Friday, February 23, 2007

Milk Milk Everywhere!!

I know! I know! You are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO sick of hearing about the state of my breasts, my milk production, and my daughter's interest in all of that. I promise you that one day you will visit my site and not have to read a post about breastfeeding, but today is not that day.

What is it about my breasts that is so important that I have to post at 12:30 am? I am finally producing enough milk!!!! Woooohoooooooooo!!!!! Unfortunately I have a very forceful let-down reflex which really pisses Aislinn off and usually causes her to have a complete meltdown. I didn't understand what was happening at first. She's always so quiet and when she does cry it's usually this really quiet calm cry, so when she started having these fits I didn't know what was wrong with her. My first thought was that she needed to be burped. When I tried burping her she hungrily sucked her hand in between wails. When I couldn't get her to burp and noticed that she was eating her hand I tried to get her to latch on again which just made her cry more. By the time I gave up on trying to get her to breastfeed she was so distraught that she wouldn't even take a bottle. The only way I could calm her down was to walk her around the house rocking her and patting her back. After a while she'd finally stop crying and then just fall asleep. This has been going on for three days now. On day two I thought that maybe she wasn't getting enough milk. When Howie got home from work I handed her over so that he could feed her a bottle while I pumped. I was surprised to find out that I had more milk than I've ever had, more than enough to satisfy her hunger. When it happened again today I was completely confused so I googled "crying while breastfeeding" and I found that the problem could be a forceful let-down reflex. I looked it up in my breastfeeding book and I feel like a total jackass for not fully paying attention or noticing the cause of her frustration. The book described exactly how she's been acting. I feel like a total idiot for not picking up on the fact that she was gulping, which was followed up by a panicky look, flailing about and then uncontrollable crying. Describing it now I can't understand how it wasn't completely obvious, but I'm so used to not having enough milk that I guess I just never even considered that maybe I had plenty of milk and that it was coming out too fast.

I feel so much better having discovered this. Now I can either pump a bit first, breastfeed more often, or just use a different position so that I'm leaning back and gravity takes care of the rest. Leaning back seemed to help at her last feeding.

Well, I better go. Aislinn needs to be rocked to sleep.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

More Boob News and Other Stuff

Let's get the Boob Report out of the way first. There's good news and bad news. We'll start with the bad news and move on to the good news. My left breast has some strange mystery pain. It's very sensitive and sore, but I can't find any clogged ducts. I will be returning to therapy on Monday to figure out what is wrong. Ugh, more titty torture! I hate it! I also don't have enough milk to satisfy my daughter, but the good news is that my milk supply is increasing!! I'm taking a number of herbal supplements that my lactation consultant recommended. Fenugreek, Goat's Rue, Blessed Thistle and Mother's Milk Tea. Fenugreek has a maple scent to it so if you hang out with me you may end up having the urge to drive over to IHOP and get a large stack of pancakes. So far the mix of herbs is working quite well. YAY!! That's not the only good news. We're off the nipple shield!!! Well, we've had two feedings without it. So far so good! It feels great to be free from the nipple shield. It's just one less thing to deal with.

Aislinn had her two week check up the other day. She now weighs 6 lbs. 15 oz. and is 19 3/4 inches long. She's right on target, but the fact that she's growing up breaks my heart. I know it's just a tiny bit of growing but it breaks my heart that she will soon no longer be my itty bitty baby with itty bitty features. She will never be this tiny ever again so I'm trying to enjoy every moment. The doctor also told me that Aislinn was holding her head up like a one month old. She's so strong, I'm so proud of her!

While my little peanut is gaining weight I'm still losing. I don't remember the last time I was so thin. I'm 17.5 lbs. below my prepregnancy weight!!! I've lost 28.5 lbs. since the baby was born. I actually wore a pair of old jeans that were tucked away in the back of the closet today. It's great, I hope that I keep losing. It's probably a combination of breast feeding and forgetting to eat most of the day. When I do eat during the day it's usually something light like soup and I am really good about drinking lots of water and juices. It's like being on a liquid diet until dinner time when Howie and I either eat something that our parents have made for us or something I made and put in the freezer before going into labor. The only thing I don't dig is the weird flabby belly, but please, I was so huge and I can't expect ALL of that skin to shrink down that quickly. It may not ever shrink down completely, but it's ok. She's totally worth it.

