Thursday, April 30, 2009

Oh god, it's GERD

So, Jack has been spitting up A LOT for the last 2 weeks regardless of what we do. We've taken him to the pedi and she wanted us to monitor it. We went back today, and she diagnosed him as having GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a digestive disorder that affects the lower esophageal sphincter).

It doesn't seem to really bother him, but we want to nip it in the bud because GERD that is untreated can lead to asthma; something that Troy's family has dealt with for years. We're starting him on baby Priolsec tomorrow and I'm really hoping it helps our little pumpkin. Even though it doesn't seem to cause him pain, it has led to him being a poor napper and makes it really hard for us to get him to sleep at night.

We can rock him to sleep and he's totally fine, but the second we lay him in his bassinet he starts to fuss and wakes right up. My working theory is that he's great when he's all snuggly and upright, but when we lay him down, acid rises from his wee little tummy and goes up in to his throat and wakes him up. ARGH.

In better news, LL Cool J (Ladies Love Cool Jack), has been growing by leaps and bounds! In the last 8 days he has gained 11 oz, and 3/4 of an inch in length! So while our little monster has heartburn/acid reflux, it's definitely not impacting his overall eating and growth progress.

I'm hoping that once we get his GERD taken care of that he'll become a faster eater. He currently eats for 15-50 minutes each time depending on his 'tude, but I'm guessing he overeats because he knows that he's going to harf some of it up later. Maybe if his little tummy feels ok, he won't feel the need to be a little piggy whenever he eats!

Also, I don't want to jinx it, but totally overnight Jack went from eating every 2 hours during the day to 3.5 hours! I really hope it's a change in his snacking habits, and not a result of being so freaking tired because he was up partying all last night.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Captain Smiley Pants

Even when he's being a Class A turd, he's pretty damn cute.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Shhhhhh, don't wake him

It's currently a fantastic morning. Jack woke up around 7:45 am for breakfast and then with the help from daddy, went back to sleep!

I was pretty awake, so I got up, did the dishes, washed binkies, bottles & pump parts, did some laundry, cleaned the tub, and ate breakfast while Troy and Jack snoozed away in bed. I'm currently sitting on the couch surfing the net, and watching Law & Order. It doesn't get much better than this right now!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

New ticker

I have finally uploaded a new ticker for Jack! This counts his age rather than just saying I'm overdue and going to give birth at any moment. The cows are a bit tongue in cheek because I feel like a cow with all the breast feeding, pumping, etc.

At the pediatrician's office yesterday, the doctor told me that I have what they refer to in their office as "bionic" breast milk. Why you might ask? Because Jack gained 9 oz in FIVE days. She kindly reminded me that it's impossible to overfeed a breastfed baby, but I think I might be proving that theory wrong.

I did mention that I was worried that Jack would be the fat 4 year old on Maury just wearing a diaper, running around on stage, and screaming for more fried chicken, ice cream, and pizza. And I would be sitting on stage with my perm and Nascar letterman's jacket saying "he's just hungry all the time. I don't know what to do"! I would also be drinking a Big Gulp of course.

In other boob news, my milking machine is pretty effective. I'm able to get about 3-4 oz of milk in less than 5 minutes. MOO! We currently have about 60 oz in the freezer and would have more but we've been giving Jack 1 pumped bottle of 2.5 oz once a day to give my poor boobs a break.

Mooo moo mooooo. That's cow for "thanks for reading about my boobies".

Jack and Troy's horrible no good rotten day

Yesterday around 6 am, Troy woke up and declared that he couldn't move his neck. Ordinarily this would be manageable, but yesterday was also the day that Jack was scheduled to be circumcised. Oy.
Troy's mom came over after work and took Troy to the chiropractor and doctor. I ran poor little Jack to the doctor for his procedure, and then came back to take care of Troy. Troy's mom stayed in to the early evening to hold Jack and just give me a break. She is a rockstar!

