Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Oh, Holy Day

Last Easter, I would never have dared dream that I would be spending the next Easter with my best friends and family as we celebrated the baptism of our precious little boy.  That seemed like such a pipe dream, yet it really happened.  It happened for our son, Matt!

What a perfect day!

It started a little early with Matt getting a little male-bonding in with the God-Pops.  Holding your god-child is simply an offer you can't refuse.

The God Parents

Matt slept through the entire service, baptism and christening, like a little angel.  He got so many compliments.  And everyone kept asking me what I gave him...  I kept thinking I brought the wrong baby!  Who's child is this?  Church seems to be a good place for him...

My two favorite Matt's and my SIL, Kim.  Meeting for the first time!  Baby Matt is still sleeping...

My other SIL, Tanya with Chris and Makayla...As you can see Tanya and Makayla who are attempting to share Matt. :)

Here are the proud grandparents with their beautiful grandchildren.  Not a bad set...and yes, Matt is still sleeping... It's apparently very tiring to get right with the Lord at age 2 months...

It has been such a long-awaited journey to get here.  My father graciously donated this new gospel cover (object he's holding) in honor of Matt's much-anticipated birth and baptism.  I was pretty awe-struck when Daddy first mentioned this.  It will be used every Sunday and holiday for hopefully a very long time.  Matt, your arrival...well, at least to us, was a pretty big deal.  

We've had so much love and support.  It melts my heart all over again to think of all the prayers, love, and kindness we've been shown over the past years to get to this moment.  We are truly blessed beyond measure with a beautiful baby boy.

The pain of infertility reaches far beyond the intended parents.  Everyone of our friends and family wanted and hoped for this day so badly for us.  And it did come, and it is better than I could have ever dreamed.

Matt is pretty smitten with this one...He did finally wake up, though!

The Matts...I look forward to Baby Matt getting to learn from the OG.  There is sooo much to learn! Just ask Kim...

You'd never guess who the focus was on...

So I cannot thank everyone in our family, extended family and friends enough for all their love and support.  We've truly been given an answered prayer.  I am so humbled at all the love and support.  Words will not let me express how truly grateful I am.

Peace, Love, and We Will, with God's Help,

Mary Katherine & Matt

...and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him. 1 Samuel 1:27

Thursday, March 24, 2016

2 Months/9 Weeks of Joy...and yoga...and breastfeeding...

Just the other day, I left Matt with BJ to run an errand.  As I pulled into our driveway I noticed that third window in our house that stayed shut for the better part of 5 years was open.  There are stripes painted on the wall, and that once blank, empty room is full of love, books and toys for my little boy.  It brought tears to my eyes once again.  Even when I thought I was getting used to this whole parenting thing, little things make me catch my breath and just grin like an idiot.  It's finally us!

*Sigh* We are just soooo in love with Matt. OK...back to it...

I tried a postpartum yoga class...otherwise known as 'Pay 10 dollars to breastfeed in front of people.' The class is scheduled during his morning siesta, so I thought 'perfect!' So I get in, and Matt is all cuddly and cute, and then another person shows up and Matt starts crying.  So we are supposed to start the class with a seated meditation, and I'm all busy bouncing, shushing, and walking Matt. Basically, Matt is no more cooperative during yoga than he was at my last attempt the week before I had him.  I had literally just fed him within the hour of starting this class, so I was like ok fine...I'll just breastfeed him quickly to remind him he's full.  This place is a yoga studio...it can't get much more granola... So he eats...like a pig..slurp, guzzle, slurp, snort...He really knows how to put it on. The yoga instructor was like "Wow, he's really hungry." Seriously, kid...you do eat...I promise you eat plenty!  So this went, on...and on...and on...and finally he started to act a little satiated...Meanswhile the other participants with their 5 month old boys were just having a swell time.  Baby coos, giggles, smiles and lots of yoga poses...FINALLY, I try to rejoin the posing, and Matt cranks up again...so I'm just bouncing and trying to soothe him....I finally laid on the floor to do a pose against the wall and he settled.  Another mom looked at me and said, "It seems like all he [her sweetly smiling cherub] did was cry for the first 3 months."  *SIGH*  Our instructor asked us to change poses, but looked at me and said..."You can just stay there."  OK...So basically for 10 dollars, you can breastfeed in front of strangers between your baby's tantrums and lay down with your child on your chest while you pat his back with your legs propped up against a wall...Namaste, in bed next week, thank you.

