28 December 2010
My love is 12 days old, he is beautiful and perfect and precious, and is sleeping and feeding like the proverbial. Until recently I thought all was as it should be, but after Christmas his attachment changed to something less than comfortable, so I visited the lactation specialist at our pediatrician’s office.
What a wonder these people are, dedicated solely to pinching your nipples like nobody’s business and poking your baby into a wakeful feeding frenzy. Seriously, this lady was wonderful if only because she gave me a hug and told me it wasn’t my fault. All I can think now is that I worked so hard (as I did with the first two) and it was for little reward, because his weight gain has dropped. So I feed him with a new vigor but he resists as the lactation consultant said he would, and I try again and he fights again, and I wonder if its worth it as im a bit more sore now than what I was before I started the new routine. So I bawl my eyes out and waste all that precious energy and moisture that ought to be used for nursing, not to mention the negativity that probably has an impact on nursing as well. So I am waving a torn envelope with drops of lavender so that I might be calm before the next feeding, which seems to loom sooner after every perceived failure.
But I haven’t failed, ive managed to rest and drink and even eat sometimes (due in full to wonderful husband and his mega efforts to run the house and kids in my mental absence), and feed a teeny baby as often as he needs it, even if he is being lazy when he does need it and not getting it all. I am a human dynamo, I know this at the best of times, but it can be hard to remember at the seeming worst of them.
Every birth is different for every person, so it must be that every hospital experience is different as well, but its not rocket science.
All that waiting and nothing actually happened; all that impatience and the end was more drawn out than what came before.
I think my water broke the same night I had the fortune cookie, possibly the only one fortune that was ever close to right. But it wasn’t obvious so when we went to the hospital to check, we had to wait for tests to show if there was amniotic fluid present. Eventually the tests said there was, so immediately I was pumped full of iv fluid, and that continued until at least 24 hours after the birth I think. The birth itself was not so great because after a great deal of huffing and puffing, baby had not descended one inch and I was starting to run a temperature and you know what that means…it means everyone gets their knickers in a knot and sterilizes the scalpels. Once I was on the table the bag of waters broke like Niagara, and if that had only happened way back when, then I could have avoided the big slice and dice and the associated pain and confusion that goes with it.
So apart from being cut apart, and having no real chance of a normal delivery if we choose to have more children; apart from not being supposed to drive or move for 6 weeks afterwards, certainly one of the worst things about a caesarean birth is that I was heavier after the birth than before, because of all the aforementioned fluids. Oh, and not being able to eat as soon as I was admitted certainly sucked the big one as well – I was starving when I went in and it was over 12 hours before I ate anything heavier than broth.
Remember the second Harry Potter movie where Lockhart magics away the bones in Harry’s arm? That is what my body looked like from the waist down. My joints vanished beyond recognition, my ankles were as wide as my knees and my knees were almost as wide and shapeless as my formerly not that repulsive thighs, but they were transformed into one shapeless mass. It was as uncomfortable as it was hideous. It has come off, after countless more fluids ingested in the traditional way, it has all been expelled and I now have lovely, shapely and slender ankles, and even calves that resemble toothpicks. I haven’t looked like that in at least 6 months, perhaps even 6 years. At least that is something.
5 January 2011
I have not had any chocolate for what seems an age, when it fact its probably less than a week. Baby had an upset stomach and I read that chocolate and citrus can do that to new babies. Oh woe! I really feel like chocolate now, especially since I had pizza for dinner. Baby has been gaining too little for too long now, even though tomorrow he is only 3 weeks old. After another appointment with another helpful consultant, I am now nursing then giving a bottle then pumping, which is great for him but heart breaking for me. I tried to think about why it is so upsetting, and ive come to the conclusion that its because I cannot just be with him, I cannot just hold him to me and smell him and feed him and have him grow like he ought. I also think that because I was drugged up the first week home (did I not mention taking prescribed narcotics and waking up one morning with the shakes? After that I stopped taking them) this may also be part of the delayed baby blues. Boohoo big time.
But I do think that I’ve picked up some tips from the lactation consultants, even though after nursing 2 monkeys I know about the good latch and the tug and pull and the let down and what not, and I think that today ive had the best feed since we came home, and that is so encouraging, I have to remember that at 2am when he isn’t completely awake and won’t do what he’s told.
6 March 2011
What an awful time that was! It got worse before it got better and I felt the worst that I possibly have in my life, but it has gotten better. The pain was bad for a while, one and off, before and after feeding and it still wasn’t making any difference in his weight gain. All that pumping and bottling after the feeding didn’t do much either, so I stopped and tried to just feed more often. It was comparable to the pumping and bottling so I was encouraged, but it still wasn’t great. I came to the conclusion that by the end of February, if things weren’t better or getting better then I was going to quit breastfeeding altogether. And after that I felt much better. It was not the conclusion I wanted but after having made the decision, I just felt better.
