Friday, February 27, 2009

Breastfeeding Oh breastfeeding

Motherhood at times has been very surprising, but what has shocked me most has been how breastfeeding has turned out. I read the Le Leatche League's breastfeeding book: The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and the book leads one to think breastfeeding will help save the world. And many of the first days of breastfeeding I felt this way. I was in the honeymoon phase of breastfeeding and loving it. I would tell anyone who would listen how everyone who can breastfeed should because it is just lovely.

Then I got Mastitis, then Riley got reflux and my supply dropped. Breastfeeding was no longer the lovely bonding time it once was and a bunch of times I almost gave it up. Things are once again going well, however the honeymoon phase has not reappeared. I love breastfeeding but not with the same enthusiasm that I once had. I am however so glad I stuck with it. Every week I breastfeed is money in the bank, it helps build his immune system and lowers my risk of breast cancer as well as much more.

Plus I now have some great breastfeeding stories to tell:

When R and I got home with Riley it took his dad a week to come visit, and when they finally decided to drop by I was breastfeeding. At this point breastfeeding while going very well I was still getting used to using the cover but I had it beside me for when they came over. However R and I soon found out I didn't need it, because his father and current wife both refuse to be in the same room as me while I feed Riley! Yep even with a cover the idea of breastfeeding weirds them out so much they can't be in the same room as me! R and I laugh that Riley will be over a year old before they spend any quality time with him, sadly it might actually be true.

Story number 2:
I was breastfeeding in front of my sister's kids, they are 2 and 4 years old and neither was breast feed so the concept is new to them. When I told them there was milk in my breasts in response to them asking me what I was doing they didn't believe me. So I showed them. Now my let down is fast so when I hand express mild literally SHOOTs out, some times a good three feet or so. The look on their little faces when the milk came out in their directions was priceless! And then after the shock wore off... "Can we try?"

Story number 3:

Riley loves to grunt and groan while on the breast and it makes both R and I laugh. We have taken to telling him "talk dirty to it" and "Oh Lefty like it when you talk like that". Yep we sexualize breastfeeding! Riley is going to need lots of therapy when he gets older.

Story number 4 is and oldie and a goody.

It is X-mas eve and we are spending a short period of time with R's family. I have organized our feeds so that Riley won't need to eat there but still breastfeeding comes up. When one of his male 20 something cousins finds out I plan on breastfeeding for a year he is a little weirded out. My response "Your just jealous Riley gets to mac on my porn star boobs." The look on his face and the shade of red it turned was hilarious, maybe you had to be there to find it as funny as we do, but thinking of that night still makes us laugh out loud.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

He found his thumb

Riley has been working at finding his thumb for a week or so now. He can suck on his fist but hadn't figured out how to get just his thumb in him mouth. Well now he has figured it out. It has only happened a few times and most of the time he just sucks on his fist but he is getting there.

I was a thumb sucker and the one thing I have vowed not to let Riley be is a thumb sucker. Babies have an innate need to suck and thus I am fine giving him a paci because those can be taken away but a thumb is harder to take away. Believe me I know!

Hopefully we can keep him from becoming a thumb sucker but it is a lot harder than it sounds and at the moment he is testing both R and my will power. Every time he gets his thumb or fist we try to replace it with the paci, sometimes this works other times he screams in protest. We will however continue to take his thumb away, until either he doesn't want it anymore or my will power fades. The memories of me fighting with my parents over my own habit is a strong motivation as is the 3,000 dollars worth of orthodonic work I required once I stopped.

Who wants some cuteness?

This is baby yoga the home version. He loves it and it really does help him poop, yep it is official I am a mom now and blogging about poop.

Tummy time at our house used to mean a lot of crying, but not anymore. Riley now will hang in there for up to 15 minutes with the help of a mirror.

I would share some pics of me and him but the recent ones all involve breastfeeding or I have recently been breastfeeding and thus am wearing only a bra on top. R seems to only pic up the camera when I don't have a top on. They are great photos don't get me wrong but not the kind you share on an open blog.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Motherhood is hard work: a response to a comment on my blog

When I was pg I always felt weird complaining about morning sickness because for a long time I said I would do anything to be pg and have morning sickness. But quickly I realized that complaining about morning sickness didn't make me any less grateful to be pg, it just made me honest that morning sickness is no fun and quite frankly SUCKS.

