Friday, September 27, 2013

I Gave It My Best Shot

I struggled with the idea of actually posting this or not because the topic can get controversial, but then I decided that it's all family and friends who read my blog (as far as I know...maybe the occasional stranger stumbles upon this), so I think everyone will be supportive, and I'm 'fessing up.

Audrey is no longer a breastfed baby. We have switched to exclusively formula feeding her. There. I admitted it. :)

When Audrey was born she weighed 7 lbs. 2 oz. When we were discharged from the hospital she weighed 6 lbs. 10 oz. When we went to the pediatrician the next day she was down to 6 lbs. 6 oz. Our pediatrician suggested that we do a supplemental formula feeding once a day until my milk came in. We continued doing a supplemental formula feeding once a night and I would pump so that my milk supply wouldn't suffer. Audrey is a very content baby, and I could breastfeed her every 3 hours during the day and she stayed content between feedings. She would nap well and she made plenty of wet and dirty diapers so I thought everything was great. We went for her 2-week check-up earlier this week, and not only had she not gained weight she actually lost weight! Michel and I were both a bit shocked by this, and stressed. Our pediatrician asked us that I breastfeed her, then offer her a bottle of formula to see if she's not getting full from the breast milk. Her theory was if Audrey had eaten what she wanted of breast milk (I fed her until she pulled herself off, or I would pull her off if I noticed she wasn't actually drinking anymore, but just pacifying instead), and then was offered formula she would refuse the bottle. If she wasn't full, Audrey would drink the formula. I was also told to pump after that to keep my supply up. That day, we did exactly what the pediatrician asked. We were beyond exhausted by the end of the day. On top of that, the more formula we offered Audrey the less time she stayed on the breast. Her first feeding was a normal 30-45 minute feeding. She took in quite a bit of formula (about 1.5-2 oz.). Her second feeding she only stayed on the breast for about 10 minutes a side and again ate about 1.5-2 oz. of formula. The rest of the night she only breastfed for about 5 minutes a side, but would drink about 2 oz. of formula. When I pumped, I was only pumping out about 1/4-1/2 oz. of breast milk between the two breasts!!! I had pumped before and had gotten as much as a full ounce, but have never been able to pump more than an ounce (and I was only able to get an ounce out when I didn't breast feed her first). So after a night of tears, anxiety, and virtually no sleep Michel and I came to the conclusion that I was going to stop breastfeeding her, and we would go to formula.

Maybe some people reading this are thinking that I didn't try hard enough to make it work. I feel like I did; maybe I didn't. However, since switching to formula I have a much less fussy baby (she pretty much fussed all evening from 5ish until 9 or 10ish and cluster fed - the poor thing was just starving), and I'm much less stressed! I love the idea of breast feeding, and am so happy for the people who can make it work. The truth of the matter is my baby wasn't growing like she should have been off of breast milk. When we went back to the pediatrician today we were told that she needed to have gained an ounce per day (3 oz. total from Tuesday to today). She weighed 6 lbs. 5 oz on Tuesday and we were hoping to see her weigh 6 lbs. 8 oz. today. We put her on the scale and she weighed 6 lbs. 13 oz.!!! She gained 7 1/2 ounces from Tuesday - over twice as much as we were hoping for! Michel and I were so thrilled to see that number on the scale! It kind of the reassurance that we needed to know that we are making the right decision. I told our pediatrician today that we had cut out breast milk due to low supply issues, and she totally understood, and said that her boys were formula fed babies and were just fine. She also reassured us that she sees kids come in who are breast fed and formula fed and there's not that much difference in which babies get sick more often. She also said that breast feeding, even for just a couple of weeks, still gives Audrey some antibodies and added health benefits.

There are definite pros and cons to formula feeding, but the biggest pro is that it's helping my baby grow and thrive like she should be!! I also can eat, drink, or take any medication I need to and not worry about how it will affect Audrey. The biggest con about formula feeding is the price. Michel and I already decided that the price of formula is not nearly as important as knowing that Audrey is getting the nutrition that she needs.

We love our baby girl, and are just trying to do what we think is best for her! I'm just glad to see her growing now :)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Fun Times with Baby

Normally whatever pictures I post to my blog will go on Facebook as well. The last few days when I've tried posting pictures on Facebook it won't work. I'm pretty sure I need to update my computer, but I haven't had time to worry about it.

