Monday, March 29, 2010

1Month and Mommyland

Last week Ant turned 1 month old and I can't believe it. It really seems just like yesterday that I found out I was pregnant but at the same time if feels like a life time ago. We have come a long way in a month from the NICU to weight issues.

On Ant's 1 month birthday we found out he had finally broken the 7lb mark and now he is 7lb 10oz. He gained about 2oz a day this past week. We have also graduated from twice a week weight checks. It feels great to have his weight issues under control.

Now our big issues is BFing(breastfeed). Currently, I am primarily pumping and bottle feeding. We started this because of his tongue and weight issues. What I like about pumping is I know EXACTLY how much breast milk Ant is getting but the downside is I am tied to the breast pump. Being tied to the breast pump makes it hard to get out of the house. If I wait to long my breasts let me know.

I experienced this issue this weekend when DH's family was visiting. On Sunday DH had a concert and we all went (Ant and I included). I pumped in the car on the way to the concert and I was planning on pumping again during intermission. Unfortunately, I didn't bring my car keys and DH was on stage. the time we got to the car I REALLY needed to pump. I think I pumped 6oz of milk. What this also showed me is that I don't need to pump after every feeding. This has been liberating because I can pump while he is sleeping now during the day.

BFing is still a work in progress. I have had good experiences with Ant and bad ones. While DH's family was visiting I didn't BF at all because it was easier and there were plenty of hands to help with Ant. Today we had our first positive BFing experience in almost a week. After a few trys he latched on and ate. The plan is to call a Lactation Consultant and get some help. I haven't called yet. Maybe I will do that tomorrow?

In other news since we are family free Ant will be sleeping in his crib tonight. He has slept in his crib for a few naps but never at night. DH and I are very excited because we get our bedroom back. Also the cats can start sleeping with us again. I know the cats will be happy about this also. The first night home from the hospital Athena (our girl cat) meowed at our door all night.

Lastly, with each passing day I feel more and more bonded to Ant. When I spend time away from him now I miss him tremendously. I love him soo much and it just gets stronger everyday.
I guess that is all for now stay tuned for more about BFing. For my DE friends I will have more soon about how I am feeling about the DE.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

3 weeks

Today Ant is 3 weeks old. It is amazing how quickly the days pass now. Over the past 2 weeks or so we have been transitioning in our house. The first week was pretty easy other then him being in NICU. After we were home it was an eye opening experience. Nothing prepares you for motherhood but I wouldn't change a thing.

We have had a few struggles over the past couple weeks. One of them being Ant not gaining weight fast enough. All his other issues have been linked to the lack of weight gain. After several consults with the RN at the Ped's office on breastfeeding we realized that Ant was tongue-tied (the ligament underneath his was to tight). This was causing him to get air while he was eating and he was getting over tired.

Last week we got Ant's tongue clipped but that didn't solve our breastfeeding problems. On top of that we both got frustrated so we went strictly to pumping and bottle feeding. We were making good progress and in 4 days Ant gained 4oz. After a few days I decided to add in a few feedings on the breast with breast milk supplemented bottles. Today we had our first normal breastfeeding experience in almost a week. It was WONDERFUL!!! I am hoping this is just the start for Ant and I with breastfeeding.

As of now we are all doing great and adjusting. With each day I fall more in love with him. I catch myself staring at him and admiring how beautiful he is.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bonding and Healing

Thank you everyone for all your support. Yes, I am doing better but I still have my moments. The last couple days I have been enjoying getting out of the house and some of these trips were solo. These trips have been liberating and making me feel more like me again. Also, after one of these trips I realized I missed Ant and I wanted to be close to him. This feeling made me feel so much better. As my friends have told me, I fall more in love with him EVERYDAY!

The last couple days I have been having feelings of jealousy again. Several months I ago I was talking with my friend Lucy. We were discussing our IF wounds and how long it would take for them to heal. I was telling her I felt like my wound was healing and that I thought my son would fill it. Yes, Ant does help the wound but I am still not completely over the lose of my fertility. I am starting to think I will never completely get over the lose.

I find these feelings are brought on by family and friends getting pregnant all around me still. These feelings have resurfaced since the birth of Ant. I think it has to do with the fact that I am not pregnant anymore and as tough as the last month was I enjoyed feeling Ant grow. I also know exactly what I would have to do to have another child and it won't be easy emotional or financially. I guess as my friend Lucy says, "My IF will always be with me."

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Love At First Sight?

Since I was a little girl I have been “in love” with the idea of becoming a mother which is why I was heartbroken when told that I will most likely never have bio children. When I finally came to the realization that being a mother and being pregnant were the most important things to me, I was ready to forge ahead with DE. One of my worries about using DE was that I wouldn’t love or be able to bond with the baby. Once I found out I was finally pregnant, these feelings disappeared. I was instantly in love with the life growing inside of me.

Well, this has changed. These last couple of days, I have been struggling with the idea that I am not feeling that “love at first sight” bond with my son. I have been feeling guilty and embarrassed by this idea. Why don’t I feel bonded with my son? Is it post-partum depression (PPD)? Or is it something else?

I think there is a big misconception about how we are supposed to feel after having a child. Hollywood has portrayed this relationship as something that instantly happens. Once the baby comes out you are “in love.” When pregnant, you hear from all your “mommy” friends about how great it is to be a parent. Are they all lying or is it something else?

