Archive for March, 2007
I was given a lot of advice during my pregnancy (of course, I was looking for a lot of advice), so I thought I would document what I’ve discovered.
- Shirts w/mittens – I didn’t think these were all that special when the hospital put Ian in one when he was born. Since then, I’ve come to love these. Ian has a tendency to claw at his face when he starts screaming and he has even started pulling on his own hair. The mittens actually help prevent him from doing this. These things around ingenious and I wish I could find more of them. They are actually really hard to find.
- Boppy – While I’ve been told that your standard pillow works fine for nursing, I have to disagree. I’ve tried using a standard pillow but it doesn’t work as well. The thing the Boppy has going for it is that it’s a lot thicker than a lot of pillows. Breastfeeding is not luxurious, it can literally be a pain in the back. Holding an 8lb baby up to your breasts will get tiring after awhile; so you’ll get in the habit of bending over a little so you can rest him on your legs or knees or on the pillow. I found that I was having to bend over more so Ian could eat and I could still be comfortable. The other nice thing about the Boppy is you can still use it after you have switched over to formula. It can also be used for tummy time and as a recliner.
- Tummy Time & Toys – You can’t forget about tummy time. When I was registering stuff for Ian, I never once put any toys on it because I didn’t think he would appreciate them just yet. However, the doctors will tell you before you leave the hospital to make sure you put your new child on their tummy at least once a day. I found this mat/boppy set that helps Ian be on his tummy and he seems to enjoy it. It has a couple of toys attached to it that “try” and get his attention, but he’s still working on that. Just make sure that you have something to play with. He may not be able to focus on it right away, but he’ll be able to do that sooner than you think.
- Electric Pump – Don’t get a manual pump unless you don’t plan to pump. I originally wanted a manual pump because I didn’t want to waste the money on an electric. I’ve sinced come to realize that it is not a waste of money to get an electric. I mean, when using the pump, you have to maintain the same speed at your breast or it doesn’t work as well. After two minutes of trying to keep the pump going, my hand was getting tired. If you’re going to pump a lot, you’re going to get sore awfully quick. So don’t get a manual, go for the electric. (on a side note, we now have an electric pump so if anyone wants to borrow it after we’re through, it’s here. Although, you do have to get your own kit to go with it.)
- No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley – I’m still reading this book, but I do recommend it. While I haven’t gone through the actual solution, there seems to be a lot of general good advice that should be common sense. Also, she even admits that this system may not work on newborns, but it’ll help you once your child leaves the “newborn” stage and can begin getting on a schedule. Check back for my review of the book later.
In an effort not to make this a huge post, I’ll stop here for now.
Last night, Jesse and I started Ian’s bedtime routine again. We kind of went off of it when he got sick a couple of weeks ago and it’s been a sleepless time since. That was when Ian started sleeping on my chest out in the living room. We kind of got off to a rough start last night. Ian and I ended up back on the couch; but the good news is he didn’t wake up until 6am this morning, at which time he wanted to be fed. Afterwards, I was able to put him in his bed and I got to sleep in my bed from 6:15 to 9:30 this morning! Not only did I sleep in my bed, but I slept next to my husband instead of my son! That was a first in about 2-3 weeks.
Tonight, Jesse and I took Ian for a walk to get the mail and when we got back, we started his bedtime routine again. The routine usually consists of reading to him, changing him, feeding him, burping him, and then putting him in his bed with the hope that he’ll sleep. Last night, we added reading to him as well, but he was being really fussy, so we didn’t get much in. Today, we started the routine with a bath, changed him and put him into his pajamas, brushed his hair, read Aesop’s Fables to him, and started to nurse. We got through about 10 minutes of nursing when he promptly fell asleep. I had Jesse make sure his bed was ready for him and that our bed was cleared (the three of us spent most of the day in our bedroom) and then we put him down to sleep. He hasn’t gotten up yet.