I managed to pull off a surprise Valentine's Dinner for Howie. I made garlic breaded chicken breasts, potatoes, and I wanted to make some sort of veggie but we didn't have any at all so that was it. Pretty limited dinner. I was disappointed with that, but we also had the tiny bottle of champagne that we got with our brunch at the hospital. We didn't drink it there because I hadn't breastfed Aislinn yet so we decided to take it home with us. Dessert was the best part. I had made chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting. Nothing big but I have been dying for chocolate cupcakes for months. Aislinn sat quietly in her baby papasan while Howie and I ate, then we opened Valentine's Day cards. I had been looking forward to watching Lost later that night but because I was busy during all of my spare time preparing cupcakes or preparing dinner, cleaning the kitchen table and doing dishes I hadn't had a nap. Once we sat down on the couch to watch Lost I passed out and was pretty much useless for the rest of the night. Howie went to Walgreens after Lost to return something and lost his keys to the house. When he got home he forgot to turn off the headlights on the car. The next morning the battery was dead so our neighbor had to give us a jump and then Howie drove it to the neighbor's garage to get recharged while he was at work. Because Howie and I only have one car and nobody else that we know has a carseat base for our carseat I was unable to bring Aislinn to the doctor that day, so I had to reschedule for Friday. At some point on Friday we got a hole in our back left tire so Howie spent the morning laying on the frozen ground putting our spare tire on. When our neighbor returns home on Tuesday we will bring the car in to have the tires replaced. We have a full spare so we'd rather wait for our neighbor to come home so that we can get a discount on the tires. We're all about saving every cent now that there's a third person in the house. Our luck hasn't been so great the second half of this week, but we've been handling it pretty well. I think we're just too tired to find the energy to get all worked up about it.

I think it's now the time to drink a Pepsi or a cup of coffee so that I can finally get through the piles of laundry in Aislinn's room. Howie just went through through all the junk on the dining room table so that we can eat on it tomorrow when my parents and sister come to visit tomorrow. The only room in our house that ever seems to be clean is the kitchen. That's just because we're afraid of those nasty little fruit flies and cockroaches returning. The rest of the house can wait. It's amazing how quickly the house can get messy. I don't even know how it happens. I hope to see my house completely clean again someday but for now I don't have the energy to worry about it.

Sorry I didn't get a chance to add pictures the other day, but for those of you asking for new pics here you go!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Mr. Mom & Another Booby Report

Howie took the entire night shift on Saturday night so that I could sleep. It was great! I got up kind of early on Sunday morning, but I still had more sleep than I've had in the past two weeks. Howie is better on only a few hours of sleep. Later in the day on Sunday I fell asleep on the couch, which I feel silly about because I had an uninterrupted night of sleep. I awoke to Howie feeding Aislinn and the smell of chocolate chip cookies in the oven. Yes! He was actually baking cookies! As if he hadn't already done enough he then went ahead and did some laundry. He's Mr. Mom! I can't believe it, I'm totally useless all day. The only thing I can manage to do is the dishes. He's too cute, I wish I recharged as quickly and easily as he does.

Moving on to my Booby Report.

Sorry people, after you have a baby it's all about boobs, nipples, and counting dirty diapers. Well, after a few months it'll get more interesting.

I received my larger breast shields for my breast pump yesterday. They're so much better!!! While I was pumping last night I felt this awful pain in my nipple for a little while. After I finished pumping I felt for the bump where my clog was and it was nearly gone! Wooohoooo!!!! How great is that?

As for the actual breastfeeding, that's going fine. Aislinn latches on just fine and feeds fine as long as I'm using my nipple shield because she doesn't approve of my tiny nipples. The lactation consultant at the Pediatrician's office seems to think that we'll be able to get her off of that someday, but I don't know how that will happen unless I suddenly grow those huge National Geographic nipples. Oh, I can only dream. I keep trying to get her to nurse without the nipple shield but that just results in Aislinn having a complete meltdown. How dare I offer her those pathetic excuses for nipples? Why would she EVER want to eat from that? Haven't I heard? Bigger IS better! Fine, have the nipple shield! Just eat!

