Category Archives: Postpartum

Update and my mood

Hello everyone! Just wanted to say hi and that I’ve been enjoying all of your updates and commenting, but have not written one of my own due to sheer laziness. 

Baby A is 9 months and weighs in at 15lb 5oz…9th percentile. She’s so petite but super strong and has been crawling and pulling up since 7 months (she learned to crawl in Hawaii…so much for a relaxing vacation)! Now she has started to cruise and she can stand on her own for 5-10 seconds. She’s babbling a ton, says dadada but no mamama yet. We are eating tons of solids, and even starting to feed her from what we are eating. Still breastfeeding. All in all she’s so much fun!

Sleep in general has been difficult. This past weekend she took 2 1.5 hour naps in one day and that was a first! She sleeps 10-11 hours at night, and generally can put herself to sleep quickly after her bedtime routine with minimal crying. But we frequently get a wake up about 40 minutes after going to bed and she can scream and fuss for up to an hour and is incredibly difficult to console. Once we go to bed, if she wakes up we just bring her into our bed (as we are sharing a room in our 1 bedroom apartment and letting her scream doesn’t work for the neighbors or for our sleep). I just feel like the room sharing makes it really hard for her to sleep long stretches bc we disrupt her. But I’m just dealing with it bc there is no other option for now. I’m open to suggestions!

The sleep issues really get to me. I have such a hard time listening to her cry and I dread bedtime and nighttime. My back is also really sore all the time and I think it’s due to cosleeping bc I have to stay in the same position for too long. This makes me moody and cranky. I’m not exactly a pleasant person to be around and I feel like a bad parent bc my baby won’t sleep like a “good” baby. I’m also pretty lonely as it’s hard to make plans when you work almost full time and you’re obsessed with your baby’s sleep (I don’t like leaving to house bc I fear her not getting good naps and thus making nighttime worse for me than it already is). I have no clue if this classifies as mild PPD/PPA bc when I read about both of them I don’t feel I fit the description but I’m just not sure. 

So I’m looking for a weekly yoga class to get myself out of the house.  I’m hoping to meet some nice people and also help out my back pain. I’m also making a effort to go on a Mom date once a month. I did one in June and there is one in the works for July. Hopefully this will help!

Lastly I’m wondering when your periods came back. Mine is no where to be found at 9 months out. I would be ok with one baby but my husband really wants another so I’m willing to try. Since my numbers were heading toward DOR when they were tested 1.5 years ago I feel that we should try again sooner rather than later but that’s kind of hard to do when you still don’t have your period. Im guessing the night nursing is the problem but see above about sleep to guess how I feel about stoping that…….

Hoping everyone is doing well in their lives. I love reading your updates so keep ’em coming!

I was never a very good blogger…

Hello everyone!

First off, I am still following all of your journeys! Unfortunately I have still been struggling with my comments not loading. I have an email into support that will hopefully fix it. I think they are being recorded as spam! Maybe I am spam, but I certainly hope not! If you have a way to check your spam comments (I don’t even know how you would do this) and un-mark me as spam that would be awesome, otherwise you just get likes!

Secondly, I plan to still keep blogging occasionally to update on baby A and our potential escapades on TTC #2 (if that actually happens). I love following everyone’s journeys so even if I’m blogging infrequently, I will still be commenting (if my wordpress comment issue ever gets worked out).

Baby A is 3 months old now. She weighs 11lb 5oz, so 10 percentile. I think she’s just going to be a little lady for the foreseeable future. I’m hoping she continues to grow and thrive. We are still EBF. She frequently spits up so I assume she has silent reflux. It doesn’t seem to bother her so as long as her doctor is ok with her weight gain at her 4 month appointment next month, I’ll try not to worry too much about it. From 2 months to now she is gaining an average of 5.8oz per week.

She’s started rolling over from tummy to back around 11 weeks, but it’s fairly infrequent. She also seems to be trying to roll from back to tummy as she will arch to either side while she’s on her back. We get tons of smiles and lots of chatter, she’s so much fun. Her favorite activity is flying baby, where we play airplane with her up in the air. She loves the view from above! She also likes tummy time and music/dancing with Mommy and Daddy. Another favorite is bath time with Daddy, especially since he blow-drys her dry afterward. She LOVES the blow-dryer.

Sleep has gotten better now that we are co-sleeping (my pediatrician basically said that some babies are super high need and the only way to solve that problem is safe co-sleeping. He then said they co-slept with 2/3 of their kids, and he was always against it until he had kids of his own and struggled with sleep. He says that their 17 month old is still in bed with them. I don’t think I can go that long, but i’m hoping to at least get through until we can sleep train around 6 months. But my feelings on sleep training wax and wane so we will see what ends up happening). We use a snugglenest so she has her own space. Before that, she would only sleep maximum 1 hour in her crib or in a bedside co-sleeper before waking up and taking forever to go back to sleep. Now we can get a solid 4-5 hour stretch out of her (usually 11pm-3am). I try to put her down drowsy but awake for naps but she will only fall asleep on her own about 10% of the time. She only naps for about 40-60 minutes with the occasional unicorn nap for longer than 60 minutes!

