Tuesday, June 30, 2009

2 months of Parenthood Experience

The little guy is now 2 months and 1 week old! I can't believe how big he is getting and so fast! He seems to be bigger everyday that goes by...every morning that i pick him up from his bassinet he looks bigger than the day before! My hubby and I are enjoying it so very much! We are turning the corner and my little guy is outgrowing his digestive issues. From 3 weeks to about 8 weeks it was rough! What we all thought was all colic related issues, turned out to be acid reflux. I never knew how hard it would be to hear your child cry in pain and feel soooo helpless! I really believe the hardest part of being a mother is feeling so helpless! There were nights where i cried alongside my son. A few times my hubby would come home from work to find us both in tears! I have often felt bad for my godchildren, nephews, and nieces when they cry in pain, but it doesn't compare when it is your own child! It isn't easy taking care of a child, but in my opinion the great feeling of helplessness is the toughest! That is what made me cry. I am his mother, I am supposed to be able to make it all better!

It was a little easier once we had an official diagnosis of acid reflux...at least now i knew that there could be some relief that could be offered. When I realized my son might have acid reflux and not just colic, I searched the world wide web to learn a little more about it, since he wasn't displaying the usual symptoms of reflux I was familiar with..like the projectile vomiting or weight issues. THat is when I found out that my little one was what is known as a Silent Refluxer... no spit up/vomiting... but worse. He was swallowing his spit up/vomit back down, so the poor little guy was getting burned with it coming up and going back down! So i took him on a Saturday to an after hours pediatrician service his pediatrician's off ice works with. The pediatrician on call agreed that all the symptoms he had were due to Reflux. My poor little guy was also starting to choke more and more during feedings, crying through his feedings and would wake up at 4 am withering in pain. I was glad that the pediatrian agreed that it couldn't just be colic related. I tried EVERYTHING for colic...all of my mom and mother-in-laws home remedies for colic just was not working AT ALL! So the pediatrian prescribed some medication to help. I really did not like the thought of putting my 5 week old on medication...but if it offered him any kind of relief, I certainly would give him medication. I did my research and therefore i knew what he was getting and how it could help ease his pain and discomfort of his constant heartburn! The first medication for his reflux did not help, I noticed it made it worse. So after a week and he was only getting worse, and by worse i mean he was more stomach acid was coming up and he was swallowing it back down and he would cry and cry after each time.

After a follow up with his pediatrician, she consulted a GI specialist and was told i could give my son upto 1/2 teaspoon of over the counter anti-acid medication when he was extremely fussy and his pediatrician also suggested a change in formula to one that was thickened by a rice starch. In my research I knew that sometimes thickening the baby's formula would help with acid reflux..for a really bad case in a baby, rice cereal is used before the recommened 3 month mark. Well we had to play around a little with his medication since the typical medication wasnt helping. THe formula helped a great deal but wasn't enough. Around 7 weeks i noticed that he was getting better, but stil in some discomfort. He had his 2 month check up and we switched to a different medication since the OTC anti-acid i was now mixing into his bottle wouldn't offer relief longer than an hour. I had taken him off the prescribed medication, and although I felt he was turning the corner and outgrowing his reflux issues, 4-5 weeks still seemed too much to let my little guy still suffer! I am happy with the new medication as he is in less pain.

He is going 3 hours in between feedings and he is a happier baby in between feedings most of the day and almost everyday now. We are now able to include play time into his daily routine and we are enjoying it a lot! He is exploring the world around him and so I am taking him out more and more... i was intimidated in taking him out by myself, but i'm slowly getting over that. Fortunately, my son has always been a good sleeper and he started sleeping through the nice since he was 8 weeks old. He started sleeping 5-6 hour stretches before waking up for a bottle and by that point he was 11lbs and had been told and i had also read that babies at 11lbs+ could last through the night without eating..so i tested it out. Instead of his usual 4 oz, i would only give him 1-2 oz and he would fall right back to sleep. While I wasn't going to force my child NOT to eat in the middle of the night, I didn't like to feed him because i was so deathly afraid he would spit up and choke on his spit up. A few times, after putting him down after feeding and burping and keeping him upright for almost 30 minutes after a mid-night feeding, he vomitted as i laid him down. Other times, it would aggravate his reflux that he was in pain after burping that he would be up for over an hour. Fortunately, he takes in enough formula during the day since then that he now doesn't wake up to eat once I put him to bed. I know i am very lucky that my 2 month old sleeps all night! He eats his last bottle between 9 and 9:30 and he is in bed by 10-10:15 and doesn't wake up to eat until 6 or 7 the next morning!

