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Friday, August 30, 2013

My breastfeeding must haves

Ford and I are slowly getting into a breastfeeding routine and I feel more and more confident each day that we are getting the hang of it. At first, breastfeeding was a 3 person job, not including baby, and takes a lot of effort. I can see how people give up so easily because it is tough! Mama and baby are both learning and yes it is painful at the beginning but I know it is all so worth it. I wanted to share some of the essentials that helped make our breastfeeding experience more enjoyable.

Boppy pillow- a must have! Baby can fit right in the nook of your arms so you aren't having to support them on your own. The boppy is also awesome for others to hold baby.

Lansinoh Breast Therapy- these suckers are amazing! You can heat them up in the microwave or freeze them in the freezer for instant engorgement relief

Aden & Anais Swaddle Blankets- perfect for covering up if people are in the room or added support/warmth for baby

Breast pump- I have the Ameda Purely Yours (provided by my insurance) and really like it! I am pumping once a day and hope to feed Ford 1 bottle a day so daddy can help.

Medela hands free pumping bra- saves you from having to hold the pump for 15 minutes. Order it a size bigger since your breasts will be large and in charge. 

Lanolin- I have both the Medela and Lansinoh brands of lanolin and really like both. I have a tube at each of my breast feeding stations and use it after all feedings, it is instant relief and helps with healing. 

Nursing tanks- these are a must. I wear them with breast pads and nothing more. Makes it so easy to pop out the food for Ford quickly. I have a few brands but these from Target are my favorite. 

Gerber cloth diaper burp cloths- cheap, absorbent and nice to have lots around.

Bottle sterilizer- this is a lifesaver! Pre baby I sterilized all of our bottles, pacis, etc in it and it saves you from having to hand wash everything after use. I throw it in the microwave for 2 minutes with my pump supplies and then dry them on the drying rack. I  have this Avent one

Nursing pads- I actually use these NUK washable pads and they are great! I also have disposables for on the run. You will go through lots of them since new mamas tend to leak a lot. I have 30 reusable and go through 4-6 a day and throw them in the wash. 

Medela Breast Shells- I used these the whole time we were in the hospital since my nipples were rocked going from nothing to full time nursing. I haven't used them since we've been home but they are awesome when you don't have breast pads (the hospital didn't have pads).

Rocking chair- my grandparents (Ford's namesake) gifted us an antique rocking chair and it is perfect for nursing! I nurse in it during the day and in my bed at night. 

Extra pillows- we use a small heart shaped pillow for added support around Ford's head in the Boppy and when I nurse in bed, we use couch pillows for back support. You can never have enough pillows!

Not pictured...
Target nursing sports bras
Target soft nursing bras

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Ford 2 weeks

Stats: we had Ford's 2 week checkup yesterday and little man is 9lb 2oz (55%), 21 in (55%) and head circumference of 38.3cm (75%). Crazy how such a big baby boy is only average on the charts! He had a PKU heel prick and only let out a few pitiful noises, less than mama!

Doctor appointments take a lot out of us!
Sleep: Ford is a rockstar sleeper! He is so alert during the day and has distinct awake time. He will snooze here and there and usually has one long nap during the day (4hours or so) and at night will do usually 2 4-5hour stretches which is awesome for mama! We took his newborn pictures Saturday and he would not go to sleep! I swear he acts like a 2 month old and is so bright eyed and awake. 

Eating: big boy is a great eater. Breastfeeding is going really well for us (not hurting me much anymore yay!) and we are getting really efficient. He takes about 20-30 min total to feed and will cluster feed for about 2-3hours at night before his long stretch of sleep (yesterday he cluster fed ALL.DAY.LONG). Totally worth the extended sleep though. I pumped last week and Jon fed him his first bottle Saturday night, he sucked down 2oz and wanted to eat more! He took a bottle last night as well and I hope to do 1/day if I can get enough. 

Diapering: we are no longer using Pamper's or Huggies NB diapers because they are pretty small on him but using Target brand NB which are a little bigger. At the pedi they didn't have NB diapers so we put him in a size 1 after they weighed him and it was clearly too big. I think we'll stick to Target for a few more days then try our Pamper's size 1. He doesn't have a problem filling his diaper that's for sure! Surprisingly his toots are so loud for such a little person haha. Oh and last night I had a boy mom fail, I was putting some butt paste on his bottom and forgot to cover the wee... let's just say poor boy was covered in pee and we took a wipe bath as he was screaming haha. 

Clothes: some NB are getting pretty tight but 0-3m are still baggie. I wish all brands were consistent! I can't wait until he is in 0-3m because he has lots of cutie outfits. 

