3 Month Update!

My little boy is THREE months old today! Holy Wow!

I can’t believe some days the time that’s passed and all that we’ve been through.
Owen is getting so much fun these days. Lots of smiles, lots of babbles…he’s super cute. I couldn’t have asked for a better baby! He’s waking on average once a night – some times twice. But how can I complain? I’m actually not exhausted all day.

A lot has happened in his development in a month. He’s able to rest on his forearms, roll over, talks lots, follows us with is eyes, smiles lots & lots. He’s now grabbing his toys and sucking on his fists, fiercely!

I didn’t update on my breast feeding adventures. But they’re some what improving and some what not. Today’s not a good day so I won’t update based on today’s events but I started to push him hard at the breast as of two days ago and we started to turn a corner. Still a very, very slow process and two weeks later I really felt we’d be some place better. Today has been BAD and I broke down in tears a few times and have been ready to give up. I just hate that he’s upset each and every feed. Infact soon as he knows its feeding time he goes right into yelling. :( I know he can breast feed. Infact he’s shown me he can. I just can’t figure out why it’s so up and down after two weeks. Anyhow I’ll see in a weeks time where we are at. If we are no where closer I may have to reevaluate whether I keep pushing him on breast or continue to pump or wean onto formula. Time will tell.

Here is my munchkin!

   

     

Speech Therapist for Breast Feeding Difficulties

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OK so the time finally came and went, the speech therapist came by Friday night to do suck training on my little guy. What can I say than I LOVED her! She was super sweet with Owen & extremely patient. She was meant to work with babies. 

She assessed his suck at first by allowing Owen to suck her finger. She then tested to see what his range of tongue motion was & what was going on inside his mouth.  She concluded that he ate with no suction, did not bring her finger where it had to be (soft pallet) and happily that he didn’t suffer from a tongue tie!

First, his suck. Using her finger she felt he didn’t bring her finger back to where it needed to be which his soft pallet. This would explain the nipple pain I endured from day 1 of his life. She triggered his natural reflex in his mouth to bring her finger back to where it needed to be. She said she can’t understand why it works, but it just does. All babies have this trigger spot and it fixes their natural reflexes. 

The next thing she did was put his bottle of milk in his mouth to see how he ate. While his tongue was in the right place, milking the nipple (another clue he’s not tongue tied) he was using his tongue to hold the bottle in his mouth. He has nearly no suction. This totally explains why he couldn’t get my nipple into his mouth and keep it there long enough to do anything with it and why after weeks of using the shield, it started causing me so much pain. His lack of sucking basically led to a way of eating that caused a lot of friction in the shield. She actually said that the shield shouldn’t be used for fixing nipple damage as it actually just keeps things as status quo for the life of the shield’s use. So…she worked her  “magic” by activating the right muscles in his jaw by poking certain spots on his cheeks and he started to suck properly! Next was putting him on the breast. This was a tough process where he fussed and cried a lot. We used the side laying position. She used the shield three times and then that was it. She said I didn’t need to use the shield anymore. He was breast feeding! He finally had suction which I now realize was a part of why why I tried putting him on myself he kept letting go. There was no suction to keep him on. He did cry quite a bit and hard. This was some thing the lactation consultants always told me not to allow happen or else he’d have negative association to the breast. Glynnis said that wasn’t accurate. And she was right. He was lacking confidence in breast feeding and she said all he was doing was protesting and he showed fear of his abilities to breast fed. He calmed down really fast so she said he wasn’t really all that upset to go from 100 to 0 that fast. By the end of the hour, he had breast fed! He’s not efficient and bobbed on and off but, he was doing it. 

The plan now is to feed twice a day at the breast and slowly increasing how often he’s on the breast. At first it’s very likely I will need to top him up until he can efficiently feed. I got him on the breast three times yesterday. The first two times he didn’t protest but the third time, he wasn’t having much of it. His latch isn’t great. I don’t feel like he’s bringing the nipple all the way back most of the time so, my right nipple is very sore. This morning I fed him and it was a struggle. I’ll try again later this evening. She did say some days and some feeds won’t work out as hoped & that’s ok. I can just bottle feed. I have decided however if his latch doesn’t improve by end of tomorrow, I will be asking for Glynnis to come back. I’m too affraid to have nipple damage again. And I’m starting to feel less confident today. 

