Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Packing up.

I have to move my blog to wordpress, please follow me there.

We will explain later...  I just want to get all of my content under password protection. 

If you'd like the password and new URL please E-mail me at heathernorwood84@yahoo.com


Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Pictures, just for fun. =)

This blanket is from the ladies (& kiddies) over at An Offering of Love.  We love it. Zachary loves it.  We've gotten so many compliments on it!  Thanks!

I can't believe how big he has gotten since birth.  He looks like a totally different baby! 

Enjoying his Mama's milk

This is Zachary's "I want to sleep not eat face".

You guys are right.  Ryan and Zachary look a lot alike.  Here is a picture of Ryan when he was a itty bitty baby....  A lot of the time Zachary looks like Ryan with dark features. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Two steps back..

We're down 2 ounces.  Bummer.  Zachary will now be supplemented after each breastfeeding session with 2 ounces of fortified (with EnfaCare for preemies) breast milk.  Also, his feeds will go from max every 4.5 hours to every 3 hours.  He is too little to loose weight!! Hopefully, this overhaul of his feedings will help him gain some weight. 

His caloric demand is just more than what I can give him right now.  I'm okay with the supplements.  I don't think I have much of a choice.  As much as I want to breastfeed him exclusively, I want him to thrive.  He is getting my milk either way, which to me is the most important thing.  And, when I go back to work at the end of the month, he'll be getting bottles of breast milk anyways. 

I'm hoping that as he gains weight, we can cut back some of the extra bottles.  Like, maybe only bottle him after his day feeds and leave the night feeds to just breast.  I guess we'll just have to wait and see.  He has a weight check on Thursday, to make sure he is not loosing more weight.  

Otherwise, he checked out perfect. =)  

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Making strides

It seems that since I've written my last post things have turned a corner. 

Nursing has been getting better and better.  Of course there are still times that we struggle, but we're finding our way.  We're using the shield as needed when he decides that he forgot how to latch.  Nursing sessions tend to run anywhere from 10 (just a snack) to 60 (little piggy!) minutes.  And, he's only had maybe one or two bottles in the last few days.  One was because I was so tried and the other was because I just pumped and he woke up to eat.  So, we're doing good!  It is a much better experience when the wrinkles started to iron out.  I'm happy I stuck with it.  I can't wait to get him weighted tomorrow at the Dr.  I feel like it will really make me feel better to know that he is gaining.

This week (Thursday) we are leaving to go and visit Sadie, and her mommies in Canada!  Some people might say that we are crazy for taking Zachary on such a long car ride (about 9 hours).  But, there isn't many opportunities that we have to go on a road trip.  And, that we're both off together and don't have a trillion things to do.  Being that we're already off, might as well take advantage of it!!  Going now, we'll only have to entertain one toddler (Zachary will sleep) and hopefully that toddler will sleep too!  Wishful thinking.  And, Ryan is going to be a guest in Sadie's music class! How fun!!  They are so cute together.  Of course we're excited to see J and D too.  =)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Preemie Nursling

Nursing a preemie has been a challenge.  I challenge I really thought I was up for.  But, sometimes I find myself wanting to give up.  Those give up moments come after 45 minute battles of trying to get Zachary latched (and staying) on the breast. 

Sometimes he will latch on great, and nurse all his feedings all day.  Other times, he cries screams and refuses to latch on.  Oh, and there are the times he just wont wake up even after 4.5 hours of sleeping.  Pedi does not want him going more than 4.5 hours without eating.  He is little and needs to eat and gain his weight so he can get bigger and stronger.  I think he could sleep the day away if we'd let him.

During the night is when we have the most trouble.  Maybe because I'm exhausted and fighting a screaming baby who could potentially activate 2 year old screaming toddler at 3am.  It all just gets so frustrating.  When I've had enough of trying to get him to latch, he gets a bottle of expressed breast milk.  Then, I feel like a failure. 

There are a few problems going on here....  1. I have one flat nipple, didn't know that until I tried to breastfeed. 2.  My good nipple (his favorite side) hurts like fucking hell!!! Not bleeding or cracked, but OH MY GOD, when he does latch on I could cry.  I have milk, I pump and I get plenty of milk for him.  Somehow, someway this has to get better.  I want it to work, I don't want for both of us to get so stressed out during our nursing time. 

Laurie went out and got me a nipple shield.  Who ever invented this thing is a freakin' genius.  I put it on, and he latches on with little fuss onto the flat side, and it helps with the pain on the other.  Only problem is,  it's so easy to use, I want to always use it.  It is for temporary use, but it works so well!!!  For right now, my during the day plan is to work with him latching without the shield and only using it when it's really needed, and at night, using it because it's amazing and he nurses without having that battle at 3am.  When he latches on, I love it!  I love being able to provide his food for him and to hear him gulp the milk, and the milk drunk sleepy baby I get afterwards.  But, I just wish it came easier.  I hope that this is all just because he is small, and has had mostly bottles for all of his feeds in the NICU.  This is new to him, and new to me.  We were only able to nurse one feeding in the NICU and I really wish I took advantage of the LC there.  Hopefully, we'll find our groove.

