Thursday, October 14, 2010

I Love This Age!

I kind-of wish I could stop the clock right now. Lillian is so much fun these days, and she has become such a happy, easy baby. She loves to smile and talk up a storm. It is like night and day compared to a month ago. Greg and I were discussing about how, now that we can look back and compare the "new" Lillian to the baby we had during months 0-3, it is easy to say for sure that she had colic!

I think we are finally starting to get into a routine. I found the book "Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child" to be extremely helpful in learning what I should expect as far as Lillian's sleep patterns, and I've been steering her in that direction. She goes to sleep between 6:30 & 7:00 and she wakes up a few times to nurse - some nights it's once or twice and other nights it's still four times. A few weeks ago, she was waking up super early, sometimes before 5:00 AM, and it was killing me. And I could tell she was still tired. So I've started taking her into bed with me when she wakes up, and she nurses and usually falls back to sleep until at least 6:00, sometimes as late as 6:30. I think we both feel better now!

She's down to three naps a day, which makes life a bit easier. After a few hours of her playing in her various "stations" (high chair w/ toys, playmat, swing, bouncer, crib looking at her mobile) while I eat breakfast, do my medicine, and get ready for the day, she takes her first nap around 9:00ish. This one has been the hardest one to get her down for. There is often a lot of crying in the pack n' play.

The other two naps usually occur in the carseat. We run errands after her morning nap and she falls asleep on the way home between 11:00 and 12:00. And her third nap is usually between 3:00 and 4:00, when we are on our way home from the gym.

Lily loves to get out of the house! It's part of the reason I love this age - everything is new to her and she is so happy to be facing-out in the Bjorn and just looking around. Everyone always stops us and says how cute she is, which is fun :) And she is doing great in gym daycare. I am so thankful for gym daycare because it allows me to get my exercise and gives me a little break. She usually spends about 60 to 90 minutes in there on weekdays.

She is still not very good at taking her Zegerid. It's a challenge because we have to give her 2.5 ml, which is a lot. We squirt it in her cheek in 0.1-0.2 ml doses, but she still spits about half of it out. So I am still giving her Mylanta once or twice a day, usually when she starts fussing while nursing. She loves Mylanta - she gets all excited and open her mouth wide and sucks the stuff down.

In other news, I've decided to start actually using the DSLR camera we got for Christmas last year, so hopefully I will be posting more pictures! Here is one I took yesterday of Lily playing in her high chair (the bib is because she had just gotten her medicine):

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Swing Transition: Days Two and Three

As I wrote in my last post, yesterday Lillian went down for her first nap in the swing with no motion. My original plan was to wait three days to move her to the pack n' play, but the transition from swinging to not swinging went so well that I was considering doing it more quickly. For her second nap, we had an appointment with a title company to refinance our house, so she fell asleep in the car.

For her third nap, I did the same routine as the morning nap, but she starting trying to roll onto her side in the swing and I decided it was time to try the pack n' play. I placed her in there with two of her favorite toys: A Lamaze doll and the Fisherprice Seahorse. And the screaming began. It was a total replay of Day 1, only I was terrified it would last much, much longer because Lillian didn't know that the pack n' play was a place for sleep. I kept going in and hugging, kissing, and patting her, and I even picked her up one time, but I couldn't stop her from screaming. After 30 minutes of screaming, she stopped crying and started sucking on her hand. She cried, quieted down, cried, quieted down, and then she fell asleep five minutes later. Similar to Day 1, she woke up after 15 minutes and I had to run in and turn the blow dryer back on, (and to answer Alicea's question, we do run a fan when she sleeps, and turning on the fan is part of the naptime/bedtime routine, but apparently the sound isn't loud enough to help soothe her when she is fussy). Then she slept another 50 minutes. She did not wake up smiling like she did yesterday, though. Instead she woke up crying and I felt a knot in my stomach, wondering if I did the right thing. But, once she was up and playing, she was all smiles and loving her mom again ;)

The next time she went down was for the night, so we did our routine and I put her in the pack n' play. She started playing with her doll, and, after a few minutes, got frustrated and started crying. After about five minutes of fussing/crying, I went in and took the doll away and hugged and kissed her. She smiled at me. After that, I watched her on the video monitor for twenty minutes as she played for a while, then sucked on her hand, and then went to sleep! I seriously could not believe it! It was too easy.

Seriously, the crying was about as bad as the time we got stuck in traffic and she wanted out of her car seat. It sucked and broke my heart, but it was not as bad as I feared and I think it was totally worth it to get her used to sleeping in a "bed."

Last night she was up a lot to nurse. And she did wake up once when I knew she wasn't hungry because she had just nursed - She cried for about five minutes and then went back to sleep.

Today (Day 3) was okay. She didn't nap well. She cried when we put her down for naps, but it was just like the fussiness she's had at many nap times in the swing. There was one nap where she slept, fussed, slept, fussed, slept, for an hour, which was unusual. So, I think she is still getting used to the new sleeping space and position, and I am hoping she'll start sleeping better soon!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Swing Transition: Day One

Because I have spent so much time Googling for stories from other people who have transitioned their babies from a swing to a crib, I figured I would try to blog about our transition.

We started putting Lillian in the swing for naps and at night time when she was about four weeks old. She had colic and acid reflux and was resisting the crib and pack n' play more and more. But that swing would put her right to sleep, and all the books said to do whatever works in the first few months. The swing saved our sanity! However, now the colic is over and her reflux medications seem to be helping, and she is four months old, so it's time she start sleeping in her crib. Plus, as I learned that this is the time when bad habits really start getting ingrained, and because she will stay asleep with the swing off, will fall asleep without movement if she is nursing, and has occasionally fallen asleep in the swing without it moving, I really think we need to jump on this now!

Her pediatrician really stressed this at our four month appointment. She said she would definitely recommend we chose a cry-it-out (CIO) method if it weren't for Lillian's reflux - she is slightly concerned Lillian may swallow a lot of air while crying and that would make her reflux worse, but she was more concerned about Lillian staying in the swing. I was also concerned that Lillian may still be a little too young for CIO because we tried to put her in the crib the other day and she screamed until she was choking :( I have both the Ferber and Weissbluth books, which both say four months is when you can start trying CIO. But, Ferber does say that it may better to wait until five months if the sleep problems are not severe. And, as Lillian only needs to swing to fall asleep, not to stay asleep, I don't think we fall into the "severe" category at this time.

The pediatrician recommended we try the Baby Wisperer method, which is a kind-of a comprimise between CIO and "No-Cry." And I just happen to have the book, so I decided to give it a try. Basically, the plan is to transition her in steps, taking each step about three days at a time, and to comfort Lillian if she starts hysterically crying.

Here are the steps I am considering:

Currently Lillian falls asleep with the swing on and a blowdryer blasting. Last week we, (Greg and I), tried turning the swing off once she was asleep, and it didn't affect her sleep AT ALL. It may have helped her sleep longer, because she had an eight our stretch for the first time the other night! I also developed a naptime routine that consists of going into the room, singing a lullaby (the same one each time), closing the curtains, turning on the fan, and putting her in the swing. When she wakes up, I open the blinds, turn off the fan, sing a different, upbeat song, and pick her up.

Now we are trying to get her to fall asleep in the swing without it moving. If she fusses we ignore her, but if her crying escalates, we go in the room and manually push the swing or pat her. Once she is calm (but not asleep), we walk out of the room and let the swing slowly stop moving.

Once she can fall asleep without the swing moving, we'll move on to the next step. I don't know if we should jump straight to the pack n' play or try putting her in her car seat first (because the positioning is similar to the swing) and put the car seat in the pack n' play.

So, here's how Day One went:

Her first three naps were kind-of failed attempts: Nap 1 - she cried for 30 minutes, then it was time to eat and she fell asleep nursing. Naps 2 & 3 - she cried and I kept pushing the swing to calm her down and she fell asleep when the swing was still slightly moving.

I was down to business for her 4th nap - I pushed the swing to calm her down, but I stopped it, (not abruptly), before she fell asleep. This meant more crying every time the swing stopped. And screaming. There was lots of screaming. So I sat there and patted her, but she didn't seem to give a rat's ass that I was there and she just kept screaming. So I tried leaving the room and she calmed down, fussed a little, calmed down, fussed a little, and then fell asleep. The whole process took 45 minutes. After 20 minutes of sleeping, she woke up crying, so I turned the blow dryer on and she went back to sleep. The exact same thing happened 15 minutes later. And then she slept another 45 minutes before waking up happy.

