Thursday, January 31, 2008

I get around


At the risk of sounding a bit too much like a Beach Boy song, I really do love my car. It is so much better than the four walls of my house. Today was the first day I was able to drive myself around town to get things done. It was also the first time I drove the car with Oliver in the back. I have to say, I love me the baby mirror so I can see his cute face at all times.

Oliver is such a good baby, I took him all over town today. First, he visited his place of future employ, Triand. He had ribs by proxy, they were yummy. Then, on to the shops! When you are two weeks old, there is nothing you like better than picking out gifts for your future friends. That is correct, we had three (soon to be four) baby showers to buy presents for. He was so good all day and he only when he was changed, but I blame the loud mouth at the changing table next to us for starting it. Since he was so good, he got a present too, some bottles so that his Great Aunt Vicki and Grandma can feed him when they are here. I hope it works, he hated the bottle last time we tried it...

My new mission: to take video of Oliver making cute baby noises in his sleep. Unfortunately, he stops whenever we start the camera. He is quite vocal when he thinks no one is listening, passive aggressive is what I call it. No son of mine!! As you can tell from the picture, Oliver also doesn't like being photographed while eating. What?! Like you would!?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Well, baby


Yesterday Oliver had his well check. We saw a doctor we don't usually see, and I loved her, so thorough and she (gasp!) smiled! Oliver has gained all his birth weight back, plus two ounces which isn't even supposed to happen until two to three weeks after birth! Thank you boob juice. I guess those 54 feedings per day is doing something after all. He has a clogged tear duct which makes his eye all goopy and icky, but not much we can do about that save keeping it clean. His head is round and perfect as every other part of him. His jaundice is clearing up and the doctor said the breastmilk will knock it out in no time at all. He does have a white tongue, which some of you have expressed concern over. Let me assure you, it is NOT thrush, it is milk staining from eating so much.

An odd thing did happen yesterday, let me tell you the story from both perspectives.

Oliver: I was laying in my crib, minding my own business, pondering the meaning of life and why it is that these things floating in front of me keep moving away from me just as I start to enjoy them when all of a sudden, a monster crept up behind me and grabbed my hair, pulling it with all his might. Why would he do such a thing!? What did I ever do to him?? Luckily, The Boob came over and rescued me by flinging the monster off of me. Hey, there is that floaty thing again, I wonder if I can get it into my mouth this time...

Alyssa (aka: mommy): Oliver was laying in his crib trying to suck on his hands and dozing on and off when he started screaming and crying, clearly upset. I first blamed the dog since she will NOT leave the baby alone, I thought maybe she had bitten him. As I looked into the crib, I realized, Oliver had seized a handful of his own hair and was pulling as hard as he could. I had to pry the hair out of his hand to get him to let go. It was the cutest thing I have ever seen.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Babywearing


There is a fad hitting the nation. It is called, babywearing. Gone are the days of lugging around a baby carrier, car seat or stroller along with your diaper bag and purse. Now, all you have to do is put on your stylish and comfortable baby sling, drop your baby therein and off you go! A benefit to this lifestyle is that you have use of your arms. While others struggle with their babies and their muscles ache at the end of the day, I am free to shop, gesture, and wave 'em like I just don't care while I cradle my infant. Here is another magical aspect of the sling, the baby falls asleep within minutes of being put into the sling. It crunches them up real good, so they assume someone shoved them back into the womb. Ouch you say? Not if you are a baby! It looks hella uncomfortable to me, but Ollie seems to relish the time he spends in there.

Because of this slinging lifestyle, CT and I were able to take our 9 day old out in public for the first time. Being the godfearing newborn that he is, we went to church. All our friends loved meeting him, and we got several compliments about how beautiful he was. Sigh, one gets bored with the same compliments over and over again. He is adored where ever he goes, is it any wonder...? We lit a candle to thank god for such a blessing and introduced him to the church.

Afterwards, we went on a spree to BabysRUs. CT went a bit overboard as we went in for bottles and left with a bed skirt, car bottle warmer, bottle drying kit, two nursing bras (that don't fit but are already washed), and a gift for someone elses baby shower. Oh, and those bottles we got? Need to be returned since we didn't read the box correctly in the store.

Update on Oliver's jaundice: His last blood test was today! His numbers are finally low enough to not have to feed him formula any more (not that we ever did). We set him in the sun for two days straight and fed him all of 8oz of formula over two days so I really doubt the formula did anything at all.

