Author: Becca Eby

Our Breastfeeding Battle Part 2

Before I update you on our story, I want to say thanks to everyone who wrote encouraging messages to me after I shared the Part 1 of our breastfeeding battle.  Your kind words helped me to persevere and we are in a much better place now.  Online breastfeeding support has really made a huge difference for me.  In honor of World Breastfeeding Week 2011 I decided to update our breastfeeding story.  Part 1 was written when Fisher was 3 weeks old, and I was really struggling.  Breastfeeding is literally the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  Things are so much better now, but without a lot of determination, help, and sheer stubbornness I would have given up.
Fisher is now 9 weeks old and feeding every 2.5 to 3 hours.  After our doctor put us on formula/pumped milk supplementing (see Part 1) it took us 3 weeks to ween off of that routine.  We were giving him up to 3 oz extra after every feeding, then went to 2, then to one and were able to use solely pumped breastmilk.  Our lactation consultant came back and weighed him before and after a feeding, and told us he still wasn’t getting enough.  I continued to pump after every feeding so that we could avoid using formula.  This was a really hard stretch for all of us.  Finally at his one month appointment Fisher gained enough weight to be taken off the supplements, slowly.  We dropped the extra oz of breastmilk from 1 feeding every few days until we were left with just the late night feeding before his long stretch.  We dropped that last week and he is doing really well.
Now I just pump after the first morning feeding to add to my stockpile.  I have a big pile of milk building in our freezer!  So exciting…

So many women told me that if I could keep going things would get better around 6 or 7 weeks, and that was so true.  Breastfeeding finally clicked for us between 6-7 weeks, and we are rolling now.  I’ve fed him at the mall, in the airport, on a plane, and he is gaining weight like a champ.  We had a little set back last week when I developed mastitis, but we pushed through and are doing well.
If you are thinking about breastfeeding, know that it will be hard but it will get better and it is so worth it.  Push through and fight for what is best for you and your baby.  I have such respect for all those mamas out there who tried and had to give up, because this junk is hard.  You will get no judgement from me, for sure.  Lots of people have asked me how long I plan to breastfeed.  Before Fisher was born I would say at least 6 months, hopefully a year.  Now I say that I’m really optimistic about today, and the rest of the week is looking good.  I really hope to make it to 6 months and then to 1 year, but I’m taking it one day at a time.

What is one piece of breastfeeding advice you wish someone had told you?  

Fisher’s Birth Story

 Welcome to the world, Fisher Scott Eby.  We are so excited that you’re here.  Our boy is 7 1/2 weeks old now, and we are getting the hang of parenting him a little more each day.  It has taken me a little while to be ready to tell this story.  I did not have the birth I planned or expected, and for some reason I needed to mourn the loss of that for a little while.  As my due date approached, everything was looking good.  I had been 3-4 cm dilated for weeks and almost completely effaced.  Because Fisher was measuring large, my doctor wanted to induce before my due date.  I wanted to wait until a few days after, and she respected that decision, but didn’t want me to wait very long.  We negotiated for 3 days after the due date.
On May 31st we went in for our induction at 8 am.  They told me not to eat, but I’ve never been a rules kid so we hit Chick-fil-a on the way.  I researched eating during labor and saw that the only reason they tell you not to is because of the slim chance of an emergency c-section, and if in case of c-section the slim chance you will have to put under general anethesia.  Jed made me confess to the nurse that I had eaten (he is such a rules kid), and the only consequence was that I had to wait until noon to be eligible for an epidural.  So glad I ate those chicken minis.
I wanted to try to birth without meds, but knew it would be difficult with pitocin contractions.  When we arrived I was 4 cm dilated and totally effaced.  I started progressing well and held off the epidural until around 1.  The reason I went for it was that I had my sister and brother-in-law in the room (who are a nurse and doctor) reading the monitor and telling me the strength of the contractions.  I could handle them ok where they were, but knew they would be getting worse.  Once back labor started I was ready for some meds.
My doctor offices 2 floors below labor and delivery, so she was in and out all day which was unexpected and awesome.  Fisher was flipped sunny side up which makes for a difficult delivery, so she tried to turn him twice.  This was not fun.  Seriously not fun.
After laboring from 10 until 5:30, I was at 10 cm and ready to push.  Fisher was still facing up so I knew I had a hard road ahead.  My doctor, our awesome nurse, my mom, sister, and Jed were all in the room.  I pushed with everything I had for 2 hours without much progress.  Fisher moved only from a -2 to a -1.  My doctor was concerned but knew I wanted to avoid a c-section so she let me push a further 30 minutes.  I have never worked so hard in my whole life.  My epidural wore off for the most part after 1.5 hours of pushing, and the back labor was like no pain I’ve ever experienced.  My sweet sister was my doula and massaged my back throughout the pushing while Jed and our nurse held my legs.  My doctor allowed me to try several different positions (all fours, on my side, etc) but nothing worked.  After 2.5 hours of pushing and no movement, my doctor broke the news that I would have to have a c-section.  She didn’t want to attempt to use forceps or a vacuum because he was stuck behind my pelvis and his shoulder would almost certainly break.  I agreed to a c-section and the wheels went into motion.  I was calm and had a peace about it, but it was pretty scary for Jed.
Because my epidural had stopped working a new had to be put in, but it didn’t work either.  Finally after 45 minutes of trying to get me numb the doctor had to use local and light general anesthesia.  This freaked Jed out because I had eaten a few Luna bars throughout the day (so not a rules kid).  Thankfully Fisher was not in distress so they were able to wait for me to be numb.  The c-section went well and Jed was handed our beautiful baby boy at 8:56 pm, just 13 hours after arriving at the hospital.  He weighed 8 lbs 10 oz, and was 19 in long.

