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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Pictures of Ryan on Christmas Morning

To make up for the novel of a post I just published, I thought I'd post pictures of Ryan on Christmas morning. Who doesn't love pictures in posts...of babies?!

Sleep associations and setting routines

I've been reading the Ferber sleep training book for a few weeks now on and off...well, mostly off since I have a TODDLER (yes he walks now!) to chase after and after finally getting settled in bed at night to read, I pass out cold from exhaustion. But so far I've learned the importance and benefit of setting a bedtime routine for Ryan. I already knew that a routine would be ideal but I didn't realize how beneficial it might be for actually getting Ryan to fall asleep and stay asleep the way we wanted him to.

We've helped develop a bad habit over time and now I feel it's time to address it. This has been the routine at my house for a couple of months now:

  • I get home with Ryan around 6:15pm-6:20pm

  • We will then usually give him a snack at the dinner table while we're eating dinner or doing some other chore around the house like running the dishwasher, unpacking his day care bag, hand scrubbing stains out of his clothes, etc.

  • We let him play in the living room for the bulk of the evening, we read books to him, etc all while the TV is on in the background set to the Sprout channel.

  • At some point anywhere between 6pm (when hubbs picks him up early from day care) to past 8pm we will give him a bath. Sometimes my husband will do this in the kitchen sink and sometimes I bathe him in his inflatable tub in the bathroom which allows him to play more and for longer. Hubbs' knees are bad so he has trouble kneeling in the bathroom for bathtime.

  • Ryan will get a bottle usually around 8pm-8:30pm. Sometimes he will fall asleep in our arms while we give him the bottle and then we pop the pacifier in his mouth and carry him off to his crib. Sometimes we give him the bottle so he can drink it on his own in this little baby couch thing that we bought him. If we do that, then he will get back up afterwards and keep playing.

  • Usually around 8-8:30pm we will shut the light off in the living room and leave the TV on Sprout and let Ryan play and watch TV until he gets cranky. Then hubbs will put Ryan on his lap on the couch, pop the paci in and hold him until he falls asleep. Then one of us carries him to his crib.

  • For the past , oh, I'd say...2 months maybe, Ryan will wake up crying in his crib anytime between 1am and 5am. He always ends up standing up facing his door and crying out for "mamamamamamama".

  • One of us will then go get him and bring him into our bed for the rest of the night and he passes right out.
This is bad. Very. It's gotten harder and harder to sleep at night with him in the bed and I am sure his sleep is suffering too.

We (mostly me) are planning on starting sleep training in a couple of weeks after we move to a new apartment (long story). So last night I tried a little pre-sleep training experiment. This is how it went...

  • Got home at the usual time

  • Snacks at the dinner table

  • Play in the living room

  • At 8pm, I gave him a bath

  • Right after his bath (around 8:20pm) I lotioned him up, fresh diaper, and PJs. During the bath I asked hubbs to set a lullaby CD to play in his room.

  • I closed the door to his room and sat on the floor with him to read books. His TV was set on the Sprout channel with the volume turned low so that we could hear the music. I read several books to him since he loves books and some he wanted me to read over and over.

  • Around 8:35-8:40pm, I had hubbs bring in his bottle which I showed to him to see if he'd want it. He took the initiative and drank from him which sitting on the floor on and off. A couple of times I had to remind him of the bottle and he'd drink a little more. During this time he quietly played with his books turning pages and pointing to characters and animals in the book.

  • Then unfortunately, he wanted to open a drawer and dump out all of the contents which I let him do once since it was only sheets and blankets and everything stayed folded as he pulled them out (don't know if that's bad or not).

  • After I put everything back in, I put him in his crib and turned off the light but the TV stayed on very low. He whined immediately and wanted to get out but I stayed close tot he crib and soothed him. Hubbs came in as well to reassure him and he quieted down a bit. I gave him the bottle again and he sat in his crib to drink the rest.

  • I found a lovey that he never ever used or even played with because we had it displayed on his dresser and I gave that to him. He hugged the lovey a few times so I left it in his crib. I also turned on his ceiling projector which plays soft music.

  • After a couple minutes of soothing words and patting/rubbing his back while he sat there and whined a little, I walked out and closed his door.

