Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Nearly wordless Wednesday

Henry hit the 6 week mark yesterday.  Here are some pictures.

After my bath
Putting on a new outfit
Taking a break to stick out my tongue
Having a snooze on mommy's lap

Monday, February 20, 2012


As in 9 pounds, that is. 

Henry has his last weight check in with the lactation consultant on Thursday.  He finally hit 9 pounds gaining 5 ounces in a week.  The l/c wants to see a gain between 4 and 8 ounces a week.  He falls at the lower end but he did gain appropriately, even with me cutting back on supplementation.  At his check in with the midwife later that day he weighed 9 lbs 2 oz on their scale but I know theirs is different than the l/c's scale.  I stick with the l/c's numbers since he's been more consistently weighed on hers.  And he's growing lengthwise as well.  He checked in at 23.75 inches or 60 cm.  He's starting to outgrow a number of things lengthwise even if there is a lot of room around.  He's still skinny.  I checked and Henry is in the 90-95th percentile for length and about the 25th for weight. 

He also seems to be starting his 6 week growth spurt.  He's been super hungry and while I know the l/c wanted me to call her if I had to supplement him I don't know how I can breastfeed him, have him get super fussy (squirm, kick, pop on and off, etc) and not be satisfied ... leading me to have to supplement him.  I had to supplement 3 times yesterday: 2 oz, 5 oz (!) and then 2 oz again at night before going to bed.  He was already supplemented once today around noon because he was hungry.  I gave him 3 ounces not long after breastfeeding and pumping (lovely!) because he was clearly still hungry.  And after than he cried for more.  So he took about a 1/2 ounce more.  He's currently sleeping, which he doesn't usually do during the day.  (On a side note, I think one of the clues he isn't getting enough from me at any time is that he doesn't sleep much.  Nowhere near the 10-12 hours he's supposed to be getting.  I'm lucky if he sleeps about 5-6 hours at night.  But not much during the day.) 

The three nights after my last post were a disaster as far as night sleeping was concerned.  He was waking up at weird hours and feeding poorly.  And I ended up with 3 or fewer hours of sleep/night those nights so I decided to do what was working before:  Start his last breastfeeding session when he is ready anywhere from 10:30 to 12:30 at night and then supplement him.  This works far better because I am able to get at least 4.5 hours of sleep.  Never more than 6 but 4.5 is better than 3 so I'll take it. When I supplement him (usually no more than 2 ounces) he wakes up ready to eat and is far more efficient at it.  He doesn't take 2 hours to eat!  So, as long as that is working I'm going to keep doing it.

I'm already on 4 pills of fenugreek 4 times/day, 5 pills of blessed thistle 4 times/day and 40 mg of domperidone 3 times/day and I can tell Henry just doesn't get enough from me.  He is rarely satiated and rarely sleeps after feedings ... unless he is supplemented.  I find it really hard to sit through a 2 hour feeding session only to barely get time to go to the bathroom and eat, if I'm lucky, only to have to start it all again at most an hour later.  I also struggle to get pumping in as well with that schedule. 

The point of this is that I'm going to have to supplement Henry.  Period.  I have no choice.  I broke down in tears last night whenever he goes through growth spurts because I don't like having to do this.  But my body just doesn't want to do this the way I thought it would.  Damned PCOS!  I'm already past what my m/w can prescribe for domperidone (30 mg 3 times/day) and other than checking out my thyroid I think I've reached my supplementation limit. 

I just have to keep reminding myself that it is more important that Henry eat and grow than where it comes from.  I just hate that I can't give him everything he needs.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

I get to spend Valentine's Day with the new man in my life ... Henry.  ;-)

5 weeks old today!

Today started out really well.  Henry slept from just after 1 am to about 6:30 and followed that up with a good feeding.  He was off to a good 3 hour schedule and gave me time to shower when he fell asleep this morning.  It didn't matter much that he had diaper accidents again today ... he's growing out of newborn diapers and isn't quite wide enough for the next size up hence the accidents. 

And then some time in the afternoon he decided that today would be a cluster feeding day!  He's been on the breast most of the day since I ate lunch.  He falls asleep from time to time then wakes up and munches away.  And if he wakes up unlatched or I take him off in his sleep and he wakes up he just cries.  I'm not quite sure how things are going to go tonight.  Hopefully we can both get some sleep but if not we don't have to go anywhere tomorrow. 

