Monday, August 31, 2009

Bath Time!

My daddy is so awesome. A few times a week he gives me a bath. I don't even mind so much. It is warm and kind of fun. I think. I get pretty cold afterward and can't wait to be dressed again...but all in is ok. My daddy really is the best for spending this time with me. I love my daddy!

Friday, August 28, 2009

4 weeks old...tomorrow!

Can you belive it? Time has gone quickly and slowly all at the same time. Here is a quick update to let you know how things are going here:

  • Finnley is a beautiful baby girl and the love of our lives.
  • Poor Ms. Finn has reflux and has had some tough times. Spitting up huge amounts, discomfort that leads to colicky behavior, etc. So sad!
  • Given the reflux, we have to take "reflux precautions" with her daily: smaller more frequent meals, frequent burping during meals, 30 minutes of "vertical time" following meals, sleeping on an incline, etc.
  • Finnley was on Zantac. But...the Zantac often made her throw up. Kind of a moot point then, right? more Zantac for now.
  • Finn tolerates the formula better than the breastmilk. We have no idea why. So, for now...she is on formula 24/7. She is on Similac Sensitive RS which has added rice starch. It is supposed to make her feel fuller and help her keep more meals down. Only one big spit up in about 48 hours. Not too bad.
  • Sleep is a thing of the past, but she has some good nights. Last night she went almost 5 hours in a row! Woo hoo!
  • She has crazy long fingers. Not sure where they came from.
  • She has really strong legs. She likes to "climb" or push up off of your hands while laying on your chest. She puts herself almost into a standing position, albeit while supporting her body on ours.
  • She squeaks like a mouse. Seriously. Cutest damn thing ever!
  • She has gigantic blue eyes. I hope she keeps them!
  • She is putting on weight. She is at least 7 lbs. now. She goes in on September 8th for her 5 week checkup. Can't wait to see how she has grown by then. Hopefully close to 8 lbs. That would be awesome!
  • My breasts leak when they "hear" Finnley cry. The body is weird and amazing. I am not even breastfeeding right now, but they still know...
  • I am 4 pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight, but I still wear maternity pants. The "uterus gut" is still in existence, and I still have a mild bit of swelling. One day I will wear real clothes again. Maybe.
  • I have managed to "cook" one meal since being home. Pasta. With red sauce. Wow...aren't I amazing?
  • I sometimes even manage to do some laundry. And I shower daily. The little things are now BIG THINGS. Trust me.
  • Finnley and I have managed a few solo outings. Well, not exactly solo. The dog did come with one time. We went to Target. We went to the bank and the pet store. Aren't we something?
  • I had two glasses of wine last night. Hallelujah!!!!

  • Not sure what else to say at this point. Each day is a challenge yet also a huge reward. Nothing like having my little peanut fall asleep on my chest after a meal...and breathe her hot and damp formula breath on my neck...and keep me all warm. I cherish those moments.

    The pics were both taken today. Once while all dressed up for the day. Once after spitting up all over herself and, and outfit change was in order. Lounge clothes anyone?

    Saturday, August 22, 2009

    The Rock Star and The Opening Act

    No, this post is not about concerts or music. It is about my breasts.

    One is a superstar. A rock star. It is a grand producer and expresser. I can pump up to 3 ounces in 10 minutes or so. It is always a huge breast, and it is always uncomfortable.

    The other is the equivalent of an opening act. It does its job. It isn't half bad. But, it cannot compete with the rock star. Nope...this one will never steal the show. It is usually about half the size of its "sister", and I can pump about 2 ounces from it in 10 minutes. Not nearly as efficient.

    And, my daughter knows the difference. She fills quickly on one side and needs to take her time on the other.

    Did I ever think I would be having this "conversation" about my breasts. Not really. Do I mind? Absolutely not.

    Soon to be performing (possibly full time) on the big stage is Similac Sensitive RS formula. We have started to introduce it in the bottle. Finnley loved it. It took a bit to get comfortable with the bottle, but once she was going, she was a happy girl. And? She was extremely content afterward. No arching. No screaming. No crying. No signs of discomfort. That was the whole point of giving it a shot. The formula has rice cereal in it to help her keep the feedings down, and it is a sensitive formula that is designed to reduce "colic" and fussiness. Maybe we are on to something here? We can only hope.

    So, the girls might be producing their final acts in the coming weeks. I am sure they will enjoy the rest of their stage time, although the weaning period means lots of pain and engorgement for mommy. I am sure we will all somehow survive.

    The latest pics were taken last night of Finn with her daddy. She is in a "milk coma". Not sure what kind of coma daddy is in...probably just a basic sleep deprivation one.

    Wednesday, August 19, 2009

    Two Weeks and 4 Days...

