Friday, September 25, 2009

Tomorrow Adelaide will be one month old.

So far, she has learned that when she's got a dirty diaper and we lay her on the floor, she can stop crying because we're about to change her anyway. She's also learned that after Aaron changes her he will bring her to me for food. She will cry when he picks her up and stop when he starts to hand her to me, before she can see or feel me. She will also stop crying when she sees my pull down my shirt.

She's also decided that she prefers being comforted and put to sleep with me, and will scream like no other when she's with Aaron. Poor hubby. He doesn't know what she likes and no amount of explaining can teach it. And she only knows that she's not with mom, so she screams. Poor kid. If/when they get more time together they'll work it out.

I had no idea she could learn so much and show so much learning by this point.

She's pretty amazing!
Starting at one thirty, Adelaide woke up. I changed her, fed her, burped her, fed her, burped her, rocked her. She was fussy and started pumping her legs so I gave her some Mylicon drops and we rocked some more with the pacifier. She fell asleep. A beautiful, deep, peaceful sleep that looks more like the sleep I saw in her first few days. Now it's two thirty and she's in her glider snoozing away and I'm free to do all kinds of things!

Yesterday I did laundry and cleaned up the living room. Today I'm going to tackle the bedroom and her crib. I think I'll set up the baby monitor for the first time.

With all these wonderful new developments I've been able to pump each breast and start working out my clogged ducts and eat meals with both hands. I love my daughter, and I love our new routine. And I love that her belly doesn't hurt anymore.

Follow my instinct. When I was sure her belly was full, I stopped feeding her. When I was sure her belly hurt, I gave her a solution. When she cried in that sudden, impatient, angry way, I changed her. I have instincts for a reason. They will not always be right, but when they match objective signs they should be trusted.

No more comfort nursing on mama unless her last meal has had time to settle.

No more waiting to check the diaper - it's always the diaper.

Always have anti-gas drops nearby.

Let her fuss in her sleep. If she's not awake, the fuss will be over in a few seconds.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


1. Adelaide has some gas bubbles. Mylicon drops seem to have calmed her evening fussiness a lot.
2. Adelaide does NOT sleep with a messy diaper. This is not a theory, it's a proven fact. While I'm optimistic that this will result (or at least impact) a very quick potty 'learning' period, it doesn't help her much now.
3. I should have given her a pacifier earlier. Granted, her latch needed work, but her latch isn't going to get better while my breasts are hard and swollen.
4. My breasts are hard and swollen because Adelaide comfort nurses a lot. It's not a problem for me to comfort her a lot, and it's not a problem for most mothers to allow their children to nurse whenever the children want/need to. For me, it causes oversupply.
5. The excess milk production is causing plugged ducts. Plugged ducts contribute to (or maybe outright caused) my sore breasts and my soreness is impacting our relationship.
6. My nipple pain is caused by her latch and my sensitive skin. We need to keep working on her latch, but working on her latch hurts so badly that I end up going back to the shield for a day.
7. All the comfort nursing is overfilling her belly and causing her spit up. This upsets her and causes more nursing, which only adds to the problem.
8. I need to remember to wake her up to burp her after every feeding and then put her back to sleep.

I need to pump to clear out the plugged ducts, but pumping will add to my oversupply issues. Ideally, she would nurse out the clogged spots, but she gets VERY upset when the flow slows down (which results in me letting her switch to the other breast causing another letdown contributing to oversupply) and she ends up so upset that she can't nurse without the shield. She also gets too sleepy to latch correctly on her own, so we frequently have to go back to the shield at the end of the feeding.

I am now researching bottles that will let her practice her latch because my nipples just can't take it. Maybe we will take her to the chiropractor after all.

She also got her first not-me substance tonight. Since I found out I was pregnant I haven't taken even a Tylenol. No medications at all. Not even the eye goop that is required in some states to be given at birth. [Turns out, that's an antibiotic to prevent blindness in infants passing through a birth canal infected with chlamydia or gonorrhea. I have neither, she doesn't need weird chemicals in her eye for diseases I do not have.] Tonight she got gas relief drops. That and my new theories have resulted in a quiet, peaceful night. She fusses when her diaper is dirty, I change her, give her the pacifier (instead of my breast), and rock her back to sleep. Her nap has so far been interrupted 3 times, but she's sleeping peacefully. I've had time to heat, massage, and pump one breast and after her next feeding I'll have time to do the other.

