Archive | July, 2009

baby poo, vomiting, and sleepless nights

26 Jul

Time since birth: 3 weeks 1 day
Total weight loss: don’t know, keep forgetting to weigh myself before eating
Weight loss this week: see above

I’m starting to get used to middle of the night feeds, posseting (spit up/baby vomit), crying, etc. You’re in the hospital for 2 nights (some people are there for only one, or none!), then you go home, and really have no idea what you’re doing. I have to admit, I called the midwives at the hospital at night more then once when I was still “under their care” (which was until Hannah was a week old) to ask questions. The charts all say baby poo is yellow, what if it’s green? I call and ask. I think I’m just a paranoid mom. Is it ok that she only sleeps for 12 hours in a 24 hour period (it is for now, call back if it doesn’t improve)? Is that going to affect her development (no, the average 16-18 hours sleep per day is an average, some babies sleep for 10 hours, others 20, depends on the baby)? Is it ok that she poops about 10 times a day, a lot of the really small little poops (yes, some babies poop after every feed, some do just a couple of big poops, everybody poops!)? She gets the hiccups a lot, is that normal (yes, and it doesn’t bother infants apparently, although Hannah doesn’t seem to like them much)? She gets a lot of wind, is it ok to use infacol (wind drops for babies that bind all their wind together so they can easily get it up in one big burp/fart. And yes, it’s fine to use it does not harm them one little bit)? How do I know when one boob is empty (still not really 100% sure on that one…)? The lump in my boob has exploded to about 5 times the size that was, is that due to hormones (probably, but I will have an ultrasound on it again just to be sure. Then if it looks dodgy, I will have another biopsy. I had one a year ago, and it was just a fibroadenoma, which is benign. I think my body just likes to make lumps and tumours to scare me)? They probably think I’m a pest calling so often. But you know what? We just want the best for our baby, and want to make sure we are doing everything right.

Grandma gave me a book a number of months ago called “What to Expect When The First Year.” I just started reading it, and found that I’m normal. I’m not the only one that goes into baby’s bedroom to look at baby while she is sleeping just to make sure she is breathing. I’m not the only one who worries that I’m not making enough milk, or that she is not getting enough milk. Apparently pretty much every mother on the face of the earth does these things, which probably means that a lot of mothers call the midwives at the hospital to annoy them with questions like I did. The book answers a lot of questions, and has a month by month what to expect. I highly recommend it.

The other night, I woke up to the sound of crying on the baby monitor. I wasn’t feeling particularly hot, but I thought I must have been, as I was sweating between my boobs. It took me a bit to realise that it wasn’t sweat at all, my let down (when the milk starts flowing) has decided to not wait until Hannah starts sucking, but instead starts when she cries. I had milk all over my chest. Lucky I bought a few boxes of breast pads before Hannah was born.

I have a special chair in Hannah’s room that I feed her in (except sometimes during the day I feed her on the couch now that I’m skilled enough to do so). It’s a gliding rocking chair, with a boomerang pillow that I put on my lap to lay Hannah on so I don’t have to actually hold all of her weight. I lay her on her side on the pillow, across me, with her mouth on the chosen boob. One day, after feeding her, I noticed she had a wet patch on the front of her onesie, off to one side. How in the world did she wet herself there?? I could understand it a bit if she were a boy, maybe it was pointing there when laying on his side or something, but a girl? At the next night feed, it happened again. How in the world are you doing this, little one? That is when I realised that when feeding on one side, the other side leaks. She didn’t wet herself at all, I wet her! I don’t particularly like wearing a bra to bed, so now I just put a breast pad between me and Hannah during the night feeds. Problem solved, no more wet Hannah Banana.