    So, I should have been 39 weeks pregnant with Finnley today. Instead, she is a whole 2 weeks and 4 days old. Still somewhat amazing to think that she is here with us in the "real world". So, what has transpired in that time?

    Sadly, at 1.5 weeks old our happy and content baby girl started "spitting up". And, when I say "spitting up", I mean she was a gurgling / bubbling fountain that seemed to not stop until her stomach was empty. After several voluminous episodes over a pretty short period of time, we called the pediatrician's office. After taking her in, we found out that she probably has reflux (or GERD). The spitting up was quite scary, but it wasn't the end of the world. Things took a turn for the worse, though, when feedings started to turn our sweet little girl into an inconsolable and obviously uncomfortable wee one. This led to yet more calls to the ped's office and yet another doctor's appointment. The good news? Ms. Finn Finn had gained 7 ounces in 4 days. She had surpassed her birthweight and was weighing in at a whopping 6lbs and 6oz. Go, little Finn! The bad news? Definitely sounds like reflux.

    Our poor little girl is now on Zantac twice a day. She hates it. It "tastes like crap" according to the doctor. This is obvious. She threw it up twice last night. Fun! In addition to the Zantac, we must take "reflux precautions" with her every day. This means: frequent, smaller feedings; she must remain "vertical" or upright for at least a half hour after a feeding; she cannot be jostled after a meal (no diaper changes or clothes changes); she must be burped as much as possible during and after a feeding (although she rarely burps); etc. Even with taking these precautions and with the Zantac, she is still having a tough time. It breaks mommy's heart to see her little girl arch her back, go red in the face, flail her hands and legs, and scream after a feeding. It sometimes takes me up to an hour to really get her to fully calm down and go back to sleep. I hope over time the Zantac gives her some relief.

    Outside of that, Finnley is a beautiful and wonderful little girl. It is so nice when we see her "smile", even though these aren't "real smiles" quite yet. It is so good to have moments of awake time that aren't coupled with discomfort where she just looks up at us in wonder. She is our little miracle. I wish the best for her and hope that relief is soon on the way. She deserves that much.

    Mommy is still a "milk machine" and will be for the time being. We will try having Matt give her the first official "bottle feeding" of breast milk this weekend. I hope to start introducing a couple of bottles a day to get some relief for myself. I will still have to pump, but it would allow daddy to bond with his daughter and for mommy to take a brief break. We will see how this transition goes. I am still non-commital as far as how long I will exclusively breast feed...but we are almost three weeks in thus far. That is three weeks that she has been given the "best".

    More to come as I have more free time (yeah right) to post. Enjoy the couple of new pics for now!

    Wednesday, August 12, 2009

    Out with it, already!!!

    I have finally decided to devote the time to giving you all an update. I have been home a whole week now, so I figured it was overdue...or at least due.

    So, how did Finnley finally come to join our family? Well, here is a brief recap:
  • all of my tocolytics (anti-contraction meds) were stopped on the Wednesday that I hit 36 weeks
  • contractions started picking up, but nothing had happened
  • by Friday morning (two days later), they were becoming stronger and more frequent, but they would back off a bit here and there
  • by Friday afternoon, the contractions were so strong that I couldn't sit in bed or in a chair...I needed to stand up and rock back and forth and breathe through them
  • the nurse, who noted that "the doctor will probably not be very anxious to check you" DID agree to hook me up the monitors. Gee...thanks for your compassion.
  • thank god for a shift change and new nurse! Contractions were hitting the "top of the page" and flatlining across the top. Nice nurse was given orders to have an IV started and to give me up to two doses of brethine.
  • IV does nothing. Never does. Second shot of brethine finally tames the contractions, but that only lasts until 4am. Nurse thinks baby will be coming soon.
  • another shift change, and the contractions are ridiculous at this point. Painful. Horrible. Ridiculous. Doc decides to come check me after talking to the nurse.
  • DILATED TO 5 CM!!! Doc says, "we are having a baby today!" What a relief because the contractions were going to kill me soon.
  • call the husband. he is going to jump in the shower and come straight over. Arrives to find the nurses directing him to immediately change into his scrubs and follow us over the OR.
  • spinal is put in...ahhhh, sweet relief from the contractions. Now the nerves kick in as I realize that I am going to be sliced wide open on the other side of the big blue curtain.
  • lovely joins me in the OR...and at 8:39am Finnley Piper is born. All within an hour and a half of me calling lovely at home. Wow!!! She is 19 inches long and weighs in at 6lbs. 1oz. Not bad, early girl!
  • wheeled to recovery and baby is taken to the nursery. I have an extended stay in recovery due to high blood pressure issues...WTF??? The previous 2.5 weeks in the hospital I was monitored for low blood pressure, and now it is high?
  • all tests are normal. given meds to control the BP. finally taken to my room and get to see my daughter.
  • quickly realize that having a C-section really means you had major abdominal surgery. Really? Try to refuse the Percocet due to its "binding effects", but soon have to give in and take it. Doc says, "there are always a handful of you that try not to take the pain meds. you need the pain meds." Got it doc! You are right, and you win!
  • blood pressure issues continue. Nurse panics when it hits 199/100. that high? Now it is a problem exacerbated by a self-fufilling prophecy. You tell me it is high. I am anxious because it is high. I get more anxious every time I hear the BP cart being wheeled toward my room. Problem probably worse than it really is.
  • regardless, I am put back on Procardia. Doc thinks that taking me off both tocolytics cold-turkey caused a rebound effect and was now causing the opposite problem. Fun! This buys me an extra day in the hospital. Ok. When you feel like dying after surgery, the hospital isn't a bad place to be.
  • 3 weeks after being sent to the hospital, I am finally discharged along with my "impatient to join the world" little girl. The family is whole again and is going home to start a new chapter in their lives.