Anyways, we are on day 11 of having a baby and I absolutely love it! We're still trying to work out logistics (mainly sleeping), but for the most part everything is going really well! Audrey actually sleeps really well (the sleeping logistics we're trying to work out are mainly things like when will Mommy sleep?). Audrey is also doing REALLY well following a schedule. We haven't really worked on it until today, but I was trying to make sure and follow a 2-3 hour feeding pattern so that she would transition easier to a schedule. We've tried doing more of an eat/wake/sleep schedule today and she has done so, so well! In the mid-afternoon (after her 2:00 feeding) I struggle keeping her awake during that feeding and for any wake time afterwards, so we've just been putting her straight to bed. Literally, the poor girl is sooooo sleepy!

Michel has been absolutely wonderful as a husband, and as a new daddy! I'm not going to lie - I've had a couple of "new mommy meltdowns", but Michel is so good about knowing what to say or do to make it better. He also knows when I'm overly exhausted and will send me to bed and will do Audrey's nighttime routine so that I can gain an extra bit of sleep. He also does one supplemental formula feeding for me on some nights when I'm just too tired to think. I know, as a breastfeeding mom I need to worry about my milk supply, but sometimes Mommy has to do what's right for Mommy and let Daddy take the baby.

Anyways, these last 11 days with Audrey have been so much fun! She is such a good baby - she's easy-going, and she really doesn't cry much unless she's hungry or needs to be changed. Michel and I have already started learning her cries - we can tell when she's mad vs. when she's just fussing. The evenings generally are harder for her, and after doing some reading online, it seems most babies have their fussy time in the evenings. She generally is most fussy from about 5:30-8:00ish when we start her true nighttime routine. Luckily for us, her fussiness is not awful, so I'm not complaining.

So on to the fun stuff - pictures! We've had lots of friends come by to see Audrey and bless us with dinner so that we don't have to worry about trying to cook while figuring out life with a newborn.

Denise and Chase with Audrey
Katy and Audrey
We also had a meal brought to us by other friends from church, but I totally forgot to take pictures while they were at our house (sorry Amy Bratton and Michelle Hutchison!).

Yesterday, Michel's parents came by to visit us (but let's face it - they really came to see Audrey!). They came to visit us the day she was born, but they live over 2 hours away, and Michel's dad had to leave by 7:00 the night she was born so that they would make it home at a decent hour and he could go to work the next morning. She was born at 4:30, but visitors weren't allowed in until about 5:30 after I was cleaned up, Audrey was cleaned up, and I had a chance to try nursing for the first time. Anyways, here are Grandma and Grandpa with their first grandbaby! They took lots of pictures yesterday...I think they're pretty smitten with her already :)

I took the picture right as Audrey turned her head so it really looks like her poor face is buried in the blanket!
When we're not entertaining guests at our house, we're pretty laid-back. We've had fun tummy time:

She's actually really good at tummy time. She has pretty good head and neck strength, so she has been able to lift her head off the blanket a couple of times, and she almost always turns her head from one side to another at least once during tummy time. She has a duck rattle that is pretty entertaining to her - she likes talking to it, so that keeps her entertained during tummy time.

I've also felt that it is my responsibility to introduce her to the best TV show to ever air:

The Price is Right!!!
Ninja is still getting acquainted with the newest member of his family, but he's doing a great job! He's not aggressive with her at all (he's really not an aggressive cat anyways, so that wasn't ever a huge concern to me). He's just appropriately curious about her and her toys. Usually during the night he jumps on our bed, and looks like he's thinking about jumping into her pack 'n play, but he only does it when she's making noise, and I know he is just trying to see what's going on in there, but we can always distract him away from where she's sleeping. The rest of the time he'll sniff her head and then just kind of wanders off.

We've also had several successful bath times! The first time we gave her a bath was last weekend when my sister was here and could show us what we should be doing. We learned then that Audrey really likes having her head scrubbed. She gets pretty still and quiet when you're rubbing her head. I've done 2 or 3 more baths since last weekend and she's grown to like each one more and more. She's not a fan of having her clothes taken off (or her diaper changed for that matter) because she gets chilly, but once the warm water hits her skin she's so content - it's really cute!

