Monday, March 21, 2011

Breastfeeding Vs. Formula Feeding

*Warning-this post is very personal.

Jeremy and I have been having many discussions on the benefits of breast vs. bottle feeding. As many of you know, we chose to breastfeed Bentley. This discussion has been happening because I have had several health problems that have made me question my commitment to breastfeeding. I have an infection in one of my breast that is extremely painful and has reduced my milk supply (leaving the baby crying for more food after I feed him). This has caused many sleepless nights for both Jeremy and I. Then, last night we were in the emergency room because I was having severe stomach and back pain. They ran several test but the results were inconclusive, due to enzyme levels they think I need to have my gallbladder out. All of these things put a lot of stress on my body and paired with no sleep leave me wondering should I continue?

Here are the pros and cons of breastfeeding that we have come up with. The pros are quiet obvious. Breastfeeding is very healthy for the baby and myself. It does not cost anything to breastfeed either. There are several cons as well (which we did not even consider before starting to breastfeed). Breastfeeding is very hard on my body at this point, it is also hard on me because Jeremy cannot help out with feeding or getting the baby to sleep at nights. We have to plan carefully in order to go out anywhere as I am having to think about do they have a place I can feed the baby (I am not quiet comfortable with just whipping it out anywhere like some women). When we are with friends and family I have to leave the room and be gone for an hour (not very social and I end up feeling lonely). All in all I feel tremendous pressure because the feeding is all up to me…I cant get help, can’t always go lay down when I need to “rest”, and can’t leave little man without preplanning in advanced (we learned this when I was in the ER).

Pros and cons for bottle feeding are numerous too. There are many pro’s that allow me to have help. Jeremy is able to feed the baby as well (and that would allow some bonding time for them). If Jeremy and I need to go somewhere in a hurry we don’t have to worry about do when have enough milk stored/saved. We can feed the baby anywhere at any time. At times I do have to remind myself if we do switch to formula the baby will still be getting food and will still be healthy. Basically bottle feeding is the easy way out that would leave me feeling like I have help and the pressure isn’t all on me all the time (which in the middle of the night, the pro’s sound pretty good). The cons though to me are scary on this one. Bottle feeding is not as healthy for the baby. I worry about overfeeding the baby with bottle feeding. I would have a lot more dishes to do. Bottle feeding is more expensive.

This is such a serious decision for Jeremy and I and one we are stressing over. Anyone with personal experience that want to help us please send me a message. We would love to hear your pro’s/con’s of breast and bottle feeding and if you breastfed how long you breastfed for?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bentley pictures

Days and Nights

Sorry it has been so long since our last post...we have been a little preoccupied with the little man here! We are so happy to have him here and are trying to adjust to "his" schedule. Bentley is a very typical little boy and has his nights and days mixed up (which means mommy and daddy have long nights). It is kinda funny because when we say we got no sleep people look at us like we are crazy because he is always sleeping so peacefully during the day. However, you cant get upset with little man because he makes the cutest faces and has the most precious smile! We are excited now that things are calming down that we can start getting in a routine. Mommy is quickly learning to sleep when he sleeps. The dogs have adjusted nicely to him being around and often come to get mommy when he starts to cry. We are so excited to see him make progress and try new things (like lifting his head up and following us with his eyes). I know that we will have so many fun things to update you with as we watch him grow!

Mommy and Daddy are slowly getting adjusted to the changes in our life. Bentley is our very first priority now and we enjoy the time we get to spend with him. Jeremy and I have both been sick which has made things a little more difficult than expected. Jeremy got sick after going to retrieve my pain medicine from the pharmacy after I got home from the hospital. I had to sleep out on the couch with the baby so that both baby and I were healthy. Then this week I got an infection which shot my temperature up to 102 (this is the sickest I have been in a long time). Jeremy was immediately put on baby duty as all I was able to do was sleep, eat, and feed the baby. I must say that we have really been a good team working together (and sometimes separately when the other person couldn't). Jeremy's grandma and Aunt Diane came into town to visit us and we loved to spend time and see all four generations together. Jeremy's grandpap also came into town and got to see his first great grandson. I was very sad though because we did not get to spend as much time with him as we had hoped, as this is when I got my infection. Family is so important to us and we want Bentley to know, love, and respect his wonderful family.

