March 30, 2007
Throwing in the nipple!
I gained 7 ounces!! Woohoo!
Today was Sienna's fourth doctor's visit, maybe even fifth I can't remember! She weighed in at 6 lbs, 1 ounce! That's a 7 ounce weight gain! Woohoo!! When she was born, she weighed 5 lbs, 15 oz. The day after we took her home from the hospital, she was 5 lbs, 7 oz. Last week she was 5 lbs 10 oz so she is doing good. It's good to hear especially since it seems like she's eating a lot more lately.
I've decided to throw in the towel, or the nipple rather and give up on the breastfeeding. I truly believe that I'm one of those anomalies where my body can't produce very much breast milk. I joked about my breasts not growing very big during my pregnancy and they never really became engorged after birth either. Someone had mentioned on one of those mom boards (yeah, I'm reading them, can you believe it??!!) about having funny shaped nipples and not being able to produce milk. Well, I always thought I had funny looking nipples even though Yves protests (as he should!) Or it could just be that I never was ble to get Sienna latched on to my boobs and the pump not being a strong enough suction to tell my body to make more. Whatever the case, I'm not going to beat myself up over it. She's gaining weight! That is what is important!
Thank goodness for TLC and the show Bringing Home Baby. I watched an episode yesterday and man, did it help me feel a lot better! Seeing other couples going through the same things me and Yves are going through really helps. And the couple they showed yesterday were doing formula and she didn't mention about feeling guilty or anything so why should I? I was also watching a show on Discovery about 2 women giving birth. One vaginally and one via C-section. It's funny because I couldn't bring myself to watch it before I gave birth. Now I say, bring it on! I'm fascinated!
March 26, 2007
What's a plastic nipple got that I don't?
Wow! Sienna is 2 weeks old! We were released from the hospital on the 14th. Before we left, we took a postpartum class where we learned how to change the baby's diaper, burp her and swaddle her. It was very helpful but I wish we learned it sooner. The woman teaching the class is also a lactation specialist so she helped me get Sienna to my breast, which I was having trouble with. She told me to keep practicing with her. Well, she made it seem so easy at the hospital and it looked like Sienna was taking to my breast. She said it didn't matter if she just got my nipple (which is the total opposite of all the books!) as long as she was latching on. I was quite relieved but it was a different story when I got home. She kept struggling to keep my nipple in her mouth. I don't know what changed! Because she's a preemie (even tho they said her birth weight is a good weight) the pediatrician at the hospital wanted me to supplement with formula to make sure she gets enough to eat. And that's what is most important, that she gets enough to eat! But boy, did I feel like a failure! I took for granted how hard this breastfeeding was going to be and the books don't really help make you feel better. They are so pro breastfeeding and speak so highly of the benefits but don't tell you how difficult it could be that it makes you feel guilty that you can't provide this simple little thing for your baby. I since learned that the majority of mothers I know had trouble with it!! I'm trying to pump as much as I can so at least I can fool my body into making more milk and also give the baby my milk via bottle so we don't always have to rely on formula. For now, I barely get an ounce of milk a day. It was hard to find time to pump during the first week and a half. It was stupid of me to try to be super mom during that time and I hope I didn't miss the window of opportunity to produce more milk. It's crazy the things I worry about now!
It really is truly amazing how the birth of a child can really change you. I don't think fathers can feel it as strongly as mothers can, I mean, shoot, I was the one that carried her for 8 months and pushed the little bugger out 2 weeks ago (and without DRUGS! Need I remind you?!) I'm sure as I get more and more used to the idea that, SHIT, I'm somebody's mother! I'll get back to my more normal self but right now I can't even think about all the other things I was interested in. Art? not right now. Concerts? not right now. Stare at the baby all day? Hell yeah! Be amazed that me and Yves produced this little wonder? Hell yeah! We haven't even really gone camera crazy with her just yet either! I guess we are still in a state of shock and as the weeks go by, we'll come back down to earth a little more.
March 16, 2007
The day Sienna was born...
