Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Cloth Diaper Resources

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 I am very passionate about cloth diapering and as a matter of fact, it has become a hobby of mine! Haha! Anyways, I figured I would share some of my favorite cloth diaper resources for those that are considering cloth diapering or would just like more information about them. I'll share some links and documentation that I've pulled from various websites.

  • Cloth Diaper Finder - this is literally a master cloth diaper finder. You can search by all different fields to see what your options are with each kind of diaper. You can search by price range, company, sizing, diaper type, closure type, outer material, country of origin, manufacturer type, and a few other options. Once you search, you can get details, where to purchase it, and reviews on the diaper. Note - not ALL diapers on here, but pretty much all of the well known brands are on here
  • Cloth Diaper Resource Mother Lode - "Here you’ll find everything from what types of diapers there are (and what ones might work for you) to how to use them, wash them and troubleshoot!" - literally everything you ever wanted to know about cloth diapers is here. Different topics include: Cloth Diaper Washing & Troubleshooting, General Cloth Diapering Questions, Additional Resources by Other Great Cloth Diapering Bloggers
  • Printable Guide to Cloth Diapering - "The sheet covers environmental facts, health facts, explanations of the different types of diapers, how to wash (our detergent recipe too!), what’s needed and a whole lot more." - A basic "How-To" for cloth diapering
  • The Cloth Diaper Whisperer - This is a go to site for many cloth diaper mama's! You can find an answer to just about everything on here relating to cloth diapers! 
  • Dirty Diaper Laundry - Love this website! Tons and tons of different videos on cloth diapering! Her videos are awesome! She also has great articles and pictures to accompany any questions one might have!
Places to shop and/or learn more about cloth diapers:
  • Abby's Lane - They're a small company that sells many different brands of cloth diapers. They offer free shipping (yay!) and you earn 8% back in reward points on everything you purchase!
  • Kelly's Closet - Another small company that sells many different brands of cloth diapers. I've ordered from them many times! They offer free shipping over $49 all the time, and many diapers they have coupons where you spend $X and earn a free diaper! They also have a reward system where you earn points on everything you purchase.
    • Cloth-101 - Their version of everything you need to know about cloth diapers
  • Jillian's Drawers - Another small company that sells many different brands of cloth diapers. They seem to be known for "trying" a bunch of diapers for $10 or rentals. They also have rentals of carriers (yay!). They offer free shipping over $99 & 10% in rewards on everything you purchase.
    • New to Cloth - This is a great resource. It breaks it down why cloth diapers are so great. This is actually what I used to present why we should use cloth diapers to Casey! This is what got him on board initially! 
  • Chelory - These are my FAVORITE diapers (I'll talk about this in another post!). But this is a WAHM (Work-At-Home-Mom) owned business! Which I LOVE to support! She always has free shipping and you earn reward points as you buy. For every $2.50 you spend, you earn a point that is worth $0.25. So essentially 10%. 
  • Green Mountain Diapers - Another small company that sells many different brands as well as their own brand. They have free shipping over $75 and only $4.95 shipping up to $75. 
  • Fresh & Fluffy - Another small company that sells many different brands and has a store in Hamburg, NY (yay!). Stephanie is awesome and is very knowledgeable! She offers special packages, cloth diaper classes, has a layaway and even now has used diapers for sale. You can order online and pickup in store which is awesome! She does have a reward system, but I'm not sure how much it is! 
    • Tips - Lots of cloth diapering tips here

Check back to this post, because I'm sure I'll update it as I find new sources (or sources I may have forgotten) and places to buy the diapers. I also highly recommend signing up for their email newsletters as they're always loaded with great information and you may even learn about a special promotion or sale!! :-)

I also highly recommend purchasing the book, "Changing Diapers" by Kelly Wels - it's a great simple, layman's terms guide to cloth diaper. Big writing, short book, sweet and to the point! Click below to purchase!

Please feel free to message me with any questions and if you have any favorite resources that you think I should include, let me know!! 

Monday, November 4, 2013

6 Month Photo shoot!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Things I Never Knew About Breastfeeding

Things I Never Knew About Breastfeeding

This list is compiled of a lot of personal experiences as well as experiences that other Mama’s have encountered. Thank you to all the May mama’s that helped me with this list! :-)