Well, that's all there is to report for now, I think. I could be forgetting something but I'll just update you later. I'd love to add some pics but blogger isn't working for me at the moment. I will add pictures later tonight!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Breast Torture

I am now going to therapy for a clogged milk duct. The breast shield on my breast pump is apparently too small and has caused the clog around my nipple. For this I have gone to therapy for two days in a row so far. Therapy consists of 10 to 15 minutes with a heating pad, 20 minutes or so with this heated ultrasound wand thingy, and then some amount of time that seems to go on forever of "breast massage". I put that in quotes because that's what they call it but I call it breast torture. Honestly, I could handle massage on all the rest of my breast no matter how tender and sore, but this "massage" around my nipple is awful. I honestly wish I had that weird nipple torture fetish because then it wouldn't be so awful. Howie and I ordered extra large breast shields for my breast pump so that this doesn't happen again. The clog is still there but doesn't hurt as much right now. Thank God! Another really awful gross thing happened to my nipple the other day. I noticed that there were these weird bubbles around my areola just beneath a thin layer of skin. I touched them and they popped and milk came out. Umm, seriously, I wanted to vomit. I really don't know why breastfeeding has to be so difficult for some people. My Mom said she never had a problem, I wish I was as lucky. I'm sticking with it though. Why quit now, if I have to go in for breast torture twice a week no matter what then I might as well keep going and make it worth it.

Ok, enough about breasts and nipples! Howie's parents and brother came over today. We thought they were going to come over tonight but they came this afternoon instead and sent us away to get out on our own for lunch. I seriously wasn't ready to leave my little princess behind. I know that they aren't going to kill her, but I just don't feel like I need to get out and away from her right now. I also wish that if I was going to be kicked out of my house for a little date with my hubby that it was for dinner. Lunch is my least favorite meal of the day, it's boring. Sandwiches, burgers, soups, salads. Bleh! Yay, sometimes they're good but I'm never like "Damn! I wish I could really get out for a good bowl of soup or a kick ass turkey sandwich!" I'd really rather go out for dinner, have some wine and dessert. That would be nice. That's what Howie and I need to get out for, but they sent us out of the house and we had to be back in about an hour. So, we drove around trying to find something we'd like and couldn't settle on anything. We ended up getting some really crappy sandwiches and a couple of sodas at a place where there wasn't any seating so we ended up bring lunch home with us and eating it in our living room, so the first outing without the baby kinda sucked. Oh well. Maybe we'll be able to go out and have some wine eventually! That would be awesome because I REALLY miss drinking! Then again, having a glass of wine right now would probably knock me out immediately. I'd rather have a babysitter so that Howie and I can sleep rather than so that he and I can get out. We're so tired right now that I couldn't fully enjoy a movie or dinner.

So, how is the little princess you may be wondering? She's great! Super cute. We spend lots of time during the day doing tummy time or having skin to skin contact. She likes to lift up her head and look at me a lot. She makes a cute little squeaky noise like a mouse and during feedings she'll sometimes take a break and make a lip smacking noise. Her umbilical cord fell off a few days ago and she has just recovered from her first diaper rash. She's completely perfect!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The First Week

My little princess is asleep and I'm crazy enough to be blogging rather than sleeping. I'm not even sure how I am keeping my eyes open right now. I'll try to make this a quick entry and hopefully it'll all make sense. If not, well, it's because I'm exhausted. Sorry.