Now as a mom I have learned that just because I longed and wanted to be a mother doesn't mean sleepless nights are fun, nor does it make poopy diapers less stinky, but according to one of my readers it should. I guess only fertiles are allowed to complain about sleepless nights, reflux, sore nipples from breastfeeding and all the other wonderful ailments of motherhood.

Don't get me wrong motherhood is wonderful. Not a day goes by that I am not fully in love with my son, completely grateful he is here and healthy, and enamored by every little thing he does. However motherhood is just as much work as I thought it would be. It is the hardest thing I have ever done. There is little praise when for the good things you do, there is lots of guilt when things go wrong, and it is alienating at times, it doesn't pay except for smiles and baby kisses. It at times exposes you to toxic levels of poop and bodily functions ;) and your work day is 24-7-365 for 18+ years. It is a job I love but that doesn't mean it isn't hard.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Still Not STTN but I Can't Complain Much

As much complaining as I do about the lack of sleep I must admit R and I are very lucky. Riley has never been one of those babies that cries at night. Yes he cries to wake us up when he wants to be feed, but he doesn't continue to cry once picked up. He knows his needs are going to be meet and is as patient as a newborn can be.

When we made the transition to his crib during the night it was me not him who had the most issues. I was the one up every hour sometimes three or four times an hour to make sure he was still breathing. Quickly I learned I could also send R in a few times a night to check as well, although the first few times I made him do it he rolled his eyes at me.

After weeks of his night and days mixed up and us holding him while he was up we realized that a) the car would put him to sleep and then b) that we could actually lay him down in his crib and he could put himself to bed. The night we discovered this might have been even better than the night he slept 5 hours for the first time because it meant that R and I could go lay down even if he was slightly awake still. The biggest miracle of him putting himself to sleep is that he doesn't cry! Yes Riley can put himself back to sleep at night without crying! This is not something I expected him to be able to do, I had fears of him being 9 months old and still needing to rock him to sleep because I quite frankly refuse to ferberize my own child. Ferberizing as a nanny was hard enough, I knew I couldn't do it as a mother.

Now Riley has added one more trick to his sleep habits and it is one that I am very grateful for. He can now put himself to sleep for his naps too! He has done it twice today so far and did it twice last week too. Of course sometimes he won't and when he cries I am always there in seconds, as fast as my feet will carry me, to calm him down and help him get himself to sleep.

So while Riley isn't STTN yet in the sense that he goes 8-12 hours at night, I am sure we are on our way to that. I don't have any grand expectations that it will be any time soon, but one day I hope to enjoy my sleep again.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Test results are back!

Riley is going to be fine! Our test results came back and he is going to be just fine. They want to keep an eye on the jaundice but for now we are avoiding surgery and liver failure! Wooo hoooo!

It is raining

Its raining, metaphorically speaking, at my house right now. Riley has caught my cold and while he is still fairly smilie, he is fussy if not the center of attention at every moment. He hates the bulb syringe which we use to suck out buggers and hates the buggers even more. He can't breath well, he is coughing, and while he can't say it I am sure he is miserable and thinking what the hell is going on?

The other piece of news is that his jaundice is worse not better. Actually the breastfeeding jaundice is better but the bad jaundice is up. So yesterday we ran him for his first set of STAT labs, a liver enzyme panel and a few other tests. When I saw the print out my first thought was "holy hell, will he even have enough blood for all those tests?" but it was only two vials. He did an excellent job at the blood draw. R held his legs, and a nurse helped hold his arm while the flabotomist stuck him. He only let out a couple of little whimpers and actually smiled at the nurse a few times. You might be wondering where I was during all of this? I was sitting in the chair on the other side of the room trying not to cry. My fear of needles is no better when the needle is for my son than it is if the needle is for me. Long ago R and I decided that he would try to always be there for any procedure that involved a needle. We don't need our kids picking up on my anxiety and developing their own fears.

