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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

3 Months!

Yesterday I had some time to kill before an appointment so I stopped in at my work to let the office ladies swarm Emily.  While there I naturally heard bits of things that, if i were working, would be managing, etc.  I had this huge feeling of dread, realizing Emily is three months old and I've been off work for nearly four months now and I have to go back there at the end of the year.  My job is stressful... How do I know I'm not the only one who feels it?  My back-up doesn't even say 'hi' to me when I visit there... He looks like he's aged ten years since December.  My work colleagues say he's ready to lose it and that his personality has totally changed.  Jesus.  I feel guilty for even visiting there and asking him how it's going.  Not like he really answers me anyway.  It makes me really sad and I really hope that he snaps out of it when I unload him of that position at the end of the year.

Why will I go back if it's so stressful?  Because finding a new job is daunting and like most people I find it easier to put up with the job I'm in rather than find a better one.  Plus I've put in 11+ years there, I'm out to everyone and they're fairly decent about most things like being late/absent due to a child being sick, etc.


Emily is three months old!  I weighed her the other day and she's already 14 lbs!  She's getting so big and strong that I can no longer see the little infant we brought home in January.  She started reaching out for things over Easter weekend.  Since then she has been trying to grab everything to put in her mouth, well, when her fists isn't occupying it.  She is a drool machine!  Her fingers or fist or fists are always near her mouth.  I've been feeling around but no sign of teeth yet.

In the past week or so she just seems so much older.  Even the way she looks at us seems more mature.  And this past weekend she discovered her voice so my days are now filled with shrieking to go along with the increased babbling. 


She is still sort of breast feeding.  Her breast milk to formula ratio has definitely slipped below 50%... most days it might even be below 25%.  She'll breast feed at night okay but during the day she turns her head away.  She's not stupid, she knows there's a bottle that delivers the goods more efficiently and way faster.  Sigh... it makes me sad but I'm slowly getting over it.  I'll tell you, I definitely wish I had budgeted formula into this year's plan because holy hell, she sure sucks it back!

Her favourite distractions are her mobiles (the one that lights up over her crib and the non-wind up one over her change station), her Baby Einstein activity mat and her vibrating chair with toys on her lap.  We finally broke down and got her a Bumbo chair and she looks hilarious in it.  She doesn't quite know what to make of it so she just sits there slightly slumped forward hanging onto the tray looking at us.

She has started sleeping a bit longer at night, sometimes up to three hours at a time.  The catch?  She sleeps in/on the crook of my arm.  Ow, my poor arm.  Sometimes I get lucky and can transfer her over a bit so she's sleeping on her own in the middle of our bed but unless she's in a super deep sleep, she starts kicking and thrashing around until she starts crying.  Baby steps, I guess...

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Easter stuff

We took Emily to the pediatrician this afternoon after trying to clear up a rash on her torso for the past week and a half.  The pediatrician wasn't overly concerned and recommended an over-the-counter cream to help with it.  She basically just has really sensitive skin, even for a baby.  We already do a lot to minimize irritation but we're going to do a bit more like extra rinse cycles for her clothing and increasing the amount of times we apply lotion/cream to her skin every day.

Emily started grasping toys this week and will sometimes try to get them to her mouth to taste.  She is still working on getting her fingers/fist in her mouth to suck - usually she tries to stick both in at once which doesn't help the process.  We suspect she is going to be left hand dominant.
Sampling her toy keys
Since the snow is finally starting to melt around here and the sidewalks are clear (the sidewalks that neighbours refused to shovel all winter that were covered in ice) I have started taking walks with the stroller.  I was pleased to discover it only took 18 minutes to walk to the grocery store!  Em seems to like being outside looking at new things and hearing new noises.
We spent Easter with Emily's dads.  To prepare, I got out her children's bible to read a few stories.  In the end I decided the bible is much too violent for a child... good lord!
"Mommy, this story is not appropriate for my age..."
Jules roasted lamb for Easter Sunday dinner and made bread pudding for dessert.  We were teasing her about the bread pudding when she served it because she had made it the night before and then microwaved each serving before drizzing custard over it.  She wasn't aware that breaded items only need 20-30 seconds maximum in the microwave (she put them in for over a minute) so when she served them they were literally steaming.  When she looked around and saw we were pushing it around the plate and talking instead of eating it she was disappointed and said we didn't have to eat it if we didn't like it.  We all responded that it was very good but that we had all scalded our mouths on it and were now waiting for the steam to subside before trying more of it.  I think we got through 1/4 of the movie Lincoln before we could finally eat it. ;)
Easter outfit #1
Easter outfit #2
We're getting to the point where she fits all of her 3 month clothing now.  Now we're trying to find it all in her closet and put it in rotation while removing the clothing that doesn't fit.  It's sad to get rid of some of our favourite outfits for her but fun to find new things we had purchased but forgotten about (usually from a Carter's end of season sale). It is now apparent that we and family/friends purchased more 3 month clothing than any other size so for the next month or so she'll have a lot of outfits and then by the time she gets to needing 6 month clothing the rotation will be limited.  Clearly we didn't plan that out very well.  She's really starting to drool a lot and occasionally spits up and has leaked diapers so we're starting to need 1-2 clothing changes per day.  It would help if Jules and I would remember that she sometimes likes to pee as soon as we remove her diaper.  She's soaked herself and the change pad three days in a row now.

