June 30, 2011

1 month

Wow. One.Month. Wow.

I ask myself everyday "What in the world did I do to deserve this beautiful child?"

Everything is going so well. I'm so thankful. DH asked me today, "So how has this first month been for you?" and we both agreed that it's been much easier than we expected. I think I was expecting the worst. I read up on newborn development, colic, and how to mimic the "4th Trimester". All tools to assist, but, honestly, we haven't needed much! She's such an easy and happy baby, and we are so grateful.

In the beginning, I really didn't want to set a schedule for her. I was willing to follow her schedule and BF on demand. My child was in charge! Well, as time has gone on we've learned that she's usually in bed by 10 pm and awake by 6 am, so we've adopted this "schedule" and we wake up once at night for a feeding at 2 am. We swaddle her up and BAM she's fast asleep again!

I've returned to work part time this week. I'm pumping at work once a day and nursing while I'm with her at home. My supply doesn't seem to have been effected by this first week... yet! But I'm keeping a close eye on things!

She's growing soooooo much! We have retired the newborn size clothes. We've even retired a few cloth diapers. I need to pack away my maternity clothes that are crowding my closet. All of this is just overwhelming. My baby is growing so fast!

Here are a few photos from her newborn photo shoot at 12 days old...

And her 1 month pictures we took today with her beautiful embroidered blanket (a gift from her Aunt!)...

June 21, 2011

3 weeks old

Things I don't want to forget:

- Aiyana got her toes from her Daddy, but I think she has my big toe! She sticks it up as if she's giving a "thumbs up" with her big toe! I can pick up things on the ground with the clinch of my big toe!!

- Aiyana loves to give what Daddy and I are calling a "salute to Hitler". She sticks up one arm at an angle and holds it! She also tries to "fly"! I need to attempt to catch these moments on camera!

- Aiyana's hair is long and beautiful, but GEEZ with the Texas heat and her head of hair, she cannot go more than 2 days without a bath/hair washing! She gets so oily on her face too! My hair and face will react the same way without a washing!

- Aiyana started to smile in response to Daddy and I (approx. during her 2nd week). I'm convinced these are smiles danggit!!

My Sleeping Beauty...

Baby blanket made by her Great Grandma and Great Aunts...

Her beautiful hair during a bath...

And, today, we captured a very special moment on video! We were attempting to film a smile, but instead we captured her very first coos! (I'm convinced these are coos too!) Enjoy!

June 19, 2011

John's First Father's Day

How do you buy materialistic gifts for a man who deserves so much more? How do you display your love to someone who completely fills your heart... and then some? How in the world do I display how appreciative I am to have him in my life and in turn in my daughter's life? I found it to be impossible! All the money in the world couldn't buy anything to show him how I'm feeling these days...

Our day was a little low key. It was 103 degrees today, so the heat pretty much ruined any outdoor plans I was envisioning!

We started the day with giving Daddy his gifts! Aiyana purchased Daddy a Manchester United (He's a huge fan!) T-shirt and a matching onesie from cafepress.com! DH wanted to order this onesie before she was born, so it was a pleasant surprise! We also made two photo cards for him - one from me and one from Aiyana!

This evening I "gave" him one additional "gift". I gave him a bottle full of breastmilk (BM)! Daddy fed his daughter for the first time today! Aiyana took the bottle perfectly (Thank you, Tommee Tippee!) and drank a little more than 3 ounces! So, I think, it's safe to say that The Bottle Introduction went wonderfully!

This makes me a little sad, because this makes returning back to work so much more real. I will return in one week, and I'll work part time for 2 weeks. I.do.not.want.to.go.back.to.work. Who would want to leave this face? :)

June 11, 2011


I knew BF'ing was going to be best for my daughter. I didn't know some of the reasons, but I quickly learned all of the advantages during my research and reading before she was born! I was already convinced I wanted to give BF'ing a try. I was determined to try and give it my all! During pregnancy, my greatest fear for after delivery was successful breastfeeding.

So how did it go? And how's it going now at 11 days PP?

Immediately after delivery, Aiyana and I shared skin to skin time and an attempt at breastfeeding. We quickly learned she didn't have a good latch. She lifted her tongue, so it was in the way, and her mouth was so tiny that it wasn't taking in much of my areola. So we called the Lactation Consultant.

They recommended I use a nipple shield and use the football hold. We had success with this for the first 4 or 5 days. When my nipple was being sucked all the way through the shield (and causing me pain!!), I knew her suck wasn't an issue at all. She has a wonderful strong suck!

We started to try nursing without the shield and she loved it. The shield was making her work harder, and she's my daughter = lazy. She preferred to do the work on her own and get her meal quicker!

At 11 days PP, we are still having some issues with latch. I have to squeeze my breast/areola like a sandwich and literally, shove as much of it as possible into her mouth when she finally opens wide, which is rare. When we do this correctly, there's no pain... and I prefer no pain!

