Friday, January 30, 2009

Trying everything

I think Seb.astian is better off, weight-wise, than was at this point.   He's gaining weight, though not quite at the pace he's supposed to.  Today, he was 7 lbs, 14 oz.  That's up 3 oz in four days.  It should really be 4 oz.  The pediatrician said he's not worried, that we should just see if his weight plateaus next week or the week after, and then we could think about supplementing if needed.  Regardless of whether we supplement, I plan to keep up my schedule of feeding/pumping for another couple of weeks because your supply is apparently more or less decided in the first three weeks.

To recap, here's what I'm doing to increase supply:
-- nursing 10 times a day
-- pumping 8-9 times a day after feedings
-- feeding Se.bastian the pumped milk
-- taking dom.peridone
-- taking fenu.greek
-- taking More M.ilk
-- taking goat's rue
-- taking lecit.thin (for plugged ducts)
-- taking acido.philus (to avoid thrush)
-- doing a series of acupuncture appointments designed to build supply
-- taking calcium and fish oil (for general health)

I am also supposed to be taking some gross Chinese herbs (per the acupuncturist), but I haven't tried them yet.  I think my liver might explode from all of the above-referenced supplements.

Aside from the feeding, however, I think child #2 is easier than child #1.  I'm not sure if the child himself is easier, but we just feel much less stressed out about the whole thing.  I will revise this opinion if he turns out colicky.  In all seriousness, I am enjoying this little baby honeymoon -- we hang out in our sunny bedroom most of the time, watching the DVD of the first season of "30" and reality TV.  The weather here in SF has been spectacular and springlike, so we take a little walk once a day.  My c-section recovery has been great.

And -- get this -- our newborn specialist (whom we used for a couple of weeks the last time) arrives on Tuesday for six weeks.  How's that for a bull-market decision?  We totally need that money now, but we already paid for her, so there you have it.  I will have to start my job search in earnest while she's here, though, since I hear it'll take at least six months.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

No thrush!

Since we last spoke, an OB, the pediatrician, and another LC posited that I do not have thrush, and that the issue is, in fact, some crackage. So now I'm using this Mothe.rlove nipple cream and breast shells to try to heal the cracks. Seb.astian's latch got a high grade at the LC yesterday, so at least I know that our technique is good. The LC also gave me the OK to start the zillions of supplements I have on hand -- fenu.greek, More Mil.k, and dom.peridone. We are feeding every 1-2 hours during the day and every 2-3 at night. I pump after all but three sessions a day, and we feed that milk back to him.

The day we left the hospital, this seemed to be working since he had started gaining again, but he was back down an ounce at the pediatrician yesterday despite eating constantly the 24 hours prior. We go back on Friday to the ped, and if his weight isn't on track, then we will supplement, per the LC's instructions. My gut feel is that my supply is better this time, so we'll just see if it's enough better to go EBF.

Last night, we cobbled together enough sleep to feel human today. We may not get a repeat of that tonight, but it was much needed after a max of three hours total of interrupted sleep, which is what I've had the first five days. Last night, I think I got 4-5 in total, including from a nap this morning, and I feel SO much better right now. Good enough, in fact, to watch a marathon of "Ba.d Girls' Clu.b" on Oxygen. Out of self-respect, I've now moved on to "What No.t to Wea.r" on TLC.

Last night, we cobbled together enough sleep to feel human today. We may not get a repeat of that tonight, but it was much needed after a max of three hours total of interrupted sleep, which is what I've had the first five days. Last night, I think I got 4-5 in total, including from a nap this morning, and I feel SO much better right now. Good enough, in fact, to watch a marathon of "Ba.d Girls' Clu.b" on Oxygen. Out of self-respect, I've now moved on to "What No.t to Wea.r" on TLC. seems to be adjusting to his new life. When we came home on Sunday, he was napping, and so when he got up he found that the baby brother he'd met in the hospital twice was now here. I have to say I didn't expect this, but he just seemed so incredibly sad. It made me start to cry. Yesterday was better, and this morning he asked to see the baby. I hope he soon forgets that things were any different. My heart just broke for him on Sunday.

Oh, one thing I forgot to mention about my c-section was that the OB used a glue instead of stitches or staples on me. I think it's called Derm.abond. Impressive shit! You can barely see the incision. I recommend asking for this if scarring is a concern. I had a big keloid scar before, and she cut that away and used this stuff this time around, which apparently should be much less visible.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


So I have thrush in my boobs already. Yikes! I saw the LC here at the hospital for what I thought was a garden-variety cracked nipple, and she said she's almost certain it's thrush. Let me say this: ouch.

Also, S keeps dropping weight. I am OK with supplementing while working on my supply. The LC will make a call about this tomorrow. Still pumping after every feeding. Milk is in, at least.