Social: again, most alert baby ever! He loves his playmat during awake time and loves staring at the ceiling fans and into people's eyes. Even though they are probably just gas, he has been giving us lots of smiles! He has the funniest stink face though with furrowed brows. Oh! And his left dimple like his mama. Yesterday we were in the car quite a bit for errands and my doctor appointment and Ford let us get a good listen at his lungs. We thought he loved the car but for some reason he was NOT happy in it yesterday. I realized he was wet and I am hoping that's why he was upset.

Mama: feeling really good! I tried a day without pain meds last week and was a little sore so I am just taking one in the morning and one at night. Walking is getting easier by the day and we've taken a few walks around the neighborhood. I have finally ventured upstairs (not holding baby though) and it feels good. I am still cautious of what I pick up/how I bend over and want to take it easy for the next couple of weeks. The only thing I notice is my incision stings a bit and my ab area is sore. I had my first postpartum appointment yesterday and it went really well! My sweet doctor was still so shocked by my birth story and told me that 2% of women have the low platelet I became a part of that 2%, I don't know. She took off the sterry strips from my incision and was admiring her handy work saying how small it is and I'll be in a bikini in no time...hmm yeah right! I got blood work to check my platelet levels and I go back in 4 weeks. My doctor instantly said Ford was a mini me and all of the staff thought he was a cutie with tons of hair! Emotionally I am feeling really good...but talk to me after my help leaves on Friday ha! Being surrounded by family has been so great for me and Ford, good thing fall TV is about to start up because we will need some extra entertainment! 

To Mimi's house we go!
(I only picked up his carrier for the picture, my sister seriously won't let me lift a finger! I could get used to this hehe)

Daddy: Jon is getting lots of sleep thanks to Ford being a good sleeper and back to work full time. He works from home so checks on us every so often and gets his little man fix throughout the day. He is taking his first day trip to Dallas this week and although we will miss him, my sister is here to help and keep us company! Jon had a 24 hour allergy thing over the weekend and was so sad that he couldn't be around Ford but is feeling tons better. 

Outings: We went to missional community group last week and it felt so good to be out and about! Ford slept basically the whole time and I fed him at the end. Besides that and doctor appointments, we haven't really been anywhere but loving all the company! Daddy hosted his NFL Fantasty Draft and he had a fun playdate with his buddies Ethan (a week older than him), Ezra (4 months) and his cousin Embry (11 months). We plan on taking him to church this upcoming weekend and are going to a wedding on Sunday evening... big plans!

Cleveland Browns fan like daddy

Baby party 

Every 10 day old needs a popped Polo collar

Visitors: my mom (who lives about 20 minutes away) left us last week after staying to help for a full week and Friday my sister, brother in law, and Embry came! Cori and E are staying until Friday and are such a help around the did I get so lucky?! If you follow me on Instagram you have seen lots of cute cousin pictures, she is so sweet giving Ford lots of kisses and breaking in all of his toys.... I think I may have to do a whole post dedicated to Embry and Ford pics lol! We've loved introducing Ford to friends and family and have more visitors throughout the week!

Cousin loving... too sweet!

Mimi & Papa & their 2 grandbabies

Uncle James

Finally figuring out the paci...ish. This is awesome during cluster feeding times when he just gets a full feeding and is a little fussy. Can't you tell by his stink face that he loves it?

Cori caught a smile this morning!

Ford's 1 week update 
Ford's birth story
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Monday, August 26, 2013

Ford's birth story

I wasn't sure if I wanted to share his birth story and contemplated writing it but I am constantly reminded that when I share certain things about my life, I could be blessing someone else with my story. It was emotional, intense, and not what we would have ever imagined but our Ford is here, beautiful, and worth everything.

Being overdue was hard. The week after my due date we went to the doctor 4 times, had my membranes stripped 4 times, and waited. We spent lots of time with my family to take our minds off of waiting for baby and it was such a great time. Honestly if laughing could put you into labor, I would have had Ford long before! Friday morning we had an appointment and I still hadn't progressed from 3cm and 75% effaced but was having some good contractions on the NST. The nurses told me to go walk for an hour or two and come back to be checked that afternoon. Operation walk the baby out started and we walked the neighborhood and every square inch of Costco. No progress. My doctor could sense how uncomfortable and ready I was and told me that she was on call all weekend and that I could come up at anytime for a "secret date" and she would break my water. The hospital was so busy and didn't have any induction dates until the 15th but there was no way I wanted to wait that long. We spent Saturday with family and prayed for direction on what to do. I didn't want to be in the position to choose when I had my son, I wanted it to happen on it's own but it just wasn't happening. Sunday morning we woke up and walked for an hour in our hilly neighborhood and timed contractions 4 minutes apart for an hour! This is when they tell you to go into the hospital so we did! I was able to shower, pack and relax before we left and I was incredibly excited. I was hooked up to the NST and unfortunately I wasn't in  active labor. We met with the doctor who said we could go ahead and admit me, start me on pitocin and get the show on the road. We were game! 

