned, I just wasn't making enough milk to keep Holden full during his first week.  I tried to pump, and even with my best pumping sessions, I was only able to give Holden 1 one and a half ounce bottle per day.  As the days went on, I was only able to pump drops out during each session, so I gave up pumping altogether during week 4.  This is definitely not what I had planned/hoped for but I'm trying to see the positives (like not having to drag around a breast pump all the time) and am so thankful that there is an alternative like formula to keep him fed.

Trying to figure out formula has also been a little tricky.  He had been drinking Similac liquid supplement but his pediatrician told us to go ahead and pick a powder formula for him to start on.  He told us not to worry about mixing the old with the new as he was too little to have developed a taste preference.  Well, once we started on the new formula, things took a little turn.  He didn't tolerate the new formula very well.  He would scream after he ate and he went from not spitting up at all to huge spit ups every time he was burped.  The morning of day 2 of this, I called the doctor and we decided to mix the new formula with the old until his little tummy could handle the new stuff.  This made a huge difference and we're still doing this into month two.

During month one, Holden went from drinking one ounce at a feeding to three and a half ounces.

As mentioned in his four week post, Holden moved into 0-3 month clothing at the end of his first month.  A lot of things are still a little baggy or too long, but he does have a few outfits that fit just right.

This has been the hardest part of his first month.  Somewhere in the end of week 2, Holden started bouts of crying that we can't figure out a reason for.  I realize that babies just cry for no reason sometimes, but when it's lasting into hour just breaks my heart to listen to him scream and not be able to help him.  This always results in tears on my part too and feeling like I'm a crappy mom and have no idea what I'm doing.

At Holden's first doctor appointment, he was almost back up to his birth weight and got a good report from the doctor.  I would really like to know what his weight is at now but unfortunately we don't go back to see the doctor until month 2.  He has had a bit of a stuffy nose that I've been keeping an eye on but luckily it hasn't seemed to developed into a cold.

Holden really likes to lie on the ottoman or couch and stretch out, look around, and bicycle his legs (by himself, he's not a fan of me trying to help him).  He can spend about a half hour doing this until he's had enough.  He also likes to go for car rides with dad to calm down, going for walks (so thankful for a nice October!), and having his bottom patted while going to sleep.

So far, he's not really a big fan of the swing.  There's been a couple times where he's stayed in it longer than 10 minutes but otherwise he pretty much just yells at us when we put him in there.

Friday, October 24, 2014

4 weeks

-moved from newborn clothes to 0-3 (I know I put this for last week but I had it wrong)
-more vocal this week- he's starting to coo and has let out a couple little laughs while sleeping
-finally had his first real bath this week - his umbilical cord stump fell off around day 6-7 but it took quite awhile for his belly button to heal
-his baby acne really came out this week - hoping it doesn't stick around long

Friday, October 17, 2014

weeks 2 and 3

Well, the past couple weeks have flown by (hence the late post).  Here are a few things that have been happening.  

*Holden has his first check-up with Dr. Bien.  He was back up to 9 lbs.
*Went from drinking 1 oz. at each feeding to 2.5 oz. in one week.

*Went from drinking 2.5 oz. at each feeding to 3 oz.
*Started staying awake in longer stretches during the day.
*Moved into size 1 diapers this week.

And this is the problem with waiting to do the posts.....I can't remember much.  We're still having some ups and downs and days where I feel like I have no idea what the heck I'm doing. But, we're making it through and we're just as in love with him as ever.

A few nicknames he has "earned" in the first few weeks from me: Bubby, Bubs, Sweet Cheeks, Chubbers, Baby, and Baby Boy.  Dave pretty much just calls him Holden or Son.

mama update

I just wanted to write a few things down to help me remember what my first few weeks were like.

*I've realized that the one thing I would change from our hospital stay is that I wouldn't allow any visitors.  It's very hard to bond with your baby when you don't really get to hold him or spend one-on-one time with him his first day.  I think this is why it wasn't until the second night that all the emotions hit me....that's when I finally got to spend uninterrupted time with him.

*Recovery got remarkably easier as each week passed.  I could tell at the one week point that things weren't quite so sore, at two weeks I finally felt ready to take short walks, and by three weeks things were feeling pretty normal again.

*Hormones are a b*tch.  Holy cow.  I've cried more in the past three weeks than I think I've cried in the past three years combined.  Add in the sleep loss and I can pretty much cry about anything ....happy, sad, worried, etc.

*Lots of women told me that you forget about the pain of birth and I thought there was no way.  But, you really do forget about all the pain.  I told Dave that first night that Holden would definitely be our only child.  Now, I'm already talking about when we have our next one.

*Sleep loss does suck but there's really nothing like sitting in the middle of the night with your little one as he falls asleep in your arms (and cue hormones, getting teary eyed now).

*I lost all of my pregnancy weight plus another 14 pounds (total of 35 pounds) in the first two weeks after giving birth.  My thyroid medicine made my level drop way down after birth and I guess that makes the weight just fall right off.  I went in to have my level checked on October 10, and found out it was at 0.42.  At the beginning of my pregnancy, my level was at 3.2 and we worked to keep it around 2.5 during the rest of my pregnancy.