Coming tomorrow: Doctor visit for checkup. We should find out how much he has gained which I am excited about. I feel responsible for every added ounce and that is a good feeling.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Puppy Love and Tummy Time


Life with a newborn is the most fun being bored that you can have. Its not like they can run, jump or even talk yet, but still CT and I remain fascinated. His ears are cute (he as a darling mole on his left one) his fingers are cute, even his extremely loud farts are cute. Well, more hilarious than cute. He makes all of these faces that we create dialog to along with, sometimes with an English accent because babies with accents are better than plain old American babies. Sometimes we just stare at him for an hour. I am still amazed that I MADE him. I couldn't even refinish that rocking chair we finally had to give away on craigslist. Also, thank god for digital cameras because we would be part owners in Kodak by now. I can't wait until I can sit down some of my childless friends and bore them to tears with picture after picture of us trying to catch Oliver having his "gas smiles".

The dog and Oliver get along swimmingly. If anything, she loves him a bit too much. I think that she believes he is her puppy whom she has the sole responsibility of cleaning. On the downside, the baby sometimes gets a sloppy dog kiss up the side of the head when we aren't looking. On the upside, we always know when he needs to be changed cause the dog won't leave him alone. I can't wait until Ollie is old enough to run around with Dante. Every boy needs a dog and every dog needs a boy I say!

Today the sun came out for the first time since the baby was born. We immediately stripped the baby down to his skivvies and plunked him down in a sunbeam. The problem became keeping him in ever changing sunbeams. We have moved the cradle three times so far just to keep him in prime jaundice killing sunshine. CT suggested us hooking up a sled to the cat who can ALWAYS find the best sun and having her pull Ollie around the house from sunspot to sunspot. We just couldn't find a tiny sled so that idea was right out.

Our child is the most intelligent baby. He flipped over on his back during tummy time today. I guess if you hate something enough you figure out a way! He also scoots to be nearer to us when we put him on his tummy. Crawling at 7 days, is anyone surprised?!

Today is Auntie Britt's and Uncle Ryan's birthdays! It is hard to only be able to be around one side of Ollie's family, I wish we had everyone within a few miles of us. Luckily, CT's family will be visiting often. HAHA they are addicted to the bebe!!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Boob: Its what's for dinner


Warning: This blog contains the words boob, breast, nipple and sex. If these topics make you uncomfortable please spare yourself some red cheeks and pass by this blog. This goes double for you Grandpa!!

So the nurses at the lab know Oliver by name now. Still can't put the baby in the sun as it has not been out since the child was in utero. The nurses said that they are having TONS of jaundiced babies because of the weather so that makes me feel better. The doctor called last night at 10:30pm to tell me to use formula through the night and pump instead of breastfeeding. Easier said than done as we had no bottles or formula in the house. Then, we were to come into the lab and get a FOURTH blood test. I know one thing after last night, formula feeding SUCKS. However, last night we had a breakthrough. It was the roughest night yet, but luckily it was a blessing in disguise.

My baby will not sleep without the boob, that became obvious quickly. So for the night and after much crying (baby and mommy both) we compromised. We fed him an ounce of formula (WHAT A PAIN!) and then I nursed him on my 'good' side for about 5 minutes so he could sleep. My right side was leaking so much that Ollie couldn't latch correctly and was hurting me so much it ended up bleeding and I couldn't get it dry enough to heal. After feeding him the formula and nursing him to sleep, I pumped both breasts to relieve the pressure. In doing this throughout the night I figured out something...I was engorged which is why I was spraying everywhere and he couldn't latch. DUR why didn't I think of that!?

So now, no leaking (whereas I was filling a pad in about an hour before) my bleeding has stopped and the crack is healing due to breast milk (which can actually heal cuts!) and lanolin. So there we be, now all we need is that silly billiblanket to heal his jaundice and we will be in business. The doctor is ordering it today if his numbers don't go down.

Let me tell you, the night was AWFUL. To have the person you love most in the world crying because you won't give him the thing he needs the most, it will break your heart. If there was any doubt in my mind about breastfeeding it was dispelled with last night. I don't know how women think formula is easier...my boob doesn't need cleaning or mixing or warming up (except before sex but that is totally another blog.)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Splish Splash


Yesterday was another red letter day! As the baby was starting to smell like old cheese, I decided it was time for a bath. CT made me wait for him since "I didn't know how to do it." Apparently watching a nurse for 5 minutes made him some kind of an expert. Of course, Oliver hated every minute of it, well except the hair rinsing, he loved that (as seen in photo). I can't imagine that a bath in a sink in the middle of winter can be all that comfortable. We were almost done with the bath when the cat decided to come see what was going on and the baby decided to play water guns with the cat. Thats right, our baby peed on our cat. Definitely something I will be bringing up to his prom date.

