Archive for the ‘Birthing Center’ Category
Or how Triple Nipple Cream saved my nursing relationship.
Or how I should have listened to my instincts and to others.
About a month and a half ago I noticed that my left nipple was starting to hurt a bit. It felt sort of like thrush, but wasn’t quite the same, and the right side was getting sore too. So I made an appointment with the Birthing Center to get it all checked out. They confirmed that it wasn’t yeast or bacterial. The lactation consultant (who was also our post-partum midwife) was there. She agreed with me that it could be because I’d switched horns on my pump to the Pumpin Pals about a month before and the smallest ones they have are too big for me. I should have guessed this myself when they wouldn’t hold suction so I had to turn my pump up and hold them on (I can usually pump hands-free). But I was stubborn and really liked how they were ergonomic, even when they were damaging me. (Anyone want a set of Pumpin Pals horns? I know a lot of people who say they’re great.) So I switched back to the regular horns and started coating them in lanolin to help with the friction.
While the left started to feel somewhat better, the right started getting worse and worse. I started getting vasospasms on both sides. I mentioned it at my La Leche League meeting and my friend recommended I get this Triple Nipple Cream. Someone else mentioned “Soothies” breast pads. But I sort of ignored them thinking things were under control.
At the same time as all of this, I noticed that my Little Prince looked like he did, in fact, have a tongue-tie. So when we were at his nine month check-up, I asked his pediatrician to confirm it. Yup, he had minor tongue-tie alright. This got me a big “I told you so” from Darius and a recommendation for an ENT doctor from our pediatrician, who I made an appointment with for the next week. I also found this article on tongue-ties and realized that LP had over 20 of the listed symptoms at one point or another.
The last week things went from bad to worse. The left was sore and wrinkly. The areola on the right has this shiny blotchy part and when I pumped or nursed, skin was actually pealing off and I could see deep cracks all over my nipple. I starts wearing nursing pads again, but I was sticking to them and when I took them off, there was some skin and a bit of blood on them. On Tuesday of last week I got some Soothies and while they helped a bit with the vasospasms and the rubbing, it was still bad. On Friday morning when LP latched on the right, it hurt so much I actually started crying.
That Friday was also the day of my Little Prince’s ENT appointment. The doctor took one look and confirmed the tie. He said it was minor so we really didn’t need to do anything about it. But he gave me the option of snipping it right then. I took it.
The procedure was very quick. They numbed under LP’s tongue, then got him crying (poor thing) and took a thin pair of scissors and snipped it super fast. He cried until I got him on my breast (all of 5 seconds, because I was already holding him). Then he nursed for about five minutes and was perfectly happy after that. No blood or anything. It was so simple. I wish I’d had it done right after he was born. I bet it would have helped with our early latching problems.
After I dropped LP back of at daycare, I called my doctor and asked them to call in a prescription of the Triple Nipple Cream. I picked it up after work and started using it right away. I also tried using the nipple shields again, but LP refused to nurse with them, so I just grinned and bore it. I also started to once again refuse a latch that felt super painful or uncomfortable.
What a difference a week can make. My nipples are healing. Pumping doesn’t hurt anymore. The red shiny spots on my right areola are gone. Today I’m wearing regular breast pads instead of Soothies and I’m not sticking to them at all. And best of all, nursing on the left almost doesn’t hurt at all and nursing on the left is hurting less and less every day. And even though the cracks in my nipple are still there, they are on their way to healing.
Finally, LP loves sticking out his tongue now. He’s exploring a whole range of motion with it that he never had before. And I’m pretty sure his suction has gotten better and his nursing more efficient.
My little prince has quite the busy weekend.
On Saturday we went to a potluck for our Centering class. Our babies are all getting so big. It’s interesting to see who is hitting which milestones first. The girl born the day after LP has 2 teeth already as do a few of the others. Most are rolling at least one way, if not both, but of the babies born in May, I think LP is the best at sitting unassisted. Of course the one born in March is already crawling and pulling up, giving the rest of us an idea of what is coming.
LP totally has a new girlfriend. F, the 7 year old daughter of one of the other moms, took a liking to LP. She held him for ages and he was quite happy to be held by her. Too bad she’s a little young to babysit.
After the potluck, we went to Target to get me more wipes for my pump (the Mother’s room at work doesn’t have a sink, so these work really well). Got a new toy and some socks for LP, but they were out of wipes. LP was so tired from the potluck that he slept the whole time we were in Target.