So where I last left off, they were going to induce me on Friday. At least I was able to go back over to the labor and delivery side and the luxury of a spacious room by myself and much nicer nurses. Friday nite at around 11, the doctor gave me the first dose of medication to help soften the cervix and open it up a bit. I forgot what it was called but it looked like a shoelace and gets administered every 12 hours. I had cramping all night, nothing major. Yves felt bad leaving me alone that night but since this was so unexpected, there were things that needed to be done at home. Yves' sister Liz was going to take care of Skippy, he had to arrange Neo's feeder and get some other things settled. He came back early Saturday morning and Tammy came in the afternoon.
And speaking of Tammy. My dear, dear Tammy. I cannot begin to give enough props to this woman. I'm still getting teary eyed just thinking about it. She was there for the majority of the time (minus a few hours which I'll get to later) and was there for the birth of Sienna. She is an amazing person. Her energetic, upbeat, positive persona helped me tremendously throughout all this and I can't even imagine having to go through it without her there. She even made a big impression on my mother!!
Joy also came by and helped passed the time with good conversation and food. My parents also got them noodles from Chinatown so the room was filled with talking, laughing and eating. One of the nurses even called our room the happy room! I got another dose of meds at 11 am but as far as any contractions, it was pretty uneventful, just cramping. Later on that night, it was time to try different meds, I remember the name of this one! It's called Miso (not sure if it's spelled correctly) and that needs to be administered every 3-4 hours. Well, that did even less than the other stuff! I was barely even getting cramps and it helped soften up the cervix a little but not much. I must have gotten about 4 doses of that throughout Saturday and Sunday. The Sunday night nurse, Jackie, came in to introduce herself (I like when they do that!) and she even took a step further by sitting us all down and explaining everything that was going to happen to us during labor. Everything! Much to Joy's chagrin. LOL. She really didn't want to hear any of it. Tammy loved it and mopped it all up. I pretty much already knew most of everything she told us because of the childbirthing classes but it was nice to get a refresher course. Jackie was extremely nice albeit a bit gruff but the fact that she took the time out to do all that explaining AND set up the couch bed with sheets and gave Tammy a pillow and more sheets for the extra bed and gave everyone slipper socks.
That night the doctor said we might have to reconsider what to do next since the meds weren't really doing anything. He wanted me to get another sonogram Monday to check on my fluids again and he wasn't going to give me any more meds that night so I can get some rest and sleep. He was going to consult with the high risk OB to see what he says about it. I asked him if having a C-section was in the equation and he said no, everything looks ok to still have a natural vaginal birth. I also asked him if there was any other reason why he wouldn't give me another dose of meds that night. He said no, he would if I wanted him to and I did. I wanted to be proactive with this! When we first agreed to get induced, we (as in me, Yves and Tammy) were thinking it would be no time before I was in labor! None of this 2+ days shit! So he gave me another dose of miso at probably around 10:30ish. We were all kinda bummed that nothing was really happening. It felt like 'gee, all this for nothing?' I had a feeling I wasn't going to leave the hospital without a baby in my hands but how long was that going to be? I longed for home and my own comfortable bed and not to be constantly hooked up to a monitor and blood pressure cuff.
So Tammy was considering going home for a few hours to spend some time with Mark and get some rest to come back tomorrow. She was conflicted because she didn't want to leave and I felt bad that she spent so much time with us without anything happening but I wanted her to come up with the decision on her own and didn't want to persuade her either way. She decided to head home around 11:15.
Ok, so if you are still reading down to this, get ready for some action finally!
My water ended up breaking at around 2:20 am Monday morning. I wasn't quite positive it was my water breaking, it just felt like I peed in the bed. When the nurse came she told me it was my water breaking and I was still in disbelief. Something was finally happening! I wasn't allowed to get out of bed so I had to use a bed pan. Er, yuck! For some reason a nurse told me I had to stay in bed until the doctor came and checked me out to make sure the umbilical cord wasn't hanging down to choke the baby because we weren't sure where the baby's head was. I later found out that that was wrong. Hmmm. Anyway, it felt really weird peeing into a bed pan but relieving at the same time.
