Thursday, July 31, 2008

Counting to 3

3 Weeks & 3 Days Old

Today was a trying day. I think I’m going batty. I can’t tell is she’s hungry or tired at this point. She hasn’t pooped since two days ago so she’s beside herself. We’re weaning off the SNS and today she can’t stand the fast flow of the tube. It’s a good sign but she’s not getting the milk fast enough via the breast. We’re still learning sucking techniques. So she’s cranky, hungry and because she’s on the boob for an hour, she is tired and grumpy.

Plus, I think she’s got a growth spurt going. Oh and apparently, she doesn’t want to be put down today nor does she want me to sit unless she’s attached to my very used breasts. So now, I’m typing this standing up with her on the Bjorn hoping she’ll take a nap. She desperately needs a nap. She’s not in a good mood for feeding.

She was on my boob from 3 to 5pm. She still was crying so at 6pm I relented and gave her a bottle of breast milk. I’m hoping she’s going to nap now and then I can pump my breasts.

Oh, did I mention Con Edison knocked on my door. Apparently, the work they are doing for the building next door affected us. They severed a main gas line and now they need to inspect all gas stoves before they restart the gas in my building.

Guess we’ll order in tonight as it’s 6:30pm and they have yet to make it to my apartment again.

Anyway today nothing I do is fulfilling her needs so I’m feeling a bit done. I’m so obsessed with her eating and pooping at this point, I seriously need some adult talk to give me perspective.

First day mom felt she didn’t know what to do to make you feel better.
First rejection of the SNS Feeding tube.
Now if we can only get the breast sucking in sync.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Short Attention Span Theatre

3 Weeks & 2 Days Old

Hubby’s sister asked me to go to an American Idol concert with her. I thought it may be a better idea for him to spend time with his sister. Plus, with the breastfeeding, it really is impossible for me to leave my breast pump for more than 3 hours.

Hubby and I never watched an episode of AI so he had no idea who any of the singers were but his sister, the prepubescent teen, that she schooled my husband. I’m glad they both had a good time and could spend some time together. Until recently, we’ve been restricted and now we have more opportunity to spend time with his sister.

Today I was thinking about how it would be nice to be a stay at home mom but unfortunately circumstances will not allow me to do such.

I just feel like I may miss so many things in my daughter’s life because I need to go back to work. That makes me sad but I suppose things happen for a reason. They’ll be plenty of things I’ll get to experience and me going back to work will afford us the opportunity to experience things we wouldn’t be able to experience together as a family.

Hubby has always said he would love to be a SAHD but the last few weeks makes me think everything he wants to do does not fall in line with his statement. SAHD's are probably going to be a bit too busy to do everything he wants to do. As it stands, he works, has classes, his gym routine and weekend odd jobs that keeps him busy. I know he'd want to continue everything except for the working part. I can barely shower. I don't know if he could do all that and care for our child. As it stands now with his late night schedule of watching the kid and the above schedule, he gets pretty frustrated and tired.

I also have been thinking about how rough the first few weeks of parenthood is to a couple. It really is tough and you need to be strong and supportive of each other during this period. There is a stress level that is different yet the same with each partner.

I know I’ve been really frustrated and upset with myself and with my husband of late but it’s peanuts to the real feelings inside. I truly love my husband and am grateful for everything he does and tries. It may not always come out that way, especially at 3am, but I am.

Honestly, I’m glad we waited so long before we had BG. It gave us a chance to grow as a couple and strengthen our love which I think will and has helped us these past few weeks.

Beginning SNS weaning
She took the breast alone for an hour. Yes it was an hour and I don’t think she got enough food but at least she didn’t push it away because she didn’t feel the SNS.

Zoe trip
Scary. 2 bruised knees, 1 bruised forearm, 1 cut wrist & 1 emotional woman

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

How do i teach my BG to extract my breast milk?

3 Weeks & 1 Day Old

Yesterday I spent the day following BG’s schedule. I follow her schedule everyday but yesterday, I tried very hard to follow her queues. It was rough but for the entire day until hubby came home around 9pm, I exclusively breastfed. I’m not sure how long I can keep up the BF’g and pumping. Not only does it require strict adherence to the schedule I also cannot produce as much as quickly.

I had wanted to avoid formula to see if the bottle helped reduce the gas issues that BG has been having but by the time I came back from our walk, she was awake and hungry and I didn’t have enough breast milk expressed for a full feeding and my energy was zapped.

First hubby gave her a bottle of formula and she didn’t take it. I gave him another bottle with my breast milk and she seemed to take that better although she was reluctant to take the bottled nipple for awhile.

I also asked hubby to hold BG when he feeds her. I’ve noticed that when he feeds her, he plops her on the Boppy so he can have a hand free to do other things. I told him, I think she’d do better if you held her close and slightly elevated.

I had a mediocre night after that. I was tired and exhausted. I had to cook and eat dinner at 10pm. I pumped, reluctantly and then went to bed.

Around 2am, hubby was having a time trying to soothe BG. He tried giving her formula. He says he’s not sure if it was the formula or the bottle but she didn’t seem to be happy. I went to pump and when I returned, hubby and BG were passed out. I always get nervous when hubby passes out with BG. I’ve passed out with her but usually she’s in my arms and I hold her fairly tightly. Hubby likes to let her go which freaks me out.

As hubby turned, BG slowly flopped to an inclined position where her head was lower than her lower body. I put my hand between hubby and BG and hubby woke up asking me why I was freaking out. I didn’t start anything and he moved her.

I’m not saying that BG is a church mouse but I don’t think she’s that fussy as hubby says during the day. What could make her so fussy that hubby feels she can’t be put into the crib to sleep? Yes, it takes time to get her to sleep. Yes, it won’t be more than 4-5 hours in length. I just figure that’s the way it is.
Anyway, today, I’m spending on her schedule but adding more naps for myself. At least I’m trying to add more naps. I’m so pooped. I’m also trying not to stress over the fact that I’m only pumping just enough milk to get me to the next feeding. I suppose it is too soon to think I can start having a back up supply. It’s just if I want to go out for walk or take a few hours just to relax, I need to resign myself to giving BG formula because I’ll probably miss a window for pumping.

Again, I have no issue with an occasional formula feed but I’d really like to give her breast milk. I know it’s a personal thing. Just like I would love to breastfeed but may have to consider bottle feeding her expressed breast milk.

I love the feeling of her close to me when she breastfeeds. I love how she is starting to look up at me and look at her surroundings while she feeds. I laugh at how she can pass gas and eat at the same time. I love how she roots for my boob and sometimes pull at my shirt inadvertently.

Unfortunately she’s just not extracting the milk as fast as she should be. For now, I’m trying to keep bottles and formula with hubby feedings and sticking with breast when she’s with me. I hope if I can keep napping between meals, I won’t feel so spent pumping and feeding every 2.5 hours.

On a good note she didn’t seem to have too much gas yesterday and she had three full bowel movements. I guess the whole gas thing was the crying and finger feeding. I can only hope. We’ll see how it goes today.


Monday, July 28, 2008

Bottle feeding, Boppy sleeping, Breastfeeding

Baby Blues by Rick Kirkman & Jerry Scott

3 Weeks Old

After seeing BG fidget and fuss whenever hubby feeds her, I relented and gave him a bottle. She immediately quieted down and was satiated. I think it has to do with the position in which she is held and the tension she feels with hubby finger feeding. She didn’t look comfortable at all during the finger feed.

With the bottle, hubby can cradle her which she prefers. Will this affect breast feeding? I don’t know and I don’t care at this point. If it alleviates her fussiness and the amount of air she’s sucking up during feedings with dad, so be it.

Today so far, we’ve had 2 feedings together. Each time, I have used the SNS and just followed BG’s queues. If she falls asleep, I delatch, swaddle and put her to bed. I’m not forcing her to finish anything nor am I forcing her to stop. I’m also letting her sleep past the 3 hour mark if she so inclines. Am I setting up bad habits? I’m not sure if that’s going to help or hinder but I feel like I need to bootcamp nurse right now.

She fell asleep after he last feeding rather quickly which gave me a chance to catch a 20 minute snooze as well.

Hubby and I have had different experiences with BG. Feedings, Diaper changes, Cuddling are all different. This has lead to some conflicts. I guess that’s normal.

I don’t think there is a wrong way or a right way to parent a newborn but when you’ve got two people caring for a human being, it’s hard not to have conflicting opinions.

Right now, hubby is pretty confident that BG prefers sleeping on her tummy. Who doesn’t but everything says to place her on her back to sleep for the first few months. The doctor said if we want to do a tummy nap where we are watching her, by all means do so. However, the majority of the time she would be safer on the back.

Hubby thinks putting the Boppy in the crib and putting her in it is safe. I beg to differ but he says I’m only making his life and my life harder as she sleeps on average 2-3 hours on her back versus 5-6 hours on her tummy on the Boppy.

I don’t know what to say to this. I’m against this but he thinks I’m overly paranoid. Anyway, so far I’ve been doing the back thing and he’s doing the Boppy. Sure, I wake up more often and it takes longer to put her down but I feel more assured when I do it and I can nap a bit better.

First Baby Acne

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Bottles, Breasts and Boars Head

20 days old

A welcome visit came today. My friend N came with her husband. She brought much needs sustenance and some laughs and smiles. I always can count on N to cheer me up.

My pumping went up to 3.5 ounces yesterday but is back to 2 ounces today. I think this is partly due to my anxiety and my lack of nutritional intake. Last night my dinner was half a turkey sandwich.