  • That is how it happened, without adding too many details that no one would care about. So, now that we are goes it, you ask???
  • parenting is better than anyone could ever describe
  • parenting is more challenging than anyone could ever describe
  • breastfeeding is hard work. painful, bleeding, cracked nipples in the early days / fun. engorged boobs that you swear belong on a slutty porn star and not your not fun. not being able to share the feeding demands of a newborn with anyone else, including during the middle of the fun. benefits that the baby is getting from all of my tortures...priceless. let's hope it is working, and she is putting on weight as she should. We will find out on Friday.
  • sleep deprivation can cause frustration. and sleepiness. mostly sleepiness.
  • as of this morning, I am down 14 pounds after having my little peanut. 3 more pounds to hit my post-IVF / beginning of first trimester weight. 7 pounds to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I can live with that.
  • the dog is still trying to figure out what a "Finnley" is, but he is a lover regardless. Finn has been showered in countless amounts of sloppy pooch kisses. Batman also thinks her diapers smell fascinating. Oh, and he gets scared or shocked every time that he hears her release an explosive poop. It is a funny scene to witness.
  • lovely makes the most wonderful daddy in the whole world. I already knew he was an amazing man and an outstanding husband...but it is so touching to see him with his daughter. One cannot describe the amount of love that is shared when the two of them are together. Worth every second of every minute that I have endured to get to this point. I love my family.

  • Coming up?
  • I have a post partum OB checkup tomorrow for my blood pressure issues. We will see if I can start to be weaned off the BP meds or not.
  • orthodontist is actually making a house call tomorrow to change my power bands. should be the last "appointment" prior to the braces coming off.
  • weight check for Ms. Finn on Friday morning
  • hip ultrasound for Ms. Finn on Septmber 1st. All breech presentation babies must have this u/s done to check for any dislocation or or damage to the hip joints. Docs think she is fine, but we need to know for sure.
  • 6 week postpartum checkup for me at the OB's office

  • That is the long and short of it. Updates will continue and will be more frequent (hopefully) as I recover even more. Can't wait until I feel like "me" again. Or the new version of know, the one with the huge boobs.

    Thursday, August 06, 2009

    To Tide you over...

    I am finally home from the hospital!!! After three weeks of living there. And, we brought our miracle home. I am, however, still recovering and cannot spend much time up and about...or doing anything really. So, a post about labor / C-sections / being a new parent will have to wait. All I can say is even though I am in pain...we are IN LOVE! Here our some pictures of our precious little girl to tide you over until the next post.

    Thanks to all for the congratulations and kind comments!

    Saturday, August 01, 2009

    Happy Birthday Finnley Piper Ritter!

    Hello all!

    This is Auntie Cate reporting. I'm fresh from meeting the newest addition to the Ritter family, and on behalf of Mom, Dad, Finn and Batman, sharing some details with all of you!

    First let me just state that she is perfect, beautiful, darling (insert adjective here). Little Finnley made her arrival at 8:49 this morning weighing in at 6.1 lbs, and measuring at 19"long.

    She is a healthy, happy, and so far sleepy babe that on occasion will grace those in her presence with a batting of the eyes, or even the sweetest wee noise. A noise that is reminiscent of a meeping little mouse.

    Mom and Finnley and resting comfortably, and the family wants to thank everyone for the never ending support and kind words. Finnley is a miracle and blessing, and we are all so thankful that she is finally here and healthy!

    Now I am honored to present Finnley Piper Ritter:

    Hello world!

    Dad and Finnley in the nursery.

    My clothes are HUGE on me!

    The all American Family.