This is our first family photo.  I am totally out of it, but so relieved to have a healthy baby.  I just knew he was a boy the whole pregnancy.  🙂

Our sweet friends and family were in the waiting room for hours so they could meet our boy.  They are awesome.

Fisher was a little bit angry to be out in the world.  
Finally I got to hold him in the recovery room where we tried to nurse and had a few minutes to bond.  I fell in love instantly and am so grateful to have him in my life.  I mourned the birth that I wanted and that was not expected.  It was really hard for me to get over the fact that I couldn’t birth my son the way I wanted to.  Don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful for modern medicine because without it my son and I might not be here.  Fisher was so stuck in my pelvis that the nurse had to push him back out so the doctor could pull him out.  Yikes.  There was no way he would have birthed vaginally.  I second guess the decision to induce and wonder if we had waited until he was ready if he would have flipped over to the correct position.  We will never know, and I have to come to terms with the birth I did have.  I was made to be Fisher’s mama, and I am so thankful to the Lord for providing me with a beautiful, healthy son.    
 Did you have a birth plan?  Did your birth go according to plan?  

Frugal Friday – Baby Announcements: Important or Frivolous?

I’m working on our birth announcements for Fisher, with a goal of finishing before he reaches 2 months of age. You would think that with him napping 6 times a day it would be easy to knock them out. Not so. I’ve looked at a ton of different designs and debated the expense. I love the one above and have a code for 20 free ones. After that they cost over a dollar each and I have to pay for shipping. Yikes. Is it silly to spend money on birth announcements? I can’t decide. I may print a picture on our home printer instead, or use the code for 50 free prints from Shutterfly. Am I being too cheap? Jed thinks it is a total waste of money, so it comes down to my opinion vs. his. What are your thoughts? I would love to hear some ideas for cheap birth announcements as the sleep deprivation is stunting my creativity.

Hello Green Birth Announcement
Create beautiful birth announcements with Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Baby Bliss – The Operation Cloth Diaper Review & Giveaway

Today I’m bringing you a review and giveaway from The Operation Etsy Shop, run by cloth diapering WAHM Sara.  She was kind enough to send me one of her Bunzuke AI2 diapers and Convertabunz insert/prefolds to review.  We are obviously brand new to the world of cloth diapers, and are trying to figure out what kind of diaper fits our needs best.  We have several gdiapers and big brand pocket diapers and AI2s, but this was my first WAHM diaper.  I’m hooked.  The quality and customer service are fabulous, and her selection of fabrics are fun and unique.  She even has a dark denim diaper on her Etsy site right now.  Wouldn’t you rather pay $12 for a denim diaper your baby can use from birth to potty training instead of buying those lame disposable “jean” diapers that just go in the trash?  I would.

Please look at the belly on this kid.  Isn’t he the cutest?
The Operation has a You Tube channel with tons of informational videos on cloth diapering in general and Sara’s diapers in particular.  Here is one that explains the Convertabunz insert/prefolds.  