Hubby spent the day finger feeding BG. In the evening, I noticed she would cry throughout her feed with hubby. He stated she was always like this. Of course as she cried, her she took in more air which caused tummy discomfort.

I gave him a bottle to try and she took it. She was quiet the entire time and afterwards was very sedate and content. I told him that possibly his finger feeding with her practically horizontal and him jabbing his finger in and out of her mouth probably caused air pocket discomfort. She’s past the finger feeding stage.

Hubby felt awful because he knows I fear nipple confusion and with my new goal of weaning myself and baby girl off the SNS tube and onto the breast, it will be a challenging week. Add now that BG will be receiving occasional bottle feeds from hubby and I’m in for a more bumpy road, potentially.

Still, I told him the important thing is comfort for BG. Finger feeding wasn’t working anymore. At least we are using the bottles the lactation physician suggested that has low flow. She said less babies have nipple confusion with the nipples and bottles we purchased.

Tomorrow, I hope to give her one feeding sans SNS. Hopefully it will satiate her and get her used to the flow from the breast alone. Today I gave her 30 minutes of soothing/eating on my left breast. I figured the worst that could happen is she wakes up earlier for food and my breasts get stimulated. I’m supposing any sucking from baby is going to stimulate my breasts to produce more milk.

Pumping volumes decreased today but I think that was due to the lack of nutrients I had yesterday. Today, thanks to N, I had sandwiches galore. I also was able to make pancakes after mass. I haven’t been able to do that since the delivery. Usually, Sunday morning breakfast is a pancake or big breakfast.

Of course, today, I made my pancakes super quick as BG, was on alert mode and wanted to be cuddled. Try flipping pancakes while balancing a newborn on your shoulders. You contort yourself and look like a Cirque Du Soleil performer.

This coming week, I tackle weaning off the SNS. I hope BG takes to the breast well.

First use of a bottle and it took

First afternoon nap with mom and dad
Yes all three of us took a nap in the afternoon.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Slowly removing my breast crutch

19 days old

I just can’t keep the schedule of pump after feeding. I just don’t have the time nor the output. Yesterday I tried very hard to pump after every feeding and only got 1.5 ounces expressed towards the end of the day. I was tired, cranky and dreaded the pump. My breasts felt spent and I wound up taking a Tylenol to help with the soreness.

Today I only pumped four times and was able to express close to 12 ounces! Of course she needs minimum 20 ounces but that is progress.

I’m a bit nervous about weaning her off the SNS tube. Actually, it’s probably not weaning her off it but weaning me off it. With the SNS tube, I’m assured she is getting a specific quantity of food. With just the boob, I really don’t have a definitive answer.

I suppose I could just keep using the SNS tube but it is oh so tiring. It takes forever to tape the bloody thing to my boob and then I have to make sure that when she latches the tube is also in her mouth. I’m praying that this coming week, I’ll produce enough milk and BG will latch and suck efficiently that we can wean and not worry about lack of food.

I tried today thinking on the weekend with my husband around, we could deal with any tantrums that may arise. Unfortunately I think it is still too early. Plus my husband was called to work at the last minute so I was essentially on my own with the weaning.

I tried to substitute one feeding with just breast no breast +SNS. She took to both breasts and fed fairly well for 40 minutes. I could tell she was getting food because she swallowed every 3 sucks. I thought that was a good sign.

3 hours later, I should have given her the SNS tube but I was being overly ambitious and tried again. Unfortunately, this time around, she didn’t seem to be happy with the slower flow. After an hour, she was cranky and was beside herself. I wasn’t sure if it was gas issues as she kept arching her back, crying and then a few minutes later passed gas or if she was hungry.

I tried to comfort her and warm her belly in the hopes that a poop would settle her down. No poop just lots of toots came out. Each toot came with a terrible gas face. Maybe a warm bath would settle her tummy troubles.

I gave her a bath. She shrieked and turned red. I gave her an after bath massage. She shrieked and hollered. I warmed her belly with my hand. She shrieked more quietly.

Her diaper was clean I tried soothing her. The next thing was to feed her. I feed her on the breast with SNS and she drank 2.7 ounces from the SNS alone. I guess she was starving.

Of course, that disheartened me about the whole exclusive BF’g but I put it in perspective. She’s used to the tube and breast which means the flow is different. I just need to start slower. Every day I plan to do one feeding without the SNS tube. Within a few days, I’d like to increase it to two feedings and continue until we are off the SNS tube.

I will continue to pump and store for feedings from hubby and to increase production. We plan to introduce the bottle to BG in a week and a half. This helps hubby participate more, gives me a chance to rest my breasts that have been working overtime and gets BG used to the bottle for when I go back to work. In a perfect world, I would not want to return to work but who lives in wonderland?

I am hemming and hawing about bottle feeding expressed breastmilk. On one hand, I know the important thing is giving BG the breastmilk over formula. I’m reaching that goal, or at least that is what it looks like. For the last 5 days, I have only given formula for 1 or 2 feedings in small doses (less than 1 ounce). The majority of her feedings have been breast milk alone. Today we have yet to give her formula. Giving myself a pat on the back. You’ve come a long way in a short time, PG.

I love the feel of BG breastfeeding. Yes, towards the end of the day, my breasts feel spent and used but that feeling of having her so close to me is sublime. Yes, I know it’s the oxytocin that is released when she feeds. I am an addict.

I’m afraid if we introduce the bottle, she’ll prefer that over my breasts and she’ll lean towards the bottle. My friend said that as long as the bottle is given by daddy more often than mommy, she’ll naturally prefer mommy and mommy’s boobs. It’s a comfort thing for her.

Who knows. There can be worse things, I suppose. The main goal is get the breast milk to BG. I remind myself this as we head into the next stage in my BF’g saga. I’ve jumped up to making milk regularly. I’m learning her hunger queues and her schedule. This week, I hope to move towards moving away from the SNS + breast and just go breast and continue increasing my milk production.

By the way, BG was satiated after that 2.7 ounces of milk but continued to wake herself up with terrible gas until her 9pm feeding. My theory is she was so hungry before, all that crying increased the air intake she ingested as she was turning different shades of red which is definitely something she gets from her fair skinned freckled dad. I’m hoping the major gas has subsided.

First non-SNS feeding
Was successful, at least I thought. I pushed it and tried for a second that didn’t go as smoothly.

Friday, July 25, 2008

God has heard

18 days old
Pumping after every feeding is getting difficult. BG averages feedings every 2.5 hours. This doesn’t give me much time to settle her, pump and get ready for her next feeding. Forget about showering.

Today she was more alert so after the feedings, I placed her on the bouncy seat and swing and was able to pump and talk to her without her pitching a fit. I was able to pump within an hour of feeding which was great. If she keeps being so alert, it may be time for me to get a mobile and activity mat as well.

We’ve been doing tummy time together which she likes but an activity mat might help out. There are so many out there though. The mobile and activity mats are the two items I’ve held off on because of the limited shelf life and the outrageous variety available at the baby stores.

Right now, I’m leaning towards the Boppy version of the activity mat because she’s so fond of the Boppy I use for BF’g. Hubby puts her on it tummy side down to help alleviate the tummy distress she sometimes gets. Hubby swears she has his tummy. I think she’s just not used to digestion. She’s never had to digest anything until 18 days ago.

In just 18 days, I feel as if we both have learned so much. Parenthood is definitely a trial by fire but the rewards are great and they come everyday. Every day I see her changing. I learn something new about her. She’s incredible. Her body and her mind are so busy learning and growing; heck, I’d be a bit verklempt and be without words myself. I suppose crying would be the only way I could express myself.

Anyway, I was thinking all this and wondering if she really recognizes me. I mean, am I just the lady with the milk and clean diapers to her? Am I the person that hovers over her at night to make sure she’s safe and ok? Am I the person that forces her to take a bath when she clearly would prefer not to? Am I the person who later gives her the massage that she seems to like? Who am I to her? I guess I’ll never know.

I do know she’s my blessing. She’s my blessing from God and I’m very thankful. Each day I am in awe at the gift I was given and I pray that I am given the knowledge, strength and patience to help this little being grow to share the love that brought her here with others.


BG wore her first pair of socks, pink of course.

First time outside in the Baby Bjorn with mommy.

First walk through the flower/herb garden in our neighborhood park.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Love Plus One

17 days old

Thankfully I made all those pre-meals and stashed them in the freezer. Originally I thought it would be for hubby to help make meals but if I wait for him to eat, it would be 11pm before I had anything in my tummy. He’s on a diet kick and rarely eats. With breastfeeding, the lactation physician said I need to eat balanced meals throughout the day.

I’d like to have a meal with my hubby where I’m not holding a child or breastfeeding and maneuvering the fork to avoid food spilling on her. Maybe in a few weeks, we’ll get to sit at our dining room table and enjoy a meal together. For now, I guess I’ll just have to make do with making meals for myself I can easily scarf down.

On a good note, I was able to get some sleep today. Hubby came home at 3am and I gave him BG to care for and shuffled to bed. I only woke up twice to pump.

Around midnight, the thunder and lightning was so intense that the two dogs came and sat huddled next to BG and me. Both of us were on the floor on a mat relaxing. BG takes to pressure on her tummy. I think it settles her as digestion can be a new experience for someone who hasn’t had to digest food in her entire life. Hubby figured out that if we lay her on the Boppy on an incline, it settles her tummy pressure and she relaxes. I think that’s hubby’s secret weapon.

Going back to the couplehood issues, I suppose, I just miss the closeness and intimacy I’m not referring to sex of being a couple. Just two weeks ago everything was about us. Now it’s about BG. I’m not resentful. I just would like some ‘us’ time.