On Sunday I took LP with me to help volunteer at Austin Comic Con. That was an experience! He was tired, but wouldn’t fall asleep in his wrap, because there was wayyy too much to see. Also, everyone kept cooing over him in his Jayne hat. I did get him to nurse in the Moby. It was awesome because no one could see what was going on. After he fell asleep, I tried to shift him, but that woke him up. Made selling awesome Browncoat items a little tricky.
We surprised Josh of Hijinks Ensue with wearing the onesie that he had drawn for LP last December. The best part, though was getting our picture taken with Adam Baldwin with LP in his Jayne hat. Adam was very nice and seemed very excited to hold the baby.
After a while I could tell LP was tired, but overstimulated. So I resisted buying him a geeky onesie (Superman! Star Trek captain!), since he has enough already and we went home. He was so tired that he fell asleep as soon as I put him in his car seat.
The other interesting part of the weekend was that I ended up with a clogged duct (or two) on Sunday. I tried everything: nursing like crazy on that side, a hot shower, pumping, even hand expressing. That night in bed it was still so painful. I checked the Internet and saw the comments to this post. I got out of bed, went into the bathroom and looked at my nipple. Sure enough, there was a little hard white spot on it. I picked it out, almost like a pimple, gave my breast a squeeze, and milk started shooting out of that spot. I’ve never felt so relieved! I went back to bed with no pain and a much happier breast.
Finally, here is a video of the newest thing that LP does:
Our Little Prince had his 6 weeks check-up on Monday. He weighed in at 10lbs 0.5 oz and almost 20″ long. He’s getting so big. The midwife who delivered him was the one who did our check-up. She commended on just how strong he is and how cute he is. She said that the noise he makes overnight are perfectly normal and healthy noises.
She also gave me a check-up. She said that my breast tissue is very healthy, that my abs only have a touch of separation, and that everything that should be together has come back together well. I had to give her a high-five for the last one since she was the one who stitched me up. I also got my blood drawn and tested. I am officially no longer anemic. Hurray! Which means that all of the exhaustion I’m feeling is normal new baby exhaustion. Hurray?
Last Saturday we had our official Centering reunion. While I’d seen some of the other babies already (either at a meet-up or over the internet), it was nice to see everyone again. I even made a cake while baby-wearing (my mom helped and Darius was on baby duty while we decorated it).
Darius and I got asked to come and talk to the August Centering group this week about our experiences at the Birthing Center with the L&D and about being new parents. I think it went pretty well. Our LP was asleep on Darius’s shoulder for most of it, which was really cute.
Pumping has been going well and Darius has even given the LP a few bottles. He’ll eat about 2oz and then about 30min or so later decide he’s hungry again, will refuse the bottle, and will do a long nursing session with me. But it’s a start, so that’s good.
Our Little Prince really likes to “talk” to us and things. His favorite “word” is “agoo.” When he talks, he talks to everything! He’s also starting to smile a lot. It’s so adorable. The other day he invented a game called “roll off of Daddy’s chest onto the edge of the couch.” He’s also getting amazingly good at holding his head up and kicking his legs like he wants to crawl. I have a feeling we’re going to be in big trouble sooner rather than later.
We’re also getting better at recognizing “I’m about to freak out” sounds from “I’m happy in my playpen” sounds and the “I need to nurse” vs. “I have a wet diaper” sounds. I’ve found out that when he’s overtired he’ll think he wants to nurse, start to scream, try to nurse again, and start to scream. When this happens, the best thing is to just stop trying to nurse him and walk him around until he falls asleep.
We’ve been developing a bedtime routine. Every other or third day it starts with a bath from both of us (which he LOVES). We then put him in a disposable diaper (because he hates being wet, so he sleeps longer in one) and put him in a pair of footie pajamas. I then nurse him and hopefully he falls asleep in my arms so I can transfer him to the bed. Sometimes he needs a bit of a walk and a side nurse to fall asleep. The other night he fell asleep in my arms in the “Magic Baby Hold.” Then we all fall asleep because Darius gets up super early for work and because I’m exhausted. Sometimes LP wakes up in the middle of the night and so one of us will do a diaper change and often take him out of his PJs. A lot of the time, he doesn’t quite wake up but sort of thrashes and if I nurse him he just falls back to sleep for a few hours, which I hear is the first step toward longer sleeping periods at night.
