Monday, October 29, 2012

Preparing for Hurricane Sandy

So what do you do to prepare for a "Frankenstorm". Other than getting out of dodge which wasn't really an option we have been getting all of our yard stuff stowed away in the shed and most things in the basement off the floor. It's also consisted of getting our fridge and freezer cleaned out. I feel we are mostly in for power outages but who knows.

So today after our trip into the pediatrician for a weight check and in between pumping sessions, I have been cooking. I found a pretty simple vegitable soup recipe online to dump all our freezer veggies into. It's mainly onion, potato, garlic, freezer veggies, v8 and chicken stock with seasonings. Turned out pretty yummy!

I've also made two kinds of muffins. Wild berry muffins and chocolate banana nut muffins. They were suppose to be double chocolate chip banana muffins, but my mom used all my chocolate chips last week. (I'm not complaining, the cookies were good). The wild berry muffins were pretty good. Not overly sweet but I had to use apple sauce as the base instead of strawberry puree. The chocolate ones are completely edible, but would taste a LOT better if it had chocolate chips in it.

Now it's time to go wake up the kitten and make her eat. Her weight was up 6 oz since Friday but we haven't gotten her to poo much. I guess that's important too. We also found out her billi was high on Friday but no one let our doctor know. When the doc saw her today though she was very happy with her color. The orange has receded up to her shoulders and seems to be clearing on it's own.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The lactation consultant

Good evening! I will post Lucy's birth story a little later but I wanted to get down in writing our little visit today from the LC.

In light of an impending frankenstorm coming up the east coast, our LC made a house call on a Sunday. She is pretty great. She confirmed a lot of what I already suspected and came up with a plan for us.

Lucy is a sleepy baby. She's been tested for jaundice multiple times. She is also still loosing weight. We have lost a full pound. So we were refered to our LC by our pediatrician for dehydration. She is always falling asleep on me when we are trying to feed her. She looks healthy. She's responsive and has a strong suck. She is not overly eager for the formula we have had to supplement her with. I've been pumping but we need to get her weight to come up. She also gets tense during feedings and will often clamp down. VERY painful!

After watching Lucy in action and poking around into Lucy's mouth she determined Lucy likely has a tongue tie. Not the kind that Logan had. Logan's frenulum was tied all the way to the tip of his tongue. It was obvious and needed immediate attention. We had a hard time finding a doctor to clip it. I guess it has recently been described medically as cosmetic. But it's not. It negativly affects breast feeding because the baby can't get the nipple all the way into the mouth. This causes rubbing (read BLEEDING) nips. It also makes the baby easily tired. It also often causes speech impediments later and simply makes doing anything with your tongue more difficult.

Now, I've watched the procedure twice before (Logan's was clipped in a two part process). It's so simple! They just give the baby a little sugar water on a syringe. Stick in two little sticks to keep the tongue out of the way and a quick snip. No bleeding, no crying, no anesthesia. I don't understand why someone wouldn't get it fixed as a baby. To get it fixed later, it's a bit more involved and a bit more painful.

There are 2 types of tongue ties, posterior and anterior. Logan's was anterior - where the frenulum is connected too far down the tongue:
This is not Logan, just  pic I found on google.
Lucy's seems to be anterior - The frenulum is in the right spot but it's tied too tightly. This is much harder for a pediatrician to detect visually. The LC only discovered its likely existance due to feeling her suck reflex. She doesn't roll her tongue, rather she just moves it like a piston. She is sending us to the expert that just fixed her own tongue tie for a confirmation. I didn't find a good picture of this kind but I did find blog upon blog describing all of Lucy and my symptoms and attribute it to the tongue tie.

So, my little ladies inability to properly latch could also cause my supply issues. And this is why I will be power pumping around the clock for the next 3 days or until whenever the storm knocks out our power. Power pumping required pumping for 5 minutes every hour. This is suppose to raise the prolactin levels in your body to get you to produce more milk. Other variations of power pumping include pumping, waiting 10 minutes and then going through the let down process again on the pump.  We will also be doing the other supplements as well: oatmeal and more milk plus tea.

I said I wasn't going to go nuts with BFing this time... but I guess I need to give it a try at least. And I am glad it helped us find Lucy's tongue tie. It's a lot more common than people think and often goes undiagnosed.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

What tomorrow might bring...

