Friday, August 29, 2008


1 Month, 3 Weeks & 1 Day

It's been awhile. Last Friday our internet connection went down. It didn't come back up until Monday. I took the opportunity to do my annual sabbatical from the internet.

I spent most of the week trying to learn more about my daughter and soak up how much she's grown in the last 7 weeks. I believe she's almost 11 pounds. Before I know it she will outgrow size 1 diapers! I can visually see she's gotten taller. I pray she will be taller than her 5'3" mom. Her feet our outgrowing her size 0-3 socks. Her head is getting bigger but she still has a way to go to grow into her '1st NY Yankee's cap. Her hands are getting bigger and stronger everyday.

She is more expressive and vocalizes more often. Sometimes she vocalizes with cries but mom prefers the ooh, ahhs and coos, especially during our walks in the park.

She seems to be interested in items that light up or are lit, like our lamps. We're considering buying the fisher price stars on the ceiling thingamabob.

She's also increased her late night sleeping and decreased her late night feedings to twice a night.

I've also grown in mommyhood. With my sabbatical I stopped logging every feeding, every pump and every poop and let my instincts guide me. I'm not sure if this relaxed me or as someone suggested my surgery queued my body but I am very confident my daughter gets her nutrients from my breast. In fact, for the last few days, I've given her my breast exclusively. DH does gives her the bottle during late night feedings.

I'm pumping 3-4 times a day instead of every 3 hours and I'm not obsessing over quantity as much, although I do smile and pat myself on the back when I can get a whole bottle (4 ounces) in one pump.

I've been able to nap with my husband every night, except for two, and we're cuddling a bit more.

I'm still learning her queues but at the same time there are so many to learn. You get through one hurdle and then you are met with another and the questions begin.
Am I supposed to instill a schedule now? If yes, how when she's still eating every two hours? We have a sort of schedule. Baths, unless absolutely necessary, are done in the early evening before bedtime. Dad does the bathing and mom does the massaging. We read from a book every evening and change books once a week. Every morning, we rinse her face and change her clothes. In the evening we do the same but then swaddle and start 'quiet' time. Still, I'm not sure if she's process this yet. Plus the time fluctuates based on her naps and I'm not about to wake up my child.

Baby Lessons

How do babies know if you are sitting or standing?
She could be sleeping on my shoulder and the minute I sit down, she wakes up and fusses. It's incredible.

Friday, August 22, 2008


1 Month , 2 Weeks & 1 Day

Baby Blues by Rick Kirkman & Jerry Scott
BG, you are at a stage now where you are interacting a little bit. I think this is the stage that your dad can probably appreciate more. I think it’s hard to bond with a baby when there is very little expression other than sad, crying, confusion and peaceful slumber.

You are also cooing a lot more and when we put you on your side on the activity mat, you don’t like tummy time, you have fun cooing and quietly staring at yourself or the dangling lion, duck and horse. Dad said today he hopes for more quiet play and alert time.

I believe you are also increasing your milk intake to 3 ounces each feeding. Yesterday you were ravenous and drank 4 ounces each feeding. Then again, yesterday you weren’t on the boob as much as I had surgery and was a bit tired and groggy. We’ll try to make up for that today.

Things I never thought I’d do or say
Bathroom trips can sometimes be a race to beat my personal best time
Nothing makes you go to the bathroom faster than a screaming child. In the battle between nature and baby, nature’s calling usual wins although I’ve been known to hold it on occasion when BG really needs me. What is amazing though is how when you just can’t hold it any longer, how fast you will try to do your business so that you can go back and attend to the screaming child in the other room.

First shower with BG hanging out in the bathroom with me
I really needed a shower and you were wide awake so I put you on the bouncer and you hung out on the floor by the sink while I took a shower. You amused yourself for the entire shower and I was able to even towel dry myself and put lotion on.

Your first smiles
You are truly adorable when you smile and you are now smiling more frequently when you see my face or your dad’s face. No longer are we getting a glimpse of your smile while you sleep. You are actually smiling socially to us! Your dad swears that you laughed too.

You soothed yourself to sleep
After your bath, massage, dinner and a swaddle, I put on some soft music, placed you on your bouncer and went to the kitchen to clean the bath supplies. You cried a bit, not to loudly and then soothed yourself to a nap. You woke up a few times and cried but each time you soothed yourself back to sleep. I’m so proud of you.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

You really need to be your child's advocate when it comes to breastfeeding

1 Month & 2 Weeks

I just need to vent.

Everywhere we turn we see so much about how BF'g is the best choice for our baby's health and well being but I'm finding more and more Obstetricians and some Pediatricians lack the knowledge to advocate and promote breastfeeding.

After I delivered, I hated being the PIA patient requesting my baby latch and bond with me but I had to or else they would have brought her in 3 hours after when she's tired and groggy.

I need to consistently ask for the LC at the hospital and when I asked nurses for help learning to latch when the LC wasn't around, everyone gave me different advice and some even incorrect advice (I do not have inverted nipples!).

Everytime I go to the doctor and they want to write me an Rx, I immediately ask why, what for and will it pass through to my baby? They always say no.

I don't want to be the crazy person searching the web and contradicting the providers but consistently kellymom and Dr. Hale have more information and usually make me question my physicians.

The latest is the best. I had my procedure this morning. I met with the anesthesiologist who was Chinese and we had a nice conversation regarding breastfeeding, Chinese women and breastfeeding and anesthestics and breastfeeding. He told me his wife also had milk production problems at first and understood my concerns. He gave me the name of the anesthesia he would give me and said he would not give me more than needed and would only give it to me right before the procedure so that he didn't have to give me too much. He also said that it would pass through to my liver within the hour so I shouldn't be too worried. This was exactly what kellymom and Dr. Hale said so i felt confident and assured by him.

After the procedure, I spoke to my doctor about the antibiotics she recommended. She said that it would not affect my baby.

I go to the pharmacist and he comes out and says, "I have some information for you. I'm not filling out the prescription for you because you are breastfeeding. Read this." Highlighted on the printed information from his database, 'Strongly do not recommend adminstering to breastfeeding mothers!'

I call my doctor and the nurse said to call my pediatrician for a recommened antibiotic and she'd call in the script for me.

By this time, although I'm off the anesthesia, I'm groggy, tired, hungry and in a bit of discomfort but all i can think about is if only I can search Dr. Hale's information I'd self prescribe an antibiotic for myself. That is a joke, by the way. My dad was a physician and pharmacist and I'd know better.

The pediatrician calls me back and I tell her that my doctor, who knows I am breastfeeding, prescribed doxcycline and before I could finish my sentence, she says, "Oh, really? Your doctor prescribed this? I'm glad your pharmacist refused to fill it for you."

She then proceeds to tell me about cases of teeth discoloration in infants and children and how this antibiotic WILL pass through to my daughter.

She gives me a recommendation for antibiotics that are safe to take while breastfeeding and I contact my OB.

I went home and immediately looked up the medications she gave me as 'safe' and the only one 100% is Amoxicillin.

Now my husband has to go to the pharmacy and I hope that Amoxicillin is what they called in.

I really don't want to be a pain and question my docs but now I feel like i should bring Dr. Hale's book with me whenever I go to the doctor.

My OB also gave me a mini-pill prescription even though I told her that I was reluctant to take it as I have had milk production issues but she assured me it should be fine. Now I'm doubting her and am seriously thinking about asking to be fitted for a diaphragm just to be safe. Heck, it's not spontaneous, less full proof and I've had issues with spermicidal jellies but at least I'm certain it won't be hormones/meds that go to my baby or affect my milk production. We do plan to go back to the Family Planning method after a while.

I just need to vent. Arrrghh!

On a nice note, DH has been very supportive since this morning. Yes he is still planning to jog and go to the dentist this afternoon but if I really didn't want him to and I really needed him, I would have told him no.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My superhero ability would be to sing and have woodland creatures do housework

1 Month , 1 Week & 6 Days

Baby Blues by Rick Kirkman & Jerry Scott

I woke up this morning in desperate need to clean my house. For the last month, I have done little if any house cleaning. Normally my compulsiveness would drive me to dust, tidy and vacuum daily. With half my house packed in boxes and in storage, the furniture rearranged by my husband, our daughter and my own health to tend to, the tumbleweeds of furballs coating my floors didn’t irk me as they normally would.

