4 weeks

I did some 4 week photos and will try to do some each week. Kind of angry with myself that I didn’t get any at 2 or 3 weeks but oh well, too late now. Will just have to try to be good from here on out. After his bath and photos, this man was tired…

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We had a good weekend at home. We started to realize that little guy was spitting up quite a lot. Like after each meal and sometimes it seemed like he was throwing up everything he ate. And he’d groan and arch his back when it was happening. We started to wonder if he had reflux after I read some of the typical symptoms. This means lots of outfit changes…

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On Monday, Flynn turned 1 month old! Crazy how fast time is flying by. I took some photos of course…

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This of course knocked him out. Hmm starting to see a pattern here…

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And there was another trend going on:

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Yes. Lots of poopy diapers. Either this man was growing or there was a poo poo problem.

On Tuesday we escaped to Panera and Michaels while the house got cleaned. I attempted to nurse him in the car between the two stores which was another fail. Despite this, he slept on.

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That afternoon we went for a pediatrician follow up. Little man weighed 5 lbs 12.5 oz! He gained over a pound in less than 2 weeks. He was growing great but we did express our concerns about his spitting up to the doc and he thought we were probably right in thinking he had reflux. So he prescribed some Zantac that we’re supposed to give him every 8 hours. This is proving difficult as he spit up the first dose with his meal and the next few doses we’ve tried so far have also been at least partially spit up. Poor guy.

The next day after F’s bath and a well timed feeding I shot his newborn photos. It went extremely well and he slept the entire time. After getting the shots I wanted in his raccoon outfit I went ahead and took some photos of him naked. And he didn’t pee or poop until the very end which was impressive for him (see graph above). Here are a few of my favorites.

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That afternoon we visited the urologist for a consult. F is set up to get circumcised on Sept. 17th. I feel mixed about it. I know it needs to be done though. Unfortunately they want me to be there to give him a pacifier while they do it and I’m not sure how I feel about that. I’ll probably cry.

On Thursday we crashed. F didn’t even want to get out of his PJs and who was I to tell him no.

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3 Weeks

E went back to work so I was on my own. Days weren’t too bad but F seemed to be going through a growth spurt so I was getting up 4-5 times every night. Sleep deprivation took on a new meaning. Friends and family came for visits which was nice but that meant I couldn’t nap during the day as much. Despite that I started to fall into a rhythm. I would bathe him every other morning. We’d get up between 7-9 each day depending on when he got up to eat. I’d eat breakfast and he spent the mornings in his bouncer or wed nap together. I’d spend the afternoon writing thank you notes or having visitors over. At night E was home to help prep dinner and feed him his formula.

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On Wednesday, my friend Emily came over to take some photos of us. They turned out pretty cute. Here are a few…

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Here are a few more photos to round out the week:

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First week home – 2 weeks

Our first weekend with Flynn went pretty smooth but we quickly fell off schedule because he was waking up every 2 hours or sooner to eat. He’d go for longer stretches during the day and I tried to not let him go more than 3 hours between feedings. Most of the day we held him and he slept good and then at night we put him in the pack n play next to our bed and he just didn’t seem to sleep as well. We started to wonder if we shouldn’t hold him to sleep but they told us in our newborn care class that you couldn’t spoil a baby under 6 months and it didn’t seem right to not hold him. During the night he would wake up and start groaning and grunting and after about 15 minutes of this he’d start to cry some. Despite thinking that Eric would be the one to get up before me, often I’d get up with Flynn while E slept through it. I guess my mothering instinct kicked in some. So it ended up that I was doing most of the night shift. Sometimes E would get up with me for feedings for moral support but there was really nothing he could do so I didn’t get mad if he didn’t get up. Plus I figured it was good practice for when he went back to work. Slowly I began to realize it might be a while before I slept decent but somehow my body was handling it better than I thought it would. Some kind of mother adrenaline I guess.

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Early that week we took Flynn for his first outting to the pediatrician which went very well. He weighed 4 lbs 11 oz which meant that he had gained 4 oz over the weekend. We had stopped supplementing with a bottle following breastfeeding so this was good confirmation that he was getting enough from me. We did continue the twice daily formula feedings but gradually flynn was deciding that formula was not as tasty as breast milk. Can’t blame him because it smells nasty. Everything seemed to look normal per the doctor which was great news.

