Friday, June 25, 2010

6 weeks old

Our Silas is now 6 weeks old!

I can't believe that it's been a month and a half since he was born!

I could kiss his squishy face all day!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sleepy Photo Shoot

While Silas was snoozing I took the chance to capture some of his sleepy movements...

He was not amused by the flash

His clothes are getting so small on him. He no longer fits in any of his newborn clothing, but his cloth diapers finally fit well enough that we are in cloth 24/7. He is starting to become a very chubby little guy and we absolutely love it!

Stretching out... one day we'll get the "hug" stretch on camera.

He has such serious faces and I wonder what he is possibly thinking about.

Zombie Baby!
Maybe he'll enjoy funny zombie films just like mommy and daddy!

He still has such tiny feet, but such long toes!

And long fingers!

Pondering... such a deep thinker even in his sleep!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day 2010

Happy 1st Father's Day Josh!

Josh was surprised with donuts and coffee and a pile of presents at 6:30 this morning!

He got photography themed gifts including a remote clicker...

A camera bag...

a reflector kit and some drop cloths for solid colored backgrounds.

Silas got lots of love from his daddy for his wonderful father's day gifts.
In addition to so many new toys for his photography hobby Josh got some new clothes, shoes, and dinner at his favorite restaurant.
Silas also got to help celebrate father's day with his Papa Joe and Grand-Bubby. We went over to Mema and Papa Joe's on Saturday for dinner and Tripoly and to Honey and Grand-Bubby's on Sunday before dinner. Both Papa Joe and Grand-Bubby got new Blu-Ray players from Silas.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Mourning the experience

It's no secret that I didn't have the birth I wanted.

I had it planned out in my mind. I knew what I wanted.

Josh and I had talked about the possibility of a home birth or a birthing center, but since there wasn't an operating birthing center in the Phoenix area and neither of us felt 100% comfortable with delivering at home we decided to use a certified nurse midwife at a local hospital.

I was worried about cesarean from the beginning. I knew that was the last thing I wanted. I didn't want to have to recover from surgery. In my mind having a c-section wasn't giving birth. I wanted to feel my child and experience pushing him out into the world. I had wanted to attempt to give birth without medication to help the pain because I wanted to trust my body to do what it was suppose to do. However I knew that I would be o.k. if I had to have the pain meds as long as I avoided pitocin and a cesarean. I wanted to go as long as I could without the pain meds.

In a way I feel cheated. I didn't have the labor I wanted. Instead I had inconsistent and painful contractions for weeks and a cervix that wouldn't budge. With the help and guidance of several midwives at the hospital we attempted to artificially soften my cervix. I didn't want to have pitocin so we attempted cervadil and that softened the cervix, but didn't really help in the long run. The next attempt was to use a folly catheter, which is the least invasive way to induce, and that worked. My cervix finally began to dilate. My water broke on its own and I thought for sure that my body would do its job. I was dilated at 3cm.

I was having strong contractions all night. Finally I gave in to the exhaustion and had stadol so I could sleep. After a few hours of sleep I was up walking, bouncing on the birthing ball, and moving positions, but my cervix still wouldn't dilate beyond 3cm. I was in so much pain and after talking with Josh and knowing how tired I was already and how much work was still ahead I agreed to have an epidural.

It was more painful then some of the contractions I was having and I called the anesthesiologist worse names than I've ever called another person. The relief that is was suppose to give me made me feel worse, not physically, but mentally. I couldn't feel my legs and the pain of the contractions anymore, but the pain I went through for it to me was not worth it and the guilt I felt for giving into my pain made me want to cry. At that point my water had been broken for 15 hours and I had been in the hospital for over 30 hours with very little sleep. Shortly after that I became so cold I was shaking and shivering.

I started running a temperature. There were several attempt to bring it down but it was well over 100 degrees and then Silas' heart rate jumped from 120 bpm to over 180. I still hadn't dilated beyond 3cm and now there was talk that my amniotic fluid could be infected causing the fever and the elevated heart rate. My midwife told me the safest option at that point for me and for the baby was a cesarean. My heart broke into a million pieces. It was the very thing I wanted to avoid.