This second hand outfit makes her look like she's ready for Hogwarts
But she totally rocks it...
On Monday we visited Emily's dads at their home.  Usually on Mondays they visit us but since they had come on Sunday we decided to make the trek to their place for a change.  They live about 35 minutes away from us in a suburb on the other side of the city.  We had made a plan to try making homemade Cadbury Creme Eggs the night before so when we got there we got down to business.  
Emily insisted on supervising the process
Although the recipe was super easy and the preparation straight forward, it took quite a while to get them done because they would start to get warm immediately after taking them out of the freezer so they had to be ferried in and out of the freezer one by one.  Once they were covered in chocolate it was a lot easier to finish.  It couldn't have been too bad because the guys told us they made another batch the following day.  They were sooooooo good!  We made coffee and had our creme eggs while playing Balderdash (it was mine and Jules' first time playing).  We had a really great day. :)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Sleep or lack thereof

First of all, thank you Stacey and Shannon for your awesome comments.  That has made both Jules and I feel a lot better regarding the mommy preference.  Seriously, thank you.

Also, Shannon, thank you so much for your coconut milk recommendation.  It's totally awesome and by far my favourite of the non-dairy substitutes out there.

Now on to my favourite topic - Emily's sleep pattern or lack thereof

Here's what I've noticed:

  • She can sleep 1.5 hrs at a time at night without needing to be soothed
  • She's always hungry when she wakes up at night.  For that reason I both breast feed and formula feed her at night to fill her up.
  • She will rarely sleep longer than 15 minutes at a time during the day without needing some sort of soothing to get her back to sleep (whether it is a quick rock, putting her soother back in or changing her diaper again)
  • She is the WORST at self soothing.  She'll be rubbing her eyes and tired as all heck but she just can't seem to drift off by herself.  I've left her for 5-10 minutes at a time to see if she can get the hang of putting herself to sleep but when she gets into the silent scary cry I feel terrible and can't do it anymore.
  • Occasionally she'll go for a three hour stretch in the afternoon or evening.  It's almost always at a time when I can't join her.
  • We currently don't have a bedtime routine established.  Between Jules working late most nights and Emily's need to be soothed by me and me alone, it leaves us doing everything late and before we know it it'll be 10 pm or later before we're going upstairs to start bedtime.  We really need to work on this but honestly it feels impossible sometimes. :(
As I type this, Emily is sleeping against my chest in the cuddly wrap.  This is after being awake for 99% of the time between 8:30 am and 12:30 pm.  She'd drift off in my arms or on the breast feeding pillow and then wake up after I put her down or within 10 minutes.  It is so damn hard sometimes.  Even in the cuddly wrap she fussed for about half an hour before finally falling into a deep enough sleep that I didn't have to be walking around bouncing her or patting her on the back.

I swear, at this point I'd be glad if she had her nights and days mixed up because at least I'd get some decent naps SOMETIME during the day/night.


Monday, March 18, 2013

2 Months

Another month has flown by and now our little peanut is two months old!  

Some changes this month:

  • Increased neck strength!  She's amazing with her head control.
  • She follows us all around the room with her eyes.  The distance at which she can see has greatly improved.

  • She starts moving her arms and legs to music and movement.  She LOVES her Baby Einstein play gym (for 15 minutes at a time...that's usually her limit) because it has blinking lights and music.  She also loves when we dance in front of her and her giraffe mobile.

