Category Archives: Health & Beauty

On Being Necessarily Selfish

On Being Necessarily Selfish

The past couple of weeks have been quite trying. It’s been a wonder that we’ve kept our sanity. Tempe has been having some really bad gas issues of late that it’s resulted in continued screaming, fussiness, and inability to sleep. For a time gas drops worked in soothing her but even that become ineffective and I finally gave in and scheduled an appointment with her pediatrician on Tuesday. In the meantime, we’ve pulled her off breast milk completely and she is currently on Gerber’s hypoallergenic formula, which seems to be helping, but then so did the gas drops so we’re not sure how long that will hold up. I’m hoping indefinitely and as she gets older, we can start to add breast milk back into her diet, but for now we will wait to see what the pediatrician will say.

On top of that, Ty seems to have developed thrush. It doesn’t seem to be bothering him, except he isn’t as willing to take his pacifier, but otherwise he appears fine. I have to call on Monday to see if thy can fit Ty in during Tempe’s exam so he can get a prescription for anti-fungal medication. He is also off breast milk for the time being since it’s an overabundance of antibodies that is causing thrush. Hopefully, we get them all settled in the coming week and their disposition approves.

sometimes-i-forget-putting-myself-first-isnt-being-selfish-quote-1 We are also currently in the midst of trying out a feeding schedule for the sprats. We’re still adjusting to make it work for us but once my mother-in-law leaves, that means we’ll have both babies at night and if they’re not on some sort of schedule that would leave us open to being up all night if one baby is consistently waking up while the other sleeps, or if they’re just waking up at different times from the other. So far it’s been challenging but we’re determined to make it work and stick with it. Funnily enough, I don’t have the “can’t stand to listen to a baby screaming” response, which I think is partly because I don’t have a choice, when there’s only one of us, one of them will have to cry as the other is being tended to.

Other than that, my life has essentially just been all about the babies. I’ve tried to take some time to myself but find it difficult to do so and feel guilty when I leave the tending to my mother-in-law and R. I think R and I should discuss times when he’ll have time to play and when I will, because as it stands he gets most of it and I start to feel a little resentful. It’s not his fault, he helps A LOT, but it happens nonetheless.

For those with partners, what did you find worked best for you when trying to balance your time alone, time together, and time spent taking care of the kids?

A Birth Story: My Body’s Rebellion

As much as I’d love to say that being 5cm dilated and 100% effaced, meant that labor started to progress fairly quickly, that’s would be a lie. While it allowed the doctors to increase the dose of pitocin, in hopes it would speed up labor, it did no such thing.

Instead, I caved and asked for them to administer the epidural, which, contrary to what they tell you, does not feel like a bee sting, unless bee stings really fucking hurt in which case, then yes, it most certainly does. I’ve never had one, so I can’t be sure.

After the epidural was administered, I felt like something was off. My sister and others who’d gone through labor described it as not having any sensation from their hips down to their feet and that was definitely not the case with me. I just assumed however, that perhaps I was having a different reaction as is usually the case. I should have figured something was wrong when the Resident who came to check on my dilation was surprised at my ability to pull my legs up, but still I dismissed it and tried to get some sleep.

I probably lasted about 30-45 minutes before the increased dose of pitocin kicked in and I started to really feel the contractions. Contractions, that woke me up due to the severity and the pain that had overcome my body. It was then that I knew something was wrong and had Robby page the nurse.

The nurse in turn paged the group the anesthesiologist and after several minutes of holding Robby’s hand as I tried to breathe through the contractions, someone showed up in our room to check on me.

It turns out, the epidural slipped out of my back and all of the medication was just seeping into my skin rather than my spine. There was nothing that was targeting the correct nerves to alievate the pain and so once again, I had to go through the procedure of having the epidural removed and then reinserted and I still attest that it does not feel like a damn bee sting, thought admittedly it hurt much less. That could be from the medication that was speeing into my skin or that I was dilarious with pain, but it certainly felt a lot less uncomfortable. I’ll take my blessings where I can get them, thanks.

whentogivebirth After the epidural was inserted, they tested it to ensure it was inserted correctly by pushing a dose into the line. I immediately noticed a difference. Within seconds my legs started to go numb and as my sister and others had told me prior, I was not able to feel anything from my legs down. Finally, blessed relief.

