Warning: controversial post ahead

Okay. I have something I need to get off my chest.

It physically hurts my heart when I see women beat themselves for needing/using formula to feed their kiddos.

Formula is not evil. You’re not condemning your child to a sub-par adult life by giving them formula.

With the right nurturing and a lot of love, I can assure you, your child will thrive, no matter what he was fed as a baby.

I’m not arguing against the “breast is best” slogan, because clearly breastmilk is generally the perfect food for your child. However, the proper slogan should be: “feeding your child is best”.

Mamas, please, I implore you, do what you need to do to stay sane and happy and to keep your little ones safe and healthy.

Always remember:

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Never a dull moment

One of the things you are told about a newborn is to keep them away from too many people (especially kids) until 6 wks when they’ve had their first round of shots to avoid illness.

Practical advice. 

Except when you have a toddler at home, who brings home a cold. And despite your best effort at hand-washing and separation, gives it to your newborn. 

Yep. That happened. 

It landed us in the ER on Friday night and earned us an overnight hospital stay for observation. 

Theo started coughing. He coughed so hard he could not catch his breath and his lips started to turn blue. With some whacks on the back from me, he eventually cleared his airways. Off to the ER we went. After 5 hours of observations and no repeat incident, they prepared our discharge instructions. Just as we were preparing to leave, Theo had a repeat incident and the ER doctor decided to admit us for observation. 

Needless to say, it was a very long, very sleepless night. Fortunately, I was able to get ahold of my nanny to watch my toddler so that my husband could come to the hospital in the morning to relieve me so that I could go home and catch a few hours of much needed sleep. 

We were discharged late afternoon yesterday and he had a great night at home last night. No scary coughing incidents. 

Now I’m enjoying some much needed snuggles with my little man.  

 

A big update post

I’m so overdue to update you guys! Life has been wonderfully crazy these last three weeks. Someone told my husband that having one child is like having one child, but having two children is like having ten. They are not wrong! It’s been a big adjustment for all of us, and especially for my toddler who all of a sudden realized he’s no longer the center of attention. As you can imagine, that did not go well. He loves his little brother to pieces (which is awesome) but is finding all sorts of ways to act out.

Mix 1 part misbehaving toddler, 1 part newborn, and 2 parts overtired parents. Get one big houseful of crazy.

But like I said, wonderfully crazy!

Anyway, let me go back to our first days at the hospital which did not go quite as expected.
The evening of Theo’s birth, my pediatrician came to visit us with some news. Our son tested Coombs positive. What is this Coombs test you ask? Good question. I had the same one for my doctor, as I had never heard of this before. Barebones explanation: Mom and baby’s blood types are incompatible, causing HDN (hemolytic disease of the newborn) which manifests with severe neonatal jaundice and anemia. Fun! Not. In our case, I’m O+ and Theo is A+. Anyway, my pediatrician proceeded to warn me that there was a high likelihood that Theo would need to go into the CCN (Continuing Care Nursery – one step down from the NICU and another new term I got to learn) and spend the remainder of our stay at the hospital (48 hours) under the bili lights.

Sure enough, at 5am the following day, the nurse came to tell me that Theo had been placed under the blue lights and would have to stay there. We needed to go to him for feedings every 2-3 hours and he only had 30 min before he needed to be placed back under the lights. Cue hormonal crying. So for the next 2 days, my husband and I diligently made our way to the CCN every few hours and spent as much time as possible with our newborn before we had to be separated again. It sucked.

But we made it through and Theo and I were discharged together thanks to the best advice I ever got from my pediatrician and one I’m absolutely intent on sharing here! If your child is Coombs positive, jaundiced and you are intent on BFing, start pumping immediately to establish your supply, freeze your milk (bonus – I now have a good freezer stash), and give your baby formula until he has fully cleared the jaundice. Yep. You read that right. Feed your baby all formula! Why? First – Because the only way for newborns to clear bilirubin is to pee and poop them out, it’s important they eat consistently early on (if you’ve ever nursed a newborn, you know that it can generally take a few days to find a good groove and for your milk to come in). Second – Breastmilk inhibits the breakdown of bilirubin (something we have first hand experience with now since as soon as I resumed nursing his bili levels shot back up :( ).

It took a full 10 days to clear the jaundice and as of last Tuesday, Theo is back to 100% breastmilk with no signs of it returning and gaining weight like a champ. Happy dance!

So that updates you on all things Theo.

