Monday, March 28, 2011

Annie: One Month

one month
(totally stole this idea from Melissa - it'll be fun to see how Annie grows in comparison with her doll each month)

Saturday marked Annie's first month!

She is 21 1/2 inches long and 7 lbs 1 1/2 ounces (almost back to birth weight FINALLY). Doctor isn't worried about her, says she is just a peanut. She is wearing newborn diapers (so far Pampers brand are the only ones small enough) and newborn size clothes.

Annie's days are spent eating, sleeping, playing, and helping Mama around the house. She nurses about every 2-3 hours, and every 3 1/2 or so at night. She sleeps great at night and is learning about napping during the day. :)

This has been the shortest and longest month of our lives. Our family has certainly changed dramatically! We love being parents.

Our one month necessities have been:
- newborn size clothes
- boppy pillow
- sling (we call it the magic sling - when all else fails, put her in the sling and she will calm down and fall asleep)
- baby bathtub (Annie loves her baths)
- Medela Symphony breastpump and fenugreek to boost Mama's milk supply
- A&D ointment to prevent diaper rash
- receiving blankets (these are scattered all over the house, I use them for everything - blankets, swaddling, burp cloths, propping up my arm while nursing, etc)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Belated: Huck's Third Birthday

Huck's birthday was February 28, the day we came home from the hospital. For obvious reasons I am just now getting around to posting a picture. But aren't you impressed I remembered to take one! And to give him his present! And to remember his birthday! :D


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Annie's Adventures

Baby-wearing Daddy. Annie loves to be "worn" in her sling or the moby wrap. If she is fussing, put her in one of those, walk around for five minutes, and she'll be snoozing away. She also likes to be in it while she is awake, and it makes it a lot easier for Mama and Daddy to do things like answer email and feed the dogs.

Baby-wearing Mama
moby good

First bottle (at least the first one was breastmilk!) - Annie wonders "what am I supposed to do with this thing?"
first bottle

"Well, I don't like it, but you keep telling me I have to grow, so I'll try."

Tummy time! Check out my baby girl's head control. At two weeks old she could hold her head up for about 30 seconds. And another cute outfit, courtesy of Uncle Adam and Aunt Lindsay.
tummy time

First trip to our Happy Place!
our fave place


Honey snuggle

Mama Rita

Papa Gene

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Belated: Happy Birthday to Me

My birthday was last weekend. Mom and Dad were here Saturday and we celebrated by going out to breakfast and then opening fun presents, including some super-fun earrings. I am big into accessories until I can fit back into all my old clothes. Sunday the Gent and I went to church (Annie slept through the service, yay), then I took a nap, and then we went out for Mexican. I enjoyed my first margarita in ten months. Of course Annie decided she was hungry right when our food arrived, so we had our first public breastfeeding session. This nursing cover comes in handy, I don't think we flashed anyone. :)





Monday, March 21, 2011

Slow Weight Gain

No pictures this time, sorry! I'll post some later this week. I have a prayer request instead. Our little Annie girl is doing wonderfully, nursing well, sleeping well, and having lots of alert time where she just soaks in her little world. However, she has been gaining weight very slowly, 2-3 ounces per week, so she is still not back up to her birth weight. We are having to supplement with formula for a week or so, till she gets back to birth weight. I am not very happy about that, but definitely want to do what is best for her. Please pray for her to gain quickly and for us to be able to go back to 100% breastfeeding soon!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Huck's Lab Report

Huck's lab report came back yesterday. His lump was a stage one mast cell tumor. Stage one is the least aggressive, so that is good news. He doesn't need any additional treatment. We just keep a close eye on him for additional tumors that would need removal in the future. He gets his stitches out tomorrow, and then we just wait for his hair to grow back and he should be as good as new!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

First Tub Bath

Annie loves her baths. And she puts up a fuss when you take her out of the tub! Bathtime belongs to Daddy. :)

bath 3

bath 2

bath 4

bath 1

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Getting into Routine

purple outfit

Isn't she just the cutest? Everyone told us not to buy newborn clothes because baby would outgrow them too soon. Luckily for Annie she got some as gifts, because all her 0-3 month clothes are too big! This little outfit is from her Auntie Jenn.