  • We have a video monitor so I watched him start to cry and stand up, call out to us, etc. He mostly whined and babbled but he did cry a little. I waited for a solid cry which is when I was planning to go in to soothe him but he never really cried for more than 10-15 seconds straight so I didn't go in at all. After about I'd say 10 minutes or so, Ryan was out like a light.

  • I went in and turned the TV off and that was it.


  • At 4am he woke up whining and crying but when I checked the moitor, he wasn't standing up in his crib, which was his norm. He was still lying down. I could tell he didn't have his pacifier in his mouth and I figured it must be tangled in his blanket.

  • I waited a couple of minutes while he cried and then went in to find his pacifer for him and soothe him. As soon as I walked in he stood up so I hugged him while still leaving him in his crib standing and spoke to him softly "Ryan, you're ok baby. You can go back to sleep now. Mommy's here. I love you.", Etc. I rubbed his back a little as he calmed down a bit. I showed him his new lovey and kissed him.

  • I walked out while he was still standing in his crib and he started to whine and cry out again.

  • I checked the monitor as he whined for about a minute more but he had sat and then layed back down so i saw that as a good sign.

  • He did fall back to sleep but woke up to whine and cry out again 2 more times before 5am but not enough for me to go in and soothe him and by 5am he was asleep and didn't wake up again until past 8:30am! I even left him there and told my husband to take him to day care this morning (I usually take him in).

Eventually, I want to get to a place where we won't turn on the TV in his room at night at all and I really hope that we can take his paci away completely very soon. He's really good without it during the day, but at nap time he seems to need it.

This was just a test but I got some sleep last night!! Then hubbs calls me this morning to tell me that Ryan's 2 top teeth have broken through and that must be the reason he slept through the night well because they finally broke through and he must have been more comfy. This can't be the reason!!

Oh well...I think the new routine went really well for it being the first time so I think we will keep it going. Hopefully it will all work out!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011

Crawling, standing, eating, teething...swinging!

This is a picture of Ryan from last Sunday (the 7th) at our local park...it's his first time on a swing and he really enjoyed himself. Look at that big smile!

In just the past couple of weeks, so much has occured. He's now crawling really well and has added a new skill. He wants to climb on everything and he pulls himself to a standing position. This weekend we went to a BBQ so we put him in the pack n play with a few toys. In no time he was showing off his new skill. He would pull himself up, then sit back down, pull himself up, then back down...over and over.

He also started saying "mamamamamama"...you know I love that!

Since my last post, I have tried to organize the freezer twice and although slightly better, it still really needs an overhaul. I thought I had larger rectangular tupperware but I actually don't. I ended up putting some things in a larger round bowl and then other stuff in smaller square tupperware. It's not perfect but it's better. It doesn't help that hubbs bought a box of 48 popsicles this weekend.

I did also make him some additional foods: pork, beef, turkey, chick peas, lentils, pasta, and brown rice. So far, he's liked them all! I made the meats seperately in a pressure cooker with some unslated beef/veggie/chicken stock that I purchased from the supermarket. I've realized that the turkey doesn't need as much water as the pork and beef during the puree process...turkey ended up a little watery so I added some baby oatmeal to thicken it up. The brown rice was hard to puree at first because I didn't realize how much water is needed for that. It kept having this really sticky quality to it but eventually it all worked out.

My little koala bear is teething in full force now. Poor baby is also congested so that sucks as well. His pain cry is so much different than any other cry it's heartbreaking. Humphrey's pellets have really been helpful but we're also going to try an amber teething necklace. It's supposed to arrive today and I hope it works. I am a little nervous about putting it on him for night time but I will have to see when it comes how it fits him.

Anyone out there try an amber teething necklace? I will give an update after we try it.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

New Yummies for Ryan!

As soon as I get my freezer organized (which I think I might do tonight!), I plan on buying some more fresh organic food to make into baby food for Ryan.

My freezer sucks!! I can't wait to buy a house next year so that I can buy a new fridge with an awesome freezer (of course, I can't wait to buy a house for so many other reasons!). We also want to buy a freezer for the basement to store plenty of other stuff (probably mostly meats). But of course, by then, I won't be making purees for the little guy anymore (pause for tears).

My freezer is basically a really small cold box with a door. No shelves or anything. And for some strange reason (I think when DH and I were in our health kick) we have 2 or 3 huge bags of veggies in our fridge taking up most of the space. I will probably have to start cooking those veggies for Ryan...but then I'll have to store them where? You guessed it! Back in that freezer. We also need room for meats and all of Ryans purees.


