Thursday, December 23, 2010

Madelyn's First Month

Month one is done. Time is seriously flying and I can't believe she is already a month old! Let's recap -

Breastfeeding - It is going well. I was fortunate enough that Madelyn came out ready to breastfeed. We didn't have any latch problems and the kid loves to eat. Around week 3 I had Nick try giving her a bottle and she took it just fine. When we went back to the breast she was just fine with that as well. I don't think she cares how she eats, so long as she's getting food. The first few days didn't hurt but my nips got pretty raw after that and Lanolin became my new best friend! They never cracked and were never bloody but there was about a week that I cringed whenever she latched. After we got through that, it has been smooth sailing. Fortunately, I haven't had engorgement issues but I have started stuffing my bra with a cloth diaper at night to prevent waking up in a pool of my own milk - the joys of motherhood!

Cloth Diapering - I am so glad we are cloth diaapering! We had a few challenges at the beginning since Madelyn seems to be a heavy wetter and a few of our diapers didn't have big enough inserts. We switched those out and have started doubling her diapers with a microfiber and hemp insert for nighttime. Since then it has worked perfectly! Washing the diapers is super easy. I do a load everyday but it really isn't a hassle. I like the Allen's detergent but I am interested in trying Rockin' Green. I noticed that the dipes had a smell to them after washing so I added a second rinse to them after washing and also reduced the amount of detergent we use. It seems to have worked. Nick said he was sold when he just finished changing her and not 30 seconds later she pooped again. He was very grateful another quarter wasn't just spent changing her booty. Going out and cloth diapering is super easy as well. Just throw the dirty dipe in the wetbag and continue on. When I get home, I just empty the wetbag into the diaper pail and throw the wetbag in there as well. Overall, love it! My only complaint is regarding the Fuzzibunz. We elected snaps instead of velcro because I heard the velcro can wear out. The problem with the snaps is when she is between sizes. If you go one snap closer, I feel like I'm squishing her. If we go one snap farther, we end up with blowouts. Dang it!

Madelyn's Firsts - Madelyn had her first ride in her stroller this month. I love our stroller and so does she! We went Christmas shopping at the mall with my mom and bought all kinds of frilly girly cloths! She also had her first bath and her first shower this month. She is just starting to smile and it is the most amazing feeling in the world when she offers you that toothless grin! She has found her voice and startles herself when she shouts out - hilarious!

Sleep - The closest we have come to a pattern involves Madelyn waking sometime between 2-4 and again sometime between 5-7 for feedings. She usually starts by grunting for awhile and if I grab her before she actually wakes herself up, I can get her changed and fed before she's really conscious. She's pretty easy to put back down after that and we all can be back to sleep in about 30 minutes. However, if she wakes herself up, it's a whole new ball game. She is either awake and ready to start her day or cranky and it can take anywhere from 1-2 hours to put her back down. On those nights, we usually bring her into bed with us after feeding and changing her. It keeps her content enough to not scream and allows us to sleep a little more.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Week 3 - check!

Week 3 was interesting. She is starting to develop more of a pattern but just as soon as we depend on that pattern she goes and changes it up! Most nights Madelyn is getting up around 2am and then again at 6am. A couple nights though, she decided to stay up from 2am UNTIL 6am - that was fun. One of the nights, I was ready for her! I decided to just plan on being awake all night so when she woke up at 2, I moby wrapped her arse and got to work doing the things I normally try to accomplish when she naps during the day. I cleaned my kitchen, emptied the dishwasher, wrapped ebay packages, clipped coupons, checked my blogs and got a load of laundry done! The best part was the next day, when she was napping I was able to nap too - guilt free napping because I had finished everything the night before.

Her cord finally fell off as well! It took a solid 3 weeks which seemed like a long time but considering she was a week late and took foooorrevvverr to get here, I'm getting used to operating on Madelyn time.

The dropping of the cord meant real baths! My mom gave Madelyn her first bath and she screamed bloody murder the entire time. Like a mean mommy, I videotaped it for future blackmail and embarrassment purposes. A few days later we decided to try the shower method and she LOVED it! I don't see us ever giving her a bath. It is much easier to have Nick hold her in the shower and I give her a quick scrubbing!

We also took her stroller on it's maiden voyage this week. My mom came over and we went to the mall. She slept the entire time! The stroller was amazing to push and turns even the tightest corners! My only complaint is that the basket doesn't provide much storage space and because I'm still new at this packing for a baby thing, I bring a lot of crap whenever we leave the house!

