Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Here's a slightly different angle. I inadvertently uploaded this one at first, and now Blogger won't let me delete it, because Blogger is full of as.shole necrophil.iac child pornog.raphers who cut in line and also telemarket.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
I even took So.ren to the ER on Sunday since he projectile-vomited and seemed listless. They said he wasn't dehydrated but that I was not entirely insane for bringing him in, which I appreciated because although it was probably not true (ie, I am entirely insane), it demonstrated good bedside manner on the part of the young resident.
Since we're leaving for Mexico tomorrow, I was a bit concerned for several reasons. First, because of So.ren's health, naturally, but also because what would we do if we couldn't go to this wedding?!? The bride and groom met at our wedding, for god's sake! We have to be there! Which they may not appreciate when they both get So.ren's GI bug and spend the ceremony puking!
In any case, he seems recovered now. All of the adults recovered quickly. So.ren had his six-month checkup (a couple of weeks late) yesterday, and he clocked in at the 97th percentile for height, 95th for head circumference, and 60th for weight. That last measurement might have been artificially low due to his puking and pooping and lack of appetite. Hey, he can be a wrestler someday!
Anyway, I hope we all make it to and from Mexico in good condition. So.ren has a 29-inch bag packed full of stuff just for him since we are bringing literally every single thing he will need aside from bottled water to make his formula. I hope you are all doing well!
Friday, November 23, 2007
I hope you are all having excellent Thanksgiving holidays, unless you're Canadian, in which case I hope you already had a good Thanksgiving holiday a month ago or whenever it was.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Tomorrow, I'm heading to Chicago for work, and then I'm going from there to NYC for the weekend, since I have a meeting there on Monday. That's four days without my little fellow. I'll miss him, but I'm interested to see whether my change of venue(s) results in any insomnia improvement. I had acupuncture done yesterday and then had a pretty good night of sleep last night, but it's too soon for me to claim any causality there.
Our families will be here next week for Thanksgiving. I haven't given any thought to the meal. I did make So.ren a bunch of pureed sweet potatoes, so I suppose I could defrost ice-cube-sized portions for our guests if needed.
Monday, November 12, 2007
The psychiatrist I'd been seeing to keep an eye out for PPD gave me a prescription for At.ivan to help me go to sleep if I really freak out. I'm trying not to take it, though. I don't want to get into a situation where I can't sleep unless I have drugs - that will just require more (and more painful) reconditioning later on.
Now, a PSA interlude: This weekend, I took an official adult/child/infant CPR and first aid course. I'm done with the written tests and am about to go get tested in person on my skills. (This is a "blended learning" option you can do through the Red Cross.) The online component was quite useful and took about three hours. I'll spend one to two hours being tested today. It's really not much of an investment of time to feel much more prepared. Check your local Red Cross's website for details!
Finally, there has been a spate of second-pregnancy announcements among my friends lately, and guess what? They still upset me! Sure, I don't feel as desperate now that I have one really awesome little boy, but I'm still bitter. I think I'm just going to embrace it.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
I made an appointment for acupuncture next week, so maybe that'll help my insomnia, too. I haven't seen the acupuncturist since my FET cycle. She'll probably think I'm coming back for more fertility help. Maybe she can throw in some maintenance acupuncture on that front. If there is such a thing.
Our little boy woke up at 6:30 today instead of 6, so that's some progress, too. We let him chatter away in his crib until 7. He's very into "talking" these days. He's still mostly spitting out vowels, but he does seem to be experimenting with some yayayayas and some lalalalas.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
So I got up and moved downstairs. Eventually, probably around midnight, I fell asleep on the couch. I then woke up at 4am and couldn't go back to sleep, despite trying more of the reading-until-falling-asleep thing. The anxiety was overwhelming.
So now I feel extremely tired, anxious, and on the verge of sobbing, and I have no appetite. Awesome! Maybe this will just drive me to become so tired that I'll have no choice but to crash out.
So.ren, meanwhile, has woken up at 6 the past two days instead of 7. He lies in bed making noises until we get him. Fuck Daylight Savings Time! Who needs it? It's screwing with everyone in our household at the moment.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
So now I'm on a kind of brutal re-conditioning process. I have to restrict my sleep now in the hopes of increasing my "sleep efficiency" - ie, the amount of time I'm asleep while I'm in bed. I am also supposed to get out of bed every time I can't fall asleep or return to sleep within 15 minutes. Last night, this meant I got up nine times and changed venues a few times when I did get sleepy enough to try to sleep. I ended up getting about four or five hours on the couch. I am tired, but I suppose it's not any worse than what I was doing anyway. I am to continue this for as long as it takes, which should be two to three weeks. It's really not any fun, but if I could make it through 20+ weeks of feeling like crap with HG, and nearly 18 weeks of breastfeeding travails, surely I can do this. Right? Eh. We'll see.
Luckily, this weekend and next week, we'll have houseguests who are night owls. This supposedly will be good for me - ie, I can just stay awake until I'm so sleepy I can't keep my eyes open, and then I'll go to bed. We'll see.