This morning, although I wasn’t compulsive, I still needed to clean the house a bit. The trouble for me is trying to do it when DH isn’t looking. He feels the limited time I have when BG isn’t attached to me should be spent resting, eating, pumping or caring for myself. I know he is right and he means well. His execution of his concerns though sometimes irks me. He gets very upset at me and becomes very insistent to the point where it upsets me and I cannot rest . Who can rest when they are forced to rest?

Anyway, the stars must have aligned somehow because after a marathon nurse, sleep, nurse, sleep session from 4am-8am, DH said he’d watch and feed BG. He started by taking her with him for the morning dog walk. I took the opportunity to pump as I’m supposed to pump as much as I can prior to my surgery. Unfortunately, since two days ago, my pumping sessions have led to a decrease again from an average of 3-4 ounces each session to 2-3 ounces. I’m think positively and saying it’s 2-3 because she’s been on my breast more these last few days.

When he returned he continued to care for BG and feed her. I took the opportunity to eat breakfast. While I was in the kitchen, I hurriedly wiped the counters and stove, cleaned the bottles and pump supplies, wiped and cleared the dining room table, restocked the paper supplies and ate my lunch. The dishwasher would have to wait.

Then I went to the bathroom to take a shower. I brought with me cleaning supplies and cleaned the toilet, sink and bathtub. Afterwards, I went to the bedroom to get dressed. While there, I quickly dusted and cleaned the mirrors. I grabbed my laundry and brought it outside.

DH was just about finished with BG’s feeding. I ran to the foyer, dusted the bookcase and then took the trash from the cleaned rooms and brought it to the front door for disposal.

By that time, DH had BG in the bassinet for a nap. I suggested he go to the gym and he prepared to go. As he was packing his bag in the bedroom, I quickly cleared the clutter in the living room and did a quick dusting. By that time, BG had woken up, as she only naps lightly in the AM. I put her over my shoulder and finished picking up some organizing the clutter in the living room.

By the end of the day, I was also able to do a load of BG’s wash and my wash, put away the dishes in the dishwasher and with DH’s help, the recyclables were taken out. It made me feel much better. Now, if I can get some vacuuming done.

I think the compulsion came because tomorrow is my surgical procedure. I'm guessing subconsciously, I want to get things in order.

My mom visited today as well. She brought lunch and some extra food which will ensure I have some sustenance to keep me going tomorrow as my outpatient procedure is tomorrow. I didn’t tell my mom of the procedure. Partly because to protect her and not have her worry and partly because I was afraid I’d break down and tell her everything that is has been cluttering my brain.

I’m not very close to my mother and I try not to share too much because 1) she over reacts and 2) she truly loves me and will over react and 3) she get very upset and obsess over it.

It was a nice visit. DH came home in the middle of her visit and she was thrown for a loop. My mom and my husband are very strong minded individuals and frequently butt heads. It’s in the best interest for me to keep them from hanging out for long periods of time. She pulled me aside and asked me why he was here and I danced around the lay off. I don’t want her to worry or develop something out of it especially after DH has made it clear to our family that he’d like to be a SAHD.

I think I surprised my mother with how I was caring for BG. “Only a child’s mother would stick her finger in her diaper, pull it out and smell it. Mom’s do crazy things out of love and it seems natural and normal.”

I think I surprised myself with how I reacted to my mom’s usual comments that are strangely biting. “You are spoiling her, you know. I can tell because she doesn’t like being put down.” “Yes, mom.” My mom has a way of making me question my parenting skills but today I felt fairly confident. I’m not looking to be the perfect mom. I’m just being a mom to my daughter. I know now, it’s learn as you go. As someone once told me, “Every new mom desires to be the best mom, not perfection and you know what? You are the best mom because in her eyes, you are the best mom no matter what.”

I also noticed that my mom is only speaking in Chinese while she is visit now. I think it’s her way of trying to instill the language to our daughter. Whatever. As long as she develops a well versed vocabulary in English and doesn’t develop an accent or grammatical issues, I have no qualms.

With everything going on and yesterday’s epiphany, I’m suddenly second guessing myself and wondering if I am martyring myself? The better question is, do I want to martyr myself? Sounds strange but it could be a possibility. I come from a culture where besting one’s self sacrifice is a national pastime among women.

I’ve fought and continue to fight against certain attributes like the above with my mother. Could I have the same trait? Please let me not have it. I’ve fought and continue to fight against any genetic predisposition to depression. Let me not have this ugly trait as well.

I sat BG in the corner of our couch and she stayed sitting up while DH took photographs.
For the first time, I made silly faces and sounds at my BG to try to get a reaction shot during said photo session. Yes, I made toot sounds and puffed up my cheeks like a chipmunk.

Baby Lessons:
BG dislikes tummy time but likes to look in the mirror now.
Please don’t let this and the fact she likes watching me brush my eyebrows be a sign of vanity in the future. Lol.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Yes, I did get treats for my husband while I was gone. I know I'm a schmo.

1 Month , 1 Week & 5 Days

I went back for the sonogram and I need to go in for an outpatient surgery on Thursday. After reading several breastfeeding boards, general anesthesia should not affect BG. I will be tired and groggy and will need someone to pick me up and watch me for a few hours afterwards.

DH said he’d pick me up and he expects I should be fine to watch the kid while he goes to the dentist when he drops me home. I forgot he had a scheduled dentist appointment when I scheduled the surgery. I don’t know if he’s in denial or doesn’t realize this is surgery.

Honestly, I don’t care to explain this as any adult conversation ends in a lot of emotional upheaval. It's just another example of how I plan a prepare for the worst and he figures we're not doing anything others haven't so we shouldn't worry. It's not about worrying for me but being realistic. Just like I need to prepare to leave 30-40 minutes after the 'scheduled' time to leave or to realize DH will return home 1-2 hours after the time he tells me he'll be home, I need to tack on comfort zones for events. This allows me to be more realistic about what I can and cannot accomplish. If I accomplish more, then I feel even better.

Back to the surgery, it's nothing major but it does require general anesthesia which means I've been worried about feeding my daughter. Forget about how I'm going to recoup. I figure somehow I'll pull through especially if my daughter needs me. The most important thing in my head is to make sure she has enough food and that the anesthesia passes my system and doesn't make it's way to her. Everything I've read says to feed her before the procedure or pump before. General anesthesia should pass through my system within 2 hours so I should be good. If a little gets through, she will be sleepy but it's not so much that it will be troublesome to her health.

I suppose what irks me about my husband's reaction is the same thing that irks me about his reaction and his actions after I gave birth, it went back to him and his needs. I'm not saying I need to be coddled. For the most part, I believe I've taken good care of myself throughout my entire life, including during my pregnancy. although it would have been nice for my husband to come with me to more doctor's visits and tests, I did it myself. When I truly needed him during the glucose testing scare, he came with me. I guess I just I didn't think that I'd need to ask him to be there for me after delivery, during the first few weeks home and now for my outpatient procedure.

I guess it would just be nice to have someone think of me and my needs and care for me the way I'd care for them. I know he loves me. I guess he just doesn't realize how scary these events are to me and how I just need some support and comfort. Again, I just remind myself that women are the stronger of the sexes.

Anyway, the good news is that the sonogram appointment turned into a mom’s day out. Of course, mom’s day out consisted of chores but it was a day out by herself nonetheless. Plus the house is stocked with toilet paper, paper towels and other essentials now.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Slowly learning the true meaning of multi-tasking and preparation

1 Month , 1 Week & 4 Days

I had my post partum appointment today. They are concerned with my bleeding. I’m scheduled to come back tomorrow for another sonogram to determine if I need surgery. Fun. If I need it, I need to do it now as husband’s insurance coverage ends in two weeks.

The good news is that the trip to the doctor’s was a family outing and it went fairly smooth. I told my husband we’d need to leave the house by 11 which gave me some cushion. In addition to the cushion, I realized that I would need to get everyone, baby, dogs and myself ready and leave my husband to fend for himself. This is necessary as my husband runs on his own clock. He even got cranky when it was 11 and I asked him to get ready.

