Friday, April 24, 2009

"Sub Mom"

I know I mentioned back in January that Zach had an awesome first year with Aflac! We were so excited to learn that all his hard work came with a wonderful reward. Each year Aflac has a President's Club trip where they send the Top 85 agents in the nation and their guests on an all-expense paid vacation to somewhere!

Well guess what? Zach was in the Top 85!!! His trip? A 5 night trip to Paris, France. We were pumped!!! The bad news? The trip fell 6 weeks after my due date! Once we found that out we debated about what to do? We prayed that Aflac would let us take the baby and we made a back up plan if they wouldn't. That's why I was sooo worried that Clover would be late because I KNEW I had to store up enough milk to feed the baby while we were away if Aflac wouldn't allow us to bring him!

Thankfully, Kye came a week early so instead of being 6 weeks old he's 7 and I had that much extra time to pump and save milk. Aflac won't let us bring him on the trip or let us reschedule or basically do anything else. It's go or don't go. While I feel HORRIBLE and GUILTY for leaving my young baby, who could pass up a free trip to Paris? Not only do we get free plane tickets but we also are staying at a REALLY nice hotel and they are paying for all our meals...which include a welcome dinnner at this famous village called Montmartre, dinner and show at Moulin Rouge, and a dinner cruise down the Seine River! Plus they are taking us on a panoramic tour of the entire city! It's truly a once in a lifetime opportunity!
My mom has taken the week of from teaching and is coming to keep Kye for us. I'm SO thankful to her for doing this as I don' t know if there is someone else I'd feel more comfortable with than her! She stayed with us when he was first born and stayed again over her Spring Break so she knows how we do things!

Even though she probably already knows everything we do, I still felt the need to type up a list for her of every little detail she could possibly need to care for my baby! The end result? 33 PAGES! Mom told me she's been busy this week writing up plans for her substitute teacher and I told her it's like she's my "sub mom" since I'm basically doing the same thing she is for her sub teacher!
We leave tomorrow morning and I have pretty much been dreading it. Usually I'm PUMPED for a trip but this, while it will be awesome, is such a hard one! It's not just like we are going to be away from the baby, we are going to be away for 5 nights in another COUNTRY! Mom can't just text me or call my cell, I have to call her to check in with a calling card or (we pray the room internet works okay) email.

I feel so bad that Kye will miss me and won't understand. At this age they don't know that when you leave you will come back and I am scared he will be crying for ME and I won't be there. I feel so badly about leaving him but at the same time I think Zach and I really need this chance to reconnect. I would say I'm excited to get to sleep through the night for the first time in 2 months but I don't even get to do that!!!

In order to keep my milk supply up so I can breastfeed when I get home I have to pump while I'm there...EVERY THREE HOURS!!!! What a pain! So that means I'll even be whipping out my pump on the airplane...how fun!
I was worried people may judge me for going on the trip (again my insecurities) because I know when, while I was still pregnant, we debated about going if Aflac didn't let him come people either told me to go because it's a once in a lifetime chance or they said they wouldn't be able to leave their baby that soon. When did I get over it? When I realized that most working mother's go back to work after 6 weeks! So why should anyone judge me? Yes, I'll be gone multiple days in a row but working mothers can be gone like 8 hours a day so that's not that much of a difference?
Bottom Line: I'm going. I feel crappy about it and am probably the least excited I've ever been about a vacation before. BUT I'm hopeful. I think once we leave it will remind me of the "days before baby" and I will let loose and enjoy myself. I know it will be incredible and I plan to soak in all the culture I can and enjoy my HUSBAND since our lives have been revolving around Kye so much lately!
I'm going to miss my baby so much and have been spending every second I can this week soaking him in. Of course today, the day before I leave, I realize he may have hit a growth spurt so I'm having to adjust my 33 pages to try to offer Mom some help on how to deal with it while I'm having less than 24 hours to figure it out myself before I'm gone! I feel bad leaving him in general, let alone during a time when it'll be tough for someone else to figure out what to do! But I know it will all be OKAY and that years from now I'll have all the memories of the trip and will have lloooong forgotten my guilt!

Making Contact!

Kye has been enjoying reaching for things for a couple weeks now, but hasn't really grasped the concept that when he sees something, he reaches, then he can touch it! A lot of the time he would just reach all over the place, no where near the object his eyes were focused on.

Yesterday I had an eye doctor appointment and had to rush around to get ready after Kye's feeding, so it took place during his awake time. Usually during awake time I play and play and play with him. It's all about "us time" not so much about "Kye time."

Since I was in a hurry I brought his bouncer into the bathroom and let him lay in it, thinking if he started to fall asleep that I'd be right there to wake him back up. I didn't have to worry about that AT ALL! He was the happiest I've seen him in so long!

In his big swing he can see the hanging animals but can't yet reach them, but in the bouncer he started reaching and reaching and made contact!

Here he is "talking" to the squirrel
Starting to think about how he can touch it haha
Concentrating VERY hard
Making contact! He must have hit that thing a million times! It made him SO happy
I ended up taking WAY longer to get ready because I couldn't quit watching him! He entertained himself for about 40 minutes! Talking to the animals, hitting them, and laughing at himself.
It was super precious and made me think about how I should probably be giving him some alone play time. I'm hardcore about him putting himself to sleep, so why not be hardcore about him entertaining himself sometimes too? He obviously loved it and I'm sure it will help him develop more independence!
I couldn't resist, I had to video tape him too!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Passive Parenting ~ Trusting My Gut

I have always known that I'm not the most secure person in the world. I may appear pretty confident but I'm one of those people who can dish it out but who really can't take it! Parenting, however, has really brought to surface my insecurities!

It all started during delivery. I was laying on the table pushing longer than most people push with NO drugs yet I felt so embarrassed. I kept saying, "I suck at this don't I?" And asking, "Am I doing it right?" Why was I so insecure? I did a great job!
The self doubt didn't start there. I don't think I did much of anything with my baby the first week without asking someone what to do. Remember I didn't even change his diaper the first six days? I know with breastfeeding I wanted Zach in the room every time to help me get Kye to latch on and make sure I was doing it right! Ridiculous! But still, that was me.