I go back to work in a little over 2 weeks. We found a great in-home daycare on the way to my husbands work. She is incredible and I am so thankful we have her, as I feel comfortable leaving my baby with her. I just wish I had more than 16 weeks off with her (I am saving 2 weeks of my bonding time otherwise I could have had 18 weeks). I feel fortunate to have had this long, and all of it is paid due to me saving a ton of vacation (although let’s be real, the reason I have so much vacation is that it’s too hard to get time off of work approved because of union seniority..grr). Going back to work sounds good because I am looking forward to some adult time and using my brain in a different way, but I really just wish I had more time. I am also applying for new jobs that don’t have a weekend requirement as I would love to be off with my family on the weekends. hopefully that search doesn’t take too long!

Baby A got a cousin on my birthday in November! I’m honored to share my birthday with my niece. And we are super excited to have girl cousins (baby R was a wait until delivery to find out the sex). It’s been fun having my sister-in-law going through pregnancy and motherhood at about the same stages (she also suffered 2 losses before her successful pregnancy so we are able to support each other there as well).

In sad news, my grandfather and my husband’s grandmother passed away. My grandfather passed away in November and he had transitioned to hospice so it wasn’t a huge shock, although it has been very sad because of his passing obviously but also because my mom moved to southern California to care for my grandmother, and it’s hard having her away. My husbands grandmother passed away of a presumed heart attack on Christmas Eve, so Christmas was pretty awful this year. It was shocking that she went as she was only 76 and seemed to be in pretty good health. These things bring to mind the circle of life, in that we had our beautiful baby but life does not go on forever.

I hope you are all well.

 

A Cause for the IUGR

I had my 6 week postpartum appointment yesterday. Baby A came with me and screamed a lot. I ended up breastfeeding her while walking into the appointment room and during my pelvic exam…surreal. Everything looks good on my end!

We discussed several things throughout the appointment. 

•I expressed to her that I do not wish to be on birth control. Firstly, I am not convinced that it didn’t contribute to our difficulties TTC. Secondly, we plan to try again (although I cannot imagine that right now…more on that in another post). Lastly, I have switched to all natural products and I am not interested in introducing hormones into my body at this point. 

•She said that since I had an uncomplicated vaginal delivery we could try again as early as 6 months (I think that’s crazy).

•When my cycle returns and is regular, she can order a follow up FSH, AMH, and E2 so I don’t have to go back to my HMO fertility clinic right away. I am relieved about that (even though I had a pretty great experience with our RE). I’m wondering how those numbers will have changed a year or so after having them drawn. I also hope it will give us an idea of what to expect. 

•And now the main point of this post. The results of my placental pathology. It was small (as we already knew from looking at it after delivery). This could have been due to the UU (meaning the smaller size of my uterus) or uteroplacental insufficiency. The placenta showed signs of chronic uteroplacental insufficiency. Basically this means that the blood flow from my uterus to the placenta was insufficient for a good chunk of the pregnancy. Thus the IUGR diagnosis. I have lots of thoughts about this. 

Firstly, the baby was in the 38th percentile at the 20 week anatomy scan. That is normal. Then, right before 30 weeks at our growth scan, she was less than 3rd percentile. So things went wrong somewhere between 20-30 weeks. I stopped taking the baby aspirin at 28 weeks (which I was taking to hypothetically increase blood flow to my uterus…who knows if it helped. I feel it did help). I don’t think that would have affected growth that drastically in 2 weeks but I can’t help but wonder if I had stayed on it (or restarted it) if her growth would have been less restricted. 

Secondly, I wonder if the less than ideal blood flow had anything to do with my 3 miscarriages. I did not take aspirin until before the 4th pregnancy (which actually worked). I do have signs of poor egg quality with high FSH and boarderline AMH. All the miscarriages were missed, with no growth each time past 6-6.5 weeks. Could that have been due to poor blood flow and not egg quality? My gut says its egg quality. I guess we will never know but I wish we could. Too bad we were unable to test the embryos that miscarried.  

Thirdly, I wonder if the pregnancy being successful is because the embryo implanted in an area of the uterus that had better blood flow and the majority of my uterus has poorer blood flow. Those with a unicornuate uterus can have poor blood flow due to the abnormal formation of the uterus. Am I doomed to have tons of miscarriages? That remains to be seen.

Lastly, I wonder if I am lucky enough to get pregnant for a second time (and not miscarry) if this will happen again. And if not, how much more will my uterus grow? Can I make a bigger baby in my half uterus? It obviously stretched a ton this time but not like a normal sized uterus did. 

I made my OB cookies and wrote her a thank you note because she was so incredibly kind and supportive throughout the entire pregnancy. I know I was a high needs patient (for good reasons I think) and I wanted to let her know how thankful I am for her care. I ended the card saying “I am so thankful for my beautiful baby”, and I teared up as I wrote that. The gratitude I feel toward having her is immense and I don’t think I could put it into words. 