When I first started giving Ryan solids, he started at 4 months with rice cereal and oatmeal. I think it was literally 3-4 days of that for practice before we moved on to avocado...his first real food. He loved it and did very well. At first, I was so scared of the thicker texture that I added lots of formula to the avocado making it more watery...errr...milky. He did great. I did this with some of the other first foods too like his butternut and acorn squash and some other things.

At first, I only gave him one food at a time. No mixes...being very careful to follow the 4 day rule. He did great with them all. After a couple weeks of trying different foods, I began to mix the ones he'd already tried. A little squash and avocado puree...peas and carrots...banana and apples and so on.

At around 6.5 months I began to add a couple of other foods that I thought he was ready for like chicken, mango, papaya, white potato, and yogurt. He loved it all. I also began to get more creative with his combinations. Once I made a combination I wasn't too sure of. I tried it for the first time at a friend's house and found myself feeling the need to justify it. "Well...I know it looks a little weird but I think he'll like it?" And like it, he did! I think it was something like carrot/ blueberry/ sweet potato or something like that.

Today, I sent Ryan to day care with a rainbow! I was so proud of myself last night after looking at the 3 bowls I was preparing for his breakfast/lunch/dinner at day care and deciding to throw in a small cube of blueberry to complete the rainbow of colors in that 1 day worth of food.

Here is what he's having today...
Breakfast: Yogurt/Pear/Banana/Blueberry
Lunch: Sweet Potato/White Potato/Avocado
Dinner: Chicken/Carrot/Peas

Being that he's now eating 3 solid meals a day, my stash of baby food cubes is dwindling faster than ever before. I am now planning on adding some additional foods with more flavor cooked into them. Such as a salmon/dill/mustard recipe I found on someone's blog recently. I plan on adding onion and peppers and cooking meats in low-sodium broths.

My grocery list includes (in addition to Ryan's usual faves)...
Lentils (red/yellow)
Butter Beans
Chick Peas
Bell Pepper
Salmon (skin removed)
Pork (center cut)
Beef (lean ground beef/top sirloin/eye of round roast)
Zucchini (yello or crooked neck)
Low-sodium chicken/beef/veggie broths
Tofu (maybe...I just don't have any experience with tofu but I don't want that to stop us from offering it to him).

Tonight I am going to empty the freezer and put my zip-lock baggies of food cubes into labeled tupperware containers. I have somewhat large rectangular deep containers with lids that I can stack. I might separate the veggie from fruit from meats into their own containers. Hopefully this will work. I will try to remember to take before and after pictures for you (my thousands of faithful readers! hehehe)

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Gimme a beat! Updates on Ryan :)

Over the weekend, Ryan had us cracking up! For the first time, he started bopping to the music that was playing...and he was totally on beat! It was so adorable. I've seen him do this a few times since then - even this morning to some music on TV.

He's growing up so fast I can't believe it's been 7 months (tomorrow)! It seems so short of a time span but he has changed and grown so much. He makes us so proud everyday.

  • He's got to be at least 18 pounds and I'd say 26-26.5 inches (his next appointment isn't until 9 months).

  • He's trying to crawl now anytime you put him on the floor. He gets on his hands and knees and does this cute worm thing to move forward. He's even taken 2-3 steps crawling.

  • He has only once figured out how to go from crawling position to sitting.

  • He goes from sitting to hands and knees very well now.

  • He hasn't figured out how to go from lying down to sitting up yet.

  • He stays seated very well when you place him correctly.

  • He has stayed standing when placed that way and holding onto something. Like a week ago when DH placed him in the pack n play in a standing position and placed his hands on the railing. He stood there on his own very well.

  • He eats 3 solid meals per day (homemade) plus 24-30 ounces of formula. He's at around 6 ounces every 3-4 hours during the day.

  • He has started trying finger foods like puffs and Mum Mums and does very well.

  • He is sleeping anywhere from 8pm/9pm until about 6:30am/7am every night with only 1 or 2 times where we end up coming in to put the paci back in his mouth after whining a little. He hasn't been asking for the bottle in the middle of the night for several days now. He naps usually from 9:30am-10:15(ish) then again for 2 hours at school from 12:45pm-2:45(ish) and then again around 5pm or 6pm for 20 minutes or so. He now falls asleep without a problem when we put him in his crib for naps while awake but drowsy.