Before Kye was born Zach and I were hardcore that we weren't going to let people tell us how to parent our baby. We've seen other people give opinions and tell Courtney what to do with Colt and we didn't like that. We wanted to figure it all out on our own (typical independent us!) and refused to let anyone get in the way of that.

Zach did a great job once Kye was born! I remember when we left the hospital and Kye was crying in his car seat and Mrs. Charlotte and Mom made some comments or suggestions on what to do and Zach said to them, "quit telling me how to parent my child." He's only been a dad for 24 hours and already he was confident!!! I've been the EXACT opposite. I realized that I've let everyone tell me their opinions and dictate how I take care of my baby!
I don't blame Mrs. Charlotte or Mom or the doctors. I blame myself. I should be confident enough in my own parenting to say, "no, this is how I do it." When Mom visited for her Spring Break is when my light bulb finally went off and I realized what I've been doing! She would naturally say, "I think he has a dirty diaper." And I'd freak out inside thinking my mom would think I'm a bad mother because we don't change his diaper the second it's dirty. When he spit up and some got on his clothes and she changed his outfit I knew we don't change his outfit if he just spits up a little on it but I didn't say anything because I didn't want her to think I was a bad mom leaving my kid in dirty clothes. I figure she's been a mom for almost 25 years...doesn't she know better than I do after only a month?

The bottom line is Kye is MY child, no one elses. Zach and I know how to parent him better than anyone else does even if they have parented forever or are professionals! When I first took Kye to the dr. I was SO nervous to change his diaper in front of them...or even HOLD him in front of them for fear that they would judge me! When I went to the hospital to see the lactation lady I was sooo nervous for her to see me nurse for fear that I was doing it wrong! When my GUT told me that my breast issue has to do with Kye having thrush and passing the yeast back to me I took him to the dr but when they told me he didn't have symptoms I didn't speak up. I didn't tell them that sometimes the baby may not show symptoms. I didn't do anything. I just left unsatisfied!
I believe that everything happens for a reason and that through every bad experience we can learn something and grow in some way. My breastfeeding problems was what I needed to FINALLY stand up and say, "I AM A GOOD MOM!" I was so frustrated after leaving his dr. and them saying he didn't have thrush. I was even more frustrated leaving my dr. and being told I didn't have yeast. After seeing the lactation lady it all clicked and I realized all of this insecurity has to stop. I know my body. I know my baby. I KNOW more than anyone else what is BEST!

It was then that I called his dr. and told them that I don't care that he doesn't have symptoms, I want to try thrush meds and see what happens. It was then that I talked to Stacy and told her even though her gut says I don't have yeast that I have to trust my gut and give the yeast meds one more shot. It was then that I apologized to both Mom and Mrs. Charlotte and told them that I have been too afraid to parent in front of them the way I should be and that it was going to change.
Before Zach left for his business trip last week, I can admit that he was probably more the "mom" than I was. I trusted his every idea and his every plan of action for Kye. I put my own gut instinct aside I did what he thought was best. While he was away on business I learned that I have the abilities to be a great parent! I did AWESOME on my own! Kye had great naps, he slept wonderfully at night, and I totally came up with his routine and schedule ON MY OWN!!!!

When Zach came home he came back to a new Emily! A Emily who said, "this is how we do this with the baby." I think he liked to see a more confident me and I think he appreciated me finally stepping up to my parenting role. I feel so so so much better about myself now! Would I say my insecurities are gone? No! They are still there! But I am able to put them aside and make them a little whisper in my head and allow my natural motherly instinct, my gut, to yell strong and lead the way!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Week Six Summary

I've been following the Babywise Blog that I mentioned in an earlier post and something I like that she does is a weekly report on how her baby is doing. I think this is a GREAT idea so I can compare how Kye is at such and such week to how the next baby is. I'm going to attempt to do this each Wednesday since Kye was born on a Wednesday and each one makes him one week older! Once the weeks quit having so many changes in them I'll probably change it to a monthly thing!

Diapers

Kye has grown out of the size 1 Pampers so I tried him in some of the Huggies we have. Before hearing how much better Pampers is than Huggies I bought some Huggies since they are much cheaper! Using the size 1-2 Huggies was our first experience with them and they are SO much smaller than Pampers! I put him in ONE of the transition diapers and it gave him red lines from being too tight already! Luckily I also had a bag of transition 1-2 Pampers so we're using those. But what a waste! I also have a box of Huggies sz 2 and we're going to use those ASAP but I have a feeling he could be grown out of them before we know it. From now on...I'm sticking to Pampers everything!!!

Plus Pamper's website has this deal with points for everything Pampers you buy and duh I'm all about that. And ToysRUs/BabiesRUs gives you a free box of Pampers for every nine boxes you buy!
Eat/Wake/Sleep
After meeting with Stacy last Wednesday I have become HARDCORE Babywise! She inspired me! Now I feed him, MAKE him stay awake for about an hour then put him down for his nap. If I have somewhere to go I wait until about 10 min before his nap time then leave because the car seat puts him to sleep and his awake time is critical to keeping him on the schedule! We went to the Parker's to eat and it was during his nap time so guess what? They said hey for a second to him and then down he went! It may be annoying to people but I personally feel it's worth it because 1)it's the best thing for Kye so he will have a routine and will know what to expect 2) it's great for me because I know for 2 hours he will be asleep and I can get things done and 3) it will help him sleep through the night sooner which is best for all of us!

So far, so good with sticking to the schedule. Kye is very easy and has adapted to the whole thing already. Sometimes I have to wake him up to feed him but he has also started to wake himself up right when it's time to eat! He's also gotten used to having to stay awake after eating and will do a pretty good job about it...but if he's super sleepy I have to hardcore tickle his feet to wake him up!