*Pumping has been a struggle for me.  My doctor prescribed me a medication that is suppose to help with milk supply but it gave me such bad diarrhea that sometimes I'd barely walk out of the bathroom before I'd have to go right back in.  So, no help there since I quit taking it after two days.  I'm now only able to pump about ten drops of milk out in a session so I'm about to the end of this journey.

*Almost all the swelling was gone around the three week mark.  I still have a little swelling left in my feet but I can get my regular shoes on again.

*David has been super amazing through all of this.  He's been my shoulder to cry on, added almost all my responsibilities to his own the first couple weeks, worked hard to take care of Holden and me, and been my voice of reason when I start to over analyze things.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

week one

Dave and I were just talking about how we've never had a week go by so quickly in our lives.  We definitely had a roller coaster week, with the best high ever of meeting our sweet baby boy to the lowest low at our postnatal checkup just four days after he arrived.

Our first full day with Holden was full of visitors.  He got to meet his grandparents,aunt, uncles, cousin, and friends.

Our second night in the hospital, Holden and I sat up together for awhile as he tried to fall asleep.  Dave was sleeping so it was just him and I hanging out together and I had my "falling in love" moment with Holden.  I think everything had been such a blur up until that point that it was my first chance to just let it really sink in that he was here and he is ours.

We were discharged from the hospital around noon on Friday.  Friday and most of Saturday were pretty good.  Saturday afternoon hit and Holden just wasn't content.  He was pretty fussy off and on all afternoon.  That night was a rough one as he wanted to breastfeed most of the night.  No matter how long we tried to feed, he was just never happy.  Sunday morning was awful as he screamed most of the morning.  We knew that something just wasn't right and I told Dave I didn't think my milk was in.  We had a postpartum appointment at the hospital at 1 that afternoon.  I couldn't handle the screaming anymore so about 12:30 we packed up to head to the hospital.

Once at the hospital, I told the nurse that I didn't think my milk had come in yet because no matter how much Holden would feed, he wasn't happy with what he was getting.  She told me that it should have came in the day before and went about asking me questions about my recovery.  When we got to Holden's part of the appointment, she weighed him and saw that he weighed 8 lbs. 3 oz. - almost a full pound less than his birth weight of 9 lbs. 2 oz.  I about died, I felt so bad that our baby had been starving for days.  I also had jaundice that had seemed to be getting worse as the days went by.  His poor little eyes were so yellow.  The nurse had me try to nurse to show her how he was latching on, and he was just so over trying to nurse by that time that he would barely latch on before he'd start screaming.  We reweighed him and he'd taken in 0.4 of an ounce of milk.  He pretty much passed out after that because he was so content from getting just that small amount of milk.  The nurse left to call his doctor to fill him in.  The doctor said he wanted us to supplement with formula until my milk came in.  He also had to have his bilirubin level checked since his jaundice looked worse.  The level came back at 14.9 which was borderline.  We scheduled an appointment for the next day to recheck his weight and bili level.  We left the hospital a little after 4 o'clock for an appointment that was suppose to take less than an hour.

The rest of the day was better for Holden as he actually got something in his little tummy to eat.  I, however, was a mess the rest of the day knowing that our baby had been starving for so long.  I still can't even talk about it without tears.

We went to the hospital the next day and had a much better visit.  His bilirubin level had dropped down to 11.4 and his weight was up 4 ounces.  I worked with a lactation consultant for awhile while at the hospital as we tried to figure out why my milk wasn't coming in and options moving forward with breastfeeding.  I decided that I would pump and give Holden whatever I could with a bottle and continue with the formula.

The rest of the week was much less eventful, thankfully, as we settled in to life with Holden.

family picture on Holden's 1 week birthday :o)

Holden's birth story

I had my last OB appointment on Monday, September 22.  Dave and I talked to the doctor about what our plan would be should baby not arrive by/on his due date.  We decided instead of waiting another week for baby to show up, the plan would be to check-in to the hospital on Sunday, September 28 at 9 pm to be induced.  The doctor then checked my cervix (hadn't dilated any further) and stripped my membranes to see if we could get Baby moving.

Around 1:30 am on Wednesday, September 24 (Baby's due date), I woke up and felt like I had a little fluid leaking.  I thought "well, I'm really pregnant so I think I might have just peed a little as I turned over."  I got up to go to the bathroom and couldn't really tell what it was so I went back to bed.  A little before 3:30, I had the same sensation with a little more fluid this time so I got up to the bathroom again.  I still couldn't tell for sure what it was so I went back to bed but decided to wake up Dave.  I told him I thought my water had broke.  He got out of bed quickly and he asked me how I knew, to which I said I didn't really know for sure.  I told him we should just go back to sleep until something more happened.  I decided to get up and check my hospital paperwork and saw that they want you to come in if you think your water broke.  I decided to just call the birthing center to see if they thought I should come in or not.  When I called, I told them that there hadn't been enough fluid leaked for me to tell what was really going on.  They told me to come on in and they would run a test to see if my water had broke or not.  I told Dave that we were heading to the hospital, so he started packing up the car as I got dressed.  For some reason, I decided I need to clean the toilet, clean up a few things in the kitchen, and put a few other things away before we left.  Once I was finished, we headed out for the hospital.