Even with my husband, my parents, and my midwife assuring me that it was out of my hands and that it wasn't my fault I felt so guilty and angry and sad. I knew with this surgery that I would not get to birth my child and all my after birth plans would change.

I was not the first person to see and hold my son. I didn't get to cradle him against my chest, count his fingers and toes, or cherish those first moments after birth. Instead of basking in the glow of parenthood, with my husband, Josh had to leave my side to accompany Silas and I was stitched up and taken to recovery. Everyone in my family got to see my son and spend time with him before me. Instead of being taken to couplet care and nursing him he was placed in the nursery with an I.V. in his hand. One visitor at a time came to see me in recovery and showed me pictures and video, which just isn't the same. It was nearly 3 hours before I got to see him in person and 5 before I could hold him. He spent the first 48 hours in the nursery for anti-biotics.

While we were in the hospital we struggled with breast feeding. I knew there would be a chance that it would be a struggle because of the reduction. I knew it was possible that nothing would come at all. I was hopeful though. I saw three different lactation consultants and had three different sets of advice. By the third day I had to come to the realization that I would have to supplement and attempted to do so with a synthetic nursing system so he would stay on the breast. We had a plan and finally we were going to head home.

I thought that things would get better from there, but things just started to spiral. Two days after returning home my incision split open and became infected. A week and two days after that I was readmitted to the hospital because my uterus had become infected. Both of these things impact our breast feeding relationship greatly. Not long after that I developed and gave Silas thrush and I came down with mastitis. Plus at this point I was crying at the drop of a hat and felt like a failure through and through.

Even though I love Silas more than words can express and I have a healthy child in my arms I'm still struggling with his birth and month following with my own recovery. I'm unsure if I'll ever want to have another one given the situation, even though Dr. Porter and my midwife say that I could have a VBAC in the future. I'm so angry and sad and frustrated.

I love Silas and I love the relationship we're building together. I also love being a mommy and watching Silas grow and develop, but I also need to let my anger and frustrations out. Its not what I wanted and all I want to do is cry when I think about it. The only thing that I am happy about is having Silas and starting our family.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

One month check up

Silas had his one month check up today.

He is 23 inches long (91st percentile). That is 2 1/2 inches longer than he was a birth.

He is 9lbs 5.5oz (35th percentile). That is 14oz heavier than his birth weight.

The weight is good because 5 days after his birth he dropped down to 7lbs 10oz.

We started seeing Dr. Jones, who specializes in breast feeding, a week after his first appointment (5/25) and his weight went up to 8lbs 1oz, but dropped again the following week (6/1) to 7lbs 14oz. Last week (6/8) when we went to see Dr. Jones his weight was up to 8lbs 11oz. It's been a struggle to keep weight on him, so the gain is great news. He is up 10oz from the last time he was weighed at Dr. Jones' office.

The breast feeding is still a struggle. My supply is limited to about 1/3 of a typical supply. We are supplementing after at breast feedings and pumping afterwards to simulate having twins so that it tricks my body into producing more. I wish I could produce enough to feed him only breast milk, but both Josh and I were formula fed and we both turned out o.k. Silas will thrive on both and he'll be fine too.

Hanging out

Yesterday Papa Joe came over with Aunt Andi to hang out. Papa Joe thought Silas' look could use a pair of sunglasses. Silas is so cool and Papa Joe thinks so too!

After everyone went home I picked up Josh's camera and tried to take some pictures. Silas showed me what he thought of my efforts.

I did manage to take one picture that I liked and Silas was paying attention since I was making faces and noises at him.

Monday, June 14, 2010

One Month Old

I can't believe my baby is one month old already!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

First Bath

On Friday Silas had his first bath!

His cord finally fell off and we were so excited to put him in a tub of warm water... especially since he hated the sponge baths we were giving him prior!

He really seemed to enjoy it.

Daddy poured water down his chair and Mommy dangled his feet in the water.

