Saturday, August 28, 2010

Lucy's "First" 1st Birthday Party!

I'm calling it her "First" 1st party because we're having one in SC, too. Last weekend we headed up to PA to spend the better part of a week with my side of the family. We had a blast seeing everyone, and Lucy was super happy to meet her (well, my actually) newest cousin, Mya! Mya was born in May, so she is "sandwiched" between the Goose and the Deuce. We also went to the county fair, but that is another post for another day.

We had a Lilly Pulitzer theme.

The whole family came out.

Lilly wore her new "1" tshirt and favorite tutu.

We had sandwiches, wraps, fruit and veggie trays, chips and avocado dip, cookies, a punch (lime/lemon/pineapple with ginger ale, lime sherbet, and maraschino cherries, to match the green-and-pink theme), and other goodies.

The "big person" cake was half chocolate, half white, with raspberry filling and buttercream frosting. Yummmm!

Lucy's cake was white with confetti chips and vanilla frosting.

Lucy was a little confused- was the whole cake for her?!?!?

Then she started in on the frosting...and you get the idea.

My new "maternity" dress- aka a Lilly a few sizes larger than normal. I put darts in the sides to make it fit better, and hopefully will have it tailored down to my normal size after the Deuce gets here. Waste not, want not! (Kudos to Brett for the ultra-flattering photo).

Our little family.

....Oh, and I don't have any pics of them yet, but from her mama, Lucy received a gold bangle bracelet and a little Vera Bradley bag (I cut the straps down and re-sewed them so that she can carry it around more easily). From her daddy, Lucy got a bubble machine :-)

Friday, August 27, 2010

No news is good news.

I meant to update after my appointment with the neonatal ultrasound specialist last week, but it ended up being so uneventful that I forgot all about it.

At the appointment, I had to provide a urine sample and then had an ultrasound. First the tech looked everything over, then the doctor himself re-examined baby. Luckily I remembered to remind both not to use any pronouns when referring to the Deuce!

The sort-of-bad news is that the ICEF (intracardiac echogenic foci) is still there. Basically, what we're talking about is a tiny bright spot on baby's heart. The heart is completely normal structurally and is functioning perfectly- the ICEF has no impact in that respect. However, ICEF CAN be a soft marker for some genetic issues- specifically trisomies like Downs.

The good news is that baby is completely normal otherwise and growing right on schedule. There are no other markers that would indicate a genetic issue.

The doctor asked me if I was interested in an amnio, but I told him I was not comfortable with the procedure at this point. To me, the risk of miscarriage (no matter how small) is not worth knowing with certainty whether baby is genetically normal or not. Because of my age (not being at advanced maternal age) and lack of family history of genetic issues, I am otherwise considered very low-risk, and the doctor completely supported my decision to not undergo amnio. I also spoke with a geneticist, who backed my decision as well. In fact, I have been referred back to my midwife, and don't have any additional visits with the specialist scheduled.

I am comfortable with the idea that the ICEF is likely an anomaly- it is estimated that up to 10% of babies exhibit an ICEF at some point, and nearly all are benign, not indicators of chromosomal issues. In fact, many ob-gyns and midwifes hate to even identify such markers to their patients, because they are so very rarely associated with birth defects and often cause unnecessary worry. Conversely, some trisomy babies are born with absolutely no markers at all.

If I felt as though I would worry about the baby's genetic health excessively, and thereby make my pregnancy increasingly stressful, then I might consider amnio. However, I am comfortable with my decision at this point, and most days don't even think about it. I know that the baby's health is in God's hands, and no amount of worrying on my part will change the outcome.

Monday, August 16, 2010

I'm feelin' allllll-right.

I don't want to jinx myself, but....I'm finally feeling a lot better (hurriedly knocking on wood). I think it's a combo of getting more sleep (yay, night weaning!), getting a bit of an appetite back, starting up running again, and being a "good girl" with my vitamins and supplements.

23 weeks.

That's right, folks, I'm back on the treadmill- WOO-HOO!! I put in 6 miles last week- but don't get too excited. I decided to actually pace myself for once (which is difficult, considering that I often push myself too hard), and do a run-walk combo. My strategy for last week and this week? Run 1 mile. Walk 1/10 mile. Run 1/2 mile. Walk 1/10 mile. Run 1/4 mile. Walk remaining distance for a cool-down. I'm hoping that I'll be able to gradually work up to running a total of 3 miles- whether that's non-stop, or even taking a quick break. I really, really want to get a few 5ks in before this kiddo is born.

What? I'm not about to open these drawers and dump them out!

I've also been brewing up gallons of my preggo tea (red raspberry leaf, nettle, alfalfa, and peppermint) and taking both my prenatals (Rainbow Light) and an iron supplement (Floradix). This is a big step, because for the last few months I couldn't keep even the smallest of vitamins down. Floradix is pretty gross, but it's an awesome supplement in terms of effectiveness, and I don't want to mess around with anemia again- knowing Med Group, they'll use it against my natural (home?!?!) birth plans.

