One month and counting

Yesterday little Parker turned one month old.  I think I’ve learned more in one month than I have in the past year.  Here are just a few:

  • Patience, patience, and then some more patience
  • Babies cry.  That’s what they do.  Sometimes they want something, and sometimes…they just want to cry.
  • Sometimes Moms cry when the baby cries…and it’s okay too.
  • Nursing is one of the hardest things to do, but rewarding bonding experience when going well
  • When someone offers to help… let them
  • Don’t cut baby toenails…just file them.  Don’t ask, just TRUST me on that
  • If the baby needs to be held, and dishes need to be done, babybjorn to the rescue
  • The way you do things may be the best way, but not the ONLY way.  It’s good to let others (ie: husband) do it THEIR way
  • Harold and the Purple Crayon is the best children book, and does a heck of a good job putting a little boy to sleep
  • Naps are the best.  Take at least one nap with your baby each day
  • Having skin to skin contact with the baby daily keeps him content and secure
  • Thrush is no joke, and can be a painful nursing experience.  The earlier you get treated (14 day dosage NOT 2 day) the better you and your baby will feel
  • The fisher price bouncy chair is the best thing so you can finally get that shower you’ve been waiting for
  • Walking the two mile loop is the best way for baby to relax and mommy to “check out” for a bit
  • The halo sleep sack swaddler and a pacifier makes for a good start to a long night of sleep (long meaning waking every 2.5-3 hrs)
  • Cloth diapering is a good idea during the day…but at night it’s a pain when you’re half asleep
  • As much as I’ve wanted to get on a schedule with Parker, this month we’ve been focusing on getting to know each other in order to develop our own rhythm.  A schedule will come soon enough, and I’m not going to rush it.
  • Friends bringing meals has been invaluable, and has turned a few “bad days” into “better days”
  • It’s important to show love to your pets.  Lizzie ate Parker’s pacifier this morning…poor thing.  Probably love deprived.
  • Just when you think you’ve reached your wits end…just remember John and Kate Plus Eight and Octomom and thank your lucky stars!

Things you never knew you wanted to know about me…

I am… stealing this from Danielle’s Dish and calling it my own

I want…to get more than two hours sleep in a row

I have… the best looking newborn baby boy in the world

I wish… there were more hours in the day

I know…that there is a reason for everything

I hate… that life is so short

I hear… that practice makes perfect

I crave… a clean house, a happy baby and lots of sleep

I search… for new information that helps me learn

I always… tend to worry what others think

I usually… get nervous to talk in large groups

I am not….a super woman or perfect

I miss… quiet time to myself

I love… those that radiate love and selflessness

I never… thought I would be where I’m at today

I rarely…write down my thoughts, just type them

I cry… more than usual now

I lose… a pacifier ever few hours

I should… be more encouraging to others

I worry… about raising a child and being a good parent

I dream… about the future for our family

I was… going to make this post funny, but apparently I don’t have a funny bone

I need… not to take life so seriously and lighten up

I can… be what God has intended for my life to be

Mystery solved

I know I seem obsessed with nursing by this point, but just wanted to make one more follow-up post on the one below.  I found out through the forums on La Leche League website that the reason why feeding is so painful is because I have thrush.  This is a self diagnosis, but I really believe I do because I fit all of the symptoms.  I would’ve noticed it earlier had Parker had symptoms of this (white tongue and/or white spots int he mouth), but apparently the baby can by asymptomatic.

Here are the risk factors:

  • Antibiotics administered to the mother during pregnancy, during labor and delivery, or shortly before or during the time that yeast symptoms occur. Please note that antiobiotics are always administered when a cesearean section is performed or when GB Strep is diagnosed or is being treated preventatively prior to delivery. A history of long-term or frequent antibiotic use in the mother is also a predisposing factor for yeast.
  • Antibiotics administered to the baby
  • Long term or frequent use of steroids in either mother or baby
  • Nipple trauma such as cracks. The breakdown of the skin allows for the entrance of yeast as well as bacteria. Cracking is not normal. This type of nipple trauma should be addressed quickly by a lactation consultant.
  • Maternal use of oral contraceptives containing estrogen
  • Allowing damp nursing pads or bras to stay up against nipple tissue for long periods of time
  • Using plastic lined nursing pads which prevent good air flow to the nipple area
  • Pacifier use in the baby
  • Excessive consumption of dairy products, artificial sweeteners, or sweets in the mother
  • Diabetes in the mother
  • Anemia in the mother
  • Vaginal yeast infection in the mother either during pregnancy or shortly before or during time that other yeast symptoms occur. Mothers who have a history of frequent vaginal yeast infections are also more vulnerable.

Here are the symptoms:

In the Mother

  • intense nipple or breast pain that occurs from birth, lasts throughout the feeding, or is not improved with better latch-on and positioning
  • sudden onset of nipple pain after a period of pain-free nursing
  • cracked nipples
  • nipples that are itchy and/or burning and that may appear pink or red, shiny, or flaky and/or have a rash and tiny blisters; nipples may also appear normal
  • shooting pains in the breast during or after a feeding if the yeast has invaded the milk ducts
  • nipple or breast pain with correct use of an automatic electric breastpump
  • a vaginal yeast infection

In the Baby:

  • diaper rash that does not respond to typical rash ointments
  • creamy white patches that cannot be wiped off on the inside of the mouth, along the inside of the gums, inside of the cheeks, roof of mouth, throat, or tongue
  • a shiny or “mother of pearl” look on the inside of the mouth
  • breast refusal, pulling off breast, or a reluctance to nurse due to mouth soreness
  • repeated clicking during nursing
  • excessive gassiness due to the yeast’s invasion of the gut

Let’s just say that I have several of the risk factors and symptoms, so I’m pretty sure this is what it is.  Thank you Danielle for showing me the La Leche website because I may have gone on a few more weeks thinking that I had “normal” breastfeeding pain.  I hope this helps others out there wondering about persistent breastfeeding pain.  Even if you’re prepared with reading all the books and talking to several lactation consultants, there still could be more answers out there if you dig for it.