Oh, the pain!
My doctor came by in the morning to check on me and I think I was barely .5 centimeters dilated, I can't remember now. He let me get up and eat a little bit, take a shower and walk around the room a little bit before putting me on the Pitocin. The Pitocin is what will jump start my labor and move it into the active phase. I believe it was started by 9:30 am. And now things start moving!! I can't remember how long it took but the labor pains were definitely increasing. Before I knew it, I was really in excruciating pain and the nurses said they would ask the doctor to give me drugs if I was in that much pain. I refused it at very first but then after awhile I said to hell with it! GIMME!!
When the doctor showed up, he asked if I could hold out for a little longer. He felt it was still too early to give me any drugs and I begrudgingly complied. He told me to just continue breathing through the contractions. Yves and Tammy helped me breath through the pain. Jackie had given me a little tip about breathing through the pain. Inhale through nose (smell the roses) and breath out through the mouth (blow out the candles). Tammy gave me a better analogy for it since the blowing out the candles part wasn't really accurate. Inhale (take a toke) and exhale (release the toke) and that worked out well for all of us.
It felt like within a matter of minutes of the doctor leaving, the pain was just one on top of the other and it felt like the baby wanted to come out. I was told not to push and I wasn't and it still felt like she wanted to come out. They brought the doc back and we told him it wasn't this bad before so he decided to check me out. Guess what?! I was fully dilated!!! Therefore there wasn't any time for any narcotics or an epidural at all!!! The doc went to change into his scrubs and the nurse got everything ready and here we gooooooooo!!!!!!
According to the doctor, the pushing part only took about an hour!! I had Yves on my left holding up my leg doing the counting, Tammy on my right holding up that leg and then everytime there was a contraction, I was to push one long push for 10 counts really hard and they had to hold up my legs. The first series of pushes I did, I grunted. The doctor told me not to do that and save my energy for the pushing. Then he realized that the 2nd series of pushes were kinda wimpy and told me to go back to grunting! Well, before you know it, our little baby girl comes out!! OH MY GOODNESS how good it felt to have it all over with and to learn she's got all her parts and everything was fine with her!!
Unfortunately I didn't get to stay very long in the L&D room because they needed it! So many babies being born!! So I had to go back over to the other side. UGH. I had a bunch of visitors come by tho. Yves' sister Liz, the bumblebees Ruthie and Denise, Joy and Nuno, who also bought me beautiful pink tulips! I was completely exhausted but got to go home on Wednesday! YAY!!!!!
Now a new journey begins...
March 15, 2007
The Road to Sienna...
She's here!! Our beautiful little baby girl! Sienna was born March 12, 2007 at 12:31 pm. Yep, my due date was April 8 and believe us, we weren't expecting her this early either! I'm a mix of emotions right now, still a bit overwhelmed and my mind is a big mush. I probably should be sleeping while she is sleeping but I just can't so I figured I'd chronicle this event while it's still fresh in my mind. This is going to be a long one!
So last Wednesday, the 7th I was admitted into the hospital for observation because my high risk OB felt my blood pressure was too high (I have to tell you we aren't big fans of his, we've nicknamed him the primadonna doctor.) Of course I was totally bummed out about it but knew it was a possibility and was hoping I didn't have to stay that long. On the plus side, they admitted me into a labor and delivery room, which is very spacious and roommate free.
Trying to stay positive while in the hospital. Can you see how excited I am about dinner?
So on Thursday, it was looking like I might be able to go home by Friday afternoon. My regular OB raised the dosage on my blood pressure meds and they just wanted to keep me one more night to observe how the increase in the dosage went. Plus I had to finish my 24 hour urine collection so they can check for proteins, which is a sign of preeclampsia. That was fun. I also needed to get another sonogram to check my fluids. Apparently, the one on Wed. indicated that my fluids were too low for being in the 35th week. I also had to go to the eye doctor to check my retinas since high blood pressure can effect them. Tammy and Joy came by to see me after work and of course, Yves was there. Plus I got a bunch of phone calls and that helped me pass the time.
