Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Knox - 1 Month

  Weight: 9 pounds .06 ounces (21st percentile)
Length: 20.5 inches (10th percentile)
Head Circumference:  36 centimeters (20th percentile)

Dear Knox,
One month is gone.  31 days done.  I hate that.  I wish I could keep you my little lump of baby extra long.  I never said that about your brothers.  For some reason this time around I'm ready to slow things down.  I guess it's because I've seen how fast you go from sleeping on my chest to preschool and I don't like it one little bit!  You know who is really saddened by this truth though?  Daddy.  He's been gone for 12 of those 31 days for work.  He hates it.  He hates that he's missed how much you've grown already since he's been gone.

 Here's a look at all that's happened during your first month...

Sleep has been sort of amazing because Grandma has been here for the 12 days that Daddy has been gone. She gets up with you in the middle of night to feed you and I just get up to pump.
Napping with the best grandma EVER!
It's pretty awesome or at least it was.  She ran away to Africa for 2 weeks and I'm back on night duty.  You usually start wanting to go to bed between 8 and 10 and then wake up around 1 am and again around 5 or so.  I really can't complain about your night sleeping because it could be a lot worse!  You nap several times during the day with one longer nap in the afternoon it seems.  You are just too little to have pattern at this point though.  Mommy does love predictable behavior though so we'll work on this :)

You are eating 3 ounces at each feeding.  During the day you go between 2.5 and 3 hours between feedings and do longer stretches at night (thank you VERY much!).  At this point your mommy and her challenged boobs can't seem to make you more than an ounce or two at a time.  Obviously that's not cutting it since you want 3.  I pump and give you breastmilk first and then you usually get a 2 ounce formula chaser.  Your belly gets pretty noisy and you get pretty gassy so we might try another formula soon to see if it helps.  Sometimes I still breastfeed you but along with a challenged milk supply my boobs HURT!  I mean like toe curling hurt.  I don't know if I really have Raynaud's Syndrome in my nipples or if you just do something crazy while you're eating but either way I can hardly handle it anymore so breastfeeding is only happening once or twice each day.  I do love how relaxed you are once you get over the "why isn't it coming out faster?" phase of breastfeeding.  You just grab on, close your eyes and eat.  It's so sweet until I remember again how much it's going to hurt as soon as you're done.  I can see why the mom's with non-challenged boobs enjoy this time with their babies.

You are still a small baby.  I've never gotten one of the month well baby visit papers with such low percentiles on them.  You seem so much bigger already to me though.  You skipped 8 pounds entirely! You are putting weight on so fast but even your length seems so much longer to me already.  I would really like to keep you little and snuggley but you're already changing.

You are wearing mostly newborn sizes still.  Some of it is starting to get a little short so you're moving up soon!  That's probably a good thing because I'm a little tired of putting the same 4 outfits on you every single day.  You are wearing a newborn size diaper still in Huggies brand but in Pampers you are ready to move up to a 1.  We're for sure going to use up the newborn sizes first though so suck it in kiddo!

You aren't a huge fan of tummy time but will usually last a couple minutes before you decide to roll on over.  I know that will probably stop when you're a little bigger but it's funny to watch for now because you just look too small to be rolling.

Call it gas if you want to but you have for sure already smiled in response to us.  We are a pretty gnarly crew so I'm not surprised by this!
Trying to smile
Still trying
Happy baby!
You LOVE your paci most of the time and I definitely have to keep a couple handy at all times.  You are very noisy even with the paci in, which is why you are sleeping in your bed at night.  This momma can't sleep through all that noise!  You are very good at tracking us with your eyes and even looking around when you hear our voices.  You already love to watch your brothers.  I know this affection will only grow!
Paci in from day 1
Your brothers pretty much think the world of you!  Case has informed me that he loves you more than he loves me.  He has also decided that your face is only cute when you are not crying.  So you might want to think about that next time you get all worked up (which, by the way is right now as you are sitting next to me cyring).  I'm so glad they are such big helpers.  They drop everything to run and put your paci in when you cry... come to think of it this might actually be a selfish move because they are annoyed.  There's also a lot of arguing over who is going to put the paci in... I'm usually not involved in this argument, I'm just glad someone else is doing it :)  Anyways, my point is they really love you a whole bunch!

Case was scared to hold you in the beginning
so this was his first time!  
Ty is a huge help and ALWAYS wants to hold you!

