The past 3 months have been a whirlwind. We FINALLY got our miracle baby. There is a saying that the first 3 months are "The Longest Shortest Time." Meaning in the moment it seems like it will go on forever... the crying, the diapers, the lack of sleep...then in an instant its over and it seems like it was the shortest time, blink and you missed it. Oh how true this is.
We were all discharged about 30 hours after Bram was born, which may seem early, but since he had no difficulties after delivery we were eager to get him home. We kept the dogs at the boarding kennel for a few days so we could get acclimated to our new life before we introduced them. That night Lee offered to take the first night shift since we had all been up for nearly 2 days at this point with very little rest, and would wake me when Bram needed to nurse.... well being the amazing father and husband he is, he decided not to wake me up and used some of the extra milk I had pumped to feed him, I got 6 hours of uninterrupted...and much needed sleep that night. And to boot I woke to the delicious smell of banana bread baking!
We went to the pediatrician's office the next day and while they didn't seem overly concerned about Bram's obvious Jaundice they told us to keep an eye on it. Apparently Heather has type O blood (like me!) while Bram has Type AB, and that incompatibility causes (sometimes severe) Jaundice. Plus breastfeeding can complicate it further. We never had any complications from it and its finally (at nearly 3 months) is all but gone.
We also visited the Lactation Specialist and I expressed concern that it was pretty painful to latch him on. She showed me some techniques and gave me a plastic nipple shield to get me through the first weeks which can be painful for most first time moms. We re-visited her a few weeks later to reevaluate and she referred us to a pediatric ENT for a possible lip and tongue tie. After discussion we did end up having both his lip and posterior tongue tie revised (snipped) when he was about 5 weeks old.
The day Bram was born I was getting about 11oz of milk pumped per day. I was able to exclusively breastfeed him for 11 days, he did get a bottle a day of my freshly pumped milk starting at 7 days to get him used to taking a bottle. And at 11 days I had to start taking from my "freezer" stash to help supplement his needs (he would act fussy and cry after or during nursing and would be frustrated tug tug tug trying to get more milk). By a few weeks old babies need 24-36oz of milk a day and this same amount until they are 1 year old. By the time he was 45 days old we had used up my 300oz freezer stash and had reached out to a few local women who offered to donate us their milk. Since then we have been using around 12oz of donor milk per day to supplement my nursing and pumping.
I am still taking 120-160mg of domperidone daily (depending on if I remember to take the 4th dose!) and also Goats Rue, Marshmallow Root, and Sunflower Lecithin. Bram is taking probiotics and Vitamin D in one of his bottles every day.
The pups have really taken to Bram. The girls seem concerned when he cries, and Sienna has to "inspect" him each time we come home. Luci tries to lick his face which makes his whole head move since she is so strong. Jackson is still trying to adjust to not being the baby anymore and tries to cuddle on top of or walk over Bram without understanding he might hurt him.
I joined a "Mom Group" which met every Monday and we would go to lunch. There were 9 of us and 8 of which were boys, and all were within a few weeks of each other. It was great to have the companionship and to commiserate with each other. Even though my route to motherhood was vastly different from those moms I instantly felt part of the group and the fact that I didn't carry him made no difference.
I otherwise spent my 11 week maternity leave mainly bouncing on a yoga ball with Bram wrapped to my chest to keep him content. I nursed on demand and rarely pumped except in the middle of the night when he would only nurse briefly. While he would only sleep for short periods in his bassinet (like less than an hour), we found he would sleep for long stretches on my chest or in bed with me snuggled close. So we made the decision (well Bram made it for us!) if we wanted sleep we would be bedsharing. We follow the safety guidelines of bedsharing (except the dogs are in bed with us but it hasn't posed a problem since we have a large king size bed). Since we started that we are in bed by 8 or 9pm, and he sleeps until 2 or 3am, nurses and is back to sleep until 6am then either we're up for the day or I can get another hour or 2.
The week before Christmas (my final week of maternity leave) we flew to Florida to visit my Mom, Grandparents and other relatives that live there. Bram did amazing on both flights, not a single tear until we were walking off both time. And slept better than ever the 3 nights we were there. The heat and humidity however he did not appreciate and the car rides we had to have while there were miserable. The first day he was not interested in meeting his relatives and took some time to warm up to the idea. But the second day he finally warmed up and everyone was able to hold him for some lovin. We hope to make the trip a yearly tradition.
While on maternity leave Heather and I visited each other several times, she even pumped milk for 4 weeks for us. Our families are intertwined now and it would feel strange cutting ties or not seeing each other often. We even made her and Stephanie Bram's Godparents at his Bris.
Returning to work has been difficult. The day before I was literally sick with the stress of it. Luckily Lee will be watching him on Mondays and family will be watching him Tuesday - Thursday. I'll be working from home on Fridays. So it wasn't so much I was concerned about Bram and the care we would be receiving, it was just the end era. And the end of an experience I fought so hard to get the opportunity to have, for so many years and was finally able to enjoy...for 11 short weeks. So now I start my new era as a working (breastfeeding) Mom.
Bram's Birth Story
Ways to Save Money
Things not to say to IPs
Tips for newly diagnosed
Mothers with MRKH
Our Gender Reveal
2000- Chrissy dx w/ MRKH
2002- Chrissy & Lee meet
2007- Chrissy & Lee Marry
2009- Chrissy 'hysterectomy'
2013- Awarded Cade Grant
7/3/14- IVF egg retrieval (5)
1/18/15- Embryo Transfer (1)
9/29/15 - Bram born!