Campbell’s Birthday-Part 4

It’s kind of turning in to this birthweek, huh?  We left off with me and Chris thinking we had it all together…little did we know, Mr. C was about to wake up and let his presence be known!  My dad, Teresa and Grandma were all here for our first day/night at home.  C was still in his dazed phase for the first day home and he almost tricked Grandma into thinking that we didn’t need her for the first week.  Thankfully, Chris convinced her to stay and oh boy are we glad she did!  I’m fairly certain that one of the three of us would not have made it through the first week without her!

I like it here, I think I’ll stay!

I think every new mother who is going to attempt breastfeeding has all the same fears.  Will my baby latch on properly? Will I produce enough milk?  How do I know he is getting enough to eat?  Will I even be able to do this?

We were really lucky that C took to breastfeeding very well and we never had any real problems with him latching on properly.  The lactation consultant at Baylor was very helpful and gave us lots of great advice.  The problems came (as they always do) when we got home.  The first few days while I was still producing Colostrum and Campbell still wasn’t eating much were fine, but when I stopped producing Colostrum and he started to wake up we had big problems.  Campbell was born on Friday and we came home on Sunday, thankfully, we had an appointment with the pediatrician and the lactation consultant at their office on Monday.  Everything still seemed fine, my milk was slowly starting to come in and C was still latching on great.  They took his weight and he was down to 6lbs 4oz from his birth weight of 7lbs 2oz.  The lactation consultant didn’t seem overly concerned, but wanted us to come back in on Wednesday for another weight check.  Monday night things took a turn for the worse.

Priceless late night time. Sleeping baby, sleeping daddy.

All of the sudden C became really frustrated every time I tried to feed him, he would scream and fight latching on.  He was pretty much inconsolable the whole night.  None of us got much sleep at all and I think at one point we were all crying.  It was so frustrating that we had been doing so good at feeding and then all the sudden it seemed like he had forgotten what to do.  The next morning we called the lactation consultant.  Side note, she is our savior and we would be feeding C formula right now if it wasn’t for her.  She gave us her cell phone number and told us to call her after every feeding to let her know how it was going.  At the morning phone call (I was hysterically crying) she told me to calm down and take a warm shower.  She explained that my milk still hadn’t come in fully yet and gave us a list of things to start doing to tide us over until it did.  First, she wanted Chris and C to do skin to skin time and for Chris to pacify him with his finger…it was like a magic spell!  This child who had been crying all night instantly calmed down and fell asleep (why doesn’t anyone tell you these things beforehand?!?!).  Second, she wanted us to go rent a hospital grade pump and start pumping after every feeding to encourage the milk to come in.  It’s a good thing we were still in the “honeymoon” phase because this stage of his life was really rough.  C was still refusing to latch on so after I pumped we would feed him the pumped milk (+/- 1oz) with a syringe and feeding tube.  This got us through Tuesday and Wednesday morning and then we went back to see the lactation consultant on Wednesday afternoon.  Going in, I told myself that if he had just maintained his weight I would be happy.  Well, he had gained 2 oz!  I was so happy and relieved that I could have just cried! She finally got C to latch back on in the office and we haven’t looked back since.  My milk came in fully on Thursday and we haven’t had any problems since then.  At his 2 week check-up he was up to 7lbs 4oz, 2 oz above his birth weight!  I was so happy and the news just kept getting better, we were able to move his feedings to every 3 hours and only when he woke up at night.  I felt like a huge weight had been lifted.  Before that, we had been feeding him every 2 hours around the clock so I had been getting 1 hour of sleep max between feedings…and even less when I was pumping after every feeding.  I don’t think Chris and I stopped smiling all day!

Happy satisfied boy!

Taking his first pumped bottle

It’s a good thing he’s cute!

Tummy time with daddy

Tummy starting to fill out!

We love our silly boy!

If you noticed from the pictures, the first two weeks we only dressed him if he was leaving the house.  It was just easier to keep him swaddled and not have to worry about clothes when we were changing diapers all the time!  Don’t worry, we do dress him every morning now!

We were so lucky to have my grandmother help out that first week.  She was great at knowing when to step in and when to let us figure it out.  Chris and I both agree that if people told you how hard the first two weeks were, no one would have kids!  But, we survived and it really does get better every week.  We are so lucky to have a healthy little boy and wouldn’t change our experience for anything.

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Campbell’s Birthday-Part 3

Ok, on to our hospital stay and first week at home.