Pacifier

Last week I switched to the Nuk's and he likes them fine and they are cuter, but I cannot stand using the paci and neither can Zach. We decided that it is truly a LAST resort as when you give it to him for a nap then it falls out and you're stuck running back in there to give it to him..no thanks! Instead we swaddle him, close the blinds and turn out the light, and pat him gently on the back until he starts to get heavy eyes then we lay him down. That seems to be working fine!!! He puts himself to sleep which is another goal of Babywise that I totally believe in. If we started the routine of rocking him to sleep then we'd ALWAYS be rocking him to sleep...again no thanks! We lay him down AWAKE each time and he falls asleep pretty quickly and has actually been sleeping soundly enough during nap time this week that I've started laying out!!!

Sticking his tongue out because he hates being tickled and misses his paci haha
Crib

Among all the other changes we threw at the kid, we also packed away the bassinet! He's been sleeping in his nursery now for a little while (it feels like forever but I know it hasn't probably been more than 2 weeks) so why not put him in his crib? We got a wedge thing from Target to help with the GERD and it's working great! We also discovered that he adores looking at himself in the mirror (I wonder who he gets that from? coughZACHcough) so I put one in there for him. He's still using a sleep positioner too as it helps us keep him on his sides (his favorite way to sleep and it will help avoid losing too much hair and having flat head issues).

First time in the crib!
Hair

Kye reminds me of George from Seinfeld! He looks like he is going bald on top but then has a lot of hair on the back and sides! I'm thankful for all the hair but when will it grow on the top of his head??? He has started to have the typical baby bald spot but thankfully his hair isn't just thick, it's long! It pretty much covers the bald spot completely which is good since no hats fit him still!

Meet George Costanza
Nighttime Ritual

Babywise and Stacy agreed that a nighttime ritual is a must. So while Zach was out of town last week I developed one! He eats at 8:30, takes a bath, has a baby massage, then gets swaddled, reads a story and goes to sleep! It's been working wonderfully and he usually will be sleepy before the book is even finished!

I thought baby massages were super stupid and not fair..why does the baby get a massage when Mommy and Daddy's backs are killing them? But the whole thing takes less than 5 minutes and he loves it. Plus I'm sure it has some benefit to his development or something! And typically I do it while he is naked from the bath so it does help his bottom air out to help with diaper rash.

Wide awake reading!
Weight

I haven't checked the scale..why bother? But I think I have come pretty far this week.. Zach said my face looks a lot thinner (so I guess he's saying it was fat? haha) and I did the unthinkable. I tried on normal people clothes! My size 4's still won't go over the baby thighs, but some of the sixes do and the eights do easily! I could even button a few pairs! I know that sounds pathetic but it's a big step in the right direction to me! Thank the LORD for the Bella Band! It's so great because I'm wearing my normal pants and no one can tell that they aren't zipped or buttoned haha! Everyone should seriously buy one!
It has been a big week for Kye and lots of changes! It feels like everyday is something new so I'm excited to see what will happen tomorrow! I thought being a stay at home mom would get pretty boring but so far it's MUCH more exciting than I could have imagined! I also always kinda smirked when people said having a baby is such an amazing experience and to enjoy every moment of it...to me it just seemed like a pain in the butt because all babies do is poop, eat, and sleep. How boring!

This week, however, my tune has changed. I LOVE my child! And every little coo and smile is so neat and brightens my day. Other people's babies will probably still be boring to me, but at least I adore my baby and do feel like I want to cherish every precious little second with him!!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Big Boy!

Kye is SUCH a big baby! When he was born I didn't really think he was very big..he was smaller than my birth weight! He weighed 7 lb 6 oz and then dropped down to 6 lb 13 oz a couple days later, imagine my shock when he was three weeks old and weighed 9 lbs!!!
I seriously couldn't believe it and was shocked again when one week later he weighed 10 lb! As of the 14th he is weighing in at 11 lb 10 oz which is insane for a baby his age! He's only 6 weeks old!

I know all the weight gain should have convinced me that we have a big child but they are just numbers and to me he is still a baby! How am I supposed to know? Well going to church yesterday REALLY showed me just how big he is!
It was the first time at church where we actually made it on time...we gave him a bottle of my milk during services and managed to keep him awake through the whole thing! He only got fussy once and it was during the closing prayer so it wasn't a big deal.

After church we stuck around for an HOUR talking to people and letting everyone see him and hold him (I'm glad he's "officially" allowed in public now!). Other people brought their babies over and I was able to do a comparison, and I'm shocked!
A cousin of Zach's had a baby boy Feb 18th (so 3 weeks before Kye was born right?) and he weighed 7 lb 8 oz at birth (bigger than Kye) and he is now only 8 lb! And is still TINY and in newborn clothes! Kye's been in 3 month clothes for 2 weeks!

Then another baby came over and he was born in December (so he's 3 months old about) and he only weighs 13 lb!!! Not much more than Kye and they look like the same size! Crazy huh?
It is hilarious to me that I have had such a big kid. I'm sure he won't ALWAYS be big but he is right now and it's funny b/c I look like an idiot trying to lug his heavy, heavy car seat places. Even if I'm just running into the bank I unload his stroller. His car seat is THAT heavy!

It's ironic that as I was writing this post I went to check on him (well put his paci back in because he was screaming) and I noticed he was kicking his legs and that they came to the very very end of his swaddler! Time for size Large! Also when changing his diaper I noticed the size ONES were too tight...so we pulled out some transition ones we had (size 1-2) and they fit! We have like 7 boxes of size 1s to return and about 50 or so loose ones that we didn't use out of the ONLY box of ones that we opened!
I for sure don't plan to take tags off of his 3 month sized clothing as at the rate he's going they will be too small very quickly!!!

It's so neat how quickly he grows and changes, it's fun to watch and be a part of. I wonder WHY he has gotten so big? I know I read that formula fed babies gain weight quicker than breastfed babies because they get a lot more calories. The only thing I did read is in Babywise it said that some study they did found that Babywise Babies gain more wait than non-Babywise babies...I guess it has something to do with them being on a schedule? Well whatever the reason I already look at him and find it HARD to believe that just 2 month ago he was my little Clover living in my tummy :)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Old School

I am not a fan of people who quote movie lines...to me it's just not funny. I typically don't even laugh when I hear the line in the movie so what makes you think I'd laugh when you say it? However, lately I can't get a movie line out of my head!

