This Kid Can't Catch a Break

After being on antibiotics for 14 days, it appears our little guy developed quite the rash (or yeast infection according to doc) on his little booty.  Poor guy screams bloody murder every time we wipe him. :(  We've used Lotrimin for over a week now with no improvement, so after a quick call to his pediatrician yesterday, he is now on his first prescription medication (diflucan, 1/2 teaspoonful once per day).  Luckily, it's orange-flavored and he seems to like it, but it was definitely an experience trying to administer the med (via syringe) last night.  Good thing it was inexpensive because part of it ran out the side of his mouth and down his cheek.  I can only imagine the frustration if it was a crazy-expensive drug!

Today, we're (well, not we're...I promise) hanging out in our birthday suit, as suggested by my pharmacist friend (and mommy of two), Casey.  We're already on towels three and four, as he dropped quite the load on one and two. :) (Gross--I have NO idea why anyone would want to use cloth diapers!)  We are also taking a break from wipes.  Only a warm wash cloth for his sore, little tushy.  We might even try sunbathing for a few minutes this afternoon.  Casey swears this works, too.

B-Man sure has been through a lot in his short, little life.  I kind of wonder when the problems might stop...but my guess is never now that we have a baby!

Sans diaper

Trying to avoid showers of pee

Lovin' Life

So, I've attempted this blog post three times now...and have yet to finish!  Such is life with a new baby, I guess!  Let's see if I can get it done now before I hit the sack for the night a few hours...

We've been home for a full week (well, really a week and two days now) and I must say, I'm loving every minute of it!  We are adjusting well to our new normal!  It's amazing how quickly the days fly, despite not doing much of anything.  Well, nothing but feeding, pumping, washing bottles, changing diapers, doing laundry, doing homework, cleaning, and sleeping, that is! :)  Mommyhood is truly amazing and I would not change my new life for anything!

Of course, it may help that Brantley is the best baby!  Not only is he finally healthy, but he also seems to be happy, as well!  Rarely does he cry, and best of all, he's an awesome sleeper!  I may be jinxing myself by typing this (knock on wood), but there were a couple of nights when he slept for nearly six hours straight (and then I was told by my doc I couldn't do that anymore...more to come on that later)!

I always ask people if having a newborn is easier or harder than expected...and the answer is usually harder.  Maybe I just freaked myself out by their responses, but so far, I would say it's easier!  It's also only been 3 1/2 weeks...we have a loooong way to go!

B-Man had a check-up last Tuesday.  Things looked great other than the fact that he lost six ounces since being discharged from the hospital four days prior (7 pounds 8 ounces, down from 7 pounds 14 ounces).  Hence, the not-allowing-him-to-sleep-beyond-four-hours-without-eating thing.  Oops!

As a result to the weight loss, it was suggested we supplement every other feeding with formula and I pump to see exactly how much milk I was producing.  So, after 2 1/2 weeks, we introduced bottles.  I was hoping to wait until at least four weeks to do so (as instructed in our childbirth class), but honestly, bottle feeding is SO MUCH EASIER in my opinion.  It's quicker/more efficient (he sucks down three ounces in about ten minutes as opposed to feeding on the boob for 30+ minutes!), we know he's getting the full three ounces he needs, and the hubs can help with those middle-of-the-night feedings...waaay less stressful on momma!  Oh, and my nipples aren't blistered like they were when breast feeding.  (TMI??)  I do miss the bonding that breast feeding offered and feel a little guilty for bottle feeding him so soon, but it just seems right at the moment.  And since he's still getting breast milk, I shouldn't feel too guilty, right??

We're also following somewhat of a schedule for his eight-times-per-day feedings.  Little man eats every 2 1/2 hours during the day, every 3 hours during the evening, and every 4 hours overnight as follows (give or take about a half an hour): 3am, 7am, 9:30am, 12pm, 2:30pm, 5pm, 8pm, and 11pm.  He seems content with that, and so am I since I only have to get up once in the night!

We went back to the doctor yesterday morning for a weigh-in and he was up to 8 pounds 2 ounces!  So, not only did he gain ten ounces, but he finally surpassed his birth weight!  The bottles and schedule must be working!

We also got the go-ahead to stop waking him overnight once he hits the four-week in five days from now!  (Can you believe he's almost four weeks old??  I can't!)  Woo hoo!  Now, if he can just keep up that awesome habit, that would make for one happy mommy!

So, there's a little update for ya!  Can I also say I'm so excited that I don't have to go back to school in 2 1/2 weeks like my co-workers?  Sorry for that, co-worker friends. :)  But on the down side, I better get going on my sub plans!

Oh, and how about a little Friday Sunday photo dump?  I promise I had it done on Friday!  Just couldn't get around to posting!