  1. Breast milk is really sticky!! – Keep some hand sanitizer close by.
  2. Have a breast feeding station! I had many around my house. I'd make sure there was a burp cloth, lanolin and chap stick! And hopefully his binky & water for me. Sometimes you're there for awhile! 
  3. When your milk comes in, your boobs feel like giant boulders and you swear that you’ve stolen some porn star’s boobs. But, not everyone's milk comes in flowing and bursting at the seams. It varies from woman to woman. Sometimes it takes longer for the milk to come in than for other women, this doesn’t mean you won’t be able to breastfeed.
  4. If you have a real undersupply, there are options for you! You can use a supplemental nursing system (SNS) and/or use donor milk. There are tons of women out there that donate their milk to babies who need it. Formula is not your only option. Seek out help from a lactation consultant for options!
  5. You leak more if your nipple is not covered – that’s why the Milkies Milksaver worked so great for me. I was able to freeze tons of milk just from my letdown from the boob he wasn’t currently feeding on!
  6. Breastfeeding does hurt in the beginning, you're not used to having something clamped onto your breasts, it gets better, a warm compress before a feeding will help with soreness. As will taking a warm shower and letting the water run down your breasts. Engorgement does hurt, hand expressing a little helps with that too.
  7. At the beginning, breast feeding is very messy. I kept baby washcloths under my boobs at all times while nursing otherwise milk would be everywhere.
  8. Breast milk stains clothing.
  9. You have lots of tiny little holes in your nipples, milk comes out from all of them, not just 1 hole.
  10. Your nipples will be hard A LOT!
  11. You will randomly let down, especially the first couple of months!! The worst would be getting a chill and all of a sudden feeling a let down. Or once I came home from work and just looked at Hank and had an immediate let down. Some people never feel a letdown, some people it comes on really strong!
  12. In the beginning, your uterus will contract while breastfeeding, this hurts! Feels like period cramps!
  13. Skip the nursing bras and just wear nursing tanks. They’ll hold the boobies in and only 1 clip to unclip. I only wear a nursing bra when wearing a dress or something that I can’t wear the tank under. My favorite tanks are from Motherhood Maternity. Even if you want to do the nursing bras, they are a million times easier than just using a regular bra or a sports bra. They are worth the money!!
  14. As long as your baby has wet diapers, then you are making enough milk! At about 6 weeks for me, I didn’t feel as full (engorged) and this was concerning for me and Hank wasn’t happy after eating. He had plenty of wet diapers and was going through a growth spurt and had colic so he just wasn’t happy, but he was full!
  15. Most women only pump a few ounces every couple hours. If you’re pumping less than what baby is eating while you’re gone, you are part of the norm! Many times an extra pumping session needs to be added in the morning or at night. A pump just isn’t nearly as efficient as the baby. This article helped me learn a lot about pumping!
  16. You must always pump when baby eats a bottle to keep supply up! Want hubby to give baby a bottle? Make sure you pump!
  17. It’s NOT normal to have cracked and bleeding nipples! Seek help immediately if this happens! Hank had a bad latch which was causing this. He was sucking his lower lip in. He had a great latch in the hospital, then as soon as my milk came in, his latch changed. I’m so thankful every day that I called up Brooks Hospital and talked to a nurse there. She had me come right down! and gave me Medela TheraShells so my nips could breath and showed me how to make sure Hank latched on correctly. See a lactation consultant right away when something doesn't seem right. It can save you from a lot of pain due to poor latch, oversupply problems, mastitis, etc. Luckily I was dead set on breast feeding or I could have possibly given up. I don't blame some women who give up because it truly can be a very challenging time when you have so much to consider already after just having a baby! Just remember that it's worth it and it gets easier!
  18. Nipple shields are not meant to be a permanent solution to sore nipples. Many women unfortunately use them to try to help in the beginning then baby has a hard time latching on after that. A lactation consultant can help you here.
  19. Breast milk is nature’s own lanolin, squeeze a little on your nipples to help with soreness and let those babies air dry!
  20. You can get milk blisters on your nipples! Oww!
  21. Clogged ducts are very common and can make your breasts sore but the best thing to do is to just keep nursing/pumping! Warm compresses and breast compresses help here too.
  22. Babies eat ALL.THE.TIME! Especially in the beginning, you will feel like you're nursing 24 hours a day. Hank would eat on cue every 2 hours. That’s every 2 hours from beginning of feed to beginning of feed. So some days, I would only have 1 hour in between feeding to do something else. Sometimes, it would even be less than every 2 hours!
  23. Babies get more efficient nursing the older they get. At only 5 months old, Hank can get a full nurse in on both sides in 15 minutes or less.
  24. Your nipples can squirt milk really far!! Like I’m talking across the room far!!
  25. You will likely spray your baby in the face many times!
  26. Side lying nursing rocks!! Especially once baby can support their own head!
  27. Your baby might like one position one day, and then prefer something totally different the next day.
  28. Your baby may prefer one boob over another.
  29. It’s very common to have a dominant boob. I’m right boobed – she’s my superstar! Lol
  30. Your baby may boycott one of your breasts. I had to pump my right boob for a day because he refused to latch on that side, that was when he was only 4 days old.
  31. After your milk comes in, it can be harder at first to get your baby to latch on because they aren't used to the hard, full milk boobs. It would take me 30 minutes some days to get him to latch on in the beginning, talk about frustrating!
  32. Your baby might get frustrated with you after having a bottle, because babies actually have to work at nursing. This will pass. Just keep nursing.
  33. You don’t hear about oversupply as much as undersupply but it’s very common. Especially in the beginning when your body doesn’t know how much milk to make. Keep nursing baby and they will tell your body how much milk they need. People always worry about not having enough milk when in fact very few people actually don't make enough. People generally worry about that and it never even occurs to them that oversupply can be a real problem, too. It can be very overwhelming and painful. And if you want to relieve the engorgement by pumping, you're just telling your body to keeping making that much milk. It's hard not knowing what to do.
  34. Babies tend to eat more during growth spurts!! They’re just upping your supply!! This doesn’t mean they aren’t getting enough which is a common misconception when you feel like all they want to do is eat!
  35. Cluster feeding is VERY common, especially before bed time!
  36. Babies don’t need formula or cereal to sleep through the night! A breastfed baby can very well sleep through the night.
  37. Pumping sucks!! Haha!! But, it’s so worth it knowing your baby is getting the best! Pumping hands free is so much easier than hold the bottles on the pump; buy a hands free bra or buy a sports bra and cut holes in it to stick the flanges in. Kudos to the mama's out there that exclusively pump!!