In the movie "Old School" Will Ferrell is at a party and they want him to get drunk and he says that he can't b/c he has a big day planned for the next day. The guy asks him what he has planned and he says, "Well, um, actually a pretty nice little Saturday, we're going to go to Home Depot. Yeah, buy some wallpaper, maybe get some flooring, stuff like that. Maybe Bed, Bath, and Beyond, I don't know, I don't know if we'll have enough time."

When I heard that I remember (being a college freshman mind you) thinking who would run errands on Saturday? What a crappy Saturday! Duh, do errands during the week...why waste a Saturday doing errands? I silently vowed to myself to use my Saturdays doing MUCH more fun things. Now typically, I've lived up to that promise seeing that we travel all the time. We actually have every weekend of the summer booked solid except 2 of them! But, when we have been home, errand-running HAS been our Saturday!

Two Saturdays in a row we've been to LOWES haha. When we went this Saturday I just kept thinking of that movie line in my head over and over and how we are SO LAME now. Our weekends are "nice little Saturdays" going to Lowes and buying flowers! And it was fun! Is that sad or what? We're such parents!!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Day at the Hospital

Zach left Wednesday afternoon for Macon (he had to work the evening shift selling Aflac to prison employees) and decided to stay until Thursday night so while having all my pain I also had Kye all by myself! Surprisingly though it went really well! Being alone with him is tough because I don't have help but in a way it was also nice because I could do anything I wanted and not have to get someone elses opinion! It was a good opportunity to start the suggestions Stacy gave me with babywise and they worked! He only woke up once during the night! I was so pumped!!!

Once we got up for the day yesterday I decided to call the lactation specialist at the hospital. I tried pumping like Stacy suggested but I wasn't getting any results and it hurt so so badly, so it just wasn't worth it. I talked to the lactation lady for about an hour and she told me she wanted me to come up to the hospital so she could see my breasts and watch me nurse to see if she could figure out what is wrong.

Having a baby on a schedule is awesome but trying to do it right makes somethings difficult. I told her I'd come up there at 1:30 so after his 10:30 feeding I had to shower and get ready. Since I am really trying to get him to nap at the proper times I decided to leave the house when he was supposed to start napping as he will FOR SURE sleep in the car! I called Ashley and we met up for lunch at Firehouse Subs (random but it was right next to the hospital..and it's not good btw).

It was great to get to catch up with her but while eating Mr. Rusty called and said Courtney was in the hospital. She's 34 weeks pregnant and Paytons heart rate dropped so they had to monitor her and Courtney's blood pressure was really high. I finished up with Ashley and told Mr. Rusty I'd come over there as soon as I could.

When I met with the lactation lady she watched me nurse which was SO nerve-wracking! She's a pro and I was so scared she'd say I feed him the wrong way or something. She said he gets a good latch and I do a good job (phew!) but that my nipples are much more red than they should be and that since I am having pain during pumping that my issues probably aren't related to my breasts being overly-full as pumping would make them feel BETTER not worse if that were the issue!

She researched and researched and told me that she thinks it is yeast and that since Kye wasn't treated he is probably passing it back to me over and over, even though he doesn't show any symptoms. What's funny is this is what I've thought from DAY ONE! I have to learn to trust my gut! She also said that some women take longer to get the yeast out of their systems and her recommendation was for me to take more meds and get Kye meds too!

After I left there I went back to my car and called Mr. Rusty and he said Courtney was in a room where I had just been! So I took Kye back up to the labor and delivery floor and Mr. Rusty watched him for me while I visited with Courtney. It was kind of neat to be on the other end of things. I watched the machine as it read Payton's heartbeat (which was fine) and Courtney's blood pressure (which was still high). I stayed up at the hospital because Mrs. Charlotte was there too getting tests run for her lungs (which also turned out okay). Wasn't it just a fun family hospital day? haha!

I ended up staying at the hospital and waiting to hear what they were going to have Courtney do next because Kye's nap time came up again and I really want to be more hardcore about his sleep schedule so I let Mr. Rusty hold him for his nap! While in the waiting room I called my doctor again. I told the nurse everything and that I really need medication and she did the typical, "let me talk to Stacy and call you back." When she called back she said Stacy really doesn't think it's yeast and for me to continue to pump after feedings. I told the girl that I HAD to have something, even if they don't think it will work.

While waiting for the nurse to call me back again I called Kye's doctor. I told them that I had just brought him in a couple days ago and I know they didn't see any signs of Thrush (which is yeast in the baby's mouth) but that I needed them to give him something. It couldn't hurt to give him some kind of meds and just see if it helps me, worse case scenario he doesn't have thrush so the meds don't do anything! I had to wait for them to call me back as well.

Luckily, they called back and I guess I had made a convincing case because they called him in a prescription for Nystatin. I called back my dr. office and told them to tell Stacy that his dr. agreed to give him something so I need something to. With yeast in the mother's breasts everything I've read says to treat mommy and baby at the same time so I don't want to start Kye on something unless I'm getting treatment too.

This time Stacy herself called me back! I was so so so worried she'd hate me for not trusting her advice with the whole pumping idea but she was fine with it! She said she was only a little annoyed with the lactation lady b/c she tried to tell me what was wrong with me when she really isn't a dr. I told her my situation and she said she really doesn't think it's yeast. FINALLY I said what my gut has said all along! I told her I was sorry but that I have to learn to trust my gut and that I just think that's what it is. She totally understood (I need to start voicing my gut more often!) and said she'd call in another dose of the diflucan that I took last time (the three day dose) and she told me to buy some Monistat to put on my nipples after each feeding and then wipe off before I feed him again.

They told Courtney that Payton is fine but that her blood pressure worries them (she has Lupus so she's a high risk pregnancy anyway) and that she needs to stay on bedrest until Payton comes. It sucks for her but I know I'd do whatever it took to make sure my baby was healthy and I'm sure that's what she'll do!