I'm waking her every 3 hrs to eat. Sometimes she's hungry after only 1 - 2 hours, so I feed her on demand. Luckily, she loves her sleep and at night she's content with nursing every 3 hrs.

Overall, it's going well. It's so true what they say... it takes about 2 weeks for mom and baby to learn. Then, it will just click.

One of the best things about BF'ing is the weight loss! The weight FALLS OFF! I'm 3.5 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight! That's a weight loss of 21.5 pounds!

If you want to breastfeed, I highly recommend only 7 things:
- determination
- a lactation consultant
- an online resource (forum, support group, facebook group like The Leaky Boob, LLL, etc.)
- nursing tanks (so much more comfortable than nursing bras)
- the Brest Friend Pillow (don't bother with the boppy for nursing.)
- Lanolin
- determination

If you have those 7 things, you can do it!

My favorite picture of her so far! This was after a hair washing and towel dry.

June 8, 2011

1 week old

Aiyana is 1 week old! Okay, yes, one week was yesterday, but better late than never! (I'm starting to accept that I will probably no longer be "on time" for much of anything from now on!)

I have to say that time is flying by! It's going way too fast!! I'm already noticing changes in her and it makes me sad. I don't want her to change from this tiny precious girl...

Our first week was amazing! Daddy is totally smitten and says this week was the best week of his life! We're so in love with our daughter!

When we were discharged Aiyana weighed 6 lbs 14 oz. At our first breastfeeding follow up appointment she had gained one ounce in 2 days. Ok... it was a gain and I was happy with that! Then, today she was 7 lbs 7 oz - back to her birth weight!!! We have a chunky monkey on our hands! She's going to gain weight so quickly = fast changes that Mommy is not ready for.

Overall, breastfeeding (BF) is going well, obviously! But I'm still struggling a little. I don't have much of an appetite for some reason and I'm horrible with my water intake. I must get these things "fixed", before my supply is jeopardized!

Talking with Grandma on video chat...

Thing I don't want to forget about our first week...
- Aiyana fits into the newborn sized clothes! We thought all of those cute clothes weren't going to be used! We're actually trying to find clothes that fit her tiny body!
- Aiyana LOVES to have her hands in her face! Makes for some frustrating BF'ing!
- The BF'ing books were right! When babies are full they look drunk!! Mommy and Daddy laugh at Aiyana when she's full. She totally looks drunk!!
- Mommy got pooped on on day 6 while changing her diaper. It was a single stream of about 2-3 feet in length directed straight for my face!

June 7, 2011

Birth Story – Aiyana Helene born May 31, 2011

I’ve been asked a lot of questions about the long labor and delivery of Aiyana, so I’ve written her birth story and happy to share it with everyone! Enjoy!

*** There’s nothing about delivering a baby that is glamorous and ok for immature persons, so if you don’t want to know the “nitty gritty details” or have a queasy stomach, you may want to skip the first 4 paragraphs! ***

Everything and everyone was ready for her debut. The house was clean. All of her things were set up, ready to go! There was nothing left to do… except… pluck my eyebrows! (Lots of picture taking? Can’t have a unibrow!) Even our induction was scheduled for June 2nd. There had been no cervical change since 35 weeks, so cervical ripening and pitocin induction was scheduled for 40 weeks 2 days. I was terrified of this entire process, but my OB suspected she was already 8 –9 pounds and encouraged induction. I was ok with the decision to induce, but I was still terrified. I wanted my body to go into labor on it’s own to avoid induction. I wanted to avoid increasing my risks/odds of a possible cesarean section. So, I was doing anything I could in the days before her delivery to induce labor.

On Sunday, we had dinner with my sister and her family. My niece told me she had a dream the night before that I had gone into labor at the restaurant! Strangely enough I also had a premonition of sorts that “tonight was the night”! Well, labor didn’t start at the restaurant, but that night at 11 pm I did start to experience period-like cramping! I had not had this early labor sign, so I was excited that this meant something! I continued to have cramping through the night, but I was able to sleep.

Monday was Memorial Day Holiday. When I woke up at 5 am I noticed the continued cramping and found a small amount of pink mucus when I went to the bathroom. Again, I had not had this labor sign, but heard/read that this was a very good sign of impending labor. I got even more excited! I decided to stay awake and get on my birthing ball just to see if I continued to have any signs. I had been having irregular non-painful contractions for a few weeks, so I wasn’t paying much attention to any contractions I was having. The cramping continued, but nothing else, so I went back to sleep for a couple more hours.

