It is strange and ironic that the space I carved out of the whole wide web to document the fleeting moments of life would itself be neglected, thus many of those treasured moments will have to be first remembered and then recorded…if I ever get around to it.

Here Samuel is now 4 years old and a big brother to 20 month old Solomon. But I won’t write a novel documenting the last 4 years. My purpose now is to take this step forward to document my life with my dear family. This will include my children, my dear husband, and myself. I want to freeze moments we experience and interests we have so that long from now I can look back and remember forgotten details and be delighted of re-experiencing God’s blessings.

This blog will now be a documentation of life through writing and pictures. I want to include all that is important to me. I want it here and tangible. I need reminders of my blessings as much as the next person, else I grow hardened, bitter, and blind. Maybe I’ll post much more frequently then is usually done, or maybe I will have much catching up to do. I hope the former is my method.

Disclaimer: nipple, breast, boob, breastfeeding, suckling, milk…If you could read these without cringing and sweating then read on. If you began shaking uncontrollably and your face became hot, I suggest you skip this post. If you are a man and think its weird for a baby to suck on a boob, then just stop right now and meander to another post. Thankyou for your cooperation 🙂

As you read in my last post, my labor and delivery experience wasn’t all that I anticipated. Neither has breastfeeding fit into the mold I had been preparing for 9 months.

Breastfeeding is the absolute best you can give your young one.  I have been hearing of the benefits from day one and I had determined in my mind that I was going to exclusively breastfeed.

Things started out shaky at the hospital because I didn’t get much counsel and help in how to have Sam properly latch on. When I needed help, sure a nurse was there to call upon but they never really stuck around to make sure that it continued going well. When I was discharged and continued breastfeeding at home I didn’t know what to expect. How was my nipple supposed to look as it “toughened up” as I’m told will happen? What is the appropriate pain associated with correct breastfeeding, and what is the bad pain that they all say I shouldn’t be feeling? How much cracking of the nipple is “normal”? One thing I was not instructed on was that I was supposed to switch positions so that the whole nipple is sucked on at a different angle. News to me.

Breastfeeding was painful. I was using the cradle hold exclusively and he was drawing out only one portion of the nipple and I felt like he was almost “eating” it. Yes, yes, I know…he is “eating” it, but I mean..he was literally “EATING” my nipple. He was eating it raw. I had bleeding and cracking and didn’t know what was normal.

A week and a half after Sam was born, Lori, my WIC (Women, Infant, & Children) case worker (yes, I’m using WIC…wonderful program if you qualify and want help with providing your child with the very best) came to my house to see how things are going. While Lori was here I began asking her about breastfeeding and my concerns. I showed her my nipples and her immediate reaction was “Whoa, that’s not normal”. When she was looking at Sam and he began crying she noticed something that proved to be a pivotal point in my breastfeeding experience.

“Is he tongue-tied?”

Lo-and-behold, he is indeed tongue-tied. The small strip of skin under Sam’s tongue was actually located near his tip and he couldn’t raise his tongue up. What this means for the breastfeeding mother is that the infant can’t suck the nipple far back enough to the soft pallet and so it constantly rubs on the hard pallet at the roof of the mouth.

He literally WAS eating me!

I continued breastfeeding for a week and a half and had developed an infection because of the constant raw and open wounds. I went and saw the doctor and she got me started on an antibiotic and told me to stop breastfeeding for the time being. I began pumping and supplementing with formula.

Today, 2 weeks later, I went to the doctor again and she saw I’m not where I should be. I had finished the antibiotic but i’m still infected. My nipples aren’t able to completely heal, and it’s not due to the baby. What could be going on? Alas! The pump is now to blame! Apparently, the flange (shield part that fits over the nipple and areola) that came with the breast pump isn’t the right size for me. Bah! My doctor said that this is the worst she’s ever seen anyone!

I so badly want to succeed at breastfeeding. Sure, I’m discouraged that it’s been this much of a challenge, and I pray that Sam can get back into the swing of things after his tongue is clipped in a couple of weeks, but by then he will have been on the bottle for a month. If I can get through this breastfeeding trial I believe I can get through any breastfeeding trial.

Stay tuned for updates on my breastfeeding experience!

 

I have some amazing women in my life who are also amazing mothers. While I was pregnant I had many conversations with these women about how they went through labor and delivery and I had made up in my mind that I wanted to have a natural labor without the use of the epidural. For a while I determined against all pain medication but near the end of the pregnancy and as my nerves got the better of me I eased up a bit and decided that I might take something to take the edge off my pain if I needed it.

