Oct 27, 2011

If I can do it, so can you

You know how people always say giving birth to a baby is the easiest pain to forget? When I gave birth to Brayden I cursed every woman who ever said that to me, sure that they all lied. How could I ever forget the greatest pain I've ever experienced?

Well, I think I finally have. I have not forgotten that it was the hardest thing I've ever done and a terrible (and by terrible, I mean terribly wonderful!) experience. But I don't remember feeling the pain. Of course, it was worth it. Seeing my son for the first time was the most amazing thing I've ever experienced. My labor was long and at the end my pain meds were mostly if not completely gone, so I think it's okay for me to be honest and say that it was terrible. Twenty-one hours of labor with four hours of pushing, I was so exhausted that I was sure I wasn't going to be able to do it by myself (not to mention I'm a big baby when it comes to pain). I felt like I had been pushing forever and that nothing was happening, like we were just pushing for fun or for practice. The pressure was incredible, almost unbearable, and all I wanted to do was eat and sleep ( I hadn't eaten in more than 24 hours so I was already throwing up and shaking from hunger ). Then all of the sudden the doctor was there with the suction tool. He said he would try to help me but I still had to do all of the work. When I pushed he would be able to hold the baby in place in the birth canal so he wouldn't move back up in between pushes. At this point, we were about five minutes from meeting our baby boy (which actually felt like 12 hours to me), and I started to hyperventilate because I couldn't catch my breath between holding it to push and trying to breathe through the pain. The one thing that I can remember clearly during this is the doctor stopping to calm me down and saying that I needed to breathe or we weren't going forward. I needed to give him one more good push and the baby would be here. Then I said "do you promise?" Everyone thought that was funny, but not me. I wanted to make sure he wasn't just saying that. I can also remember three or four people standing around me, including Zach, yelling and cheering me on. Zach was literally jumping up and down next to me. This was actually very helpful. Sort of like when you're doing a hardcore workout and just want to give up but have a trainer screaming in your face..it pumps you up. So I put all my energy behind it and out came his head. I couldn't stop at that point. There's just something in your body that wants you to keep pushing. Then the nurses started yelling at me telling me to stop, because I guess they have to turn the baby before the shoulders come out, and all I could think was are you kidding me?? You just told me to give it all I had and now you want me to stop? Three seconds later, Brayden graced us with his presence. The rest is a bit of a blur. The doctor tossed him onto my chest, Zach was telling me to look at my baby, but I couldn't see him. I think I might have blacked out for a short time. Then as quickly as all the people came rushing in and around me, they were gone and the room was dark with just my little family.

Here we are almost four months later. So, yes I have forgotten the pain, but I can still remember my feelings about the pain. This girl is definitely not ready to do that again for awhile. For now, we will just enjoy our perfect little bundle of joy :-)

Oct 22, 2011

So in love...

For a baby with eczema that was pretty terrible just a few days ago, look how perfect he is. I couldn't dream of a cuter baby boy..

Oct 21, 2011

Vote for my blog!

I still consider myself an amateur blogger, even though I've had umpteen different blogs since before I graduated college. I'm getting serious about this particular one and am working to get it to be more appealing and not just text and photos. I've recently become a member of Top Baby Blogs, so if you like reading my blog (or love me at all), please go to the following website and vote for my blog!


Thanks!! :-)

Oct 20, 2011

Crisco baby

Two things..

First, Brayden has a possible diagnosis for his skin. The dermatologist is treating him for atopic eczema. The reason that it looks so bad and puffy and gross is because it's possibly infected. She swabbed his skin and they're doing whatever tests they have to do to find out if there is infection. If there is, then we will have to put him on medication. I hope there is not, but the yellowish scabs indicate that it is.

Here is what I know about eczema. The cause is unknown. It is an inflammation of the skin that is accompanied by itching. Atopic eczema in infants is usually thought to be traceable to sensitivity to milk or some other allergic reaction, although it may not be that at all. Most infants grow out of it and may only have a few "flair ups" here and there throughout their childhood (this is good news). About 5% of the U.S. population have this condition. Still.. I almost cried. Hormones. Poor little Brayden.