I slept from 3am-7am with only two wake ups for pumping.

BG’s documents came in the mail. She’s official!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What happened to couplehood?

16 days old

BG is more alert today. I placed her on the bouncy seat and she seemed to try to focus on some of the objects. She also seemed preoccupied enough for me to put her on our kitchen table while I cleaned some feeding tubes and made myself a sandwich.

I know with hubby going back to work and paying his dues to switch careers, the majority of the care would be handled by me, especially during the maternity leave period. I guess the whole discussion of stay at home parent though got me thinking he’d try to put more effort into it.

Hubby swears he’d love to be a SAHD. I have no objection as long as he knows SAHD does not mean he can plop the kid in a swing and watch movies or do other things aside from caring for the kid.

I’m trying not to be critical or judgmental but every time I come out to pump my breasts during his late night shift (1am-5am) he’s asleep with BG either on his chest or on the floor on the Boppy. Twice I caught objects precariously by her face. Once it was a pillow and just today it was an elbow (hubby’s elbow). I’m probably overally paranoid. You can sleep when the kid sleeps just not on the floor with the kid.

Then there is the whole, “Make sure during tummy time, you don’t fall asleep. Make sure the swaddle doesn’t cover her face while she sleep fidgets.” Whenever I tell him something along these lines, he gets very upset at me, rolls his eyes and scoots me to the bedroom to sleep.

I suppose there is a partial protectiveness going on but I honestly think there are some things I can do my hubby cannot. I can wake up like clockwork every 2.5 to 3 hours to pump my breasts, check on BG and prepare the next feed tube so everything is set for hubby.

I don’t think he can think and plan that far ahead. He’ll prepare the bottle when the baby cries. By that time, she’s starving and borderline inconsolable. If I have everything set so I just stick her mouth on my breast, the better.

Of course there are things he can do I cannot. He can easily fall asleep without checking on the baby a billion times. He doesn’t run to the books the moment something looks strange or a thought comes passing through his head.

Maybe I’m just feeling a bit one sided. My friend says it’s rightly so but unfortunately that is just the case. Women do far more when it comes to a newborn. Now, there are a few exceptions but the majority of the time, women do the breastfeeding, caring, planning and worrying.

I suppose I’m also feeling a bit more sacrificial and a bit tethered to the breast pump. I’m trying not to be woe is me or feel pitiful. I chose this and I’d gladly choose it again. I think I’m just wanting to feel like we’re in this together. Yes, he’s sleep deprived as well but at least he has a bit of his personal normalcy. He has his gym. He has his appointments and chance to check his emails and surf. I haven’t had a chance to respond to most of my emails let alone read them.

On a good note, I got to take a bath yesterday. It was a ten minute bath but it was a bath. It felt good to soak just for a bit. I hope to have more time for a little pampering after the milk production and breastfeeding schedule is more stable.

Filing of her nails
When we were first making a list of things we need to do, hubby and I agreed that I would handle rectal thermometer duties and he would deal with the nail clippers. I’m too chicken that I’ll hurt her little fingers. Unfortunately, her nails have gotten pretty sharp and she takes to scratching my breasts when she’s feeding. Since hubby has been a bit preoccupied with work and what not, I’m left to do it myself. I’m still afraid so I’ve been slowly filing her nails.
So far I’ve done it while sleeping, while she’s in active alert on the bouncy seat and while she’s nursing. I’ve completed her toes and her right hand. I need to somehow get to her left hand now.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Learning to be a parent requires hands on training

15 days old
Today was a milestone day. Today I took BG out by myself to her pediatrician appointment.

Knowing getting a baby ready and myself ready would add to my time, I projected getting ready an hour before and an hour of driving and searching for parking.

The tricky part, I thought, would be coordinating the meal times. Like clockwork, she needs food every 3 2.5 to 3 hours or she is one cranky baby. That morning, after her first breakfast, I calculated an 10:30 feed would give me enough time to settle her, get her dressed and to the pediatrician but I’d need to bring milk for a lunchtime feed in the car.

I packed my formula just in case and 2 ounces of my breastmilk which I pumped immediately after our first breakfast meal.

I then promptly packed the snap and go. I wanted to go light but be prepared. I put extra diapers and wipes in the car and in the snap and go I packed the portable diaper changing mat.

By 11am I had second breakfast completed and I put BG down for a quick nap. Originally I thought of putting her in the car seat to sleep to make life easier but I had yet to do her morning freshen up, dress change and diaper change.

I ran to the bathroom and tried to get ready. BG wasn’t having it. Plan B: I placed her on the bouncy seat and placed her near my vanity as I tried to cover the dark circles under my eyes. She wasn’t having it. I brushed my teeth, grabbed the first dress I found in my closet and proceeded to change her and do her morning wash up. The night before was so hectic I couldn’t give her a bath. I’ve been a bit hesitant to do it alone and wanted my husband to be present for a bath. Unfortunately, his work schedule has left me alone until 10pm or later. By the time he gets home, he needs to take care of the dogs and grab dinner before he can relieve me for a nap. So a bath didn’t make it on the agenda nor did filing her nails which are now starting to claw at me when breastfeeding.

I hadn’t showered yet and barely got to brush my teeth but I figured if I could get the kid semi-presentable, I should be ok. I strapped her into her car seat and she proceeded to cry again. I rocked the stroller back and forth while stripping down and throwing the dress on. BG settled in and I grabbed my keys and ran out the door.

After forgetting where the car was parked, I made it to the car. I was able to get her in the car without waking her. I threw everything in the trunk and began driving downtown.

The ride to the pediatricians was nice and smooth, thankfully. She slept through the entire ride and I was fortunate to find a parking meter to save money. We made it to the pediatricians on time. I felt like Queen mommy.

The pediatrician weighed her and she’s back to her delivery weight! Hallelujah! My face beamed. We then spoke about the short fernulum the lactation physician spoke to me about. I told the doctor I didn’t want to pursue anything for breastfeeding purposes but would like to know if it would affect speech or anything else in the future. She said she couldn’t predict yes or no but so far it’s so slight that she believes it should not be a problem but we can monitor.

We graduated from weekly weight checks and are ready for a 1 month follow up. Gold star for BG!

The doctor then examined her and then made a comment that I should start bathing her. I turned beet red. I knew I should have bathed her. Then to end the session, BG made a bowel movement so juicy, even the Pediatrician could hear it from the other side of the exam room.

I cleaned her up and headed outside to schedule the appointments. That’s when the fun started. By now it was past 1pm, BG hadn’t eaten since 11. She was hungry. Of course it took forever for the receptionist to schedule our 1 month and 2 month follow up appointments. Ok, maybe not forever but it felt like everyone in the office was staring at me at my banshee baby.

We went outside and she continued to scream bloody murder. I knew it was food that she wanted.

I got into the car, strapped her in and started the engine and locked the doors. I pulled out my feed tube and thought finger feeding would be easier for my first outing. I started feeding her. She was so grouchy though she kept unlatching.

Then the traffic cops came to start writing me a ticket. I unrolled the window and explained the situation. The traffic cop looked at my baby and let me stay outside of the expired meter.

That’s when I heard a scream I’ve never heard before come out of BG. I couldn’t figure out what it was until I took a whiff. She exploded. She didn’t just explode, she wet the car seat and the diaper barely held her wet mushy poop.

I cleared out the trunk of her stroller, put the changing mat down and unbuckled her and brought her to the trunk and changed her. Thank goodness I packed extra storage bags to wrap up the dirty diaper and wipes. I was afraid I’d run out of wipes at one point.

I cleaned her up and put a disposable leak proof mat on the wet spot in the car seat and strapped her back in. I fed her a little more to try to settle her but she wasn’t having it.

I resigned myself to driving her home and praying the vibration of the car would soothe her a bit.

The 25 minute ride home was spent calling to BG to quiet down. Of course, you can’t rationalize with a 15 day old newborn but I didn’t know what else to do. She settled for ten minutes but woke up again and hollered even louder.

I made it home with her and shuttled her to our apartment. I unstrapped her and felt she wouldn’t be able to truly eat well in her current state. I did what I thought I needed to do, I bathed her to try to clean her and soothe her.

I bathed her by myself. She hollered but it wasn’t the same cry. Afterwards, I warmed her in her towel which settled her. I gave her a massage and dressed her in clean clothes. I then breastfed her for 45 minutes and then let her settle into a much needed nap.

I should have napped too or taken a much needed shower but I needed to clean up the car seat and stroller. As I cleared and cleaned everything I thought about how I think I’m slowly learning her cries. I’m not sure if they are distinct yet or if I’m just getting queues but I swear there is a difference between “I’m hungry”, “I need a diaper change”, “I’m tired and need comforting” and “I just want to snuggle and hear your voice.”

I keep telling myself, every day I am learning more about being a mom. Then again, tomorrow my theory may fly right out the window.

First full trip mommy and baby
To the pediatrician’s office. It took me an hour and a half to get out of the house but we made it to the appointment on time and even found parking!
First bath with just mommy
First poop change outside by mommy
Completed in the trunk of the car after a major explosion while in your car seat.

What I learned about breastfeeding (2 week update)

15 days old

After my nap, I started the lactation physician’s regimen.

I don’t know if it’s just time or the refreshed brain but BG seemed more alert. We were able to have some tummy time where she wasn’t just sleeping on my chest.

I will say this so far about Breastfeeding, it is one of the hardest parts of post partum or the 4th trimester. Just in case someone finds this entry, I want to share some things I’ve learned so far. I am by no means an expert but I do want to share my experience in the hopes it might help someone else.