He liked the wash cloth when it was full of warm water.

He didn't care for being lifted out of the water, but once he was in a warm cozy towel, all was well again!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Follow up appointments

We had our second appointment with Dr. Jones on Tuesday.

Silas lost weight. He went from 8lbs 1oz to 7lbs 14oz.

I explained what had happened over the weekend and she said that could be apart of it, but we had to start a plan to get Silas to gain weight.

She did an initial exam and found that Silas had thrush. The likely culprit was the antibiotics from the hospital. I had tons of yeast and I passed it on to him via the breast. She gave us a script for Silas and we continued our session.

This time I was able to feed Silas about 50cc, which is an ounce more than what I was able to produce the last week. 50cc is good, but it doesn't make a full supply if I'm feeding him 8-12 times a day. Supplementing is something we will have to do. So I'll feed him on the breast and the give him a bottle until he is satisfied. I'll pump afterwards and save what I pump to give to him.

Dr. Jones then talked to me about blood work. I told her I had to go to a follow up appointment for my hospital stay and she asked me to call and make the appointment and find out the Dr's name so she could call them and talk to them about the blood work. Fortunately I was able to get in again with Dr. Whitehead.

Dr. Jones asked me to make another appointment with her for the following week and then called me later that day to tell me she spoke to Dr. Whitehead.

Today I went to see Dr. Whitehead. I had my abdomen looked at and all looks and feels fine. I did mention that Silas had thrush and she gave me a script for diflucan, which will help the yeast. So hopefully we'll get that all taken care of.

So many eventful things going on in baby land! I hope that is the last eventful thing we have to go through...

now even though things with Mommy have been rough, Silas is doing well aside from not gaining enough weight. He sleeps so well and gets up every 3 hours to be fed and changed and then goes back down. When he is alert he grins and smiles. I'm not sure if they are purposeful smiles or just gas, but I love them all the same!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Our next road block - uterine infection

Silas was two weeks old when I had my follow up appointment for my split incision.

My wonderful mother-in-law took me to my appointment since I was told not to drive and Josh had to work. She stayed in the waiting room with my sleeping Silas as I went to be checked out.

I was out of pain meds and hoped they would write me a script for some more because I was still in a lot of pain.

A med student took a look at me first. She seemed very concerned that I was so sore still. She looked at my split incision and told me it was closing up nicely, but she wanted to have the doctor come in to look at my abdomen. It was very sore and tender to the touch and felt very hard.

Dr. Aguilera came in and did an exam and told me that my uterus was infected and that she wanted me to be admitted into the hospital as soon as possible for IV antibiotics.

At that point I was in tears from the pain and confusion. I have no idea why my body was working against me and the idea of being in the hospital upset me because I had a 2 week old newborn to care for. Dr. Aguilera said she would find us a room in the hospital that would allow Silas to stay with me so I could continue to breast feed and care for him. That comforted me some, but I was still scared.

I was in tears when I went into the lobby to get my phone so I could call Josh. I went back to the examining room and called Josh and my mom (who was in KY for my grandfather's funeral). Josh who is always the calm to my crazy told me to calm down and take a deep breath. He said he'd call work and head down as soon as I got more information. As Dr. Aguilera got my admittance forms ready Dr. Whitehead came in. She was the doctor who looked at my split incision the week before. She had Donna bring Silas to me and she talked to me about what would happen. She was very supportive.

True to her word Dr. Aguilera was able to find me a room on the 4th floor where couplet care is. Donna walked me over and I pretty much hung out in my room until around 8 pm before an IV was inserted. Antibiotics were started around 9 pm.

I was very stressed and that seemed to have stressed Silas out as well. He refused to go on the breast at all while we were in the hospital. My nurse Frankie was so kind and was able to get me a pump so I could give Silas breast milk.

Josh stayed with Silas and I and when he couldn't be there Donna came and so did his dad and step mom. I really appreciated having Warren and Ruth come and cuddle Silas while I rested. My sister came to see me as well since my mom was still in KY and my dad was in MI for a work related situation.

