Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Four Weeks (01/22/14)

Thursday January 16, 2014 is the four week mark, from when Spencer entered this world. Where has the time gone, and how he grows so quickly.  He is holding his head fairly well these days.  We really need to get more proper tummy time.  He mostly gets it on our chests while cuddling so far, with occasion on the change table or bed, but I think he is developing well none the less.  Just yesterday, I think I heard the first Agoo from him.  He has been working on his vocal skills which is cute to here the sighs and such. 

We are gathering clothes he is growing out of into a box.  It is filling rapidly.  He has grown so much.  At his four week appointment he weighed in at 8 pounds 10 ounces and 21.4” long.  So he has needed to go up on sleeper sizes just to get the length, as otherwise his legs don’t have the room to stretch properly. 

Here is a photo from our latest home photo shoot

Not quite a pinterest recreation, but not quite a fail either.  I give it a pinterest B+

Here is a picture showing Deb’s creativity, and handy work.  We needed a clock for the nursery and night feedings so you can see the time Spencer has been feeding and how long you’ve been in there etc.  We had a look at various clocks to purchase, but didn’t see anything close to what we liked.  So Deb made this clock with things from around the house, an old clock mechanism, and hands from a broken clock, then a picture frame and creativity.  It is perfect. 

This is a good time to mention (as I didn’t post about it before), this is what she made me for Christmas, with the help from Michael’s crafts, but I love it.  The down side it, the boxes that hold the chocolates are smallish, and it is hard to find chocolates that fit.  So she put in Hershey kisses and for every kiss I could have a chocolate from the quality street box she bought for me.  

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Formula issues (01/15/14)

Breast is best, that is always the case, but it seems my breasts, just can’t quite keep up with Spencer’s needs.  Just as my supply catches up to what he needs it seems he goes through a spurt and needs more.  Plus if I miss drinking enough water in a day, my supply dwindles for the next two.  It is a huge balance to try and keep up the pace for breastfeeding.  I’m not giving up though. 

With that being said we have been supplementing with formula.  Originally we were using Similac Advantage, which is what the hospital supplied to make sure he was getting enough.  With signing up for Similac for coupons and samples, they also shipped a small container of this which we used up first.  Once that was done we used up the other formula they supplied which was another advantage version, with the switch there was a bit of tummy trouble with Spencer, but we managed.  However once the free samples ran out, we purchased the next version.  The standard Iron fortified Similac formula.  It seems Spencer has the same issues with iron supplements as I do.  His poop schedule was reduced drastically, which in turn caused a disgruntled baby.  This change of formula also happened with a growth spurt which caused him to have a larger ratio of formula than breast milk, which I’m sure compounded the issue.  Yesterday I made a point to try and have more breast milk available and direct feeding than formula, we also went and purchased the Advantage formula he was used to.  We had a major blow out before bed/bath, twice, and it seems things are getting better.  Last night he was a happier baby, longer sleep turns, and less grunting issues.  Now hopefully my milk supply picks up, as it seems to be dwindling again.  Breastfeeding is a pain, but worth it for baby’s brain and tummy, and mom’s wallet.  

Lesson learned though, pick a formula and stick with it, if it works, as changing up a diet is hard on new tummies.  

Three week fog (01/13/14)

Well the first month is coming to a rapid end.  Where has the time gone?  Slowly I feel I’m getting things back to normal, as much as can be expected.  I’m starting to get motivation back to get things done, other than the basics of kitchen cleaning, cooking, and of course baby care.  It seems the three week fog is starting to lift. 

Last night Spencer was AWAKE from 2:30 to 5:00.  So I was in the nursery trying to get him back to sleep for a long time, doing extra feeding, then I gave up and put the mobile in his crib on and propped him in there with the other nursing pillow while I pumped for the next feeding; which he ended up eating before we went to bed.  Luckily after that feeding he passed out.  I was tired to say the least.  He also woke up at 7:30 to feed again.  It seemed yesterday was a growth spurt.  We couldn’t quite feed him enough, about every 90 minutes he was hungry again. 