I've been contracting all day and am just conflicted. Today I posted this poll on babycenter:

Hey moms, I'm in a pickle and would love some advice. I added a poll because I want to know what you would actually do in this circumstance not what you philosophically would want to do. I know philosophically what I should do but I am just so tired and irritated.
I've been in prodromal labor for 8 weeks. I was put on bed rest at 30 weeks, had to begin my time off work then. I had a couple close calls and trips to L&D early for contractions. I made it to 36 weeks, went off  bed rest and all meds. I had another contraction episode that sent me to L&D at 3cm. This week I had one more and I'm now 5 cm. They didn't want to send me home but I just didn't feel like I was in labor and they couldn't do anything yet to get me going and they wouldn't let me eat (which was beyond annoying). All the doctors are convinced I am going to go fast when I do go but here I am 3 days later still not in active labor.
I spent all of last night with contractions. All day today, especially while walking. They were 1 1/2 minutes long, 2-3 minutes apart but not painful and they went away when I laid down. I'm pretty sure if I go in now, the docs will want to help me speed some things up so I don't deliver in the car.
For some history, with my last my water broke at 5 cm, I got stuck at 5 cm and had to do pitocin then re-brake my water to get me to dilate all the way and I did it without an epidural. It was a horrible birth experience. I was in the hospital trying to deliver for 30 hours and I had nightmares for months. I really want a good experience this time as I am not doing pregnancy again. I follow the bradly books and I know I should just be patient and let my body prepare itself but I want an epidural this time anyway ( I am just terrified, I cannot do natural again!) What would you do?

Be patient, relax - 18
Strip membranes and natural inducing methods - 23
Let the doc help you out! - 38
IDK - 5
So, I called the doc tonight. He said to get some rest tonight if I can. Of course if the contractions pick up over night to just come in. If I still have consistent contractions while out and about tomorrow, to come in and he would help get me going. He said he's not too happy about me walking around at 5 cm and because I am on the eve of 38 weeks he's very comfortable breaking my water so long as I am still consistently contracting.

I cannot believe my water hasn't broken already though! Seriously, 3 days at 5 cm?? And let me tell you, I have not been taking it easy. Except at night. I have been trying to get all the sleep I can at night. I know it's controversial to get interventions before term but please keep in mind that I have been having these contraction episodes for 8 weeks! I've been told once I can get past 5 I'm going to go fast, and I do not want to deliver in the car. I hate making a choice like this, but I'm about to loose my mind. Please pray for the best.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Post Hospital Stay

Yesterday I felt pretty yucky so we headed in to the hospital. After an hour of walking in the hospital I went from 4-5 cm so they kept me. They were convinced I was on the eminent verge of labor. I knew better. My contractions just were not strong enough. Today I've been sent home at 5 cm and 90% effaced. Contractions seriously slowed overnight and I hadn't progressed but I have a feeling about tonight...

We'll be waiting for after rush hour before trying to get things going and then maybe heading back in. I really don't want to be delivering this little one in the car.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tired, crampy, ug

Oh I feel yucky today.  It started last night with spotting and nausea. When I laid down last night I was dizzy but so tired. Every time I rolled over last night I would wake up and contract. Today I just feel hung over. Very tired and out of it with some nausea and a pulling sensation in my belly. I'm now also having sharp cramping with no pattern. I'm also fighting weepiness...

I called the doc and they are having me come in to get checked out again. Maybe it's today. I keep trying to walk around but get too crampy and too tired.

Also a little TMI but I had "bloody show" last night. I'm not going to describe it. You can look it up. I did not know that it was different than "mucus plug". I lost that 2 weeks ago. But, they are definitely different. Never saw either one last time.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

37 weeks

37 week appointment: Saw Dr. R again. I like him. He is the only one I think that genuinly remembers me when I come in. He is also pretty good at pelvic exams and runs on time. That's a big win in my book! He was surprised to see I was still pregnant. He checked me at 4 cm and said baby's head was fully engaged which was a change from last week. I had thought I had dropped Saturday night. He said this weekend if we had any of those contraction episodes to come in and he would be on call and we would be able to have this baby.

I am torn between what I know I should want: a completely natural, unadulterated, un-intervened labor and what I actually want: the baby out sooner than later. I don't really want to be pushing out a 10 pound baby. I also sort of feel I'll need pitocin either way because I don't think my body will ever kick in to high gear labor. I would LOVE my prediction to be proven completely wrong so we shall see. Half of me feels I should be insulted that Dr. R seems rearing to get this baby going and the other half is so relieved!

Trying to get my dad home for the Michigan vs. Michigan State game Saturday. I don't think it's going to happen. Sorry dad.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Prodromal Labor?

Relaxing today with DH and my dad. We've been to soccer practice and played some cards. We've also been cheering the Tigers on two days in a row now!