We’re going on an hour of straight sleeping and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that he stays asleep for the rest of the night. If you can’t tell, I’m really looking forward to sleeping in my bed all night. :)
There are a ton of reasons why mothers should breastfeed; however, there are reasons not to breastfeed as well. Granted, a lot of those reasons deal more with convenience than anything, but it’s important to know both sides. I’ve been wrestling with the idea of discontinuing Ian’s breast milk, but I haven’t made a decision yet. Either way, here are my thoughts.
One of the main reasons I like breastfeeding is it help you lose the baby weight faster. Seriously, this is not a myth. Ian was born about 4 weeks ago and I’ve already down to 205 lbs. I was 217 lbs when the doctors weighed me back in July 2006 when we first found out I was pregnant. I’ve lost 12 lbs more than I initially had! My ultimate goal is to get below 180 and if breastfeeding can help me do that, I’m going to try it.
I’ve also heard that breastfed babies are less likely to die of SIDS. Anything I can do to try and prevent this from happening to Ian, I’ll take. Like I’ve said before, there is no way to prevent SIDS, if it’s going to happen, it’ll happen; but if there is anything I can do to reduce the risk, I’m all for it.
Breastfeeding is so much cheaper than formula. A 25.7oz can of formula is $23. Granted, that makes about 31 – 6oz bottles, but if you’re lucky, that’s a weeks worth of formula. Although, I have thought about this, and if it only costs $23 a week for formula, than that isn’t too bad considering that Jesse and I can spend that on one meal. However, Ian is only taking about 4oz of formula at the moment and that amount is going to start increasing soon. I mean, they don’t make those 10oz bottles for nothing, right.
There are a bunch of other reasons why to breastfeed, these are just the top three in my opinion.
It takes half the time to bottle feed Ian as it does to breastfeed him. I can spend 40 minutes to breastfeed him or I can spend 10-20 minutes giving him a bottle. At 3am in the morning, how much time would you want to feed him?
I know how much he is getting. For all I know, he’s only getting about 3oz of breast milk out of me, but if I just gave him 4oz from a bottle, than I know he’s getting 4oz. There is no guess work to it.
It can be very inconvenient to bare a breast depending on what you’re wearing. Tank tops and yoga pants have been my fashion statement since Ian was born. It’s a lot easier to feed Ian in a tank top than a pull over shirt. Button down shirts are fine, but not to wear around the house.
If you’re going to breastfeed, I strongly recommend getting one of these. I know I know, a pillow that you already own would work too, but it wouldn’t work as well. The thing the Boppy has going for it is that it’s a lot thicker than a lot of pillows. If you have the same problem I do (large breasts), then you definitely want to get one of these. Breastfeeding is not luxurious, it can literally be a pain in the back. Since it does take a while to breastfeed, you want to make sure you’re comfortable and holding an 8lb baby up to your breasts will get tiring after awhile; so you’ll get in the habit of bending over a little so you can rest him on your legs or knees or on the pillow. By having the Boppy, you don’t have to bend over as far. Sorry if I’m sounding like a commercial, but I’ve used a pillow when my Boppy wasn’t nearby and I found that I was having to bend over more so Ian could eat and I could still be comfortable (although honestly, it’s not really that comfortable bending over, but it’s more comfortable than holding him to my breast for a long period of time).
The other nice thing about the Boppy is you can still use it after you have switched over to formula. It can also be used for tummy time and as a recliner for Ian. Obviously not at the moment, but once he outgrows the one he has now, I’ll still be able to use it to help prop him up or to give him leverage while he’s on his tummy. It’s very versatile. Alright, I’m done with the advertising. :)
I’m still breastfeeding and the plan is to continue until Ian is 6 months old or starts getting his teeth in. There are definitely times when I think this will be it for breastfeeding, but I can’t get past the positive aspects of it. If it’ll help me get to the weight I want to be, if it’ll help reduce the chance of SIDS and allergies, etc etc, than I’m going to keep doing it. The reasons going against breastfeeding just do not stack up against the reasons for breastfeeding. So for now, I’m going with the sore nipples.
