Friday, February 11, 2011


I think Bumbo's are wonderful. Grayson had his first experience with one today.

Here is a picture of my little baby that is starting to look like a little boy!

I Gave It My Best Shot!!

You know how in your head you plan for things to go a certain way, but when it finally comes time for those things to happen, they don't happen the way that you planned?
Grayson never was able to latch on properly in order to be fed directly from the breast. Even the lactation consultants had some difficulty with helping me out because Grayson wasn't going to have it. I would try and try and try, and Grayson would just scream and scream and scream...(ask my mom. She witnessed this.)
Well, since I was producing milk, and it was important to me that this be what Grayson got, I pumped. For the last 12 weeks, I have pumped for many, many hours. At the beginning, it was great. I was producing so much milk, I felt like I had a little baby food storage going on. I also thought that I would never run out of breast milk.
Well, for the last couple of weeks, my milk supply has been dwindling. So, I tried increasing my fluid intake, that didn't work. I tried massaging my breasts, that didn't work. So then I started pumping every 2-3 hours for several days, that didn't work. Then I combined the following...increasing fluid intake, pumping every 2-3 hours, massaging and Fenugreek. For those of you who don't know, Fenugreek is an herb that has been known to help some women increase their milk supply.
Well, last night at 9pm, I pumped for the last time. In a 24 hour period for the last few days I haven't been able to pump enough for even one feeding.
This isn't what I had "planned" on happening. The decision was a struggle for me to make. Many tears were shed. I do feel confident however that I have made the right decision for my situation. It was probably one of the hardest decisions I have had to make.
I have been reassured by many that I am not a bad person because of my decision. I gave it my best shot. I could have made this decision a long time ago when Grayson wanted nothing to do with breastfeeding. But I didn't. I pumped, then I fed him, then I cleaned the pump then I slept for 1-2 hours, then I did it all over again. Guess what? That was hard.
Grayson still has several days of breast milk left. I will make sure most of the breast milk is used up BEFORE introducing him to formula...I don't want him to end up liking formula more before most of the breast milk is gone.
I appreciate the encouragement from the people that I have talked to, and also for Tom who reassured me that it isn't my fault and that he would support whatever decision that I made.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Grayson is the Teacher

Things I have learned as a parent so far… I am sure I have learned much more than this, but this is what I can recall at the moment.
1. It is very hard to raise a baby so far away from family support. The only reason I know this is because I was fortunate enough to have my mom come and stay for two weeks. The extra support (especially right at the beginning) was greatly appreciated. We are learning that even though we don't have family in the area, we have several friends who have stepped up and offered to help us out with child care since Tom and I are both back to work/school. They are even letting us pay them with dinners. For this we are extremely grateful.
2. Don’t jump to tend the babies needs at the first sound they make. My mom taught me this. Due to learning this lesson, Tom and I have enjoyed several more hours of sleep. (Example: Grayson started fussing at 4:00 am one morning. Tom got up to check on him, decided to use the restroom first, came back and Grayson was fast asleep. He slept until almost 7 am. What a great sleeper he is =).
3. It is extremely difficult to see your child in pain. The cry that lets you know there is pain is unbearable. There have been a couple of times where I have cried right along with Grayson because I just didn’t know what to do. It kind of made me feel like a bad parent because I couldn’t figure out what the problem was. I’m trying to get over that feeling, and just trying to reassure myself that I am doing the best that I can with what I have…including an aunt that lives many miles away from me, but she has been able to talk me through a couple of situations.
4. Being a parent is kind of hard. Totally worth it, but very hard. Tom went to Boston for a few days for a conference, which left me with Grayson by myself. I don't know how single parents do it, but it is an extremely difficult thing to do. I am grateful for the team effort that Tom and I have. It make things a lot easier.
5. It is important for me to not feel overwhelmed with housework and my things to do list. To help solve this problem I have come up with a plan that includes doing laundry three days a week, cleaning the kitchen one day, cleaning the bedrooms another day etc...It is taking me a little while to get used to doing things this way, and I have been at it for about three weeks. I haven't been able to stick to doing everything as planned, but I feel that I have been able to stay on top of things better. It is just kind of amazing how priorities change.
6. I never thought I would be able to love someone else so much. Grayson is really a sweetheart. My heart just melts when he smiles and coo’s, laughs in his sleep, and makes all of the sweet noises. I just love him.
Last but not least, I am grateful that things don't happen when I think they should happen. I am grateful to a loving Heavenly Father who knows far more what I need and when they need to happen. Grayson came 3 weeks early. By him coming three weeks early, I have been able to get an extra 18 days home with him. This includes the 3 days we had off for Thanksgiving week, ten days for Christmas vacation, 3 days at the beginning of January when Tom went to a conference, 2 snow days, and Martin Luther King day. I have also been able to ease back in to a five day work week. My first week back I worked 2 days, this is when Tom went to his conference in Boston. My second week back I worked 3 days. We had 2 snow days. My 3rd week back which is this week, I will work 4 days, and next week, I will do five days. I don't think I could have planned it any better.
To end this post, I will leave you with a picture of my sweet 8 week old son...He isn't very happy in this picture, but he sure is darn cute still...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Grayson Catch Up...11/21/2010 - 1/10/2011