But I was not through trying. I ended up talking to some friends briefly (but tearily) about how things were going and that helped as well. They were supportive and sympathetic, one of them also recommended a midwife/nursing consultant. The consultant did a house call and we didn’t really solve anything, but she showed me how to feed in a reclining position. I had briefly tried it on my own in the past but couldn’t make it work. So from then on I was lying on the couch, no shirt, just baby and I skin to skin with a blanket for extra coziness. Thankfully husband was not travelling for a bit and it was a day away from the weekend and then both boys would be in school on Monday. So for 4 straight days I was able to lay around with baby, and we haven’t looked back! It was not a realistic long term strategy, laying down all day half naked with my child, but for those few days plus a few weeks with no playdates and very relaxed parenting of the 2 big boys, I was able to feed baby almost every hour (because if I got up he would wake up and think its feeding time), and laying down his attachment didn’t seem to be as big a deal. He was swallowing and it wasn’t painful, so the consultant said not to worry so much. And he put on weight. Not a lot but a lot more than before, and now he is a beefcake! I marvel at his fat little thighs, and his double chin.
We still lay down to nurse, but we are both fully clothed now. We also lay down in bed during the night, so ive fallen asleep almost every night with him in my arms, which is divine but also startling because I worry about him suffocating. I started taking my phone to bed as well so I could surf the web and hopefully keep myself awake until the feeding is finished, but that is not always successful. I don’t want to take a book because the lights would wake both baby and husband. But all in all everyone is happier. Husband is happy I am happy, he is also happy he can travel for work and not worry about me being a hot mess in his absence. i am happy because my baby is putting on weight. Im not sure how much he is putting on because the doctor told me not to come back for a month, but I know he is putting on weight so I can finally just feed him and hold him and be with him and not worry about anything except the snot in his nose that wont go away (thank you big brothers with sticky fingers not kept to yourselves).
Of course, reclined nursing has created another set of problems that I have not yet overcome – playdates. I cant lay down at the kids club, I could lay down at a friends house, but what about outdoors? I finally took the boys to the park yesterday and baby couldn’t feed properly because the fast let down is too fast when gravity is not working in his favour like it does when we are on the couch. So he is trying to take sips from the firehose and struggling, as you do, and there are 5 dads at the park, and a creepy little girl (so says I because she is wearing pajamas at noon and looks generally dirty) comes and tells me that her creepy dad likes my baby. Hmmmm. I take that to mean he cant take his eyes of my boobs, grrrrrreat. Hasty departure, drive-thru lunch for all and back to the couch.
6 March 2011
Aside from breastfeeding woes, there were 2 doctors visits for me to take care of. The first was to follow up on the caesarian scar, which turned out fine, and the second was the standard 6 week appointment.
In the scheme of things and compared to some women’s experiences im sure I did extremely well, but this birthing experience for me personally was traumatic, so much so that we are pretty sure we are not going to go for the fourth like we had planned. I mentioned this to the doctor at the 6 week visit when she brought up contraception. The very idea of sex during an horrific breastfeeding nightmare was ridiculous, but generally only 6 weeks after birth is just stupid, in my opinion. Go you if you are getting biz-zay with your husband or significant other so soon, or are even entertaining thoughts that stray from having a shower or going back to bed. I am not going to ask any of friends about this subject, but I did read that on average it takes just 3 weeks for western women to start doing the nasty again after having a baby. Wow; that’s all I have to say about that.
6 March 2011
During previously mentioned breastfeeding nightmare, there were not many things that made me happy, but apart from the unerring devotion and support from husband, nipple creams were somewhat of a beacon in the dark.
I was lucky enough not to have any real problems feeding my first 2 babies, so I wasn’t really aware of nipple creams except as a money spinner. Everyone knows that breast milk is the best thing for nipples, and that’s it. Of course, that isn’t entirely true, and now, no one knows that better than i. After every feed I would apply one of these creams (read spa treatments for ones nipples), and if everyone was in bed or not at home, I could walk around the house with nothing on but the spa treatment, and breathe a sigh of relief for my poor sad skin. One of them was a thick goop that was initially hard for me to use, the second was a thinner ointment that would glide on easy but not last as long. I love them both, but don’t use them much anymore, thank goodness.
Another money spinning idea, that I have bought into, is a post partum support belt, otherwise known as a girdle. And it doesn’t work. I don’t know if it’s the material its made from or just the shape, but I cant get it to stay on where its supposed to, so im writing it off as a bad joke.
10 March 10, 2011
I have borrowed a handful of books from the library in order to be a better parent, or to try to be a better parent. In our 3 ringed circus the 2 older rings are somewhat pains in the proverbial. By not listening and ignoring the rules that they know full well, they are obnoxious and rough and generally piss me off when they really try. I know I am absolutely part of the problem; I cannot be down on their level all of the time, sometimes Im feeding the baby and sometimes im trying to do housework (haha) and sometimes I dont want to have much to do with them. So I know that if I ask them to clean up it will work better if I help them, or I tell them to play in the basement so I don’t have to listen to their bullshit they are more likely to be silly down there and make a mess because im not down there playing with them.
