Thursday, 29 December 2011

4 weeks old...almost

Wow - I can't believe Ethan is 4 weeks old on Saturday.  It baffles my mind how fast he has grown and how different he already looks.  I look at his newborn photos and his head and body are sooo tiny.  Now he seems so much bigger to me ( I know he is still tiny but being with him every day I notice how he was and how he is).  I still don't see much of his personality yet but I do understand, for the most part, what his cries and fussiness mean.

His newborn clothes no longer fit.  Some of his shirts won't even go over his head.  He is now fitting into 0-3 month clothing.  I do notice that I have a tiny bit more wear from the sleepers from the states though. I think their clothing runs a bit bigger.

Christmas was pretty good.  He did well and was perfectly fine being passed around from person to person.  I am quite happy about that.  I know he is still young but if we can get him used to that from the start, then hopefully he will like going to other people.  It takes soooo long though to get everything packed up, loaded in the car and unloaded at peoples houses.  That was 3 straight days and we were tired of all that!  For example, what comes with us:  Diaper bag - diapers, cream, wipes, extra clothing, receiving blankets, bibs, bottles, milk, milk bags.  Then I have my pump.  Then I have the nursing pillow.  Then we have Ethan with his car seat, blanket, bunting cover.  So this week we told our families that we are going nowhere and everyone can come to us - because we are tired!  We are having New Years Eve at our house and we are soooo excited to not have to go out!

Visitors are starting to come to the house as well to meet him. It's nice seeing everybody and seeing their reactions when they meet Ethan.  He is already a little charmer!

He has finally started to breastfeed.  He will nurse now for about 20-25 minutes.  I still top him off with a bottle after.  I still don't trust that he is getting enough just from me.  He seems to be a bit of a lazy eater when breastfeeding, so I don't know if he is always getting milk or if he is just using me as a pacifier.  It's funny though, because, I switched, AGAIN, to a different bottle and it said it's supposed to mimic breastfeeding, and ever since he has been with those bottles, he also takes to the breast.  I am now using the Playtex Drop In system.... the same kind that pretty much all of us had as babies if bottle fed.  It's the ones with the plastic bag that drops into the hollow bottle.  They are great.  He doesn't have any projectile vomiting and hardly any spit up (he still spits up but not nearly what he used to).  And the gassiness has seemed to become doesn't seem to build up in his little tummy - he just lets them rip!

Things are still getting easier and easier.  I find it is still hard to initially put him down to sleep but once he is down, he only awakes for his feedings and then falls back asleep.  He still is going down between 11 and 12 at night, then wakes up around 4:30am for a feeding and then again at 7:30am.  Sometimes he will go back down until 9:30am, and others he is wide awake.  If he does sleep later, I am a happy mommy.  If not, we just chill downstairs with the pups and have a lazy morning.  I'm trying to rest when he sleeps but it's just so hard.  I am feeling good during the day though so I don't think I am that sleep deprived (but yes, I still could sleep for 3 days straight if it was at all possible!)

So, that's really all I have for updates.  The main thing that I am excited about is the possible success to breastfeeding.  Even if it's just at night that he does it, it will make my/our lives sooo much easier because I can nurse and go back to sleep.  Not nurse, top up and pump, then fill the bags, clean the equipment and finally go back to sleep for an hour and a half before doing it all again!  *But, if I have to do that, I will hands down, do it because my little man deserves the best and as the saying goes "Breast is Best!!"

Goodnite :)

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Our life has changed....

For the better of course!!

I'm not going to lie, we are both (or should I say all - dogs included) pretty darn tired these days.  I find that I try to get everything I can possibly get done in the amount of time Ethan sleeps.  Now, he does sleep about 3 hours at a time, but within that time, I am making or preparing dinner for night, pumping breast milk, tidying up and washing and sterilizing bottles and pumping equipment.  On top of that, I have to fit in eating, showering, doing my hair (that gets done once every three days - thank god my hair is now on the drier side!), running errands, etc....  it is true that a baby will change your life forever.  And I couldn't be happier.