In other news, I am very excited about the recent BFPs, but I don't want to jinx them. You know who you are.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
So, a couple of days before we left for California, I was on my daily afternoon stroll with So.ren and our dog. We rarely vary our route, which takes us through our pleasant, leafy neighborhood of bungalows and other houses of the small-town wooden variety (why, no, I'm not an architect; how did you guess?). I tell you this because it makes the events that transpired all the more inexplicable.
So.ren rides along in his car seat, which I snap into a stroller frame. The frame, as you may be aware, allows the car seat to clip onto a bar, and then the frame itself has these little tabs that you pull in over the car seat to keep it from coming dislodged in the front. I always check both parts before we head out, and I had done so that day, though I've noticed that sometimes the tabs get jostled on the walk and aren't really doing their job, so maybe that had happened here.
We were cruising along at a fairly rapid pace, which is how I like it, when the stroller contraption hit a piece of uneven pavement. It stopped; the dog and I kept going. I smacked right into the stroller, overturning it. But wait - it gets worse. When the edge of the car seat hit the pavement, it came detached from the stroller frame, and landed UPSIDE DOWN on the sidewalk. I wiped out beside it.
Now, luckily, I had strapped the crap out of So.ren into the car seat, which I don't always do on walks. So he was just hanging in there upside down, looking perplexed, but no part of him hit the sidewalk. (I had the handle in the proper roll-bar position, too.) Approximately 10 people witnessed this event, and came to inquire as to whether we were injured or just stupid (that last part was implied). Fortunately, we were okay - Sore.n didn't even cry - but visions of how badly this could have gone have populated my brain ever since. Poor little boy! I had two shins full of gnarly bruises, which meant I then had to explain how I'd gotten them to anyone who saw my legs, which I suppose was a form of penance.
That little boy is pretty stoic, I have to say. He weathered that well, along with, this week, a cold and THREE TEETH. We didn't even know they had come in - sure, he drools a lot, but he's been doing that for a while, and he wasn't abnormally cranky. He obviously doesn't get his equanimity from either of his parents.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Last week, we went to my husband's 15th college reunion in California. This was So.ren's first plane trip, and, boy, did he get an introduction to flying in the modern era. Our scheduled routing was through O'Hare to SFO, but despite the fine weather everywhere we were to be flying through or over or vaguely near, things did not go as planned. How naive we were when we saw the words "on time" listed next to our outbound flight! How gullible!
When we got to the gate at our local airport, the flight time had suddenly moved back by an hour. Fine, we thought - we can still make our connection. But then I called United, and they told me it would actually be even later than that, thus making it less likely that we would make our connection, which "might be delayed, but might not be." So I ingeniously rerouted us via Denver, since that flight was on time and, FYI, Denver is closer to SFO than Chicago. By this point, we'd be in the airport for four hours. Our local airport is small, which is usually nice since it makes check-in, etc., much easier, but when you're trying to amuse a fidgety baby, O'Hare starts to look a lot more appealing.
So we got on the Denver flight. Problem #1: we were assigned seats behind the exit row, which is apparently not allowed when you have an infant in a car seat. So after some adept three-way trading, we ended up in approved seating. That's when problem #2 arose: of all of the seats on the plane, the only one with an issue was the one So.ren and his car seat were supposed to be strapped into. The seatbelt had somehow become wedged between the seat and the wall, and this required the captain and another passenger to engage in some major contortions to unhook it, a process that took approximately 20 minutes while every single person on the plane stared at us (or so I assumed) while So.ren wailed in his car seat in the aisle until I rocked it for about three seconds and he passed out cold. Once he was in the seat, the flight had been delayed about 20-25 minutes. But So.ren had a good time (pictured). We thought everything was going well when we got to Denver and the flight attendant read out our connecting gate information.
Just to be safe, we checked the gate on the monitors, as advised, and found that our flight to SFO was cancelled. There was one later flight, but since the cancelled flight had been a 777, there were 300+ people trying to get on it and no chance for us. We ended up rerouting to San Jose, but our luggage was still scheduled to go to SFO. Fortunately, an airline employee in the Red Carpet Club (which I spent 55,000 miles to join earlier this year) took up our cause and ended up getting our bags on the correct flight. We did, however, have a Priceline (ie, non-refundable) reservation for a car in SFO, so that was money down the drain. It ended up taking us 13 hours to get to our friends' house in Menlo Park. So.ren behaved admirably, by which I mean he mostly slept on the flights and in the car.
Our return trip was better - everything was more or less on time, though we didn't get home until 1am Monday morning (but that was as planned). I am completely exhausted. So.ren has a cold that he picked up from either our hosts' kids or any of the people of any of the planes, since all appeared to be sick. Oh, well - I guess his immune system is getting a workout. I was sick a ton as a child, but nowadays I'm the only person at home or at work who doesn't seem to catch everything that comes through. I am, however, aware that the fact that I have voiced this aloud means that I will presently come down with consumption.
I have a major Bad Mommy story (with me as the star) to tell you, but I need to take a couple of photographs to illustrate the anecdote properly. Stay tuned...