 From Sara:

I started making diapers for my daughter when she was 3 months old and became hooked! I still make each diaper as if I was making it just for her. The materials are prewashed and sewn using a size 9 ballpoint needle and polyester thread. Each snap is hand applied using a Kam snap press and tested for proper function. Every seam is checked and every loose thread snipped. I don’t sell a diaper that I wouldn’t buy myself! Bunzuke cloth diapers are designed to be used as a pocket diaper or all in two diaper. Here are some Bunzuke stats:

Style: Pocket (see photo) / AI2 ( 2 back snap sockets, 3” apart)

Size: One size fits most (8lbs-35lbs), snap down rise

Materials: Inner – polyester microchamois
Middle – PUL (waterproof polyurethane laminate), 
Outer – cotton woven

Measurements: 10 ½” long rise on smallest snap setting 
13” long relaxed
18” long fully stretched
~5 ½” at narrowest width

Prices: Bunzuke diaper shell (as listed) $12.00 and up
Bunzuke diaper with Convertabunz TM 1.0 Snapping Prefold and Insert $18.00 and up
(choose the $6.00 prefold/insert listing when purchasing a diaper)

 Right now Fisher weighs 10 pounds 4 ounces, and the AI2 is fitting on the smallest setting.  It fits snuggly, but doesn’t squeeze his chub.  I use the Convertabunz as an insert, and it was so absorbent that no moisture touched the diaper itself and it could be used again.  Jed was nervous the first time we used it, but now trusts in the power of the cloth diaper.

We have mainly used disposables and gdiapers up to this point, so I will use those for comparison.  We are gradually making the switch to all cloth and learning as we go. The diaper fits better than the gdiaper and is more absorbent.  It was easy to fit and the liner snaps in quickly.   
Positives: No leaks, super cute design, supports a WAHM, high quality materials, comfy for baby, easy to use after you get used to them, dries quickly, fits well at 10 pounds, great customer service, great price
Negatives: can’t get it at the grocery store, bulky fluffy butt
The positives far out weigh the negatives, which are common to all cloth diapers.  

 The Operation has a ton of designs listed, most for $12, or $18 with an insert included.  That is far cheaper than a lot of major cloth diaper brands.  I’m excited to buy more diapers from The Operation at $18 that will last through the next several years and not contribute to landfill waste, instead of a box of ‘sposies for the same price that will last 4 days.

 This boy wants to roll over so badly!
Sara is generously giving away a 50% off coupon to anything in her shop.  That is up to a $15 value. Want to go shopping for some very affordable cloth diapers?  It is easy to win.  All you have to do is leave a comment for each entry.  
Mandatory Entry: Like The Operation Facebook Page.  (1 entry)
Bonus Entries: 
Leave a comment on her FB page saying that I sent you.  (1)
Leave a comment or like your favorite diaper on FB and/or Etsy.  (1 each)
Share this giveaway on FB and Twitter.  (1 each)
Add The Operation Etsy Shop to your favorites. (1)
Follow me through GFC, Twitter, FB, email, or RSS. (1)
Don’t forget to add your bonus entries if you posted the event button early.
This giveaway will end Sunday, July 17th at 11:59 pm.  The winner will be chosen by a random number generator.  I received a cloth diaper to review but was not in any way compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.  

