Month 3

She’s only 2.5 months old and I’m already going crazy. As I’m getting ready to type this, James walks in the living room and says, “Why are you watching BabyTV if she’s asleep?” A valid question since, not only is the channel on, I’m actually watching it.  She’s been asleep for over half an hour and I’ve been watching TV the entire time. (Really, I should probably manage my time better…)

Anyway, she’s such an easy baby that I can’t even complain about anything this month. Except breastfeeding. And doctors. My milk supply was great a few weeks ago, but since Annabelle wasn’t gaining weight (which turned out to be because of her body type, not my milk) the doctor had me supplement. I should have listened to my LC when she said she didn’t understand that suggestion. All it did was ruin my supply and now I’m having the hardest time building it back up again. I’m eating tons of oatmeal, taking enough Fenugreek to smell like an IHOP, and drinking water night and day. She still gets 5-6 bottles a day though. GPs don’t know anything about babies. Besides that, everything is great. She’s growing like a weed and hitting all of her milestones. She found her hands a few weeks ago, and now she has figured out that she can control them. Mostly, she just puts them in her mouth, though.

Where's my dummy?!

Where’s my dummy?!

Smiles for Daddy

Smiles for Daddy

James’ camera isn’t great so these pictures are a bit blurry, but these were taken 2 days ago.

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Babies are hard work.

So, Annabelle is coming up on 2 months old now. I’ve learned a lot in the past few weeks. Here’s a little list….

1. Sleep really isn’t that important. Unless you are in the middle of it. I’ve found that I’m really only bothered by her waking up in the middle of the night when she wakes up. In the morning, I don’t feel that tired, if that makes sense…?

2. Some diapers (nappies, for all my British readers) work better than others, but there is no such thing as a “blow-out proof” diaper. It simply doesn’t exist. Also, my mother-in-law recently found out that if you put a diaper on backwards, you will have a very wet baby. Haha. Thanks, Tracey 🙂

3. The best days are the days when people come and clean your house and play with your baby. Especially mother-in-laws, who seem to be pretty awesome at this.

4. The difference between spit-up and vomit seems to be how far it flies across the room.

5. When Annabelle has a cold, I find that I wake up in the middle of the night and poke her, just to make sure she can still breath through that stuffy nose.

6. SwaddleMe’s are wonderful. Every parent should buy one.

7. Televisions, phones ringing, people yelling, doorbells, and dogs barking won’t wake up the baby, but when you get up in the middle of the night to pee, and you jostle the bed just a little bit, it takes 2 hours to get her back to sleep.

8. Johnson’s bedtime bath does not put them to sleep. But it smells lovely.

9. When the baby poops in the bath, look at it as “Hey, saved me changing the diaper…”

10. The baby isn’t hungry until you are ready to go to the grocery store.

11. Fenugreek ACTUALLY makes you smell like maple syrup. No joke. I crave pancakes every time I sweat :/

12. Breastmilk clears up pink eye. Just put a few drops in 2-3 times a day and poof! Gone!

13. And MOST IMPORTANTLY, the cherry shaped pacifiers (dummies, for you Brits) stay in their mouth MUCH MUCH better than the orthodontic ones. And they are half the price. So just skip the orthodontic ones, otherwise you will just have to sit by the baby and hold the pacifier in his/her mouth until they fall asleep. Trust me. All of you soon-to-be or new parents will thank me for this one.

Besides all that, things have been pretty good! I took Annabelle to be weighed the other day and found out that she hasn’t gained an ounce in a month :/ That was a little worrisome to hear, but the health visitors don’t seem worried because she has the wet and dirty diapers she is supposed to have daily, and she isn’t lethargic or sickly. And she’s getting longer, so she is growing. So we will just monitor her for a few more weeks and see if/when she starts gaining again.

In other news, I finally found the time to finish ALS, so I should be sewing on SSgt on the first of April. It’s about freaking time! Of course, I don’t have anyone to blame but myself for the delay. I could have had it a year ago if I would have actually studied. Now to pass that Life in the UK test before school starts back on April 1st….

And to end, here is a picture of my beautiful little girl.

