Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The truth about breastfeeding

Breastfeeding.  I thought I had it all planned out.  Of course I was going to breastfeed my baby.  It's a time to bond with your baby and mother's milk is so much more nutritional for the baby, plus who wants to pay for formula when you can feed for free?!  It was going to be so easy...the mothers in the church nursery make it look easy.
I'm sure for some people breastfeeding was a piece of cake.  I am not one of those people.  When the nurses handed Ren to be for the first time I loved and cuddled with him while still laying on the labor and delivery bed.  Then my mom suggested trying to feed him.  I was so excited because he latched on right away (of course I knew what I was doing...I even knew the vocabulary like "latching on").  In the hospital I would feed him every two hours or so.  My good friend Erica (who works at the hospital) came to visit and gave me tips and set me up with a hospital grade breast pump for a one month rental. When it was time to go home I was confident and ready to feed my growing baby.
**This post contains a lot of text so I'll break it up with adorable pictures of Ren**

Well...I'm pretty sure that I have run into every possible problem you could have with nursing.
The first week Ren decided to go on a nursing strike.  He just refused to nurse at all.  He would arch his back, cry and root around looking for the food when it was right there for him.  I had to pump every two hours because he would only drink from a bottle.  After a visit to the lactation consultant at our pediatrician's office I learned some techniques for getting him to nurse which really helped.
The second week was rough because Ren started chomping down when feeding.  It was killer!  I seriously dreaded time to feed him because it hurt so bad.  He even made me bleed!  So it was back to the lactation consultant for some "suck training." She told me that because they had to deep suction him when he was first born he has a natural response to clench his jaw when something is in his mouth.
Soon after that I developed mastitis.  Oh my is that painful!!!  J was out of town for work so I was already staying at my parent's house for a few days which was good because I was useless.  It was almost as if I had the flu.  I kept a fever of 101.4 for a couple of days complete with chills and hot flashes.  During this time my grandmother was visiting from Florida and I pretty much fed Ren, handed him to grandmother, went to sleep, fed Ren, handed him to grandmother, went to sleep...repeat for 24 hours.  I ended up going to the doctor and getting on an antibiotic for 10 days.  
Now here we are in present day.  The mastitis has gone and apparently so has my milk supply.  I wouldn't really know it except I had Ren's weight check done one his one month birthday and he was just under 10lbs.  He had only gained 2oz in 11 days and still wasn't up to his birth weight.  The lactation consultant had me nursing him then pumping right after and feeding him whatever I could get by pumping.  I took him back to get weighed again today and he is exactly the same...no weight gain for four days.  SO...for the next two days I have to pump in place of nursing and supplement formula (formula!!) to get enough to feed my child.  This was not how it was supposed to be.  I wasn't going to use formula, but its what is best for Ren right now because he needs to gain weight.  
I have found myself saying over the last month that "breastfeeding is for the birds" yet I have just kept on going.  Hopefully we will get some meat on my boy, even if it means formula from here on out.
So that's my breastfeeding story.  I hope you have had better luck if this is the track you are on, or that you don't get discouraged if it doesn't work out the way you planned.  

Monday, June 24, 2013

First Bath

Ren had his first bath a few days after we came home from the hospital.  Of course it was just a sponge bath since we couldn't put him in a tub yet.  I was too nervous to bathe him because he was just so small and wiggly.  My mom, an experienced baby bather, took the job.  Ren didn't really enjoy his first bath at all...mostly because he hates to be naked.  
Josh gave him a bottle after the bath to help calm him down and he was much happier afterwards!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

One month!

I still have a lot of backtracking to do to catch up to the present day, but in honor of Ren's one month I decided to just go ahead and post this today.  
My little baby is ONE MONTH OLD!
This has been a crazy month of adjustments, less sleep and just plain ole learning to live with a baby in the house.  It really seemed to go by so fast too.  I still think about the morning J and I went to the hospital and didn't come home until we were a family of three.
 This was our first attempt at the photo shoot...oops!

