One Month With Walton Is a Beautiful Blurr

What day is it? What time is it? What month is it? When I write Walton’s birthday and see the year 2017, I think to myself, how can that be right? We had a baby this year? Pregnancy seems all consuming but then the actual baby comes and the baby bump is a distant memory that is replaced by a grunting, wiggly, tiny body that can’t do anything himself. I mean can’t even hold up his own head out the gate? No wonder new parents get zero sleep … we’re literally holding up this little head so it keeps breathing until it can hold up itself.

But somehow we manage and get through it because we would spend those countless hours just looking at our baby’s little face regardless if he is awake or not. And those little snuggles and sounds that come from that sweet innocent little face are really so wonderful that it is hard to believe that it really makes it all worth while.

What We Know About Baby Walton

  • He hiccups A LOT. Way more than either of the girls that I can remember. They seem violent but seem to bother us more than him.
  • He loves to look at his sisters. They are really good about getting right in his face at eye level so he doesn’t really have a choice to be interested in their crazy faces and sounds.
  • Walton grunts all the time especially when he is working something out in his diaper. This may be all babies but he seems especially grunty.
  • He loves baths. I remember this being a screaming episode with at least Vivi for the first few, but this guy is cool as a cucumber in the tub and would stay in there as long as we let him.
  • He smells like a mix of laundry and warm milk. mmmm baby smell
  • He sleeps right now in 3 hours increments no more … but sometimes less.

I started this blog a little bit after Vivi was born and so she doesn’t have a one month update post. But I wanted to try and get some pics of the kids all at one month to remember what their little bodies looked like compared to Walton’s now.

WALTON | ONE MONTH
Smaller than Viv but probably a little bigger than Ellen. I won’t have an updated weight until his 6 week appointment.

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VIVIENNE | ONE MONTH
12 pounds 11 ounces

ELLEN | ONE MONTH
10 pounds 4 ounces

THE GIRLS ARE ALRIGHT
While its been a little chaotic with the girls starting school it has really been the best thing for them, to have another focus than being cooped up inside with the baby. They both love to hold the baby and feed the baby bottles. It is almost like a competition of who gets to love on him the most. Ellen’s attention to most things these days is short lived. She likes to be with the baby but is quick to get up to the next thing. Vivi being a little older is more invested in caring for her brother. She gets sensitive when we have to push her away. She tries to insert herself anywhere to be close to the baby.

They are both very interested in his poop and diaper changes and again treats a diaper change as a competition of who gets to be on the stool right next to me to hand me a wipe and diaper.

GOT MILK?
Oh my milk you ask? I know readers are just dying to know how the milk production is going on my end. I only add this not to add TMI but to remind myself (and the girls one day …) how much one person gives (ME) to feed one other very tiny little person. Right now I am 80% pumping. I will nurse sometimes if I feel like it, if we have time, if we’re comfy on the couch … otherwise I am pumping. I’m not sure what my supply would be like if I hadn’t been on the nursing track to start, but now I pump about 7-10 ounces each pump and have to pump about every 3-4 hours. So that means that yes I make enough milk and then some since Walton is only taking about 3-4 ounces every 3-4 hours and yes I still have a milk dud. Each pump takes me about 10-15 minutes so I am literally hooked up to a machine for no less than an hour in a full day.

batch_DSC_3932    Ellen One Month

DSC_3968-edit  Vivienne One Month  Ellen One Month

 

Week #2 With Naybie #3 | Walton Henry Nay

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Oh baby oh baby. When people ask you if you’re ready for your new born to arrive the real answer is NO. While you can’t wait to see what he will look like and you are so ready to not be pregnant, no one is really ready and up for all that a newborn entails. And it is true that you forget all the work, back breaking pain and amount of time it takes to get this tiny little thing through his daily life. But you smile and say “yes” or “as ready as we’ll ever be” leave and hope for the best.

I will pretense this post that I am writing coming from a third c-section. When I say that I’ve had 3 sections I wish people knew how much I did and do want to push a baby out the natural way, but I did try with baby #1 a little bit with baby #2 and by this time yes we opted for a scheduled c-section. A nurse in the hospital said that her husband was wishing for a c-section because he was so scared of a vaginal birth. There are so many things wrong with that sentence that I can’t even begin to explain. Knowing just that about the husband of hers I can only say that he is a very evil little man.