I read a post on babycenter while vegging and found a link to a blog about Prodromal Labor. It was written very well and really describes what I've been experiencing. I feel a little better knowing that all these contractions can count for something and may just be how my body progresses instead of chalking it all up to "false labor". I hate that term. It makes me angry. I don't think I am self diagnosing but I'll ask my doc about it this week. I don't think it matters one way or another what it is called but after reading the article I think I can be a little more patient.

Bella Dolce Births: Prodromal Labor

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pumpkin Bread

Last weekend we went to a U-pick farm here in Maryland and got some great pumpkins. Logan became very posessive of his one but we baked it today while he was at school:)
I'm planning on making some bread and muffins out of this one. I found the recipe here but I have tweaked the recipe according to posters to this blog and included my own modified recipe below. Instead of canned pumpkin puree I used the pumpkin in the picture. We cut it in half, cleaned it out and laid it face down in a baking pan with about an inch of water. We then baked it at 350 for 45 minutes.

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ginger (an added ingredient)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (Original called for 3 cups white sugar, no brown)
  • 1 cup butter, really soft
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 16 oz can of pure pumpkin or measure 16 oz of pureed pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F and spray two medium loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray or muffin pans. (I use liners)
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, spices, salt, baking soda, and baking powder and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the wire whisk attached, dump in the sugar. Take the butter and put it in the microwave for about 30 seconds, so that it is half melted. Dump it into the sugar. Add the eggs. Cream these three ingredients together on medium speed for about 2 minutes or until fluffy. Add the pumpkin and combine well.
  4. In three batches, add the dry ingredients and mix gently until each batch is just incorporated. Scrape the sides between each batch.
  5. Pour half of the batter into a one of the prepared pans. Fold the pecans into the remaining batter and then pour it into the other prepared pan. Bake side-by-side for about one hour or until an inserted knife comes out clean the top is golden. (I didn't have any pecans)
So step 5 for me went something like this: Fill the loaf pan. Put liners in muffin tin. Move muffin tin to a different counter. Pick muffin liners up off the floor and put them back in the muffin tin. Fill a muffin liner. Sit. Fill 2 more muffin liners. Sit. Fill 3 more muffin liners, make a mess and get frustrated. Sit. Ask Dad for help filling the rest of the muffin liners. The liners were flattish from a 2 year olds prying fingers and the batter was pretty sticky so I was having a hard time. I was alternately having a hard time breathing from this baby still being so high up into my lungs. Super annoying! We got the job done though.

In step 3 I realized I had no nutmeg, so we have no nutmeg in our bread. I also accidently switched to a different measuring spoon for some of the ingredients and I think I fixed my mistake.

The end result was fantastic. Very smooth, moist muffin with a slight crunch to the top. I think pecans and brown sugar on top would make for a really fun addition. It only took 42 minutes for my muffins to be done. I let the bread loaf go longer.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

36 week update

I am still pregnant despite all pregnancy forcasts. I have been contracting for a solid week off and on. Most nights I experience very painful ones that last almost an hour 2-3 minutes apart but then they fade away. At the doctors today I am still a loose 3. Doctor said I will know when I am in labor because the pains will increase in intensity - I am skeptical, my water will break, or I will experience bleeding. He doesn't think I will cook much longer but said it's hard to say. He's seen women in my situation go full term. He doesn't think they will make me go to my due date though because the baby would be huge at that point.

I am off all medicine and all restrictions. All lights are green and we're just waiting for baby. Emotionally I am drained. The anxiety of going to bed every night for the last 7 weeks wondering if tonight will be the night is taking a toll. My abs are killing me. My dad is being very helpful in reorganizing my house and cleaning.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Car seat cover: phase 2

Oh my! This is the hardest project I have ever tried to put together. I am sure it's because I don't like following directions and constantly improvise. Regardless, I am not giving my directions because I don't even know in hindsight how I pulled it together other than I did a LOT of tweaking. There is a reason these are expensive to buy. So worth it. Just go buy one.

 There is elastic for the edging across the bottom, 2 loops on the side, and 2 loops in the back. I just copied what the original car seat cover has on it. The original is actually under this one because it has the padding needed.

No worries, baby girl won't have the canopy on her seat in the car. I know that's a potential safety concern. AND with the black newborn insert (original to the car seat) you can't see any of my horrible buttonholes!
The car seat canopy wasn't too bad. I started contracting something fierce in the middle of it though and had to enlist my husband for his cutting, folding and ironing skills. He made the straps and bow pieces. I did the sewing in between really strong contractions. I seriously thought this might be it but I knew to wait and see and sure enough, the contractions backed off after about an hour. I followed the directions from this blog page.