At bedtime I was prepared to just nurse her to sleep - the pediatrician said to start with naps and worry about bedtime later. But, she was too tired and fussy to really nurse, so I just put her in the swing without it moving, turned on the blow dryer, and walked out of the room. I watched her on the video monitor as she played with her feet, sucked on her hands, tossed her head around, and went to sleep!!! No fussing, no crying, no screaming. I couldn't believe it! I called Greg and he was ecstatic. After each night time nursing session, she fell back to sleep in her swing without movement. And, at her first nap of the day, she looked at her swing mobile, tossed her head around, and went to sleep. Wow! I am so glad we decided to do this now!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Lillian is Four Months Old

I think I need to accept that I am going to suck a blogging as frequently as I would like. Life has been so busy lately!

Because it's been a while, I figured I'd write my thoughts and comments in a list, so here it is:

-I love Lillian more and more every day, and I can't believe it. She makes me so, so happy.

-Yesterday was her 4 month pediatrician appointment. She cried for about 20 minutes after receiving her vaccines :( She's in the 25 percentile for height and the 45 percentile for weight. She weighs 13 pounds.

-She's already getting close to outgrowing a lot of her 3-6 month clothes! I think she must have gotten my long torso.

-Lillian's fussiness has significantly subsided. I don't know if it's because she's reached the age where colic typically ends, or if it's the new reflux medication, or if it's the probiotic, but, whatever it is, we'll take it!

-Lillian and I went to visit my family in Maine for two weeks. It was so awesome to get away from the Texas heat and see my family and friends. She did great on the planes - people commented on what a good baby she was. She mostly nursed and slept. There was only one episode of screaming that was due to her wanting to nurse and me wanting to wait for take-off so her ears would pop (I could see the hair raising on the backs of peoples necks when that was going on!). The hardest part about traveling was dealing with all the stuff we had, but people were extremely helpful. I think the pilot helped us deboard three of the four legs.

-We are still having sleep problems. Lillian wakes up WAY too early (sometimes before 5:00 AM) and sometimes she wants to nurse every 2-3 hours all night long. She wants to go to bed at 6:30, and keeping her up later has not helped her sleep-in, so I've stopped fighting it. And she's only been napping 30-50 minutes at a time. There was a period there that I was so exhausted by the end of the day that my throat hurt and my whole body ached. She has also seriously been fighting naps. We have to use the swing and blast a blowdryer (for the sound) in order to get her to sleep, and she still fusses for like 10 minutes. Thankfully, the past few days have been much, much better :::knock on wood::: I am amazed that I haven't gotten sick from all of this exhaustion!

-Lillian is super smiley these days! It is so awesome.

-She goes through days of making a favorite new noise. The past two days it has been serious grunting. The other day it was a whispery "key, key, key." Before that it was "Ha Huh Ha Huh." Last week she was moving her tongue all over the place yelling and making "L" sounds. And before that it was a lot of gargling.

-She just starting liking books this week. She now looks at the pages while I read to her.

-She really enjoys picking things up and putting them in her mouth. Her new favorite activity is sitting in her high chair with some ring-type toys on the tray so she can grab them. She also tried to grab my menu at a restaurant the other day - Time to watch out for my glass of wine!

-She just put her foot in her mouth for the first time (before it she could only do it if there was a sock to hold onto).

-She's much better at tummy time and can lift up her head and pick up a toy...but she still only likes it for about two minutes :/

-After trying a Moby wrap, pouch sling, and ring sling, we finally found a carrier Lillian really loves - the Baby Bjorn, facing out. I got one for $20 and she looooves it and kicks her legs like crazy. It is so freaking nice because I can finally wear her around the house for a bit. And it was great for traveling.

-She is so close to rolling over! She gets all the way onto her side and will roll, roll, roll around in a circle, but hasn't made it over yet. Of course, the past few days her interest in rolling has subsided.

-She can now scoot around on her back, which means I had to move the play gym away from the fireplace hearth!

-She loves going out in public and looking around. She was soooo excited to be facing out in the Bjorn at the Atlanta airport! (So many people to watch!)

-She has become a distracted nurser - she is constantly pulling off and looking up at me...which is too cute to be very annoyed about ;)

-I have started the process of getting her out of the swing. The pediatrician said we really need to do it now, and I agree. I spent the last week turning off the swing once she was asleep, and that worked great. Starting today, I am going to start trying to get her to fall asleep in the swing without it moving. :::fingers crossed:::

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sooooo Tired!

Ugh, this is worse than when Lillian was first born because I have no help! The last week or so she has decided to nurse every 2-3 hours all night long, so I have become more and more exhuasted. And yesterday she wouldn't nap and was fussy all day. I was so tired my eyes were burning and I thought I was going to lose my mind. So, last night I decided to go to bed with her at 8:30...but then she wanted to nurse every hour until 11. And then my post nasal drip kicked in until midnight. And then she was up for the day at 3:00. So I got three hours of sleep. How am I supposed to function like this? I want to cry from exhaustion.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Lillian is 3 Months Old!

I can't believe we made it to three months already. It really is amazing how much time flies and how much I have fallen in love with this girl. I am looking forward to the next few months SO MUCH! Lily is supposed to be less fussy (according to what everyone says), she can now go to gym daycare (which means I get a break during the day), and it's soon going to be cool enough to go for a walk whenever we want! Plus my favorite pumpkin things will be available ;)

Yesterday we visited the doctor because her spit-up has been very projectile and she is still getting really fussy when she spits up. The doctor switched her from Zantac to Zegerid and said it sounds like she has colic in addition to reflux (because she has been super fussy in the evenings). She recommended we try a probiotic because some studies have shown probiotics help colic. Lillian was also diagnosed with pink eye :P Hopefully the remedies will help her feel better. I am especially intrigued by the probiotics considering I was on antibiotics when she was born, and she was on antibiotics for the first 48 hours of her life.

I do think her fussiness is starting to subside a little. And I've learned some great tips on getting her to go to sleep. When she is fussy, I swaddle her in a Miracle Blanket, put her in the swing, and turn on the blow dryer at full blast (we were using a fan, but apparently that wasn't enough). It almost always works. My hope for the next month is that we can get her out of the swing and into the crib/bassinet, but we'll see what happens. I don't want to force her if she isn't ready.

We have starting taking Lily out more often, which has been great. Last week we went to the outlet mall, and she loved watching the people, (I also had my first 100% nurse in public experience when I nursed her on a bench right in the middle of everything - I did wear a cover). She went out to lunch at a fast-food chicken place, and, again, she had a great time people watching. We've been to the grocery store several times, and she always LOVES this. And we took her to a fancy dinner on Saturday night. This was not the plan - Greg and I had bought a Groupon deal that gave us a five course tasting at 50% off, and our plan was to leave Lily with Greg's mom. But, the deal expired on Saturday and she still wouldn't take a bottle, so we all went together. I am so thankful grandma was there to walk her outside when she was fussy, but, overall it went well (except for the ride home - she screamed for 20 minutes). Here’s a picture of my little sweetheart all dressed up for the evening:

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Postpartum Clinic Visit

Today was my first CF clinic visit since having Lillian. And I got good news - my FEV1 is holding steady at 111%! My last sputum culture still showed normal flora. I still can't believe I cultured PA for seven years and now I have not cultured it for three years. The last time I cultured anything was Staph back in May of 2009.

I hogged a lot of my doctor's time today to discuss a few topics:

The first thing we talked about was the possibility of Lillian having CF. Greg had a genetic test for the 97 most common CF mutations, and it came back negative. However, there are thousands of rare mutations, so there is still a chance Greg could be a carrier, and therefore, there is a chance that Lillian could have CF. Please note that I was aware of all this when we started TTC and I had talked it over with my CF doctor - he said at that time what we had done was enough. However, I wanted to be more informed so I mentioned that I've seen some talk on the CF forums about the need to have genetic sequencing done in order to completely rule out CF. I asked my doctor his opinion on this. Here is what he said:

Texas automatically tests for CF in all newborns by analyzing the blood for a by-product of the pancreas (IRT). Even people who are pancreatic sufficient, (like me), will show abnormal test results. If the levels are abnormal, a sweat test is performed. After that a genetic test is done. So, with Greg passing the 97-panel test and Lillian passing the IRT test, the odds of her having CF are very, very small. Doing full genetic sequencing is unnecessary.

He further noted that the state of California is automatically performing full genetic sequencing on ALL newborns, and they are finding all kinds of new mutations in children that have zero symptoms. There is debate in the CF community if these people really have CF and about "what to do" with these cases.

Please note that I am NOT making any judgments about what other people choose to do regarding genetic testing. I am just sharing the information I received.