Car ride to pediatrician:

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The next day we bravely went to babies r us to exchange a few items and took F along. I nursed him in the car which was a bit tricky I discovered.

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Later that day F rolled to his tummy. Surprisingly this was the second time it happened. Earlier in the week he rolled to his belly and back while I was changing him one day. Completely on his own! #bigheadlittlebody

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The rest of the week went on ok. It was nice having a second set of hands to help out.

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First 2 weeks

Now that Flynn is a month old I’ve decided to continue this blog as a way to try to remember all of the special details of everyday life that seem to blur by so quickly.

Flynn spent 2 full weeks in the NICU due to coming so early. They said he could go home as early as 35 weeks but he ended up staying almost a week longer. His first night he stopped breathing momentarily and had to be given oxygen but other than that he had no respiratory issues. NICU doc said he simply forgot to breathe most likely which is typical due to his prematurity but they put him on IV antibiotics to rule out infection until lab results came back negative. I was so glad when that IV came out because trying to juggle him and not pull on his IV was not fun.

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Next up he tackled some jaundice and spent a few days under the lights or as we affectionately referred to it — club bili. It wasn’t severe and his levels decreased quickly thanks to a bunch of poopy diapers.

Club bili on the NICU cam:

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After that we focused on gaining weight and maintaining temperature. I stayed in the hospital until Sunday evening. Recovering from birth and my tear while pumping/feeding him every 3 hours was a bit rough especially Friday night when the epidural wore off in the middle of the night. I had so much pressure and felt constipated but was scared to try to poop. We had a nice older, Asian nurse that helped us that night and she reassured me everything was fine (I was so swollen down there I thought something was wrong). Sure enough that was the worst of it but it continued to stay swollen and painful for a solid 2 weeks. And yes that first time I went was not pleasant but each time I went it got a little better. Once we went home it was a bit more challenging because I was trying to come up to the hospital as often as possible for feedings every 3 hours but that meant I was constantly on my feet and my body just couldn’t tolerate standing and walking to that extent. So for the first week I spent most evenings laying down with a very sore bottom. Eric went back to work that Tuesday so that he could save his time off for when baby was home. Feedings were at 9 am, noon, 3 pm, 6 pm, 9 pm and so on. I usually went for the 9 am feeding and would breastfeed flynn and then stay for an hour rocking him to sleep. Then I went home to rest. Eric came for the noon feeding from work and would give him formula which he had to get 2x a day to help him get all of the calcium he needed. Then I’d come back at 3 and sometimes for 6 pm as well. Most nights Eric and I would go back at 9 pm together. Then I usually pumped once in the middle of the night and then pumped at home during the day if I missed a feeding. At first it was very frustrating as Flynn had very little energy. I’d feed him for 10 minutes or so but 90% of that was me constantly rubbing his cheek and trying to get him to suck. Then I’d give him a bottle which he took to much better. Each time I fed him though he did better with breastfeeding. But it was very gradual. Eventually I was supplementing less and less with the bottle. And near the end of his stay he was finally rooting some near feeding times. Up until then he’d sleep straight to his feeding and have to be woken up to eat.

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We reached a low point when flynn was 1 week old. They would weigh him nightly and he was slowly losing weight each time which was expected. They were also weaning his temperature down in his isolette to get him to an open air crib and progress him home. He spent that Saturday in the crib and due to having to expend more energy to maintain his temp he ate poorly at several feedings and dropped down to under 4 pounds that evening.

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The nurse mentioned he might have to be given a feeding tube and I lost it. We’re talking uncontrollable sobbing in the middle of the NICU. I was so scared and had this crazy urge to put him back in my belly to try to keep him safe. Instead of going home on Sunday at 35 weeks they put him back into his isolette. And so we stepped back and I slowly came to terms with it. I was so hormonal those first few weeks and that combined with crazy scared was a bad place to be. I cried pretty much every car ride home from the hospital trying to figure out why I was driving away from my baby. I’m sure being at home with a baby after giving birth is tough but being at home without your baby after giving birth was so very depressing. I did have my baby shower that Sunday which helped distract me. It was amazing and we got a ton of wonderful things. The moms did such a great job of incorporating the theme.

