Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Picture posted

See the Rainbow Dragon Baby tab at the top of the page to be directed to my Birth Story and see a picture of our beauty :)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Breast feeding Woes...

I know people say nursing isn't easy...something that should be so natural isn't.  However, I wasn't prepared for HOW difficult all this would be.

First - when you aren't able to hold/nurse your baby right away...one really needs to EMPHASIZE the importance of pumping.  I didn't get to really hold my baby until she was about 12 hours old...and when I did, she was attached to many different machines.  There was no skin-to-skin.  This definitely hindered our nursing relationship.  Since she was on IV fluids, I wasn't able to really feed her until she was 3 days old.  I would pump, but I would barely get anything so I didn't really see the importance.  My baby never really did get the colostrum that she should have gotten.

Secondly - Once I got to nurse, no one really showed me how or what I should look for.  I was SO EXCITED to hold my baby alone - with no one watching I just put her on my boob and let her go to town.  Little did I know she was eating enough to sustain her weight...but not enough for anything else.  When we were discharged from the hospital, she had only had 2 wet diapers and no poopy diapers in the last 48 hours.  When we got home our doula met us there, and she was very concerned that the hospital let us leave with out her peeing.  She watched me nurse and said that there really wasn't much milk transfer taking place.  She told me it looks like I had a supply issue.  Man - what a buzz kill!  So then I was so scared and preoccupied of not getting enough food for my child!  The next day, I was able to get into see the Lactation Consultant.  She corrected my latch and sent me on my way with the instructions to see her again in 5 days.  Her Pees and Poos increased, but I didn't feel like I was able to feed her enough when she was hungry! I couldn't wait the 5 days. On the Sunday night, I had such a bad night with her, I broke down.  On Tuesday I had an in-home visit where she put me on Domperidone to help boost my milk supply and told me that she would correct H's small tongue-tie the next day in the office.  So on Wed morning, I had a much better feed given I had 2 doses of the drugs and we had H's tongue clipped. I thought that with those two things in place, we would be good to go! 

Not so much...When we went to the Dr's for her 2 week weight check, she had only gone up 3 oz and was STILL not at her birth weight.  I went back again to see the L.C and she was worried about her less than ideal weight gain.  She watched a feed and said that things look good.  She sent me for tests on my thyroid as apparently thyroid mal-function could hinder milk supply. This was news to me! Given I have a thyroid issue and that since her birth I wasn't diligent in taking my medication daily I wonder if that is the reason.  I wont know the results till the end of this week/beginning of next. 

She also gave me a lactation supplement - basically a feeding tube that I drop one end into a bottle and the other goes into her mouth through the side of her mouth while she is latched.  This is to supplement her feedings at night when she is the most fussy and wont suck properly.  Although I like seeing what she is eating and knowing she is getting food...having to use this thing is so demoralizing.  I would almost rather have hubby give her a bottle. But since I have supply issues and she has sucking issues, the L.C says NO to bottles!  She really doesn't want to mess things up more!  It is bad enough she uses me as  a pacifier more than not as she was given one in the hospital. 

Now my big dilemma is let down.  If my boobs are full, milk is transferred easily.  However, after the foremilk is gone, it takes a really long time to get a let-down of hind-milk.  It does happen, so I do know the difference, but it isn't consistent.  In the process, she either becomes angry or she changes her sucking pattern where she doesn't really do anything.  It is so frustrating and causing me a great deal of stress.  I just want to feed my baby!! I can't believe how difficult this entire process is.  Bottle feeding would be so much easier - but I am determined to nurse!  I just don't know how much more I can take.  The anxiety of not knowing if I am feeding her enough or feeling I don't have enough milk to give her when she is hungry is consuming me.  So much so that I feel my husband is better able to read her cues then I am.  He knows to change her diaper or take her out of a situation where she can be over-stimulated - where I hear her cry and immediately think she is hungry.  If I don't have any milk left, I start to become anxious as I worry I can't feed her.  It really is a never ending battle. 

Any thoughts on how to relax enough to allow my let-downs to happen? I know relaxing is key and not stressing ... but how do you ensure that you are relaxed?  How does one not stress?  

Birth Story

Well this is 3 weeks coming.  I apologize for not writing sooner. Life has been a bit crazy!  I'll likely do multiple posts today...