The other subject I brought up was a new school of thought I heard about cases like mine: Instead of "mild CF" perhaps I should consider myself having "late onset CF." I mean, I DO have CF - I have sinusitis, I get lung infections, I cough up junk. My lungs are probably getting damaged, just more slowly than the typical CFer. But someday, (without proper treatment and new drugs), my lungs are going to be really bad. I will need to spend time in "Club Med." I may need a lung transplant. Eventually (barring something else) CF will probably kill me. When? I have no idea and neither do my doctors. But I'd like it to be later rather than sooner. Actually, I'd like it to be never because death by CF sucks. I don't even want to be hospitalized all the time in 20 years.

So I told me doctor, "You know, you are so used to looking at really bad x-rays. Sometimes, I feel like, when you look at mine, you think 'she looks great' and send me on my way. But I want to know what is going on. Please tell me if you see mucus plugs, or a small amount of lung damage. It will motivate me to take care of myself." He told me that chest x-rays don't really give much information regarding small airway damage, it just tells him if something major is going on. And he confirmed that people can be experiencing lung damage even when their PFTs are holding steady. So he is sending me to have a chest CT scan done. Based on those results, we will decide if I should add more airway clearance and/or Pulmozyme to my routine.

The last thing we talked about was my GERD. I mentioned that I am sick of waking up and needing my inhaler. So I am going to see a gastro. Hopefully we will be able to get this under control.

So, that's that. Greg stayed home with Lillian so I could go with out having to worry about her fussiness. She did pretty well for him - she slept most of the time, had a happy period, and then she got hungry and refused a bottle, so there was about a half hour of crying until I got home. I really hope she will take a bottle soon because I'd like to be able to go on a date with my husband!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Two Month Pedi Appointment

Lillian had her two month doctor visit last Friday. I was soooo nervous beforehand because she had to get five shots. The nurse who administered them rocked - she did them so fast that Lillian barely had time to cry before they were finished. She did scream, of course, but she calmed down quicker than I expected, (nursing really helped with that!).

We saw the other pedi at the office this time, and I love, love, love her. She is younger than the man Lillian has been seeing, and not nearly as old-school. She is much more sympathetic to our sleep issues, (Lillian will only sleep in her swing), our tummy time troubles, (tummy time = face plant into the floor and screaming :/ ), and she made me feel so much more reassured about what we are doing. She agrees that two months is too young to cry it out and said we really don't have to worry about transitioning her to her crib until 4-6 months. And she said holding Lillian over our shoulders so that she has to hold her head up = tummy time, which rocks because Lillian loves doing that and looking around. I think I am going to request this doctor from now on.

Lillian is growing well. She is in the 45 percentile for height and weight and the 60 percentile for head circumference, (her daddy has a big head). The doctor said she is very alert for a two month old, and commented on how her smile "took up her whole face."

I asked about the possibility of a milk allergy, and the doctor said that, if she had one, it was most likely mild because she hasn't had significant blood in her poop. She also said the rashes were normal. So, she wanted me to go one more week on the dairy elimination diet, and then gradually add things back in to see if there is any impact. I do think Lillian's diapers look less mucusy after cutting out all dairy, but I am going to try adding some things back in because this diet is so restrictive. I just started eating a few things with dairy in them, (like fake cheese powder and a Lean Cuisine containing whey), and haven't noticed a difference in Lillian yet.

We also walked out with a prescription for Zantac, because Lillian spits up a ton, gets the hiccups all the time, fusses at the breast, and cries when we lay her flat on her back, (except when she is getting her diaper changed - then it is party time). So, far, I have not noticed that this has helped. She has been extremely fussy the past few days and spits up so much. Today she projectile spit up over my shoulder and all over the floor, and was screaming and arching her back, so I went to Walgreens and bought some Mylanta, as the doctor suggested. She just got her first dose, so we'll see if that helps at all.

In other news, Greg and I realized Lillian is not napping well. We figured she would "just fall asleep if she was tired" and have been putting her in the swing in the living room, but she likes to fight sleep to watch the action (by "action", I mean me cleaning :P). There have been days where she hasn't napped AT ALL, and others where she has taken maybe two 30 minute naps. So, since last Thursday, we have kept the swing in our bedroom, (where she sleeps at night), and left the fan running for nap times, and it seems to help. We also put her down as soon as she starts yawning and getting fussy. She'll protest sometimes, but then fall asleep pretty quickly. She has been napping a lot more, and I am learning her schedule - it seems like she can only be awake 1-1/2 to 2 hours between naps.

So, between the napping, the milk allergy, and the reflux, I was hoping we would figure out the reason for her fussiness. But, so far, that has been a big FAIL. She still likes to cry and fuss all the time and I still feel like I can't leave the house. I've also tried two different slings and she will only tolerate one of them for a few minutes. I love her so much and I hate seeing her upset all the time! I really hope this gets better soon!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Breastfeeding "Yay"

Last night Lillian had fallen asleep on my chest after nursing when she woke up and wanted to nurse some more. I had already taken off the nipple shield, so I decided to try nursing without putting it back on. And she did it! And we haven't used one since! Wow, that was amazingly easy - I guess I just had to wait until she was ready to ditch it. ::fingers crossed that this continues::

The nipple shield is a PITA because I constantly have to wash and sterilize them, it's a pain to put them on because Lillian often knocks them off with her hands, (and then cries), and it makes nursing in public a more daunting task. Plus I always lose them. So, I am very happy with this progress!

Now we just need to get her to take a bottle again :P We went too long between bottle feedings and now she just screams when Greg tries to give her one. He is going to continue trying when I am out of the house, working out. I've heard this is a common problem that other families have overcome, so I am hopeful that I will be able to leave her for more than a few hours at some point!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

That's It, I'm Cutting Out Dairy

I took the nurse's advice one step further and cut out all milk. Yesterday I didn't even have any yogurt or ice cream, (which I usually have every day). However, my lunch had some cheese on it, I had some sour cream on my fajitas, and I had a cup of hot chocolate. And last night Lillian got a big hive on her forehead and she was screaming. Her poop continues to be mucusy, too. I know it can take up to two weeks for the milk protein to get out of my system, so we may not see immediate results, but I am willing to try it if it might make her feel better. (I am also going to call the doctor on Monday.)

This should help with my weight loss goals too, considering cheese and ice cream are my weaknesses!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Lillian Has Poop Issues

Last night I noticed a small amount of red blood in Lillian's diaper. Of course this worried me and sent me off to the baby books and Google. Once I started reading about baby poop issues, I realized that she has also had mucus in her poop for at least a few days, maybe more - I thought it was just sticky looking poop and didn't think much of it. I realized she had several signs of milk allergies: blood and mucus in her poop, rashes (that I thought were just normal, mild baby rashes), and general fussiness.

So, I called her pediatrician this morning, and the nurse told me it could be a milk allergy, or it could be caused by her straining to poop. So I have to put Vaseline on her anus, (ew, I hate that word), at each diaper change to help move things alone, and I have to cut milk out of my diet, (but not all diary, thankfully). So, hopefully that will take care of things.

And, actually, it would be pretty awesome if this was caused by a milk allergy, because it's an easy fix, (I only have milk in my cereal and coffee), and I would be so happy if it reduced her fussiness so it would be easier to take her out in public.

In other news, my pleurisy is pretty much gone, thankfully. And I didn't even have to cut back on my exercise.

Speaking of exercise, holy hell, I am out of shape! I don't think I've ever been this out of shape. Before I was pregnant, a six mile an hour pace was taking it easy. Now that pace kills me and I have to knock it down to five miles an hour just to get through the workout! Oh well, it's kind-of fun to have a challenge and a goal to work towards.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Ugh, I Think I Have Pleurisy

My upper left back started hurting on Thursday and got worse yesterday. It hurts when I inhale and when I move in certain positions. The last time I felt this way, I had pleurisy. Luckily, at this point I have no other symptoms of a lung infection, so my CF doctor just wants me to take a lot of Advil and call if it gets worse or doesn't get better. I guess I shouldn't complain too much since it's been over a year since I've had any sort of lunsg issue, but I'm still super annoyed because I JUST got the okay to start "real" exercise for the first time since I was 29 weeks pregnant, and I am dying to get back into shape, (and fit into my clothes). I'm still going to hit the gym, but obviously I can't push myself very hard. Hopefully it will clear up quickly!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

On My Own

Yesterday was my first full day taking care of Lillian by myself. It went well, and I am so excited and grateful that this is going to be my new job!

I am, however, very thankful I had help for the first six weeks! Greg took the first week off, my mom and aunt were here the second week, my mother in-law was here for 10 days after that, and then my sister was here for 16 days. The first five weeks were really rough and I don't know how I would have done it without help!