The one thing that drives me nuts though is how oblivious he can be to me and what I’m doing at the time. For example, I’ve just finished feeding BG, put my jeans on and am about to pack a few bottles of breastmilk, change her and put her in the car seat. “Honey, can you wet the dog towels and feed the dogs? I’ve been up all night and I’m having a slow start.” Are you kidding me?

The worst which probably looked like a scene from a comedy was getting into the car. I’m walking to the car with my breast pump in one bag and the diaper bag while pushing the stroller. Hubby is on the phone scheduled car maintenance and berating them for hanging up on him twice.

We get to the car and I gently put BG in the back and lock her in place then try to close the stroller and shove it in the trunk as the trunk is filled with my husband’s office stuff he brought home from the lay off. What is hubby doing? Still on hold with the car maintenance folks. I think I broke a sweat just getting to the car and packing everything in.

Hubby then looks at me as I close the trunk and asks why I’m not in the car already? Are you kidding me?

Aside from realizing that the majority of prep needs to be handled by mom and the unfortunate news of possible outpatient surgery, the trip went well.
BG even got a special one on one car ride with Dad while I was at the doctor’s.

Car Ride with Daddy
1 bottle, 2 diapers and 1 phone call. Unfortunately the Harley Davidson store was closed so Dad couldn’t show her around.

Baby Blues by Rick Kirkman & Jerry Scott

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Move over Gracie Allen, there is a new girl in town

1 Month , 1 Week & 3 Days

BG has inborn comedic timing. I told you about the ‘This little piggie’ poop. Well she did it again. This time while reading, Moo Baa La La La. The last sentence of the book asks the reader, ‘What do you say?” As soon as I asked her what she had to say, she looked straight at me with a nonchalant expression and let out the loudest poop I’ve heard come out of a 9lb baby.

She also has the knack of pooping right after I change her diaper. She’ll look at me with a pouty face and as soon as I stick the last tab and close the wipe box cover she poops and pees.

If her timing continues, I’m going to have to get this kid an agent. lol.

I’m feeling more confident the last few days. I’m getting to know her a bit better, I think. She doesn’t cry as loudly as usual or maybe I’m immune to it. Some cries are low murmurs which tell me she just needs to be held.

The worse cries seem to happen in the middle of the night. Her eyes are shut tight, tears streaming down and she lets out this high pitch cry. Funny thing is, she’s asleep when it happens. There isn’t that morning rumbling where we hear some coos and some stirring and perhaps a little ‘cough’ to get our attention. One minute she’s in deep sleep. I’ll blink and then she’ll make a sour face and then let go with a banshee like wail. Is she having a nightmare? Was she having a pleasant dream and then soiled herself? Good grief.

Baby Blues by Rick Kirkman & Jerry Scott

She sat quickly in her bouncer for longer than 15 minutes.
I cleaned pump parts, ate a sandwich, prepped for dinner and went to the bathroom. When you can accomplish one small task, it’s a blessing.
BG tracked a toy for the first time.
She’s not just tracking human faces. She’s starting to track objects. Thank you Dylan the Duck!

Baby Lessons:
BG becomes very curious and attentive when you sing ‘Lion Sleeps Tonight’
Don’t worry if you only know 2 of the 3 lyrics to the song. She loves the ‘we-um-um-a-way’ part.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A cleared nasal passage equals a better nap

1 Month , 1 Week & 2 Days

Today, I swaddled BG in her swaddle and then placed my husband's or my own worn t-shirt around her front to give her that really snug feeling while also keeping our scent close to her. Maybe it’s in my head but she seemed to like this comforting feeling and was able to relax more today. Although her naps didn’t last any longer, she did have several fairly deep naps.

I was able to finally print the announcements for about 16 folks that don’t have email and address envelopes for them. I also did some research on how to make rope rosaries that I plan to clip onto the baptism invites. I told you Mothra is making her way back from her sabbatical.

Baby Blues by Rick Kirkman & Jerry Scott

I’m feeling more confidence with breastfeeding BG. Although I still have occasional concerns she isn’t getting enough, the 2-3 poops she had today is assuring me she is getting her fix. Plus it usually happens midway through or after a feeding which in my mind means her digestive system is making room for the new eats.

I’m still pumping like a crazied vacuum addict. My newest neuroses is that I will not produce enough for her growth spurts. Since I believe she’s on the cusp of another one, (she drank 12 ounces last night much to the shock of my husband and myself), I’m trying to increase my pumping so that my supply increases. Nothing is worse than hearing your child cry like a banshee because she’s hungry and your breasts seem to be deflated. You feel like you’re not providing for your flesh and blood.

On the flip side, nothing feels so exhilarating and human than knowing and seeing your child thriving because of your ability to provide for her sustenance.

Baby Lesson:
If BG wakes herself up because her nose is all congested, keep he swaddled, bulb her and she will get back to sleeping within minutes of the removal. She'll cry bloody hell but she'll sleep fairly well afterwards. Oh, if possible get DH to do it.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Mothra is back...

1 Month , 1 Week & 1 Day

I finally started finalizing BG’s birth announcements. I started working on the template in June before I delivered but needed the photographs to input afterwards.

Here is the second draft. I’m quite impressed with the photos. It took a while, a lot of effort and several disagreements with DH, but we managed to take some professional looking photos by ourselves. I’m still fiddling around a bit with the layout but I hope to have it finished by this weekend.

On a side note, my husband has remarked several times that I take too many pictures. “Are you going to document everything?” “Yes, as much as I can.” Again, this is me wanting to remember everything. It’s also me wanting to capture as much as I can for fear that I may only have the opportunity to have one child. If I could, I’d set up the tripod and take a ton of pictures with her. As it stands, I’ll settle for the ton of pictures of her and her dad or just her that I can take. One day though, I’d love it if my husband would take some candid photos of me and her.

To save money, I plan on emailing it to family and friends. For those who do not have email, I will print it out on 5x7 photo paper and send it to them.

I’m also being ambitious and began work on the baptism invitations. We have not finalized a date yet but figured while I was in the designing mood, I’d start.

I’m not into big baptismal celebrations. I believe the baptism should be a shared event during mass on Sundays with the congregation but as for family and friends, only immediate family should be present. In fact, I’m not a big fan of the after baptism party.

My MIL is a different story. She already started discussing restaurants to hold the shindig. Even before our new financial situation, I’ve always planned to invite just the immediate family only. If they want to come over to the house for a light breakfast afterwards, they are more than welcome to but I’m not about to book a restaurant. Granted, I wouldn’t mind if the grandmas made the breakfast.

For the baptism, I’d love for our previous bishop to perform it but he was transferred to head the local seminary. I know he is a busy man and feel silly asking him to take time out of his schedule to baptize my daughter. My husband and several church friends say it isn’t silly and that it doesn’t hurt to try. I suppose it’s just getting the motivation to write a letter to him that is holding me back.

There is also the factor of me requesting the baptism take place at the chapel we attend rather than the parish church. The chapel is where my husband and I serve. I feel the baptism should take place amongst the congregation that knows us and cares for us.

So I sort of feel like I’m asking too much.

All in all, I’m fairly happy and excited that after a month, I’m nearly finished with her announcement. I know folks have been anxious. Between being a new mom, the breastfeeding hurdles and the other life events that happened, announcements were the last thing on my mind.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

If i could...

1 Month and 1 Week

Baby Blues by Rick Kirkman & Jerry Scott

If I was financial well off, I’d love to stay home and watch my daughter grow. Unfortunately, situations have led me to have to go back to work. Don’t get me wrong, I like my job and the people I work with. I genuinely want to help them and feel great when I can. It’s not like I begrudgingly get out of bed to go to do something I reluctantly am forced to do.

It just makes me wonder how other folks are able to have multiple children and stay at home. I have an acquaintance that has 3 children and she stays at home. How is that possible on a normal person’s income?

I know I have a few strikes against me here. I live in NYC. This isn’t the most economical place to raise a child. My husband’s career requires us to be in a major metropolitan area so it’s not like I can move to a locale that has a better cost of living.