  38. Most insurances cover breast pumps for free, make sure to call them about this!
  39. You can work full time and still give your baby only breast milk, it just takes time and determination
  40. Baby’s have teeny, tiny stomachs!! This picture below always confirmed to me that baby was definitely getting enough and didn’t need any supplementation.
  41. No one can “make you” use formula. If you don’t want your baby on formula (at hospital for example) then don’t use it, they cannot “make you” use it! Many hospitals push formula for whatever reason, you do not have to give in to them. It is your child, you call the shots. PS I highly recommend Women and Children’s Hospital in Buffalo, they are very pro-breastfeeding with awesome lactation consultants!
  42. Breast milk is good for diaper rashes, eye crusties, baby acne, you name it!
  43. It changes flavor slightly according to what you eat so eat a varied diet. Breastfed babies are likely to be less picky because of this.
  44. Your immunities pass to your baby so nurse even if you are sick. Oh and breastfed babies are less likely to get sick as well!
  45. It is normal for a breastfed baby to not poop for multiple days. For a few months, Hank pooped on average of once every 9 days!! Some breastfed babies do poop a lot though. Every baby processes their milk differently.
  46. Your boobs feel empty a lot once you milk regulates, they’re really not. Still freaks me out some days though!
  47. Your nipples will be SORE for quite a while once you start breastfeeding. And can randomly become sore even after months of breastfeeding.
  48. Don't compare anything as far as amount baby eats to a formula fed baby. Here is a great article about how much breastfed babies should eat.
  49. That first night baby sleeps well? Get ready for sore boobs in the morning! That first pump/feed is like using the bathroom after a long movie! There are times I’ve considered waking Hank because they were so full and sore!!
  50. Your nursing relationship will continue to change, so continue to reach out for help to reach your goals. Whether it is through Facebook, Facebook groups, or a lactation consultant, stay in touch and ask questions!
  51.  I never knew just how rewarding it would feel. To provide everything my baby needs to grow and thrive is simply amazing. It’s really freaking amazing!!
  52. There's a good chance you're going to need breast pads all of the time! And if you leak a lot like I do, the cotton pads simply WILL NOT work for you!! You’ll leak right through them! My favorite breast pads are made by Lansinoh. I can finally wear the Bamboobies now that I'm not leaking as much. I can't stand feeling wet!
  53. You can still nurse when your baby gets teeth!! When they nurse, their tongue covers their bottom teeth, so it’s really uncommon to get a full on bite. Not saying it’s not going to hurt, but they will learn in no time that biting equals no Mommy milk!
  54. Even with plenty of wet /dirty diapers and frozen milk, it doesn't matter the quantity of anything it's the quality of the milk (fat), so eat lots of fats!
  55. Sometimes elimination diets are needed. I had to eliminate basic dairy from my diet for the first 12 weeks or so. It was hard, but it was worth it to not have my baby have an upset tummy!
  56. Before you freeze a ton of milk, thaw it and try it with baby. Just in case of lipase. Freeze in 2-4 oz bags since it must be used with 24 hours of thaw. Definitely don’t want to throw out the milk you’ve worked so hard for!!
  57. You will cry over spilled milk, it’s inevitable!
  58. How important it is to stay hydrated and eat for supply. Your burn a lot of calories nursing, so if you don’t eat enough, you won’t make enough.
  59. Not everyone loses weight from breastfeeding. Even if you do, you will likely hold onto those last few pounds until after baby weans.
  60. I didn't know I would always feel like I'm starving, especially in the beginning. I would almost always need a midnight snack. I still feel like I could eat a cow some days!
  61. Expressed milk will look funny after it cools in the fridge from the fat separating.
  62. Get extra flanges if you’ll be pumping!!
  63. You can keep your flanges in the fridge in between pumping sessions instead of having to wash them after every use.
  64. Some people get really nervous about you nursing! It’s not about them, it’s about you and your baby, you feeding your baby. If you don’t want to use a nursing cover, then don’t!! I used one a total of 1.5 times, it just didn’t work for us! I got too hot, couldn’t see Hank very well and he hated it too! Nursing in a baby carrier is a great way to nurse in public hands free and no one can even tell!!
  65. Some babies grow slower than others, this does not mean you aren’t making enough or they need formula. Some people even have to take their babies in for before/after nursing weight checks.
  66. Babies don't just flip a switch when they turn a certain age and outgrow nursing. It’s not weird to do extended nursing with your baby. You are providing them with the absolute best thing you can give them. They’re still your baby that you’re nursing.
  67. Nursing is not only good for baby, it's good for Mom too as it decreases your chances of breast cancer.
  68. I always thought that everyone nursed their babies, I was very surprised to learn that many women chose to formula feed their babies from the start and not breastfeed at all. Breastfeeding isn’t as common as one would think, but it is becoming more and more common.
  69. The biggest reason women stop breast feeding is because they think they have low supply. Supply is something you will always worry about. A cranky baby does not equal a hungry baby. If you feel like you have low supply, there are many ways you can up your supply. Just keep feeding baby and pumping. Adding in supplements or certain foods will help up your supply too. There are many things you can do instead of stopping breastfeeding. Another time to reach out to others for help!
  70. Being the sole provider of food can be exhausting, frustrating and can also be hard on the Daddy because the baby is always with the mother. Even pumping to get a break is work. It's not all sunshine and roses.
  71. I never knew how proud of myself breastfeeding would make me and how much I would absolutely love nursing my baby! And how sometimes it is a way to fix anything that's wrong with baby. Bump your noggin? Here's a boob! Tired? Here's a boob! Miss your momma? Here's a boob! You shouldn't feel bad if you don't love to nurse at first. I can honestly say that I hated nursing at first, it was really hard for me (I’m sure the PPD was a big part of this). No one tells you that at 2am your baby's cry makes you cringe because the thought of breastfeeding him hurts so bad, but I can promise this doesn't last long at all and will instantly become a distant memory. I love it now, but it was certainly a journey and I thought I was a terrible mother for hating it so much and struggling so much with it. The first two weeks are by far the hardest, harder than giving birth even, but like a light switch it gets so much easier and is so rewarding! I totally expected breastfeeding to "just happen." It’s hard work!! You will have a love hate relationship with nursing - it can wear you out and is hard but nothing is better than the feeling you get when you’re staring into your baby's eyes and they just grin at you. Or start laughing when you pull out a boob knowing what they’re about to get!

