Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Stay at home mom

I am the temporary stay at home mom while I am on maternity leave.  It is a different job than I have ever had.  I am a very type A woman.  I mostly work and hang out with friends.  Work is a large part of my life.  Without it, it is strange.  At this point, I am loving being at home with Jude.  In an ideal world, I would go back to work part time and stay at home with him the rest of the time. I don’t think I would chose to be at home full time all the time.  I am enjoying it now, but I also know that I will be back at work full time starting April 23rd, so I am happy to not be there at all right now.
Jude is an amazing baby. He is chill and loves to look around at the art we have on the wall, hang out under his “baby TV” as Liz calls it (his flashing light thing that plays music), and is so cute doing tummy time.  He is very strong and strong willed.  Usually, when someone picks him up, he will relax, but lately, he has had some bouts of crying that are not going to stop until he wants to stop.  I think it’s gas, which switching to soy formula has really helped with, but he still has gas.  He does adult sized farts and burps.  When he fills a diaper, it is amazing so much could come from someone so little. (maybe tmi, but part of this blog is to chronicle stuff for me too:))  Liz was changing his diaper the other day and said, “sweet little baby, how can you be full of so much evil!”
Our days are into a routine.  At least as much as a routine can be made with an almost 1 month old.  (can you believe he will be a month old on thurs?!!?)  He wakes between 7am-9am.  He is very attentive and active in the mornings.  First, he likes to eat and get changed and then take a small nap in his swing while I pump.  (the swing is amazing and keeps him entertained while I pump)  Once he is up from that short nap, he wants to be entertained.  That is when we walk around and I tell him stories, read to him, sing and dance with him, put him under the baby TV, and do some tummy time.    Then, he sleeps for about 30 minutes between 12-1pm.  When he wakes, he eats a big bottle and falls back asleep to doze on and off thru the rest of the afternoon.  He usually is fully awake by 4:30-5:30 and we try to put him to bed around 7:30-8pm.  The last 2 nights, he has only let me get sleep in an hour increments because between pumping and him waking up, the timing has not worked out.  The best thing is that Liz takes the first shift with him, so I can sleep 4 full hours between pumping at the beginning of the night. 
We are cloth diapering and it is going well.  I think we need to order another set so we can go a day with out washing them, but right now, I wash them at night when I am pumping and we have them all clean and dried in the morning.  We are using the bum genius and they are great!  They do give Jude a rather large butt, but he has not leaked out of them once since we started using them.  They are really cute on him too.
My mom and I are not getting along all that well.  We are working on it, but I called and chewed her out over an e-mail a week or so ago.  She sent an e-mail talking about how we are “blowing money” and she had left us a check and is living “like a monk”  Yes, mom, monks don’t have a job and live in million dollar homes with new Prius cars, cable and a smart phone.  Maybe she is confused on what a monk is.  Also, if you give a gift, then I should have the freedom use it how I see fit.  I had not even deposited the check, so I just tore it up.  She also mentioned again how we should have not taken Jude to the ER.  she feels she could have diagnosed him and we should have called her instead of the pediatrician.  Really?!?  I called and told her how I felt about all of this and she was just like, “well we can agree to disagree”.  Yes, I guess so.  In a peace gesture, I skyped with her yesterday with Jude and then she sends me an e-mail with suggestions on how to take care of Jude.  More unsolicited advice.  Sheesh!
Back to the good stuff….I love this little man so much.  I tear up thinking about it sometimes.  I love our little family.  I love the way he has changed our dynamic and the things that have stayed the same.  I am still crazy for my wife and now we have a little man we are crazy about too.  He amazes me and makes me smile everyday.  I am shocked and delighted by how much he seems to change on a regular basis.  I love his little noises, faces, and his strong desire to always be cuddled with someone.  I am the main one he is always cuddled with at this point and it warms my heart to hold him close most of the day.  I love to see him and Liz together too.  They share a special bond and I can tell they love each other like crazy too.    
The main thing I am waiting for is that first conscious smile.  I love the little ones he gives us when he has gas, but I am dying for the first “oh it’s you mom” smile.  
Overall, having him is amazing.  We still have hard days where he just cries and cries, but overall, he is even better than we ever imagined.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Jude’s Weekly Photos

