Friday, June 14, 2013
Hollyn LOVES her baby brother. I was sure she'd have the biggest adjustment to make, and I wasn't looking particularly forward to it. But she sure loves the little guy, and has from the get-go. For the first few days the first thing she'd do in the mornings is check to see if he was still there, and would exclaim with delight, "The baby!" She doesn't have to check anymore, but she's always so happy to see him and loves giving him kisses every chance she gets. She does still need to learn that I can't attend to her the second she desires it... but that was already a disappointment to her, so nothing's changed there ;-)
The older boys are being great little helpers for me. I am SO thankful that Brian's week off coordinated with the last week of school. First of all, he was able to attend a couple of school things he ordinarily wouldn't have been able to, but also Brian's first day back at work yesterday was Brennan's first day of summer vacation. So I was able to utilize Brennan's presence to get through the day. Brennan and Asher played together better than normal, and whenever I needed someone to help Hollyn get into/out of her high chair or something like that, Brennan was on it! I didn't have to (and hope to make sure I don't) overuse him, but having him around to do a quick thing here and there that Asher can't do yet is a huge help.
Soooo, yeah. Things are pretty good. We're definitely still in an adjustment phase. Things are SUPER busy and schedule-less. I'm not ready to go anywhere where I'll likely have to nurse Kieran. But overall, ♫♪ "...there is hope smiling brightly before us..." ♪♫, so I'll take it! :-)
Sunday, June 9, 2013
Things improved yesterday after writing the post. I knew they would, I just didn’t know when. I felt like documenting the stress. See, I’m sort of afraid I may change my mind again in the future about having any more babies. I already hardly remember the morning sickness of this one, plus the delivery was so easy (a.k.a. almost painless). So I’ve tried to document the hard parts too so that I can look back on them and go, “Oh yeah, that’s right. I don’t want to go through that again!” Is that bad? I always wanted to foster/adopt children – so that door’s not closed. Ya know, should we ever reach a point where we could actually provide for any more…
But that’s off topic. Things improved yesterday. Brian took Kieran with him for a nice joined nap that lasted quite a while. In the mean time I was able to relax and let the hormones settle down too. Hollyn was napping, the boys were playing outside. It was a much needed quiet-time. I got in touch with someone selling a nice pump on Craigslist that lives nearby, and while Brian was out picking that up my milk supply came in. Whew! I was getting uncomfortable with potential bad habits from giving Kieran more and more formula from the dropper. I really didn’t want to mess up my chance to nurse. I can switch to pumping-exclusively at any time, but once I decide to stop breastfeeding I can’t go back. It’s a HUGE stress relief to have that milk finally here! And Kieran starting nursing better. So again, whew!
Things are going well (enough). Kieran has started throwing huge fits whenever he wakes up – it’s from gas. I’m not totally sure yet if there’s anything I can do about it. He gets so worked up that he won’t nurse or suck on a finger/pacifier or anything. It’s really hard to get him to calm down, then he starts all over again. It only lasts about 5 minutes or so, but it isn’t pleasant in the mean time. Plus, once he is calmed down there’s nothing to do but nurse him. So last night after a nice long sleep, he started waking up every hour going through this process. Which meant I was nursing him every hour. Thank goodness he’ll fall asleep after nursing – the saving grace.
Anyway, we’re sure happy to have this little guy. We love him so very much! Considering how little attention he got in the womb, I’m surprised at how totally smitten I was with him as soon as he emerged. I just want to smooch his little cheeks all day.
Saturday, June 8, 2013
I know I do. So here are all the juicy (um, ewwww) details of Kieran’s labor and delivery.
So as previous posts have stated, I’ve suffered more and different discomforts this pregnancy than others. One of the symptoms was contractions early and often. Though not regular. As my Dr. appointments neared the end here, I kept subtly mentioning this and the responses were generally something like, “Yep”. Dr. C mentioned talking about inducing, so I was getting my hopes up.
At the appointment this last Wednesday she said she had just finished being on call, and wouldn’t be again until the 10th, so perhaps we could makes plans to induce the 10th. I was so disappointed. I wouldn’t care so much about inducing, but I was scared to death of having another “too quick for an epidural” labor like I had with Asher. Brian and I mentioned things like that. My Dr. said that *maybe* the current on-call Dr. could be willing to induce, but… well, it would be elective after all. Things weren’t looking good.
Finally we mentioned the problem of me not reliably feeling the contractions of early labor. Only when things really get going – it’s all at once and almost over at that point. For the Dr.’s part, they wanted to make sure I had time to get my antibiotics due to being strep b + again. So my Dr. suggested hooking me up to the machine to see if I was having any contractions at all. That’s when we discovered I was having regular contractions every 3 minutes, most of which I couldn’t feel, and the ones I could feel it was only because I was concentrating on them. If I was still at home the busyness of the day would have overshadowed them.
Soooo, the on-call Dr. heard that, plus the fact I was 4cm dialated, and they decided why not. Conditions looked favorable that labor would happen quick once my water was broken.
