Monday, October 25, 2010

Before, during, and after

So, a friend of ours recently updated her blog with some tips that she has found helpful since having a beautiful baby boy. We thought this was a great idea. Here are some of things we have discovered along the way...

Before your bambino arrives:
1.) Just go ahead and sleep on the couch. I refused and fought this for a while but once I gave in I slept much better during pregnancy.
2.) Buy baby books and mentally prepare yourself to throw them out the window after he/she arrives.
3.) Try to maintain your exercise routine and try to avoid the donuts. I am now 50lbs heavier (still almost 6 weeks later) and it is tough to get it off!! Although those donuts were delicious!!
4.) Significant others - no she does not look fat in those sweatpants!
5.) You really only need to take one pregnancy test...not 10 (or 40)!!
6.) Invest in one of those schick Intuition razors. Once you can no longer see your legs shaving is a nightmare. This has the shaving gel already on it and it was very helpful.
7.) Go ahead and throw your modesty out the window now. You will be more emotionally prepared on labor day.
8.) Invest in a good pair of stretchy yoga pants! I lived in these towards the end!
9.) Enjoy the silence while you have it. The sound of her voice is usually comforting but sometimes it can really pierce your eardrums!! Especially when you are trying to burp her on your shoulder and she would rather do something else!
10.) Just know that you will never be prepared enough!

During labor:
1.) Believe you can do this!
2.) Make sure your modesty is nonexistent. Your butt will be exposed, your lady bits will be exposed, and your boobs will be exposed. There is no way around it.
3.) Know that when your water breaks it continues to leak for a bit of time. Like a warm stream of urine for about an hour.
4.) Shower right before you go to the hospital - you have know idea how long you will be there.
5.) Eat right before you go to the hospital - you have know idea how long you will be there.
6.) Significant others, no she is not pooping.
7.) Know that you will poop, make peace with it, and move on!
8.) Don't let your significant other eat a cheeseburger while you are in labor. I almost killed him for a bite!
9.) Bring your own toiletries - the shower afterward will be much better!
10.) Be willing to change your birth-plan!!

After your bundle of joy enters the world:
1.) Enjoy the first night in the hospital - our baby slept her best this night.
2.) Get a sleep sheep.
3.) Sleep and plays are great! Get the ones that zip. All those buttons at 3am can be irritating!
4.) Diapers can be an issue. We found trial and error was necessary before we found the right ones for Charlotte. It may be the most expensive aren't the best fit for you - BONUS!
5.) Make no major decisions during feedings midnight - 8am. We found we have very poor judgment during this time.
6.) Throw away those baby books!! They will drive you crazy. I do have the Baby Wise book and we follow it for the schedule but other than that we rely on our pediatrician for advice.
7.) Establish some sort of schedule and realize it will probably not stick everyday. It will work for the most part.
8.) If you think your baby has pooped - take a peek if you must but do not remove the diaper. This is a slow process for babies and we have wasted a lot of diapers.
9.) When you are changing your diaper for "just pee" take this off slowly, allow the cool air to hit his or her bits, and then lay the diaper back on the baby. We have found that Charlotte really likes to pee after we have removed the diaper. This saves a few diapers every now and then.
10.) Cut yourself some slack. This is a learning process for all parties involved and no one gets it "right" the first time around.

So, we are not experts. We do not even endorse the advice above all of the time but this is what we have found so far. If you follow something above and it doesn't work for you then try something else - duh ruh! Everyday is different and what worked today may not work tomorrow. Case in point - Charlotte is never fussy. Today she is fussy and it is catching me off guard!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The summer of George...

So, the title of this blog post may be confusing to some. For those of you Seinfeld fans you will know it is referring to George Costanza (my male counterpart). I am referencing George because this pregnancy and our newborn care (up to this point) has been the opposite of everything we thought it would be. There is a hilarious episode of Seinfeld where George decides to do the opposite of everything he thinks he should do - thus my inspiration for this post.

Let's start from the VERY beginning. We heard it would take months to get pregnant...the opposite...we were pregnant within a month of trying.

We thought we loved our OB/GYN...the opposite...we had the worst experience ever at our first prenatal appointment. The good thing is that we were referred to the fabulous Dr. Gayle Dean!!