It's time I start trusting my instincts. When I know in my heart and gut that she has a full belly and clean diaper, I need to just help her sleep. Nursing when she needs sleep is not meeting her needs. It's my job to meet her needs.

We'll see how these theories impact the next few days and consider revision. Parenting is more research and theorizing than I expected.
I think I really need to follow my instincts when it comes to nursing. Today I was just sure that Adelaide had enough milk and was just 'comfort nursing' but I let her keep going. Some babies do this and have no problems. Adelaide nurses until she makes herself sick. She just spit up so much that milk came out her nose.

So, we're limiting comfort nursing now. If she wants to keep sucking we'll have to give her the pacifier. She's not a huge fan of the pacifier, but I'm not a huge fan of raw nipples or her spitting up all the time.

I thought all the learning that took place after you have a baby was baby knowledge. But it's knowledge about MY baby. The learning is baby specific.

I have to go pump now.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Thoghts for my daughter

From India Arie:

Sometimes I shave my legs and sometimes I dont
Sometimes I comb my hair and sometimes I wont
Depend on how the wind blows I might even paint my toes
It really just depends on whatever feels good in my soul

I'm not the average girl from your video
And I aint built like a supermodel
But, I learned to love myself unconditionally
Because I amFont size
a queen
Im not the average girl from your video
My worth is not determined by the price of my clothes
No matter what Im wearing I will always be india arie

When I look in the mirror the only one there is me
Every freckle on my face is where its supposed to be
And I know our creator didnt make no mistakes on me
My feet, my thighs, my lips, my eyes; Im lovin what I see

I'm not the average girl from your video
And I aint built like a supermodel
But, I learned to love myself unconditionally
Because I amFont size
a queen
Im not the average girl from your video
My worth is not determined by the price of my clothes
No matter what Im wearing I will always be india arie
I'm not the average girl from your video
And I aint built like a supermodel
But, I learned to love myself unconditionally
Because I amFont size
a queen
Im not the average girl from your video
My worth is not determined by the price of my clothes
No matter what Im wearing I will always be india arie

Am I less of a lady if I dont wear pantyhose?
My mama said a lady aint what she wears but, what she knows
But, Ive drawn a conclusion, its all an illusion, confusions the name of the
A misconception, a vast deception
Somethings gotta change
Dont be offended this is all my opinion
Aint nothing that Im sayin law
This is a true confession of a life learned lesson I was sent here to share wit
So get in where you fit in go on and shine
Free your mind, nows the time
Put your salt on the shelf
Go on and love yourself
cuz everythings gonna be all right

I'm not the average girl from your video
And I aint built like a supermodel
But, I learned to love myself unconditionally
Because I amFont size
a queen
Im not the average girl from your video
My worth is not determined by the price of my clothes
No matter what Im wearing I will always be india arie

Keep your fancy drinks and your expensive minks
I dont need that to have a good time
Keep your expensive car and your caviar
All I need is my guitar
Keep your crisp style and your pistol
Id rather have a pretty piece of crystal
Dont need your silicon I prefer my own
What God gave me is just fine

I'm not the average girl from your video
And I aint built like a supermodel
But, I learned to love myself unconditionally
Because I amFont size
a queen
Im not the average girl from your video
My worth is not determined by the price of my clothes
No matter what Im wearing I will always be india arie

I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am not your expectations no
I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am a soul that lives within

Monday, September 21, 2009

The most amazing baby alive is currently sleeping all by herself in her glider thing.

Hallelujah. We got it for $10 at Salvation Army and it's paying for itself right now. If her Miracle Blanket didn't have spit up on it, I'd be free enough to get dressed, clean the kitchen, or any number of daring activities.