Wow this list turned out to be longer than I ever imagined!!
This post is not meant to scare anyone, this is to help you be informed!! I wish I had found a list like this before I started breastfeeding. I will add that after going through the rough times in the beginning, I am still exclusively breastfeeding Hank at almost 5 months old, and he's never had a drop of formula. Nursing is such a good thing for your baby and for you.

If after reading this you would like to be added to any breastfeeding Facebook groups, just let me know! There are some great ones out there!

My favorite breastfeeding resource is www.kellymom.com, I highly recommend checking them out if you have any questions at all.  

I am not a lactation consultant, nor do I claim to be by writing this post.

Shop here for recommended breastfeeding products

Friday, September 13, 2013

4 month update

Sooo it's been forever again since I've done an update and I apologize! I've had a harder time keeping up with this now! I can't imagine why ;)

So as you know, I went back to work part-time when Hank was 8 weeks old. It's went really good! I worked from 10-2 each day and time literally flew by! I loved working part-time, I wish I could do it forever! It was a nice balance for us! I went back to work full-time this week. It's definitely strange being away from him twice as long as I was before! I'm sure we'll all get used to it though! Casey takes care of Hank in the mornings which is awesome! Then he goes to daycare from 1-5. I'm so thankful that Hank gets his Daddy time even if I don't get to see Casey as much :-(

So Hank has changed so much over the last couple months, I swear he changes almost daily. It always blows my mind!! I still can't believe he's already almost 4 months old! He is almost always smiling (unless he's tired, hungry or gassy). He also loves to talk, he tells me all sorts of stories. He giggles now too, which is awesome! It makes me giggle when he giggles! He's slept completely through the night 1x, has done a lot of 6-7 hour stretches, but lately he's going through a sleep regression and is getting up 2-3x a night now. It honestly doesn't bother me, I'm a shitty sleeper as it is, so I get up more often than that unfortunately. I love our nighttime nursing cuddles! He holds onto his pacifier by himself and can grasp toys now. He drools like crazy and puts EVERYTHING in his mouth!! I don't feel anything teeth though! He loves to watch fans, he can spot one in any room we're in. He gets distracted more easily now with his surroundings, he likes to know what's going on. Sometimes he even refuses sleep because he doesn't want to miss anything! He likes to play on the floor or in his pack-n-play and he likes to watch TV! Haha! He's at such a fun age! He likes to stand too. A lot of times when I try to put him into a sitting position, he wants to stand, he has very strong legs! I don't think it'll be too long until he's sitting unassisted either, he has amazing head support and he does great sitting up! He likes to play in his exersaucer, it won't be long until he figures out everything that's capable of! He likes hanging out in his jumper too, he spins around, no jumping just yet. Most of the time he eats his hands while he's in it. I could go on and on about him, he's so amazing!