Last night was the worst night I've had being a mommy. Jack would NOT STOP CRYING because he was so uncomfortable. I started rocking and feeding him around 7 pm and finally got him to sleep around 1 am. At one point we were both sitting in the rocking chair in his room just sobbing. He was crying so hard and for so long that his little throat was hoarse and he was just whimpering. I hope to never have that day again, and I'm certain that poor Jack feels the same way.
On a happier note, here are a few cutie pie photos of my little man (taken on a happier day):
Talk to the hand:
Milk face:

Monday, April 20, 2009

Dads turn to boast

Hello to all those who have followed our story. Thank you so much. I figure it's time to post about Sarah. So you will know how amazing she is. After Jack was born I realized how selfless she was. She wanted the best for Jack. She loved him so much she wanted him to have the best health and life, long before he was born. In order to prepare for Jack she read many books, did hours of research, attended a 12 week class, ate very healthy, exercised, found a pediatrician, set up a college fund, researched the safest baby products, and decided to do a natural birth so Jack would come out as healthy as possible. She is amazing and now she is an amazing mother. I find myself asking her questions all the time about Jacks health and she almost always knows what to say. She is loving and patient with Jack. She has kept calm and levelheaded. I'm the one who freaks out now and then. Jack is a lucky guy. Sarah has taken nothing for granted and worked very hard so Jack stays happy and healthy. She loves him so much. On top of all this she has still found time to be a loving wife and friend. Jack is not the only lucky one.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tits and ass

Yes mom, I really titled a post "tits and ass". And yes, it's too late for charm school for me.

Tits: breastfeeding is going well. I think Jack has teeth, but other than a painful initial latch on my left boob, we're doing ok. He's eating a ton, and I swear he must be gaining a ton of weight considering how much he's chowing down! During the day he cluster feeds every 90-120 minutes, but has been going about 3 hours during the night. A typical middle of the night conversation between Troy and I:

Troy: babe, Jack is hungry
Me (in a sleepy stupor): he can't be, I just fed him
Troy: sweetie, that was 3 hours ago
Me: no, really I just finished feeding him. (looks down at chest and sees that once again the body pillow has been trying to latch on to my nipple). Damn. Ok, bring him to me.

Ass: We were planning on waiting until 1 week in to start Jack on his cloth diapers. But on day 3, after 2 blowouts in a row in his Pampers, I decided I couldn't take the chemical crap on my child's ass any longer.

Overall, cloth diapering ROCKS! I really like it and Jack seems pretty happy with his big fat ass. We've had a few blowouts in the cloth diapers, but 99% of those have been user error. The laundry has been very easy and not at all a big deal. We do a load every 1-2 days and it probably adds about 15 min of work to my day.

A cloth diaper review:
-Kissaluvs size 0: LOVE these! They're so soft and contain even the nastiest of baby poos. The downside is that they're not super absorbent so they get soaked pretty quickly. With any cloth diaper, you need to change your kid more often than disposable. We're at this crazy junction of not wanting to wake him up by changing his diaper, but not wanting him to sit in pee all day.
-Thirsties xs diaper covers: they kick so much ass. Have contained all but 1 blowout that was user error. So cute, and make his tushie adorable.
-Green Mountain Diaper prefolds: eh, not loving these. Prefolds are easy enough, but I can't seem to get these right enough to contain poo. I'm going to keep trying since I bought so many!

I'm also loving my Ergo baby carrier with infant insert (thanks Robin!)! When Jack is in def-con motherfucking MELTDOWN mode, this seems to calm him and allows me to retain my sanity.

My Moby wrap is great, but I'm having problems getting the last part of the crazy puzzle to be tight enough to support his head. I'm going to have to check out more YouTube videos to figure this out.

I ordered an adorable sling from Etsy a few weeks ago, and it should be here this week! I'm excited to try it out because it's easier to throw on than the Moby for quick holds.

And if you don't like this post, Jack is gonna knock you out! Bring it!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A sign that you might be a wee bit sleep deprived

Here is a test to see if you're sleep deprived:

You wake up in a panic because you've been breastfeeding in your bed and can't find your child's head or face under all the covers. You start digging because you're convinced that you have suffocated your tiny little baby.

