Tuesday, July 16, 2013


So. This is my two bits on breast feeding. Things I learned, things I did, things I wish I had done, etc.
Breast feeding is wonderful, if you can do it! If you can't, that's wonderful, too! Feeding, and nurturing your child in any form, is better than no form.
I personally love breastfeeding, and had a rocky road getting to where I am with Logan, today.
It all started in the hospital, after Logan was born, and everything was settled. Logan had been alive, in this world, for a mere 4 hours and I woke him up to feed him. I had read blog, after blog, and article after article, and even most of a book, about breastfeeding. I did not feel confident in doing it myself, so I asked a nurse to come and help me. She told me all the things I knew how to do from reading, and watching videos, and Logan latched on like a champ.
Others are not so lucky, and have a hard time getting their newborns to latch on, and feed the proper way from their first try.
I will let you know now, everyone has a different experience. Do not base your experience off of mine, or take what I'm saying as what will happen to you if you have never breastfed.
Things went alright the first 3 or 4 times Logan nursed, he would eat 15 minutes at each breast, then fall asleep. I was feeling confident, but then the pain started... 
Stop reading now if you don't want to read my graphic, and personal story.
My nipples were stiff, and beginning to really hurt. I had been told by a few others that I should get a nipple shield, and try the soothing breast pads. I asked my mom to go to the store and get me a nipple shield, and anything else she thought would help. The lactation consultant brought me some soothing breast pad samples, but I didn't like them. I'm not sure what brand they were, but I found a better brand later. I had lanolin, and I had been applying it to my nipples for weeks, but it was not helpful in my case. I began using a nipple shield every time I would feed Logan, there was a sense of relief, but it didn't repair any of the initial damage.
All the information I read said if there was any pain, your baby isn't latching properly. So if you're thinking "your baby must not have been latching well." He was. If you are thinking "You should have tried holding him in a different position." I did. Breastfeeding was not painful until the end of my second day after feeding my child every hour to two hours, for a half hour each time. I was told by the lactation consultant that everything I was doing, was correct. I came to my own conclusion that my child was the most powerful vacuum you could ever think of. He literally was sucking until the ends of the earth every time he ate. It was good for him, but torture for me.
I hated feeling this way. I wanted it to just be easy, like everyone acts like it is. I cried, A LOT. I got postpartum depression, I didn't want to eat, I couldn't sleep, I didn't want to pump, I didn't want to take care of my baby, which made me even more sad. I just wanted to sleep! I just wanted to take a shower without feeling like there were needles puncturing my nipples with every drop of water. It was seriously tortuous.
You may be asking yourself, "why didn't you just stop and use formula?" The answer is, the same reason I didn't get an epidural. I just didn't want to stop. I had set a goal, and when I actually set a goal, I  keep it. You may be asking yourself, " Why didn't you just pump for a while?" I did. But engorgement combined with my nipple pain was worse than contractions. Not really, but it was comparable.
After a few days of wanting to give up, and crying all the time, and scaring the wits out of my husband, I pumped ALL DAY. I got enough milk to feed Logan once. I had Mark do it, while I pumped in the middle of the night. It was a break through! I cried the whole time, and ended up feeding Logan the second bottle I pumped, which wasn't enough, so I fed him at the breast too. But that one feeding with the bottle worked wonders.
What was happening to my nipples was horrendous. They were cracked, and scabbed, bruised and sometimes bleeding. It was like they were hickeys that had gone terribly, terribly wrong. I put lanolin on them constantly, and they were trying to heal, but every time I would feed Logan, all my sores would open, all my bruises would burn, and I would buckle over, and grit my teeth every time he latched on. Sometimes I would cry, only because I couldn't yell out in pain. This lasted about a week and a half. After that the pain started lessening, but I still had to use the nipple shield. I was afraid he was going to get used to the nipple shield, and he would never be able to eat without it. I started trying to feed him without the shield. I could only do it once a day. He had a hard time latching on because my nipples were getting so soft, and they couldn't trigger his sucking reflex as well as before, and as well as the nipple shield. I finally decided I didn't care if I always had to use the nipple shield, because that meant I was still breast feeding, and it helped Logan use a bottle when I would leave him with a family member. But the nipple shield didn't last, every time I fed him without it, I felt so accomplished. I would do a little victory dance in my head. After a little over a month, I could feed him without the nipple shield. It got so much easier!
You can continue reading here, my graphic explanation is done now.
Logan's feeding schedule was a little like this:
Week 1- 30 minute feedings, every hour and 30 minutes
Week 2- 30 minute feedings, every 2-3 hours
Week 3- 30 minute feedings, every 3-4 hours; 8 hours of sleeping at night
Week 4- 20 minute feedings, every 3 hours; 8-10 hours of sleeping at night
Week 5- 20 minutes feedings, every 3-4 hours; same as above