So from 8 in the morning until 5:30 yesterday evening I was dealing with my breasts. If that doesn't prove how badly I want to fix this and still be able to breastfeed then I don't know what would!!! I decided to wait until this morning to start doing all of them. My medicine is easy, one pill each morning for three days. The Monistat will be annoying but it's doable...Kye's medicine on the other hand is a PAIN. It's 1/2 tsp FOUR times a day!!! For TEN days! Ugh! That AND his Zantac! Fun stuff...but it will all be worth it if it works!

I'm trying not to think what I will do if it doesn't work but this is probably it...I just have to pray it all works because the lactation lady didn't know what else it could be and Stacy seems at a loss for other ideas as well!!! One thing I have found that helps is Motrin. I took a couple the other day for a headache and my breast pain virtually stopped until the Motrin wore off! It's great for a quick-short term fix but there is no way I can take it on the regular for 5 more months! Keep those prayers coming that everything works out okay!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Breastfeeding Battle

Anyone that has ever read my blog will know that I am a planner who does what I set out to do. There have been very few goals in my life that I haven't achieved. Have the wedding of my dreams: check. Be a stay at home mom: check. Have natural childbirth: check. Another goal that I hope to check off my list is to breastfeed for at least 6 months.

No matter what anyone else says or thinks I am so proud of myself for how well I've done through all the obstacles of breastfeeding that I have faced. I had cracked, bleeding, painful-to-the-touch nipples and I kept going. I had mastits...with fever and red, painful breasts and I kept going. I have had yeast that burns my breasts 24/7 and makes my nipples pinched when he eats and through 2 different treatments that haven't worked I've kept going. I'm a lot tougher than I have ever given myself credit for that's for sure! I may not be very positive about my breastfeeding experience (pretty hard to be happy-go-lucky about something that has yet to be enjoyable!) and sure I may complain about my situation a lot (who wouldn't?) but the bottom line is that I've never given up! That alone is pretty awesome!

I am to the point now where my breasts hurt non-stop. It started the weekend before last with the pinching nipples and burning right breast and it only got worse. I hoped and hoped that it would just go away but it didn't. The nipple cream they gave me last week was supposed to work within 3 days. I continued to use it each time I fed him for an entire week and the pain only got worse. It's so bad now that if I stop and think about it I could cry. It's a constant burning pain inside, not out. I have no clue what is wrong with me and yesterday I just lost it! I couldn't keep it in anymore and "deny" that something is wrong!

When Mrs. Charlotte called me to plan Courtney's bday party this Fri night she asked how I'm doing and I let it all go. I told her how upset I am. How worried I am that there isn't a cure and that I'll either have to endure this much pain for 6 months or quit all together. I have a pretty high thresh-hold of pain (hello...natural childbirth no problem). I can do this with all the pain and still make it through the day but WHY deal with pain unless it can be fixed? That's just stupid! It felt good to get out my feelings and she told me something I should have thought of sooner. It's OK to have a plan b and she said my plan b doesn't have to mean stopping breastfeeding all together but I could supplement formula to ease some of my pain. Not that this is a plan I hope to pursue, but it did comfort me to know I had an option that would still allow me to breastfeed and meet my goal but that would hopefully make it a more enjoyable experience for me.

I deal with things through denial and after talking to Mrs. Charlotte and venting all my issues I realized how much denying that anything was wrong made the pain easier to deal with. It seemed like once I voiced how much pain I was in that the pain was harder to ignore. I kept on googling things and lots of stuff pointed to thrush. Thrush is just another term for yeast infection, and since I'd already tried 2 routes of treating the yeast infection I was kinda thinking that maybe Kye had thrush and was passing it to me over and over.

I called both his doctor and my doctor. I knew I had my appointment today but the pain had just become unbearable. To the point where I almost gave him a bottle of stored milk because I dreaded feeding him. His doctor told me to bring him in so I did. Dr. Griner's office has been super awesome about squeezing me in and I didn't even hardly have to wait! Obviously I'm a woman in pain because I showed up to his office with no makeup on (it was a choice: either fix the hair or put on the makeup so I chose hair).

We saw Stephanie again and she was super nice. She said she saw NO signs of thrush and that she wants to see him bump up the Zantac from 0.5ml to 0.75ml twice a day because he does seem like he's in pain (he sometimes will yank off the breast mid-feeding and let out a screech sound and he wakes up during naps screeching sometimes). They weighed him and guess what....11 lb 10 oz now!!! Isn't that insane? The kid is HUGE! At least I know he's enjoying breastfeeding haha!!!!

My dr. office had me wait until today to figure anything out. When I saw Stacy she said my breasts look great and that it sounds to her like I just have so much milk and that it builds up quickly causing me pain. That makes sense because if I give him a bottle and then pump for that skipped feeding I get like 8 oz and obviously he's not eating 8 oz so my supply may be greater than his demand. Also I just switched his schedule to eating every 3 1/2 hours from every 3 hours so my breasts are getting emptied less often which could be an issue too.

She suggested that I pump after EACH feeding and get out the excess milk. I was dreading it but I'm honestly willing to do anything I can in order to be able to get rid of this pain so I can enjoy my baby!!! She also suggested that I get these things called Soothies (not the pacifier haha) which are gel like pads to put on your nipples. My nipples don't really hurt but I thought I'd give it a shot.

After I got home from the doctor, they called me and told me that one of the swabs she did came back positive and I have a bacterial infection "down there." She said basically it's a YEAST infection! Um seriously? I feel FINE down there! Can I please stock up on some more drugs in my system? haha! It is seriously funny how it's one thing after another with me! So yes, I'm on ANOTHER antibiotic!!! I really hope all these drugs don't hurt Kye :( And sadly NO she said that the infection down there wouldn't have ANYTHING to do with my breast issues :(

Ummm..side note. I have been working on this post while making dinner and I was about to take this new antibiotic, metronidazole which I'm supposed to take 500 mg twice a day when I decided to see if it will affect Kye in my milk. Here is what I found: "because the drug is mutagenic and carcinogenic in some test species unnecessary exposure to metronidazole should be avoided. Because of the potential mutagenic effects and the unknown consequences of exposure in the nursing infant, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using metronidazole with caution during lactation. A single, 2-g oral dose has been recommended by the Centers for Disease Control if metronidazole is used during lactation. If this dose is given, the Academy recommends discontinuing breast feeding for 12-24 hours to allow excretion of the drug."