What I have learned so far about breastfeeding:
I don’t care what the books and breastfeeding class says, breastfeeding is not natural. It is a learned process that baby, mom and yes, dad must learn together.

Just like anything that is learned, it takes time. All the books will say your milk will come in immediately after birth. Your hormones will kick into gear and colostrums and your milk will come in within 3-4 days. This is not true. It is subjective. Do not be surprised if your milk comes in 5-6-7 days later. It will come when it comes.

Do not think you are a failure because your milk does not come in like clockwork. Remember that every body is different. Focus on the most important thing, feed the baby. If your milk is not plentiful or has not come in within the time frame you think it should come and you feel your baby is hungry, give him/her formula supplements. It will not confuse the baby. The most important thing is a thriving baby. Use an SNS tube to supplement with formula while you practice and get your child used to latching onto your breast.

Get help. From day one, schedule a lactation consultant visit/appointment. If you are not happy with her, ask friends/family/nurses/new moms for a recommendation. I received my recommendation from my pediatrician. She knew my parenting style. She knew the needs of my child and so I trusted her. Later on, several other moms in the building gave me the same LC as a referral. If you are fortunate to have a lactation physician in your area, schedule an appointment. She will give you medical advice as well as BF’g assistance.

Join an online BF’s group, preferably one by due date so you are chatting with women at the same stage as you. Trust me. When it’s 3am and you are in tears because you are feeding, pumping, not letting down, etc… being able to vent to women who are at the same stage as you helps. The cheerleading that goes on is not saccharine. Everyone there truly understands if not more than anyone else what you are going through with BF’g and other post partum and new mommy related items.

On or around the end of your first post partum week, your breasts are going to be on fire. They will feel heavy and hurt like nothing you’ve felt before. Pump. For the love of anything holy, pump. Actually, take a hot shower, massage the breasts with the showerhead and then pump.

Whenever possible, use a hospital grade pump. It will hurt less and will assist with pumping more until you get the hang of it. It also has the strength and capacity to handle multiple pumps throughout the day. I’m actually considering renting one for my office because it is so much more comfy than the portable one I have.

Use the SNS feeding tube for breast milk and/or formula. Why? You have not had any time to rest. Your body was put through the ringer. Your hormones are leaking out of you like a sieve. Breastfeeding and pumping takes its toll on you emotional, mentally and physically. Have your husband help with one or two feedings so you can rest your body. A rested body is a healthier body to which you can produce more milk and not wind up crying on your couch while your child latches onto your boob as you rock him/her more to console yourself than him/her.

Another added bonus of the SNS tube is that you’re going to feel like you are not producing enough milk. By pumping and feeding it via the tube, you get to see the progress you are making. It may be slow but there will be progress.

Yes, you may find yourself on the couch in tears rocking your child at some point during the first week. You are not a bad mom. This is normal. This probably will happen during the wee hours of the night when hopelessness blankets like the dark of night. If your partner is up, he should definitely cheerlead you and give you assurances. He should also take the baby so you can go to the bathroom and freshen up. Take a bath/shower/wash your face/pee. Do anything for yourself.

I know many people are against dairy but have a bar of chocolate or some ice cream in the house. By mid-week, you are going to need a little pick me up and the a little chocolate endorphin action goes a long way.

Partners should attend any lactation classes/consultations. Not only will your brain be mush but just by physically being present will give you that added support structure you need.

Speaking of support, if you have naysayers or those who won’t support your goals or give you negative criticism surrounding you, dump them for awhile. Give them the post partum, new baby exhaustion line. You do not need negative energy at this time. Partners should also body guard you from them. Unfortunately, sometimes Grandmoms may needed to be added to this mix.

Set goals. Set realistic goals. People laughed at me when I said my first goal was to make it 14 days. It seemed short but in reality, when you are deep in the thicket of BF hell, day 3 seems like day 365. When you reach that goal, even if production is minimal, you made it and you’ll feel better and ready to hit your next goal. My next goal is to make it one month and to move away from the SNS tube.

Every day praise yourself and your baby. Start the morning feeding with a happy thought. Today’s feedings are going to be better than yesterdays? Why? Because all that practice is going to make it so.

When using the breast pump, make sure the shied holds your breast snuggly so when the suctioning begins, your breast doesn’t retract all the way back. If it does, you are not suctioning efficiently. Readjust. It also helps to increase the suctioning for a few pumps and then lower it to increase the snugness of your breast onto the shield.

Also use your palms to massage your breasts as you pump and do not pump for more than 15 minutes. It will be counterproductive to you and you’ll find it more of a chore and it’s not going to help produce more. You can do this by making ‘V’s with your fingers and hook them on each outer side of the breastshield. You’ll look like your fondling yourself which will make your husband laugh and stare for awhile.

Don’t feel obligated to increase the suctioning to pump more. It is subjective. For me, my let down happened at the lower settings. The doctor recommended to keep it at a lower setting. For you it may be different. Experiment but know suctioning should not hurt.

Don’t get too hung up on a diary. You’ll become compulsive and that again will be counterproductive.

When using an SNS feeding tube, hooking it onto your shirt is not always possible. Take advantage of the still lustrous hair you have. Ponytail it and clip the bottle to your ponytail.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Lesson 862: Getting a BF groove takes more than 2 weeks

14 days old

Happy 2 week birthday, BG!

Hubby found a way to make BG calm down during a particularly challenging gas attack or bowel movement, he places her in a modified child’s pose on the Boppy. The pressure on her belly relieves the gas or intestinal discomfort. Our pediatrician said it is really strange to see how besides themselves a baby is when it comes to their digestive tract. I figure, I’ve been processing all her food for her for 10 months. She’s expected to learn to digest, pull out the nutrients and weed out the waste from day 1. That’s got to be as tough for her as it is for me to learn to breastfeed her. We’ve both got our homework.

Anyway, being the worry wart that is part of mommy personality, whenever hubby places BG in child’s pose, I make him promise not to leave her sight. “The doctor even said that we were raised in child’s pose.” “Yes, but I’ve heard and read and seen enough ‘Back to Sleep’ informational pamphlets to be paranoid. For your wife’s sanity, do not leave your baby’s side when she’s in child’s pose.” “Yes, dear.”

On the breastfeeding front, I expressed 2 ounces during one particular pumping session today. Talk about increasing my endorphins when I hit that 2 ounce mark. On average I’m still at 1.5 ounces with my left breast being the Michael Phelps of expression.

I finally received a call back from the lactation physician. She wrote my information incorrectly and was unable to contact me. She came today for a consultation. She asked me a bunch of questions over the phone and asked what I wanted to do. I suppose I could have just taken her phone consult but I needed the assurance and the support.

She is a physician and a lactation consultant. She took my medical history, my husband’s medical history, examined my breasts, weighed BG before and after feedings, assessed BG, watched latching, feeding and pumping and made assessments and gave me tips and suggestions.

First the good news. BG is back to her birth weight! Thanks to the aggressive pump and feed and supplement of formula, she’s back to her birth weight in less than 5 days from her last weigh in. That was the news I was looking for. Thank you, Lord!
As for my concerns with milk production, she told me that she believes I do not have a milk production problem. 1.5 ounces per pump every two hours is not a bad thing at 2 weeks post partum. She told me that my breasts look good, my let down is good and the latching seems to be good. She believes BG has a short frenulum but she doesn’t think that snipping it would be necessary. She’s just a slow eater. She’s got a good suck but just gets too cozy on the breast. Instead of 2 sucks then a swallow, it takes her 3 sucks then a swallow.

She said with continued herbal usage (blessed thistle and fenugreek), I should be up to 3 ounces within 4 weeks. If I want to try to increase this earlier, we can opt for medications.

I told her I’d like to hold off on medications but I’m not sure if I can continue the aggressive every 2 hour pumping sessions and SNS tube feedings as needed. She changed my schedule to breast/SNS feed as BG needs it. No longer do I have to wake her up every 3 hours to eat. After meals, I should pump for 15 minutes of 2 minutes after let down stops. She showed me how to use the pump more efficiently and suggested a lower setting for me as it seems my let down happens at lower settings. Most women let down at higher sucking settings.

She wants me to increase my oatmeal, almond, barley intake and continue usage of the herbal supplements. If all goes well, she wants me to give her a follow up call next week.

She left and I felt so much better. I know it sounds crazy but that reassurance was what I needed to help boost my confidence in my BF’g. I took a 3 hour nap for the first time since delivery and woke up refreshed and ready to face another day of BF’g.

2 ounce pump!

Made it to my first BF goal: hit the two week mark. My next goal is 1 month.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Someday I'll probably drive my daughter crazy too

Baby Blues by Rick Kirkman & Jerry Scott

13 days old

I think mothers forget how much work it is to have a newborn in the house. Hubby thinks in our situation our parents had their parents look after us so they didn’t have to deal with everything we are dealing with.

Collectively, our parents have asked us for everything except respect the fact we are limited in our time and scope outside of our newborn child. Everything from, what color is her eyes? “For the last time, they really don’t know until they are 6 months old.” to we want photos to how do I work my cell phone have been asked of us.

They get upset if I can’t have long chats or refuse to pick up the phone. They wonder why we turn the ringer off our phone. They comment why we ask them not to ring the front door bell. “You’re not teaching her to get used to the everyday noises.” “Mom, I don’t need to set off the chain reaction of doorbell, two barking dogs and a screaming child during this early stage. I just need her to sleep.”

In a strange way I feel like I need to appease them which led to a horrific night the other night. My husband has reminded me that I no longer can appease my parents and must focus on our family and the needs of our family.