I do have some bad news about your hair though.  It's receding. It keeps moving farther and farther back on top of your head.  Your brothers never lost their hair so this is new territory for me.  I always thought babies lost it on the back where they rub it when they sleep.  I had no idea you could lose it on top too.

Hair on top...
...And now you have a comb over
I always thought I preferred bald babies (don't tell Ty), now I guess I get a little of both.  I'll take it :)

Time is flying little man and I wish there was a way I could slow things down.  I'm just trying to soak this time up because I know it will be over before I know it.  I love you today and always my sweet boy!  Thanks for a great first month!!!


First Ergo ride

hands ALWAYS by your face!

sleepy smiles

tummy time

Headed home!
Your brothers welcoming you home
And us protecting you from your brothers "love"

Poppy with some of his Great Grandbabies

Meeting Poppy for the first time
Poppy sure does love you little man!

Peace Yo

Meeting Great Grandma for the first time

First time Great Grandma LET Great Grandpa
hold you :)

First trip out at 4 days old... Lowes

Great Grandma and Grandpa with all their Great Grandbabies

First time meeting your soon to be best buddy Maddox...
he's a little bigger than you and HE was the preemie!  

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Case Started Preschool!

Case started preschool on Monday, 8/18/14.  I can't explain how weird it is to walk in and drop off your kid that you spend pretty much everyday with and to top it off I was dropping him off with a bunch of people I didn't even know.  I think this program is amazing from what I've seen so far though.  I love that they have a strong religion component to their day!  His teacher, Mrs. Whitefield, seems well educated and up to the challenge of handling 14 four year olds.  

Case hasn't started talking about the other kids much yet.  The only name he's mentioned is Isabella.  Wayne asked him what she looked like.  He said that she has brown hair and pink shoes with sparkly hearts on them.  Wayne asked him if she was wearing a pretty dress and he said, "No but I was.  But it was just a toy dress."  Oh boy, Case found the dress up clothes.  Here's to hoping that's just a phase!  

So proud of him for being so brave on his first day!!!!

My last glimpse of him before I left 

I could not be happier that he loves school so much.  I pray this is just the beginning of a love of learning for him!!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Breastfeeding Sucks

So here I am on my third attempt to breastfeed, because apparently I'm a slow learner.  What is it about breastfeeding that can make me an absolute CRAZY person?!?!  I just keep thinking that God built a mother's body to do this amazing thing or at least it sounds amazing until you actually try it, at which point you realize this "natural" thing is about as natural as Joan Rivers.  I know there are moms out there that have experienced this "natural" bonding opportunity because I've met a few of them, very few.  Oh and then there's EVERY SINGLE PERSON on all the breastfeeding Facebook sites, who apparently live in La La Land where milk flows freely from nipples everywhere and if it isn't flowing from you then you are obviously doing something wrong and not trying hard enough.  It's amazing how I can ask a simple question on these pages only to find out EVERYTHING I'm doing wrong and not one helpful solution.  My favorite answer to asking for ideas on increasing supply?  Honey, you're baby shouldn't be eating 3 ounces at 2 weeks old.  You're stretching his little stomach by giving him that much.  Really?  Patronizing AND degrading all in the same comment?  Nice work!  No, why don't you come over here and try telling him he's done after just 2 ounces!  I'm pretty sure he'll have his own comments for you.  

Yes, I know breast is best.  Yes, I know I know that breastfeeding is the most natural way to feed your baby.  Yes I know formula will make my baby dumb.  Yes I know formula is only for mom's who don't love their babies.  And yes, I know formula companies are evil and plotting to take over the world.  But seriously, I've tried.  Three times.  I don't mean I put the boob in the mouth once and quit, I mean blistered and bleeding nipples, milk iv hanging over my shoulder, oatmeal at every meal, strangers asking me to pee on their pancakes from all the Fenugreek, tried.  My boobs suck!  And speaking of suck 2 of my 3 boys have been given a suck that puts a commercial grade Dyson to shame.  They're gifted suckers.  I'm not kidding.

I would give just about anything to experience that bond that comes from a successful breastfeeding relationship with my baby but just like the last two times the end is eminent.  "They" say that a newborn can only see from the breast to your face and that's just another reason why breastfeeding is so special.  I've got news for "them"... I can't even see my baby during those times because every part of my body is clenched, including my eyes, because of the pain that comes with this "beautiful" experience.  So no, mom from La La Land, the La Leche League can't help me.  And unless I can get a nipple transplant from Bessie the Milk Cow there is no way my supply will ever be enough.  My baby will always get formula too.