I managed to get a rare shot of Henry with his leg fully extended in his sleeper, this one gently used by my nephew and so cute I've been trying to get a good photo of him in it:

I say rare because usually Henry does this:

I like to pretend I have no legs!
He does a good 'mermaid' look and he even has a Flipper version too.  lol  I think it is cute and it has turned out to be very practical.  We're getting extended use out of his smallest sleepers.  If he kept his feet where they should be he'd have already outgrown his first 2 sizes of sleepers already.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Queen of Poo

First, the good news.  Henry finally figured out how to breastfeed with us both lying in bed.  Yay!  That is progress.  After a late night I had no energy to feed him sitting up so I tried this yet again.  He fussed and was frustrated for quite a while but he eventually figured it out.  He did fall asleep after about half an hour which was great. 

When I finally woke up from my in and out of sleep - as I usually do when he's in bed with me - I started getting things ready for when he woke up ... cleaning my pumping supplies and nipple shield, popping my oatmeal in the microwave, feeding the cat, etc.  Henry woke up and gave me a couple big smiles ;-) but then proceeded to give me his poop face.  You know what that is, I'm sure.  I didn't want to change him in the middle of a pooping episode so I kept on working on my stuff.  I came back later and discovered he'd had a blow out.  Again.  The good news is that it was a good colour and consistency, also a bit of an issue with him so I'm happy when he has good poop.

While dealing with this spectacular mess (down his leg and up his back) I wondered whether I should have done things differently I realized my options were:
  1. Change him in the middle of his pooping episode and risk him spraying his poop everywhere during a particularly gassy episode.
  2. Do what I did and let him poop it out and risk a major blow out. 
  3. Grab him before he started actively pooping to skip the blow out but possibly risk scenario #1 and waste another diaper.
I went with #2 and decided after the fact that it was probably the best option.  Yes, his clothes need a soaking before washing but at least he didn't poop all over my bed.

Between this little guy and my cat I am the Queen of Poo.  ;-)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

33 days

Last night, for the first time ever Henry did not cry during his bath.  Thank you!  He hates it every time he is in the little tub.  I was scared of bathing him alone because I was worried about his head falling in the water.  But now that he is a little older it is going better.  He even watched what was going on in the mirror during his bath.

I'm slowly getting into a routine which is super important for us because we have zero, and I mean zero, help.  I have no family close to me and all my friends work so it isn't like I can just call for help or show up at my parents' place on a bad day ... like my sister can and frequently does.  *sigh*  Henry is helping with the routine too. Now that he is older and is gaining weight, his body is working better.  He fluctuates between a 3 and 4 hour cycle depending on the time of day and longer at night.  I was so happy that I was able to get 2 (yes, count them - 2!) loads of laundry done yesterday.  One I didn't have much choice in because he needed his clothes washed - one diaper blow out too many.

Some things I have noticed (and can relay now that I have 5 minutes and the cat isn't wanting my attention):
  • I have no idea what colour Henry's eyes are.  His eyes were a deep steel blue when he was born but they look dark grey now.  I still think they're going to turn brown but my mom is convinced he'll end up with hazel eyes.  Mine are brown and the donor's are hazel.  So, who knows?
  • His eye shape is most definitely not from our family.  We have smallish eyes that are more on the deep set side.  Henry has really round eyes that get super huge when he wants to focus on something.  Or scare mommy in the middle of the night by opening them when she checks to see if he is sleeping after trying to get him to sleep.  Scary because it reminds me of a creepy horror movie doll whose eyes pop open in the dark ... just to scare you.  I almost jumped when he did this over a week ago when my mom was out of town overnight.  Horror movie ... honestly!
  • Henry is seriously long.  He was 21.5 inches when he was born and I noticed immediately that his legs were super long.  Then his fingers, then his feet.  My aunt pointed out that he also has a long torso.  Without ever seeing the donor I can't tell anything about his build other than what he put in his profile.  He said he was 6 feet tall and his sister is 5'11" so this little guy could be plenty tall when older.  He is still super skinny, though.  We're going to have to move up in diapers soon simply because the others are getting too short.
  • He came out with the most manicured thumbnails I've ever seen on a baby.  On the end of super long thumbs.  
  • This little guy is a super snuggler.  He loves to snuggle and it is sometimes the only way he'll fall asleep.  On my chest.  I try not to do it too much but once in a while he won't fall asleep any other way.  
  • He's very good at making a pouty sour face when he's mad.  
  • Right from day 1 Henry was very interactive, lifting his head to check out our faces when we talked.  He still does this. I call him nosy just like my niece who would refuse to nap if she heard the slightest sound when we tried to get her to sleep.  He notices everything!
  • He loves his FP vibrating chair along with the animals on it.  Thank goodness because this is the only way I seem to get a shower in.  If he doesn't sleep during the day (which is typical) he goes in the seat in the bathroom and I turn the vibration thing on.  He is usually content in the chair the entire time I'm showering and sometimes falls asleep in it.  Like today.  Yay!
  • This kid would sleep through the night if I let him.  Probably a serious 9-10 hours. But since he's had some trouble gaining weight I don't get to let him sleep that long.  So the max he gets is about 5 - 5.5 hours at night. But that allows me to feel more human, thankfully.
  • He absolutely hates his car seat but loves car rides.  Good thing!
Anyway, here a couple little photos to keep everyone updated.
Hanging out on the couch - I'm 4 weeks old!