Feeding Frenzie Frustrations

So, I may begin to sound like a bit of a complainer to my readers, and I’m sorry for that.  However, this blog is used as my outlet to vent frustrations too, so with that in mind, I continue to type my complaints.  Can I just say on the record that breastfeeding sucks? No pun intended, but I’m going on three weeks now, and my boobs are still sore!  I’ve heard that it gets easier, and I keep telling myself “You can do this, you can hold out just a little bit longer”.  However, I’m starting not to believe those inner words of encouragement.  I’m still feeding him every 2-3hrs.  At night I set my alarm for four hours until the next feeding, but it never fails…he always wakes me up at two and a half hours.  I’ve tried all of the lotions, shields, shells warm compress, cold compress, ibuprofen…just about everything except for supplementing with formula.  A few days ago I gave in and gave him a bottle of pumped breast milk.  It was great that he was able to suck it down in less than a minute and give my breast a rest, however it took me over three days to pump that much…so it’s not something that I can do often. 

Whoever said that if you’re nursing correctly, then it’s not suppose to hurt, is a BIG FAT LIAR.  I’ve read breastfeeding books, attended classes, met with a lactation consutlant, called the lactation support line a few times and I think I’m pretty clear on the proper “technique”.  It’s just crazy to me that when I mention it to a lactation consultant (aka breastfeeding nazi) my struggles, they automatically assume that I don’t have the “proper latch”.  I’ve heard that some people have more sensitivity in their breast than others, so apparently I’m either REALLY sensitive, or a big baby about the whole thing.

So why do I continue to do it?  Well, after taming his flailing arms threatening to scratch or smack me, and  after the initial pain of latching on has stopped, it’s not quite as bad.  I have a great time bonding with my son while I nurse too.  The main reason why I am so determined to breastfeed is because I want to give him the absolute best nutrition for his growing body.  My husband has Crohn’s disease, and even though it’s not proven that breastfeeding will prevent Crohn’s, it has been shown in studies that babies who are brestfed are at a lesser risk for developing Crohn’s disease as well as other digestive diseases later in life.  So, with that in mind…I’m going to power through this challenge and make it my mission to be successful at it!  I have noticed that it has gotten easier, so I’m hoping that in the coming days (not weeks!) that it’ll get increasingly easier and I will feel good about bonding with my son.  Hopefully I will have a good report in a few weeks and I’ll be just as happy while breastfeeding as the fairytale image above.

Once upon a growth spurt

It use to be when I heard my mommy friends say their kid was going through a growth spurt I thought, oh…how sweet.  Now, I don’t have such a reaction.  Only now do I realize that growth spurt equals feedings as close together as an hour and a cranky crying baby that doesn’t want to sleep.  This is what I’ve been facing for the past few days.  I’m hoping that today is the last of it.  Nursing a newborn with a growth spurt is a challenge to say the least.  This morning while Parker was screaming and crying…I shed quite a few tears of my own.  It was a combination of no sleep, my husband Dan leaving on his first business trip since Parker’s birth, and a general feeling of helplessness that I couldn’t feed or soothe him like a loving mother should be able to.  To make matters worse, he went for his two week check-up yesterday and he was one ounce shy of meeting his goal weight which would be his birth weight of 9lbs 3oz.  I thought it wasn’t that big of a deal, but apparently it’s a big enough deal for them to make him come back in two weeks to make sure that he is gaining enough weight.  Seriously one ounce?  That’s about a poopy diaper’s worth or the difference between disposable and cloth diapers.  I’m going to try not to fret over it.  Although, it does bother me that he’s not plump and gaining the ideal weight.  The thought that I may not be feeding him enough really  upsets me.

This past Saturday we got professional pictures taken by Tracy Adams and they turned out SO well.  I felt bad because we had to stop every so often to re-feed and change and try to soothe his fussiness.  She deals with newborn pictures a lot, so I’m sure she’s use to it.  I had such a hard time deciding which pictures to use for the birth announcements.  I will post some of her pictures soon.

Tonight we had our first restaurant experience with Parker.  We went to our favorite restaurant Xian China Bistro, where pre-Parker we would dine religiously.  It was a beautiful evening so we decided to take the baby in the stoller and walk up there for an early dinner.   The restaurant was nearly empty since we were there early and we sat in the corner of the restaurant away from any potential swine flu sneezes.  It was a great dinner and Parker didn’t get the least bit cranky.  The restaurant owner claims it is because he’s “use to it” because we came there so often during my pregnancy.  I say, it’s the great feng-shui with the great indoor water feature trickling over bedrock.  What baby doesn’t love that?

My days have seemed to get increasingly busier and busier with caring for Parker.  To be honest, I started this blog post several times this week and wasn’t able to finish it because of one thing or another.  I’m hoping that we can ease into a schedule.  Mostly a sleep schedule so that he can have his more active/awake states during the day instead of in the evening.  I’ll keep you posted on the progress.