Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Ben is almost a month old! He is doing great latching now, and nursing has become a whole lot easier really fast. Tomorrow we are going to see a lactation consultant. I wish everyone could see the cute face he makes when I get ready to feed him. He typically screams at Scott through his diaper change and then when Scott makes the hand-off, and he hears my voice, he immediately quiets down, like he was never upset, and his little hands start curling and uncurling under his chin. He makes this shape with his mouth- I call it the "bird mouth"- he's kind of making that face in the top left photo I am posting here. And he starts breathing fast and making these small little noises- he's clearly excited. His eyes get big and he's looking around frantically, his little dimples dissappearing and reappearing. Its plain adorable. However, right before I'm going to latch him on, somehow one or both of those excited little fists ends up in his mouth and he sucks vigorously on his fingers. He then gets upset that they don't give him any milk, opens his mouth to scream a few times, and BAM, we have a latch.

He won't burp for me during the day. He will stop feeding, to gasp for air when he has been gulping too fast, and its been ten minutes or so, and I try to burp him for just a minute so he doesn't get too many bubbles stuck down there. He gets prematurely full and/or cranky. Well, forget it. He will scream and squirm and root around for a nipple on my shoulder until I finally put him back on, even if toward the end he is so full he has to spit out the extra milk.He just can't perch at my shoulder knowing there is milk just inches away. But if Dad is around? He will burp like a champ and drift off to sleep like an angel. The look of contentment when he is sleeping on Dad is unparalleled. What am I going to do when he goes back to work?

He sleeps really well. He eats about every two hours during the day, and at the most- midnight, 3am and 6am during the night. Last night he slept through the midnight feeding, for about a 4 hour stretch, and woke up around 2, a little early. Its great, he already seems to have a little routine, and he always goes back down easily. (So far, so far!)

So as promised, here are some comparitive photos to have fun with:
Baby Mary
Baby Ben

Baby Scott

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ben's First Bath

See his cloth diaper? Its a classic white cloth, just like you would imagine, and its folded under this waterproof cover that works like a disposable, with elastic and velcro and all that. With the diaper service, its a breeze, we just take out the cloth, toss it in the diaper pail, and put another one into the cover. There is no smell from the pail yet, the cat box is way worse! Its really much easier than I even dreamed. 
 OH! Fun times last night. So we don't have any counter space in the bathrooms, so we brought his cute little whale tub down into the kitchen. Grandma and Grandpa are here, and Grandma helped me with the water temperature. Scott held him until we were ready and we plopped him in! He didn't cry for one second, even being lowered in. He seemed to love the water, just looking around at us and I just folded him up in the wet towel and kept squeezing water over his tummy. Let me tell you, he was a happy kid!

Well, then after lots of fun pictures and rubbing down his hair, we took him out. I handed him to Grandma who folded him up in a dry towel, and we were kinda talking to him, and he peed all over her and onto the floor! We laughed and she handed him to me so she could get cleaned up. Just as I was saying that we could simply wipe him down when we put his diaper back on, he lets out this huge fart and poops all over! Well, we ran out of clean towels! So while we sent someone to get a new one, we plopped Ben back in the bath (still completely happy- and no wonder) and we laughed about what we were going to do and how at least he had done his business. Just then, as if to prove a point, he casually spits up into the water. We couldn't stop laughing for like five straight minutes!! Eventually we got him (and ourselves) all cleaned up and he didn't argue about any of it until we started putting his diaper back on. What a relaxed little guy he is. As long as he is fed, he is up for anything.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Latch Wars of 2010

Okay so last night went pretty well! Except for the 3am feeding. Apparently he takes after mom, and neither of us is really good at getting along with others in the dead of the night. I had to pump off some excess when he was done, I'm just going to freeze that for the future and keep at this.