On the breastfeeding front...by day 8 or 9 of diflucan...I'm like 50% better.  I don't cry when Matt is latching 100% of the time, now, so I'm proud of myself for that.  However, Matt hates breastfeeding between the hours of 5pm and 10pm. He'll be hungry, I think, root, and scream at me when I offer to feed him. No clue...maybe an oversupply thing now? He seriously looks at me like I'm an imbecile and I'm like 'I have no clue, Matt."...and he's all like, "Who let you have children"...and I'm like 'I'm sorry"...and he's just saying "Don't be sorry, just fix it!" and I'm like "What?! Fix what!" and then I try a breast shield and he finally settles in and flips me off while he's eating...I may be projecting, somewhat. So anyway, breastshields have been unretired, unfortunately...But we're hanging in!!!

Matt is doing great.  He's nearly doubled his weight at 11 lbs. 7 oz., but is remaining in the 25th percentile for height and weight, so that's perfect. His egg head is between the 25th and 50th.  He smiles at us frequently, but you probably wouldn't know because as soon as we take him out or try to show him off he's back to Mr. Solemn face. He is very chatty in the mornings.  It's hard to get anything done because he has to tell me about everything, but I have no clue what he's talking about.  I just nod and agree...hopefully I've not agreed to anything too devious.

He survived his first round of vaccines. He was a champ.  I am so happy for him to be vaccinated as I am a big believer. We want all of the vaccines!!  I held his hand and talked to him, but BJ had to look away.  I did cry a little bit, however, but not so much for Matt.  I saw his little face...the pain, the fear, and I just thought 'how on earth could anyone purposefully hurt a child?'  It absolutely broke my heart.  So with a few snuggles (more for me) and some milk, Matt pretty quickly recuperated.  He slept most of the day, but it was well-deserved for being such a trooper.  We've got a couple months before we have to do that again.

We went home from our appointment, and I studiously read the paperwork our pediatrician gave us and was horrified.  Basically Matt is supposed to be sleeping through the night in his own room and filling out job applications during the day or something.  In small print, it did say "breastfed babies may not be sleeping through the night at this point, but should not wake up more than once."  Well, HELL's bells...First...define night...is night when he goes to bed...or when I go to bed... I mean we are down to 2, because 5:00 am is definitely still night for me! And I could feed Matt at 10:00 pm or 1:30 am and he'd still wake up during the 2:00 o'clock hour.  And then it said to stop swaddling him and begin weaning him from his pacifier....Honestly...he just started using the damn thing...But really, other than the eating, sleeping, and applying to college, he's doing great with his other milestones. This is when I decided, the kid is growing, smiling, and thriving...We are going to do it "our" way.  I don't care what your literature says, anymore...So Matt is doing great.  He's meeting to a little ahead on all his motor skills, and we are very close to a giggle...so there!

We took a little road trip to show Mr. Matt off to the Chattanooga office where our beloved embryologist Susan works.  I was so excited for her and the rest of the Chatt-town gang to see Matt in person.  A lot of love, sweat, prayers and tears went into making this kid.  As Susan, herself, said, she picked a good one. We just enjoyed all the gushing and love sent our way.  They really know how to make you feel special.  As much as I am thankful that I don't have to frequent the office regularly, I already miss seeing them.
The onesie says "My first babysitter was an embryologist." And, oh, how we love her!!!!
We have more big adventures awaiting Matt this weekend.  We're gonna chase the devil outta Matt. My father has graciously spearheaded having little James Matthew Roberts christened at our home church on Easter Sunday. That's kinda a big deal to us Whiskypalians. The Godparents are flying/driving in.  Little Matt gets to meet his namesake for the first time, as well...Big Matt! So, there might be picture overload if you follow BJ or I on Facebook.  My apologies, now.

Peace, Love, and Creating our Own Journey, 

Mary Katherine & Matt

Matt Facts:

Weight: 11 lbs 7 oz +
Height: 22.25 inches
Clothing size: 0-3 months with a couple newborn onesies still circulating.
Sleeps: 3.5 to 4 hours at one time during the night.
Fave food: Mama's milk
Fave comfort item: Wubba-nub 
Fave toy: Carl the horse
Possible occupational goal:  Attorney. He HATES traffic lights like his grandfather, and also according to his attorney grandfather enjoys watching cars wrecks on YouTube...*sigh* So I have a future ambulance chaser on my hands, apparently.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Breastfeeding...Alternate Title "Things I'm Terrible At"

OK after a rough night and breaking down (I mean literally breaking down and feeling like I should report myself to CPS because, you know, formula) and giving Matt some supplemental formula, I called and made an appointment with a lactation consultant.  And just like that, Matt was cured of his 6 week stretch of evening cluster feeds and screeching.  Seriously the next day...he was fine.  Happy, slept (some) at night, and altogether what I thought an almost at the time 8 week old baby should do. What did I do differently...NOTHING...

