Pregnancy Ticker

Friday, October 11, 2013

Our Adventure with Breastfeeding

When I was pregnant, breastfeeding seemed kinda weird to me. Hey, 8 months in, it still seems a little weird to me if I think about it too much. I've been so so thankful for that's worked for Sam and me, that Joey supports it, and that we haven't had too many issues. I have had some good friends be open to me about what it was like, but it's still different to actually be experiencing it. For some reason, it was one of the things that I often wondered about but didn't know how to ask other mothers about, being an intimate thing. 
While I can enjoy the time that lets Sam and I spend together, it can be fun to know I'm needed, and I'm thankful for the nourishment it has provided him, it does limit freedom, can still feel weird, and adding teeth can be painful. Just trying to be honest, and add another perspective and experience :)

Sam didn't officially latch on until 6 days, and that seemed like FOREVER at the time. We tried over and over again in the hospital, often with nurses' help, and learned that Sam does not like being forced. Every time his head was pushed towards me, he'd resist. Also, he had a strong suck, but needed his palate to be directly pushed on, which was not going to happen with engorged breasts. So, I started pumping and Sam learned to take a bottle nipple and we tried the SNS tubing system. While super messy and frustrating, the SNS tube was taped near my nipple and at the other end, there was a bottle with a little device that would stop the tube. Joey would help me with the stopper so I could focus on the latch or trying to get a latch. Sometimes it would work, and it probably helped Sam learn, but man, it was tough. The lactation consultant at our pediatrician tried to help too, and I tried a shield, which Sam would just knock off. Every feeding, I would try to get Sam to latch, then we would do the SNS or I would pump and Joey would give him a bottle. On the sixth day, he just got it.

Since then, I've been really thankful that Sam will both nurse and take a bottle. He's had no issue taking a bottle from me or anyone else, whether I'm around or not. I know that can be hard for some.  After the first couple of weeks of a lot of pumping and nursing, I was a little sore, but really not as bad as I expected. I would apply lanolin before pumping at first, and that seemed preventive. 

I've been fortunate to not have any plugged ducts or anything. Sam is now at a point where he is pretty easily distracted and has never loved being under a cover, so I prefer to find a separate room when I can. His and my favorite position is probably lying down on our sides facing each other. Even not at night, I'll do this one a lot. Otherwise, I still use the boppy to prop him up. I think I have a longish torso and this helped bring him to me. I was a little large chested before getting pregnant, and I still often have to sandwich or hold a boob to help Sam, especially when he's tired. He doesn't bite too often, but he's got sharp little teeth (just two on the bottom so far) when he does, and it's hard not to react.

I think that's all I would have wanted to ask someone, but feel free to ask any questions. And I'm all for healthy babies, regardless of breastmilk, formula, whatever. I think we all do what we can.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Mesothelioma Awareness Day

Hey all, I'm not sure if you knew this, but today is Mesothelioma Awareness Day! 
In order to celebrate, I'd like to share Heather's story with you. She is using her personal story to help raise awareness of this little known cancer, and to provide a sense of hope for others facing life’s difficult challenges.
I can't imagine going through what she went through, and what a great example of strength she is!!
To give you a preview: Heather is a wife, mother, and a mesothelioma survivor. When her daughter was 3 ½ months old, she was diagnosed with this rare and deadly cancer, and given 15 months to live. Despite her grim prognosis, she knew that she needed to beat the odds for her newborn daughter, Lily. It’s been 7 years now and she feels that it’s her duty to pay it forward by inspiring others.
Her story is really inspiring, whether you have this or something similar, know someone, or have never heard of this cancer. Please go to her link to get inspired, give support, and celebrate today. 

Monday, April 8, 2013


We have decided that updates of Sam (and our family) will be on the blog my hubby started: 

This blog might start up again when the family expands :)