Friday I met with some of the girls from my antenatal class (and a couple of the husbands were there too as they had not yet gone back to work). We (girls) decided that we want to meet up regularly and go for pram walks (a walk while pushing babies in prams) and lunch. I decided (ok, Hannah’s tummy decided) that would be the perfect time to try feeding in public. I don’t really want to be one of those “hi, here’s my boob” people, so how do you do it discreetly? We all went to the local cafe, but they seemed none to happy to accommodate us and didn’t even try to help us move tables so we could all sit together and have room for our prams (even though they didn’t have any customers at the time, and would have gotten a nice chunk of change since there were quite a few of us), so instead we went to the pub. Hannah decided before we arrived that it was meal time, so I had to do it. It was quite awkward at first. I got one of the girls to hold up a cloth while I attached Hannah, but when you have to do it a few times (she likes to be burped a few times during each feed), that is just not practical. On the other hand, I didn’t really want everyone to see my boob and nipple, so what do you do? I tried to do the cloth thing myself (throw it over your shoulder, try to attach baby), but how do you see what you are doing? That didn’t work. I finally decided the best way is to bring baby to boob, then when baby’s head is blocking view of boob, that is when you pull up your shirt. Before you bring baby’s head to boob, unhook feeding bra so all you need to do when baby is blocking view of boob is pull up shirt, and bam, baby is on nipple, and unless someone was really trying to see and at the right angle (like sitting right next to you), no one will see your goodies. At least I don’t think they will. I feel a lot more comfortable with the whole thing now. The build up was nerve wracking, you just have to do it.

We still haven’t taken Hannah to very populated places (like shopping centres) (she has only been for walkies around where we live, to the pub for lunch, bible study, and church). Maybe we are being over protective, but we are afraid of taking her where lots of people are because we don’t want her to get their germs. Swine flu is on the prowl, we don’t want our little Hannah Banana to get swine flu! We decided that when she is 6 weeks old, then we will start taking her out. Her little immune system is just not ready for the world yet (or our silly brains, one or the other).

The linea nigra (line going down the centre of my belly) is supposed to go away after birth, but I wonder how long it takes. Mine is still there, loud and proud. It does look rather odd, with no big pregnant belly to accompany it. It hasn’t even remotely faded. I still can’t fit my butt into my pre pregnancy jeans (which fit me with the belly belt until the last couple of months of pregnancy when my butt seemed to expand), yet I am quite small, so I must have been really small before. And I always thought I had a big bum. I suppose I’ve just gotten bigger all over, so you don’t really notice that I’m bigger then before I was pregnant (it’s in proportion is what I’m trying to get at. I don’t make a lot of sense, must be lack of continuous sleep).

One night, I awoke to something touching me. As I woke up more, I realised I was being patted. Aaron was patting me like you pat a baby. Rhythmically, gently, patting my hip (I was on my side). He must have been dreaming about holding Hannah because he was fast asleep. I grabbed his hand and held it against my hip. I got some nonsense, not actual words asleep garbledy goop in response.

Everyone tells us how cute little Hannah is. People even say she looks like a doll. I may be biased, but she certainly is cute! I may be weird, but I often just look at her while she is feeding, or sleeping on my shoulder, and marvel at how absolutely cute she is. Her little face is just perfect. When she gets an upset tummy (wind), I wish I could just take away her pain so she never has to feel it. I want to protect her from everything. I guess that’s just being a Mom.

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My jaundiced baby

20 Jul

Time since birth: 2 weeks 1 day
Total weight loss: 7kg (15.4lbs)
Weight loss this week: 100g (.22lbs but I weighed myself after eating and fully clothed so this is not too accurate)

Last Monday (a week ago today) a nurse from the early childhood centre came to do a home visit. She checked Hannah’s jaundice (which is now gone), weighed her (she had gained over 200g since that Thursday, which is really good), pushed on my tummy to see how my uterus is going, and asked any questions that I have. She said we were doing really well and that I seemed really calm for a new mom. I find it very odd that after getting stitches when Hannah was born, not one person has checked the stitches since then. I had a total of 4 home visits (3 from midwives, 1 from the nurse), and some checks in hospital, but no stitch check. This seems very odd to me. What if they are infected or not healing right or something. I wouldn’t know, I don’t know what vajayjay stitches are supposed to look like (nor can I see down there anyway…). I’m sure they are fine, but I still find it odd. I would think that would be something that needs checking.

