Monday, May 24, 2010

Lazy Sucker!

I knew parenthood would be difficult, but it is so different than what I had expected. Things I had anticipated to be difficult aren't even applicable and then situations I never even thought of have presented themselves. Every day is an education in patience. I am learning so much and still loving it. I mean, how could you not love this dude?

Hunter is doing really well. He had lost more than the average 5-10% after birth but he's well above his birth weight now and steadily gaining. He had lost the weight due to being a "lazy sucker" which is the medical diagnosis and now also his nickname. He has a good latch and likes the boob, but isn't super interested in eating. He definitely doesn't get this from my side of the family.

After Hunter's second pediatric appointment for a weight check it was recommended that I see a lactation consultant at The Pump Connection (If you need it, this place is fantastic). The lactation consultant surmised that Hunter's laziness at emptying my breast caused my milk production to wane which in turn made him think what he was getting was all he got and he just accepted it and lost close to a pound in the first 10 days.

Now I have a very intense feeding schedule, which is super frustrating. I have to feed every 2 1/2 hours, which is fine if it was only breast feeding. But this schedule involves 10-15 minutes on each breast, pumping for 15-20 minutes, then he gets a bottle of previously expressed breast milk and then about an ounce of formula. So between breast feeding, making and cleaning bottles and pumping it takes me anywhere from 50-75 minutes to feed the Lazy Sucker! And this is at every feeding! 8-9 times a day! We do a bit better at night because he LOVES to sleep (my one saving grace) so he's only on the breast for a few minutes and he gets a bottle while I try to pump. Then he goes right back to sleep.

The good news is that my milk production is coming up slowly but surely and the Lazy Sucker is more interested in breast feeding than bottle. And he's finally fitting into newborn clothes. He had been wearing preemie outfits, which we had none of because we were told constantly throughout this pregnancy that Hunter was going to be a huge baby. He was measured in the 90th percentile at my 28 week appointment (but I was later told this is normal because they have random growth spurts) and at my 37 week ultrasound he measured in the 67th percentile. At birth Hunter was near the 50th percentile but by the time he got home he was a scrawny lad and at 6 1/2 lbs he was swimming in newborn clothes.

We went to the pediatrician today and I am glad to say Hunter is in good health and we no longer need to go in for weight checks!!!! He's just shy of 8 pounds. And I say good health instead of great because the little man has a blocked tear duct. This is pretty common and no big deal and the treatment is easy. We just have to keep it clean and massage the area a few times a day. Oh, and the best part: squirt breast milk directly in the eye. Breast milk is like a cure all because of it's antibiotic properties. Like if a baby scratches itself a bit deep with a fingernail, put some breast milk on it. Your nipples crack, rub some breast milk on them. Truly amazing stuff. Here are some other uses.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Almost Normal, Finally

Hunter will be 2 weeks old tomorrow and I've been out of the hospital for 10 days. Things are starting to feel normal, finally! A very different normal, but I feel like I'm actually experiencing life rather than being in the fog that was the first week. It's wonderful being a mother, I am loving my little boy!

Hunter was born on May 4th, 2010 at 5:21 pm via cesarean section after 30 hours of induced labor. 30 hours sounds like a long labor, but it wasn't so bad.

Below is Hunter's birth story. Some of this is repeated from my previous post, but here is the full story, for inquiring minds.

It all started at 10 am on 5/3/2010 when my regularly scheduled NST showed my amniotic fluid levels were lower than they should be and Hunter's heart rate was a bit low. Not huge issues alone, but combined with low PAPP-A and my aging placenta my doctor thought inducing would be the best plan of action. I was already admitted in the hospital so I just stayed put where I was.

At 1pm I was given Cervidil to help with dilation and effacement. It's just a little suppository inserted like a tampon that you can't really feel. Sometimes it causes huge amounts of dilation and effacement and can cause intense contractions leading to labor. This was not the case for me. At midnight I was only 2-3 cm dilated and 70% effaced with only minor contractions. So I was given Pitocin.

I had heard such terrible things about Pitocin causing horrendous pain, which made me so ambivalent about taking it. My fears were eventually assuaged once I realized the cramping was only a bit worse than period like pains. Maybe it's worse for some women, but I'm tough! ;) It was definitely uncomfortable and I got no sleep that night.