Then you realize your child is in the bassinet next to your bed and you've been trying to breastfeed your body pillow.

True story and I've had this freak out about 4 times now. And I'm one of the lucky ones because Jack is sleeping 3 hrs at a time at night. Oy.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Baby shit

No, not the kind you're thinking of. I mean the "essential" crap that all the baby conglomerates like Babies R Us try to convince you to buy. This is a post to all you future moms out there. Kind of a "what to buy" tips and tricks.

I did a ton of research and because of that feel that we didn't waste our money on useless products. We got a few randoms during my shower, but everything has come in really handy! Enjoy:

Prior to birth:
Sterilize everything by week 37. It's been so nice to be home and not have to boil plastic crap or other things for the baby. I didn't sterilize the breast pump until I got home because I wasn't certain if I was going to keep it or not (return policy).

Read books about things other than pregnancy. Around the start of my 3rd tri, I stopped reading pregnancy books and started reading sleeping and childbirth books. Troy and I both really liked "The Happiest Baby on the Block". You can also get it on DVD to make for a quicker "read".

Things to stock up on:
Colace. You don't want that first post partum poo to sneak up on you. That region of your body has already had some trauma and you don't need any more. I swear the first few days I wanted an epidural every time I had to go to the bathroom.

GIANT pads. The hospital will give you some, but you'll go through them pretty quickly (even if you have a c section). If they don't look like they formerly were a phone book, they're not big enough. I've heard horror stories about Always pads causing some sort of post partum rash. I just got the super Target overnight ones and they've been fine.

Dermaplast. The hospital will also give you some, but it's nice to have around if you run out

Food that you can eat with 1 hand. Also make some food to freeze; it's great to have home-cooked food that I just have to heat up

Tucks pads. Not just for hemorrhoids. They're great for just general swelling for your "business"

Batteries. Baby crap takes SO many batteries (mostly C & D). We invested in about $100 of rechargeable batteries and I think it will definitely be worth it.

Things that are great if you're going to breastfeed:
Target nursing tanks. Super comfy to wear around the house, and will fit anyone regardless of how/when your milk comes in. Also only about $17. If you want a formal nursing bra later, it's best to wait a few weeks until after your milk comes in.

Nipple cream. the first few days you can be kind of tender. I like this stuff because it's really easy to put on and is all organic meaning you don't have to wipe it off each time you want to feed:

Soothie pacifiers. I was against pacifiers at first to avoid nipple confusion, but after Jack "confused" my nipple for an hour long comforting session, I asked for a pacifier at the hospital. Soothie's are really close to a normal nipple and he's had no probably going back and forth.

Nursing pads. Great for just keeping your poor nips away from any material. I ordered mine from a work at home mom on Etsy. The seller name is ArtsyFartsyFooFoo. She doesn't have any listed on her site right now, but send her an email and she'll make them to order. They're really comfy and don't bunch up under clothes.

The Boppy pillow SUCKS. It might be because I'm tall, but I much prefer the Breast Friend breast feeding pillow. It has a snap that goes around your waist and provides back support. Because it stays attached you can have the kid up much higher which makes for a much more comfortable latch.

The La Lache League book "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding" was helpful. I also attended 2 La Lache meetings while pregnant and found it nice to be around real women who breastfed. Some of the LLL women are WEIRD and it's not uncommon to see a 5 year old getting nursed during the meetings. However, ignore the freaks and focus on the helpful tips.

At the hospital ask to see any lactation consultant they have (it's free). My hospital only had the same one on duty both days we were there, but a few of the nurses were also certified. Everyone has different tips, but they ALL want you to succeed and are very helpful.

Other random things we like/useful tips:
Prefold cloth diapers for burp clothes. Any baby store will have them. They aren't fit to be actual cloth diapers, but are great for catching a little spit up here and there. Of the various brands we have, I like the Gerber organics the best.

Avoid Gerber onesies. They run super small and suck.

Sleep gowns. We have the Gerber ones and they're really nice for diaper changes in the middle of the night. These are my only Gerber recommendation.

