Tuesday, July 29, 2014

It is Colic

We went to the Pediatrician's office today for Little E's three week check up.  We discussed all sorts of things including my milk supply.

At birth Little E measured 18 inches long and weighed 5 pounds 11 ounces.  Today she is 19 1/2 inches long and 7 pounds 2 ounces.  We are doing something right and that makes me happy.

As for the breast milk.  The Ped doc suggested I take the fenugreek tablets 2 at 3 times daily in addition to the tea I'm drinking and to try out the lactation cookies.  I said I didn't feel up to baking as of yet.  She said I can buy them online.  I noticed them on Amazon the other day so I decided to purchase them today along with the tablets.  Hopefully this will help my milk supply.  When the breast milk increases to half of what Little E normally takes in her bottle I'm to start her on the Vitamin D drops they prescribed her today.

As for the colic.  It will pass. We were told not to do water, gas drops and other remedies but to just put her stomach down on our legs and rub her back.  She is pooping just fine and gaining weight.

I, however, am a different story.  They gave me the mental health assessment sheet.  I scored a 10 and that isn't a good thing.  I was then counseled and given the number to the behavioral health clinic.  I said I'll call them soon.  I have no problem with getting help.  I used to get help when I was going through the infertility treatments.  I just wish I'd stop crying so much.

As for the pain.  The peds doc told me that percocet isn't going to hurt my breast milk considering that I don't take it that often and she'd rather I not be in pain.

Time to go pump the milk while J feeds her from the last pumping and the formula he just made up.

Here is a new photo of Little E taken today:
Here is one taken a few days ago:

She has such pretty blue eyes.  They are changing to more of J's color now.  I'm still wondering what color they will be in a year.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Crying It Out

****I have a few questions for my readers in this blog post.  So if you have a potential answer or an educated guess feel free to share it with me in the comments.

Not so much the baby but me.  I'm the one crying though she is too.  I think, but will see her Ped doc tomorrow, she has colic.  I'm not crying over that.  I have the baby blues.  Rather normal.

Little E is fussing a lot at the same time of day.  She curls up her body, screams, passes gas, cries some more and at times is inconsolable.   Again rather normal from what I read.

I'm going to stop the milkmaid tea and watch my diet a little more closely.  Though we are doing more formula than breastmilk, I'm up to pumping 5 times a day, it could very well be my milk causing her issues.  However, it could be an allergy to her formula too as J's brother and I as well, not sure my genetics matter much with this as we used a donor egg, had milk allergy issues as infants.  Again if that is the case then I'll have to change my diet and eliminate dairy.  I'll find out more what the doctor suggest tomorrow.

It has been 6 days of colic like symptoms at basically the same time each day or rather evening and late night.  How many of you out there experienced colic with your babies or yourself when you were a baby?  My mom had to put me on a rice formula added to my bottle at three weeks of age because of my stomach issues.

Now back to the baby blues.  I'm not going to go out and kill myself or anyone else for that matter.  I can assure you all of that.  I have had some rather disturbing thoughts that the world would be better off without me but I'll just call that self-pity because I feel so inadequate.  Why do I feel like that?  Well my nipples aren't appetizing to my daughter because they are too big.  She'd rather J feed her than me.  Though I have done a few, just a few, feedings with her when he was out of the house.  Hey if she has no choice she'll take the bottle from anyone I figure.  I'm still feeling really weak and having some bad pains in the ribs along my kidneys and along the incision too.  I'll post a photo of what it looked like when the bandage came off and I saw the 19 staples.
This is when they changed the bandage in the hospital and I was still third spacing (major fluid retention).  The staples continue under the belly too.
While it does look better now it is still bruised, red, hot to the touch and oddly swollen on the right side.  I don't have a fever so infection can be ruled out.

As for the rib pain along the back.  When this pregnancy first started and they tested my urine for protein with the first of the 24 hour tests I came back with high numbers but that was before week 20.  Then I developed pre-eclampsia.  I was told I might need to see a nephrologist.  Kidney issues run in my family.  It doesn't matter how much water I drink I can still inherit what my dad has and what his grandmother died from.  I'm hoping I won't but I'd like to get it looked at if the pain doesn't go away.

