Monday, July 7, 2014

The Birth of Lane Hanson

This is the birth story of Lane Carter. If you don't want to read the long story or see the pictures he was born at home in our bedroom fairly fast and caught by my husband. He weighed 9lbs 10oz and was 20 1/2 in long.




I was 40 weeks 6 days pregnant and feeling the pressure. I was at that point where you don't even want to leave the house because you keep getting the "when are you going to have the baby" or "no baby yet". I was not anxious this time and knew that he would come when he was good and ready, but you still feel so much pressure from everyone else. Plus every time I would call someone they were on alert, especially my Mom.

 I was hoping for a smooth quick delivery but was also preparing myself for a long drawn out one like I had with Scarlett. My midwife kept reminding me at every appointment to call when I felt anything as she said second time moms go the quickest and tend to wait the longest to call her. I was skeptical because I didn't want to bother her for nothing and having been through a long labor before didn't want her to have to sit with me for a few days.

I was feeling fairly good and spending my last few weeks making some more freezer meals, taking lots of hot baths, reading Ina May and spending time listening to praise music. It helped to calm me down but I was getting tired. I wasn't sleeping real well at the end and was starting to have the nausea and hot flashes I remember with Scarlett.

The evening of October 14th I was busy making supper. It was around 7pm. I didn't feel any different than the night before, but as I walked from our kitchen to the dining room to give Scarlett her supper I heard an audible pop and felt a strong gush of water. I was fairly calm but told Chris "I think my water just broke." He said, "Yeah right. Are you sure?" I said "Well considering there is a small pile of water on the floor and my pants are soaked; Yes I think it did." The little rush of adrenaline was starting and I reminded myself that even with my water breaking it could still be a few days before I had him. We started making preparations by calling the midwife and his parents to take Scarlett and the dogs and letting everyone else know what was happening. I didn't even take out the birth box from the basement because I think I was in denial that it would be happening soon. I figured there would be tons of time. My midwife told us to just relax and let us know if anything changed. I wasn't having any contractions yet and my midwife reminded us it could still be awhile. Chris and I spent the evening watching a movie and I was already planning the next day of possibly going out for breakfast and watching more movies until things started up. I was really in denial this was happening.



A last picture of the bump after my water broke at 40 weeks 6 days pregnant
At about 10:30pm or so I decided to try to sleep and went up to bed. I was having a few mild contractions at this point but it was nothing worse than a braxton hicks so I laid down to get some sleep. I slept good til about 2ish then the contractions were picking up a little. I learned my lesson from laboring with Scarlett and stayed in bed dozing in between the contractions and trying to release all my tension with each breath out. I visualized baby coming out and my body opening up. I spoke to Lane telling him it was okay to come and we wanted to welcome him to the world. I spoke affirmations to myself telling myself that I could do this and God designed my body for this. 

At about 5am the contractions were getting a little bit more intense and I decided I didn't want to be in bed anymore. I got up and went to the computer room and read some positive birth stories while I listened to praise music. I also received some supportive texts from a wonderful friend of mine who I know was up that night with me. She wrote about some of her birth memories and reminding me that my body was designed to do this. My husband was sleeping on the couch so he could get more rest and I hadn't woken him up yet. I stayed there for awhile swaying and rocking and singing. 

At about 7 am they were getting closer together so I woke Chris up and told him to take a shower and get ready since I was feeling like I would need him soon. Chris is my rock when I am in labor and I know I couldn't do it without him. At 7:30ish I hopped in the shower to get clean and was breathing through contractions as I put on a little makeup and dried my hair.  

It was this point things started to pick up. I called my midwife around 8am and told her contractions were stronger but I wasn't sure if she should come because they were not too bad yet. She said she would eat breakfast and then come. I told her, but I am probably not even that far along yet. She said she would bring a book :) I continued to labor singing "restless" by switchfoot when I could and trying to release and give into the pressure.

At this point in labor you lose all sense of time and modesty. You focus so inwardly that you forget about all that is around you. The only thing I was focusing on was Chris and how hard he was pressing my back (which was very hard). I kept telling him to press harder and in my mind I was trying not to think about the fact that it felt like the back labor I had with Scarlett who was posterior.