I use lanolin after each feed, beast shield, I try many different positions,  anyone have any other tricks of the breastfeeding trade?  If you had to wake your baby to feed, how'd you do it? 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Welcome Home, Zachary!

Zachary is home!  Zachary is home! 

It is absolutely amazing to have him here, in his house, with his mommies and brother.  Sitting right here on the couch. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!  We are in newborn bliss. 

This newborn bliss is much different that the newborn bliss that we experienced with Ryan.  It is much different to have a newborn and a toddler.  Everything in Ryan's room makes some sort of noise, much of the time he is running around screaming, dancing and ya know...being a 2 year old.  So far, Zachary is adjusting to the noise level and doesn't seem to be too bothered by it.

It is a little nerve racking to have him here without any machines making sure he is still breathing, and all that NICU stuff.  We feed him, change him, bathe him, he is ours.  For the first 2 months of his life, we have not been the sole providers of his care, it is very surreal to have him here now.  We love it. We love that now we can hold him without any wires, we can feed him when we want, I can nurse him as long as he wants to (In the NICU he was only allowed to nurse/bottle feed within 30 minutes), we change him and just be us.  I love being his mama and providing all of his care. On our own.  I find myself worrying about him, is he still breathing, is he eating enough, is the noise too much, is he too cold.  Although we have raised Ryan this little newborn just seems much more fragile than Ryan was.  And, in some ways he is.  Today he weighed 5lbs 12oz. and is 18 inches long.  He is a little teeny peanut!  He has grown out of most of his preemie clothes and is now sporting clothes that Ryan once wore.  It is pretty crazy to see these little outfits that he once was small enough to fit in now on Zachary. 

Ryan loves to hold Zachary.  He will often be heard saying, " I hold it?!" He'll hold him for a minute and then say, "Mommy hold it?!" and wants you to take him away.  And then once you do, he wants to hold him again.  He loves to "do nice" and pet Zachary like a he pets Peanut, our aunt's dog.  He has named all of Zachary's body parts, from his hair to his toes.  So far, very little to no jealousy issues.  He is a very proud big brother! 

Tomorrow he has a opthamology appointment for his eyes.  Because of his prematurity he could have some complications with his eyes called, Retinopathy of prematurity.  It involves the development of the blood vessels attached to the retina.  In the NICU his eyes went to stage 2, which at stage 3 he would need laser surgery to correct it.  His last check up, some of the vessels looked like they were getting better, and some looked the same.  Tomorrow we will know more about what path this could take.  If he needs the surgery, it fixes the problem fast.  And, because it is caught so early, usually the only thing that it would change is that he could need glasses down the road.  Which is totally doable. 

Nursing a preemie is hard.  But, we're sticking to it. I want it to work.  At times I feel like he is not getting enough milk, and other times I feel like my milk is enough to satisfy him.  Sometimes, I nurse him and then he will take about 1.5-2oz. of pumped milk.  There is a lot of nipple action going on around here, thank god for Lanolin!  Between this little nursling and pumping, ouch!  I'm hoping that once he gets a little stronger at the breast, I can feel more confident and his expressed milk bottles will be less.  At least for the month that I'll be home with him. 

I'll leave you with a picture of our boys metting for the first time....

A very proud Big Brother!

Our shy little boy

He is unsure of Zachary for about 2.2 seconds

Zachary's first car ride!  This little dude has a set of lungs!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

On the go...

Life has been so crazy here lately.  I feel like I'm always running somewhere.  Now that I'm back to work (boo!) I spend a little bit of time with Laurie and Ryan in the morning and then I'm off to see Zachary for his 11:30 feed so I can nurse him. Then, I'm home by 12:30-1, each lunch, pump, and I'm off to work at 2:15.  It is going to be so nice having Zachary home, my mornings wont be so hectic! 

My blood pressures have not gone down since I delivered.  They were running 140-150s over 90-100. No good.  I was put on blood pressure meds, and I've been feeling worse on them than not.  I had a bout of blurry vision, and headaches.  I hope that it's just my body getting adjusted to the meds, because I was feeling find without them.(minus my blood pressure being sky high!)

Zachary is doing wonderful! He is 5 pounds and growing rapidly out of his preemie clothes.  He is taking 6 out of 8 feeds though a bottle or breastfeeding, and holding his temp stable.  He still has the nasal cannuals in, but they have been trying to ween him off, so hopefully he'll loose them soon too.  Within the next few days they will be putting him into a open crib, and weening him off the caffeine.  He has to stay a week after the ween him off the caffeine, and if he is able to not have any episodes of stopping breaking or heart rate dropping, then they will send him home.  So, we could be looking at a little over a week to two weeks and he'll be home!!! I can't wait.  I want Ryan to meet his little brother, and I just want our family all in one place!

Here are some recent pictures of Zachary...