Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Daycare and update

Hi folks. I am blogging from my phone today, so please excuse any typos. First try at this.

I know its been awhile...too long. The last time was about Mother's Day. Maybe if I blog this way y'all won't have to wait so long.

So what has happened since Mother's Day?! We've been awfully busy. Reese attended her first party, followed quickly by her 2nd and 3rd parties, all this past weekend. She did great and everybody oohed-and-aawed over our little girl.

Last week we had the ultrasound on Reese's hips because she was breech in utero for so long and were told that everything is a-ok and no further testing is necessary. That day really spent us both. She had to hold each leg at a 90 degree angle for about 7 minutes separately and I was almost in tears over it seeing her so upset. Then the technician had to go get the doc and do it all over again, so another freak out...all while she was butt naked. Thankfully she didn't make a mess on the table. But then when they all left me in the room to put us back together, they walked out and shut off the light on me. How rude!! I fed her in the lobby and then we left and she passed out so I could shop for some post-preggo clothes.

Also a few weeks back, invited a woman from our Lamaze class and her new son over. We hung out for a few hours and it was nice to swap stories with someone who was really close to our schedule of events. Am seeing them again tomorrow.

Reese has eczema on her face right now, per our impromptu doc appt last Thursday. She now weighs in at 9 lbs, 14 ounces. I'd say her weight gain is just fine.

Today was so stressful for me. We found a lady, LP, who does daycare out of her home and has for 20 years. I visited the home and watched her with the kids, talked to her multiple times on the phone and just this past weekend, J and I went and interviewed her with 7 pages of typed questions. She passed with flying colors and Reese was very comfortable with her. The only hitch, she has 2 big dogs. One is old and one is young. The young one growled at J (as I guess he does at all men), but it left a bad taste in our mouths. I called LP Sunday after we had seen her Saturday, and she totally understood our concern and promised to keep a sharp eye on the dog and never let him close to Reese, but he's never had an issue with any of the kids.

Well, today was our test day. I took Reese today so I could get my hair cut and colored. I had written out instructions for LP, emergency numbers, etc. and packed the diaper bag and lots of breast milk (4 2-3 oz bags). But dropping her off was the hardest thing I think I've ever had to do. I welled up my tears at home, but managed to put on a brave face when I got to LP's. It wasn't until I tried to leave that I totally lost it and almost got LP going too. Reese was passed out, so she missed this little ordeal. Finally pulled myself out of the house and just sat in the car and cried and cried for probably 5-10 minutes. So much for my make-up. Texted J to tell him, and he understood my emotion. Got on the road and Mom called to tell me something then asked how Reese was and I lost it again. (Even as I write this I have tears rolling down my face even though we're home safe and sound now.)

Somehow I was early to my appt so I stopped at Target to get a few things, then headed back to the salon. Told my stylist the whole drama and caught her up on our lives as I watched the clock slowly tick down. Finally she was done and I scooted out of there quick to grab some lunch and race to pick up my baby. Thankfully LP texts so I had texted her a few times during my appt to get progress reports and all was well.

Got to LP's and Reese was fast asleep on LP's shoulder. Just the sight of her was enough to relieve me. I sat and ate while LP told me about everything. I had taken 4 breast milk bags, each containing 2-3 ounces, and they all got used up. I don't have a gauge on my breast when I feed her so had no clue how much she was getting. Pumping will be very interesting these next few months. Anyway, everything was hunky dory, so we got loaded up and headed for home.

She's still asleep so I was able to pump and get about 6.5 ounces from the "girls". That's huge for me!!! But I'm also always pumping after I have fed her. Turns out we ahould be a-ok I think.

So that was our rough morning. But it all turned out fine. Whew!!

Will try to keep in better contact dear Bleeps!! Have a great day!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

1 Month Old

Reese turned 1 month old on the Saturday before Mother's Day - May 12th, 2012.  Mom and I had spent part of Friday inking her up and getting footprints and hand prints for a few items in the nursery that needed them.  But on Saturday, she was a month old.  I took a picture that a friend had suggested.   

Reese - 1 month old.

I received these blocks at one of my showers, and another friend had them for her daughter.  Her idea was every month to lay them out and the baby next to them to show growth.  I thought it was way cute, so I copied her.  Then another friend had given me the monthly stickers (so that is what is on Reese's onesie) that shows she is 1 month old.  I have 11 more for the rest of her first year.

Now it's time for our first letter to Reese as we celebrate her first month of life.

My dearest Reese,
It's still really hard for me to believe that a month ago, you were in my belly in the morning and in my arms in the later morning.   It was an incredibly tiring and amazing day.  We learned so much in a short time.  But the best part of my day was hearing you cry for the first time and seeing your beautiful blue eyes that I had been dreaming about for months - 9 months to be exact.  Holding you made all the waiting worth the while.

It's been quite a busy month for us both.  After you were born, we both learned what "lack of sleep" really means in the first couple days, but after that you started to figure out the difference between day and night, and even on your third night at home slept for 7 hours straight and nearly gave Mommy and Daddy a heart attack when we realized you hadn't fed for a long time.  