Monday, October 01, 2007
There are many moms who receive my enduring respect. Moms of multiples. Moms of special-needs kids. Moms with PPD. SAHMs. Full-time WOHMs. But after the last two weeks, my current #1 must be single moms (though I suppose single moms of special-needs multiples may trump). When I was pregnant, I read Anne Lamott's book, Operating Instructions, which is a great thing to read when you're pregnant and not a single mom-to-be, since you can appreciate the honesty of the book while simultaneously thinking, "Well, it won't be that rough for me since I don't have to go it alone." And when you do have to go it alone, it's temporary. I really don't know how people manage. When I was in my late 20s and swingle, I thought that if I ever found myself still unattached at the impossibly old age of, say, 35, I would have a kid on my own. And that might still have been the right thing for me to do, but it sure wouldn't have been as simple as I was envisioning it. To make a long story slightly shorter, I sure was glad when my husband returned late Friday night, though I was quite displeased to find that he was SICK from burning the candle at both ends (and poor hygiene). So I didn't get a break right away, but I did have someone to nag, which was nice. (An aside: our baby nurse told us that she had once worked with a woman who was a single mom of triplets - she and her then-husband had done IVF, and about halfway through the pregnancy, she found out he'd been cheating on her for months, so she ditched him. That man deserves a special place in hell.)
Monday, September 17, 2007
Some tasks, however, we just can't get done. Like, the handle on our upstairs toilet is broken. This means that in order to flush, we have to reach into the tank and pull the thingamajig with our bare hands. It looks easy to fix - like you'd just take the handle, arm, and chain into a home store and get the new part. But that's the kind of stuff we just don't have time to do. So I called the handyman. He was out of town. I called again. No call back. I should call again, but at this point it's been two weeks, and now it just seems perfectly normal to flush the toilet by reaching into the tank. It's funny how you can get used to disarray. Our living room seems clean by comparison to how it was at the beginning of So.ren's life, but an impartial, dispassionate eye would undoubtedly report it to the health inspector.
My weekend away from the boys (husband, son, dog) was good. I missed the little fellow, but it sure was nice to have two days of not being on the baby clock at all. In hindsight, however, it would have been an easy trip to take him on - short flights on regional jets (which are mellower to board) with lots of family waiting at our destination. Instead, his first plane trip will be next month, when we fly many hours to go to my husband's college reunion. Anyway, the family reunion was really fun, and I found an old photo of my father that bears a very close resemblance to So.ren. My husband won't admit of the resemblance, however - my father has a cleft chin, and I'm pretty sure So.ren does as well, but my husband dislikes cleft chins.
So.ren had his four-month checkup today. He got more shots, which he found to be unsuited to his preferences. He was 16 lbs and 26.5 inches, which are 75th and 95th percentile, respectively. Tall and thin! Maybe he'll be a runway model! His head was 80th percentile. The pediatrician said we should consider starting solids relatively soon since So.ren occasionally puts back a lot of formula, but I think I am going to hold off for now because he's gone back to eating more modest amounts of food (as would be appropriate for a runway model).
I keep feeling posts a-brewin' about infertility but haven't pulled them together yet. I must do so. My husband, however, is out of town all week for work, so I'm a harried single mother for the moment. I am very anxious about tonight, my first night ever alone with the baby. I hope he'll be a first-rate sleeper and all smiles and sunshine during his awake times and that he'll issue forth tidy BMs smelling of tuberose and gardenia.
Monday, September 10, 2007
This coming weekend, I am going solo to a family reunion in South Carolina. I'm nervous and excited all at the same time. It'll be nice not to be thinking about naps and feedings and baby activities all day, but I will miss the little fellow. I hope I can get a couple of good nights of sleep in, too, but I'll probably wake up and be unable to go back to sleep, since that appears to be something I like to do.
I would feel guilty about my weekend away, except that my husband is about to go on TWO multi-day business trips. One is for most of next week, and the other for most of the following week. That'll be a lot of time in charge. Time to eliminate the dream feed!
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Pictured above is the superhero known as FLYING BABY! He doesn't really have any superpowers to speak of just yet, though he does emit a winning smile periodically.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
So.ren hosted his first dinner party the other night. Some other babies (and their parents) came over. He was perfectly charming, which was great since keeping up appearances is essential - this is what I've learned from watching "Ma.d Men." Have you watched it? I love it. Very sly.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Monday, August 06, 2007
So we hired two nannies/babysitters. One will be on duty three days a week from 8am-3pm, and the other will work 4-5 hours two days a week. They are both college students. Neurotically, I made them take an all-day CPR/infant first aid certification course on Saturday, then had them train with the baby nurse for much of the day yesterday. They did quite well, and I am pleased with our choices so far.
It has been lovely having the baby nurse back. She's here three more nights. I will wait a few more days before I report on any napping progress because I think we need more data points.