Now we are just waiting for the tests to come back. Dr. Wonderful told me worst case is that his liver bile ducts are clogged and he will need surgery to open them. If he doesn't get the surgery we are looking at liver failure. I would really like to avoid both the surgery and liver failure, so send us your good thoughts, your prayers, or what have you. Heck I'll even sacrifice a moose like Trish does fr Robbie if it will help.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Husband

R is an amazing partner and husband to me. He is kind, considerate and always striving to give me the world. With Riley's birth a lot of things in our relationship have changed, but he continues to try and be there as best he can.

When R first went back to work he would get up with me for 2 feedings and skip the third. It allowed me to get some extra sleep because all I had to do was nurse and put back to sleep. Then we had a few days where he was up every two hours at night and he picked up the slack even more by getting up with me each feeding. Now that we are back to somewhat regular sleep patterns: normally 5 hours followed by two three hour sets before waking for the day, he has continued to get up each feed. Only now not only does he do the diaper change but for one of the feeds he puts him down too. It gives me about 20 extra minutes a night, and is a nice break for me. I am sure MANY people would find our division of labor unfair, given that he works and I don't but R says he likes putting Riley to sleep because he is so peaceful.

The other thing R does for me that I feel is above and beyond is rubbing my legs and feet while I nurse. When Riley was bucking at the breast we started doing this because when I was less stressed the feeds would go better. R has continued to massage me even though now it isn't needed, and I love the perk. It benefits Riley because he feeds better and R and I get some much needed physical contact.

On Valentines day he put his heart out there and told me how much he loves our son. It was the best gift any mom could ask for, to have her husband speak honestly and openly about how much he loves her and their child.

However sometimes he falls a little short.

Since Riley was born I have been with him just about every second of everyday. In fact the longest stretch he has been away from me is 2 hours, and that was WEEKS ago. Part of the issue is that R sucks at giving a bottle and swaddling, two things you must be able to do to keep Riley happy for more than an hour. In the mean time R has continued to go "gaming" (it is his hobby) with his friends every other weekend. I try not to begrudge him for this, after all my friends are all great about incorporating a baby into our plans, his simply aren't. So if he wants to see his friends he has to leave me and the baby at home. Most weekends I don't really mind, but last weekend he went to a convention on V-day. It was his gift from Riley and I. When I first told him he could go, it was going to be from noon till 6 then it was from noon to 8 and when his BFF came over to carpool to the game I found out the game went to 10pm! I still told him to go but I was pissed. R swears he didn't know it went so late and I do believe him but if you add up all the hours he has gone gaming since Riley's birth they strongly overshadow my measly 2 hours that ONE time!

And then there was the Baby Yoga fiasco, okay fiasco is to strong of a word. I have been going to a local baby yoga class for a few weeks now. Riley LOVES it. He loves the other kids and the teacher. Plus I am learning a lot and it helps me with stuff to do with him. I told Ryon I wanted him to come with yesterday, and he said no. I was crushed so I spent a few hours working on him telling him it would mean a lot to me. Finally agreed to go, but then at class he didn't want to do the fun faces or talk to him. I had to nudge him twice just to get him to do the words with the motions. Grrrr. In the end I think he learned a few things, but it was like pulling teeth and I know he won't be going again.

Over all I am grateful to have such a wonderful husband who loves Riley and I and would do just about anything for us. The good out weigh the bad every day of the week and I find myself to in the lucky group of women who has a husband who actually participates in parenting rather than just helping out mom. I am truly blessed.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Dr visits for both ot us

Today was a LONG day, R had taken the day off since it was Riley's well baby visit and 1st set of shots. This weekend I started coming down with the sniffles, which last night turned into a cold. Boo, I hate being sick but being sick with a baby so much worse. Of course I realize I am also lucky because so far Riley isn't sick and since I am BFing he is getting all my good antibodies so if he does get sick supposedly it won't be as bad.

I had planned for weeks to go to Baby Yoga with R today because he really needs some practice with age appropriate interactions. He is great with Riley don't get me wrong but some times his interaction style leaves a little to be desired. Like when they sit in front of the TV and R tells him about politics, but at least they are interacting and in truth Riley doesn't know the difference if we talk to him about baseball, politics, daily life or any other subject. Well Baby Yoga went well. R didn't get into it quite as much as I had hoped but oh well, at least he tried it.