I can’t remember if I mentioned it last week, but after you have a baby, your appetite goes out the window. I had to force myself to eat 3 meals per day for a week and a half. I could only get through small portions. The nurse said that is normal, and is due to hormones, etc. I’m happy to report that I now have my appetite back. Unfortunately I have not been drinking any milk as Hannah had lots of gas and I read online that sometimes this can be due to mom’s ingesting milk products. So, I’m giving up milk for a week to see if there is a change. It’s torture though, I LOVE milk!! I don’t think she has been as gassy though. Poor little Hannah gets quite distressed when she has too much wind. her poor little tummy hurts. Hopefully I can reintroduce milk slowly to my diet. I will have to ask the nurse about such things.

It’s funny how things change as soon as you have a baby. I never used to go out without at least a light dusting of my mineral makeup, but now, who cares, I just had a baby, I don’t have time for that! I’ve been living in sweats since I got home, and only shower every other day (except for washing my stitches which I do every day). I walk to the shops in my sweats and take Hannah for walks in my sweats. That is just what happens after you become a mom. I don’t want to be daggy for the rest of my life, but for now, while little Hannah is so young and in need of attention all the time, I just don’t have time to make myself look nice.

I am so thankful to our church and it’s members. They have been bringing us meals since we came home from hospital. I don’t know what we’d do without it. There just isn’t time (or energy) for cooking dinner at the moment. Hannah doesn’t really like to sleep during the day (she is sleeping now, but it’s the first time she has slept today, and it’s 4:40 in the afternoon), so that doesn’t really give me time to tend to any house duties or cooking. We are very grateful!

My coccyx is still sore, but getting better. I can now sit on the couch and breastfeeding chair (cushioned gliding rocking chair in Hannah’s room. Hannah and I love that chair) without a folded towel under each cheek. I still can’t drive as the seats in the car are quite hard and I have to sit really awkwardly in the car. If it was an automatic I might be able to drive it, but as it’s a manual, I’d have to sit properly to have both feet doing what they are supposed to, and that is painful still.

Hannah loves it when Mommy or Daddy holds her in a sitting position so she can stare at our faces. Sometimes she even smiles. She may not like to sleep during the day, but at night, Hannah is wonderful. She usually sleeps at about 10pm after a feed, and then sleeps for 5 hours. Another feed, diaper change, and settling (45min – 1 hour total), and she sleeps for another 2-4 hours. Another feed, etc, and she sleeps for another 2-4 hours. I get lots of sleep luckily (most nights, but we have had the odd bad night). She is just so cute.

Hannah was really unsettled yesterday. She didn’t sleep all day. We went to church last night, but she cried so much that Aaron had to take her out to the car and just sit with her the whole time while she bawled her eyes out. I wish I knew how to make her feel better when she is so unsettled. We check her nappy, feed her, make sure she is not too hot or cold, give her cuddles, etc, but still, she cries. I guess it’s just because she is a baby. She looks tired (yawning, and other tired signs), wakes up about 5 min after putting her to bed. I suppose she will grow out of it though. Better to be like that during the day then all night though! She does sleep when I take her for a walk in her pram. She will be bawling her eyes out all the way to the top of the driveway, then, as soon as we hit the sidewalk, she is out. She will be out the whole walk time, until we get right outside our driveway, then she is up and screaming again. I don’t know how she knows we’re home, but somehow, she always does. She is too smart for her own good I think.

I find getting out for a walk does wonders for me too. I like to get some fresh air, and it really puts me in a good mood. I might be really stressed or upset from trying to settle Hannah all day, but as soon as we go for a walk, I’m refreshed. Good old vitamin D (the happy vitamin) I suppose. I guess that is why all the baby books tell you to get out everyday no matter what, even if it’s just to the mailbox and back. Good advice, I second that. I like going for pram walks so much that I emailed all the girls from my antenatal class (we all keep in touch and meet up sometimes) and suggested we all meet up fairly regularly after everyone has their babies (one popped yesterday, and another today, a couple more to go) and go for pram walks. I’ve gotten favourable responses so far.

