Sunday, October 13, 2013

Breastfeeding well uh....

Breastfeeding has been hard to say the least. Now, I am going to be brutally honest in this post about breasteeding so I hope it doesn't offend anyone about what I have to say.

I am being well, truthful. Breastfeeding is damn hard. I am still trying to find the women who say it went so beautifully for them and was the easiest thing ever! Yeah, I kind want to have a few words with them. Yes, I do understand there are many women out there where breastfeeding just comes "natural" and yes I envy those women because I was not one of them.

In fact....we are still ironing out some bumps. Where do I even start?! Lets start with the fact that there is no amount of preparedness that can make you a breastfeeding champ besides the "extra" wealth of knowledge which flew out the window the minute Harper was born. We envisioned the birth and breastfeeding as something so amazing like kids running in fields full of dandelions. Ha, well try fields of dandelions with lots of thorns on the ground. 

As soon as we had Harper  they placed her on me immediately and they respected our wishes of not having her weighed, measured or cleaned until after an hour of bonding time with her. She laid on my chest and it was the most beautiful thing ever. During that time we let her try and find my breasts but she was so sleepy from all the meds that was not going to even began to happen. It didn't matter at that time because all three of us were in a place I can't even describe to you in words. It was just pure magic.

After the hour of our bonding time family came in and after an hour of them visiting we decided to try again with breastfeeding and my nurse Tina helped me out. It seemed so easy at that time. I was presently surprised. It felt weird, and it hurt but she was latched and that was all that mattered. After that we had our "celebration dinner". She started crying but as soon as we picked her up she was content. I continued to breastfeed her. It was going to perfect.

Then as the night creeped on we were exhausted. We got settled for the night. Got a new nurse and tried to go to sleep. At this time Harper started to cry and I put her on the breast right away. Nothing. Her latch was gone. Its like they switched our once beautiful latched baby with a different baby. She didn't want anything to do with my boob. Nothing. I called the nurse to have her come in and help me and she came in for a  brief moment said my latch was perfect and left. Long story short we got no sleep that night and no help. Finally, our night nurse changed and we got our new day nurse. She helped me with latch and called the Lactation Nurse to me right away. As soon as she came in I felt a sense of relief. Soon to find out one of the reasons Harper was not latching was due to my flat nipples. She left the room brought a nipple shield and helped me with it. Bam, our baby was back. She was latching no problem.

Long story short...I am still using the nipple shield, pumping/nursing like a mad woman, taking supplements to increase supply, doing all sorts of tricks to help milk supply, and trying to get away from formula supplementation since she dropped weight so drastically. We are doing pretty darn well because were down to one bottle a day and now my goal is to get away from the nipple shield!

One step at a time!
Till next time!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The long awaited post....the birth of our daughter!

Sorry it has been a long time since I last wrote! It has been crazy busy with our little one. Here is the long awaited post our our birth story! Enjoy! :)

Harper was born on September 14, 2013. Everything we wanted and made a plan for completely went out the window. I was in labor at home for over 30 hours! Our goal was to labor at home as much as possible and then go into the hospital to have the most stress-free and invasive-free experience. We really did want a "natural" birth, or at least give it our best go. My contractions started on Thursday the 12th pretty sporadic about every 45 minutes to an hour, but it wasn't until 3 in the morning on Friday the 13th that they got closer and consistent. They just continued to get worse and more intense as the day went on. I felt like I was doing great, or at least the best I could for labor! I remember at one point distinctly my contractions were 8 minutes apart and we were so sleep deprived that we would fall asleep for 8 minutes and then be woken up for the next contraction and so on. We were so exhausted. There is nothing like not being able to sleep because of contractions! By the time she was born, we were going on 4 days without any sleep! 

To make a long story short, when my contractions got 3-5 minutes apart, and I just couldn't take it anymore crying in pain, we went to the hospital. On Friday late afternoon we headed to the hospital to see what was going on. They checked me and I was 70 percent effaced and only 1 CM dilated STILL!! Are you kidding?!! I was in so much pain and my contractions were way too close but they sent us home. We tried to take the edge off and Sarah convinced me to try and go to dinner with her to take my mind off of things. I could barely make it through dinner. I just didn't understand how I could be contracting so constant, be OVERDUE by a week and a half, and they just send me home? I had to cut dinner early because of the pain and had Sarah bring me home. Before going to the hospital I had called my mom to let her know I was in labor so she could start to drive down here and now I just felt like a fool because they sent us home. 