After that it was pretty consistent, and there wasn't a big change until he hit about 5 months.
He now eats solids, and eats for 5-10 minutes every 3-4 hours, and has one night feeding most of the time.

Now for my advice, and things that I wish I would have done.

First off, I wish I would have pumped more after my colostrum was gone, and had gotten in the habit of doing so more often. I have plenty of milk to spare, I just hate pumping. When I do pump, I use it. I wish I had made more of a supply so I could mix up rice, oat, and multigrain cereal more often. Almost every time I do make cereal I have to pump, and it is quite annoying.

To increase my supply, I drink 
"Organic Mother's Milk" tea

You can find it at Target, Good Earth, or Harmon's Grocery Store.
I started drinking it when I started feeding Logan solid foods. I used to drink it daily, or at least try. Now I drink it once or twice a week. It smells like licorice, but putting sugar or honey in it makes it taste like regular tea.
I also pumped after every feeding several days a week for the first month to help establish my breast milk (in the breast). I would also like to stress feeding at the breast as often as possible. I literally felt like a food bank, and hated that breastfeeding was taking over my life, but it doesn't last forever! Skin to skin contact helps your body know when, and how much milk to make for your baby, so do it as often as possible.

For soothing my cracked, and sore nipples I used 
"Medela Tender Care Lanolin"

It goes on smooth, and isn't stiff like some of the other brands
out there. You can basically find it anywhere. I used is constantly, and even used it before Logan was born. I'm going to try using it sooner next time I am pregnant to see if it makes a difference.

These, are the greatest thing ever invented. 
"Lansinoh Soothies Gel Pads"

These are literally the greatest thing since sliced bread. They are kind of expensive, but I would buy 2 or 4 boxes because there is only one pair per box. Put one in the fridge, and wear the other, and switch back and forth until they wear out. Then break out your next two pairs. These seriously saved my life.

Now, this just looks amazing
"Belmam & Cherub Shower Hug"
Now, I didn't get one of these, but I am going to get one. Every shower I took for that first month was awful. I would wear a sleeping nursing bra half the time because it hurt so much when the water would hit my nipples.

Last, but DEFINITELY not least.
"Medela Contact Nipple Shield"

This picture is the best example I could find. But I only bought a single nipple shield. That's all you need, unless you are feeding two babies at once. This type of nipple shield still allows some skin contact on the breast and nipple to help your baby get less confused. But this is also another one of the greatest things ever created. It saved my breast feeding experience. Use with caution, though, if used too often your baby may not be able to feed without it. I have also heard these are great for babies who have a hard time latching on in general. If your breasts are large, or your baby just has a little mouth, these help your baby be more successful when feeding in some cases.

So there you have it. Again, I stress that this does not happen to everyone. Don't expect the worst, just do your best! If this does happen to you, don't lose hope! It really does get better. Logan has 5 teeth now, and we're still going strong! I'm starting to wonder if he will ever stop, if weaning is a pain I will probably write a post about that as well!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Logan's Birth Story

So here it is! Logan's birth story.

I went in for one of my weekly appointments when I was 38 weeks, and 4 days along. My due date was in 10 days! I was so excited, and scared, and impatient!

They took my blood pressure, like always.
The nurse mentioned it was a little higher than it should be, but didn't seem too worried.
I wasn't worried, until my doctor came in.

She took my blood pressure again, and then started talking about dates, and what needed to be done, if I was okay with being induced, making sure I wasn't having any problems, and on and on.
Then I was starting to get worried.

All of a sudden my impatience vanished.
Jamie, my sister-in-law, was getting married in 3 days, Thanksgiving was in a week, and my due date was still more than a week away.
I was supposed to take a stress test to determine if the baby should be delivered within 24 hours. Uhm, WHAT?

