Saturday, March 15, 2014

Life with a Newborn

We have survived the first month!  We feel truly blessed that Ryleigh is such a happy and healthy little girl.

We have been taking everything day by day and just cherishing every moment.  I love every little face, random movements, and all of her many noises that she makes.  There is no better feeling than cuddling with her and having her snuggle up to me.  I love looking at every little detail of her face and seeing bits of Jake and me there.  We can tell the difference in her hungry cries, her "I just want someone to hold me" cries, and her "I really hate my carseat!!" cries.


Weight:  8lbs 8oz
Height:  21 3/4 inches
Head:  ** I can't remember but I think they said 14.1 inches?

Our little piglet is a great eater, and she's now up to eating about 3oz of breastmilk every 2.5-3 hours.  There are almost some rolls on her little chicken legs!  If you follow me on instagram, then you know that I am exclusively pumping.  I tried for about a week and a half to breastfeed and we were having big problems with getting her to latch properly.  We were having to supplement with formula, and I could see that she would get so frustrated when she was really hungry and it took her so much more effort to breastfeed than eat from the formula bottle.  I was in so much pain, so one day I finally just decided I would try pumping.  It went well and I would get enough for anywhere between 2 and 4 bottles each pumping session.  At first, I was pumping around every 6-8hours since I would get plenty for her to eat from each session.  However, I remembered being told that when you pump, you need to pump every time that the baby would eat so that you keep up your supply.  Even though I was getting enough, I was really worried that my body would think that was all I needed and once she got older I would not be able to produce enough milk for her.  So, now I'm pumping every 3.5-4 hours, and trying to be very disciplined with that schedule.  The worst is at night, when I can feed and change Ryleigh so quickly and she's back to sleep within about 20 minutes, but I have to keep myself up and pump.  Between pumping and washing all the pump parts, I end up staying awake an extra 45 minutes. No fun.  But, I really want to breastfeed her as long as I can, and it's my goal to at least do it the entire time I'm on maternity leave [8wks].  Once I'm back to work, I don't know if these night time pumping sessions are going to work.  Right now I can barely make it through the day if I don't get in at least one 45 minute nap.  So, for now I'm trying to freeze and bag as much breastmilk as I can.  I have at least one pumping session a day where I can freeze the milk because I already have enough in the refrigerator.

Sleeping is also going very well right now.  We thank our lucky stars that she's a good sleeper, especially at night.  She will sleep for about 3-4 hours straight before waking up hungry.  During the day, she's on about a 3 hour schedule for sleeping, waking up to eat and change diaper, and then back to sleep.  She stays awake an extra 20-30 minutes once or twice a day, so we play in her bouncy seat or work on tummy time and building those neck muscles!  We've been doing tummy time with her on my chest instead of on the floor because her umbilical cord took 3 weeks to fall off, and I didn't want her to be uncomfortable on the floor.

From our diaper shower, we've got a stock pile of all different sizes and brands of diapers!  We have figured out that Pampers Swaddlers in newborn size are the best fitting diapers for her right now.  She can also wear Luvs Extra Absorbent, but the legs are a little loose.  The swaddle design works the best for her skinny little legs.  She was having major blow-outs when we had her wearing Huggies, and the Honest Company newborn size diapers are just really big.  They seem like they might be good once she grows into them, though.   

She's just starting to grow out of some of her newborn clothes.  She can still wear newborn size onesies although they are starting to get snug around her buddha belly.  Newborn pants still fit. She's too long to wear the newborn footed sleepers.  Most of her 0-3month sleepers fit but a couple brands are a little big.  0-3 month onesies are still big, and she can wear the pants but they're a little long.

--Ryleigh loves country music.  That's all I listened to while pregnant, and of course Jake is a big fan.  It's really funny to watch how she can be fussy and if we play some music she will instantly get quite and calm.
--She also loves the instrumental/classical songs on her sound machine, which I turn on while feeding her in the middle of the night.  Her favorite song is Rock-a-by Baby, and whenever it comes on she will pause and just listen to it before going back to eating her bottle.
--She's just starting to take a paci [Tommee Tippee 0-3 month size] sometimes, but is also just as content to suck on her thumb or fingers.
--She hates almost everything about bath time, but she really loves getting her head rubbed when we wash her hair.  She also loves getting out of the bathtub and being wrapped up in her hooded towels.

That's all for now!  These posts are going to be long, but are mostly for me to document all of this information for myself to look back on later.  Sorry if they bore you! haha

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Ryleigh's Birth Story :)

Well, it's been a while since my last post because we have been busy with a newborn!  We made it to 38 weeks and 4 days, and Ryleigh Marie was born on Friday, February 14th!

We had a huge [by Southern standards] snow & ice storm that week, and my office was closed Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.  I slept in a little, woke up around 9:30am, and was hanging out with the dogs while eating my breakfast and relaxing.  I felt just sort of "off" all morning.  I thought maybe the Braxton Hicks contractions were throwing me off, or maybe since I just woke up I didn't eat enough and my stomach still felt empty.