The amazing food spread:

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That second week we slowly began to gain hope as Flynn gradually put on about an ounce a day. His energy was improving and his feedings were going better. Here he is rooting around on the cam before his morning feeding:

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Gradually they weaned his temperature down in his isolette and this time he was holding his temp stronger. By Wednesday he went back to the open air crib and I prayed that he’d do better. They did the car seat tear and hearing test that day which he passed.

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Wednesday night he continued to gain weight and I was so relieved. Thursday morning they told me he would be ready to go home Friday so we could room in at the hospital Thursday night to prep. Suddenly I felt totally unprepared. I ran home and packed and napped. I came back around 4 pm and we went to a room. They took all of the monitors off of Flynn which was a little crazy.

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A nurse came to the room after every feeding to see how he did. Like clockwork we continued the 3 hour schedule. The next morning they evaluated Flynn and decided he was ready. He weighed 4 lbs 7 oz and was 17.5 inches long. We packed Flynn up and drove home.

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Cuddling with him in our home sure beat cuddling in the NICU. Here’s our first day home.

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Birth Story

Here’s the rest of my birth story which I had written down that day.

7/25 5:54 AM
Had a little scare at 11 pm last night. My contractions were coming every 3 minutes and were getting pretty painful. Rolled to my back to try to get some relief and realized baby’s heart rate was dropping. Before I could even roll back over 3 nurses ran in to reposition me, put me on O2 and the hospitalist came in to check on me. They think he’s laying on his cord when that happens which they say is pretty common once the fluid/cushioning is gone. Poor hubby woke up in a panic and was so worried that once they left he shed a tear – he never cries and it was so cute. Baby’s heart rate stabilized quickly. Dr checked my cervix for the first time and I was 90% effaced and only 2 cm dilated. This after almost 24 hours of contractions. So silly. But over the next 2 hours my contractions started to get more regular and were coming every 3-5 min and instead of some relief in between each one it felt like I was constantly contracting. I was really trying to hold out til the morning on the epidural but I decided it was enough. I told myself I’d make it to an 8/10 pain and I was there. So I got the epidural around 2 am which went well. Shot of anesthetic before they put it in was a bit painful not going to lie. But wow, what relief. Within seconds my abdomen was numbing and by about 30 min or so I was decently numb from my ribs down. They catheterized me which was uncomfortable but it’s so nice to not have to get up to pee every hour. They rechecked my cervix then around 2:30 and I was fully effaced and 4 cm dilated. I was finally able to get somewhat comfortable and rest a little. Feeling great now. Some slight pressure when I contract but it feels great to not be in pain. Just listening to my little boy galloping away in there and waiting. Looks like he’ll probably be coming today!

7/25 11:57 PM
Flynn Martin arrived this evening at 6:35 pm weighing 4 lbs 3.7 oz and is 17 inches long. We’re in love and we both started crying as soon as the doc pulled him out and laid him on my belly. He was purple when he came out which was scary but he quickly cried and pinked up and has been breathing on his own on room air without any assistance. HR, resp rate and o2 sats all look great. I can’t believe this little perfect thing came out of me. Labor was so so tough. After a long 2 days of no sleep and no food (just Popsicles since they wanted my stomach empty in case of c section) as well as bed rest for the last 12 weeks I was in no shape to push that guy out. It was 2 hours straight of pushing and it was really hard. I can not imagine having to deal with the exhaustion of pushing as well as pain. Epidural worked like a charm and I’m positive that it would’ve taken me twice as long to get him out if it weren’t for that. I literally thought I couldn’t go on at one point but rallied once his head was out some. Finally one good push and he came out all at once. I had no energy left. I had a grade 2 tear despite him being so small. The OB that delivered me was constantly massaging the area to try to help it. I was just not meant for birthing babies I guess. But overall I’m feeling good. Got the ice pack on and just got back from visiting flynn in the NICU. He looks good and is having fun discovering his tongue which he likes to stick out. He has reddish blonde hair so far and blue eyes that he likes to peer around the room with. NICU doc says he may go home as early as 35 weeks if he continues to do so well. I just got done pumping for the first time and I’ll be able to get him my colostrum/breast milk that they’ll try to feed him until he can tackle the breast. It’s really scary how tiny and fragile he is but he’s doing so well and it’s good to know he has experts helping him 24 hours a day.

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