First week

Ren's first week at home seems so long ago.  We have come a long way since he was one week old.  First of all I have to say that we have a super amazing family!  My mom came over to the house every day for Ren's first week home. She cooked dinner, washed clothes, organized Ren's room and clothes, took me to Target, cleaned and held Ren while I took a nap every afternoon.  It was great to have her support to help me with taking care of a new baby and many many struggles with nursing.  The second week of Ren's life, Josh's mom came over every day and helped out.  She even cleaned my bathroom!!  
It was super crazy getting adjusted to not being just me and J anymore.  When they tell you that the postpartum hormones are crazy-believe it!!  On the second night that we were home my mom had left for the evening and J and I were sitting on the couch watching tv.  All of the sudden I was just crying and had no idea why.  That whole first week, and into the second week, I could start crying at any moment for any reason.  Things have gotten a lot better since then and I'm so glad because not being in charge of your emotions is weird!  
Now on to the fun part...pictures of Ren's first week of life!
First trip to the pediatrician's office

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Going home

By Wednesday morning I was very much ready to go home!  It was nice having all the nurses around if you needed anything, especially when it came to questions about the baby, but I just wanted to be in my own house.  We left Ren in nothing but a diaper the entire hospital stay because newborn skin-to-skin with mom is so important.  Every time I nursed or held him I wanted him to be naked, so we just never dressed him.  Putting clothes on to leave the hospital was not something that Ren enjoyed (or being buckled into his seat for that matter!).

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Josh is already a FANTASTIC dad!  Every day when he gets home he gives Ren big kisses and holds him most of the evening.  This is one of my favorite pics of them in the hospital.  It's amazing how much bigger Ren has gotten since he was born!
Happy first Father's Day!
(only a couple of days late)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Hospital visitors

We were blessed to have lots of friends and family come visit Ren in the hospital.  I always enjoy going to the hospital when my friends have new babies so it was great to have so many people love on our little one.
Monday night around 9:00 (I think...the times get kinda blurry after having a baby) I was finally left the labor and delivery room and was set up in a regular hospital room.  Other than my mom and J, our family had not met Ren yet.  They still were waiting patiently in the waiting room where they had been all day.  Everyone just played pass the baby while I ate a Jimmy John's sandwich...its amazing how hungry your are after you give birth to a child!  (That and how I hadn't eaten since dinner the night before.  ha!)
Papa and Gigi
Aunt Mimi
Aunt BG
Aunt Kristin
Uncle Jeremy
 Tuesday was the day that so many of our friends came by.  It was always fun to see who was going to show up next!
Erik and Erica
Sandy, Julia and Emily
Landon and James
Olivia, Bailey and Reese
(Bailey and Reese are former students of mine)
 Greyson and his mom, Elizabeth
(another former student)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Welcome to the world Ren

A little bit about Ren's birth story...
Sunday, May 19th was Ren's due date.  I went through the entire day like normal feeling as if he would never come.  That night though I started having contractions and we almost went to the hospital but decided to wait because they had tapered off to almost nothing.  In the morning Josh was planning on going in to work but around 6:00am I realized I hadn't felt him move in a couple hours.  We called the on-call doctor and she wanted us to come in just to check on him.  We headed to the hospital for some monitoring.  By the time we got there he started moving some and everything checked out fine but my contractions started back.  The doctor said I would just end up back in the hospital later in the day so I was admitted and all the fun and waiting began...
Our last picture together before we became a family of three
Josh and my mom were with me the whole time while the entire family spent the day sitting around in the waiting room.  They're a patient bunch!
Right when the contractions started getting really tough I had my epidural and boy did that make a world of a difference!!  I had the best nurse in the whole world.  She helped me get through most of the pushing until the doctor came in.  Everything happened so fast that it's kind of a blur now.  I do remember the point where I just knew Ren was about to be born because I couldn't not push any more.  My mom grabbed the camera as soon as he was born and took way more pictures than anyone would want to look through on a blog.
And then they weighed him...
Nobody (including myself) could believe that he was going to be a 10lb baby!  Even the nurses and doctor were shocked at how much he weighed.  The entire time we were at the hospital the nurses referred to him as "the two month old."

Looking back on Ren's birth day I really feel like I had a great experience.  Everything went pretty smoothly from my standpoint.  I ended up pushing for about an hour and a half...which in my mind went by quickly but according to J and my mom it was a long hour and a half.
We love our little Ren!!