I love my family of 3!!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Baby Bump Week 40 :)

How far along are you? Not pregnant anymore!! We have a 5-day-old little girl

How are you measuring? Much smaller than I was this time last week

How big is your baby? She weighed 7 lbs 2 oz at birth; 6 lbs., 10 oz. at discharge, and 6 lbs., 6 oz. at her Friday pediatrician appointment. My milk hadn't come in at that point, so we have to go back tomorrow to check her bilirubin levels (she was a bit jaundiced), and milk has now come in so I'm hoping to find out she's gained weight!

What major developments is your baby undergoing this week? Learning how to sleep without being in someone's arms - so far today is going great! She has taken three 1-hour naps in her swing, a 20-minute nap in the carseat after we went for a walk, and has currently been asleep (while swaddled!) for about 30 minutes! 

Heartbeat: I don't know

Total weight gain/loss: -8 lbs....I am still retaining a TON of water! My feet and hands/fingers are still pretty swollen (especially my feet), and my doctor said this was normal and they will probably get worse before they get better. I look much thinner than I did this time last week, though!

Maternity clothes: I'm still wearing maternity clothes with a few non-maternity tops. I know I'm nowhere near ready to fit into my old clothes. Hopefully nursing will help me get into them sooner though!

Stretch marks: I did end up developing just a few stretch marks under my belly button, but I do not care. She was totally worth it!

Sleep: I can sleep COMFORTABLY on my stomach again!!!!! It's awesome, and I have ben sleeping SOOO well! Well...sleeping well considering that I get up at least twice a night to feed her. Since she lost some weight after discharge the pediatrician suggest I do a supplemental formula feeding. I decided to do this at night so that somebody else can feed her (it was my sister, now it will be Michel). While I love nursing her, getting such little sleep was really taking a toll on me. If I can get a 5-6 hour stretch once during the night it makes for a much happier mama!

Best moment this week: Meeting our precious baby girl, having family over, lots of good things happened this week!

Movement: She's a squirmer! But now I don't feel those movements inside of me. I do see her stretch and squirm in ways where I think "I felt her move like that inside of me too"

Food cravings: No cravings...well, I did want Whataburger a couple times this week, but obviously that's just because I love Whataburger and not due to pregnancy :) I am happy to say that I have zero heartburn, acid reflux, or indigestion and it has been so nice!

Gender: A sweet girl! Audrey Grace Zoutendam :) 

What I miss: Nothing. I love my little girl so much! Ummm...well maybe I miss sleeping, but I wasn't doing that much near the end of my pregnancy. But Audrey is still worth my lack of sleep that I get

What I'm looking forward to: Her first Haloween, Thanksgiving, and especially Christmas!

How are you feeling: I feel great! Labor and delivery went very smoothly for me, and I was most sore after delivery on Wednesday and Thursday. I'm still a bit sore from my stitches, but not at all like I was!

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Birth of Audrey Grace Zoutendam

Warning: this is long!!! But it's not gory :) 

This entire week has been a whirlwind of activity for us! It started with a spontaneous visit to the hospital, and then finding out we would meet our precious daughter a few days earlier than anticipated. Here's what happened:

On Sunday night I had to go to L&D for monitoring because my blood pressure (bp) went up to 150/104! Luckily, it started going down while we were in the hospital and I got sent home around 10:30 that night. On Monday morning, I had a follow-up scheduled with my OB and my blood pressure was looking better. However, she was a bit concerned to hear my BP had gone that high at any point, and was a bit agitated that the nurses and the on-call doctor (whom I had spoken with on Sunday night) didn't run any tests, draw blood for the lab, etc. She told me that getting an induction spot at Medical City was pretty hard, but she had gone ahead and put me on the list to be induced on Tuesday after my BP from last week had been high. Since it looked good at this appointment she said that it was totally my decision. I was on the fence because I had heard many people talk about how much harder and longer labor was when induced than if you just go into labor naturally, so I told her that I wanted her to check me first, see what kind of progress (if any) I had made, and then I could make a more informed decision. She checked me, and the amount of progress I had made was fairly minimal (except for the fact that the head had dropped even further), but the concerning thing was she said that my fluid was quite a bit lower than it had been the week before. She said she had been able to press on the baby's head and it would bounce, but today it was not bouncing. Dr. Oliveira said low fluid goes along with higher b.p. and for that reason alone, she would recommend we go ahead with the induction. That was all I needed to hear. Michel and I decided we would go ahead with the induction. 