Monday, July 30, 2007
In other news, So.ren's napping is a complete catastrophe. He often resists going to sleep, and when he does, he'll wake up and not be able to go back to sleep. And then he's crotchety because he's tired. There are hours of crying each day now where there used to be maybe one in total. The baby nurse returns on Thursday - I just hope I can last until then. I am having massive anxiety about all of this and can't eat or sleep well. I just have no idea how to get him back on track. I sit outside his room (as I am doing right now) and listen for peeps or cries so that I can soothe him before it escalates to the point of no return.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Monday, July 16, 2007
Here's a photo from So.ren's two-month birthday on Saturday. Apparently, he thinks he's four, five, or six, depending upon how you want to read his hands. As you can see, he got to wear an outfit for the first time. Until now, it's been all onesies and sleepers. Check out that plaid! And that smile! He's also started to laugh, though not always at what we think is funny.
And today he had his two-month checkup, which included shots (and an hourlong wait, since the pediatrician didn't realize she was supposed to be in - pfffft). The beleaguered little fellow is currently sleeping, and we hope it continues until his appointed wakeup time at 1pm. He was 11 lbs, 13+ oz, and came in in the 50th percentile for everything - length, weight, head. What a champ!
Now that he's had his first round of shots, I'll be tapering off the breastfeeding. I'm already down to pumping three times a day. I'm hoping to cut one today, leaving two (in case you couldn't follow that math), and then I'll start cutting feedings. I have mixed feelings about all of this, but I am focusing on the pros of the situation, which include the following: (1) no more feeling like an abject failure every time I pump a measly 3/4 ounce, (2) new ability to leave the house for more than an hour or two at a time, (3) no more plugged ducts, thus allowing for jogbras and, relatedly, jogging, (4) caffeine!, (5) booze!, (6) sleeping on stomach, and (7) shortened feeding times, resulting in more playtime. (Note: I know many people do drink caffeine and booze while breastfeeding and that it is no big deal, but I just haven't done so, and then I decided to make them prizes for getting to nine weeks.) I have also decided to feel proud for getting to nine weeks (and probably ten total, since I'm just starting to drop nursing sessions) instead of lame. Yay!
We've also been interviewing nanny candidates. Around here, that means college students. We've seen some good ones and hope to make a decision soon. Since the pool is mostly college students, we may need to get two, given class schedules, etc. One nanny candidate did do something rather dumb - she had a 1:45pm interview with me and called at 1:45 to get directions. Then, in the interview, I asked what she could point to in her experience to demonstrate that she's very reliable, and she said punctuality. Ha!
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
I look forward to finding out what the finalists and winners were. They must be doozies!
Pictured above is my pretentiously named son in his pretentiously hipster CBGB onesie, taken at an unpretentious barbecue over the weekend.
Monday, July 09, 2007
In other news, I need a goal, and getting into shape seems like a good, not-mentally-taxing goal, so I am thinking of running a half-marathon in October. Really, I'd like to run this marathon in April, but that's easy to say from my position on the couch. I've run two half-marathons in the past, but I was younger then, and I also lived in an area where I could train on lovely trails, whereas now I do not. Also, the reason I've never run a marathon before is that my knees and feet are shoddily constructed. Still, I harbor delusions of grandeur, and by grandeur I mean intense pain, blisters, and chafed and bleeding nipples (and I'm not referring to breastfeeding, for once).
To further these foolish dreams, I am visiting the podiatrist today to get fitted for orthotics. I was fitted for them in the past, but then it turned out that my podiatrist was a boob. In addition to my delusions of grandeur, I harbor delusions that orthotics will solve not just my physical ailments, but also global warming, the Iraq war, and the problem of evil, by which I mean Dick Cheney. We'll see how that goes. In the meantime, I'm walking daily and plan to start more high-impact, jog-bra-requiring exercise once I'm done breastfeeding. A week from today, So.ren gets his shots, and that's when I've decided I'm free to quit. Until then, I'll keep nursing and pumping, though perhaps not as rigorously as I have been.
Friday, July 06, 2007
We have a sitter tonight so we can go out to eat with my brother, who's visiting. We're going to put the baby to bed for her in the hopes that he'll then snooze the whole time we're out. Fingers crossed....
Sunday, July 01, 2007
Have you ever noticed how many baby clothes label the baby as such? Like, just in case you were wondering why this guy was so short? Oh, I get it now: he's a baby! Anyway, you can't tell it from this photo, but that baby was visiting some friends a couple of hours away. This was our first experiment in deviating from our schedule, though we stuck to it pretty well - he napped in the car at roughly his normal naptimes, and he had an eat/play/nap/eat/play cycle at our friends' house while we all sat around observing him and eating snacks. Good times. And get a load of that fat baby belly!
This week, my brother arrives for a visit and a crash course in infant care. If we spontaneously combust, my brother will get So.ren, so he needs some education in the basics.
Friday, June 29, 2007
Anyway, this experience made me realize that if I were given a choice between having breastfeeding difficulties and having a colicky baby, I'd take the former. I'll pretend that I was given that choice.
In other news, I had a moment of complete perspective distortion this morning. As you know, I am home the whole day right now since we're hewing pretty closely to the schedule the baby nurses implemented. They're down on the whole leaving-the-house thing until the baby has his routine down and also until he's had his shots. So when So.ren is napping, I spend a lot of time on the Internets, or listening to a book on the CD player, or reading the New Yorker - all with the TV on CNN on mute in the background. Lately, there's been a bunch of coverage of floods, this pro wrestler murder-suicide situation, etc. So today when there was news of a foiled terrorist plot, my first reaction was that at least there'd be something interesting on TV. I have since recovered my sanity and should point out that I do not wish terrorist attacks on anyone.