My husband is a technogeek and has more toys than a sane person should have. I like cooking and stock my pantry full of goodies. I like my occasional mani/pedis and spa treatments.

Seriously, did I miss the course on how to live on one income and raise a family?

I suppose because I’m so concerned about finances, I’m also very sad to see that I need to go back to work and miss the small things with my daughter. Perhaps, I will not be able to afford to have more children. I don’t want to miss out on anything.

If anyone knows the secret to financial stability allowing for stay at home parentdom, please let me know. Right now, I feel like I want my cake and eat it too except it really shouldn’t feel like that. It should just be.

Baby Lessons:
Eating schedule remains the same every 2/3 hours.
Forget what the doctor said. Until my daughter is ready to eat every 3-4 hours consistently, I can’t hold her off. She becomes too fussy and as the day drags on, it just gets worse. If she’s hungry after 2 hours, I am going to feed her.

Today’s dining schedule so far: 12:30am, 4:45am, 7:45am, 10am, 12pm…
Today’s pumping schedule: 1am, 4am, 7am, 11am, 2:45pm

BG makes a lot of noises while she...
sleeps, eats, etc...
They are a mixtures of groans and exasperations.
She also likes to sleep with her arms out of her swaddle and over her head. Her dad seems to prefer the over the head arm thing too.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

P.E.N. Pump Eat Nap

1 Month and 5 Days

Today, we had a semi-decent schedule. I’m not sure if I’m getting used to it now, if we are just hitting a pattern, I’m able to discern some of the cries now, I finally got some much needed sleep or if BG is just growing bigger but it is beginning to feel manageable now. Watch, tomorrow I’ll be pulling my hair out.
Here is a rundown of today:
1:15am eats
1:30am pump
5am pump
5:20am eats
8-9:45am eats
9am pump
10-11 morning poop and nap
11am-12pm eats
12:15 Vitamin D walk
12:30-12:45pm eats (al fresco)
1-2pm eats
2pm pump
2-4pm nap
4-5pm eats
5-7:30pm nap
6:30pm pump
8pm bath & massage
8:30-9:30 eats
10-11:30 nap
11:30 eats
11pm pump

I think the day is going well as well because with DH’s help I spent last night sleeping and pumping. I slept in the living room next to my pump. Every time I woke up, I pumped and then immediately went back to sleep. I didn’t store the milk and clean the parts, I just sat up, pumped and then lay down and napped again.

DH spent the night in the bedroom with BG. He fed her EBM and soothed her to bed. I have a theory that since I wasn’t in the bedroom with them, she didn’t smell me and took to the bottle much quicker allowing for a smoother, late night diaper change, swaddle, feed, burp, sleep routine.

Then again, I may just be saying that so I can get another peaceful night’s pump and sleep session. :-D

Whatever reason it is, so far the day has been wonderful. In fact, we were able to take a few family photos after her late afternoon eats and I was able to emails some friends who thought I fell off the face of the earth.

I am proud to announce that I have at the present moment, their is 25 ounces of breast milk in my refrigerator which should be good for approximately 8+ feedings! It’s a start. It took me three days to build that up but two weeks ago, I never thought I’d get that much!


Baby Blues by Rick Kirkman & Jerry Scott

I know this sounds ridiculous but it is true; if men occasionaly said, “Yes, Dear, “ coupledom would have one less disagreement or argument. Unfortunately, I married a man who does not understand this concept and must always question or comment my requests.

I can only use myself and my husband as an example so I will generically use ourselves as representatives of our respective gender.

I can be irrational. I can be neurotic. I can be anxious and worrisome. I know this. Sometimes, all I need from my male counterpart is to simply put my mind at ease. I don’t need to hear I’m irrational; just say, “Yes, Dear” and I will walk away feeling better.

When I say, “please just monitor BG,” I would like you to periodically check her throughout the day/night. Yes, I know you are standing in front of her, checking in on her. I’m not asking you to check on her at this moment. You are already doing so. I’m asking you to assure me that throughout the night/day, you will check in on her every now and then. By not saying, “Yes” but rather beginning a ‘discussion’ on your parenting skills and my lack of confidence or my nervousness, you are essentially making a very nervous mom lose any assurances. She will spend the rest of the night worrying and probably checking on the two of you.

Knee high socks
We put some knee high socks on your clammy feet. Your grandpa (Ye Ye) got them for you. They look like go-go boots on you. You look very snazzy.
First breast al fresco
During our Vitamin D walk, you cried continuously. Your diaper was fine and you didn’t look to be in pain. When in doubt, I give you the breast and so in the park on a bench by the Hudson River, I gave you some boob. It felt natural. I hope you got some food from it.
First family stroll in the park
Your dad wanted to take some pictures outside so we turned our Vitamin D stroll into a walk in the park.
First full set of stored breast milk in fridge
Mom gives herself a pat on the back. It was hardwork and it’s just a start but it’s a big step she’s very proud of reaching. Sure, it’s only enough to last a day but I didn’t think I’d be able to do that a few weeks back.

Baby Lessons:
A good day starts with a substantial AM poop.
So far I have noticed that a substantial poop after your morning breakfast leads to a generally good day tummy wise for you. Your comfort level increases and you seem to be a generally happy baby afterwards. Go AM poopies!
Baby books will make you obsess over things you shouldn’t be obsessing over.
The guidelines these books give you regarding milestones for breastfeeding, development and whatnot are ridiculous. You can say you realize that each child is different and that you will take that to heart but eventually you become so frazzled you rely on them too much. You want so desperately for someone to tell you things get better and that your actions are benefiting your child. You want to see progress but just like it’s hard to see physical changes in someone you are with constantly, it is hard to see these with your infant.

There are some things you will notice, like how she is much more alert or how she can now kick more forcefully but it’s harder to see notice how much taller she’s gotten or how much bigger she’s growing.

Still I try very hard not to obsess, especially over those growth charts. There are several different varieties and if you plot out your baby’s stats on each of them, you get a different percentile. I figure if the doc says she’s good, then she is doing well.

Monday, August 11, 2008

My Olympic spirit is in another time zone

1 Month and 4 Days

Today was an uneventful day. It wasn’t the best but it wasn’t the worst. I did get a chance to see that incredible 100m relay the USA men’s swim team did. Holy cow. That was an incredible finish. Go team USA.

Normally, I’m usually really into the Olympics. I check the schedule and make sure I tape segments I plan to watch but this year, I’m not sure if it’s because of my new priorities or the time difference or a bit of both that I’m not as enthusiastic.

I usually like the cheesy back stories NBC gives us. It seems every athlete has a hardship story to tell and it’s always told in the same way with dramatic close-ups and schmaltzy music.

This year, I’ve been happy just to see the opening ceremony. I’m not even taping the primetime events. I just don’t care to watch all of the filler or the events I’m not interested in. I tried. I was watching the men’s synchronized diving last night. That usually is interesting to watch but last night, aside from the Chinese duo, I really wasn’t thrilled. It seemed lackluster. Maybe the men’s relay spoiled me but I even watched that online and not on television.

I figure, I’ll read my news and if something truly amazing happens, I will catch it on the NBC Olympic website. I don’t need to sit and go through the filler parts I’m not interested in.

DH was curious to find out how so many parents and family can afford to attend the Olympics. We figure the medal contenders probably have sponsors that help finance their parents’ trips but the other families must either do fundraising or have money. I know if my daughter made it to the Olympics, I’d probably be selling my blood to go see her and finance her training.

BG pushed herself off the Boppy yesterday
DH simulates his shoulder with the Boppy. DH puts her arms over the Boppy and rests her chin on the edge. Today she used her legs to inch worm herself over the Boppy and onto the crib mattress. DH said she cooed a bit, projected herself over the Boppy like it was a hurdle and then fell asleep on the mattress. I hope this means she’s ready to sleep without that sucker.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Family Time

1 Month and 3 Days

Baby Blues by Rick Kirkman & Jerry Scott

Yesterday I asked my husband for one full day where he didn’t have to be out of the house for non baby related stuff. He obliged.

Today is the day where I hope we as a family can spend together, I can get some extra support and help and maybe, just maybe, we can take our first family photo together. It didn't happen but a frustrations and arguments over it did.

