eK-3zmjBImBHOZjRJYEZVBw4ZWs Shaky Mommy: February 2011

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Constant Eater

Jaxon eats a lot. He almost attacks me when he wants to eat. I have never seen a newborn as eager to eat as he usually is. He weighs 9 lbs 2 oz now. After a little more than a week, we're already above his birth weight. I’m nursing on demand, and right now, he nurses about every 2-3 hours, but he has at least 2 periods each day, usually in the afternoon and then again in the evening when he will nurse nonstop for several hours. I have tons of milk, so I know he’s not starving. He might just like the comfort of nursing? The evening nonstop feeding I don’t mind so much. I have noticed that when he eats like this in the evenings, he seems to sleep for several hours afterwards, so it’s almost like he’s just filling up before bedtime.  

He burps a lot. That is something that I do not remember dealing with while the others were newborns. I know that they probably burped, but Jaxon seems to require several burps before we can be assured that he won't spit up. Speaking of spitting up, that's another thing I do not remember my breastfed babies doing. I know they spit up when I transitioned to formula, but I don't recall them spitting up very often when they were EBF. Jaxon also gets the hiccups a lot - he did this a lot in utero so it shouldn't surprise me, but he gets them several times a day. 

He sleeps well, napping for a couple of hours at a time during the day in his bassinet. Nighttime sleeping is a little tougher – he doesn’t mind the bassinet during the day, or even during the evenings. But his bassinet is in our bedroom, and once we go to bed at night, he wakes up and wants to be in the bed with us. It’s like he has this radar that lets him know when we go to bed. And while it seems silly to say a newborn can have a preference on where he sleeps, I swear to you that he does! And he sleeps very well with us. But we’re pretty nervous when he’s in there with us, so I keep trying to get him to stay in his bassinet. Any suggestions on how to do that? I'm sure swaddling will get suggested, so let me go ahead and say that I suck at swaddling.  But even if I was a pro, like the nurses at the hospital were, Jaxon is a little Houdini and got out of every swaddle they put him in. So no luck there. I'm open to other suggestions though!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


After 24 hours in the hospital, Jaxon had still not pooped. He had peed on the nurse when he was first born, but had not peed since that time. While he was nursing wonderfully, and I was sure that he was getting colostrum, I knew how important that first bowel movement was. I started supplementing with some formula from the hospital to try to help him along. Jaxon finally produced a soaking wet pee diaper, but the poop was still not coming. Finally, after more than 36 hours, he produced what is known as a meconium plug. I had never heard of this before.

The doctor told us that in some cases a meconium plug can present when a baby has cystic fibrosis. Since CF is part of the newborn screening, he told us to be sure and ask the pediatrician about it at our first visit. *Update-  we did this when we went for our first bilirubin check and we were told the newborn screen was not back so we will have to wait for the 4 week visit to get this information.*

Jaxon’s jaundice levels were higher than what they like them to be (12.4), most likely because of the meconium plug and delayed pooping. He was placed under the lights at the hospital, complete with baby protective eyewear, which he hated. He cried almost the entire time he was under the lights. I hated it. I got out of bed and sat beside him (not an easy task with my stitches and pain). Jason and I took turns holding his hand and rubbing his head to comfort him. I was so glad when they came in and said that the doctor had decided to just go ahead and release him with a light to take home. 

We were sent home with a “glow bed” and instructions to keep him on it at all times unless we were feeding, changing, or comforting him. Not fun at all! But sooo much better than the lights he had been laying under at the hospital. With the glow bed, he didn’t have to wear the eyewear, and he could be covered up, which seemed to make him feel more secure.

Jaxon on his glow bed

The home health nurse came on Sunday to check his levels – up to 13.4. On Monday, we went to our pediatrician for a bilirubin check. His levels were down to 12.5. On Tuesday we went back for another check, but saw a different pediatrician in the practice who said that since the levels were dropping and he was gaining weight, there was no reason to stick his little heel again. She also told us we could discontinue use of the light! Yay! I am very glad to have this behind us.  