I am beyond thrilled with how the bows turned out! I am keeping this template for next time I want to make big girl bows.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Car seat cover: phase one

When my son was just 5 months old we moved north to Maryland. I found myself as a stay at home mom and I hated it. I was lonely. I had no local friends and no real hobbies that I could do with an infant. I decided to pick up sewing to have something to accomplish each day. I remember my first week with the sewing machine. I wanted to consistantly throw it out of the window. I couldn't even get the thing threaded.

Hours and hours of youtube instruction later combined with a new needle (mine was bent) and some old swaddle blankets I started experimenting. I can tell you I did a LOT of seem ripping. Turns out I like sewing when it doesn't involve some type of pattern to have to follow and I don't need anything fancy like zippers or elastic. Well, today I tried something a little over my head: a new car seat cover.

You see, I found this really cute car seat on the internet with some directions on how to make it. I've been sewing squares for almost 2 years now so I decided to give it a go. Wow, so hard! I think there are many different ways I could have tried this project but here is what I did:

1. I chose my material and began pinning the fabric down to the original car seat cover starting with the middle panel. This was my first mistake I think. I think I should have done the sides first so that pinning the middle panel would have also pinned that pannel directly to the side fabric. When pinning I folded the edge of the fabric over  before pinning it down.
 Note my cute for a boy but not as cute for a girl car seat.

 These are the first pins I put in along the seem with the edges folded over

 One side pinned, ready for the other side. I cut the fabric on the other side before pinning it.

Finally adding the sides. This was really hard to do without deconstructing the whole thing. You can see how maybe doing the sides first, laying the edge of the fabric over the seem that would get the middle panel pinned to would be a little easier, maybe.

Thin I traced my holes through the back with a crayon and repinned everything as I peeled off my soon-to-be cover. Sewing the pieces together was a nightmare! Too many seems coming together in some places and not knowing what to sew first. Also the flannel ironed nicely to show me where to stitch, but the minky did not so I kind of had to guess where to stitch. Even with the pins it didn't help me much. I'm not sure how it's turned out yet because I got stuck on the next part...

It is very reminiscent of wanting to throw the machine out of the window like my first week sewing. I tried watching youtube videos with not much help. Apparently there are three ways to make button holes depending on your machine: 4 step process on the machine, 1 step process on the machine and hand stitched. I have a 1 step machine but it will not make the holes as big as I need them. The 1 step process uses a special buttonhole foot attachement that guides the machine to exactly how big you need your hole.  Not working!

What I am now trying to do is use an alternative foot and act as the guide myself. I am meeting with very mixed, sloppy results. At this point I can get a good hole on the scrap and then move to my cover and make some really crappy ones. Here are my current attempts:

You'll have to come back and see the final product tomorrow. I don't think I have the patience to finish today!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

35 weeks and dress rehersal

Today we took a "quick trip" into the docs office for contractions. I woke up at 2 am with very regular strong contractions. With IU I know this can happen so I made sure to wait a while to see if it continued. Every time I woke up through the night I still experienced contractions but they seemed to space out further and further. That's a good clue it's not the real thing yet. Despite this I decided to call into the docs in the morning to just check in. It's been a while since I had strong regular contractions. They had me come in for a check up and of course the contractions got fewer and fewer. They were still strong enough they were hard to talk through though.

I got to speak with Dr. B, whom you recall I love. I am 3 cm dilated, 70% effaced. Baby is 5 lbs 12 oz on the ultrasound. We didn't get any good pictures of it this time. I am to stay on the medicine until next week. He says it won't stop the contractions if I am really going into labor. It could still be tomorrow or in 2 weeks. Dilation doesn't mean a whole lot except we know the contractions are doing their job.

On another note I made another needed project for the baby room. It looked so easy to make a changing pad cover that I decided to do that instead of buy one. I have to say that it was pretty easy. In fact, the hardest part was measuring the fabric. It was one of those nice projects where you could make a million mistakes and it would still look good. I used the DIY Changing Pad Cover tutorial.

Monday, October 1, 2012

35 weeks!

Quick update: Big milestone today. I am off most of my restrictions today. I am still on the meds until next Monday but I very much want to quit them to get the ball rolling. I am being good though. My dad is here and ready to help with whatever we need help with. Mainly though he is here to watch Logan when it's go time. Yay!

Here's a little project I finished up over the weekend:)