Top: Gettin' my last dose of antibiotics before going home | Not sure if K-Dog loves Brantley or the boppy | Personalized onesie from my friend Jamie
Middle: Chillin' with mommy in the nursery | Car ride home!!
Bottom: Personalized blanket from our friends Earl & Joanna | Lovin' my swing! | So glad you're finally home, Mommy!

Top: Check out his folded hands - adorable! | Handsome and I know it! | One of the best store-bought kinds of ice cream
Bottom: Caption Adorable | Love my little guy | Little froggy feet

And just for fun, I'll leave you with a few more newborn photos.  I thought I loved our maternity photos...but those don't even compare to these precious things!!!  I'll attempt to make a slideshow with all the photos tomorrow...or maybe Tuesday...or Wednesday...hopefully before the week is over. :)  Enjoy for now!

Advice & Packing List

I am lucky to have so many friends who became mommies before me and passed along some great pre-baby and hospital advice.  Since the advice helped me so much, I thought I'd pass along some of their great suggestions (and a few of my own) to you!

  • Make sure you stock up on the following items before baby: 
    • Always overnight pads (you'll bleed for 4 to 6 weeks is what they told me!), 
    • Tucks (very refreshing when you feel swollen and bruised "down there")
    • Stool softener (docusate sodium is safe for baby)
    Of course, the hospital will supply you with these items while you're there, but you'll want them once you return home, as well!  And it's pretty difficult to make a Target-run once baby arrives...especially if you end up in the NICU like we did! 
  • A friend also suggested I buy a few pairs of cheap, cotton undies to wear in lieu of the disposable, mesh, one-size-fits-all things they give you in the hospital.  Though I took her advice, I actually didn't mind the mesh things for the first week.  It was nice to just throw them away every day!
Get excited for these sexy things

  • Speaking of the hospital, take everything they give are paying for it, after all!  Ask your nurse for extras of everything (pads/mommy diapers, tucks, numbing spray, ice packs, etc.) before you are discharged and take the extra baby supplies (diapers, wipes, etc.), as well!  Funny story--our backyard neighbor guy said he took even the blankets when his wife had their first child.  Ha!

  • If you're planning to breast will be helpful to buy some nursing bras and/or nursing camis or tank tops.  They unsnap towards the top and allow for quick and easy access.  Target sells both items for around $20 a piece.  I also got a couple of bras from Gordman's, as I discovered they sell Motherhood brand stuff for cheaper.
This is how they unsnap
  • Speaking of breast feeding, it's painful...or at least it is for me!  Make sure you buy some lanolin nipple cream to help soothe your sore, irritated boobs.  Breast pads are nice, too!  They go inside your bra and are meant to protect you from leaks, but I also like them so my bras don't get greasy after using the lanolin.  I've heard the disposable breast pads are better/more absorbent than the non-disposable.  I have the Lansinoh brand and they are fine.
  • If you're planning to may not be aware that you have to hold the funnels on while pumping.  Annoying.  I'd prefer to multitask since every minute seems rather valuable these days.  They sell hands-free pumping bras, but my friend Rachel mentioned that she cut holes in an old sports bra instead.  So, I tried the same and it worked like a charm!  The only downfall is that it's a pain to put on over my head every time.  I may eventually break down (once I return to work) and buy one of the strapless pumping bras, but for now, my homemade hands-free bra beats spending $35!

And finally, here is a hospital packing list!  I compiled it after searching the Internet and asking my friends and sister what was necessary!

For Baby
  • Going home outfit (You may want a newborn and 0-3 month outfit - you never know how big your baby will be!)
  • Car seat & owner's manuel
  • Baby nail clippers w/ nail file
  • Optional: booties/socks, hat, receiving blankets, pacifier (hospital should supply all)
For Mom/Dad
  • Toiletries
    • Toothbrush/toothpaste/mouthwash
    • Hairbrush
    • Hair ties/bobby pins/elastic headband
    • Razor/shaving cream
    • Shampoo/conditioner
    • Body wash/shower poof
    • Facewash/facewash wipes
    • Contacts/contact solution
    • Glasses
    • Deodarant
    • Pre-natal vitamins
    • Lotion
    • Make-up
    • Hair dryer
    • Chapstick
  • Snacks for Dad ahead of time and for Mom afterwards
  • Socks, slippers, or flip flops for Mom
  • Robe for Mom (I never used)
  • Pajamas
  • Cotton undies for Mom
  • Always overnight pads
  • Change of clothes for at least 3 days (I suggest some yoga pants, running shorts, tank tops, t-shirts)
  • Your own pillow
  • Bath towels--the hospitals are very small!
  • Tervis tumbler/water jug/bottled water for Dad
For Breast Feeding/Pumping
  • Nursing bra(s)--no underwire
  • Nursing nightgown(s)*
  • Nursing cami(s)
  • Old sports bra w/ holes cut
  • Boppy pillow & cover
  • Nursing/breast pads
  • Lanolin nipple cream
  • Breast pump (The hospital will supply the tubing and parts, but it's nice to make sure you know how yours works before going home.)
*A friend suggested this, but I never bought one.  It might be nice for the overnight feedings, but I just slept in a nursing cami.