In mommy news, I took the sticky tabs off of my scar this weekend but still couldn't bring myself to look at it. After careful inspection, Nick says it seems to be healing well but still looks a little raw. Lovely.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Madelyn's Second Week

Well Madelyn's second week pretty much sucked, but not because of her. She did great! My grandpa died exactly 1 week after Madelyn was born with absolutely no warning. It caught everyone off guard and we all spent the next week reeling and trying to figure out funeral arrangements, celebrate Thanksgiving, take care of my grandma, and attend the funeral. Doing this with a 1 weeker made the whole process a little more challenging. My grandma kept saying she was go grateful my grandpa got to meet her!

We decided to go ahead and still get together for Thanksgiving. We figured, we would all be together anyway so we might as well eat turkey. We gathered at my parents' house and spent the day with family and friends.

We spent the rest of the weekend going to Grandma's everyday and working out funeral arrangements, putting together photo boards, organizing music and spending time together. It was nice to spend so much time with family but we never managed to get home before 11pm. This made her 2-3:30am playtime (she decided) a bit difficult to manage but Nick was awesome about switching on and off with me. It also made the whole "sleep when she sleeps" concept about impossible. Still, we managed and the family loved being able to spend all that time with her. I think she was a little ray of sunshine and happiness in an otherwise pretty glum time.

The viewing was Monday afternoon/evening and the paranoid mama in me didn't want to play pass the baby with all the people that were showing up. I decided to keep her in the Moby which discouraged touching and it worked like a charm. She ended up sleeping the entire time, only waking up for feedings. Sadly, most of my family hadn't met her yet and this was their introduction. It was a little strange and I don't think most people knew what to say to Nick and I. Do you congratulate us for the birth of our daughter or tell us you're sorry for our loss?

The funeral was Tuesday and again, Madelyn spent the day in the Moby to discourage germ passing.

Overall, she was a trooper and did very well considering all the stimulation for a brand new baby. The whole experience left me looking forward to week 3 where I could sit and cuddle my baby on the couch and keep her all to myself!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Miss. Madelyn's First Week

As a result of the c-section, we spent the first few days of Madelyn's life in the hospital. She was able to room-in with us and we kept working on nursing. She took to it like a champ but wowza did my nipples pay for it! Luckily I thought to throw some lanolin in the hospital bag and it was a lifesaver.

We had plenty of visitors and lots of generous gits! Tons of girly clothes! Georgette, Jen, Julie and Missy even brought a fantastic dinner one night!

Madelyn and I were discharged midday Friday. As Nick and I walked out of the hospital with her, I couldn't believe they were actually letting us leave with this perfect little baby! It took more paperwork and interviews to bring Ziggy home.

The pediatric team that was looking in on her had gotten a little concerned over her weight loss so they scheduled an appointment with her pediatrician on Saturday morning. She was 8lb 9oz when she was born and when we left the hospital she had dropped to 7lb 15oz.

Friday night was rough! Fortunately, Molly spent the night and was a welcomed extra set of hands when Madelyn decided sleep was not going to happen that night.

Saturday morning we got ready for her pediatrician appointment and in true new parent style, showed up 45 minutes late. I guess it's pretty common as the receptionist didn't seem the least bit phased by it. She had lost another oz and the pediatrician talked about supplementing formula if she didn't start gaining weight. I guess the cutoff is if the baby loses 10% of their birth weight. Fortunately, my milk had come in that morning but it didn't help me from freaking out! Since her delivery had turned into such a disaster, I was clinging to the ability to breastfeed and was terrified I was going to lose control of that as well. We spent the rest of the day, basically force feeding her in an effort to put some of the weight back on. Saturday night was a blessing but we didn't know it yet. She slept most of the night and we were waking her for feedings! Of course, being new parents I thought something must be wrong with her since babies are supposed to be up all night. Turns out, I'm just paranoid.

Sunday we had a visit from the home nurse. She weighed Madelyn and she was back up above 8lbs! She also said it was okay to go a 4 hour stretch at night between feedings. It was music to our ears! The nurse also checked out my incision and removed my staples. She replaced them with what look like sticky tabs and said to take those off in 2 weeks.

