It has been two weeks since Jameson came into our lives and I am just now finding time to be able to make a post about him. Having surgery, taking care of a baby, and recovering from surgery while also being a wife and a mother of an energetic 4-year-old is hard work!! Phew!
Owen wrote a beautiful piece about Jameson’s birth and created a funny and entertaining video as well. I’ll start this update where Owen left off.
Jameson and I stayed in the hospital from Thursday through Sunday. We had the option to leave on Monday but I was ready to leave. The hospital staff were starting to get on my nerves and I was starting to get bored being trapped in my room all day. The nurses I had at the beginning of our stay were great. They were attentive, funny, encouraging, and helpful. But the last two days there I had two nurses who I just couldn’t connect with. One was a nice lady from the Philippines, and a Christian as well. But she just wouldn’t leave me alone. She’d hover around me when I was trying to breastfeed; she’d fill me with worry every time she noticed the baby spit up or when she discovered the baby had lost more than 8% of his body weight. She’d take forever to come when I paged her, would forget to give me my pain killers. And her helper, the other nurse never understood what I requested over the intercom. I’d ask for water and she’d bring the lactation consultant. I’d ask for the lactation consultant and she’d bring me water. I asked for pineapple juice and sprite once. And then after that she kept bringing that to me double fisted when I asked for water. It is almost funny now that I think about it. But let me tell you, there was this moment on Saturday when I was miserable from pain and my nurse had still not arrived after I paged her. Jameson had pooed himself and so I got up to change him. As I was changing him, the lactation consultant arrived and started talking to me about his latch—-a problem we were having and one that I will get into more later, but needless to say was stressing me out. As she spoke to me, he pooed again all over the changing bad. It was dripping! I looked in the drawer—no more wipes. The lactation consultant squealed and said she’d go get more. I’m holding Jameson up under his armpits and just watching the poop drip down all over his blanket and the changing pad. Then he peed all over me. The lactation consultant returned with wipes. I wiped him up and then as soon as I put his clothes back on, he spit up his entire lunch all over himself. Right at this moment the nurse arrived, but without any pain killers. She wanted to let me know that she told the pediatrician that Jameson had lost 8% of his body weight, so he was coming to talk to me. I asked her if she had my meds. She looked at me with surprise. “Oh,” she said, “I forgot.” Honestly, I had to breathe very deeply that moment. I was ready to start balling I was so mad and frustrated. It was at that moment I thought, I need to get out of here.
We’ve been really blessed by our friends and family since Jameson has arrived. Many came to visit us in the hospital. And since we’ve come home, we havent had to cook one meal. Every night one of our friends arrives with a meal. My friend Julie set up a calendar and invited all of my friends from church to log in to it. They each sign up on the calendar to bring a meal to us. I’m not sure how long it will last, but it has been so appreciated! With my Cesarian, it really takes a lot out of me to be standing a lot cooking. And if it were left to Owen to cook every night, we’d be eating chips and cookies—Owen’s favorite foods. So its been helpful to us all. We’ve had pot roast, taco pie, enchiladas, chicken parmesan, Paneras, KFC, grilled chicken and veggies, and desserts. Praise God for good friends!
As for my surgery, I’m still hurting, but I am able to get out here and there. I sometimes over do it, which is why I think I’m still hurting, but who knows—maybe its normal to still be hurting two weeks in. Regardless, I’m thankful for my pain killers and I’m thankful for the couch. My husband has also been really good about helping me with Kanan and running to the grocery store for milk or to the pharmacy for my refill. He has also been really busy trying to build his businesses and freelance work in order to bring some income into our home. He wants so much for us to be able to rent a house with a backyard. Me too. 🙂 And this morning he greeted me with a beautiful picture on my bathroom mirror. Cut-out flowers, sun, and birds made from construction paper and a love note. *sighs* Yes, I love my family. 🙂
So—Jameson’s latch. Yeah, we’ve had a hard time. He’d clamp on to me really hard. It would hurt! And at first I thought I just needed to get used to it, but by day 3 I was so sore and on the borderline of starting to bleed and blister. The lactation consultants came in and tried to help me position him better, but it only helped a little. After sticking their fingers in his mouth and analyzing his tongue, they determined what was making nursing so difficult. Jameson’s palate was high and arched and he has a little tongue tie. You know that flap of skin that connects your tongue to the bottom of your mouth? Well his connects pretty well which sort of prevents his tongue from sticking out far—sort of necessary in the whole getting milk out of mom’s boobs activity. So, one of the consultants gave me a shield to use as I let my you-know-whats heal and in the meantime to try a football hold and to try to be patient with Jameson as I pull his jaw down and try to get him to loosen up. Apparently he clamped in order to make up for his tongue to push my you-know-whats up to the roof of his mouth where the contact helps bring the milk out and triggers him to swallow.