Our Breastfeeding Battle

Warning:  I’m about to get real, so if you don’t want to read about the details of our breastfeeding struggle, come back another day.  
Breastfeeding is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  I know that it is supposed to be natural, easy, and is of course best for baby.  I came into it wanting to do it for a year.  Now I’m hoping to make it a month.  I had no idea how difficult it would be, and feel like I was not at all prepared even though we took a class and I read several books.  The first three days were easy, and then my milk came in.  Immediately I was incredibly engorged, and Fisher couldn’t latch on correctly.  He had been circumcised that morning, so he was not in a great mood.  We were still in the hospital because of the c section, so the lactation nurse tried to help.  I was on so much pain medicine that I don’t really remember what she had to say.  We came home that night (Friday) and it was a battle for the next 3 days.  We went to the doctor for his one week check up that Monday.  He had gained weight, going from 7 lb 15 oz to 8 lb 2 oz.  We met with a lactation nurse who gave me nipple shields for my bloody, torn up nipples.  They were a huge help, and we thought our problems were over.
One week later we went back for our 2 week check up.  We walked into the appointment thinking everything was great and that our sweet boy was doing well.  He weighed in at 8 lbs, having lost 2 oz and not back to his birth weight of 8 lb 10 oz.  Our pediatrician was immediately concerned and assumed that the problem was my milk production.  He put us on a regimen of nursing for 10 min each side, then supplementing with a bottle of expressed breast milk or formula while I pumped.  We repeat this cycle ever 2.5 hours.  We were sent back to the lactation nurse, who suggested fenugreek and blessed thistle supplements to increase my supply.  We kept this regimen up and went back to weigh in that Friday.  Thankfully our boy gained 10 oz and was back at his birth weight.  
We scheduled a visit with a private lactation consultant who came highly recommended, and also had a friend who is a retired lactation nurse come visit.  Our friend gave me great tips to help with our latch issues, and suggested that the nipple shields could be interfering with my supply.  Judy, the private LC, was awesome.  She weighed Fisher on a scale that showed how much he took in on each side, to the gram.  She also examined his mouth and noticed that his tongue was closely attached to the bottom of his mouth.  He was tongue tied, which was causing all of his nursing issues.  Thank goodness she noticed it.  
Yesterday we went to a children’s ENT Doctor who examined his mouth and said it would be in our best interest to have a small surgery to clip the tissue on the underside of his tongue.  Being tongue tied could affect his speech later, and was definitely affecting his nursing and my pain during his nursing.  We are hoping and praying that our nursing problems will end soon, as the result of the surgery and lots of prayer.  So far I think I can tell that he is getting more, and less is coming out when I pump after, but it is hard to know definitively.  We will probably have to bring the LC back out to help one more time.  I pray that we will be done with the regimen of feed/supplement/pump soon.  It is incredibly exhausting.  I’m hoping for improvement and that we will be able to get successfully nurse for the next 3, 6, 9 months, or even a year.  For now, I’m taking it a day at a time.  
Have any of you gone through nursing difficulties?  
I would love to hear from you.    

Daddy and Fisher

 Happy Father’s Day to all the daddies out there, and especially to my own sweet daddy and my wonderful husband.  I love you both and am so grateful to have both of you in my life.

If you guessed boy, you were…

…right!  Our sweet boy, Fisher Scott Eby, was born on Tuesday.  The birth got a little complicated, but he made it here safe and sound.  I’ll tell that story later, after I catch up on some sleep.  He weighed in at 8 pounds, 10 ounces, and was 19 inches long at birth.  We are so in love with him and can’t believe he is ours.  I can’t wait to tell you all about him, but it is almost time to feed him so it will have to wait.  Here is a little picture to tide you over.  Isn’t he the sweetest?  He is already fighting his way out of swaddles at 5 days old.  Look at that double chin!  Ok, I can’t stay away any longer, have to get off the computer.  


Pregnancy Update – 40 Weeks

So, here we are, at our due date and still waiting.  You might be saying, “Becca, it is totally normal to go past your due date.  Chill out.”  True, but there are a few updates I’ve kept out of the blog until now that made me really think this baby was going to be here weeks ago.  Consider this fair warning if you don’t want TMI about my cervix and come back later.  
The picture above was taken at 36 weeks, and I was already 2 cm dilated and 70% effaced.  My doctor gave me orders to slow down, take it easy, don’t do anything that could cause labor for 2 more weeks.  I tried my best to follow those orders, but also had a huge fundraiser and a ton of other work stuff to do in the meantime.  At 37 weeks I was between 2-3 cm, and at 38 weeks I was at a 3.  I started having real contractions mixed in with Braxton Hicks (wow, there’s a major difference) at 38 weeks.  A few days before I reached 39 weeks, we had a major false alarm.  I had been having pretty powerful contractions all day, and they were anywhere between 4-7 minutes apart.  Because I was already so dilated and had a nightmare about delivering the baby myself the night before, I called the doctor.  She told me to come in to get checked around 8 pm.  We waited a little while longer, then headed to the hospital thinking we might be coming home with a baby.  The strapped me down to the monitors for 3 hours, but I wasn’t progressing at all so they sent us home.  It was awful.  That was 9 days ago.  
My sweet mama couldn’t stand it anymore, so she and my daddy headed here the next morning.  That night I woke up with horrible contractions about 10 minutes apart from about 3:30 am to 5 am.  I didn’t wake anyone up (so nice of me, right?) and just coped by bouncing on the birthing ball, walking around, etc.  I thought that once again, it might be time.  Around 5 am I was able to go back to sleep in between, and woke up 4 hours later like nothing had ever happened.  We spent the rest of the weekend with my parents helping us get stuff done around the house, going on walks twice a day, and eating lots of spicy food.  Still nothing…  
My parents went back home (5 hours away) on Sunday morning, and we went back to waiting.  
This past week was Jed’s last week of teaching, so we were glad to get through it.  He is also in graduate school, so he used this week to get a little ahead.  I’ve had BH contractions all week, and at my 39 week appointment I was between 3-4 cm dilated and 80% effaced.  I’ve had several friends tell me that I’m lucky, because they spent hours in hard labor to get to 3-4 cm.  I’m so grateful things are progressing, but I’m just ready for this labor to start in earnest.
I plan to post on Twitter when things get going, so follow along if you’re curious.  To keep yourself entertained in the interim, go HERE and enter to win a $100 giftcard for party and wedding supplies from Ann’s Bridal Bargains.         
How do you keep yourself entertained while waiting for a big, much anticipated event (like labor) to start?  

