Friday, July 13, 2012

What they don’t teach.

Wow, Abigail will be 6 weeks on Wensday. It is very hard for me to belive. That being said we are still riding that huge learning curve that comes with being parents. And let me tell you there is alot the don’t teach when it comes to being parents. In no particular order a list of what I learned or was not told.

  • Breastfeeding is hard. I am now pumping breastmilk full time. It was hard work, I did not recive the support in hospital and Abby had trouble too. No one tells you about things like flat nipples, fast let downs, or babies being toung tied.
  • You may not instantly bond with your baby. For me I am still struggling with this. Motherhood is not what I had thought and this is causing me to struggle with my bonding.
  • You will understand why parents can resort to shaking their child. When your baby cries non stop there is nothing you want more than for them to calm down. While holding your baby you get very frustrated. It is better to let them cry, put them down and walk away. You yourself will then probably cry.
  • You will not be told how much you will cry. It’s not a walk in the park, infact even a walk to the park can make you cry. It is work to take Abby anywhere, we are either lugging the stroller/carseat or need to have her strapped on one of us.
  • You are lucky to enjoy a whole sit down meal at once. Dean cooks, and it never fails that Abby will get upset or wake up as soon as we sit down to eat casuing one of us to need to get up and go to her.
  • You will be anxious when your baby sleeps. Yep if she is quiet for too long I get stressed out and need to go see her and make sure she is breathing.

While I know there are probably more this is all I can think of for now. Baby is doing well and I go for my 6 week check-up Monday. Here is hoping for a clean bill of health and the ok to start working out. I only hope things get better from here and one day I will be able to pass the lessons I learned on to Abby.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Where I stand

From where I stand things are good right now. I have my hubby home with me, which has helped my mood and emotions so much! I must admit I have an amazing husband, he cooks, cleans, takes care of baby. Sure he has his things that bother me, but doesn't every husband?

I am getting ready to gear up to step on the scale and see where I am weight wise. I am waiting until I am 6 weeks post partum. I will have been to see my doctor and hope to get the ok for a good sweat session. I have gone for a few “longer” walks but even they have been a bit rough. My cardio is in definite need of improvement. Also I know I need to gain some strength back, but a lot of that will come from carrying a baby around who is 10 lbs plus her car seat.

I also am very keen on running again. It’s cheap and you can do it anywhere any time, hubby is going to start training for the marathon he’s always wanted to do so I want to train for the 5K I always wanted to run. Slow and steady, while I would love to be ready for the Valley Harvest run in October I am not sure if I will be, I will wait and see how it goes.

Does anyone have any recommendations for a jogging stroller? We plan to invest in one come August probably so we can “run” together. More like at the same time as Dean will have much farther distances to run almost right away. I have looked at a few but really am not sure what I want in one, but I don’t want to get the cheapest unless it is at least decent for me and my running/walking. I am by no means going to be speeding down the road. My motto for this is slow and steady.

Abby is doing great, we were at the doctors this week and she is in the 93 % for her height, we are going to have a tall girl if she keeps it up, her weight is also doing great! She is bright and alert alot, smiles sometimes and is holding her head up very well. She is a month old already! Where does the time go, it felt like she’s always been here, yet at the same time it’s only been 4 weeks.

Overall things seem to be going in the right direction for my little family.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

At home Daddy

Well Happy Canada Day to everyone from Abby and the family.


Today was a day of change in our house. Today was Dean’s last day of work, from now on he will be a Stay at home Dad with me and Abby. For six months our family will be together! We don’t know exactly where we will be going from there, but it will be amazing to have the summer and fall together! I am beyond excited to have hubby home and find a routine.

With Dean home it may mean money is tight and it will be a huge adjustment, but overall it will be for the best for our family. I am hoping my mood will improve as well. There is a fine line between what could be considered “baby blues” and post partum depression, but I hope to do a whole post on that alone soon.

For now Happy Canada Day!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Bringing Baby Home

Wow it’s been 2 weeks today since we have been home. It seems like much longer and no time at all. Dean is back to work today and I am alone with baby (wish us luck!).