  • She has started to warm up to the baby swing.  Jules has gotten her to sleep in it for a couple hours at a time in the past week.
  • We figured out how to calm/soothe her when she gets super cranky and overtired.  Well, I have anyway... 
  • She has a case of mommyitis.  Nobody can calm her like I can.  She'll scream the house down for Jules and poor Jules will try everything she can think of to calm her down but there have been several times where she's had to bring her to me or wait until I've gotten home from an evening errand to have her soothed. :(  This really makes me sad and I totally understand Jules' frustration.  This morning she was at her wit's end as she was trying to let me get a few hours of sleep but Emily wouldn't stop crying.  I end up coming downstairs and as soon as I picked her up, she started calming down.  I brought her upstairs and she fell asleep in my arms within five minutes.  Although I'm so grateful that at least one of us can calm her, I feel so guilty. :(

  • She's begun experiencing constipation which I contribute to her being half formula fed.  Poor girl.  We've started adding a bit more water to her formula bottle and last night we resorted to using a baby suppository to help her go (it worked within 10 minutes!)
  • She's had baby acne for the last three weeks.  It seems like every day it is somewhere else on her face/neck/head.  It takes days for spots to go away but I found if I put breast milk on them they disappear overnight.  Jules wanted to try breast milk on one of her spots and sure enough it disappeared overnight.
This afternoon Emily had her 2 month vaccination appointment.  Two shots in one leg and one shot in the other.  I was a wreck beforehand because it kills me when we have to put saline drops in her nose and she screams murder so I knew this was going to be rough.  She did scream for about five minutes straight but I was finally able to calm her down and get her sleeping.  She was awake shortly after we got home though and was crying a lot over the course of the afternoon so I broke out the children's Tylenol and gave her a dose.  She went to sleep shortly there after and has been dozing on and off ever since.


Hopefully tonight isn't going to be too rough though I can't really imagine our nights getting much worse than they are.  As it is Emily only sleeps 1-2.5 hours at a time at night.  Her average is 1.5 hours at a time.  She doesn't like sleeping on her back unless she's laying between us in bed.  When she's in bed with us, I can't sleep for more than 15 minutes at a time because I'm worried one of us will roll into her or accidentally pull a blanket over her head or move a pillow over her face.  I can manage a more sound sleep if she's actually cradled in the crook of my arm but that position is only semi comfortable for so long before I have to move her.  She'll sleep over an hour at a time in her vibrating chair which I place at the side of the bed so I can quickly reach her when she starts crying.  I'm hoping we'll be able to get her sleeping in her crib by 4 months old.  In the meantime we're seriously considering getting a king sized bed.

Last but not least, her are her measurements from today:

Weight - 11 lbs, 6.25 oz (65th percentile)
Height - 22.5 in (60th percentile)
Head - 38.7 cm (50th percentile)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Tonight Jules is graciously sleeping downstairs with Emily so I can get four or five hours of uninterrupted sleep as a thank you for the three nights of full time duty I had (she had important work stuff this week that required her to be well rested). I can tell that a) I'm definitely a mother now, and b) I don't remember how to just go to bed on my own anymore. I went upstairs and then realized we were almost out of baby wipes downstairs so I grabbed a new pack and brought it down. Back upstairs I went. Then I thought perhaps one or both of them might get cold in the night so I brought down a couple of blankets. Back upstairs I went. Then I decided to bring down a warmer sleeper for Emily. Back upstairs I went. Then I decided I should probably bring up the breast pump. Then my phone so I could read the news while I drifted off. Then a bottle of water.

Now I'm typing this out...


Why am I wasting this opportunity to sleep? I should be dreaming right now. Or not dreaming because I'm so tired.

Maybe I'm dreaming this blog post right now... A real one would probably have updates on Emily instead of rambling...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sleep, dairy and diapers

Babies are tricky little things to figure out sometimes.  For example today, Emily has cried almost every moment she wasn't either sleeping or eating.  However, last night was the first night we managed to get her to sleep somewhere not on our bed and not on us for three and a half hours straight.  The winning surface was her Fisher Price vibrating chair.  All she had one was her Fuzzibunz diaper and loosely wrapped in a blanket.  Needless to say we'll be trying to recreate the experience tonight.  I won't hold my breath though...

We switched over to the cloth diapers on Sunday now that she's finally big enough to fit them.  So far so good except now a lot of clothing is suddenly too small due to extreme fluffy bum.  We're using the Bummis prefolds during the day (she lets us know as soon as she wets) and the Fuzzibunz at night right now (so she won't let us know as soon as she wets).

I forgot to mention the other week that I started limiting my dairy in order to see if Em would stop squirming at the breast while feeding.  When I say limiting I mean I stopped drinking milk and eating cheese, yogurt and sour cream (the usual dairy in our home) but I haven't gone as far as limiting the dairy in processed foods (or eating Cadbury Mini Eggs because I'm addicted at the moment).  It took almost a week but sure enough Emily stopped squirming when feeding.  Then yesterday I had two lattes and now since last night she's been squirming at the breast again.  I guess that means I really am stuck using rice milk* in my coffee for the next few months.