At 10 am on May 4th I was checked again and was still 3cm and only 80% effaced. So my doctor decided to break my water. It only took about 30 seconds, but a very uncomfortable 30 seconds. Basically, they lay you down, put a bunch of towels under you and shove what looks like a plastic crochet hook up your vajay jay. It felt like water gushed out, but Adam was surprised at how little fluid there actually was. It's all down hill from that point.

Almost instantly my contractions were extremely intense and very regular, coming every 2 minutes and lasting for more than a minute. And I couldn't leave the bed because they constantly had to monitor Hunter, so I was laying on my side and would curl into a ball of pain every time a contraction came. We had 2 massagers and a tennis ball that was recommended by our child birth teacher. None of these devices offered any relief. I was actually asking Adam to punch me in the back. And after 1 hour of such extreme pain (I'm not so tough after all :() I was ready for some pain relief.

I started off with a Stadol cocktail. Such a waste of time for me. It did nothing except make me feel high. So I was really high with a lot of pain, not cool. SERIOUSLY, NOT COOL! So I held on for 2 hours and decided to get an epidural.

Getting the epidural was the scariest part of the birthing process. Just hearing the risks associated with it will give you a panic attack. But the pain I felt was enough to make me accept the risk of possible paralysis. And because no part of my labor could be easy, it took them 5 tries to insert the needle in my spine. I'm not super jumpy about this because I've had a ton of spinal taps, but poor Adam turned white.

Unfortunately, the epidural only took on my right side, I could still feel the cramping and a weird stinging on my left. And they wouldn't let me lay on my left side, which is supposed to help, because they were having trouble monitoring Hunter in any other position than the one I was in. But I definitely felt much better.

3 1/2 hours later, at 4:30pm, I was checked again. I was 100% effaced, but only 4cm dilated. The nurse looked at me and I knew the news was not good. Then I got a call from my doctor. She was worried that I had already been in labor for 30 hours with such little progress. And Hunter's heart rate was low. She thought it was dangerous for both Hunter and me to let me labor any longer. I had a break down at this point. I did not want a c-section. And I was left with no choice.

I was immediately prepared for emergency surgery. I was given an awesome shave, totally ruined my lady business. Then they gave me better drugs that numbed me from ribs to hips, but I could still use my legs. And they wheeled me to the OR. Adam and my mother came in 10 minutes later. Adam timed the c-section, and from start to finish it took 7 minutes. At 5:21 pm, I got to meet my son.

Lauren & Hunter

Monday, May 3, 2010

Bloggin' in the Hospital

It's looking like May 4th will be Hunter's birthday! Which means I'm in for a long night :( Too bad I was up at 4am with indigestion from the spicy Indian food from last night's dinner. I can't say that the food put me in labor, but it sure made the baby want out.

I came to the hospital this morning for my regularly scheduled NST and the baby had a lower baseline heart rate again (guess he doesn't like Chicken Tikka Masala). So they scheduled yet another fetal biophysical that showed my amniotic fluid level was low. The nurse told me my OB would be coming to see me in an hour. At that point I pretty much knew the baby was coming out one way or another. Now the heart rate was still in the normal range, but on the lower end, not a big deal. But you combine that with my aging placenta, low PAPP-A, and low fluid levels and the doctor just wasn't comfortable with leaving him in. So she decided to induce me.

I've been in the hospital for 7 1/2 hours now with no real change. They started the induction at 1:15 with Cervidil. This really only effaces and dilates the cervix and shouldn't really cause any contractions. And my contractions right now are very minor, barely more than a cramp. At 1am they'll examine me to see if the medication's working. If it does work I start Pitocin at that point. If it doesn't ripen much, then I wait another 12 hours to start Pitocin! Ughhh.... That means it could be tomorrow night before I have this guy! And more than 24 hours without food!!!

I'm feeling very anxious about this process and a little sad. I feel like I'm missing out on the natural process of birth. I didn't get to have that panicked feeling of "It's Go Time!" Nor do I get to feel the natural progression of labor. Luckily, my husband is being an angel right now. He keeps trying to reassure me of how great it is that it's stress free and we don't have to experience any real panic. And we're doing this for the little man. That's what's important.

For the time being I'm happy and baby is healthy. And at least I have TLC and WiFi!


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