We had to go in on Monday night for cervadil (it helps thin out the cervix). We were originally scheduled to go in at 5:00, but we were told to call at 4:00 to make sure they had a spot for us. I called at 4, and they were full, so they said to call back at 7:00! Michel's parents had decided to drive in from Longview on Monday night and got a hotel room near the hospital, so we went over to their hotel room and visited for a little while, and I called back at 7, and was told to call back at 9:00! We were a little frustrated. So we all went for dinner, came back to the hotel, I called at 9:00, and they said that we could come in at 11:00! I was already tired at this point (I hadn't slept well on Sunday night), so my in-laws were nice enough to let me sleep on one of the beds in their room. I got about a 2-hour nap in before we had to go to the hospital, which ended up being good, because once we got there, I don't think I slept at all - 15-20 minute increments a few times during the night at best. So we finally got checked in, put in a room, and I got the cervadil at 12:30 a.m.! 

While in the hospital, I ended up being glad that we didn't get checked in until late because I had to stay on a contraction monitor, and a baby heartrate monitor, and a blood pressure cuff the entire time. I could unplug everything to use the bathroom, but I would have hated being confined to the bed that entire time if we had gotten in at 5:00. During the night, nurses would come in to adjust the monitors (anytime I moved the heartrate monitor lost the baby's heartrate), so that disturbed our sleep, I wasn't comfortable, and I started having contractions around 3 in the morning, or so. 

Around 5 in the morning, contractions really started picking up. They were coming every 2-5 minutes and lasting a good minute or more. They weren't that awful, but they were really uncomfortable. Our L&D nurse told us that Dr. Oliveira did her rounds around 8 a.m., so I had decided to wait for the epidural until after she checked me because I didn't want the epidural slowing things down (it ended up being a bad idea on my part). She got to my room around 9, and the contractions were coming close and lasting long, but again just really uncomfortable - not unbearable. While she was examining me, she attached a baby heartrate monitor to the baby's head, and also put a contraction monitor inside of me, so that I could be unstrapped from the ones around my belly. She also broke my water. All of that was really painful, and caused more painful contractions, so I was asking for the epidural. Luckily, the nurse called the anesthesiologist and he was in my room within 5 minutes. My OB had already told me that he was her favorite anesthesiologist and I thought he was WONDERFUL!! Getting the epidural, leaning over, being still while having a contraction is not fun, but within 5 minutes my pain was dulled. He did such a great job! Since I hadn't gotten much sleep the night before I was able to sleep on and off until it was time to push. My parents and in-laws came in the room and visited for awhile, and after an hour or so I asked them to leave so I could sleep, and I slept for a couple hours, let them come back in, the nurse came and checked me and said I would probably be pushing within 2 hours or less, sent the family back out, and got some more sleep. I have nothing but good things to say about that epidural. :)

Anyways, at 3:50 we got the news we were waiting for...I was ready to push! Thirty short minutes later (yes, they went by very quickly), little Miss Audrey Grace Zoutendam made her way into the world! She came out crying immediately which was music to her mama's ears!! 

She was 19 3/4" long, weighed 7 lbs., 2 oz., had a great set of lungs, and a full head of dark brown hair (possibly the cause of my heartburn I've had since about 24 weeks of pregnancy??). 

The nurses cleaned Audrey up while the OB cleaned me up, and she and I got to meet. There were definite tears shed on my part. Meeting my sweet girl was such a special experience! I can't even describe the love I have for her! 

Once we had skin-to-skin time, I nursed her for about half an hour. Then family (who had been anxiously awaiting this moment all day) finally got to meet her! Sadly, I don't have that many pictures of this day. I had my hands full, and other things on my mind!

Michel and I love this little girl with all of our hearts, and I can't wait to continue to get to know my sweet girl!!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Baby Bump Week 39

How far along are you? 39 weeks!!!