Anyway, Hannah might wake up soon, so I’m going to go now. ToOdLeS!

Hannah is born!

13 Jul

Time since birth: 8 days
Total weight loss: 6.9kgs (although it looks like a lot more!)
Hannah’s birth weight: 3.3kg (7.27lbs)
Hannah’s birth size: 48cm (18.89in)
Hannah’s birth date: 5 July 2009

It all started on the 4th of July. In the morning I started getting very irregular contractions that didn’t feel like the usual braxton hicks. We decided we should get to the shops and get a microwave asap as after the baby is born, we would be getting meals delivered for 2 weeks by members of our church (that we would need to heat up). We’ve had some issues in the microwave department for quite some time now. We had to leave the our old one at our last place as it had a cockroach living it in. Not too long ago, my friend May gave us an old one they had. It worked for a day, then made a loud noise and started sparking. So, we went to buy a new one. We were going to go grocery shopping too, but I wasn’t really feeling the best at the time. As soon as we got to the shops, I heard a little girl say to her mom “that girl is so fat!” referring of course to me. I thought it was hilarious though.

Aaron set up our brand new microwave as soon as we got home. I think microwaves have conspired against us because this one didn’t work either. So much for that idea. There was no way I was going back to the shops now!

In the afternoon, my contractions started to get closer together and a little more intense, so we decided to put on my TENS unit. After all, it says it’s most effective if you start using it as soon as you are in proper pre labour, which I knew I was. I had also lost my mucous plug that morning. By evening, the contractions were even closer together and more painful. I found it most comfortable to sit on the floor on my yoga mat, and then drape myself over my exercise ball and start rocking when a contraction came. We tried to put funny movies and things on to distract me as well, but it didn’t work very well. I called the delivery suite when my contractions were about 5 mins apart, but they were still a bit erratic, with some at 4 something, then others at 7 something, so they told me it wasn’t time to go in yet. Aaron would also give me a hard back massage when I got a contraction which helped a lot.

I wanted to get some sleep as I knew I would need energy for the next day, so still wearing the TENS unit, we went to bed. I did manage to sleep between contractions, but woke up again with each one. I still felt rested though which was good. The contractions were getting more intense over night, and by morning, they were just under 5 minutes apart, and about a minute long, so we called the delivery suite again. They told us to come in so they could check my progress, and bring a bag just in case. Contractions in the car were the worst. You can’t get into a comfortable position, you have to just keep sitting there. Aaron suggested I start making noises to help get through them. I’m sure we looked very interesting driving down the road, me with my eyes closed, a look of agony on my face, and making loud low gutteral grunting noises. I had to lean against the car and put my face on my arms when we arrived as I got another contraction.

They took me to the check up room straight away when I arrived, and monitored me and the baby for a while. Baby’s heart rate was really good, and I was having some big contractions, but being in the hospital scared them away somewhat. They did an internal and said I was 3cm dilated. We were sent home for the time being, but told if the pain got too intense, if my water broke, etc. to call and come back. I had a bag of waters in front of the baby’s head which was pushing on everything and making me feel like my insides were going to explode. When we got home, Aaron ran me a warm bath to see if that would help. I got in, but only for a couple of minutes. The contractions were being far too painful. We called the hospital again, and went back.

We got there at 10:30 and this time they took me to a delivery room. They were really quiet that day (I turned out to be the only one to have a normal delivery (non c-section) that day, so they gave me one of the group practice rooms. Group practice rooms are bigger, and have bigger baths as well. They did an internal and found I was 5cm dilated, so they said I should be ready in about 5 hours. We tried the bath again, and it was quite soothing. That is until a contraction came along. I couldn’t just lay there during a contraction. I felt I needed to walk around or something. Plus I couldn’t have my TENS unit in the bath (unless I wanted to electrocute myself). Sorry, but I wasted a whole lot of water in the bath I didn’t really use.