Overall caring for a newborn is not what I excepted. We have had some bumps along the way with feeding mostly. We gave her one ounce of formula our first night home… and she slept like a log afterwards. We had a public health nurse in to help with breastfeeding, but in the end for whatever reasons Abby wasn’t feeding well and I started pumping and we are giving her breast milk from a bottle. While this is more time consuming on me, needing to pump every 2 hours and cleaning bottles ect. I truly like the fact that I know she is getting food. When the health nurse was in she was down past 10% weight loss which really scared us. At our appointment we had Tuesday she gained great and is now in the 50 percentile, while I don’t really care much about that it is good to know what we are doing is helping her.

Abby is pretty much a low key baby, sleeps and “plays” in her pack and play during the day, with lots of cuddles from us and sleeps in her crib at night. She usually sleeps for 3 – 4 hours during the night and up for feedings. Dean usually feeds her while I pump again so we have fresh milk for the next feed. She hates diaper changes, which I think most newborns probably do and has peed on us a few times already.

Dean has been wonderful with her and taking care of me and the house. He cooked everyday he was home, lunch and supper, and had breakfast ready most mornings when I came down stairs. He is much more domestic than me, doing laundry and cleaning… it’s to the point where we are debating if we can afford for him to stay home once my leave is up. Only time will tell for now.

Other than that I am pretty impressed. Of course we have had our emotional moments. I am paying close attention to the way I feel as I need to make sure I don’t slip into depression. I have missed my mom alot the past few weeks and with all the hormones running high it would be pretty easy. But that about wraps up my updates on us, guess I will be going back to regular posts when I feel like it. Until then hope everyone is well.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Family Newborn Unit

Again I will state that this is my experience only and that while I am not a nurse in this field I am a nurse, as well as an educated person.

After my Labour and Delivery at 3 in the morning we were brought up to the Family Newborn unit (FNU) at the IWK. I had showered and was at that point really ready for some sleep. Two nurses welcomed me and helped me get settled. One did a check on baby and the other helped me into bed and did a check on me. They also got Dean some linen for his cot.  They they asked if baby had fed downstairs… she hadn’t so they helped her latch. It took them and myself but we got it figured out and she fed for a good long while. Eventually the nurse came in again to do another check on me and baby and I was able to drift off to sleep with baby in the bassinet beside me.

Some point through the night the nurse helped me to the bathroom to make sure I was peeing. While I can’t say it was comfy it was accomplished. I asked about trying to feed Abby again, and we tried but only briefly and the nurse gave the response of she was too sleepy. Dean also slept with baby for a bit on his chest. We woke up around shift change that day, so only about 4 hours sleep maybe and were introduced to our next nurse. She was really not the best nurse in the world, she brought in some paper work and information, also brought in my painkillers and checked me and baby. However when it came to feeding and Abby wouldn’t latch she just kept saying to keep trying and she will get it. I was expressing colostrum for her so with her little cherry sized belly she was ok that day but I still felt like I should be getting more help.

During our first day we had my dad come and visit and Lynn and Jason. Abby slept alot and we rested. Although Dean wouldn’t leave me so at least our friends brought him food. One thing the FNU doesn't provide is meals for your support person, which doesn't make alot of sense because they encourage them to be with you.

Our nurse for that night was decent she introduced me to the breast pump and encouraged me to fee but still I wasn’t sure exactly what I was doing and Abby still wasn’t feeding well, it was a rough night with lots of tears for all of us. In the end Abby ended up sleeping on Dean and in my bed. She was not a fan of the bassinet provided by hospital! The nurse we had wasn’t in at all while Abby was crying and it made it very hard for us.

The next day everyone was in to see us. Dr. Dude, my regular Ob, and everyone was asking how I felt about going home. With Abby still not latching at all I was not very comfortable with the idea, she had lost some weight, which while normal had me a little stressed, and she was not a happy girl. Luckily the nurse we had that day was willing to spend alot of time with us trying to get her to latch, however she still wouldn’t. The nurses had mentioned a nipple shield may help, so Dean went and bought one from the gift shop. With that in place I felt Abby was feeding, but we were still spending the night there.

