Thursday, April 29, 2010

Adventures in breastfeeding

I was planning on writing a long backstory about the first 12 days of breastfeeding.

But that would take awhile. Maybe one day I will... just not today.

Yesterday I found out that my prolactin levels are super low (prolactin is the hormone that is essential for lactation). I'm at an 88 when I should be at 160 or so.

So our nursing issues are definitely ones of supply - this was confirmed when our lactation consultant came over for an evaluation. Griffin's latch, muscle development, and tone are all good. That was all great to hear since latch was a huge issue with Penelope... but it means that there's no quick fix for our problems. Jaye (or LC) weighed Griffin before and after nursing and he only gained .5 oz - so that's pretty much all I produce (total from both sides). No wonder he lost so much weight, .5 oz a feeding isn't nearly enough. Even with all the herbal supplements I was taking, my supply hasn't increased, disappointing to say the least. Jaye would like me to see an endocrinologist to see if they can figure out *why* my hormone production is so low, but we don't have insurance (thanks to my unemployment) so that's not going to happen anytime soon. Maybe one day... I wonder if endocrine issues would be the cause of my inability to take hormonal birth control. Hmm.

There's really only one option I have to increase my prolactin levels and that's taking the drug domperidone (which isn't FDA approved). It's an anti-nausea drug and one of its side effects is to increase prolactin levels. I can order it from a pharmacy in New Zealand but it will take a week or so to get here... my LC has another client who might be willing to sell me her supply of domperidone (she can't take it, it gives her headaches).

After doing some research we've decided to try the domperidone. A 3 month supply is less than a month's supply of formula, so we'll be "saving" money.

I'm hoping it works (quickly).

In the meantime I'm still pumping, nursing, and supplementing. We were lucky to get some donated breastmilk and we have some formula samples that should hopefully hold us over until my supply increases.

It's been exhausting. For all of us... Penelope was having trouble sleeping in her big girl bed so we put her back in the crib for the time being. She did so much better last night. We're pretty sure it was just too much change all at once. A new baby, a new room, a change in routine... all a little too much to handle at once. So we'll keep her in the crib for another few weeks and then try again.

I'm really hoping that the domperiodone works quickly so we can get into a new routine. I miss the activities we used to do - like music, playgroups, parks, etc. But having to pump every few hours puts a damper on social activities. I think Penny really misses her friends, she's been throwing more tantrums lately. And while temper tantrums are normal at this age, the frequency of her tantrums has increased exponentially since Griffin was born.

I know she'll adjust and everything will go back to "normal" - it'll just take awhile.

I have a lot more to say, but not the time - will try and update later. And I'll try and take new pictures...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The things we do for our kids...

Here's what we've been doing for the last 12-ish hours:

1:30pm - bottle, 1.5 oz
3:30pm - pumping, 1.5 oz
4:00pm - bottle, 1.5 oz
5:45pm - pumping, 3/4 oz
6:00pm - bottle, 1 oz
7:30pm - bottle, 2 oz
7:50pm - pumping, 3/8 oz
8:30pm - bottle, 1.5 oz
9:30pm - bottle, 2 oz (which he promptly spit up)
9:30pm - pumping, 1/4 oz (had to stop mid-pump to feed him)
10:30pm- bottle, 1oz
11:30pm- pumping, 1/2 oz
12:30am- bottle, 2 oz
4:45am - bottle, 2 oz
4:45am - pumping, 3/4 oz
5:30am - bottle, 1.5 oz
6:00am - bottle, 1 oz
6:30am - bottle, 1 oz
7:00am - pumping, 1/2 oz
7:10am - bottle, 1 oz
9:00am - bottle, 1 oz
9:10am - pumping, 1/2 oz
9:30am - bottle, 1 oz

It's currently 10:30. I pump again in 40 minutes. I've been pumping both sides for 15-20 minutes and as you can see, my biggest yield was 3/4 oz. *headdesk*

As you can also see, the only "break" we got was from 12:30 to 4:45 - although since Penelope woke up right as we were going to bed at 12:45, sleep wasn't achieved until well after 1am... and Griffin woke us up at 4:30 but it took 15 minutes to get ready to feed him/pump. So we got about 4 hours of sleep. It was all at once, so that was nice. I probably should have set my alarm to wake us up after 2 hours to feed him and pump but I'm exhausted and I know Bryan is as well.

Today will be more of the same... tomorrow will probably look similar.

Please send me ALL the good breastfeeding thoughts and/or prayers you have. I could use any help - hell, I'd take divine intervention at this point even though I'm an atheist.