Jesse has already put up his own Father’s POV and there is no reason why I can’t do a Mother’s POV. Afterall, there is always two sides to every story. Since I’m just starting, I’m going to start at the beginning.
I had probably one of the easiest pregnancies. I never had any weird cravings, morning sickness was just a phrase that people said was associated with pregnancy, and I really didn’t have too many mood swings (although Jesse might disagree). I was a little thirstier than normal, ate a bit more frequently, and actually got some really good sleep. I never really felt pregnant until the last month and even then it was more of a “can we get this over with already”. So all in all, pregnancy definitely depends on the individual and their support person. I truly believe that I had such an easy time because Jesse was always there with me. He went to all the OB checkups, he made sure I ate and was taking care of myself, and was generally there when I needed him.
Labor & Delivery:
I don’t care what anyone says….labor is a pain in the ass. Granted, it’s what the entire 10 months are all for, but it’s still not what you’re expecting. You always hear/see stories of what happens when your water breaks, but honestly, the gushing affect only happens in about 2% of pregnant women (according to Doc Z). I was one of the lucky 2% and knew exactly when my water broke; especially considering I haven’t wet my pants in over 26 years. That’s what it is like. One minute you’re sitting on the couch watching the Sci-Fi channel and the next you’re running to the bathroom because you’ve just soaked the couch.
While I was probably in labor all day, I didn’t really start feeling it until that night when my water broke. Then it became the biggest pain in my back. Literally. Try having contractions every 2 minutes in the middle of your back and not being able to do anything to relieve the pain. I was so uncomfortable that it hurt to just sit still. I tried sitting up, laying down, standing, leaning on Jesse, everything and nothing worked until they told me I could have the epidural – and that’s when it got worse. Yes, the epidural is your friend, once it’s in. The anesthetist who was inserting the epidural tried about 10 times before he finally hit pay dirt. I wish I could say that he did it within a few minutes, but it took him over 30 minutes to find it and during the entire time I was still having contractions every 2 minutes. While he was working, I couldn’t move, even if a contraction was there. That made the labor pain even worse because I couldn’t alleviate it at all. Even though it was the worst part of labor (getting the epidural), once it was in, I was flying high. There was no pain, I could sleep, and Jesse was even able to play Diablo on his laptop. Pushing Ian out only took me about 45 minutes and it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Of course, that was probably due to the epidural. Either way, make sure you want the epidural before you get it. Don’t get it just because it’s there and you “might” need it.
Do not be afraid of an episiotomy – it won’t hurt when they do it. Oh no, it’ll hurt once the epidural and painkillers wear off.
This is the point where Jesse’s POV picks up. I’ve been hearing a lot of how people have been hurt by his posts. All I can say is deal with it. I know he shouldn’t have singled anyone out and normally I would have caught that before it was up for so long; but seriously, have you tried watching your wife go through back labor and push a watermelon out of her butt while knowing there is nothing you can do to help her but be there. At the time Ian was born, both of us had been up for close to 24 hours. During the pregnancy classes, the instructor said one very important thing that neither Jesse nor I remembered at the time – don’t let family stay too long…they are not going to realize that you’re tired because they are concentrating on the new addition. My family should know me by now and that fact that I won’t kick them out if they are there. Especially if they drove a long way, but honestly, how could people think that Jesse and I wouldn’t be exhausted and wouldn’t want to sleep. It doesn’t take a mind reader to know that after 24 hours of labor, delivery, and recovery, that a person might want to sleep. If you couldn’t tell by now, I’m saying my husband was completely right in everything he said in his posts. Looking back, we should have kicked people out sooner than what we did and that is our fault. But at the same time, remember when it’s your turn to have a baby – you’re not going to be up for entertaining people while they see the baby, so don’t even try.