We are starting to find our groove now. Here's what a typical day looks like. I nurse Annie around 6am, then she goes back to sleep till 8. I sleep a little more, then get up and have breakfast and do my Bible study. Then Annie nurses again, we get her dressed, and she takes another nap while I shower. The rest of our day goes in a cycle of: nurse, activity, nap (we are somewhat following The Baby Whisperer routine). While Annie naps I take care of things around the house and tackle the day's to-do list. After her 7pm feeding, Daddy gives her a bath and reads to her while I take a little bit of time to myself. Then she nurses one more time and goes down for the night. She sleeps two 4-hour stretches through the night, and we usually have to wake her up to get her to eat! She loves her sleep, just like her mama! After she gets back up to her birth weight I'm going to ask her pediatrician if we should keep waking her or let her wake us when she is hungry.

P.S. We switched pediatricians. After the first doctor told us to put her on formula, I decided I wasn't willing to forgive and forget. We are starting over instead. :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Finally: Our Breastfeeding Success Story


So I had heard breastfeeding could be hard at first.

I had no idea.

I read the books, we went to the hospital's class, we had lots of support lined up.


Like I said, NO IDEA. Breastfeeding is supposed to be natural, right? And I do have a couple of friends who were able to nurse their babies easily without hitting all the speed bumps Annie and I did. But I've also heard my share of difficult stories. Here is ours.

The first day in the hospital, Annie latched on well and I thought we were off to a good start.

The second day, she was super-sleepy and she never did really latch on and nurse.

We met with the lactation consultant before we went home and she got Annie to latch on for a few minutes. I was assured that a few minutes of nursing was all she needed until my milk came in.

When we got home, every time I put Annie to the breast she cried. Or screamed. No latching. No nursing. Nothing going in my baby's tummy.

Wednesday my milk was in. Wednesday we also had our first pediatrician visit. The nurse put her on the scale and she was down to 6 lbs. I knew that was too much but also realized that my milk had just come in and she would start gaining soon. The doctor walked in and the first words out of his mouth were "you need to put this baby on formula." Ohhhhhhhhhhh those were fighting words! He wanted to give her a bottle there in the office but I wouldn't let him.

When we got home I started pumping and feeding her with a syringe. We did that for 24 hours. The Gent and I were exhausted but Annie was happy. I did give her a tiny bit of formula (less than 1 oz) when I couldn't pump enough for her at one feeding. Thursday morning I called Laurie and she came by to try to help us. She assured me that Annie could re-learn how to latch on and sent us to the hospital to meet her friend Natalie, a lactation consultant.

Thursday afternoon we met with Natalie. She undressed Annie down to her diaper and shoved her up to my breast. Annie screamed her head off and beat her little fists against me for a full 35 minutes. Then she finally gave up and latched on. She got really quiet. And then she FINALLY nursed.

I was so happy. I thought we had arrived.

Ha. Shows what I know.

Annie quickly decided she loved nursing. We nursed every couple of hours during the day, and every three or four at night. My girl has a suck like my Dyson vacuum cleaner (yes, she is latched on correctly). By Sunday my nipples were very, very sore. By Monday they were cracked and bleeding. By Tuesday - scabs. And major pain at every nursing. I was using my breathing techniques from childbirth just to get through a feeding.

Thursday my Mom, Laurie, and the lactation consultant assured me a nipple shield was a necessity until my nipples healed. Otherwise we were headed for mastitis and thrush. I put up a very mild resistance.

Oh, nipple shield, how I love thee.

Nursing was immediately so much better. Annie didn't love the shield, but she would take it. And I could feed her without being in severe pain. Per the lactation consultant's recommendation, I also got a prescription for all purpose nipple ointment (Google Dr. Newman's nipple ointment if you want to know more). It has an antibiotic to prevent mastitis and an anti-fungal to prevent thrush, and it helps your nipples heal.

