He’s here!

Baby arrived 3 weeks ago, 2 days past his due date. After 2 weeks of prodromal labor (a first for me! WTF?!), the real deal finally started early Friday morning. Lost my mucus plug and right away contractions kicked in that were consistently 4 mins apart. Assuming this labor would be as fast as my last (the OB actually said to head in when they were 7min apart fearing baby would come fast, too), we decided it was prudent to head to the hospital around 4:30am. By the time I was checked in triage I was dilated to 4cm, having only been 2cm a few days before. Woohoo! Exciting! Last time I went from 4 to baby in my arms in 1hr45mins. I was moved into the delivery room and contractions weren’t getting any closer. I was checked around 2:30pm and had only progressed to 5cm dilated, 80% effaced and baby’s head was still very high. Contractions still weren’t getting closer than 4 mins apart. By 7pm, I was dilated to 6 and 90% effaced but baby was still very high. We decided it was best to rupture the baby’s water to get things going. Since I was utterly exhausted from laboring every 4 mins for 18 hours by this point and I knew things would get very painful and even more exhausting once my water broke, I opted for a walking epidural. By 8:30pm the epidural was placed and I was able to rest through contractions while my body did its thing. By 9pm I was dilated to 7 and fully effaced. Once the membrane was ruptured, the baby finally dropped and active labor could begin. There was also some meconium in his water so I knew then he’d have to be checked out right after delivery. By 11:30pm I felt the urge to push and sure enough, he was starting to crown. He was slow coming out but after 22 hours of labor and several pushes, he was born with lots of beautiful dark hair at 12:20am crying his heart out tipping the scales at 9lb2oz and 22.25″ tall. We did skin to skin for a bit while daddy cut the cord (had to get that meconium checked out!), which splattered all over the doctor and across the room (gross!)! While he was getting checked out, I got stitches for a 2nd degree tear. 

Recovery has been much easier than my previous 2 deliveries. Perhaps because he took so long to come out so my body had plenty of time to do its thing? Not sure but I’ll take it, especially with a 2 year old and two 4 year olds to chase around. 

Nursing was off to a slow start again. I figured after nursing my last one for over 2 years that everything would go so smoothly this time but nope. Baby had jaundice and we had to stay and extra night in the hospital so he could get phototherapy. He lost 12% of his birthweight by the time we left the hospital because my milk took so long to come in so we had to start supplementing an ounce after every feeding. I met with a LC and after herbs and pumping, I’m happy to say we were able to ditch the supplement before he was 2 weeks old and he had also regained his birthweight by 2 weeks! Now I’m back to EBFing and I’m able to freeze 5oz a day. Woohoo!
Baby is so sweet and he’s such a gift.  His brothers are smitten and are very good helpers. So far everyone’s adjusting well. Although the pediatrician told me to expect bumps at 6 weeks and 6 months so we’ll see. 

Now our family is complete! Welcome to the world baby boy!

Golden Milk Makers

I didn’t want to say Golden B.0.0.bies because it attracts weird internet searches. Haha.

So I did it! I cannot believe I’m still nursing my 13 month old! Those first 3 weeks of breastfeeding were SO hard but I’m so happy I persevered. I was even able to pump and freeze over 700 ounces! I just had to say this somewhere. It shouldn’t be but it’s sort of weird to say this kind of thing in a more public forum.

And a great side effect besides giving my baby nourishment all this time? I haven’t seen good old AF in 22 months!

Now, if I could only get him to sleep through the night. No wonder my brain can’t think straight. Little snuggler wakes up around midnight for a snack and again around 5. He still nurses a few times for a few minutes throughout the day.

And he’s a terrible eater! The child won’t eat anything on a spoon — has to do it all himself. He refuses pouches. He pretty much refuses everything except for carbs and sweets (fruit and dried fruit). I attribute his bad eating habits to either the fact that I did NOT have gestational diabetes with him so I ate a fair amount of sweets while pregnant or because he’s been breastfed this whole time. The twins were nursed until about 8.5 months, but started formula supplementation around 2 months. They were chubby excited eaters! This guy is nothing like his brothers, but then again he is a different baby and I’m sure he’ll grow into better eating habits. He is 90th percentile for height and around 50% for weight so I guess he’s just tall and skinny. 🙂

Next up: getting me skinny. I’m still 10 pounds off of where I need to be. Breastfeeding makes me hold onto the weight. I’m ready to lose it but not quite ready to end our nursing so it shall be as it is for now.