He is still a little fussy and he has great days and bad days, but i am so happy that the worst days are behind us now. I have never experienced the pain of watching my child in so much pain! It really did break my heart. The frustration and pain i felt feeling so helpless is really indescribable! To me that was truly the hardest part of being a parent. Forget the lack of sleep, or the initial pains of breastfeeding, or even childbirth, it didn't compare to the feelings of great helplessness while cradling my crying son in my arms all those days, evenings and rare mid-nights. I would trade it for nothing in the world... for when he smiles, coos and his eyes light up when i talk to him, everything else doesn't matter anymore!

Friday, May 15, 2009

The First Month...

I started this blog 2 weeks ago to account for the first 2 weeks of being a mom, and here we are at almost 6 weeks.. I still wanted to post what it has been like. It hasn't been as tough as i thought it would be, but it certainly has had its challenging...a lot to learn even though i have had experiences with babies and newborns to some extent, it is a whole new ballgame it is your own. The First Month has actually gone pretty quickly and over all we are blessed to have a really good baby. Luckly for us he was never confused between day and night. He was awake most of the day and slept at night. I did attempt to breastfeed and did so for the first 2 weeks. The first week i did it exclusively then I had to supplement with formula because he was loosing too much weight. Now breastfeeding was a whole issue in itself...
I really did want to breastfeed, but i found it to be so very challenging. It was hard, not that I ever thought i would be easy, but i never imagine it would be so emotionally stressful. Me and the hubby took a breastfeeding class so i was informed on how it would take 5-10 days for the milk to come in and i was just about there when i needed to supplement with formula. My little baby, that I will refer too as Spaghetti (daddy's nickname for him) was not getting enough fluids that although he tested negative for jaundice, he did get a touch of it after we got home. Nothing that was cause for concern but enough that i had to supplement. Even with supplementing a little and breastfeeding, to just breastfeed it was tough. I found myself getting depressed. It was too daunting a task to just breastfeed. I found myself breastfeeding then as soon as i was done, it seemed like i was done feeding i had maybe 15 to 20 minutes to myself before i was starting the routine again for feeding. I nearly had a breakdown 12 days into it that wasn't enjoying my newborn son. After much thought and getting some input from my loving and supportive hubby, i decided not to breastfeed, it was too much for me and after such a long road to having my child, i found it more important to enjoy my child and bottle feed.
There have been some issues since we switched to bottle feeding... he developed some colic, but that also seems to actually be reflux. A part of me blames myself for choosing not to breastfeed, but then i think about it and get over it. The important thing is that he gets the medication he needs to help with reflux and at least there is something to help with that instead of having nothing to help with colic. Despite a few, and really i mean a few, bad evenings/nights. Once he goes down for the night he sleeps 3 to 4 hours, and for that i know we are very lucky. The first 2 weeks he slept with us, but we transitioned him into his cradle and did pretty good. Even with a few rough moments, i wouldn't change my life for anything. The first few days i do admit that i felt i would not get this whole motherhood deal and thought it would be good to be at work becaue at least there ihad more control (I can be slightly controlling..lol) but after the first 2 weeks i really started to think the opposite. I couldn't imagine going back to work...and now i really try not to think about it, and even though i plan to go back to work part time, it will be tough.
It has been a learing experience for both dh and i. I love seeing my hubby with his son. My hubby wasn't much for kids before, but to watch him turn to mush in the presence of Spaghetty is very heartwarming and often brings tears to my eyes. I am not sure if my hubby has gotten a smile from our son when he talks to him, but i have, and it melts everything else away. I still look at his little face and I'm in awe and can not believe that he is all mine! My hubby and I still can not believe that after our long journey to parenthood, we now have this precious, precious child. We feel so incredibly blessed! It is still a bit surreal to me that I am a mother. I sometimes get from family that they can not believe it either. We have been praying for this for a long time so it does feel surreal. We are still learning and somedays feels like we are stumbling forward with some evening feeling like we are falling a few steps back, but that is parenthood. There are no manuals on how to deal with certain situations, all we can do is be patient, and enjoy the ride.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

After 5 Long Years.....

A birth story! I still can't believe it myself. After a long, emotional, frustrating, fertility challenged journey I am a mother to a beautiful baby boy. I stare at him during the day and still can't believe he is all mine, he belongs to me and my loving husband. Here is the birthstory, sorry for the delay.

My baby boy was born on April 22, 2009 at 7:03pm weighing 7lbs 4oz and 19 inches long. The induction began the night before but there were some eventful events that led up to my induction.

The week before, at my OB check up the Thursday before my OB told me that she felt comfortable letting me go another week before induction. All along we had planned for no later than 38.5 weeks, but since i was doing so well, she felt okay with letting me get to 39 weeks. My hubby and i were a bit bummed we had planned for the 20th or 21st of April. I was tired and so ready to have the baby by then but we said the longer the better we can wait it out another week. Well Baby boy must have been upset too because at my routine NST that afternoon, his heart rate dropped way too low and lingered there for a tiny bit. It wasn't that long but long enough for my OB to send me to labor and delivery at the hospital for further monitoring. I ended up spending 30 hours there in observation where the baby did great and had no more drops in his heart rate. I went back the day after being discharged, Saturday 4/18, for another NST where he did just great again. I had a routin NST on MOnday and also a growth scan. They did the growth scan first and he was still head down and had an estimate weight of 8lbs. During the NST his heart rate dropped again, not as low as before, but i was sent to labor and delivery again. I was there for about 3 hours and sent home. The nurse asked me when i was supposed to get induced and i told her that the plan was for that Thursday, 4/23, but she said i wasn't on their schedule and should check with my OB.