Fast forward to Monday and her follow up pediatrician appointment. We were only 20 minutes late for that appointment. My mom went with me since Nick was at work. Miss. Madelyn was back up to her birth weight!! I breathed a huge sigh of relief and promptly texted Nick to tell him the good news. The pediatrician was surprised my milk had come in as quickly as it did. I guess the 3 days they give you as an average on google is a bit skewed and most moms don't get their milk for 5 or more days. He also said that because she looked so good, he didn't feel the need to have a 2 week appointment and we could go ahead and scheduled her 2 month well baby. Yay!

We survived week 1!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Madelyn's Birth Story

Nick and I spent our last weekend without children walking. We walked in the woods by our house. We walked our neighborhood. We walked all over Target - several times. We walked the mall. Nick was bound and determined to get this baby out! I was overdue and one of my doctors had already uttered the I word...induction.

Well all the walking must have worked because at 5am on Monday morning I had my first legitimate contraction. Yahoo!! At this point, the contractions were about 30 minutes apart and I fell asleep between them. I woke up around 7am and told Nick I thought I was in the beginning stages of labor. As we got Ben ready for school, we talked about whether or not Nick should go to work and decided - we probably had awhile so he might as well go. Plus, he would be home around 1pm anyway so it wasn't a long time that he would be gone. I called my mom later that morning and let her know what was going on. She confirmed - yup - it's labor but we've still got time.

I spent the day clipping coupons and cleaning my house. Basically, I was doing everything I needed to get done to feel organized and to pass the time. Nick got home around 1pm and we decided to go walk some more. The contractions were about 10 minutes apart at this point.

At 3:30pm we walked to pick Ben up from school and as we were walking, I noticed the contractions were coming faster. I told Nick we should start timing them and they were coming about 3-5 minutes apart. I was still having the random 10 minute interval here and there which was definitely throwing off the count. We got Ben back home and worked on homework. The contractions were getting to the point that I had to stop what I was doing when one came on. I kept telling Nick that I felt it in my back more than anything. Ben got picked up at 6pm and we kept riding the contraction train.

Finally, by 9pm we decided to head into the hospital. The contractions were still 3-5 minutes apart but the intensity had definitely picked up. We got to Triage and after an internal we found out I was a whopping 1cm dilated and 90% effaced. Are you freakin' kidding me!! The doctor said, normally they have patients walk the hospital but because we lived so close to home, we could head home for a few hours and come back later to see if I was progressing.

We headed home around 11pm and I spent a lot of time in and out of the shower. I knew I needed to sleep but the contractions were 2-3 minutes apart which doesn't leave much time for a nap. My back was killing me and I was only comfortable standing, which didn't help the sleep factor.

At one point, I was sitting on the birth ball in the shower and letting the hot water just pelt my back. I was trying to lean against the wall and nap but just as I got comfortable the hot water ran out. Go figure!

I got out of the shower and Nick warmed up a heating pad. I sat on the ball, in my bathroom and leaned against Nick while he held the heating pad to my back. We had given up on timing contractions but they were probably 1-2 minutes apart at this point. It was 3am.

I told Nick, I couldn't sit at home anymore and we decided to head back to the hospital. After another internal we learned I was 3cm dilated and still 90% effaced. I wanted to cry! It had been 12 hours of regular contractions and I had made it 3cm. The nurse then asked if I still wanted natural childbirth. I thought about it and realized, there was no way I could have the energy to push if I didn't find a way to sleep. I told her, no - I am going to get the epidural.

Once I made that decision, I couldn't get the epi fast enough. We still had to get up to my room, get the IV, wait for the doctor. Finally, he arrived! Now those who know me, know I am petrified of needles. I have to say, the epidural - not that bad! The little needle they use to numb the area kinda hurt but the botched IV job the nurse had performed earlier hurt way more! The epidural does require a cathader - not fun! After the epidural took effect, I was in heaven. I could carry on a conversation and finally nap! Granted, it wasn't the best sleep of my life since nurses and doctors kept coming in to check on me but I managed to snag 15 minutes here and there. Oh, by the way - it is now about 5am on Tuesday morning.

Sometime later on Tuesday morning I got another internal. 6cm!!!! Nick had asked earlier if any babies are ever born in the afternoon as it seems most kids come in the middle of the night. I told him, at this rate we might have one of those mid-afternoon babies. Not so much.

At this point, the order of things get a little blurry for me. I remember being stuck at 6cm for the better part of Tuesday afternoon. Sometime during this, I spiked a fever, my blood pressure got wacky and my oxygen levels went high. I was told by the doctors that they were concerned I had gotten an infection during labor. I now needed 36 hours of antibiotics and the baby was going to require 36 hours of antibiotics after birth as well. I really wanted the baby on my chest immediately after birth and they assured me that the IV could be placed while I was holding the baby.