I had my six-week postpartum OB appointment yesterday, and everything checked out fine. I decided to go on the mini-pill because, even though it took four IUIs to get pregnant with Lillian, I REALLY do not want another one right now and am not willing to take the risk!

The OB appointment was also our first excursion out of the house just the two of us. That part did not go so well :/ So far, taking Lillian out has not been easy. We haven't done it much because our pediatrician said to avoid taking her to public places until she is two months old. This is hard because it means I can't run to the grocery store while Greg is at work, but I am also afraid to take her to the grocery store anyway because she gets so fussy!

For example, my sister and I took her to a nursing store last week so I could return the scale and buy some bras. I nursed and burped her before we left. It was a 20 minute drive, and she was fussing by the time we got there. My sister watched her while I tried on bras, and I got about halfway through when she turned to full-on crying and I had to take her to their private room to nurse her. Another example is from this weekend: Greg and I took her to my work so I could clean out my office. Again, I nursed and burped her before we left, and she was screaming by the time we reached my work, (which was a 20 minute drive). I had to nurse her again in the car, and then she was fussy almost the entire time we were at the office, (for about an hour and a half), and I had to nurse her again while we were there.

At the OB's office, I decided I would be prepared and bring a bottle of pumped milk so I could easily feed her at the drop of a hat. It was only a five minute drive, and the appointment was short, so I thought it would be a piece of cake. Nope. She was on the edge the entire time, and started crying the second the doctor came into the room, so a nurse came in and took her out of the room so I could be examined. And then, as I was buckling her back into her car seat, she started screaming hysterically. I was so embarrassed, and now I am wondering how long it is going to be until I feel comfortable taking her out in public! I had a CF clinic appointment this Thursday that I decided to reschedule for next month because Greg can't watch her and I do not feel comfortable taking her to a three hour doctor appointment. I hope her fussiness gets better soon!

Other than that, Lillian is truly a joy and I am having so much fun. She is smiling and cooing a lot, and I swear I’ve heard her laugh a couple of times. Her favorite thing right now is when I read her a book after a diaper change, while she is still on the changing table. She smiles, kicks her legs, coos, and happily yells out the entire time. So.much.fun. I love this girl sooooo much!

And here is my current favorite picture of her, take last week before we went to the nursing store:

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The First Month

I can't believe Lillian is already a month old! The past month has been an exhausting whirlwind. I had heard many times that the first few months are the most critical time for CF moms, (in terms of how a pregnancy might affect their CF), because they get rundown and miss treatments. I am happy to report that I have not skipped a single treatment, and, although I am rundown, I have not gotten sick yet. I think the fact that I barely leave the house and am not exposed to many germs is helping.

I've been averaging about 5-6 hours of sleep a day, including naps. The longest stretch of sleep I've had is about three hours. So, it's about what I expected and I am managing, but I am also really looking forward to getting more sleep in the future!

I am extremely lucky because I have had family hear to help since Lillian was born. Greg had the first week off work, then my mom and my aunt came for a week. After they left, my in-laws came for 10 days, and now my sister is here for two weeks. So I won't be without help until Lillian is six weeks old. It's been great because people cook us dinner, clean the house, and watch Lillian when I really need to catch a few extra hours of sleep (that last one has been critical!).

And, because I know weight gain is always a concern for people with CF, (as in, many people with CF have trouble gaining weight - although, because I'm pancreatic sufficient, this has not been an issue for me), I figured I'd report that I gained between 40 and 45 pounds during pregnancy and lost 25 to 30 of those during the first two weeks postpartum. So, I still have about 10 to 15 pounds to lose to make it back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I am already feeling anxious to fit back into my pre-pregnancy clothes - all I can wear now are maternity and work-out clothes, but I know it will probably take time. I can't even put my rings on yet!

Lillian is already growing and changing so much. I love watching her grow. She started cooing about a week ago and a half ago and smiling a few days after that! LOVE! Her favorite thing in the world is having her diaper changed. She looooves laying on the changing table and will make happy expressions and grunt and coo and wiggle once her dirty diaper is removed.

Speaking of diapers, we started using cloth diapers at about the two week mark, and I LOVE them! We are using mostly prefolds with covers. It really is super easy, and I feel so good about using them when I see how many diapers we are going through. We also have six extra small Bum Genius all-in-one diapers that are good for middle of the night changes and when we are away from the house.

Here are a few pictures from the past month:

This is How We Feel About Tummy Time :/


Okay, This is Better


First Bath


Sleeping in Mommy's Arms

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Our Breastfeeding Story

I'm sorry it's been so long since I've blogged. So much has happened and I really want to share it all, but things have also been so busy I haven't had time!

Here is a picture I took the other day that shows off Lillian's fabulous hair. It's probably my favorite picture of her so far.

So, now it’s time for me to blog about our breastfeeding saga. I knew in advance that breastfeeding would be hard. However, I didn’t expect it to be this hard.

Now, I knew that things do not always go as planned, but I didn’t expect to have as many obstacles as we did. I expected long nights, latch issues, sore nipples, a sleepy baby, etc. I didn’t expect NICU. I didn’t expect supply issues. I didn’t expect the vacuum extractor.

Things got off to a rough start in the hospital. I had always planned to breastfeed immediately after birth, but that wasn’t an option because Lillian had to be taken to NICU right away. And I wasn’t able to see her for about seven hours because I had problems of my own. Everything I’d experienced during labor and delivery, (getting only six hours sleep and not eating in 48 hours, the fever, the hemorrhaging), left me extremely weak. I could barely sit up in bed without help. And I had to be on two different IV antibiotics, one every six hours and one every eight hours, which really limited my availability to leave my room.

The NICU’s policy was that all babies were fed every three hours, so, by the time I got to see her, she’d already received two bottles. Despite this, when I tried to breastfeed for the first time, she latched right on and I was so moved by the experience that I started to cry. However, the longer she stayed in NICU and continued to receive bottles, the worse things got. Greg and I tried to attend all of her feedings, but that wasn’t always possible because of my antibiotics schedule. And, when we did attend, she often wasn’t hungry. I was sooooo frustrated because everything I had been taught said that newborns don’t eat much those first few days, and they were feeding her up to an ounce at a time. So, when Greg and I showed up, we’d spend over and hour trying to get her to nurse, and she would just sleep. We even asked the nurses to call us if she woke up hungry, which meant sometimes they would do, and sometimes they wouldn’t do, which infuriated us. At one point, it was about two o’clock in the morning and we both broke down in the NICU because she just wouldn’t breastfeed due to getting so many bottles and we felt like people weren’t listening to us.

Some of the NICU nurses just seemed unconcerned with our struggles to breastfeed. I’m sure this was because they were used to dealing with much bigger problems, but it was still extremely frustrating to have our concerns minimized. One told us that we should be grateful we are taking our baby home with us (which we were). Several told us that “there is no such thing as nipple confusion.” Greg wishes he had asked them why the literature the hospital hands out specifically talks about nipple confusion and not introducing a bottle or pacifier during the first two weeks. By the time we got home from the hospital, the only way we could get her to latch on at all was using a nipple shield.

The other extremely frustrating part was that we could not get a lactation consultant to meet with us until our last day there, and she only met with us for about 15 minutes (they were simply understaffed). We met with another LC when we got home, who thought it was so ridiculous that we should send a letter of complaint to the hospital CEO.

Oh, and the other ridiculous part was regarding the antibiotics schedule: As I mentioned, part of the reason I couldn’t always breastfeed Lillian was because I would be due for a dose of antibiotics at the same time she was due for a feeding. (On top of that, it was extremely annoying to have to lug around an IV pole everywhere I went, and it was really hard on Greg that first day when I was too weak to walk to NICU and he had to push me in a wheelchair along with the IV pole.) This went on for about a day and a half. Then, when my OB came to my post pardum room to see how I was doing, she asked why I was still hooked up to an IV. WHAT?????!!!??? It turns out she had ordered ONE MORE DOSE of antibiotics, not for them to be continued for two more days! Somehow the message got lost and I was on them unnecessarily!

The NICU nurses kept telling me that Lillian would breastfeed once my milk came in and she was getting something for her efforts, so I was banking on that. When we got home, I was producing a little more milk and pumping eight times a day, so we were “triple feeding:” First I would try nursing. Then we would give her a bottle of pumped breast milk. When the breast milk was gone, we’d give her formula.