Pretty girl

Pretty girl

One Month Down…

Honestly, it hasn’t been as hard as I thought it was going to be. Quite often Annabelle has actually slept 6 hours straight at night. Of course, there have been just as many nights (probably more) where she has woken every 2 hours, or not really slept at all. but since I currently feel quite rested, I can say that it hasn’t been that bad.

I’m proud to say I am still breastfeeding, though it hasn’t been easy. Before she was born, my main worry about breastfeeding was that I wouldn’t make enough milk for her. If only I was so lucky…. For the past 3 weeks, I have had to deal with oversupply. No idea how it happened, since I haven’t been taking any of those crazy herbal remedies they say are supposed to increase supply. It just happened, and it is terrible. The symptoms of oversupply are as follows (taken from the La Leche League website):

  • Baby cries a lot, and is often very irritable and/or restless
  • Baby may sometimes gulp, choke, sputter, or cough during feedings at breast
  • Baby may seem to bite or clamp down on the nipple while feeding
  • Milk sprays when baby comes off, especially at the beginning of a feeding
  • Mother may have sore nipples
  • Baby may arch and hold himself very stiffly, sometimes screaming
  • Feedings often seem like battles, with baby nursing fitfully on and off
  • Feedings may be short, lasting only 5 or 10 minutes total
  • Baby may seem to have a “love-hate” relationship with the breast
  • Baby may burp or pass gas frequently between feedings, tending to spit up a lot
  • Baby may have green, watery or foamy, explosive stools
  • Mother’s breasts feel very full most of the time
  • Mother may have frequent plugged ducts, which can sometimes lead to mastitis (breast infection)

The only ones I haven’t had are the plugged ducts and infections…yet. I’m really hoping to never experience that, since this constant engorged feeling is terrible enough. Add to that the fact that Annabelle gets so frustrated during feedings that she tries to detach my nipple from the rest of my breast and breastfeeding has not been a very pleasant experience so far. Apparently, the only thing I can do to fix this problem is to only give her one breast per feed, which I’ve been doing the entire time, so no help there. The main problem with all of this is that she ends up getting a lot of the watery foremilk, and very little fatty hindmilk, which gives her indigestion, while also making her feed much more often. She also farts like crazy, which sounds funny, but it really isn’t when you think about how uncomfortable she must be with all of that gas in there.

Besides the feeding, things have been great though! She smiles so much, and she’s so pretty when she does it! I’m gonna have to get some pictures of it. She has started paying much more attention to everything. There is a red hedgehog hanging on her bouncer and she just stares at it for the longest time. She watched TV with us tonight. Of course, she couldn’t actually SEE the TV, just some moving light and all that, but still. She was interested.

……..I was going to write a lot more about her first month, but I suppose that will have to wait until the next post. The beast has awoken, and she is angry. And hungry. And she may have pooped herself.

 

My Sweet Baby Girl Is Here (Finally!)

Annabelle Eileen Forrest Bentham finally showed her pretty face last week! She was born on Tuesday, 22 January 2013 at 3:01pm (GMT). They don’t tell you how long the babies are here because they say it is irrelevant unless the baby is unusually big/small, but she weighed in at 8lbs. I think that’s pretty darn good for being 12 days late. I was dreading her size so much, thinking she was going to be over 9lbs.

I started feeling contractions at around 3pm on Monday, but I was convinced that they were fake because they went from 5 minutes apart to 11 minutes to 8 minutes, and so on… They also didn’t really get that painful, to be honest. I spent the next few hours laying in bed or getting up to do some cleaning, anything to make them stop, but they just kept up, never getting more regular but slowly getting closer together on average. At around 9pm, I decided to call the Delivery Suite and speak to a midwife, and she told me to call back if I had 3 in 10 minutes. They still weren’t hurting that bad, but I decided to take a shower before bed, just to be on the safe side, and when I got out, I noticed some “leakage”. Now, there is only one logical thing to do in this situation, and that is to smell it. Hmm…it didn’t really smell like anything. Still unconvinced that anything was happening because of the lack of unbearable pain, I lay down and try to go to sleep, but I still keep track of my contractions, just in case.