How are you measuring? At my 38 week appointment I measured around 36 weeks, still 2-3 cm dilated, and 75% effaced!

How big is your baby? Well...I had to have a follow-up sonogram done this past Wednesday, and Audrey measured at 6 lbs. 14 oz. 

What major developments is your baby undergoing this week? Nothing major - the fat she's accumulating will only help her regulate her body temperature when she finally decides to come!

Heartbeat: 145 bpm - OB always comments that her heartbeat sounds really good which always makes her mommy and daddy feel good!

Total weight gain/loss: +31 lbs

Maternity clothes: 100% in maternity clothes except for a very few things that I only wear around the house. 

Stretch marks: I found a few small stretch marks under my belly button. It could be worse...

Sleep: I wake up consistently every 2-3 hours to go to the bathroom. Usually I can go back to sleep, but again I'm consistently getting up for good between 5:30 and 6:30. 

Best moment this week: We've had another very low-key week. Michel and I caught an early movie yesterday and went to lunch, so that was a lot of fun!

Movement: She still moves quite a bit, but I do think it's decreased some. She's running out of room in there!

Food cravings: Nothing this week

Gender: A sweet girl! Audrey Grace Zoutendam :) 

What I miss: Having more than 5 outfits to choose between (OK, maybe I have more than that, but I am tired of maternity clothes now). Ready to wear my regular clothes - I'll feel like I have a whole new wardrobe when I get back in them.

What I'm looking forward to: Holding my sweet baby in my arms! I've enjoyed pregnancy, but now I'm ready to be a mommy :)

How are you feeling: Pretty good...probably my biggest complaint is that I have developed the "pregnant woman waddle" :) I also have a TON of pelvic pressure, and some pain from baby girl being so far down! At least it just means she's heading in the right direction to exit her home she's had for the last 9 months :)

Saturday, September 7, 2013

My Second Week as a Stay-At-Home Mom

This week was the second week of school for teachers and kids - which meant the second week of me being a stay-at-home mom! We've been a lot more low-key this week because it's been so hot, and I have been on "take-it-easy" not-quite-bed-rest orders from my OB since Wednesday.

Monday - Happy Labor Day! We did a thorough dusting of our house while Michel smoked a brisket on his smoker for us. We had a lot of fun watching movies, and eating a yummy dinner!

Tuesday - Michel's last day of work for over a month! I honestly don't remember what I did that day...probably nothing :)

Wednesday - Had an OB appointment, and a sonogram appointment after last week's fluid leakage to make sure baby still had plenty of fluid to hang out in (which she did). At the OB everything looked good (weight, baby's heart rate), but my blood pressure was a little high. It was 138/82. According to Michel, on the ambulance they consider 140/90 in the pre-eclampsia range! I wasn't surprised to hear it was a little elevated because I'd had a couple of nosebleeds in the last week, but I didn't think it would be that high. Doctor told me to go home and rest and take it easy, come back tomorrow, and get it checked again. We also found out that I'm still 2-3 cm dilated, but now am 75% effaced. Things are heading in the right direction!

Thursday - Went back to the OB to get blood pressure checked. It had gone down considerably to 120/84 - still a tad high for pregnancy, but a huge improvement from Wednesday! Michel and I had a couple of low-key errands to run, then we went to an early lunch at Cheddar's (one of my faves) and splurged on an appetizer and dessert! You just can't go to Cheddar's and not get a Cookie Monster!

Friday - We seriously did nothing. We didn't leave the house at all, and it was kind of nice! I caught up on laundry and baked some peanut butter cookies, and Michel mopped all of the hard floors and vacuumed again. He's such a good husband and housekeeper!

Saturday - Michel and I decided to go on an early day date. We were both awake at like 6 a.m. this morning, so we decided to take in a cheap movie that only cost $6 rather than the regular price of $10. We went and saw Despicable Me 2 (really funny, and just as good as the first one!) this morning and then we went to Frankie's for some delicious Mexican food for lunch! Then it's back at the house for more R&R. I'm not going to lie - I love R&R, but I'm getting a little tired of it. I'm trying to remind myself that it won't be long before I kill for days like this!