I was at risk for preeclampsia, Web MD defines preeclampsia as a condition that pregnant women develop. It is marked by high blood pressure and a high level of protein in the urine. Preeclamptic women will often also have swelling in the feet, legs, and hands. This condition usually appears during the second half of pregnancy, often in the latter part of the second or in the third trimesters, although it can occur earlier.
If undiagnosed, preeclampsia can lead to eclampsia, a serious condition that can put you and your baby at risk, and in rare cases, cause death. BAD.
They drew my blood for testing, and then I was given a jug to do a 24 hour urine test. Haha, I lugged that thing everywhere that next day. I had store it in a refrigerator. My in-laws refrigerator. After peeing in a jug, I was supposed to take it to the lab at the hospital, and get a stress test.

They strapped monitors to me, and tracked me an the baby for about an hour. They tested my blood and urine, and said everything was all clear.
My doctor had scheduled me to be induced that following Monday, to prevent preeclampsia from occurring,  because I was starting to show signs.


They told me they would call me Monday and let me know what time to come in.
Holy crap...
I was gonna have a baby!!
On Monday!!

Monday came. We woke up, and hum hawed around. 11 rolled around and we decided to go to breakfast.
I was so nervous. I'm getting nervous writing about it.
We ordered our food, and started eating.

My phone rang.

It was the hospital.
"Can you be here at 11:45?"
Yes. 11:45.
(My heart is literally pounding as I write this.)
That was in 20 mins. We had everything we needed in the car. We finished eating, paid, and left.
We arrived at the hospital.
It was 11:40.
I checked in, they took me to my room, I changed, and they layed me down on the bed.

Mark took pictures of me.

Because I had to be induced I got hooked up to IV's. I was also positive for group B Strep, which, defined by Web MD, is the most common cause among newborns of infection of the blood and of the brain. The responsible bacterium, usually S. agalactiae, is passed to the fetus as the infant passes through the birth canal. Nifty. So I was given antibiotics every 4 hours to prevent the infection from passing to my baby.
My nurse started asking me questions about my birth plan. She asked if I wanted an epidural. I said no, but we'll see how it goes. She looked at me like I was an idiot. And continued going through paper work. Not Okay.
My two brothers got group B strep after they were born, they were very sick, and I was afraid. I didn't want to take any chances, so I asked if they could start the antibiotics before the pitocin, just so it was in my system in case things happened fast.
My nurse basically ignored me, "It's coming up from the pharmacy." Was all she said.
I had no response...

Anyway, while hooking up my main IV to draw my blood, and give me fluids, the phlebotomist blew my vein. It felt nice. I hate needles, and that is why. She switched to my other hand, which I mentioned was my better hand in the first place, but no one was listening to me. Still not okay.
My left arm was very swollen, and really hurt. They were supposed to put my blood pressure cuff on the opposing arm from the IV so it wouldn't irritate that arm. Too late. Every time the blood pressure cuff came on and squoze my left arm, it felt like it was going to explode! Oh well. What's done, was done.
They got the IV in my right hand, I had tubes, and cables, and monitors all over the place.

My nurse continued asking me questions: my name, birthday, bla bla bla. She then asked if I wanted a Hep B shot administered to my baby, and I said no.
She looked at me funny.
She then asked me if I wanted him to be given the eye cream to prevent infections.
I wanted to say no, because it's actually to prevent eye infections caused by STD's carried by the mother, which I do not have, but I said yes, because I was sick of her acting like I was stupid.

They started the pitocin at 4 amps, strapped monitors to my stomach, and checked my cervix.
At my last appointment, my doctor said I was dilated to a 2. I told the nurse, and she mumbled, "that's a 2?" To herself. Then said, "You feel like a one to me, I wouldn't be surprised if this baby is born tomorrow."
Yes, she was upper supportive. I wasn't really sure what her deal was, but everything MArk and I said to her was wrong, and stupid, or at least that's what her reactions said.
She said some other things, then left.