  • Insurance info
  • Birth plan
  • Baby book to start at hospital, if wanted
  • Camera with extra batteries, cord to upload photos to computer
  • Cell phones and chargers
  • Laptop/iPad and charger
  • $25 in cash for baby's birth certificate/social security card
  • Change for vending machine
  • Magazines or light reading
  • Extra bag or diaper bag to load up on supplies
  • Paper/pencil for notes, gifts, etc.
  • Thank you cards

Newborn Teaser

My friend Jamie came over yesterday morning and took some newborn photos of the little man.  Here is one she sent me - I can't stop looking at it!!!!!!!  Adorable and I can't wait for more!


The Baby Bump - Start to Finish

If you follow me on Bloglovin, you're going to see this update despite me back-dating it a couple of years. :)  I just really wanted my first pregnancy baby bump documented in collage form.

11 Weeks | 12 Weeks | 13 Weeks
14 Weeks | 15 Weeks | 16 Weeks
17 Weeks | 18 Weeks | 19 Weeks
20 Weeks | 21 Weeks | 22 Weeks
23 Weeks | 24 Weeks | 25 Weeks
26 Weeks | 27 Weeks | 28 Weeks
29 Weeks | 30 Weeks | 31 Weeks
32 Weeks | 33 Weeks | 34 Weeks
35 Weeks | 36 Weeks | 37 Weeks
38 Weeks | 39 Weeks | 39.5 Weeks

Home Sweet Home

Those three words have never sounded sweeter.  It feels so good to sit on our couch and sleep in our own bed...even if I am up every few hours to feed the little man.

Friday Photo Dump

Happy Friday! This is an especially good Friday for us because WE GET TO TAKE OUR BABY HOME!!  It's been a long two weeks and we couldn't be more excited for the trek home this evening!


Hotel Shawnee Misison & Brantley Update

This place is beginning to feel like home.

Except that we've been forced to move rooms four times now.  We're in room #5.  Ugh.

But...we're thankful to have a place to stay.  I'm honestly not sure what we'd do otherwise.  Especially since I'm feeding every three hours now.

There are some perks to this place.  The cafeteria has great cookies.  And I get a latte every morning.  It's no Starbucks, but something I look forward to!  The t.v. also has some great relaxation channels.  It makes me feel like I'm in a spa.  And the nurses are wonderful.  I honestly can't say enough great things about the nurses.

As for the Brantley update: today is day 12 (of 14) on antibiotics.  Assuming they are doing their job, we'll be out of here Friday night.  The nurse practitioner will perform another spinal tap sometime today, which will show if the infection is gone.  If not, it's another seven days here, but we're hopeful that's not the case.

I am so ready to be home!  To show Brantley his house and his awesome room and introduce him to his doggy brother and take him for walks and get newborn photos taken and do all kinds of fun things we can't do here.  I know poor Kinnick is ready for us to be home, too.  We go home each evening for dinner and he always tries to come back with us.  Luckily, my parents have been here since Saturday to help with things around the house (thank you, Mom and Dad!!!!!!!!) and have given K-Dog lots of attention.  Still, they're no mommy and daddy...

I'm also ready to introduce Brantley to the world.  We were advised to limit our visitors while here and there are so many people who want to meet him.  There are so many people I want him to meet, a well!

Anyway, there's the latest!  I hope to update again soon with happy homecoming news!  Pray for us, pray for him, and pray that the antibiotics have done their job.


Brantley's Birth Story

My baby is ten days old today.  I've been wanting to blog about his birth story, mainly so that I remember all the little details, but also for anyone that cares to read it!  I was so nervous about the labor and delivery process and feel compelled to share my less-than-scary story with all the future mamas out there! ya go!

The day was Friday, July 6.  Our alarms sounded at 5:45 a.m. and we scurried around, anxiously preparing for our trip to the hospital.  Of course, our bags my bag had been packed for weeks, so there was little to do besides throw in those last-minute items and snap my final "baby bump" photo.  The morning was so surreal.  Every so often one of us would stop at say, "We're having a baby today!" Craziness...

