The long silence on the blog can only mean one thing and I apologize for the delay but we've been uh...busy.
Ken and I are pleased to announce the early arrival of our daughter Sidney Katsuko Moore back on 09-09-09 @ 8:17am. She weighed in at 6lbs. 8oz. at 18 inches long.
She was originally due on 9/26 and was actually scheduled to arrive via c-section on 9/21. However, upon arrival at the hospital on Tuesday 9/8 in the early morning after my water broke, we were told that the complication that prompted our scheduled c-section was no longer present. So natural childbirth was back on the table. It's funny because Ken and I had been told since week 24 that we were having a c-section so we skipped all the chapters and classes on labor/childbirth. But thankfully we have the best doula in the world, Anna, who guided us through the experience and really empowered us to have the best birth possible. (I will write specifically about the birth experience in a separate blog later.)
Since being home...
My mom was here from 9/10-9/15 and we couldn't have survived those first days without all of her dutiful assistance and just ensuring that the household had food, clean dishes, clean laundry and moral support.
My dad and brother came up on on the weekend 9/11-13 for a previously scheduled WSU exhibition game.
Then my cousin Angela (who we neglected to get any pictures of while she was here) came up for this last weekend 9/18-20. Her help was instrumental in giving us some opportunity to get rest and to spend more quality time with our daughter instead of tending to household chores.
We are hanging in there but the sleep deprivation is ridiculously taxing. Sid likes to be alert and awake from 1-4am. We call it the "witching hour". Thankfully we reviewed the Happiest Baby on the Block DVD the other day so we have tricks to calm her down but she won't necessarily sleep during that time. But the doctor says it will get better when her circadian rhythm gets righted. That will take awhile.
She had jaundice initially and was diagnosed with a high enough level that we had to get a special bed with lights in it to help dissipate the toxins. In addition we had to give her formula since my milk hadn't come in yet. She had to be on this light table 24/7 except when changed and fed. It was so sad because we really couldn't interact with her and she was so lethargic due to the jaundice. It was quite trying. Everyday a nurse would come here, weigh her, examine her and take a blood sample to see if the levels were improving. Finally four days later the level dropped enough to take her off the box. It was so weird being able to have her in the living room and hang out with us. But we were very glad for it.
Breastfeeding has been difficult for a number of reasons: Sidney being 3 weeks early (not having the jaw strength initially), the jaundice, my nipples being flat and her jaw is slightly recessed. Milk finally did come in and I got engorged--hurt so bad. We made an emergency call to a lactation consultant and now I have a hospital grade Medela pump---within 24 hours it has made a world of difference--boobs are nice and happy again. Because it was so critical to get her ample nutrition and irradiate the jaundice, we had to supplement her big time with formula.
Gaining a decent milk supply is a multi-faceted puzzle with lots of interdependency. It can get really complicated and frustrating really fast. The milk supply is best stimulated by the baby herself--but the baby needs to latch/suck to do this. In order to latch/suck, you need a properly shaped nipple. If you are not born with this, a nipple shield (plastic sheath that goes over nipple) will suffice but it is not as efficient or effective as the real boob. We were told to use a tube & syringe that feeds into the nipple shield to deliver the supplements of breast milk (~40ml) & formula (~20ml) while simulating the act of nursing for Sidney. This way she would get used to the experience when she could do it for real. This equals about 2 oz of liquid a feeding x 8 feedings daily.
At first, the syringe business was excruciatingly awful but we rose to the occasion and Sidney responded well. Maybe a little too well. When we went in to the doctor Tuesday to get her 2 week exam, she had gained 8 ounces in 4 days for a weight of 6 pounds 12 ounces which is 4 ounces over her birth weight. It was suggested we get moving off of the syringe feedings and solely onto nursing with/without the nipple shield. We are actively trying to make this transition which also throws our formerly very strict feeding schedule of every 3 hours into a freestyle watch-and-wait feeding cycle which makes Mama & Daddy very tired. It sure is complicated but the good news is, Sidney is latching & nursing pretty well. When she hits her expected due date of 9/26, we are hoping see an increase in her energy level and feeding prowess.
But things change on a moment to moment basis. We learn things and observe patterns. Life is cut up into 3 hour segments. It's unlike anything I've ever experienced and I can't believe I'm some body's mom...