We settled into our L&D room I think about 2pm and started a low dose of pitocin (2). The doctor wanted to wait to see if Ford would drop a bit before breaking my water because he was still at a -2 station. I could feel the contractions a bit stronger but totally managed. My family came to hang out and I labored on the yoga ball pretty much the whole time. I wasn't progressing so they broke my water which was the weirdest sensation! They upped my pitocin and things got real. I think this was around 7pm because my family left to go get dinner. Contractions were coming on stronger and more frequent and I started to feel tons of pain. I held on as long as I could before asking for an epidural. I had labored for 5 hours on pitocin on my own which was enough for me. I went into labor knowing I wanted to have an epidural but wanted to experience some labor beforehand. I was ready to relax, possibly get some rest, and get some relief. I was 4cm dilated and 95% effaced. Before you are given an epidural, they pump you with 800ml of fluids so as I was being pumped full of the cold liquids, the anesthesiologist came in with the bad news. My blood platelet count was too low and I couldn't receive an epidural. I lost it. I remember shrieking, "so you're saying I am going to feel my son rip through my vagina? Like I am going to feel it all?!" Less than 2% of women have this gestational condition, Thrombocytopenia, and I was a part of that 2%. Pitocin contractions are so much more intense than naturally occurring contractions and I was devastated knowing there wasn't a way to alleviate the pain. I was hysterical for a few minutes and finally calmed down knowing crying and questioning wouldn't fix the situation. I had been healthy my entire pregnancy and never showed signs of high blood counts (doctor said it was gestational and my counts are down so nothing to worry about now). Getting an epidural increased my chances of a blood clot which is deadly and dangerous. There was no way we would risk it. Jon and I were alone and he prayed over me, asking God for guidance in this scary situation and for us to stay calm and embrace the incredible thing that was about to happen. I was given stadol through an IV to attempt to take some pain away and honestly it did nothing but mess with my mind (I do NOT recommend that drug at all but I was willing to try anything at that point). I've never been on drugs but I imagine this is what it would be like. My physical pain was intensified but my mind was far far away. Contractions were coming a minute apart and my whole body would shake in pain. I honestly felt like I was about to lose the battle of life and cried out in pain. I start crying thinking about the pain and looking through pictures, I am so glad we documented it but it just kills me to see everyone around me watching me in pain. The doctor checked me around 11pm and I had made no progress. 9 hours of intense pitocin and I was still stuck at 4 cm dilated. This is when I looked at Jon and said I needed to get the baby out, I needed a C-section. It was such an out of body experience. With tear filled eyes Jon told me he had been waiting for me to ask. And within 20 minutes, my son was born.

Unfortunately I couldn't be put under "normal" C section anesthesia (spinal block) because of my low blood platelets and had to have a full on surgery meaning Jon couldn't be in the room with me. We knew this would be the case if we went for a C section so I had already cried those tears but it was such a blessing. I remember being moved from the hospital bed to the surgical table in the bright, cold, OR, having a contraction, being tied down and crying out in pain clinging to the anesthesiologists' arm. And then I went to sleep. They held off on anesthesia until right before the cut as to not pass on drugs to the baby. Of course I was sad Jon wasn't able to see our son being born but this is our story and there was nothing we could do about it. 

Jon and my family waited anxiously outside the OR and met Ford at just minutes old. We got the whole meeting on film, another thing that wouldn't have normally happened so it was a God thing. The nurses came out and told Jon he was pink, crying, and already peed on 2 nurses! Ford was even opening up his eyes within his first minutes. Proud daddy got to wheel him to the nursery for a bath and my family watched through the glass. I am so lucky they documented it for me!

I got to meet Ford about a few hours after he was born and I was able to wake up from the drugs. I was still woozy from the surgery but got to breastfeed him right away. Jon was with me the whole time and my family took turns coming in as I recovered. They told me I kept asking, "do you think he's cute? Does Dr. Wang thing he's cute? Does Ernie think he's cute?". Well that's a no brainer!

We settled in to our postpartum room and the rest of the night was a blur. I remember the doctor coming in and telling me what a great job I did and also that she highly doubted I would have been able to birth Ford vaginally since he was so large. Again, God redeems. I think how hard it would have been to have gotten the epidural, labored another 24 hours then to have a C section. Was it the birth I always dreamed of? No. It was the most emotional, painful, thrilling, amazing day of my life and I would do it again in a heartbeat for sweet Ford Nehemiah.

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