Escape Artist

Ten days into life with the new baby, one of my big babies decided cribs were for losers. He waltzed into our room at 5am, woke us up and our day began.

A twin mom friend gave me advice: footed sleep sacks. We stopped using these a long time ago. I wasn’t even aware they existed for bigger kids. I ordered 2 on amazon but due to the July 4th holiday, they wouldn’t arrive until Saturday. Ah!

We took our chances the next night. Same thing happened, only worse. He woke up at 2:15 and woke his twin, as well. I took the baby to the couch and my husband and boys shared our bed. My escape artist came out and woke me up at 5:15. Ugh.

Finally, I reached out to a neighbor (and another twin mom!) to see if she used sleep sacks for her kids. Turned out she did and let me borrow two (one for the escape artist and one so everyone is the same at bedtime).

Omg! Lifesaver! Ours arrive later today. Whew! Mama is NOT ready for toddler beds just yet. They’ll be two a week from Monday so I know it’s not far off, but I just need some time.

Breastfeeding, Take 2

I struggled with low supply with the twins. I tried everything: herbs, tinctures, teas, oatmeal, lactation cookies, power pumping, pumping after every feeding, hospital grade pump, etc. After 2 months, I had to supplement. It all worked out fine, of course, but man, those were some challenging days. I was able to continue nursing (and pumping at work) until 8.5 months, when the boys self weaned. Still a success — at least my version of a success — albeit a challenging one.

I hoped this time would be different. I’d be able to do immediate and extended skin to skin, I’d make sure the baby never (except for the rare doctor-requested trip to the nursery) left my side. I’d nurse on demand. As a precaution, I’d have my placenta encapsulated.

Turns out I have a nibbler. Baby E loves to snack, but mostly he loves to sleep. So much so, that by day 3 his diaper output was low and he’d lost 10% of his birthweight. As a result, he wasn’t stimulating my supply. On day 4, I met with a lactation consultant and here’s what I started to do:
– wake him to nurse every 3 hours, rather than on demand (he’d sleep longer if I let him)
– supplement after each nursing session
– start herbs (fenugreek and blessed thistle)
– pump with hospital grade pump for 15 mins after every nursing session

Things got better right away. He gained weight quickly and my supply started to increase. At first we had to supplement with formula and added in breast milk once I was able to pump some, but now I’m only giving expressed milk.

He’s already a better nurser as he’s getting stronger. The last nursing session, he only took half an ounce via bottle so I think we’re making progress.

Happy 2 weeks, baby E! Now, let’s nail this nursing thing so mama can ditch the pump. 🙂

Summer Solstice

We welcomed our new son into this world a week ago on Friday night, his due date, and the Summer Solstice. He is beautiful, 21.5 inches tall and 8lb10oz. I’m so in love.

At my 39.5w check up I was 2cm (almost 3cm) and 50% effaced, the doctors started talking induction, as I knew they would. Baby was measuring large and due to my age, they won’t let me go past 41w because of a higher risk of stillbirth. I really wanted to avoid a medical induction so on Wednesday, I bought some castor oil (to try later, if needed) and got some acupuncture.

When I woke up on Thursday, I thought my water was leaking. I had a few small gushes of pink-tinged watery stuff and my Braxton Hicks were getting stronger (but not yet time-able). I called the OB and they said to come get checked. One test was negative and one was positive for a leak, so I was sent for a BPP. Fluid levels came back fine. Doc said we could go to the hospital to be induced or go home and wait it out. His explanation for the watery discharge was it was probably just my mucus plug. I chose to wait it out. I did not want a medical induction.