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Jaxon Meets His Siblings

When he was inside me, Jaxon would often get worked up when the kids were around. I always said he was either very excited or very terrified by them.

My mother-in-law brought the kids to meet Jaxon around 5:30. We heard them coming down the hallway of the hospital long before they actually reached the room. They came in and all ran to the side of the bed. Britain asked me if I was okay. The girls were going on and on about how cute the baby is and could they hold him. I turned Jaxon to face the kids and said “Jaxon, meet your brother and sisters.” He took one look at them and started crying. It was pitiful and hilarious at the same time.

Despite Jaxon’s reaction, the kids were crazy about him. He must have received hundreds of kisses during the hour and a half that they were there.


We arrived at the hospital around 4:45 (see my previous post for why). I was quickly admitted to a room and had an IV started. I was also hooked up to the fetal monitor and the monitor that measures contractions. The doctor came and inserted the cervical softening tablet at 6. I wasn’t allowed to eat, use the bathroom or even get up for a couple of hours after that. Around 8, we ate some supper, and then at 10, I had another tablet inserted and was given an Ambien to help me sleep (that did not work!). I really don’t know how anyone can ever sleep well in a hospital! There are too many interruptions. At 2, I had my third tablet inserted.

Around 5 am, my nurse said I was soft enough to start Pitocin at 6 and she started it at 6 on the dot. I was glad she did that. I really wanted my doctor to deliver the baby, not one of the other doctors in the practice. And he had a personal commitment that he had to leave for by 1. My nurse (who was so very sweet) knew that, so she got my Pitocin started as soon as possible. The contractions started quickly but I couldn’t feel them – I was only seeing them on the monitor. The doctor came in to break my water at 7:30. I was at 1 ½ cm at 7:45. My contractions started picking up after my water broke and the nurse was steadily easing the Pitocin upward. I started feeling the contractions. I had been wondering what a contraction felt like…I don’t have to wonder anymore! Some of them were pretty intense! And they were coming every 1-2 minutes so there were only very small rests between the pains.

At 8:40 I was only at 3 ½ cm. I was happy when I found out I could have an epidural whenever I wanted it.
At 9:40, the anesthesiologist came in and gave me the epidural. It was the same guy who gave me my previous epidurals (and amazingly, he recognized me). As before, he gave me a perfect epidural –just a few minutes later the pain was easing off and within 15 minutes I was pain free. At 10:00 my nurse checked me and I was at 5. By 10:28, I was at 8! But my doctor was in surgery at that point…and so my nurse didn’t check me again for a little while, even though we both thought I was probably at 10.

Around 11:30, my nurse checked me and I was at 10 and at 11:57, she called for the doctor, who was now finished with surgery. He headed up and I started pushing a little bit after 12. I pushed about 4 times. Since the epidural was still on (and working wonderfully), I wasn’t feeling anything. While waiting between contractions for the doctor to tell me when to push again, I coughed. My doctor immediately said “Do that again.” I did, and he said “And again.” I coughed several times and then out popped the baby! Later, Jason told me that while I was making progress pushing, the coughing was much more productive.

Jaxon arrived at 12:22 on February 17th weighing 8 lbs 13 oz (the exact same amount as his big brother!). He was 20 ¾ inches long (my shortest baby!). His head measured 14 ½ in., which caused some damage. I had 3rd degree tearing. Jaxon came out covered in vernix – he didn’t appear to be ready to come out on his own. But had we left him in there longer, I have no doubt that he would have weighed well over 9 lbs. That would have either resulted in a c-section or significantly more damage to me. I am glad we went ahead with the induction and I’m so glad to have my sweet boy in my arms!

Before his bath - still has some vernix.
He didn't care for the eye goo they gave him.

Already a mama's boy

Brand new and very alert! Already turning his head to mommy and daddy's voices! And check out the size of those hands!