I finially got his pictures from weeks 1, 2, and 3 edited, so here they are!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Living the Sweet Life

Life with Jude is sweet.  Hard sometimes, but so very sweet.  Our little man loves nothing more than to be cuddled up on your chest.  He loves to lay belly to belly with you and rest his sweet little face on your chest.  It actually irritates him a little if S or I aren’t wearing a low enough cut shirt because he likes to have his face touching your skin.  He loves to make little happy baby noises when he eats and talks to us all of the time, it is so cute.  He has started taking a more active interest in the world around him and I love seeing how his eyes light up when I get home from work and he sees me.  I can’t believe that he is already going to be 3 weeks old tomorrow.  Time has gone by so so fast.  I’m afraid if I blink that he will be a 2nd grader before I even know it.

I have to say, one of the things that makes life as a new parent easier is having such great friends.  It has been so nice, several people over the last few weeks have brought us dinner.  For some reason it seems like people are mostly bringing us lasagna, but lasagna is good, so we’ll take it!  It’s been great to not have to worry about cooking much these last few weeks.  And then Jude’s Aunt Lulu and Uncle Duck have made it possible for S and I to be actual functioning people.  This last weekend they came over for about two hours and watched the little man while his mamas took a much needed nap and then again last night they watched him while we went out to dinner.  And we had a real conversation and both ate at the same time while our food was hot!  It was awesome!  Our friends are so sweet to take such good care of us and I can’t wait for the opportunity to be able to repay some of their kindness.

In other news, I put in my notice to quit at my job on Monday.  Our work schedule is very heavy over the next three months so I wanted to give as much notice as possible to make things easier for everyone.  So my last official day will be April 6th.  So I still have 32 days of working left (not that I’m counting or anything J), so even though it sounds far away it is really just around the corner.  I’m so excited for the opportunity to stay home with little man, but I’m also nervous about it.  I’ve been working since I was 14, so I’m not sure what this new life will look like.  My boss was very sweet about the whole thing, which made it easier.  He said that of course he will miss me and is sad to lose me but that he fully supports what I’m doing and thinks it is commendable.  So that helps.

And I know I’m almost a whole week late posting it, but here is Jude’s two week picture.  Hopefully I won’t procrastinate so much with posting his three week picture.
 Jude 2 weeks
Jude 2 weeks
Taking a bath!
(BTW, his stump totally had fallen off before this bath, it just looks weird in the picture)
Close up bath time.  He isn’t sure what to think about all of this yet.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Jude's Favorite Things

I’m back at work today and it feels so weird to be away from my sweet baby and my amazing wife after spending so much time together these last two weeks.  It makes it easier that  my days at work are literally numbered as I’ll be handing in my notice on Monday.  I can’t wait to be at home with my little man.  Of course, I know from these last two weeks and from the text messages from S today that it won’t be easy.  Apparently all Jude wants to do today is cry and eat.  That makes for a rough day.  We had our two week check up with Jude on Thursday and everything was good other than he needs to gain more weight.  So feeding him really has become a full time job.

We have gotten several emails and lovely comments from all of you these past two weeks and I just wanted to stop and say thank you.  We’ve got a bit too much on our plate right now for me to respond individually to everyone right now.  It has been so encouraging to hear that other people have had to supplement with formula and that we aren’t the only ones being peed on constantly. J  So thank you so much for your kind words, really.  Also, I have heard from a few people that blogger isn’t letting them leave comments and I’m not sure exactly what the problem is or how to fix that.  It seems to be people who have word press blogs.  So maybe just leave comments under anonymous?  Anyone have any ideas (other than switching our blog to word press that is)?

