Monday, February 25, 2013

Crying...It's not Just for Babies

Well, here I am with everything I have ever wanted! I am so blessed. God has given me the answer to my prayers. I am quite possibly the luckiest girl in the world. So why am I about to lose my mind...

(Here is the part where you start judging me...but at least you know I'm honest.)

I am so glad that God heard my prayers and gave me this blessing! I guess I just forgot about all of the trials that come along with bringing a new baby into this world.

In my mind things were going to go much smoother than they have so far. I was supposed to come home from the hospital, put my baby on my breast and nurse him until he gave a beautiful satisfactory burp, then cuddle him for hours each day until he was blissfully exhausted and fell fast asleep in his bassinet. I pictured my whole family laying in my bed every evening all cooing and laughing together while Liam stares at us with smiling amazement. I also pictured myself shrinking to a size six...needless to say none of this has happened.

Instead, we spend much of our day trying to figure out why the baby is crying, trying to make him stop crying, and then trying to get him to go to sleep if nothing else works. At virtually every moment of the day someone in this house is crying - a lot of times that someone is me.

It never occurred to me that I may have a 'cryer'. Or worse, a colicky baby. We have not gone as far as to diagnose him with colic yet - but we are heading down that path.

It seems that this child has not yet made peace with his new world. If he is not eating or sleeping he is usually crying. I, as his mother, should be able to make him stop...right? I should be able to provide him with the comfort that he needs to feel secure in this world...right? Well, it hasn't happened yet. Even when I hold him he is often kicking and screaming as if to say "you are the worst mother ever!" I know that this is not the case, but at times it sure seems that way. I think the only thing that could make this child happy would be shoving him back up into my uterus for a few more months (man, I wish I was a kangaroo!).  Obviously, that can't we try everything else.

Here is the thing, I don't care if he cries. I mean I care, but I know babies cry. It does not bother me if he needs to blow off steam. But his crying "episodes" are more like fits of screaming rage. He seems so angry - yet he's so tiny...what could he possibly be so pissed about? It just breaks my heart to see him so unhappy and to know that I can't fix it.

We have tried all of the 'colic cures' out there...and I'm not saying that they won't work. I am still hoping that we will have a breakthrough soon! I am also praying and believing (I have had success with that so far!) that God will bring my sweet boy happiness and contentment. But, until then I am just trying not to lose my mind...and crying on occasion.

He might be a cryer...but he's a cute cryer!!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

One Month Secrets

Our baby boy is one month old today. Is that all??? Really?? I'm kidding...sort of...

There are days when it seems like it is going by so fast and there are days when I can't believe it has only been four weeks. Today is one of those fast days...

In celebration of my survival of this last month I will share some of the Secrets of being a NEW MOM after fertility...

The truth that most moms won't tell you...

1) Even though you prayed for this day, even though you cried over so many disappointments in the process of getting here, there will be a day (probably more like a 3:30 am) when you think to yourself..."what was I thinking????"  you won't mean it; it will happen out of desperation and sleep deprivation...but it will happen. It is normal! You are not a bad mom for thinking this, we all do it. The ones who say they don't are liars! Seriously, liars!

2) You will love your baby from day one, but it may take awhile to fall in love with him. It will happen though...promise!

3) There may even come a time when you think "my baby hates me" - this usually happens (again at 3:30 am) after you have tried everything to make him happy, you have promised him the world, you have begged, and prayed...yet he still screams. He does not hate you, he just has no freakin clue what he is doing or where he is. He is supposed to be swimming peacefully in is own urine - learn the 5 S's (Happiest Baby on the Block). Swaddle, Shhhhhhhh, and Swing your butt off and he will calm down. It's like baby voodoo magic!

4) Having a baby is HARD. Seriously, it's like the hardest thing you will ever do. (The moms who say it is easy are again, Liars...seriously...Liars!

5) You will need a White Noise machine!!!!!! Just trust me on this! Register for one, buy one, download an app, or buy a CD - it will be worth it!

6) Babies cry. Accept it from the beginning and things will go much better!

7) It is ok if your baby sleeps in a swing, bouncy seat, car seat - who the heck cares as long as he sleeps!!!!!!
Nothing wrong with this!

Or this!

But - this might be questionable!

8) Take a shower everyday! Even if it means letting your baby cry for 8 minutes in his crib or bouncy or swing. You will feel better, no matter how little sleep you got the night before, after a hot shower.

9) You will at some point come in contact with poop. It will happen. Accept it now...just wash your hands really well after.

10) If you have a boy...never, I repeat, never leave his junk uncovered! While diapering - have a towel or the clean diaper ready before uncovering!!!! Trust me! No matter how fast you think you are...cover that thing!

11) If you are leaving the house for the day...pack an extra shirt - for yourself!! Always!

12) You can't spoil your baby in the first 3 months of life! Not possible!

13) Accept the fact that your plans will most likely change! Like, every day!

14) Learn to swaddle like a BOSS! And then teach everyone who will care for your baby how to also!!!!!
My awesome Swaddle!

15) Breastfeeding is hard! You might not even like it. It is best for your baby, but there are no prizes given out to breastfeeding mothers over bottle feeding mothers. Do what is best for you and your situation...and don't let anyone make you question your decision! It's none of their business!

16) Always go gender neutral for big baby items (stroller, car seat, swing, etc...). In two years when you have another baby of a different gender you aren't going to want to re-buy (or ask others to re-buy via a registry) the same things. Practical over pretty!