So why is it so hard to quit?  I have two healthy boys.  One got breastmilk for 7 weeks but always with the formula chaser because he was born with the appetite of a 17 year old boy and the other only got it for 2 weeks until he became jaundiced and I realized I just wanted him to be healthy and my breastmilk wasn't doing that for him.  Both are healthy though.  Why can't I just look at them and shut the milk machine down?  I HAVE NO IDEA!  I guess part of it is that I'm just sure Knox will be in the low reading group or be diagnosed with some rare something or other and in my head I'm just going to think, well if I had just breastfed longer...  Not to mention breastfeeding is a WHOLE lot cheaper than formula.  I feel like I need to pick between formula and college.  Oh wait, breastfed babies are smarter so he probably won't need a college fund anyways.  It's ridiculous but this is how my mind works.

And so here I sit looking at the clock and realizing I really need to go pump because Knox is going to be hungry in a minute.  And then 5 minutes from now I'm probably going to be telling myself, it's time to quit.  He's getting 1 ounce of breastmilk and 2 ounces of formula.  Who am I kidding?  This is headed no where but give me another 5 minutes and I'll be pounding the water and Fenugreek again.  So to all the moms out there wrestling with the same decision, you have my permission to quit.  Let it go.  Stop beating yourself up and enjoy your little baby who isn't going to be little for very long.  In a minute he's not going to be a lump of baby curled up on your chest let alone even fit in your lap.  It's fast.  Don't miss it worrying about breastmilk.  Now if someone else could just give me the same advice and convince me to take it that would be amazing but for now I have to go pump.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Knox is Here!

 Knox was scheduled to arrive via c-section on July 23rd at 7:30 in the morning but he had other plans.  I didn't feel good on Monday or Tuesday.  I couldn't eat, was nauseous and just overall felt like something was weird.  It almost felt like the first trimester all over again.  It seemed like Knox's movements had changed from big to small and I didn't feel him as much.  I let it go thinking it was just in my head on Monday but checked his heart rate with the Doppler just to put my mind at ease.  It was about 115 so I thought that was probably normal and I went about my day.  On Tuesday I did some last minute shopping and the boys came home from Grandma and Grandpa's for nap time.  Wayne was at lunch with a friend when I got home and got the boys to bed.  I thought I might be feeling some contractions but wasn't really sure so I called my OB's office.  Turns out contractions after 2 c-sections are a bad thing so they wanted me to come right in for a non-stress test.  Wayne hurried home and in I went.

As soon as they hooked me up the nurses noticed that his heart rate wasn't raising and lowering in the pattern that it should be.  They had me drink some juice, since I hadn't been able to eat much.  Then the alarm started going off because his heart rate stayed so steady around 110ish and should have been climbing every once in a while to the 150s or so.  Interestingly enough, I was not having any contractions.  After what's usually only about a 20 minute motoring turned into more like and hour his heart rate seemed to bounce back and get into more of a normal rhythm.  Dr. Fenoughty came into the room and said she couldn't explain why his heart rate was doing that.  She said she couldn't tell me there wasn't a cord issue or something going on.  She said we could still wait until morning to deliver but that we could go ahead and go to the hospital that night if I wasn't going to sleep worrying about him.

There is absolutely a reason God led me to that office that afternoon.  I thought it was contractions but it had nothing to do with me.  It was my baby in distress.  I've been on the other side of being too late and I felt like there was a reason God wanted me to have this information 12 hours before Knox was supposed to arrive so I went with it and said I'd meet her at the hospital.  It wasn't an emergency situation and maybe he would have been just fine until morning but I NEVER would have forgiven myself if he wasn't.  So I called my dad to come and watch the boys, went home, showered, grabbed the bag that I had just thrown together before I went into the office, and Wayne and off we went to have Baby Knox.

Case wanted in on this!  He was SO excited!

Grandpa and the boys watching us leave :-)
I got to the hospital about 6pm and they got me hooked up and started monitoring him all over again.  His heart rate was back to not having the raises and dips like it was supposed to so I was glad I was there and that we didn't wait until the morning.