We are still exclusively nursing! Yay! He's never had a sip of formula. I have over 200 oz of breastmilk stored in the freezer! I'm not a fan of pumping while I'm at work, but I do it so I can give my baby the best there is!! I love nighttime nursing the best. We just cuddle up together, chest to chest, it's an amazing feeling, it warms my heart :-) He's been getting frustrated nursing lately during the day because I'm not fast enough for him, he sucks down a bottle quite fast, I'm even using a nipple he has to latch onto and is recommended for breastfeeding moms, but he's still so fast, so I'm hoping that this is just a phase that passes!

In a couple more months (minimum 6 months), I'm going to start introducing food to him, that'll be so fun! I've already started freezing some green beans for him! We're going to skip rice cereal and start with avocado and sweet potatoes. I'm thinking of doing a combination of purees (which I'll be making) and Baby Led Weaning (BLW). With BLW, Hank will learn about different tastes and textures and will learn how to feed himself. Instead of pureeing everything, we will be giving him pieces of food for him to chew on and put into his mouth. One of the main benefits of BLW is the baby eats what the parent eats and learns to feed himself instead of being dependent on someone else. So we'll see what works best for all of us! I can't wait! Maybe this will get Casey to eat more food because Hank will wonder why he has to eat it if Daddy isn't! ;)

The cloth diapers are also going wonderfully!! I am loving them, they've become quite a hobby of mine! My favorite brand is Chelory it's a "Work-At-Home-Mom" (WAHM) company, i.e. a real person hand makes all of these diapers!! Their absorbancy is amazing and they are so cute to boot! The best part, high resale value!! Yay! I'm sure cloth diapering is going to be a little harder when Hank starts eating solids, it'll just add an extra step of spraying the poop off into the toilet because it'll no longer be water soluble. I have our diaper sprayer all ready to be hooked up for when the time comes! Our daycare even loves these diapers because they are so easy and go on just like a disposable. Then when they're dirty, they just throw them into a bag and I take care of them at home. I do wash every 2 days. It's not tasking by any means! I even dry them on low in the dryer if I can't hang them out. Cloth diapering is definitely even easier than I imagined! I've become such an advocate for it! That's how much I love them! Plus, they're awesome for the environment and more importantly (to me), they're awesome for Hank's butt! He's never had a diaper rash or had a poopsplosion (blowout)! I can go on and on! So if you have any questions, just hit me up! :-)

I'll try to keep everyone updated more with us and Hank! :-)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

2.5 month update

Holy crap! I haven't posted in forever! Sorry!! It's been crazy around here! :) I went back to work part time on July 15, it's been nice but I do miss my Hanky, it'll be hard going back full time in a few weeks but gotta work so I can continue spoiling Hank! Casey gets to spend a lot of time with Hank while I'm at work, which is awesome!! He'll start daycare part time in September, I can't wait for him to get to play with other babies :)

Hank is such a character! He has a big personality! He smiles, coos & talks all the time! I have no clue where he gets that from ;) he can roll over from tummy to back, but only when he wants to. He likes to watch TV and always wants to see what's going on in the world. He loves being carries in my baby k'tan wrap, I highly recommend this to any Mama! It's saved me when he just wants to be held but I need to get stuff done, it goes with me everywhere!! 

Hank is exclusively breastfed & is doing great! He loves nursing, as do I! I pump while at work so he can continue having breast milk when I'm gone. I'm not looking forward to pumping 3x/day but it's worth it for my little man! I hope we can continue our breast feeding relationship for a long time! It's very comforting to me & helps me feel very connected to Hank. He definitely prefers it over the bottle too which makes me feel good! 

Cloth diapering is going so well!! I'm so glad I've made the decision! CD'ing him has become a hobby of mine, I love finding new cute prints for his little butt! :) I'm thinking of doing some CD posts in the best future (if I find the time!). I'm sure it'll be a little different when he starts eating solids but I'm sure we'll adjust fine! 

Oh, Hank loves bath time! It's the cutest thing, he splashes around & talks, it's a fun time! I wish the water would stay warmer longer! Hank picked his lovie very early on, it's his giraffe wubbanub, I have a feeling I'll have to remove the soothie part when he no longer takes the pacifier! Haha. 

That's all I can think of now, even though I know there's a million other things I can talk about! :)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

My Birth Story

So I've been meaning to write this post but just hadn't gotten to it! ;) Hank is napping & I'm feeling pretty good, so I figured I'd take some time to sit down & write this! Warning, it'll probably be a long post! (This actually took me two days to write haha)

So on the morning of Thursday May 16, I had my normal weekly doctors appointment. Even though Casey had only slept a few hours (because he works til midnight), he went to the appointment with me. They took my blood pressure and it was a little elevated and they also noticed some protein in my urine, so the PA called one of the doctors and they made the call to medically induce me that evening because of these factors and the fact that my due date was the following day. They told me to go home and rest and I'd likely need to go to the hospital (Women's & Children's) that evening. We rode home and stopped at Purina then the college because I had to grab a few things in my office. As we pulled into the college, they called us and told us that labor & delivery was expecting us. We were shocked thinking we had all day to get some stuff done around the house, but that wasn't the case. We came home and packed up the Durango and headed up there. We of course had to stop at McDonald's for lunch on the way up! :-)