The LC said that if we caught the thrush early, it may go away relatively fast. Fingers crossed. I am such a breastfeeding catastrophe.

Friday, January 23, 2009


I forgot to mention that when I went in on Wednesday, they told me I was having contractions.  I had no idea.  I would notice a lot of movement from the baby, but I didn't realize that it was a contraction.  I'd been feeling that sort of thing for a couple of days, so presumably it was very early labor or prodromal labor or whatever it's called.  So I didn't totally miss out on the entire labor experience, I suppose.

We have finally decided on a name: Seb.astian  We just liked the first name, and Me.yer was my grandmother's maiden name.  Sore.n came by to meet him last night and did correctly identify him as "baby brother" but was far more interested in the free crackers and water available here.  Seb.astian slept through the whole visit.

I am now in pumping bootcamp again.  Like S.oren, Se.bastian is a natural eater with a great latch and a strong suck, which is all good, but my supply still seems to be lagging.  I am much less stressed by the whole thing this time, though.  If he has to get some supplementing early, then no big deal.  I will still work on maxing out my supply and breastfeeding as long as possible.   Awaiting a visit from the lactation consultant here.  Apparently, they focus on first-time mothers, but I am demanding assistance and advice as well.

Photos to come when my wireless connection improves....

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Where the babies have no name

Well, little #2 is here.  The c-section went very smoothly, and he is 8 lbs, 4 oz, the exact same weight as his older brother.  He does not, however, have a name yet.  We are working on it.  My husband is into springing last-minute ideas on me, which is an approach I do not sanction.  We hope to have a name and a photo by tomorrow.

He has even more hair than did, and it's dark.  No wonder my heartburn was so out of control.  I think he looks more like my husband, whereas looks much more like me.  He's been feeding well, though who knows if I'm providing well.  We'll find out soon enough about that, I suppose.  

In the meantime, I'm starving and very tired.  They won't let me eat anything until I fart.  I do not approve of this policy -- it was different in Iowa.

Thanks for all of the good wishes!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The final countdown

I've been running around all day, tying up loose ends and trying to make sure everything is done before F.ranz's debut.  We seem almost ready.  I am exhausted but can't eat anything after 4am, which means I may get up around then for a snack.  I have a cold (thanks,, but I'm hoping this won't majorly affect my surgery or recovery.  We have a few things to do in the morning before we get to the hospital, like mail off my dop.pler monitor, and then we're supposed to be in surgery at 12 noon Pacific time.  Wish us luck!

Monday, January 19, 2009

39w1d and feeling kind of funny

Is wooziness a sign of impending labor?  I've been feeling woozy the past day or so.  Maybe I need to eat more iron or protein or brand brownie bites.  I'm very much hoping not to be going into labor, however, since I still have much to accomplish.   We got some shelves built last week, which was a HUGE accomplishment, permitting us to unpack the remaining 16 boxes of books we had cluttering our home office.  My brother assembled our double stroller and fixed our coffee table yesterday, but I still need to do about 100 things.  I also would prefer that be born when we have a new president.  

My sleep has gone to shit the past couple of nights but will still, of course, be better than what is about to come.  My abdomen is suddenly WAY out in front of me -- the baby hasn't dropped, but I feel as if I am going to tip forward most of the time.  Shirts cannot contain my belly.  I feel empathy  for men with beer guts.

This morning, I got pulled over for apparently not stopping completely at a stop sign.  As usual, I did not try to get out of it, since I probably did it.  For once, though, this paid off -- the guy let me go without a ticket precisely because I did NOT deny it or ask for leniency.  It really must be the dawn of a new era here in America.

If I remember, I'll take a belly shot and upload it here later on.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

No action at Ft. Cervix

I had my final OB appointment today before Fran.z's debut.  My cervix is still closed up tight, which is currently a plus, unlike during all of my embryo transfers.  My blood pressure was just lovely, and nothing has swollen up.  My weight has dropped, but the OB said not to be concerned by this because it is her opinion that most weight gain in the last month is due to swelling.  She said is still growing.  Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, I ate a huge lunch afterwards.  I ran into a couple of friends at the restaurant I went to, and they freaked me out about the whole kindergarten process here in San Francisco.  I'm hoping that the bizarre public-school allocation process here is fixed by the time S.oren needs to go to kindergarten.  They said that might actually happen.  I think I'll just put my head in the sand and hope that it does, since the cost of private school for 12 years would be impossible for us to manage.  If could even get in.