At around midnight, I decided it was time to wake James up and call the Delivery Suite back. At this point, I’m still convinced I’m being silly and it’s just my brain trying to get out of the induction that is scheduled for the next morning, but the midwife says to come in so they can make sure the leak wasn’t amniotic fluid, which I’m sure it wasn’t. We get to the hospital at 1am , and at this point I stopped feeling any pains whatsoever, and am even more convinced that they are going to send me right back home, and before she checks me, the midwife seems to agree.

I get put in a room and the midwives come in to ask some questions and do an exam to see my progress (a few days before this, I was 1cm, but still really high and firm). They find that I am now 3 cm, much lower and softer, and my hind waters actually DID break! So I’m admitted, and the doc is called to give me my happy drugs, though at this point I still don’t really feel like I need them. Up until this point, I haven’t had any pain relief at all, and I’m feeling much better about the whole “giving birth” thing, but I’m not stupid. I know I’m still in early labour, and it is going to get sooo much worse, so I get the epidural when it’s offered. This is the part where the midwives try to find a vein to put my IV in, and fail. Miserably. Though they try. Oh yes, they try three times. I actually have to use the gas and air (happy gas) for this part because having a needle threaded through a vein is more painful than you could imagine, if you have never experienced it for yourself. They eventually gave up and had the anesthesiologist try, and she got it on her second go.  The epidural felt weird going in, but didn’t hurt.

3am. Epidural in. Just waiting for some progress!

3am. Epidural in. Just waiting for some progress!

Fast forward 4 hours, and they check me again to find that I’ve only managed to progress to 4cm, so they start me on the Syntocinon, which is the British name for Pitocin. I can tell my contractions get much stronger, and closer together because I start to feel the tightening in my uterus again. The consultant doctor on duty tells the midwife to up my dose of Syntocinon to get things moving quicker, but since I’m already having 5 contractions every 10 minutes, the midwife turns the dose back down shortly after the doctor leaves the room. I blame this doctor for most of what happened next.

My contractions were getting too strong, and much too close together due to the Syntocinon, and Annabelle’s heart rate kept dropping down to 40ish. Yet this doctor kept telling the midwife to up the dose! The midwife eventually stopped doing it, thank the Lord, but I guess it was just a little too late at that point. They checked me again after another 4 hours and, go figure, I’m fully dilated (how could I not be after that?!). They say they are going to give me an hour to let the baby drop a little more, so I don’t have to push quite as long, but before I even had my hour, Annabelle started getting too stressed out. The doctor was called back in and this time is was a quiet little Indian man, and he was sooo much better! He listened to what the midwife told him, then he changed into some scrubs to get ready to deliver.

This is where everything gets REALLY fuzzy for me. I asked for a top-up on my epidural, and 30 minutes later I was in so much pain! Apparently, my epidural had completely come out during all of the checks and everything. At the same time, there are tons of people in and out of the room because Annabelle was really stressed out in there. I remember they made James change into scrubs because they thought they would have to do a c-section. I had my gas and air so, unless someone was actually speaking directly to me, I didn’t hear a thing. The gas doesn’t take the pain away at all, but it relaxed me enough to where I was able to get through the contractions. They put my epidural back in and I felt a lot better after another 30 minutes or so. By this time, they’ve decided that they are going to let me push, but they would have the suction cup ready, since Annabelle wasn’t quite facing the right direction to come out. They turned down my last request for a top-up because they wanted me to be able to feel when to push, but that was a bad idea. I felt everything. I felt them cut me when they couldn’t get the suction cup in. I felt Annabelle slowly coming through the birth canal. And I felt that awful “ring of fire” when her head crowned. Then, the top-up they finally agreed to give me kicked in and I was able to hold my little girl for a few minutes while they stitched me up and everything. Unfortunately, Annabelle’s distress in the delivery led to a lot of meconium in her lungs, and they took her to the Special Baby Unit for 4 hours after birth. At least this gave me some time to rest.

