Sunday, December 30, 2012

Success story and help needed

Two monumental things happened today.

1 - Hubby was able to give H her first bottle.  It didn't take long for her to latch onto it.  However he fed it to her too fast and she ended up throwing most of it up :(

2. I pumped in preparation for him to give her this bottle and I pumped 3 oz!  This is HUGE for me! (I know for most people 3 oz is NOTHING...however I've also heard from people that they can't pump milk so pumping isn't an accurate representation of what you can feed your baby)  I read somewhere that if you pump, add an ounce and that is how much your baby would be able to access at the breast. SO - knowing this, maybe my supply isn't as much of an issue as I thought it was!! (I've read that at this age she only needs about 3 - 5 oz per feeding and since we are still supplementing a few oz a day with formula/pumped milk, I am confident she is getting what she needs!!)

Help Needed:

H HATES the bucket car seat.  She never really liked it, but would fuss/cry for a few minutes then go to sleep.  The last few days, she just screams, and screams and screams.  So much so that when we stop she is inconsolable and I have to take her out of the car seat and nurse her in the back seat for her to settle. In the past, she would then fall asleep and could go back into the car seat and continue sleeping - the last 2 days, she will fall asleep on me but wake up and start screaming again as soon as we put her back in.  This is TORTURE! I need to be able to get out of the house and it scares the daylights out of me to take her shopping with me if she gets herself worked up so much.  Any suggestions? I've tried a lot...tell me this will get better!  I need to be able to leave my house! lol

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Almost 8 week update

Well the holidays are (almost) over.  We have one more family event on Saturday and a funeral today where we'll be showing  off  introducing our daughter to the last side of the family.  (Bad time for a funeral..but it's for Hubby's great aunt who lived to 96).  We've almost made out relatively unscathed except baby girl has had some bad gas last night and today.  Mommy hasn't been as diligent over the holidays to make sure she is eating the proper foods.  We're paying the price now!!

Overall things were okay.  She doesn't sleep well during the day anymore.  She pretty much slept the first 4 weeks of her life so now she is making up for lost time.  She is up all day long - unless I read her cues and put her in the moby wrap and bounce.  She LOVES to bounce.  However, this saves me from having her pacify on my boobs all day!  At Christmas she was a bit fussy and so I had to put her in the wrap - she didn't get to play "pass the baby" for very long...oh well.  I don't mind...but I do feel a bit bad for family who wanted to hold and meet her.  I'm sure they are all saying I'm a hovering mom who is spoiling her baby wearing her all the time....

On that note - tricks for putting your baby to sleep during the day?!?  She wont lie on her own at all.  She will wake up during the night around 3-4, nurse then go back to sleep and wake up 3 hours later....nurse and go back to sleep for 2-3 hours (usually).  So nights are good.  However days, she will fall asleep on the boob or in the wrap but as SOON as I try to put her down..she is awake and not interested in sleep. So I wear least she gets her nap and I can do work around the is just the relaxing part that is hard...right now to write this post I'm bouncing on my exercise ball and she is asleep.  What I wouldn't give to be able to relax on the couch! LOL!  Any tricks would be appreciated. 

Breast feeding has been going much better now that I'm not stressed and willing to supplement during the day.  Overall she gets about 2-4 oz of either formula or pumped milk.  I still pump after my morning feeds but it is a bit harder during the day.  Now that the holidays are winding down, I can nurse her/let her pacify on my for longer if she wants....either way I think my milk is starting to become a bit more reliable.  My friend is a herbologist and she made me a nursing tea that I've been taking.  I'm not sure if it is because I'm more relaxed or if the tea is helping but I definitely feel less anxious when it comes to nursing her once again.  Now I know this can all change tomorrow.

Overall I think things are improving.  I'm getting regular smiles and giggles from her which make my heart sing.  I don't have any time for myself and I feel like my husband and I are roomates and nothing more...but I keep telling myself that those things will come with time right? 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Turning the corner...

I feel it is time for a positive post.  Thank you to those who were supportive of my last post.  It still baffles me that in a community designed for supporting each other, people feel it is okay to post negative comments.

I feel like I'm turning a corner (I've said that to friends before but maybe this time is for reals).  On Tuesday I woke up and said to myself that no mater HOW much I need to supplement, I am a good mother.  I take each feeding for what it is.  If I need to supplement, I do.  If I don't, then that's okay too.  Since then, I've really only supplemented an extra ounce or 2 during the day along with my 2 ounces at night.  I'm still mostly nursing and most of the supplements she is getting is pumped milk.  Overall, we are doing okay!  The scale is away and I don't get her weighed again until Jan. 7.  I am feeling like everything is working out right now...she is healthy!

