Monday, January 26, 2015

Not everyone can breastfeed

Yep, it's true.

I have never been able to breastfeed anyway because my babies are born so early, but I did pump at home and at the hospital with a hospital grade pump. Each time I rented them from the hospital to take home.

My first pregnancy, Brennan was born at 29 weeks, 11 weeks early. I pumped for about a month. Each time I would pump I would get a few milliliters, not ounces, milliliters. I continued to pump doing all of the things I was instructed-drink lots of water...pump every 2-3 hours-even at night...pump next to the baby's bedside...use a hospital grade pump..the list goes on. I continued to get the same amount no matter what I did. I even took the medication, reglan and that didn't help either. So when Brennan was taking ounces and I was still producing only milliliters, I stopped pumping and he got only formula. They told me it was probably a combination of him being born early, the magnesium I was on and the steroid shots I got.

With Reese and Scotlyn, I pumped for 11 days until Reese passed away, but it was the same thing, I never could produce enough milk.

This time I pumped again. I felt like I had a lot of resources this time. My nurses that cared for me after I delivered seemed very knowledgeable, I had a lactation consultant at the hospital I delivered at and a lactation consultant in the NICU where Brooks was. After pumping for about 6 days this time, I stopped the lactation consultant in the NICU and explained everything I was doing and asked if she had any suggestions. She sat down with me and told me that she noticed my breasts when I was holding Brooks a couple of days after he was born and said that I have Insufficient Glandular Tissue (IGT). Basically, I lack mammary tissue. I don't have breast changes in pregnancy, I never got engorged and at most I produced 7ml (and that was rare, usually it was 1-3ml) between both breasts. She didn't tell me at first because she didn't want me to be discouraged and stop just in case I produced more than what I usually would. I continued to pump and even tried fenugreek, which is an herb to help produce more milk, but that didn't help either. I pumped for 3 weeks this time until Brooks was taking way more than anything I was providing would make a difference.

I wanted to post this in case there is anyone else out there that has the same issue I do or a health professional that may be able to help someone else who is having trouble. As much of a bummer that it is that I can't produce milk for my babies, it's nice to finally have an answer and not feel like I was doing something wrong. It totally makes sense now, but there is obviously a lack of education about it since this is my 3rd pregnancy pumping and many health professionals-doctors, nurses and lactation consultants knew my situation and were not familiar with this diagnosis.

There is a website that offers a little more information.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Full term

So yesterday was Brooks' due date. In one of my early ultrasounds, Brooks was measuring ahead so they moved my due date up to Jan 17th. However when it came down to it, the closer I got to being delivered I was adamant that they consider my true due date so they knew exactly how far along I was when he was born. I know when I ovulated so I know my due date would have been January 23rd. I know 6 days doesn't seem like a lot, but when you have a preemie, the difference in almost a week can make a difference.

I knew I would never make it to my due date because I am a scheduled c-section so the plan was for me to deliver December 26th. I would have been 37 weeks. I was really hoping to at least make it to December, but unfortunately my body had other plans.

Here we are snuggling last night. I always post pictures of just Brooks and everyone says how big he looks until there is a point of reference as to be able to tell just how small he is. Not sure if you can tell, but he is pretty much like a newborn. That's the thing with preemies, up until about age 2 they have two ages, their real age and their adjusted age. Brooks is a little over 2 months old, but he doesn't act like a 2 month old, he is more like a newborn. So his adjusted age right now is 0. We start over from here and he will pretty much follow that curve for the next 2 years, most likely (hopefully) making up for some of that time along the way. We go back to Children's to see their Newborn Medicine Clinic in April. They will evaluate him to see if he is following the appropriate curve (growth and development) and decide if he needs therapies from there. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Doctor Appt

Brooks had his follow up pediatrician appointment today. He didn't get his Hepatitis B vaccine in the hospital so he got that today. I didn't want to do more than that and since he is so small his doctor didn't either so he goes back in a month for his 2 month shots, but he will actually be 3 months so a little behind. He was 6lb 7oz which is what I was hoping for. That is still an ounce per day so he is rocking the weight gain.

These pictures are actually from last week, but this is what he wore today:) My BFF, Jill sent this for him. It's Burt's Bees and I didn't even know they made clothes! He doesn't have many hats that fit. He is kind of in between sizes right now. Preemie is too small and newborn is a little big. I'm glad he is growing, but I don't want him to grow too fast!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


 Brennan has loved having Brooks home and has not once said anything negative about it, but he has been acting different in other ways so the only thing I can think of is that it is related to the change. Obviously, Brennan has been an only child for 7 1/2 years now. And while I don't think he is necessarily jealous, I think he is noticing that the attention is being divided. Since Brennan was born (well since about 9 months old, post first winter) we have always done a lot of adventures from the zoo to the aquarium to play dates. Lately, not just since Brooks was born, but even the last part of my pregnancy we haven't been able to do those things. I can tell a difference when we have gotten out to do things recently, even if it's just for a short time. So I have been trying to take some time out just for Brennan. When Brooks was in the hospital, I tried to keep our schedule similar to before for Brennan, but no matter what there was never enough time to do everything. And now that Brooks is home and it has been cold and avoiding illness, we still haven't been doing much. He just started playing basketball and Casey is coaching, so he is loving that.