I was hoping to write a beautiful post honouring my daughter's birth.  Maybe one day.  Today you get the coles notes version :)

On Sat. Nov. 3 and Sun. Nov. 4 I went for a long hikes to help move things along. Between the two days I think I hiked over 16 km! Pretty good for being 41 weeks pregnant!  I definitely think the hikes helped move things along :)

On Sun. Nov. 4, Hubby and I went to my parents for dinner. Baby was fairly quiet, and my step-mom kept asking if the baby was moving. She then proclaimed when we were leaving that we would have the baby that night given how quiet she was. On the ride home (only a 5 min drive) I started having contractions. I usually had contractions in the car, so I wasn't really surprised. I told hubby to keep driving to see if anything happens. So he took me over every pothole and bump he could think of in the city! After about an hour of driving aimlessly, we decided to go home and see what was going to happen. At home, I was feeling odd. No real contractions, but she a sense of blah. Every time I stood up I noticed I had a fluid leaking out. My dr told me that if it was amnotic fluid, I would know (it wouldn't stay in my underware but would go down my leg). Since it didn't trickle down my leg, I figured I was just peeing myself! LOL.

At around 10 I went to bed (thank heavens!) and slept for about an hour and a half. (Hubby didn't...big mistake). At 11:30 I woke up feeling really yucky and when I stood up even more fluid would come out. I was starting to get worried, but hubby told me to just relax. He said that he was going to go to bed and that if anything were to happen, he needed time to make a coffee and take a shower! LOL. Needless to say that never happened. As soon as he laid down, I felt a pop inside and low and behold, my water broke. I called our Doula, and we proceeded to get ready for the hospital.

Once we got to the hospital, I was checked. Baby's heart-rate was good, but took awhile to get the movement count they were looking for. They checked me and I was 3 cm. Since water had broken, I was admitted. As soon as we got to our room, the contractions were picking up quite a bit. They were very localized to my pelvic floor region - not all over and thankfully none in my back! Once our doula came, I really put all my faith in her and just let thing happen. Sitting was horribly uncomfortable, so I laboured standing hunched over the bed or kneeling curled into pillows. The whole thing was a bit of a blur. I really was having an out of body experience. At around 4 I was checked and was at 7 cm. The pain was managable. My scaitic was hurting - so our Doula put a heating compress on it and would give me pressure during a contraction. Hubby would get water and ensure the music was on during the entire time. At around 6, I had an uncontrolable urge to push. I couldn't help myself. Our regular nurse was on break and the cover nurse checked me and said I was only 8 cm and still had a thick cervix left. Once she told my regular nurse this, they offered me gas to help manage the pain as they were concerned my pushing would swell the cervix more. I couldn't manage through the urge to push, so around 6:45 I told them that if I can't push, they needed to give me an epidural because I couldn't go on anymore. My nurse decided to get the Dr to check me at this point to see where we were at. Thankfully she did - I was at 10 cm and what they thought was the cervix was the baby's head!! I suddenly had to go through quite the mind shift - not pushing to PUSH. At this time there was a change of staff. Our wonderful nurse left and we had 2 new ones (don't know there names...they were okay...) and we had new Dr. SHE WAS AMAZING!! I pushed for about 2 hours and made some headway but was really exhausted. I asked for help. The Dr suggested we use the vaccuum to help get the baby out. Half and hour later, Hannah was born sunny-side up facing the crowd! Unfortunately her cord was wrapped around her neck really, really tight. Dr had to cut the cord before delivering shoulders to get her out. Hubby then trimmed it. Baby was caught on my pelvic bone - and in addition to her cone-head, she had a nice read line across her head from being stuck.

Now thing really become a blur. I know she was put on my chest right away and hubby and I got our moment of pure joy. The nurses then took her to clean her up and she wasn't breathing right...not crying just grunting. They tried to give her some oxygen - but that didn't help matters. They gave her back to me for another moment and then they took her off to try to stabilize her. They weren't successful in the room so they rushed her to the nursery with hubby in tow. It was aweful! Hubby said that the 2.5 hours they were trying to stabilize her were the worst hours of his life. Her oxygen levels were very poor and she wouldn't breath right - just grunt. Her heart rate was extremely high too. Her colour went purple and the Dr told him they were going minute by minute to stabilize her and if she didn't stablilize soon, she would be airlifted to McMaster. They had to give her a round of fluid, which blew her vein and caused her arm to swell. They coudln't find another vein for the IV, so they had to do a surgical procedure on her ambilcal cord and put in a catheter. When I was able to go see her agian, it was aweful. She looked so helpless and scared sitting in the incubator. Noone warns you of what could happen after birth. I was prepared / educated on the different interventions that I could have had to face during labour and delivery - I never imagined that my baby would have needed such care after being born. She had a Spontaneous pneumothorax which prevented oxygen to reaching her blood. They don't know what caused it - the vaccum, the cord or the long period of pushing. However the reason, it is difficult for me to not feel guilty. After the delivery I was very proud of myself for deliverying naturally (just with vaccuum assistance) now I wonder if there would have been away to avoid all the chaos had I just pushed a little bit longer/harder on my own.