One nice thing about being back at work is having a few minutes to get caught up on everyone else’s blogs.  I feel like I am years behind on my reading and I don’t think I’ll get caught up anytime soon, but I am still reading.  

So S and I make lots of jokes about the LONG list of things that Jude doesn’t like.  He doesn’t like having his feet touched, being cold, when I sneeze, not getting food the very second he is hungry, any pacifiers that aren’t Soothies, and many other things.  But I did want to share with you all some of the things that we couldn’t live without at this point.  Of course this is just the stuff that works for us.

First thing on the list is the already mentioned Soothies pacifiers.  Jude loves these, but is very particular and will only use the 0-3 month size and nothing else, though I guess that does make sense.    We didn’t want to use one this early but in the NICU the nurses had to do lots of stuff that was a bit painful and pacifiers are the only thing they can really do for pain relief.  And the little dude loved them so much that we couldn’t just take them away once we left the hospital.   Now I don’t know what we’d do without them, sometimes they are the only thing that will make him happy.

Next on the list are the Playtex Ventaire bottles.  We tried a few others and actually have TONS of other bottles but we liked these the best so far.  He rarely spits up after feeding and something about the design keeps him from sucking down too much air.  Plus they are pretty slow so he isn’t gulping down too much too fast.  And they don’t leak if you have everything screwed on correctly.

We also could not live without our Aden and Anais swaddle blankets.  A friend got them for us as a baby shower present and they are the very best.  They are so big and strechy so you can really swaddle tight plus they are pretty light so even when Jude is dressed warmly I don’t have to worry much about him getting too hot.

We love our rock and play sleeper.  It is nice and small and fits in our room for Jude to sleep in.  We don’t plan on him sleeping in our room very long term so it was nice to get something light weight and cheap to get us through these first few months.  And he seems to think it’s pretty cozy too.

Last on the list, we heart our ocean activity play mat.  Jude isn’t spending a lot of time yet under it but when he does he is mesmerized by the sound and light machine that comes with it.  He will watch that thing like it is the most amazing thing he has ever seen.  

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Does it smell like pancakes and the great poop explosion!

Jude will be 2 weeks old tomorrow.  Crazy to think about that.  We waited so long for a little guy and here he is and has been for 2 weeks!  Being a new mom is challenging.  I wish I could always know what he wanted.  I will check his diaper 3 times and feed him and rock him and hold him and sing to him and sometimes, he just needs to cry it out.  I feel like we are getting the hang of each other a little more everyday.

We decided to bottle feed him breast milk as much as possible and formula when I don’t make enough.  My milk is still pretty wussy.  At this point, I am only pumping enough to mix half breast milk with half formula for his bottles.  He drinks 2.5-3 oz every 2-3 hours, so I can not keep up!  I started taking an herb to help make more breast milk and now I am pumping 40 ml instead of 20, so that is an increase, but still not enough to keep up with his appetite.  The herb has a strange side effect.  It makes your pee smell like maple syrup.  Yes, my pee smells like pancakes!  The new method of feeding him has taken so much stress off worrying whether he gets enough to eat.  I still let him breast feed twice a day just to stimulate, but he is just not getting much milk that way.

The other day, Liz was changing him and I was pumping across the room when little guy had a crazy poop explosion!  He was not even aimed up, but just pooped that hard.  Somehow, Liz got out of the way, but I was splattered across the room!  I was pumping, so my hands were busy holding the pumps, so Liz had to towel me off.  He still has not peed when getting his diaper changed, but he pees thru everything.  He has peed in his crib twice today and once on Liz today.  We are experimenting with different diapers to try to not let him get soaked on a regular basis, but have not found a perfect one quite yet.

Liz goes back to work on Friday and I am really nervous to be by myself.  The pumping for 20 minutes every 3 hrs is what makes me nervous.  I can’t stand to just let him cry, so I am hoping he is chill that day and can just hang out for 20 minutes in his swing or asleep somewhere.  It will be a work in progress I think as far as working that out for both of us.