A wholly able bodied person on their best day would be completely worn down taking care of a newborn. Now take that person, cut her in half, take out an 8 lb turkey from her belly, ask her to breastfeed that turkey round the clock on top of all the other newborn care … and then you wouldn’t be surprised that this person is writing a blog post and three paragraphs in hasn’t even mentioned the name of her new blessed child.

Here are some things that I forgot that I wanted to get down for myself to remember … maybe when a 4th child itch comes rolling around. The lower back pain from the spinal block, the feeling that you are a Westworld host that you can’t shake, the idea of laughing, couching and gaging, the feeling that you will never comfortably lay down or sleep ever again, the tears that come from not being able to pee and poop, the painfulness of a rock hard breast.

BREATH ….
The section above was written in the middle of the night on probably the 2nd or 3rd day home. It was a dark rough time for this momma. Now that we are at the 2 week mark we have had a chance to breath and are lucky that we have had so much help from family and friends. This time around we have needed all the help we can get with not only keeping us fed but keeping a family of F.I.V.E. alive and 2 little girls that need constant reassurance that they are still as important to us as ever.

WALTON HENRY NAY
This name we have had in our head for a while since waiting for the gender on our first (Viv). Originally we were going to use Walton as a middle name but I was really wanting Walton to be a prominent part of our life so a bargain was struck right before our anatomy ultra sound for Vivi and Walton as a first name was born. He is just the sweetest little yellow baby. I didn’t know if he would look like a boy since I was so used to staring into the eyes of little girl babies but he is for sure our little guy and feels different than holding the girls. Maybe the mother-son bond thing has already begun. He is a good sleeper as most newborns should be for the sanity of their parents. And he is a good eater, but we did have to do two blood foot pricks to keep an eye on his bilirubin levels. Happy to report that its one the downward trend and he seems to be looking a bit less yellow everyday. Gosh for sleeping so much and not really knowing what his little personality will be like we sure are falling in love just watching him sleep, kissing his little baby lips, rubbing our cheeks on his soft baby head and taking deep smells in the nape of his wrinkly neck.

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MILK, MILK, MILK
THIS aspect of motherhood is so tiring. While Walton seemed to be a good eater, he was not gaining the weight we wanted at a week out and that combined with the bilirubin levels, we had to supplement with formula already. We have used formula with both the girls and I am completely fine with it but when you’re committed to breast feeding and working around the clock to keep it up, it is a little devastating to have to supplement. We had already been having latch problems which lead to the also upsetting purchase of my first nipple shield. We have only done about 24 hours of formula after nursing, but I had to get into the habit of pumping after each nursing session. And now I am producing a ton of milk and seem to need to nurse or pump every 2 hours on the dot. Or else I’m getting out a hot compress so as not to engorge myself. I could talk about nursing all day long … talking about my milk dud is what this blog was built on but I’ll stop and share a funny fact that only one of my boobs makes about 95% of my supply.

OUR VILLAGE
Being outnumbered by kids, we need all the help we can get. I often reflect and say how lucky we are to have such great family and friends but in times like these where they are actually feeding our family, watching and entertaining the girls when we can’t give them that attention they need and just being there to nod their head when I complain about nursing woes … (which is all the time if you haven’t gotten that yet) is truly the time where I am so happy that we have made these relationships a priority in our lives.

My mom, GMA watched the girls while we were in the hospital and make their time together into a short introduction to preschool since the girls were missing their first week of school in Highland. Knowing that the girls were not just looked after but that they were being enriched and educated is amazing! Also both of Chester’s moms have come up and stayed with us. All you need when your MIL’s stay is baking supplies and the rest just works itself out (that is if you have great ones like I do). Robin and Lori have been so helpful in the kitchen and keeping up with the girls while I have been literally attached to Walton about 80% of the day.

We were so happy to have some company in the hospital. Some parents don’t like to be visited. The hospital can be a venerable time for families. I mean after a c-section you’re most likely wearing mesh underwear and a hospital gown. But it was nice to have a break up in the day for us with some hospital visitors.

After the hospital we came home and the girls started school right away and Chester went right back to work. After I got over the pain hump and was able to lay down flat for a few hours of restful sleep I was in much better spirits. Though the days seem sooooooo long now, double since I live a complete full day at night doing feedings and pumping. I think that we are getting into a good little groove of the girls going to school and soon we’ll be back to the gym a few days a week just to walk and get the girls out of the house on the days they don’t have school. Speaking of school …. I am planning on getting back into things with my MAT program in October though I have no idea when I will have time to sit down for more than a few minutes yet.