Thankfully one of our moms is out of state. Yes, she harasses us with numerous phone calls and comments on how we are raising our child (This ticks me off more than anything. but at least she’s not giving me the guilt trip my mom is giving me. “Don’t deny me time with my granddaughter.”

All I need is time myself. All we need is time to learn about each other. I don’t need you hovering over us telling me what I’m doing wrong. I don’t need you flailing your arms over my daughter scaring her and I very well don’t need you guys to come over, hold her, comment that she has stinky farts and then not check or change her diaper. For goodness sake, you had her in your arms for 30 minutes and you didn’t think to check or change her diaper? How is that supposed to make me feel? You can’t have the good times with the kid and think I’ll take care of the other parts.

You want to help? Why don’t you offer to do my laundry. You know how much laundry a newborn has. Or maybe you can offer to learn how we’re raising our kid. Yes, that’s right, we don’t use a bottle. We’re trying hard to stick with the breast so when hubby feeds her, he uses the SNS feeding tube. Yes, this is more work but we’re really trying to commit to this.

On a side note, I’m still only producing a little under 2 ounces each pump. I’m a little bummed about this. I’m taking fenugreek and milk thistle and Carol at church gave me tips like drink plenty of water and eat high protein/carb meals and cut out dairy. The pediatrician said that I should be producing a minimum of 2 ounces during each pump and it should steadily increase. What I would do to be one of the ladies who told me they were geysers.

My baby now goes beyond 2 ounces during certain feedings. Even with the SNS and breast, she needs more. Today, I was able to give her 6 feedings with expressed breast milk (EBM) and 3 feedings with formula. At least the ratio is still high on the BM front but if I could produce more, I could store it and not have to worry about missing a pump or two or three. I had to give her formula three times today because she was so hungry and didn’t want to be anywhere but my arms, I couldn’t pump.

Going back to my rant. I know our parents don’t mean to be a pain in the tush but they are right now. They are just as needy as our kid but it’s worse, they are adults. They should know better. “Honey, they had their moms live with them and take care of us for them. They don’t know how hard this is nor do they have the capacity to do this. They want the fun stuff and forgot the hard parts.”

I’m just sick of the comments. Why do we do it this way? Why don’t we do it the easy way? Why do we wake her up every 4 hours if she doesn’t wake up for a feeding? Why do we make it such a quiet environment? Why do we restrict visits to day light hours? Why can’t more than 2 people visit? Why can’t they show off their grandchild to acquaintances by inviting them to our house? Yes, one of our moms thought it would be appropriate to have acquaintances self invite themselves to our home to see our less than 2 week old child.

We said to them awhile back numerous times, “We want to have the opportunity you guys had. You raised us the way you wanted to raise us. Let us raise our child the way we want to raise our child. Didn’t it upset you when your parents gave you a hard time?”

I suppose that goes out the window as soon as they become grandmoms. I gave both moms a book during Christmas about being a Nuevo-grandmom. I swear they didn’t read it. I know my mom didn’t read it. Rookiemoms suggests another book as well, The Granny Diaries. Man, I’d love to buy this for them and give it to them. Excerpts from Amazon express exactly what I feel should be conveyed at this juncture. At first I felt weird about giving this to them without them feeling insulted but now I seriously don’t care.

I feel as if they don’t realize our feelings and are so focused on their own that they’ve lost perspective.

Sure, I may have also lost my perspective but I’m entitled to. I’m a new mom. My old life and schedule has completely been thrown out the window. My life now revolves around this tiny human being that needs me for the basics, food, waste & soothing. I’m emotionally drained. I feel like I’m not providing right with the food issues and my husband is on the cusp of going back to work full time and I’ll be on my own with this child and heat wave that has locked us in our home.

First over 7 hours completely alone with BG
We were doing well until the afternoon when sleeping after a feeding became an issue. All in all it was a good test for next week as hubby returns to a full time work schedule.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Meltdown in front of mom

12 days old

We had an extremely rough night last night. I’m not sure if the change in routine was the culprit or just newborn newness. We don’t have a schedule but we do have a routine. I’m not sure is BG realizes there is a method to our madness.

For example, I try to catch her before she cries. So far on average, she sleeps for 3-4 hours with me. I try to wake up before this time period or if I’m awake (which is most common) I rush to the bathroom, brush my teeth, wash my face, go to the kitchen, prep the tube feeding bottle, bring a bottle of water to the BF chair and prep the changing the table.

That way when I’m ready to pick her up, I can change her diaper and get ready to feed her before she’s absolutely inconsolable.

Afterwards, I burp her and hold her upright for 20 minutes and then swaddle and soothe her to sleep. Once she’s down which can take as long as 30 minutes to 1 hour, I run to grab a snack and eat while pumping.

If I’m lucky, I’ll have a moment in between to nap or fold a load of laundry. Forget about anything that requires more time or more effort.

Anyway, yesterday my mother asked to come visit again. Of course, she has to visit around 6:30/7pm. This is the time, I generally try to segue into the evening/nighttime schedule. Still, I didn’t want to hear the guilt so I obliged.

Of course, all hell broke loose. I could tell that she wasn’t happy that hubby was in the bedroom getting her ready for evening nap. So I asked him to bring her out. From there it was my mother upset that the baby was upset and hubby saying it was because her schedule is being thrown off wack. Mom got ready to leave. I told her if she left without expressing what she felt, that would be the end. I wouldn’t discuss another day. She stayed.

Then she asked my hubby to print photos for her. I told her yes but not today and she got upset.

I had hubby feed BG while I calmed my mother down. Then it became a whole, why do you do it this way discussion that never ends well with in-laws.

Then to appease my mother again, I tried to print photos for her and wound up dropping my printer and breaking my favorite lamp while my mother carried my crying daughter.

Hubby rushes in and calms me and my mom finally takes the queue to go home. Hubby grabs BG and mom goes to the broken glass and printer, grabs some photos and gets ready to leave.

Hubby smells a poop diaper and asks me to take care of it while he scoots my mother out. Of course, she has to stand there and watch as I change the diaper. She also decides she could help by pulling up BG’s shirt and putting it over her face and hands so she doesn’t flail. This upsets BG and I push my mother away. I just want my mom to go so I can calm this tired child.

She waits until I finish diapering her and leaves. I feel tired and frustrated. Those began our endless night of crying and more crying with no clear reason for the crying.

Again, anything could have caused this episode. Maybe it was the change in schedule. Maybe it was gas. Maybe it was overstimulation from having so many people (4 visitors +2 parents) in one shot. Who knows.

In the end though, at 2am, hubby had enough. He and I agreed no visitors after 6pm from now on and visitors must stick to our request of no more than 2 people especially as we are trying to learn her queues and schedule and she needs her vaccinations.

Again, I’ve been trying to appease everyone, my husband, my parents, my in-laws, my child that I need to stand firm for the well being of my family.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Naps. Naps, Naps. All I need is naps.

Baby Blues by Rick Kirkman & Jerry Scott
11 days old

I’m trying to pump at least 8 times a day and feed at least 8 times a day.

I can generally do this with a nap in between and with Hubby handling finger feeds during the 1-4am hour. As long as BG and I stay within a schedule She wakes every 3-4 hours and gets to napping fairly easily most of the time. we’ll be ok.

I’ve learned if she doesn’t get enough food or naps, she’s uber-cranky. She’s too young to soothe herself so she just cries and hopes we can settle her down for a nap. So I suppose even though newborns don’t have a real schedule there is an outline and one would be wise to learn it and use it as much as possible.

All this feeding leaves little time for me to eat. Today was the first time my appetite really was hitting me. I learned to cook stuff one handed or eat fast eats. I suppose that’s a milestone.
At 1am this morning, BG had the mother of all poops. DH has been the witness and diaper changer for most poops. We didn’t do this on purpose, it just kind of happened. Anywho, all I heard from my husband was, “Oh My God. Oh My. Oh, Man. She’s not stopping.”

He was mid change when it began. Hubby probably went through a box of wipes and 4-5 diapers for this poop. He was quite impressed. Aside from my husband’s play by play and comments, the most humorous thing about the event was how BG was silent as a church mouse. It was as if she was in total concentration and had to focus all her energy on releasing her bowels.

Needless to say, she slept well after that massive poopers.

I tried pumping but got too exhausted and let it be. Sometimes you can’t force it, especially when it’s 3am and all, hubby, baby and wife, are walking zombies.

I did have a good routine last night though. I slept, woke up, pumped and went back to sleep. Hubby took care of BG until 5am and I took over. It was a much needed reprieve. Don’t get me wrong, I love my BG but spending over every waking hour caring for her is tiring. You just need ‘me’ time. When you are a parent, I’m slowly learning ‘me’ time includes: naps, laundry and walks to the corner shops.

Yes, if I can’t get out of the house for a stroll, I’ll take doing laundry, a nap or walking to the corner supermarket. It’s time I’m not concerned with my breasts, nap schedules and feed schedules.

Last night, I also found hubby lying down with BG on his chest. It reminded me of my dad and how there are pictures of me lying on his chest as we both slept. She also has a tendency to pull out her arms from her swaddle and sleep either with both hands reclining up by her head or one hand up and her face leaning towards it. She also like to lean towards a side. The reclining reminds me of my husband. The rolling and leaning to a side freaks me out.

The lactation consultant called today to follow up. I told her I’m practicing the latching. The free arm is still an issue but when hubby is around he helps me move it. I’m still concerned as I’m not producing as much milk as I thought I’d would. I left a message with the physician lactation expert but she hasn’t called me back. Beverly reminded me to call her again for a prolactin check. I called again but the voice mail is full. I guess I’ll try again over the weekend.