In labor land

My Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

Pretty much had to press my back the whole time


At about 9am Chris called her back and told her she should hurry. She was still 25 miles away!! At this point I was feeling like I had to go to the bathroom and knowing what that means was thinking she should probably be here. Even though I knew what this meant in my head I was still in denial that his birth was close. I was still thinking I would be in labor for awhile. About this point the birth photographer Vanessa came. Things got even more intense when she came. I continued to labor downstairs for awhile then I wanted to go up to the bathroom. I wanted to wait until Beth came but decided to go. While I was in the bathroom beth came and she was busy setting up our bedroom for the birth by putting down chucks and getting supplies ready. It was about 9:30. After going to the bathroom I had a couple of strong contractions in the bathroom. I dry heaved a couple times and involuntarily bared down.



Hands are getting tired. Good thing the labor was shorter than last time :)

I got into the room and continued to labor. I was asking them to fill the birth pool to which my midwife said there would be no time. I asked her then to check me. She kept putting me off all the while I was saying we had time since I was probably only a four and I wasn't ready to give birth yet. She just smiled and continued to hurry getting things ready for the birth. Around this time her assistant Janelle arrived. I didn't even realize when she came I was so focused inwardly.


Checking heartbeat


After a few contractions things got really intense. I could feel him coming down. It was so much pressure. I remember feeling as though my hips were going to come apart. Then I felt the burning ring of fire. I hadn't felt that with Scarlett so it was a totally new experience and it hurt. I cried out for the first time.


The most intense part
I felt his head about half way out and my midwife told me to stop and to pant so that things would go more slowly so I didn't tear. That was the most difficult. Every part of me wanted to get this little one out. But I stopped myself and panted. He was sitting there out up to his brow for a minute or two then she had me give a big push. At this point I felt like they were pulling on him and I told them to stop pulling. In reality they were not pulling on him at all. Lane was just re positioning himself inside of me. I could feel his legs kicking up in my ribs and him twisting. It was the craziest weirdest feeling ever and it hurt.The midwife thinks he may have had his hands by his face and he was moving them to make room to come out.  He then came out to his shoulders and since they were big the midwife had me put my leg up to make more room. Then I felt him slid out. It was a feeling of relief. Chris caught him and I turned around so I could take him. So at exactly 10:29am Lane was born. I asked if he was posterior, but they told me he was not. The labor felt so much like Scarlett's with most of it in my back and hips but I suppose it was because he was so big!


Here he comes.
Caught by Daddy


Thank goodness he is here!
It was surreal! I could not believe that I had just had a baby at home and I said that out loud. I wasn't fully feeling there because I couldn't believe labor went so quick and was still kind of in denial that had all just happened. But looking at Lane I knew I was in love. This little guy who I had so patiently waited for was finally here for me to snuggle. After about 10 minutes my placenta came and then they helped me get up onto the bed. I had some bleeding so they gave me some herbs and massaged my uterus.







Hanging with daddy with cord still attached
Getting checked out


Love this picture!
Introducing Lane Carter Hanson

I loved having him at home because he was never taken from me, except for when I had bleeding and they had to massage my uterus and when I went to take a shower. The midwife did all her checking on him while he was in my arms. No warmers and suctioning. She waited until after he had breastfed to do any vitals and checks and I never felt rushed. 


Little Toes

Midwife Beth guessing the weight. She was pretty close..

Getting weighed 9lbs 10oz!! 
Getting Checked out
After Lane got checked out I went to shower and eat a plate of yummy bacon and eggs while Lane snuggled with Daddy.


Snuggles with daddy!

After we were all settled Beth went over a sheet of things to watch for and left to go home. It was just Chris, Lane and I left at home. We sat in bed snuggled in and took a short nap. It was so nice to have time for just the three of us.

As I was laying in bed snuggling with my incredible husband and perfect new little one I felt so very blessed. I watched Lane as he slept and prayed for his future and for Chris and I as parents.   

After our short nap Chris's parents brought Scarlett home to meet Lane. I wondered how she would do but she seemed just fine when we introduced them. She never really went through the jealousy stage and just wanted to be my helper. Although sometimes she wanted to help too much.

It was so wonderful to have a homebirth and I would do it all again in an instant. I was tell everyone the postpartum period for me is way harder than the actual birth due to breastfeeding problems and postpartum depression. Lane's birth was so wonderful. I felt so blessed to have a wonderful husband and midwife supporting me through the process and a chunky and healthy baby boy. God is good!