  • He loves to blow raspberries all the time

  • He vocalizes a ton. "Dadadadadada" and stuff like that. He's even trying combinations of sounds.

  • It's definitely harder to keep him entertained now. We bought him new toys to stimulate his brain. He still enjoys his jumperoo but it seems like he's not able to spend as much time in it as he did before. He enjoys his walker too but he doesn't move in it too much yet. He has moved back and forth in it but hasn't figured out how to really get it going. And of course, we interact with him a ton!

  • He loves to bounce in our laps while we hold him in a standing position.

  • When DH says "Where's Mommy?" he turns in every direction looking for me and stops when he finds me. He does the same for Daddy when I ask "Where's Daddy?"

  • We put these wall decals in his room of various animals. Whenever we leave his room we point a few out to him "Say 'Hi Monkey friend!", "Say 'Hi, Turtle friend!", etc. That puts a huge smile on his face! We have a large monkey decal right above his crib and whenever I have him standing on my lap in the rocker he has a direct view of the monkey. Without being prompted he starts smiling at his monkey friend...so cute!

  • He makes this funny sound that's like a prelude to his laughter. It sounds like when you inhale while constricting your throat muscles a little. It's hard to describe. Sort of what someone with asthma sounds like trying to inhale during an asthma attack. (He doesn't have asthma! No worries!)

  • He loves the water! Bath time calms him down quickly if he's fussy and he LOVES pool day at school (it's not actually a pool, just water squirting out of this plastic kiddie splash pool thingy).

  • He still has eczema on his face and some places on his body but it isn't too bad. His face is actually much better now.

  • He is so resilient and flexible. He doesn't mind being held/changed/played with by different people.

I can keep going but I'd like to keep the readers I've still got (if any?) lol!

I will try to do better with keeping up with my blog and I will try to make it interesting.

Things I'd like to post about soon:

  • Our plan to buy a house next year

  • Ryan's food...I'll be experimenting with new recipes soon

  • Our planned trip to FL to visit my mom in a couple months

  • I'm sure there's more ;)

Ok...ta ta for now!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Update in pics :)

It's insane how long it's been since I've updated. About 2 months ago I was promoted at work and I now manage more programs in 2 different locations. I've been supre busy at work and when I get home, I want to soak up as much time with Ryan before he falls asleep.

Here are some recent pics of the little dude :)

Practicing the sippy:Trying to crawl (this was taken on my phone last week)Sitting up with Rosco (this was a couple days before turning 6 months)Same day...looking oh so adorable :)At St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC attending his Aunt's high school graduation (DH's little sister)

At school playing in the splash pool!

Monday, April 4, 2011

So far so good at day care!

I know I know...we've barely just begun day care but I love his "teachers" and "school"! The center is actually a day care/pre-school/kindergarten combo. They take babies from 6 weeks all the way to kindergarten. I LOVED school when I was little so being in that environment just puts a smile on my face. It's not fun being away from him but I do find comfort in the fact that he's in good hands with sweet people. They are even doing his neck exercises at the school! His head teacher is a nurse and they've taken care of babies with Doc Bands before so they know what to do. (Ryan is being fitted for his band on Wednesday) Here are some pics from his first day:
We taught him how to defend himself at day care lol!

The Butterfly Room His crib is by the window :)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ryan is starting day care tomorrow