For those of you with endometriosis and have had a hysterectomy (just the uterus removed) can the endo pain return quickly?  I'm asking this because I'm getting a lot of pain where the ovaries are located.  I'd like to blame the pain on the surgery but it has been three weeks almost since I delivered and anything is possible with endometriosis I swear.  I know that the ovaries are the culprits with endometriosis.

Oh and here is a recent picture of little E in J's arms:

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Happy Birthday To Me

Today I celebrate my 45th year of life.

I'm bloated and didn't make it to my first goal weight of 199 lbs but I'm okay with that.  I know I'm sodium sensitive and have been for many years.  I actually cannot wait until the OB clears me next month to exercise.  I miss being in control of my own body, not that I ever actually had much control with the infertility treatments but I did try to control what I could with the diet and exercise.

Little E is still fussing often.  I just changed her diaper and she fell back to sleep for about five minutes.  It isn't time for a feeding.  She doesn't have a fever.  I guess she just wants to be held.  J just picked her up and she stopped fussing.  I bet putting her down again will keep her quiet for all of about five minutes again.  It is okay.  We are going to the Peds on Tuesday.  Okay one minute.  I just heard her cry.  LOL.

I'm chuckling because my mom did wish a baby like me upon me.  My mom nicknamed me "blatting Sam".  Not sure why sam but that is okay I guess.

I'm getting cake and pizza tonight.  J ordered a cake for me from the commissary.  I said "nothing special" for the design this year.  Last year it was the TARDIS cake, the year before the Monster Book of Monsters and the year before that was another Tardis cake.  My brain is practically mush and I can't think straight being in zombie Mum mode.

The hysterectomy incision is painful, I don't have a fever.  My ribs hurt and I still am getting wicked headaches.  I took a percocet last night and it didn't touch the pain.  As a matter of fact it made it so I couldn't sleep which was for the best since Little E had us up for about 7 hours straight with her fussing.  I'm hoping she gets back to a more normal for her sleep schedule soon.  I can't imagine her not sleeping well is doing her much good.

I'm up and expressing milk earlier in the day now but as of last night am still only doing it about 4 times a day.  Today since I was up earlier I hope to get in 5 sessions.  I'm not sure where the days are going but I know they are going somewhere along with the cans of formula.

Last year on my birthday I wished for something special for my husband and I.  Now that it has passed I can share what I wished for.  I wished that the donor egg/donor embryo cycle would be a success and that I would get a take home baby.  This year I'm not sure what I'm going to wish for on the birthday candle.  Mind you when I wish I word it carefully.  My wishes always come true but not always how I'd like them to come true if I'm not careful enough with the wording.  Call it superstition.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Packing it up

Last week I fit into my regular clothing again.  Please don't hate me if you are still struggling with losing the weight you gained during your pregnancy.  I still have a long way to go to lose the 30 pounds I need to lose at my age.

I put all the clothing I had purchased for the pregnancy in a sweater box and put it under my bed.  Yes, when I had purchased the clothing I had secretly hoped that maybe I'd use it for a second pregnancy.  Alas that won't happen; ever.

Packing it up is a reality check.  I won't ever be pregnant again.  I won't ever feel another baby move within me again.  I miss having my baby girl safely inside of me, especially when she is fussing late at night and nothing seems to calm her.  Yes she is starting to get into that colicky phase of growing.  Three hours or more of crying three or more nights a week and she is almost three weeks old.

I'm still hormonal.  I'm not sure how long this will last.  Its has been a few days since I last cried, well until today.  Right now I have tears in my eyes.  It is just tears of self pity.

I know that if I had been reading another infertile's blog and she had been crying over the loss of a uterus I would probably have judged her harshly in my mind, not in a comment though, for having more than I did at the time.  I'm lucky.  I know I'm really lucky.  I'm alive and I have a baby.

I'm still really tired.  J has been taking over the feedings.  I express milk because Little E can't latch onto my large nipples yet.  J has been getting to bond with her of which she needs since he'll be going out into the field soon.  Yes, I'm afraid of being left alone with her while not being able to drive as of yet.

