Wednesday, September 24, 2008

One Month Old!

Today Claire is 4 weeks old... can you believe it? Every day is better than the last. Feeding is no longer a challenge. Although today, after I fed and burped her, I set her next to me on the couch. She looked up at me, got a strange look in her eyes, and then coughed/sneezed and shot milk out her nose with such force that it hit me in the face from about 3 feet away! So hilarious! I just started laughing at her, which she didn't appreciate as she was looking quite bewildered about what had just happened. 

Things we're learning about her personality: She is becoming much more expressive. She almost smiles at us, usually right after she has finished eating, before entering her milk coma. She is an enthusiastic eater, becoming quite impatient if there are any delays. Then she gulps it down fast--she's often done in 10 minutes!  She is also a noisy eater--she snorts, grunts, and chirps the whole time. When she's awake, she is starting to make these happy cooing noises.  She likes to lay on Kevin's chest and take a nap. She loves it when you stroke her cheeks and forehead.  We think she may be a thumb sucker as soon as she can maintain control of her hands. She sucks on any part of her hand that finds its way to her mouth with delight, but will not tolerate a pacifier in her mouth. 

The pictures with the bow crack me up for multiple reasons: First of all, Kevin hates it! And I must admit, it does look a little silly... too small I think. Also, I love the one because it showcases her Zoolander face. Awesome.

Monday, September 22, 2008

And now for something completely different

So, not related to babies or nipples at all, but I have to share this link. There is this really wonderful song that has been covered by just about every singer/songwriter out there. It is one of my favorite songs. And today Kevin pastes me this link of Bon Jovi performing the song. He was teasing me cause I have this ridiculous love of Bon Jovi. He sings every song like it's his last... you can't beat that passion! I couldn't deny you all the experience. So, here it is in all its glory for your listening/viewing pleasure!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Getting easier every day

Thanks for everyone's help on the feeding issues... it made a world of difference. It seems like every day gets a little better. I can see her growing before my eyes. She seems bigger every day! Today has been a good day. We went to target, and she let me carry her in the sling for the first time. She slept while I shopped. I think I was trying to put her in the sling backwards/upside down before, and that's why she was not pleased with it. But luckily I got it figured out just in time. And she has also been awake for most of the morning, which is great because maybe that means she will sleep tonight. She has been having a growth spurt which manifests in marathon night feedings that keep us both awake. I'm hoping in the next day or two that will pass. I love these pictures cause it shows her smile, and also the funny things she does with her hands when she sleeps!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

All about nipples

That's right--nipples. They consume my life these days! Currently it is trying to figure out how to heal one with a nasty crack. From reading my glorious breastfeeding book, I have discovered the crack was most likely caused by a shallow latch. Which is nice to know, but more difficult to correct. Well, or I should say, the latch is not the difficult thing to correct. But the crack is. Cause it's so bad feeding is painful! I called my best friends mom, who is a lactation consultant, and she advised me to avoid feeding on that side while the nipple heals. She suggested I pump and bottle feed for 2-3 days until I'm all better. I have done it for 24 hours, but hate it! I can't figure out how to get ahead on pumping when she already eats at least every 2 hours.  I'm up all night feeding and then pumping so I have a bottle for the next feeding. And it is just so many extra steps when I'm already so sleepy. And on top of that, I think the bottle is affecting her breastfeeding on the other non-injured breast. I didn't have any problems with that side, but today it's starting to feel sore too! So, even though I have been vigilant about the shallow latch situation, I think that the bottle has encouraged her to start it up on the left, where we used to be just fine. So now I'm at a loss. One injured nipple, one in danger, and no new ideas! I've called another lactation consultant who is actually local and can maybe come see what I'm doing wrong, but she wasn't there so I had to leave a message. And I'm going to a La Leche League meeting tomorrow morning. But I feel slightly helpless in the interim.  All I can think about is my nipples! Haha! Funny how quickly things can dominate your life. At least I have resolved the issues with Claire screaming, so that makes me feel loads better. But the solution is more frequent feeding, which has compounded the current dilemma! Man alive, I can't catch a break! I'd love any advice you experienced mothers have to offer!

