Sunday, July 29, 2012

My husband is kind of great!

If you had asked me 24 hours ago what I thought of my husband, Paul I would have ripped into him like no other.  I was tired and overwhelmed and feeling just sorry for myself, something I have become really good at lately.  And the worst part is that none of it was true.  I was taking out my frustration on him and it was totally unjustified.  I was tired and in dire need of some time to myself, since the last three and a half weeks has meant some serious togetherness, which combined with a lack of sleep makes me not such a nice person.

But then last night in the middle of yet another breakdown, Paul said that he was going to sleep on the couch and keep the baby with him so I could sleep in the bedroom alone and get some real sleep.  At first I said that was silly and I felt like it was such a bad idea.  I just felt guilty for needing time alone and for my husband having to step up and handle it all, because I was clearly in no condition to do so.  But then I realized that I needed to finally let go of some amount of control and allow Paul to help.  And boy was it!  I slept from 12:30 to about 3:45, pumped, then went to sleep again till about 6:30.  It was like 5 or more hours of sleep and then Paul and I swapped.  He went into the room, slept till 10:30 and I slept out on the couch with Olivia till about that time as well.  It was one of the best nights of sleep I can remember, and it was just what I needed.

I have known that I married a great man for some time, but seeing him as a father has been the icing on the cake.  He is so good to her and is managing work, family and everything else so well.  His ability to juggle it all without losing his mind has been such a good example to me.  I love him and I know I picked the right guy!

Monday, July 23, 2012

My Love Hate Relationship with All Things Breastfeeding

I promise this will be my last post about breastfeeding.  To start we had Olivia's two week checkup and all is well.  She has gained a pound from her weight at birth and has grown half an inch.  This makes her almost in the 50th percentile in everything, which I guess is a good thing, you know if you like being average... ;)  We really like our pediatrician, Dr. Kan, she is young and spirited and we find that it is really easy to talk to her, which is always a bonus.  We discussed her breathing, which the Dr was a little concerned about and mentioned that we need to bone up on our CPR, just in case and watch her.  And there is nothing to be concerned about with regards to the bone on her chest, totally normal and the dimple on her back, it happens.  So yeah for little Olivia, she is thriving.

And then there was the appointment with the lactation consultation.  It was great, the exact opposite of what I thought it would be like.  I pictured them making me feel bad that we had been using bottles and a pacifier and for even just having to be there in the first place.  But that was not the case.  They asked me some questions about what we had been doing and what brought me there and then sat me in a chair and put Olivia on my breast.  It was the most simple and lovely thing and it made my day to see her latch on so quickly and look up at me so contently.  We connected and in that moment I knew why I was holding onto breastfeeding.  That look in her eyes that only we get to share, I wanted that and I was not ready to let that go.  So I left the clinic with tons of new info and a feeling of self worth and confidence about my new relationship with breastfeeding. 

I got home and told Paul all about it and how excited I was to have gone and how great the lady was and blah blah blah.   I was beaming!  Then Olivia and I took our afternoon nap together and at about 5pm she awoke ready to take another stab at breastfeeding.  So I got all set up and proceeded to do what the lactation consultant had shown me at the clinic.  And it did not work.  Not only did it not work, it was awful.  Olivia was clawing at me and fussing, something she had not done at the clinic, not once and I started to panic.  I kept trying to get her to latch the way she had earlier and it was not happening.  And then I started to cry.  Here was the moment that I had been waiting for and it was killing me.  I was in my own personal hell and all I wished for was that lady from the clinic to show up and help me.  It made me so upset that I had even bothered to see anyone about this, since I had already made the concession to pump and bottle feed. 

And so now I find myself giving Olivia a bottle, because my nipples are so sore again and I know that I can't take the rejection again.  So the new plan is to pump and try to breastfeed at least twice a day and see what happens.  I am not giving up totally but I do feel like I need to do what is right for us, and that is all I can do.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

So Much Love

It has been only a couple of weeks and I LOVE LOVE LOVE this little lady!  She is such a joy.  I love the way she makes a million expressions while she sleeps and the sound of her farts, too cute!  I never imagined that something so small could take up this much room in my heart.