After they fixed the epidural, I went back to a drug induced sleep for maybe 2-3 hours, until once again I was ripped from my dreams due to sear agony. I could once again feel the contractions and was one more able to move my legs. I sought, comfort, however fruitless in squeezing Robby’s hand, as we waited for them to once again have someone come in to check on my epidural. It seemed like the minutes stretched on and I begged Robby to page the nurse and ask if they could give me anything in the meantime. The answer was a resounding no. I was too far along and they didn’t want to give me something that would assuredly knock me out and prevent my ability to push, so I waited, curled on my side, wishing it would stop. Finally, after what seemed like hours, the anesthesiologist appeared in my room and discovered the IV bag with the medication that was supposed to be delivered through the line in my back, was left off, hence the excruciating pain.

By this point, I was exhausted and just let them get on with once again fixing the error. The anesthesiologist who removed the epidural and reinserted it decided to mention that I likely had arthritis in my back and that when I got older it was likely going to be an issue. Gee, thanks sir. That’s exactly what I needed to hear when I’m half dead from lack of sleep and my body is rebelling at all the attempts to alleviate the pain. Seriously, thank you.

Finally, the epidural was reset, the IV bag checked to ensure medication was flowing, and I was once again able to drift off to sleep, though, you guessed it, that didn’t last long. Once again, I was jarred awake due to agonizing pain and once again Robby had to page the nurse. This time however when the anesthesiologist stopped by to check on me, everything was fine. The line was flowing, the needle was where it needed to be, my body merely decided that an epidural that should have lasted me several hours, would barely last me 2. Per my request the anesthesiologist topped me off (pushed another round directly into the IV) and I was once again able to drift off to sleep.

I was in and out of consciousness for several hours, and at one point my OB stopped in to check on my dilation. He advised was nearly there but not quite at 10cm, so we needed to wait a little bit longer. After he left, I promptly fell back to sleep, and after what I can only imagine was about 30-45 minutes, I was jolted away by a sudden need to push. I felt like I had to shit my pants and I told Robby he needed to page the doctor, because I thought I was ready. The pressure was unbearable and it took everything in me to NOT push, which was also about the time I realized that once again, the epidural had run out.

My OB arrived, did a quick check of dilation and confirmed that I was right. I was 10cm dilated and it was go time.

Everything seemed to happen in slow motion but also so quickly that it was hard to keep up. They helped move me from the bed I was on to a gurney and made Robby put on scrubs as they all prepared to wheel me out and into the operating room…

to be continued…

I Think I Can, I Think I Can, I Think I Can

I Think I Can, I Think I Can, I Think I Can

I guess I was too quick in jumping the gun in regards to my supply issue. I guess I’m actually right on track to where I should be and my supply will continue to gradually grow as the weeks go on. This makes me feel A LOT better. I was contemplating giving up so I’m glad I asked the ladies in my exclusively pumping group for letting me know, I am doing what I should be doing and that my supply will continue to grow. It definitely makes the lack of sleep and the lack of real time to myself that much more worth it and today, I did see a much larger increase in my output. quotescover-JPG-12 I don’t know if this is because I’ve added a new supplement, Gaia Lactation pills or if it’s because I’m trying my best not to stress so much. Either way, I was surprised to see the increase as I thought it would be a marginal bump at best.

So right now the plan is to stay the course and continue with the way I am currently pumping but to throw in at least one power pump every 2-3 days to mimic a baby’s cluster feeding during a growth spurt. What makes this so hard is that I have two that I need to build my supply for instead of one but I am determined to make this work. I was hoping to potentially be a oversupplier so I could start to decrease my pumps per day but we will have to see what happens. What I do know is I need to stop obsessing over the numbers and just focus on the routine of pumping, minding the babies, and trying to get as much sleep as possible, though of course, all of that is much easier said than done.