*I tried rice milk, hemp milk, flax milk, almond milk and soya milk.  I HATE soya milk period and the almond, hemp and flax only in cereal.  The rice milk is the only one I can stand in coffee... barely.

Tomorrow I have my six week follow up appointment with my OB.  I'm not sure how useful the appointment will be but I imagine I'll mention I still have numbness and tenderness in my abdomen but my incision has healed very well.  He'll say take Advil and continue to take it easy and send me on my way.  Taking it easy... such a joke.  How do you take it easy when you get small interrupted periods of sleep at a time (unless your wife generously offers to take the baby for a few hours on the weekend or at night) so basically never getting restful *healing* sleep and then spending the weekdays carrying a baby around?  When I get out of bed in the morning, I stumble around like a baby foal learning to use my legs for the first time.  The stairs are the worst... I have to use the banister AND the wall and I wince in pain all the way as I stumble down.  I feel like I'm 90 years old for the first hour or so and then I'm okay.  The same thing happens when I get out of the car.  Knees, ankles, wrists, it all hurts.  I looked it up online and apparently having achy joints like this is common post pregnancy and can last up to a year.  I'm hoping once the sidewalks and roads are no longer skating rinks outside, I'll get walking around the neighbourhood to see if that'll help get rid of it.

Now that I'm able to lay on my stomach again without pain, I've booked a massage for next Monday.  I can't wait!!  I'm pretty sure it's going to be heaven and I'm pretty sure I'm going to fall asleep during it.  

Also in the next couple of weeks I'm going to book a pedicure and possibly a hair cut.  Jules asked what I wanted for my birthday coming up in mid-March and I listed off massage, pedicure and hair cut.  She offered a hotel room for a night but I immediately shot it down... that's not fair and it's too much money to spend for sleep.  I'll settle for a nice long nap on a Saturday.

Well, Emily is doing her 'I'm going to wake up in less than a minute' stretch routine right now so I better go grab the breast feeding pillow stat!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

One Month

I can hardly believe our little girl is a month old already!

Everything still feels very new and we are far from having any kind of schedule right now.

Emily is now 9 lbs 4 oz and is now too long for her newborn clothing but too tiny for the 0-3 month clothing.

Her hair is growing longer in the back but is very slow to grow in the front. It is a mixture of blonde, light brown and dark brown. Her eyebrows are light blonde. I don't know where she got that colouring from. I can only assume it'll all get darker as she gets older.

Her eye lashes are finally growing in. She has her Father's eyes so I'm not sure how long they'll get.

This week her facial expressions have more variety. It's nice seeing our baby girl with a less serious expression on her face. In fact, we witnessed her first smiles on Friday! No pictures yet but hopefully soon.

She is making a lot of different sounds now and is alert and engaging for short periods throughout the day.

Her days and nights appear to be a little mixed up. She does not go down at night yet... We end up holding her or wearing her or having her lay on our chest most of the night while she wakes up a hundred times. She's just not a baby who will lay there and be content to fall asleep.

We just marvel at our beautiful little girl and look forward to new milestones (and a schedule) while enjoying her lovely, tiny, newness a while longer.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday's Thought

I was just looking down at our little peanut sleeping in her vibrating rocker and I had this thought:

Wow, this precious little thing is our daughter.  Not someone else's daughter that we're babysitting and need to hand back in a while but ours to cherish and raise and love and guide through the first part of her life.  She's finally here and we love her more than life itself...

Then she abruptly started screaming the house down and filled her diaper.  That's my girl, telling me in her own way that I shouldn't be getting too sappy on a Monday morning.

I can't help it though... 

Friday, February 8, 2013

A Great Day

Today has been a great day so far.  It started with me getting almost five hours of sleep all in a row before taking over the early morning/day shift with sweet baby girl.  She was all sleepy and adorable this morning so we had a lot of eye contact and new sounds before she fell asleep for a whopping three straight hours during which time I was able to pump, shower, start a load of laundry, iron some desperately needed articles of clothing for Jules and myself, do my hair, straighten up a bit downstairs and surf the internet a bit.

Jules came home at 11:30 am to pick us up for our follow up appointment with the lactation consultant.  Emily decided to show off and latch without the nipple shield with barely any coaxing... traitor.  Our plan for this week is to do more of that and less bottles.  The breast feeding pillow they have there to use is awesome.  It isn't filled as full as a lot of the ones in the stores and it has a really super soft cover.  Emily loves it and it ends up being just the right height for us.  It turns out a woman hand makes them and only sells them in a local store.  We went and picked one up and I have to say, so far so good.  I've already fed Emily with it at home with no problem.  We'll see how tomorrow goes...