So ive got the books to try and give myself some copying strategies and tools for getting them to listen and for me to be calm, or peaceful or whatever. But honestly, if I find the two of them on the dining table pushing the heavy and low-hanging light from side to side, what am I supposed to do but yell and put them both in a time out? If I look in the rear-view mirror and see them both pushing the baby capsule from side to side as much as it will allow (which admittedly is not that much) what I am supposed to do but slam on and scream at them? I don’t want to describe my feelings or ask them what they think the consequences will be when they are doing the wrong thing. Also, my gut instinct with regards to my baby is to be rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr and in a big way, but its always been that way. I remember when I was be changing #1’s diaper and pregnant and he might kick me playfully and obviously not realize what he was doing, but I would get angry and defensive of my belly, like some sort of primal cave woman protecting her young. And even though im a 21st century woman with ideals and intellect, I still get the same feeling when the big boys are being silly or rough too close to the baby.
Anyhoo reading the books is interesting, and gave me some perspective recently when husband was away for 5 consecutive days, and perspective is always nice rather than yelling the house down or time-outing around the clock. But I have my dad’s temper, so its not always easy to take a breath and recall different methods to deal with nonsense; I need my lavender. Nevertheless im on my way to enlightenment, and my husband would say “good for you” in his best typical yank accent. Good for me.
18 March 18, 2011
My husband is claiming expenses for work. Why does he get to do that and I don’t? Because he travels and gets fuel and frequent flyer points and has to sleep in hotel rooms and eat bad scrambled eggs for breakfast? I don’t know who im going to be claiming from, but I could do with some reimbursement as well.
Work clothes: I definitely need an allowance for work clothes, because they are routinely touched with dirty hands, spewed on, baby drooled on, pulled on, and never washed enough.
Personal injury: c-section scar, enough said
Fuel receipts: there are plenty of useless trips to and from anywhere
Work related expenses: whether they are different cups for the kids, different plates or types of diapers, surely all and sundry fall into this category, and it should be comparable to winning the lottery because they are never-ending
“work parties”: also known as playdates. I don’t mind bringing things to playdates, actually I feel bad if I don’t bring anything but I think these are deserving of reimbursement as well
sick leave: needs no explanation, not sure where or who the funds or support will come from though
over-time: working late at the office my ass! When sick kids stay home from school that’s over-time! When they fight or generally shit me to tears that’s over-time! I don’t need to mention teething or sick kids at night because that’s obvious! Id also like to add sick dad’s to this category because they never seem able to take care of themselves
maternity leave: a well-deserved break from all of the above for a little bit during pregnancy would be bloody awesome!
18 March 2011
That’s too many cars! I think that’s enough fresh air! I wanna snaaaaack! I did a poooo! I DID wash my hands! Im starving! I don’t WANNA talk to her! NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO
hey mooooommy! Mommy he ate some of my sandwich! I don’t want him to touch my things! but I AM using it! But that’s the wrong fork! I don’t want that bowl! Mommy where are you! Where’s daddy! I don’t want him to go to a different office! I want to stay in my pajamas! But they aren’t dirty! But I want to wear them! They are not the right ones! I want my elephant pillow! Where’s my mcqueen slippers! I want his puppy! Don’t touch my baby! Wheres my bag! But I neeeeed it! But it is clean! I don’t want to put them away! NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO
but its not raining! But I don’t want it to rain! I don’t want to go outside! I wanna ride my bike! You get my helmet for me! You do it! But I don’t like bananas! I don’t want pasta! That’s the wrong bread! I don’t want that drink bottle! Hes eating my snack! I don’t want a time out! But he hurt himself! NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO
but that’s not how you do it! Get out of the fridge! Mommy said you have to put the books away first! Hes not helping me! But I want to watch tv! I want to see the baby! But I cant see his eyes! I don’t want him to look at me!
Mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy
April 5, 2011
No one likes a screaming baby, but my baby is young and he was not just left in the trolley (cart) to annoy all and sundry. I was carrying him in my everpresent moby wrap, and he was a tired little sausage. My 2.5yo was actually fairly civilized in the trolley (cart), but still people were giving me the look. I looked away from them before I was tempted to tell them to piss off, or worse. His tired cries were not double take worthy, but they did. Screw them! Of course my tired little sausage screwed me by falling asleep as we were cashing out, and he slept for as long as it takes to walk to the car and put the shopping in the back before he woke up and cried all the way home (10 minutes).
He does not like the car, you see, which is a real bother, to say the least. No one likes a screaming bay but 20 minutes each way to pick my 4yo up from preschool can really take its toll on a woman. Add to that the noise inherent in a 20 minute car ride with said 4 and 2.5yo, bloody hell. Its usually fine when driving with husband because he can hold my hand and cajole me that we signed up for this when I proposed to him on the first night we met, but its not so funny ha ha when he’s travelling for work and im doing the 9 to 5 and inbetween on my own. Bloody hell.