So anyway, we went home and things got better for a couple of days as I used the shield. Except on day 5–he started getting fussy in the evenings. I thought for sure it was just the foreshadow of a witching hour with him. On day 6 it happened again. The following day he got circumcised and so slept a lot that afternoon. He nursed, but his nursing seemed to take longer. That night I decided I wouldn’t use the shields anymore as I seemed to not be hurting as much. But the following day, all Jameson wanted to do was sleep. I had to wake him up to feed. He’d nurse for like 45 minutes but I didn’t hear him swallowing anymore or see milk in the corners of his mouth. And if he was awake, which was only briefly, he was fussy and wanted to nurse again. That night he didn’t wake up to nurse again and then still slept when I put him to my breast. I got scared. Just then, like a God-send, a lactation consultant called to ask me how breastfeeding was going. I immediately started crying and told her what was happening. She informed me that it looked like my milk supply had dropped. I was instructed to start pumping, supplementing, and going in for another consultation to see how much he was getting. Oh my gosh, I felt like such a terrible my mother. My baby was starving! I immediately made him a bottle of formula and my two girlfriends Lael and Carmen helped me use one of those tube things to get him to feed and to help stimulate my milk supply. He guzzled three ounces and then was awake and bright-eyed for the first time that day! We immediately set to work. I started guzzling water, eating tons, feeding Jameson every hour and a half to help him catch up on his calories, which he happily accepted. I pumped after every feeding the rest of the night and into the morning. I visited the consultant the following day and she helped me position Jameson correctly in a football hold in order to help get more tissue to his high palated mouth. We weighed him before and after his 45 minute feeding. He got an ounce and a half. And that was after my milk supply had gone up from pumping all night and drinking water. And he had a better latch due to the consultant’s help. That means he was getting much less the prior days. Poor baby. He is supposed to be drinking 3 ounces a feeding right now. So I supplemented with formula again and here we are. It is now Wednesday—one week later and my milk supply is finally getting better. I just fed Jameson for the first time without needing to supplement. I don’t know how much he got, but he didn’t seem hungry after the feeding like he normally does. I’m so happy! But I am not going to expect to solve this problem. If by God’s will, it is solved, wonderful. But if not, I have gone through the cycle of grieving and have come to accept that I may have to always supplement with formula. And when I go back to work, I may have to go completely to formula because working won’t help the already existing poor supply. But I am hopeful. We shall see. As for Jameson’s palate and tongue—we are doing palate massages to try and bring it down and I already notice a difference. And hopefully we can work around the tongue, but if it continues to pose an issue, we can have it clipped. We shall see. And of course, pray.
He is now napping next to me as I write this. I love the way his eyes dart back and forth as he dreams. He is chubbing up and happy, which makes me happy. He looks like Owen but with my brother’s forehead. His hairline looks like Owen’s as well. He also does something that his dad does all the time—runs his tongue back and forth along his lower teeth/gumline. So cute!!!
Jameson has since acquired a few nicknames. He is also JJ, Little bug, and monkey. JJ has a really easy-going temperament. He cries only when he is hungry, wants a change of scenery or position, or has a dirty diaper. Also if he wants to sleep in my arms or nurse but Owen and I are talking loudly. I know Colic is supposed to kick in around 2 weeks of age, so we shall see if this easy-going baby stays this way. I pray so.
Kanan is doing pretty well during the transition. He always asks if Jameson loves him. He is often very concerned over Jameson. He monitors me feeding him, bathing him, and changing him and often comments or admonishes me if he thinks Jameson is unhappy in anyway.Still, he is having to deal with being stuck in the house a lot. Given my recovery from surgery, I tend to stay inside a lot and we live in an upstairs apartment. During the week it’s not so bad because Kanan gets a lot of sunshine and running around time while at school, but on the weekends its been harder on him. We did take him to the park both Saturday and Sunday to help get him some outside time and release some energy. Owen has also been really good about boxing with him in the evenings (one of Kanan’s favorite pastimes). He is also having to adjust to sharing the attention with his brother. Last night for example, I was trying to read a book on sharks to Kanan before bed while holding Jameson. We had just checked it out at the library yesterday afternoon and Kanan was really excited about reading up on Makos. Yet Jameson kept fussing so I’d have to stop reading and try to attend to his needs. Kanan started getting really frustrated and went to bed grumpy. But he woke up happy this morning. I read him more of his book and cuddled with him on the couch before he went to school. He is off to his dads this afternoon and we won’t see him again until Sunday. I miss the little guy already.
This whole experience thus far makes me want to cling to my little family forever. I love my husband and my sons so much. And I love the rest of my family so much—my sister and brother, my mom, stepmom, grandma, cousins, etc. And I miss my dad a lot. I wish he were here. I wish he could see this little boy we named after him.
We all head out this weekend to watch my brother get married to his wonderful girlfriend Megan and the mother of his child, Peyton. Then next week, we leave for Utah to visit Owen’s family and to introduce them to the baby. When we return, more family will be coming out to visit us. And then its a summer and fall filled with baby showers, and more weddings. What a year. A year of life. A year of death. And a year of marriages and family.