Had started putting LP in onesies every day, but he developed a heat rash (man is it hot in Texas!) so most of the time he’s just in his diaper covers. Sometimes I give him naked time on waterproof pads covered with cloth diapers. He seems to really like that time. We also got him some lightweight and/or sleeveless onesies and rompers (in size 0-3 as he is completely out of the newborn size now) for when we need to go out/because they are so cute.
In other news, my mother has been in town for a week and a half. It’s been fantastic having her here. She’s been a tremendous help, both in terms of housework and helping with the LP. It also means we’ve been getting out of the house more, which is tiring but good. I got to get a haircut and she even babysat LP for a few hours so Darius and I could go on a date to see the last Harry Potter movie (I cried a lot). I’m going to miss her so much when she is gone.
Week two was really hard for me. My postpartum anemia was worse than we were all prepared to deal with or aware of. I think that if we’d known just how bad it was, my mother probably would have stayed an extra week. But we made it through the week. There were really rough times, like Tuesday afternoon and Thursday night, when I almost called my mother and begged her to come back. But there were also great moments, like holding him and watching him sleep. And getting to start to know his myriad expressions. And we’ve been really lucky, most nights we can get at least one 4-5 hour stretch of uninterrupted sleep.
My days mostly look like this: Wake up for a nurse when Darius leaves for work. Go back to sleep. Either wake up before or with/after the LP. If before, get a chance to eat breakfast first (hopefully…before he wakes up), then morning diaper change and nurse. If with/after, morning diaper change and nurse and then hopefully be able to put baby down long enough to get food myself. Hold the little prince while he sleeps for a few hours. Watch a movie or something on the DVR or On Demand. Midday diaper change and feed. Try to get lunch into my body (hopefully baby is asleep…otherwise use bouncing chair). Hold baby more. Watch more random stuff on tv or try to play with computer and/or phone. Afternoon diaper change. Side nurse turn into afternoon nap. Then Darius is hopefully home and the little prince can get some daddy time while mommy showers or gets some time to herself.
Nursing has been going well. For week two, we were mostly on the nipple shields the whole time. But after reading some articles written by other mothers who had to use them on the La Leche League site, I felt better about doing so myself. Also, he started taking to the left breast often without the shield. And in the cradle hold almost didn’t need it ever. This Tuesday evening, he started not wanting to use it with the right breast either and hasn’t wanted it since. But we’re still figuring out how to get a good latch on the right (the football hold seems to work somewhat), so it’s a work in progress, but a positive one.
Over the weekend we had our first trip to the grocery store and he slept through the entire thing!
We’re definitely into the “I’m in my 3rd week of life and I’ve learned how to cry loudly when I want things” stage. We had two nights earlier this week where it took me 2 hours of nursing and diaper changes and rocking before he finally fell asleep. Also, yesterday we had friends over for a bit and after they left I tried to nurse him a bit, but he started screaming. I put him down for a moment and he fell right asleep. It was amazing. Of course today we had some random screaming, but it didn’t last long. He has been staying awake in between some feedings. I’m not totally sure what to do with him in those cases, but we’re both learning.
Week three has also been about learning to ask friends for help. I think we’ve had someone over either at lunch or around/after dinner time almost every day. Just having someone else to talk to/help out around the house/hold the baby for a little bit has been great.
Lastly, I want to report that we had our two week check-up on Monday. DJ weighed in at 7lbs, 12.5oz. He’s up almost a whole pound from his birth weight, which is amazingly good progress. The midwife said that he was “perfect.” Also, she said that I look to be healing well. We took my blood and my iron count came back at 10.1 (up from 7.5!). I knew I was feeling somewhat better, and it was nice to have confirmation of it. So I’m still anemic and I still get tired a lot and have to take it slow, but I’m recovering.
On Friday when I went in to the Birthing Center for my nonstress test, I got my membranes swept. This was probably around 2pm or so. Came home. Got some work done. Around 4:30pm I was resting on the bed when I started to feel cramping and my hips started to hurt. I didn’t think I could possibly be in labor yet, and the cramping wasn’t totally letting up. But then I started using my timing app and found out that the contractions were about 7 minutes apart and lasting just under a minute. Somehow I still couldn’t believe that I was in labor, mainly because I’d never heard of hip pain happening. I spent a lot of time on the toilet exiting my bowels and making it through that way. I also spent some time leaning on the railing by the stairs and leaning over the bed. At about 7:30pm I was at my computer and then felt a contraction so I stood against the wall. I felt a pop and a gush, so I was pretty sure my water had broken. I called the Birthing Center hotline and also my doula, Namaste. The midwife on call was Mary. She said that I could keep laboring at home and she’d call me back around 10pm if she hadn’t heard from me. An hour, and a lot of hip pain later, my contractions were at 4.5 minutes apart, lasting about a minute. Sometime after that I was feeling tired so I tried to rest, but it wasn’t working. Around 9:30 I knew I was not managing the hip pain well. It just wouldn’t go away, no matter what I did, so I asked Namaste to come over. At 10pm Mary called and I was contracting every 3-4 minutes, lasting for around a minute. Mary said it would take her 30 minutes to get to the Birthing Center and which room did I want. I had originally wanted the Santa Fe room, but since they changed it to the Barcelona room, the Windsor room was more appealing to me. I set a timer for 20 minutes because I knew it took 10 minutes to get to the Birthing Center.