I don’t care what people say…living with a newborn is not the single most wondrous experience of a person’s life. It can be sheer hell. New parents have it made the first couple of days because they are in the hospital and have the nursing staff there to help; but once you get the little bundle of joy home, the gloves come off. Crying and sleeping are all they do the first couple of days because they are still trying to get used to their bodies in the open air. They won’t sleep through the night and trying to get them to go back to sleep can be frustrating. It’s not as easy as everyone says. All the stories you hear only highlight the positive and minor setbacks, but those stories are only about 20% of the whole experience. Think about everything anyone has ever said to you about a baby, then double it and then quadruple it and then you’ll have the truth. Don’t get me wrong, having a child is a wondrous experience, just not right away. The lack of sleep and frustration of trying to read your baby’s cries will mount up and slowly take you over. There will come a time when you’ll need to breakdown and admit “what the hell have I done” before it’s going to get better. I’m only in week three of Ian’s life and it is obviously getting better; but I have had one breakdown and I know there’ll be more. Your life will change, your routine will change; but in the end, everything will get back to normal and it’ll be worth it in the end. That is the single most important goal within the first few weeks of having a newborn – get through the first couple of months, get your child on a sleep schedule, and everything will be fine. If you don’t think like that, you’ll only get frustrated even more and will slowly drive yourself crazy.
With a newborn, there is always the chance of SIDS. Me, personally, I do not fear SIDS. If it is going to happen, it’ll happen. There is nothing I can do to prevent it from happening. There are things I can do, and I am doing, that lower the chance of it, but there is nothing out there that will prevent it. The one thing I do fear – living without Ian. No matter what we’re going through at the moment, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Well, maybe a few more hours of sleep, but I wouldn’t give Ian up for anything. I don’t regret having him and I can’t wait until we get everything worked out.
I know he’s suppose to, but we have been having trouble keeping the pounds on Ian. According to the doctors, he’s suppose to be gaining an ounce a day. Well, He just surpassed his birth weight on Friday – he is now a solid 8 lbs. This means no more weekly doctor appointments. We’ve been having to go in every five days since he wasn’t gaining that much weight, but now our next appointment is until he’s two months old.
Ian is definitely doing better. He’s eating a lot more and more often (hence the weight gain); his congestion is still there, but it is not as bad as it was a week ago; and he is still not sleeping in his bed. A couple of books that have been recommended to us are on their way here as I write. We’re not sure if they will work, but hey, all the help we can get right now will work. All three have been recommended to us as being “this is the ONE book that helped us get our child to sleep”, so once we get them, Jesse and I will give a review over the books.
- The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night by Elizabeth Pantley (ISBN: 0071381392)
- Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child: A Step-by-Step Program for a Good Nightï¿½s Sleep by Marc Weissbluth, Marc Weisbluth (ISBN: 0345486455)
- On Becoming Babywise by Gary Ezzo, Robert Bucknam (ISBN: 1932740082)
In other news, I slept in my bed today! Mom came up today and watched Ian so Jesse and I could actually sleep in our bed and together. I forgot what it felt like to sleep in my bed and with my husband. :) Marcia is coming up next weekend and watching Ian so Jesse and I can do it again. Hopefully by then, we’ll be able to get Ian to sleep in his bed.
Ian is definitely becoming more alert while he’s awake. He is able to follow some objects with his eyes and he is gripping things in his hands with a good amount of strength. His eyes are open more and he’s not crying as often, which is helping us out a lot. Jesse and I took Ian out for a bit more than just picking daddy up from work. We were able to check out the Community Center to see what they have to offer as well as do a little shopping in Target last night. Ian started getting a little fussy 10 minutes into Target, but that was also an hour after we picked up Daddy.
I know I know, Ian is a newborn and sleep is now a luxury. However, Ian is getting so much sleep right now you would think Jesse and I would be able to get some. Before Ian became sick, we were able to sleep, but now, Ian is having a hard time sleeping in any position but on either mama or daddy. Needless to say, Jesse and I have been staying up the last couple of nights holding him while he sleeps, which means we can’t get any sleep. We need to get him to sleep in his bed again.