We battled with your weight gain, something I never thought you would have to worry about as Mommy has battled with weight loss her entire life.  But we finally got you where the doctors were happy with your weight and could start easing you off the formula.  However, you still get a little bit here and there when you are really hungry.  

We waited and waited and waited for Mommy's milk to come in, and finally it did and things started to settle down.  And we both figured out how to breastfeed.

You met A LOT of people, starting with your grandparents, a great grandma, and many "aunts, uncles and cousins" that you will know as you grow up.  

You had your first car ride home from the hospital, followed by your second car ride the very next day to your first pediatrician's appointment (where you peed all over the table!).  

You met our dogs, Sierra and Blazer, who you have heard for a long time in utero.  You also met kitty, and began having long conversations with her where you would cry and then she would cry and then you would cry and then she would cry.  It entertained us all and she became one of your biggest protectors.  

You slept in your cradle for the first time that Daddy slept in as a baby and Papa remade for you.  

You had your first bath after your umbilical cord fell off, followed by many more.  And you loved them all!  You are truly Mommy's water baby.

Mommy stuck her tongue out at you and you mimicked her.

You went on your first ride in the stroller while Mommy and G-ma walked, quickly followed by your second ride while Daddy and Mommy walked. 

You went to Nana and Papa's new house, and then to lunch at a restaurant (where you slept the entire time) and then on a shopping trip for Daddy.  And then you went on another shopping trip just with Mommy for you!

You went to Mommy's office to see everyone and see where Mommy works.

And you fell asleep on Mommy so many times, and every time, Mommy couldn't stand to put you down so she just laid there with you, even if she was hungry or had to go to the bathroom.  It all waited until you woke up.

And you had your picture taken A LOT! I mean, A LOT!  Two professional photo shoots and countless others with everyones camera or cell phone.  

And you were declared gorgeous by all that saw you.

Thank you Reese for a wonderful first month of your life.  We've got a long journey ahead of us, and I can't wait for each of them to come.

I love you my Reeses.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day

Hello fair Bleeps!  How have you been?  I'm sorry I've been absent for so long, but we're still working on our schedule and it changes daily.

Yesterday was Mother's Day.  My FIRST Mother's Day.  It was amazing.  But first, let's go back to last year's Mother's Day.  While last year wasn't bad (I had to go back and read my post - click here to read part 1 and here to read part 2.), I wasn't a mother, but I had passed "big nasty!"  And last year I was on birth control so we could begin IVF with the hopes it would work and we would get pregnant.  So I guess in a way, Mother's Day was the gateway to our next step and I guess you all know how that worked out.  (smile) What a difference a year makes right?!

Sunday morning, Reese woke up at 3 am to nurse and while we were doing that, it hit me.  I mean it really hit me, that I am a Mom.  I know you are probably thinking, "wow, it took you this long to figure that out?!" but it's true.  There we are nursing at 3 am and all of the sudden I realized that it is Mother's Day and I finally have a reason to celebrate being a mother!  So of course the tears came as I coddled my little wonder.  It was quite a little moment.  Got her back to sleep about 4 am, and me not long after.

Woke up again about 8 when she was making noise.  She doesn't straight off cry, she kind of chats or talks to wake herself up, and sometimes I think it actually puts her back to sleep.  So J got up and brought her to bed with us, in between where she wouldn't roll off and we all three fell asleep again.  She would chatter a bit and then quiet down, so I'd go back to sleep.  But I was in a state of bliss.  About 8:30 am, my phone started humming and wouldn't quit.  I had 9 girlfriends text me to wish me a very happy 1st Mother's Day, and when I checked Facebook there were a slew more best wishes and sweet words waiting for me.  It was wondrous...even before I'd crawled out of bed.  Probably about 10 am, J got up and got ready to clean the yard (my parents were bringing us lunch and to see Baby Reese, and me).  But J also showed up with Mother's Day presents and cards.  Somehow Reese managed to pick out some earrings for Mommy (I've been training her for months apparently), and J picked out more earrings and a necklace.  I think the necklace is my favorite.  It's a big footprint and a little footprint with a few diamonds around.  It's just precious.  But the thing that made me really tear up was the card that Reese "wrote."  J had "translated" for her and it wasn't so much the words, but the thought behind the words.  It was all very sweet.

Finally, it was time for all of us to get up and get ready for company.  J cleaned the yard, I showered and fed Reese again, then gave her a bath and got her dressed up. I found this dress at Target and couldn't resist! It was just so sweet.   

I also had received cards from some friends and my Mother-In-Law, so opened those real quick.  My MIL's card thanked me for "giving them the most perfect granddaughter."  Another one that brought me to tears.

Mom and Dad arrived before I was all ready, so I handed off the baby and finished getting ready, including putting on all my new jewelry.  Then we ate the wonderful lunch that my parents (Mom) had prepared and brought us.  The rest of the day we sat down by the pool (J was the only one to get in as it was a little chilly for us) and then relaxed in the house. Here's her first sunglasses.  They are a little too big, but they worked for the time being.

It was a wonderful day and one that I will surely never forget.  And hopefully the beginning of so many more to come.  I hope you also had a great Mother's Day, whether you were celebrated, or you celebrated someone near and dear to you.

