happy halloween...

my little cow on his 1st halloween

my precious pumpkin nephew

cow + pumpkin


chapter 4 : 1st pediatric appointment / breast milk jaundice

last friday, we had aj's first doctor's appointment and there were a couple of concerns:

1 - drop off in weight - aj was born 7 lbs and when he left the hospital 2 days later, he was at 6 lbs 9 oz. at the doctor's, he weighted in at 6 lbs 2.5 oz. technically, still a reasonable weight loss (average newborn loses 10% of their original weight) but ...

2 - hint of yellow in skin - aj was looking a bit jaundice. his bilirubin level at the hospital was only 8 but his current skin tone was quite yellow. bilirubin is a yellow fluid that forms when red blood cells break down. so, aj had to take a blood test that day to see what his bilirubin levels are and go back to the doctor's for a weight check the next day. so it was recommended that we supplement with formula to get his weight up and have him pee and poop more to get the bilirubin out. so our goal that evening was to fatten our little peanut! i breast fed and supplemented with formula every 2 hours. later that evening we got the bilirubin results back at 17. 17 is quite a jump from the 8 at the hospital but not a high enough level to have aj in phototherapy.

so the next day, saturday, we went back to the doctor for our weight check and he was 6 lbs 8 oz! he had gained almost 6 ounces in less than a day! however, the doctor wanted us to go and get another blood test as he still looked quite yellow. the results from that day was a bilirubin of 18. so again, the doctor wanted us to continue to feed him and have him in indirect sunlight.

on sunday, we went back for another round of blood test (this, if you haven't been keeping track is 3 days in a row now of having little aj's foot pricked)! the level increased another point to 19. the doctor deduced that aj had breastmilk jaundice. the other thing i didn't mention is that aj and i have different blood types. i am o+ while aj is a+. so my red blood cells are breaking down his red blood cells. so the doctor suggested that i stop breastfeeding for 24-48 hours!!! i can continue to pump to ensure adequate milk supply but we had to give aj formula and then return for another blood test the next day to see if the level decreases. so every 2-3 hours, s would feed with formula while a pumped. it's very very exhausting having to clean the pump equipment every 2 hours.

so after a 4th straight day of blood work (which i have to proudly say, he doesn't cry when getting pricked), we were relieved to hear that after he stopped drinking breast milk, his level dropped to 17.3. so the doctor recommended that we continue with formula for another day and if his level drops to less than 15 the next day, i can resume breast feeding. it was actually a blessing in disguise as my breasts were so sore and cracked; it was a nice break to let my breasts heal. however, i was very paranoid about having aj go 2 straight days on the bottle. i had scheduled a private session with a lactation consultant on monday but had to reschedule for wednesday morning.

so, FINALLY, tuesday was the final day of aj getting his blood drawn. thankfully, his bilirubin level came in at 14.9!!! just barely passed! we were so relieved because we didn't want to have to continue to go to the hospital to draw his blood or have photherapy! once we got the wonderful news that he was cleared to drink my breast milk that evening, s fed him breast milk through a bottle as i didn't want to continue to have him latch incorrectly. i decided that since my appointment with the lc was the next morning --- i would have aj back on my breasts then!


one week old...

here's my little peanut at one week old =)

chapter 3 : recovery / breastfeeding

can i just start off by saying...wow, if anyone ever needs a topic to test one's mental and physical state of mind - breastfeeding is the perfect subject. needless to say, breastfeeding is certainly my worst enemy right now. when i first got out of the hospital, i thought my recovery was going to be painful. sitting and lying down was painful due to my hemorrhoids. i was dreading my first bowel movement because i didn't want to strain and tear my stitches (even though everyone says that's almost impossible). my back was sore from the epidural. before i was fat and pregnant - now i was just fat! and of course, with a vaginal delivery, you are swollen and have to put due diligence to clean the area as to not develop any infections. so with all of that and having this newborn to take care of, you can see how one can be physically and mentally drained and overwhelmed. everyone tells me you forget the pain...but seriously, how can you? even though i am SO blessed to see my precious peanut and amazed at the fact that he is all mine (and s' of course), the pain is just so fresh (yes, obviously it is since it's only been a week).