This morning he slightly woke up at 9:30, but I wasn’t ready to get up yet, so I cuddled with him in bed, in a mild sleep.  At 11:00 he woke me up and I was much more refreshed. 

Today he hasn’t been feeling as well.  I tried to feed him from the breast, but it wasn’t coming out fast enough for him, so I made some formula, as I hadn’t had a chance to pump any more.    He drank most of it, and I burped him a little bit during.  However, near the end, it all came back up in a few spews.  So I have been cuddling him most of the day.  Since then he has had some from the breast and some formula, after his last feed, he was a bit fussy, but then I stopped trying to burp him and he passed right out.  It is interesting getting used to everything changing at the drop of a hat, no form of schedule, even if we try.

Two products that I’m surprised I have really liked, first one is a wipes warmer.  When my friend Mir originally got it for us, Deb and I both raised an eye brow, as if to say, not needed and might not use.  But for night time changes it is nice on Spencer’s bum to not have the cold shock on his skin.  We even considered getting a second one for the main floor, but decided we didn’t need to.  The other is one we just got; a bottle warmer.  Before now, we thought that was such a waste, but after having to heat bottles, not using a microwave, the amount of water we wasted getting to hot water, then to really hot water to put in the basin to heat formula or expressed milk from the fridge was getting extreme.  Now just 7 ml goes into the warmer, and in about the time it takes us to get really hot water from the tap the bottle is heated to a perfect temperature. 

Over the weekend Spencer had his first trip to the zoo.  We went there with Deb’s visiting friends from Ontario.  He slept through most of it, but he did well in the stroller/car seat.  It was a lot of fun to wander around and get some fresh air.  It did us some good too.  It was the most steps I have had in a day in a LONG time. 

After the zoo we went for dinner with our fertility friends, the owner of the clinic that specializes in fertility assistance with Chiro, massage, and acupuncture and various other alternative healing methods.  We are thankful that during the prep of the trying to get pregnant that her clinic was available and I’m sure helped with getting pregnant.  We had dinner at Montana’s.  Spencer did fairly well and slept mostly with some visiting time as well.  

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Baby Bump Recap (01/08/14)

In the beginning

 Carried pretty high

Hard to believe that fit inside

Just me in a better shirt

I think I will take after belly photos at about the month mark to compare to where I started.  My body feels a bit different shape, even if I’m about the same weight now. 

New Arrival; Love at first sight

Well, the little man has arrived.  He came to us via caesarean on December 19th, 2013, born technically at 8:53 in the morning (he was still breech).  His name is Spencer Iden Reid Nottingham.  He was 6 Pounds 12 Ounces at birth and 20” long and red/brown hair (which has been lightening since). 

Here is the story of meeting Spencer for the first time.

I was booked to be at the hospital at 6:00 am for admittance, to go into surgery at 8:00 am.  We got there a little early, and admittance didn’t even open till 6.  Once the paperwork was done, I went over to the lab for the first blood work tests. 

From the lab I went to the maternity ward.  We got to listen to Spencer’s heart beat again.  It was sweet.  They didn’t do an ultrasound though, as the doctors had decided that I would be having a caesarean, even if he had moved from breech due to other health concerns.  Once hooked up to the BP machine that fear was slightly founded, as my reading was 192/88, way too high.  That might have been from the stress of looming surgery, but not good none the less. 

I was one of the first caesareans on schedule, so from there we left for the OR room.  In the hallway Deb put on her scrubs. 

She had to wait in the hallway while I got the spinal done.  That wasn’t exactly comfortable.  They took a few tries to get it right.  They almost called it that I would have had to have full anesthetic, but third try I was numb from the waist down.  Then they let in Deb. 