The public health nurse who's helping us with nursing is coming tomorrow. We have lots to talk about. Adelaide's latch is so shallow, but we're making progress. Unfortunately, it isn't fast enough. She should be gaining more weight. I'm also concerned about how often she spits up. She spits up more and more frequently than any baby I've ever seen. Last time the nurse recommended trying an elimination diet to see if allergies could be causing an upset stomach. In my laziness, we decided to try a pacifier to see if maybe she was taking in more milk than she could digest when she was nursing for comfort instead of hunger. Her spitting up did decrease, but I'm not sure if it decreased enough.

I still don't know if I can re-open this blog or not. I keep seeing crap from my cousins so I'm not sure I can open this without opening a whole problem with them. Some people don't move forward. Like at all. Ever.

Christmas is around the corner, and I will be in Denver for about 3 weeks. With any luck, I might make it to Michigan as well. That will be much trickier. We'll see.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Nursing SUCKS!

I've had so many nursing problems and nothing seems to be getting any better. If I hear "Stay encouraged!" one more time I'm going to vomit.

My LO is 3 weeks old and all she wants to do is nurse. My nipples look like hamburger meat and hurt ALL THE TIME. She has an incredibly shallow latch and can only latch onto me without the nipple shield maybe 30% of the time. People kept telling me that she is just building my supply, but she spits up during and after every feeding, so what would she need MORE milk for? She eats until she gets sick as it is!

Originally, I wanted to wait and not give a pacifier until around 8 weeks, but I can't do this much longer. When she is awake she is either nursing or crying, and today I'd rather she be crying.

I just can't do this anymore. Her latch is SO PAINFUL. I've been told that it isn't supposed to be but it is. I have a lactation nurse that has been coming out once a week but her latch isn't any better. If anything it hurts more because she's learned that she can take the nipple shield with her when she turns her head and she can keep sucking so she tries to do that with me too.

I've also been to an LLL meeting and I've been speaking with a leader about my issues but she just seems to give me all the same stuff I've been reading in books. And I don't want emotional support, I want the problems gone. Maybe my desire to disengage is proof that I do need emotional support.

She's upstairs crying with DH right now. She's been nursing for about three and a half hours (a pretty normal evening for us) and she's really upset that she isn't nursing now. I don't think it's possible that her stomach could still be empty, and she wont sleep for more than 10 minutes. Last week we tried giving her milk I'd pumped (trying to keep up my supply) but she wouldn't have any of it. We fed her by dropper for days before we got the shield so she knows what it is, but she didn't want it, she held it in her mouth for a few minutes, let it fall back out and went back to crying.

I had been pumping daily, but my nipples are FAR too big for the shells on my pump and that seemed to make the pain in my nipples so much worse. I've ordered bigger shields, but I live in the middle of nowhere so they're taking a while to come in. I finally quit pumping because I figured even with the shields she's on the breast SO MUCH that my supply won't really have a chance to decrease.

So she eats until she falls asleep, then wakes up crying for the breast again. Sometimes she'll go an hour or occasionally more, but frequently she'll nurse every 10 minutes. I really don't think I've yet spent 5 minutes with my daughter awake and not nursing. At this point, breastfeeding is RUINING our relationship, not helping it.

DH thinks that letting her cry it out would be better than getting her a pacifier because crying it out won't teach her bad habits. I figure her latch can't get worse but her opinion of us and ability to trust can.

I wish I could let her nurse while she wanted to but I'm in so much pain that I've started yelling and jerking away from her and I'm afraid I'm going to end up grabbing at her mouth or something.

I'm ready to go buy formula and get her off me altogether. At least that way I could get some sleep and maybe be a good mother to her instead of trying to avoid her and get away from her every chance I get.

I'm so discouraged. What do I do?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Our first bath together

Our lactation consultant recommended taking a bath together. At first it sounded strange, but other mothers have told me it was helpful for them, so I gave it a try. I filled the tub and got in and had Mirus bring Adelaide in.