Then we went to the all evil for both a Dr appointment for me and then one for him. My appointment was just for the cold and like I thought, it is just a regular cold. So I am stuck feeling misreble because the only thing a BFing mom can take (that will help my particular cold) is Rob.itus.sin DM and that drys up your milk. I am going to take it only at night and see how bad it hurts my supply. If I can take it and still BF then I will but BFing comes first. I will suffer through the cold if I have to, I won't be happy about it but I will do it.

Next we so Dr Wonderful (Riley's pedi), I must admit if I was allowed a 2nd husband I would chose him, despite the fact that he is taken and has a wonderful 4 year old with his partner.

You will all be happy to know Riley is doing well, I hesitate to say he is healthy because truth be told we are still battling the jaundice. If any of you out there have/had a baby with jaundice at 12 weeks could you leave a comment for me with a way of contacting you. Thanks.

Because of the jaundice we are now looking at a consult with a gastro dr, and we had another blood draw to check levels. I hate needles but watching your kid get poked and having him scream is so much worse!

Other than the jaundice he is doing well and Dr wonderful is thrilled with him, called him a happy baby, and very alert. Ya!

For the record Riley is now measuring:
Weight: 12lbs 12.8 oz (64%)
Height: .597m or 1' 11.5" (59%)
Head size 38.7cm (14%)

After a quick run to the pharmacy we headed home... 4 hours later! We are now home and I am off to bed. I will update again and next time I promise pictures.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentines Day

This year Ryon gave me the best gift I could have asked for, while driving in the car he told me he loved his son more than he thought he could. It nearly brought tears to my eyes. I knew R loves Riley but to hear him say it melted my heart. R is really falling into his role as parent and loving it and so am I.

Hope all of you have a wonderful day with your loved ones.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

He is sleeping again!

He slept 5 hours then 4.5 hours last night! Woke up at 7 for a diaper change, feeding and a few moments of fussy time before going back to sleep for another hour! WOOO HOOOO!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Good News all Around

It was a busy day today between the U/S our appt with the lady from Le Lechea League and our first Mommy Baby music class but it was all worth it because. EVERYTHING went great.

U/S reveled normal hips!!! Ya no leg braces needed!

BFing is going better thanks to a nice LLL leader who did a home visit with us. Riley of course fed perfectly for her but she gave us some good tips and they are helping a lot.

He slept really well today and he seems to sleep better at night if he sleeps well during the day. I will let you guys know if he sleeps really well tonight or not. Either way I can handle up every 4 hours if continues to not scream at the breast during feedings.

So that is the update. We are still fighting the jaundice but that make take a lot longer to reslove.

Oh and my little man is a MAMMOTH! He weighs 12lbs 15oz today and is only 2 months old!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

2 Months Old

Our little guy is two months old now! I can't believe how the time has flown by, where did it all go? I have to say that even with his recent issues: reflux, biting while nursing, jaundice, lack of sleep, I love him more and more every day. Just when I think I love him as much as a person can he looks up and smiles at me and my heart swells a little bit more.

That isn't to say the sleep and feeding issues aren't killing us. I have thought about quitting BFing three of four times in the last few days. He isn't feeding well which means he isn't sleeping well. Tonight we are going to try something new and feed him a bottle of BM from when he was born to see if it helps. You are probably thinking why would that help. Well my hope is that since that BM has a ton of fat it will help him sleep better. At this point I am willing to try anything to get some sleep better so we can sleep better.

Speaking of sleep, he is sleeping in his own room for both nights and overnight! Shannon and Holy you guys should be proud, I only go in to check on him 4-10 times a night. ;)

Tomorrow Riley has an ultrasound to check for hip displasia, and while I am fairly sure he will be fine I wouldn't mind a prayer or two. I don't want to add hip braces to our mounting pile of crap we have to deal with. We are also finally going to be SEEN by someone for the BFing issues. After speaking with two Lactation Consultants last week but neither being able to see me I decided to call Le Leche League to be seen through them. I really hope they can help us.

I will update you about it all tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A day at the park.... with Momzilla

Coming2Terms blogger has a term for those annoying self involved "Look at me" mommies of the world, she calls them Momzilla. You know who they are, self involved, self-centered and can't put them self in other people's shoes. They embody the opposite of those traits we as mothers try to teach our children: caring, respect, sharing.