Over the next couple of hours, that feeling didn't go away, and I decided maybe a shower would help.  I was also planning to make a trip to Walmart afterwards to get some dog food and other necessities.  By the time I got out of the shower, I was feeling really crampy and decided I just wanted to lay down and take a nap.  I woke up around 1:15 and when I didn't feel much better I just stayed in bed and watched TV.  Well, by 2pm these pains were coming much more frequently and I thought maybe I should take out my phone and use my Contraction Tracker app.  I still wasn't sure if this was labor, but I wanted to start timing to see if maybe this was contractions.  They were all over the place, 4 minutes then 8 minutes then 2 minutes then 11 minutes then 6 minutes...Which threw me off because in child birth class they made me think that contractions would be at more regular intervals.  I watched TV and tracked them until a little after 3pm and I decided I needed to call my doctor's office.  I spoke to the on-call nurse [offices were closed because of the storm] and she said it sounded like the beginnings of labor and to keep tracking for another hour and call her back if there were any changes or if they were more consistent and frequent.  As we hung up the phone she said "Well honey, it's Valentine's day AND a full moon tonight, and you know we believe in those types of things! I think you may be having this baby before the end of the weekend."  Over the next hour I kept tracking and they were still at all different intervals, but those intervals were all 6 minutes or less.  I called Jake around 4 and told him to try to finish up working, make sure everything was ready for work tomorrow, and come home because we might need to go to the hospital.  He finished up quickly and got home around 5pm.  At this point I was finally mostly convinced I was having real contractions [you have to understand that I didn't want to be that first time mom who shows up at the hospital for false alarms that are just gas pains, and I really didn't think she would come that early].  Jake showered and we were going to quick install the car seat, which was on our to-do list for the weekend and we hadn't gotten to it yet, but by the time he got out of the shower the contractions were more frequent and getting much more painful.  We quick finished packing Jake's and the baby's hospital bags, got my bag, and grabbed the uninstalled car seat to head to the hospital.  We knew that all the security guards at the hospital were certified to install car seats so they could help Jake if he needed it before we came home.

Still tracking, the contractions finally became regular intervals of 3 minutes apart while we were on our way up the interstate to the hospital.  I was in a lot of pain by this point...there may have been some yelling, cursing [which I kept apologizing to Jake for because I felt like I shouldn't be cursing because our baby was causing the pain...haha!] and hitting the inside of the car door.  My sweet, sweet husband was trying to help me and told me to remember the breathing techniques from child birth which I told him "I love you and I know you don't want to see me in pain, but please stop now!" We made it to the hospital in about 35 minutes.  I don't want to know how fast Jake was driving because it's a 40 minute drive without road construction delays or traffic.  We were headed there during rush hour on a Friday....

We got to the hospital at 6:35pm and I could barely walk or stand during contractions.  I kept telling people I was in labor and just wanted an epidural.  We were standing at the nurses station checking in at the maternity ward, and I just remember being aggravated because I had pre-registered and I didn't understand why the girl kept asking me all of these questions like my name, birth date, social security number, address, etc.  After what seemed like an eternity they got me into a room, took a urine sample, and started hooking up the contraction and fetal heart rate monitors to my belly.  I kept asking for an epidural, and once the nurse saw that I was having real contractions she checked to see how dilated I was, to which we found out I was already at 9cm.  That was the first total shock moment for everyone because we realized this baby was going to be born soon...At some point the OB showed up--not my normal doctor but a different one from my practice whom I had met before and I remember being relieved that it was her because I liked her a lot.  They broke my water since it still hadn't.  I am forever grateful to the wonderful anesthesiologist because I was told it was up to his discretion for whether or not he would give me the epidural since my urine test results weren't back yet.  Bless that man because he said he understood that sometimes we just needed to do these things, and he turned me on my side while I was laying down and gave me the epidural.  That took about 15 minutes to totally kick in.  The baby wasn't handling the epidural well and her heart rate started to drop.  The gave me an oxygen mask because it was the quickest way to get her more oxygen, and they had me turn to the side.  Those tricks seemed to work because her heart rate went back up to normal.  They checked me and I was 10cm so we were ready to start pushing.  The next contraction came and I pushed three times, and then baby's heart rate started dropping again.  We agreed to let them use the vaccuum to try to help her out quicker, and got ready to push for the next contraction.  They tried the vaccuum but it popped off right away, and while I was pushing 3 more times my nurse asked me to try to get a forth push because the baby would be out.  I did, and she was!

Ryleigh Marie was born at 8:14pm on Valentine's day :)  Jake and I were both in such shock that she had arrived so quickly, and we were both just in awe looking at her.  It was so surreal.  They laid her on my belly to clean her off and we were both holding her, then Jake went over with the nurses to weigh, measure, and be with her while they were doing all of their testing and getting her under the heat lamp.  Her temperature was low, and kept hovering at 97 degrees, so she got an extra long stay under the heat lamps until her temp was finally up to 98 degrees.  Jake stayed with her for that and then they brought her over to me to do skin-to-skin on my chest.  All we could do was kiss her and stare at her, and couldn't believe that she was finally here!