however, everything is relative. now my recovery is a walk in the park compared to my battle with breastfeeding. i don't think aj ever latched on correctly. although i was getting colostrum and my milk was coming in, it was a very painful process. aj was pinching my breast which of course is wrong and once i got home, i slowly started to feel a lot of soreness and saw my cracked breasts. however, i know aj was getting the milk because he was swallowing. not only was i experiencing sore and cracked breasts, i was getting engorged by the end of the week. it was very painful and i decided to make an appointment for a lactation consultant but they weren't available on weekends so i had to make an appointment for monday.


chapter 2 : delivery

the nurse said we were going to start pushing at 4pm and some women push for only 20 minutes while some push for well over 2 hours. i had to push for 3 intervals of 10 seconds with every contraction. due to the epidural, i really didn't feel like i was pushing very hard. however, the nurse and doctor said i was doing a good job so i guess i was pushing pretty hard. what i find amazing is that in between the contractions, the doctor and nurse was having a conversation about philosophies on vaccinations and people / parents who are against vaccinations. i was thinking...hello, shouldn't we be focused on me here? after an hour of pushing, we were informed that they were unsure of whether the umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby's neck. because of this, they had to prepare to vacuum pull out the baby. they then called for more nurses into our room just in case there was going to be complications from the umbilical cord. s was great - counting for me at times when the nurse and doctor were preparing the table of equipment. i was actually surprised that s was so engaged and actually looked down at where the baby was coming out of! so after another half an hour of pushing, my dear sweet angel got suctioned out and s cut the umbilical cord!

so my experience of labor was somewhat different than what i had imagined. after watching all those episodes of baby story on tlc, i really thought i'd have this sweaty and emotional labor but it really wasn't. pushing wasn't that difficult and i certainly wasn't sweating. once i saw my sweet angel, i really thought i'd be overwhelmed with emotions and start crying but no such luck. i mean, don't get me wrong, it was definitely an amazing feeling of seeing this little being that has been growing inside of me for the last 9 months and the anticipation of meeting him but i just didn't cry.

we were in the labor room for another hour or so before we were finally transfered to our recovery room. i was still in minimal pain since the epidural hadn't worn off yet. once we settled into our recovery room, we ordered dinner since we hadn't eaten all day! we also decided to have aj in the nursery overnight. as much as i'd love to have our newborn in our room, we had been up since 2am so we knew it was best for us to try to get some sleep and utilize the help of the nurses while we were in the hospital. i was also starting to feel some pain so the nurses gave me a dosage of motrin. i decided not to take the vicodin because the pain was not that bad but did decide to keep the catheter in overnight as i didn't want to deal with having to get up to use the restroom.


chapter 1: 1 am wake up call...

prepare yourselves...this is quite a long story through my roller coaster of emotions during my entire delivery process...i'll probably break it down into "chapters" since i probably won't have time to write everything in one session but i definitely want to try to journal my experience before it all becomes discombobulated in my mind.

so after a relaxing weekend, i woke up sunday night at 1:45am to go to the bathroom and saw some blood. it wasn't a huge amount but enough for me to be concerned and decided to call my doctor. she mentioned that it was probably just the softening of my cervix and wasn't anything to be too concerned about. however, if the baby isn't moving much, i can go to the hospital and monitor the baby if i'm really worried. baby l is usually very active in the middle of the night so when he wasn't really moving much i woke s up and decided to go to the hospital. at the same time, when i was going to the bathroom, i was having some strange fluid releases. i really didn't think my water had broken as it wasn't uncontrollable and it wasn't trickling or flowing like what i had read about. however, i still wore a pad to be on the safe side. the only beauty of going to the hospital at 2 in the morning...absolutely no traffic! on the drive in, s and i really did think it was a false alarm and that we were going to be there for maybe half an hour, have the nurses tell everything was fine and then send us home.

