Friday, February 28, 2014

Tripp's Weight loss issues (part two)

Fast forward to our meeting with the nurse practitioner and Bean has another weigh-in.  At this point he is just shy of two weeks old and typically that's when babies are back to birthweight - well not our Bean.  He weighs in at 7lbs 2.1 oz and once again we are told we should supplement with formula.  Hearing those words is really getting old at this point.  I let the nurse practitioner know about his nursing strike and how we have been giving him bottles of expressed breastmilk to make sure he is at least getting something and we're having a good amount of wet diapers so we want to avoid formula.  I also let her know that I was meeting later that day with a lactation consultant so she decided to see us again for a weight check 5 days later and we'll see where he's at and take it from there.

So I left the office a bit down in the dumps but had high hopes for my visit with the lactation consultant.  My mother-in-law met me at the front desk of the hospital (she works there so that made this easier) and we went up to the maternity floor to meet with the LC.  After filling her in on where we were with things, I pulled out the boppy and got him set up to feed.  He did an ok job on the one side and we talked through his feeding.  She showed me a better way to get him latched and we tried two different positions.  When it was time to switch sides he just fussed and pulled away so we tried out a nipple shield (in case that was his reason for fussing) and some sugar water (to keep him latched).

The LC was very reassuring and just having her there increased my confidence.  After an hour with her, I changed Bean's diaper and packed him up to head home.  I left feeling better about breastfeeding, knowing that it wasn't something I was doing wrong.

At our weight check Bean came in at a whopping 7lbs 14.1 oz!! He had gained 12oz in 5 days!  All I needed was that confidence boost from the LC and we were back on track.  By his one month check up, Bean had gained 2lbs 9oz from his discharge weight.  He's still a little peanut but he's thankfully starting to fill out and chub up.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Tripp's Weight loss issues (part one)

After our little pee scare at the hospital we thought it would be smooth sailing from there.  Boy were we wrong!  It was time for a nurse shift change and we had to say goodbye to our awesome nurse Amanda.  Our new nurse came in and said she had to take the baby to the nursery to weigh him so off they went. When they got back the nurse seemed concerned.  Apparently, according to our nurse, Bean had already lost 10% of his birthweight and we were going to have to supplement with formula to beef him up. He was born 7lbs. 9.9 oz and had dropped to 7lbs. 0.9oz.

Once again I was devastated.  He seemed to be nursing alright and we passed the pee pee diaper test so how could he have lost so much weight?!  As a first time mom, I had no clue that it was normal for a baby to lose weight in the two days that they're normally in the hospital.  Think about it - they spend nine months hanging out in a watery home and then get smooshed out through a small hole so their initial weight includes some retention from in the womb and being swollen from delivery.  It makes sense that they would lose weight, but the fact that we were at the weight loss threshold was very scary.  Again we were told we would have to supplement with formula.  It felt like the whole world was against me breastfeeding.

Thankfully my wonderful husband went out and talked to the nurse about how we really weren't comfortable formula feeding and how I had pumped the night before and he drank it so there had to be something we could do.  She said she would go back and check his weight to see if it really was 10%.....and it wasn't!!! She freaked us out for no reason.  The next morning our pediatrician came in to give us the green light for discharge and said that, though he did lose a bit of weight, it wasn't enough to be a concern.  Phew!

But the story doesn't end there.

Two days later we took Bean for his first official pediatrician appointment.  The nurse put him on the scale and I held my breath - 7 lbs 4.1oz.  Bean was gaining weight like a champ.  We were so happy to hear everything was going well.  They asked that we set up an appointment for the following week with the nurse practitioner, as they do with all new patients, for an hour long consultation to really go into depth how to care for a newborn.

The next day Bean went on a nursing strike.  He would cry and fuss at the breast and only nurse for a minute or two.  My milk had come in so I was super engorged and decided to pump and just have Bob give him a bottle so we knew he was at least getting something.  This continued off and on for the next week so with my mother in law's encouragement I got in touch with a lactation consultant and set up an appointment.


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Watching the Clock (Birth Story Part 3)

After Tripp was born we made every attempt to get him the nourishment he needed through breastmilk.  The nurses kept saying that his latch was fine and even though it hurt like hell, I felt like I was doing the right thing.  Well after our first night there the nurses put us in a little bit of a panic because Tripp hadn't had another wet diaper.  He had until 11pm to pee, otherwise we would have to supplement with formula.

I was devastated.  I thought he had a good latch?! So how is it that he wasn't eating enough that we would need to supplement?  I was virtually in tears, but thanks to my wonderful husband we came up with a plan.  They only wanted to supplement so they could make sure he was eating and could measure his exact input - so why couldn't I pump to accomplish the same thing?  We got the nurse on board with the plan and in she rolled with the industrial grade pump.

We weren't sure if I would even be able to get anything with the pump but we gave it a go.  First off, pumping was a totally different sensation than actually breastfeeding.  I also happened to remember my friend who was equally endowed in the chest telling me that I may need the next size up in nipple flanges and it seemed she was correct.  Thankfully they happened to also come with the pump. Side note: if you pump at the hospital you get to keep all of the parts which has come in handy because they're compatible with my pump at home.  I was so uncertain if I was doing it correctly and the nurse had left so I sent my friend a picture just to confirm that I was getting what I was supposed to.