The weather today is fantastic.  It's warm and sunny with little to no breeze which is so rare in the winter.  Usually if it is warm, it's very windy because the warm weather is always in a hurry to leave.  Jules is outside right now scraping the melting ice off of our sidewalk and driveway.  We're usually pretty good at keeping it clear but ever since the baby arrived, snow removal is pretty much at the bottom of our To Do list.  It has snowed quite a bit in the past three weeks so there's a lot of build-up to get rid of.  I think we have a few more days of nice warm weather to look forward to before the temperature dips down again.  

After Jules is done the driveway, I think I'm going to escape for a trip to the store for some solo shopping.  It's kind of sad how I'm looking forward to picking up some groceries and other supplies but I really am excited.  

Add to that the fact that it's the weekend and we're a pretty happy family today!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Three Weeks

Emily had her first appointment with the pediatrician today.  She's grown a bunch and is a strong little thing.  

Weight - 8 lbs 7 oz (up 1 lb from birth)
Height - 21.25 in (up 1.5 in from birth)

I didn't pay attention to her head circumference but she by no means has a huge head (except when it concerned my narrow pelvis) so I assume it's average.

In the waiting room.  Mom, quit opening the flap!  It's bright out there!!

She can hold her head up off of our shoulders for short periods of time now.  When I pick her up, she doesn't feel as floppy as she did in the beginning.  She still has a below average sucking reflex and a well below average rooting reflex.  Stroking a finger or nipple on her cheek or nose does absolutely nothing to get her to open her mouth and/or turn her head to the side for feeding.

I have another appointment with the lactation consultant tomorrow and I'm pretty sure I'll get a little scolded for my work this week.  I think I might have breast fed Emily four times yesterday and today it's already after 2 pm and I haven't done it once yet (though I did pump before we left for the pediatrician).  I'm not comfortable enough to feed outside of the home yet (heck, I'm barely comfortable to feed anywhere but the living room couch) so when we go out we miss opportunities.  That and the fact that Jules was a superstar last night and took Emily downstairs for the night so I could get some sleep (I was pretty zombified yesterday and I pulled one of my stitches so our first solo day wasn't the greatest) so there was no overnight breast feeding session(s).  Oh, and when I do breast feed, I don't even try to get her to latch straight to my nipple anymore, I just use the nipple shield.  Jules isn't around every time to syringe milk into the corner of her mouth to trick her into latching and I'm just not into having Emily scream and thrash around for several minutes while she tries to latch.  Oh well... at least she's getting something.  And she's put on weight so it's not like her being half formula fed is killing her.

As I type this I'm eating a bean soup I made last night.  I absolutely love this soup and missed it so much while I was pregnant and couldn't tolerate spice of any kind.  I'm looking forward to making more of the dishes I couldn't have while pregnant because they last for days and we can eat them for consecutive days without getting sick of them.

Jules bought a baby sling from a local woman the other day and for the past two days she's been subjecting Emily to various positions and holds in this sling.  We're not sure if Emily actually likes being in the sling but it might be that Jules just hasn't found the optimal position(s) yet.  (Jules just saw what I wrote and said, 'SHE LOVES BEING HELD IN IT!!!'... okay, honey...)
The sling's alright when food is involved!

Yesterday I took Emily for her first swim in the bathtub.  It was funny because she floats so it was actually work to keep her submerged so she wouldn't get cold!  She appeared to enjoy the experience because she didn't cry or look uncomfortable.

Such a serious little thing...
Well, I'm done my lunch and my wife is giving me the opportunity to take a nap so I'm going to jump all over that and get some zzzz's!

Monday, February 4, 2013


Jules goes back to work on Wednesday.


We're at a loss as to how we're going to get through nights when she has to work the next day.  Jules is able to survive on a lot less sleep than I can so she's been taking the largest part of the night with Emily.  Emily will either sleep on her chest (which isn't a very restful sleep when a baby is snoring/breathing/sighing close to your face) or more recently (as in the last couple of nights) either in her bassinet beside her for very short periods of time or next to her in bed (with nothing near her that could smother her of course).  

When I have her at night, she mainly sleeps in my arms (while I don't sleep) or on our recliner with blankets for up to an hour at a time (while I don't sleep because our couch is the most uncomfortable couch in the world).

She no longer likes to be swaddled.  She screams the place down if she can't get her arms free.

She doesn't sleep for very long on her back; she prefers her side or stomach.

She sleeps a lot more during the day (and more soundly) than at night... no surprise there, I guess.  I've read that a lot of babies are like that in the beginning.

She has started feeding more in the past couple of days and with more feedings came a LOT more pooping.  Oh my goodness... There's nothing like poop sprayed on the wall!  