My absolute favorite thing is when she falls asleep on top of my chest.  She is such a little hot box and to feel her warm little body is pure joy.  It is literally the highlight of my day.  And then when she is waking up, she starts to make these little noises and stretch and it takes like 10 minutes for it to happen, but then she will look up at you and there is just this moment where you look into each others eyes and connect.  Amazing.

And on top of that, I am slowly coming to terms with the breastfeeding.  I have an appointment to meet with the lactation consultant tomorrow and depending on how that goes, we may move to just pumping and feeding with a bottle.  We have been doing more bottles this weekend, due to the fact that my nipples are sore and it hurts too much to have her breastfeed if she is not going to latch properly and I already feel less stressed.  I am not dreading the next feeding like I was when we were breastfeeding, and she is still getting all the essential nutrients from breast milk, just from a bottle instead of a breast.  For some reason I felt like I was failing by giving into the bottle, but I already feel better.  My sister said it best when she said that if this was going to be the only time that I have a child, I should be enjoying it as much as I can, rather than stressing over the little things.  And if nothing comes out of tomorrow, I am at peace with my decision and  will pump and feed my little lady with a bottle.  And all will be well. 

At the end of the day all that matters is that Olivia has a healthy and happy mother.  And that is what I plan to be.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Breastfeeding 101

If anyone tells me that breastfeeding is natural, I might die.  I get that it is the natural and right thing to do for my baby, but the idea that it comes naturally is dead wrong.  It is the hardest thing that I have ever done.  I had no idea how dificult this would be.  My entire day can be made or destroyed by the very fact that she may or may not get a good latch.  And here we are two weeks in and I am still having issues, and I just do not understand.  I respond to her hunger cues, let her eat as long as she wants, but something is not connecting.  She takes forever to get a good latch, like 8 minutes sometimes and when she does it hurts.  She is on the tip of the nipple and sucks so hard, I feel like they are going to fall off.  I am at a point where I honestly feel like giving up, but I know that this is the one thing that I am supposed to be able to provide for her that no one else can.  I would hate to have to do formula but I am not sure what other options we have if this does not get better.  Plus I am super emotional and cry whenever she does not get on or cries because she is hungry or frustrated. 

I made an appointment with a lactation consultant, to see if they can help out a bit... But if that does not help, I really do not know what options we have.  I want to be able to breastfeed my daughter for as long as possible, but since we are only two weeks in and I am already contemplating other options, I just don't know how that will be possible.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Birth Date Horoscope

My good friend Kelly made the below frame for Olivia and it included her horoscope from the day that she was born.  Ever since Cosmo magazine I have been reading horoscopes and for the most part they have all been dead on... Kidding.  But this one was perfect.  Sums it all up.

Today's Birthday (July 4) - YOU ARE THE ROCK FOR YOUR LOVED ONES THIS YEAR, and they will build their lives on your steadfast attention.  Because people trust you, you'll be promoted and well paid.  This month and October are the most lucrative.  You'll make a stellar arrangement in August.  Travel in November and June.  PISCES (me) and TAURUS (Paul) people adore you.  Your lucky numbers are: 49, 25, 4, 15, and 27.

Not so sure about the travel and her lucrative months, well except that I am slated to go back to work in October, so there will be more money where she is concerned.  But I do know that she has already become such a strong feature in this family.  Paul and I are thriving with this new addition to our lives, she has completed us.  And there is no limit to how much everyone loves her.  My mom, sister and aunt alone have shown more love for this little lady than most people receive in a lifetime.  She is so very lucky to have so many wonderful people in her life.  She has four great-grandparents, three grandparents, one aunty-grammy, one aunty, three uncles and an endless amount of extended family and friends and she is not even 2 weeks old. 

We consider ourselves to be so very lucky!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Happy 1 Week Birthday, Olivia!!!!

Olivia is now 1 week old!  Where did that week go?!?  Besides feeding, sleeping and changing diapers, we have done little else around here.  There have been a few rough moments, like me crying spontaneously for no real reason or snapping at Paul, who has done everything for us.  It's amazing how lack of sleep can effect you in the smallest way.  But then there are these wonderful moments of absolute joy, that make up for those overwhelming moments, and well they are way more important than anything else.  Even after one week, I know my life will never be the same.  She is such a joy, such a light and such a little spirit.  And even while I am typing this she is sleeping next to me, and that lovely little spirit just farted and pooped... And I have to say that I even smile at that.  What has happened to me!?!  Oh and that list of things to do when I was not pregnant, not even a concern.  Have not had a glass of wine, or sushi or anything else that was on there.  But then again I have only left the house once... I am sure some day they will happen, but for now this is FAR MORE IMPORTANT!