I've also noticed that whenever So.ren is sleeping, I always think I can go run an errand or take a walk. Then I remember you can't do that. Ideally, this initial sense of freedom will simply go away and I'll forget I ever felt it.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Anyway, last night was our first night back in our actual bedroom and our first night of being solely in charge on the new schedule. So.ren obliged us by sleeping from 8:30pm to 4am. You'd think that would be good, right? Wrong. I kept thinking he was dead and had to check on him a few times. I also got up at 2am to pump, so it wasn't the most restful night. But it was GREAT to be back in our real bed. I'm hoping the little guy will keep sleeping that long and I'll get used to it. He ate at 4am and was fussy until 5 or 5:30, but then he kindly went back to sleep (after much soothing by my husband) until his appointed wake-up time of 7am.
Yesterday, my husband worked from home, but today I'm on my own. I feel very housebound. The great thing about having hired help here the past couple of weeks was that I could pop out to take the dog on a walk or run an errand in the roughly two hours I have free between feeding/pumping sessions. Now, given our adherence to the schedule, though, I am not really supposed to leave the house with the baby. I probably will do so once a day, however, or I'll go insane. I need to locate a babysitter. And childcare options for when I return to work. I very much want to get back to the gym soon - I am about 10 lbs above my normal weight and have been for several weeks. Since I won't be breastfeeding forever, I need to work it off the old-fashioned way: by sweating and not eating so many cookies.
I have cut out one pumping session per day. This is a step taken for my sanity and also for eventual weaning. The 11am and 2pm pumps had been very unproductive, so I cut out the 11am one yesterday and got the same aggregate amount at the 2pm session. I hope this continues. God, I am boring myself with this breastfeeding crap.
I also got another injection into my incision yesterday. Man, that stuff burns going in, but it feels great afterwards. By which I mean that it feels like nothing afterwards. Ah, sweet nothing.
Monday, June 25, 2007
Six weeks ago, right at this same time, we were pulling into the hospital parking garage (or "ramp," as they say around here) and walking into Labor & Delivery. It's hard to believe. Time has passed very slowly in some ways, very quickly in others. I'm relieved we've made it to this milestone, where things are a little easier and you at least get some gummy baby smiles in return. When So.ren smiles at me, I don't know how I could feel any happier. I hope you have all experienced this or get to experience it in the not-too-distant future.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
In other news, the second baby nurse departs in the wee hours of tomorrow morning. Then it's back to reality for us. We'll be in charge again in the middle of the night. The sting will be dulled by the fact that we'll get to move out of our guest room back into our bedroom, where the baby nurses have been staying because of its proximity to the nursery. The sting will also be dulled in that we will cease hemorrhaging cash for the moment. We'll resume hemorrhaging cash when I return to work and we need a babysitter or daycare for 25-30 hours a week.
Speaking of stings, I went to the OB on Friday because I had developed a painful lump in my abdomen above my incision. The diagnosis? Unbearable cuteness. Oh, wait - that's So.ren's condition. For me, it was apparently something called "trigger points" - nerves overfiring and creating scar tissue, or some such nonsense. The cure is basically to get injected with numbing medication repeatedly until the problem goes away. And, boy, did those injections sting! I'll have to get more of them tomorrow, too.
The OB also told me many stories of other OBs quitting breastfeeding after not too many weeks, and she said they all felt much better after being done. This did make me feel better. I am forging ahead for the moment, but who knows how long it'll last?
Thursday, June 21, 2007
I'm trying to retain some perspective. I have a beautiful, happy, healthy baby. And it's nothing compared to other stuff that's going on with people I know. One of my best friends got a mammogram recently because her mother had had breast cancer at an early age, and they found precancerous cells all over the damned place. She then got a genetic test, which showed she has the BRCA2 gene mutation. So she's having a double mastectomy next week and has to have her ovaries removed by age 40. And another good friend's mother is very close to dying from metastatic brain cancer that began as a non-smoking-related lung cancer. So my life ain't so bad.
Still, I just feel so much more on the verge of tears than I have since my one day of postpartum hormones crashing. I have therefore been compelled to make a list of pros and cons of quitting breastfeeding.
- Baby doesn't get benefits of breastfeeding, such as, oh, brains and health.
- I don't get benefits of breastfeeding, such as effortless weight loss and natural birth control (ha! like I need that!).
- Bottlefeeding requires use of both hands, unlike breastfeeding, which allows for reading, remote-control-handling, eating, and one-handed typing.
- I would lose my bodacious rack.
- Intense guilt, feelings of inadequacy, jealousy/bitterness over others who successfully breastfeed, etc.
- No middle-of-the-night pumping. In fact, no pumping at all.
- More time to interact with the baby since I wouldn't nurse, supplement, and pump each session.
- Anyone can feed the baby - ie, I could leave the house for more than an hour or two at a time.
- I could sleep in a position other than flat on my back. No more plugged ducts.
- I could eat fish that contains mercury.