(Sorry for the word wall...blogspot keeps messing with my paragraphs!!) Time really does fly. It didn't really feel that way during maternity leave as much as it does now that I'm back to work and I look back on the last 3 months. Ryan has grown and changed so much. I started work again on Monday but hubbs took the week off from work to stay home with the baby until he starts day care on Friday. I know that may seem wierd...that we're having him start on Friday but we paid for April which starts on Friday and we've agreed that it might be easier for us to use that 1 day as sort of a practice run...getting our feet wet with day care before jumping into an entire week. We took him before my leave ended to the center and introduced him to the caregivers there. They were so sweet! We dropped off some items that he will need like diapers, wipes, etc. Tomorrow we have to bring the rest of his stuff (crib sheets, extra clothes, blankets, bibs, etc). We even bought him an extra mobile to put on his day care crib. His crib is right by the window which is so cute (it's elevated off the ground level so it's not like someone could be looking it at him from outside - and anyway the playground is right outside his window, not a sidewalk). We're going to get there extra early tomorrow to set up his crib for him and stay with him for a little while - this is more for us than him I'm sure. We're also going to take pictures of his first day so I hope to post those sometime during the weekend. Miss Monique and Miss Carly are his caregivers. Miss Monique is this older French lady...she's so sweet. She sings to them in french, reads stories during circle time. They asked us if it would be ok for Ryan to participate in ART PROJECTS...lol! I'm thinking, how much can my 12 week old really do?? But they said that they paint their little hands and make handprints and stuff like that. Picturing that jusy makes me giddy. We said YES...please get our little boy messy! I'm definitely nervous but more excited about day care. I can't wait for him to have these experiences. Here's a picture of the Ladybug Room where the baby's stay: On another note: Ryan is getting a DOC Band for the Plagiocephaly. The DOC Band is that thing they put on the baby that looks like a wrestler's helmet to help their head round out again. Insurance didn't cover it so there goes $3500 (and that's after a $300 discount for paying the entire balance up front). But they are pretty confident he will only need it for 4-6 weeks tops. In some cases, especially when the babies start the process later on, it can take significantly longer. And being that they have to keep it on for 23 hours a day...that's a hell of a LOT! So hubbs took him yesterday to have the imaging done. I'm glad I wasn't there because they had to put something that looked like a stocking over his head and face and I was told Ryan kind of lost it. He was licking the stocking, had snot coming out of his nose, and was sobbing the entire time. That image breaks my heart but I'm glad it's over. The purpose of the imaging is so the band can be manufactured to fit his exact dimentions. Next week he will be fitted with the band. This should all be over by mid-May. Here's a link to a page on the Cranial Tech website which has a video showing how they do the imaging.

And now for some pictures!!

Here he is in my brother's fireman boots

Not quite ready for the Bumbo...but almost

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Updates and pics :(

Where do I begin?

Ryan is awesome. He's now 9.5 weeks old. At his 2 month appointment he weighed 11lbs 8oz and was 21.75". He is such a good baby. He rarely cries...he does only when he's hungry and even then it's not a full on cry unless we take longer than normal to get the bottle in his mouth lol. He's smiling and cooing all the time. He sleeps through the night (this started at 5 weeks) in his crib in his own room.

Recently we had to start swaddling his arms at night because he has eczema on his cheeks so he rubs his face a lot in his sleep.

At his 2 month appointment, he got his first round of vaccines. He handled it so well. After the first shot he looked confused. After the second he looked pissed. And after the third he screamed for about 10 seconds and it was over. I picked him up, popped the pacifier in his mouth, shushed him...he wimpered a little and it was over. He didn't react badly to it at all. No fever or fussiness.

He's eating 4.5 ounces every 2.5 to 3 hours from about 7am to midnight and then he sleeps.

We do tummy time but he really doesn't like it too much. He's been tolerating it more and more every day so I'm hoping he gets better at it. He favors his right side so he has a flat spot on his head. We have an appointment next week to evaluate his neck and head for torticollis and pagiocephaly. I want to learn what exercises we should be doing with him to get his neck muscles stronger so that he can start turning his head the other way when he sleeps. This is where we need to get creative with tummy time. We started doing "airplane" exercises which he tolerates longer than tummy time on the floor. We also are using the Boppy Noggin which allows him to turn his head easier when he is laying on his back in his crib, swing, rock n play, bouncer, car seat...basically everywhere. He has 2 already; one stays in his car seat and the other is used everywhere else. We are going to buy a 3rd to take to day care when he starts in a couple weeks.

I go back to work on the 28th of this week :( so Ryan starts at his day care soon. I have mixed feelings about it but we chose a center that we both love. It's a center that takes children from when they're babies until Kindergarten. It's so cute!

Anyway...here are some recent pics:

"What u talkin' 'bout mom?"

"I'm 2 months old today!" (3/3/11)

"This is my cool Woolverine band-aid for my shots"
"And this is Iron Man!"

"Do I look chubby in this towel?"

Friday, February 25, 2011

1 month pic from 2/3/11 (late, I know)

I'm definitely a bad blogger right now but I thought I'd add a picture from when Ryan turned 1 month on February 3rd. Isn't he cute?!

