Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Journey of Patience, Love and a Bunch of Hard Work

Now that it's over and things are FINALLY good, I can sit down and blog about the journey that Knox and I went through to get to where we are today with breastfeeding hopefully without falling apart as I relive the last 11 weeks. Knox will be 12 weeks this Tuesday and as of him turning 11 weeks we were finally to a comfortable and normal nursing pair! It took a lot to get us here. If you are interested in our journey... read on.

He was born and we immediately had skin to skin time for a while and after they cleaned him a little I tried to nurse. I thought since he was "overdue" by 3 days he would be ready and willing to be a champion nurser... Nope, I was very wrong. He seemed to want to but just couldn't figure out how to open his mouth to do so. I pretty much had to force him on the first time. If you read my blog when I had Aubree, we had our share of issues for 2 1/2 weeks until she finally woke up to eat and at 2 1/2 weeks that was that.. she just nursed! Well, Knox was awake, but just couldn't do it. The nursed just threw a nipple shield at me and I really didn't want to go that route, so I tried again. He couldn't do it. The nurses tried to look at his tongue to check for tongue tie and they didn't think that was the issue. I begged for lactation services and they are in so high demand that it was an act of God to get them in there and I was already tensing up and stressing out that it wouldn't work. My glass was half empty about the whole situation. When lactation got there they wanted me to pump to encourage my milk to come in and dropper feed him the "good stuff." I did that and still tried to get him to latch. He did latch well before I left the hopstial, but looking back he was wasn't turly latched. I left the hospital very sore, but still hopeful since he did somewhat latch before we left.

We got home and life hit me head on! I have three other kids at home, a 7 yr old that was immersed in football practices 5 nights a week, school orientations, meet the teachers, gymnastics ,Aubree's bday party etc. I just couldn't sit around and "try" to nurse my baby all day. Thank goodness my saint of a mother was here for as long as I needed her to be. She was my rock those first few days as I fell apart amost hourly on the hour.

The first day or two home, my milk was in and he would latch after some work on my part, but he just didn't seem satisfied and it hurt really bad. He wouldn't latch at night so I just pumped and bottle fed. He slept great (which helped out a lot). I remember in my bfing class 8 years ago that it shouldn't hurt if the latch is correct. By day three at home, he just wouldn't settle down after a feeding and I figured he just wasn't getting anything while actually nursing. I called the LC on Sunday, left a message amid the tears and they called me back pretty quick. The only thing they could offer me on a Sunday was to rent a scale to see what he was actually getting. We ran over, got a scale, I fell apart in the maternity center to the LC, came home tried it out and realized, nope he wasn't getting enough. I called back on Monday and she encouraged me to just pump and bottle feed to get him back to birth weight! I was a mess! I did it b/c that was what was best for Knox, but it was very hard. I was deterimed to make it work and I'm a stubborn chick! So for the next week and a half I tired to latch him, finally gave up, pumped, bottle fed and started all over again. That is all I did everyday. All I thought about was trying to feed him. There were a lot of tears shed by me and him and now I feel so darn guilty about upsetting him so much. He just couldn't figure it out plain and simple and the more I tried to get him to do it the more he didn't want to. It was torture for both of us.

I would fall apart to anyone that I saw whether I knew them or not. I couldn't talk to anyone without crying. I pretty much went through the first two weeks not knowing what day or time it was and not knowing whether my kids had eaten, brushed thier teeth or been bathed. This is where how awsome my mom is comes in to play. She stepped in and took over when I just couldn't bring myself to be me. She also had to put up with me. She was so patient and wanted to understand my desire to nurse my baby but no one could understand the hurt and pain that I was feeling. I just felt rejected by him, but I know that it wasn't his fault and that he did love me, he just couldn't figure it out. By this time he was loving the bottle and how it just poured into his mouth. He didn't have to work too much at all for it, so why would he want to work harder to get it from me???

I kept on trucking though. LC finally saw me for an appt and pretty much threw her hands into the air. She gave me a few suggestions but none of them really work. They just made my pain worse. The pain in the shower was the worst!

