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.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

40 weeks, 1 day

We took our picture yesterday before our appointment, where we learned he still has a great heartbeat and ideally positioned as well as in -3 station. We also found out I'm 2 cm dilated, 50% effaced, and  have slightly elevated blood pressure. I'll go back tomorrow just to get checked before the weekend. 
It's weird to pass the due date! We trust God's timing but still pray for him to come any minute :) (Seriously baby boy, the counters are confused. Come out)

How far along? 40 weeks (1 day)
Baby is the size of a: A baby :) or a jackfruit (18.9 to 20.9 inches long and about 6.2 to 9.2 pounds)
Total weight gain: 33 lbs (going with the doctor scale)
Maternity clothes? Wearing maternity clothes. So thankful for all I've been able to borrow! 
Stretch marks? Nothing yet. But slight linea nigra.
Sleep: Could be worse. I get up several times to pee, and the tingling hands make it hard to go back to sleep a lot. I feel pretty hefty when I roll over.
Best moment this week: Officially on maternity leave (taking a few days of vacation first).
Movement: Head down, with rolls and pokes. He moves a lot less, but passes the kick counts (sometimes barely).
Food cravings: Not really, but kinda coffee and oranges.
Gender: Little boy :)
Labor Signs: Swelling, congestion, and cramping. Lost at least a fair amount of the mucus plug.
Symptoms: Big belly (I feel like his butt sticks out more than it did), still pretty mobile but getting a bit of my waddle on, hand swelling/carpal tunnel, some in my ankles, baby brain, etc.
Wedding rings on or off? Off.
Belly Button: Pokes out and still soft.

Monday, January 28, 2013

39 weeks, 5 days

Hanging out at work (I think today and tomorrow will be my last days), after having a great weekend with Joey. We got some cleaning done, along with a lot of hanging out, movies, walks, naps, and baths (just me). Today he's having maybe one of his last home alone days. I think I tried to be mentally and house-wise prepared in case our little guy came early, so now I feel like I've been waiting a long time and am struggling to remember what exactly I put in those hospital bags :). Right now we've been praying for each day to be the day, but also acknowledge that if it doesn't happen, it doesn't lessen God's glory, it just means it's not part of our story. Until then, I'll be sitting here at work on my exercise ball, nursing some hot water and my sore hands. So excited yet patient :)

Friday, January 25, 2013

39 weeks, 2 days (picture)

  This week at our appointment, our little boy is still measuring well, with a healthy heartbeat. My blood pressure was a little high, but within a safe range. I got checked my doctor, still 1 cm dilated and not effaced, but soft. My doctor said if she had to guess, I'd be coming back for a 40 week appointment, but you never know. I took Wednesday and today (Friday) off from work this week and it was great to have a break and focus on our future :) Joey is off today too and we've been watching the frozen rain and hanging out. Praying that everyone stays warm and safe this weekend!
How far along? 39 weeks (2 days)
Baby is the size of a: Watermelon (18.9 to 20.9 inches long and about 6.2 to 9.2 pounds)
Total weight gain: 32 lbs (going with the doctor scale)
Maternity clothes? Wearing maternity clothes. So thankful for all I've been able to borrow! 
Stretch marks? Nothing yet. But I think the linea nigra is officially coming in very faintly.
Sleep: Could be worse. I get up several times to pee, and the tingling hands make it hard to go back to sleep a lot.
Best moment this week: Reducing my work week
Movement: Head down, with rolls and pokes. 
Food cravings: Joey craves mexican food :)
Gender: Little boy :)
Labor Signs: Some swelling, congestion, and cramping. 
Symptoms: The worst is the pregnancy induced carpal tunnel. Otherwise some achiness, swelling and headaches. 
Wedding rings on or off? Off.
Belly Button: Flattened but soft. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

38 weeks, 6 days

So tomorrow we turn 39 weeks! I'll have my last appointment before my due date. I've still been working and it's harder than I thought it would be. We have just about everything done at home (we could clean and cook some more if we wanted to), and my most of my work responsibilities have been transferred or in the transition process. I think it actually makes me more anxious at this point to be at work. I feel less distracted and just want to be home already. Because of that, I plan to take a few days off each week (this week is Wednesday and Friday). While coworkers do comment that I'm still here, they don't seem too concerned to see me (I think I'm still normal to smallish sized), so I'm glad I don't scare them. While I'm excited for our little boy to come, I don't really mind being pregnant still. I can tell I'm getting bigger, clumsier, more swollen, etc., but all in all it's not too uncomfortable yet. 
At this point, we're still praying for a healthy boy, as quick and easy a labor as possible (although I know it might not go that way), and patience, particularly at work, until his day comes. It still feels a little surreal that it's actually going to happen, but we're not really nervous yet. So thankful for the path we're on!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

38 weeks, 3 days (picture)

  On Wednesday, on my appointment, Joey was not able to come, but baby boy and I sat in a non-stress test. I got strapped into a monitoring system and got to hear his heartbeat and press a button anytime I felt him move. It was a fun appointment! Each day we wonder a little if this is the day, but we are happy knowing it's all in God's timing.
How far along? 38 weeks (2 days, in the picture)
Baby is the size of a: Pumpkin (18.9 to 20.9 inches long and about 6.2 to 9.2 pounds)
Total weight gain: 27 lbs (going with the doctor scale)
Maternity clothes? Wearing maternity clothes. So thankful for all I've been able to borrow! 
Stretch marks? Nothing yet. But I think the linea nigra is officially coming in very faintly.
Sleep: I get up several times to pee, but sleep well once I fall asleep
Best moment this week: Getting to sit and hear his heartbeat for 10 minutes. 
Movement: I don't do kick counts often enough, but he still shifts around. I'm still told he's head down.
Food cravings: If anything, cookie dough
Gender: Little boy :)
Labor Signs: Some swelling, congestion, and cramping. 
Symptoms: My hands have started to swell and will feel sore, particularly in the mornings. Some fatigue, spikes of energy, cramping, thirstiness, and hip soreness. But really thankful that it hasn't been that bad, and that we're near the end!
Wedding rings on or off? Off.
Belly Button: Flattened.  