17) You will at some point cry. Happy tears. Scared to death tears. Tears of frustration. Tears of exhaustion. They will all come st some point.

18) Every baby is a miracle. No matter how they came to be, they are a gift from God! A gift that will fill your heart with joy and at times your eyes with tears, but they are worth it!

19) You will most likely think you are screwing your baby up on a daily're not (most likely). The part where you screw him up (and send him to therapy) won't happen until much later!

20) The newborn stage is hard...but it does not last long. So enjoy it...and then open a bottle of champagne when it is over (that's what I'm going to do!)!!!!!!!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Exhibit ????

Just to let you know...

I had to go back to the doctor yesterday, my incision is infected and not healing like it should after all. So, more proof that my body sucks!

Luckily (sarcasm much), I'm already on an antibiotic for my boob infection so it should cover the newest addition too.

I just want to heal and feel normal!!! I will happen...eventually.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Body of Proof

Over these last 16 days I have realized just how much my body has failed me. I am literally falling apart - let me explain...

Well, first there's my whole rebelling uterus. The c-section that went terrible wrong. (Exhibit A.)

Then, Four days after Liam was born we went to the Pediatrician's office, it started out as a typical appointment. He just wanted to check his jaundice and weight. We were shocked to find that Liam had lost a pound in four days. I was nursing every 3 hours around the clock, but I had a feeling my milk was not coming in as it should. My breast never felt full or heavy. So, the doctor told us we needed to supplement with formula - just for a couple of days or weeks until my milk was more established. So, we went home and I started pumping in between feedings and offering the bottle after the breast. In a matter of just a few hours Liam became very lethargic. He eventually lost interest in eating completely. He would not latch on to my breast and would not take the bottle either. By evening, it was evident we had a problem. This child who had already lost too much weight had only eaten and ounce (if that) all day. So, we called the doctor. Of course, in the midst of trying to explain to the nurse what was going on I broke down in tears - sobbing really. She couldn't understand what I was saying and I couldn't stop crying. The doctor eventually got on the phone and told us to take the baby to  the Children's Hospital to be evaluated. So we did. (Exhibit B.)

As soon as we arrived at the hospital they took us back to the ER. After a quick observation of the listless baby and some very low blood sugar numbers they admitted Liam for neo-natal dehydration. We spent the next two days in the hospital. Even though I knew that this was all caused by my lousy milk supply, the doctors still wanted to do a complete Sepsis work up to rule out any infection. This is standard protocol for a newborn with these symptoms. They ran a gamut of horrible tests while my husband and I stood in the hallway and cried. It was horrible. The whole time this was going on I was in pain from my incision and my feet were about four times their size. My body had collected a lot of fluid during the delivery and had not been able to expel it yet. I was miserably uncomfortable -barely able to walk. And I knew that it was because of me and my failing body that my baby was being poked and prodded and screaming his head off. (Exhibit C)

Our stay in the hospital was horrible to say the least. The hospital staff were WONDERFUL, they took great care of us and our baby! It just was not how we wanted to spend our first few days with our newborn. The hospital room was equipped with a crib for Liam and a day bed for a parent - problem was...I couldn't lay down because of my incision pain. I was till having trouble getting in and out of chairs. So, I spent the first night sitting in a hard plastic rocking chair - with absolutely no sleep. Early the next morning the nurse came in and asked if we needed anything - and that was it...I lost it. I realize now it was a combination of stress, lack of sleep, hormones, and pain, but that poor nurse -  I am sure she regretted coming in to that room. I couldn't stop crying - the kind of cry where you can't catch your breath. I had hit rock bottom and I knew it. (Exhibit D)
Our sweet boy at Wolfson's Children's Hospital.

Later that day, the sweet nurse had worked out a way for them to bring in a hospital bed for me to sleep in. Praise the Lord for her! It was that afternoon that I finally got some sleep maybe 90 minutes or so, but it was 90 minutes more than I had had in the last 5 days.

Most of our stay spent in the hospital was focused on increasing my milk supply. The hospital provided a breast pump for me and formula to supplement. I was nursing one hour and then pumping the next. It seemed like every hour something was attached to my boob. Even with that I still wasn't making enough milk. Gawh! (Exhibit E)

We were finally released on Sunday (we went in on Friday) after all of Liam's tests came back with good results, his sugar had leveled out, and his sodium and potassium levels were normal. On the way home from the hospital I thought - we are finally going to get back to normal...or not.

We were home for for about 12 hours before I noticed that my incision looked funny. It was bleeding a little and I knew it shouldn't be. I called the doctor - and they told me to come in. The doctor examined the incision and said it looked ok - but I had overdone it and needed to take it easy (easier said then done!). He told me if I wasn't careful I would most likely develop an infection. Of course I would! (Exhibit F)

It has now been about a week and things have seemed to settle down - or so I thought. I woke up yesterday and did not feel well. I have been taking Advill almost everyday because my abdominal area is still very sore. But, this felt different. I felt achy all over (especially in my boobs) and had chills all day. I finally decided to take my temperature and sure enough I had a fever! I called the doctor (again) and after explaining my symptoms she was pretty certain that I had Mastitis (an infection in the milk duct). Of course I do. (Exhibit G)

So there you have it - proof that my body is a complete failure. From my hostile uterus to my stingy boobs - I've had it!

Although, on a good note I have lost ALL of the weight that I gained during this pregnancy. So I guess there's always that!