There are quite a few pills in my bottle and I'm supposed to take it until they are gone. I'm NOT taking this junk until I call the dr. tomorrow...I really don't feel comfortable with introducing MORE drugs into my system and therefore my babies system!!!!

Anyways...since coming home from the doctor I've fed him twice. The first time he ate off of one breast for only seven minutes. I called Zach in to look because my breast was EMPTY. It was so loose and flabby, I knew that pumping wouldn't do any good! I pumped anyway and got a couple DROPS out of the left breast, that's it. And it hurt SO badly b/c my breasts were still sensitive from him eating on them. I did it again after his last feeding and again, nothing. And again, SO painful. I currently have on the smoothies and they make my nipples feel good, but the shooting burning pain inside my breasts is still there.

I plan to continue to pump after each feeding, including the late night ones, until Friday. I was going to do it for a week then call her and tell her my progress but if I don't get anything and if it continues to hurt that badly to pump why not call her before the weekend and try something else? She also told me to stop my morning pump session because I've basically created a feeding that I don't need so my breasts are producing even MORE milk...I agree with her on that but I do NEED that milk! I am storing it up to have for times when Zach and I travel and I can' t be with Kye. I will skip the pump session tomorrow but if the feeding after that is the only one that I get milk from I do plan on still calling her on Friday.

I also plan to call the lactation specialist tomorrow. I trust Stacy but isn't she just kind of guessing too? I mean medically they can't find anything wrong so maybe the lady that deals with breasts twenty four seven will be able to help me better! She's SUPER sweet and I don't feel bad calling her again because she knows I don't have many people around me who have any experience with this stuff! Even Stacy doesn't breastfeed!

It is very difficult to be going through all of this alone. I know I have Zach but he is SO SO SO hardcore about my breastfeeding that he isn't really able to look past that. He only sees my complaining and worries that I will quit when he thinks it's best for me to keep going no matter what. Don't you wish sometimes you could trade places with someone? I wish I could switch with him so he could better understand (and empathize) the pain I'm in and how truly strong I am being through it!

I never really realized how personal of an experience breastfeeding really is. It's all about me, my gut feeling, my needs. I'm the ONLY person who can ultimately decide what is best for Kye and for myself. I need to learn to trust my instinct and my gut! I do not think it's smart to continue breastfeeding him exclusively if I remain in this much pain. Babies (like dogs haha) can sense stress and I'm sure he can tell that I'm hurting every time he eats. That's not good for him! Also if it continues to hurt like this and I keep going I can see myself HATING it and NEVER wanting to do it again. I'm going to have three more babies! Isn't it better to stop before reaching a point of no return so I'll still have the drive to do it for the next baby? I am not trying to talk myself into quitting or giving myself an easy out...I have ZERO desire to quit! But I don't want to beat myself up over it if it reaches a point where I need to try something else!

My plan is to continue doing it the way Stacy recommended until Friday. I would say to try for a couple more days but I'd hate to need to call her over the weekend. I am also going to call the lactation lady tomorrow asap and see what she recommends. So by Friday during business hours if I'm not feeling better I'm going to call Stacy back. She said she'd try something else if this doesn't work. I plan to keep doing EVERYTHING and ANYTHING Stacy or the lactation lady or anyone else recommends trying until we've exhausted every option. Once Stacy gets to a point where she says she has no other idea how to help me...then and ONLY then will I consider giving up. I refuse to stop until I am sure there is nothing else to do that can stop my pain! I don't want to live life in constant pain, but I also don't want to live it thinking there may have been another option or stop nursing then two months from now find out something I could have done and it be too late to go back.

Please keep me in your prayers. I know Kye has gotten the "best" parts of breastfeeding and he's thriving (obviously from the weight gain) but I'm asking for prayers for ME. This is something I truly want to do (and want it even more now that it ending is being threatened to me). I don't just want to do it, I really, really, really want to experience what so many others get to (like Crissy!) and ENJOY this amazing bond I am able to have with my baby! If anyone has any suggestions please let me know!!!

The only thing getting me through this rough time? My amazingly sweet and happy baby! I love that he is "talking" so much now...enjoy this little video, it brightens my day :)

6 Week Postpartum Check Up

Today was my 6 week postpartum check-up! It was good to see Stacy as I haven't seen her since my 38 week pregnancy check up! What feels like a MILLION years ago!

Zach and Kye both went with me and it was good to have them there...I can't STAND yearly exams and that's basically what this was, just a little more involved than the typical yearly. It does count for this years exam though so that's awesome :)

They had to prick my finger which I HATE but they have a new way of doing it that really wasn't too painful. They also had me pee in a cup, my last time for a loooong time which is nice! It's funny b/c things have obviously changed "down there." I'm usually a pro at making the cup no problem but this time it took me ages to figure out how to place it to catch the pee haha. They also weighed me, which I was dreading. I think I'm really looking pretty good but the scale is so mean! I really need to quit looking..it said I still have 20 lb to lose! Ugh! I swear I don't LOOK 20 lbs heavier...I think these DD's are weighing me down literally.

I have failed to mention this sooner but I'm now 100% positive that I've already had a period! Most things I read say breastfeeding mothers don't get their periods again for up to 6 months. Of course, lucky me, I got mine 5 weeks postpartum! That means I can get pregnant again!!! Ugh...birth control we here come! Stacy gave me one that is progesterone only (no estrogen) so it's safe to take while nursing and I plan to start it this Sunday.