My first goal was to pump enough milk to get her off formula, and I accomplished that in about four days. However, over that time, she was willing to take the breast less and less and it got to the point where she would just scream when I tried to nurse her. I remember trying to nurse her and breaking down in tears. I had trouble sleeping and had a constant knot in my stomach because I was afraid I wasn’t going to be able to breastfeed. And I was sooooo angry at the hospital.

However, I am extremely stubborn and wasn’t going to give up without giving it a really good shot. Greg and I decided to call a lactation consultant, and, oh my God, she was fabulous! Anna came to our house for two hours on a Saturday, (six days after Lillian was born), and we learned soooo much about why we were having such a hard time breastfeeding. Apparently my supply was slow to come in because:

a) I had hemorrhaged during delivery.

b) The medication they administered to stop the hemorrhaging (methergine) lowered my supply.

c) I had extreme swelling due to the normal course of pregnancy and labor plus the added affect of being on an IV for three days (seriously, my feet looked like sausages and I couldn’t even get them into my flip flops). Apparently the water was taking up space in my breasts that milk should have occupied.

And, apparently Lillian was not nursing well because I was trying to use the cradle hold, which involves holding the back of her head, and her head was sore because of the vacuum extractor! (Whhhhy people at the hospital couldn’t have shared this information with us, I have no idea.) So, Anna had me lean backwards so that Lillian could nurse on her tummy, and, OMG, she started nursing instantly!

Anna said my primary goals should be to keep Lillian well-fed and boost my supply. This meant I had to continue pumping 8-10 times a day for 20 minutes each time, which was sooo time consuming and exhausting, especially in the middle of the night! She also wanted me to call my OB on Monday and ask for her thoughts on prescribing me Reglan to boost my supply.

Greg and I spent the next several days thinking all breastfeeding all the time. We had a spreadsheet where we tracked everything. We called it “Captain’s Log.” Before and after each nursing session, we would weigh Lillian on a scale, (rented for $90), so we could record the amount of milk she drank. Then I would pump (with a hospital grade pump we also rented), and we would record the amount of milk I pumped. And, it seemed like half the time she would decide she was still hungry right after I finished pumping, so we’d have to give her if she was still hungry, we would give her a bottle of pumped milk and record the amount she drank.

It was a bit maddening, because I felt defeated each time we had to give Lillian a bottle. I would think she was done nursing and start pumping, and then she would want to eat again and I would stop pumping and nurse some more. This would be extremely frustrating at four o’clock in the morning when I just wanted to sleep! Or, she would want to nurse again right after I finished pumping and my breasts were empty, so we’d have to give her a bottle. I was managing to give her about 60-80 percent of her milk through breastfeeding and the rest was pumped milk. Luckily, I was producing more and more milk each day and actually started to make a small freezer stash.

Lillian wasn’t a big fan of bottles, which helped out with breastfeeding, but it drove Greg crazy because he usually fed her and it would take forever and she would spit up a ton. And we went through so many bottles. At first we were using Avent bottles I bought because they were recommended by Baby Bargains. I had only bought two, so, on the second day back from the hospital, Greg ran to Babies R Us and bought four more. Then the LC said she hated those and recommended Breastflow bottles. So Greg went off to Target to buy three of those. Then Lillian decided she wasn’t a fan of the Breastflow bottles, so we called the LC and she told us to use the nipples that go on the Enfamil containers that Lillian used in the hospital. So Greg went back to Babies R Us to buy more nipples! However, after more patience, Lillian did eventually start to take the Breastflow bottles and we are planning to continue using those when she needs a bottle.

After I started pumping three ounces at a time, the LC gave me permission to cut pumping down to five times a day and go longer between pumping sessions at night. That was a nice little reprieve. But we were still suffering the problem of Lillian not getting enough milk from my breasts because they were never full enough, (she would usually only get ½ to one ounce after nursing for 20 minutes), and it was extremely frustrating. Greg always wanted me to hold off on pumping, but I was afraid of hurting my supply. And I was always a little resistant to giving her a bottle of pumped milk because it felt like a defeat. But then I felt really, really guilty because the doctor said her weight gain was a bit on the slow side.

Greg and I had several late night arguments, I cried several times, and Greg even once said he wanted me to give up on breastfeeding and just use formula because I wasn’t getting any sleep. Even my Aunt, who was staying with us for the week, made a point to sit down with me and tell me it would be okay if I fed Lillian formula. I knew this was true, but I just wanted to breastfeed SO BADLY and I wasn’t ready to give up.

Finally, about two weeks after Lillian was born, the LC said I could try a going a day without pumping. She said that, if Lillian had at least 6 wet diapers, 3 poopy diapers, and 1/2 oz weight gain that I could go another 24 hours without pumping, and, if we met the goal again, I could consider our breastfeeding established. Lillian nursed like a champ during those first 24 hours of no pumping and no bottles. And we've exceeded the goal - at least 8 wet and 6 poopy diapers, and she gained 3 ounces! The LC was so thrilled that she said we didn’t even need to go another 24 hours and that we were officially “graduated.” OMG, I was sooo happy! I am feeling happy as I type this, just thinking about how hard we worked!

I couldn’t believe how much more sleep I was able to get not having to worry about pumping, weighing, or bottle feeding, Lillian was so much less fussy, and I had so much more free time during the day. And we haven’t looked back since! I am still exhausted and feel strapped for free time, but it is so.much.better. I still pump every morning so I can build a freezer stash, (in case I ever need to go on some nasty antibiotic or something), and also so someone can give her a bottle if I decide I want to leave the house for a few hours, (or so I can sleep in a bit).

Now my goal is to wean her from the nipple shield. So far she fusses every time I try to nurse without it, but I am not going to stress over it. If I have to use a nipple shield every time I nurse for the next year, that’s okay. It’s not ideal, but it’s still better than having to use formula or pump all the time.

So that’s our breastfeeding story (so far). It’s been two weeks since we “graduated” and things are still going well, and I am sooo happy that we stuck with it!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Lillian's Birth Story

This is going to be very long, but I want to write everything down so I don't forget it.

We went into the hospital Friday evening at 5:00 for my induction. Cervidil was in place by 8:00. The placement of the Cervidil was actually a bit painful, mostly because the string attached to it was flat and textured, kind of like sandpaper, and the nurse was super rough with it. Sandpaper to the lady bits = not so fun :/ Other than that, though, I didn't notice any bad side effects from the Cervidil.

I spent the night connected to an IV so they could administer penicillin every four hours - that was needed because I tested positive for Group B Strep. I was also hooked up to blood pressure, fetal heart rate, and contraction monitors.

Having the IV placed, however, hurt like hell! I almost hyperventilated when the nurse put it in. I didn't expect that – I had gotten an IV several other times in my life and didn’t remember it hurting. The nurse didn't even numb my vein and was like, "Yeah, this is the biggest IV needle we use, so it hurts." WTF, thanks for numbing me first.

We didn't get much sleep that first night because the medical equipment was constantly beeping. The blood pressure monitor kept screaming that my blood pressure was too low, (it wasn't), then the battery was running low on the IV pole, and then the contraction monitor ran out of paper. So, I'd say Greg and I got about four hours of sleep. And I even took an Ambien :P

The next morning is when things started to pick up. The Cervidil was removed at 8:00 and I was still only 1 cm dilated. The nurse started the Pictocin around 9:00, and the doctor attempted to break my water around 10:00. Wow, having my water broken sucked! Apparently my cervix was still facing posterior and the doctor had a hard time getting her giant crochet hook in there. She made one attempt and I almost hyperventilated (again) because her fiddling hurt so much. When that didn't work, she said she needed to be more aggressive and told me that it was going to hurt MORE and asked me if I wanted something for the pain. "Um, yes, please." She let me choose between the epidural and Stadol. I chose the Stadol because I wasn't ready to be chained to the bed for the day. HUGE mistake. The pain was still horrible and I flipped out and got really hot and almost passed out, the medicine make me soooo dizzy, and it took everything in my power to keep from vomiting, despite getting IV Zofran. I spent the next hour trying to stop the room from spinning and trying not to vomit while I waited for the Stadol to wear off.

After all that, my OB wasn't sure if she had gotten my water with the hook, because nothing happened, but she wanted to give it some time to see if maybe she snagged it just enough for it to break on it's own.

The next few hours were not bad, although I don't really remember them. My contractions became regular, (three minutes apart and lasting one minute), around 10:00 (the same time my OB tried to break my water). Around 11:30, my water broke while I was in the bathroom. Whooohooo! My contractions steadily picked up from there, but they were very manageable. I thought they were similar to severe AF cramps that wrapped around my back, except I got a break in between them. The breaks are what made them so manageable. I stood up and did gentle side to side lunges during the breaks (I couldn't really walk around because I was attached to too much equipment). And I sat on the bed and did breathing exercises as Greg massaged my back with each contraction, (and I would whisper things like "Sons of Bitches" and "Mother Effer" at the peak of each contraction). One of the nurses even said I was doing so well that I should considering going natural. However, I had no desire to keep that up for hours and hours and hours. I wanted to be able to rest and chill out. So, at around 2:00, I requested the epidural.