We got home and Sarah did everything to try and help me feel better. She rubbed me, helped me take a warm bath, walked around the block with me at midnight. Everything. By this time, my mom had arrived and my contractions were coming every minute. Sarah was afraid I was going to have this baby at home,  and I didn't care if I looked like the crazy woman at the hospital, we were going back! By 1:30 in the middle of the night, we were back in L & D. These people weren't sending me home this time.  No way. No one could tell me that or I would just explode! The pain was unreal. Finally, they hooked me up to a contraction monitor that only goes from 0-100. My contractions were measuring 80-over 100 at points. The nurse came in to check me after being admitted this time.....STILL 70 effaced and 1 CM! They couldn't understand because they said and felt that my contractions were definitely intense enough that it should be opening me. I was crying and moaning in pain at this point. I didn't understand what was wrong. I pleaded that they induce me even though pitocin (evil, evil drug I was trying at all costs to avoid) was the last thing I wanted! At that point, I was no other way! Of course my doctor was on vacation and the covering doctor didn't feel comfortable inducing me! I was not leaving. They came to do an ultrasound to make sure of head placement and they couldn't get a good view of her head. There were three nurses pushing and squishing my stomach for 10 minutes. Come to the conclusion that Harper's head was kinked somewhat, so when I had a contraction, she wasn't dropped down to open or dilate me. That is what they gave me. FINALLY....after all of this, the doctor finds it best to induce me. By this time my contractions were constant and this almost 42 week pregnant woman was ready to get this baby out! They induced me with the smallest amount of pitocin to "open" me. Pitocin started at 6:30 A.M. (Yes they made me wait till then..) I had an epidural which I also wanted to avoid but by this point, I threw that all out the window since this was beyond my control. I'm pretty sure with the pain I felt without progression, I could of given birth naturally if only her head wasn't kinked! 

At 3:50 PM on Friday September 14, 2014, our beautiful 41 and a half week womb tenant, made he debut! She was 7.99 pounds and 20 inches long. I was sure she would be well over 8 pounds since she was so late! We could only imagine, if she were to be born "on time" she would of been 6ish pounds! Now being a mom, and knowing they drop weight, I'm glad she was late! It's scary how much they drop. She was absolutely perfect. This was such a life-changing moment. We had a birth photographer there to capture every moment, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Sarah watched the whole thing and as soon as Harper was coming out, she started to cry, before I could even see anything. I just knew she was seeing her and before I even saw her I started to cry just looking at Sarah and her reaction. They pulled her out, Sarah cut the cord, and they put her on my chest. It's a love I just can't describe.. This is our baby. I grew this baby from a one-cell organism. I remember the day they implanted the embryo inside me. Something so small you couldn't even see unless you had the most powerful microscope. 

This was our miracle. She was ours. It's just indescribable. I didn't even realize they needed to deliver the placenta. Having her on my chest, everyone but Sarah and Harper just disappeared. We got to spend our time with her, but no time would ever be enough with her. After an hour, our family was welcomed in to see Harper. I never felt so much love in one room before. It was incredible. Thankfully, even though I had a hard labor, I'm glad that there was a silver lining and only pushed for "26 minutes before Harper was out. That even included the so called "practice pushes." They said it was easily going to be over 2 hours. 

Breastfeeding started off rocky but we are finally getting the hang out it. My milk came in at day 5 or 6 and before that, my colostrum was nothing. Like teaspoons on a good day! We had a very rough first night, I wasn't producing any colostrum from her breastfeeding nor from pumping. Our nurse didn't want to help us, and refused to give us any formula. Trust me, formula was not what I wanted. It was actually the LAST thing we wanted. We wanted to EBF. If I am doing all I can for hours and still nothing, my daughter is not going to starve! She was just scream and scream and the nurse would come in and swaddle her and leave her screaming. She went 12 hours without any food. Finally with a new nurse in the morning, we got formula through the S & S tube. I've never felt like more of a failure in my life. I was furious at this nurse. We actually ended up being discharged the next day at night. We wanted to get out of there as soon as possible! I had a 2nd degree tear, but it was manageable. It is what it is, I say! We were determined to just breastfeed. It was an incredibly hard week. Harper dropped down to 6 pounds, 14 ounces and despite our daily lactation visits, we were left with no choice but to supplement until she got back to her birth weight. That did not take long since her body was playing some "catch up"! By the time she was back up to her birth weight, we took her off the formula and have been doing great since! My milk is increasing and we are only giving her 2 ounces of formula all day at night (if that). I'm still working on increasing my supply! I'm getting about 2-3 ounces every 3 hours. (breastfeeding post will come soon)!

Harper is almost a month. I can't even believe it. It makes me want to break down and cry! She's growing so fast. No one is joking when they say time flies. After having a baby, days literally feel like hours! I can't believe she will be a month this Saturday. She is weighing in about 7 pounds 12 ounces now. Our small little girl. It's been hard because everyone told us not to buy newborn. So we bought minimal and she can't even fit into some newborn things till just recently!

Enjoy the beautiful pictures from our birth photographer!

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