In happier news, he's peeing like a champ so I know he's staying hydrated and is getting enough food. Is it enough to gain weight? I hope so! Our midwives come back on Thursday to weight him (recap, he lost 13 oz in 10 days = bad).

I've also consulted with an LC and she's set up a plan to help him gain weight and *hopefully* boost my supply. I see her on Thursday as well... G also gets his newborn pictures take Thursday. Thursday will be a busy day.

If I could have one wish for Mother's Day, it would be to make enough milk to feed my baby (and for him to be able to access that milk). My LC has a couple of theories why G isn't gaining and my supply is low. One day I'll post in detail - but that day isn't today. I have few moments where I can post... Bryan is running errands with P and G is asleep and due to wake up any minute. He was nice enough to let me take a shower, wash bottles, and start laundry but I doubt his tummy will let me post the novel I have on our breastfeeding saga.

I hope everyone is having a much more relaxing day than we are.

And I hope that all four of us get in a good long nap this afternoon.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A quick post

Griffin is asleep, but will probably wake up at any moment so this will be short.

There's a lot I could (and probably will) post about regarding breastfeeding and our struggles this time around. They're different in some ways and similar in others to the breastfeeding issues we had with Penelope. Suffice it to say that it's been a rough week.

We moved Penelope into her new room yesterday and so far the transition has been easy. She napped well yesterday in her new big bed and slept well last night. In fact, she's still asleep. I tried to get a picture but they all came out blurry :(

Alright, little man is awake. I knew I wouldn't get a lot of time to post!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Baseball Baby




Photos of the birth & Breastfeeding

Today was our 7 day check up (a day early). Which means that we got our birth photos and slideshow! Bryan has to upload the slideshow portion, but here are a few pictures of the birth (none of the ones I post here will be actual birth shots since not everyone needs to see that much of me, these are mostly pictures of Griffin).

But first, the appointment.

G-Man weighed in a 8.8 lbs. The loss of weight is normal, and it wasn't as much as P's weight loss (she lost nearly a pound which was the biggest indicator of our breastfeeding problems).

We are having a few feeding issues, mostly revolving around positioning. Marlene and Kaleem helped us find a hold that works much better for us so hopefully feeding won't be as frustrating. He would pop on and off, which happens less in this new hold. Although a part of the reason for his frustration is that my supply, while adequate, isn't letting down fast enough to keep him eating. So I never feel fully "drained" and nursing sessions last 2 hours (literally). This is really difficult for me to cope with at night, especially since the holds we were using hurt my back. Side nursing at night is possible, but not really practical at this point. I have to use both hands and so it isn't very restful.

So I'm now on Fenugreek and More Milk tincture to help boost my supply. Once I let down more he should be much more efficient while nursing and we should both find nursing to be a much more pleasant experience.

Right now, I do not enjoy breastfeeding. But I'm hopeful that will change with the herbs, new hold, and with time. It is, after all, only day 6.

His gas issue might also be resolved with more efficient nursing. They're not concerned that he hasn't had a bowel movement since Monday, it's not uncommon for newborns (although I will admit that I was worried about it). The increase in supply should get his digestive system moving.

They also showed me a new way to burp, and hopefully that will help.

So things are good. Certainly not perfect, but what is? I'm nowhere near comfortable enough with nursing to do it in public, but that will come with time. For now we'll just hang out at home (although I am going stir crazy). We might go to MSN for music tomorrow, but that's not really "public" and I have no problem nursing in front of the ladies and kids there. They're practically family.

Anyway, here are some pictures. Enjoy!

LONG baby!

Kissing my baby boy

So happy :)

Love that face

Father and Son

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pictures and Growth Chart

So as promised, here are some pictures of Griffin and his growth charts. Most of these pictures have already been posted on Facebook.






Saturday, April 17, 2010

Griffin's birth story

Griff just fell asleep so hopefully I can get this finished before he wakes up and needs to nurse.

The week leading up to labor had been filled with irregular contractions, so I figured that I would go into labor at any time. I should have know better! Griffin, like his sister, was right on time. My midwives had 4/16 as my due date in my chart and I had 4/15 (using an online calculator). He was born 4/16 at 2:14am - right on schedule.

The day of 4/15, Bryan, his mom, and I took Penelope to the zoo to see if walking around could get labor started. It worked! At about 7pm contractions picked up and we called our midwives to come over. They got in at around 8:30 and set things up. I labored for another 2 hours or so before getting into the water. I spent some time on my yoga ball, took a shower, and walked around the house a bit to get the baby to drop - for while my contractions were strong and regular, he was still pretty high.