At the end of the day though, I can only do so much so I have to focus on the strides I have made and let the rest fall into place. Here’s to hoping I can.

The Unscalable Wall Or So It Seems

The Unscalable Wall Or So It Seems

Well the pumping had been going well. I was getting an extra 1-1.5 ounces each day but now I feel like I’m plateauing and that makes me sad, especially since it’s no where near what I need to feed both babies, let alone one. I’m taking the supplements, pumping at least 8 times a day and it seems like I’m stuck and I’m wondering if I need to go back to pumping at least 12 times a day which would mean the little sleep I am getting would cease to exist. I am so disheartened because I was making so much progress and now it seems I am stuck. quotescover-JPG-48 I’m hoping the ladies in a group I’m in on FB will be able to give me some suggestions or will tell me that this is normal and then production picks up. If it doesn’t, I don’t know what I’ll do. I’ll likely go at least 6 weeks but if I’m still not seeing great output, I may have to re-evaluate my decision to continuing pumping. It’s already taking so much time from my family and if it’s not going to fully supply the sprats and we’re still going to have to supplement with formula, we’ll have to decide if it’s worth the time away from the family for the little I am able to provide.

Motherhood is hard, especially breastfeeding. You’d think something so natural would come easy but that’s not the case at all and I wish people were more vocal about it. I wish, that as woman, we were more supportive and more forthcoming about such vital information. I think it’d go a long way in making mothers, new and old, not feel like such failures if they’re not able to provide breast milk for their babies. If only, right?

I do know that once I’m in a better frame of mind, I will blog about my struggles with breastfeeding and pumping because I think it’s my job to spread awareness. I mean at the least it might help someone else who’s a new mom facing the same struggle to know that she’s not alone and she’s not broken. It’s the least I can do.

A Birth Story: Since When Do Things Ever Go as Planned? Oh Right, Never.

After starting the Pitocin, the Doctor gave it about 6 hours before coming back to check to see how much I’d progressed and unfortunately it wasn’t what we had hoped for. I was up to 2cm dilated when they were hoping for at least 3cm so they could increase the amount of Pitocin being given. Since the medication wasn’t helping me to further dilate they decided that it was time to insert a foley balloon1 to assist with further dilation, and yes that is exactly as it sounds: a balloon inserted into my vagina, which was then inflated and left to do its work. Once the balloon fell out then I’d be around 5cm dilated and that’s when they’d really turn on the medication. Least to say it was a very uncomfortable experience but not as painful or awful as I’d read from other women online, thankfully. newmom

Once the balloon was inserted, it was back to waiting. At that point I was in and out of sleep due to utter exhaustion and poor R didn’t fare much better. While there was a place for him to sleep, it wasn’t entirely comfortable so the whole wait and see took its toll on him too, especially since the balloon took a while. At some point, the contractions started to make sleeping difficult so I asked for something to take the edge off. The doctor gave me Fentanyl because it was safer for the Goombas, but is probably one of my least favorite pain relievers. I can’t even say it relieved the pain, more so it just knocked me out but in a way where I felt like I was under sleep paralysis. I was aware of everything going on around me but I wasn’t able to move, talk, or participate because I was so far under. It was not a pleasant experience and one I do not hope to relive.

The balloon was taking longer than expected and when our nurses rotated, she thought it odd there was nothing attached to help the process along. Basically, they typically add an IV bag of saline to the end of the foley balloon and hang it off the edge of the bed as a means to add some more resistance and allow gravity to help the process along. After doing another cervix check, the doctor went ahead and approved the nurse’s suggestion and exactly 5 hours later the balloon finally came out, leaving me 100% effaced and 5cm dilated…

to be continued…
  1. Foley catheter balloons can be used to mechanically dilate the cervix and have been helpful to ready the cervix for induction. With this method, small rubber tubing is placed through the cervix and a balloon inside the tubing is inflated just inside the inner edge of the cervix.