Used the bulb doodad to suck out two whoppers from BG’s nose. The first nostril, she didn’t mind. The second one she didn’t like too much.
Massive poopie So big, it potentially could have been one of those explodes up the back poops if hubby didn’t catch it in the act.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Milestone First Car Trip Mommy/Daughter

10 days old

Got home by myself with BG. She didn’t stop eating. I didn’t mind the boob latching but the tube feeding complicates things.

I pump my breasts because I’m not sure how much I’m able to give her every feeding. I need to put that in the feed tube and then add formula to reach the recommended 2-3 oz/feeding for BG. I then need to tape the tube to my boob, initiate the bottle and get her to latch.

I’d make my life and my husband’s life easier if I just said, I’ll express and dump it in a bottle. We’ll see. Today on the way to the pediatricians, I felt bad BG was missing a feeding so I gave her a bottle. She hated it. The flow was too fast and the nipple didn’t fit right in her mouth. I guess that made me feel better. I immediately gave her the feed tube through my finger and she calmed down.

The pediatrician said she gained weight since her weigh in with the lactation consultant. She wants us to come again on Tuesday. She wants to see she’s growing in weight. She also told me that if I decide not to continue BF’g, I’m not less of a mom.

Hubby was with me at this visit. I was grateful. He asked some insightful questions. He won’t be able to make the next session so it will be my first full trip by myself with BG.

Hubby woke up this morning just as I was putting BG down in the bassinet. He stood there and just hugged me for a very long time. He kissed me gently and made me feel what I hope my BG feels when I cradle her. I so needed it.

He later told me that he gives me credit and any woman who decides to BF. He didn’t know it would be this hard and this demanding. He said he’d probably would have given up already and just switched to formula. He’s not pressuring me because he knows this means a lot to me.

I have no problem expressing it and giving it to her via a bottle if I have to. I’m not completely obsessed over breast latching. I just want to give her the benefits I read about. Of course, now, I think I’m doing a bit better with the latching. The first two feedings of the day took 40 minutes to an hour unlike the usual 1.5 hours. However if I don’t catch her hunger queues early and if I don’t have everything prepped and ready to go, it can get chaotic and last a good 1.5 hours.

Speaking of bad feeding, after the pediatricians, hubby had to go to work. I dropped him off and for the first time, I drove home alone with BG. Thankfully, she was asleep. I was dreading driving home with her screaming like a banshee. I knew she missed a meal and would be cranky.

Anyway, the entire drive home, I drove moderately and kept checking on her at every red light. Unlike hubby who seemed to hit traffic everywhere and swerve left and right to avoid crazy drivers, everyone seemed to be ok around me. I was extremely thankful.

We made it home, parked the car, snapped the stroller together and made it back into the apartment without a peep. Thank you Jesus. She even tolerated the heat wave fairly well.

I immediately prepped some formula for her and arranged her for the feed. I woke her up and fed her the entire bottle as well as the breastmilk I pumped before we left. I changed her diaper. I’m going nuts. How do you tell your baby peed? These diapers make it difficult. I swear it’s always moist. I redressed her and swaddled her.

I cuddled her and sang her to sleep. I put her in the bassinet and proceeded to pump. 6 minutes into the session, she screams bloody hell. I check her diaper, I cuddle her and even multitask and drink some soup while rocking her. She doesn’t stop.

The last thing I can think of is food. I drop her in the bassinet screaming as I prep the formula and tube and tape the sucker onto my breast. I grab her, undress her and latch her which takes forever as she’s red as a turnip and flailing her free arm.

After several failed attempts, we stick it and she nurses. I’m so exhausted at this point (no naps since 5am, pediatrician appointment & first drive home by myself) I just let her continue to soothe suck and drink even though she looks tired and near sleep. ½ way through the formula, she stops completely. I de-latch her, burp her, change her diaper again (they always feel wet.), clothe her and swaddle her.

This time, I’m reluctant to put her in the bassinet just yet. I cradle her as I read my emails. I look down at my baby girl and she poot smiles and I laugh. The above photo is one of her poot smiles I captured with my cell phone. I give her a gentle kiss and tell her I love her, smelly poots and all.

I finally make the attempt to put her down as I realize that I have not pumped my breasts since 4:30pm. I know she’s been sucking on them since but I’m still hoping to increase my production.

I put BG down in the bassinet and rush to do everything before she wakes up again. I go to the loo, wash formula mixing stuff and prep formula for the next session, just in case she wakes up hungry in less than 3 hours.

This is when I notice my hubby has put the television remote in the fridge. Yes, the remote is in the fridge. I took a camera shot of it for memory sake.

I grab my laptop and hook up my boobs and begin pumping. I pumped for 30 minutes. During the session, hubby comes home upset. I’m waiting for him to tell me that he’s upset because he knows I don’t want him to go to the gym so I can get some shut eye.

Instead he tells me that he received a ticket on the motorcycle because he didn’t move it and in his sleep deprived state, he lost his cell phone, my only lifeline to him when he’s not here. I grab my phone to call his phone when I notice I missed a call. I call it back and a gentleman named Andy says he has my husband’s phone.

Hubby takes the phone and thanks the man profusely stating that he’s kicking himself because it has a ton of newborn photos of his daughter and is the only lifeline to me when he’s not home. They arrange to meet and hubby gets his phone and our first photo of BG poot smiling thanks to a good Samaritan.

Now, I’m going to nap until her next feeding.

On a side note, even though hubby has been driving me nuts and treating me well at the same time, I’ve never felt more love for him than right now at this very moment. I don’t know why but it is very intense right now. I know he should be here more often but he’s not going out to party. He’s paying his dues to go towards his goals and I guess that’s why I’m not stopping him. Besides if he was here, he’d probably be so grumpy and moppy that he’d drive me nuts.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that. I love my husband and hope this tiredness, grumpiness and all around exhaustion will end soon so we can cuddle and take a long long nap.

First mommy/daughter car trip - From Chelsea to home
First time mom set up stroller and car seat by herself – And she didn’t even wake you Gold star for mommy
First time mommy had to set you down while crying so she could sanely get you to stop crying. – I wouldn’t if I could have sprouted a third arm but sometimes, you need to learn that I can’t be there for you immediately but that doesn’t mean I’m not feeling your pain. Trust me. It hurt me to put you down crying but I knew it was for the better.
First time mom had to do two continuous feedings back to back. – Talk about feeling like a cow. I’m certain this won’t be the last time either.
First photo of BG's reflex smiling while sleeping. – Btw, this photo keeps me going, baby girl.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

“Little steps. Little steps will lead us to big steps.”

9 days old

It is amazing how quickly you will make up a song for your child. Today I sang about little steps. I suppose it was a little mantra for myself.

I couldn’t handle 5-7 minute breast feeds/hour on top of regular feedings (apx takes 1.5 hours) and 15 minute pumping sessions afterwards. I just felt like I was living on the pump and nothing was coming out. I felt my negative energies pulling me down.

Instead I did what my body and mind thought was best. I am pumping every 2 hours and feeding her every 3 hours with my milk/formula either on the breast via a tube or when it’s my husband via the tube and his finger.

These 1.5 hour feedings though are torture. She just keeps sleeping and when I try to latch her, her free hand (the one not tucked under) flails all over my tender nipple.

I researched techniques to keep baby awake. We are no stripping her down to her diaper and cranking the a/c. When she starts sleeping I blow on her face or neck. If that doesn’t work, I lean back to make her suck on the boob more. If that doesn’t work, I run a cool washcloth around her face and neck. If that doesn’t work, I de-latch and burp her.

As for the latch, Beverly showed me how to get more boob into her mouth. Essentially, I need to use the heel of my hand on her shoulder blade and push her to my boob which is cupped into this bottom is inserted first position. I feel like I’m hurting her neck or spine but Beverly says she is fine.

Of course BG is compliant during the session. Now in the early morning hours she’s tugging on the tube and crying. Eventually we get it. I don’t think it is at 100% but ‘little steps’.

Hubby videotaped some of the session so I can refer to it later.
I’m working on the following:
I’m using Judy’s analogy of a burger to get the roll the breast into the mouth thing going. Thanks Judy.

Relaxing and increasing milk production
I’m taking Fenugreek and Milk Thistle. I left a message for a lactation consultant/MD to discuss testing my prolactin levels.

Relaxing and reducing time spent feeding at the breast
Currently it takes about an hour and half to get through 2 oz of milk/formula. It is not only tiring for BG but also for me. I don’t know how to reduce the time but I’m hoping the above two can help.

Oh, I received the August copy of Parents magazine today. On the cover, 5 Guilty Secrets of New Moms. This article fit me to a tee. It expresses everything I’ve been feeling these past few days.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Is there something wrong with my boobs?

8 days old

Hubby and I established another pattern. He handles the 1-4am shift most of the time and I handle the 4-10/11am shift. I still get up to pump and/or feed (much to the chagrin of my husband) but if I want production to develop, I need to. I don’t think he understands the supply/demand end of BF’g.

Anyway, so far the late shift hasn’t been consistent. Some days it’s great. Some days it’s horrible. I guess that’s a pattern, sort of.

It’s funny how much as a new parent I’m looking for a pattern. Every book has guidelines. Everyone has signs to look for. It’s not that I’m trying to be normal. It’s that I want some logic in my topsy turvy life.

Today I met with the lactation consultant, Beverly. She was sweet and patient. She measured BG. She lost more weight. She told me we need to boost her weight now. She watched me feed her, gave me latching tips and tips to keep her awake. She also listened to my concerns about my milk production. She calmly gave me herbal recommendations and a physician reference to check my prolactin levels.