The Top Ten Things I’ll Miss About Being Pregnant

I’m so ready for Baby Bun to arrive, but there are a few things I’ll miss about being pregnant. Here are the top ten.

10)  Sleeping with a giant body pillow
It has become the 3rd person in our marriage and Jed likes to use it as an arm rest.

9)  Asking people to fetch things for me
I told Jed the other day that sometimes getting up or rolling over feels like trying to move a mountain.  I have to make a decision about how much I really want that glass of water or to pick up that thing I dropped.  Now I just ask someone else to get it for me.

8)  Setting the thermostat as I see fit
I have a built in space heater right now.  I am normally cold natured, so much so that I will sleep with a down comforter while Jed has just a sheet.  Now we have totally reversed roles.  Will I go back to normal?

7)  A million craft ideas inspired by pregnancy
Mobiles and onesies and decorating…

6)  Wearing very stretchy, comfy clothes 24/7
Stretchy pants rock and flowy skirts rock.  Let’s be honest, I wear a lot of flowy skirts normally.

5)  Feeling my baby move inside me
I know I will miss this feeling, but I can’t wait to see my sweet baby moving around on the outside.

4)  Constantly asking other people to carry things for me
Usually I just tough it out and tote things myself, but I’ve had to give in and ask for help.  Sometimes I think that 80% of my job is loading and unloading my car for events.  I will definitely miss people helping me all the time.

3)  Preparing daily for motherhood
I’ve read so many books and websites, prayed and discussed, and spent so much time and energy getting ready for Baby Bun.  The preparation and anticipation has been fun, but I’m ready for it to be over.

2)  Giving in to food cravings
Buttered popcorn – yes, please.  Garlic bread – absolutely.  Fresh fruit by the basket full – bring it on.  

1)  Knowing my body creates the perfect home for my baby
It is so comforting knowing that my body cares for my baby perfectly, and I hope I can do so once he/she is born.

What do you miss about pregnancy or another phase in life that has recently passed?

Click here to read about the upcoming Baby Bliss event.  

The Nursery Part 4: The End

Remember this?  This quilt (made by my great-grandmother) was the inspiration for my bright vintage nursery.  You can see the first three installments of the nursery reveal by clicking Part 1, Part 2, or Part 3.  Why did I divide it up so much?  Because 28 pictures was far too much for one blog post.    

I created this ribbon mobile to go over the crib to keep the wee one entertained.  You can read about the creation of it here.  We got the crib on clearance at Target, and the crib sheets, Sleep Sheep, and sweet turtle blanket were shower gifts.  The curtains are also from Target, and I got the Boppy (complete with the organic cover) on clearance at Amazon.  Don’t worry, it is only staying in there temporarily.  The rugs lived in our bedroom for a while, and came from the Second Saturday Sale in Little Rock.  I’ve seen them at boutiques here in town for over $200, but I got them for $20 each.  The crib skirt is my favorite.  It was made by my grandmother for my crib 32 years ago, and is still in great shape.  It is too long, but I just folded it up under the mattress to make it work.  I should have taken a close up picture so you could see the lovely eyelet lace.      

This “bookcase” was a gold plate holder given to me by Michelle, my sister-in-law.  I spray painted it yellow to match the room, and am using it to hold some of the books we’ve received as gifts.  Below you can see the ring full of family tradition ideas that my Dallas shower guests wrote down for me.

And finally, here is Jed’s favorite part of the nursery, the Twilight Turtle.  When you turn it on it projects stars onto the ceiling using real constellations.  He likes to show it off when we bring people back to the nursery.

What is your favorite decorating item?  
What do you like to show off to visitors? 
I’m sharing this post at some great parties.
Check them out on my right sidebar and join in.