OK. This post will mostly be pictures. Just warning you.
Grayson was born 11/21/2010 @ 10:13 am. He weighed 6 pounds 11 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long.

Proud Mama
Proud Daddy

Four days later was Thanksgiving. We went to Jeff and Susan Draper's home for a wondrous feast. I didn't get any pictures of the food or the company, but by golly, I sure got a few pictures of Grayson...
On the car ride to Olathe

Sun bathing to help with jaundice

December 12th brought a happy Nana to Kansas on the train. Nana and Grayson meet...

Brian and Suzanne arrived in Kansas on the 19th. I didn't get a picture of them upon their arrival, but they will be pictured soon.
Pappy came on the 21st of December. Pappy and Grayson meet.

Tom and Becky, Paul and James came on the 22nd of December for Grayson's Baby Blessing

We held this on a Wednesday evening rather than a Sunday so that my dad and Brian could participate. Here is a picture of the participants.

Baby Grayson

Mommy and Grayson

Daddy and Grayson

On December 23rd, we had Christmas morning with Brian and Suzanne. They had to fly back to Arizona because Brian had to get back to work.

December 24th, we just kind of relaxed. December 25, 2010 was Grayson's 1st Christmas...

Grayson was so ready for a nap. He received many great gifts.
A tired Erin & Tom

Ryan and Chelsea came over for Christmas Linner (Lunch/Dinner). Tom made Ryan a PS3 Special Edition for Christmas.

Chelsea made some amazing desserts. I really wish I would have taken a picture of them. They were truly amazing.
The saddest part about Christmas Day/Night was having to say goodbye to my parents. That was really hard for me, especially since my mom had been a tremendous help for two weeks. I was scared to death thinking about having to move on with my life with her in California and not in Kansas with us.
Then came New Year's Eve. We gathered at the Institute with several friends, played games, and made it to midnight. Here is a family picture that was taken at about 1 am.

Grayson was beyond ready for bed.
Well, that pretty much catches us up to now. Here are a few more pics of our cute little baby.

1/10/2011 Snow Day

Because it is doing this outside today:

I made these delicious cookies that my SIL Suzanne made while she and my brother were visiting.

And because I didn't feel like baking all of the cookies at one time, I formed the cookies, put them on wax paper on a cookie sheet in my freezer, then packaged them up in a zip lock bag. Now I can bake a few and have them for awhile!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Grayson James Barker

I don't remember much that has happened since I last posted in July, but I am going to highlight Grayson's birth story.