It's very discouraging to see how little you make in the beginning but I produced a normal amount and Bob fed it to the Bean and he drank it all...so then we sat and waited watching the clock.  Finally with 10 minutes to spare we had a wet diaper!  I called up our nurse Amanda to tell her the good news and she came down to our room to confirm that we were in the clear.

I have to say, she was the best nurse that we had during recovery and we were so grateful that she was willing to work with us to avoid supplementing with formula.

Monday, February 17, 2014

First Month Must Haves

So now that we have one whole month under our belts...here's what helped get us through those first few weeks:
1. Boppy - In the hospital when we were just starting out breastfeeding I just used pillows, but on the last day there I decided to give our boppy a try and man does it make BFing easier.  I would also recommend getting multiple covers for the Boppy.  Bean is a little bit of a messy eater so the cover sometimes winds up soaked.
2. Graco Pack 'n Play with Newborn Napper Deluxe - We keep this on the main floor of the house and have found the the newborn napper portion (which vibrates) has really helped us get stuff done on the first floor, like making/eating dinner.  Bean hangs out in there and sometimes takes his naps in there.
3. The Cloud B Sleep Sheep - This little guy hangs out by Bean's crib and only gets used at night when we put Bean down for the evening.  We like the heartbeat setting and like that it turns itself off after 45 minutes.
4. Carter's zip-up sleep & play - I wish every piece of clothing we had for Bean was a zip up sleep and play.  They're perfect for nighttime or hanging around the house during the day.  We also have these in snap up, but the zip ups are so much better for overnight when you have one eye open and are changing a diaper. 
5. Philips AVENT translucent pacifiers - We didn't bring any pacifiers to the hospital with us (which was a huge issue) but found that Bean likes these pacifiers over the soother kind (he spits the soothers right out).  Bean is a comfort sucker so when he's done at the boob he gets a binky to put him to sleep.
6. Munchkin Waterproof Changing Pad Liners (3 Pack) - These have been the biggest lifesavers when there are poopsplosions in the middle of the night.  Rather than having to completely undo the changing pad, I just pull the liner off and throw it in the hamper and put a new one on.  We only had one set of three until there was an evening where we went through all three liners making me scramble to do laundry -- now we have 6 of them.
7. MAMA 2-pack Nursing Tops - MAMA is H&M's maternity brand.  I love their nursing tank tops and nursing t-shirts.  They're affordable and not super baggy so I don't feel like I'm still pregnant wearing them.
8. Up & Up Breast Pads - I like these Target brand disposable nursing pads.  They came in a box of 60 and were cheap.  They're perfect for me at home but I think I will upgrade to better ones for when I go back to work because you can see the outline of these through my shirts.
9.  Medela 50pk Pump & Save Breastmilk Storage Bags - During the first two weeks postpartum I was pumping up a storm because Bean and I were having issues breastfeeding.  These bags were awesome to get my frozen supply going.  They have an adapter the hooks right up to the pump and you hang the bag on them.  Easy peasy.
10.  Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breast Pump On-The-Go Tote - This is the pump that was covered by my insurance and the one my coworker uses so I knew it was good.  This set comes with extra parts which is amazing and both 24mm and 27mm flanges.  My coworker gave me a heads up that I probably need the bigger size (thanks mom for the well-endowed genes) so I bought a set without realizing there was one in the kit but it's not an issue - extra parts are always welcome.

And there ya have it...my must haves for the first month post partum.



Monday, February 10, 2014

Things I wish I knew before delivering

So I delivered at Hackensack and these were a couple of things that I was clueless about:
1) you can only have ice while you're in labor - I brought Gatorade and a water bottle with me and wasn't allowed either until I was on my way up to the recovery room so I asked for two cups of ice and let them melt so I could drink them

2) bring pacifiers - I didn't because I wanted to breastfeed and didn't want nipple confusion and figured that if he needed one they could provide it.  The second night there he was using me as a pacifier and I was in so much pain from it so I asked the nurses for one and was told that they no longer do that. I frantically called my parents at 9pm to go to our house and get all of the pacifiers out of the cabinet and bob sterilized them at the hospital

3) bring your car seat up ahead of time and practice putting the baby in it - this way the straps are all set for when you are discharged

4) keep everything in the car except what you need for labor - while I was getting the epidural bob went to get all of our stuff out of the car and then after delivery he had to lug everything to the next room and we lost my bag that had my brush and nursing bra and makeup in the transit

5) bring healthy snacks and order as much food as they will let you - I could only order food for myself so I ordered a salad, entree, side, dessert and drink every time so bob could pick at it in addition to the snacks we brought

6) we were told we had to pay for tv but never filled anything out or got billed but we mainly watched basic cable channels so maybe that's why it wasn't an issue.

7) take everything that isn't nailed down - your insurance is paying for it anyway so everytime there's a shift change, ask them to refresh your diapers/mesh underwear/ice packs/tucks

8) getting the iv put in hurt way more than the epidural did

9) you do not have to poop in front of a nurse in order to leave but you will have to pee in front of them at least twice so they can measure your liquid output