The nurse I had that last night was a god send, she clearly enjoyed her job and while she wasn’t correcting me on any nursing issues she did come in when Abby was crying and offered any assistance. She also explained things in a way that made sense and made me feel better about her crying.

Then it was Friday after being in the hospital since very early Tuesday morning we were ready to go home. We were going to be discharged and on our way. Around 8 in the morning we saw the doctor and then my nurse came in… let me tell you while she did a great discharge summery and made me feel comfortable about going home she was not a good nurse in any other way. She said I would need to see another doctor and that we would be going home soon. We waited and she came in a few more times asking about how Abby was feeding, while she was sucking on the nipple shield we were questioning if it was giving her milk, through our own research we learned there were different sized and the one we had was probably too small! No one had told us that, or asked to look at the one we bought! So I had plans to go to babies r us and buy some on the way home. While we waited some more I was getting very upset we were packed and dressed and ready to go. The nurse came in again and told me to ring when I was going to feed next however added “but I probably won’t be able to come, I have a new admission coming and haven't had a break yet”. She also went on to talk about how it was crazy busy and there was no time. At that point I lost it, Abby was fussy and crying and I was crying. I just wanted to go home!! Around 2 Dean went out to the desk to ask why we weren’t discharged yet. Another nurse looked in my chart and sure enough the orders were there for us to go home, and had been written at 9 in the morning!! Thankfully that nurse gave us a speedy discharge and we were on our way, I was so mad, and so thankful to be out of that place!

Overall my stay at the FNU was not really a pleasant one. The information I did receive in bits and pieces was good, but never consistent. I had more nurses I wasn’t fond of than ones I was, and as a new parent really never was shown thing I felt I should have been. We weren’t shown around the unit, told there was a family lounge or anything, we were basically in a room for 3 days on our own for the most part. If I ever have another child I would want out of there as fast as possible, and the other thing I have to say is I would ring for help for everything, because the nurses there don’t seen to want to offer it. Again I would just like to add this is my opinion and experience and I have contacted the IWK regarding this as I felt as a well known hospital our experience should have been wonderful and happy.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The labour and delivery process

I just want to start off by saying that this was my experience with the process, the hospital and the staff that I worked with. I would also like to remind others that I am a nurse, and while I do not work in the maternity/pregnancy field I am educated in it.

So it all started Monday June 4th, my due date. I had a doctors appointment for that day. It was for 330 and we got in pretty quickly. My Doctor decided to do a membrane sweep and then “accidently” broke my water… I truly think she did this by accident she said it was the first time in 12 years that someone's water broke in clinic. So after that we got sent up to the Early Labour Assessment Unit. They put me on the monitor to see what baby was doing and if I was having any contractions… baby was fine and there were no contractions so we got sent home to either wait for the labour to start on its own or we would be back in 24 hours and induced. At that point I was dilated almost 3 cm.

So we went home to wait, we ordered pizza for supper and by about 6:30 I was having the first signs of regular contractions, nothing too painful or anything just some tightening in my abdomen and back. We tried to chill, watching TV and stuff and I managed pretty good. Then we decided to try and get some sleep… for me that never happened. Dean napped for about an hour while I laid awake and got more and more uncomfortable. Finally around 1230 Dean got up and showered and got ready for the long haul. I also got in the shower, I figure around then my contractions were about 5 minuets apart and lasting 20 – 30 seconds. After the shower I was very uncomfortable with more and more pain in my back. Dean made me eat something and we settled in to monitor my contractions, we monitored them for about an hour and they were about 4.5 minuets apart lasting about 45 seconds. We had been told in prenatal classes that contractions should be 4 minuets apart, lasting a minute for at least an hour, however papers they had sent home with us said 5 minuets apart was when we should go in. I was really uncomfortable and getting a little anxious by then so I called the Labour and Delivery unit. The charge nurse said I should probably come in, so we got ready and headed into the hospital… that was around 3:30 in the morning.