So yesterday, I was contemplating cancelling this appointment.  He's doing great, hasn't needed to be supplemented and I've got more milk overnight than I can handle. It still hurts when I feed, but I just figured I am terrible at it.  I have sensitive skin, and I'm a wuss. BUT it has not killed me, and Matt is growing like a weed, so it must be going like it should.

Anyway I decided to go just because I had questions on how to get ready to go back to work, pumping, overnight shifts, Matt's latch, and yadda-yadda...

So she analyzes Matt's mouth.  His frenulum is still stiff and has grown back some.  His upper lip is tied, too, so he has learned to suck super hard, but he gets tired and "pops" off.  (Pop is the word used to describe how far Matt can stretch my nipple and turn his head to the side before it comes out of his mouth while Mommy pretends to enjoy breastfeeding because that's what the books say I'm supposed to do.) She asked me if he did that often, and I was like, "What? Babies don't do that?" His 2 month appointment is Friday, so we will ask our pediatrician about the upper lip and if we need to visit an oral surgeon...boo. In the meantime we have some fun stretching exercises (NOT FUN) to do.

Back at the dairy farm, I have a yeast infection in both my breasts.  I've had it for over a month, but when you go from chapped, cracked nipples straight to yeast-infected nipples it's kinda subtle.  I just thought I was still healing and getting used to it. And then I thought I was just one of those sensitive types that feels every cell of her body do something. I didn't get too worked up that my boobs feel like they are on fire in-between breastfeeding sessions.  I just thought I'm making more milk, and if I was anybody else, I wouldn't complain to myself in my head that my boobs hurt.  It was the pain I had after pumping that made me think, 'I guess I don't need nipple shields anymore because it hurts just as bad without them'.  I just thought this is what breastfeeding feels like and for some reason my pea-brain registers it as pain.  I thought it was normal to not be able to turn and face the shower while you were breastfeeding.  And the real kicker was if Matt didn't have thrush, how could I? I genuinely thought I was being whiny, even if it was just to myself.

So now I have a new nipple ointment, Diflucan and probiotics.  Hopefully this will improve my situation.  As for Matt, we shall see what the pediatrician says later this week.  I hate to cut on him any more than he's already been cut on.  I mean I obviously don't care if it improves things for me or not at this point.  I've made it 2 months, 4 more and he should start eating a little less frequently... possibly.

Matt's actually pretty terrible at breastfeeding, too. His mouth issues notwithstanding, he has not gone into a milk coma in quite some time.  He gets milk-drunk,  and lulls around for a bit, but over all it's rare that I can feed him to sleep...even at night.  The lactation consultant said her daughter had a very similar temperament.  So I asked when she started sleeping through the night.  She told me if you count 12-7am,  2 1/2 years. Chalk that up to things you just shouldn't ask.  We've had some sleep regression.  Matt made it 5 hours, a couple of weeks ago, but now we're not even getting 4 in anymore.  My mother told me some babies sleep through the night at Matt's age.  My mother can be really unhelpful...

Why don't you quit, you ask? Well, for one, I'm super stubborn.  And lesbihonest...if I wasn't as stubborn as I am, I wouldn't have Matt.  Plus, I really thought I was lucky compared to some of my friends. At least in the sense that my nipples aren't hanging off by scabs, I'm not pumping blood-flavored milk, I haven't had a clogged duct, nor have I really gotten engorged. I'm also an absolute miser and refuse to pay 25 dollars for 5 Matt-days worth of food.  Not to mention he's growing gangbusters. He's already 11 lbs 4 oz.  So he's a pound short of doubling his weight at just under 2 months.  So despite my easy-bake oven boobs, he's doing great.  And that makes Mama proud.  That is until he ends up on my 600 lb life.  Then I won't be as proud...

So I don't LOVE breastfeeding.  I'm not sure I even like it.  I'd pump, but it takes twice the work in my opinion, because you have to pump, put the milk up, clean up all the parts, feed Matt, clean the bottles repeat.  So I breastfeed.

 Do I feel bonded to Matt? Sure...I mean we've been through the biggest deal of our lives together.  He's my little miracle.  But I can't say that I find breastfeeding totally bonding in the sense that most people don't go frolicking in holly bushes or rolling in poison ivy together on a date.  We just survive it.  I had way too easy of a pregnancy and delivery for everything else to go easy, I guess.

With all of that, I wouldn't change a thing.  Matt's my trooper, BJ's my rock, and we're just a super happy little family.  Even if I'm terrible at breastfeeding, I'm sticking to it.

Peace, Love, and High Gravity Breast Milk,

Mary Katherine Roberts