Sleep & Plays. You can get these anywhere, but they're basically long-sleeved PJ's that we have Jack in ALL day. Get the ones with a zipper because trying to figure out snaps at 4 am blows.

SwaddleMe Swaddle blankets. Run, do not walk, to get these.

Angelcare Movement Monitor. We have it under his bassinet mattress and I sleep so great at night knowing that an alarm will go off if Jack hasn't taken a breath in 20 seconds. Even though he sleeps right next to us, it's a relief to me that he's taken care of. It's expensive but so worth it. Amazon typically has the best price - around $80.

A bassinet or something to put the baby by your bed. The first few weeks are so tiring that you don't want to be getting in and out of bed to go to the nursery.

Get some sort of carrier for an infant. We have a Moby Wrap and an Ergo carrier with infant insert. I'm also getting a sling. It makes getting stuff done easy and saves your arms when you simply can't hold the kid any more!

Steal everything you can from the hospital. If they put it in your room, they charge your insurance for it regardless if you use it or not. Ask for extras of everything any time a nurse comes in; then stockpile! The best things to take are the Peri bottom to hose down after going to the bathroom and the booger sucker. You simply can't find a booger sucker in the stores that work as well.

Even if you're not planning on registering at Babies R Us or Target, set up a registry on their website for a few items and put in an early due date. After the due date, they'll send you a coupon for 10% off anything on your registry. I then later added items to my registry that I realized I needed and used that coupon to get a great deal!

Friday, April 10, 2009

WARNING: Shameless attention whoring in post

Just look at my boys. I didn't know it was possible to love anyone this much!

Now for the shameless attention whoring. Ready? As of Wednesday, I have lost all but 4 lbs of pregnancy weight AND I'm wearing all my old clothes. I know, I'm bragging but I'm pretty damn proud that I felt "normal" 4 days after having a baby!

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Legend of the birth of Jack Barry

Mr. Jack Barry was born at 2:30 am on Saturday April 4th. Legend will tell that a cuter baby has never been seen before, and likely never will again.

On Thursday, April 2nd I was 1 day overdue. I wasn't uncomfortable, but wanted to get things moving along if I could. I called my favorite Chinese restaurant and asked for an order of the spiciest dish they had. I scarfed it down and went to bed.

Friday, April 3rd I woke up at 5 am with what I assumed was pretty bad gas. I fell back asleep but woke up again 8 minutes later with the same gas. I thought that was odd but went back to sleep. 8 minutes again I woke up with "gas" and realized that gas is NOT timeable. At that point, I knew it was go time. I figured I should save my strength so slept off and on until 8 am (unusual, because I'm usually up by 6:30 am max). Around 10 am Troy came out to the living room and I told him it wasn't gas but contractions. I decided that since it could be a LONG day, that he should go to work and we would just go about our day as normal.

After he left, I went to the library to renew a book that was due on April 4th (irony), dropped off some Easter candy at the church for the Easter baskets, went to Wal-Mart to return an item and walk around. After seeing the white trash that hangs out at Wal-Mart at 11 am on a Friday, I got in my car and went to Fred Meyer. Fred Meyer is no fancy-pants store but it's much nicer than Wal-Mart! I did a few laps, picked up some more rechargeable batteries (baby stuff takes a ton of batteries!), and then dropped off a baby shower gift at someones house. I figured I would indeed not be making the shower on Sunday afternoon.

The contractions were getting much stronger when I got home, so I laid down for a bit. Troy headed off to a doctor's appointment and I swear the second he left the contractions kicked in hard core. I did a load of laundry and dishes to distract myself, but by this time they were coming every 3-5 minutes and were STRONG. They generally encourage you to head to the hospital when they're "5-1-1": every 5 minutes, lasting 1 minute, for more than 1 hr. I was already there, but wanted to avoid being at the hospital for any period of time. I labored on my yoga ball and when I fell off the yoga ball during a contraction, I knew it was serious!

Troy called and I encouraged him to head home from his doctor's appointment soon. I also called our doula Lexi to tell her we would be leaving for the hospital and would be there between 5:30 and 6 pm.