Several more hours go by and I'm still not progressing. The baby's heart rate is a steady 140bpm but they kept losing it with the monitor. They were also having a hard time finding my contractions with the monitor as well. It is now Tuesday evening and the doctor suggests breaking my water to get things moving. Alright doc - go for it.

After my water was broken they kept checking for meconium. They didn't see any right away but it showed up an hour or so later. There went immediate skin to skin. The baby now required a pediatric team in the room to make sure nothing was swallowed and all was okay. I was really bummed but the safety of my baby was more important. Plus, if all was good, I would have the baby quickly after delivery.

I was able to dilate to 9cm fairly quickly after breaking my water. It was now 7pm on Tuesday evening. I got a couple more checks between 7pm and midnight and seemed to be stalled at 9cm. At this point, the doctor first uttered the nasty C word. C-section. What I absolutely did not want to have happen. She told me that they were concerned that I had been in labor for over 24 hours and my uterus was basically working like crazy. I agreed to start Pitocin and was given a midnight "deadline". At my 12 o'clock check I was 10cm!!! Time to push!!

Oh I forgot to mention - during all of these checks I am learning the baby is sunny side up. Back labor - fun! Also, it was going to be harder to push the baby out - sweet!

I started pushing at midnight. At 3am - the baby had not moved. I was so completely exhausted, I realized there was no way I was going to be able to push this baby out and agreed to the c-section. I am pretty sure there was more going on than I knew about because there was a team of doctors ready to go.

I was moved into an operating room while Nick changed into his gear. I was numb from my waist down but I remember my arms being numb as well - although that wore off quickly. There looked to be about 20 doctors and nurses in the room which made for a crowded space.

Nick said I had already been cut open when he walked in which freaked him out a bit. I remember being so exhausted I thought I was going to fall asleep and miss the birth of my child! I managed to stay awake and at 3:24am I heard the screams of my baby.

Nick peeked over the curtain and announced - IT'S A GIRL!!!

I had been talking about wanting a baby with a lot of hair so several of the nurses made a point to tell me how much hair she had. I was also told she looked like a huge baby! I thought I was dealing with 13 pounder the way the nurse was talking. Not so much. Because she came out screaming and pinked up right away, they knew the meconium was a non issue. I got to see her and then they took her to hook up the IV while I was getting put back together. At this time I remember being incredibly thirsty and still exhausted. I would fall asleep and then wake up begging the anesthesiologist (since he had the joy of sitting by me head the whole time) for water. He would remind me that I can't have water in the OR and I would fall asleep again. This went on several times.

I was wheeled to recovery and I finally got my water - it was amazing! By 4:30am on Wednesday morning, I had Miss. Madelyn in my arms nursing away.

Madelyn Violet Barish
11/17/2010 @ 3:24am
8lb 9oz 21.5in

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Reflections of Motherhood

I found this video through another blog that I follow. Dear Baby has quickly become one of my favorites! This morning Melissa linked to another blog that had posted this video and I then spent the next 4 minutes crying like a very hormonal pregnant woman who is finally realizing, this baby is coming and coming soon.....and I can't wait to meet the Lil Turkey!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Cloth Diapers.....first step to hippyville

Let me start by saying, yes I am actually writing a blog post....sweet holy moly, what has the world come to. I am inspired by and use Alyce's blog as a gauge when it comes to my pregnancy. I also use all of her research (thanks Al!) as a jumping off point when it comes to researching for the Lil' Turkey. Call it a hunch, but I think baby fever has run rampant among our friends and I figured I should put my research down so those who are so inclined can use it.

First up on our journey of all things baby......Cloth Diapers!

Alyce did a fabulous job of explaining the different diapering options so I'm going to skip that and refer you to her post.

I just intend on sharing what we chose, why we chose it and my plans for execution. We started by going to a cloth diapering class at The Little Seedling in Ann Arbor and narrowed it down to pocket diapers.