She is such a good little baby so far! She sleeps so well that I have to wake her up at night to feed her, and she didn’t even have any typical newborn problems, like jaundice. So healthy! She latched on to the boob pretty well at first, then she started sucking on the nipple, which hurt like crazy and made me bleed, but we’re getting there. As of now, she is on a combination of breast and bottle, since I just don’t have enough milk for her, but hopefully a lot of pumping will sort that out.

She's here!

She’s here!

So sweet!

So sweet!

Rosie loves her new baby sister.

Rosie loves her new baby sister.

I feel like I should also explain where her name comes from. Eileen is the middle name of my grandma and my sister, Amber. Forrest is my great grandma’s first name. Last June, we went home to Florida for our wedding and that was also when we announced the pregnancy to our families. My great grandma started talking about how, in three generations, no one has ever named a baby after her! I love my great grandma. She is a funny old woman. We promised her that if it was a girl, Forrest would be added to her middle name (everyone actually calls my grandma Ethel, but we didn’t think Annabelle Eileen Ethel sounded as nice). As for Annabelle, I’ve told myself I was going to name my first daughter that since I was about 12. There is a Christmas cartoon called Annabelle’s Wish about a cow who wants more than anything to be one of Santa’s reindeer.  I named my daughter after a cow. But she was a really sweet cow.

 

 

 

Annabelle, You’re Late.

So, here I am, 41 weeks and 2 days pregnant. I have to admit, I kinda knew this was going to happen. I didn’t KNOW I knew until today though. I’ve spent the last 2 weeks complaining about how she hasn’t dropped, or they take too long to induce you in this country (the UK), but it wasn’t until this morning that I actually realized that I never expected to go into labour on my own.

I was sleeping; having lovely dreams, I assume, but certain things come along with being 41 weeks pregnant, and peeing every 45 minutes in the middle of the night is one of them. So 2:30am, I’m up for the 3rd time to empty the little trickle of urine in a bladder that feels like it is going to explode. What’s this? Lots of fluid coming out? Is it my waters? No….I can control it. Hmm. Oh! It’s blood! And quite a bit of it, I might add… Now, if you’ve ever been pregnant, especially 41 weeks pregnant, you probably know what kind of reaction I had to this. For everyone else reading this, it was pure panic. Wasn’t I just telling James last night that I hadn’t felt Annabelle moving as much lately? Every little detail from the last two days was immediately overanalyzed in a matter of about 5 seconds before I managed to pull it together and call the Delivery Suite. I’ll skip the rest of the gory details and go ahead and tell you that everything turned out just fine, and I was released 4 hours later, feeling very sore, but super relieved.

This, my friends, was when I realized that I never actually expected things to progress on their own. I had been so calm about labour and delivery, not a single care in the world, until I walked in that ward and heard, “Ahhhh!! AHHHHHH!!!! OHHHHHH!!!! Ahhhhh!” Those weren’t happy sounds, let me tell you. And there were at least 2 different women making them, at each end of the hallway. I felt green :/

After a few more hours of sleep after we got back home, I decided that the house should probably be cleaned since I actually might not make it to that scheduled induction on Tuesday. I also felt the need to get Annabelle’s nursery cleaned up and ready to go. There really wasn’t much left to do, just tidy up and make I know where everything is for when she (finally) arrives. I took some pictures too! So here is a nice photo bomb for everyone!

Changing table with all of her cloth diapers and soaps/shampoos/powders.

Changing table with all of her cloth diapers and soaps/shampoos/powders.

Close-up of her table with her little toys.

Close-up of her table with her little toys.

I love this lamp! Lyrik floor lamp from Ikea.

I love this lamp! Lyrik floor lamp from Ikea.

Her room still doubles as a guest bedroom, so there is a nice pullout sofa in it. I'm told it's quite comfy!

Her room still doubles as a guest bedroom, so there is a nice pullout sofa in it. I’m told it’s quite comfy!

Sofabed

Sofabed

Doves! I love these decals I found on Zulily!

Doves! I love these decals I found on Zulily!

Belle. Her first baby doll. My favorite Disney princess, and close to her name as well!

Belle. Her first baby doll. My favorite Disney princess, and close to her name as well!