Monday, September 15, 2008

The more you know...

Thank goodness for breatfeeding books... and too bad it took me this long to finally read mine. I ordered the book that was recommended by my wonderful hypnobabies instructor with every intention of reading it before Claire was born. But it arrived the day my water broke.  And in the following weeks I had no time to sit and read a book. Until last night. And man was it helpful! All the things I was wondering about and struggling through were right there in easy to implement strategies! My biggest problem was an attempt to keep her on a schedule. I wasn't feeding her more than every 2 hours, assuming that she couldn't be hungry. But, in fact, I was wrong. And she was crying cause she was probably hungry even if I had just fed her 30 min-1 hour ago. So, starting last night I started ignoring the clock instead of ignoring Claire. Today has already been so much easier now that I'm off a "schedule" and just feeding her whenever she wants.  And now we have a very happy baby!

Also, I've included some photos of her in her first pretty Sunday dress! So cute! 

Friday, September 12, 2008

Nothing new to report. Just wanted to show you all some new photos. We're loving life when we're awake enough to appreciate it!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Honeymoon is over!

And so begins the crying. Our experience the last few days has been that awake = screaming. Yesterday she cried pretty much all morning. And last night she had a glorious 2 hour spell. So far today though, we're scream free...although that may not bode well for tonight. She will have plenty of energy for all the crying she can muster. We're still hoping that maybe yesterday was a fluke and we'll go back to our easy cry-free baby. Here's to wishing!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Story

Sorry it took so long to provide the details. Things have been great, but it has taken time to rest and adjust to our new schedule. To view more pictures, you can go here.  Below is the story of how Claire made her way to us.

I called the midwife at about 4:00 on Tuesday afternoon because I thought my water may have broken some time that morning. I waited so long cause I wanted to make sure, since it was less of a gush, and more of a slow leak... plus I wasn't having any contractions. An exam confirmed that my water had indeed broken. Due to the higher risk of infection, the midwives wanted to be proactive about starting my labor ASAP. They sent me home with all sorts of induction materials--including caster oil! Yuck! But it worked! I started the regiment at 8 pm and by 11 I was having regular strong contractions. We were in contact with the midwives all night long as I labored at home with Kevin. Our favorite Midwife Jamie arrived at around 9 am and checked me. I was 8 cm dialated and excited to be so far along. 

I got into the birth pool thinking I only had two more centimeters and would be ready to push in no time. However, after 15 minutes in the warm water, everything slowed down. I got as far as 9 cm, but my body wouldn't produce strong, frequent enough contractions to move things along any further. I stayed there in that state at 9 cm for the next 6 hours, trying everything under the sun. Finally it became clear that I would need stronger drugs than the midwives could give me. My water had been broken for more than 36 hours by this point, so this baby needed to come out soon! 

Jamie started calling doctors that the midwives regularly worked with. The problem is that none of them would take me due to my progress and how long my water had broken. We finally found a Dr. at Mission hospital who agreed. Needless to say, we were pretty disappointed to be going to the hospital, especially Mission. But it was what needed to be done. So, we drove down the 405 to Mission Viejo at 6 pm on Wednesday evening in traffic. Worst car trip ever!

Once we got to the hospital, however, things were actually a whole lot better than I feared. We had an excellent L&D nurse who took great care of us, and Jamie never left our side. After being hooked up to pitocin for a few hours I was ready to push, and it felt so good to finally be doing something that would soon bring Claire to us! Because we were in the hospital now, there were a lot of birth choices we had to relinquish--most of which I was ok with by that point. Except that the Dr. insisted on an episiotomy even after I emphatically requested he hold off. But, oh well. Claire was born happy and healthy, and I'm healing.

She has been a very excellent baby. We had a few rough nights at the beginning as I learned how and when to feed her. Now she usually only fusses when she's hungry. We are trying to get over a slight pattern of wanting to be awake at night. It requires more soothing to keep her happy then, which makes us tired! But all in all she mostly sleeps between feedings all night long, and is having more periods of alertness during the day. We're enjoying every second of it!

Thank you all for your support. We love you all very much!