After a little while, small contractions started. They felt like uncomfortable period cramps, every couple of minutes.
They came in and turned up my pitocin, around 1:15.
There was a student nurse helping my main nurse take care of me.
My main nurse told the student nurse, "We want to see her having a minute long contraction every 2 minutes." So they contiued adjusting my pitocin.
They can in again and turned up my pitocin. It was about 1:30.
Then my Dr. came and broke my water, and checked my cervix. It was 2:00.And I was dilated to a two. My nurse kind of argued with my Doctor about how dilated I was. She was really obnoxious.
They turned up my pitocin.
My pitocin was at 16 in this picture.
After they broke my water, my contractions got more intense, but they were bearable.

The monitors strapped to my stomach were supposed to track my baby's heartbeat, and show the rate and intensity of my contractions.
After about an hour of consistently turning up my pitocin, it was at 21 amps, and I was having minute long contractions, every 30 seconds.
My body wasn't getting any sort of recovery from my contractions.

I started puking. 

The student nurse came rushing in, because the monitor was going all over the place. She turned my pitocin down to 12 amps. And then my main nurse meandered in.
"Andrea, are you having contractions?" She asked, plain as day.
Uh, no, I'm just puking because I wanted to.
YES I'm having contractions.
Mark chimed in.
"She is having a minute long contraction, like, every 30 seconds."
"Oh, then I don't think your monitor is working."
No, really?
"We might have to use an internal monitor so we can keep track of things better."
Okay, whatever. I'm already hooked up to everything possible. Do what you must.
I really didn't care. I just didn't want to have contractions for the rest of my life.
"Do you want us to check you?"
Sure, why not.
I was dilated to a "2."
"Now, you're not progressing very fast. Do you want to get an epidural? He is free right now, and we can get started, you just say the word."
"Okay, well this really could be a Tuesday baby. You could be here a while, and it's only going to get worse."
I wanted to smack her, then and there.
But I just kept saying no.
They ended up putting in an internal monitor to track my contractions. It worked a lot better. 

All the other details, and timing is all jumbled in my head now.
I remember contractions getting worse, and worse as time went on. My mom arrived around 5:30, I think. I was probably around 6:30 or 7 when my nurse came in again to check me. I was sitting on the bed kind of hunched over. I did NOT want to move.

Back tracking for a second. around 4, the student nurse came in for some reason I don't remember, and watched me breathe through a contraction.
"You're on pitocin, and you just breathed through a contraction! I've never seen anybody do that. I've had my own baby, and had the epidural within the first hour! That's seriously impressive." I liked her.

Anyway, at around 6, my nurse came to check my cervix, and saw the way I was sitting. She waited for me to start a contraction and said, "Are you sure you don't want an epidural, this could be a while."
I couldn't talk, but everyone just stared at me. I shook my head.
She sighed an aggravated sigh.
"Well, you're dilated to a 3. We really be looking at a Tuesday birth."
She waited for my response. I was having another contraction, and couldn't talk.
"Do you want a pain killer in your IV? It will take the edge off, and make it a little easier."
I really don't know why she was pushing me so much, it didn't make any sense. I wasn't asking anybody for anything. Just sitting there, in pain, breathing, living life, whining to my mom and Mark.
Mark and I had taken a lamaze birthing class, and I knew that the stuff they could give me in the IV can affect your baby, not long term, but just in general. I really didn't want it. Everyone stared at me again.
"Will it affect the baby?" Mark asked. "It might make him sleepy, but only if he's born in the next 4 hours, which is highly unlikely."
Right, because you're a psychic.
"Do you want it?" someone asked, I don't remember if it was my mom, or Mark.
I shook my head again.
"Well, you're in about the worst laboring position you could be in." My nurse said, irritated as ever.
"We need to put you in a new position."
Again, I did not want to move.
I knew gravity was my friend, and I should kneel, or get on all fours, or something, but I didn't want to move.
I gave in.
"We can get out a birthing ball." She suggested.
Okay, whatever. Get out a birthing ball.
I sat on the ball. NOT comfortable. Holy cow that was obnoxious.
I don't remember if she was still in the room or not, but after about 30 seconds, I pushed the ball away and got back on the bed.
I think she had left the room, because she came back and said, "Didn't like the ball, I guess?"
No, no I did not.
"Well let's try something else."
She had me kneel on a pillow on the floor, leaning against the bed like I was praying. I was also praying in real life. Haha.

I was falling asleep in between contractions, and I kept having to go to the bathroom. It was so obnoxious. I had to unplug everything, and drag it all to the bathroom. I was afraid of having the baby in the toilet!