We're still doing half breast feeding, half formula.  My supply has increased a bit but I'm not breastfeeding her the eight times a day I was told to yet.  I'm averaging 4-5 times right now.  Honestly, if I get a chance to take a nap or sleep through a feeding at night, I'd rather do that than breastfeed right now.  I'm still quite uncomfortable from the cesarean and between recovering from that and breastfeeding and doing things around the house, I'm worn out. :(

Jules is up from her nap now so I'm going to go snuggle up on the couch with my wife and baby while I try not to think about Wednesday.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

The birth story plus my breast feeding woes

The Birth Story

Okay, so at the risk of judgement, I will admit that both my doctor and I decided it would be in everyone's best interest to induce labour at 41 weeks.  Earlier in my pregnancy I was against being induced and was all for waiting until at least 42 weeks for the baby's arrival, however by the end of December I was thinking differently for various reasons, mostly due to extreme discomfort causing sleep to be nearly impossible to attain. I say 'nearly' because I did grab a couple hours here and there.  I was exhausted and puffy beyond belief.  I could barely move and barely eat because of the heartburn and reflux... I could go on and on and yeah, I decided at my 40 week appointment that I had sucked it up enough to ensure Emily had gestated enough to avoid guilty feelings in the future.  The doctor and I discussed it and decided on the induction for the 16th.  I went home with mixed feelings because I felt like I was cheating my body a bit (however, it cheated me right back later on, but we'll get to that) but I also felt a bit of relief that I only had another week to wait.

So on the morning of the 16th, we went to the hospital to get the Cervidil inserted.  Holy cow was that painful.  Nothing like having something dry being shoved up your vagina to rest behind your cervix while three people watch.  That was around 10:30 in the morning.  I stayed for two hours to be monitored and then we got to go home.  By 2 pm I was starting to have contractions but they weren't that bad so Jules and I managed to nap until 4:30 pm when I had to get up because the contractions were getting a little too strong to sleep through.  For the next few hours I bounced on my ball, watched TV and tried to distract myself from the contractions but by the evening I was having to pace and get Jules to apply counter pressure to my lower back while the contractions came every five minutes lasting for 2-3 minutes.  By 7:30 pm we moved upstairs to the shower where I stood while Jules concentrated the spray on my lower back and belly during contractions that were getting more painful by the hour.  We drained the hot water tank about five times between 7:30 pm and 11:45 pm when we finally decided our coping methods at home just weren't cutting it anymore.

We arrived back at the hospital just after midnight.  I was checked and as I suspected there was no change aside from some softening.  They gave me a shot of morphine and sent a sample of some fluid that had leaked out for testing to double check that it wasn't amniotic fluid (their quick test was negative).  With little change and no water broken, they were debating to send me home but the morphine didn't work and I couldn't get comfortable so they suggested I stay the night.  We jumped at the chance because a never ending hot water supply in the shower sounded like the greatest thing in the entire world to me.  Cut to 4 am and me sitting on a ball in the bathtub with a zombified Jules trying to stay awake to hold the hand held shower on my lower back while I contracted.  She refused to go lay down but I tricked her by getting her to promise to rest for just 15 minutes.  She was out like a light and I stayed in the shower for another hour enjoying the hot water until I was nearly delirious from lack of sleep.  I reluctantly got out of the shower and back into bed where laughing gas was waiting for me.  From 5 until 7 am I sucked on that every 5-10 minutes during my contractions and then would pass out briefly before doing it all over again.  At 7 am my doctor came in and checked me and I was between 3 and 4 cm dilated so he removed the Cervidil and they started the Oxytocin.  

The contractions continued pretty much the same as with the Cervidil for the rest of the morning and into the afternoon.  I had my trusty laughing gas to help me along the way and all was fine until around 2 pm when the contractions started getting really strong.  I started being vocal at this point while breathing through the contractions because they really started to hurt bad.  Cue my water breaking and me starting to sob the place down.  At this point I was 5 cm dilated so they cleared me for the epidural.  The only problem was that the anesthesiologist was tied up in the OR at that time so I had to wait.  Oh my goodness... the whole pregnancy process is about waiting for things, isn't it?  Anyway, eventually they came in and I got the epidural while sobbing.  The nurses were amazing, by the way.  The epidural took forever to kick in and they ended up calling the guy back to top it up two separate times because I kept moaning 'Why isn't the epidural working' for well past the kick in period.  The guy was a real jerk and seemed put off with having to top me up so the second time he REALLY made sure I was good.  My body could have been sawed in half and I wouldn't have even noticed.  FINALLY I was able to get an actual nap in... for about 20 minutes.  