Just got back from my nonstress test. Of course when they hooked me up to the monitors, Stree decided that it was nap time and didn’t move at all. I did have a few contractions during the test and the monitor picked them up, so that’s good. Then when the midwife went to check me, the little jerk decided to wake up and move around a bunch; we both felt him! So back on the monitors I go and what do you know, he quiets down. But he did move enough that they decided the results were better.
This morning I started having bloody show, which the midwife confirmed when she did an internal check. She also said that Stree’s head is in a VERY good position and that I’m at 1-2cm dilated, 60% effaced with him at -1. She did a membrane sweep, so hopefully that’ll kick start things. I have another appointment for another nonstress test combined with an ultrasound to check the fluid and stuff scheduled for this coming Tuesday, but hopefully I won’t need it. ~crosses fingers and toes~
Mentally I’m not doing so well. I’ve been really grumpy and short tempered. I’m just so tired of all of this and I want to have my baby. I know people are anxious and just want the best for me, but right now I’m just not taking any advice or well wishes or questions about have you had the baby yet well. Last night at around 11pm, I had a total break down. I’m just so overwhelmed by this all. ~sigh~
I’m tired a lot and I get up to pee at least twice to three times a night (could explain why I’m so tired). I’m very thankful to have a job that lets me work from home so I can be a little more flexible with my hours. For the past few days I’ve had burning feelings in my pelvis when I move around, that I can only attribute to the baby being very low. Yesterday I think I lost part of my mucus plug.
Today I had a prenatal appointment. I have now met every midwife that I could possibly have. The one today kind of reminded me of my step-mother, but I think that was just her accent. I don’t have a favorite, but I do have a least favorite. I could see how the personality of each midwife could affect things. Today’s midwife said my uterus measured at 39 weeks. She also gave me pretty much the exact same stats as last week. However, she did say that she tends to be conservative when it comes to measurement. She reminded me that first time moms actually average more like 41 weeks 1 day. She also said that based on the signs I was telling her things are looking really positive and are moving in the right direction, so I’m trying to take heart from that. Also, Stree seems to have moved his back from my right side to my left side, which the midwife said is really good because babies with their back to the left tend to have a higher chance of facing posterior (which is good).
If I don’t go into labor by Friday, I have an appointment for a nonstress test, just to check on everything. The Birthing Center will let you go to 42 weeks without discussing induction or anything like that, so we still have a week and a half to go before I have to worry about that kind of thing.
In other news, I’ve had an urge to make cake pops for a week or two now and I finally made them. I brought some into the Birthing Center and they were a big hit.
Had my weekly appointment today. The midwife said that Stree is in the -1 position. See, I knew he dropped since last week. Also, I am 1cm dilated, 60% effaced, and my cervix is in the “ideal” spot and is very soft and squishy.
Come on baby, come meet the world!
Saturday was a day of classes.
In the morning Darius and I went to the cloth diapering class held by The Diaper Squad. Learned some good tricks, including those for diapering newborns and also for diapering boys. Learned about all the different kinds of cloth diapers there are out there. The guy teaching the class was fun, but we could tell he was kind of nervous about teaching, as the person who usually does it is apparently out on maternity leave. Still I’m glad we went.
Then in the afternoon I went to the Birthing Center for a breastfeeding class. Learned a bunch of good techniques for breastfeeding a newborn and for hand expression. I’m feeling more and more confident about this whole breastfeeding thing as I know I have lots of support and good resources. Also, today I was able to hand express a little bit of colostrum. I think that it’s the coolest thing ever, but I think that it freaks out Darius just a little bit.
My belly looks smaller to me this week than it did last week. I’m taking that as a sign that the baby has really dropped. I hope so. Can’t wait to meet him!