I had read about different pain management techniques and was looking forward to trying them out. I wanted to practice the breathing, using the birthing ball to sit on, and just walk around to relieve the pain. One thing, though, that I didn’t take into consideration was how being induced would change all that.

Why did I choose to be induced on my due date? My beloved parents in Idaho were making the trip here to Illinois to be with me and my husband for two weeks and scheduling them to come proved to be a challenge. Do they come before the baby is born and risk him coming late and then that cutting short the overall time they can see their very first grandchild? Or do they come after he is born and forfeit being with me during my labor and delivery, yet get a whole two weeks with their grandchild? It was very important to me that my parents be there with me when Sam was born and so they came the weekend before he was due to arrive on Wednesday September 15.

And so I was induced. With all the reading I had done and all that I thought I knew, I was blindsided when I found out that an induction equaled being bedridden all day due to the monitoring machines I had to be hooked up to. They started the process at 10am and the doctor broke my water at 3pm. Contractions really began picking up at that point because I was on the Pitocin drip. I did have this one pain medication around 4ish that knocked me out for a good hour – a blessed hour where I felt not a thing, but when I started coming around the contractions were terribly uncomfortable. I asked the nurse if I could walk around but she said no. She said I could try switching to laying on my side and when we tried that I was too uncomfortable so I flipped back to laying on my back again. I also wanted to sit up at least, but no…I had to lay back so as to not disrupt the fetal monitor strapped to my belly.

The pain got the better of me and with so many people urging me to consider the epidural I really began breaking my original resolve. One thing stood in my path and that was my husband. At first glance, this may seem like a comment set up against him, and it takes some explaining. In my pain my husband came to my side to comfort me and soothe me. He encouraged me and spoke softly to me. He was a great support. When I chose to take the epidural I robbed from him a very precious role in the childbirth experience. He went from an active participant of helping his wife through a challenging ordeal to being a complete bystander whose services were no longer needed. Such sorrow I hold over withdrawing from him such precious intimacy between us. All I knew is that I was losing control of my pain management and that I was breaking. My whole body was shaking as I went through my contractions. When I made my final decision for the body-numbing drug my mind was already numb. I was only bent on relief.

When the anesthesiologist came in she excused everyone and told me to sit up on the edge of the bed. Then the strangest thing happened. I went from sweating and shaking in pain to complete relief – just by sitting on the edge of my bed. I was able to calm down and I had fleeting thoughts of “do I really need the epidural?”

When it was all done with and I began to numb I had plenty to think about. Over the last few weeks I’ve thought about it alot. I’m unsure what was the best route to take. When I went into the hospital to be induced I was only dilated at a tight 2, the nurse said. I’m sure I could have probably gone a whole extra week without having Sam. He was just taking his sweet time, yet when he was born at 11:21pm, he was a whopping 8lbs 5oz. That means that if I did let nature take it’s course I would have had an even bigger baby! It was hard enough pushing him out (granted, I’m told it’s harder when your numb anyways). I began pushing at about 10:40 and so he was born less than an hour later, and I’m told that’s pretty good for a first time pusher. I did have to have an episiotomy though. Would I have chosen to do an epidural later if I had an even bigger baby and would have had even more pain?

I only wish I could have had the option of a more drug free route to childbirth, but alas, I didn’t realize that when you do an induction you are inviting all possible medical intervention.

So what it comes down to is that when baby #2 comes along I intend to let nature take it’s course.

 

Sam I Am

Now that I have a sweet newborn, one of the most common comments I get from people is

“treasure every moment, they go by fast/grow up so fast”.

The more I heard it the more I began to think “yeah…I really should treasure every moment.” Being a mom is a very new thing for me and there are so many experiences – some good, some not so good – that I’m going to want to remember along in this journey.

Samuel is my own flesh and blood and he means more to me than I ever thought possible. Tomorrow he is going to be 3 weeks old and I would say that I am already late in starting this blog. There have been so many moments that I’ve already let slip by and I have some catching up to do! Hopefully between trying to keep the house tidy, and the kid fed and happy, and myself rested up I will be able to share my new mommyhood experiences with you all.

Thankyou for joining me and I pray that my musings will inspire and entertain you.

God bless.

-Kristy and Sammy

Here is a poem that I got from a friend that touched my heart.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never been puked on.
Pooped on.
Chewed on.
Peed
…I never knew that something so small
could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom,
I didn’t know the feeling of
having my heart outside my body.
I didn’t know how special it could feel
to feed a hungry baby.
I didn’t know that bond
between a mother and her child.
I didn’t know that something so small
could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night
every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth,
the joy,
the love,
the heartache,
the wonderment
or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
I didn’t know I was capable of feeling so much,
before I was a Mom.

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