Friday, July 15, 2011

Webb summer get together, 4th of July, and 2 month dr visit

The end of June was Alex's first Webb get together, so he got to meet some of his Great Aunts and Uncles.  We were nervous taking him on a long road trip to Illinois, but for the most part it went very well!  He likes to ride in the car, pretty much all he did was sleep haha.  We just had to stop every couple hours so he could eat and get his diaper changed.  But to be honest I was happy to get out of the car and stretch my legs!  We had a great weekend of eating great food and catching up, I couldn't have asked for anything better!
Alex and Claire

Alex and Grandma Mary

How cute!!!

Paul, Toliver and Tim playing some ball in the backyard

Alex and Great Uncle Ron

Well Alex had his first 4th of July!  He loved it of course!  On July 2nd we went over to our friends Aaron and Kendra's house for a grill-out and fireworks.  Alex did really well with the fireworks, I think the bright lights bothered him more than the noise.  However, after about 15 minutes he was not enjoying it any longer, so we went inside.  On the 3rd we went over to my Aunt Glenda's house for a family get together and Alex got to meet his "cousin" Collins.  I say "cousin" because let's face it, it's simpler.  My mom and Sarah are 1st cousins, and Collins is Sarah's daughter.  So we joked that Collins and Alex are "some sort of cousins".  Alex wasn't too sure about Collins, but I think Collins loved Alex and thought he was her new toy.
Come here little baby!  I want to play!
Awe holding hands!

One of Alex's July 4th outfits from Great Aunt Jenn.  Of course you should get your own parade cutie!
On the 4th we went to our friends Amanda and Kevin's house for another 4th of July picnic.  Alex was a huge hit especially with the girls...everyone loves babies!
Alex's second 4th of July outfit!

All the kiddos oooing and ahhing over the baby!
Amanda and Kevin were setting off some pretty big fireworks, so Alex and I watched them from inside.  Or should I say, he went to sleep while I watched them!

Alex had his 2 month Well-baby visit this week.  I think it was hard on the both of us since he had to get his first round of vaccinations!  The good news is that he is up to 9 lbs 4.5 oz and 22 inches long!  He is in the 5th percentile for weight, 7th percentile for length, and 16th percentile for head circumference.  So he is still a little guy. But Dr Harrison said as long as he gains 1 oz per day, he is doing well.  And so far he has surpassed that!  The rest of his checkup went great!
Alex on his boppy during "tummy time"
I can't believe how big Alex is getting and how much he is changing day to day.  He is getting really good at holding his head up and pushing up on his arms during tummy time.  It's just a matter of time before he rolls over!  His hair is growing back, I swear I can see it getting longer every day.  In some light it looks white/blonde and in other light it looks red.  Time will tell!

A mother's guilt

Lately I have been thinking a lot about "mother's guilt".  I am sure I am not the only one who feels guilty about something nearly every day. Think about it, what mother isn't guilty about going back to work, or letting a poopy diaper sit for just "five more minutes", or even thinking "ugh do I REALLY have to get up?" when the baby wakes at 4 in the morning.  And of course there is the biggie: breastfeeding.  Since I learned I was pregnant I have had several reasons I wanted to breastfeed.  First of all, it is free.  Who wants to spend money on formula when you can feed your baby for free?  But most of all, I knew that breast milk was the healthiest food for my baby and as all mothers, I wanted to do the absolute best for my baby.  I read books, articles, blogs, and message boards on breastfeeding; I talked to my friends and family to get their input.  I took it for granted that it would work out for me, even though I knew it wouldn't be easy.

I may have known it wouldn't be easy, but I still wasn't prepared for the challenge.  I started off behind the pack, I didn't even get to hold Alex until he was 4 hours old.  "It's ok" I told myself, and as soon as I got to hold him and he was passed around for all my family to hold him I kicked everyone out of the room so I could breastfeed.  Well it helped that it was 2 am, but that's not the point!  Breastfeeding seemed to go well at first, Alex latched on perfectly.  I continued to breastfeed him every couple hours, and as far as I knew, everything was going fine and normally.  But then on hospital day 3 I found out from the pediatrician that Alex has lost quite a bit of weight.  If he lost much more, we would have to start supplementing him with formula.  Soon after that Alex started to get very upset, he was inconsolable and cried for over an hour.  I tried to breastfeed him but he would just get more upset.  Finally we called the nurse because I didn't know what to do.  She suggested that we give him a little formula, just to ease his hunger.  I didn't like the idea, but I put my feelings aside.  My baby needed to eat right?  I couldn't believe how fast he sucked the formula down.  I broke down and cried.  Why couldn't I feed my baby?  Why couldn't I give him what he needed?  It was a very hard time for me, it didn't help that my hormones were crazy since I had just given birth.  The next day we discovered that he had lost more weight, so he would need formula supplementation after each breastfeeding.  I felt defeated.