So, if anyone has any suggestions, we’re all ears. This is what we have tried already:
- Feeding/Burping/Changing – This is part of his routine. We do this every time.
- Rocking – I don’t think it really calms him that much. It does put him to sleep, but the moment you stand up, he wakes up.
- Holding him – Then after a few minutes of him sleeping, we’ve tried gently putting him in his bed, which ends up waking him up.
- Ambient sounds – We have a machine that will do heart beats, rainfall, ocean waves, and a lullaby – all to no avail, I think. We just got it so who knows.
- Baby Einsteins Classic Lullaby CD – I really can’t tell if this is working or not.
- Tilting the bed – We propped up a side of his playard so that there is a slight incline. We thought this might help with his congestion too.
- Car seat – One doctor said we could let Ian sleep in this if it helped; but a nurse practitioner said we shouldn’t. If Ian moved his head a certain way, it could be bad. Either way, if we do let him sleep in it, we still have to supervise, so still no sleep for us.
- Bouncer – Yeah, Ian hasn’t taken to this since he’s been sick. It even vibrates and has sounds attached to it.
I want to say we’ve tried some others, but I’m too sleep deprived to remember them. We’re hoping this is due to him being sick, but we’ll find out in a couple of weeks when the RSV has run it’s course.
But this time, we didn’t go to Crittenton. Let me start from the beginning…
On Wednesday, Ian had his second check up appointment with the doctor. While we were there, I had asked Dr. Schnur about Ian’s nasal congestion. He told us that Ian had a small cold and to keep an eye on it. On Thursday, I noticed that Ian hadn’t been eating like he has been and that he seemed really congested. I called the doc’s office and talked with the nurses and they suggested using saline drops and the bulb right before feedings. They said, that due to his congestion, that he was breathing more through his mouth and that was making it difficult to nurse. If we still had problems in the morning, than we were to call the office.
We definitely had problems during the night. Grandpa was up for the night and between him and Jesse, they stayed up to about midnight with Ian. After that, I was up with him for the rest of the night. Either way, the only time Ian got any real sleep was when I held him on my chest while I was sitting up. Friday morning I called the Peds office again and they were saw Ian within the hour. After listening to his lungs and seeing how congested he was, Dr. Schnur told me to take Ian to Pediatric Emergency at Beaumont. Before we left the office, the doc called the Ped ER and talked with their pediatrician so that they knew we were coming in. After getting directions to the hospital, Ian and I were on our way.
Between the time we left the Peds Office and arrived in the Peds ER, Ian had developed a fever. Due to his age, the doctors in the ER ran a bunch of tests on Ian, which I was not in the room for thank god. At 11 days old, they didn’t want to take any chances, so they were checking for everything. After an hour or so, I was finally told that Ian had developed RSV/Bronchiolitis. While this isn’t that serious in adults, it can be severe in children – especially infants. Since he was diagnosed with RSV, this meant that Ian was being admitted to the hospital (granted, they said he was going to be admitted when we got there that morning, but now they knew what to treat him for), which ended up being a really good thing since he was put on oxygen around 4pm. They finally found a bed for us about 8:30 last night.
The good news is that Ian was taken off the oxygen by 6am this morning and he has been breathing room air since. Initially I was told that Ian could be in the hospital anywhere from 2 – 5 days, but he was released within 24 hours – that is how good he is doing. Granted, mama isn’t doing that great, but that’s to be expected. I would have rather he stayed one more night just to be sure, but everyone there said he was doing great and shouldn’t have a problem being at home.