She did an exam, which was pretty uncomfortable since it's been untraveled territory since Kye was born! She said I healed really well which was good to hear (I haven't looked down there and don't plan on it). She also okayed Zach "making deposits" again haha

I asked her about some problems I've been having going #2 and she said she'd be checking my butt during the exam!!! Ugh...gross!!!
I HAD to warn ANY pregnant women about this! I think it's pretty routine but especially since I had a grade 4 rip situation she had to do an EXAM up my BUTT-HOLE. I was pretty much freaking out but when she did actually did it it wasn't SO horrible. Just embarrassing! I mean dang I would NEVER want her job!!!!

More than anything else we talked Babywise. Turns out she does it too and it was SO nice to talk to another type-a personality who is totally by the book. She gave me so much helpful advice! She said that I MUST keep him awake for "wake time" no matter what. Our problem has been his reflux and the dr. told us to hold him upright for 30 min after he eats...well duh he falls asleep during that 30 min. THEN I have him have wake time THEN put him to bed, well of course he's not going to want to sleep after he has already slept! She said even if I have to get him naked or rub a cool cloth on him KEEP HIM AWAKE until about 2 hours before his next feeding time.

When I got home I decided I don't have to HOLD him upright the whole time...I can do other things! So I fed him, held him up to burp him then put him in his swing for the rest of his "held-upright" time. And he stayed awake! Then I changed him and played with him and put him down 2 hours before the next feeding time and so far it's been his best nap yet!

Other tips she gave me for putting him to sleep included going back to swaddling him at every nap and nighttime and changing his pacifier. I had some NUKs at the house and she said that's what she uses and they are just as "good" as the soothie kind but stay in So much better (and duh they are cuter!). So I pulled that thing out and it's working a lot better...here is my poor looking son but hey he's sleeping!
It was good for Zach to hear her Babywise advice as well! Zach wants to hold Kye until he falls asleep and then put him down. Stacy said it's a big Babywise no-no and that she'll hold her son until his eyes get heavy then put him down and let HIM put himself to sleep. I agree with this and she also said when he wakes up she will run in there (and not really do cry it out) to put in his paci but she doesn't pick him up unless he's been crying non-stop for 10 min. She will stand over his crib and say "shhhhh" or rub his back but won't pick him up. She said the reason for this is that if you pick him up every time he'll start to learn that when he cries he gets picked up so he'll cry more often. You know me, if it works for someone then I'll try it!

We discussed the importance of a nighttime ritual as well and she said she will feed her son, then bathe him, then read to him and he knows this routine. I know baby's LOVE routine and it helps them be more content to know what is coming next. We already bathe him before bedtime, but I really like the idea of incorporating story time into that as well. She says that often her son will start to fall asleep during the story which makes putting him down even easier!

Her son was sleeping through the night by 8 weeks (I think that's what she said). I asked her about my schedule and she did the 7 am start too (for those of you starting Babywise your morning time is the MOST important one of the day...do not vary from it ever!) and said she NEVER set an alarm to wake up for the midnight feeding so I'm not going to anymore. She said pretty soon he'll drop that feeding and eventually I'll be spreading him out to eating every 4 hours. Her son was born in September (I am not a stalker haha I only know his bday b/c it's the same day as my brothers) and is sleeping 12 hours solid at night already! Sounds like she is a good person to take advice from :)

I think a tough thing for me with his napping is that he wakes up BEFORE it's time to eat. She said when that happens (Babywise said he should be sleeping until it's time to wake up) that I didn't play with him enough (which makes sense since he was sleeping during his being held upright time) and that I just need to adjust it. For example, I put him down at 3:30 and he's bawling wanting to get up and it's only 4:45...not supposed to eat until 5:30. Guess I'll keep holding that paci in and trying to get him to fall back to sleep! The joys of motherhood :)

I did talk to her a little bit about my weight and she said it looks good and that I shouldn't worry about it AT ALL right now. Breastfeeding will take it all off (my question is...when?!?). She said I shouldn't diet at all and that exercise is okay but not too much of it. So I'm probably going to start up my walks again (I stopped when I had some bad pain in my lower stomach and everything I googled said it was from doing too much too soon) and probably go 45 min to an hour per day instead of 30. We'll see if it helps!

It felt super good to leave there and know that I won't be back until next year for my check-up! Amen to no more OBGYN visits :) Now I REALLY don't feel pregnant anymore!!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Weekend

Mom left on Friday so Zach and I didn't really know what to do with ourselves for the weekend! We rarely have weekends with no plans so it was kind of strange!

Saturday we decided to have a family day. Since Kye has been born we haven't done much just the three of us and it was such a good time!

We colored eggs for Kye's first Easter! Zach bought ones that came with face stickers so we made an egg representing each member of Zach's family, it was pretty funny! Kye was awake for most of it which made the whole thing more fun, even though he's clueless!

Zach was PUMPED about egg coloring :)
I think Kye is more interested in Mommy than he is the egg..

fter the decorating we went and ran some errands together then got Subway and had a picnic down at the park in our neighborhood. It was a BEAUTIFUL day and we wanted to take full advantage of it! Kye did sleep through most of the picnic but when we took him out of the car seat he was cute. We saw lots of little boys playing on the playground and it's neat to think that one day that will be our little baby!


Once we got home Zach opened up the fold out couch in the living room and the three of us watched Slumdog Millionaire. It was really good and I'm so glad we finally got to see it! Kye slept on my chest the entire movie and I loved our little family just being together. It was SUCH a fun day and something I hope we can continue in the future!
Easter Sunday wore me out! Rushing around to get ready for church then going to Zach's grandma's was just a LOT for me! Before we went to church we gave Kye his Easter Basket. I swore I wasn't going to go overboard with holiday gifts for a baby so I got him a bathing suit outfit because he needed one anyway for the summer. I stuck the little stuffed rabbit Aunt Becky got him in his basket and I only bought him one actual gift, and it's super awesome.

Hopefully someday the hat will fit!!!