Overall, I feel better everyday.  I feel like we are making major progress as a new family and we just love him more than anything in the world.  Just when he cries for hours and I feel like I am doing nothing right, he will fall asleep and just look like a little angel in my arms.  We did a small photo shoot for his birth announcements today, so I will leave you with some pictures!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Struggling with breast feeding

As you all know, we were in the NICU for a few days due to breast feeding not working out and Jude not getting enough to eat.  Since then, breast feeding has been a semi terrifying thing along with a very stressful thing.  We were told to triple feed him.  I will breast feed to which he is slow about doing and falls asleep thru and we were using a nipple shield because that is how a nurse taught me to do it.  Then, I will pump and offer him what I pump in a bottle and then offer him formula in a bottle.  It is quite a process to get him fed.

So…today I called the lactation consultant.  My ultimate goal is still to breast feed from the actual breast.  I know it would be so easy to just pump and give it to him, but the problem is 1. at this point I don’t make enough milk and 2. If we keep up with the current feeding, he will never stimulate me enough to make enough milk.  So..she gave us this little tube thing that going beside the nipple and feeds him quicker than he will get normally at the breast.  It is to encourage him to strictly “breast feed”.  She then also had me get on a prescription and herbal supplements to help boost my supply.  On top of all that, we are trying to teach him to latch without the nipple shield.

All this ends up being quite a process and I am totally frustrated by the whole thing.  We have only done two feeding like this at this point, but the last one ended with Jude and I both crying and Liz consoling both of us.  I feel very strongly about breast feeding, but I am starting to think this is totally not worth it.  I think maybe I should just pump and then supplement with formula.  I fear he will be dehydrated again.  I fear that after all this and all the supplements and prescription, it will not work.  I fear giving up too early when this could work, but I am exhausted and ready to have a normal feeding routine established.  I wish I could just breast feed our boy and it be something that we both enjoy and I have enough to make him happy and we both do not get frustrated.  It feels like a failure to not be able to do this with more ease.

He is still the most amazing, adorable, and precious thing in the world, but I am feeling exhausted, frustrated and just short on patience at this point and am not sure what to do.  I think at this point, I will give it another week of trying all this and the supplement and if it does not work, then find an easier way to feed him.  In the end, I just want him healthy and happy.

Jude 1 Week

So we are doing a weekly photo shoot of Jude just like they did on one of my favorite blogs Young House Love.  Here are Jude’s 1 week photos.

Isn’t he cute?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Home at Last

We got released from NICU earlier today and have spent about 5 glorious hours at home now.  Jude is doing great and as long as we triple feed him (breast feed, pump and give him breast milk and then offer formula) everything seems to be fine. We are hoping once S’s milk comes in full force we can stop doing the triple feeds as they take forever and we’d like him to have as little formula as possible but we will see what happens this week and what our pediatrician says.  Thanks for all of your comments of support.  This has truly been the hardest week of our lives and it can only get better from here!

We will try to post some of the cute 200 pictures I’ve take of him by now tomorrow.

Monday, February 6, 2012

At the NICU

It has been a ROUGH few days for this new little family of 3.  On Saturday we got released from the hospital and went home.  We thought everything was fine and we were all doing really well.  Then on Sunday things went down hill.  We realized that it had been about 12 hours since Jude had a poopy diaper and that he had only peed once in his whole short life, on Friday evening and hadn’t since then.  We called the after hours pediatrician line and our doctor told us that he might just not be getting enough to eat because S’s milk still hadn’t come in.  So she had us after every feeding try to give him about half an ounce of formula to see if that got things started and to call back at 5 if he still hadn’t peed.

The formula helped get him to poo and at 5:00, he did the deed, though it had been at that point almost 24 hours and only the 1 diaper.  So we called the Dr. back and she told us to feed him an ounce of formula once he was hungry again and wait an hour and half to see if he would pee and if he didn’t she wanted us to take him to Dell’s Children’s hospitals ER to see if he had any sort of blockage.  So by 8:00 he had eaten the formula and still not peed so the ER we went.