My doctor, and my nurse came and checked me at 8, and I was dilated to a 4.
"I need you to really try and relax, so we can get this baby here. Let your body do what it needs to do. You're doing a really good job." My doctor was very nice.
I had brought my essential oils, and I had been using those to try and relax.
My mom came and rubbed a bunch on my back, and my feet. It was nice.

By now, I think Mark was really sick of me haha. In that black and white picture, he is holding my hand. I would call him over when a contraction would start, and I would squeeze his hand. Then, right when it would end, I would tell him to go away! I didn't want to be touched. He had been rubbing my back, and trying to be nice, but I hated all of it! I wanted to like it, but everything was irritating me.

For 2 hours, I would fall in and out of consciousness. Not, passing out, just totally sleeping. Then I would have a contraction, then fall back asleep.
I would wake up, call Mark over, yell "Ow!" a few times, then fall back asleep. Haha. I felt so pathetic.

I had a really bad contraction around 10. Everyone was kind of talking about me from what I could tell.
I was yelling "Ow!" and when I was done, my mom asked me if I wanted to talk about getting an epidural.
"Maybe... but I kind of feel like pushing." I said.
"Oh!" my mom responded.
I had another contraction, yep, I felt like pushing. I could literally feel his head pushing down there. It is the weirdest feeling...
My mom called my nurse in. But it was a different nurse. I was SO happy.
She had me get up on the bed, and checked me.
"Oh!" she said.
"You're about a 9 and a half. We could probably start your pushing."
"Go ahead and give me a little push." She said.
"Yeah, we're ready!" she turned around and said some stuff to someone else in the room.
Then it all began. Everyone was all over the place, shining lights on me, taking off my clothes, removing pieces of the bed, pulling up the stirrups, getting buckets, and trays with tools. In about 5 minutes, my doctor was dressed in all blue, standing in between my legs.
Pushing  time.
I really didnt know how to push out a baby. No one had told me. In case you're wondering, it feels like you're pooping. Hah. Too much information, I know, but this is a birthing story!
Once I figured that out (after like 20 mins of pushing wrong) I pushed for a little while more, and he was born at 10:56 pm.

He was 6 lbs 14 oz, 19" long. Screaming, and new!

He was having a hard time breathing on his own, he was working too hard to take in breaths.
They had to take him away from me. Mark went with him to the nursery.

They had to hook him up to a CPAP machine to force air into his lungs, to make him take longer breaths. After that they kept him there to monitor everything else.

And there you have it!
I had a baby.
We stayed in the hospital one more night, and brought him home on the 21st of November.

Although my nurse was rude, and a pain, it was a good experience! I will definitely do it again!
My mom told me later that she got mad at my nurse, and told her to be more supportive of my choices, and that was when I got a new nurse. But that was probably good for my old nurse, seeing that I had my baby sooner than her psychic abilities predicted! haha

Thanks for reading. Sorry it was forever long! Hopefully it kept you interested!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Waiting on Logan

WOW! Its been like 2 years since I posted last. haha
Shows you how much I enjoy blogging ;)
life got SUPER busy, I had a job for about 9 months from August 2011 to May 2012.
I worked at a spa in Lindon, but due to conflicts with my paychecks, and the owner I quit.

This caused somewhat of a dilema, because I was 3 months pregnant, and Mark was now self-employed. We had no consistent income... This put a damper on things, but we made it through. Mark's business has been very successful, he's only had 3 months since they opened where he hasn't been super busy with work. It has been nice to see him enjoying work everyday!

But,  on another note. I feel like writing my pregnancy story down. Not that anyone will overly enjoy it, but I might as well!
I found out I was pregnant on March 19, if I remember correctly. I had gone into my doctor exactly 7 days before, on a Monday, because I needed a physical. They asked me if I wanted a pregnancy test, and I said yes.

It was negative.

I wasn't super discouraged, we had only been trying to get pregnant since January. I went on with my life, feeling like the test was wrong, but feeling like that was just false hope.
I was supposed to start my period that Thursday, but then I didn't. But sometimes that would happen, my periods weren't SUPER consistant. They usually fell within the 4 week mark, so after 5 days of not having a period, I purchased a 2-pack pregnancy test.
It was my day off. I was going to go to lunch with my dad, and had to run some other errands. (I cannot tell you how many pregnancy test I have taken, I have lost count. But they had all been negative.) I went home and opened the test, and waited for the negative lines to appear. But they didn't!