It was a weird feeling, even though I was numb, I could feel them “rummaging” around to get Spencer out and the afterbirth; very weird feeling.  But then I got to hear Spencer’s numbers and that he was doing all right.  He got a 9 on the APGAR rating.  He lost the point for having purple hands and feet from lack of circulation.  When I heard him cry, I started to cry, a little.  It is an unbelievable feeling, loving someone so much instantly.  I had been worried I wouldn’t bond with him, but my heart melted as soon as I heard/saw him.  While the doctors finished up what they were doing, Deb held Spencer beside/on me.  He didn’t cry very much, and still doesn’t.  He has been and still is a fairly quiet and content baby.  We are very thankful for that. 

From the OR we went to the recovery room.  At which point we did some skin on skin and tried to breast feed.  He didn’t latch well though, breastfeeding has been a struggle, but he is finally getting the hang of it, and so are my breasts. 

Once I started getting feeling back in my legs I was moved from recovery to my hospital room.  Cherry joined us shortly after I got there.  It took a few hours for my legs to regain enough movement to walk on them though, so I was confined to bed for most of the day, other than a short walk in the evening.  While in my room Deb and I both got some skin to skin time, which was wonderful.

My sister and husband also came for a visit from BC.  They acted as substitutes as grandparents, for visiting, as my parents aren’t here, we were able to let them in for a visit in lieu.   Just in case, we were going to give my sister one of the green bands as a support person to be able to come in, but her husband was able to visit too which was nice. 

Somewhere I read that you should bring a book on breastfeeding, otherwise you will be manhandled by every nurse in the hospital.  I should have listened.  I didn’t mind though, as I learned a bit more technique.  But in my stay, I had quite a few lactation specialists fondle me.  First day I learned manual expression, which turned my right side into what looked like a cauliflower, due to edema.  Not fun.  I was getting some colostrum, but not enough.  Day two, I got to use the Medela Symphony to help get things started.  By the end of the second night I was ready to give up, it seems I was sucking dust by the end of the night.  Just as I was ready to give up, and I had supplemented Spencer with formula to make sure he was getting enough nutrition, as he had lost weight, the next morning my milk finally kicked in enough to give me hope. 

The first night, a nurse came in and gave Spencer his first bath.  He wasn’t too happy with the experience.  It was nice to have a cleaner baby from birth, at which time they did just a quick wash. 

During the first night, it was hard for me to get in and out of bed to see to Spencer, so every time he needed attending to, I had to call the nurse to help maneuver me, or Spencer to what he needed.  By morning, I was a little bit more mobile and was able to change my first diaper.  Up to this point, it was either Deb or the nurse that had handled that. 

This photo is of him in the clear crib, at 3:00 am next to my bed.  Too cute not to get a photo. 

The next day was busy getting used to things, learning to breastfeed, and visitors coming.  We got to see me sister and husband again, before they started the trek back to BC.  We also got a visit from Deb’s dad and step mom. 

Like I had mentioned the second night was hard, and I kept trying to pump milk/colostrums for him which didn’t prove very fruitful.  It was a tiring night.  In the end, he had two sets of formula feeds to make sure he was getting some nutrients. 

The third day was when we got to go home, after speaking to yet another lactation consultant, the doctor, and a couple nurses to coordinate leaving. 

His first trip in the car seat went very well.  Calgary was cold that day, but apparently it was warmer than it had been for the couple days prior. 

At our house, Cherry had decorated in celebration of Spencer arriving.  It was a fun surprise to have balloons and what not around the house, as well as a sign on the lawn with announcing his details. 

Once we got home, Deb took Spencer next door to Cherry’s house, Yaya, so she could get me settled and the dogs a little more settled before bringing in Spencer.  I got settled on the couch with a large cushion protecting my stomach, in case the dogs jumped up and Deb went and got Spencer.  The dogs had a freak out moment, and the older two got used to him fairly quickly.  Tuffy on the other hand didn’t take well to all this change.  We were able to get Spencer in the house, and Randy held him for a while, while Deb set up a change station on the main floor, as I wouldn’t be able to handle the flight of stairs every time he needed changing.  She was ingenious, and turned a playpen into a station with the assistance of the spare room night stands and a couple other items.  This, in turn, was more change for Tuffy.  You have to realize, if we move a night light, he will bark at it for three days.  We knew this would be a challenge.  Over the next couple days, he got a little better, but has been avoiding us and in recluse mostly.  At one point, I was putting some baby clothes into the dryer, he was being curious, and sniffing around.  As I went to get the dryer sheet, he hopped right in. 