Photos courtesy of At First Site Photography



Friday, May 16, 2014

Recently

Just thought I would check in for a recent update. ALOT has happened since the last post about Lane. The basics is that we had Lane's tongue tie relasered in New York the end of January. It was a crazy story and I plan to write about it in detail soon. He was adjusted by an incredible pediatric chiropractor and I had my first ever pain free nursing. He did great for about a day and then regressed. We struggled to keep the site open and keep him adjusted. After much struggling for about 10 weeks after the procedure I decided to go to mainly exclusively pumping. It was a hard struggle because I so did not want to do it again. I struggle so much to make enough with the pump and I was already worn out from trying so hard with Lane. However, thanks to a wonderful craniosacral therapist I was able to let go of my fears and start the transition. Lane did great on the bottle and was taking some days up to 40oz! I think he was trying to make up for lost time when he wasnt getting enough and was not growing. Obviously I don't make 40oz a day so we began supplementing with a hypoallergenic, non GMO formula. It still has corn syrup and oils but I wasn't sure if he would react to homemade goat formula since he reacts so negatively to legumes in my diet and a goats main food is alfalfa. I have recently started him on a homemade formula and we will see how that goes. So fingers crossed because I would rather give him real food than the fake stuff. I still nurse him a little at night and it is still extremely painful, especially now that he has teeth and occasionally bites. I know I should just give it up since it is painful, but it seems I can't. I have recently started seeing a lady who goes a form of bodywork called craniosacral fascial therapy (CFT) with Lane. I want to see if there is anyone who can keep him in alignment since I know it is not good for him to be out of alignment. The funny thing is that he remains stagnant in a developmental milestone like, lifting head, rolling, etc. until we start bodywork again. This whole last month he has just been rolling and hasn't even attempted to crawl. We took him once to the CFT and the next day he started showing interest in crawling and is rocking on his hands and knees now. The same thing happened after we had him adjusted out east. We came home and he started lifting his head better and rolling. I am not holding out any hope that this therapy will help him nurse better but I just feel a sense that we should continue doing this. So as of right now I am pumping 7-8x a day and making anywhere from 24-26oz a day. Lane is taking about 32-36oz a day. It is still hard some days especially when I see other moms nursing. It makes my heart sad.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Scarlett's First Haircut

Scarlett got her first haircut just a couple of days ago. It was so hard for me because it means my little girl is growing up. I can not believe she is already 3 1/2. It seems like she has been with us forever, yet it seems to have went so fast. She was a little scared when I told her the night before that she was going to get her hair cut. She told me "It will only hurt a little". I explained it wouldn't but she still had a terrified look on her face the entire time, especially when they were washing her hair. Grandma Anita came for support, mostly for me! Scarlett did good though and looks so grown up with her new "do". It is also much easier to brush through and the fighting to get her hair brush has lessened a little.
The before pic. Look at how long her hair is 


Getting her hair washed. She didn't know what to think with this part.
The after shot!



Sunday, December 22, 2013

Another progress report

Today I just cried. Pretty much all day. The sadness surrounding our nursing situation is some times so overwhelming. Some days are okay but today is jut hard. It seems sometimes like he is getting worse.

I met with a lactation consultant Jennifer Tow,one of the leading people on tongue ties via Skype. She thinks there may be a few reasons for Lane's issues. First she thinks he may still be compensating by using different facial and neck muscles that haven't yet been released by chiropractic or cranioscaral. I had the cranioscaral lady, who also happens to be a friend who comes to my house to do it ( totally lucked our on this one) talk to jennifer before a session. Jennifer was able to tell the chiropractor what muscles are usually tight and need release on a tongue tie baby. I am hoping this will he him chomp less and suck more. He is very tight on the left side of his neck and jaw. she also had me learn to rub his pterygoid (a muscle of the jaw). She also wants us to be using a at breast supplementer. I bought the lactaid but his suck is still not good enough to draw the milk out of it effectively. Plus it is a pain and I feel like his latch is so bad on it. The next thing she wanted me to try was the medela sns. It runs more on a gravity flow. We are still struggling very very much with it so we have resorted back to finger feeding and squeezing his cheeks at times. I am always fearful he is not getting enough food and I know he is struggling because he is still very sleepy. Some babies deal with not having enough to eat by shutting down.

Jennifer and I also talked about my milk supply and how to increase it. She wants me to continue moringa, goats rue (she said this on was especially important for my grandular tissue), more milk, marshmallow root, and milk thistle. She also wants me to add in shatavari, anise seed, and a pregnancy tea made by a former client of hers.  Yes, it's a lot of pills!