My incision is still hot, red, bruised and hurts where the staples were.  It still bulges on the right side.  I'd say that the ovaries are waking up but I can't be sure.  I mean it feels just like it did when I had the endo pain.  Is that even possible without the uterus being there?  I think so since the endometriosis grows where it wants to and mine loved to grow on my bowels, bladder and ovaries.

We won't be adopting a baby or an older child.  We won't be looking for a surrogate either.  With what we've gone through one baby will have to be enough for us.

Another note to share:  I just ordered two more cases of newborn diapers.  Little E is just too little still for the cloth diapers I have on hand where the weight starts on the smallest one at 8 pounds.  We weighed her the other day in J's arms and estimated 6 pounds 6 ounces.  We'll know more on Tuesday at her next Peds appointment.  Her newborn clothing is still huge on her slender frame.  We bumped up her bottle to 3 ounces every 3 hours plus what I can express.  The good feeling I get when she sucks dry the bottle of the breast milk makes the sore nipples from the pumping so worth it.  She is worth any discomfort I might have in my life.

I love Little E.  Thank you God for my precious baby girl.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Milking

Yesterday was a bit of a crazy day.  J drove the three of us to Savannah's Candler Hospital so that I could pick up the breast pump rental.  So glad I decided to ditch the manual pump.  Ugh, I mean it was nice to have on hand but righty just wasn't producing but a few drops of milk.

Now that I have my milking machine righty is producing as much as lefty and it feels so good to have that milk let down actually go somewhere.  I can't use the original flanges that they gave me in the hospital here at Winn.  I opted to go with the 27 mm flange but should probably have gone with the 30 mm instead.  Yes, my nipples are just that big.  No wonder Little E is having issues trying to latch on.  30 mm is XL while the 24 mm are medium sized.

The Milkmaid tea I ordered from Amazon came in today's mail.  I'm having a cup of it while typing this blog post.  Very tasty with a teaspoon of honey added in.  I'll be milking again in about 15 minutes.  While I don't expect an immediate effect upon the production of the milk quantity I can say it will soothe the nerves a bit.

There is some stress in our household right now.  It isn't from the baby having tummy troubles last night with some spit issues.  No this is the Army stress.  I won't name names but we were told that J's unit was family friendly.  They lied.  Should I have expected differently?  No.

Not only did his paternity leave end yesterday but his regular leave was supposed to start today.  Someone high up decided, knowing full well that he needed to use those 22 use or lose days, that J was needed at work for what we aren't sure as they have plenty of warm bodies on hand.  Seriously how many warm bodies do they need for staff duty?  Yes I know just how many but to put him on the staff duty roster for his first day back which should have been his first day of regular leave means that they had no intention of even granting him leave in the first place.  Funny but the higher ups that visited our dwelling last week assured us that his leave packet was good to go as long as he would agree to come back for the field problem and split his leave.  We were fine with that.  I'm not allowed to drive for several more weeks which could make things interesting.

Little E has an appointment with her Pediatrician for next week Tuesday.  If they don't get J's leave straightened out I'm going to have to call a taxi to go to her appointment, which is going to be really interesting since I'm not supposed to be lifting more than just her body which means not lifting her in the car seat.

No our FRG doesn't help out like the other FRG at the last installation.  They aren't babysitters is right on their front page of their PowerPoint booklet.  Which to me implies that they won't help out with rides either.  I mean no one came by to offer hot meals for the new parents unlike the old FRG.  I was told by an E-6 that the FRG we have here is for the officer's wives only when it comes to support.  He said next time I go to a meeting take a closer look.  Yes, I noticed it already.  Usually the officer's wives I've met could care less what rank their spouse is because they don't wear it but here it is different and I'll have to learn that and be really careful or avoid going to the meetings altogether.  That saddens me.  But I'm here to support my spouse, take care of my little family, and help where I can.

For now that help means sticking close to home and taking care of my own needs so that I can get strong again.  I haven't had a pain pill in over 10 days, instead I've been sucking up the pain.  I have a nearly full bottle of percocet on hand, acetaminophen, and Motrin too for that matter.  But I'd rather have the pain since it makes life real and makes me stop and think that I might be pushing it too much.