Also in the news yesterday, the baby blues are upon us. Yesterday I fought with CT about...soup. Thats right, he didn't want to eat the chicken soup I was eating which obviously could only mean one thing. He didn't love me any more. I am convinced that our kid is deaf because no one but him could sleep through my screaming and banging around about why CT is avoiding me. Hint: Avoiding me is what I was calling him doing laundry and cleaning instead of hanging out with me doing nothing. Sigh, why does anyone put up with my particular brand of crazy!?

Today is the day of the follow up test, very nervous! His eye whites seem whiter, not so yellow stained so it gives me hope. Then, he is going to his very first family dinner at my mama and gramp's house! They call him 'The Great' since he is the great-grandson, which I love.

In other news, a friend of mine just got some horrible news. They just found out that her brother's baby (19 weeks along in pregnancy) has no upper brain. This means that the heart beats but if born, the baby will die within minutes of birth. They have decided to carry through with the pregnancy for those short minutes. I can not imagine going through all those 9 months for a small chance of holding your baby (who would be deaf and blind) for a few minutes for it to die in your arms. I can not imagine having to make that kind of decision, and while I couldn't wait for the baby to come out, I can imagine she will treasure every moment of her pregnancy, those aches would be a blessing. I look at my perfect baby boy and I am so grateful for every minute he cries because I know he is breathing, every moment my breasts ache because it means he is eating. It puts all of my aches and pains in perspective, my heart goes out to them.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Poop poop everywhere!


How can something so disgusting come from something so cute!? The problem is, he doesn't cry when he is wet or dirty so I have to guess at the timing of said mess. The problem with this is, he may not be done when I go to change him. This was the case today when I changed him because his diaper leaked onto his clothing. I got him good and naked and KAPOW! Flood gates were opened, FEMA was called, Bush went on vacation. We are talking natural disaster type destruction here. And you know what he did?! He laughed. Well, okay he didn't actually laugh, but I knew he was laughing at me on the inside. Once I cleaned off the ceiling and started another load of laundry, he was ready to eat again. Ah, the circle of life (sing it, its funnier).

Today was a weepy day for me. Not that anyone reads this thing to find out about me. I watched Patch Adams, cried. Watched The Notebook, cried. Why not watch a comedy you say!? Have YOU ever tried watching something funny while breastfeeding? Not a good idea to laugh when something is attached to your nipple I can tell you. Also, I miss my husband so much. I know, he comes home early, and he is so helpful because after working all day he helps around the house and takes the baby off my hands. But I don't think I have spent one minute talking with just him and I am beginning to really miss him.

Oliver's doctor called this morning and told me that he has a jaundice level of 14. They don't start to worry until it is above 20 but they want to make sure it is going down instead of up, so they want us back for another blood test tomorrow afternoon. I am going to start getting ready now so that I can maybe be on time.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

First Doctors Visit


Oliver had his very first doctors appointment today. Nothing major, just a newborn follow-up. We got there a little late, but luckily we sat in the waiting room (that does not have a well baby area) for only a few short minutes before the nurse ushered us into a private room to wait. It being cold and flu season and all, she didn't want us waiting in the waiting room. The good news is that he has gained an ounce from the last time he was weighed at the hospital. But the bad news is, well, my fears were confirmed by the doctor as soon as he walked in the room. Oliver is jaundiced, but it isn't severe! No wonder he had such amazing coloring, it wasn't his parent's genes, it was his immature liver. The doctor was very supportive and assured me that there would be no need to stop breastfeeding until we know more but that the jaundice didn't look bad at all.

For all of you who don't know what jaundice is, it is the liver's inability to metabolize red blood cells so they gather under the skin making it look yellow. It happens in half of all infants, and lasts a bit longer and may be a little more severe in breastfed babies. Because of this, some doctors will force the mother to ween the baby for 48 hours, destroying the chances of breastfeeding successfully. Luckily, it can be handled through light therapy as well so hopefully we can work this out that way instead.

So because of all this, Oliver had to get his blood drawn and tested. I fed him right before we went into the lab so he would still be drunk and passed out from the food. Of course, it was hard getting through all the admirers who commented on how beautiful he is and how amazing his skin color is...hahaha, little do they know... They made me put a little warmer on his heel for a few minutes (see picture). I walked back there expecting it to be horrible and me to feel like a bad mom for making him be in pain. The moment comes and I kid you not, he. doesn't. even. wake. up.