My doctor came in at some point to check me and declared me ready to push.  Great... the only problem was that I was so numb I couldn't even feel the contractions anymore.  So down went the epidural and after a period I could feel them enough to know when to push.  Things were moving along and I could feel the baby moving down.  The nurse and my doctor were very pleased... but then the progress stopped abruptly.  My doctor was reaching up there moving the baby every which way and getting me to push every so often.  At this point the epidural was practically non-existent and I was in agony and practically delirious with the pressure and pain.  They offered me the laughing gas again but I couldn't calm down enough to take the deep breaths needed to make it work.  Finally my doctor stopped trying to maneuver the baby and gave us the news that my pelvis was too narrow for the baby's head to fit through.  Off to the OR we went.

At 4:26 pm little Emily was born.  I sent Jules off to stay with her while I was sewn up.  It seemed to take forever (although admittedly I was too spaced out to really know how much time passed) and I later found out that was because my doctor found a large cyst twisted around one of my ovaries so he was so kind as to remove it without cutting out my ovary (like what happened with Jules earlier last year).

After laying in recovery for however long, I was finally taken to my room where apparently everyone in the hospital had already held my baby.  The baby daddy met my parents I was told and people showed me pictures of Emily's trip to our room via the nursery and all the people she met along the way.  I was really out of it and I honestly don't remember holding Emily for the first time (the picture I posted on Facebook) or anything else that day.

Since I could barely hold her for the first day or two, I wasn't able to even attempt breast feeding until around day 3.  Epic failure.  Emily had next to no sucking reflex.  I took a look and saw she definitely had tongue tie and possibly lip tie.  The pediatrician disagreed with me.  I wish I could punch him in the face multiple times a day.  Anyway, in the four days in the hospital, I managed to pump a grand total of less than an ounce from both breasts while Emily was formula fed.  Once home I managed to start pumping between half an ounce and an ounce per breast per session while trying a nipple shield on my breast for feeding.  That was semi successful but she usually fell asleep within five minutes.  Yesterday we had an appointment with a lactation consultant and she immediately noticed Emily's bad tongue tie.  She managed to clip about 2 mm so now Emily can stick her tongue out to the edge of her lip but in all honesty she probably needs a plastic surgeon to clip it more.  Not sure how to go about getting that set up.  Anyway, the lactation consultant prescribed me something to attempt to get my poor milk supply up and told me I need to be feeding her at the breast every three hours and she needs to drain my breasts at least eight times per day.  She supplied us with a feeding tube and some syringes to sneak in pumped breast milk or formula while attempting to get her to latch.

When we got home yesterday, we tried out getting her to latch with a syringe and we had pretty good success all evening.  I was feeling pretty optimistic about getting her going on breast feeding before Jules goes back to work next Wednesday (because I almost always need Jules' help to get her situated - my breasts are ENORMOUS right now).  She was bottle fed pumped breast milk in the middle of the night when Jules was on baby shift and I slept and then at 6 am Jules brought her upstairs to breast feed and that's when we saw our baby girl lost all her new skills.  She refused to latch even with the syringe... okay fine, so we tried the nipple shield... no go.  Okay, on to the formula in a bottle... nope.  She shakes her head back and forth when the nipple (of the bottle) or the nipple shield is in her mouth.  Then she rolls it around her mouth and holds her mouth open.  WTF??!?!?!?!?!?!?!?  She's been like this all day.  I've managed a few very brief sessions with the nipple shield and giving her a few bottles today but they've all been a ridiculous production.  I'm so frustrated tonight... to top it off, I can barely get anything pumped out now.  Jules is trying to stay positive but I've asked her to let me have my pity party for just one evening.  I know breast feeding doesn't come naturally and it is hard work but COME ON... Why couldn't I get lucky and have one of those babies that started latching like a champ at five seconds old?  Oh wait, never mind... I couldn't even hold her to my breast for three days... Sigh... Okay, I'm done feeling sorry for myself for the evening.

Wish us luck!  We definitely need it...

(hopefully this post makes sense when read... I didn't proof read before publishing)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I want my sweet baby back!

I want my little angel back!!

We brought home a baby who had minimal fussing periods throughout the day, who slept on our chest at night, who woke at regular intervals for feeding... Where that baby went, I don't know. :(

Since Sunday morning, little Emily has been really cranky.  Yesterday evening/night was insane... She was red as a lobster, screaming the place down.  Her zombie moms went through the list of things that could be bothering her and then some but to little avail.  I had to throw in the towel around 8 am due to pain around my cesarean incision and delirium from lack of sleep so my super hero wife took over and eventually got Emily sleeping around noon.  She's been out ever since!

Now before she wakes up, I better pump... 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I would update but...