It was wonderful. Unbelievable. I wouldn't have expected bathing with her to somehow be so much more relaxing than a bath by myself, but holding her against me and watching her kick her little toes into the water was one of the best moments of my life. Something about holding her little bum and letting her idly search for my breast made me feel like I was fulfilling some purpose for my life. I think that slow moment is what the first moment after birth is supposed to feel like. I wish I hadn't been wearing the bathing suit top. Maybe that's why people rave about water births.

She did eventually find the nipple, and nursed without the shield or a problem.

I think we'll take another bath tomorrow.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

First shower

I never really expected a three person shower, but it turns out I'm too chicken to hold her with one hand in the shower. Hubby had to take his shirt off and wash her while I held/nursed her. She was much less opposed to being wet while she was nursing, that part worked out well.

Today, all three people in our family got showers! What an accomplishment!

Friday, September 11, 2009

more blog drama

I thought having my little baby blog would be harmless. I was wrong.

I wrote a post a few days back voicing my disappointment at being so pointedly ignored by my mother's side of the family and my parents. Someone assumed the post was about them and (in my opinion) completely overreacted. Was my post overly emotional? Yes. Did I say something harsh? Yes. At a few days post partum when an entire group of 'family' had ignored the birth of my daughter, I was hurt and wrote some things I would never have said face to face. I was aware that I needed to think about it before I said anything to anyone, that's why I didn't say anything. I wanted to go back and read it after I'd had a day or two to think about it.

I don't really feel bad about posting it publicly either. The person who overreacted wasn't who I was talking about in my post. I had even talked to her on the phone a week or so before Adelaide was born and told her that I didn't expect to hear from her or her sisters after the birth because I knew it would be hard for them. Apparently that slipped her mind. Or she thought I was lying. Or something.

So she emailed the post with her (completely illogical and unfounded) comments to everyone in the family and sent it by hard copy to anyone without an email address (or so she says). Now she's taken to commenting on my wall on other things that have nothing to do with her.

I understand her sister just lost a pregnancy, and I understand that's hard for them. It's hard for anyone. If they want to use me as a place to focus their anger, go for it. I'm not one to get upset over crap I read on the internet. I don't generally assume that everything I read is about me either.

Is that abnormal? Should I make more assumptions and have more emotional reactions to stuff on the internet? I don't think so.

So I've been debating what I should do. Do I just leave the blog all hidden and cryptic or do I open it up and let whoever wants to be upset go nuts? At this point I'm not even sure I owe an apology, given that I clearly wasn't speaking to the people who got upset. What would that apology sound like?

"I'm so sorry reading comprehension wasn't taught at your school."

I'm not apologizing for something I didn't do, that sounds too much like lying. And apologizing for her mistake is just insincere and a little condescending (not that I'm above that while fighting with Mirus, though I'm really trying to get better about it). So what would I even apologize for?

Since the post I've spoken with my mother and I think I understand better what's going on. So I'm planning on apologizing for that tonight. Apologizing for what I actually did wrong. I'm game for that.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Oh, Alaska!

Fairbanks is strange to me.

We were warned by a mother here in town about the health care available in our town. She said that our hospital is small (what isn't?) and that if we believe something to be really wrong with our child (i.e. cancer, serious or rare disease, etc.) we should fly to Anchorage or Seattle. Apparently some doctors in Fairbanks like to try and treat things locally, but since they lack the staff, resources, or equipment to adequately handle these more serious problems, the patients end up being flown to Anchorage eventually, often after conditions have worsened. Her daughter had a rare form of cancer and she was driving to Anchorage once a week for treatments. It's a 6-7 hour drive to Anchorage, and another 6-7 hour drive to come back. Those are some long days.

It kind of hit home to think that our safest bet may be to fly to another state to have our health concerns checked out. We really live in the middle of nowhere.

Fall colors are here. By fall colors I mean yellow, but it's pretty none the less. I'd like to take a drive and maybe take some pictures with the colors in the background. Hopefully we can get to that today, although we haven't been able to do much lately. Stupid bedrest.

[Despite my irritation, the rest seems to be working. No more hot spots, no more painful swelling.]

baby's awake!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Calming down about it all now. Still think it's all a bunch of bullshit.

