Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sleepless in Benson

Our last few nights have been a little rough.

When I put her to bed two nights ago, she was asleep at 10:30pm and slept until 2:15am which was perfect. The downside? I couldn't get her back to sleep until almost 8:00am. She slept until noon. Last night, she took until 11pm to go to sleep, woke up at 2:15am and finally went back to sleep at 6:45am. She slept until around 11am.

I don't know what it is. And I hate to wake her in the morning but with her weight, she needs to eat often and if she doesn't, I'll have another bad pediatrician weight check where they get on my case about her weight again and I don't want that. The lactation specialist recommended feeding her every 2 hours in the daytime and every 4 hours at nighttime.

But there's this catch-22: If I let her sleep however long she wants, she will wake up hungry and feed well but she won't eat as often and may not gain the weight sufficiently. If I wake her, she is more sleepy and she eats often but she won't eat as thoroughly. The only reason I'm worried about letting her sleep is because I was told that bigger babies tend to be lazier babies and I don't think she will eat enough right now without trying to establish a schedule. Even at the hospital, after she fed the first time after birth, I couldn't get her to eat for 12 hours. That wasn't from sleep though; it was a lack of proper latch.

I want to go with what the lactation specialist told me to do until she is at her weight and my mom recommended that, once she is at the weight, to let her sleep however long she wants to and she will work out the schedule. I'm hoping that after a few days, she will understand nighttime and daytime feedings since I'm trying this schedule now. She's doing pretty okay at waking up every 2-3 hours during the day and every 4-5 hours overnight so I normally only have to wake her for the first of each of those feedings and I only wake her because I don't want her to wake up so hungry and frustrated (which is what she has done). At my first pediatrician appointment, Dr. Smith said to keep her on the schedule until her birth weight is reached again.

I know that none of this will matter after she gets to her birth weight again but it's just overwhelming in the meantime. On the upside, she is finally having a consistent wet diaper after almost every feeding and a dirty diaper 1-2 times a day, which is way better than the first week. (Side note: Just read that this is totally normal.)

I know I think about all of this more than I ought to but I just want a healthy, chunky baby :) I'm wondering if she is going to take longer to gain the weight back since she was 10lbs at birth! I even just read that breastfed babies can take 3 weeks to return to birth weight, but the article also said that normal weight loss is 7% to 10% (Emily lost about 15%, which is probably due to the difficulty at first).

On an unrelated note, I think I need to be babied too. I don't need to be changed or burped or swaddled, but I would like to be fed and be able to relax some more. I have been trying to eat better/more with the plan my mom gave me but it's hard to eat everything I need to when it takes time to prep the food, cook the food, eat the food, clean up after the food, and still find the time to take a nap when she does or feed her or find time to do something for myself! I think I'll go crazy if I don't find a way to do something for me.

That is kind of why I'm working on my blog right now - the comments I received on the link I posted on Facebook (and the verbal ones I received from my mom) were so encouraging that I was moved to tears. It feels amazing for my friends to reassure me that I'm a good mom and that I'm doing things right; it comes right when I need it. I even apologized to my mom yesterday because I've been calling and texting her so much - not (always) because I need help, but just because I'm lonely and I want to engage in a conversation that doesn't involve me telling Emily to calm down or something.

I think my girl is starting to wake up again. Thanks to everyone who reads this - I appreciate it.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I can do this.

Emily had a quite a busy day!

We went into town just after she fed at lunch time so we could get her genetic screening done. She's didn't like the heel prick at all but she was fine after a minute or so because she was really cuddly and went right back to sleep.

I was supposed to have my OBGYN appointment today to check on my incision but my doctor was called in for an emergency C-section right before so that didn't happen.

Then, we went in for the weigh-in at her pediatrician's office. I thought she would FOR SURE be at least close to her birth weight. When they weighted her, she had only gained 3 ounces this week. That totally broke my heart. The nurse left and said she needed to let Dr. Smith (Emily's pediatrician) know. I got her dressed again and I just didn't understand why she had gained so little!