Getting ready to take grandma to the airport so she can go home.
I'm happy to say that I booked our first plane tickets today.  We'll be going home for a visit in late April/early May and will stay for Mother's Day.  My niece will be very excited to meet this little guy.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Just dropping in

Sorry I haven't updated in a month.  Wow!  A whole month! 

Things have been more like a gong show here than a blissful mom and baby experience.  To make a very long (and repetitive *see below*) story short Henry and I were discharged 3 1/2 hours after his birth.  I was so happy to go home quickly and loved being able to stay at home that first night.  My mom stayed in bed with me and baby Henry that first night and we knew something wasn't quite right as he was clearly hungry but didn't want to latch onto the breast.  My midwife and her student came for a home visit the next morning and advised this wasn't good so they left us with some tubes and syringes to use to feed baby.  And to top it off Henry was jaundiced.  Yep, he got his blood type from the donor - A from him and Rh + from me (donor is -ve).  By the end of the day we were back at the hospital and Henry was admitted.  That meant I was stuck there for 2 nights too.  Henry didn't mind the incubator (or his 'hot house' as I called it) as it was toasty warm.

We were discharged after 2 nights in hospital and I was really glad to go home.  I hated every minute being there and isolated from my parents who had to drive 40 minutes each way in crappy winter weather to visit.  Not to mention the one insane night nurse who seemed to think forcing my child to try the breast for 2 HOURS at 1 in the morning was a splendid idea.  Thankfully Henry is too young to remember this otherwise I think he'd have ended up with something akin to PT.SD from that experience.  But I digress ...

As to the repetitive part of the story all I can say is breastfeeding has been a bit of a nightmare.  Apparently my little guy was born with a disorganized suck.  He is slowly getting better but he still struggles to suck not to mention actually latching.  He can't latch onto the nipple so we've been working with a nipple shield and pump since he was 1 1/2 days old.  The routine is tiresome:  breastfeed with shield waiting for the little guy who gets really tired to fall asleep off and on before declaring that he's finished ... which can take anywhere from an hour to two hours.  Oh my ...  Then, if things work out I get to pump for a while.  Sometimes he gets supplemented by bottle and that doesn't go any easier for Henry either.  He still has difficulty 'latching' on to the bottle's nipple.  I have a child who would sleep 6+ hours through the night if he were gaining appropriately.  But no, I have had to wake him up in the middle of the night to feed him and that has always been a disaster since he eats so poorly at night.  I have serious envy of people whose babies are allowed to sleep long at night and whose babies also wake up to demand feed because Henry didn't do that until just this past week either.  *sigh*

Needless to say we've been working with a lactation consultant since Henry was 5 days old.  I am not doing everything according to her wishes, i.e. feeding him formula from time to time and supplementing him more than she recommends, but he was not gaining weight with what I was giving him by breast.  He didn't get back to birth weight until the day after he was 3 weeks old.  It took another 5 days for him to surpass birth weight finally getting past 8 pounds (8 lbs 1 oz).  He hit 8 lbs 11 oz at his weigh in today.  Personally, I'm going with what works and that is breast first then supplement because he's hungry.  I pump when I get a chance and he's not crying. 

I hate to say it but after 1 month I am very much looking forward to breastfeeding being over.  After all this I cannot say that I will ever enjoy the experience.  It is a big let down (no pun intended) as I was looking forward to this, albeit not in a 'we will bond over the breast' kind of way.   At this point I continue to breastfeed as much as I can because I feel it is better for Henry for a variety of reasons, it is certainly less expensive than full out formula feeding, and because I don't want to admit failure (talk to me about supply problems ... you don't want to know how many pills I take a day just to get what I get out of these breasts).  I am really looking forward to moving on to solid food.

I do promise to post another update as well as Henry's birth story when I get a chance.  What I can say is that the birth went really well and I can't really complain about the experience.  I describe it as easy compared to what others go through.