We bought a glider and somehow fit it along with everything else into the master bedroom. That glider really does make a huge difference in my comfort level. Each feeding starts with like ten minutes of him screaming and trying to claw my boob with his hands, and if I had eight arms, that wide open mouth would really be perfect. Anyway, he does eventually get a good latch, but wow. Its a struggle. My boobs are scratched up and sore. But aha! I figured out what works way better than my washable breast pads- overnight they get soaked and move around and its a pain. I read somewhere that a folded panty liner works great- so of course I put two in each side and voila! Totally worked, its a miracle. Sigh, my little piranha. We will get it. He did sleep three hours between feedings, just like usual, and that really helped. I feel pretty rested, I'm just going to try to get in a long nap this afternoon, too. Okay, off to try this again...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Jumping In

Well, we have been supplementing with pumped milk and a little bit of formula ever since the doctor asked us to do that when he came in underweight and jaundiced at his first appointment. On the one hand, its been great- I get extra sleep when I pump, and Scott and his dad get to feed Ben, which I know they have both enjoyed (Scott enjoys it less at 3am, but still). But on the other hand, even though Ben has been a trooper, he is starting to show more and more trouble latching correctly as time goes on. Ben is almost entirely on breast milk, its just that he gets about a third of his feedings with a bottle, so we have to switch completely to breast feeding. Sounds easy, and I know I am one of millions to have done this, but its hard. The trouble latching turns a 45 minute feeding into an hour and a half, but I know that once we tackle it, it will get better. I really want to do this while I have the help here, but its tough because I know I will be really wrecked and emotional at first. Ben started spitting up yesterday! So now everything smells like spit up. He's officially a normal baby, haha!

Last night around two in the morning, I was pumping, Ben was in his Pack and Play, and Scott was passed out next to me. Suddenly I hear a thump thump thump and I glance over at Scott, who is patting his chest with his hand in a tell-tale rhythm. I say, "Babe?" He wakes up immediately and says "Hm?" I say, "You burping Ben?" He looks down at his chest, I think half expecting to find Ben laying there, and starts to laugh. It was one of those wonderful moments. I love watching Scott become a father. He is even more devoted and dedicated than I thought he would be.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Two Weeks and One Day- And Lo and Behold...

It is starting to get better. Phew!! I am feeling better, doing more, and just feeling more up and like myself again. We took Ben over to Steve and Anna's yesterday for Simon's second birthday, just to say hi for about fifteen minutes, but that was his first visit. Today Grandpa and Dad put him in his stroller for the first time and are now on a walk down to get some frozen yogurt for us.

Today Ben wanted to eat every hour on the hour, but just a little snack. Thank goodness my pain is all but gone now. Between feedings, he was wide awake! Scott put together his bouncer and he was pretty pleased with that, and he quietly checked out his toys for a bit, but mostly he wanted to be held, burped and talked to, and he wanted his diaper changed every hour as well. This kid must be about to sleep hard tonight, because I don't think he slept more than maybe two hours until five or six.

I tried putting him in his Moby, which worked out okay, a little loose in places, I will have to have Sarah troubleshoot it with me, but I could tell its going to be great and he will love it once he can stand to be close to me without wanting to eat. It was a little too hot to wear it today anyway.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Two Weeks

Wow, what a crazy few days. My nipples have been so sore, breastfeeding just kills me. It's been so hard to really feel that wonderful bonding feeling when every time he latches its like burning. My back is hurting, just from carrying six pounds in really strange positions. I haven't been getting much sleep- Ben wants to feed for an hour every two and a half hours. That means that half of the entire day is breastfeeding and did I mention how much it hurts? There is the whole "breastfeeding isn't supposed to hurt" thing that just ticks me off because then there is the literature about how it takes a couple of weeks for the skin on your nipples to toughen up... so it does hurt, no matter what you do. Its so funny to me, though that the magical number seems to be two weeks. I can't count how many friends have called or written and said, "Yes, those first couple of weeks are the hardest."

So its the end of day 10, and I am here to say, it is getting better! We slept well last night. Ben showed up to work last night, and then fell back asleep in record time, so Scott and I got these amazing stretches of sleep. My milk supply is finally catching up to him. I pump for about five minutes after every time he feeds to make sure both breasts are drained, and that seems to have helped considerably. He seems satisfied after a feeding in a way he hasn't yet, and the only bottle we gave him today was pumped milk, because he slept a little late and I was getting engorged. He ate that not long after. So we are on track! Day 5 I was pumping one ounce from both breasts, now at Day 10 I'm pumping over 2. The right is putting out more than the left but I can't figure out why. Oh, well. As long as he is getting enough. Day 8? He made his first little coo. He lifted his head off my shoulder, turned his head toward me and made a little sound, it was so adorable. Hey!! Day 11 and I just pumped 4 ounces from both. Woooo!