Finally on Aubree's bday (Aug. 20th) one day shy of him turning 2 weeks he latched. I had to pump to get "it" ready and then he got on and ate. Oh boy did it hurt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I didn't care though. He was on!!!! Hooray, he was latched. After nursing for about 20 mins he seemed happy and full, but oh the pain. It would shoot up and down my arm and into my back. The next feeding, we did the same thing with the pump and he latched again... maybe we were making some progress, but oh the pain was so bad! About 3 days later I was no longer pumping and only nursing. I wanted to be happy, but was in so much pain that it was hard to function. "They" were beginning to crack, and bleed. Raw is pretty much the best way to describe them. I was googling everything I could on how to heal them. I tried lots of things... some crazy things and nothing worked. I nursed through the pain. I called the LC back and this lady just didn't have any way to help me.... It irritates me now b/c I think she just didn't want to deal with me anymore. After googling some more, I thought maybe we had thrush. I called my dr and his and they took my word for it and called us in some meds. That didn't work, so I went into the midwife and they took some samples to look for yeast (thrush) or a bacterial infection that would prevent me from healing. Both were negative. They prescribed me some "miracle nipple ointment" that was far short of a miracle at this point. He was 5 weeks at the time and growing well to my expense of pain.

At my 6 week visit, I got to see my WONDERFUL dr. I had to take Knox with me and of course he was hungry. I was nursing him when the dr came in and he looked on my chart and saw all of the issues we were having. He wanted to know how that was going and so Knox got done eating and I just showed him how mangled I was. He was in shock that I could even nurse. I think I was numb to the pain at that point. He was upset the the other LC couldn't help me. He prescribed me an antibiotic to try to help with the healing and took it upon himself to call the head of lactation and demand I be seen by someone else. Love him!

The head of lactation called me the next day and set me up with another LC. She became my saving grace! Bless her! She spent close to three hours with me on a Sunday afternoon (when they don't normally see patients) and was so patient and understanding and truly wanted to help me heal. He was 7 weeks by this point and his latch was getting there. It was almost perfect at this point, we just had to figure out how to make me heal. Well, she recommended this product that was a life saver. They are called soft shells by medela and were a Godsend! They allowed air to get to "them" and let the oinment do it's job. It took another 4 weeks of this for them to fully heal. I still had to nurse through the pain, but it was getting better. It was slow, but I knew we were on the right track. So at 11 weeks there were no more open wounds and everything was "normal." We had gone through all of this and at 11 weeks he was close to 14 pounds. Those 6 lbs. were very much earned and were gained with a lot of love, patience and hard work.

Breastfeeding is so challenging. It's one of the hardest things I will have ever done, but it's so rewarding and I would work that hard again in a heartbeat to have this bond with my baby that no one else will ever have with him. Call me selfish... that's ok! I am ;)

It melts my heart now when he looks up at me while nursing, gives me a half smile and I know he knows how hard we have worked to get to our "happy place."

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Two Months Old - Already!

Sweet little Knoxton is 2 months old! He is such a joy and we can't even imagine what life would be without him here! I think my favorite thing right now is how he smiles with those sweet checks and his face just lights up. He is gaining weight great and at his appt was 13 lbs. 5 oz. (90%) and 24 3/4 inches long (97%). He is going to be so tall! He got his shots and did way better than I thought he would do. He only cried for a minute. He is starting to put his fingers in his mouth and we are hoping one day soon he will find his thumb. He is sleeping good at night, but not doing too great with naps. He will mostly only nap when he is in the moby or ergo. He isn't a good car rider either, but hopefully he will get better. I think it's b/c he can't see me! :) Although there are some challenges, it's all worth it! He moved into size 2 diapers and 3-6 month clothes close to his 2nd month bday. We are just in love with this little guy!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