Our friends in Highland have really be awesome. I can’t begin to explain how different it is to have some people who are around that we can count on. From taking the girls at literally 5 minutes notice for me to take Walton to a doctor appointment to taking them to the pool when I cannot just to get them out of the house has been amazing. We have had meals brought to us and rides home from school so I don’t have to leave twice in the morning. Seeing these ladies juggle their kids and schedules and meals and also giving us their precious time has made me look more and more at houses to buy in Highland because I don’t want to leave this feeling of community that we have made here.

 

M-I-L-K Update

There is a running joke in my office because Angie hates the word “milk” but of course it is something that I am thinking about literally ALL the time – “my milk.” My left boob is still a champ! Can pump 7oz after I wake up sometimes … and 3-5 all the rest of the times. The left is still mad at me for putting cabbage leaves on it and will at most pump 3oz. This was okay when I had a huge supply from when I was home and my full time job was to feed that baby. I could pump between feedings and then my supply was greater than her demand. Now, when I am back to my full time job and pumping and she is only getting larger … it is so hard for me to keep up. I depleted my whole supply for 2 nights away from the baby for a Angie and Tim’s wedding festivities. So now I have one little bag in the freezer … scary! I really don’t want to supplement at this point. I have been drinking the Mother’s Milk tea, but I think I am also going to try Motherlove More Milk Plus.

I pump 3 times a day at the office. On a good day I will pump 6oz, then 5oz, then 4oz. – Which is about how much milk she needs while I am gone (at least when mom has her, she is always more hungry with mom for some reason). So the pressure on me to pump at least that is terrible. Its all I think about in the day is gosh when should I pump next and geeze I hope I can get at least 4oz time. And if I am late or I forget I curse myself in my head. While I tell myself that it’s worth it and I hope that it is worth it and I read that it is worth it – it is hard and a much bigger sacrifice and commitment than I was anticipating.

Milk Dud

When it comes to your child that depends on everything from you including her food, there is the huge sense of responsibility off the bat to give her what she needs. When you milk malfunctions it is so easy to beat up on yourself and feel like you have already failed as a mother. I have been feeling this way as I am dealing with a second engorged breast. BREAST BREAST BREAST

This is post about my one “milk dud.”

My sister-in-law went through this and I was well aware that with my vigorous milk supply this could be a good possibility for me. The first time we had guests come over to meet the baby. I went through her feeding hastily and ended too quickly. Sure enough, by the end of the visit, I had hard lumps forming and it was too late and I could not even extract any milk out. I tried feeding with Vivi to see if she could help but it only make for frustration for both of us and night with no sleep. At 11:30 pm I asked, or screamed and begged my husband go to the grocery store to get a cabbage which my sister-in-law told me worked for her. I did the cabbage leaves into the morning. It was about 6 am when my husband woke up and I broke down telling him I had a “milk dud” and that I didn’t think my breast would ever work again.

Of course I was wrong and engorgement, when treated properly should only last 24-48 hours. However, I did go though some inconsolable moments, feeling like a failure, all because of this breast that I have cursed.

The SECOND time this happened … it was all for 3 hours of sleep and I woke up with that same soreness and tightness that I had before.

Again I beat up on myself asking “how did I let this happen?” With very little sleep and the feeling of being drained Chester went out and got me 2 cabbages. And I love him all the more for it.

Cabbage Leaves Relief for Breast Feeding – This is what I did

  1. Using the outside of the cabbage leaves, cut the veins open with a knife but leaving the leaves intact for easy application.
  2. Place the cabbage leave on your engorged breast, place a washcloth over the top and take a hot shower or bath letting the warm water run over the leaf. Not too long – about 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Right after, pump the breast for 2-3 minutes to see if you can extract any milk.
  4. If you are seeing that you have a good supply, offer to baby.
  5. If not, repeat the above until your supply comes back in.
  6. You can also follow with ice packs (I used a bag of corn) to help with swelling and relief. I recommend this part as you won’t have to deal with the feeling of a sore “pulsing” breast.

I had to do this 3-4 times until I was ready to use the engorged breast to my baby. However some women find they have extreme pain from their breast and from the nipple. I did not experience this with the nipple, so I may have gone through a more mild case.