Well to make a long story short, breastfeeding never got any easier.  But I kept at it, determined to make it work.  My problem was that my milk never came in.  I don't know if it was the c-section, the fact that I had a small baby, the medications I was taking for my clotting disorder, or just that it was my first baby.  (I have heard from others that they didn't produce enough milk for their first baby, but produced plenty for the next baby)  I tried everything to make it work.  I pumped, I took medications, I took herbal supplements (that my dr told me not to take but hey, I was desperate), I ate oatmeal every day, I drank ovaltine, and I even spent a week drinking 1 Guinness each night. (yuck!)  One of the prescriptions I took, Reglan, seemed to help a little, but you can only take it for 1 month and after that month my milk supply started to dwindle again.   But still I kept at it.  I spent weeks beating myself up over it.  Everyone I talked to said "I would have given up by now" or "Is this worth all the stress?" but I just ignored it.  Even though I was stressed out, didn't want to leave the house or make plans with friends/family, and just generally unhappy, I refused to give up.  Why? 

Ah now we get to it, the almighty Guilt factor.  I felt like if I gave up breastfeeding I was being lazy and not doing my best for Alex.  It took my mother telling me "Kristin you have spent your entire maternity leave being miserable over this.  You should be enjoying yourself!" before I really got it.  Alex was healthy.  I had given breastfeeding my best shot. It just didn't work for us, and Alex would be just fine on formula.  That day I felt such a wonderful rush of relief come over me.  Sure Mr. Guilt talks to me in the back of my mind most days saying "What if you had given it one more week? Maybe it would have worked after that 9th week!" But I have learned to ignore it. It's time to move on!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I need to get better at this

Well once again, I waited way too long in between blog posts.  I am really going to attempt to be better to keep our wonderful relatives and friends updated on what's going on.  I will try to quickly sum up what has been going on, hopefully you have either talked to me or read my facebook updates but if not here you go!

My last update was week 33 of pregnancy, and the rest of my pregnancy went pretty well.  All of my ultrasounds and non stress tests were normal...until week 38 (May 13th).  I got off my night shift at work and went into my weekly OB appointment.  I went into the non stress test first, and we had one of our fastest times! I had the hang of it by that point and knew that I had to chug ice water to keep baby moving.  After that we went to the ultrasound.  Usually we breeze through it, but this time was a little different.  It was one of our "measuring weeks" where we got to see approximately how much he weighed.  The tech kept retaking the measurements over and over again to try to get a bigger weight, he was only measuring 6 lbs at the most. And most of his measurements were below that.  I knew he would be a small baby,  but that is pretty small for a 38 week baby.  The tech just said it was because he was too far down in my pelvis and she couldn't get a good measurement on his head.  I was a little relieved, I thought he must have dropped and he would be coming any day now!  Well I was partially correct.  When the OB came into check my cervix, I was still at 1 cm and he was not dropped down in my pelvis at all.  So the measurements were correct.  Dr Hedrick also said that she didn't like some of his placental measurements, and she was suspicious that his placenta was not functioning properly. Ok this was definitely panic time for me, but she said he is obviously doing ok since he passed his non stress test and the other parts of the ultrasound.  However, she also said that she didn't want to wait until May 20th which was our original induction date, she wanted to induce that day.  it was 1245 pm and she said, "Can you get to Bergan by 200 pm?"  Um yeah I guess!  Needless to say I was freaking out a little.  I thought I had another week to get ready!  We had a whole entire list of stuff we wanted to do before baby came, but oh well.  It was time!

I called Tim frantically and told him he needed to get home right away so we could go to the hospital.  We quickly threw what we thought we needed in bags and headed to Bergan.  I made it there exactly at 2!  They started the pitocin and I was nervous about starting labor  but excited to meet my baby boy finally.  Well after 7 hours of pitocin, I still hadn't started labor.  My cervix didn't dilate, and I only had one real contraction, the rest were braxton-hicks.  I was at the max amount of pitocin and the baby was doing ok, but his heart rate was starting to lose variability, which is one of the early signs that things just "aren't right".  Luckily I have a great doctor and it was her weekend on call (yay!) so she was there at the hospital with me.  She decided it would be best to do a c-section and get the baby out before we started having problems.  Again I was a little freaked out and I didn't really want a c-section, but I would also do anything for my baby so I said, "let's go!"

The proud parents right before surgery
Since I never went into labor I didn't have an epidural, so I got a spinal block.  It didn't work all the way, I could still feel around my belly button.  I didn't think that was a big deal until they started doing the delivery, it felt like someone grabbed my skin by my belly button with a hook and was pulling it across the room as hard as they could.  Ouch!  They ended up having to give me some fentanyl through my IV but it still hurt like nothing I've ever felt before.  I guess that was my trade off for not having contractions!  Anyway, Alex was born and he was a perfect baby.  He started crying right away which was music to our ears.  We both started crying hysterically we were so happy.  (Well I was already crying from pain but I was glad to turn it into a happy cry!) It was the happiest moment of my life!
Alexander Steven, 5 lbs 13 oz, 19.5 inches
Well after a quick clean up and a kiss from mom and dad, Alex was whisked away to the nursery to finish his exams and get a bath.  Tim followed Alex to the nursery while I hung out and the doctors sewed me up.  After I recovered I was taken up to our post-partum room.  On our way I got to stop by the nursery and see Alex.  Oh how I wanted to hold him!  But I had to wait another excruciating 2 hours because his blood sugar was low and it needed to be above a certain level before he could be released from the nursery.  Finally at 1:30 am I got to hold my baby!

The Webb family together at last!

Of course we thought he was perfect.  Things didn't go how we thought they would, but we ended up with a perfect, healthy baby which was all we could ask for.