All in all, huge improvements. This hasn’t happened since he was born. And luckily we caught it while he still has his natural newborn instinct. She said after three months their eating becomes purposeful and not instinctual and it’s harder to train. 

I really wish I knew Glynnis ages ago like before I got into pumping. I just have to hope this will work in the end. It would be priceless to me. 

Owen turned 11 weeks as of Saturday! He’s lots of joy. He holds his head up really well, he’s very alert to things going on around him, he’s starting to laugh and he babbles tonnes! Love this cutie!!





 

Owen’s Time To Shine! And feed update. 

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Owen is now 9 1/2 weeks old which is crazy! I can’t believe how much time has passed! He’s currently around 12lbs and 22.5″ long!

He’s been sleeping longer stretches of time over the past week (yay!) and being so playful. He coos and yells while he gets his diaper changed. I don’t know what it is about getting changed but he absolutely loves it. Soon as the diaper goes back on he’s protesting! 

Today we made big progress. He entertained himself on his play mat for all of 30 minutes! This felt so good. I could be productive while he is awake. I hope this lasts. 

Feeding hasn’t gotten better yet. I should say, breast feeding. As a last ditched effort I hired a Doula on advice from a friend who had problems too and great success. She came over on Monday and assessed his suck and he’s not pulling back to his soft pallet. So we have an appointment with a lactation consultant who is also a Speech Pathologist on Wednesday of next week. She will assess him and us and do suck training on him. I’ve spoken to two people now who have worked with her and they both had immediate results. One of those women had a very similar situation to me and very quickly got to exclusive breast feeding. I am still pumping with some formula suppliments. After this final attempt I will either be breast feeding or I will decide if I wean him entirely off breast milk or I reduce my pumps from 6 to 4 and suppliment with formula. I’ll have to take it day to day and live with what I can manage and handle. 

Aaaaaand I finally got to have some photo fun with my son. Here are a few fun shots of my boy! ❤️



Two Month Update!

It’s been a really long time since I’ve had an update. I feel negligent. Truth be told, I don’t have a lot of spare time. 

Owen is growing like a weed! He’s 11.5lbs as of today’s check up! He seems to be growing on average 1lb every two weeks. This kid eats a lot! Feeding has been interesting and partially why I have not much time. Feeding him by nipple shield became painful. He seemed to compressy nipples and thus irritating them. So, on advise of my lactation consultant, I’m now pumping and breast feeding some of the time. Mind you, he’s getting really used to the bottle and preferring that. We suppliment with formula since his appetite is huge. I have a hard time pumping often given he needs more of my attention now that he’s awake during the day. Also what comes with this is constant cleaning and sanitizing bottles. Wow does that take up time!

One of the lactation consultants suggested he may be ever so slightly tongue tied (I doubt it) and so we are waiting on a referral to see a Pediatrician. At the same time will address his night grunts to rule out any health issues. This kid grunts half the night keeping us awake and some times waking himself. Mostly its a phase for kids and they grow out of it by 12 weeks but some times a health issue. The other thing the LC brought up was that he favors his neck to the left and she thinks he may have muscle tightening which could cause latch issues. So we are seeing physiotherapist at the hospital on Thursday to be assessed. 

So issue is: bad latch. He won’t open his mouth wide anymore to get a pain free latch. He also prefers to latch with shield. I’ve had him latched a bunch of times with out it but I find we have to fix latch first or else he will damage my nipples again. 

If this doesn’t resolve I’m stuggling with pumping. I don’t think exclusive pumping is for us. It’s a lot of work and i find it stressful. Stressful about if ingot enough milk for him, loosing even more sleep and not spending as much time with Owen as I’d like. It’s also a major pain in the neck to be out of the house long. Every day I wake up wanting to quit and just formula feed. And in the same thought I feel guilty and mourn the loss of breast feeding. Wanting nothing more than to give him the best. It’s a strong internal struggle. In despise pumping but want him to get breast milk. 

Other than feeding woes, happy to say we get a bit more sleep at night. He’s up 2-3 times. Once the grunting stops, daddy and I will sleep even better. He’s figured out day and night so, he’s up lots in the day. We feed, play and nap. He loves his activity mat and toys that play music. He smiles lots at me and coos. He talks lots on the change table. He loooooves a diaper change. Gets really upset when the diaper gets back on lol. He’s able to roll from belly to back during tummy time. He loves to watch faces, especially new ones. He loves light…always catch him staring at the TV, lamp, thinks ceiling lamps are the best. 