I have a bladder infection, but I've got antibiotics on it. Ben had his circumcision appointment today and as the doctor said, "You've got a little marine there." He didn't cry at all, just looked at the doctor the whole time. He's been that way through all of his blood draws, too, doesn't even flinch. He will raise total hell though whenever someone tries to change his diaper. He's been a little sore, but he slept great all day, and hasn't been fussy at all. This seeming resistance to pain is not genetic, I will tell you that much. He is more alert every day and turns his head at our voices. Dad can calm him the fastest, he is immediately content when he is on Dad's shoulder. We took Grandpa out to breakfast afterward as a thank you for all the hard work he has been doing for us, and Ben slept right through it in his carseat. Grandpa and I agree that pancakes are one of the greatest foods ever invented. And God bless coffee.

Jeff and Kristen brought us a delicious dinner tonight, and I just finished it. YUM! Right in the middle of one of the most incredibly terrible weeks for them, I can't believe they still insisted on doing it. Jury duty, a sinus infection, and a flat tire are just a few of the challenges today held for Kristen. We are praying they make it through the weekend and everything falls into place! We miss Grandma and can't wait for her to come back this weekend. We have a Skype date with Auntie on Thursday. I plan on spending the rest of this week in bed, to try to force myself to have a chance to really heal. Especially with this bladder infection, I need the rest that everyone keeps telling me to take. I have two wonderful guys helping me with all my needs, but its still hard to accept all their help and not get up and contribute. I can't wait to feel healthy!

I can't believe I forgot to add this! The biggest news from the beginning of week two, is that Ben is back to his birth weight. After our doctor visit, we went into frantic feeding mode (obvious in my older posts) and we only had four days to "show an upward trend" as the doctor said. Ben was born at 6lbs 2oz, and dropped to 5lbs 7oz in 5 days. In the 4 days before we saw the doctor again, he gained 13oz! He weighed in at 6lb 4oz at the doctor on Monday and his jaundice was gone. The doctor says his skin looks amazing now and he seems very healthy. So now I am dialing things back to on-demand feedings. That means instead of checking for a rooting reflex every half hour, I am waiting to hear his slowly accellerating grunting noises that mean he is about to be hungry and upset. We are letting him wake us up instead of setting alarms, although this morning I woke up needing to pump because he slept in! It does help considerably, although breastfeeding is still not comfortable yet. We will get there...

(9/15/10) Ugh the antibiotics I was on made me really sick! The doc took me off of them and wants me to stay really hydrated until he can re-evaluate how I am feeling tomorrow. I feel so weak, I couldn't even sit up until a few minutes ago, its been a brutal afternoon. I pumped twice, because I just can't hold Ben right now, but of course my supply is down by half. Sigh, so tired of feeling bad. There are victories, and then setbacks. I hope I can really start feeling better at some point here, I want to enjoy my baby! I can't even change him because standing upright hurts my bladder so much. Oh well, I just need to keep remembering that someday I will feel like myself again, and will be able to breastfeed with joy, and take care of Ben. I just wish that was tomorrow.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

I Knew I Married a Winner...

...but this is ridiculously above and beyond.