We got to the hospital and I was told I was only 1 cm dilated and 75% effaced. W-T-F?! I knew from our childbirth classes that lying down was the worst thing to get baby moving, so Troy, Lexi (doula), Troy's mom, and I headed outside to walk a 6 mile trail around the hospital. We got about a half mile down the trail and had to head back because I was required to be monitored for 20 minutes every hour.

After about another hour I was checked again and told I was only 2 cm dilated but 90% effaced. I could not for the life of me figure out how I was supposed to do this for "xxx" number of hours since I was making such slow progress. I would have stayed home longer but I required an IV of antibiotics that I was supposed to have twice four hours apart before Jack was born.

After the 2 cm check, I got in the tub to try and labor it out a bit. That was a big backfire because 1) the tub was tiny, 2) I couldn't use the jets because I had the external fetal monitor on and they couldn't pick up his vitals with the jets making noise. At that point I uttered one of the two swear words during my time in the hospital. When the nurse said no jets, I yelled "I fucking hate the fetal monitor". Also being in the tub caused Jack's heartrate to decell a bit so that freaked out the nurses. I stayed in a bit longer lying on my side and ate a popsicle.

At this point Troy had been by my side the entire time. He was FANTASTIC about coaching me through the contractions and was like a perfect version of what we learned in our 12 week Bradley Method classes.

After the tub, I got on the bed and laid down for a bit. I knew it would delay labor but I just wasn't up for walking. After another internal they said I was maybe 2.5 cm and not making a ton of progress. They won't admit you until 4 cm, but said that since it wasn't busy I could stay there and just wait and see how it went. THANK GOD we stayed!

The next number of hours were a complete blur and I remember at one point the nurse telling me it was 11 pm and she needed to check me. I remember saying "how in the hell did it get to be 11 pm"? I decided I would try to get up and pee and then labor on the toilet for a bit. Poor Troy at this point probably developed a giant bruise around his midsection because I just wrapped my arms around his belly and SQUEEZED during every contraction.

Once I got on, I had intense waves of contractions and then felt a BURST. Troy and Lexi thought I was having the runs, but I said "that is my water breaking - I freaking know it". No one seemed to believe me until I said "I have to poop". A bowel movement is a sign that labor is progressing quickly. At this point I hadn't had a single dose of antibiotics so they kept trying to get me off the toilet and back to bed for the IV. I had wave after wave of contractions and just couldn't move. Finally I got a break and ran to the bed.

The funniest thing is the nurse who administered the IV told me "sorry sweetie, this might hurt a bit". REALLY, um I didn't even noticed it after having what felt like stabbing pains in my midsection since 5 am.

At this point, I got another exam and was told I was only 6 cm. That is the only point during the labor that I thought "I can't do this". I had already been in labor since 5 am, and couldn't imagine going another estimated 4 hrs+ to get to 10 cm and then god knows how long I'd have to push. Troy and Lexi the doula were amazing and kept encouraging me.

I also started to get the intense shakes after each contraction. From our classes I realized this is a sign of transition. Transition is usually the hardest part of labor, but also the quickest - I was almost there!. A few minutes after I was told I was 6 cm I guess I started grunting during contractions. Everyone yelled "don't push" because apparently I was trying to! Lexi taught me to blow out (like bubbles almost) during contractions to avoid trying to push. I labored like that for about 15 more minutes and then turned over and told my nurse "I AM GOING TO PUSH". She quickly checked me and said I was 10 cm and could push if I wanted to. GLORIOUS feeling!

They ran and got the doctor, and set up the squat bar. I got up and was allowed to push when I felt like it. The doc came in and basically just stayed the F out of my way which was awesome. After about 15 min at the squat bar I decided to try the sideline position. I laid on my side and Troy held my leg in the air. I would push whenever I felt like it, and then would rest about 5-10 min in-between contractions. I kept telling the nurses "I don't feel like I'm making ANY progress" but everyone assured me I was. Lexi kept saying "this part is long because a baby has never been through there before so he's having to make a path".

