Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mason is 1 month!

The last month has just flown by due to the blur of sleepless nights and preschooler insanity. There have been days that were tougher than I ever imagined and days that were easier than I expected. Having a newborn and a 3-year old in the house has proven to be just as crazy as I expected, but we've made it work. Luckily, I have had a lot of help from my mom during the week and of course Todd on the weekends. We also proved just how crazy we are by Todd carrying 2 grad school classes on top of the family insanity and work. But even with the blur of activity in our house, we are so thankful things are this way. We love being a family of 4 and the feeling of completeness we have. We really wouldn't trade it for anything.

Mason had his 1 month check-up yesterday and got a glowing report. He is now 21 inches long (50th percentile), 8 lbs 10 ounces (25th percentile), and his head is 38 cm (50th percentile). I have been concerned about his mucousy diapers but Dr. Honeycutt said as long as he is growing appropriately and doesn't seem to have any other symptoms not to worry about it at this point. She said he looks great and is doing well with his head control. She warned us about his shots at the next appointment and then sent us on our way. I was happy his appointment went well, but still frustrated I don't know exactly what is causing his diaper situation. I know she said not to worry, but the mom in me can't help but worry that something is wrong. I have a month to figure it out and hope things look better for next month.

Mason doesn't have a lot of milestones to pass for the month, but he has accomplished a few things. He is now giving us smiles when we smile at him. He is able to hold his head up off the floor for a few seconds during tummy time. And he is now allowed to fully eat on demand at night and went 5 hours between feedings which gave me 4 solid hours of sleep, which is better than the usual 3 hours. Hopefully he'll keep stretching that out and give me even more over the next month because Momma is tired.

Pictures from the first month:

During his first tub bath. He was not happy about it at all.

Aubrey wanted a picture of them in they jammies. 

Modeling his present from Aubrey

Enjoying play time on the play mat

1 month old!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Mason's Newborn Pictures

When Mason was 6 days old, we had Lora from Lora Denton Photography come out to our house to do Mason's newborn pictures. I knew I would be too tired and overwhelmed to do them myself and I was right. It was so nice to watch a pro at work and get some amazing pictures of Mason and the family. I hope we get to use her again because she was a lot of fun to work with and gave us some amazing pictures.

Aubrey's 3rd Birthday Party

We started planning Aubrey's birthday party in November because we knew we would have a newborn about the same time as her party. Plans were finished by Christmas and all that had to be done in January was send out the invites and buy the food. We decided to have a simple party at our house with friends and family so we didn't have to take Mason out and about. We were a little worried about keeping everyone entertained but everything went smoothly and everyone seemed to have a great time, especially the birthday girl. Next year we'll do something else out and about, but this year was just what we all hoped for.

The birthday girl

One of the activities was decorating cupcakes and the kiddos seemed to enjoy it.

Blowing out the candles

She enjoyed opening all of her presents.

Mason's thoughts on the party

Family portrait

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Breastfeeding Woes

I had such high hopes of breastfeeding this time. I struggled with Aubrey so much that I hoped things would go easier this time around. No such luck. Our first struggle was in the hospital. Mason was so sleepy that he just refused to eat for hours at a time. The lactation consultant encouraged me to use the nipple shield again, much to my dismay. At first he wouldn't take the shield, but eventually he would latch with it. Then, the nurses had to use sugar water to get him to latch because he refused. Amazingly, he only last 3 ounces between birth and discharge. Once we got home, I realized we had another slow eater because it would take him an hour to eat, just like Aubrey. When we went to his first pediatrician's appointment on Wednesday, he had lost another 2 ounces since his hospital discharge but the doctor seemed to think that since my milk had come in, he would start picking up. She had me schedule a follow-up weight check for the next week. The next day I went to my lactation consultant appointment and it was the start to the major drama. She said he had lost another ounce and she was concerned that he wasn't getting enough, despite my milk being in. After 30 minutes, he had only eaten .5 ounce so she said I needed to pump after every feeding to keep my supply up and then supplement him with the pumped milk. She also encouraged me to wean from the nipple shield. I was shocked that I would be encouraged to give my 5 day old a bottle. She said he could also have a high palate, making it difficult for him to latch properly. I left that office feeling so defeated. I had no idea how I would manage nursing, pumping, and bottles along with taking care of Aubrey.

Somehow I made it through the weekend on that crazy schedule, only to realize by Sunday I had thrush. I battled it way too long with Aubrey and I did not want to have that battle again so quickly re-read the recommendations for treatment of it. I ran to go buy grapefruit seed extract which is supposed to help kill the yeast. By Monday morning, I was in screaming pain every time Mason latched and my nipples were super red and irritated so I called the lactation office to be seen again. They said thrush is hard to diagnose, but all of my symptoms sounded similar to thrush so she recommended I should go to Mason's doctor to get a prescription for Nyastatin and call my OB for Diflucan. The pediatrician wrote the Nyastatin for Mason with 0 questions. My OB office refused the Diflucan prescription for me and wanted me to try gentian violet first. Ugh. I was not happy because that stuff is so messy and hard to find. I had to drive back to the same far away Wal-greens to find it and bought the ingredients for the homemade nipple ointment.

I also decided to just pump for a few days to let my nipples heal. Although I hate pumping, it was easier to monitor Mason's intake and ensure he was eating enough. I made the painful decision that I would just have to exclusively pump again, which broke my heart, but I needed to do what was best for Mason and myself. At his weight check that Wednesday he had gained 11 ounces in 8 days which was a little concerning to me but the doctor seemed to find it ok. The problem then arose that night that pumping led me to having an oversupply which upsets the foremilk-hindmilk balance, which upsets Mason's stomach. There are plenty of instructions on how to fix the imbalance with nursing, but none with pumping so by Thursday night I decided to go back to nursing.

Things seemed to get better following this decision and Friday morning I went for a follow-up appointment with lactation and Mason had eaten 2 ounces in 30 minutes and I was so proud. I stopped pumping and solely breastfed over the weekend. However, my nipples slowly got more irritated and sore and by the next Tuesday, I was crying every time he latched again. I decided to go back to pumping because I couldn't handle the pain and after a lot of research I discovered that Mason just has a poor latch. I researched some in-home lactation consultants to get more help, but they are pretty expensive and there is no guarantee that Mason would ever nurse properly.

So, right now I have made the decision to exclusively pump. It is such a pain to hook up to that stupid pump 8 times a day, but I just can't force myself to buy formula at this point. We do have an emergency can in the pantry in case we need it, but so far we have not. The biggest drama with pumping was that my supply had taken a hit because of his poor nursing and there were a few bottles where I just barely had enough to feed him. I have managed to get my supply back up and I have even frozen a few ounces of milk so far. We are still struggling with the fore milk-hindmilk imbalance, but are also considering the possibility  there could be some allergy issues. We are noticing a lot of mucus in his diapers and he is gassy and fussy. We go back to the pediatrician next week so I will discuss these things with her and hopefully get some answers. I hate to think of what struggle will one our way next after 2 solid weeks of feeding struggles, but we will keep dealing with them the best we can.