Friday, October 30, 2015

Sorry it's taken so long... He's here!

Apologies for the two week delay...

Baby R was born on Thursday, October 15!

Our surrogate had a midwife appointment on Wednesday, October 14 and she was 3cm dilated and her bag of waters was very low, so her midwife sent her to labor and delivery and broke her bag of waters. This gave us time to drive up (about a 90 minute drive, with no traffic) and then hang out with her and her husband for about 12 hours until she was fully dilated. Once she was fully dilated, he was out in two pushes (less than 10 minutes after full dilation!)

The hospital was amazing - all the nurses were informed about the surrogacy and really excited for us. They were universally excited that I had induced lactation. And we were discharged 18 hours after R was born. (Our surrogate was discharged the next day.)

I was given R as soon as he was delivered, and held him while the cord stopped pulsing. Once it was cut, I nursed him while our surrogate delivered the placenta and got a few stitches. About 45 minutes later, DH gave him a bath and the baby nurse took his measurements.

My milk supply never got great - being horribly sick for two weeks before R was born definitely hurt me. But I was able to feed him exclusively my milk for the first week (fresh + frozen stash) and now he's on a mix of my milk (both direct and pumped), generously shared milk from a friend (thanks, Jamie!), pumped milk from my surrogate, and fancy organic formula from Europe. We're doing as much breastmilk as possible for as long as possible, and supplement with formula as needed.

One perk to using a bottle immediately is that DH has been able to be incredibly helpful. He's done more feeds and changed more diapers than I have, since our preschooler C is very attached to me. C is very sweet with R - gives him little kisses on the head and exclaims over his tiny fingers and toes and nose, but spent a few days asking for cuddles every time I nursed. That seems to have passed, and in fact C was 'feeding his bunny' yesterday by laying his stuffed animal rabbit in his lap and pulling his shirt up (and telling the rabbit not to bite). Lol!

We had our two week pediatrician appointment today and all looks good. We were back above birth weight a week after his was born (it helped that I had milk immediately), but his days and nights are switched so even though we don't have to wake him up at night to feed him, he wakes up pretty frequently on his own. I'm looking forward to days and nights sorting themselves out - he sleeps like a champ during the day. :)

Bonding has been different than with C. DH is madly in love, but I don't have those strong feelings yet.  I think it'll change more dramatically when he can connect with me and react to my presence. It's odd to be able to compare the two experiences. I will say that it's a heck of a lot easier to manage a newborn and the related sleep deprivation when you don't have a physical recovery to get through. Silver linings!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

38 weeks!

Our surrogate is 38 weeks today. Crazy!

Her midwife thinks 39 weeks is more likely than 40. Her body is definitely getting ready. It's a little stressful knowing we could get a call at any time now. My MIL is going to take care of C - we'll either have her come to our house, or rendezvous at my SIL's house (on our way to the hospital, and a quicker drive for my MIL) depending on time of day/urgency.

We've packed hospital bags for us and the baby, and have our (signed!) legal paperwork for the birth certificate.

I had a baby shower that involved a chocolate tasting with alcohol pairings, and no gifts. It was awesome and exactly what I wanted (thanks, SIL!)

I started pumping at the beginning of September, and immediately had milk. However my supply hasn't increased very much, in large part because I've been horribly sick for the past 10 days with a cold/flu. I'm on the mend, and hoping it manifests in my milk supply. But I definitely feel there's more milk than the pump is getting out, and babies are better than pumps. So I'm holding out hope that the baby will stimulate my production (I get about 1/3 of an ounce per pump right now, and I'm pumping 8 times every 24 hours - this of course has made it harder to recover from being horribly sick). Just in case I ordered super high quality organic formula from Europe, figuring if I need the backup, I want the best formula I can get. I also have a super generous friend (hi JM!) who has offered me some of her milk stash, and our surrogate is also willing to pump if needed. So there will be good options, but it would sure be nice if my body would cooperate. I'm on domperidone, moringa, fenugreek, goat's rue, and blessed thistle, and am eating lots of oats.

Really surreal that we're about to have a newborn. I've been going through all my video of C in preparation for sending it off to be made into a highlights video, and it's been fascinating to see how much he's changed, and to remember when he hit certain milestones.

We're going to be moving early next year, so the new nursery isn't really decorated, and still has my computer and printer in the room (we did get our Comcast router moved into a different room at least). C is excited about the baby, but has also been extra clingy and needy. Typical sibling stuff. It's cute - he'll pretend to change a diaper on a stuffed animal, or put a book he doesn't want anymore in his baby brother's room. He also periodically says he's my baby, so there's lots of processing going on in his head. Preschool has been going pretty well, so hopefully that routine will be helpful in the early days.

Good luck to J as she welcomes her #2 this week!