This is the first time that I was able to lay eyes on her.  It was amazing... And I will never forget how warm her cheeks were.  Love at first sight!

What a proud daddy!  Paul was so happy to be able to cut the cord and then hold her.  He will forever have those first moments with her, and it means so much to me that he was there to be the one to hold her and love her.
And this is the first time that I was able to hold her.  When we were in the recovery room, I was too drugged out to be comfortable holding her, so I waited till we were our room.  It was the most amazing moment.  And looking at this photo, I felt as drugged out as I apparently looked.  Oh my!
Happy Birthday Olivia!  Only one week old and already running this family.  And we wouldn't have it any other way!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Olivia's Birth Story

On Wednesday, July 4th our baby girl was born at 4:04 in the afternoon.  Her name is Olivia Hazel Madore and she was 6 pounds, 13 ounces and 20 inches long.  And this is her story.

On Tuesday, July 3rd I knew that I was not feeling as good as I had been during the day, but figured that working hard was catching up with me.  Came home and decided that cereal was about all I could handle for dinner and Paul knew that was never going to be enough for him, so he called his mom and they went to the Outback for dinner.  After the dinner of champions, I went into the bedroom to relax and try and get some rest.  At about 8:30 I felt like I needed to use the restroom, so I started to get up and then felt this gush of fluid come out and for a moment thought I had peed my pants.  I went to the bathroom, and at that point I knew that it was my water breaking.  Not wanting to freak out and just assume I was right, I found the number for Labor and Delivery at Kaiser and called to confirm what to do next.  The nurse on the line asked me a bunch of questions and said that we should head over to the hospital to get checked out.  Well too bad Paul was still not home...  So I called hime and of course he was driving and put me on speaker, so I knew that his mom could hear what I was about to say.  I asked when he was going to be home and he said that he was 10 to 15 away, and then asked why.  When I said that I think that my water broke, he sort of freaked and said he would be here in 10.

After a frantic couple of moments at home gathering all of our stuff, we headed to the hospital.  Checked into the labor and delivery triage and they quickly got me into a room so that we could figure out where I was at.  After a quick check, it was established that my water had in fact broken.  Fun fact, my water did not break all at once but continued to break pretty much for the next couple of hours... So you can imagine the feeling of liquid just leaking out of you with no way of stopping.  The mid-wife wanted to wait to examine me so as not to risk infection with too many exams just to find out where I was at.  I was then moved to our delivery room and we were told that the mid-wife would be in by soon.  Well soon turned into hours later.  She was hit with multiple deliveries all at once, so we just hung out and waited on family to arrive.  I was starting to get contractions, but nothing too bad so I was feeling pretty good about where we were at in this process. 

And then the mid-wife arrived and once she had time to assess where I was at, she was not thrilled.  I was at 2cm and 50% effaced, not quite the progress we were all hoping for after six hours.  So she said the best thing to do is start the petosin.  I was dead set against this route but I did not want to argue with someone who knows better than I and since my water had broken, I knew that there was only so much time before other complications become an issue.  So we started the petosin and the contractions started quick, too quick.  I began to have such intense contractions/pain in my back that I thought I was going to die.  They were on top of each other and all in my back.  The nurse came in and said that they should only be 2-3 minutes apart, not every other minute.  And then the baby's heartbeat dropped and about 5 people came rushing in, and starting pressing on things, giving me oxygen and working to get her back on track.  Whatever they tried was not working and they decided that the baby was under too much stress so they gave me a shot to stop my contractions.  This seemed to do the trick, but then once the shot wore off, they started up the potosin again and the contractions started again and they were just as intense.  I knew there was no way I would be able to manage this pain for too long and decided to get an epidural.  All of this was the exact opposite of our birth plan, something I had wanted to stick to no matter what.