Super soft and fluffy afghan made for Annabelle by her Aunt Amber.

Super soft and fluffy afghan made for Annabelle by her Aunt Amber.

Pretty hat from her Grandma Bentham. Thinking about bringing her home from the hospital in this!

Pretty hat from her Grandma Bentham. Thinking about bringing her home from the hospital in this!

Her mobile I made her. I haven't been able to hang it up yet because we need a hook from the hardware store.

Her mobile I made her. I haven’t been able to hang it up yet because we need a hook from the hardware store.

Before anyone asks, yes, we painted a girls room blue. Why? Because I hate pink. Especially that pale baby pink. It is nauseating. And her room is decorated for a girl so it’s fine.

And on that note, I shall leave to take a shower. I feel like I should shower at every chance now, just in case I need to hurry off to the hospital again.

Best Pancakes. Ever.

I woke up this morning and had my usual bowl of cereal. Golden Grahams, to be precise. Then I went back to bed for an hour. (I’ve been doing this a lot lately. I blame Annabelle.) Anyways, I woke up hungry and craving blueberry pancakes. Unfortunately, I was out of pancake mix! And self-rising flour! So I decided to wing it. Worse case, it would taste like crap and I’d end up eating another bowl of cereal.

So I raided the cabinets for everything that sounded good. Or pancakey. This is what I ended up with:

1.5 cups of plain flour

3.5 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 tbls sugar (I used castor, but granulated works just as well)

1/2 cup of blueberries

Enough milk to get the consistency you like in your pancakes (everyone is different…)

1 packet of peaches and cream oatmeal

Ok, that last one sounds a little strange, I know, but I really wanted to put some oatmeal in my pancakes! I didn’t have any plain oats so I substituted. And peaches sounded good.

So, I blended that all together. By blended, I mean blended. Like in a blender, or using a hand-held one. Mixing won’t work as well, since it won’t cut up the blueberries and oatmeal/peaches.

Anyway, this makes enough for 2, and topped with blueberry syrup, it just tastes amazing. I wish I wasn’t so full so I could eat some more.

Ok, well I have an assignment to finish that was due yesterday, so I’m off. Hopefully sometime soon I will get around to posting some wedding pics. And some baby bump pics. I need to get James to take a new one of me! Haven’t day one taken since like 23 weeks, and now I’m 30 weeks! 10 weeks left, and it’s going to pass so slowly. At least I now have yummy pancakes to help me through it!

I keep forgetting about this thing!

So, it’s been awhile. I think my last three post’s have started off like this. I honestly do keep forgetting that I have this blog. Ugh, I’m so unorganized.

So, since last time, lovely England has had a crazy drought, followed by crazy amounts of rain, which (hopefully) has stopped now. I had my lovely wedding that I had been planning for so long, but that will be it’s own post, since it will mostly be pictures. More important than the wedding though is the fact that James and I are now expecting our first child! Yay! (Somewhat faked enthusiasm…)

Don’t get me wrong, we are thrilled! Up until I hit 6 weeks, I was 90% happy, and 10% scared to tell anyone, just in case, you know. Then, the morning sickness kicked in. 11 weeks later, here I am, 15 pounds lighter and absolutely miserable. Lately, I’ve had more good days, and the bad ones are completely my fault, since I KNOW that I have to eat first thing in the morning, or the rest of the week is ruined. (Today, I ruined the rest of the week…). I’m glad it’s gotten to a point where I can sort of control it and I’m slowly able to cook my husband dinner again after his long days at work. (I’m sure he’s getting tired of frozen meals and beans on toast, which seems to be the only thing he actually knows how to cook himself.)

I’m hoping for a girl, but I’d be happy with whatever, as long as it’s healthy. I really only want a girl because I’m convinced that if we don’t have one first, then we won’t have one. James’s family only seems to be able to produce males, you see… We find out for sure in about 2-3 weeks, and I’ll wait until then to post any belly pictures, since I’m not showing yet (only 17 weeks!).

Well, that’s all for now. I’ll post again really soon, since I have to do a nice wedding one 🙂