This kid is awesome. Soooo cute. Love him to pieces! I can’t wait for him to be more interactive and start laughing. 

Here are a few shots of my boy!



Thoughts about the first six weeks

It’s been quite amazing how time has flown by! Each week that goes by with this little man I fall more in love with him. Every week he changes and it amazes me how much so.

I thought I would touch a bit on the first six weeks of being a new mom and what that really entails. Everyone tells you how little sleep you’re going to get. People joked with me and said don’t get too used to sleep and to get ready to wake up every two hours. And we all kind of laugh it off and I say well yeah, maybe not my baby but the truth of the matter is, I find that people don’t really talk about the complexities and the challenges with having a newborn. Everyone tells you how much sleep you’re going to lose but no one really tells you how difficult it is to wake up from what feels like the depths of hell and have to take care of a newborn. The first week, Owen slept on me. I slept two hours in a course of 24 hours. That’s not waking every two hours. That’s two hours of sleep! I look back on that week and I am so happy we are past it. I spent a lot of time crying and hoping he would lay down in his basinette so I could get just ONE hour of sleep. I felt uneasy on my feet and my head was swimming. Sleep is getting easier but I’m still sleep deprived each and every day. At least once an hour I think about how I can squeeze in a nap. That’s how all consuming the thought of sleep can be. At week six, his night time sleeps have been longer and more consistent. It means we go to bed between 8 & 9 pm. The one thing that keeps us awake and restless sleep is all his grunting and outcries. This baby makes SO much noise at night!

The other things no one talked about was how hard breast feeding would be. It’s only once I spoke out to friends did I learn nearly everyone saw a lactation consultant more than once, soothes cracked nipples and some, flat out have up. I’m still struggling through nipple shields. The sheild a were amazing but now it’s causing me pain again. My nipples burn and hurt so badly that I’m seriously considering weaning Owen onto formula six weeks and counting and I dread each feeding. I saw the lactation consultant again this week and there was no quick fix. I hoped there would be some thing we could work on. I’ve been on verge of quitting breast feedings for a while. But I want it to work so badly and want to give my boy what’s best so I keep at it.
Owens neck favors to one side. The LC believes his muscles are stiff causing the tilt and perhaps is what’s messing up his latch. So we are seeing the hospitals neonatal physiotherapist next Tuesday the 17th to asses his neck. She also suggested he might be slightly tongue tied however, he’s tense and so therapy may fix all of it and maybe he’s not tied.
We definitely need to look at his neck so that’s a no brainer. But as far as feeding is concerned, it could be weeks before his neck is adjusted and I can’t keep feeding him status quo.
So I’ve been pumping today and mixing with formula. I’m not sure what I’m going to do but I am starting to lean towards bottle feeds. It’s not what i wanted. I’ve wanted to BF so much. It’s led me to many tears thinking about giving up. But being in agony at every feed and dreading the feeds just isn’t fun. I want to enjoy my time with my boy. So, we will see how things go. I’m really just playing it by ear. Letting go of my hopes and dreams of feeding him breaks my heart and it’s caused me to hold on as long as humanly possible. Long as I feel comfortable enough.

Here are a few photos of my pride & joy!

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One Month!

Owen has kept me mega busy lately so I’m sorry for posting so late. My Mother In Law was also here for the past ten days for a visit and an extra set of hands so I haven’t been online as often.
Wow, a whole month. I’m amazed. I think back to that first week and how overwhelmed and exhausted I was and I don’t recognize either one of us. Lots of trial and errors, Jaundice, Breastfeeding issues. I’m still mostly exhausted but no longer overwhelmed
Wondering “what do I do with this little person???”.

We are still not sleeping much. Infact, since Owen’s Jaundice has cleared he’s been more awake and his sleep schedule went out the window. He still won’t sleep more than about 1.5-2 hours after end of feeding and some nights I sleep two hours. He makes so much sounds and cries in his sleep so I wake easily. I have to learn to ignore it all and sleep through it knowing when he really needs me, he will let me know.
He has been quite alert the past week and he has started smiling over the past few days. Feels so great to see that smiling face! He has been smiling and giggling while on the boob for a while now. I find that fascinating!