I got into the tub and labored for awhile before asking Marleene to check me. She said I was nearly finished and we could either wait it out or she could break my bag of waters. I opted for her to break my bag... I was ready for things to get going and I hoped that the breaking of the bags would bring the baby down further and I could get to the heart of labor.

It helped! He moved further down... but I was still having trouble pushing. Marleene checked me again and found I still had a little cervix left (like with Penelope). She pushed it back and helped bring him further into the birth canal. It was, without a doubt, the most painful part of labor. But afterward I was finally able to start pushing productively (and I finally threw up, I'm one of those that throws up once I'm ready to push - lovely, huh?). It wasn't long after that he was born! I think I had 10 or 12 pushes before he was out - they were much more intense than they were when with Penelope. MUCH more. I felt like a woman possessed, once he crowned it was 3 pushes and then he was out!

Turns out the reason that labor was more difficult (i.e. it took him longer to get into the birth canal) was because the cord was wrapped around his neck twice. 30% of babies have the cord around their necks, so it wasn't a huge deal - but it did mean that labor needed to progress a little more slowly. Although from start to finish it was a hour shorter than my labor with Penelope. On average a woman's second labor is about half of her first - I didn't quite get that, but if I had the cord/neck issue would have been much more dangerous. Marleene and Kaleem monitored him throughout the labor and his heart rate was always good, so he tolerated the whole experience very well.

I'm so glad we were able to have another successful homebirth. It really is the only way I would want to birth - we haven't left our house yet!

Official stats, 9.1 lbs, 22.5 inches, 38.5 cm head circumference! We decided on the name Griffin Walter Rodgers after about a day.

Penelope seems to be adjusting well, she wasn't happy when my mom was holding Griffin though :)

Ok, he's waking up - more later (pictures too!)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Penelope's New Room

I've been meaning to take and post pictures of P's new room, but haven't gotten around to it... until today! Bryan brought the bed back in (since him mom will be staying in the room when she's here for the birth) and he got her name up on the wall. I still need to hang pictures and there's a little more furniture that needs to be moved in, but otherwise it's done. And I LOVE it.

Hope you do too :)









Friday, April 9, 2010

Babies are good for your self-esteem

This morning I'm singing to Penelope (Three Little Birds by Bob Marley) and every time I stop she looks at me and asks me "please"... so I start up again. Over and over. And over. I've had a switch it up with a few new songs since she doesn't me to stop singing. She's even dancing to my songs.

She's really great for my self-esteem :)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Owls and 39 weeks

The owls are done!!!!!!!!

Thanks to Sarah for letting me borrow her sewing machine today, I was able to get them finished during Penny's nap and after dinner. Here's a picture (and they look 100x better in real life, the camera doesn't do them justice - especially the yellow/orange one).


So one more thing to check off the list.

I also found out today that I passed TPA 1, which is super awesome. Now I just have to work on TPA 2. It's a lesson plan and I've always gotten high marks on those, so I'm not too worried. I do have to make some calls and e-mail people in order to figure out how they want me to submit the TPA... I should have e-mailed the lead professor on Monday, but it was one of those days. And then Tuesday just *sucked*. Bryan got some really bad news at work and I don't think I thought of school at all. I should have done it today, but I finished the owls. Excuses, excuses.

Tomorrow my Dad has Penny for the morning/afternoon so I'll be able to focus on school stuff. It's so much easier to work on school work when I'm not at home (I hit up Starbucks and spend the morning in their very uncomfortable chairs).

Anyway, TPA 2 is tomorrow's priority.

Tomorrow also starts the 39th week of pregnancy. So it's time for comparison pictures.

39 weeks with "&"

And 39 weeks with Penelope
39.5 weeks

Not quite the same angle, so it's hard to get a real comparison... but at 39 weeks with Penelope I wasn't interested in standing unless absolutely necessary. I'm much more active this time around, but probably only because I have to be - Penny doesn't let me lounge around in my sweats. She's so demanding :D

Speaking of which, here's a picture of her from Tuesday. Bryan's grandma sent her this really cute dress and I figured since we didn't have anyplace fancy to wear it, we might as well make Tuesday Dress-Up Day.



Sometime this weekend I need to go through P's closet and pack away all of her 24 month sized clothing. They don't fit at all - they're all much too short (although not too tight). Some of her 2T stuff is also a little small... today she wore a 3T outfit and it fit quite well. She's still mostly in 2T, but any new clothes we buy will have to be 3T. She's getting so big so fast!