39 Week Update

We went for my 39 week appointment on Wednesday, 2/16. Since we all had concerns about the baby being big, and since my body was doing nothing to prepare for delivery, the doctor decided to do an ultrasound to see how big the baby was. I was very happy and had planned to ask for one. I had been doubting my resolve to go to 40 weeks because the baby has just been feeling so big inside me. The sentimental side of me still wanted to go into labor on my own, but the practical side of me knew the experience would be terrible if the baby was too big. The ultrasound tech estimated the baby at 9 lbs 6 oz. I immediately wanted to get him out! That size scared me!  

After the ultrasound, we went to meet with the doctor again and discuss our options. Since my cervix was not ripe at all, the doctor said there was no way to do an induction the next morning. He gave the following options:
  1. Wait through the weekend and see if the cervix condition would change by Monday.
  2. Schedule a c-section (for as early as the next morning)
  3.  Come in that night for the cervix softening tablet and try for an induction on Thursday morning. 

We immediately ruled out option 1 - we thought waiting would only allow the baby to get larger and could possibly make the c-section my only option. I really did not want a c-section. So we decided on option 3. If the cervix softening tablets didn’t work that night, the doctor said we could still opt for the c-section on Thursday morning or we could go home and come back Thursday night and try the cervix softening tablets again.

So we left the doctor’s office, grabbed some lunch and headed home. Since we didn’t even have our hospital bags fully packed and since I was working that day, the next few hours were a little crazy as we both scrambled to pack bags and handle other last minute items. Jason lined up care for our other three kids (thankfully his mom was available) and charged the video camera. I did some laundry and wrapped up a few work assignments and then let my boss know what was happening so he could divide the rest of my work between my coworkers.

We dropped the kids off at Jason’s mom’s house and headed to the hospital. 

To be continued…

Friday, February 4, 2011

37 Weeks

We went to the doctor yesterday. I don’t have much to share. The baby is good, I’m measuring a little big (38 weeks) and my body is appears to be doing nothing to get ready for labor. My doctor tried to be encouraging with a “When it gets ready to happen it can happen really quickly.” I wanted to respond with “You tell all the girls that, don’t you?” because I felt like he was feeding me a line - just trying to give me some hope that I might go into labor on my own.

Speaking of that, I’m certainly still hoping that’s what happens. I think I have just about decided that waiting til 40 weeks or even 40 weeks and a couple of days is preferable to inducing at 39 weeks. I just get scared thinking of how big this boy might end up being if we wait past 40 weeks. I just keep hearing that going into labor on your own can be easier on your body. I’m just a little concerned that my body doesn’t know how to go into labor on its own! Maybe next week I’ll make some progress…

Oh, and my biggest pregnancy or PD symptom this week? EXHAUSTION. Nothing much more to say about that, but I have been so tired this week. 

Ok, so on to fun stuff/good news! Three of my sisters-in-law and my mother-in- law gave me a baby shower this past weekend. It was a lot of fun! We now have the bedding and lamp for the baby’s nursery! I am so excited and can’t wait to get it all set up. We also got a baby bathtub and towel and baby bath/shampoo, etc, and lots of clothes! Since Jason already ordered and set up the bassinet for me, we have started telling baby boy that he can come whenever he’s ready because he now has clothes and diapers and a place to sleep!

My sweet, sweet husband also ordered the crib, mattress and changing table this week too! I know the baby won’t be sleeping in it for a while and we may not even set it up right away, but I’m in such a nesting mode that just knowing it is on its way excites me! He also ordered me a sling, a nursing cover, some reusable nursing pads, and one of those bracelets that helps you keep track of when you last nursed and on which side and for how long. Confession: I used to think things like that were silly. I mean, who can’t remember what side they last nursed on? At least that’s what I thought 7 years ago. Now, with PD and age turning against me, I saw the milk bands and thought they would really be useful.