"...Have faith in your dreams and someday,

your rainbow will come smiling through.

No matter how your heart is grieving,

if you keep on believing,

the dream that you wish will come true..."

Monday, April 25, 2011

The first month.. post-partum...

(Professional photo taken at 13 days old)

Wow, I can't believe Kaedence is a month old. It feels like those precious days that I was so looking forward to when I was pregnant, are gone forever. There are a few things I wish I could have done differently, but in the end, she is here, and so are we, so we make the best of now. Please pardon the following rant, but I've got to put it down.

Breast feeding has not gone well from the start, and it is heartbreaking. Breast feeding was my "one" crusade. It was the one thing I wanted to do, at all costs, but there have been many factors that have not helped the situation. First, Kaedence will NOT open her mouth wide enough, so getting a good latch is impossible. I think I have nursed her once in the last month when it hasn't hurt. If she does manage to get a good latch, she will take a few good gulps, get the milk flowing, then use me as a pacifier. When she does this, she pushes my nipple to the front of her mouth (just behind the gums), then bites down...OUCH!! I have been told by a lactation consultant that the constant "on-off" dance that we do with the latch causes friction damage, and it is no wonder it hurts. My first day home from the hospital, I ended up getting sick with a chest infection and they put me on really strong antibiotics. These antibiotics gave poor Kaedence the "poops" and burned her little bottom. So after some research, and talking with a Pharmacist, the decision was made that I would have to dump my breast milk for the remainder of my prescription + 48 hours (to allow the drug to leave my breast milk). So Kaedence was on formula for about a week. This allowed my nipples (which were cracked and bleeding) to heal, but the antibiotics also gave me a yeast infection on my nipples. I don't know if any of you ladies have ever experienced this, but it feels like razor blades when you nurse, and for an hour or so afterwards. So I was put on an antifungal for that. Once we got that all cleared up, my milk supply plummeted. So now, I'm taking Fenugreek and pumping every 3 hours (because I still can't stand the pain when I feed her), to try and boost my supply. I don't know if it is working. My supply is almost back to what it was, but it isn't getting better beyond that. I am only able to pump off enough milk to give her about 1 or 2 bottles of pure breast milk a day (6 ounces a day or so)... The last resort is a prescription medicine called Domperidone, and I don't know if I want to go that far or not... As of right now, all the medications, the pump, and the time, have cost me more than straight formula feeding ever would have!

The lack of success breast feeding is a huge blow for me. I hate the fact that I have fought with her for the first month of her life to feed. I feel inadequate as a mom for not being able to feed her... my one job as a mother... I also feel like for the first month of her life, I haven't really held her unless she is crying. I looked after her when she had a messy diaper, or when she needed a bath, or when she fussed, or when she needed to be fed (when we were breast feeding this was an awful fight!). After she was settled, and warm, everyone else got to hold her. I seldom got to snuggle her when she was content, because by the time that opportunity came I had to put her down otherwise she would have been up all night. It was always more important that someone else hold her, and now I can't get that time back. It won't be replaced with another baby because we likely will not have another one. I feel like I am just getting to know her now... which was my biggest fear when I was pregnant.

I am struggling with the decision to call it quits on the pumping. I spend at least 3-4 hours a day right now hooked to the pump. This is at all hours of the day and night because I am supposed to be pumping every 3 hours. I am still not making nearly enough milk to feed her. I know that what I am giving her is still important, no matter how little. But on another level, I just want the throw out the pump, bind my breasts, and spend this time with her instead. I think I am done with the direct breast feeding. I am at least able to enjoy her when I can, rather than resenting her for the pain whenever she touches my breasts. I am thinking that unless my supply dramatically increases, she will end up being a formula baby...which was the last thing I wanted. I am feeling that until I can let this breast feeding thing go, I won't really get to enjoy her. The public health nurse is coming tomorrow to help us with breast feeding...I think it is time for "a talk".

For the good news, she is healthy and alive. She does not have CF, and she is not even a carrier of the condition (like her Dad and I are). She has better genes than we do! She is growing SO fast now. It took her some time to get back up to her birth weight, but once she did she started gaining quickly. Last week she weighed 6lbs 15 ounces. I am positive that she is about 7 1/2 pounds now. I feel like this is an awful thing to say..but I am glad she is still small. I still have my "newborn" in size. She still fits into Newborn clothing, but I can see that she will be growing out of them very quickly.

I have wondered if I am going a bit "post-partum". I have talked with a few other Moms and they felt the same way when they went through it. Then I feel so fucking guilty. What do I have to be upset over? No one (other than me) cares how she is fed... she is alive...she is healthy..she is growing.. I don't think she hates me (yet)...

*sigh* I can't believe she is a month old... the time has slipped right past me.

I'll stop my bitching and moaning now and go back to my baby now... Oh, here are a few highlights from the past month!

One hour old!

One day old!

2 days old (napping on Daddy's chest)

One week old.

One week old...she gets to snuggle with her big sister (Kherrington's ashes are stored inside this bear).

2 weeks old (almost)..

3 weeks old (all dressed up and going for dinner!)

4 weeks old

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Newborn Photos!!

I am SO far behind in blog posts, that it is ridiculous! There is SO much I want to write about, (and get off my chest), but I just don't seem to have the time. As I type this right now, I am pumping with my collection container conveniently wedged between my knee and the table :s Perhaps, when things slow down and we get some free time, I'll be able to get caught up. I wanted to take a moment and share a "Sneak Peek" at our newborn photo shoot. These pictures were taken on Friday April 8th, by Pam Tomen with Great Takes Photography. Please go take a peek at them HERE (on her blog). Our little rainbow, Kaedence, was 13 days old on the day of her photo shoot, which also happened to be her "original" due date, before they changed it to April 9th! Enjoy!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Our delivery story.