Her next Pediatrician appointment is at the end of May and I wouldn't be surprised if she was close to or slightly over 36" by the time we go. I need to get her one of those wall hanging measurement thing so we can keep track at home.

Should be very interesting to see how the two kids compare growth-wise...

Monday, April 5, 2010

Baby Betting Pool

So it's getting close, and I've been meaning to set up a betting pool for this baby... we had one with Penelope and it was fun (my Aunt Allison won, bragging rights only, but still!).

I thought about setting up a pay account so people could actually win money, but that seems like a bit of a pain in the butt.

What do you think? Should I set one up this time around? Pay or free?

The List - revisited

So, a significant amount of work has been put into finishing up what I have on the list... here's what it looks like now:

*Finish coursework for TED 666 (the class I'm currently enrolled in, which ends 3/27)Got a 98% in the class!
*Finish TPA 1Submitted today... will be awhile before it's scored
*Finish TPA 2
*Get birthing kit together
*Start/finish the owl project for Penny's room (a sewing project) The project is started, but my sewing machine died after 1 1/2 owls were completed, so hopefully I'll be able to borrow someone's machine soon and get it all done Finished it 4/7!
*Cook at least a week's worth of food and freeze it (preferably 2 weeks, but that's a stretch)I have 5 meals frozen... almost a full week. And I have friends who have offered to bring over food after delivery which is a HUGE relief.
*Stock up on groceries That will probably happen on Thursday!
*Clean the bathrooms This desperately needs to be done, probably will happen this weekend
*Put Penny's new room together (once Bryan is done) Well, her room is mostly done so I'm going to cross this off the list. Once I get the picture frames up I'll take pictures and post them. It really turned out *very* well. My husband is awesome!
*Clean closet and rearrange master bedroom (so the birthing tub will fit)
*Clean the rest of the house (lower on my priority list since cleaning gives me some pretty lovely contractions) Yeah, that's not gonna happen anytime soon. Maybe this weekend. I HOPE this weekend
*Set up automatic bill pay so our bills get paid on time no matter when I go into labor If this doesn't get done I'm not going to worry, it's not like it's that difficult or time consuming to pop online and pay bills

Things NOT on the list that I finally got around to doing: My FAFSA & applying for TEACH Grants! :)

I've also printed out the forms for disability (since I can't collect unemployment if I'm not actively looking for work and I obviously won't be actively looking for work right after delivery). I think I'm allowed 6 weeks of disability before I have to go back on unemployment (and start looking for work). It would be great to find a job after my disability is up, but sad to leave "&" so soon after birth. I hate the way the US handles maternity leave. It's terrible. How do they expect women to be able to breastfeed when we have to work 6 weeks after delivery? I know of VERY few people who had breastfeeding well established that soon after their children were born.

Anyway, I'm very happy about my progress on The List. And even though I would really like to have TPA 2 completed before baby gets here, I feel ready to have this baby NOW. But he/she will come when he/she is ready. Mama is ready though! Lets go baby!!!

Crafty stuff and a real cake wreck

Here is owl #1 for P's room:


My sewing machine died shortly afterward, and hopefully I'll be able to resurrect it tonight so I can get another one done.

And here's the wreck I made last night:


It looks awful, but it tastes delicious! For those who know me well, you know that baking is generally my strong suit and this cake is uncharacteristically messy. Oh well.

"&" sure seems to like it, he/she throws a little party after I eat some.

The Church of the MLB

It's the time again, the most sacred time of year in the Rodgers household - Baseball season has begun (I'm only *mostly* kidding).

Before I married Bryan I knew he was a baseball fan, but I didn't really understand what that meant until after we got married... and I don't think I can really describe it to anyone who is not a baseball fan. Baseball fans are a different breed than the rest of us, and fandom of any other sport isn't really comparable.

Bryan is, first and foremost, a Griffey fan. Since this is most likely Griffey's last season, this means that B is following the Seattle Mariners this year (like last year). After Junior retires, he'll either pick a team or find another player to follow. He's leaning towards following another player as opposed to a single team - I think his new player might be Jason Heyward who is currently with the Braves.

I can't be a Braves fan.

Neither can the kids.

So we'll be Giants fans. They're local, Bonds is gone (thank goodness, I can't stand that guy), and I like the Panda & Lincecum.

Once the kids get old enough, we'll allow them to choose for themselves what team to follow (if they decide to follow baseball). We hope they do (see why I said I was only *mostly* joking? Baseball is serious business in our house).