Kye loves lights and musical toys so I wanted to get him something that would do both and that would play music for a loooong time so I wouldn't have to keep hitting the button to make it play again. I found this really cool Chicco thing that plays music for up to 10 min, is voice/sound activated and allows you to record your own voice! Duh, he loves it and I've even used it in his nursery to help him fall asleep! I like it because there are no soft parts on it either so I can leave it on the floor and don't have to worry about Mr. Levi chewing it up :)
Here's a link if anyone is interested
Easter also fell on Levi's 2nd birthday! It's hard to believe he's already 2 years old! I'm so proud of how amazing he has been with the baby. I miss the days of Levi being my baby but he's adjusted well and I truly think he and Kye will be best buddies one day :)
Getting b-day kisses from his best friend!
We went to our old church in Lakeland to visit since it was Easter. We were a little late but not too bad and Kye slept through the whole service. (I'm telling you this kid ADORES his car seat) Afterwards we went to Mema's. All of Zach's immediate family came as well as his cousins on that side of the family. It was nice to see everyone! We let Mrs. Charlotte give him his bottle because Mr. Rusty got to give it to him at the football game.
It was Colt's first Easter too and he's waaaay more "with it" than Kye is right now! I didn't bother making Kye hunt for eggs...what would be the point? He looked cute in his Easter outfit though and isn't that all that matters? I really liked my dress and I promise it's super flattering on me...it was windy as crap outside so I look huge in these pictures!
After we got home I had to pump for the missed feeding then I went to bed...at 4:00!!! I'm telling you I was GONE. This Easter was fun but I really can't wait until next Easter when Kye will actually semi-understand the whole thing!

5 Week Schedule Change

At five weeks old Babywise recommends moving Kye's schedule again. It felt like we JUST got the hang of the eating every 3 hour schedule and now I had to move it on the poor kid. We started moving it last Monday and we have such an easy baby! He adjusts pretty quickly to whatever I throw at him.

Now instead of eating every 3 hours he will be eating every 3 1/2 which means he eats 7 times a day instead of 8. When we originally decided the times it worked out to be 7 am, 10:30 am, 2 pm, 5:30 pm, 9 pm, and 1230 am! That was tooo much. He did great waiting it out during the day and I really really love having more time to run errands and stuff before having to be home. But 9:00? 12:30? Seriously?

I hunted around online for some help with this new schedule as I just felt like feeing him at 9 and THEN bathing him put us to bed too late and I really didn't want to be having to stay up until after midnight to feed him again!

(I love the little outfit I got for Kye (I'm the apple of my daddy's eye) so I wanted to get a few pics of him in it!)
In my searching I found a GREAT source of info...a blog! Lots of people (more than I EVER imagined actually) have contacted me about how much my blog has been a help to them and now I'm glad to have found a blog that can help me out :) For anyone else who needs help with Babywise or wants to start it, I highly recommend checking this blog out!

The biggest thing I have learned from this site so far came from this post.

I got frustrated with Zach and Mom both because they kept questioning me about Babywise and why he must eat, play then sleep. It was annoying because I didn't even know myself! I'm the type of person who has a plan and sticks to the plan...do I care why? The book said so that's why! But this really did clear things up for me and helped me shut up the millions of questions :) I think I even turned both of them into supporters :)
With the help of the Babywise Blog I've altered his schedule a bit and this is now Kye's daily schedule and will stay this way for quite some time I think:

7am: Wake time feeding! Lights on!
10:30am
2:00 pm
5:30 pm
8:30-9:00 pm: I made this flexible so that way if we want to go out and not be home until 9 we can but most nights we're home so why wait until then?

We bathe him after this feeding and change into night clothes

11:30 pm-midnight: I know it's only 3 hours instead of 3 1/2 but I finally realized that it's okay :) We've been going to bed before this feeding and then setting an alarm to wake up for it. We leave the lights down low and no play time afterwards..straight to bed!

We let him wake up on his own after the 11:30ish feeding and he's been waking up at around 4:30am.

What should happen in a couple weeks is that he will drop the 4:30 am feeding and sleep through the night! Won't that be wonderful? Already we're getting around 7 hours, even though they are broken that's still good for such a young baby!

We've moved his bassinet into his nursery and last night he slept in there for the first time. It's nice to have our room to ourselves and he really doesn't require Zach (yes, Zach gets up with him during the night if he's fussy...aren't I lucky?) to get up too often. Since he got diagnosed with GERD we have been having him sleep in his swing all the time, but it's a habit I really don't like so we found online a way to allow him to sleep in his bassinet.

Zach made a prop thing in his bassinet using rolled up towels then proped the whole thing up on a laundry basket! So far it's working great! Since he is almost 6 weeks old I really want him to sleep in his crib so we ordered an incline wedge thing to go ontop of his matress, we'll see if it works once it gets here.

During the day I've become more strict on his naptimes. Like I mentioned earlier the order is eat...play...sleep. So I feed him, hold him upright for 30 min (helps with the GERD), change his diaper, then play with him for about 30 minutes then start to put him to bed. Before I'd put him down for a nap an hour before his next feeding time but he was rarely falling asleep by then or he'd nod off 15 min before it was time to wake him up again! So now I start putting him down 2 hours before his next feeding time.

Putting him down for a nap is tricky. Babywise says to put him down awake so don't rock him or anything until he falls asleep. I will turn lights off and rock him or talk softly too him until he gets tired but I always lay him down before his eyes actually get heavy enough to stay shut.

Reading to Kye before bed-time!
Babywise also promotes CIO (cry it out) which basically means letting him cry himself to sleep for up to 20 minutes! I believe this probably does work and it wouldn't bother me to let him CIO but with his reflux issues it hurts him to cry too much so I don't do it yet. I put in the paci and pretty much run back and forth to his room over and over putting the paci back in until he falls asleep. Usually I will just hold it in his mouth until his eyes get heavy (he is so cute because he will put his hands strongly against mine like to tell me I better not leave!) Then I'm lucky if he stays asleep for 40 min or so! He usually wakes up crying because he's going to the bathroom and will usually fall back to sleep pretty quickly when he's done. It's a lot of work but it will all be worth it when he enjoys his bed and sleeps easier.

He likes to be able to feel the paci on his lips when he sleeps!
Wherever Kye goes Levi is usually beside him :)
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