I also stopped by the main newborn/lactation center here and rented a Sy.mphony pump and an infant scale (hoping to avoid frequent trips to the pediatrician's office in Jan/Feb, when it is probably teeming with pneumonia and rotavirus germs), and I bought just about every feeding/pumping accessory and supplement you could possibly need.   I've been setting up's room and trying not to feel as if I am tempting fate by doing so.  I am always dismayed by women who feel confident enough to set up the nursery at like five months.  But maybe I should force myself to have that kind of confidence instead of indulging my superstitions.

Also, I saw a physician's assistant at the dermatologist, and she said the weird growth on my back was a skin tag.  She did, however, find a troublesome mole, so she removed both the tag and the mole and sent them off to the lab.  I feel relieved.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


If memory serves, I am much more worried about my c-section this time around.  I'm not sure exactly why -- maybe I feel as if I got lucky the first time with such a good recovery; maybe I've collected too many stories of adverse surgical outcomes (of any variety) to feel at ease.  Or maybe it's because I have a little boy now, and I don't want anything to happen to me.  

I am also a bit more nervous about meeting F.ranz.  I feel that I know less about him.  With S.oren, I had so many ultrasounds that even though we'd had the weird amnio result, I really felt that he was going to be normal in every respect, aside from maybe the possible clubfoot that the MFM doctors periodically speculated about (and which did not come to pass).  I had seen him open and close his eyes on ultrasound.  I had seen that he had a full head of hair.  Each month, I had been reassured that all body parts, internal and external, looked proper in their development.  But with, the last ultrasound I had was at 28 weeks, so who the hell knows what he's like?  I mean, gosh, only TWO level II ultrasounds?  How do normal people manage?  And let's not even talk about the olden days, when ultrasounds and amnios and so forth didn't exist.

One of my friends in real life is experiencing a difficult pregnancy.  She's about four weeks behind me.  She's 37, but her nuchal and blood screening results came back with such low odds of abnormalities (1 in 10,000) that she (very reasonably) didn't do a CVS or amnio.  But then she didn't seem to be growing right, so she's had a bunch of ultrasounds, and over time more and more soft markers have been coming up for various trisomies.  She's now had a fetal brain MRI and heart scan (I forget the name), and they're trying to determine whether something is really wrong or not.  And because she's dealing with specialists, they're hard to schedule, so she'll have a test and then have to wait a week or two to talk to them.  She goes in today to meet with someone about the most recent tests, so please keep your fingers crossed for her.  

Monday, January 12, 2009

Send good vibes to Nancy

Regular commenter and due-date pal Nancy just had her son, Karl (yay!), a bit early, but she unfortunately also had retained placenta and had to have emergency surgery.  Because of blood loss during surgery, she is getting a blood transfusion today.  Please send her good vibes, prayers, etc.  And donate blood if you're able to because someone else in the world will also need a transfusion soon.

Not much action to report here.  One of my real-life due-date pals just delivered early, too, so now I'm in even more of an organizational frenzy than before.  I also found a strange, large growth on the skin on my back.  I am thinking/hoping it's just one of those crazy pregnancy skin tags you hear about, but I'm seeing a dermatologist on Weds. just to make sure it isn't something bad.

We had our house professionally cleaned yesterday for the first time since we moved here, and it is incredible.  I almost don't want to eat or shower or collect the mail because any of those things will disrupt the perfect order of the place at present.  I'm 38w1d (for those of you keeping track at home).  Nine days until F.ranz's debut.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

37w2d and a mad, mad dog

My dog is pissed off. Why? Because we've had handymen, electricians, and other interlopers tromping through the house all day long. I suppose you could call this barrage of service calls "nesting," but as I've mentioned before, I think "nesting" is nothing more than "running out of time." It seems to be just the same feeling as when you've got a big work deadline approaching and you have to put the pedal to the metal. Or the petal to the medal, which is less effective. The angry hound is currently locked in the laundry room because he is about to lose his (rather small) mind.

I had an OB appointment today, and the cervix is still locked up tight, but the doctor pointed out that the baby's head is way down there. It's not engaged, she said, but he is no longer floating freely the way he used to, apparently. No weight gain, no swelling, good blood pressure, good fetal heartbeat, good fundal height. My appointments with this OB average about four minutes long, even at the end. It's different from the last time around. I've got a hospital tour scheduled for tonight, mainly so I can figure out if there's wireless access there and where they keep the Spr.ite and graham crackers. Vic.odin doesn't do me right if my tummy is empty. is completely hilarious these days, and I'm feeling preemptively nostalgic for being able to focus on him alone. He has hit the language explosion phase and spouts off sentences left and right. He got a haircut before Christmas and now looks like a little kid (vs. a baby). He persistently requests waffles at all hours of the day and, when told that waffles are only for breakfast, sometimes asks, "Wafflecake?" Whatever that is, it sounds delicious. And forbidden.