Treatment? Grease that baby up with every ointment and grease (quite literally) that you can find!! Literally. She gave us an antibiotic ointment to help with any infection, and a hydro-cortizone cream for itching and inflammation. And the last thing... CRISCO. That's right. The kind that you use in the kitchen. We could also use aquaphor (which we have one tube of - thank you Kristen!), but it is $8 for one little tube!! We will be going through that stuff like crazy, so the cheaper alternative is Crisco.

There's a very specific grease-tastic routine that I won't bore you with..but let's just say it's a little bit of a pain in the butt. Brayden will be hanging out in his plain old white onsies all day unless we are going somewhere, otherwise there will be grease everywhere. Regardless, we will do anything to make him better. After two weeks we will check back in with the dermatologist and go from there. I should get the lab results in two days.

Second thing.. Brayden rolled to his side!! As soon as we got back home from the doctor's today, I layed him down on his play mat and he grabbed his feet and rolled to his side! And then he did it like five more times! I don't know if I'm ready for that. If I wake up in the middle of the night and see him lying on his belly I think I will panic at first. A side note about that, we finally got the monitor charger in the mail so I will be able to sleep in our room again!

Pictures following.

This is a photo of Brayden's forearm.

It's kind of hard to tell and it's a grainy photo, but this is him all greased up, happy as a clam.

And here he is right after he rolled to his side!!

Oct 18, 2011

Itching for Relief

Well, cutting milk out of my diet completely has not done anything for Brayden's skin. I feel so bad. I think it's getting worse. He has been miserable and I know that it is itching him. He rubs his head back and forth when he's lying down and when he gets his nails on his head and realizes he's scratching, he goes at it and then ends up bleeding. He's been sleeping a lot during the day and not playing as much. When he wakes up from his naps he immediately starts crying.

I called the doctor back today to let them know and they referred me to a dermatologist. We have an appointment on Thursday for him. I hope we can figure out what this is so we can make him feel better. It just breaks my heart.

On another note.. the kitties chewed through the cord to our baby monitor (while it was plugged in and charging!). Now we have no way to charge the monitor, so I've been sleeping in the nursery with Brayden until we get the replacement part in the mail. It's taking like TWO WEEKS! Ugh.

Oct 17, 2011

It doesn’t matter where you go in life, what you do ….. it’s who you have beside you.

Two years ago I married a wonderful man. He's the yin to my yang, the peanut butter to my jelly, and the glue that holds me together. Time has flown by, and all of the sudden two became three (or should I say five?..can't forget Mikey and Leo!!). I truly am blessed for everything that I have. Happy Anniversary Zachary!!

Oct 15, 2011

Snuggle time

Momma needed some snuggle time when she got home from work late at night.. :-) :-)

Oct 14, 2011

Milk Allergy

I want to start off by saying that having Brayden has been the most rewarding and special experience in my life and I can't imagine life without him. Of course, it's not always easy. During the first few days home from the hospital I was so overwhelmed that I wasn't sure if I was cut out to be a mom. I shed some tears and had some heart to heart conversations with Zach, and that feeling went away as quickly as it had hit me. It was just so different having a house filled with baby junk, lack of sleep, being at home instead of at the office, having a person who depends on me 100%, and just not really knowing what I'm doing at all. On top of that, I had to take care of myself so that I could heal properly. I guess you could say that I had a little bit of postpartum depression, although I don't know if that was actually true. Life has definitely changed, but has just gotten so much better.

Since three months has already passed, I probably have lots of stories to write about, but I will start with what's currently happening in the Swanson household.

When Brayden was born he was perfect. He had (and still has) the most beautiful dark blue/gray eyes, little round nose, and perfect lips all on his perfectly symmetrical face. You might think it's strange that I would refer to my son's face as symmetrical. It never occurred to me that this is partially what makes a person beautiful, until we had a 3D ultrasound at 24 weeks and the ultrasound technician told us that he was beautiful based on how perfectly symmetrical his face was. For some reason, her comment just stuck in my mind. I digress.