We checked in and had to wait a few to get a room, but once we were in the room, they had me change into the lovely gown so we could get things moving. One of the doctors checked me and I had no dilation and my cervix was high, so they opted to use a drug called Cervidil to ripen my cervix. This drug needs to stay on my cervix for 12 hours, then after the 12 hours are up, they usually start a drug called Pitocin. At 3 pm, the doctor placed the cervidil on my cervix, then I had to lay still for 2 hours. They also pointed out that I was having contractions, but I just thought they were Braxton Hicks, so they were just the annoying feeling I'd been feeling for days haha. At 5 pm, we called the cafeteria for dinner. That was an amazing dinner! After dinner we just hung out and tried to get some rest knowing that it'd be a long day tomorrow! We watched the season finale of The Office and I was getting really uncomfortable! I was having really strong period type cramping and my lower back was killing me! So I asked the nurse if I could have something for the pain. She said she would check with the attending doctor. In the meantime, I felt like I had to go to the bathroom really bad! So I sat up, and all of a sudden felt a GUSH, I thought, I either just peed myself or my water just broke. Well it turns out my water broke. I was pretty excited that my water broke on its own! And since my water had broken, I was allowed to have an epidural. They did not check me for dilation because my water had broken (I'm wondering now if I was dilated at this point).

So since Children's is a teaching hospital, there are tons of resident doctors there. The anesthesia resident came in the room to get my history and brought in the stuff for the epidural. The attending anesthesiologist accompanied him. He got me all prepped and my nurse was amazing, holding my hand and helping me relax. So he placed the epidural and all of a sudden I felt a tingling go down my right leg, well that was no good, it meant that the epidural was in the wrong place and they had hit a nerve (which I still have tingling from!). I should add that it took him a long time to get it placed. So they had to remove it and do the whole process all over again. This time the attending doctor did the epidural and it was much easier and faster and I didn't have any weird feelings this time. They started up the epidural and I was feeling much better! I think it was about 10 pm or so by now. So I decided I was going to try to get some sleep.

I tossed and turned and started getting very uncomfortable. I was having a ton of pressure and was watching the monitor and could see that the contractions were strong and close together. At 3 am, a resident came in to pull the cervidil. She noticed that it was no longer attached to my cervix and was actually laying on the bed, so who knows how long that had been out! It's possible it fell out when they placed the catheter but who knows! And she asks me, "is this your first baby?" and I answered "yes" and she replied that I was 9.5 cm dilated, I couldn't believe it! She said no wonder I was feeling so much pressure, I had been in active labor, laboring on my own, no wonder I couldn't get comfortable. I woke Casey up to tell him that things would happen a lot sooner that we had expected! She said she would come back to check on me in 30 minutes. I was still at 9.5 cm, so she decided to check again in another 30 minutes or so. I was so relaxed during the first 9.5 cm not knowing I was in labor, so that was likely why it was moving along so fast. I was so happy to find out that I had begun labor on my own and wouldn't need pitocin. I wonder if my body would've gone into labor on it's own anyways that night! It was nice to know that my body was doing something on it's own!

At about 4:30 am, the doctor came back in and said we would begin pushing. At this point it was just Casey, me, the nurse and the resident doctor in the room, and it was nice and dark and as relaxing as it could be. I pushed for awhile and my contractions were spreading out, which was nice to let me relax a little in between pushing, but at the same time I just wanted things to move along! After about 30 minutes of pushing, they called in the delivery team and the lights came on, and a "million" people came into the room and it was "go time!" It was nice having so many people because each person had their own job and position. Casey was up by my face with the portable fan, thank god we brought that! I pushed for what felt like ages! I was getting so out of breath and was hyperventilating, it was definitely the hardest workout I'd ever done in my entire life!! I even blew a blood vessel in my eye, thankfully it was small and not that noticeable! As the pushing went on, Hank was down in the birth canal but I was having a hard time getting him out. The attending doctor at this point informed me that they'd need to perform an episiotomy and possibly use a vacuum to get Hank out. I think this kicked my butt into over drive knowing I had to get him out fast because I really didn't want the vacuum to be used. Finally Hank was out!

Henry Alan Astry (Hank) was born at 5:44 am on May 17, 2013, my due date! I had even joked the week before that Hank wanted to be unique and actually come out on his due date. He was immediately put on my bare chest so we could have immediate skin to skin contact. I just talked to him and cried, I didn't even care what was going on "down there" at that point! We delayed clamping the umbilical cord until it had stopped pulsing, then Casey was able to cut the cord. He stayed on me for awhile until they took him off to weigh him and stuff. He weighed 7 pounds 12 ounces and measured 20 inches long. While he was being measured and such, they had informed me that I had a 3rd degree tear and they were stitching me up. Even with the anesthesia, that hurt like hell! But Hank makes everything worth it! :-) As soon as they were done weighing him and such, we breastfed for the first time and he latched right on. It was amazing seeing him just know what to do! After he was born, we handed out "Oh Henry" candy bars to the L&D staff and they loved it!