Moving on – Breastfeeding.
A long time ago, I wrote a post where I briefly mentioned that there was no love lost between me and nursing. I don’t like it. Mostly because it hurts. With my toddler, I lasted two weeks before switching to exclusively pumping because I couldn’t take another day of toe curling pain. Everyone, told me so much pain was not normal, so I sought out the help of an LC who looked at us and said she saw no problem with his latch and that I was properly hyper-sensitive. I needed to give it time for them to “toughen up”. Yeah… right.
This time around I was a little more determined to make it work. Of course, whenever you set your mind to something, life has a habit of throwing you some curveballs. Theo’s and my nursing relationship got off to a rocky start since I had to bottle feed him so early on. Then when I was allowed to start nursing, he took to the breast with no problem, but his latch… owwwwwww. So I called an LC (NOT the same one as last time) and during her visit she got Theo to properly latch and OMG! It’s true! Breastfeeding isn’t supposed to hurt! (insert angry thoughts at prior LC who told me my nipples just had to “toughen up”).
Of course, because things can never stay smooth sailing for long, that night I got a plugged duct and in my desperation to get it cleared, I didn’t pay as much attention to the latch as I should have. I ended up developing mastitis (nothing will make you want to give up on breastfeeding like mastitis) and for the life of me, can’t get Theo to latch correctly again. So back to pumping I go, occasionally nursing him. I’ve hit my maximum nipple pain threshold and have the magic LC coming to visit again tomorrow. Hopefully, she can get me past this hurdle. And if not, well, I’ll be back to EPing for at least 12 weeks and then depending on my supply (and how much time it takes away from my toddler), I’ll either keep going or switch to formula. Luckily, I have zero problem with formula so I’m not super depressed or conflicted about it.

If the last three weeks have taught me anything, it’s that:

“Que Sera, Sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future’s not ours to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be”

Read more:  Doris Day – Que Sera Sera Lyrics | MetroLyrics

That’s it for now and I’ll try to update more consistently from now on! Love to all <3

Theo’s Birth Story

I think I owe you guys a birth story! Theo is currently snoozing away next to me in his leachco podster (if you’ve never heard of it, I highly recommend looking into it and getting one!) so I figure now is a good time to share our story. So as you all know, I was set to have an amnio on June 23rd and to be induced on the 25th. Theo had other plans in mind.

On Monday June 22nd, much to mine and my OB’s great surprise, I was woken up to an enormous gush of fluid. At 5:50 am, I jumped out of bed, startling my deeply sleeping husband with a shout of surprise and a “My water broke!” Unlike with my oldest son, when my water broke first with a small gush which was then followed by a huge downpour when I reached the bathroom, this time my water broke and gave me no advanced warning. My bed was soaked, my pants glued to my legs and the carpet had wet spots where I stood in a shock for a minute before getting myself to the bathroom and into gear. I called my OB and let her know that my water had broken, joking that Theo apparently had no desire to have an amnio to which she sleepily replied: “Smart little thing.” She told me to have breakfast and then head to the hospital.

At 7am, I checked into the L&D floor and was placed into triage. My OB arrived a few minutes later. She attempted to confirm that my water had broken using the litmus test but was unable to. Luckily, she believed me when I told her I was positive my water had broken (especially because this was my second time experiencing it). At 7:30am, she did the first pelvic check and unfortunately, I was 0cm dilated and only 50% effaced. I had a long road ahead of me, but no one expected it to be quite as long as it turned out to be.

At 8am, I was officially admitted to an L&D room.

At 9am, they started the antibiotics for my GBS positive status. At 10:30am, we started the Pitocin. At this point, my OB thought I’d easily have my baby before dinner time as this was my third delivery.

Boy was she wrong.

At 4:30pm, my OB did the second pelvic check and found I had made it to 3cm.

Several times, in the next few hours my OB came to check on me and ask how I was feeling. My contractions on the monitor were still very inconsistent (despite continuously increasing levels of Pitocin) so she avoided checking me knowing that I was unlikely to have made significant progress given the trace pattern of the contractions.

At 8:30pm, my OB finally checked me again and I had only made it 4cm. I could definitely tell she was surprised by my slow progress. However, once you hit 4cm you enter active labor, so from this point on she was still hopeful I’d deliver before midnight.

At 1am, I had only made it to 5cm. Now both my OB and the nurse were repeatedly checking my IV line, convinced there must have been a kink blocking the Pitocin from getting in my body. Not finding anything, they switched my IV to a different spot.

At 4:30am, my OB checked me and I was still at 5cm. I could tell she was incredibly perplexed by my lack of progress and we discussed how long I would be allowed to labor on my own. Usually, they have a 24hour rule from the time you water has broken to when they want the baby delivered. Since, Theo was looking so great on the monitor and I wasn’t showing any signs of fever, she felt it was best to bend the rules a bit and see how it goes. As a hail Mary attempt, they decided to give me a fresh bag of Pitocin.

This was my golden ticket.

At 6:30am, my OB checked me again. My contractions were getting more intense and I was starting to feel a very familiar rectal pressure that indicated the baby was getting into position. What I didn’t expect, was that in just two hours, I had progressed to 9cm! I nearly wept with relief. She started getting the room ready for delivery. My husband figured he still had about half an hour before it was time to start pushing, so he headed downstairs to get a cup of coffee. Good thing he was fast, because when he came back in the room only five minutes later, I was ready to start pushing.