Dave drove us to the hospital, which is about a 4 minute drive from our place.  He parked the car and we entered through the emergency entrance.  On the way into the hospital, I had a big gush of fluid come out so then I knew we would be staying.  We checked-in with the receptionist, and as we were standing there, I had another big gush of fluid release.  We were directed up to the birthing center, where we were met by two nurses.  One of them directed us to room 1, where I changed into a gown and was hooked up to monitors.  One nurse did a swab test to make sure that it was my water that had broken.  The test came back about 15 minutes later with positive results that my water had broken.  The nurse started looking at my veins to see if she could find one to start an IV in.  She wasn't able to find anything so she decided to wait for someone else to look before they started poking.  A few minutes later, we were moved into a birthing suite.

Once we were in the birthing suite and I was all hooked up to the monitors again, they started looking for a vein again.  No one was able to find anything so they eventually called up the anesthesiologist so he could give it a try.  He dug around in both arms before finally getting a vein.  I was so glad that he was finally able to get in as I was just so over being poked at by that time.

Around 5:30 am, I was started on pitocin as my contractions weren't doing anything and I wasn't dilating any further.  Dave and I hung out for awhile, then started to make phone calls and send texts to tell people I was in labor.

I started to feel mild contractions a short time later and they intensified as the morning went on.  Around 11 am, the nurse checked my cervix and said I was at a 7.  I told her I was ready for the epidural.  I was so nervous to get the epidural that every time nurse anesthetist  touched my back to clean it/look for a good spot/etc., I would jump a little.  It really scared me that I would jump because I thought I'd be paralyzed for sure if I couldn't hold still.  It took a little while for the NA to find a good spot to put in the epidural and once they started putting it in, it felt like they were jabbing my hip with a knife.  I told them it hurt so they gave me another shot of Demerol and tried again.  This time they got in and it wasn't long before it kicked in and I was feeling good.

The nurse suggested that we try to sleep for awhile so that's what we did.  I woke up an hour or so later and laid in bed and shook.  At first I thought it was because I was cold, but then I realized it was because I was so nervous/scared about what was about to happen.

Around 1:30 pm, the nurse checked my cervix again and found I was fully dilated.  She took some time to tell me how to and show me where to push.  We did some practice pushes for awhile and then the nurse left to call my doctor.

Around 3:30 pm, I started pushing with the intention of getting baby delivered.  I pushed and pushed and got nowhere.  Baby was stuck behind my pelvic bone and I didn't think I would ever get him past it.  My epidural was doing the job of blocking the contraction pain but I could feel everything below the waist.  I started telling everyone that I couldn't do it anymore and my mind was so wrapped up in the pain that I had a hard time pushing with my all.  The nurse called my doctor again and she told them to top off my epidural.  It wasn't too long before the nurse anesthetist came in and added to my epidural.  Almost immediately most of the pain was gone and I felt like I could actually get baby out.  I was able to push whenever I had a contraction and was finally able to push Baby past my pelvic bone.  My doctor came in about 4:45pm.  The doctor had one of the nurse play tug-of-war with me with a blanket (she held the ends of the blanket and I held onto the "U" and I pulled) whenever I was pushing.  It helped quite a bit to have something to pull on besides my legs and Dave's shirt.  Around 6 pm, the epidural wore off again and I could feel everything.  The pain in my butt was unreal and that was what really hurt.  I felt like I'd been pushing forever and then all of a sudden I heard the doctor asked for a vacuum.  Apparently Baby decided to make a right hand turn before he exited so the doctor used a vacuum to get him out.  I think it took all of two minutes from the time she asked for the vacuum til the time he was delivered at 6:44 pm.

The doctor laid Holden on my chest immediately.  I can't remember what I said to him, but as soon as I said it, he turned his head to look up at me.  It was like he was thinking "hey, I know you!" :o)

The next thing I felt was the doctor pushing on my stomach and then the weird sensation of the placenta being delivered.  Then the next thing I knew, I was getting stitches.  I had second degree tearing so I received quite a few stitches, which I felt every stitch being placed.  I said "ouch" several times and the doctor would just say "yeah, it's a sensitive area".  I was so glad when she was all done.

Dave was right by my side through the whole thing, holding on to one of my legs.  While I was pregnant, we had talked about whether he would watch the delivery or not and he didn't think he would.  He ended up watching the whole thing and said that it was hard not to watch since everything was right there. ;o)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


Holden was born on his due date, September 24, 2014, at 6:44 pm.  He weighed in at 9 pounds 2 ounces as was 20 1/2 inches long.  His head was 14 3/4 inches around and his chest measured in at 14 inches.

More pictures, birth story, and week 1 post to follow.