My mom and cousin met us at the hospital around 7:00 and about an hour later they were ready to take me to the OR.  Wayne was suited up and ready to go, Mom and Bethany were waiting in the waiting room and I was headed to the OR.  That room is ALWAYS overwhelming.  There's the anesthesiologist, the OB, my nurse and about 7 other nurses in the room.  There's just a flurry of activity and it is oh so cold!  I'm shaking before I ever even make it into the room because that's apparently how my nerves handle this situation.  There were a LOT of nerves leading up to this moment.  I had no idea if Knox was going to be born with something wrong because his measurements were so small all along.  He had an unexplained small head that was the main reason for concern.  Dr. Fenoughty told me that we'd most likely know as soon as he was born if there's something wrong with him.  I still can't totally wrap my mind around that anticipation.  I just wanted to see him and hear him cry and know that he was okay.

Wayne had to wait in the hallway until they got my spinal placed.  Apparently a lot of dad's pass out during this part so they don't allow them in the room for it.  I wish he had been there though because this was BY FAR the worst part.  I sat on the edge of the table with my back curved and awaited the needle.  My poor nurse was 37 weeks pregnant and was probably feeling like she had drawn the short stick for sure as I leaned against her through not one or two attempts to place my spinal block but more like 7 or 8.  The anesthesiologist kept apologizing and after about the 4th attempt she even said if there was another anesthesiologist she could call she would but she was the only one there that night.  Just what you want to hear from your anesthesiologist!  She just couldn't get it in.  I just kept asking what do we do if she can't get it in?  What's the next step?  I was getting worried because I thought they might have to put me under.  She's the one who did my spinal when I had Ty and did it on the first try so I know she wasn't doing anything wrong, it just wouldn't go in.  Let me just say that having a giant needle go in your back over and over again is definitely not the highlight of having a baby!  Finally she had someone get her an epidural kit instead and she was able to place that on the first try (I think).  We had to wait another 20 minutes though to see if it worked.  Praise the Lord it did!  I could feel more of the c-section than I did with Case and Ty but I was numb enough that they could do the surgery without having to put me under.  Meanwhile Wayne was standing in the hallway starting to freak out because he had no idea what was going on.  They told him it would be about 10 minutes, which I'm pretty sure is already the longest 10 minutes of a dad's life but instead he was standing there more like 45 minutes.

No one gave him an update so I'm sure he was thinking the worst.  Not to mention my mom was in the waiting room also having no idea what was going on and also starting to panic.  But all was fine once the epidural took effect.  Wayne was finally brought into the room.  I didn't even know he was there until someone grabbed my hand.  I thought it was just someone comforting me or something because he was covered by his mask and then I realized it was him.  I was SO glad he was beside me.  Once he was in place they made sure I was numb and started cutting, while we all enjoyed the aroma of burnt flesh.  Smelling your own burnt flesh... that's pretty weird in a lot of ways.  Knox Haddon joined the world on the outside at 9:16 PM.  He weighed a whopping 6 pounds 11 ounces and was 19 inches long.

My first question was whether he was okay or not because you spend most of a c-section nearly suffocating under the blue drape so I couldn't see anything.  Dr. Fenoughty was surprised to find the cord around his neck 3 times, which explains the heart rate issues.  That was a sobering fact because I know this day could have just as easily ended with a silent baby.  My placenta and his cord were also not in great shape and just didn't look healthy, which explained his small size.  Despite all those issue he was healthy and crying, just little.  How incredible are the instincts that God gives us?  I am so grateful that I paid attention to those instincts and called the doctor!

Hearing Knox was one of those defining moments!  I trusted God's plan throughout this pregnancy.  My trust didn't alleviate every worry or nervous moment or fear but it did provide me with the comfort of knowing that no matter who Knox was when he was born he was exactly the person God wanted him to be and I was the momma God wanted him to have and I knew everything would be fine.  I became the momma of another beautiful healthy baby that day though and grateful doesn't begin to describe the feeling.

Knox came out screaming and pretty much didn't stop until he was fed.  I guess not eating for two days before left him pretty darn hungry but it made for easy breastfeeding (at least in the beginning).  The amount of screaming was a bit alarming to me though, I'm not gonna lie.  I thought we might have just had a kid that screamed more than his brothers did put together.  He calmed down once he met the boob and the paci though :)

He was hooked after the first suck!

Greatest doctor EVER!  
Since Knox was born so late the boys didn't come to the hospital until the next morning.
Ty had a hard time meeting Knox but quickly fell in love with him!

And just like that we're a family of FIVE!

A look at all three boys the day they were born.  I'm pretty sure Knox looks just like Ty!  
Case (top), Ty (middle), Knox (bottom)

Thank you God for another miracle!