Pros -

  • very similiar to disposable diapers for those that putting the diaper on. I thought this would be helpful if we had any skeptics that would be changing this child's bum.
  • friggin adorable options in terms of colors and patterns

  • easy to wash and durable. ie: one set will get us through multiple children

Cons -

  • cost more than prefolds

  • can be harder to get a snug fit which could lead to leaks

The pocket diapers have 2 major brands, Bumgenius and Fuzzi Bunz. They also come in sized or one size. The one size is adjustable and in theory gets you from newborn to potty training in one diaper. The downside to this is if you want to use these diapers for multiple children you will likely have to replace your stash since they will get worn out with the first kid. Because of this, we decided to go with the sized option which led us to choose Fuzzi Bunz.

Next question - how many diapers do you need? We (I) have decided to wash the diapers at home rather than go through a service. Part of the reason we are cloth diapering is because I'm a bit of a cheap-0 and the cost of disposables makes me ill. I've also learned that washing cloth diapers is way easy and I was sold.

You need to wash diapers once every 1-2 days and a newborn goes through 10-12 diapers each day. Do the math and you're looking at 24ish diapers. I threw in a few extras for good measure and decided I want 30 diapers for the newborn stage. Once the baby gets a little older you only go through 7-8 diapers a day. Again, do the math and you're looking at 20ish diapers for the next stage. I decided to go with the extra smalls and the smalls to start. I figure if the baby needs to go to the mediums, I'll deal with that when the time comes (which wouldn't be for at least a year). The extra smalls are for babies 4-12lbs and the smalls are for 7-18lbs. In theory, if you have a big baby you may not need the extra smalls but after seeing the smalls in person, they looked a little bulky for a brand new baby.

These diapers cost between 16.00-18.00 per diaper which can get crazy expensive. I started looking on ebay and diaperswappers for cheaper alternatives. I found a lot of people selling used diapers and I haven't made a final decision on my feelings for used diapers so I didn't purchase those. Some say, you wash the diaper and at the end of the day all baby poop is the same so what's the difference. Others, don't agree. To each their own. Anyway, I was able to find someone selling 30 size small Fuzzi Bunz in various colors (gender neutral - bonus!) for $250.00 which included shipping! These were brand new, never used and I snatched them up! I am currently working on getting 13 size extra small, brand new diapers on diaperswappers for about $10.00 per diaper. Point of my rambling - don't let the cost scare you. You can find them cheaper.

Onto washing - we have a top loading, high efficiency washer which means you have to do some tweaking when it comes to washing. Cloth diapers require a lot of water to make sure all the detergent rinses out. If it doesn't, it can create a barrier to your diaper which will cause absorbency issues. Also, you have to be careful about the detergent you use since even the "Free and Clears" at the store have whitening agents and other chemicals that can cause buildup. After researching, we decided to go with Allen's Naturally but there are plenty of other options. It is kinda pricy ($46.00 for a gallon) but you use literally 2 tsp per load so a gallon will last years!

Now let's pretend the Turkey is here and we are cloth diapering. You take the diaper off like any other disposable. Pull out the liner from inside the diaper. As long as Turkey is exclusively breastfed, the diaper does not need to be rinsed. The poo is water soluable and will wash away in the machine. Once food is introduced you will need to rinse the poo off in the toilet with a diaper sprayer (basically a sink sprayer attached to your toilet). Toss the diaper into the diaper pail (ie: garbage can with reusable pail liner) and put a new diaper on.

Wash day - take the pail liner and it's contents and dump it all into the washing machine. I have a rinse and spin setting on my washer and I use that with cold water. Point is - do a cold rinse. Next, do a regular wash with warm/cold or cold/cold water and your tiny amount of detergent. Finish with a cold rinse.

You can tumble dry the diapers but you never want to use high heat! The best method is to line dry them as the sun bleaches out any stains but seeing as this kid is coming in the winter, we won't be doing that right away.

Plop your butt on the couch and put the liners back in the diapers and put 'em away.

Now some pictures to reward you for actually reading this far.....

The outside of the diaper. The snaps allow for some degree of size adjustment

The liner and where you stick the liner

The cushy cozy fleecy inside

My stash of adorable freakin' diapers! I love all the colors!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Ann Arbor Restaurant Week

It's heeeerrreeeee!
Lunch - $12 and Dinner - $25
Some of the restaurants are offering 2 for 1 specials!
Check it out HERE
The best deals I've found are:
ABC - 2 for 25 dinner
Palio - 2 for 25 dinner
Chop House - 25 each dinner but one of the entree options is the filet
Melting Pot - 25 each dinner. I've never been but I undestand you can easily spend over $100 for 2. This one includes a cheese fondue app, a pretty mixed entree fondue and the chocolate fondue dessert!