So Happy Opening Day everyone, may your pitching be consistent and your long-balls clear the bleachers.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Head up, head down

So I've already posted this on Facebook, but since this blog doubles as the kids' baby books I figured I should post about it on here as well.

Wednesday was our 38 week prenatal appointment. Everything was pretty normal, but Kaleem was concerned that the baby seemed to be breech. Since I have a LOT of water, it was a little hard to tell, but the heart tones were up very high and the baby's movement had changed over the past few days. So we scheduled an ultrasound for today to double check and so (if baby was indeed breech) we could work on trying to turn him/her before delivery.

I was really nervous about the whole thing. For whatever reason I've had a lot more anxiety with this baby than I ever did with Penelope... I think it's because there's so much else going on. Grad school, unemployment, Bryan's weird work situation (short story: they suck), and not having insurance combine to make me a little on edge. So the possibility of a breech baby/delivery was really difficult for me to contemplate. A complication I really didn't need.

So Thursday wasn't a very good day for me (mental-health wise) and I was a bit of an emotional wreck. I got a lot of great advise from friends about yoga positions, acupuncture, chiropractic work, etc that have helped women turn babies, and Kaleem was confident she could turn the baby if necessary; but I was still a little freaked out and very stressed about the whole thing.

I had a heart to heart with "&" before bed on Wednesday and Thursday and told him/her that Mommy would really appreciate it if he/she would flip back and get ready for labor. I know I had told the baby last week that I wasn't ready for his/her appearance, but flipping back would really make Mommy feel better. I also told "&" that he/she could come whenever he/she was ready - I wasn't finished with all of my work, but that was less important than his/her safe arrival.

Movement Wednesday night and Thursday was all over the place and frequent. Friday morning it seemed as though baby had changed position, but I though he/she might be transverse.

Before we went in for the ultrasound, Kaleem felt my belly and told me she was pretty sure the baby had flipped and was now head down and in the perfect birthing position.

So we went in, the tech spent a few seconds checking and confirmed - baby is head down!

PLUS, he/she is in the perfect birthing position. There are a few ways babies can present, but one is ideal for delivery - and "&" has positioned itself perfectly. Mommy is so proud!

It was a huge relief - for everyone! But it really helps my stress level. I still have work to do, but I'm ready for the baby to come whenever he/she is ready. I know I can get my work done on time no matter when this baby decides to show up - so I'll just let baby be my guide.

My contractions and the pressure have increased throughout the day, but I don't think labor is imminent. A couple days, a week, two weeks... who knows? I'll get as much done as I can and then I'll finish things up after baby arrives. My Mother In Law will be out to help, my mom will be here, my dad is always available, and Bryan should be able to take some time off. I know everything will get done... eventually. And the most important thing is a healthy baby and delivery, and the timing of that I shall leave to "&".

Mommy is ready whenever you are baby!

Oh - and we've narrowed our names list. So here it is:

Girls: Isadora, Calliope, Athena, Jolie (that one is new)
Boys: Dexter, Milo, Griffin

Popular Posts

Penelope's Growth

6 years: 50 inches, 47 lbs
5 years: 48 inches, 42 lbs
4 years: 43.5 inches, 41.0 lbs
28 months: 39 inches, 33.1 lbs
26 months: 38.5 inches, 32.1 lbs
21 months: 37 inches, 31.8 lbs
18 months: 35 inches, 30 lbs
15 months: 34.25 inches, 28.8 lbs
12 months: 32 inches, 27.1 lbs
9 months: 30.5 inches, 25.1 lbs
6 months: 29 inches, 21.2 lbs
4 months: 28.5 inches, 17.13 lbs
2 months: 24.75 inches, 12.12 lbs
At birth: 20.75 inches, 7.15 lbs

Griffin's Growth

5 years - 3 feet 11.25 inches (47.25 inches), 51 lbs
3 years - 3 feet 5.25 inches, 40lbs
18 months - 34.5 inches, 27.13lbs
12 months - 32 inches, 26.5lbs*
10 months - 31.75 inches, 23.4 lbs
7 months - 29.25 inches, 21.4 lbs
5 months - 28.5 inches, 17.9 lbs*
4 months - 28 inches, 15.5 lbs
3 months - 27 inches, 13.10 lbs
2 months - 25.125 inches, ?? lbs
1 month - 24 inches, 10.13 lbs
At birth - 22.5 inches, 9.1 lbs
*with diaper

Izzy's Growth

2 months: 23.25 inches, 10.8 lbs
At Birth: 22 inches, 8.11 lbs

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