So now that we have been to Beaumont, Jesse and I are happy with our decision to have Ian at Crittenton. While Beaumont may have better resources (Dr. Schnur sent us there because they had the technology to deal with problems in children of Ian’s age where Crittenton didn’t), their personal care was lacking in our eyes. They were stretched a little too thin. I first noticed this when it took them over 7 hours to find a bed for Ian in the Children’s Wing. They knew he was going to be admitted at 12pm, but they couldn’t find a bed until 8:30pm. Another aspect we didn’t like was the response time. When we were able to find a nurse to request something, it still took some time to get the item. Ian and I had been gone since 9:45am Friday morning and since he wasn’t nursing that well, he wasn’t eating. The ER techs had put an IV in him when we got there, so I knew he was getting nutrients, but they never once asked how I was doing or if he was nursing during that entire time. By 9pm that night, I was hurting and we were still waiting to see the Pediatrician on staff to see what was going to happen. The plan had been that I was going to run home after talking with the doctor so I could pump. When the doctor showed up, he didn’t want me leaving since he wanted to see if Ian would feed by midnight, otherwise they were going to put his IV back in (Ian had tore out his IV soon after getting in his bed). After hearing that I needed to pump, the doctor said he would have a nurse bring in a pump. A nurse came in about 10 minutes later and she didn’t know anything about the pump. An hour later, they finally bring in a pump without telling us how it works or anything.
I think the one thing that really got to us was they kept talking to the wrong doctor. It seems that even though Dr. Schnur called the Ped ER and told them they were coming, the doctors in the Ped ER kept consulting with a Dr. Schnaar. I have no idea who Dr. Schnaar is, but Dr. Schnur didn’t receive any kind of updates until after Ian had been taken off of the oxygen. I’m sorry, but when I continually say Dr. Schnur and he was the one who called the ER and said we were coming, you should make a record of that so you can talk to him about his patient’s care, not some other doctor that neither the mother nor the child have ever met. The sad part was, the mistake wasn’t caught until another pediatrician from Dr. Schnaar’s office came this morning to access Ian’s condition. When she introduced herself, the moment she said Dr. Schnaar’s name, I knew something was up.
We’ve been home from the hospital for about 3 hours now and Ian is still wheezing. Hopefully this will past and he’ll be fine. We’ll see in the morning.
Enfamil sends out these “milestone” emails every month and I thought it would be handy to add them here. So as I get them, I’ll include them.
It will be many months before your baby sees the world the way you do. Right now his vision is fuzzy. He can’t see farther than 12 inches. But he’s seeing much more than he did at birth.
He is fascinated by high-contrast patterns and bright colors. This month you might catch him staring at shadows. Black-and-white photos. Or special toys for young babies. He loves human faces, especially eyes. Soon his eyes will follow an object as it moves. Try dangling a rattle in front of him. Or moving it slowly up and down.
An average newborn gains about two-thirds of an ounce a day. Your wee one is gaining weight in a hurry. He’s taking in more ounces of milk each feeding so he’ll grow up big and strong.
He’s a little too young for the gym, but your baby’s getting stronger. His spontaneous little kicks and stretches are toning his muscles. Try putting him on his belly during playtime. Soon he’ll surprise you by lifting his head up for a few seconds at time.
Getting to Know You
Your baby loves your face, your smell, the sound of your voice. By his one-month birthday, he’ll be able to show his affection in small but important ways.
He will stare at your face for longer periods. He will look alert and seem to listen when you talk. You can encourage him by chatting when you’re alone together. Tell him, “I’m washing the dishes.” Or “I’m changing your diaper.” Or simply, “I love you, too.”
Did you knowâ€¦that your baby’s brain is tiny, but it already has 100 billion cells?
So I finally have the picture gallery up. Well, sort of. I still have some cleanup work to do, but for the most part, all of the pictures that were taken of Ian while he was in the hospital are up and working.
I will say this, I did not take all of these pictures. :) You can thank Ian’s Aunt Lori for about 80% of them. I think she was really excited about having a nephew. Either way, enjoy the pictures. I’ll include a couple more recent ones of him now. I have to say, I couldn’t resist taking the second one.