After the big event, we spent about an hour in recovery.  We were the only ones in the room so we spent some nice quiet time practicing feeding C and just getting to know our new guy.  I also used this time to get my head screwed back on straight…I was REALLY out of it from the happy medicine they gave me.  If we have to have another c-section, I am going to request that they not give me that.  I think it was really unnecessary and I hated feeling doped up.

After they felt like I was properly recovered, they took off all the wires and monitors and wheeled us up to our real room.  The baby floor at Baylor downtown is really nice, all the rooms and hallways have been recently renovated so we felt like we were staying in a hotel instead of a hospital!  They also had nice accommodations for dads, a big window seat that doubled as a bed.  We also enjoyed all of our nurses and just generally had a great experience at Baylor.

Once we got to our room, we spent lots of skin to skin time with C and tried to bond with him as much as possible during those critical first hours.

We also snuck in a few cat naps!

Because of the c-section, I wasn’t able to get out of bed for the first day and was moving VERY slowly for about 4 days after.  My super husband jumped right into action and took care of changing all the diapers (which are really gross in the first few days…so I hear!), handing C to me for feedings, swaddling and taking care of me!  He was so wonderful and really picked up the slack so I could recover, I don’t think I changed one diaper during his first week of life (it was kind of nice)!  Our stay at the hospital went really smoothly and my doctor even let us go home a day early.  During the first few days, C was still really sleepy and pretty much just woke up, ate and went back to sleep…we THOUGHT taking care of a newborn was a pice of cake!  He definitely burst our bubble when we got home!

First family photo :)

I have a lot to write about or first week home so I’m going to stretch this out one more day!  Up next: Part 4-our first week home or thank goodness for husbands and grandmas!

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Campbell’s birthday-part 2

We arrived at the hospital at 10am for my noon c-section.  My dad, Teresa and Grandma were already in the waiting room so we welcomed them to Dallas and chatted for a bit and then headed to my labor and delivery room where they prepped me for surgery.  My sweet doula, Kathy, joined us in labor and delivery to help us prepare ourselves for Campbell’s arrival and to help document the day.

Scared, nervous…happy?

Is there really a baby in there??

After they got my iv going and asked me tons and tons and tons of questions, the fam joined us in the L&D room to chat and help me relax before heading back to the OR.  Before we knew it, it was time for Chris to get suited up to welcome our little boy into the world.

Dr. Bellshaw

Ready or not…

At 12:15, they were ready for us.  Chris, Kathy and I walked down to the OR and I got up on the table.  I had been pretty calm the whole morning, but as I walked into the OR everything got real…real and I had a mini breakdown.  Kathy and Chris immediately went into calm mommy down mode with lots of reassuring words and hand massages.

Right before the freak out…couldn’t they make the OR’s a little more friendly looking??

I was really scared to get the epidural, but it was WAY better than the IV!  After they got my epidural started and gave me some happy medicine we were all ready to go.  They put on pandora and the OR started to fill with bodies.  Everyone was jamming to the music and having a grand ol’ time…I remember thinking, these people are having WAY too much fun!  Chris took his position next to me and started chatting with me and the next thing I knew I heard my doctor saying something about “separating the muscle”, I was like…um, Chris?  Have they started??  He said they had, I was so shocked, I didn’t even know!  At 12:51 we welcomed Campbell into the world and found out why the little stinker never turned…his umbilical cord was wrapped around neck three times!  I’m so thankful that we left the decision to turn up to him, he definitely knew better than we did!

The first few minutes of his life were a little tense for us, it was a full minute before he started breathing.  It’s a good reason I was so doped up because I really didn’t realize what was happening, Chris was a little freaked out though.  We were so thankful for the amazing NICU team, they swept in and took care of everything.  Before we knew it, he was crying and hasn’t stopped yet!

My boys

Family of three

Even though I did not have my ideal birth experience, I can say 7 weeks later that it was only 1 day in our new adventure and having a healthy baby boy is so much more important.  I am so thankful to have such a loving and supportive husband to share this life with.  Chris is the most caring, loving father and Campbell is really lucky to have him.

Up next: Part 3-hospital stay and first week home

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Campbell’s Birthday-part 1

Campbell is 1 day shy of 7 weeks old and the haze is finally starting to lift!  I’ve got a sweet boy sleeping on my chest (not real practical, but I only have 3 more weeks before I go back to work so I’m in full spoil mode!) so I thought I would take the quiet opportunity to write about his birthday.