I kept trying different positions during contractions to try and find something more bearable. I tried laying on a mat on the floor. It worked for a while, but then I needed to get up again. I don’t know how I didn’t feel it, but when I got up, there was a big puddle. My water had broken. Oh yeah, we also put on the classical music as soon as we got there to make it more relaxing and homey (worked nicely by the way).

I finally found that walking around while clutching the bottom of my stomach was the way to go. As I walked around, Aaron would walk with me and coach my deep breathing and rub my back. The contractions kept getting stronger and closer together, so sometimes I would also deep breathe the gas. I’m not sure if it was the gas itself, or concentrating on the rattley noise it made when you sucked on it, but it seemed to help.

I felt like i really had to pee but every time i tried i couldn’t. The midwife put a catheter in to drain the urine. not pleasant let me tell you! It seems there was a little head pinching the urine escape route.

After a while i started getting the strong urge to push. the midwife kept telling me not to, but sometimes i couldn’t help it, my body just did it. Aaron would then coach my breathing and I’d pull out of it. But then i felt something. As they were telling me not to push i yelled out “it’s coming!” They took one look at my face and knew it was time to check. About 5 mins earlier they told me they only do the internal every 4 hours so at 2:30 when there was a shift change, the new midwife would check me. I was promptly checked and told i was ready. They were amazed that i dilated so fast as it was my first baby. They asked me what position i wanted to be in then it was push time. i dragged myself over to the mat on the floor and draped myself over a beanbag.

finally, i was allowed to push. it’s so much easier when you can actually do something. i pushed with all my might. i could feel something fly out. all at once i felt extremely scared (it flew out what if they didn’t catch it?), and relief (wow that was easy). but then something wet splatted all over me and i knew it wasn’t over yet. they said it was like a water balloon, shot out of me like a cannonball. when it landed it burst all over everyone. it was my forewaters. i kept pushing with each contraction, the head getting closer each time. finally i could feel it. i gave n all mighty push and it started to come out. but then my contraction finished and it went back in. nobody told me I’d have to birth the head multiple times until it got past the point of no return. i think i almost got it out three times before i felt the agonizing burning sensation of me tearing and the head reaching it;s widest point before finally coming out. i was in a world of pain now, between contractions but torn and still stretched over baby’s neck. i pushed with the next contraction and easily birthed the rest of the baby. i didn’t even notice the doctor giving me a shot (to help detach the placenta).

They passed the baby to me between my legs from behind. i didn’t even think to check, i was just going to hold it, but the midwife said “what is it?” “it’s a girl!” i exclaimed, and put her on my chest. my placenta wasn’t detaching so the midwife was pulling on it and pressing on my uterus. it was quite painful. after a while they told me to give a push. i didn’t think anything would happen but when i pushed, the placenta practically flew out. i guess i like projectiles….

I was covered in blood and there was blood everywhere. I was sitting in a giant puddle of blood. I was worried i’d lost too much but they said it was about 400ml which is normal.

She fed straight away until they got me on the bed for my stitches. Aaron got to hold her while i was being tortured. i inhaled a large amount of gas and felt floaty as they gave me local anesthetic (my first actual pain relief of the ordeal). i could feel pulling and it seemed to take ages as they stitched me in layers. i’m not sure exactly how many stitches i had except that it was more then 10. ewwww.

before i got to go to my room, i was told i had to pee,shower, and carb load myself so as not to pass out. you really do feel lightheaded after giving birth. it’s like every ounce of energy has been zapped from you and you have nothing left. luckily they take you to your room in a wheelchair.

i managed to get through labour with only the TENS and gas, but only because of Aaron’s encouragement, coaching and praise. he is the bestest!

After sifting through all the conflicting info given by different midwives, we seem to be getting caring for Hannah down. She is a beautiful little girl, and a little treasure.

I’m hoping my stitches and bruised coccyx will feel better soon, but other then that, we are doing well.

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