I’m still using a nipple shield to nurse and painfully trying to wean him. He just won’t have it. Very frustrating. My left breast is producing less milk too and feels bruised so I’m pumping that side and feeding on the other. I really hope this “click” on breast feeding happens soon. I’ve had moments every day where I want to quit. And then I feel guilty and have to remind myself that breast is best.

Owen has been growing at a fantastic rate. I see a big difference from week one. It’s really neat to see him grow and develop.

Here is a photo of my handsome boy today!

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Two Weeks Old!

I keep meaning to write an update but life has been pretty crazy. Owen has been keeping me very busy this past week but one thing I am thankful for is we have finally ditched the breast pump! While breast pumping was quite affective of getting fluids in him for his jaundice, it was taking up a lot of my time pumping and cleaning the pump parts.
I still plan on pumping to get a reserve frozen but I want to be done in terms of daily feedings.
I’m still using the nipple shield. On day three of exclusively breast-feeding. My nipples are less sore and things have been going much much better so I’m a very happy camper. I really want to ditch the shield so next Wednesday I have an appointment with the lactation consultant and that is what I’d like to go through with her. While the shields have been amazing at getting me to where I am, it is quite cumbersome to have to put it on instead of just latching him on. He has this wonderful tendency of screaming for the breast and sometimes when I’m fumbling with the shield it gets really frustrating for us both. Transitioning between breasts is also difficult because again we go through the screaming fit because Owen isn’t getting what he wants. The other issue is beating around people or in public it makes me very nervous because I’m not one to put that much display in front of everybody. It will be wonderful once I can just latch him on discreetly and not feel like I have to hibernate for 40 minutes when guests are here.
His jaundice levels keep coming down. His last blood work was done this past Wednesday at our lactation appointment and the number once again came down. He has been a lot more alert this past week and feeding really well peneplain very well so there shouldn’t be any concern. He still a little yellow not as bad as he was before but I’m still always concerned and not convinced that the numbers are coming down. I think for my peace of mind I just need to see that he is no longer yellow.

This past week was also my first week along with Owen and we had a lot of ups and downs. I’ve had a lot of emotional ups wings and down swings. The last two nights I have slept in bed with his cot next to me and while I’m still not getting a very restful night sleep I am getting more sleep. I find it very difficult during the day time to nap when he naps partially because I am really awake and the other issue is that between having to eat and shower and get other things done sometimes it’s just not possible.
This week school however is going to be me sleeping in at least it’s not napping throughout the day. The other reason I haven’t been really napping during the day is because when I wake up from a nap and feels like I’ve been run over by a truck. It’s very difficult to feel that grogginess and having to feed and care for him shortly after waking up.

Week three brings us a few new things on Wednesday again I have lactation consultant so I do plan to try to revisit feeding without a shield. This coming Sunday my mother-in-law is flying in for about 10 days to visit with us and to help around the house.

Here are some photos of the little tyke.

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One Week Old

Where do I begin? I have hardly had a moment to myself until more recently but even then I find it hard to keep up with the world outside of Owen. He developed Jaundice and so he had needed phototherapy. We spent all of Friday through to Yesterday afternoon back at the hospital for his light therapy. We spent a gruelling day prior feeding him to try and flush it but it wasn’t enough. We go back today to see if his levels of bilirubin is still dropping. I know it’s so common but I worry non-stop.

I spent the first 5 or so days not sleeping. He wouldn’t allow me to out him down and I’m against cosleeping. For some reason being in hospital and him being forced to sleep in the incubator and cot over night on Friday has catapulted this amazing transition and he now naps and sleeps in his cot. It’s only been two days but we are thrilled. Feeling a little more normalcy in the house. And I slept next to DH for the first time in months!

Owens been doing great. Eating lots, peeing and pooping lots. He’s been doing lots of big smiles after a good feeding. I know it’s not a real smile but I’m oK about it.
Breast feeding is established however started off on a bad foot and my nipples have been cracked, bleeding, bruised. Been seeing a Lactation Consultant to help me with his latch. He likes to chomp which hurts so badly. I’ve been deduced to tears a few times. I’m now using nipple shields and some times pump to give the girls a break. Some days I want to give up so badly. But I have the milk and want to give him the best. I’m hoping for improvements. This would change how I’m feeling in general to a more happy disposition.

