Monday, January 30, 2012

The 'B' Word.

You guessed it. Breastfeeding.

There was no doubt I would breastfeed Lincoln. I did my research (duh!) and decided I would go at least six months. After all, "breast milk is the best milk" and who doesn't want the very best for their precious little one?? Lincoln caught on quick. Once placed on my chest after delivery he squirmed his little body up mine and latched right on. It was nothing short of amazing. It might sound odd to say having your little one nearly suck your nipples raw feels amazing, but trust me, it is. Just a different type of amazing :) His barely opened eyes caught mine and I couldn't look away. I immediately thought 'I could do this more than six months, easy'....

The first few days went great. I had my Breastfriend, Lincoln was latching with ease and I thought all would be smooth sailing from there.

Easy? Smooth sailing? That is the last way I would describe the process after that. I knew all the positives about breastfeeding....passed on antibodies, easier digestion, better bonding, etc. I heard so many women talk about their incredible experiences. In all the brochures, books, and commercials, however, I never came across someone that had much difficulty...sure they talked about trouble latching and nipple confusion, but not once did anyone say "breastfeeding can be hard".

Guess what? Breastfeeding can be hard.

There. I said it. I had a hard time. Maybe I didn't do enough research and perhaps, I didn't ask enough women, but I've run into quite a few problems I wasn't expecting. First, my milk didn't fully come in until the end of the first week. I worried myself sick thinking Linc wasn't getting enough so I spent half my time nursing and the other half pumping trying to speed up production. Talk about sore. I spread that nipple cream on like it was icing! Once my milk started to come in another problem introduced itself. My right side had been sleeping (no milk)! When I tried to nurse from the right side he would take for a few minutes and then cry. After a few tries, we were both crying. It was taking me nearly an hour to finish nursing each time, an hour! I had no time to sleep or shower and my mom and husband had to continually remind me to even eat. I was miserable and exhausted. I went to my doctor, emailed Le Leche League, called the lactation consultant and spoke to everyone I knew that had breastfed....I actually think 5 different people had their hand in helping me....and by that I mean had their hand literally on my breasts attempting to help me. So much for my former modest self! I just didn't understand why it became so difficult. After two and a half weeks I felt completed defeated and ready to give up. And I felt like a failure for feeling defeated. How the heck can I do this for six months?! Why hasn't anyone else mentioned it would be like this?! Again, another "I wish someone would've told me"....

At that point I decided I would try to breastfeed for at least four weeks. (Yes, I was having that much trouble). I knew it was worth it. If I can make it four weeks then Lincoln will have one whole month of the best. By four weeks things were much better...still rocky, but much better. Enough better that I bumped up my goal to six weeks. I can totally do this for two more weeks. Just two more weeks. And I did.  We are now a few days past six weeks and I'm still holding on. My new goal? Eight weeks. Baby steps. A few weeks at a time is much less daunting.

I'm so glad I've made the decision to continue and am extremely grateful for those that have supported and encouraged me when I was ready to give up. You may not need two fully functioning breasts to breastfeed, but what you do need is support from the those around you.

I truly think any woman that even attempted to breastfeed should be commended....whether you made it one day, one month, or one year. Every woman wants to give their baby their "Best milk" for the first year, but it's just not as easy for some as it is for others.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My Latest Favorites

Oops! I didn't realize it had been this long since my last post! Good news, everything is going great! Still some hiccups each day, but we're totally starting to get the hang of this :)

I don't have much time this afternoon, so I've decided to list some favorites from the past week.
....Wow, Lincoln is 6 weeks today....Time is passing too quickly!! 

My Latest Favorites!

  • Lincoln smiled Monday! and he's been smiling more all the is beyond precious! Yes, I know you're dying to see...
  • Our new swing & chair.
    Lincoln is too small for the swing and chair so we decided  I bought ones meant specifically for newborns (another Ebay & Craigslist score!) . I used to hate the thought of baby stuff cluttering my house....Well, I now have a bassinet, highchair, jogging stroller, 2 swings, 2 vibrating chairs, and a mini crib...that's not too much. Right? 
  • Daddy Time! Watching Cameron with Lincoln makes my heart smile :) 
  • Online Shopping! Ebay, Etsy, WalMart, CraigsList....I suppose it's a good thing I'm heading back to work soon, I'm getting a little out of control.
  • The Mail!
    From my online shopping, of course :) I love getting packages! I used to forget the mail altogether, but with new baby things coming everyday I practically wait by the door (got my sling yesterday!).
  • Bathtime! The entire process is not always pleasant, but I love watching all of Linc's expressions. You can see his little mind working as his feet touch the water. And no matter how quickly we transfer him from the warm bath to his towel, it's not quick enough....