The incision is still swollen and bruised.  It bulges rather oddly to the right side.  The ribs on my left side hurt like the dickens when I hold Little E for more than 15 minutes.  I was supposed to have a 4 week follow up to see my surgeon but the secretary for the clinic heard "follow up" and scheduled it for 6 weeks postpartum instead.  Rather than argue with them as I've tried to do that before and failed I just let it go.  If I have too much pain or I pass out again I'll have J on hand, I hope, to take me to the ER.

Well it is time to go milk the boobies.  J just found out they found someone to cover his staff duty.  It was an O-4 that knew about the situation and still put him on the list and the O-3 was the one that decided to delete J's leave.  Ugh!  Such stupidity.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Two Weeks Later

It has been two weeks since Little E was born and much has happened to all three of us.

Little E lost more than half a pound after being born.  However, she gained it all back with frequent feedings plus she grew an inch in length!

J has been sleep deprived learning how to be a dad.  His mom just left today to go back home after spending a week with us taking care of J and doing a couple of night feedings each night.  I say she took care of him because well I was taking care of me including getting my own nutrition.  I'm not going to go into the issues there but the iron pills prescribed to be taken 3 times daily make it difficult to get in proper meals since they have to be taken on an empty stomach.

When I left the hospital on the 12th of July my hemocrit was 12 something and last week Friday at an appointment we went to it had dropped to 9.6.  Yeah not good.  I was ordered back to bed for the rest of the pelvic rest.  If you know me well you know that this is going to be nigh impossible.  For one, J has to sign in off of paternity leave tomorrow which means if he can't get regular leave I'll be alone with the baby and the house work.  Secondly, I'm not the type to let the house work go especially living in a southern climate where if you let the dirt build up you'll give bugs an invitation like you would a vampire into you house; "hey come suck the life out of me while you hunt me down!".

Little E can't latch on to me because my nipples are too big for her almost preemie baby size being born at 5 pounds 11.1 ounces.  She has a tiny mouth.  I am using the Avent Isis manual pump but the right breast, I think it is the one with the benign tumor, isn't producing much but a few drops of milk.  Tomorrow I'm headed to Savannah to pick up the Medela hospital grade pump I reserved with my credit card.  I'll speak to a lactation consultant while I'm there.  We are supplementing Little E's diet with formula and she is doing well on that but she loves getting the breast milk in a bottle when it is available.  Hopefully in a month or two she'll be able to latch on, for now we try daily to get her to latch when she is most hungry.  We do feed her every 2.5 hours a full 2 ounces of formula plus the breast milk.  Hopefully we'll be able to increase the feeding time and ounces soon as we hate waking her up to give her a bottle.  Sleep is important for all of us.

As for the weight I gained during pregnancy.  Here is where I'll be honest about numbers.  I weighed 224 before I found out I was pregnant.  I weighed 227 the day I delivered.  Yes, only a three pound weight gain.  Today I stepped on the scale and it read twice, I always check it twice, 200.4 lbs.  Almost 27 pounds lost in two weeks.  However, my size 16 jeans are snug where I have the incision mark from the hysterectomy.  The incision is still bruised and badly swollen.  Normally at 200 pounds I would be wearing a size 14.

With any luck I'll be down to a size 12 by Christmas I keep telling myself.  We'll see.  First I need to get strong.  Losing so much blood and a uterus really can wear a body down.  At least they saved my life and I'm here so I can once again complain about the trivial things in life.

Last night I asked J to tell me what happened after I blacked out from the blood loss.  I still have a hard time believing that I had a seizure.  I didn't know that a person going into shock would have a seizure.  I remember the people working on me calling my name a few times and seeing a bag valve mask on my face but not much else.  I remember J telling me that my blood pressure bottomed out too.  He said it kept dropping after he read to the staff the last numbers he saw which were 80/50.  I wanted to live so I did with the help of everyone and God's blessing.  Still it is scary to think about so I don't think about it much.  Maybe in a year when Little E has her first birthday I'll remember a bit more but I doubt it.

In just a few days I'll be turning 45.  Not sure what I'm going to wish for this year on my birthday candle.  I have everything I could want already.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

To Hell and Back Again

J will do another post to finish up his story but while I'm at his computer working through the pain since I totally forgot to take my motrin again I figured I'd do up a post.