At the ER they practically tortured the poor guy.  He had blood drawn, his vitals taken, an EKG done on his heart, an ultrasound on his bladder, two antibiotic shots, spinal fluid drawn and an IV put in.  The IV was the worst because they figured out he was dehydrated from not getting enough to eat and so it took 3 nurses, the anesthesiologist, and 3 NICU nurses to finally get it put in and of course each person tried twice before the next person stepped in.  They finally got the IV in place on his head.

They thought that his heart rate was lower than normal and that between that and dehydration they thought it was possible he had an infection so thus all of the testing being done and being finally after 5 hours in the ER, being admitted to the NICU at Dell.    So it was a bad night.  I don’t think I need to describe how we felt through all of this because you can imagine how hard it was to see all of this being done to him.

At this point S’s milk has come in and so they are having her nurse him, then pump and then feed him what she pumped with a bottle.  So far this is working great and between the breast milk and IV he is back to his normal self.  They are keeping him here till noon tomorrow just to make sure his vitals stay normal and all of the cultures come back clean.  So they are thinking his heart rate is just naturally low and that everything else was being caused by hunger and dehydration.

We will let you know how things go but they are looking up at this point.  Here is the little guy all hooked up to a million machines.
Still cute as a bug and twice as sweet.  Little guy luckily has slept through most of this and only gets upset when they take a band aid or sticker off of him

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Birth Story Conclusion

When we last updated it was about 4:00 pm and S was dilated to a 7.  Her contractions were all over the place no matter how much Pitocin they gave her.  They came and checked around 5:30 and she was still at a 7.  More contractions, more Pitocin, checked again at 7:00, still at a 7.  At that point our doctor discussed doing the C section due to the lack of progress.  At this point, despite the epidural, S was exhausted, it had been over 24 hours at that point.  She had only slept maybe an hour that night and took an hour and a half nap and hadn’t eaten anything in ages, nor would they let her.  Our doctor explained that if we didn’t do the C section soon then she was afraid it would turn into an emergency C section.  S was done with labor, done with trying and was glad to see a light at the end of the tunnel.  We agreed to go forward with the C section.

Of course, I was somehow able to stay strong and sure in front of S, but in reality I was out of my mind with worry.  I went to the lobby and called S’s mom to let her know what was going on and then I called my mom and just broke down.  I was so scared that both of my babies wouldn’t make it through this.  Rationally I knew that they would be fine and no one was in distress, but in my heart, I was so afraid.  It makes me feel teary right now just thinking of those moments.  Luckily my mom knows me so well and calmed me down in a matter of minutes so I could go back to the room and be strong for S.

The C section itself was the most intense thing I’ve ever been a part of.  They had S pretty drugged up but she wouldn’t let them give her everything that they wanted to because she didn’t want to be dopey or too out of it to be aware.  So she did feel quite a bit of what they were doing.  I held her hand and tried to distract her.  I’ll leave the details of it to her to share (not sure if she will want to or not, but just in case).  The doctors had a CD playing and it was really cool because Jude was born during one of our favorite songs, Coldplay’s Viva La Vida.

Everything since then has been great.  I couldn’t love him more, and he is so strong and healthy.  We are actually about to go home, they are letting us check out early because both S and Jude are doing so great.  So we are packing up and this family is going home.

And of course, more baby photos!
Jude and his Uncle Brandon
Jude and Aunt Sandy
Jude and Uncle Duck
Jude and Aunt Lulu
Love, Liz

Friday, February 3, 2012

Jude’s arrival

Jude is finally here.  27 hours of labor led to a C section.   Jude was born on 2/2/12 at 8:08 pm.  He is a big boy, 8 lbs 14 oz and 22 inches. We are just out of our minds in joy at our son’s arrival.  More to come later, but here are some pictures.  Thank you for all of your well wishes and sorry if our radio silence drove any of you insane!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Labor Update

It’s been almost 24 hours now and it has been intense.  Jude still isn’t here with us but we are confidant that he will be by the end of the day.  Yesterday we checked and got admitted.  Answered tons of questions and got hooked up to a fetal heart monitor and a contraction monitor.  S got administered Cervidil around 6:45.  She had been having contractions on and off all day and after the Cervidil kicked in they started coming harder.  We tried really hard to sleep but it really just wasn’t happening.  It was a long night and by about 2am the contractions were probably about 2-3 minutes apart and pretty intense.