  • ELLEN!! I can't believe I hadn't seen her show before, she is absolutely hilarious! Seriously, just TiVo it one time.
  • Visitors! Not only did I see my mom and Mike this weekend, but some very good friends surprised me with a visit! Made my day :)
  • Free Stuff!I've declared the last hour of Linc's afternoon nap "Free Stuff Scour Hour". There are so many free samples, coupons, reward programs, & contests for new moms...surely I'll win something.

Monday, January 16, 2012

4 Burnt Nipples & Some Lullabies

No, I don't have four nipples. I committed another rookie mistake.

New moms/dads/babysitters: Don't commit to anything around the house until your little one is in the 'deep sleep' state. I've learned recently babies spend more time in REM sleep (which is lighter and easily interrupted). and the first 15-20 minutes of sleep is said to be the lightest. This is information I wish I'd known when I decided to start in on my "To-Do's" last week. I put little man in his crib a few minutes after he'd fallen asleep and decided I would boil all the bottle nipples. Seemed like a great idea at the time, I promise. You guessed it, as soon as I put them in the water, Lincoln woke up and began crying. Next thing I knew I was smelling the burning pan and rubber ...Nipples! Crap! Well, one more Wal-Mart run for my husband. 

Something else on our Wally World list? A lullaby book, CD, singing animal...something. I've really enjoyed singing to Linc, but recently I've noticed I really don't know many lullabies. Wait, do the ABC's count? Man, have I worn out the ABC's & Jesus Loves Me! So the other night when he got fussy I decided to try something different. Slight problem, I couldn't think of anything and his cries were getting louder....quick, Cait, sing!

If you have a structured settlement, but you need cash now...

That's right, I calmed my son down by singing him that commercial. And I kept singing it over and over. Whatever works, right? I've since decided to start him out young on Dave Matthews...his favorite right now is "You and Me". My husband, however, thinks he prefers 50 cent & Lil Wayne.

One Month!

Our little guy is already one month! 

To celebrate we ventured to a friends place for the evening...Ok, really just to finally get ourselves out of the house. Our first few outings were during Christmas when he slept the entire time, but now that he stays awake a little longer I have been super nervous about taking him out. This was kind of a trial run (thanks Brittany & Shiloh)!
I'll save you the play by play of sleeping, crying, eating, crying and sleeping by saying this: Boy am I glad we have great friends that are patient and love us because it was not as easy as I had imagined. He didn't cry the entire time and I'm sure it was worse in my head than it really was, but it was pretty stressful nonetheless. I do count the evening a success, though, we were out of the house for four hours! Score! Oh the little things that excite us now :)

Each day is a new experience, some much more trying then others, but not one that I would give back.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Rookie Mistakes...

Linc is officially four weeks today; the days are passing too quickly already. He is growing and changing so much every day, it's really going to be difficult when my maternity leave ends. I return to work in 2-4 weeks (it's still in discussion) so I'm soaking up every last minute second that I can with my little man. He's such a fun and alert little guy....well, when he isn't sleeping that is! 

Now, a few Rookie Mistakes from my first month...
(I have a feeling this may become a regular part of this blog!)
  1. When changing a dirty diaper...get the dirty diaper out of the way! Don't leave it on the changing pad...Those wiggly little legs will have those cute little toes buried in poo in a matter of seconds.
  2. Use the 'peepee teepee' (if you have a boy, of course). Even when you're in a's just too risky! 
  3. After washing the suction bulb make sure there is no water left inside. Yep, I did it. I squirted him right in the face as I was closing in on the nostril. Side note: Maybe don't have the tip pointed at your baby's face period as you squeeze...*good thinkin, Cait.
  4. When you're using a baby monitor, you actually have to remember the monitor handheld. I can't tell you how many times I've been doing things around the house and that thing is still sitting on the charger in my room! Thank goodness I live in a small house. 
  5. While nursing Lincoln this afternoon I desperately needed a drink, but both hands were sweet husband offered to help by pouring his drink in my mouth. Bad idea. Lincoln, myself and my Breastfriend (hehehe...that name still makes me giggle) were covered instantly in Dr. Pepper 10. What were we thinking??
  6. Don't shop online at 3am while nursing or trying to put little one back to sleep...this is just a bad, bad idea. I promise! (Dang that Ebay app makes it way too easy!)
My poor son...poopy feet, water shot to the face and drenched in pop....all in one day. Obviously, we're learning a little at a time. I'm sure there will be plenty more days filled with many more rookie mistakes, but at least it gives us plenty to laugh at when we go to bed and we'll have plenty of stories for this little guy when he gets older. :)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Countdown from Week 3