Baby Blues by Rick Kirkman & Jerry Scott

I’ve been pumping consistently every three hours so far and I hope to continue this trend today. With an extra pair of arms, I may be able to which hopefully will increase my milk production.

Last night we tag teamed with the sleeping and eating. We are trying to teach BG how to go to sleep by herself. We know that around 6-8 weeks, she should be able to sleeper for a longer stretch and we don’t want this stretch to be in our arms all night.

I started with a nap yesterday. I put her on the bouncer, put the lullaby cd on and everytime she cried for attention I quietly spoke to her, letting her know I was near. I’d rub her tummy or touch her but I didn’t pick her up. After 5-6 times, her cries became softer and were reduced in length. She finally fell asleep for 45 minutes.

Then last night, DH put her in the Boppy to sleep next to him after her 11pm meal. She awoke at 4am hungry. She didn’t cry but was rooting. We quietly changed her diaper, swaddled her and gave her a big 3 oz bottle of breast milk. She drank it and started falling asleep. Just before she was in the land of nod, we gently put her in her crib. We really didn’t burp so there was a lot of spit up but we knew burping would get her to be fully awake.

She’s also learning to sleep on her back for longer stretchs of time which makes mom feel that much better.

I know this is just the beginning but I really hope if we can tag team like this and get her to sleep by herself and on her back, as a family, we will all get a better night’s rest.

Cute story, DH played ‘This little piggy’ for the first time with BG. As he finished his ‘wee wee wee all the way home’ part, she let out the loudest poop we had ever heard. The comedic timing was brilliant.

After church, I met DH, the doggies and BG at the park. We did out Vitamin D walk. Instead of the yucky tummy hurting, smelly and clothes staining drops we do 15-20 minute walks almost daily. DH performed another al fresco diaper change and then I went to the grocery store to pick up eggs for Sunday pancake breakfast.

Having DH home for one day has made it so much less stressful for me. While I breastfed, he cleared the dishwasher and started another load for me. While I made breakfast, he swaddled and got BG ready for her nap. While I pumped, he cleaned and prepped bottles and nipples for me.

I am not sure if he realizes how helpful this really is to me but it is. I think BG even realizes this as she is sleeping more now than she usually does with just me or just DH.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Let the games begin...

More photos at:

Have you guys seen the 2008 Beijing Olympic Opening Ceremony? I was in complete awe. I taped it to watch throughout the day as I breastfed BG. I’m glad I did. It was spectacular.

Oh and the parade of nations is the best thing to leave on while breastfeeding. You learn so many new countries watching it. I’m guessing Matt Lauer and Bob Costas were still suffering from sleep deprivation because their banter was less than stellar.

Anyway, the precision of the performers was incredible. I don’t think you could get that type of precision like that from anyone else. It seems like the entire Communist Chinese population are obsessive compulsive. Plus, everything was so on time, it looked like it was computerized but everything was done pretty much through manual operation. The most impressive to me was the precise circles created by the Tai Chi performers. With no markers on the floor, 2,008 men created numerous perfect circles and maintained them throughout the routine.

Oh, and nothing makes a breastfeeding woman cry more than watching the dramatic lighting of the Olympic Torch, hearing the story of the 9 year old boy that not only survived the horrific earthquake but also saved 2 of his classmates and watch the artistic message of working towards a better world for our children.

Time flies...

Baby Blues by Rick Kirkman & Jerry Scott 1 Month and 2 Days

In order to up my milk production, I need to have her drink from the breast constantly and I am supposed to every two hours. Unfortunately, pumping every two hours is nearly impossible, especially when you care for an infant by yourself. When you spend nearly the entire day caring for a baby by yourself, you can barely take care of your own needs, let alone deal with the extra work necessary to deal with breastfeeding issues.

Some may have asked me why I haven’t quit yet. I can’t. I don’t want to. It is so very important for me to give her breast milk. I can’t give her a mom who could stay home and be there for all the milestones for the first year, like I had always dreamt. The least I can do is give her the breast milk I know is good for her.

That’s why I take the 24 herbal tablets a day and smell like an Indian restaurant. That’s why I force myself to wake up and pump. That’s why I do what I have to including, attaching the pumps on my breast, dragging the heavy pump to wherever BG is and even trying to carry her and calm her while pumping.

I read this article about a woman stationed overseas who pumps and ships her breast milk home to her husband and waiting infant. God bless her. She wants to do this so bad, she’s doing what she needs to, including dealing with customs and security checks to get her son the milk she wants to give him.

The problem is, I just can’t get to pump every 2 hours to increase my milk production. I’m only at an average of 18 ounces per day and I need to be around 20-30. Sure, I’m close to the low end but since I have to go back to work, I really need to up my numbers.

I feel very alone in this. In addition to caring for an infant who wakes up every 2 hours, I have to somehow, schedule a shower, pee, eat and do some chores that can’t be put off.

I wish I was more put together like other new moms but I don’t think it is possible under the circumstances I am at. I’m not feeling pity; I’m just trying to be realistic. What I want to do is probably achievable and I will do what I physically and mentally can do to try to achieve it but I’ve got some major hurdles in front of me. It’s not a straight path.

All I want is two full days where I get attention and support. None of this crap where it’s just, “I just need 2 hours to do this or that.” 2 hours turns to 4 not including prep time or time to do what I consider ‘personal’ needs time. Where is my ‘personal’ needs time?

I shocked somebody the other day by saying I finally got to have a really good shower. It took me 4 weeks to have a really good shower. That’s 10-20 minutes, including dry time and moisturizing time. Why did it take me so long? It wasn’t possible before. When you are struggling with breastfeeding, pumping in between and dealing with the daily needs of an infant, your needs get sidelined.

This becomes a vicious circle though because in order to increase milk production, I need to increase my protein intake, eat well, drink well and sleep well. Well, how the hell do I do that when I only have two arms and 1 semi functioning brain?

A look at yesterday’s schedule:
1am DH gives BG bottle while I pump my breasts
2am BG naps in bedroom in my arms. She awakes every time we put her in crib. I spend the night working out my triceps.
6am Breastfed BG. Tried to keep on breast but BG kept falling asleep and not swallowing. After 10 minutes, gave her bottle.
6:30am Pumped breasts
7am BG naps/quiet alert
8:50am Breastfed/Bottlefed BG
9:15am Pumped breasts. BG on active alert. BG on swing while pumping.
10:15am BG naps in sling. First time I heard BG snore.
12:50pm Breastfed BG
1:10pm BG naps in bassinet. BG rolls from back to side.
1:38pm Pumped breasts
2:01pm Breastfed/Bottlefed BG. BG gassy and used breasts as soother. Stayed on breasts for well over an hour.
4pm BG on quiet alert time. Activity mat play: tummy time and mirror time.
4:40pm Breastfed/Bottlefed BG
5:40pm BG naps in swing while listening to lullaby cd.
5:45pm Pumped breasts
6:25pm Breastfed BG
6:40pm BG naps
7:20pm BG needs soothing. Gave her right breast
9:13pm Pumped breasts
9:58pm Breastfed BG.
11pm Major tummy troubles for BG. Major crying fit. Rubbed her tummy with warm washcloth. Pooped. After her poop she had a half hour active alert period where I left her mostly on the bouncer entertaining herself as I got a breather.
12:50am Breastfed BG. Both of us fell asleep while feeding.
2:30am DH gives BG bottle while I pump my breasts.

In between, I tried to eat, changed diapers, did minor household chores like clear the dishwasher and clean bottles and pumping equipment.

Baby Blues by Rick Kirkman & Jerry Scott

I’m writing this down not to disclose some martyr effects but to note how breastfeeding and pumping are so time consuming. It becomes more apparent when written.

First time mom hears BG snore
In the sling, she slept soundly.

First time mom notices BG turns from back to side

Friday, August 08, 2008

To sleep, perchance to shower or in some cases to pee.

1 Month and 1 Day

The sling rocks. Sure there is a dvd to show you how to use this thing but I think it wasn’t too difficult to do, especially when the baby is calm. The moment I put BG in it, she calmed down and fell asleep.

Right now, she’s snoring. I’m still apprehensive to go hands free but it already alleviates some of the pressure of the weight on my arms.