At this point I realized that OMG, I am almost done. I also thought "I could probably still ask for an epidural at this point, but I'm so close"! Troy and I had a code word for "I want an epidural and you better give it to me", but I totally didn't even think about using it during the whole labor.

At one point the doctor said that I was tearing a little in a weird direction. He said that he could keep letting me tear or could give me a slight episitomy. I REALLY didn't want an episitomy, but I also didn't want to keep tearing so I agreed to it. After all was said and done, I ended up with three 2nd degree tears from Jack's 99th percentile head.

After about an hour of pushing everyone yelled "he's out, he's out". I laid back on the bed with my eyes closed and said "thank god". Then the doctor kind of started laughing (from what I can remember) and said "no Sarah, his head is out, you have to push the rest of him out". I gave one big push and he just slid out like a baby beached whale. For the record, I never felt "the ring of fire" that everyone talks about when the head is crowning.

When I felt him gush out of me, Troy said "babe look, it's Jack". I sat up and sadly the first words my son heard me utter was "he's so clean. I didn't realize he would be so clean". The doctor put him right on my chest and we just stared at each other. Then the second thing my son heard me say was "holy shit look at his finger nails"! I've been saying for about 10 weeks that the pain in my stomach must have been him slicing at me with his finger nails. This kid came out like freaking Wolverine! Lexi proclaimed them the longest nails she has seen in witnessing births over eight years.

Troy, Jack, and I just laid there while the doctor did his thing down by my "business". We tried to feed him but he wasn't really having much of that. He was WIDE awake and just taking everyone in. That is when he heard the third thing out of my mouth (when will I learn?) "Jack you're so handsome. I was really scared you were going to be ugly". Oy. Troy then cut Jack's cord.

After everyone left, Troy, Jack, and I hung out for a bit and just bonded and smiled at each other. Troy then went and let our family in and the wave of "paparazzi" flooded in. The rest is a blur, but from what I remember, everyone else agreed that he was a beautiful baby.

Breastfeeding is going as good as can be expected. He latches on ok, but he has such a strong suck that it's still pretty painful right now. The lactation consultant in the hospital couldn't figure out why it still hurt after witnessing that his latch was correct. She then stuck her finger in his mouth and almost lost her nail because of his power suck. Another nurse came in while he was in his little bassinet and stuck her finger in his mouth to test his suck. She went to pull her finger out and ended up pulling him across the bassinet because he's so strong and wouldn't let go!

Overall I don't really remember the pain; only seeing Jack. I do remember how AMAZING Troy was throughout the whole process. The man was a freaking rock and I couldn't have done any of it without him. I would have given up at 2 cm if he hadn't been there for me.

We're home now and just trying to get things figured out. Jack is such a good baby and LOVES LOVES LOVES his daddy so much. He seems to love me every 2 hrs when his tummy is full. Ha!

Stats: 8 lbs 4 oz
Length: 19.6 inches
Head: 34 cm...99th percentile!

If you made it this far, I applaud you.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

My lack of progress progress report!

^hopefully the last belly photo I have to post for you people. I'm sure you're sick of them as well.

As of yesterday morning I am 1 cm dilated and 60% effaced. You know what that means? NOTHING. People can walk around at 3 cm dilated for weeks, and others can go from 1-10 cm in 7 hours. This kiddo ain't comin' out until he's ready. And given that it's kind of snowing today, who would want to come out in to this world right now?

As of yesterday I have gained a total of 17 lbs. Troy assured me last night that I have so far avoided what I refer to as "fat bastard face" which was one of my greatest fears.

A few things I've done today to try to lure him out:
1) wash the sheets. What baby wouldn't want water to break on nice clean sheets?
2) booked a non-refundable massage
3) did laundry and hung it on the drying racks in our house. Jack would think it's SO funny for me to have to come home from the hospital and put laundry away.
4) wore nice underwear

I've also heard that babies come when the parent's aren't prepared. So attention Jack: mom and dad totally aren't prepared for you. Your clothes haven't been washed, you don't have a car seat, and the bag in the back of mommy's car is NOT a hospital bag.