The epidural was administered and almost immediately things became manageable and I felt so much better.  I was checked and I had gone from 2cm to 4cm, so we were making some progress.  We were able to get some rest, which helped alot and when the mid-wife came back hours later I had gone from 4cm to 8cm, almost 9cm and fully effaced, so they were happy about that.  The nurse said that we should be able to look at pushing in about 30 minutes.  But then 30 minutes turned into an hour, because they did not like her position, and then another 30 minutes.  After about an hour and a half of waiting, the nurse said we could start pushing.  And so we did.  And we did some more and we really were not making the progress that was needed, but we were progressing.  The midwife showed up and took a look and said that we should start pushing some more.  So we did and at some point a ton of people came rushing in again, and once again they threw the oxygen on my and starting looking at machines and throwing out medical terms that meant nothing to me, except that something was not right.  Another shot to stop my contractions was administered and I was told that the baby was under too much stress again and that we needed to get her to relax before we progressed. 

Once we ready to push again, the epideral was all but worn off so I was starting to feel the contractions again.  It helped with regards to pushing, to be able to really feel what I was doing, but they were tough to manage.  After what was about a total of an hour and a half to two hours of pushing the midwife called in the doctor to take a look at where the baby was at.  We pushed some more while they were figuring out what to do next.  From what they could tell my pelvis had an arch that was not allowing her to come down and she would need about 4 more cm's of space to get out.  The doctor said that we had some options, we could try pushing and it might take an hour with no guarantees where we might end up.  OR we could do a c-section, which is what the doctor was recommending.  I took one look at Paul and said let's do it.  At no point in this process was my birth plan going to interfere with the health or safety of my child.  All I want is for our baby to be okay, so whatever they have to do to accomplish that we will do.  Don't get me wrong I was crying the whole time we were talking about this, but I knew it was the right thing to do.

They wheeled me into the OR and took Paul to another room to get him dressed.  I was still experiencing contractions the whole time that I was waiting to get set up for surgery.  I have to say that was the most alone I had felt in so very long.  I was just sitting on the table in such pain, with complete strangers all around me ignoring my pain and more or less me.  And then Paul was still not in there, which was absolutely unnerving.  The anastesiologist (sp?) came in and starting working miracles and within minutes I was not feeling the contractions anymore and they started moving to start surgery.  I started to panic, it seemed like they were going to start and Paul was still not in the room.  I asked if he was coming and they assured me they would call him in just a bit.  Soon enough he was called in and arrived by my side.  Seeing him made me feel so much better and just knowing that we were doing this together made it seem like it was going to be okay. 

They began the surgery and I could feel pressure from where they were working, but no pain.  The anastesiologist was talking to me the whole time, making sure I knew what to expect and what was going on. And then it happened, they pulled out our little one and within moments we heard her cry.  At that moment all was forgotten, all the pain, the mishaps and turns in the road and all that mattered was Olivia.  Paul and I shared a very emotional moment and waited to see our baby girl.  Paul was able to cut the cord and see his lady for the first time, which was amazing.  And then they brought her to me and put her up against my face and for a moment I knew all was well.  They moved Paul and Olivia to the recovery room and started to work on closing me up.  They gave me something for the pain that would make me pretty sleepy and moved me into recovery.  I found Paul sitting in the room with Olivia, looking more in love than I have ever seen him.  It was beautiful and I was so glad that he was able to have that moment with her.  I was too nervous about all the drugs in my system and being able to really hold onto to her, that I did not get to hold her till we were in our actual room.  And when that moment finally happened... well there are no words.

I know that there are other details that I will never be able to remember, and some that I will never forget but there is one thing that I will say, I have never done anything more amazing in my entire life.  She is beautiful and perfect in every way and I don't know what we did before she got here.  My life will forever be changed.  For the better!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

My To Do List

Here is a list of things I cannot wait to do once this baby makes her way into this world.  Please be advised this is a purely selfish list, having nothing to do with the baby.

- Eat sushi
- Drink wine, drink anything I want for that matter
- Lay on my stomach
- Sleep on my back
- Have normal looking feet
- Wear my closet full of clothing that I have had nothing to do with for months
- Eat deli meat
- Walk normally... I cannot wait to be able to speed up and not waddle
- Shave without getting pooped
- Bend over and not get winded
- Get up from the sofa, bed or ground without assistance
- Sleep through the night without getting up to pee (this one may take some time)
- Workout (yes this is something I could have been doing all along, but alas too tired for that)

I am sure that there are other things, but this is what I can think of right now.

PS - I am also looking forward to holding my baby girl. ;)