I am telling you, even though my nipples are bleeding, my stitches make me walk funny and I can't really function without motrin, I am the luckiest mom out there. He makes my life so much fuller and I couldn't be prouder of the baby I helped create. He makes my job look easy.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Feed the world


I woke up this morning with one thought, where are the other four children I am supposed to be feeding? Yes, that is right, my milk is in! With a vengeance. There is no possible way that one seven pound baby can eat this much and not explode. Right now he prefers the right to the left, I think it is just easier for him as the milk is always right there, he has to work a bit harder on the right one. CT is getting jealous of nursing. He has asked me to try pumping so that he can give a bottle a few times a day, bonding time for the men you know. I think he is out getting bottles as we speak. Well, bottles and a tool box, man those Sears guys are gonna be confused...

We hit a milestone last night! Oliver got the hiccups for the first time since he has been born. CT thought it was the most brilliant thing he had ever seen. Yes, we have video and yes, it will be posted here. I am so excited about spending my days with this little man, and I don't blame CT at all for being sad about going to work tomorrow. He is the sweetest baby so far and slept 8 hours last night. I only had to get up at 1am, 4am and 8am to feed him. I was actually up more than him because I was trying to figure out why he wasn't crying more often. Convinced he was sick, I kept waking up to make sure he wasn't feverish.

Dante (the family dog) is an over concerned protector and if I thought it was annoying that she barked at every passerby before, it has got even worse. Every time Oliver fusses, Dante is right there waiting for us to come get the baby and take care of him. I am glad that they are getting along. Of course, Oliver is so chill it would take a lot to rattle him. He definitely gets that from his daddy since apparently I cried for the first 18 years of my life according to my mom. I have yet to start sleeping through the night.

Oliver goes in to see the doctor tomorrow. I will definitely post on that tomorrow. His first outing!! My mom will be helping me as I am not to drive for the next two weeks. I have the most amazing friends and family, they have been visiting, bringing meals and helping us more than I could ask for. This baby is nothing if not loved. video

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Oliver's Coming Out Story


Okay, we are finally home and resting. Daddy and baby are watching football right now.

I noticed Thursday evening that I wasn't feeling him move at all and so I told CT who rushed home so we could get checked out at L&D. They sent us home saying that he was running out of room, I wasn't in labor etc, so don't worry about it. I was disappointed but glad we went. My mom and dad took us out for mexican food to console us. We went home and I tried (key word try) to get comfortable but I was having contractions (Braxton Hicks I thought) every ten minutes and I even quit watching Nip/Tuck to take a bath which usually stops them but not this time. We went to bed around 11pm and I tossed and turned because Oliver was really being active. Then, at 1am, I heard a POP and it wasn't my hip this time. I was like, uh oh and ran to the bathroom.

I felt something drop out when I was peeing so in order to see I turned on the light. At this time, I realized, water was running down my legs. I yell to CT that my water broke and by the time I put a pad in my undies, he is completely dressed, shoes on and grabbing the bag. Previous to this announcement, he had been in a dead sleep. I went downstairs at this point to email a few people the news. Then, my water REALLY broke almost soaking the sofa. My labor plan was to labor at home for as long as possible, but since my contractions were already 3 minutes apart, this was not a possibility any longer.

The LandD room was AWESOME and they let my mother, sister and CT labor with me exclusively. We got some great nurses who were all for the natural route. It was just like laboring at home. I had my yoga ball and my relaxation breathing and everything. I labored for 9 hours using the techniques. However, at 7cm, I decided I could not push without an epidural and I was right. However, I had to wait an HOUR for them to pump me full of liquids before the epi could be administered. FINALLY I got the epi and it was adjusted correctly. However, now, I was needing to push. So as soon as I got the epi, they checked me and I was at 10 cm and almost crowning.

I pushed for 1 hour all the while hearing from the nurses standing around that he would never fit out of my tiny lady parts (I cracked a joke in between pushes that this USED to be a good thing). They were right, again, as I required a 2nd degree episiotomy to get the kid out. But once that was done, one push and slip slide he was here and on my chest immediately. He was disgusting (we have video that proves those are my first words to my son) but mine! He scored 8/9 apgars and took to the breast right away.

My milk is already in and I am just waiting for him to get difficult. He sleeps most of the time and hardly ever fusses unless he is naked or hungry. Don't we all? Hopefully he will always be this good... video