So already I have had to be on top of tiny baby Ben- he likes to give me a big O and then the minute he hits the boob, pull back and purse... and the kid has suction like a piranha, especially when his latch is wrong! We went to the doctor today (Thursday 9/9) and while Dad was removing his diaper for the check up, his cord fell off! 5 days old. Meanwhile, at our dr visit we find out he is super jaundiced and lost 11% of his weight from birth. Sigh. (Yes, I am feeding him every time I can get him even somewhat out of a completely comatose state) He is staying alert more every day, but I'm trying to feed him non-stop, and the kid has to sleep sometime, he is a newborn lol. That was a hard visit, the doctor mentioned how in extreme cases where parents don't get on top of it, jaundice can cause brain damage. Well, that starts my hormone letdown and I just start crying. Scott is holding the baby, and trying to get me a tissue, and the doctor looks really apologetic. Phew hormones. So anyway, this company comes by and brings a bright blue light to help with his jaundice. Its actually amazingly flexible- like a thin little pad connected to a hose, the pad slips up inside his onesie and lights up on his little chest. However, burping and feeding this little guy has just gotten twice as hard. If I thought getting him to latch was hard before, getting him into different holds with this glo-worm thing on him is a whole new world of frustration. So I am also supplementing with pumped milk... and healing from the birth (ahem five days ago, OUCH) I tore like crazy and since then everything I do has required me to sit upright, why is that?! So here I am, trying to semi-recline tonight, with Ben and his radioactive blue glow being burped by dad, a pump attached to one boob, moaning because my tears are hurting so bad (we walked around town a lot today getting little man tested), and I go to adjust the pump bottle and spill the whole thing everywhere. All over me, all over the sheets, and I had just taken a hard-earned shower. I sobbed. And sobbed. And sobbed. Husband got me calmed down, cleaned up, fed and put to bed for a two hour nap, but boy. THIS IS HARD.I am pumping about an ounce from both sides in fifteen minutes. He has been eating about two ounces every three hours, but thats an average. Some feedings are excellent and he eats a lot, and then the next feeding will be longer and more... "snacky"...so it varies.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Benjamin's Birth Story

I labored for about 8 hours. I was having contractions 2 minutes apart for HOURS and my body wasn't getting a break. They put me on something to try to space out the contractions a bit, and it would help for a second, then they would speed up again. I walked. Then it was like... even when I wasn't having a contraction at all, I was having what they thought was radiating cervical pain. Like an ache so bad it was burning. Finally, after sobbing through a check from my doctor, we got the epidural at 6:30. I could still feel contractions and move my legs but I felt great. They started some pitocin, I talked to my family, slept and then around 3am my epidural stopped working on the left. The pain was slowly returning and we had trouble getting on top of the problem fast enough. Pain went from a 5 to a 9 in an hour and a half and while they were trying to solve the epidural issue, they put me on a little Fentanyl to hold me over. Thank God because I thought I was going to die. In the middle of that the baby kicked and broke my water. And someone finally turned off my pitocin. Finally around 5am I felt good again and went back to sleep. There was a shift change and our new nurse brought me some Jello. I had a couple of bites and promptly threw up! I had some warning, which was fortunate. After that she decided to check me around 730. Wo! She could see the baby's head! She ran out to call the doc and then said I should start pushing since it could be awhile. After pushing through two contractions she told me to stop because I was going to deliver right then! She ran out to get the doctor, and boy there was a big scramble to get ready to go.

I was feeling great, just a little pressure, like my butt was super heavy, that’s all. I pushed through a few more contractions, and the doctor said he was going to have to do an episiotomy. He said he rarely does this, but it was necessary. It was a tight fit and I was going to tear as it was. I felt the snip but no pain (so weird) and I wasn’t afraid. I pushed him out and they laid him on my chest and rubbed him down. It took a long minute for him to get pink and that was a little scary, but they didn’t take him away so I figured he was probably alright. Sure enough, he cried and pinked right up, and then we just stared at each other for over an hour while my doctor stitched away, with the husband of course right there at my shoulder. What an experience! I didn’t feel or even notice the placenta. I just stared at this baby that they said was mine. And he just stared back at me. It was wonderful.
It was almost two hours before they gave him a bath and weighed him (in our room). He was 6lbs, 2oz and 18 3/4 inches long. A tight fit?! He is the most miniature person I have ever seen! He's perfect and wonderful.

Friday, September 3, 2010

39 Weeks

Its been an interesting week, with all the starts and stops, lots of contractions. Steph stayed with us until Tuesday, and then Scott's parents joined us on Wednesday. I had two doctor appointments this week, and we finally took the suitcase out of the car. We have been enjoying the help and the company, getting projects finished up, like installing the recall repair kit on our crib, and I have been trying to finish up some pregnancy journalling. Nothing too urgent, we are pretty well prepared. My weight has stayed at about 150. Sleeping has been horrible to say the least. I went from waking up every two hours all night long, to waking up at 4am three times this week. I just pop out of bed, wide awake, its terrible! Then around seven I feel suddenly sick, like I've been up all night, and its back to bed for a couple hours. I never quite seem to recover. This morning is the second in a row like that. Its also super boring at 4am. Steph is coming back up this weekend, hoping Ben will show his face. Okay, off to hopefully catch some more sleep!