The pros are compelling but are all very me-focused. And one thing I've grown accustomed to with pregnancy and now nursing is that my diet affects two people. And I kind of like that. I've always been more responsible with other people's property than my own.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Anyway, the title of the post refers to a Rohinton Mistry book (please note: I read it well before Oprah picked it) and also to my feelings about breastfeeding. This may be a spoiler, but the fine balance the book refers to is between hope and despair. And that's what the past two days have been for me re: breastfeeding. Two nights ago, I pumped 3.5 ounces in one session - while that would be a shitty session for some, it was a banner session for me. And then yesterday morning I soothed the young lad twice before his naps, and this pressure to my chest resulted in no fewer than FOUR plugged ducts (three left, one right). This, in turn, led to dramatically decreased output, which means right now we're looking at giving So.ren mostly formula later on today unless things pick up. I've tried everything and even managed to clear two of the three ducts on the left side by nursing on all fours (highly undignified), but I still have one on each side, and my pumping output is suboptimal. Now, I just want to make it to six weeks, which would be next Monday, before I start to wean (which may result in more pluggage).
The thing is, I like nursing the little guy. I would like to do what another low-supply gal I know has done - she nurses in the morning and the evening and pumps once during the day. Her son gets mostly formula, but she's still giving him some antibodies and enjoying a good nursing relationship (as they say in breastfeeding circles). It just seems as if it's more important for me to be able to hold and carry the boy rather than breastfeed him. It sucks not to be able to do both. Stupid reproductively challenged body!
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Our little guy is smiling away, though it is a little unpredictable as to when he does it. He is way more into people and faces all of a sudden, which is charming. Once he starts smiling, he'll do it a bunch, but it's sort of as if he forgets he can do it during the times in between.
Baby nurse #2 is here to replace the newborn specialist. She seems perfectly nice, but I don't think she'll be nearly as awesome. At least we've had a week of varsity, however, before moving to the JV. My husband is going away for a night this week, too - another milestone to reach.
Friday, June 15, 2007
S0ren slept two longish stretches last night and had only one middle-of-the-night feeding (at 2:30am or so). He was down from 8:30pm until then, then slept from 3:00 to 6:45 or so. What a good boy! He seems happier and fuller, and our household veritably hums with contentedness at the moment. The newborn specialist is a miracle worker! Let's hope this pleasant state of affairs continues when she leaves. I got up once last night to pump (instead of two or more times), which felt incredibly indulgent.
In less positive news, I've determined one cause of my frequent plugged ducts: holding the baby. Yep, when I hold him to my chest or burp him or wear the Bjorn, I get plugged ducts a couple of hours later. That's bullshit.
Back to happier news: S0ren has begun smiling, though not at me. He smiles often (and big) at the newborn specialist, and he smiled at my husband during bathtime last night. He also smiled at himself in the mirror, and I think I caught him smiling at the ceiling. I'd like him to smile at me, but I'm just glad he's smiling at all, so I can wait my turn. One of my friends has a baby about five weeks ahead of S0ren, and she said the same thing happened to her - the baby smiled at her MIL first, then her husband, then smiled at her about two weeks later. Babies!
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
I also may have spoken too soon about the dom.peridone. Although I pumped three ounces at one sitting a few days ago, that hasn't happened again. Maybe it's time to up the dosage. Meg, however, is having a better time with it, which is awesome!
My husband and I slept in the same bed at the same time for many hours last night - the first time in a month. How about that? I still didn't get a ton of sleep because I was kind of listening for the baby and also had to get up to pump. Also, we have become addicted to watching episodes of The Shield on DVD, and we stayed up later than necessary last night. We also finally signed up for Netflix and have several other series ready for us to watch (The L Word, Battlestar Galactica, Deadwood). Yay for TV!
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
The next appointment is in a little over a week. We are to maintain the current feeding/pumping drill.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Friday, June 08, 2007
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Of course, this luxuriant sleeping came at a price - I didn't nurse AND pump at every feed overnight. I just did one or the other. If I pumped, we gave So.ren a bottle. This may affect my paltry supply, but so be it. I feel so much better today, even if my husband surely feels worse.
T minus six days until the baby nurse gets here, too. And only two-point-five more days that I am on my own with So.ren, since my husband will be here this weekend and will work from home on Monday. This morning, So.ren and I went to meet up with some other new moms at a bakery. Everyone has their own issues. One has a baby who eats around the clock, with no stretch longer than three hours, even after eight weeks. Another has a baby who sleeps well at night but won't nap during the day, which she spends crying. Another woman with a toddler said she'd had to supplement like me. It was so nice to get out of the house and commiserate.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
In other news, it is very hard to get dom.peridone here. I am ordering it from a possibly sketchy internet pharmacy now.
The baby nurse arrives one week from today. I can hardly wait! My mother-in-law is still here today and part of tomorrow, but then I'll have several days solo. I definitely feel a great deal of anxiety about this.
Monday, June 04, 2007
We went for a weigh-in today, and So.ren had regained up to his birth weight, which is good. We've been stuffing him full of breastmilk and formula. I have another fucking plugged duct today, if you can believe that. Anyway, his head circumference had also grown - that's my boy!