That morning as they were testing Hank's glucose levels, they discovered that his blood sugar was borderline low, so the poor guy had to have his heal pricked every 3 hours :-( His levels were always borderline or normal, thankfully they were never too low. But if his levels were below what they wanted, he had to have good levels for 24 hours before he didn't have to be tested anymore. The hospital was having a baby boom today, so it also took us until that evening to get into our room up on the Mother/Baby floor. It was so nice getting out of the delivery room and into that room which was much more comfortable and homey. We had lots of visitors while we were there, which was also really nice! Hank roomed in with us but before I could feed him each time, he had to have his sugar tested to see where it was at. We tried to do an early discharge on Saturday evening, but that didn't work out because they discovered he had a lower sugar that morning, so they had to continue the 24 hour testing until 7 am on Sunday. We were getting a little stir crazy and ready to go home, but better to be safe than sorry! Thankfully his levels continued to be good so we could go home on Sunday morning. It was wonderful getting out of there and able to get home and get settled!

I have to say that Children's is an amazing hospital and I am so happy that I chose to give birth there. I badly wanted to go into labor on my own, but instead needed a medical induction and it still was amazing. Everyone treated us so wonderfully. We had amazing nurses in both labor & delivery and on the Mother/baby floor. The doctors and residents were all awesome and made us feel like we belonged. They were willing to do anything for us. The food was also beyond amazing, which everyone knows will make me happy! Haha!

A little update on us...Hank is doing really well! He had a weight check at 1 week old and he weighed 7 lbs, 15 oz, so he's already above his birth weight, which makes me happy knowing that I'm providing him with enough food. Breast feeding is definitely one of the toughest things I've ever done, but it's wonderful knowing that I can provide him everything he needs, so I'm hoping it'll work for us for awhile! Hank's umbilical cord came off at 1 week old, I was so surprised at how fast it came off! Hank has a lot of personality and is becoming more and more aware of his surroundings. The animals are all doing really well with him as well! We are using the cloth diapers all day and only using disposables at night. Now that his cord is off and his circumcision is healed, the diapers are very easy to use and he always has a cute butt! Haha! Hank also likes to pee when I change him, so we have to be very careful! He's even pooped on me while changing him! Oh the things that change real quick when you have a child! It's still very surreal having him here, I can't believe he's mine! This little thing that I worked so hard for for so long is finally here! It's just wild! He makes me smile and makes me so happy! We are so in love with him!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

37 Week Update

So I realized it's been awhile since I've posted an update, so I figured I should do one, especially since Hank could make his arrival anytime! I am officially considered FULL-TERM!!! WOOHOO!!!! And I am feeling it!! Haha!

Okay, so since my last post, things have been a little quieter but still very exciting!! We had our maternity photo shoot, which was tons of fun! You can see all the pictures here :-) It was wonderful and we had such a fun time! I cannot wait for the newborn photo shoot! I have a feeling that it will be amazing!! 

We also FINALLY picked up our new "Hank-mobile!!" It was time to trade in my Challenger for a new family friendly 2013 Dodge Durango! I am LOVING it!! It drives so nicely and the carseat even matches it!! :-) 

The Student Accounts office threw me a surprise baby shower which was amazing!! It was so thoughtful and of course the food was amazing as always! You can see pictures from the shower here :-) I got so many wonderful and thoughtful gifts! :-) 

I've been finishing up the nursery and it is really coming together nicely! It is a jungle theme, I hope Hank loves monkeys as much as I do!! I uploaded some pictures into a facebook album here :-) I still have to have Casey hang up the "Henry" wooden letters above his crib made by my awesome friend Beth! And I'll still probably hang up a few more appliqu├ęs to finish it off!! Now we just wait for his arrival! I also have my bags packed and ready to go in the Durango, come on Hank!! 

Hank has been a very active baby this last trimester, I sometimes describe his movements as violent! Haha! He likes to beat up his Mama sometimes! He's even getting such strong hiccups that make my belly jump! They are so funny! Such a sight to see! He even lets Casey feel him more which has been so nice! But it's only when Casey gets home from work when I'm sleeping haha! So he's still very stubborn! I am quite uncomfortable at this point! I'm very large and everything is a lot of work! Haha! 

My appointments have been going well, they are happy with my weight gain, how my belly is measuring and what a strong heartbeat he has! I've had some swelling in my feet which can get a little painful! I had higher blood pressure last week but thankful that was down this week! So hopefully it'll stay down the remainder of my pregnancy! Since I had more swelling on one side than the other, the doctors wanted to be cautious and make sure everything was fine, so I had an ultrasound of my leg to show there were no clots, I also had blood work drawn and a 24 urine collection, which all came back good! So definitely good news there! So I'm just coming home after work every day and elevating my feet to get the swelling down, some days are better than others with it! 

I guess that's all I can think of right now, we're just [im]patiently awaiting his arrival! We can't wait for him to come out and play! :-)

National Infertility Awareness Week

In browsing through one of my Facebook groups this evening, I came across a poem posted by a wonderful infertility friend, Candace from Our Misconception Blog. In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week April 21-27, I wanted to share this. It's not to talk down to anyone that didn't go through infertility treatments but to recognize those of us who have. And now that I am less than 3 weeks from our due date, I thought this was perfect. Thank you for reading.