Monday, February 14, 2011


Whoo's That Blue Baby Announcements
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Thursday, January 20, 2011

A few things about labor, delivery, and postpartum that surprised me...

1. My hormones wreaked havock on my emotions for about a day and it really did come out of nowhere! Although you do hear about this, it still took me by surprise. I had been in such a great mood after the delivery for a couple of days and then BAM!! I really thought PPD was rearing its scary head. Thankfully, I felt much more like myself the next day.

2. My legs and feet were super swollen for a few days after delivery from all of the IV fluids pumped into me. My feet looked like bricks and it was uncomfortable to flex my toes. I was supposed to stay off my feet as much as possible after delivery to help reduce the swelling but it was so difficult to do so. I thought this only happened during the end of pregnancy not after!

3. The fantasy of a totally pain-free delivery just because I decided on an epidural blew up in my face! I felt it people!

4. My belly button did NOT pop out.

5. Losing pregnancy weight doesn't mean you will fit into your old clothes automatically. I lost all of my pregnancy weight in about 2 weeks but my body doesn't look the same. I am wearing a postpartum girdle to try and get my belly under control. I will start working out soon but honestly, I rarely get a chance to just sit and relax so I'm sure I am burning calories with cleaning the house, preparing bottles, doing laundry, etc.

6. Thanks to my mom, I did not get stretch marks on my belly even though I am pretty prone to strecth marks on other parts of my body. I actually developed stretch marks on the backs of my knees. Such a weird place to get strecth marks :(

7. My first post delivery BM didn't make me see stars. I actually went without a problem.

8. My first post delivery pee was super long!!! I was in the bathroom with a nurse and I was embarrassed by how much pee I had in there. And I totally didn't even feel like I had to go that badly.

9. No matter how committed I was to breastfeeding, it just didn't work for me. We had a ton of help and support from the hospital but...nope. My emotional breakdown once we were home also contributed greatly to me quitting breastfeeding. Formula feeding has worked fine for us.

10. You really do start to worry about the baby's well-being pretty much immediately. Is he breathing ok? Is he eating enough? Too much? Did he poop today? Was it too soft? Does he seem gassy? Should we do tummy time for longer amount of time? Did that bib get washed? Is his gas too smelly? Lol...ughhhh!! When does it end???

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Breastfeeding woes

Hubbs and I were so committed to breastfeeding our boy. I was so excited to have the experience of providing nourishment to my son I had even literally dreamed about it. As soon as Ryan was born and they gave me a quiet moment with him to do skin to skin, I immediately tried to have him latch on. He nuzzled and looked super comfy but that's all. I had read and researched enough to know that that was ok. I was just trying to introduce him to the breast. I didn't expect him to actually feed that soon. It was lovely.

Once I was in the postpartum suite and they had finished doing all of their tests and whatnot and they brought him to my room, they had a nurse come in to help me get Ryan to latch. Over the next 2 days right up until we were discharged, we tried and tried to get Ryan to effectively breastfeed. I say we because it really did take a team of dedicated individuals including me, hubbs, lactation consultants and nurses over several shift changes.

According to the lactation consultants, they believed that Ryan was just too sleepy due to the epidural and Fentinel (sp?) meds that I was given for the labor. They assessed my nipples (good), production of colostrum (good - I was clearly able to hand express some each time we tried to latch him), Ryan's sucking reflex (good), positioning (good)...he was even able to latch effectively many times. Ryan was able to suck 2-3 times but then would do one of two things: he'd fall right to sleep (we tried undressing him and all of that) or he'd detach, throw his head back and scream his little head off.

I should say that while in the hospital, we did have about 3 decent breastfeeding sessions where he'd go 10-15 minutes without a problem. He was even clearly swallowing.

Unfortunately, even though Ryan had the right amount of poop and pee diapers, they were still concerned about his intake based on the amount of time he'd been able to feed. They mentioned a few times that they might need to supplement but they'd give me a chance to try yet again to get breastfeeding going.

Thinking back on it now, I feel bad about the times that we tried getting him to latch. It felt like we were forcing him over and over to do something he just did not want to do. It was an ordeal to say the least.