I spent 36 hours on antibiotics and on Sunday Dr. Aguilera said I could go home before 6pm. We were out the door by noon and on our way back home with more scripts for pain meds and my abdomen feeling soft and squishy and much less tender. Also I had strict orders to rest and to come back in later that week.

Once we were back home Silas was more inclined to breast feed and the time off the breast gave them time to heal well.

The Second Week - breast feeding

7 1/2 years ago I had a breast reduction. It was medically necessary or I'd have to have back surgery. At 19 years old it was something that I had to do. Unfortunately it would mean that I would drastically reduce the chances of breast feeding with a full supply or at all.

I struggled in the hospital with breast feeding and spoke to several consultants. My post partum nurse, Alison, suggested seeing Dr. Laurie Jones who is a pediatrician who specializes in lactation. After a week of struggling and having very traumatized nipples and an angry newborn I decided to call for an appointment.

Josh took the day off from work to take me to the appointment. I was very thankful that he came with us. Dr. Jones was very interested in my situation and listened to me as I cried and opened my heart to her.

Breast feeding was not the experience I had hoped it would be. The milk was not flowing from my breast and my baby was not happy. Every time I'd put Silas to the breast he would latch on and suck with earnest. We had been using an SNS and I was pumping frequently to give him breast milk through the SNS and then also using formula as much as I didn't want to.

Dr. Jones weighed Silas and he was up from his pediatrician appointment. He came in at 8 lbs 1oz, which was 7oz more than at his appointment. Dr. Jones watched as I nursed Silas and she helped me see that my breast were working against us. They are soft, the nipples are flat and smooth, and pointed upwards. And from the week of improper latch they were scabbed over and there was some scaring on the areola.

To get Silas to latch properly he had to be elevated. She provided me with a special nursing pillow call My Brest Friend and rolled a towel under his head. This helped the latch stop hurting. She gave us a lot of information to look through including a website called BFAR and a book to begin reading called Defining Your Own Success.

After the feeding Dr. Jones weighed Silas again and he had taken in about 20cc. She suggested taking fenugreek for milk production, which I already was, but she wanted me to increase the amount.

We spent about 2 hours with Dr. Jones. Afterwards we went to a store she recommended called Healthy Baby Happy Earth and bought the brest friend pillow and a few other things she had suggested.

It made breast feeding much easier and a lot less painful. We made an appointment for the next week, which I'll write about in another entry.

The First Week - part II - first road block

Well, Silas is already 19 days old and I'm way behind in my posts.

To be honest it's not my fault.

Aside from how crazy it is adjusting to life with a newborn we've had some roadblocks.

Wednesday the the 19th, when Silas was 5 days old, we took him to the pediatrician. He gained half an inch in length, but had lost 14 oz in weight. Aside from the weight loss he was in great physical health. However his doctor was concerned about me. At that point I was in a lot of pain and my incision was seeping. I shared that info with him. I clearly wasn't doing so well and he made me promise to call my CNM's office to see someone. By the time we left his office the CNM's office was already closed, but I planned on calling the next day.

Around midnight I was in so much pain and the incision was bleeding that Josh called to get a hold of the CNM on call. He actually got in contact with Tanya, who provided me with all of my prenatal care. She said to get to the hospital ASAP, and to go to the one closest to us.

Not wanting to take Silas into the ER we called my sister Andi who came over and stayed with him. We were gone for about 2 hours. The hospital pumped me full of antibiotics, packed the incision and gave me some pain meds. They called the OBGYN's office to get a hold of Dr. Porter, who did my c-section. Dr. Porter was on vacation but they spoke to an associate and they said to send me into the office the next day.

Josh took me to the office and they checked out my incision. It was infected but superficial, which meant that it was only the top layer of skin that split open. I had orders to take it easy, finish the antibiotics and come in next week.

That pretty much caps all of the exciting stuff that week.

Silas adjusted well to being home. The kitties paid no attention, and Asher was at my parent's house while I healed so he hadn't met him yet. We even managed to have a few nights where Silas slept through the night.