So far things are going well. Breastfeeding is off to a rough start but I'm trying to keep it up. At the hospital she didn't want to breast or bottle feed. Aislinn and I were stressed out with eachother during our first few feedings because I was dredding having people pop in every few hours to grab and pinch my breasts and then have them try to force my poor baby on my breast when she just wasn't freaking hungry yet. After that I would just wish that she'd just latch on so that we'd both get a break from all of that and she was probably like I hate those stupid boobs! She would cry whenever I put her anywhere near me for feeding and was just too worked up to actually try to eat once my milk was coming in. Howie did a lot of bottle feedings while I pumped. I called a lactation consultant who told me to take a bunch of herbal supplements that will help bring in more milk and told me that I had some clogged ducts that I'd have to massage out if I didn't want to go to therapy. No problem, I got that cleared up. Anything to avoid any future torture. Aislinn and I also had to spend more skin to skin time, which sounds great but I feel like there's ALWAYS someone around. I'm working on it though. She has started to breast feed a bit here and there though. It takes forever and I have to wear a nipple shield because my nipples aren't big enough for her (sorry if that's TMI for some of you). The lactation consultant is also having me mix together two different nipple creams to repair some minor breastfeeding damage. Other than that, breast feeding kicks ass! No really, I do want to do this and I'm trying to get through everything. Sure, I would love to just give up because that would actually mean that I could get some more sleep at night, but I know that this is more healthy for the two of us. I hate the thought of her eating formula, which we have had to give her every once in a while, but I really don't want to do that too often.

Aislinn has also already experienced a minor case of diaper rash and some sort of rash on her face. The diaper rash is almost gone and the rash on her face is always moments away from making a full comeback. She's just sensitive, but I think it'll all be ok. The doctor isn't too concerned.

In general though, she's great. I don't want to jinx it, because it's still early and things can change, but she's really good and very quiet. She sleeps well and WE actually have to wake HER up for feedings. When she isn't sleeping she's awake and quiet. Just kinda hangs out and observes her surroundings. She seems pretty laid back, but I don't know. It could still change, we're only one week two. Howie is a really great father. He is so good with her and I think she's already a daddy's girl. I think he's a better dad than I am a mom. Not that I'm horrible or anything, but he's just so good with her and I don't think I'm quite as good. Anyway, he's very cute with her and he has been so good with me too. He has been so supportive about the breast feeding and he is always telling me what a great job I am doing. He's great. If I didn't have him I wouldn't be doing so well right now.

Yesterday was my first day alone with her and I had to bring her to the doctor too. I wasn't worried about the doctor visit, just the fact that I'd have to drive my itty bitty baby around in the car. It was totally fine though, the doctor is just down the street. I was scared to death of being all alone with her. I wasn't sure that I could do it and I feel like Aislinn and I didn't really have a chance to bond right away because my in-laws were instantly there right after her birth. I wanted to have some quiet time alone with her and Howie but his parents couldn't wait to see her so my time was cut short. They also hovered around her when my parents showed up and kept Aislinn all to themselves so that my parents couldn't even get a look at her, but that's a whole other post. I barely got to hold her at the hospital with all the visitors and then we had that awful breastfeeding time together. After that I kind of felt like she was stressed out everytime she was close to me. I would watch Howie with her and just wish that she was as relaxed with me. So, I was pretty worried about being alone with her because I wasn't sure I'd be able to take care of her alone. What if she hated being with me? Anyway, I fed her before going to the doctor, which took longer than I had expected. It took her forever to burp. Right before we were about to leave she pooped so I had to change her diaper. I was already 5 minutes late for her appointment by the time we left. Luckily the doctor is no more than 5 minutes away and I'm sure that many new parents are late to their appointments. The appointment went well and we went home. It was time to feed her again and she was rather hungry. I turned on my iPod so that we could listen to music and I could sing to her while I heated up her bottle and ate some banana bread. After I fed her I put my baby wrap on so that I could carry her around and have my hands free to do some dishes. A while later my brother and his girlfriend stopped in to say goodbye to us. The next time Aislinn sees him she'll be walking and talking, so weird! The rest of the day was pretty much the same thing over and over, feeding, diaper changing, sleeping. By the time Howie got home I felt a lot better about everything. Aislinn and I are just fine. Today was pretty good too. I like doing tummy time together. I like seeing her hold her head up to look at me with her beautiful eyes. I love giving her little kisses and I love when she cuddles up with me and falls asleep. We're more comfortable together now, and this morning she breastfed on both sides without totally freaking out in the middle of it and demanding a bottle. Thank God! So I think things are going to be just fine.