I am, however, finding it easier every day to getting things done around the house and keeping up with housework and laundry and making dinner.  Unfortunately with all that, there isn't much time for rest, so sometimes my body physically won't do anything, and that's when I know I've done too much.  I have to learn to rest mid-day and take a nap.  I had no problem doing it when I was pregnant! I guess I have to just drop everything and think of myself one time during the day :)

In the last couple of days, Ethan has been more alert and wide eyed.  He is responding to different toys we put in front of him and is awake about 6 hours out of the day.  He still doesn't know the difference between day and night, but he is sleeping well when he does go down.  Every couple days, he is sleeping longer than the last.  And that is great until I wake up with engorgement :s

The health nurse came for a home visit yesterday.  He is now up to 8 lbs 12 oz.  So he only gained 3 oz since last Tuesday, but the nurse said she is not concerned because of the amount of weight he has gained since being out of the hospital.  We have our regular doctor appointment in the beginning of January, so we will see then where he is.  He has gained an inch in length since last Tuesday though, so I guess it kinda evens out.  He still fits into newborn clothing, but they are definitely coming to an end.  As a side note, it seems as though sleepers bought in the USA run a bit bigger than the ones here.

She checked his belly button and circumcision, and both of those are healing very well also.  I can't wait for his belly button to heal so we can start giving him a bath in his whale tub!  He is getting much better with the sponge baths though.  The last one there was zero screaming - I almost think he enjoyed it! He especially loves his head being washed under the faucet.  I guess it mimics feelings in the womb.

Anyway, it's time to tend to the peanut.  He is really digging the baby belly and leg massages!  It seems to help a bit with gas as well.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Breastfeeding Challenges and other things.....

Just a small update....and word of caution if any males are reading this.  It's all about the boob and not in a way that you are going to want to read about it!

I am still pumping every 3 hours and I find that I am getting into a routine with it.  I am having a bit of a hard time with the mid-night feedings because I simply do not want to sit around for a half hour at 4am to pump.  I have learned my lesson with that one when I woke up this morning and was engorged because I decided that I wanted to see if I could get away with not pumping in the middle of the night :s

Tonight I started back with the skin to skin contact.  I took Ethan up to our room, and I stripped him down to his diaper and me down to my underwear and I put him on my chest.  He did his frog dance down and right on my breast.  He nursed for half an hour on both.  When I topped him up with the bottle, he took about 20 millilitres.  He usually drinks 80.  So I would say there was some success in that feeding.  He is now currently passed out on dad.

I am undecided on where I want to go with bottle feeding and breast feeding.  Ideally I would like to exclusively breast feed, but I have this hindering thought that he is not drinking anything when he nurses.  I think I just have to be diligent in doing the skin to skin contact and getting him and myself comfortable with breast feeding.  It is clear that he does not have nipple confusion because he latched onto me right away and it was a good latch.  There was no pain, his lips were flanged out and he was swallowing.  I think my plan is to do that each morning and each night and see how he does with clothes on in the afternoon.

To go with that, I find that I am waaaaaaay less emotional now and am actually doing things around the house and finding time to do it.  Ethan is still a very content baby and sleeps for most of the day.  When he is awake, he is very alert and basically just chills either in my arms or on the Nursing pillow.  And he is very content in that way.

I found that he is a bit gassy, so I switched bottles to the Playtex Ventaire system and he doesn't seem to spit up as much or have stomach bubbles.  If I can prevent "colic" in any way possible then I will do what it takes!  These bottles apparently reduce the risk of ear infections as well.

We think Ethan has a blocked tear duct.  He has a lot of sleep in his eye when he wakes up and it crusts around his eye where he can't open it.  We have been doing duct massages and warm compresses and putting a bit of expressed breast milk on his eye and it seems to be getting better.  If it doesn't clear up by early next week, then we are going to have to have another doctor's visit.  From what I read, these home remedies should do the trick (if in fact it is a clogged tear duct).

I guess this was a bit of a longer update than expected.  So much changes in just a few days, it's amazing.  Pretty soon Ethan is going to be driving a car and going on his first date!!

Oh and today was supposed to be my due date ;)  

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Our baby is 11 days old :)

I cannot believe we have had a cute little newborn for 11 days now.  It is still surreal to us that he is ours, that we created him and that he grew inside me for almost 10 months!

Every day/night seems to get easier and easier, and I honestly can say that I could not imagine our life without Ethan.  He seems to just fit right in.

He had his first doctor's appointment yesterday and passed with flying colours.  He gained a 3/4 lbs since last Wednesday, so he is definitely getting enough food.  He has completely recovered from last weeks mishap and he is starting to nurse as well, which I am so delighted about.  I will do anything for our baby, even if that means pumping 24 hours around the clock, every 2-3 hours, but if I can get a couple nursing sessions in there, it would just make life a little bit easier!