The pediatrician said we should keep doing what we're doing, but that it's okay for him to sleep a four-hour stretch at night. If we can get him to do that, it would be great.
My parents left yesterday. I cried. My mother was so incredibly helpful that things are going to be a bit bumpier now. My mother-in-law is here for a couple of days, and my husband is working from home today, but by Weds. afternoon, I'll be on my own for real. I hope I can hack it. My main issue is what to do with the baby when I'm pumping - if he's fussy, this is complicated.
Saturday, June 02, 2007
Anyway, I am now on Reg.lan. One of the side effects is fatigue - just what one wants when one is already sleep-deprived. The LC today told me that I could actually get dom.peridone here, which I didn't realize - maybe I should've done that. The Regl.an should work in a week if it is going to; if not, I can quit it and try the domperi.done, which doesn't have any side effects, apparently.
Neither one always works. I am getting to the point where they just don't know why my milk supply isn't where it should be. I may be in the 2-3% of women who have an inadequate supply. Nice. Not. I have come to peace with the idea of formula supplementation, which we are now officially doing. I just don't want to totally unravel and do only formula (if I can help it) for at least three more weeks. Or, really, at least one more week. My expectations are scaling ever backward.
I hope you are all doing well, though!
Friday, June 01, 2007
We will almost surely have to add formula supplements for the near term. I'm looking into a prescription for Reg.lan as well to boost supply, but it has some side effects that don't look great. You just take it for a week or two, though.
I can't tell you how discouraged I am. UGH!
I look forward to that sort of stuff.
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Monday, May 28, 2007
The thing is, the PISA speaks. During the main "expression" phase of pumping, the motor makes rhythmic contractions to which it is easy, in a sleep-deprived state, to translate into words. I admit I was relieved to find this post at A Little Pregnant - some commenters list off what the pump says to them ("Hoover Dam," "yoo-ou suck," etc.). My husband thinks it's saying either "whi.te power" or "bla.ck power," depending upon your inclinations - it's a sort of brainwashing tool, in his opinion. I think it says (more innocuously) either "call them back" or "powdered milk." In any case, this is a feature that they might want to eliminate.
My husband returns to work tomorrow. Scary! My mother has proven herself very adept at soothing the baby, however, which provides some measure of comfort.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
So, like, Friday had been going okay. We went to see the lactation consultant at the hospital, and she pronounced that we were feeding well and also taught me the football hold. After a couple more successful feedings, we dared to go out, by which I mean we went to the house of some friends with a six-week-old. I am totally fixated on the experiences of people who are just ahead of us. I pepper them with questions about when things get easier or funner or whatever. And we had a great time with them.
Except that during the course of the two hours we were there, I noticed that my left boob was starting to feel rather full and somewhat hard. By the time we left, both boobs were pretty full. Simple engorgement, I thought - the result of all that pumping. But when we got home, I realized that the left was pretty lumpy as well, which made me think plugged duct. And our little So.ren refused to latch to either.
Thus began a panicked night of attempted and failed nursing, supplementing with all my stored milk and even some formula, lots of Googling and OBGYN on-call resident calling, pumping, and no more than two hours of sleep total. You just don't want to develop issues on the first night of a holiday weekend, you know? I had visions of formula taking over and my being the rare abject breastfeeding failure.
By morning, the plug seemed to be gone, though engorgement remained. I called the on-duty lactation consultant at the hospital today, and she thought it was just engorgement and recommended icing the area, which did help. And So.ren started latching again. And I finally slept a tiny amount.
We had our latest pediatrician appointment in the late morning, and the good news was that our little guy had gained almost 1.5 oz a day since Weds. He is now over 8 lbs again. We go back on Tuesday, the first appointment I'll go to that my husband won't go to, since he'll be back at work (terribly, terribly frightening). But the good news is hard to read still - does this constitute a real trajectory? When can I cut back, at least on the pumping? It's kind of like knowing you're losing weight by running marathons every day, but couldn't you, like, run 15 miles instead and lose weight and still have time to read Us magazine and shower? Hard to say at this point.
Today, I fed So.ren at the merest show of hunger - mostly selfishly to keep my boobs emptied. I also pumped really often, though I cut back the minutes per pump slightly, since I think most of the milk is out by then. We'll see if it works. I built back up my pumped supply a bit so we are off formula for now. I have decided I will live, though, if we have to do a little formula supplementation. I determined this as I was crying in the pediatrician's office waiting room and it occurred to me that, hey, it wasn't as if So.ren would starve to death, which is how I've been acting.
Anyway, I am off to pump. Happy birthday to me, and happy 13th day to So.ren. When I was a little girl, I thought I'd be long married and long have had my two kids by now. Better late than never, especially when he is so cute! My mom has made us cupcakes. I think that'll be the extent of my celebration, which is fine by me.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
If you happen to be a chef, I highly recommend giving your new-parent friends and acquaintances delicious treats like those pictured above. We were surprised this afternoon to receive these dishes (chicken with couscous, trout with mango) from the chef of our favorite local restaurant. He and his wife recently had a child as well. I can't tell you how amazing it was to receive these dishes. We were already making pizzas (and by "we," I mean "my mother") for tonight, but we'll eat these tomorrow. Amazing! And I should add here that several local friends have brought us outstandingly delicious and gourmet meals lately, and we are eternally grateful for the gift of food.