We were discharged on Wednesday 1/5 with the personal cell numbers of a couple of lactation consultants that's how much they wanted to help us. My nurse at that point gave us some formula samples just in case. We took them gratefully but had zero intention of actually using it.

We got home and I tried over and over to get Ryan to latch and feed. I started to feel even more overwhelmed, scared and stressed. I felt that I was starving my baby. We were so unhappy. That day...our first day at home...I about lost my mind.

I could not stop sobbing. It actually started in the hospital when the pediatrician came to do his checkup on Ryan before discharging him with us. He allowed us to come into the nursery with him to see the checkup. Everything was fine until he got to the testicles. Ryan had just the night before had his circumcision done (which I was already feeling guilty about) and here goes the pediatrician squeezing on his little balls making him cry. My eyes watered up and as soon as hubbs and I were in my room alone I started crying like an idiot. I did recognize how loony I sounded because I started laughing while I sobbed. Yeah...lol.

But getting home with Ryan, realizing we were alone, and trying (and failing at) breastfeeding was so stressful and overwhelming that I just could not hold it together. Hubbs' family came over that evening and I couldn't come out of my room to face them. I just wanted them all to leave. I wanted them to leave us alone. I wanted to do skin to skin in peace and attempt breastfeeding without them here listening to Ryan screaming. I begged hubbs to make them go away. I did come out of the room to say hello. My eyes were bloodshot and watery from crying so I know they knew something was up. I had a little soup that my mother-in-law brought for us but I felt like crying the entire time. I ended up going right back to my room to sob quietly some more. After a short while I decided I could cry freely in the shower so that's what I did. Hubbs came into the bathroom to check on me and found me sobbing in the shower...I was a sorry sight. He then had a word with his mom and as I was coming out of the bathroom, his family was getting their things together to go home. I felt bad but more than anything, I was so relieved.

I continued to cry even after they left. I cried like a baby...like I hadn't cried since I was a little girl. I sobbed into hubbs' arms and he attempted to comfort me. I felt so dependent on him in those moments...like he was going to save my life.

In the middle of the night, we tried breastfeeding again and again. And Ryan screamed and screamed. Hubbs and I decided to use the formula for the night feedings and reassess in the morning. So that's what we did. Ryan ate very well, finally. By the time the sun came up, I'd decided to stick to formula. I'd had it with feeling like I was trapped in a depressed state. I felt so much better about our decision. We were going to formula feed and that was that.

I have not looked back. I did start pumping a couple times per day and I give Ryan whatever I can of breast milk. At least I can say that he did get colostrum and breast milk. I still wish I could have done more but I had to think of my emotional health. I was unable to be there for my son while I was sobbing uncontrollably and now I can relax.

He's such a good boy. He eats, sleeps and poops just like they say. He doesn't cry much except when he's hungry. Actually, he squeaks a couple of times before he actually cries so we can usually avoid a full on cry. I am so in love with him. He is so perfect and awesome. It hurts to think about going back to work so I try not to think about it. My mother arrives from Florida tomorrow so I'm so excited about that. I just can't wait to see her and see her reaction to Ryan!!

That's all for now everyone. Thanks to those who are reading!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ryan was born on 1/3/11: Birth Story

Hello everyone! Ryan Gabriel was born on Monday January 3rd, 2011 at 4:33pm weighing 6lbs 12oz and measuring 19.5 inches long!!

My labor began at 1am on January 2nd. I felt my first mildly painful contraction which was the start to 24 hours of 10-15 minute apart contractions. For the most part, they were mild enough to breath easily through. I even slept through some in spans of about 1.5 hours. Unfortunately I was awake for most of those 24 hours.

At about 2:30am the next morning (January 3rd) the contractions were still about 8-12 minutes apart but much more painful. Finally I had such a painful contraction that I felt the need to call my doctor. She advised me not to go in yet because they were still far apart and they'd probably have to send me back home. Right after that call I started bawling...I just couldn't imagine going through more of those strong, painful contractions at home.

Hubbs was fantastic through this. He rubbed my back, told me I was doing great, hugged me while I cried...

Right after speaking to the doctor, no more than 2 minutes later, I stood to go to the bathroom and that's when my water broke. It was 2:40am. It felt like I had just gotten my period and it was heavy. It wasn't a gush but I definitely felt the trickle. After that, the contractions started coming fast and strong...every 4-5 minutes. With every contraction, more fluid leaked out.