Lastly, we talked about the possibility of his tie reattaching or a submucousal cleft. Either way would be so difficult so I am hoping this is not the case. After ten weeks I am tired!! Unfortunately I am not ready to give up yet. The thought of giving up is too hard. It gives me a sense of anxiety, sadness, and guilt. The thought of giving formula makes me sad and the thought of continuing this way makes me equally sad and anxious. Really it is a no win situation. That little tiny and faded glimmer of hope is keeping me going one day at a time.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Progress

For those of you wondering about how things are going with the breastfeeding I thought I would give a little update. You can find the first part of the story here.

 We had our appointment with speech therapy this last week. They want me to pump while I feed him with the haberman special needs bottle, then put him to an empty breast. They also recommended a soothie pacifier to strengthen his suck. It scares me to give him a pacifier but I am hopeful it will help not harm his suck. He has been doing great with the finger feeding (suck training) so I decided to do all of his feedings this way instead of using the bottle. I have been doing it since Friday night and I cannot even explain to you the difference in his suck. When we first started he didn't even know how to suck. All he wanted to do was chomp on the finger which of course doesn't get him any milk. I also had to hold his cheeks for him to obtain any suction at all. Now he isn't chomping as much anymore and doesn't always need cheek support. He still however gets overwhelmed at the breast so I am only putting him to an empty breast and feeding him in a reclined or laid back position.



 He still has his good feedings and his awful feedings. The awful feedings are hard for me mentally but I am in a way better place than I was with Scarlett at this point. I am looking at it as a marathon, not a sprint. One foot in front of the other and one day at a time. I feel I owe it to Lane to keep going.

 It is A LOT of work but I feel good knowing we are going forward and he is doing great. He is gaining well and I am making enough for him so far thanks to all the herbs. I had to dip a little into my freezer stash this last week due to a bout of mastitis (yeah, I can't seem to catch a break). I was so thankful for a husband who could work from home and my brothers girlfriend who helped out while I was shaking with a fever. My supply dipped a little but is now back to normal. Of course I still have to take all of my supplements.

I have so many things to be thankful for this time around that I have to keep my mind focused on them. Lane is such a good little baby and rarely cries unless he is hungry or wants to be held. He also sleeps great at night going for about 2 four to five hour stretches. Unfortunately, I still have to get up and pump so I am not getting much sleep yet. I am also thankful my milk supply is better this time around. Right now I am making about 28-30 ounces a day plus nursing him a little. I have to take all my herbal supplements but haven't had to take domperidone yet. Lastly, I am so thankful I figured out why Lane had a dysfunctional suck and we are working on it much sooner than I did with Scarlett so there is hope for us yet!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Breastfeeding : Round 2

It's happened again! I did everything right this time. Ate healthy throughout pregnancy, had a homebirth with no intervention, skin to skin with baby for 48 hours and I still got a baby with a dysfunctional suck. I now know the reason for this dysfunctional suck was a wonderful little thing called posterior tongue tie.

Lane's first latch on after birth

After I had Lane I was so so excited and nervous to start breastfeeding. I tried biological nurturing and had him skin to skin for 48 hours and let him self attach. However he would never really do it correctly. He would go down the the nipple and sloup it in. From the start I was feeling something was off. Then one night he started the dreaded chomping. I remember so vividly with Scarlett this action. He would do fine drinking the first letdown all the while flicking my nipple (which I now know means he held it in his high palate and wouldn't bring it back to the soft palate) and then he couldn't get anything more. So he began to use his gums. It is one of the most awful feelings in the world!! My nipples and areola were getting bright red and sore from the dysfunctional suck pattern. He would also gag, choke and gulp on the letdowns. He could not coordinate his suck swallow breathe. After the first week of oversupply and engorgement we started the 3 hour long nursing sessions in the evening along with the fall asleep after 5 minutes at the breast only to be hungry again 5 minutes later. It was exhausting! Plus his poops were continually green which is a sign he was getting too much foremilk and not enough of the fatty hindmilk. He gained fine in the beginning because I had a slight oversupply  to begin with and he got enough on the first letdown. All the while I was trying to keep it together but was failing miserably.  I could feel the anxiety and depression creeping in. It was so reminiscent of Scarlett. Everyone kept reassuring me everything was okay but I knew in my gut it wasn't. They told me maybe I had a lazy baby who was efficient and got what he needed quickly. But I just knew something wasn't right.

 I was doing lots of research to try to find the answer and came up with posterior tongue tie (PTT) and upper lip tie (ULT). I had never heard of it before but all of my struggles with Scarlett and all of Lane's struggles seemed to point to this problem.