It took over an hour for me to actually get the epidural, so I'm glad I asked for it when I did. While I was waiting, I lost my mucus plug, (I always wondered if I would notice it - Um, yeah, there was no denying it). And, at some point, I lost all sense of modesty with my husband and was handing him my used pads to throw in the trash :P - moving around was just not easy with ten thousand cords and IV pole attached to me.

Getting the epidural freaked me out but really didn't hurt too bad. It wasn't as bad as the IV. Still, I am not a fan of people "doing things" to me, especially sticking a needle in my back, so I was holding Greg's hands saying "Sweetie, sweetie, sweetie" over and over again.

I'm so glad I got the epidural. It made me very shaky for a while, and I was bit nauseated, but other than that it was great. I could still move my legs a little bit, but I was able to sleep a bit. And watch TV, talk to my family, read some magazines, and write a lot of this down here :)

Shortly after I got the epidural, I got my sixth dose of IV penicillin for Group B Strep. That medicine burns! And I guess my vein had enough. A few minutes after the nurse started the medicine, my arm started to hurt so badly that I thought I was going to lose my mind. She tried turning down the flow rate and it did nothing. I was laying in bed holding Greg's hand and crying out, "It hurts! I can't take it! It hurts so badly! Oh my God it hurts! What am I going to do????" It was the worst pain I’d ever experienced, including all of labor and delivery. Finally, my OB gave the nurse permission to turn off the medicine and I didn't get it again.

Around this same time, the contractions really picked up - they were really close together and to the point that the baby was showing signs of distress. So, they turned off the Pictocin and had me lay on my side wearing an oxygen mask for an hour. The baby looked much better after that and they started the Pictocin back up again at a lower dosage.

This is where I stopped writing stuff down during labor, so things are much less clear from here. I remember being unable to sleep and watching Star Wars. And I remember starting trembling soooo badly around 1:00 AM on Sunday morning. I had to put my mouth guard in to protect my teeth from all the trembling. I remember getting that undeniable urge to push around 3:00 AM and having to breath through the contractions, and I asked for a booster to my epi because it wasn't time to push yet.

At some point around here I also got a fever of 102 degrees. I think this was the scariest part for Greg, because I was so hot and he was just constantly going back and forth from me to the sink giving me cool washcloths for my face. Then the nurse joined in and was putting washcloths everywhere on me. My doctor got called in and gave me Tylenol suppositories.

My doctor then informed me my fever could potentially be caused by a uterine infection, and, because I had tested positive for Group B Strep, our baby would have to go to NICU to receive antibiotics until the results of a blood culture, (for GBS), came back, which would take 48 hours. I was disappointed by this news, but accepted what was best for our little girl.

Soon after that, it was time to push, and I got a freaking migraine at the same time! I was like, "Are you effing kidding me???" because I didn't want to be disoriented when I met our daughter. I am soooo thankful to our nurse because she got the anesthesiologist, who put something in my epi that stopped the migraine in its tracks.

So, then came the pushing. My contractions were about four minutes apart, and I pushed three times with each one for three hours. It wasn't too bad - I got to relax in between pushes and Greg and I chatted with the doctor and nurses. I did not find it more exhausting than anything else I’d experienced during labor and delivery. Unfortunately, the baby got stuck in the birth canal when she was almost out! We could see her hair, but she just wouldn't come any further, no matter how much I pushed.

The doctor told us that we would have to decide between a c-section and using the vacuum extractor. There were risks to the baby associated with both, and Greg and I were had a hard time deciding which route to choose. So, while we were deciding, I pushed for another half hour. Greg called his brother (a doctor) for advice. My doctor and the nurses left the room for a while so Greg and I could talk it over. We finally decided to go with the vacuum, because the baby was almost out and they would have to pull her back up through the birth canal in order to perform a c-section, which had its own risks, and because, as everyone knows, a c-section is major surgery.

Once we made that decision, the room filled with people. It only took three sets of pushes for the baby to crown, (which hurt, BTW, but it only lasted for a few seconds, so it was not as painful as the penicillin). After that, the doctor told me to keep pushing whether or not I was having a contraction, and she guided the baby the rest of the way out.

During this time, someone asked Greg if he was okay, and he said he was just trying not to cry. I will never forget the look on his face when she was born - he looked at me and there were tears in his eyes. It was the first time I ever saw him cry.

Unfortunately, this is where things started to go not as I planned them. I always wanted skin to skin contact and to breastfeed immediately after birth. Someone asked Greg if he wanted to cut the cord, and I heard the doctor say, "No, I am just going to do it." Lillian was then whisked away to another table in the room while the NICU people took care of her. Once they started cleaning her, she let out a wail and started crying. I started crying at the sound of her voice because I couldn't believe that was my daughter and I was so happy. I told Greg to go over to her, so he did, and then he got to hold her once she was cleaned up and swaddled.

In the meantime, I heard something about me having a lot of bleeding and needing medication to stop the bleeding. At the time I didn't realize this was a big deal, but afterward I learned I was hemorrhaging and the doctors were worried. I also had a 2-1/2 degree tear that needed sewing up. I spent the entire time watching our daughter across the room.

Finally, they let me hold her for a few minutes. She was screaming and I could tell she was hungry, but they wouldn't let me breastfeed her and it broke my heart. She was then taken away to NICU pretty quickly.

I was trying really hard to be okay with all of this NICU stuff, but I lost it when a nurse told me I wouldn't be allowed to see her until she was released from NICU because I had a sinus infection. I sobbed and said how I wanted her to know I was her mother.

After that, I still had to spend quite a bit of time in the labor room while the post-pardum nurse cleaned me up and put me on more IV antibiotics (not penicillin this time, thank goodness!). However, someone disconnected my IV at some point, so the nurse had to flush the port to reconnect it. Well, my vein had enough. It hurt so freaking bad that I yelped and jumped and start bawling. That was definitely part hormones, part exhaustion, and part being sick of being in pain. So they placed a new IV (and numbed my vein this time!).

Then, I thought I was going to pee myself, so the nurse helped me to the bathroom and I couldn't go, which meant I needed a catheter. The epi had worn off by this time, so this meant that it was going to have to be placed without pain medication. And I was very sore and swollen. It hurt so badly that I kept crying out, and it took the nurses three tries to get the freaking thing placed! A few hours later, I started cheering when I was able to pee on my own because I was so afraid they were going have to place a catheter again!

During all this, I remember getting a call from NICU asking me if there was any type of formula we wanted Lillian to have. My heart absolutely sank. This is not what I wanted. I wanted to breastfeed. I hadn't even bothered to read the chapters of formula feeding. I was so taken aback by the whole thing that I just told them it didn’t matter – honestly, I had no idea what kind of formula I would have wanted her to eat.

After my torture was over and the nurses just had to finish cleaning me up, Greg went to NICU to see Lillian. I got transferred to postpartum, and Greg came back glowing and said, "She is awesome!"

During all this, I kept crying over not being able to see Lillian. Then, it turns out there was just a communication issue and I would be able to see her, and nurse her, I just had to wear a surgical mask.

The next 48 hours were some of the most stressful and wonderful of my life. I was so in love with Lillian, and holding her was the most amazing thing I'd ever experienced. However, the fact that she was in NICU and receiving formula meant that breastfeeding did not get off to a good start. I will blog more about our breastfeeding saga in a separate post - I knew it would be hard, but it's been harder than I ever anticipated and is a long story in itself!

Thankfully, Lillian’s blood culture came back negative and we were able to take her home from the hospital with us! As hard as it was to not have her with us during those first two days, I kept reminding myself how lucky we were that we had the healthiest baby in the NICU and got to take our baby home.

And all of the pain of labor and delivery was soooo worth it. It’s so funny, because I’m sure this post seems like a lot of complaints, but I already look back at those 40 hours in the labor room with a lot of fondness. It made me love my husband even more, and seeing him glow over our daughter makes me such a proud wife. And, of course, I already can’t imagine our lives without Lillian. I can’t believe how perfect she is, and how much I know I would do anything for her. I know that we are so lucky and blessed to have her!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Lillian Mabel

Our sweet baby girl, Lillian Mabel, was born at 8:35 Sunday morning! She weighed 7lbs 12oz and was born after 12 hours of Cervidil, 19 hours of active labor (w/ Pitocin), and 3-1/2 hours of pushing. We named her after two of her great grandmothers.