We had a rough night last night. BG wasn’t fussy but she didn’t want to sleep. I held her in my arms in bed in the dark to try to get her to nap and it finally did the trick around 2:30am but she didn’t want to leave my arms. I fell asleep sitting upright on my bed with her in my arms and didn’t wake up until 5:45 when I heard her lips smacking, a sign of hunger.

I put her to the boob but she was still sleepy and only sucked but didn’t swallow. Exhausted and knowing a baby who hasn’t eaten in 4+ hours would be fussy, I gave her a bottle of EBM. That woke her up and my morning began. For the rest of the day, I've been giving her the boob if I've exhausted all needs. I figure even if it's for soothing, at least she's stimulating my boobs and she's soothing herself. The docs say she is still too young to spoil so do what you need to do, hold her, give her the boob, etc...

DH received a call for a last minute gig today so he was busy ironing his shirt and caring for the dogs. He had fallen asleep on the floor by the crib. He had been caring for BG until 1:30am, trying to get her to sleep. In the battle between BG and DH, I think BG wins most of the time.

BG loves to sleep in my arms or near me. Right now, she’s lying on the Boppy next to me dreaming away. Oh, this could be a fluke or a milestone but she turned onto her side this afternoon during her nap in the bassinet. I went to the kitchen and came back and found she had turned to her left side, she seems to prefer this side, and has both hands clasped as if in prayer. DH thinks she’s a genius. I just think she’s getting to a position she’s more comfortable sleeping in. The pediatrician said most babies prefer side and stomach sleeping. Heck, most adults do not prefer sleeping on their backs.

We received two Disney instrumental lullaby cds from a family friend. These cds along with the swing, seemed to get BG to nap for a bit this afternoon. I wonder if we play these in the bedroom would it work too. I may try this tonight.

Rolled from back to left side
This could have been a fluke or an actual milestone. Time will tell. She was asleep in the bassinet on her back and she rolled to her left side.

First reading of a book where BG stared at the pictures for a bit
I’m sure she couldn’t comprehend anything but you could see she was working her eyes and focusing. It was Doggies by Sandra Boynton. She seemed to enjoy the various barking noises I made for each dog.

Baby Lessons:
Brushing my eyebrows
The last few days, whenever I put on my face, I do so with a mirror next to BG so she can see what I’m doing. I narrate my actions, like I do everything else. She seems to sort of smile or be amused by my brushing of my eyebrows. Each time I do it, she gives me the same face. It’s not a true smile like the gas smile. It’s more her eyes get big and her lips peak up as if she finds it humorous.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Things happen for a reason... aka We Plan, God Laughs

1 Month

Baby Blues by Rick Kirkman & Jerry Scott

Today is BG’s one month birthday. Today is also the day my husband got laid off. Yes, my husband got laid off. I’m trying to put a positive spin as he was training and working towards a career change anyway.

Last night he received something that will help him towards his new career. So I guess things aligned for a reason.

I know some folks laugh at me and think I’m fooling myself when I say, “God will provide.” If you think about it, things are linked. This past Sunday, the gospel was the story of the loaves of bread and fish that fed 5,000 men not including men and women.

I’ve been using this to help me with my breastfeeding and milk production hurdle. Now, I think it was meant to strengthen me and DH for this news.

Last night, I was feeling utterly frustrated and spent. DH and I had another roe and this time it left me thinking I was headed towards post partum depression.

Then BG woke me up for her early morning feeding. I had no time to pee. My stomach was growling and I was miffed I overslept and missed my 4 am pumping session again. I was nodding off when the loudest poop sound came out of BG. She didn’t even grunt. She kept sucking on my breast and woke me up with her loud poop. She didn’t stop eating so I figured I’d let her go until she finished and then change her.

Then she let out another one and then after a few minutes let out a whine. I put my hand under her bum to pick her up and realized why she was whining. She pooped through her diaper. It soaked through her swaddle and looked as if it ran up her back. Guess who got a morning bath?

Well, that poop, made me laugh and brought me out of my sadness. First, yes, I’ll say it again, when she poops, I know she’s getting food so it makes me happy. Second, I can feel angry and sad and beside myself but holy cow, this little one needs me. Heck, this girl needs all the help she can get and if anyone is beside themselves, it’s her. I mean, pooping is the biggest thing in her life right now.

I kissed her gently and gave her her bath which I had planned to do anyway before her pediatrician visit. Last time, the pediatrician remarked we could start giving her baths which mortified me. I love watching her enjoy her bath. It is so new to her that she doesn’t understand the concept but knows she enjoys it. Afterwards, I give her a massage and she’s a very happy relaxed baby for her next feeding.

Oh, I’ve decided that BG is a cuddle baby. She seriously loves to be held, more so than most babies. She doesn’t like to nap in the bassinet, crib or swing for long periods of time. She will sleep longer and more peacefully in our arms. I think it may be best for my arms to get a sling to help carry her around. The Bjorn is nice but when she’s napping, the sling is probably much easier and I heard it may also help with breastfeeding. I may try to pick one up after the pediatrician appointment today.

Good news! BG has gained 2 lbs since her last appointment. The pediatrician is quite pleased and said that although she wakes up every 2 hours for food, she can hold off to 3 hours. That's great news.

This is the boost of confidence I needed to trust my breastfeeding. Sure I have been supplementing with the bottle but I have renewed confidence that she can get her eats from the source.

She's also growing nicely. I'm so happy. DH also came with us which was nice.

Now that she's on breast milk only, the pediatrician wants us to give her Vitamin D supplements. Another gold star for our breastfeeding work.

First poo up her back
This one was a doozy. She hit the swaddle too.

1 Month Breastfeeding goal!
A big pat on the back for reaching my 1 month goal. Next goal I hope to reach is 2 months. DH asked me how long we've been exclusively giving BG breast milk and we checked my OCD journals and found out she's been drinking...

Breast milk for 1 week!
She's had breast milk only. What a feat! a few weeks ago I didn't think I could do that. Yes, I'm constantly playing catch up but the important thing is she's getting the top shelf hooch! I should be proud of myself.

Guilt Release

1 Month

Baby Blues by Rick Kirkman & Jerry Scott

I feel like it would be nice to just walk away for a day. I feel guilty I feel this way. I love my BG very much. There has not been a single night where I didn’t wake up to just check on her or a dream where she wasn’t a part of it in some shape or form.

I feel guilty that I’m making my husband endure the trials and tribulations of breastfeeding. I feel guilty that I need him to take the night shift so I can recharge my battery and gain some sanity. I feel guilty that I can’t sleep through my daughter’s cries even though I know my husband is taking care of her. I feel guilty that I wish my husband could spend more time caring for BG. I feel guilty he has to juggle training and his current job because of my needs.

I feel guilty I wish my husband could participate more in pediatrician visits. I feel guilty that I wish my husband showed more interest in pediatrician visits and development milestones and activity suggestions like tummy time.

I feel guilty that I’m having a hard time with breastfeeding. I feel guilty I feel like I’m playing catch up with milk expressing. I feel guilty that I probably am making it harder on myself and my daughter.

I feel guilty that if I could I’d stay home with my BG and not go back to work for a while. I feel guilty that I must leave her. I feel guilty that this goes against my secret wishes. I feel guilty that when I did go through some of my work email, it felt good to not be reading, responding, discussing something related to a newborn and newborn care.

I feel guilty that I can’t share this with my loved ones for fear that it is misinterpreted.

I feel guilty that I can’t multi-task like I used to. I feel guilty that I feel like I should be more put together at 4 weeks post partum.

I feel guilt.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Empty belly equals all day fussiness

4 Weeks & 3 Days Old

Last night BG suffered from an upset empty tummy. Apparently, the nipple on one of the bottles of EBM was clogged with I guess separated fat and she kept sucking and sucking but not receiving any food. Poor hubby didn’t notice this until after the second time he gave her the bottle.

Obviously with an empty tummy she didn’t sleep very well and woke up at least 3-4 times within 3 hours. By the time hubby realized what was up, she was completely inconsolable. He gave her two bottles with free flowing milk but her digestive system was loopy.