when i got to the ob triage, they tested my pad and it was indeed amniotic fluid! the reason why there wasn't more fluid coming out was because the baby was very low and his head was clogging the fluid from flowing out. oh dear, were we surprised! i was only 2 centimeters dilated and was not feeling any contractions - but they were happening! the nurses then made us go for a walk around the hospital for an hour to see if that will speed up my contractions. after my boring walk, they moved us to my labor room and this was now about 6am. i ate a light breakfast as this was probably the last meal i was going to have until after delivery. the walk didn't do anything to speed up my contractions so they started me on pitocin at probably 7am. several hours later...still no progress in my dilation. they increased my pitocin dosage and finally at about 2pm, i finally started to feel the contractions. haahaa. the nurse checked my dilation and i was only still at 2-3 cm!! seriously, that sucked! i decided i didn't want to be on the epidural this early, so they gave me a narcotic, fentanyl. it only relieved my pain for a few contractions but an hour later, i had to tell my nurse that the pain was increasing and embarrassingly admitted that it felt like i had bowel movement. she got excited and that was a sure sign that i was probably fully dilated. and she was correct - i was! amazing, at 2pm, i was still 2-3 cm dilated and an hour later, i was fully dilated! crazy.

so...it was time for the epidural. ummm...can i say, it was SO painful. what was suppose to be a 5 minute process lasted over 20 minutes for me!! apparently, the anesthesiologist said i have a VERY "strong back bone". he had to numb my back several different times and at different spots because he couldn't find the right location for the catheter. there was pressure each time he puts in the lidocaine and each time i felt it got more painful. after each numbed attempt, there was another needle attempt. s felt very helpless but he didn't even want to look since the needle is so disgustingly long. my poor nurse, i had to squeeze her hands each time. finally after the 5th attempt, the anesthesiologist was done and i was instantly pain-free. i just would have never imagined that the epidural ended up being one of the more painful processes during this entire labor.

shortly after the epidural, my blood pressure dropped dramatically and the babies heart rate dropped significantly as well to ~60! very dangerous. the nurse thought it was just the initial reaction to the epidural but had to inform my doctor. the nurse told us that if the pressure and heart rate does not increase, it might mean c-section. however, the doctor didn't agree and felt that it would be fine to deliver as planned.

okay, this is all i can muster for now ... the next chapter will be the delivery!


newest addition to our family...

october 20, 2008

7 pounds

20 inches


10 days to go...

as my first week of maternity leave winds down, i just have to say...OH MY GOSH...i hope baby l comes out soon! i've exhausted almost all my errands and financially can not continue to go shopping everyday!! i mean, i don't think i could be working because i am uncomfortable and have a horrendous time sleeping but i am getting a bit restless.

at my doctor's appointment today, i'm still showing no dilation but slight softening of the cervix and he has dropped. labor is a crap shoot but it doesn't look too promising that baby l will be early. as my sister says, i guess he's just too comfortable in my tummy.


sundays = stress

growing up in san francisco, i've always been a football fan; especially with the niners and their amazing dominance in the 80's. what has made football more enjoyable in recent years has been fantasy football. i used to only care about the niners but fantasy football really makes you put more research and attention into other teams and players.

as silly as it sounds, only after 6 weeks, this has been a very stressful season already. the strength in my team is build around my quarterback and 2 running backs. i don't have very strong wide receivers. however, i've been ridden with injuries very early on!! ummm... brian westbrook has been out for 2 games and willie parker has been out the last 3 weeks. now, romo has a broken pinkie and will be out for a month!!

if s and i don't have plans, we sit in front of the tv and separate computers on sundays and take turn staring at the games on fox and / or cbs and our computers for our scores. so silly we know. everyone says that this will most certainly change after the baby comes out so why not enjoy it now while we can! =)

i'm currently 3-2. wish me luck tonight...i'm down by 4 points and have toomer while my opponent has burress!


only pregnant picture you'll ever see...

i'm only doing this because everyone says i need to take a picture of my pregnancy. i'm always saying that there's no way i'll forget how big i am but here it is!

37 weeks and 30 pounds later

shower pics...

long overdue - here are some pictures from the shower that my sister hosted. it was an extremely HOT day and with a full house, it was quite toasty needless to say. it was great to see all my close girlfriends and ALL the babies!

an adorable diaper cake from my sister

another cute diaper cake from j and her hubby, g

my precious nephew

delicous cupcakes from sibby's in san mateo

check out all the babies!!