This week, I dropped by work to finish some paperwork and my coworkers were badgering me with questions about being a mother. I didn’t know how to answer. I knew I was supposed to be excited and loving every minute of it, but I just couldn’t shake this disconnected feeling.

After reading a blog by Dawn Davenport titled “The Myth of Love at First Sight,” I decided it was my turn to talk about the feelings that I have been hiding from those around me. The most important piece of advice I got was that love isn’t always instant and that it will grow with time, just like any good relationship.

I have been rationalizing my feelings since my son’s birth and I have narrowed it down to three things: emergency c-section, NICU and DE. This combination of events has added to my lack of bonding with my son. Last night was the first time I admitted to myself and my DH that I was feeling this way. I was a crying mess and DH assured me that these feelings were normal. I also opened up to a dear friend and she agreed that part of it could be due to the c-section and NICU but also told me to make sure I speak to my OB if it doesn’t get better. My friend is worried that I might have PPD. At this point, I don’t think it is PPD but I have promised her that if it gets worse then I will contact my doctor.

I really think the c-section and NICU stay affected my feeling of bonding because that first mothering experience I was looking forward to didn’t happen until 24 hours after my son was born. During the actual c-section I knew that after Ant was checked by the nurses, they would bring him back to me for his first feeding. This was going to be the sealing of our bond. Due to all the craziness with Ant’s glucose, this didn’t happen. Also, most new parents are able to spend their first few nights together with their child in the hospital. They have time to get to know each other but still have the support of the hospital staff. For us, there was no baby in our room; just the sounds of me pumping every few hours. Would it have been that different if these things had never happened? Maybe? Or maybe not. I could keep wondering, or I could choose to just move forward and continue bonding with Ant. My son.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

10 days Just Mom and Ant

For those of you who haven't heard the good news, Ant came home yesterday. DH and I were soo excited. The first couple hours went great but when bed time came Ant wasn't up for it. He pretty much cried most of the night. We tired EVERYTHING!!! Luckily this morning we had our first appointment with Ant's Dr.

Ant's Dr was awesome. She told us that she wasn't going to test his biliruben because she thought his color looked great. Who am I to argue with a Dr, I am would prefer not to have to stick his poor little foot again. After the appointment she had us meet with their lactation consultant. She was amazing and gave us several great tips on breastfeeding and sleep. The one that was most important was that I was not to go out for 10days or have visitors. It is suppose to be strictly Ant, sleep, breastfeeding, and eating. After I thought about this for a minute it made complete sense. We haven't had a chance to bond yet and this way we could develop what we have missed out on. Lastly, when people do come and visit we have our routine down.

Soo, this means you won't be hearing from me for awhile. It makes me sad because I want to share with you how motherhood is going. But I want to do what is best for Ant and my family. I will write soon and talk to you in about 10days.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Breaking Heart

Today was the big day. I was getting discharge from the hospital and I thought Ant would too. There was even a rumor going around that he was coming home too. The rumor was wrong and when the Dr. told me Ant wasn't coming home with me I couldn't control my tears.

Let's back up now and I will tell you how we got to this point. As you remember from the birth story that Ant was hypo glycemic due to my GD. Also, when they pulled him out the figured out why he was having such a hard time during contractions. His cord was right up by his neck and he was facing straight up. Due to his position he also had some bruising on his face.

It was really hard for me to be away from him those first 24hrs but I knew I needed to heal. One thing I did do was I started pumping from the time I got to my room. I also woke up every 3 hrs to pump even though I probably could have used the sleep. The next morning I got to see Ant for the first time. They were testing his blood sugars constantly and over the night they had to put him on a glucose drip.

By the end of the day he was off the glucose drip and on Saturday his blood sugars were completely stable. There were even rumors then that he would be discharged from the NICU to the nursery on Sunday. Well it never happened because his biliruben(sp?) was high. They put him under the bili lights.

By this point he was breastfeeding REALLY well. It is actually a funny story because I was about to the point of giving up and then all of a sudden I started getting milk from the pump . Also Ant started latching really well. Now I don't mind because I get a decent amount of milk.

Now what happened today, in the morning I went over to feed him as normal and after I returned to my room the rumors started that Ant was coming home. It wasn't just my RN but also the Midwife. I don't blame either of them because they did tell me it was just a rumor but I was just sooo hopeful. At his noon feeding the Dr had finally gotten to Ant and was looking over his chart. I could just see it in his face from the very beginning that he wasn't happy with Ant's number. So he said to me that he isn't going home today and it might be a few more days :(

I was dreading this moment and before he even told me I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes. I got myself half together and left the NICU. On my way back to my room tons of people were staring at my swollen red tear soaked face. All I wanted was the safety of my room. When I finally got there DH was waiting and he could tell immediately what had happened. He did all he could do to comfort me but there was no comfort. The only comfort that would sooth my pain was the knowledge that my son was coming home and no one could tell me that.

After lots of tears I pulled myself together and started planning on how we would do this. At this moment the plan is to stay till Ant's late 9 or 10pm feeding and then go home to sleep. We will return early tomorrow morning, missing maybe 2 feedings. While I am away I will continue pumping. The hospital is lending me a pump so I have plenty of milk for him.

Through this whole experience I wonder why? Why is this happening? Why us? Haven't we been through enough already? You would think 3 years of IF would prepare us for something like this today but this is almost as painful as a BFN but the difference is I know my son will be coming home soon. While a BFN means the end of that cycle and who knows if you will ever get your BFP.

Thank you everyone for you love and support.