Our First Week Home

We had a lactation appointment and weight check the day after discharge. I was again in tears as I could not get her to latch once we got home. The lactation nurse weighed her, and she was 4lb 10oz, so gaining quite well and almost back to her birthweight. Then we tried to latch her. She was so frustrated and just wouldn’t latch. So the lactation RN gave me a nipple shield and baby A latched on immediately and transferred just under an ounce! I was so happy. 

My husband and I were confused as to why that wasn’t offered in the hospital. Well I researched nipple shields and realized that they are very controversial. If you don’t use the right brand, size, and place it correctly, you can actually decrease your milk supply. Also, babies can have a hard time weaning off of it. Still, it allowed me to breastfeed. Our schedule once she was nursing was for me to feed her every 3 hours (at least) and them pump after the feed to make sure she “emptied” my breast. She was also allowed to be supplemented with formula or expressed breast milk afterward. But she seemed satisfied after breastfeeding so we didn’t bother with supplementing. 

We went to the doctor for some discoloration around her lips and eyes. She looked blueish there and I was pretty sure she was ok, but I was so scared I had to get her checked out. Apparently it is normal in newborns due to thin skin and increased vasculature in those areas. She was weighed again and was 5lb 1oz! Passed birthweight at 1 week. I was very relieved. 

We had a follow up lactation appointment at the end of that week and she was 5lb 5oz! We were also able to latch her without the nipple shield, although it was a shallow latch and caused me some pain and nipple compression. The plan was to do some feedings without the nipple shield (as much as I could tolerate) and cut the pumping from after every feed down to 4 times a day. What a relief!

My husband also though it would be a brilliant idea to have his wisdom teeth removed in the 3 weeks he took off from work to be with me and our baby. Not the smartest decision we’ve ever made as he was in a lot of pain! And he refused to take the narcotic pain meds because he was getting a drug test the next week before he started a new job. Yup, that’s right, let’s make 2 huge life changes at one time…have a baby and make a career change! But his new job is way better, closer to home, better pay, better benefits, better hours, so it was the right move.  

Our Postpartum Stay

I’ve been wanting to write about what’s been going on but I have not made an effort! Here is an attempt to update on the last 5 weeks. The post was so long that I am going to break it up into several posts. This is probably fairly boring to anyone who is not me! But I would like this to remember the early days!

After baby A’s delivery we were transferred over to the mother/baby unit to work on breastfeeding and recover. Because of her low birthweight (4lb 13oz) she needed frequent temperature checks and blood sugar checks. Her sugars were on the low side of normal. The nurses said that my colostrum would be enough to sustain her sugars. Well, breastfeeding was a different story. Since she was 3 weeks early and quite small, she could not latch on effectively to transfer the colostrum, and she was jus biting my nipples. Ouch!! She had a sugar of 37 in the early evening. I nursed her and also expressed some colostrum (like 0.3ml) and fed that to her. Then nighttime came. Baby A screamed and screamed throughout the night. The kind of scream that hunger brings about. Now I know colostrum is suppose to sustain babies through the first days of life. The nurses tried to reaffirm that. But I truly believe our baby was starving. Remember, she was IUGR. She had not met her growth potential in the womb. She was ready to grow and to do that, she needed to eat. It was so difficult to listen to her scream and for me to be unable to sustain her. I was in tears for a large part of the night.

The icing on the cake was when they checked her sugar around 4am and it was 28. That is a scary low blood sugar. I know what happens to babies and kids when they blood sugar is low, that’s part of my job. I demanded formula to feed my screaming, starving child and the nurses were so hesitant to provide it. They took awhile to bring it which only made me more upset. It was incredibly frustrating to be made to feel bad for doing what was medically necessary for my baby. Hindsight tells me I should have demanded to speak with the pediatrician but I was so upset and sleep deprived that I wasn’t thinking straight. 

After feeding the formula she slept. It was such a relief. But then she woke up screaming again in a couple of hours. That was when I lost it and was just continuously crying. When the nurses came in for change of shift, they told me I would be the first patient to be seen by lactation that morning.

The visit from the lactation nurse was just what we needed. She watch baby A try to latch and agreed that she was too little and bite-y (is that a word?) to latch properly. So we developed s plan. I would try to latch her 2-3 times a day to practice. Then I would use hand expression to get out as much colostrum as possible. My husband would then finger feed her the colostrum and give her about a half ounce of formula while I double pumped to help bring in my milk supply. I was given a hospital grade pump to take home for 2 months. I was so incredibly thankful that we had a plan that my husband and I could agree with. I felt like my concerns were heard. The pediatric nurse practitioner was on board with us as well. 

We ended up staying an extra night to make sure she gained weight, as on the morning of our original discharge she weighed 4lb 7oz. We continued our feeding plan, and the next day she was 4lb 10oz and we were free to go. 

Overall the nurses were fantastic and I feel like we got great care, aside from the formula issue.