Once at the IWK and back to the early labour assessment unit I was again put on the monitor, and let me tell you laying there for at least an hour was difficult. Baby didn’t like one of my contractions which made me have to stay on the monitor longer. Not to mention the nurse we had wasn’t particularly friendly or helpful. After looking at the monitor for a bit she mentioned that ideally my contractions would have been 3 minuets apart before coming in, talk about mixed messages! Afterword's she said there wasn’t really much to do, there were currently no Labour rooms available… so why did they tell me to come in?? Anyway she told us to walk around for about an hour, this was at about 530, so basically until the end of her shift?? So we paced the IWK halls, mostly the link building as there were very few people around. At that point I was holding on to Dean for most of my contractions and my back was just miserable. After pacing for a while we went back, the nurse could tell I was in pain so was able to get me in line for the next clean labour room with the hopes that the bath tub would help. At this point when explaining where all my pain was she had stated that it didn’t seem like real “back labour” (more on that later). She also checked me at that point and I was 3 cm dilated… in all that time I had only reached 3cm!

I was put on the monitor for shift change and then had a nurse who actually seemed to care, she was the same nurse that did my assessment the previous afternoon, which to me still seemed like the same day. We still had to wait for our room but once we were in it was much more comfortable. While we were in the Labour and Delivery unit we were still not technically admitted so we kept the nurse we had until I was admitted. We found the radio and got some tunes on which helped both Dean and I relax a bit more and I ran a nice warm tub. While IWK doesn't do water births and their tubs are just normal size tubs it was nice to climb in. I definitely needed Deans help and I still wanted him around for my contractions but I felt alot more in control and relaxed. Our nurse was in a few times to check on baby and I eventually got a bit chilled and got out. We had noticed that in the tub my contractions had lessened to about 4 – 5 min apart. But when I got out of the tub I guess gravity took over and they sped back  up again and felt stronger.

Somewhere between 10 and 11 we called my Dad and let him know there would be a baby on the way, we also called my Aunt to come as she was going to be my other support person. Around that time I also began to freak myself out. The pain was getting really bad and I wasn’t finding any relief in any position. After spending so much time with just Dean and I, I began to get scared. I didn’t really know what to do so I began crying and we rang for the nurse. A nurse helping out came in and was able to calm me down a bit, she  helped me realize I was ok, and it was all normal. Again the pain in my back was crazy, which I just didn’t expect. She went and my regular nurse came back and checked me, I was only 3 – 4 cm dilated! We talked about our options and decided to try some morphine/gravol and get back in the tub.

This is where my first thing I would change happened. I wouldn’t have taken the morphine. Not that it caused any harm at all in my labour process or in Abby’s health, but truthfully had I just climbed back in the tub I probably would have been ok. It may have take some of the edge off, but not enough to really help, I think the tub helped more. And by then my aunt had shown up and brought some lunch for Dean and some muffins and stuff for me. I stayed in the tub a bit longer this time and finally I was admitted! That meant a switch in nurses but the one I ended up with was just as good.

Shortly after that I was back out of the tub and sure enough my contractions picked up again and I decided I wanted the epidural. I was entering the “transition” period where contractions are pretty much one on top of the other and I was not a happy camper, this is where women yell and scream at the world and how it’s their partners fault they ended up this way. My nurse noticed where I was and I was in total panic I couldn’t focus and I was screaming, I was holding onto Dean for dear life with my aunt massaging my hips/back because it was where all the pain was. While I was wailing away the nurse was trying to get an IV started in my arm and get blood work, we tried the nitrous gas which is meant to help but it didn’t, probably because I couldn’t/wouldn’t take deep breaths. It took Dean, my aunt and the nurse to keep me calm/still enough for the epidural to go in, I don’t really remember their being any pain with that as I was having too much pain everywhere else. But what I do remember was that once it was in I felt relief almost right away.

It was a huge emotional ride for all of us during that (I am guessing) hour. I said things I didn’t think I would say, Dean was upset, I missed my mom terribly. And once I was comfortable and calm I balled like a baby for a few minutes. We had some visitors at that point (my uncle and cousin) and I was able to nod off a bit and get some sleep. I don’t think Dean slept at all even though we told him too. We were lucky he went to get our bags. I made it through till shift change and was checked and at 7-8 cm! We had some progress and were almost there! My legs were numb and turning was difficult without help but I was almost there!