This is a pretty busy week for me- I've been super busy with work, plus I just finished up an online course regarding post-Partum mood disorders (this includes depression, psychosis, etc.) I'm still plugging away with reading for my doula certification, plus I have the comprehensive exam (last step to finalize graduation!) for my Master's coming up next week. On Thursday I have my follow-up ultrasound at Sacred Heart to see how the Deuce is doing, and then on Saturday we're headed to PA for Goose's birthday. I cannot wait! However, I'm already bracing myself for the weather, because the heat here has been brutal this summer, and PA gets cold early (yes, even at the end of August!)

Don't let this innocent face fool you- she's TROUBLE!

Well, I'm off to pick up around the house now that the Goose is asleep (yay for babies who still enjoy nursing to sleep- I swear my breastmilk has a tranquilizer in it), and laundry is calling. Will update after my ultrasound, if not before.

Hanging out with Daddy.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Lucy's First Dentist Visit!

On Thursday we took Lucy to see the dentist- just to have him check how her teeth were coming in and to get her used to the whole process. Man, do we have a great office here- the dentist himself was super nice, and his staff was great with Lucy as well.

I held her in the dentist chair, and they showed her all their "teeth tools," even the electric ones, and let her hold them. By the end, Lucy even let them stick the suction-thingy in her mouth, so I was impressed! She also let the dentist "count" her teeth, although she definitely bit down on his finger, too, so that's a draw.

Lucy was very happy to get a new toothbrush- she LOVES brushing her almost-8 teeth! Right now she has four on top, with three completely through and one coming in on the bottom. She's obviously very proud of them, because she loves to show off by tearing off huge chunks of bread and waffle, and decimating the teething biscuits that she used to gnaw on. Lucy also enjoys chomping down on any object (including fingers (even her own-oww!), blankets, and mama's shoulder, amongst other things) that comes near the proximity of her mouth.

I'll appreciate her teeth more when she learns how to control her initial latch better!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Monday, August 2, 2010

We did it!

We night-weaned, that is.

Don’t get me wrong- I love, love, love co-sleeping. I love breastfeeding on demand, the convenience of nursing Lucy without really ever waking up, and marathon cuddling sessions.


When my supply really started dropping a few weeks ago, Lucy didn’t understand. She’d wake up, try to nurse, not get much, and get mad. That’s when she’d pull, bite, cry, and generally pitch a fit. Brett would end up having to get up and make her a bottle in the middle of the night to appease her, and that got really old, really fast.

So, I did some research and came across a night-weaning strategy by Dr. Jay Gordon. Dr. Gordon supports the family bed, but understands that in some situations night-weaning is necessary. The entire article can be found here.

Basically, Brett and I decided that our “most important” 7 hours of sleep are from 11 pm-6 am. So for a few nights I gave Lucy her bedtime bottle, and then nursed her to sleep. If she woke up anytime between bedtime and 11 pm, I would go nurse her back to sleep. Once 11 pm hit, though, the mommy restaurant was closed.

If Lucy woke up after that, she was given her pacifier and her “lovey,” and could be cuddled, have her back rubbed, etc.; basically everything but nurse. And you know what? It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. She didn’t really cry at all- she’d just sit up in bed and yell at me. A few times she crawled over to Daddy and went to sleep with him, with a partly defiant, partly hurt look on her face. Overall, though, what seemed like an eternity to me was actually the equivalent of 20-minutes of cranky baby.

But guess what? It only took 3 or 4 nights for it to sink in. Lucy figured out that if she woke up she could still cuddle next to her “nummers,” and it was okay. Since then, we have made tremendous strides in the sleep department. Lucy’s been going to sleep around 7-7:30 pm, and staying asleep until well after we go to bed- she used to wake up several times before we made it there. She still wakes up once or twice (and part of that is due to teething), but goes back to sleep easily, and doesn’t attack me with an open mouth in the meantime. Once she wakes up around 5:30-6, I nurse her while Brett makes a bottle. And, BONUS- she’ll generally drink her bottle and go back to sleep for another hour or two.

The sad thing is that even though I really appreciate the huge amount of sleep I’m getting now, I don’t like that she’s being appeased by a “false nipple,” whether pacifier or bottle. If I wasn’t pregnant, we’d definitely be doing things differently. Still, I think that one of the key ingredients of mommyhood is flexibility- you gotta roll with the punches.

Ironically (or, I guess not), my supply has improved a bit since we’ve night-weaned (probably due to more sleep!) We’re going through a bit of a nursing strike right now, mainly due to a combination of teething and distractions (Lucy really won’t nurse attentively unless we’re at home, by ourselves, laying down), but I’m still chugging away with pumping once-a-day at work and nursing at night. I just want to hang in there as long as possible, and this little boost is giving me just what I’ve needed. I can’t help but think that if I can just make it a few more months, Lucy will maybe, MAYBE be more interested in nursing again.

Happy World Breastfeeding Week!