Things continued like that for quite a while.  The Cervidil came out on its own around 5am and we had to wait an hour before they could start the Pitocin.  Poor S was in a lot of pain and labored on the birthing ball, in the bed, and standing but nothing could make her comfortable.  By time they started the Pitocin around 6:30 she was dilated to a 2, so we were seeing some progress.  Our doctor came in around 7:30 and tired to break her water but discovered that it had already broken, but we arn’t sure when that happened.

Around 9am one of the other doctors on call came in and put in an internal monitor for contractions because the external one wasn’t registering them regularly.  It was rough getting that in place and it really hurt poor S a lot to get it done.  I have to say, S has been amazingly strong through all of this.  She has been in more pain that I have ever seen anyone be in and she has done it with an amazing grace and dignity.

She progressed slowly and by 1pm was at a 5.  By 1:30 the pain was too much for her and she was so so so tired and decided to get an Epidural.  That was such a relief and once it kicked in we both took a much much needed nap.  I had no idea how exhausted we both were until I sat down for just a minute and immediately nodded off.

After some sleep they checked her again and now she is at a 7.  Contractions are very strong at this point but the time between isn’t staying steady.  They go from right on top of each other to 2-3 minutes apart.  We are watching the Ellen show on TV and waiting for them to come adjust the Epidural a bit stronger.  Hopefully this baby will be here in the next few hours.

Thank you for all of your love and support.  Each comment really means the world to us and is truly helping us get through this.  We feel so blessed to be part of such an amazing community and to have so many wonderful friends, both in real life and through this blog.
Can’t wait to give the final update!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Today is the day

We check in at 5pm today to start inducing to hopefully get Jude here.  We are both excited and nervous.  I think that pregnancy makes you SO VERY ready to not be pregnant at the end that it is a little less scary to think that I am about to go into labor.   I am way over being pregnant.  I want our little award for all this, our baby boy in our arms.

Liz and I thought maybe we would not be able to sleep last night.  I did get up a few times because there was some bleeding, but overall, we slept like we usually do: like the dead.  I am hoping that the bleeding was the “bloody show” and that it means the cervix is open some.  Yesterday when I had an exam, he was still high and the cervix was still completely closed.  The Dr. informed us this might not work.  We were like, “exscuse me?!!?”  We have big plans of coming home with our little boy, but she explained that if all of this after 12 hrs does not open the cervix, there is not much they can do other than a C section, so they would just send us home and I would come back early next week.  Oh my gosh, if this does not work and I come home pregnant tomorrow, I am not going to be a happy lady!!!  Here is hoping it does.  It usually does, so it probably will.

My Dr, now that we are inducing, is talking about doing all the things I don’t want her to.  She said she will usually break the bag if it is not progressing fast enough and has a vacuum if he is not dropping properly. I was very unhappy to hear both those things, but Liz reassured me that  we can refuse anything she wants to do.  That made me feel a little better.  I am just hoping that these things don’t happen because they don’t need to because with a little coaxing, Jude and I can do it on our own.

I am not as nervous as I thought I would be, but maybe I will be at the last minute.  I am just so ready to have him and not be preggie, that I am pretty excited about that prospect of having him in the next few days.  I just hope I am strong enough to let him come naturally after being induced so that the painkillers don’t make it even slower than it probably will be.  Honestly, I just want him here and to be safe and sound, so we will see what the future holds.  Hopefully next time I write, there will be pictures of our beautiful squished face man:)