Needless to say, I was hesitant to cry wolf again so when I woke up Friday with another gush of watery discharge, I passed it off as mucus plus (I also had passed some mucus-y stuff during the night). We took the boys out for a morning walk to pick up breakfast and it was on that walk that my contractions started. Again, I thought “no big deal” and was going to see how the day went before calling the doctor. They weren’t too bad but I did have to slow down when one came. When we got home, I focused on getting the boys ready for their day and finishing up breakfast. I took a shower and started timing contractions after that. They were lasting 30-45 seconds and were coming every 4-7 minutes. I shrugged them off knowing they could slow at anytime and because they weren’t 5-1-1 or 4-1-1.

I didn’t sit down once all morning. I did laundry. I prepared food for the boys. I cleaned. I did some work. Our nanny brought the boys back after their morning outing and put them down for their nap. She was great — keeping my mind off contractions by talking to me all afternoon. They started getting stronger, longer and closer together so I called my MIL (an OB nurse) and she encouraged us to head to the hospital. Right when we hung up, I had a very strong contraction with a lot of pressure. Things suddenly got kind of panicky. It was 4:30pm on a Friday in NYC. We live way downtown and the hospital is way uptown. It was going to be a while before we arrived. DH arranged the car service, then popped a bottle of bubbly and we toasted each other and our new little one — thankfully, because I think that helped slow things a bit on our way to the hospital.

We arrived at the hospital at 5:15pm. I was put in triage for quick monitoring (I was 4cm) and immediately admitted. I explained I did not want an epidural and that I wanted to be free to move around. Throughout the day, I quickly learned that it did not feel good to contract while laying around. Probably around 5:45, they put me in the labor/delivery room, hooked me up to the monitors, but let me walk around and move as I needed to. At 6:30 my water broke (huge gush) and contractions got WAY more intense. I felt like I had to poop. I went into the bathroom, terrified I was going to poop out my baby, but actually just pooped.

At this point all I wanted to know was how far along I was. I asked where my OB was and found out he was in another delivery. I was so uncomfortable that I needed to know how dilated I was because if I hadn’t progressed much, I would have seriously considered an epi. Thankfully I had breaks between contractions so although the pain was tough to get through, I could breathe and reflect after to remind myself that once you get through it, you have a break and the harder it got, the closer you are to your prize. Don’t let me kid you, I was swearing (f*ck!) during contractions and excusing myself for my vulgar language as soon as they ended. In between, I’m alternating between DH feeding me ice or giving me back my half chewed piece of peppermint gum that I kept taking out of my mouth to chomp on for a few.

Suddenly I felt like I had to push. I sat down, not giving a f*ck where my OB was to bear down through the next contraction. The OB comes in, checks me, and proclaims that I was ready to push with the next contraction. What?! the end was near! Feeling the doctor stretch and pull as I was pushing was an interesting sensation. I sucked at the first push because it felt like I was pooping and peeing (I was!), which took me a minute to get over.

Three more pushes and baby boy was born at 7:13pm. Two hours after arriving at the hospital!

I am on cloud 9! I have this perfect, very handsome miracle baby AND I got to have my unmedicated childbirth experience. I’m so proud.

The OB said he had no idea I’d go that quickly since I seemed to be handling the contractions just fine when he last checked me. I still can’t believe it.

Recovery has been much more easy this time around. I wasn’t nearly as swollen. My legs weren’t numb for 24+ hours. I feel good. I’ve needed no pain relief. And I pooped on day 2 with no problem!

I had a small tear “on the inside” (still not sure what that means but I’m feeling back to almost normal. I still look months pregnant but hey, it’s only been 9 days.

Breastfeeding is getting off to a slow start but I’ll save that for another post.

P.S. I had no idea what labor was like because with the twins, my water broke and off to the hospital I went where I promptly got an epidural (and so glad I did since baby B was delivered breech). I was contracting when I got to the hospital but couldn’t feel it. I wanted to feel it this time and maybe because it was my second pregnancy, but I felt like labor and delivery was pretty easy. And I’m probably still high on super mom powers and new baby smell. 🙂

Welcome!

After nearly 3 years of TTC and the help of ART, we got pregnant on our 5th IVF/FET transfer after IVF #2. Our beautiful fraternal twin boys were born on 7/15/11 at 37w0d.

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