He seems to be a really happy baby.  He is starting to get on a schedule.  I let him tell me when he is hungry.  He is starting to sleep more at night and stay awake a bit during the day, but mostly he just sleeps and eats.  We are learning what his cries mean and when he fusses or grunts, we can usually figure out if he has a dirty diaper.   He is growing out of his newborn sleepers slowly, and hopefully soon we can start using the cloth diapers.  Right now they are waaaay too big on him, so we are still using the newborn pampers.  They are getting a bit snug on him and we've had a few leaks.  It's especially wonderful (using that term loosly) when I'm feeding him and feel a trickle going down my side...... and no, it's not milk!  He is a heavy wetter so we have to be very diligent on diaper changes.  We are learning!

The dogs are adjusting well.  Paco is very concerned when he cries, and he is my sidekick baby monitor.  If anybody other than Ryan and I are holding him you can be sure that Paco is right at your feet watching you!  Lola is starting to warm up to him, but she really doesn't care.  Sometimes we will catch her sniffing his feet or staring at him, watching him move and grunt.   All our worries are out the window with them, but there is still a bit of caution there.

We have taken Ethan out on a few occasions.  He has been to the grocery store, both grandparents houses, a restaurant (for my Christmas Party), to the house where he got his newborn photos done (soon to come), the hospital and the doctors office.  He is getting better with the car seat, still screams for the most part when we put him in there but settles down right away.

I will try to update weekly.  It depends on when I can get to the computer for any length of time.  Usually when he naps I am either pumping, catching up on sleep, showering or tidying up.  Currently Grandma Dufour is here so I am able to do a few things, including this!

I am also considering making this blog private, so when I do decide to do that, I will put a post up a week before so it is known that you have to sign up to receive updates.

Time to feed the peanut!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011


Ethan Alexander Dufour!!  He is here.  Weighing in at a whopping 8.1 lbs born December 3rd at 4:36 pm.

I was going to write about my labour, but decided that it is not something that everyone would want to read about.  I'll briefly go through what I went through.

I started on Friday morning at 3:00am.  I was having contractions that didn't feel like the ones I usually had.  I timed them and waited them out and decided that Ryan and I should go to the hospital.  We went to the hospital at 7:00am and they assessed me.  I was 2 cm dilated and 50% effaced. Not bad.  I decided that I wanted to go home and labour at home for a while.

At home, we were breathing through contractions and we had a friend come over to help out with them.  We went for a couple long walks, I took hot showers and bounced on the exercise ball.  This continued until 6pm.  We went to the hospital and they assessed me.  I dilated another centimeter and was a bit more effaced.  We got a room at 11pm so before that we laboured in the triage area and walked around a lot.

Once in the room, the nurse assessed me and I was 4-5 cm dilated.  The doctor came in, said I was only 3 cm and said I need Oxytocin to get things progressing.  I mentioned that I did not want the drug, and the Doctor's horrible bedside manners came out, basically saying that I would end up with a C section.  I just have to say that Ryan was absolutely amazing and was a great coach throughout the whole process.  I can't thank him enough (xoxo).

Long story short, I ended up with the Oxytocin and afterwards with an Epidural because I could not deal with the pain.

The rest of the story I will leave out.  If you would like to know I can tell you in person.  In the end, for the delivery, Ethan was born by a forced forceps delivery.  He came out beautiful with only a little bruise on the side of his face and a scratch on the top of his head - pretty good if I say so myself!

We were discharged the next night since everything was going well.

The next four days was very very tiring.  Ethan cried a lot and we just didn't know what was going on.  Nothing would soothe him, he stopped taking to the breast and we were all miserable - dogs included.

Had the Maternal/Newborn Clinic appointment today and ended up admitted in hospital.  Apparently Ethan was not getting any milk at all from me and was basically starving.  He lost over 13% of his body weight.  He was hooked up to an IV and is being bottle fed breast milk and topped up with formula if needed.

I'm sitting here with him right now.  He has been sleeping like a baby (literally) and content and happy and feeding sooooo well.  I had some guilty feelings, and still do, but I am so happy that he is doing so well and feeling better.  I can't wait to take him home and start again with our beautiful newborn baby boy :)