It was positive!

I didn't know what to do. I started laughing, and smiling, and feeling like an idiot because I started talking to my dog. He was rather confused. I was supposed to go to lunch with my dad in like 20 mins, so I left the house, and thought of what to tell Mark.

For the past 2 years of our marriage I would text him randomly, "What would you do if I was pregnant." and he'd always answer, "You'd be pregnant." or "I guess we'd have a baby." So I decided to text him. I asked, "If I found out I was pregnant, would you want me to call you right away, or wait til you got home to tell you?" thinking he would just text back his opinion on the matter, he responded, "Well are you?"
By then I knew I had to call him, so I did. I was driving to lunch, and I told him the test was positive. He sounded so worried! "Are you sure?" he kept asking. "Did you read it right?" Yes, yes, yes. I knew it was right. "Maybe you should take another one." He said. So I told him I would when I got home from lunch.

I sat at lunch, bouncing my leg, knowing I couldn't say a word to my dad! Thoughts of a baby being in my body, racing through my head! I was so excited! Although Mark seemed worried, it didn't bother me. I knew he would be excited later. I went home after lunch and took the second test.

I sent this picture to Mark and said, "They look pretty positive to me. ;)"

After that it all got very interesting. We didn't want to tell anyone right away, so I found a doctor on my own, made some appointments, and got things going. I went to Panda Express by myself a week later, and got this fortune, I thought it was appropriate.

My due date was set for November 17, 2012. (I knew that was incorrect, because I knew the day I had gotten pregnant.) We decided after a week or so to tell our parents. I was 6 weeks pregnant, and things were just dandy:)

We told Mark's parents first. They were excited.
Then I told my mom when I went to visit her at work the next day:) I will never forget the look on her face. "Really?" she said, her eyes wide, and her face reddening. Her smile grew, and grew. It was so fun to see her react. I went back to my parents house so I could tell my dad. I went back to his room with him, and told him. He asked when I would have the baby, "November." I said. "On my birthday?" He asked with a goofy grin. I loved seeing my parents reactions:) It really made me so excited!

Mark's sister Jamie was on her mission at the time, so we decided we would wait to tell the rest of our family when she came home. She came home in May, and over the next few months it was so hard to keep it a secret! Over that time, we decided we wouldn't put anything on Facebook until the day our baby was born, just for fun! I didn't think we would make it...

Once Jamie came home, I was around 10 weeks along. We told Mark's family, and they were shocked! It was exciting! Then we went over to my parents' house, and told my family. My brother Corey wasn't there, so I had him on speaker phone. My sister Heather came through the garage door and saw us sitting there waiting, and her eyes got huge! "They have something to tell us." My mom said. She bolted back to her bedroom, and put all of her stuff away, and came bolting back! I had never seen her move that fast. The whole time she was squealing, and clapping. She sat on the floor, with her legs out long, waving her feet back and forth. Then it was silent.
"I'm pregnant." I said. Heather screamed! My brother Ethan was shocked, "Really??" He said. Corey didn't hear everything very well, so I took him off speaker phone and told him again. "No you're not." he said sarcastically. It was very fun to see everyone get so excited!

Time flew by after that, I was already 5 months pregnant in no time! After that things really slowed down. I had 2 ultrasounds, my first on was at 11 weeks, to see how things were going. My baby looked like a little peanut with arms and legs. It was moving so much! I couldn't believe I couldn't feel anything!

They measured him at 11 weeks, and moved my due date to November 24, 2012. I was so excited!

At my second ultrasound, we got to find out if we were having a boy or a girl. 
I had pictures showing all of his parts, but I lost all of them. I was really sad. I took pictures of two of them and have them on my phone. Thank goodness for technology!
He was much bigger now, and had all his baby parts! It was so fun to see! I could feel him moving all the time now, and watching it on the screen was so fun!

It was a waiting game after that. After I hit about 6 months, things started to slow down, and I just kept getting bigger! I didn't get very big, but I felt huge! It was fun being pregnant, and a good experience. My labor & delivery story is next! Stay tuned...