Addie just napped in her crib for the first time. And she is officially 10 days old!


I can't find a single word of congratulations or encouragement or anything from anyone on my mother's side of the family. Nothing.

You can all just sit on it. Assholes.

One of you went through some shit this summer. I understand. One of you thinks that you're very intimidating and tough, though in reality you're just incoherent and a bad speller. (Maybe in person what you say and what you think you say match up better?) The rest of you I'm actually surprised at. Why?

I shouldn't be. I know better than to think that joy could be celebrated or shared without dragging in bullshit. I had a baby. I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and I'm supremely happy with her and with our family. Anything outside of that is garbage. Anyone trying to make this event about anything else is garbage too.

My parents haven't even had anything to say to me. Not one thing. Aaron called to let them know the good news while I was sleeping (Obviously, I wasn't making any phone calls at that point but we wanted everyone to know) and we found out they were on vacation. Fine. We tried their cell. It's off. Fine. We called grandparents the next day and were informed that my parents were so nervous and scared about the birth that they took a vacation to Connecticut. That sentence still doesn't make any sense to me. "They're just so worried and nervous that they had to get away and go to Connecticut." I suppose they do have an old drinking buddy living there, maybe that's the solace they sought. It certainly had nothing to do with me or the birth, since they just turned off their phones anyway. Maybe the birth was just a conveniently timed excuse?

About a week before the birth my father called to say that they weren't going to make it up here for the birth. I wasn't aware there had ever been a chance that they would. I mean, they never once made it out to Denver. Why would Alaska be more likely? Now I see that they apparently had time off work and 'weren't going to make it' because they found better plans. Or something. I don't know, they aren't interested in talking to me.

They keep telling Aaron that we feel the same way about Addie as they felt (notice the past tense) about me. If they ever felt for me the way I feel about my daughter they'd have called to talk to me by now. They'd have wanted to see pictures, they'd have come visit or tried to help. They have no idea how I feel about my daughter. None. Partly because it's impossible to really know and partly because they're very, very different people than we are.

For instance: Addie and I have had a hard time with breastfeeding so far. It's been tricky. Apparently, my mother had a hard time nursing me as well. What was our response? We called a lactation specialist, our midwives, found other breastfeeding moms, wrote the La Leche League, read books, and researched on the internet until we found solutions to make this work. What was their response? To give up and blame the infant. My mother says I scratched her and that's why they stopped, my father told Aaron that I refused to eat and that's why they stopped. Addie has scratched me many times and we've had to resort to expressing and hand feeding more than once, but I would never blame her for our struggles. She's an infant, we're the adults. If this attempt at breastfeeding fails, it is our fault, or no one's fault, but certainly not the fault of the newborn. I suppose the action of blaming a newborn doesn't necessarily reflect the full and accurate picture of the feelings of the adults, but it reflects the general idea.

And it generally sucks.

But then, so do they. They too, can absolutely just sit on it. Apparently they're sending us something. Maybe it's an apology. Or a congratulations card. At this point, I'm not sure it matters. Seriously? You call twice and don't ever think to ask to speak to me? Fuck off. And one of you still hasn't called at all. No, I'm not asking to speak with you. I want you to want to speak with me. I want parents who want to have a daughter.

Again with the wanting of that which does not exist. If my parents want a daughter, they have my cousin that lives around the corner. It's been my impression that you'd have preferred her anyway.

Another new skill set I have to learn is how to recognize when they're trying to draw my attention and energy away from my daughter. Then, I can refocus and prioritize. I'm so over this crap.

I have lots of new pictures coming, including a video of Addie hiccuping. Her belly draws in so FAR when she has the hiccups! They must feel so powerful to her. No wonder she gets kind of miffed. I think we'll video burping her too. She makes this huge array of weird faces when we try to burp her. Very cute.

And the dryer's done. I'm so glad we're using cloth diapers. If we were using disposables, I'd just see a trash bag full of wasted money. With cloth, I just see a load of laundry that takes about 5 minutes of my time and almost zero effort and I remember that we'll be able to re-sell these when we're done. Disposables are for suckers! (haha - just kidding)