We have our second GP Followup for Owen tomorrow and then DH goes back to work. Won’t lie. I’m afraid!

FX my boys Jaundice is going down. I will feel much better about things and maybe not cry every day lol

Xo

5 Days Later…

Wow has life changed! I have wanted to update my blog many times but I probably don’t have to explain myself too much when I say I’ve been too sleep deprived and busy with Owen to squeeze in the time. He is currently in a milk coma and I’ve got some time. Hope I didn’t just eat my words!

I’ve lived on a couple hours of sleep a night. Owen will not sleep in his cot or swing he needs to be with DH or I so I hardly sleep. He feeds about every hour at night and during the day he sleeps more but then DH is running the house while I feed, care and cuddle my little buddy. We are going to take sleep shifts tonight here as I wake up for feeds only. As of Monday he goes back to work so he won’t be around to help as much.
My milk supply is in and he’s been feeding like a champ but he has bruised and chapped up my nipples so badly one night I bawled like a baby. I started using a nipple shield which helps and been seeing a lactation consultant to help him latch better.
Owen has developed jaundice and became apparent yesterday. We were told to increase his fluids so I was up all night feeding at breast and pumping. It got worse today so we took him back to hospital and while his levels went up a bit it’s not enough to do photo therapy so I’m pumping only for 24 hours. Mostly because of my damaged nipples but I can also get lots of fluid in him to try and flush it out. We will be going back to hospital tomorrow to test him again. We are really hoping we can flush it and he won’t have to get therapy. It was hard on me. I bawled this morning. Actually I’ve cried every day. Sleep deprivation will do that to you. I’m also very sensitive because we had a sick baby once. I am so worried about this little tyke all the time. My worst fears creep up. He also looks so much like my baby girl that some times it reduces me to tears. I think about how much I miss her and all the things I’ve missed. I knew it would happen that way but I didn’t realize how much. I think abut her every day now and hope that this little guy lives to be healthy, happy and for many, many years.

And here are some updates of this handsome fella!

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Meet…Owen James!

Our little man made a grand entrance in this world on Saturday, December 27th at 9:58am. He weighed in at 6lbs 15.8 ounces…but we just call it 7lbs. And he’s really perfect!

I was starting to think this baby was going to really hang in there for his due date but thankfully and welcomed, he arrived exactly 39W, 1D.

My labor was fast, furious and painful!
I woke up around 4am yesterday as per my usual self and didn’t bother going back to sleep. I had actually day dreamed for a while that he would be born on that day.
So, back up to Christmas night. I was going on day 6 of not being able to poop and after having a little melt down we went into Triage to see how they could help. I was given a Glycerine Suppository and told on advice that if it didn’t work to try a Fleet Enema. None the less, neither worked. So…yesterday morning I was deciding on when I would do a second enema and finally decided at nearly 6am that I would. I had the bathroom all set up and decided to pee first before stating. I had one of my usual BH Contractions that ended with strong cramps. Nothing new. Well those contractions seemed to carry on and it came on a few more times. So I cleaned everything up and went to the sofa to time the contractions. Turns out they were every two minutes!! I woke up DH and told him I thought things were happening and started to get ready. Sure enough didn’t take much more than a few more minutes for those contractions to be full swing! I called out to him that we needed to get to the hospital STAT!!
Once we got to hospital not much later, triage took me right away and I was 4-5cm dilated and ready to rock. That was not even an hour after I woke DH up! My contractions kept growing closer together and the pain was so, so intense because of how fast things were going that I spent a good amount of time screaming and…sobbing. The epidural took a while to kick in but when it did, it was bliss. It wasn’t more than maybe an hour later that the doctor broke my waters (my top waters broke during labor…how did I not know there were two bags???) and we did a test push and I was pushing well. We started
Pushing moments later and Owen was born about 10 minutes after pushing! Everyone was SO amazed how quickly he was born. I was also amazed at a 4 hour labor and very thankful too!
Luckily I only have a first degree tear and well….more hemeroids that are currently Aching as I sit in my hospital bed.
Baby’s starting to latch and sleeping very well today. He’s absolutely perfect!

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