I will post some pictures soon...for some reason my computer wont load them right now.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Best Day of My Life (Jeremy's thoughts and feelings on March 3rd)

The best day of my life began on March 3rd at 4AM. Heather’s water broke while we slept. Heather and I were both very excited, yet very calm as well. I quickly assessed how much time we had and made a mental checklist of all we had to do. Many items trivial, but we had time. Heather took a shower while I started to work through my mental checklist. Dogs taken out to pee, check! Load our bags, check! Call in to work, check! Take out trash, Do remaining dishes, straighten up living room, check, check check! Take my shower, warm up car, and put the dogs up for the day, check, check check! We are now on our way to the hospital. We waited and notified immediate family members as they got ready for work. We arrived at the hospital around 5AM and I will spare everyone the details from there, but Heather did a fantastic job and I am so proud of her. The labor and delivery went as I had expected. At 2:11PM Bentley Ryan Marks was born weighing 8lbs 9.5ozs and measuring 20 inches long. No crazy delivery stories and baby and momma are both given clean bills of health. The doctor even asked us to bring more babies their way since Bentley was so cooperative to be born on his due date during normal business hours.

What a great day! Well far beyond great! The best day of my life! Had I thought about it before… sure, why wouldn’t this become the best day of my life? But what about my previous best day ever? That is a question I had never considered nor could I really come up with any specific day to fit this. Maybe this is because nothing has ever been this significant in my life to cause such a high level of emotion. Sure, I’m extremely satisfied with my life and have had plenty of milestone events. However, March 3rd 2011 was unlike anything I have ever experienced before. To say it was monumental is an understatement. I get so choked up about so many of the events of this day and what the future holds for my family. I normally consider my self to be emotionally very stable, almost to a fault. I rarely express strong emotions which can often give me the appearance of being insincere, unconcerned, indifferent, etc. My emotions today were just completely off the Richter scale. This was an excellent surprise for me as I had concerns of how I may feel or react. Obviously, I have anxiously waited for this day, but was unsure how I may act or feel at the time. Often it takes me days or weeks to analyze my feelings and really understand the significance of many events. Some of this may be my logical nature and attempt to gather all data and facts prior to forming opinions. The sight of my child was a wild exception to my normal logical nature and little emotion. I was instantly overcome with something so wonderful and profound that I don’t think the English language has any word that even comes close to capturing the full magnitude of emotion. Certainly words like happiness, love, blessed, excitement, and pride are some of these emotions, but what I felt was far more powerful than any of those words can capture.

My logical systematic way of thinking had me analyzing what exactly was going through my mind and why did I feel the way I did? Am I overcome by the significance change this means for me? This is certainly a “game changer” while other major milestones leave your life fairly unchanged, such as my wedding. While this was a great and significant day it did not really change any day to day aspect of my life. Is it the future and the memories that Bentley will enrich both Heather and my life with? Is it the ability to raise a child and teach my life lessons to the next generation? Maybe it is some animalistic need to reproduce, but that certainly isn’t it because Heather is such a strong component of these feelings. Ultimately, it is none of these reasons and it is nothing I can put my finger on or logically reproduce. The emotions and feelings were instant. My mind did not contemplate any other thoughts, but was just instantly sweep away with amazing feelings far beyond any joy or happiness I have previously experienced. The day went very quick and is still almost surreal or dreamlike, but I will definitely have some very strong lasting memories that I will never forget. Before today I didn’t think I would have such powerful feelings right away. I was very excited about all the first’s in Bentley’s life. Christmas’s, Birthday’s, school, little league, hunting, etc. No wonder when all these milestones come and go everyone always says “seems like just yesterday you were born”. My memories from today are so strong it will always feel like “just yesterday” to me. Ultimately, I will drop my search for a logical or rational answer to these feelings and chalk it up to that unique feeling of becoming a dad and that very special bond Heather and I now have. For now I have several days to bask in the glow of my new family before I head back to work and have to come down from cloud 9.

Our love has grown along with our family

**This is kinda a detailed account of my experience giving birth (without too much detail I hope). As I write this I sit here with so many emotions and tears coming from my eyes...I am truly blessed!

A week ago today I updated my post with an update form the doctor. We had been told for weeks that I was getting ready to go into labor any time. After weeks of waiting I had written the doctor off and decided that they baby was just going to come with when I was induced. We went to bed that night leaving the dishes in the sink, the trash can full, and the living room scattered with dog toys and other things. About 4 a.m. I heard a pop in my back and got up to realize that my water had broken. I told Jeremy that I thought he should get up and call labor and delivery. At this point I still was not having contractions. They wanted us to come in and told us to shower and take our time. We arrived at the hospital around 5 and they immediately confirmed that my water had broken and I was there to stay…the baby was coming on his due date, March 3rd! At this point I had started having contractions. About an hour and a half in I sent Jeremy to get my bag while I got some medication for pain. The contractions really went from 0 to 60. I agreed to have an epidural ( I know this is controversial for some, but was definitely the right decision for me and Jeremy said he was the second happiest person that I got an epidural). The epidural didn’t take right away and I had to wait an hour and a half and get an extra dose in order to start to feel less pain. Things progressed pretty quickly (or at least that’s what it felt like). At some point I decided I was starving and asked when I could eat (who really is hungry during labor? …this girl!). They ordered me food for after the baby was here.