First Month

I'm a little late, but Knox's first month although challenging at times has been great! He fits right in and the kids adore him. Grayson was a little concerned about hurting him in the beginning, but now feels more comfortable with him. The first two weeks of his not being able to nurse were a very tough time for me. That will have to be my next blog post. After he turned 2 weeks the nursing took off and his weight and height go to show for it at his one month check up. He was 10 lbs. 11.4 oz. and 23 3/4 inches long. 75% for weight and 97% for height. He's going to be a tall one! The dr was very pleased, b/c the last time we were there at his 6 day appt, he was 7 lbs. 14 oz. He got one shot and HATED it! Poor baby! He's a good baby and is sleeping so well at night. His first stretch is the longest and we usually get 5 hours. A few times he has given us 6 or 7, which have been wonderful! He is not that much of a napper, which gets hard sometimes. We are still swaddling him and that seems to help him sleep at night.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Knoxton Calhoun's Birth Story

Here's Knox's birth story I wrote right after having him.

On Monday night, I got woken up several times with semi strong contractions. It had been happening for days, but had gotten tired of timing them. I thought maybe they could be leading to something. I was planned to be induced on the 8th anyway, so I didn't think much of it. I had a dr. appt that morning anyway, so Brandon was staying home to take me and my mom was already there with the kids. I got up and started getting ready and they were getting stronger and closer together. By about 9ish I had two contractions that brought me to tears. I waited to have one more bad one and then called the dr. They had me come in to the office early and get checked out instead of going to L&D. I had one bad one of the way to the dr. When I was called back to see the midwife, I got another "teary" contraction. The nurse still made me step on the scale, and get my blood pressure taken. It was high, and they think only b/c I was in mid contraction. MW checked me and I was 3cm 80% and -1. As I was in tears with another contraction, she said I had two options. Go home and see if they get worse or go to L&D to get checked... Duh, labor at home with 3 kids... no way! We went to the hospital. I had several more bad ones, and was in tears again as I walked in to check in. They took me to triage and I was 4 cm and 90% now. I was in labor and getting to stay. That was 11:30 am. I got a room and got into the whirlpool tub. I took about 7 or 8 STRONG contractions in there, before I just couldn't take it anymore. I got out to start getting my IV bag I needed before the epi. (forgot to mention it took 4 tries to get an iv started) I got my fluid bag while having really bad contractions and finally got my epi. My back is weird and epis have been strange for me before. She put it in and it took all the way up my chest and one arm and only a little in my legs and bottom. So I was numb starting at my neck. It's not pleasant. I then felt like I couldn't breathe and started to have anixiety about it. It took this way for all 3 of my boys. Aubree's epi was perfect! The anastegologist (sp.) was awsome though. She kept trying to figure out how to fix it and finally after a while it wasn't perfect, but it was bearable. I got very sick to my stomach though and needed Zofran through my IV. I then progressed to around an 8 pretty quickly. I got stuck there for a while. Knox's heartrate kept going down and he wasn't behaving. I had to constantly go from side to side and try to get his rate back up. They did a node thing on his head to keep track of his hb, but that eventually wasn't working either. I needed to get to 10 so we could get him out. We tried to push past the lip of the cervix and that seemed to work. He was turned facing left though so he wasn't in the best position to come out. Dr. let me stretch a little and he came back in to try pushing some more. We turned my epi down a little so I could feel more and then I got better at the pushing. Dr. was thinking a vaccum delivery, and I was wanting to avoid that at all costs...I pushed for about 40 minutes and finally he was born at 7:07 on August 7th... Cool thing with all of the 7s. We were in room 7 as well!!! He was a whopping 8lbs. 9 oz. and 21 inches long. He looks just like Anderson. We think we have traveled back in time and are holding him. We are in complete love with the puzzle piece we never knew was missing. He is nursing ok. Having a little trouble with is latch, but this mama is determined to make it work!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Growing Belly and Busy Summer