I would like to sit down and update on the birth of our daughter, Emily, but in between healing, pumping and getting distracted by this cute thing... it might take a while.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Still Waiting

It is amazing how many degrees of discomfort there actually can be in pregnancy.  There was the cramping very early on and then there was the all day and night sickness for four months and the not being able to get comfortable for what seemed like no reason then the round ligament pain and sciatica and then the heartburn and acid reflux and finally the swelling and general whale-like feeling with the inability to get comfortable AT ALL in bed.  Oh, I forgot to mention the 7 months of feeling like I'm just getting over a head cold.  I've gone through more tissues in the past 10 months than I have my entire life.

What is my point?  I've almost forgotten... Oh yeah, the reason I'm sitting here in front of the computer instead of being tucked into bed upstairs with my wife.  I'm so done with this pregnancy.  Between the acid reflux of death and not being able to get comfortable enough to sleep more than an hour or two at a time, I'm just so frustrated and down about everything right now.  Yes, I know baby will come when baby is ready to come.  I know this is my first time (eventually) giving birth.  I know that a lot of babies are born after their EDD.  I get that, I do.  But seriously, I would give a lot of things right now to be able to be semi comfortable right now and the only way I can see to get more comfortable would be to get rid of the huge watermelon (or is she now as big as a freakin' pumpkin?) that feels attached from my throat to my thighs.

The doctor says she's now probably nearly 9 lbs.  NINE pounds!  Oh my freakin' god.  This is the first time he's mentioned anything about her size other than to say she's measuring right on for weeks.  I think my pelvis shuttered at that news.  I know I did.

As of Wednesday I was 1/2 cm (he probably made that up to make me feel better) dilated and my cervix was 'getting softer'.  Wednesday and Thursday I had some promising back pain and a lot of cramping but by Friday that had all stopped.  I had a bit more last night but again, it went away.  I've been going down the list of usual things to try to move things along but so far no luck.  I'm kind of at the acceptance stage now... that eventually, at some point in 2013 I will have a baby exit my body in one way or another.  Until then, I'll continue to medicate for the acid reflux of doom and catch the odd nap throughout the day and walk the house and bounce on my ball and try to enjoy the fact that at least I'm not still working through all of this.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

39 weeks and probably a lot of counting...

Finally, it's January!  Finally it's the month we're going to welcome our baby girl.  When she'll come, nobody knows of course.  Not even the doctor had a guess today when he informed me that she's still bouncing her head off my bladder and my cervix is nowhere near preparing for her to come out.
39 week belly
I have been having menstrual-like cramping every day for a week along with the usual constant Braxton Hicks contractions and pelvic floor pain (ie feeling like I'm being kicked between the legs while walking).  The past few days the cramping has been after every bathroom trip, regardless of what kind of bathroom trip it is.  Unfortunately, that means that when I am roused from bed by the need to go to the bathroom, I cannot go back to bed afterward and I have to either walk around for a long while or sit and rock for a while until the cramping goes away.  Jules has started saying things like, 'I'll see you when I see you.' or 'I miss sharing a bed with you' because of how much I'm not in bed at night. :(  

One night I tried out the glider we have in the baby's room and ended up falling asleep for three hours.  It was wonderful except next time I think I'll use a neck pillow.  I can see that glider getting a lot of action this year - it was a wonderful sale purchase from Walmart.  95% of the baby items/furniture we have were either deeply discounted, purchased from Kijiji or from a garage sale.  We made the purchases over several months so we could wait for good deals.  Our end goal for this year was of course to purchase a house so we wanted to make sure we didn't spend too much or put items on credit.  We also received a couple of gently used items from Jules' co-workers.  It is wonderful when people are willing to pass on these items to others who can use them.  We fully plan on paying our items forward in the future, whether privately or through the church or dirt cheap through Kijiji/garage sale.

The wonderful glider
Another corner of the room
Crib + change table = $90 on Kijiji! 
Our most cherished baby gift from my dear friend Stacey
Baby girl has a larger closet than we do.
The only problem with having taken care of the majority of the baby items ourselves is we constantly get asked, 'Well, now what are people supposed to get you?'  Um... nothing?   I didn't realize that we were putting out friends and family by taking away options for baby gifts. I thought people would be happy that we took care of the majority of items.    In my family a baby shower is held after the baby is born so what were we to do, sit on our hands and wait for items we needed that might be gifted by friends and family a month after the baby's born?  Sorry, I'm a planner by profession, I don't operate that way.  

Well, I see it's now 1 am and I should probably try to sleep.  Thank goodness I'm now on mat leave because my sleep schedule is so messed up now, I don't know how I'd be able to drag my sorry self into work at this point.  Yay for naps and the time to take them!