The nurse called for the baby nurse to come to my room because I was ready to deliver and over the phone I could hear her say: “Room 10? Finally! Yes!” It seemed everyone had been tracking my 25 hours of labor and the staff was genuinely excited for me as I think many expected me to be wheeled into a c-section at any minute.

Three pushes later, at 7:06am, Theo came screaming into the world. It was the most beautiful sound. I sobbed as I listened to him. I never thought I would get to hear that sound again after the deafening silence of Zeke’s delivery. My OB immediately placed him on my chest while she cut the cord and the nurse vigorously wiped him down. All the while, I just stared at my beautiful little miracle. 6 lbs 11oz and 19 3/4 in of pure love.

Up next: Some surprises at the hospital…

13 days to go

I’ve been meaning to update you guys on a couple of things, but I’ve been so busy setting things up for Theo, that I kept letting it slide. I’m currently hooked up to an NST and figured now was as good a time as ever to write a post.


The big update is that there was a slight change to my induction protocol. It shouldn’t affect the induction itself but any change is always a bit jarring. When my OB submitted my induction request to the hospital, the head of the OB department decided that if I wanted to induce at 37w1d then I would need to have an amniocentesis done 24-48hrs before for lung maturity. Or I could wait until 39w. Both my OB and hematologist were extremely surprised by this request as with my history, an early induction is perfectly appropriate.
So I left the decision up to my OB. I was willing to do whatever she thought was best. She recommended proceeding with the amnio and induction as planned (which I was thrilled about). So as of now the plan is an amnio on Tuesday June 23rd at 1:30pm and if the results come back as expected, then we proceed with the induction on Thursday June 25th.
I must admit I’m super nervous at the idea of a giant needle getting inserted into my belly, but I’m taking comfort in the fact that the biggest risk this late in pregnancy is that it will start labor (not the worst thing in the world).

The second thing I wanted to touch upon for women who are going through Rainbow pregnancies is the increasing anxiety as you get closer to the end. I always thought my biggest hurdle would be passing my POL. But I’m finding that as I get closer to the end, I’m getting increasingly nervous and anxious about losing Theo. I’m so close to having him in my arms that losing him now causes paralyzing fear. A fear that keeps me up at night, holding my breath, waiting for a sign of life from my little man. Luckily, he’s usually pretty obliging.

Only 13 days left to go and yet each day feels like a week! Anyone have a fast-forward button for me?

I can’t stop!

Ever since I allowed myself to buy that onesie for Theo, I now cannot stop purchasing the things that I need for the pregnancy! Purchasing that first onesie, and then feeling Theo continuing to roll and jab like crazy removed the last remaining fear of the jinx. I still worry but most days he’s so busy that I’ve been feeling pretty confident.

So here’s Theo’s official coming home outfit:
gerber

He’s also got a bunch of new clothes coming from the Gap, because as much as I plan on recycling most of my oldest son’s clothes, they are opposite season babies (December vs June) and I realized I had nothing short sleeve. I won’t bore you with pictures of all of them.

I also finally bought my breast pump. I decided to try out the Spectra S1 and will let you all know how I like it. I exclusively pumped for my oldest son with Medela, but according to reviews, Spectra blows Medela out the water. If anyone has used Spectra let me know!

I also finally allowed myself to take this silhouette pregnancy photo from a tutorial I pinned a long time ago! I messed with settings a bit more than she recommended because I wanted way more contrast. I think it turned out pretty nice :) Here is the tutorial if you want to try it yourselves.

33wk1d

28 days until Theo arrives! I can’t wait!

I actually bought something for Theo…

This is huge guys! You guys have no idea how nervous I’ve been about purchasing anything for fear that I’d find myself returning it without ever getting to use it, but Theo is happily thumping around right now and after the rough afternoon I had with my toddler (a tantrum of epic proportions that left me in tears) I needed it.

So here is my first official purchase for Theo to wear during his first photoshoot!

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I don’t plan on bombarding him with constant reminders that he’s a rainbow baby, but I love the idea of celebrating it when he’s a newborn.

Stressful Non-Stress Test

Aren’t these tests meant to relax you?

My first NST was not fun and I am so not looking forward to having to repeat the experience every week.

Theo was wild and would not settle down. It took close to an hour and a half before they finally got his resting heart rate and let me go. For the most part, his heart rate was hanging out between 150 and 190 (with one spike to 200). I could feel him going crazy in my stomach too.

Finally after adjusting my position for the third time and letting me go use the bathroom, he relaxed and his heart rate got steadier in the 140s. I’m thinking he was really disliking the sensors because I can’t explain why he was going crazy otherwise. Nothing I ate prior to the test should have caused his intense aerobics.

Anyone had a similar experience? How were your subsequent NSTs?

Theo has a birthday!

Induction Date

I’m officially scheduled to be induced on June 25th. I have to report to the hospital at 5:30am and my OB has every expectation that since this is my third delivery, the Pitocin will work efficiently and he will be born at some point that day (hopefully in the afternoon).

This is so completely surreal! And exciting! And nerve-wracking!

37 days until I meet my little man. I can’t wait!