As you read previously, Chris and I had a natural birth planned.  We didn’t realize it then, but we sure do now…Campbell runs the show and had a different idea for his birth!  At my 32 week appointment, we found out that C was complete breach (head up, feet down).  I immediately went into hysterics, but my doctor (who is super awesome) told me that he could still flip and I didn’t need to freak out just yet.  I, of course, said ok and immediately called Chris and continued to go into hysterics.  This did not fit into my plan for a perfect birth and I was so devastated.  I googled ways to flip babies and we tried pretty much every natural remedy I could find…

Laying upside down with heat on my pelvis and ice on his head

I also started seeing a chiropractor who specialized in the Webster Technique.  In addition to the adjustments, she also wanted me to use moxibustion to help turn C.

We had to burn these little incense things on both pinky toes…yeah, we tried everything!

After weeks of laying upside down, standing on my head and seeing the chiropractor with no results, we had the option of our doctor performing an external version.  This is where the doctor tries to manually turn the baby from the outside during the 36th or 37th week.  We had about a week to decide what to do so I watched tons of utube videos and read everything I could find on the internet.  Chris and I were inclined to go ahead with it ( I REALLY did not want a c-section), but I never had a great feeling about the version so in the end we decided to let Campbell decide if he wanted to flip or not.

At my 38 week appointment, he still had not flipped so they went ahead and scheduled our c-section for the day after our due date.  Even though I was devastated to have it scheduled, I was thankful that my doctor would let us go all the way to 40 weeks (I was still holding out hope that he would flip).  Two weeks came and went with no change and after lots of crying about not being able to have my ideal birth experience, I finally made peace with Campbell’s plan for us and before I knew it, we were making that long walk from the parking garage to labor and delivery.

38 weeks, woah.

Heading to the hospital!

Last time to leave the house as a family of two

Up next, part 2-the birth!


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Master Bath Renovation

This renovation has taken quite a while.  I think we started phase 1 (wood floors and sink) way back in December.  Phase 2 (shower rebuild + shower door install) was completed last week and we could not be more please with how everything turned out.  For this project, we opted to contract most of the work out.  We could have done it ourselves, but with a wee one on the way we knew we had a definite deadline that it needed to get finished by and I am not too much help these days!  So, we did the painting, baseboards, sink, mirror, shelves and lights and left the floors and shower to the professionals.  Our room and bathroom were part of an extension to the house done +/- 10 years ago.  The finishes they chose were not our style or up to our standard (the disgusting carpet) so we could not wait to start ripping stuff out!

Entry to bathroom-before. The two drawers under our sinks was the only storage we had in the whole bathroom!

Bathroom-before. There was a nice 12″ step up into the shower. I wish I had gotten a picture of the tile before, but it was basically what was on the floor.

Bathroom-before. Yes, we had a dresser in the corner! We had nowhere to put anything!

During-Handy Hubs working on the plumbing

During-rebuilding the shower, yikes!. We had them drop the shower down to be level with the floor and pour a new concrete shower pan.

After-light, bright and clean!

The new shower! I LOVE the sliding shower door! Perfect for maximizing space in our small bathroom!

No more dresser! There is plenty of room for all of our our stuff in the 4 drawers under the double sink + open shelving for towels and TP.

Love our compact sink unit. It doesn’t dwarf our bathroom, but provides SO much storage!

Here’s my top drawer, I really think this is my favorite part of the whole bathroom!

So, there you have it!  Our compact bathroom makeover!  It is so much more light and airy now and we both just love being able to look out into the back yard while we shower!


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Prepping for Campbell-The Great Diaper Debate

In keeping with my hippy-like tendencies (blame it on my momma), when we started researching baby gear I was very interested in using cloth diapers.

No, not these kind of cloth diapers!

Today’s cloth diapers are way more convenient, they come with elastic, snaps, velcro, etc. so the mechanics of them are more like a traditional disposable diaper and less like the cloth diapers of old.  I also liked that there is a significant cost savings in cloth diapering, they are better for the baby (less chemicals touching their bottom=less to no diaper rash), they are WAY better for the environment (they think disposable diapers take 250-500 years to decompose), and finally, they are super cute! :)

But, after much discussion (and Chris declaring that he would not put poopy diapers in our washing machine (you wash them out beforehand, btw)) I decided that maybe cloth diapering wasn’t for us.  But, I wouldn’t be defeated…I just found a better option! :)

Insert the gDiaper, the perfect compromise to my desire to not use disposable diapers and Chris’s desire for  convenience and less maintenance.  gDiapers have a reusable cloth cover with a biodegradable insert.  With the inserts, you can flush them, compost them (they are 100% biodegradeable) or toss them.