Today, we went to a breastfeeding support group at a local hospital. I am going to get to know every lactation consultant in town, I'll tell you that. It was definitely helpful. There were women there who were having other problems that I was glad not to have, but most were well adjusted to breastfeeding and it made it seem like there was a light at the end of the tunnel. I was also better today about napping when the baby napped, even if it was just for half an hour. I think that helped my outlook a bit, even though my sleep total is probably just about 4 hours a day at this point.
I also received my bandeau-style hands-free device today, thank GOD. My other one, frankly, was crap - complicated and already breaking. You'd think Med.ela, as the leader in pumps, would have a better solution. But theirs bites.
Finally, here's a little baby, snoozing on the couch, where he snoozes most often. We need to get him into the cradle at some point, but right now it's more restful for the off-duty person to go crash away from him and his baby noises that one must agonize over.
10 days down. It seems like forever, though I'm sure it will seem like nothing in retrospect.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Our little fellow (pictured here in a hip CBGB t-shirt that we were given) went to the pediatrician and is gaining weight. Thank goodness. It would have been nice if he'd kicked ass on the weight gain (like gaining way more than needed) so I could feel good about cutting back, but he was hitting just over an ounce per day. That's good, but kind of just over the cutoff. So the pediatrician told me I could space out his feedings more during the day OR lower the supplementation. I think I might do a bit of the former, but my inclination is to keep feeding a lot to keep his weight up and make me feel that we are on a legitimate trajectory upward. We go back on Saturday for another weight check.
His diaper rash is still pretty bad, but we might not be able to do much about that for a while since he shits 20 times a day and apparently that hurts little baby bottoms. Eventually, he will slow down on that front, it seems.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Monday, May 21, 2007
Anyway, our pediatrician appointment showed that So.ren remained the same weight. They would like to see him gaining at this point, so now we are feeding constantly, supplementing with pumped milk, and pumping, pumping, pumping. It is literally all I do right now (along with cleaning the pump components, storing milk, etc.). Except for changing diapers - he has developed an angry-looking rash. Bad parents! Anyway, we go back to the ped in two days to see if things are turning around. I really hope they do.
The main lactation consultant from the hospital called me today, and I asked her about 90 questions. She was incredibly helpful and will check back on me in two days. One piece of information she had was that the flanges on my pump might be too small - I need to check on this tomorrow at the medical-supply place, where the guy who works there is ridiculously knowledgeable but also ridiculously disorganized - the desk is piled high with paperwork, so much so that it stresses me out, and I am a piler myself.
My mom arrived today, which was heartening for the moral support. I am getting very nervous about my husband returning to work next week - right now, we are splitting things 50/50. I looked into importing a night nurse today and will do more investigation into this tomorrow, since it would be better to find someone locally. Surely some of the NICU or mother/baby nurses moonlight, right?
In conclusion, I have fixed upon a breastfeeding milestone: six weeks. If I can do it for six weeks, it should get much easier. That seems to be the consensus. And if it gets easier sooner, well, then, great.
Off to catch a few winks....
Sunday, May 20, 2007
But time is passing sloooooooowwwwwly for me now. I am hoping it will seem to speed up at some point soon. Right now, we're trading off shifts with the baby, who is, shall we say, not entirely pleased about everything in his new existence. He's sleeping in his bassinet in his pack-n-play right now while my husband is upstairs getting some sleep. My mom arrives tomorrow, so I am hoping we can transition from our downstairs existence with the baby (which has taken over our living room) to a nighttime, upstairs existence. The nursery still looks good because it has not been used at all. The pack-n-play, however, has been on duty constantly. I recommend buying a full-featured one with the changing table, storage areas, etc. Invaluable!
My sleep is parceled out into one- to two-hour increments throughout a 24-hour period. Normally, I sleep 8-9 hours a night, so the shift to six interrupted hours has been rough for me. After my mom returns home and my husband returns to work, I think I will need to line up some help. There are no night nurses in this area, apparently; at times like these, I wish I lived in an urban center again. I am also acutely feeling the lack of an extensive support network here. Suddenly, I realize why people might choose to live near their extended families! We are hoping to move out of our midsized town sometime in the next year, and I can guarantee that the question of a support network will be prominent in our minds when we choose where to live.
Tomorrow, we have a pediatrician appointment to check weight. On Tuesday, I have an appointment with my psychiatrist, where I assume we will discuss whether medication is indicated. Right now, I feel as if my low moods (which are intermittent) are just a normal reaction to stress and fatigue and the vicissitudes of breastfeeding, but Zo.loft takes a couple of weeks to work, so I expect I will feel as if I need to decide whether to take it before I really feel the need for it.
I'm going to try to catch a few winks before the shift change. I hope you are all doing well!
Friday, May 18, 2007
My mom arrives on Monday for two weeks. I am not sure what I am going to do once she leaves and my husband returns to work. I need to form a support network around here.