Around 2:30 pm that afternoon, I noticed lots more pink mucus/discharge and later learned this was the bloody show I had read about! So hubby and I had what would be our last “intimate encounter” for a long time! Again, all of the resources say lots of sex is a great way to induce labor! Remember, I was desperate! I didn’t want to be induced!! Immediately, after “our encounter” contractions started and they continued at 3 minutes apart! I was experiencing contractions with the cramping and FINALLY I was starting to feel an uncomfortable feeling during contractions! I had been wishing for pain and I was feeling it! I sat on the birthing ball and facebooked with the ladies from my May 2011 CD Due Date Group! Contractions continued at 3-5 minutes apart, so John double checked the hospital bag (just in case), and he played Rock Band to pass the time! I don’t think he thought, “this was it”, but I started to really become convinced “it was time”.

After a couple of hours, we headed out to the hospital. The contractions were still 3 minutes apart and they were starting to become very uncomfortable. While John loaded the car with our things, I went into the nursery and hung two of her bow holders! My sister had given them to me the night before and I had not had a chance to put her bows and flowers clips on them and hang them on the wall. If I was returning home with a baby GIRL, she NEEDED her bow holders hung!! :P

We arrived to the hospital at about 6 pm. I was only 2 centimeters dilated and 60-70% effaced, so they encouraged us to walk the halls. After a couple of hours, I had not shown much change at all. The plan was to observe me overnight to see if I progressed on my own. If so, great! If not, we’d start pitocin first thing tomorrow morning. Either way, our daughter would arrive on her DUE DATE! My FB status read: “Only my daughter would come on her due date - not one day early, not one day late, right on time... She allowed me to enjoy the majority of my holiday too! She will be here sometime tomorrow.”

The contractions were still 3 minutes apart and starting to become painful and very uncomfortable. I found that the only comfortable position was sitting up on the side of the bed. Obviously, I could not get any sleep like this, so they gave me Demerol (for pain) and Phenergen (for nausea). Immediately, I was “drunk” and “out of it”. I got about 2 hours of sleep and then the painful contractions kept me up all night long. I was exhausted. I had set my alarm for 6 am. I wanted to have plenty of time get in the shower and do my hair and makeup before they started the pitocin! Today was going to be my daughter’s big debut, and I wanted to look nice for pictures! Well, needless to say, it was difficult to take a shower with contractions so close together and painful! I never got around doing my hair, putting my makeup on... or plucking my eye brows!! Grrr! :(

I saw my OB at 7:30 am and at that time I was 4 cm, 100% effaced, with a bulging bag of water!! Wahoo! Progress!! At this point, I was managing the pain just fine. The pitocin was started at 8:00 am. The really painful contractions started to kick in and progressively got worse. I asked for my epidural at the first sign of painful contractions, because I knew it would take 20-30 minutes to arrive (like my nurse said!). Well, she was wrong. The hospital was so incredibly busy that day and the anesthesiologist was in a c-section, so I waited on my epidural for what seemed like a lifetime! I suffered through the horrible painful contractions of pitocin for an hour! I was having back labor, so my sister and John did their best applying pressure and massaging my lower back. I was in so much pain and sick and tired of waiting on the epidural, that eventually I asked for another dose of Demerol. I was a little upset with myself for making this decision, because I knew it could affect Aiyana by making her sluggish after delivery which would inhibit any immediate breastfeeding. I made the decision though, because I could not take another contraction. Once I got the Demerol, my epidural arrived within 5-10 minutes. UGH. I was so mad at myself, but more mad at the hospital/anesthesiologist!

I had made it to 6 cm on my own, and I was pretty proud of myself for that! More than half way! My birth plan was to get to at least 4-6 cm before getting the epidural. ::two thumbs up::

After receiving the epidural, I was able to take a nap for about an hour. At 11:10 am, I was checked and at 8 cm. Also, at this point, my nurse suspected that I broke my water too. Maybe during my nap? I never figured out when exactly my water broke. I never felt it pop.

Just before noon, I was complete at 10 cm and ready to push! While I pushed my nurse made many remarks about how easy I was making it look and how I didn’t appear to be a newbie at this. I didn’t know if she told everyone that to motivate them, but it did make me feel good! I pushed for approx. an hour and a half.

Aiyana Helene was born at 1:57 pm on her due date of May 31, 2011. She weighed 7 lbs 7 oz. (WAY OFF from what my doctor was suspecting!) and 20.5 inches long. She had a head full of hair and looks like Mommy!

...I never got around to plucking my eyebrows until we got home from the hospital. Ooops! ;)

The bow holders I hung while in early labor!

My last belly pic... 40 weeks!

First family picture!

Her nursery is officially done!

Going home outfit. Wearing Daddy's school colors proudly!

Going Home!!

1 out of 2 dogs has submitted her approval! One still pending her decision!

First Fluff (cloth diaper)!

June 2, 2011

Introducing Aiyana Helene...

Born on her due date, Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 1:57 pm. Weighing 7 pounds, 7 ounces and 20.5 inches. Birth Story to follow!