I'm also starting to realize her cues from hungry and tired.  She still doesn't put herself to sleep, so if she doesn't fall asleep nursing, and we play for a bit and she starts yawning, I wrap her in the moby and bounce on our exercise ball.  I bounced a lot while pregnant and she really likes that movement.  It calms her right down and puts her to sleep.  I then can do chores or whatnot around the home and I'm not just feeling so confined.  I wish I could put her in her bassinet when she is sleeping, but whenever I do she wakes up.  However, I honestly don't mind carrying her around.  It make me feel good wearing my baby!  I wish it were warm outside cause I'd love to take her for walks, but I don't feel comfortable taking her for walks outside in the winter when I can't really wear a coat over her. 

Looking forward to the holidays now knowing I wont have to have her nursing the entire time.  I still haven't given her a bottle - we use the lactation aid when we supplement so she is still latched to my breast.  It may be wierd bringing all our contraptions with us, but this is how we are feeding our baby and if anyone says anything - then they will get an earful! LOL!

Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season! 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Where's the support?

I just deleted a very hurtful comment from my blog regarding my struggle with breastfeeding and that I should just get off my high horse and give my baby the nutrients she needs.

I don't understand why people leave nasty comments when this should be a community of support.

What this poster needs to know:
- I have gone to get her weighed every week since birth
- I have been supplementing with pumped breast milk since her 2nd week of birth
- Each time I have gone, I have asked about formula and each time the nurse practitioner said NOT THERE YET...keep trying she is GAINING
- the very day she and I agree it is time to supplement with formula I do - keeping my baby healthy is my NUMBER ONE PRIORITY

The reason it is bothering me so much is because of feelings of inadequacy that I have with MY BODY given everything I have been through.

Why would anyone say anything to imply I am being selfish and not doing what's best for my baby.  This hits a raw nerve because it is EXACTLY the same sentiments my mother said to me yesterday.  Why can't a mother mourn her goal of exclusive breastfeeding?

Thank you for questioning my parenting abilities and priorities.  Thank you for assuming I am being a bad mother and that I'm on a high horse for trying to breast feed.  I guess if one is infertile and can't conceive naturally and they take herbs/medication to help get pregnant they are on a high horse too?  I mean..they could always adopt...being a parent is being a parent right?  (please note sarcasm).  Everyone has goals and they try to achieve those goals and will try everything before giving up. My babies health was NOT in jeopardy - if I wasn't working so closely with medical professionals then maybe - but I was following their directions exactly.  

This just makes me want to stop blogging altogether.  Ugh.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Waxing and Waining...

Warning: This is another breast feeding venting post.  I need to clear my head and this has proven to be the most cathartic way for me to do so. Plus - many of you ladies give incredible advice and walk me off the ledge so to speak. Sorry if it isn't the most interesting (or if my posts have become down-right boring to some).  This is my life!

So if you would have asked me on Sunday how nursing was going, I would have told you that things have definitely turned a corner.  I was so excited that each time she went to my breast, I had milk and had enough to fill her.  She was gaining about an ounce a day.  We were on track!  In fact, on Saturday I didn't' even need to supplement and was thinking that I could probably stop one of my many things I do to ensure I have milk (herbs, pumping after each feed etc).  Then yesterday happened.  She woke up, at 9:00 and literally wanted to feed ALL DAY LONG.  I took her for a bit of a drive in the afternoon to get her to sleep - and when we got home, she woke up and still wanted to feed.  When hubby came home, we went for an extended drive to give me a break.  We had to stop part-way to change her diaper (princess freaks if her diaper is slightly wet) and then I had to nurse.  She continued to scream until she fell asleep.

By evening, I had nothing left.  It literally felt my boobs were deflated balloons.  Even when I forced an hour break, there was nothing.  I know there are other ways to calm a baby down, but if she is cranky and not sleeping during the day, I don't know what to do but feed her.  I'm always so scared she is hungry.  Since she fed all day, she wasn't getting a true feeding at each feed cause I didn't have enough time to replenish.  She did sleep well at night (by the way, she is gaining - slowly - but gainig and is well past her birth weight...when do you stop waking a baby to eat at night?  I keep waking up every 3 hours and waking her up to eat...something tells me I could probably stop this soon no?)

Today, I thought would be a better day, but I seem to have let-down issues.  I always, ALWAYS was able to get mulitple let-downs with my right breast. is like she is fighting for every swallow.  WTF?  I KNOW it is all mental and I have to relax.  I feel like I'm 2 weeks back in terms of momentum.  Saying this, I know where things were and that we will get back there eventually ... it is just so friggen hard.  Today I feel like crying all day long.  I'm not sure if it is partly baby blues/post-partum depression starting to set in or just plain exhaustion...either way today is rough.  I know things will get better - they have so far.  I guess when things are up, I expect they are going to stay up and that it isn't going to get hard again.  I really need to just relax, however with her weight still being an issue, it is all so hard.  Weekly Dr apt's for her is starting to wear me down too I think.