Monday, March 25, 2013

7 weeks minus a day

Tomorrow our Sam will be 7 weeks! He really has been such a blessing. He loves being held - in arms or in a carrier, and is learning to smile and coo. He has recently started playing with his tongue and sticking it out. I'm so in love with his little faces. He's a little more than 12 lbs, wearing size 1 diapers, and 0-3 month clothes. And just as a what to expect - he goes through 8 or 9 diapers a day and nurses anywhere from 2 to 3 hours throughout the day. 
He's started liking to look at the mirror above his swing and will smile at me in the mirror. He is normally calm during diaper changes now, and will push off with his legs while he's being held or nursed (which makes him fall off his latch and get frustrated and that's probably when I get the most frustrated. He's his own worst enemy).
I'm often impressed by his tooting but he's not too much of a burper. He still makes the cutest sigh after he sneezes, but we have yet to capture it on video. So as I've mentioned, Joey works swing shifts so it's a little hard to keep up with what day it is. We haven't completely worked a schedule but I have high hopes for the future. In addition to Sam's schedule, I look forward to having a day that I meal plan, a day for grocery shopping, and a cleaning schedule. Although we aren't really doing AP and I try to apply parental directing, I do use Sam's hungry cues a lot of when he eats, and try to get him back to sleep within 2 hours of when he woke up. He seems to prefer cat naps during the day, but that's okay.
At this point, I try to have a goal for the day for accomplishment (sweeping the kitchen, uploading pictures, etc.) and if more gets done great. I'm so glad I get to spend the day with our little boy!

Friday, March 8, 2013

1 month, 3 days

This is one of my favorite pictures from our first few days. I've loved seeing Joey interacting with his son :), our son.  
Sam is now wearing size 1 diapers (he started really soaking the newborns), but still is in newborn clothes, although some are too small, particularly the head hole. He lost his umbilical cord when he turned 16 days old, and has had several bathes in the baby tub. We think he mostly likes it, but will cry some. He is still making lots of facial expressions, and more recently has been adding some smiles. One of our favorite sounds he makes is a funny little sigh after he sneezes. It's both cute and a little sad. 
At his 2 week appointment we were told Sam is healthy, 21.5 inches (88%), 9lb 10oz (79%), and his head circumference was 14.75 cm (90%).  
We've taken him out a few times on errands, most of which he's been sleeping during, although on Tuesday I walked beside the shopping cart with my pinkie in his mouth to soothe him (I think we looked funny). At least it worked! 
He also took his first road trip last weekend to Joey's parents' house. We got to watch Joey play some Ultimate, even though Sam was very bundled up.
I'd like to say THANK YOU to all for the meals, gifts and prayers. We so so appreciate it!
We are still learning how to be parents, to work on patience and love and communication, and I'm definitely enjoying my time at home (I'm a homebody). J is on another break from work so we get some good time as a family. God is good!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

11 days old

We are immersed in baby life and new parenthood. I haven't left the house for much other than appointments and dinner at my parents' with family. But, I haven't minded yet. I think there has only been one day that we haven't had some sort of visitors (we really appreciate the help and support!), and big help from Joey's mom in cleaning the house while I rested or watched. We think Sam makes all sorts of fun faces, including a Zoolander look. He uses his hands a lot, and sometimes just sticks a few fingers out. Here is life according the iphone:

Joey has had a cold all week, but has been a trooper (two days back at work this week). After initially feeling pretty good and high energy, I'm learning to take it easier and will hopefully feel back to myself by the 6th week postpartum (worst is the dehydration headache and weakness). Sam has learned to latch (as of Monday) and I'm no longer pumping exclusively, which is good, but also keeps Joey a little less involved. Samuel's umbilical cord is still intact, but hopefully not too much longer. We are still so thankful for the addition in our life, the time we get to spend learning together, and for reminders to look to Christ for patience, strength and love. Life is beautiful!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

5 Days Old

Samuel Rhys Connelly arrived on Tuesday 5 February 2013 at 5:22am. 
8 lbs 7 oz, 21 inches and healthy!
We weren't sure at first on Monday afternoon if what I was experiencing was the real thing, but it was! My contractions were mostly 30 to 45 sec long and about 3 minutes apart. They started around 3pm (tried to encourage with some treadmill walking) after feeling crampy from a cervical check that morning. Joey wasn't feeling well that day and after his work meeting I tried to let him rest a little. When it got even more intense we called the doctor and headed in to be checked out. We got to the hospital around 8:30 or 9, walked from 9:45 to 10:30, and were admitted into a labor and delivery room. The back pain that came with them was way worse that I had imagined and it was really hard to get comfortable. Between that and the frequency, I felt exhausted and got an epidural around 12am. It was great to be able to get some rest and take in what we were experiencing. My water was broken around 2am and was fully dilated by 4:30. I hadn't been planning to use a mirror at all while pushing but the nurse kept talking about how much hair he had, so I got a few pushes in with that before the doctor came in and Sam got delivered. It was absolutely incredible to have them put him on my stomach and clean him off. I couldn't help but tell him how happy we were to finally see him and what lush lips he had, etc. We are so so thankful that everything went well, we're all healthy and I feel mostly normal (so thankful I was already on antidepressants). He is so beautiful and we are learning so much. To lean on each other, the importance of prayer, and keeping a positive attitude.