Today I ran into one of those momzillas. I was wearing Riley in his sling and pushing my niece on the swing when her friend's child climbed on the swing next to us.
"I can't believe my sister-in-law" she complained loudly "she isn't coming to my baby shower." There is some debate even in the IF community on if it is okay to not go to a loved one's baby shower, but most people agree it is about self comfort. However this women wasn't having her first child she was having her THIRD, and the other two are not out of diapers yet! Momzilla went onto talk about how her SIL had had a m/c at X-mas and that she was using it as an excuse to not go.

I wanted to reach over and slap this woman and simultaneously hug her poor sister in law. What kind of woman wouldn't feel some kind of compassion for her SIL? I am not saying this woman can't be hurt because her SIL isn't coming but as the conversation went on it became obvious it wasn't about the presence of her SIL but the gift. "She probably won't even get us a gift, because going into babies r us is to hard for her".

This woman wins a Momzilla award for her lack of compassion, I can only hope her childen's father can teach them about empathy for others.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The things you give up

A few weeks ago I gave up chocolate because it was keeping Riley up at night. It was hard but to be honest not as hard as people might think. While I do crave it at times, as long as it isn't in the house I can resist. When I gave it up I often told people that while it was hard to give up I could think of much harder things to have to give up, like breathing, walking, or dairy. Yes dairy is ranked up there with breathing in my book. Why? Because I live on yogurt, milk and cheese as a main source of protein.

I have watched in awe as friends have given up the liquid goodness of milk because their child has reflux and thought many times that I couldn't imagine having to give it up myself. Many nights I will have milk and graham crackers as a snack before bed that on top of the two glasses with dinner, the grilled cheese for lunch and the glass of milk in the am I have with my breakfast.


I would do anything for my son. Run into a burning building to save him: anything. And it looks like that is going to include giving up dairy for a while. The pedi says we can start with just milk, and give up that first. If that doesn't help then I will need to give up all dairy. This on top of him getting meds three times a day. Yes my son has reflux, it is a new development one I thought we had been blessed not to get, but according to the pedi reflux can happen suddenly at this age, grrrrr.

I have to admit if it stops the screaming at the breast I will be fine with giving it up, that isn't to say it won't be hard, much harder than giving up the caffeine in chocolate. But the sacrifice will be worth it, because it is much harder to watch my son scream in pain than it is to give up dairy.

Badges of Motherhood

Remember in Brownies or Girl Scouts how when you completed a project like camping you got a badge for it? Those badges were simbols of something to be proud of, a way of knowing who in the troup could do what, well I propose that motherhood should adopt some badges, not as a way of braging but as a form of respect. That way the next time a toddler is having a melt down in the resraunt rather than giving her the evil eye we can all look over and see her badges that explain her husband is in Iraq, and maybe we could all cut her some slack.

Women in general are fairly judgmental about each other and I have found that motherhood brings this out even more. Even though Riley is 8 weeks old now I still don't do my hair or make up but once a week, and normally only if I know the camera will be pointed in my direction. I wonder what the other mothers are thinking as they see us take our daily walks me in my workout pants and warm jacket with my hair pulled back, no make up to cover the bags under my eyes.

What if they could see that I was overcoming mastitis? Would they judge me as harshly then?

Would I be as quick to judge a mom with a screaming baby in a restaurant if I knew the baby had reflux? Probably not.

We all have our struggles in motherhood, some of us have children who have colic, or reflux, others are dealing with mastitis or clogged ducts. Some have unsupportive extended families, or family that lives to far away to help, while others might be having marital issues. We all could a little more empathy and a little less judgment when our child is acting out or crying, so why are we so quick to give the evil eye instead of a helping hand.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

First Trip to the Zoo

Saturday we went to the zoo with some online friends (nesties). R, Riley and I had such a good time not just seeing all the animals but hanging with our friends too. Days like this are the ones I dreamed of. I just love being Riley's mom. He is now smiling at me all the time. I feel like the center of his world, and everyone around me KNOWS he is the center of mine. It is the most amazing feeling to love someone this much.

For your viewing pleasure:

I would share some pics of the animals but wouldn't you rather see how cute my baby is? ;)