So, I am finally getting around to typing up our delivery story..12 days later! :s Recovery has been long and painful for me, and that is my excuse. That, and I really don't have a sense of "time" anymore, the days just seem to run together. So...here is our story!

On Friday, March 25th, I had my regular appointments with the Antenatal clinic for a biophysical profile, and the Obstetrician. The Biophysical profile went well, she scored a 10/10. At my OB appointment, the doctor who was seeing me that day was going to be my delivering doctor on Saturday at the hospital. I will refer to him as Dr.M. Dr. M checked me and discovered that my cervix was still high and closed, and he sent me over to the hospital to have a tablet of cytotec put in overnight.

We headed over to the hospital, and arrived there at around 3pm. We talked with the nurses, and decided that we would go have dinner, and go see a movie, and return back to the hospital after we were done. My bestie from My life in Purple arrived in the city at around 5pm, and we went and had dinner with some friends, and saw a movie (Hall Pass). At around 9:30 pm we headed back to the hospital.

At approximately 10:30pm, they inserted the tablet of cytotec, monitored the baby for about 1/2 hour, then sent me to my room for the night. At around 2am, I woke up, and was crampy. I was unable to go back to sleep, so I called the nurse and she brought me something to ease my discomfort. I woke up at around 6:30am, had my breakfast, took a shower, and went over to Labour and Delivery at around 10am. Dr.M greeted us, and checked me. I had progressed to 3 cm and 80% effaced just with the single dose! So he decided to break my water. They sent me for a walk, and told me to come back in about 45 minutes. So my hubby went to get a snack, and my bestie and I walked the halls. At 11am I returned to L &D, and they checked me again... no change. So they decided to start the oxytocin in the I.V. During this entire process, they kept saying how I would likely progress very quickly once labour got going, so I was hopeful for a quick delivery, and hopefully by supper time. They let me eat some lunch and started the oxytocin at just after noon.

By 2:30pm my contractions were beginning to become uncomfortable. They checked me and I was only 3-4 cm and the baby's head was "high". Our little one had been having heart rate decelerations and they couldn't tell if it was her heart beat that the monitor was picking up, or mine. So the decision was made to put an electrode on her scalp to pick up her heart beat. I had not had any pain medications, and this procedure was the most uncomfortable part of my day thus far! Once the electrode was in place, they were able to track her heart beat.

At around 4:30 pm I had my epidural, and I was told that I was only 4-5 cm and that the baby's head was still "high". She was experiencing "compression" contractions, where her heart rate would rise as the contraction began..then dip during the contraction, and recover to normal afterwards. At around 5pm the nurse checked me because of these contractions. She was thinking that I would be dilating quickly. No luck..still the same. The doctor decided that we would continue with the induction, and monitor the baby closely. He told me that as long as she continued to recover from the contractions, he was OK with continuing.

By 7:30 pm I was on maximum dose oxytocin, and resting comfortably with my epidural. The nurse was monitoring the baby. My contractions were very strong and close together, coming every minute and a half and lasting 50 seconds. I had two strong contractions that she didn't recover from. The nurse tore the monitor strip off, and left us with a student nurse, and went to find Dr.M. 15 minutes later, Dr.M entered the room and said "Marjorie, I think it is time we have this baby. We need to do a c-section...she is not tolerating labour". I said "Do what you have to, just get her out alive!". By 8pm they were getting me ready for the O.R.

Kaedence Raine Gavel was born at 8:43 pm. The doctors moved very quickly to get her out, and she was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck and shoulders..she probably wouldn't have survived a vaginal birth. She sure did exercise her lungs though, and I could hear her crying as they did their assessments down the hall. After the doctor had finished the c-section, and stitched and stapled me back up, they discovered that there was a surgical sponge missing. They ordered an X-ray..and there it was! It was right up just under my rib cage! Dr.M was very apologetic and said that he would have to re-open my incision and remove the sponge and the procedure would take about another 1/2 hour. I was upset that I couldn't hold Kaedence during that time, and they allowed my DH to return to the OR with her while they re-prepped me for another surgery.

The doctor worked quickly, and removed the sponge. By the end of the operation, my epidural was starting to wear off, and I could feel the pressure of the staples as the entered my skin :s NOT a nice feeling!!! They moved me to recovery and I finally got to hold our little girl!

I stayed in the hospital for 4 days post-op. I could have stayed an extra day, but I really wanted to come home. I managed to come down with a chest infection on my first day at home, and I am now on a high dose of antibiotics to help me through that, but in the meantime, I am being forced to pump and dump my breast milk. We discovered that the antibiotics gave poor Kaedence the "poops" and a bad diaper rash. I will do another post soon about the woes of breastfeeding... I am still quite sore, and I am taking Tylenol and Ibuprofen for pain...along with the occasional prescribed morphine tablet at night to make me comfortable enough to sleep.

I can't believe that Kaedence is almost 2 weeks old already. I realized yesterday that I had to get some newborn photos done of her before she got too big! I am waiting to hear back from the photographer. In the mean time... The above picture is a shot of our little rainbow this morning... alert, after her feeding, and 12 days old already! She changes so much everyday.