I'm really hoping that I won't be able to post about my third week as a stay-at-home mom unless there's a baby to write about. I want to meet my little girl so badly! The anticipation is killing me :)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

"Are you sure you're having a girl?"

So, today while in the elevator going to get my blood pressure checked at the doctor, I had the weirdest run-in with a perfect stranger. I felt this was too long to put on Facebook, plus without proper explanation I didn't want it to sound like I was actually mad, or upset about this - I'm not - it's just odd to me how nosy some people can be.

OK, so like I said, we were in the elevator, and it was pretty crowded! There was a woman wearing scrubs (hospital employee) that I was standing beside, and this conversation seriously played out:

Lady: Are you having a boy?
Me: No, it's a girl.
Lady: Are you sure it's a girl?
Me: Yes.
Lady: Have you had a sonogram to check? The way you're carrying you really look like you're having a boy because it's so low. Are you sure you're having a girl?
Me: Yes, I've had a sonogram. It's a girl.
Lady: Are you close to delivery? You're just carrying so low.
Me: Yes, I'm due in about 10 days.
Lady: That's probably why you're carrying so low. Your baby has probably dropped.

And that was the end of the conversation because we got to our floor. Like I said, the conversation didn't anger, or upset me in any way. It really just kind of took me by surprise that she was kind of all up in my personal business. OK, maybe I was a tad annoyed by the end of the conversation that she's questioning the sex of the baby because she saw me for 30 seconds in the elevator. And I would kind of prefer not to talk about how far the baby has dropped in an elevator full of strangers. It was just one of those odd/"did-that-really-just-happen?" stories :)

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Baby Bump Week 38!!

How far along are you? 38 weeks!!!

How are you measuring? At my 37 week appointment I measured as 35 weeks. I was also about 3 cm dilated and 50% effaced

How big is your baby? Well...I had another sonogram on Wednesday, and she was estimated at 6.5 lbs which seems fairly normal to me. I know that babies gain a few ounces to half a pound a week at the end of pregnancy, so if I deliver at 40 weeks and she gains 1/2 lb. that would put her at 7.5 pounds by the time she's delivered. We'll see what really happens!

What major developments is your baby undergoing this week? She's really plumped up and should have developed a firm grasp - the better to hold Mommy and Daddy's finger once she makes her big arrival!

Heartbeat: 145 bpm - OB always comments that her heartbeat sounds really good which always makes her mommy and daddy feel good!

Total weight gain/loss: +29.8 according to my scale at home. I haven't lost weight anymore (yay! - the first time I'm ever happy for not losing weight). I don't gain much from week to week, but according to it's normal for weight gain to slow down, or even stop, at the end of pregnancy. Doctor was fine with my weight this week!

Maternity clothes: 100% in maternity clothes except for a very few things that I only wear around the house. 

Stretch marks: None on my stomach!! A few on each hip, but I kind of wonder if I had those pre-pregnancy and just didn't notice as much.

Sleep: I wake up consistently every 2-3 hours to go to the bathroom. Usually I can go back to sleep, but again I'm consistently getting up for good between 5:30 and 6:30. 

Best moment this week: We've had a pretty low-key week. Part of it is just that I would rather stay inside the cool house than get out in the heat. On Monday, Michel and I went to the pool and loved that it was COMPLETELY empty!!! We've had a couple of fun impromptu lunch dates, and just had fun doing stuff, or doing nothing, and spending lots of time together before we are no longer a couple, but a family!

Movement: Holy cow...she moves ALL. THE. TIME. There are random times throughout the day where I don't feel her for an hour or so, but the rest of the time she moves so much that she makes my belly dance! 

Food cravings: I wanted some powdered donuts this morning :)

Gender: A sweet girl! Audrey Grace Zoutendam :) 

What I miss: Not much...I really haven't had much issues with food, I've slept pretty good this week, so I have felt pretty good! 

What I'm looking forward to: Holding my sweet baby in my arms! I've enjoyed pregnancy, but now I'm ready to be a mommy :)

How are you feeling: Pretty good...probably my biggest complaint is that I have developed the "pregnant woman waddle" :) I also have a TON of pelvic pressure, and some pain from baby girl being so far down! At least it just means she's heading in the right direction to exit her home she's had for the last 9 months :)