Brian and I headed right over to the hospital next door. I got checked in and into my bed around noon. The nurse then started the time-consuming stuff of asking all those questions and inserting my IV for the antibiotics. Dr. M, the on-call Dr., then came in and asked if, since I was going to want an epidural, if I wanted to get that first before they broke my water. Ummm, heck ya! Why hasn’t that been an option in the past? This was the THIRD time I’ve had my water broken to start/continue labor. Sheesh. So, we began the epirual.
The medicine worked to numb me, but we did have some issues. My blood pressure dropped. I was immediately super tired – like on the verge of passing out asleep. And then nauseous. I even vomited. I had to be given anti-nausea medication plus something to restore my blood pressure. Ultimately, it all worked out. But I was loaded with meds. It’s amazing babies can withstand all that.
Finally when all was settled down, at 3pm, the Dr. came in and broke my water. I told her that my family has a history of having lots of fluid. The Dr. and nurse were laughing as my water was broken. “Oh my goodness, that IS a lot of water!” “Wow! It just keeps coming!” And on like that for several minutes. They were adding towel after towel to collect it. Lol. We all got a good chuckle out of that.
At that point, contractions started coming faster and stronger… so Brian told me. He was watching the monitor. I couldn’t feel a thing. We had started watching some TV by 5 when the Dr. came in and said “Let’s have this baby!” She checked my cervix which was apparently “gone”, and asked me to give a little push, non-contraction. Yep, he was ready. So I was put into position. I didn’t opt for the mirror, but it turns out I could see the reflection in the Dr.’s glasses. So for the first time I actually saw my baby emerge. I gave one push and his head was out. I gave a 2nd push and out came the rest of him. It all had happened so fast. Brian hardly had time to turn the TV off and walk over. One minute I was having my cervix checked, then a minute later the baby was laying on me. It made it all very surreal that way. Hollyn’s post-water breaking labor was 5 hours, and that was starting from a point where I was having uncomfortable contractions, so I was expecting at least that long this time.
After the delivery and my epidural removed, feeling came back quickly to my legs. As I walked to my post-delivery room the nurse commented on how impressed she was – most woman can’t walk on their own yet that soon after the epidural. I’m just a super woman I guess, which I guess I’d have to be since I was carrying a super hero baby (Batman).
Anyway, that’s the labor story. The rest has not gone quite so smoothly, unfortunately. Kieran is having nursing issues. *sigh* This has gotten so old! On the one hand I’m handling the pain better, or it hurts less or something. But my milk still hasn’t come in (it’s day 3). And, to make it worse, I don’t think I’m even getting much colostrum, which is supposed to be there right away. His pediatrician noted that Kieran’s tongue was dry as we were talking about how long my milk always takes to come in (and as a result that all my kids have been supplemented). The kid is parched. We’ve started giving him a little formula just dropped into his mouth from a medicine syringe. I don’t want to mess up his nursing by using a bottle. But, someone the nursing is messed up anyway. We introduced the formula BECAUSE he was having a fit and wouldn’t calm down and wouldn’t nurse. Even when we’d get him calm for a couple of minutes, he would start up again when I tried to make him nurse. Now this is happening more and more frequently. He won’t suck for more than a couple of minutes, both before and after we give him a little formula. And we haven’t given him much. Like 1.25ml. Just enough to wet his mouth and calm him down so he’ll nurse. But again, there doesn’t seem to be anything TO nurse. I realized this morning that I can’t remember the last time he had a wet diaper. I’m starting to get concerned. Unfortunately, since it’s a weekend, I have to wait until Monday to have things checked out.
And dealing with all this with Hollyn and the boys has been horrible! Hollyn already is in a crying/needy phase. She loves the baby and doesn’t appear jealous of him, but her normal needyness is NOT going over well when I’m emotional and distraught and worried and trying to get a baby to either eat or sleep constantly. Because since last night Kieran isn’t interested in staying asleep once he’s set down. He slept last night only when I held him on my arm in bed. And right now he’s asleep laying on Brian. Having this be the case is not super great with your other kids are whining “I want some lunch” etc. We don’t even have any snacks in the house for them to get themselves. So yeah, things sort of feel like they’re falling apart.
Oh and my pump doesn’t work. It got busted when I was using it with Hollyn so I’d borrowed one from WIC. But I only barely got it at that time because you have to be a working Mom to get priority. Nevermind that Hollyn wouldn’t nurse so pumping was the only way for her to get breastmilk. It mattered whether or not the Mom works outside the home, apparently. So I wasn’t sure I could get one from WIC this time just to supplement breastfeeding. Maybe Kieran will keep refusing to nurse too and I’ll qualify. BUT, as it’s a weekend, I’d have to wait until Monday anyway, so what to do the next 2 days I have no idea. If he won’t nurse now my milk supply will take even longer to come in, plus it won’t be as established quantity wise. Apparently the nursing in the first few days determines milk supply and helps the milk come in sooner. Ugh. It’s really stressing me out!
Anyway, that’s where we are now. We love our little Kieran and are SO glad he’s joined our family. I know the feeding and sleeping stuff will be sorted out eventually, I just have to endure until that time. Wish us luck and pray for me