Starting last night I was able to nurse on the right side without the nipple shield. Annie went right back to the breast with no problem. I'm going to need the shield for another day or two on the left side, but we are at last almost on what I hope is a peaceful path of breastfeeding for the next year.

And, yes, it is absolutely worth it.

Breastfeeding is best for Annie and best for me. A couple of weeks of difficulty were worth it for our long-term well-being. And I am so thankful for supportive grandmas and doulas and lactation consultants! And nipple shields!!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Annie Pictures for the Grandmas

Annie loves her Daddy

First walk . . . not very happy at first, but she fell asleep after a minute or two

Trying out the swing

Sleeping away

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sneak Peek and the Postpartum Low-down

First, I just had to share these adorable pictures of our Annie girl. Our doula came by for our postpartum visit today and she did a bonus photo shoot for us - she is practicing her photography skills and Annie was a good little model. Here is a sneak peek!
LH Annie

Annie LH2

Annie LH 1

Second, I thought I'd share the rest of the story. Here's what I call the "postpartum low-down." I know every woman's experience is different, but if you really want to know what your body feels like after birthing a baby . . . my perineum finally started feeling better around day four. My tummy is getting a little bit smaller every day. I lost half the baby weight in the first week, but I'm sure the rest will go more slowly. I've had a few moments of feeling overwhelmed - as in, "am I really going to be nursing every two hours for the rest of my life?!" - but overall I've been feeling better and better every day. My main complaint has been what the nurse dismisses as "post-pregnancy rash." I got PUPPS in my 39th week, and itched like crazy. I was told it would get better after delivery, and it did. But unfortunately I broke out in an angry red rash on my arms and legs about two days after delivery. It is finally getting better today. The nurse said it is a reaction to all the medication I got at the hospital, combined with fluctuating hormone levels. All I know is that during that 2am feeding, I want to claw my skin off. Thankfully, your body does heal!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Surgery Complete

Huck is back from the vet and sleeping off the anesthesia. The vet was able to get good margins on the tumor and doesn't think Huck will need any further treatment. We should get the pathology report back in a couple of weeks. Thanks for your concern for our fur baby!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Huck Update

Huck is scheduled for surgery tomorrow morning . . . paws crossed his pathology report will come back with a low chance of recurrence.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Poor Puppy

We just celebrated Huck's third birthday last week, haven't gotten around to posting pictures yet. But Saturday my uncle found a lump under Huck's neck. The Gent took him to the vet today and it is a malignant tumor on his lymph node. He needs to have surgery right away. Hopefully the vet will be able to get good margins on it and the pathology report will come back with a low chance of recurrence. I am waiting on callbacks from two vets I trust before we schedule the surgery. We are still new in town and I'm not completely comfortable with our vet here. Please be praying for our Huckleberry . . .

Friday, March 4, 2011

One Week Old

Day 0
welcome to the world
Welcome to the world, Annie! We are so glad to finally meet you.

Day 1
Mama 1
Recovering during our stay at the hospital. After losing so much blood the 48 hour stay ended up being a good thing.

Day 2
home sweet home
Home sweet home!

meeting the dogs
Zeke, Nick, and Huck love the baby. Zeke is especially protective, he thinks Annie is his little sheep.

Day 3
Honey and sunshine
Soaking up a little sunshine with Honey.

Day 4
First visit to the pediatrician.

Day 5
Napping in the cradle Papaw made for me when I was a baby.

Day 6
lactation consultant
Meeting with the lactation consultant.

Zeke standing guard over tummy time.

First sponge bath - Annie really enjoyed it.

Day 7
Meeting Granny

Meeting Rene' and Mike

Hospital Visitors

Annie is doing wonderfully. I'll have more pics of her first week tomorrow. Here are some favorites from our time at the hospital.

Honey, Papa Rick, and Bebe




Mama Rita
Mama Rita

Aunt Tessie

LDR nurse
Nurse Summer

Dr. P
Dr. Phillips

Sweet friends from church

Pastor Keith


She's mine!

Well, ours. :)
family 1