There are women that become mothers without effort, without thought, without patience or loss and though they are good mothers and love their children, I know that I will be better.

I will be better not because of genetics, or money or that I have read more books,

but because I have struggled and toiled for this child.

I have longed and waited. I have cried and prayed.

I have endured and planned over and over again.

Like most things in life, the people who truly have appreciation are those who have struggled to attain their dreams.

I will notice everything about my child.

I will take time to watch my child sleep, explore and discover. I will marvel at this miracle every day for the rest of my life.

I will be happy when I wake in the middle of the night to the sound of my child, knowing that I can comfort, hold and feed him and that I am not waking to take another temperature, pop another pill, take another shot or cry tears of a broken dream. My dream will be crying for me.

I count myself lucky in this sense; that God has given me this insight, this special vision with which I will look upon my child that my friends will not see.

Whether I parent a child I actually give birth to or a child that God leads me to, I will not be careless with my love.

I will be a better mother for all that I have endured. I am a better wife, a better aunt, a better daughter, neighbor, friend and sister because I have known pain.

I know disillusionment as I have been betrayed by my own body, I have been tried by fire and hell many never face, yet given time, I stood tall.

I have prevailed.

I have succeeded.

I have won.

So now, when others hurt around me, I do not run from their pain in order to save myself discomfort. I see it, mourn it, and join them in theirs.

I listen.

And even though I cannot make it better, I can make it less lonely. I have learned the immerse power of another hand holding tight to mine, of other eyes that moisten as they learn to accept the harsh truth and when life is beyond hard. I have learned a compassion that only comes with walking in those shoes.

I have learned to appreciate life.

Yes I will be a wonderful mother.


Friday, March 22, 2013

32 Week Update

Okay, so holy crap I haven’t written a new post in 5 weeks! I tell myself almost every day that I need to write a new post and by the time I get home, I’m either doing stuff around the house or I’m too tired to think! Haha! So a lot has gone on in the last 5 weeks!

We had our baby shower on March 3 where we had 70 attendees and received more gifts than I could ever imagine! It was so amazing andwonderful! We got all the big items we registered for, lots of other items I needed, and tons and tons of clothes!! He’s gonna be one stylish little dude! We also announced his name at the shower. Casey presented me with the first gift which was a onesie that said Henry (_____) Astry. Since we were undecided onthe middle name, we decided to pass out little ballots where people could vote for Alan, Scott, Floyd, or a write-in for the middle name. Alan won, so his name will be Henry Alan Astry. Alan is Casey’s middle name :) We actually call him Hank, so I hope having a nickname won’t be too confusing, I grew up with a nickname my whole life, so I’m not too worried about it! I made top secret favors out of “Oh Henry” bars, they were too cute! So that was the shower excitement!! 

On March 9 we had a 3D ultrasound, where little Hank wasn’t very cooperative! Haha! I should have known because he’s been such a stubborn little boy, I think he takes after his Momma. Anyways, he had his hands on his face almost the whole scan, I think he’s definitely going to be very interested in his hands when he comes out as well, better stock up on those scratch mitten things! He is head down and facing my back, so we tried getting him to turn a little, but he wasn’t really having it! He was hiding! We did get to see his face a little though which was really cool, he’s such a cute boy! I can’t wait to meet him! He also constantly pushes his foot out to my side and we got to see him doing that on the scan which was really awesome, definitely confirmed what I was feeling! The tech also measured him and he weighed about 3.5 lbs and is measuring in the 60th percentile! 

I’ve been having a lot of pelvic pressure; it even caused me to stay home from work for most of a day. He’s just really low which causes it, thankfully the doctors checked and we have no dilation yet. I realized I need to put my feet up more and relax; I also got a belly support thing which has been helping! 

I picked up the rest of our cloth diaper stash and started prepping the diapers, seeing all the diapers in his dresser ready to go makes me so excited. I’ve also washed all of his clothes and they’re put away ready for him to come. I’ve slowly been working more on his room too. Casey and I made a Babies R Us run and picked up the crib mattress and some other things, it’s getting there!! 

Other than all this excitement, Hank seems to be doing really well, but I think the poor little guy is really starting to run out of room in there. He tries to stretch out a lot and I don’t think he can stretchas much as he wants. His legs digging into my side can get pretty painful sometimes, so imagine he is quite cramped up! His movements have changed from less kicks to more stretches like yoga, I still feel him a lot during the day though, which I love. He gets hiccups multiple times a day, which is cute but then I start to feel really bad for him because sometimes they’ll last 10-15 minutes at a time! Must be he’s got good, strong lungs! :)
Tonight is our maternity photo shoot which I am really looking forward to! I can’t wait to see all of her creative ideas! So I’ll make sure to share the photos once I see them! This is something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time! Each pregnancy milestone we hit has been so amazing; it really makes things more and more real!