This morning, I’m dealing with the ramifications. She’s cranky because she’s tired, her tummy hurts and she’s hungry. I’m hoping as soon as she poops, she’ll feel much better as the gas she ingested while sucking on the clogged nipple should have passed.

Right now she refuses to be anywhere but near my warm body. I think she likes the warmth on her tummy. She’s asleep now and her tummy is wrapped and against my waist. She still hasn’t pooped but she’s had tons of gas. I’ve turned off the a/c to help with the warming.

As if she could read my mind she just pooped a foamy mess. I just changed her wet diaper and placed her on the bouncy seat so I could grab a bit to eat when the wettest toot came from her. How does the digestive system of a newborn know to release as soon as a diaper has been changed?

Now she is insatiable. My breasts feel deflated but she keeps eating. I’ve given her bottles and breasts. I barely have time to pump now as she’s napping for only 30 minutes or less. I guess this is the growth spurt they warned me about or just her catching up from last night’s lack of eats.

Oh, I don’t know how I missed this but her left big toe had a nail so long, I could have painted it a french manicure. I blink and her nails grow to talons. I still haven't attempted cutting her nails. I've been filing them while she naps. How long can I get away with this method?

You tracked me!
After one of your meals you followed me as I moved my face to your left side and then to your right. I gave you a big smile and you gave me a gas smile back. I'll take it.

You gave me a smile while I put on my makeup
ok, it probably was gas but I thought it was humorous that you were interested in my face as I put on my mascara and some blush to look decent for my mom.

Baby Lessons:
A warm dry washcloth on your belly makes you feel much better
I usually cover your belly with a warm wet cloth during your baths. I tried the same with a dry warm washcloth to help with your tummy troubles today. You seemed to really enjoy that.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

"A little better all the time. Better. Better. Better."

4 Weeks & 2 Days Old

Did another afternoon boob-in. Pumping today only yielded an average of 2 ounces/pump. I’m striving for 3-4 ounces/pump. I’m trying not to overanalyze though. BG is doing well. She’s pooped three times today and is peeing up a storm so she’s getting something from my breasts.

I have been struggling through the occasional pain I feel on my right breast. I’d like it to feel like my left breast. When BG latches or the pump sucks, I feel virtually nothing but a slight tugging. I am guessing that is how it should feel. My right breast though has this tight pain by the left side that sometimes becomes so annoying, I have to take a Tylenol. I’ve tried repositioning but it just leads to a more painful latch or connection to the shield on the pump. It’s always felt that way too. I’m not sure what else to try to alleviate the pain.

BG pooped on my hand twice this morning. I will say with all this newborn poop business, I really can’t look at mustard and honey mustard the same again. Good grief, every time I lifted BG’s legs up to wipe her bottom or stick a new diaper underneath her, she pooped. It got to the point where I wasted two diapers and a ton of wipes and paper towels. I was in awe and of course, BG quietly gazed up at me in complete relaxation. I had to chuckle about it later.

On an unrelated baby front, I finally saw Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog. It was funny but eventually sad, very sad. Hubby and I watched it during several breast pumps. How romantic. It was the ‘couple time’ we’d been wanting for a bit so we took it as a gift. BG was asleep and DH didn’t have to work or prepare for work so we sat in the darkness of the living room watching it on my laptop. The only distractions from our ‘couple time’ were the quiet whirring of the breast pump and baby monitor white noise filling the voids in dialog or singing.

First poop in my hand
Ok, first and second. Just as I removed the older diaper and put a fresh diaper underneath her, she let out a frothy poop that landed all over my hand. As I was wiping her back up, she did it again. I felt like she wasn’t going to stop. She felt so relaxed she was quiet the entire time. I wound up sanitizing my hands and donning gloves and pulling out a plastic bag to clean up the wipes and diapers that she soiled. The entire time I just kept thinking, “Yes, she’s pooping. I’m giving her nourishment. This is what I wanted.” I think that was my meditation mantra. Lol. By the way, it is so weird to see frothy poop. I’m not complaining. Formula poop is smellier but frothy yellow poop is just plain weird.

First use of the mobile
I actually think she likes it. She was quiet and mesmerized by the shapes moving around. I was able to gather the late night laundry Hubby has a tendency to scatter bottles, burp clothes, bibs and soiled kimonos and blankets everywhere. and set up her bathing towels before she lost interest.
Hubby and I hope the remote will come in handy when she first starts to fidget.

First time your dad and I could reverse spoon in bed
Ok, it lasted all but 15 minutes but it was cuddle time which counts. Of course, I couldn’t hold him as tightly as I had wanted as my breasts are super sore and sensitive but we spooned as tightly as we could.

First ‘couple time’ dad and mom had since BG’s arrival
The stars aligned. The laundry could wait. The dishes were in the dishwasher. Dad’s work could wait. For 45 minutes total, 15 minute blocks throughout the night, your dad and I got to watch a web movie and really pay attention to it. Baby talk and grown up responsibility talk was shelved and we felt like a couple with no responsibilities for a brief moment in time.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Well, at least I'm fairly certain she's eating well.

4 weeks and 1 day old

I spent the day doing breast/bottle feedings. I would give BG my breast for 20-30 minutes then give her a bottle afterwards. I think she is getting more from my breast but I’m also giving her 1-2 ounces from the bottle. If I keep her on the breast, it takes over an hour and by that time, she and I are both spent. Within 2 hours, she’s hungry for more and I’m just too tired from trying to pump, eat and sleep in between that I’m spent by the end of the day. My nerves are frayed and physically I’m exhausted.

As it stands, I always feel like I’m doing catch up. I have three 4 ounce bottles I try to keep filled at all times. I try to keep them at 3 ounces each. Sometimes I can pump 3-4 ounces but most of the time I’m at 2 or 2.5 ounces so it’s been tough.

I wish my production would increase to a stead 3-4 ounces each session. I know I was wishing for 2-2.5 just last week so I’m keeping optimistic. I’m still taking my blessed thistle and fenugreek, which by the way, makes me sweat as if I’ve had Indian food. I’m pumping every 2-4 hours whenever possible.

I also noticed that my right breast has a tinge of pain when I pump. It also hurts a bit when BG latches. This is the slower breast. The output is less and let down takes longer. During a good pumping session I can get 1.5 or 2 ounces but mostly I only get 1 ounce from this breast. I’m thinking of adding a few ‘power pumps’ between regular pumps to help this breast along but it depends as this schedule of breast/bottle/pump or eat or sleep is taxing. Still her tummy troubles have greatly reduced now that we’ve been exclusively eating breast milk.

I try to remind myself this time last week I wanted to be sans formula and now I am. Hopefully next week I’ll be at 3-4 ounce pumping output.

Because of the breast pain on the right side, I’m taking 650 mg of Tylenol once a day. I wonder what this sharp pain is about. It’s also uncomfortable when she latches on my right breast though I’ve only given her the right breast infrequently as the let down takes longer, she winds up sleeping very quickly on it.

Every book I read says to give her the slower breast first and to pump it more frequently but the occasional pain makes it hard to do.

At least I’m not too worried about her not eating as she’s pooping and peeing frequently. She’s also more alert. She has more alert time. I also know she’s getting bigger as her head is not peeking out of the Baby Bjorn.

Speaking of poop, she had a massive poop this evening during the Daddy shift. It was so huge, that it went up her back and dad quickly decided a bath was in order. She seems to enjoy the bath time but dislikes being pulled out of the bath. I suppose warm water would be soothing. I just love looking at her face when she’s getting a bath. It’s filled with wonderment.

First time playing with the activity mat
Your dad picked it out for you. It has a foot kick pad that starts playing Mozart when you kick it. You’re too young to realize all your motor skills yet but you do seem to enjoy the shapes and colors and the jingling duck. Oh and you like to stare in the mirror too.

First time mom was so exhausted she had to take a nap while you cried in her arms
I didn't know I could do that but I did. Usually your cries cause my heart to ache and my breasts to hurt and squirt. This morning, I was so exhausted and my breasts were spent, all I could do was just let you cry in my arms as I sat and rocked you for 15 minutes. Normally, I'd stick you on my breast and close my eyes but my breasts were so sore i couldn't possible think about anyone, even you BG, touching them.