At shift change (7:00 in the evening, 24 hrs after labour began) a whole whack of people entered my room. One was the nurse who was reliving mine, and there were 4 doctors, some students and some residents. The only two I remember are the attending and who I refer to as Dr. Dude. He was the one who did all the talking to me, and who actually delivered Abby. He was great and supportive. I was feeling pressure to push at that time, but the nurse said until it was unbearable I should wait it out, it meant baby was moving down on her own. I was checked again at some point and was 10cm! I made it all the way! We were still waiting to push and we had decided around 10 we would start, however I spiked a fever around 8:30 – 9:00 and was given antibiotics and Tylenol. I remember shivering like a leaf and having warm flannels on me. At 9:30 my temperature was crawling back up and I had the urge to push so the nurse decided it was time to start. It took a few tries but I learned how to do it. With the epidural it was harder to feel when and what to do, but I got in the swing of it. Dr Dude was in a few times to check on me and the nurse was down there doing her thing. I had Dean and my aunt on either side helping me with my legs, which were pretty dead and numb.

Dr. Dude came to check the progress and discovered that little Miss Abby was in the posterior positioning, meaning the baby was facing my front or face up. This was what caused all my back pain! He tried to flip her, and succeeded, but she flipped back, so we just left it and it meant I would either labour longer or may need a C-section.  Very shortly after that,  while I was pushing a nurse came to relive mine to go for a break. I am not sure if it was the change in nurse, the news that baby was the “wrong way” or that I was having what I think where muscle spasms in my upper thigh/buttock.

I shut down at that point and stopped pushing, so we tried to make me more comfortable, they gave me more epidural drugs and I flipped from side to side. It is at that point that I think baby flipped because I was moving around so much. The pain while not completely going away lessened and when my nurse came back she got me pushing again. The doctors were in off and on and I wanted to know if I was going to have the baby before midnight, Dr. Dude thought so but my nurse didn’t. Very close to midnight Dr. Dude was in and spoke to me about using a vacuum, baby wasn’t doing as well and my fever was still an issue. However after mentioning the vacuum I pushed harder and better. I really didn’t want anymore interventions than I had. The rest is sort of a blur, I was pushing almost all the time, the doctor did end up using the vacuum for one contraction to get her out but I don’t remember it really, I remember everyone telling me to push when I didn’t think I had any push left, and a feeling that is truly indescribable. I remember hearing “Does Dad want to cut the cord” and something about it being a girl, I looked for Dean for confirmation that it was a girl, and after him saying it was I was waling. I was so happy! We had both wanted a girl and I had really thought we wouldn’t get out wish. I heard her cry and they brought her to us. She was perfect!


I ended up needing some stitches “down there” but barely even knew what they were doing. I help baby for a while and tried to breastfeed, she wouldn’t latch which was ok. They cleaned me up a bit and my aunt and Dean made the important phone calls. I was beat but had my baby girl. I am not sure where time went but Abby was born at 1207 at night, and between then and 3:00 I had a bath and was sent up to the Family Newborn Unit… which will be another post all together.

My experience through the Labour and Delivery was a positive one. I has mostly good nurses and the job got done. I found early labour was rough and got mixed messages about when to actually go into the hospital. Dr. Dude used the vacuum which I would rather of not had needed, and didn’t exactly consent to but it was for one contraction and Abby only had a small bruise that lasted a few days. Definitely a positive experience for those 2 days of labour!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Meet Abigail Lee

Good Morning everyone;

On June 6th at 1207 AM little miracle took place. I gave birth to a beautify perfect baby girl. Abigail Lee Anderson was born at 7lbs 14 oz, 21 inches long… absolutely perfect!


I went into labour after my water broke at my doctors appointment, I was in labour for about 18hrs, and believe me there are some stories I will tell about my experience with labour and the IWK but they will be for another post, for now just another picture of my beautiful baby girl!