We thought we were having a boy...the opposite...IT'S A GIRL!!

We thought I was going to be able to run and keep up my usual activity level during the pregnancy...the opposite...I gained 55lbs and could barely climb a flight of stairs. That is rapidly changing I might add! I am attempting to regain some shape to my body and regain some endurance.

We heard first time moms always have their babies late...the opposite...she was a week early.

We wanted a natural childbirth...the opposite...pitocin, epidural, IV ABX, and internal fetal monitoring during labor. We are glad, however, that she was born happy and healthy!

The hardest opposite to swallow so far...we thought we were going to breastfeed...the opposite...we can't. I say 'we' to try and take the blame off myself for a bit but it seems to fall back on my shoulders. I am learning to make piece with this issue but you can't help but feel slightly less of a mom. The story is below. I vowed this blog would be open and honest and as much as I want to forget this is all happening and pretend we are breastfeeding champions of the world, I can't.

I am sure there are more but I am a little scatter brained right now. Case in point, I was allotted my hour of free time out of the house and I ventured to babies R us for more diapers and formula. Cart full and coupons in hand I approached the cashier only to realize I did not have my debit card - nice.

So, the breastfeeding story. You do everything they say to do - skin on skin post delivery, attempt to breastfeed as soon as possible, allow them to nurse as long and as frequently as they want initially, massage, pump, etc. We did all this and thought things were just tough because they are tough when you have a newborn. In the hospital we ran into our first issue - she nursed for an hour without satisfaction. We would keep trying and she would still be "hungry" appearing. We had the lactation consultants come in and they provided us with a supplemental nurser - a device to provide formula while still breastfeeding. She gobbled it up! For some reason this did not send up any red flags. We brought her home and continued the way we were instructed. Our first weigh in at the pediatrician went okay and the second one we actually gained weight!! We thought, okay the nights are horrendous but its working so let's keep going. The third weigh in she showed signs of losing weight. She was born tiny so weight loss was not okay with the pediatrician. At this point she instructed us to supplement formula at every feeding and to pump to determine what/if I had a good milk supply. The result - nope! I was able to produce about 2oz of breastmilk in 24 hours - this is less than what she eats at one feeding!! I am still pumping and am able to provide her one serving of breastmilk a day. I guess something is better than nothing...

This is tough for me. The thought that "breast is best" is shoved down your throat the second you find out you are pregnant and when you can't provide your daughter "the best" you feel like you aren't doing your job as a mother. I will say that once we started feeding her she has become a much happier and more alert baby - I guess starving her wasn't something she enjoyed. Robbie has been pretty supportive during this but you can't help but think you are letting him down too. This is his daughter too after all.

So, at this point we are formula feeding and it makes her poop stink something awful! The good news - she only poops once a day (pediatrician is aware and says this is fine). The bad news - she only poops once a day and it is HUGE!!!

We had our two week check-up yesterday and she is absolutely thriving!! She is back to her birth weight, 6lbs 1 ounce, and she has grown an inch - 19.5 inches!!! She is sleeping pretty well during the night too!! We have her on a strict feeding schedule during the day and at night we try to get her sleep up to 5 hours at a time - so far we have hit that mark once! It is still early and I am not expecting her to sleep through the night. I am just glad we have a little predictability to her feeding schedule. This helps me maintain the delusion that I am in control over anything going on in my life right now!

All in all things are going okay in the Wagoner household. Charlotte is so adorable and she makes the most hilarious faces sometimes. I'm not going to pretend it is all lollypops and flowers - it is tough work. On the days I am here alone my schedule surrounds her feedings and I am lucky to have an hour and half between feedings to do other things - laundry, cleaning, showering, etc. Besides all the wonderful health benefits of breastfeeding, there is also a lot less dishwashing to do! It is all worth it, though, and I am so grateful she is in our lives!

We have gotten the go ahead to take Charlotte out into the world but I cannot bring myself to do it yet. We haven't really even left the second floor of our town home yet...once we did and I had heartburn the whole time!

Well, that's all I can think of right now. My mind is constantly racing and I am slowly getting to the point where I can organize my thoughts. Hopefully the posts will get better!