Because his birth was a scheduled induction, I didn't get to experience "going into labor".  I was slightly disappointed about that, as I wanted to know what it felt like to happen naturally.  But, looking back, I wouldn't change anything about it!

We said our good-byes to Kinnick and headed out around 6:40.  We were scheduled check in at the hospital at 7.  Again, driving to the hospital, parking, and walking inside knowing that day was going to change our lives forever was so weird - good weird, amazing weird, and somewhat scary weird.

We checked in and were taken back to our labor/delivery room pretty quickly.  I was hooked up to the IV, baby heart monitor, and contraction monitor.  The nurse checked me and I was nearly 2 cm dilated and about 70-80% basically no change from my appointment a week before.  (So much for stripping the membranes!)

Craig snapped a few photos of me and we took one of the two of us together, courtesy of the self-timer.

At 8:10, I was started on pitocin.  My doctor stopped by around 8:45 and broke my water.  Eew.  It was weird.  Like disgusting weird.  Not so much a trickle, as they told us in childbirth class, but rather a gush of fluid.  I'd sure hate for that to happen in public.

She also said whenever I wanted the epidural was just fine with her!  Love my laid-back doc!

Around 10:00, I was dilated to 3cm.  Until that point, the contractions were very manageable...slight tightening in my stomach on the lower end to period-like cramps on the higher end.  And they didn't last long, so I was able to handle them just fine.  At 3cm, I was struggling.  There were times I felt like throwing up because the pain was so intense and seemed to last for five minutes (though I know each contractions was really more like a minute).

I was hesitant to get the epidural so soon, as I didn't want it to slow my progress.  However, the nurse suggested I go ahead and do it, assuming I knew I wanted one eventually.

That was the best advice ever! 

I gave the go-ahead and the anesthesiologist was there soon after.  He prepped me and pretty quickly, inserted the epidural into my lower back.  Since they numb the area first with a local anesthetic, I didn't even feel the actual epidural.

Within a few minutes, the contractions were less intense; however, I could still feel much of my left side.  They had me roll to my left side, which helped, and my pain was completely gone in about 15 to 20 minutes total.

At that point, the anesthesiologist said something like "This is the point women usually think 'Yep, I can do this again.'"  That couldn't be closer to the truth! 

I was pain-free for about 45 minutes and then the contractions started to hurt again on my left side.  Again, I remember thinking "I'm gonna throw up".  Luckily, I never did.

At 11:30, Craig pushed the button* to increase my epidural three times (once every ten minutes).  It was about 45 more minutes before I was completely pain-free once again.

Despite being pain-free, I still had decent feeling in my legs, feet, and toes.  I could lift my legs and move them.  I was able to feel them when touched.  I think I had the best of both worlds - no pain, but not completely numb legs, either!

My parents made their way to the hospital sometime late morning and chilled in our room for awhile.

At noon, I was approximately 7 to 8 cm dilated.

At 12:30, I was the same, but the baby's head had dropped significantly.

At 12:50, I was 9-10 cm dilated.  Apparently the epidural helped me relax and things progressed very quickly!

(My notes stop here, so things are a little fuzzy...)

I think, around 1:30, I began pushing.  However, my doctor was going back and forth between me and another patient in labor, so my nurse was instructed to have me push only every other contraction.

Since I couldn't feel anything in my pelvic area (not even pressure like some people), I had a hard time pushing.  The nurse tied a knot in the end of a towel and had me play "tug-of-war" with the towel.  Apparently, when doing so, you use the muscles required to push.  It worked like a charm and Craig eventually took over the other end of the tug-of-war towel.

Which means he had a front-row view of everything.  And he watched the entire thing.

My doctor finally showed up (after delivering the other baby) and it was go-time!  Despite being "sunny-side-up" (face up) the entire morning, the baby had turned face down shortly before delivery.  I pushed only a few more times and before I knew it, they said the baby's head was out.  I could feel my doctor pull out his other body parts and just like that, he was here.  The official time was 2:38 p.m.

The rest is kind of a blur.  They immediately put him on my chest and then cleaned him up, took his stats, etc. while the doctor delivered my placenta.  Craig headed to the lobby to share the good news with our families (his mom and sister arrived about 30 minutes prior) and then we had some time to bond before family came back.

So, there's the story of my baby boy's birth.  The whole experience was amazing.  Not at all scary and not nearly as painful as I thought it would be!  Now, why on Earth you'd want to attempt it without an epidural is beyond me.  No thank you.  But, with an epidural, it was a wonderful, joyous, and best of all, pain-free experience!

*Until our childbirth class, I didn't realize that a catheter is inserted into your back during an epidural.  The medication continues to flow until they remove the catheter after delivery.  You can also push a button to increase the epidural if ever you experience any pain.