With all of Baby C’s gear, we did a fair amount of research before making any decisions.  I think one of the most eye opening things that we came accross was this video:

After watching this, I think we were both convienced that gDiapers were the way to go.  Plus, they are SO stinkin cute! :)  And, if we ever do feel like going all cloth, they do have cloth inserts as well. 

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Prepping for Campbell-His Birthday

This is what my night stand looks like at the moment.  Not only have we been prepping Campbell’s room and all his “gear,” but we have also been prepping ourselves to dive head first into parenthood.  Unfortunately, there is no one right way of doing things or a guidebook for child raising…which makes things difficult.  So, Chris and I have been reading lots, discussing lots and debating a little :).  We’ve found that some things that are common place in America are the complete opposite in the UK so we are working through those issues as they come up.  Anyway, I thought that it might be interesting to share some of the things that we are doing to get prepped for Baby C.  Today’s topic is his birthday!

For a first time mother, the idea of birth can be a very intimidating thing.  People don’t talk a lot about what actually happens during the birthing process so we are forced to rely on things like movies and tv shows to shape our perception of what happens (which is a gross misinterpretation of reality).  Before Chris and I had even conceived Campbell, we discussed our desire for a natural birth and while I knew that was something that was important to me/us, it mostly scared the bejesus out of me to even think about going through with it.  I like to have a plan and to know exactly what is going on so I knew that going through with a natural birth was going to take lots of research.  We started off by researching different classes that were available (Lamaze, The Bradley Method, Hypnobabies, etc) and decided that The Bradley Method most closely aligned with what we had in mind for an experience.  Chris wanted to be very involved in the experience and Bradley’s “husband coached method” sounded perfect for us.  From Wikipedia:

The Bradley Method emphasizes that birth is a natural process: mothers are encouraged to trust their body and focus on diet and exercise throughout pregnancy; and it teaches couples to manage labor through deep breathing and the support of a partner or labor coach.

Teachers of The Bradley Method believe that – with adequate preparation, education and help from a loving, supportive coach – most women can give birth naturally, without drugs or surgery. The Bradley Method emphasizes measures that can be taken to help keep women healthy and low-risk in order to avoid complications that may lead to medical intervention.

Our wee man!

We signed up for an 8 week course (Tuesday nights from 7-9:30) that teaches us proper pregnancy nutrition, prenatal exercises, labor rehearsals, relaxation, coaching techniques, comfort measures, newborn care and breastfeeding.  Class #7 is tonight and I have to say that Chris and I have loved participating in this.  We both feel so much more prepared for what is going to happen and have plans and back up plans for each scenario (that makes me one happy girl!).  I do have to admit, I had a complete melt down after the 2nd class.  I was still feeling unprepared, scared and doubtful, but 5 weeks later I can confidently say that I am ready for this.  I know Chris is going to be there to wipe my tears and encourage me to keep going when I’m in hour 20 of birth and I truly can’t wait to have this experience with him.

So, why did we chose natural?  First, let me say that these are my opinions based on my ideals and resarch…if you aren’t into natural birth, no biggie, but I believe this is best for me and my little one.  K.  Women were made to give birth and did it successfully for years (and years and years) without any medical intervention.  I think that hospitals have a tendency to take the easy way out and do what is in the best interest of the hospital (ie: monitored, induced, medicated births…which often lead to the need for a c-section) and that is something that I don’t have any interest in.  I want what is best for myself and my baby, not the hospital.  I think the drugs used for induction and pain relief are very suspect (look it up, the research is scary) and I would prefer not to pump myself or Campbell full of them.  And, most importantly, I think that I will have a better experience with childbirth, Chris and Campbell if I am unmedicated.  So, are medicated births and hospitals necessary in certain situations?  Heck yes!  That is why we are delivering at one (as oppose to a birthing center) in case complications arise, but we did chose the most “nature friendly” hospital in the DFW area and are confident that we won’t have any issues with having our birth plan followed by them. To sum it up, this is just what feels right for me and Chris and we are excited about the crazy journey that we are going to go on together to get Campbell here!  Not too much longer now!

Can’t wait to squeeze those chubby cheeks!

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