Friday was tough as I was very antsy in the hospital and my appointments for the sonogram and eye doctor were very late in the afternoon. Not only that, but they moved me out of my room and over into the maternity ward side. They needed the room for all the laboring mothers coming in (they had gotten 7 in last night!) Let me tell you, the maternity ward is like another country. The rooms are a quarter of the size AND you have to share. Plus the nurses were not as friendly as the other side. I was miserable and was really hoping I was going home because frankly, being there wasn't helping my blood pressure! I got the sonogram first and while waiting for the eye doctor, my regular OB came by to see me with the results. Turns out my fluids are even LOWER!! And now he wants to INDUCE before things might turn worse! At current, everything was fine and the baby is happy inside. I did have some proteins in my urine, not enough to indicate preeclampsia but enough to think that it might be brewing. So he wanted to get the baby out before the baby becomes unhappy.
Wow. We didn't see that one coming! Of course you know that we agreed to induce but we were weighing the options. I've been going to my OB for many years and I trust and respect his opinion so that helped in deciding to do it.
Tomorrow I will continue with the story of my induction, if that is the correct way to say it. It was a dooseeee!!
March 05, 2007
Shower, Baby, Shower!
This past Saturday was my baby shower, wonderfully organized by Tammy and Joy. They did a great job of doing everything and keeping me out of the loop. I had to resist really hard and not offer up my services to make baby shower favors or cook or bake something. Not that they would have taken me up on it. They had food, decorated the place, and Joy even ordered cute little baby shower candles for favors!! I didn't want to play silly games so they were kind enough to do me that favor. They did make me and Yves wear the 'hat' which we were both unfamiliar with.
I wish someone told me how greasy my hair looked!! Or at least to brush it! It was a beautiful sunny day in the 60s. While opening the present from Peter, Skippy kept jumping up on the box! It was so cute and funny and he only did that with that gift. Guess he wants to sit in the booster seat!
Thank you so much to my hubby Yves, Tammy and Joy for organizing it. And thanks to Pete, Liz, Elianna, Tom, Maureen, Brenda, Robyn, Alan, Denise, Ruth, Cindy and Cory for the wonderful gifts and for coming!! Woohoo!! Here are the cute candles that Joy ordered. Yes, JOY!! Even though she doesn't wrap her gifts or get cards, she ordered the shower favors! HAHA!
March 02, 2007
Most Awesome Mail!
Fellow blogger and generally awesome person, Jennifer sent me this box full of great goodies the other day!
We never officially met but I discovered her blog about a year and half ago when she was hosting a CD mix swap and I've been keeping up with her craftiness ever since. She and her sister have a wonderful shop and they know how to sew! If I was working, I'd definitely own a bunch more of their pouches than the one I currently own. She included adorable sock monkey onesies and a bib for the baby, bones for skippy and lots of fun stuff for me!
Of course Skippy just knew there was something in there for him! Thanks again Jen!!
March 01, 2007
Last Friday was a bumblebee birthday/Christmas dinner and we went to Mooncake Foods. YUM! Everything we had was just delcious! You can see the menu here. The people were super nice too. For starters we had the crawfish dumplings, chicken wings with honey and soy and lobster and mango summer rolls.
It was really dark in the restaurant so it was hard for my camera to focus. Plus I will spare the rest of the bumblebees and not post their pictures mid eating. For the entrees, I got the fish special, grilled tilapia with ginger and scallion. It came over vegetables and a side of brown rice. Do I have to say it? Ok, YUM! Joy got the Shanghai homestyle short ribs, Denise got the grilled chicken with garlic lime and Ruth got the lemongrass shrimp. For dessert, we shared banana cheesecake and key lime pie. And the price was right too!! Didn't put a dent in my already thin wallet! I would definitely go back here again!