I wasn't sure what the procedure was going to be since my OB didn't give me any details at my last visit, and with the nurse saying i should be on their schedule, it prompted me to call my OBs office the next day, 4/22, to get more information as to what we needed to do and how to prepare for Thursday's induction. My OB's nurse called me mid-afternoon on the 21st and i asked her what was the plan for thursday, how should my husband and i prepare. She places me on hold and checks with my OB. When the nurse gets back on the phone she tells me that my OB says i can go in that evening to begin induction! THat caught me off guard and after calling my husband to check to be sure he had no evening appointments, we agreed to go in that night and not put it off a few more days.

So we checked into labor and delivery on April 21st at 8pm. After getting settled and strapped in for monitoring induction began. Around 10 pm the nurse inserted a medication pouch called Cervadil (not sure of the spelling) in my cervix to help soften it and begin dialation. I was barely 1 centimeter dialated and soft before inserting medication. The orders were to leave it in for 8 hours, could be left in for as long as 12 hours, and so we managed to get some sleep overnight. Not too much as i was excited and anxious. Medication was removed by 6 am the next morning and it helped a little. Cervix was softer but was not quite 2 centimeters dialated that morning. Pitocin was started at 6:30 and OB called in orders to have the in-house OB break my water. So that was done at around 7 -7:30 that morning. It was painful experience and when that was done contractions started coming. They weren't too bad, and with my hubby's help was able to get through them. I had planned on going as natural as possible and was afraid of getting an epidural. But I was going to ask for it if i really needed it...by 11 am i was needing it!

By that time the contractions were getting stronger and it was getting harder to breathe through them. MY husband was a great coach and up to that point he helped get through the contractions. But they were getting stronger, and i knew they were nothing compared to what was yet to come. Especially since i was not progressing really and I just knew it was going to be too hard. I broke down and asked for an epidural! It was blissful after that! Epidural was placed around noon and it felt great! LOL It allowed me to get some rest. My parents had gotten there early that morning and spent most of the time in the waiting room since my hubby really didn't want company. I actually had to talk my mom out of coming hte night before. LOL Moms always worry. I was progressing pretty slowly and by mid afternoon was barely 4 centimeters. We were worried that the baby maybe too big to go through my pelvis. Fortunately my OB was tied up with surgical procedures that day and wouldn't be able to check on me until late afternoon. At that point i was dealing with shakes and chills. Since my water was broken that morning and I stil hadn't delivered, i did develop a slight infection and had a fever. It was pretty bad for about an hour but then when it got to the point where my body was ready, all of it went away.

By 4pm I started to progess a lot faster. i went from 4 centimeters to almost an 8 in about 1.5 hours, which would explain why I was having the shakes. When the nurse checked me at 5:30 she said i would be 10 centimeters by 7 and probably will be pushing around 7:30 or 8pm...giving my OB time to get there. The nurse came in to check me at 6:45pm and she said i was 10 and to prepare to push. There was a scramble to get the grandmothers there! LOL Hubby agreed to having them there and that was it. Well it happened to quickly, that my friend that was visiting was also present for the birth. The birth happened pretty quickly.

I started pushing around 6:50 or a little after. My OB arrived a few minutes later and i barely remember my mom and mother-in-law being ushered in and told to stay in the corner by my hubby. I remember from the episodes i watched of a Baby Story to push using my bottom and not my upper body or face. It helped because i pushed for 10 minutes and my son was born! My husband counted 5 sets of pushing was all i did. The OB was amazed, she expected me to be a little longer...as i did too! I was very thankful it went fast! I did tear a little bit but it just didn't matter when my son was placed on my chest! After the long journey, I was here, we were here, we were parents! He was perfect and is perfect! I couldn't believe it, and still can't. The rest of the evening is a blur.
He was cleaned up, some blood work was drawn on both of us. Since i had developed the infection and had gestational diabetes, we were checked out a lot more. Family were there visiting and congratulating us, and they lingered for about 30 to 45 minutes and then they left us alone. It was precious time with my new family. We were finally a family of 3!

Hope this continues to help all my Fertility challenged sisters to keep the faith...it can and it will happen for you too! Took us 5 years and it was a bumpy road, but we are here. A family of 3. I will try to post this week how these last 2 weeks have been. Fortunately not too much sleep deprivation....i know it could be worse! Keep faith my friends and thinking and praying for you all!