Brayden was perfect, and the most perfect thing about him was his skin. Well, it's not so perfect anymore. The skin on his head is so flaky and crusty that I don't know how his body grows new skin so fast to replace what falls off (gross, yes). His cheeks get red and inflamed, and even his legs, arms and chest feel like there is an extra "tough" layer of skin overlaying what used to be so soft. Sometimes he scratches it accidentally and his razor like finger nails slice right through it because of how dry it is. Underneath the crust is a sort of oil. Lots of people told me that their babies went through a "bad skin" phase and that he will grow out of it. Well, it's not going away and I can tell his head itches him. He rubs it back and forth whenever he's lying on the floor.

I called the doctor (I think they know me pretty well there by now with how many times I call with questions, but hey, that's what they're there for right?!) and the nurse said if there's something wrong with his skin that I should bring him in. Of course, Brayden is the happiest little camper (see below for some pictures of him in the doctor's office), but Dr. Van Roekel almost made me cry. I told him that Brayden's skin was actually a lot better compared to what it normally looks like and I was afraid that they were going to tell me that it was nothing. He told me that if this is what his skin is like when it's good then that's not good because "this is pretty bad." Am I a terrible mother for not taking him sooner? Poor little guy.

Dr. Van Roekel told me that this is classic for a milk allergy. Next step, Momma has to cut dairy completely out of her diet for the next 7 days (since I'm breastfeeding) to see if it improves. Ummm.. cheese? :-( Of course I can go 7 days without dairy. Right? If you know me, you know what I'm thinking.

After 7 days if his skin isn't better then we will go see a dermatologist. If it is better, then there's a good chance that it is a milk allergy. The good news is that lots of babies have that and they grow out it. The bad news...what in the world do I do with the freezer full of breast milk that I have stored?!? And on top of that, can I cut dairy out completely until I am done breastfeeding, or do we switch to non-dairy formula? I will be devastated to switch 100% to formula and there is no way I can get rid of my milk storage. It's ridiculous how much I have frozen. Zach would have to deal with it when I'm not home. People have told me I should donate it..which I think is a little weird, but apparently there are breast milk banks..kind of like sperm banks? Ha! I know my milk is good and healthy, because I would feed my own baby with it, so I guess that would be okay. One of my best friends just had a baby boy and she is not producing enough milk for him yet, so if she doesn't get that worked out, I would give it to her if she didn't think that was totally weird. I'm getting ahead of myself. We don't even know yet if this is even the case.

There is something self gratifying about being able to feed my baby from my own body. And hey, it's FREE! I had to work at Starbucks like an hour after I got home from the doctor's so I was kind of running around like crazy trying to figure out what to do for Zach to be able to feed him for the rest of the day. I had bottles of milk in the fridge, but I had like three glasses of milk in the last 12 hours (and who knows how much cheese!). I decided to freeze all that (in case we will be able to use it) and had Zach go buy soy formula until I could get caught up with a few fresh (and dairy free!) bottles of milk for Zach to feed while I'm working. The next day, Brayden had a solid turd in his diaper! So weird. Must've been the soy?

I will be sure to update on this. Look at the happy baby..

By the way, happy three month birthday to Brayden!!!

Oct 13, 2011

Changing Focus

Hello again!

Now that baby is here and I am no longer pregnant, I am changing the focus of my blog. I've obviously taken some off (ahem, trying to get some sleep), but I've decided it could be fun to chronicle my first time mommy adventures. This comes from a suggestion from my sister because she seems to think that the stories I have to tell are entertaining. Now that Brayden is turning three months (are you kidding me?!), we've gotten into a routine that seems to work and I may be able to sit in front of the computer a few minutes a day to write.

By the way, I don't even recognize myself in that picture in my previous post of Zach, me and Brayden right after he was born. Apparently 21 hours of labor will make you all puffy like that! Eek!

More blog posts to follow. For now, look how cute...