Greg and I are so incredibly in love with her. Things have been crazy busy, but I am looking forward to writing a birth story soon. There were a few hiccups along the way, but everyone is doing well, and we came home from the hospital yesterday! I can't believe we got to take her home and that she is ours. Here are a few pictures:

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

41 Weeks - Induction This Weekend!

I cannot believe I made it to 41 weeks! I spent so much time concerned about delivering early like I’ve heard a lot of CFers do, and now I am staring at my belly chanting, “Get Out!” ;)

But, this little girl is just too comfortable in there. I had another OB appointment yesterday and I was still stuck at 1 cm dilated, so it’s looking like I am going to need an induction L I am scheduled to go in tomorrow evening for Cervidil, and then they will start Pitocin the following morning. Between my lack of progress and the baby's estimated size, I am extremely nervous that I am going to end up with a c-section! I really don't want one because I've heard it's hard to cough after a c-section, and I need to be able to cough and keep my lungs clear! I am trying to concentrate on the positive induction stories I’ve heard, though.

Thankfully, the baby seems to doing well. My OB ran an NST and the results were great. Sitting there listening to her heart beat and her movements made me feel so loving and protective towards her. I can’t imagine what it is going to be like once she is here!

Today I got acupuncture for the first time to see if that would help. I figured it couldn’t hurt and my insurance covered it, so why not give it a try? The baby was moving around like crazy the entire time! I must admit that some of those needles hurt when they first went in, but after that it was very relaxing and I just had to take a nap when I got home.

In other news, the past week was pretty rough. I came down with a killer sinus infection over the weekend - my whole body ached and I was soooo tired and spent five days in a row lying on the couch. I was getting extremely nervous that I wasn’t going to have the energy for L&D! Thankfully, my ENT had written me a refill for my antibiotics (Ceftin) because I get sinus infections several times a year, so I was able to start taking them over the weekend and started feeling better yesterday. I did have a moment of freaking out when I read “Do Not Take While Breastfeeding” on the prescription insert, but my OB and my CF doctor confirmed that it was just a CYA statement and the medication was perfectly safe to take while breastfeeding.

I also got another migraine yesterday! I hadn’t gotten one in 2-1/2 years and then I got two within a week! Craziness. Luckily, this one happened at home and I was able to sleep through it.

So, tomorrow is the big day! I must admit that it is kind of nice to know when we are going to go to the hospital! I am such a planner, so I’ve managed to forget about my disappointment by creating and working through a “to-do” list. Plus, it’s so close now, I can’t NOT be excited (and terrified)! Squeeeeee!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Grumpy

Me = Grumpy.

The mold count won't give me a break, which means I have been coughing up gunk for about two weeks now. The past few days I've been on the couch because I am so tired and feel like crap. And this morning I woke up unable to breath out of one nostril and feeling like someone had punched me in the face. I am crying uncle and getting my Ceftin refilled as soon as Walgreen's opens! I'm so glad my ENT decided to let me order refills instead of making me call him every time I have a sinus infection.

In pregnancy news, we had an ultrasound on Friday morning and the baby is looks great. Her estimated weight is now 8-1/2 pounds, which makes sense because it was 7-1/2 pounds two weeks ago. This girl is getting pretty darn heavy! I need to put a pillow under my belly when I sleep and I can’t sit with my legs closed anymore. I think it’s time for her to come out ;)

Other than that, I feel like I am back in the 2WW! I'm analyzing every symptom, wondering if it could possibly be a sign of labor. Is that another Braxton Hicks or a real contraction? Is my stomach upset because labor is starting? Was that my water breaking, or did I just pee myself again? ( :/ ) If there was such a thing as labor-prediction pee sticks, I'm sure I would be POAS five times a day. I even have a little bit of that sad, left-out feeling as I see other people having their babies.

Greg is also on labor-watch. He said that every time I make a sound of discomfort, he wonders if I am in labor. Yesterday morning I opened the door to ask him if he wanted some coffee, and he turned to me and said, "Are you in labor??"

My dad is convinced she is waiting for his 60th birthday on the 26th to make an appearance. Greg "has a feeling about Tuesday." And I am wondering if she is waiting for the Lost finale (tonight), because I made a comment a long time ago about how I wanted to baby to wait until after Lost finale so I could watch it :P

At least I know it won’t be more than a week!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

40 Weeks & Yesterday's Misadventure

Wow, the date we've had circled on the calendar for nine months is here! I really can't believe it.

I am feeling better since I posted yesterday - I've basically put myself in the mindset that she isn't coming until next weekend so I won't keep waking up everyday wondering "Is today the day??" and then being disappointed. (But I will still be trying some of those OWTs!).

I did have a bit of a misadventure yesterday afternoon. After my appointment, I went into work and everyone was coming up to me and commenting, "You are still pregnant??" "Still here, huh?" "When are you gonna have that baby?" Considering I was already upset from my appointment, I pretty much lost it and started biting people's head's off. I was one step away from screaming, "Thanks Captain Obvious! I hadn't noticed I was still pregnant!"

Anywho, after I managed to calm down a bit, WAHM! I got hit with migraine. It literally came out of nowhere. And I get aura with migraines, so they really suck. One second I was eating yogurt and working, and the next second I couldn't see my monitor because there was a blank spot in my vision. So, I had to call Greg to have him come pick me up.

While I was waiting for him, I called my OB's office to find out what medicine I could take, (and I had to ask my coworker to tell me their # because I couldn't read my cell phone!), and they told me to go to Walgreens and have my blood pressure checked because visual disturbances could mean pre-eclampsia. Then my coworker had to walk me to my car to wait for Greg.

While we were on the way to Walgreens, the next phased kicked in and I started feeling sick and my hand and face went numb. And, as I mentioned on here before, I am TERRIFIED of throwing up. I took two Zofran, and it was still all I could do to not throw up - the car ride was killing me. By the time we got to Walgreens, the confusion part of the aura had set in and I couldn't remember why we were there and Greg had to talk for me. And, they didn't have a blood pressure monitor. So, instead of going home, we had to go to the doctor and I wanted to cry because I felt so sick and was about to completely freak out. I managed to get through it by reminding myself that I would rather throw up than have something bad happen to the baby.

Everyone at the doctor's office was like "WHOA" when I walked in because I had just been there four hours earlier and was fine, and suddenly I looked like crap. They were even like, "Are you going to throw up???" and then led me to an exam room and had me lay down w/ the lights off while they took my blood pressure. My blood pressure was fine, thankfully, and the baby was kicking a ton, so she was okay, and I finally got to go home and lie down!

Lying down made me feel so much better and the aura wore off after another hour, and then the headache kicked it. Luckily, it was an extremely minor headache and I managed to power through it without taking any medication. And now I am feeling much better!

Fun times!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Le Sigh

I just got back from my 39w6d OB appointment. I went in very hopeful that I had progressed because I've been having more contractions lately. But noooooo, not a damn thing had changed :P My OB is talking induction now, and I am scheduled to go in next Friday evening for cervical ripening and be induced the following day at 41w2d. So it may be another week and a half until we get to meet our little girl, and my OB seemed to think that it most likely would be the case. I am feeling extremely frustrated right now, but I am also mad at myself for feeling this way because I should just be thankful we are about to have a baby!

In the meantime, I am going to be trying every OWT in the book, (except castor oil).

Thursday, May 13, 2010

39 Weeks!

We made it to our goal! My OB said the baby benefits from staying cozy inside me until 39 weeks, so that was our ultimate goal for this pregnancy. I can't believe it's here. I am soooo ready to have an outside baby now, but Greg wants her to stay in until at least Sunday evening so he can catch up on sleep this weekend ;)

I only had very slight progress at my OB appointment yesterday. I was still 50% effaced and at station -2, but I was slightly more dilated, however, not enough to call it 2 cm. My OB could see the disappointment on my face and reminded me that progress would just be "icing on the cake," but lack of progress doesn't mean that I'm not going into labor anytime soon.

In CF-related news, the mold count has skyrocketed here in Austin, which means I've been feeling like crap! I've been exhausted, achy, coughing up green phlegm, needing my albuterol more often, and I can only breathe out of one nostril most of the time. Yuck. I really don't want to get sick right when the baby comes! So, I called in sick today and slept 11 hours last night. Ahhhhh....