I guess I just felt that given how much difficulty we had in getting here once she was here things would be 'easy'.  Why, given all our struggles, couldn't breast feeding be easy for us?  Why do I have to worry about her weight every moment of the day?  Why, when she's awake, does it cause me so much anxiety cause I will know she will need to eat/want to nurse at any given moment?  I need to have more items in my repetoire then just putting her to boob when she is fussy - but that's all she seems to want.  Did anyone else have this issue and if so, what did you do to cope?  I have tried several types of soothers and she isn't really keen on them.  She freaks when I put her in the moby wrap....Hubby can calm her down by bouncing her on the ball...but I haven't had success with that.

Ugh....parenthood is HARD!  People need to warn you about these early stages.  I was so naive and felt that I could muster through anything and appreciate and love every trying time cause this is what I wanted.   

I am stubborn/determined and for whatever reason I will not resort to formula yet.  I know my life would be easier if I did...but I also know how horrible I would feel.  I'm just not ready yet...maybe next week I will be but not today...

Friday, December 7, 2012

One month update

I can't believe that it has already been 1 month since my daughter was born.  Fastest month of my life!!  I think back to my last month of pregnancy and it seems like eons ago.  I do remember it going by so slowly and feeling like the baby would never come.  Now, it feels like this has been my life all a long.

Last week it felt we were turning a corner.  Nursing was becoming a bit easier and she was gaining weight more rapidly.  Monday and Tuesday she was cluster feeding and I felt I HAD ENOUGH to make it through.  Yesterday - things went the other way.  We bought a baby scale a few weeks ago to track her weight (as she isn't gaining like she should) and we weighed her and she was down again.  This put me into a negative spin, and thus made the night feedings so much harder.  She just wanted to eat and eat all night long - and it felt like I didn't have any left to give her.  Just when I was about to supplement again, she fell asleep.  Little stinker.  However, today I feel horrible.  We still haven't needed to supplement with formula - I just give her whatever I've pumped during the day at night.  However, given I only pump after feedings, my pumped amounts are becoming less.  This morning, as I was feeling sad by last night's activities, my doorbell rang and it was a delivery person for a box of formula.  I feel like it is a sign that maybe I should start using formula at night.  I just want to be the person that struggles at the beginning to have a great success story - not the person that struggles and then has to resort to formula anyways.  I don't think formula is bad and I totally see why people use life would be so different right now if I were just to give her it and say goodbye to nursing, however, I really really want to breast feed. It is something I want to put the work in for.  It will get easier soon right?!?!

They are also treating her for acid reflux.  She doesn't eat a lot at one time, but is a grazer. It could be because of my supply, or because she doesn't like to eat a lot at one sitting because she is in pain.  She has a few signs (but doesn't throw-up) so we are trying zantac to see if there is any improvement in her weight gain. I'm thinking if it is acid reflux, as the medication kicks in and starts working, she is going to have to train my body to produce more milk right?  As she starts to feel better and want to eat more at a sitting?  Please tell me this whole supply/demand thing actually works!  I feel sometimes that I wake up with less milk then I need rather than more!

Aside from feeding, things are going okay.  My life is still pretty consumed with 3 hour increments of when she feeds and then pumping afterward.  Nights are okay (aside from last) she usually gives me a few hour intravals of sleep - however I need to wake her to feed her every 3 or 3.5 hours (if I oversleep my alarm).

Hubby is amazing. He is so devoted.  I'm not going to lie though - I do get rather annoyed that he gets to go downstairs and have 'me' time while I feed. Given she is the most fussy in the evenings and has longer periods of time on the boob, it is difficult to get any 'me' time for myself in the evenings when he is home.  I'm hoping that as she gets older, and if the medication works, that I will be able to get some time for myself.  We've agreed to introduce the bottle at 6 weeks - so we only have 2 more weeks to go until he can feed her.  I think that will make the world of difference.  Whether it is pumped milk or formula - I can then get a bit of a break from her.  Not that I don't want to be around her always, but I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed at times. 

I also think I am overdoing it at times.  As things are/were getting easier, I tend to do more.  Take her out and be busy.  However, whenever we leave for long periods of time, it messes with our system and things have to restart.  I think I have overdone it this week.  Today is a stay in bed and watch movies/nurse day so hopefully we can get over our little hiccup from yesterday.

 Overall, this parenthood thing is pretty cool.  SO much to think about and so much different than I ever would have imagined.  No one really warns you how much work raising a newborn is.  All you see when you see them, is a sleeping baby...but the work that goes into a sleeping baby is indescribable!