Breast feeding -  has been an incredible struggle...I will be doing a post on breast feeding soon! I need to clear my head of all the negative thoughts I have of myself.. I hope, as time progresses this gets easier. I blame some of my issues on the fact that I wasnt' able to feed her for 2 days after she was born and given she was in the nursery and I wanted to spend every moment with her, I wasn't diligent on pumping.

Overall, we have a beautiful baby girl. Her lungs are clear and healthy now - no lasting side effects from the pneumorthorax. Just trying to ensure her weight goes up!

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Thanks for all the love.  It was an emotional journey but we are home.  Breast feeding is one of the hardest things I have done...I am committed though so we are trying to learn together.  Once I get things in order and I actually make my way downstairs to the computer, I will type my birth story.  Loving being a mommy though!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

she is here!

Typing on my phone....not able to write much but need prayers and thoughts sent our way.  Our baby girl arrived yesterday only to have yo be wisked away to nicu as she had difficulties breathing.  Now on I've and oxygen.  She is doing better but it breaks my heart to see her tied up to all these machines and I can't touch her :( pray she will be okay! I want to hold my little girl!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

2 WW and Waiting for Labour: A comparison

This post is merely an observation I have discovered over the last couple of days. I know how difficult the 2 ww can be, and by no means am trying to downplay the stress and agony that occurs each month.  I am also speaking from a person who has never had to go through the hardships of IVF or IUI.  This is just from my experience and am NOT trying to insult anyone.  I realize waiting for labour is different as a baby is imminent.    

As Dragon reaches 1 week over due, I have discovered many similarities between waiting for labour, and the 2 week wait:

- Sex - in both situations (well just before the 2 ww) you have copious amounts of sex (one to make baby, one to try and use prostagandins in seamen to get contractions starting) and if you don't have sex, you feel guilty. Maybe THIS TIME it will actually work.

- Vitamins/ herbs - in both situations you pump your body with vitamins and herbs to try and bring desired result

- Many visits to acupuncturist - during the 2ww I would go at least 1 or 2 a week.  I have been going 1 or 2 x a week for over a month.  I have bruises on my legs.  I don't think it is working :(

- Over-analysing every twinge and ache and pain as if it could be something more

- Obsessively studying underware and tissue each time you use the bathroom to see if it gives any indication for what's to come (aunt flow, mucus plug etc)

- Emotionally drained

- Realizing that now matter what you do - the situation is beyond your control.

Given I went through over a year's worth of 2 ww - it is surprising how many emotions waiting for baby this last month has brought up.  The inability to control a situation, no matter how much you want to, is very difficult.  Each night, I go to bed thinking 'this could be it', only to wake up and have nothing happen.  I realize that to get the BFP during the 2ww - I had to give up control.  I'm now going to do that to see if it has any effect.  I'm really trying to just relax (as hard as that is) and keep repeating to myself a healthy baby is all that matters.  Induction/epidural/c-section whatever it takes, I need to be on board.  I guess, having had so much difficulty getting to this point, it is really hard for me to give up control on my desire to have a natural labour.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Dear Baby

You are being such a tease!  On Monday, when I went and saw my Dr, she told me I had made incredible progress over the weekend.  I was 1-2 cm dilated, and 50% effaced.  She was certain you were on your way into this world.  On Thurs.  when I went for an ultrasound at the hospital, she said you were one very healthy, happy baby inside.  This was wonderful news - however, we only have until Monday before they are going to schedule me into the hospital to give me medication that will force you to come out.  Since Monday, I have had many days where I feel like you were trying to make your way to this world - only to have everything grind to a halt once I lay down for the night. 

You are definitely a Scorpio and your father's child.  You are definitely making it known that no matter what I do, you will come when you want to.  However, your stubbornness will only last for so long.  You have a time-line now.  Mommy and daddy really want for you to call the shots in the delivery - meaning we want you to come out on your own without the medication that could put mommy into a lot of pain.  (Along with a lot of other nasty side-effects).  Mommy wants this experience to be as natural as possible, as studies have shown that a natural deliver is better for mommy-baby bonding along with a lot of other things.  However, if we get the nurse (or one like her) that we had on Thursday when we went for our tests, it will be very difficult.  That woman was overbearing and opinionated! If she could have, she would have started mommy on the drugs that day!  We don't want that.  We NEED you to come out soon. 

Choosing your birthday must be important to you.  However, you need to know that the Dr's will choose it for you unless you start to co-operate.  We are running out of time!!

Please baby, start co-operating and make your way into this world!  Mommy and Daddy are so ready and excited to meet you!!