Saturday, May 8, 2010

38 Week Appointments (And More Pictures)

I saw my regular and high risk OBs this week. Everything is still going well. I gained a ton of weight last week, 4lbs, (not sure what is up with that), so my total weight gain is now over 40 lbs :/ I hope it's a lot of water! My cervix made no further progress, which I was a little bummed about, but I keep reminding myself it doesn't mean much as far as when I will go into labor. As of three days ago, I was 1 cm dilated, 50% effaced, and the baby was at station -2. I am getting anxious for the big day to be here, although I know it's good for her to stay put for one more week. Baby Girl's estimated weight is now 7lbs 7oz. Here are pictures from what was most likely our final ultrasound:

And here are a few belly shots:

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Full Term! YAHOOO!!

WOW! I seriously cannot believe I am full term. I felt like a kid on Christmas Eve last night - I kept dreaming about being full-term, and I woke up at 4:00 and could not fall back to sleep because I was excited. It hasn't settled-in that this baby could come so soon - I am not ready to leave work, the house is a mess, the nursery isn't done, the car seat isn't installed...ack!

The sucky part is that Greg has been swamped at work lately, (he's already put in 40 hours this week), which means he has been so stressed that he hasn't been sleeping well and has no time to help get ready for the baby, and he's been a bit grouchy. Not exactly how I wanted to spend our last few weeks alone :( He keeps saying that he can't wait until the baby gets here so he can have a vacation from work!

I had an OB appointment yesterday, and I have started to dilate (woot!) - I was at 1 cm. And, I didn't gain any weight this week (double woot!). I did test positive for group B strep, which means antibiotics during labor, but it shouldn't be a big deal. The swelling has started to affect my hands - my knuckles are sore and I get some tingling in them - but my blood pressure is still good.

That's all I have for now. I'm hoping I can get to work early so I can leave early and take a nap!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Good News Thursday!

Several things:

  • (TMI warning) I had a pre-natal appointment with a lactation consultant. I made the appointment after I learned about the "pinch test" in our breastfeeding class a few weeks ago. The instructor said that, even if your nipples look normal, they may be flat or inverted and it could cause problems with nursing, and a simple the pinch test can reveal this. I thought things looked questionable when I tried the test on myself, and today the lactation consultant confirmed that I have slightly inverted nipples and said it could create problems when my milk comes in. Luckily, there is something I can do about it - I have to wear these shells "a few hours a day" until the baby is born, (although, when I asked what she meant by "a few hours", she said 5-6 hours :/), and they only cost $13. The prenatal visit did cost another $45 on top of that, but I think it is worth eliminating this potential headache.
  • I had my 36 week OB appointment, which included another internal exam. My cervix is still closed, which I know doesn't mean much right now. The exciting news is that, when I talked to her about being induced earlier than normal because of my CF, she spoke with my high risk OB and got the okay to let me go as long as a "normal person" because last week's PFTs were so great! WHOOHOOO!
  • I told my manager that I wasn't planning to come back to work after the baby is born. This was important to me because I didn't want to hold the position and office space and put strain on my employer for no reason. And I told him exactly that. My manager thanked me for thinking of them and said they were ready to take on my workload and that they will be fine. He also said he really wants me to take my maternity leave because I've "earned it" and he thinks I should wait until I actually have a baby to make a final decision. He even briefly mentioned the possibility of working part-time. I am still in shock!
  • I never mentioned that I got summoned to jury duty a few weeks ago. First time ever. I was like, "Are you freaking kidding me?" and I reeaaalllly did not want to go because I need to get stuff done at work, but I didn't feel justified in getting a doctor's note if it there was a chance it might only be for an afternoon. Anywho, I got an email today that my trial was canceled and that my jury duty is now complete. Woot!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

OUCH!

Holy freaking leg cramp! I woke up this morning with the worst leg cramp ever! It was so strong that I couldn't flex my foot at all, and I was withering in pain and yelling for Greg, (I wanted him to flex my foot for me). Of course, he was in the shower on the other side of the house, so he didn't hear me. I managed to twist my body so I could press my foot against the wall and it eventually went away, although my leg is still a little tender.

So this is what they were talking about in our childbirth class :P

Thursday, April 15, 2010

35w0d Clinic Visit

Last Thursday's clinic visit went well. My FEVs have not changed, and my weight gain is more than enough - I don't think I need to gain anymore! My last sputum culture showed normal flora again, which I always like to hear.

Here are my stats at 35 weeks:

Weight gain: 35 pounds
FEV1: 115% (Up 5% from last visit and 3% from pre-pregnancy)

I also had my work shower on Thursday. Everyone in my office was super sweet! They made a ton of good food, decorated the conference room, and people wrote really sweet words of wisdom and hung them on a tree. We got a swing (awesome!) and some essential items like diapers and baby wash and clothes.

Now we really are in the home stretch! There is still so much to do before Baby Girl arrives. I know the world will not end if we do not get it all done, but I am anal like that and really want to have her nursery all set up, errands out of the way, thank you notes complete, and the house clean. I also have a ton of stuff to do at work before I leave, and I really don't think I am going to get it all done, which sucks because I know people are counting on me. Things are taking me longer than I anticipated (not because of pregnancy), and I have had less time to work because I'm so tired and have so many doctor's appointments. It also doesn't help that I got summoned to jury duty for next week :P I just keep telling myself, "Oh well, I am doing what I can," so I don't stress out about it.

And, to end this post, here is a picture from my work shower:

35/35!

I can't believe I am 35 weeks! I'm getting excited for the big day :D

Today I have my work shower and a CF clinic visit, so I will write more later.

Monday, April 12, 2010

My Dogs are Barking

My feet are KILLING ME! This is one pregnancy side effect I was completely unaware of. The simple act of running errands on the weekends leaves me feeling like I just ran five miles. Last night they were so sore I kept taking breaks from housework and they still felt really tender when I got up this morning. Even my knees are sore. I guess I'm lucky to have a desk job!

Speaking of running, I never mentioned that, after the pre-term labor scare at 29 weeks, my OB said I should cut back on the cardio because I was having contractions at the end of my workouts. So, now I am down to walking and my prenatal video. I try to walk for 30 minutes to an hour 2-3 times a week, and I do the video twice a week. This doesn't sound like much to me, but I don't have that "jelly ass" feeling I usually get when I don't workout, so I guess it's doing something to keep me in some-sort of shape. Perhaps carrying around an extra 30 pounds is a workout in itself? It will be interesting to see how difficult it will be to run a mile in a few months!

Other than sore feet, the other pregnancy symptom I've been really battling is insomnia. At least one out of every two nights, I wake up at about 5:30 AM and am unable to go back to sleep. Considering I go to bed at 10:00 and wake up twice to pee before I wake up a third time at 5:30, I’m not getting enough sleep. I called in sick last Wednesday because I felt like a walking zombie. Thankfully, I slept well the last two nights and feel so.much.better.

The only other pregnancy symptoms I’ve been experiencing is a raging appetite, the continuation of heartburn (I just opened fourth Costco bottle of Tums since being pregnant), and water retention, (I took off my rings at 30 weeks, and I have the worst sock marks on my legs at the end of the day. Even my watch leaves a mark!). People have started asking me if I am "just ready to have this baby" and I am happy to say that, although I can't wait to meet her, I am perfectly okay with dealing with these pregnancy woes for a bit longer – as much as I just complained, it hasn't gotten that bad, yet. But I may have a different response in a few weeks!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

34w0d High Risk and Regular OB Appointments

I had both a high risk and regular OB visit today. Everything is still looking great. Baby Girl was still measuring right at average (53 percentile) and her weight estimate was 5lbs 6oz. (BTW, my OB said these estimates can be off by as much as 20% and get less accurate as you get further along, but the fact that we have consistently been in the 50% percentile gives them a good idea that we will be having an average-sized baby.) My weight and blood pressure look good. And, as of today, my OB will not stop things if I go into labor. Yikes!

It was a super fun u/s. Baby Girl had the hiccups and was kicking her feet a ton (the u/s tech said it looked liked she was dancing), and she even got mad and started flailing her fists when the u/s tech was poking her. The funniest part was when she kept trying to put her hand in her mouth - she would raise her hand up to her mouth and try to reach it with her tongue, which meant she kept sticking in tongue waaaaaay out, past her chin. The u/s tech and I were cracking up and decided she may be a contender to be next member of Kiss. The u/s tech also pointed out that she has a lot of hair.

We finally got some great 3D ultrasound pictures too! The past three visits she has had something in front of her face (her hands, the umbilical cord, or she has squished her face into the placenta), but today she wasn't shy.






Sticking Out Her Tongue


3D Image of the Tongue

I know a lot of people think 3D u/s pictures are creepy, but I just can't get over how cute she is :D
 
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