The nurse came back and said that Dr. Smith wants me to feed her with a bottle so they can measure how much she's getting. She explained that she may be getting a lot at one feeding and not a lot in another. She said it wasn't a matter of Emily not being healthy - she just needs to gain the weight back. I asked about nipple confusion because she's only a couple weeks old and the nurse said that "shouldn't" be a problem. I didn't really trust that phrase because my lactation person even said that, for breastfed babies, not to introduce another shape like that earlier than 3-4 weeks and it was so hard to get her to latch in the first place. I ended up getting really choked up with her. It just worries me that with all the problems I had to start with, if I introduce a bottle, then she won't want to breastfeed anymore.

I asked what other options there were and she suggested formula. I told her that I just won't do formula and she went to talk to Dr. Smith. She came back and said to contact this help line for breastfeeding. She said that Dr. Smith wants to see us in a week for another weight check. I decided that I'm calling Annette again because that help line didn't really help me before and Annette understands all of it already. I left her a voicemail.

Eric was really encouraging and reassured me that I'm doing nothing wrong but there has to be something I'm not doing right.

I have been researching online and I know it all comes back to supply and demand. I have a million and one options of what I need to do. My mom thinks that she may be falling asleep during her feedings and not finishing so I've been trying to keep her awake. Also, I know I need to have more protein in my diet.

I know that changing my diet won't change how much breastmilk I produce but it will change the quality. I'm going over to my mom's tomorrow to work on a better food plan so I know I'm eating enough for quality breastmilk.

I'm just not giving up on breastfeeding. I know people say that "some people just can't breastfeed" but even my instructor in my prenatal class said there's no such thing as not being able to breastfeed. I knew this would be hard but it's going to be worth it. There's no better thing for a baby than the most natural food in the world and even if I did pump and bottle feed, I can't pump the same amount as she could take in herself. I'm going to show that doctor's office that I don't need to formula-feed or anything - me and my girl can do this. I know it's a lot to gain a pound in a week but I read that the general weight gain of  the first month is between 4 and 7 ounces a week. She gained 3 so that falls into that first month almost.

I'm not worried - I have my God reminding me not to dwell on the bad things and my little girl who is depending on me. I have to come through for both of them and for me.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A long night and a sweet morning!

Emily just did NOT want to sleep last night. The girl stayed up until 2:00am! She wasn't wet or hungry or anything so I think she just needed some Mommy time. Luckily, she then let me sleep until 7:30am so we're okay now. How can I not forgive this face?

My angel.

She's so precious. She's sleeping at the moment so we can go into town for my mom's birthday so she is presently wearing a one-sie that says "Grandma's Love Bug." Also, I'm letting my husband get some shut-eye too.

That reminds me...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM! I hope to be even half as good as a mom as you are - I love you!

Back to the blog :)

This morning, he got home from work about half an hour before Emily got up so, after I fed her, he took her so I could get a small break. I got a shower, put on makeup, and even had time to blow-dry my hair. I'm feeling fabulous today now :)

Fresh-faced Krystle

Continuing on, he finally got her to take her morning nap so what does he do? Makes me breakfast! (This is a bigger deal than just a husband making food for his wife because, most of the time, he only cooks for me if his friend Keith is over or if it's something that just needs to be heated or thrown in the oven.) Not only did he make breakfast but it wasn't cereal - he make scrambled eggs! I'm thoroughly proud on all levels right now. :)

No good deed goes unrewarded in this house.

Either way, it's unfortunately time to wake my husband so we can get this family circus into town. I finally ordered prints for a REAL picture album and I can't wait to see how they turned out.

With that, I'll leave you with another adorable picture of my Emily princess.

Bye guys!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

How considerate

Time to welcome Emily Madison!

I have to say, I was incredibly nervous about having her home the first few days.

While we were at the hospital, she didn't sleep a ton and it broke my heart to send her to the nursery so Eric could get some sleep too. One of the nights, I just held her for a few hours and sang her worship songs as she fell asleep. I just couldn't stop looking at her. I still can't.