The problem with PTT and ULT is that many ENT's are not aware of it or don't feel it is of any benefit to cut it. Many of them also use scissors instead of lasers so sometimes they have to put the baby under general anesthetic to get deep enough. We visited the ENT in our hometown just to see. He told me that Lane did have a minor tie but it would not cause issues because he could stick his tongue out. So being the persistent person I am I found the website of a great dentist, Dr. Kolow who deals a lot with PTT and ULT. I emailed him the best pictures I could take of Lane's tongue and lip tie and told him all of the things we were experiencing. He said based on these symptoms and the pictures he would expect to find a PTT and ULT. So I got on a plane to New York by myself with a 2 week old the day I talked to the doctor. We had to quick book tickets and drive fast to make it to the airport. Thankfully my flight was delayed or I wouldn't have made it in time. I kept thinking that I couldn't believe I was doing this and my anxiety was high. What if I was flying all the way to New York just to be told there was nothing wrong. But I also knew if I didn't I would never have been able to give up breastfeeding without feeling like I had done everything in my power to make it better.

So we arrived  in New York at close to midnight and made our way to the hotel. I barely slept because I was so anxious. The next morning we made our way to the dentist office. I was given a room right away, filled out paperwork, and Dr. Kotlow came in not long after. He did a quick check of Lane's tongue and upper lip and said he definitely had both and lip and tongue tie and couldn't believe the ENT wouldn't cut it. I then was given a video to watch on what they did during the laser surgery and the post op instruction for stretching the site. They then came in and took Lane. My heart was beating so fast watching my little man leave the room with the nurses. Not even 10 minutes later I heard his little cry coming around the corner. They brought him to me to nurse. I was slightly disappointed when I didn't feel much of a difference. I was hoping I would be one of those that I was reading about where things got better right away. However, I knew I had to be patient. After the appointment we were back on the plane home. Lane slept pretty much the whole time and for this I was glad.

Lane is now almost 7 weeks old and I wish, oh how I wish I could say things have gotten better. I have had a few pain free feeds here or there but mostly he is still nursing incorrectly. Also despite stretching the site (so awful to do) it re healed 3 weeks after the surgery and I had to open it back up and start the stretches again. Also he refuses to do suck training (which is basically finger feeding) to help him strengthen his tongue and learn to move it right. I thought by this point we would be nursing well but we are still struggling. My supply decreased a lot at 2 weeks postpartum and Lane didn't gain much weight from weeks 3-5 so we are now supplementing with expressed milk doing "paced feedings" from a Dr. Bronners bottle. The haberman which we used with Scarlett to strengthen her suck is still too difficult for him. He poops out really quick on it. I am mostly pumping and doing the paced feedings. I put him to the breast a few times a day after I pump. I have been working with a lactation consultant online who works with tongue tie babies and she says this is the best way because he is struggling with the suck, swallow, breathe and reverts back to old habits (bunching up tongue in back, flicking nipple into high palate, and chomping) when the letdown is to strong for him and he chokes. I know for sure I definitely don't have oversupply but might have a strong letdown due to the herbs I have to take to keep my supply up. I wonder if I will have to continue them if he ever nurses correctly? However, if his oral motor skills are off even a normal letdown is too much to handle. We have also been doing craniosacral therapy and chiropractic care which is helping so much with his latch and tension. He still has a sensitive gag reflex and won't bring my nipple back to the soft palate but craniosacral is supposed to help with this by helping the high palate to come down.

So at this point in time my nipples are still sore, my milk supply is decreasing, and my baby still isn't nursing correctly. I have my days where I seriously consider giving up. I have had my days where all I do is cry and cry. Where I feel like it is all to much to handle and is affecting my bonding with my son. I so desperately want to give him the best and I so desperately want to just nurse him. To be able to nurse him at night without having to move him to get up and pump afterwards. To throw the pump out the window(I have seriously considered this) and just nurse him to maintain my supply. I am feeling myself slowly falling into the deep dark pit of depression. It is so hard for me to stay optimistic sometimes because of what I experienced with Scarlett. It never got better with her and it is hard for me to think it will with him. The thing that keeps me going are that he got his ties fixed so there is hope for retraining and strengthening his suck. I am hopefully going to get a referral back to the speech therapist and continue to work of suck training. I have to be content now to just keep pumping, feeding him the bottle so he gains weight and strength, and nursing him a couple of times a day.