She also should us how to tube feed more food (formula/breast). She also recommended a hospital grade pump. She gave hubby tips on burping and soothing her and gave me homework.

Focus: Priority is to feed the baby. Second priority is stimulate my milk production.

For feeding the baby:
Feed her 60 mL of supplement (pump breast milk or formula) every feeding.

For milk stimulation:
Rent a hospital grade pump.
For the next ten days I feed her every 2 hours, pump for 15-20 minutes after.
During waking hours, she would like me to also pump for 5-7 minutes to stimulate my boobs.
Take 3 fenugreek and 2 blessed thistle 3 times a day.
Call and speak to the lactation physician specialist to determine whether or not I should get my prolactin levels checked.

I told her about my feelings on fear of inadequacy because of the milk production. She calmly told me that every woman feels this way. She can’t say if there is a problem but she said focus on the objective first is the baby.

I wasn’t 100% better after she left but I did feel better sharing my apprehensions and feelings to her and since she was a relationship with BG’s pediatrician, I felt the coordinated care would be good for BG.

This time I asked hubby to stay with me during the entire session. He obliged and put me to ease.

Today’s motto: Take it one day at a time and feed the baby.

Hey now, I'm an All-Star

8 Days Old

Ok, so I still need to grow into my baseball cap but I'll be swaddled in my 'Play Ball' blanket tonight.

I may be too young to go to the final All-Star game in the current Yankee Stadium but I'm not too young to be a fan.

Anyone know where I can find an infant sized 'Godzilla/Matsui' tee/onesie?

BTW, the picture was taken one handed with a cell phone. Unfortunately I couldn't imagine myself balancing a baby, a cap and a big SLR camera to capture a better photo.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Parenthood means a shift from Couplehood, sort of.

Baby Blues by Rick Kirkman & Jerry Scott
7 days old

On giant step forward; one step back. Last night hubby and I were so stressed we fought again. He said he needed sleep and all I could think of was, “You need sleep? Are you freaking kidding me? I need a vacation. Let me give you my breasts, pump and episiotomy stitches and I’ll be back in three weeks.”

Now, before I continue, I’ll have you know, hubby and I expected we’d be at each other’s throats these first few weeks. I just don’t think we expected it would be so emotional and personal. I mean, for me at least, I know I’m being snippy and I see it but it just has to come out. For him, I’m not sure. Anyway, in the end after one of has received sleep (usually hubby), we kiss and make up. We always wind up hugging and kissing. We make it a long embrace. Just as the baby loves skin to skin contact, during these stressful periods, adult parents need it as well. Heck, I’m pretty sure, I’d be quite comfortable being swaddled and rocked to bed right now.

So my tip for any woman or man who is entering parenthood, at the end of your fight, hug and kiss and remind each other just how much you guys love each other. If you think about it, both of you are in this argument because of the love you feel for each other. Kind of scary and soothing, isn’t it?

Anyway, the fight dragged onto the morning. I was at wits end. I had been up since 3am with no break as BG didn’t stop crying. BF’g has become a dreadful chore. Hubby wakes up and finds me in the living room crying while rocking our daughter. The fight continues and I cry some more and spill my guts out about how I feel alone. He gets upset and says I’m making it sound like he’s abandoned me. I tell him it’s very difficult to understand what I’ve gone through physically, mentally and emotionally the last week. I tell him he’s had ‘me’ time but I haven’t and that I’m kicking myself for always saying yes to him. He says he doesn’t and doesn’t want to fathom it but that I shouldn’t allow him to have ‘me’ (which he doesn’t think is ‘me’ timt. time just to use against him later.

I cried some more. He made breakfast. Then he asks me to go apartment hunting today with the baby. I went to take a shower and cried.

While in the car waiting I break down and call my friend and release my frustrations. “Sounds like you feel like you’re trying to care for his needs when he should be caring for you right now. You need to stop taking care of him. You need to take care of BG and unfortunately yourself at this point.”

Hubby drags an idiot of a real estate agent into our car who gets us lost in his ‘district’. He shows us a three bedroom apartment smaller than my current apartment but hubby loves it because it’s cheap and has a terrace.

The agent tries to take us to another apartment, gets us lost and BG is crying the entire time. I give my husband the signal to go home. He cancels the go see and proceeds to yell at me for agreeing to go to the open houses when I knew very well I wasn’t ready for them. I start to cry again.

I ask him to not go home with me but to go and do what he needs to do but he refuses. Why is it men hang around when you clearly need some space? Do they think by hanging around they are going to make us feel better?

I get home, feed the baby and ask him if he contacted the Lactation Consultant? Our neighbor wasn’t home and he forgot to ask again. My hormonal self adds this to another thing he forgot to do for me. I know it’s wrong. I know he’s not forgetting on purpose but still feel it’s a bit selfish.

He finds out the number, calls and leaves a message. I review my pediatrician notes and it’s the same LC she recommended. I’m still apprehensive but at this point I know I need to know for certain what I can do and what I can’t for my baby.
Oh and hubby relieved me to take a short walk to the local supermarket. It’s the first time I set foot outside without BG. It feels good yet it takes me 20 minutes to get to the shops which are 2 blocks away. The stitches and cramps are slowing me down. At one point I consider calling a taxi to just go home. I take breaks against post boxes.

I make it to the supermarket and promptly pick up much needed mommy provisions: creamsicles, and chocolate ice cream. Mom can’t have vodka yet so Haagen Daaz will do.

I make it home after a brief vent to a friend via cell. Now if I can just get a nap in.
BG’s umbilical cord fell off early this morning. Am I/Should I do something with it?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

just call me the church lady

6 days old

Went to the 11am mass. Hubby and I agreed prior to BG’s arrival that we’d try to make it to mass on Sundays. One of us would go the early morning mass and the other would go to the later morning mass.

Hubby woke up and knew it meant a lot to me to go to mass so he lovingly took BG from my arms. I slapped on a clean shirt, put my hair up in a ponytail (my new style by convenience) and made my way to church. It was a slow go because my stitches hurt but I got there and felt a jolt on energy return to me.

Aside from mass, we also make it a point to stroll around the block once a day with BG to avoid claustrophobia. This is especially hard to do as there is no such thing as a schedule when you’ve got a newborn, you’re a new parent and you’re trying to breastfeed.

I showed off my BG at mass through pictures and made my way home knowing I have become one of those parents that shows strangers their kid photos. I grin knowing I don’t care. Everyone should see how precious and beautiful she is.

The sun rays replenish me.

First bath

Words to Live By

I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing
compared with the glory to be revealed for us.
For creation awaits with eager expectation
the revelation of the children of God. -- Romans 8:18-19

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Knock knock. Who is there?

5 Days Old

Baby Blues by Rick Kirkman & Jerry Scott

Visitors are inevitable and actually a small visit is welcome. As long as they are less than an hour, I think I can deal. Today we have two scheduled visits. One from BG’s Aunt M and Grandma J and another from Grandpa (aka Gung Gung) and Grandma (aka Paw Paw).

I asked Paw Paw to bring dinner. She happily obliged.

We wanted hubby’s half sister to come over to see her niece as hubby has always wanted more contact and interaction with his sister. Unfortunately circumstances prohibited this but these circumstances have changed and he’s hoping he can change them for the better.

I’m still swollen but my breast don’t hurt so much. I put on a brave front as this visit means so much for my husband. He gets a big gung ho though and ignores our daughter’s cries trying to spend time with his sister. I could have been nice and let him continue but I desperately needed a break and passed her over to him.

Mom came over and tried to give me instructions on the smorgasbord of food she brought over. I told her three times to not worry but tell my hubby as I am not in any state to remember anything. I also told her to spend time with her granddaughter.

Minutes later she tells me that I popped a blood vessel in my eye and I must have been pushing too hard. I look at he and smile feebly. I’m sure this will boost my spirits when I comprehend what she said.

She proceeds to tell hubby and I our daughter’s Chinese astrology horoscope and write her name in Chinese for us. She also plans her Chinese birthday dinner party. I tell her she can do what she wants but make it small and short. She obliges my request.

After a photo session by hubby, they leave with a final reminder not to deny my mother visitation rights to my daughter. I smile meekly and hubby rubs my back. “She’s not thinking of your needs but hers. Don’t stress. My job is to keep her at bay. Let me do my job.”

Friday, July 11, 2008

Technology and more about my breasts

4 days old

Grandma S (aka Ma Ma) after hearing family, my mother and us rave about BG’s photos we’ve been sending via email and cell phone finally went and got a new phone. Of course this means that hubby spent an hour searching online for her phone’s manual to show her how to view photos.

We also tried to explain she should make sure her plan allows photos for a flat fee versus single use as it can get pricey. Unfortunately we gave up the battle especially after we found out she signed with a carrier we had never heard of. “Mom, just sign up with Verizon. Verizon to Verizon are free calls.” “I don’t need my cell phone for anything for the pictures. I’ll just buy a pay as you go plan.”

I’m trying to send a picture a day at least but since days run into each, I don’t know if I’ve been successful. I figure it makes our parents happy and feel participatory.

Ma Ma asked if we needed anything. I told her kimonos for the baby. BG has been living in her Carter kimonos since we got home. The only time I put on an ‘outfit’ was when we went to the pediatrician. Honestly, the kid sleeps, eats, poops, pees and sleeps again. She doesn’t need to get dolled up.

Plus, since she falls asleep every time I put her on my breast, I have to strip her down to her diaper to get a 1 hour feeding or it will extend.