This weekend the weather was so nice so I took Brennan to the zoo. The zoo is our favorite place to go! We got a membership for Christmas so that's even more reason to go:)

We met my friend, Angie, and her family there. Her boys are 2 and 3 and they all have so much fun! I really wanted to take Brooks, but for obvious reasons I couldn't, but Brennan and I are so looking forward to outings when we can bring our new little man! Brennan kept saying he wished Brooks could come:)

Brennan is learning about penguins at school so he was excited to see them. Its one of our favorite spots, but unfortunately the indoor exhibit is still closed.

This boy is seriously growing so much! He eats constantly, every time I turn around he asking for something else to eat. And usually since its gradual you don't notice how much they've grown, but lately I look at him and he looks huge to me! It could also have something to do with looking at him after looking at my itty bitty baby love;)

But really, we have been teasing him about a flood coming because all of his jammies are so short, then we had to explain the joke to him:)

We have also been doing some fun projects around the house. I forgot that we had saved the box from Brooks' glider so we got that out of the basement and made a rocketship (that turned out to look more like a house because my hands are so raw from washing them and everything else that I could not cut any more pieces!) Either way, he was happy with it and has had so much fun playing in it!

Brennan got an Ipod for Christmas. It was one of the few gifts he had on his list and he loves it! I really like it for him too. There were a few positives I saw for him having it. One was that it is a responsibility for him to keep track of it, keep it charged, take care of it. He can also facetime with our family, my brother lives out of town so this was especially important to me for them to have that connection. However, we then found the hangouts app which is like facetime for android. So Brennan can also text us now. He is pretty cute in his texts, although sometimes it just says "poop" with a bunch of turd emojis after:p

He did send me this text the other day, so funny!

Will you give brooks a baba������ 

Anyway, it's be kind of fun little communication tool for our family. Also, since we aren't having any visitors right now except our parents and siblings, it has been nice to put Brooks on face time so people can see him:)

Brooks had his last eye exam yesterday. She said his eyes look great. They are still immature, but she is okay with that being his last exam. If he were to develop an upper respiratory infection in the next month or two and have to go back to the hospital and require oxygen then she would want him to have another exam then. The oxygen can affect the underdeveloped vessels and cause retinopathy. However, we are going through great lengths to keep him from getting sick so let's hope that doesn't happen.

He has a regular pediatrician appt tomorrow. I am curious to see what he weighs. His nurse came last Wednesday, but he hasn't been weighed since. He has been eating well. I have an app on my phone that I record all of his feedings. He is now wanting to eat every 2 hours sometimes, which I wasn't crazy about only because I didn't want him to take a lesser amount, but he has actually been taking pretty close to his normal amounts when he does so he is still just eating on demand-even if it is every 2 hours. He sleeps good at night and I think he has his days/nights down. He is usually awake for a couple of hours after his first am bottle which the time varies, but anywhere from 6-8am. Then he mostly sleeps through the day and is awake in the evening time. He is fussy in the evening and it can be a bit of a challenge to get him to sleep sometimes. Last night being the worst, but hopefully that isn't a trend:)

I think I'm the big boy holding my bottle:)

Overall, he is so sweet and we are all in awe of him♥

Monday, January 19, 2015

Newborn Pictures

Our family has only had professional pictures done a handful of times. I love taking pictures so I have done most of what we have, but I decided when I was pregnant with Brooks that I wanted a newborn session. I have a fellow baby loss mama who does photography so she kindly came to our house (such a blessing!) and took pictures for us. I have a few sneak peaks for now and I will post more later when I get the rest:) Brooks was 2 months old yesterday so it was a perfect time to get pictures done. Her website is check out her other work!

Little Rainbow

What an amazing job she did capturing this sweet face♥

These brothers = ♥

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

A baby that is born after the loss of a baby or babies is called a Rainbow Baby.  Rainbow Babies bring new hope to life after the "storm".

Brooks is our Rainbow Baby. 

Today I was carrying Brooks around the house to get him to sleep and I turned on a lullaby station on Pandora (highly recommended by the way) and the song Somewhere Over The Rainbow came on and I was immediately in tears looking at my sweet little rainbow. 

"Dreams you dare to dream really come true."

I still can't believe he is mine. I don't think I could ever really believe that it was possible to have another baby here on earth. I didn't really believe it until he came home and then all I could think about was how long was I going to get to keep him. It's becoming more real and I know as time goes on it will get better, but for now I am just thankful he is here and thriving.

Monday, January 12, 2015

First Outing

Brooks had his first outing the doctor. We saw 2 friends with new babes:) 

Brooks was 5lbs 11oz! I didn't really have a goal in mind, just hoped he was gaining well and he is. His doctor said she likes to see them gaining 1/2oz per day, but he is right about an ounce per day-go Brooks!

Everything else was good. My mom went with me because I am still not comfortable with him in the back by himself yet. I asked the doctor about it and she said to wait until he is about 7lbs. He didn't get his hepatitis B vaccine in the hospital (usually it's given at birth in full term babies) so he goes back next week for that. Then probably the next week for 2 month shots:(

Brennan was bigger in this picture, but same hat. I need to do a post on comparison pictures because these 2 look just alike! (Although you may not be able to tell as much from these 2 pictures since they aren't the same size, but those chins!) They both have a birth mark in between their eyes too.