On Saturday, November 20th, I told Tom that I was just going to lay down and take a nap on the couch for an hour, and then get ready to go to Stake Conference. I laid down at about 12:45. At 1:15 I rolled over on to my left side. I felt pressure for a minute, and then what felt like being kicked in the bladder by Grayson. Next thing you know, I started laughing and told Tom that I think I just wet my pants. I got up off of the couch and went to the bathroom, where fluid continually leaked out of me.

I called the doctor on call, and she called me back and told me that if it still feels like I am leaking in about 10 minutes, that I should probably head on over to the Labor and Delivery Unit to be checked out. Sure enough, ten minutes later…leaking fluid. House is a disaster, hospital back isn’t packed, and I am just laughing. Not believing that this is happening.

We threw some items together, and went to Lawrence Memorial Hospital. We went up to the Labor and Delivery Center. I checked in and told them that I think that my water just broke. They took me into a room, had me change, and then did some kind of test to check to see if my water had truly broken. Sure enough, it had.

Tom and I kind of looked at each other, We couldn’t believe this was happening. I get admitted to the hospital, They put me on a Pitocin drip and at 4:30, the cramping started. By 9:45, I am in an extreme amount of pain thanks to the pitocin. The anesthesiologist is called in, and arrives 20 minutes later. By 10:45 pm, I am feeling pretty good. The exams don’t hurt anymore, and I am feeling nothing. At this point in time, I think that surely by 2 or 3 am, baby Grayson will be hanging out in my arms. That is definitely how it DID NOT happen.

By about 4:30 am, the anesthesiologist is called back again because the epidural has begun to wear off, but only in a certain place. After he is done, I am feeling mighty fine once again. At 5:45 am, the nurse comes in and tells me that the on call doctor has called in sick, so they called another doctor in, which just so happened to be MY DOCTOR! I was so excited. I love my doctor.

At 6 am, I begin to push…and push…and push. At 7 am, my doctor says to stop pushing so that I can rest for a while. At 8:15 am, pushing resumes…It resumes until 9:50 am. All this time, Grayson comes down with every contraction, but as soon as the contraction is over and I stop pushing, Grayson stops cooperating. By this time, my doctor is becoming concerned because Grayson isn’t coming out, and he is too far up to use forceps or the vacuum. She said that we might have to end up doing a c-section because we have been going at this for way too long. I said a quick prayer saying that I didn't want to have a C-Section and that I was willing to do whatever needed to be done in order to avoid a C-Section. At this point, I tell Tom I need a barf bag because I am going to be sick. So, I throw up. Three times. My doctor then says, “I know that you probably don’t want to hear this right now, but you throwing up is making me happy. You throwing up has made the baby come down into the correct position.”

At 10:13 am on Sunday, November 21, 2010, Grayson James Barker was born.

They told us that there was a possibility that he would have to be taken to the nursery for observation since he was born at 37 weeks, and they wanted to make sure that his lungs were functioning correctly. By this point in time, all I really wanted to do was sleep. I was so tired. I was able to hold Grayson before they took him to the nursery. Tom accompanied him, while they took care of the finishing touches on me.

We were transferred from the delivery room to the recovery room. Where we stayed from Sunday-Tuesday.

At this point in time, we had to feed Grayson with formula because he had a high level and was at high risk for jaundice. We took him back to the hospital the day after we were released for some more lab work to double check his levels. We continued to supplement with formula until my milk came in. The day after Thanksgiving he had a follow up appointment with his pediatrician to follow up with the Jaundice and for a check up. He had lost another ounce despite our best feeding efforts. We were asked to come back on Tuesday, November 30th where we were pleased to find out that he had gained all of his birth weight back plus some.

Grayson is such a good baby. He eats and sleeps. He doesn’t cry unless we undress him to change his diapers. He doesn’t like to be cold or naked. He sure is precious though. We are really enjoying him. He makes the funniest noises.

Tom has been a tremendous help. He has changed so many diapers and has handled so many feedings so that I can just rest. I am trying to sleep when the baby sleeps. Right now being the exception, because I want to write this.

We are excited for the adventures that lay ahead.

Upcoming posts will include many pictures, and Grayson's first Christmas.