Breastfeeding is becoming more and more frustrating as I’ve started pumping to help with production and notice I only am producing 12mL of milk. I am feeling so disappointed. Here I was thinking I’d feel like a cow but right now I’m feeling like the skim milk cow that no one likes.

Hubby wakes up to find me breastfeeding her, trying to keep her awake and in tears. He comes back from a walk with the dogs to tell me our neighbor had BF problems as well and recommends a nearby lactation consultant.

I ask him to obtain the information. I’m feeling like such a loser. I can’t provide for my baby. I’m also reluctant to meet with anyone else as the last two consultants left me feeling like BF’g is normal and instinctive. What if another LC tells me this? Does that mean I’m do not have the maternal instinct?

Hubby and I have another fight. Again, it’s in the middle of the night. Another pattern. What is it about the late night/early morning that makes everyone feel desolate and despairing?

Hubby kept telling me that I can’t wake up to pump and that I need to sleep but I kept telling him 1) I naturally wake up after 2 hours. 2) My boobs hurt and need to be expressed and 3) If I want my production to increase, I seriously need to pump.

He doesn’t get it. I know he’s trying to look out for me but I’m breast obsessed and really need to get my production up to feed my baby.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

These puppies shouldn’t just be ornamentals, should they?

3 days old

One of the toughest challenges I’m having is breastfeeding. I knew it would be tough. Again, with everything else with parenthood, I didn’t know it would be this tough.

First, the sleep count, I’m still extremely sleep deprived. I’m still in the ‘wake-up-every-20-minutes’ stage of new mommyhood. You know, where you wake up freaking out because you don’t see your child, you can’t hear her and think the monitor is broken, have to check for breathing and fear you’ll sleep through her crying because you are so darn exhausted.

I know it’s all irrational but I’m still there.

Add to this that my episiotomy stitches are starting to really hurt. I’ve been living off of Dermoplast like it’s crack. I had hubby go out and buy another can for fear I’d run out. Of course I still have 2 cans but the pain is bad.

I’m also nervous about burning and infections so I’ve been using the peri bottle religiously, probably too much. It’s like a ritual now going to the bathroom. I have my little kit and I shuffle to the bathroom and do my thing. At least I have some consistency, right? Ha

Uterine contractions aren’t so bad but then again I’m telling myself the contractions are there to shrink my uterus back to its pre-pregnancy state. I guess that helps me cope with the cramps.

Now back to my breasts. Holy Toledo they hurt. They hurt like there is no tomorrow. They are hot to the touch, feel like they are going to explode and leaking something awful whenever BG cries, which is often, mind you. Hubby says it’s not that often but when your breasts leak out clear liquid every time, anything over two times in a day is often.

I’ve been placing warm compresses on them and was fortunate enough to be able to take a shower for the first time since I got home. I took the shower massager and turned it onto that pulsating mode and just let that sucker rip all over my breasts. Lord that felt good.

I’m still nervous because I don’t see white milk like stuff coming out and I’m fearing she’s losing too much weight. The pediatrician said that she’s down 9 ounces and she wants me to supplement but continue the breasts. Some folks don’t get milk until the 5th-7th day. I’m totally obsessing over my breasts and producing milk for my child at this point.

I’ve kept a diary of feedings and poops and pees. It has become obsessive compulsive. I cannot sleep without reading it and reviewing it. I know this isn’t good. I closed the book up and put it away. I need to stay focused. Baby first. Give baby her needs. I’m positive though if I just got some sleep I’d feel better and my breasts would produce nutrients for her.

Today was also our first pediatrician appointment. I really like our pediatrician but I’m so tired, concerned with pee, poop and boob and again, alone Hubby couldn’t find parking and by the time he parked the car, we were done. I can’t think straight. We schedule a 1 week follow up to monitor weight.

I explained my concerns about my breasts and her weight. I also mentioned the breastfeeding class I took now makes me feel like I’m the only one who has a baby that doesn’t know what to do with my boobs. I told the lactation consultant at the hospital I thought something was wrong with my nipple. She laughed for about 2 minutes. I also told her the lactation consultant I saw every day at the hospital was so inundated with patients, I didn’t feel she properly had time for me and just rushed me.

She gave me a number of a woman she recommends who makes house visits. It’s a bit pricey but worth it. I take it home sort of feeling like a failure and reliving my mother’s words that I’d have problems with my milk production. I feel awful and hubby knows it. He’s trying to be a cheerleader but I know he’s thinking life would be easier if I just use formula. Why is it men think c-sections and formula are the way to go? Still he appeases me and continues to assist with finger feedings.

Oh, did I mention the edema? Holy crap, the IV and the pitocin have caused me to swell so badly. I feel awful, I think I look awful and I’m just plain in a crappy mood. Again, if I could just sleep I’m sure I’d feel better and things would have a better outlook.

The only high point of the day was when we took BG to see Sister Adelina. Sister gave me a piece of relic to bring with me to the hospital. I brought it with me and on the date of St. Francis Cabrini’s canonization as the first American saint, I gave birth to our daughter. I wanted to thank her for her prayers and intentions and tell her that I believe that St. Francis Cabrini is a personal protector of my daughter.

When we got there, they were so happy to see us, Sister touched our baby girl with another piece of relic and said a prayer for her. It made me feel good that we brightened Sister’s day with our brief visit.

First hiccups outside the womb. She has this look of what’s up with this? It’s so cute.
First sponge bath

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Love Plus One, It's not all about me, but it should be.

2 Days Old

Baby Blues by Rick Kirkman & Jerry Scott

In little over 48 hours, we came home to a new chapter in our lives. It is no longer us two but now us three. We are a family.

We introduced the dogs to our new addition. The night before, hubby brought home a dirty diaper and a swaddler to introduce the dogs to BG’s scent. Both dogs greeted BG with sniffs and wagging tails. Z-girl seemed more interested in my arrival home. I gave her a pet and a kiss.

I wish the hospital or someone offered a crash course on how to take care of a newborn before you leave. Sure we took infant care classes but nothing prepares you for the feeling of complete lack of knowledge that you will feel the first few days at the hospital and at home. Something tells me I’m going to feel this way for awhile.

I have a feeling of exhilaration yet apprehension. So many things to think about. So many things to do. So many things to worry about. Push Push Push those thoughts out. Focus on the now. Focus on the baby. Focus on caring for myself. I’ve spent nearly 12 years focusing on my husband and myself and now I need to switch gears.

Unfortunately that isn’t as easy as you think it is. Yes, motherhood instincts to protect your child kick in pretty quickly, at least for me, but it’s much easier to focus and care for an adult human than it is for newborn. I know that doesn’t make sense. On paper, newborns need love, food, diaper changes, soothing and sleep. Sure, these things seem easily accomplishable for an average adult human but they aren’t. First, you need to ascertain which of these items is what she needs. Second, you need to provide it for them.

Love, I’m pretty sure came with the pregnancy package. I love my BG more than anything in the world.

Diaper changes aren’t fun, especially when I can’t tell if she peed or not. These super absorbent diapers make it difficult. The vaginal hormonal discharge also scares the bejesus out of me but I think that has mostly passed. For the most part, I can change a diaper, albeit reluctantly as she cries holy terror sometimes while we do it.

Soothing, I’m fairly certain I can do. She seems to like being in my arms and listening to my voice. She especially likes stories, bouncing and when I sing her a song. It’s actually one of the few things that I feel I’m providing for her.

Sleep, well, she likes to sleep on my chest. She has a long stretch of nap usually around 5am. It usually coincides with hubby’s sleep shift. Hubby and I are trying to get into a habit of him sleeping around 4am. When he goes back to work, it’s going to be super hard but if we can try to develop a shift schedule at night, he can get some shut eye.

I think hubby and I knew this would be hard but had no idea it would be this hard. Hubby actually thought that there could be a schedule developed within 3 days. I told him no. I’m new to this but I’m fairly certain any type of schedule, feedings, naps, outings, etc… would take at least a good month to establish and it would always fluctuate.

Still he tried to incorporate everyday family of two items immediately which didn’t quite work out. He tried to get us to go to Target but didn’t realize that her feeding would run into the time frame. Since I’m new to breastfeeding (BF’g), I wasn’t quite comfortable yet with the public BF’g. Plus, BG isn’t keen on car rides just yet.

Being dazed, confused, in pain and a newbie, I went along with some of these things, including 3-4 hour absences from hubby so he could go to the gym, do his personal errands, etc. Looking back, I should have been more selfish. Yes, it is healthy to get out of the house and have some ‘me’ time and one of us should have some level of sanity but all my hormones felt was abandoned. I didn’t feel sacrificial but I did feel like I couldn’t even pee at the hospital by myself and here I am in desperate need of a shower and some sleep and my husband is worried about being a ‘fatty daddy’ and went to hit the gym.

Now, don’t get me wrong, my husband is not a clod. I think both of us are at a stage where we need to learn to let go of our past life a little, retain some and start new pages in our book of family.

During the first few days, you and your spouse will fight. You will argue. You will be irrational. As a woman, I can say, it is normal and to be expected. As a good friend said to me, “You did just give birth to a human being. I think you deserve a little more coddling but you need to coddle your baby. Your husband should be coddling you.”

Your hormones have dropped significantly so you’re completely loopy. One moment, you are laughing you tush off, the next you’re crying because you feel isolated and out of control. Moments later, you’re in total awe, wonder and enchantment because your baby just cracked a smile while she was napping.

I guess this entry is to say, you will drive each other crazy but in the end, you need to hug and be more understanding. Hubby needs to be more understanding of my needs (and not just display it by yelling at me for not napping.) I need to be more understanding that I most let go and most importantly be more expressive of what I need from hubby and not just think he’ll figure it out.