At 2:11 p.m. on March 3rd Bentley Ryan Marks was born! Jeremy got to clean the baby off and cut the umbilical cord (which took him two tries due to his “fisher prices scissors”). Jeremy and I were both overcome with emotions. It was really the best moment of my life. We got to keep the baby in the room with us for about 2 hours after delivery. He was very fussy at first and the only thing that could calm him down was the sound of Jeremy’s voice. It was truly a miracle. Both Jeremy’s parents and my parents were able to visit with him during this time. They then took us to our room and the baby to the nursery to get checked out. Jeremy spent his time running from the nursery (which happened to be directly outside of my room) and my room. He was so excited to tell me everything they were doing with the baby in the nursery. Finally, we were able to have him back in our room, to spend time with him. Jeremy and I were both speechless and beaming with pride!

The very first night we had several visitors, and at midnight they nurses needed to run some more test on Bentley. They nursery kept him until 3:30 in the morning when he got hungry. Jeremy and I were able to get a couple hours of sleep, which was necessary since we had been up since 4 in the morning. (The nurses in the nursery made it very clear that they wanted to take care of the baby while we got some rest, that is what they get paid for. I would highly suggest using them when having a baby as it gives the mothers body time to heal). The next day we spent all day loving on the baby and just in absolute awe over how amazing he is.

Everyone says that all babies are cute…and I believe that is true, however, I must admit Bentley is exceptionally cute (okay, I may be a little bias here). He has dark brown hair, which both Jeremy and I had blonde hair when we were younger. He has good skin color and weighed a whopping 8 pounds 9 ½ oz. He was a big boy! He passed all of his test that they do in the nursery with flying colors. The nurses even said they took all the other babies back to their parents before they would bring Bentley to us because he was not fussy and was such a good baby. We are so blessed to have a healthy baby boy!!

I got released with a good bill of health as well. They doctor actually encouraged us to have more babies because she liked having people who had easy labor, delivery, and recovery. I am very blessed to be so healthy.

We came home on Saturday and ever since have had a rotating door of visitors (which is okay by us…we will proudly show him off any chance we get). The first couple nights at home were very difficult. Some nights I only got one to two hours of sleep. We couldn’t get Bentley to sleep anywhere but our arms. It is now Wednesday and we have learned that swaddling him is the best thing ever (he immediately goes to sleep). Bentley has his awake periods after eating, we spend this time enjoying his many faces and teaching him how to hold his head up, stretch his arms, and even enjoy some tummy time. We are constantly in amazement and our hearts warmed as we see him already growing and learning new things.

The dogs have done wonderful with the baby. They are more excited and interested in all the visitors we have been getting. They enjoy cuddling up next to us as we hold and enjoy the baby.

Okay, now I am going to get a little sappy. I am the luckiest girl alive! Not only do I have an AMAZING husband, I now have and AMAZING little son. Jeremy was amazing during the whole experience. He was there holding my hand and encouraging me. The moment our baby was born and I looked him in his teary eyes I could see the love he had for our son and for me. He is an amazing father. He has had to do so much for the baby since I was healing myself. He changed every diaper in the hospital. Jeremy loves to spend time holding our son (I am tearing up as I look over at him on the couch holding our son with the biggest smile on his face). I occasionally catch him sitting on the couch, tears in his eyes as he gazes around the room at our family. I too tear up as I realize that we have created a family of our own. I am so blessed to have Jeremy as my husband, a cute son who is in perfect health, and dogs that love to snuggle. I am having mixed emotions as the time passes because I don’t want to waste one moment with my family, yet I am so excited to see what the future brings!

Wow, what an amazing, and life changing experience!!! I will leave you with my favorite picture from the hospital. Our love has grown along with our family…..

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Ready or Not (part 2)

Okay, so this is it, the final post. The next post I will make will be to let you know that little man is here! I had a doctors appointment this morning to check and see how he is doing. We had a sonogram first. The baby has hair (so that explains my heartburn) that you can see on the sonogram pictures. He is definitely a boy! He is also a BIG boy, 8 pounds and 8 oz according to their measurements. The stress test went well. He fell asleep in the middle of it so they had to wake him up with the mean buzzer thing again (he is clearly a relaxed baby). I am about 3 cm dilated and 100% effaced. The doctor once again said that he would be surprised if I make it much longer (but he has been saying that all along). So with that being said, if Baby Marks is not here by Monday they are forcing him out. That is right, Monday March 7 we will definitely be meeting our baby boy!!!

Jeremy is soooo excited to meet his son! Me, I am nervous, excited, scared, and stressed! I have been feeling pretty well the past couple days, although walking has gotten more difficult for me and I have been having a lot of lower back pain. We gave the dogs a bath last night so they are ready to meet their baby brother. I need to get the house clean (again) and make sure we have everything we need ready!

Please continue to pray for us as we are certainly going to need it these next few days and weeks! :)