And for those lovely ladies who aren't Mothers yet, I've been there, and it's quite alright if you cried or drank your way through the day.  Your day will come.  I promise!

Friday, May 4, 2012

My awesome husband, breastfeeding and an update

Hello folks!  No, I haven't forgotten about you.  Still trying to get our schedule figured out.  I can't believe that Reese is 3 weeks old as of yesterday!  It's amazing!  She's growing like a weed.  First I will update you about Reese's progress, then I will talk about how awesome my husband is and we'll throw in some breastfeeding issues just because I can.

I don't know where I left off in the birth story, so I'll sum up here.

Initially, we weren't allowed to leave the hospital on Sunday as planned because Reese had lost 12.8% of her body weight, whereas they like to see under 10%.  We added formula to her diet through this horrible system called S and S (a tube that went in her mouth with the breast linked to formula) - annoying as all get out, but got the job done.  We were allowed to go home on Monday, our 8th wedding anniversary - what a wonderful gift!  Tuesday, we headed to the pediatrician's office for our first visit.  Her weight was even higher than the day before, so Dr. Kids said to wean off the formula - only ever other feeding or so.  At this point too, I was feeling very "full" in my mammories, so we figured my milk was in and all was well!  Flash forward to Thursday of that week where we'd had a few rough evenings with Reese where she'd been absolutely inconsolable and when finally given the bottle (we'd scrapped the S & S by now - stressful for both of us) she'd slurped like we'd been starving her, but I'd been breastfeeding every few hours.  So we headed back to Dr. Kids for an update, and she was again down, down to the weight she was when they wouldn't let us leave the hospital.  So we ramped up the formula again after a long conversation with Dr. Kids.  Back to the doc on the following Thursday for her 2 week appointment, and low-and-behold, she was up 8 oz!  YAY!  So continue on the path they said.  And we were back at the doc's on the following Tuesday for a weigh in at which she was not only up another 13 oz and had grown another 2 inches long!  Holy cow, she's a weed already!  Now, unless we deem necessary, we won't head back to Dr. Kids until her 2 month appointment, but we're free to call/email as needed with questions.  It's been a bit of a roller coaster!  But since she is now eating enough, she's very alert (except when she's asleep!) and her personality is starting to show through.

Everything about this pregnancy and birth has amazed me.  I was never aware of how difficult breastfeeding could be.  I'd only seen friends pop out their breast and feed with no issues.  But once we started having serious issues and I reached out to friends, I started hearing a slew of issues and learning a lot.  Why is infertility and breastfeeding issues not common knowledge?!  Another thing to add to my list to get more people to know about. 

Yes, we had breastfeeding issues.  First my milk wasn't enough (see the summation above about Reese's weight), so we had to add formula.  Then my milk came in and then just as quick, seemingly disappeared.  Then we had nipple issues (mine were so bad - cracked, bloody, not fun - at one point I think Reese got more blood than milk!).  I am so thankful for Dr. Kids Lactation Consultant who introduced me to the nipple shield!  It saved us!  My toes were curling for the first few moments of feeding!  While we don't use the shield anymore, it gave me enough time to heal and still feed.  I wasn't able to pump very much.  It's been a drama.  Now, we're doing much better, but still supplementing with formula because sometimes she doesn't seem to be satiated enough by my milk.  But I am able to pump more (thanks to MBM's sister giving me a better pump that is quiet and efficient) so we also can feed her some of that milk.  So many people came out of the wood work with helpful hints about breastfeeding.  I'm so very blessed.

Now, speaking of "blessed" I have to say that my husband amazed me at the hospital and even at home.  First off, he hardly left my side the entire 5 days and 4 nights we were at the hospital.  Initially, he thought he would come home daily and shower, etc, but because his parents were staying at our house and caring for our animals, he didn't have to.  He slept on an awful pull out "bed" if you could even call it that.  He got up every time Reese cried or the docs came in or whatever.  (Because of how high my bed and bassinet - poor planning on the hospital designers part - I couldn't get to Reese without getting out of bed which was neither quick or easy for me.)  He even did things that you wish you'd never have to ask anyone to do for you, especially your partner that should find you beautiful and sexy.  Like drying your legs off after the shower because you can't reach them due to the 6 inch incision in your belly!  There's some other less attractive things he did, but I'll leave those out!  Anyway, I was so impressed with him, even through his lack of sleep and back pain due to the "bed."  He was happier to come home than me for sure so he could sleep in his bed.  Anyway, he was a gem among gems and I'm so grateful for all he did at the hospital and continues to do at home.  The first few days at home, I was still moving quite slow and I would text him if he wasn't in the house when I needed something.  He was always back in a flash.  He still gets up (even though he has gone back to work) with Reese for the first feeding of the night and changes her and gets me a bottle for after she's been breastfed.  We've had a couple rough moments due to lack of sleep, but we've made up and we're pushing through! 

Okay, longer post than I intended, but who knows when the next one will be.  We have family photos tomorrow, so will have those to post in a while.  And hopefully from here on out, I'll just post updates and photos of our little Reese!

Thanks for sticking with me Bleeps!  Our adventures continue....