5 lessons learned the first 3 weeks
  • Babies cry- When they’re hungry, tired, cold, wet, need to burp, want to be held….they cry. Most of the time they are adorable, wonderful, sweet angels….but all of them cry.
  • Breastfeeding is not easy- I know it’s best for us both and that it is absolutely a rewarding experience, but I had no idea how much work it would be. (Again, I’ll be devoting a special blog to this topic later).
  • The Art of Burping- One of nurses told us we would hardly have a need for burping because I was breastfeeding…she was wrong, the boy got gas!
  • Every other mom knows everything- Just listen, smile & nod.
  • Babies get toe-jam (especially between those fingers)- I noticed this after the first few days, kinda gross.           
4 items I’m so glad I had
  • Diaper Genie- Big shock. Who wants to take out the trash multiple times a day? And no one wants the stench of dirty diaper lingering throughout the house.
  • My Breast Friend- I thought it was pretty silly until I used it the first time….it’s basically a Boppy  that straps on and is complete with a ‘headrest’ for baby and a pocket for your cell or remote! Thanks to sister-in-law, Amy, for letting me borrow!
  • Swaddlers- When all else fails, swaddle!
  • New sweats & PJs- Because that’s all I wore for the first few weeks 
3 items we wished we had
  • Gas Drops- Like I said, the boy is gassy! Sometimes we burp him for 15 minutes straight and still 20 minutes later when we put him down he lets out another…We use these at almost every feeding.
  • Bottle Warmer-When we introduced the bottle the first few times it was almost painful waiting for it to heat by hot water. It was first on the Wal-Mart list soon after.
  • Travel Wipes-Something I didn't even think about until our first outing and I had none. Oops.             
2 things I wish I’d known
  • Newborns eat every 2-3 hrs- I thought you ‘never woke a sleeping baby’….Actually, for the first week or so (until they are back to their birth weight) it’s all you do, even in the middle of the night, even if they don't want to.
  • When food goes in…something is bound to come out- Pretty much every single time. So if for some reason in a sleep deprived panic you decide to go ahead and feed your naked baby so he’ll stop crying, don’t do it. You will get messy
1 sweet boy

Friday, January 6, 2012

Labor & Week One Survival...

I went through so many emotions when the first, second, third pregnancy test read 'positive'....primarily excitement, but undoubtedly fear. I hadn't really prepared for this...and I prepare for almost everything. So, once our doctor confirmed the pregnancy I decided to turn it into my homework assignment...complete with an organized binder that read 'Baby Hine' (nope, not kidding). Everyday I would do research on what to expect during the pregnancy and labor. Yes, the What to Expect... book is great and full of information, but not near enough for me to feel prepared (by the way, you never feel prepared). So, I scoured the internet and asked every mother I knew about morning sickness, labor pain, epidurals, breast name it, I was conducting a survey. You can bet I was one of the best students pregnancy ever had. Labor, bring it on!

My contractions started Tuesday night, December 13th and early the next morning we decided it was time to head to the hospital. I felt pretty confident knowing I had at least done everything I could to educate myself on what was about to happen. The day passed so quickly and at 5:51 that evening our precious Lincoln graced us with his presence. We were very blessed to have such an extremely smooth delivery. I can't believe for seven months I had worried myself with all the worst case scenarios possible. All that worry was for nothing and after seeing his sweet face all I could think about was how ready I was to take him home and start our new life as a family.

Well, I thought I was ready. 

Once we were moved out of the delivery room, I realized in all my preparation for labor I forgot something major: what happens after delivery. As in, how do I take care of this sweet boy?? I knew the basics....feed him, change him, make sure he sleeps...but, is it really going to be that simple? I mean, if those girls on Teen Mom can do it, I can, right?
Once the nurses and our family left and we were alone for our first night I began to worry like crazy, searching every little thing on Google...the first 2am feeding he got the hiccups. I threw my pillow at Cameron, "Quick, get online and see what to do when he gets the hiccups!"...yep, I got the 'Are you kidding me' look for that one. Did you know when your baby gets the hiccups, you pretty much do absolutely nothing? Had no clue.
And that was just the beginning.
The first week home I felt like a zombie. Getting used to the sleep schedule (aka No Sleep), dealing with the difficulty of breastfeeding (which will require it's own blog, trust me), trouble shooting his cries (hot? cold? tired? hungry, again?!), trying to remember how to swaddle...not going to lie, it was hard. I have the most amazing, beautiful son in my arms, but what I looked forward to most was any sleep I could manage. Why did no one mention how the first days at home could be just as (if not more) mentally and physically exhausting as pregnancy and labor? I asked myself that question a hundred times.
I know now it's because it gets better and better each day. It has been a little over three weeks and everyday we discover something new about our Lincoln....noises that soothe him, how he loves tummy time, the best way to burp him (this is a big one!)...and everyday we feel more like a family. The entire process overall was wonderful, but from pregnancy and labor to the first week and a half it wasn't always fun. I know I could totally do it all again, though, for another little man (or woman) as perfect as he is :)

Lincoln Dean

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year, New Baby...How about a blog?

Since Cameron & I found out we were having Lincoln, my goal has been to start this blog. Our family and friends are so spread out now, what better way for us to keep everyone updated (and possibly entertained)...
So, after opening my blog account 8 months ago, I am finally getting this thing started!

I look forward to sharing our new life and all of our wonderful (and not so wonderful) adventures with you!