I was there all day Wednesday and they let me be discharged on Thursday. They said I could go anytime but I waited till about 4:30pm because I was still having issues with breastfeeding and that kind of thing. Upon discharge, I was told that I couldn't drive for two weeks after my C-section and they gave me a prescription for the pain. I had a lot of paperwork but it was quick.

She got her picture taken and we left with her that evening. My mom spent the afternoon on Thursday with us but not Wednesday because she was giving us a little time. I had a few visitors but not a ton. I only wanted to see Emily anyway lol.

The first few nights were rough. I called my mom in tears on Friday and Saturday morning because I was having issues feeding her and getting her to calm down. I felt totally out of control. Eric tried his hand at calming Emily down but neither of us could. And neither of us had the sleep we needed to function. I knew she needed to eat but I just couldn't get her to latch. Even at the hospital, she went 12 hours without eating twice. Everyone kept saying she wouldn't starve herself but I worried even more because I didn't want her to feel like I wasn't able to meet her needs.

That Saturday (Christmas Eve) was really hard. I spent nearly my whole morning crying and my mom was with me and my dad took Eric to Wal-mart while I spent time with my mom. I really feel like opening up to her that day has made us closer every day since. I admitted that I felt bad because, even if Emily couldn't starve herself, she is too little to know she could make herself sick and if she didn't eat, she could die and I felt like she would not trust me because I can't comfort her or feed her. My mom was so comforting and reassured me that I'm a good mother and I just cried more and more. Finally, she told me that I should call a lactation specialist. I went upstairs to make the call and the hospital said that they probably couldn't get anyone till Monday and I kind of broke down. By "kind of," I mean totally. The nurse made some calls and the specialist I saw at the hospital named Annette called and said she would come over in the afternoon.

She stayed for about 3 hours working with me. Once we got the latch down, we talked about getting her on a schedule so she regularly eats since she said one of the issues seemed to be that by the time she woke up, she was so hungry that she would get over excited and not latch and get frustrated and then she would start crying. The most nerve-wrecking part was when she left because Eric was going back to work that night and I would be all alone. But I did it. I fed her and she latched and I did it. I was so proud and I nearly cried. I called Annette to share in my victory.

On Christmas Day, we spent time with my family and Emily was still a little fussy (but I credit that to the length of time I'd been working on her schedule) but manageable. The next few days, I was shocked to find out that the schedule was working. She was less fussy and more hungry. I was even able to feed her on both sides!

On Monday, I was able to get my staples out :)

At her first doctor's appt (this past Wednesday), my pediatrician said she's at 8lbs, 7oz and he would like her back at her birth weight by 2 weeks old. He checked her out and she was calm and behaved the ENTIRE visit. Well, except for getting a little fussy when he had to check her ears and when I had to get her naked for the scale. But those weren't big deals. The doctor told me that she's beautiful and perfect and I'm doing everything right :) He was glad to hear I called a specialist and agreed that some of the weight she lost was probably the feedings at the beginning. (Most babies lose up to 15% of their body weight within the first week and gain it back by 14 days old)

Now? She's getting more and more calm by the day. Since I haven't been allowed to drive, Eric or my mom (mostly my mom) have been driving me to the appointments. On the days my mom has driven me, I've been hanging out at her house for a while. She got a play-yard and basinet combo for Emily and all future grandchildren so it makes it easy to be over there for a while. I've seen my mom almost every day until a couple days ago. Out of Emily's 12 days of life, we've seen or visited my mom for between 8-10 of them, I think.

I was getting concerned about her digestion and nutrition because, since the meconium diapers stopped on Christmas Eve, she hadn't had a bowel movement. When I asked the doctor, he said for some babies, it's normal only to have 1 bowel movement a week at the beginning. He said if I was concerned after Friday that I could call the office or he gave me a home remedy that some mothers try but said not to worry about it.

Overall, she's becoming a very easy, well-fed baby.

When I got home from my parents today, she gave me 2 (not one, TWO!) poopy diapers. How considerate!

(My next few blogs will be much less "schedule" blogs. I just wanted to make sure I updated on everything so I can just keep up on this from now on.)