We began to get dressed to leave for the hospital. Our bags had already been packed so it didn't take long. The drive to the hospital was quick since there were no cars on the road at that time. It was difficult to ride in a car with that pain. All of the potholes added to the pain and hubbs thought it would be better to drive slowly through some of them. I told him to "just DRIVE!!". Lol.

When we got to the hospital, we checked in and I was checked at triage. They confirmed my bags had ruptured and I was at 3cm. I was admitted and brought to my labor and delivery suite. I labored a little longer in that room. They asked if I wanted the epidural right away and I decided to wait a little longer until I was at least 4 or 5 cm. I was afraid to get it too early and slow down the progress.

A couple hours later I was at 4-5 cm and I asked for the epidural. That was definitely different than what I expected. It felt very strange. I felt the pinch that they say feels like a bee sting (I hope I never get stung by a bee!). Then all of these other sensations I felt related to the epi...they were all so strange.

The nurse started Pitocin to speed up the labor. Immediately after, the baby's heart rate dropped. Before I knew it, about 5 doctors and nurses were in the room. A nurse was turning me from my left to right side...the heart rate monitor was in her hand and she was searching my belly for the baby. She shut the Pitocin off and the baby's heart rate came back up. It was such a scary experience. They found that if I leaned to my left and kept an oxygen mask on, the baby was ok. So I stayed in that position for most of the rest of the labor. Eventually, they slowly started up the Pitocin again a little at a time.

Being on my left made the epidural numb my entire left side and I started feeling sensations on my right side. When I got to about 8-9 cm, I was feeling a burning sensation on my right hip and the surrounding area. I was also feeling the contractions again but I felt it in my butt. Each contraction made me feel like I had someone stabbing me with a flaming poker in my butthole (sorry for the image).

Finally, I was at 9+cm with a tiny lip. The doctors were saying I'd have Ryan in a matter of a couple of hours (since I suppose they expected me to push for a long time). They predicted by 6 or 6:30pm, I'd have him. Right after the doc checked me at 9+cm, she stepped out and I immediately felt the urge to push. I started telling the nurses I had to push. Then all of a sudden I felt like I had to throw up (even though I didn't).

The nurses said I could go ahead and start to push. The OB wasn't there but they were going to get her. So they set up the table and helped me get my feet onto the feet rest thingies (not stirrups which I had expected). They told hubbs to grab my left leg which I couldn't feel at all. I was telling them all that I was scared to push because I felt like I had to poop lol. Of course, they encouraged me to push just like that. So I did. I pushed hard but I was so scared. I felt like I could NOT possibly do this. I felt it all and it was hurting so bad! Even when they told me to stop pushing I felt him slipping out of me. The doc came in and Ryan was already crowning. She was shocked at how quickly he was coming out. By the way, I didn't poop!

After only about 10 minutes of pushing, Ryan came out kicking his little feet in the air! It was so awesome and surreal. I couldn't believe my eyes...he was really finally here!! They wiped him up a little on the table and then plopped him right on me to finish up the delivery of the placenta (which I don't think I felt at all). All I could remember was thanking God about a million times and saying how perfect and beautiful my son was. He really is perfect everyone!

By the way, before he came out, they had to do an episiotomy. I heard a snip, snip, snip...but I did feel it when they were sewing me back up. They ended up having to give me a couple of injections in my vag to numb the area a little more. After they took the baby to be weighed and checked out, they started pressing on my stomach really hard...almost like a scooping motion to squeeze out any blood clots and tissue still remaining in my uterus. That hurt like a bitch! I thought the pain was over!! At that point, they had handed Ryan to hubbs for their first interaction.

It was painful and scary but the feeling that came over me when I saw him and saw how beautiful and perfect he was, was so worth it!

Once I was all sewn up they passed Ryan back to me for skin to skin time and I tried to get Ryan to latch on. He just nuzzled in which was just fine with me. We got to have a nice time together before they took him to the nursery for more check ups and a bath. Hubbs went with the baby and I was swept off to the postpartum suite upstairs. I actually had to get out of the bed and into a wheelchair. It wasn't too bad although my left leg was still pretty numb in the thigh area.

That's all for now. I have my breastfeeding story to tell and it involves lots of tears and me feeling like I was about to enter the world of PPD (which didn't happen thankfully!).