Thursday, January 10, 2013

37 weeks, 1 day (pictures)

We have reached full term! Yesterday I stayed home from work after my appointment and had a great day with Joey. We feel as though most of our to-do list is done, and if little man shows up, we'll be ready and happy :) Measurements were good, and we can still expect a normal sized baby. So thankful! 
  • He's practicing some skills: inhaling, exhaling, sucking, gripping and blinking.
  • He's getting his first sticky poop (called meconium) ready for his first diaper.

How far along? 37 weeks (1 day)
Baby is the size of a: Winter Melon or Watermelon (18.9 to 20.9 inches and weighs about 6.2 to 9.2 pounds)
Total weight gain: 27 lbs (going with the doctor scale) - but we went out for a huge breakfast right before my appointment..
Maternity clothes? Wearing maternity clothes. So thankful for all I've been able to borrow! 
Stretch marks? Nothing yet. But I think the linea nigra is officially coming in very faintly.
Sleep: I feel tired a lot, even though I feel like I sleep pretty well, and only get up once or twice most nights. 
Best moment this week: Helping Stephanie prepare for her life changing event :) (wedding), and soaking up one on one time with Joey. 
Movement: He's head down, and pokes out his butt and his feet. His feet are often resting against my ribs. He'll squirm a little if you push on him or after drinking hot things.  
Food cravings: Not really, ice cream? 
Gender: Little boy :)
Labor Signs: Just some cramping, and 1 cm dilated (as of last week).
Symptoms: Still thankful for a healthy pregnancy. I still get some swelling by the end of the day, some sore hips (occasionally back when I don't sit much), some headaches, and typically feel really thirsty. Getting up from couches and beds is a little difficult, but I think I still move pretty well. 
Wedding rings on or off? On.
Belly Button: Very shallow, and pokes out at some shirts.   

And here are pictures of our "finished" nursery (I still mess with it some). Iphones only give but so much qualtiy, but they'll give a good idea. Thanks Joey for taking them!

This is the view from the doorway:

 Joey let me try making a mobile and verse canvas. This is from the dresser view:
 Jenn's mother in law, Gina, made us a fantastic quilt with lots of colors:
Our sign has a few lyrics from "This Little Light of Mine" : 
We are so excited!

Friday, January 4, 2013

36 weeks, 2 days (picture)

 So it took us a while to get a picture, but here we go! We had a great Christmas, even with Joey working a day shift, and fun New Year's Eve at home. We've been productive, but also have been trying to enjoy our time together with just the two of us. We are pretty much done with the nursery, our hospital bags are mostly packed, and we are excited! We're praying for our little son, for the labor and delivery, and for patience with His timing. This had been such a neat time of trust and love. 
Lately, while I feel laid back a lot of the time, I've had a weird 9:30PM spike of anxiety, when I really want to figure something out that I can't do much about - whether Victoria Secret carries their yoga pants in their stores and if I'll want them, to work out a plan on how to switch the stool to get the right color, which bag should be for labor and which one for postpartum, etc. The worst part is how long it takes me to realize I'm being silly and hyper about something I don't need to be. Fortunately, Joey is patient, gets me to bed eventually, and maybe even finds some humor in my moments. 
Almost there! 

How far along? 36 weeks (1 day) in the picture
Baby is the size of a: Honeydew (17.2- to 18.7-inches and 4.2- to 5.8-pounds)
Total weight gain: 23 lbs (going with the doctor scale)
Maternity clothes? Wearing maternity clothes. So thankful for all I've been able to borrow! 
Stretch marks? Nothing yet.
Sleep: I sleep well... once I fall asleep. Feeling a little more uncomfortable and sometimes my foot will itch nonstop or a leg will feel restless. 
Best moment this week: Having my first New Year's Eve with Joey (he wasn't working), and hearing everything is still going well at our appointment.
Movement: He's head down, and pokes out his butt and his feet. His feet are often resting against my ribs. He'll squirm a little if you push on him or after drinking hot things.  
Food cravings: Not really.
Gender: Little boy :)
Labor Signs: Nope. 
Symptoms: I have more now, being in the last month, but I've been thankful for a fairly easy pregnancy! I have get swollen ankles by the evenings, a little swollenness in my wrists and some knuckles (just a little painful to bend), cramping but nothing too intense, fatigue with energy spikes, more hormonal (weird outbursts and tears), headaches, and some achiness. It seems easy to deal with knowing it'll be over soon!
Wedding rings on or off? On.
Belly Button: Very shallow, and pokes out at some shirts.  

Here is a "before" picture of our nursery. I'm not really sure when we took this even, but we have a few pieces of furniture in a teal room. I like to think it looks a lot different now!