I started howling, and because he is about twice the weight of Spencer, I had to get Deb to get him out of there.  Unfortunately after that for the next day or two, he became obsessed with the dryer and wanted to either sit on it and look out the window, or in it.  We had to keep the door to the laundry room closed, but he then just scratched at that door.  Once he figured he wasn’t allowed to do that, he took solace by sitting in the bathtub upstairs.  I think he just needed a cave type surrounding to feel safe, as his home was changing drastically.  Deb and I were even sleeping on opposite sides of the bed.  All the dogs had slight issues with that. 

We had a visit from the Calgary home nurses the day after Spencer got home.  He had dropped weight again, so we had to see them the following day as well, which in turn he had lost some more weight.  We also found out that he was having issues maintaining his temperature.  We have been bundling him up more so, even in the house.  He has gotten better.  Over all he dropped down to 6 pounds 2 ounces by December 23.  By Christmas Eve, when we had to see the nurses again at their clinic he had finally gained some of the weight back, even if just 50 grams, but that is a fair amount in a day.  Other than the weight loss he has been doing well though. 

The past couple weeks have been fantastic getting to know little Spencer.  He has been a peach.  He doesn’t cry much, he has learned to latch well, even though we need to supplement with a bit of formula, he doesn’t seem to have issue with nipple confusion.  He does go from fine to HUNGRY pretty easily, and that does warrant him getting fussy, and if you aren’t fast enough getting food to him, he will start to wail, but as soon as you put a nipple in his mouth he does fine. 

Christmas and New Years has been low key. We have had a stream of visitors coming to visit.  On the Monday after I got out of the hospital, a friend from the east coast came for a visit, on his way through town.  Then after that we got to visit with Spencer’s God Parents.  They came from the west coast.  We also got to visit with one of Deb’s friends from Ontario.  They are in town for a while visiting family over the holidays.  It has been a busy time visiting, but it has been great to see everyone. 

The past couple days he has been having some issues with spitting up.  We have learned he can’t lie on his back for a little while after feeding.  He is growing like a weed.  At his two week appointment he had gained back his weight loss and then some.  He was 7 pounds 3 ounces at day 15.  Some of the clothes we have are slowly getting too short, some of which we probably a little short to begin with, as he hasn’t grown that much in length yet. 

And here are some random photos.

 Our first day home

First photo for size comparison at home

 A cutie photos a few days old.

My first Christmas hat and stocking

Santa Outfit that might also fit next year.

This outfit was from a neighbour.  I love the hat. 

We made it to one week.  Woohoo

 Week two, slightly bigger

Our little pea pod.  Outfit/blanket knitted by his godmother.

Originally we had figured, I would get pregnant once, and then Deb the second time, as I wouldn’t want to go through pregnancy again, as it wasn’t an easy pregnancy, don’t get me wrong, it could have been worse, but it wasn’t easy either.  While going through it, I had thought, I won’t have to go through this again thankfully.  But now he is here, I would do it again in a heartbeat. 

Deb has been a wonderful Sherpa throughout the pregnancy, and is being a wonderful mom.  She is helping way more than most husbands do, which is making this “new” mom experience much better.  It has been a help that she hasn’t had much consecutive work with days off for the holidays.  So she has been helping with the night time stuff as well.  I know it would have been harder without her help.  I am very lucky to have her as a friend, wife, partner, and “co-parent” (description from the birth certificate) in this experience.  She is also helping with my scarring, which hasn’t been healing as well as it should.  Partially my fault, as when the staples first came out, I pulled it funny and it has been weeping ever since, slowly getting better though, hopefully it will heal fully soon.  She has been tending to it carefully, as she has been tending to me through this whole experience.  

PS: I’m 1.8 pounds away from having lost all of my pregnancy weight.  Woohoo.  I am currently less than I was at the beginning of 2013.