Well, the photos uploaded in the the wrong order, so I will go backwards! We are having a busy summer here at the S house! The kids got out of school and we hung out for the first week and tried to get into the summer groove. The first week went by pretty slowly and the kids weren't sleeping in yet. The next two weeks we went to Good Shepherd VBX and VBS at River Hills. That was rather tiring, b/c we had to get up and get ready to be there at 9 for two weeks. It almost felt like school again. All three kids were old enough to attend both weeks, so it gave me a little time to get some things done around the house and get some errands done. Now we are in full summer mode with sleeping in and pool hopping! It's really nice to be able to wake up on my own or with the assistance of Grayson (he's always the first one up) rather than my alarm clock. I'm hoping to get to sleep like that until baby maybe 4 1/2 more weeks. The kids are loving the carefree days!

We are busy trying to get ready for baby boy! Brandon had to paint the other two walls in Grayson's old room and then we could get the room put together. I love how it turned out. There are some shelves I've added since the pics, but here it is almost finished... Can't see the wall above his bed, b/c his name is there..... only a few more weeks before we can share it! :)

A TV for mommy for middle of the night feedings

I love how the beachy/surf theme turned out.

I recovered the glider that we have had since Grayson was a baby.

Since we sold everything after Aubree, we have had to buy everything "baby" again. I took full advantage of the 20% off coupons for Buy Buy Baby and Babies r us. I would try to pick up one needed item everytime I went over on that side of town. I think now we have everything that we will need for a while. I have also made a few things for him too. Along with his bedding and curtains, I made 2 nursing covers and several little outfits. I've made his coming home outfit too!

The title said Growing belly too, but since the pics are backwards, we might should call it shrinking belly. Some of my pics are on my phone but here's three to share.
32 or 33 weeks... can't remember

This was around 20 weeks

And here's when I thought I had a belly! I think this was around 9 weeks!
I promise to update dear old blog more often since I'm done with teaching. I'm still sewing, but it's getting less the bigger I get. I'm really excited about taking two months off after he's born. I can't wait to just sit on the couch, do nothing and stare at my baby boy!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Baby Belly

Well I never thought I would be posting another belly pic, but here it goes!

The pregnancy has gone really well so far! It's flying by and I can't believe that I'm already 16 weeks along. The first trimester was kinda rough with fatigue and nausea. At least it was only at night, so that I could function during the day and at work. I started feeling a lot better around 11 1/2 weeks and have started to get my energy back!!! We are really looking forward to finding out if we will have a boy or girl. Anderson and Aubree are convinced it's a girl. Daddy and Grayson say it's a boy! I am leaning more towards boy as well. Aubree still says she's putting her baby dress on the baby regardless of the gender! :) We will be telling what the gender is, but this time around unlike all of the other times we are keeping the name a total secret! We are kinda excited about being the only ones that will know the name. I think it will be really fun! I go to the doctor on Friday and then I can schedule my gender/anatomy scan!!! Let the countdown begin!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Christmas 2011

Christmas was wonderful! We shared the new baby news with my parents on the 23rd after I had my first ultrasound and they were super excited! A little shocked, but really excited for us! We did our little family thing with David, Bek and Keslynne and mom and dad. The kids got all kind of fun things from mattie, pappy, David, Bek and Kessie.

On Christmas Eve we met Brandon's family at a little State Park outside of Clinton for a Christmas Picnic. It wasn't the warmest, but it was fun. We had bbq and opened gifts! We all got some super fun stuff from Grammy, Papa, Uncle Mike and Aunt Brandy. We even went on a little nature hike. It was a much different way to spend Christmas with them.

Here's Grammy opening her calendar with baby's u/s picture in it. They were very excited for us as well!

After we spend Christmas Eve with my Grandmother, Aunt, Uncle and Cousins we headed back to Lake Wylie to get ready for the big man to come see us!

Here's daddy setting up the xbox! Snow white looks rather uncomfortable!

The sweet babies waiting to come down the stairs!

Grayson loved his Packers jersey!

Aubree opened all of her gifts with her helmet on! It's a dangerous job!

We even got to enjoy some of our gifts outside. It was a pretty nice day.