 I'm home, alive and trying to recover but it was a long journey to get this far.  I'm so glad that J has been filling all of you in on what happened because for me personally it was one big blur.

Sunday night we went in for our induction day and scheduled time.  "Oh goody", I thought as they told me I was already 1 cm dilated on my own.  Maybe this won't take as long as I thought to bring our baby girl into the world.  Okay well yeah I should have known better from reading all the blogs over the years. Ladies you have prepared me for most of everything including the packing of depends undergarments for the after effects!  Thank you!

But I wasn't prepared to wake up to pee and find that I was leaking blood with a damn tampon shoved up inside of me.  I'm like "what the fuck!  did I fall asleep and miss it?".  Nope all was okay it was the cervidil or however it is spelled.  I had no clue that a tampon was its application and my doctor didn't bother to tell me either.  About twelve hours later they pulled the tampon out after a very uncomfortable readjustment by my doctor where he shoved it back up inside because my body was pushing it out.  The pictocin was then started with an 18 gauge iv line needle in my left ulnar side.  I have a huge lump from that needle but that is the least of the issues my body is now facing in recovery.

The pictocin didn't work, another tampon of cervidil and almost twelve hours later and I was still only about 2.5 cm dilated.  Dr. C. was due to end his shift and decided to break my water with the hope that in a few hours I would be delivering the baby.  Hahahaha!  Jokes on him in less than 42 minutes Eilonwy was here!

I still love how the anesthetist said it was never too late for an epidural.  I asked for one and they said no.  Crap.  I tore in three areas; urethra, labia, and perineum. I'm sure J has mentioned all this to you folks too.

Well lets see, after giving birth which wasn't all that bad I tried to sit up after the medical staff left the room.  Bad idea!  I remember telling Jason that everything was going black and that was it.  Over the next few days I managed to some how lose most of my blood volume, third space which happens when you lose too much blood and you body decides to hold onto all the fluids it can get and lose a uterus. Yup, they had to do a hysterectomy.

I mean I knew this was going to be the last pregnancy but geez I thought I could hold off on organ removal for about a year.  I still have the cervix and ovaries but we know that with endometriosis the ovaries are nothing but trouble.

The reason for the hysterectomy is the placenta accreta.  One would have thought that if my high risk OB in Savannah had actually done the study he said he was going to do but then promptly forgot to put it in my chart then they would have been better prepared for the birthing.  Why do what should be done when you only want to spend 5 minutes every three weeks with your patient!

So after gaining more than 16 staples in a vertical incision, 6 pints of blood (4 A+ and 2 O+), numerous bags of ancef (antibiotic), and multiple bags of saline I'm writing to you from my own bed while trying to lie on my left side and think clearly about what really matters.  I'm pissed.  No not because I almost died.  No not because I lost a uterus.  I'm pissed because my bodacious ta-tas that are producing a good quantity of milk aren't staying erect enough to allow my Eilonwy to latch properly.  My nipples and aerolas are just too fricken big!

I've looked at vids on latching.  I've talked to a lactation consultant that tried to help us with our latch but wasn't all that successful.  But she did show me how to use the milking machine.  While at home I'm using the manual pump that I have on hand as it is helping reduce the fluid build up in my hands from the third spacing.  Now if only I had dexterity to use my feet to pump with as those are so swollen they look like I have had major collagen injections to remove every wrinkle and bend.

For now I'll be happy knowing that I can pump and J can feed her.  I'll be happy knowing that I'm alive.  If I didn't have so much to live for I probably would have kissed the pain in my life good bye as we know that I have a lot of medical issues that give me a lot of pain.  I can deal with pain as long as I have love in my life.

Oh and by the way we now know with medical evidence which of the embryos took from the two we put back.  Remember we did donor egg and donor embryo.  The donor embryo mom and dad produced offspring that were O+.  The donor egg person was A+ and J is O+ which means that any of their embryos would be A+ upon testing.  Eilonwy is A+.  Yup the little embryo that could and did make it is J's baby.  Not like it matters a hill of beans because she is so wrapped around his heart.

This blog will continue to be written and evolve.  I'm more than just my infertility and I'm more than just a parent too.  I'm an Army Wife and this is my life!