First family hug
Yes, it took this long but yesterday the three of us all hugged together and not just a arms wrapped around each other hug. We’ve done that at the hospital when we were so afraid to squeeze you too hard. I’m talking about an all out envelopment from your mom and dad. I held you tightly around my chest while your dad hugged me so that we both cocooned you in a great big hug. You seemed to like the warmth and closeness. So did your mom and dad.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Out and About

3 Weeks & 6 Days Old

Hubby fed BG most of the day. Tomorrow I start what I started yesterday, I give her one breast for 20-30 minutes then give her a bottle. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or bad thing but I do know that I don’t think I can keep up the 45 minute breast feedings + 20 minute bottle feedings + 20 minute breast pumping. The cycle is too vicious. By the time I get her settled it’s time for her next feeding or I’m sitting there with two pumps at my breast while balancing a baby on my shoulder to soothe her. It has been too much for me alone.

Today hubby did most of the feedings to give me a respite. He knew it was bad when I told him I was too tired to go to church. In a nice voice, not his usual authoritative husband-knows-best voice, he asked me to go to church. I went. I was tired but I went. I didn’t really socialize. I sat in the back quietly and made my way home afterwards without chatting. I pumped and then hubby took me to the bedroom and told me to nap. I slept for an hour and a half.

I pumped; hubby fed BG and then we got ready for our first trip to Buy Buy Baby and Babies R’ Us with BG. Getting ready for an outdoor excursion for these new parents involves planning, lots of planning. We need to time feedings, dog walks, pack diaper bag, prep portable pump/breast milk and parent prep time (brush teeth, wash face, comb hair, put on a clean shirt).

We got out of the house through careful planning within an hour. We made it to 2 baby stores, a suit store for daddy and a work related drop off! Holy cow I am so proud of us. During the trip to Babies R’ Us, hubby wound up changing her diaper and clothing (she had an explosion) and fed her. Big milestones!

Unfortunately, I was unable to pump like I wanted to so I had to go without pumping for 5 hours which left my breasts hard and swollen. The first thing I did when we got home was attach myself to the pump.

Oh, she also slept through the ride home. Usually she’s crying inconsolably. I though babies are supposed to like car rides. I hope this works the same for her doctor’s appointment this week. It’s easier when hubby and I are together but when it’s just me, it is harder to manage.

You know, I’ve come to realize that society does not make it easy for a breastfeeding woman. I mean, yes, everything says, ‘Breast is Best’ and NYC laws allowing women to breastfeed in public but it still isn’t accessible or welcomed. I can’t just pump anywhere. I can’t whip out a boob without people gawking. It’s just much easier for a woman to give her child a bottle of expressed breast milk and pump in the car.

Even at the hospital, even though they say the promote breastfeeding, the resources are limited and they are immediate to answer woman’s worries with ‘well you can give her/him formula.’ Heck when you leave the hospital, they give you a ‘gift’ from Enfamil or Similiac. One person told me that 3-4 weeks post partum, she received a package via mail from a formula company. It was two free cases of formula. She said it was perfect timing from their marketing folks. Around 3-4 weeks, a growth spurt happens and you are completely at wits end feeling as if the child is on your breast 24/7. A quick bottle of formula seems like the answer to many a weary moms.

I guess, I’m trying to be more positive and realize I’m doing something that maybe considered the good thing to do for your child but I’m not living in a society that actively promotes and supports it. I’m not alone either. Many woman have told me they feel like they are in the same boat. Do they have enough to feed their child? Are they a good mother if they don’t? How come my baby doesn’t latch? How come my baby doesn’t seem to grab all her/his nourishment from the source?

It’s an emotional and physical roller coaster. I’m glad though I’m in a day and age where I can chat/share experiences with others, especially on the internet. It’s keeping me sane.

I found this article by Stephanie Casemore that sums up exactly what I have been feeling of late. Just in case anyone stumbles upon this, I’d like to share it with you. After I read it, I wanted to hug her.

First drive home where she slept through it
It was sublime. No crying!
First dining al fresco
Hubby fed her EBM at Babies R’ Us while we shopped for a mobile
First trip where we left as scheduled and were generally prepared

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Sorry but filial piety takes a back seat to my daughter's needs

3 Weeks & 5 Days Old

I am so disheartened today. On Thursday, she disliked the SNS feeder. I took this as a sign that she was ready to stop the feeder so on Friday we did a bed-in. I gave her the breast practically all day. She had very little active alert time so if she wasn’t sleeping, I gave her the breast.

While she slept, I pumped. I pumped a good amount of food for her. I set up 3 bottles for hubby. She spent the night fussing and I noticed two of her diapers has a tiny red stain with slightly darker pee. To me this signaled dehydration. Hubby thinks I’m overanalyzing again.

She finally went to bed at 4am and slept until 8am. I gave her the breast at 12 noon. She seemed to be swallowing well especially on the left breast. She had another alert period but then didn't go to sleep. Instead she got fussy agan and at 1:30 after bouncy seats, rocking and cradling didn't settle her, I gave her 2 ounces of milk via the bottle. She settled and pooped.

I feel like she latches well but she just doesn't suck the milk out as efficiently so she gets tired and sleep sucks.

It is 2:30 now and she is now asleep in my arms. I feel like she likes my breasts, latches quickly but just isn't satisfied on the breast, I feel like I should just give her the bottle of EBM for sustenance.

This disheartens me. I love when she's feeding straight from the source but if it is 45 minutes of breast leading to 20 minutes of bottle to settle her is that good for anyone?

What should I do? I feel like I am doing something wrong that's why she doesn't get her nourishment straight from the source. I know this isn’t logical. I want so badly for her to get it but it is causing so much anxiety. This is so hard. We jump one hurdle and we have another to face. How do I get her to get more milk efficiently? Should I just give in and do bottles with occasional breast for soothing?

It seems like the only thing that makes her the happy kid that I know is textbook 2.7 ounces via bottle, diaper change and swaddle. The breast is just a soother.

Oh, I also confirmed my husband’s suspicion that the best interest of BG or myself is not the priority for some people. I can’t go into detail but after a phone conversation and an in person discussion where I found my voice, I am certain that some folks are thinking of their needs not the needs of a new mom and new baby. There is an underlying meet the needs of the elders mentality that we have conflicting opinions on. I respect my elders but I need to prioritize the needs of my child over the needs of others. It's a cultural difference that I have to protect my child from. That’s my job and that includes my needs and desires. I need to put things in perspective.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Bed-In for BreastFeeding

3 Weeks & 4 Days Old

Today is the first day we kept with breast and bottle feedings. I spent the day in bed with BG. Whenever she cried and it wasn’t a poop or pee issue, I snuggled with her and gave her the breast. We’re still learning how to suck better. I’m hoping that with the continued breastfeeding will be practice for both of us.

Since yesterday, BG cries and isn’t as attentive after feedings. Does that mean she’s not getting enough? Usually after the SNS feeding, she burps and then spends a half hour looking around before I swaddle her and get her ready for another nap. Now, she cries after 15 minutes.

I’m not sure if she’s not getting enough, if she’s experiencing a growth spurt or what.

Hubby thinks I’m overanalyzing this too much. Probably so but my life revolves around pee, poop and breasts these days. It’s just hard to understand why if she was getting enough food she would cry afterwards. The feedings on the breast take 45 minutes on average. By the time I burp her and get her situated, she cries again. Is it that the feedings take so long they pass the 2-3 hour mark for her next feeding? I need to be more confident about my output and our breastfeeding.

I’m pumping less but I appear to have more output. I pumped 5 times so far today and each time I have about 3 ounces. I’ve prepared a few bottles for late night feedings.

We’ll see how it goes tomorrow.

Oh, she changed her normal fussiness in the late evening and moved it to the day. She slept pretty well yesterday and hubby was quite happy. She slept from 3am to 7am allowing mom and dad to sleep a bit as well. Although I love these long periods I get paranoid because every book I’ve read says a newborn should eat every 2-3 hours. I need to stop reading into things too much. This is ridiculous.

First bed-in
Spent the day clusterfeeding BG. Once she fell asleep at the breast, I’d transfer her to her crib and catch a few winks, grab a bite to eat or go to the bathroom.