Sunday, March 25, 2012

3 weeks

My little miss is 3 weeks old. Holy crap, time flies.

What a whirlwind these days have been. It's hard to remember everything that we've been experiencing, it all goes by so fast. Luckily I've been keeping a pseudo-journal of our daily experiences via email with another new mom, who's son is about 5 weeks older than Penelope.

..tried 4 feedings so far today, I really feel so caught off guard with her delivery that I'm not sure if I even have a colostrom supply. Have had to resort to the shields for now, she's got very very mild tongue tie so the MW said it wouldn't be horrible to get her started with a shield.

Our first night was rough, then Sunday night was great (albeit I still only got maybe 4 contiuous hours of sleep) but last night was a disaster. Poor thing had such bad gas. I've been sleeping w her on my chest, which has worked really well for us because I'm not ready to put her in the cosleeper yet and each time I would shift she would go into all out freak out mode and nothing could console her. Then of course my milk comes in and by 4a I'm rock hard and my baby hasn't wanted to nurse since about 1. Oy.
So finally around 8a we were able to get her calm and onto adam, been napping since. We have an appointment at the mw at noon and I am now realizing #1: I will never make any sort of appointment before 12:00 ever again and #2 why parents of newborns never can seem to get anywhere in a timely manner ;)
Feeding was rough until yesterday and we had a great cycle going. Part of me thinks it was that cycle and maybe trying to over feed her is the culprit for last night. Sometimes if she'll have her way she really won't eat anything for 5, maybe 6 hrs, even though I offer ever 2-4.
Just holding out and praying for when that magical break comes that we have an understanding of each other! Her sweetness definitely makes up for every tired cell in my body though.

...Appointment went really well today. P gained .5 oz from yesterday. We were in our birth room, and I swear that room is magic. Everything always works there!
Another rough night last night but getting the encouragement from the MW is always such a boost to me. She says the gas is normal, she's still super small and basically is filling her pipes with the milk so its hard to process in the beginning. I didn't realize that toots and poops were an involuntary motion for them...

Had a good round of nursing today, consistently every 2 hrs except once where it was again aft an hr. So I'm hoping for at least a good, consistent and freak out free night!

Her umbilical stump started falling off this afternoon, it's almost halfway off! I was expecting it to take a bit longer. I haven't washed her at all yet. I let the vernix soak in  and her skin is amazingly soft for it. My mom has been pushing me the past 2 days to give her a sponge bath but she totally doesn't need it. Doesn't have milk in her rolls and just smells amazing. I think that's my main reason for delaying it ;)

The 2 week pediatrician appointment went well. She's an ounce over her birth weight and grew 1/4 of an inch. I don't have the percentiles in front of me but she's gonna stay really small ;) pretty common for women in Adam's family. His mom and sister were barely over 5 ft. I'm hoping she is taller than that though! Both my mom and I are 5'5.

Its hard to imagine but we've been doing this whole living apart thing for almost 5 months now. It was a lot easier to tolerate during pregnancy. Its not harder now bc of the extra work for P, even with the sleep deprivation I'm handling it really well by myself (I've been making a point of doing as many ordinary tasks with P vs handing her to my mom, like showering, making food, etc) , its just crazy to think that I haven't spent a full week with Adam on a "normal" schedule in such a long time. Even with him coming home every 2nd night I know he feels like he's missing out on so much with her.  Its definitely taught us a lot about not taking each other for granted.

{while staying in Woodinville with the Knoleses} P's got to be growing again, or has her days and nights flipped. Didn't sleep more than an hr at a time last night. There wasn't any screaming, just wiggling and whining. So I fed her each time, shed be satisfied and go to sleep for a little.  I wonder if it's the different bed too, but i had her surrounded by all her blankies etc that have our smell on them. Shed sleep a litle more if it was on my chest. Perhaps my milk has a mild narcotic in it during the day and red bull at night...? 

Well, Penny must have known mama needed some extra sleep ;) got a 4 hour stretch between last evening feeding and first night feeding. I'm pretty sure only her sounds could have woken me up- you probably could have poked me w a stick and I wouldn't have moved!

We have officially entered the world of spitup. She started having little messes here and there, then this morning she had such a violent, deep burp that half of her meal came up..all that hard work, gone! And then a little more after her last feeding, enough to want to have a burp cloth thrown over your shoulder ;)

We came home from woodinville today and this evening I was sure it was going to be a rough night. She was uncharacteristically fussy, which was strange bc I had given her a bath, which she loves. I also got her into the cloth dipes that were delivered, and although she wets them a lot faster, I thought it was going to be great bc it would help clear up her perpetual rash. She went thru 4 dipes in 2 hrs, and after the 2nd one we noticed that the prefold was coming off her literally hot and steaming, even though it couldn't have been wet for more than15-20 min. I think its the shitty (pardon the pun) cover than was provided by the service. It must not be breathing at all. After this happening a couple more times and her screaming even though she was changed and fed way more often than usual, I went back to the disposables.. I left a vm for the service to call me on mon about it. I dont mind if I have to change her more often, that's just part of the game, but the thought of her getting burned is not ok! What a disappointing start.

Once Upon A Boobie v1

I'd like to chronicle my breastfeeding experience, as a way for me to remember this time...although there are moments (usually around the 1am feeding) where I'd rather forget! Since making the transition my life where I decided I wanted to be a parent, I knew I'd want to breastfeed my baby. Society doesn't paint the most beautiful picture of this relationship (in fact we were watching Me, Myself and Irene the other day and there's a scene with a bf'ing mom where a barbershop full of perverted old guys oogles her), and one part of my journey has been educating myself about what I'd be coming up against when I choose to feed my baby in public or when talking about my parenting style.

My experience with breastfeeding started at the most obvious moment, at Penelope's birth. About half an hour after she was born I was encouraged to try to feed her. When I attended a La Leche League  meeting a few weeks prior, we were asked if we thought bf'ing was innate or learned. At the time, I was leaning more towards the innate side, after all - it's only natural to want to feed your baby in this manner. But after that first feeding.. it's definitely learned. It took me almost 3 weeks to learn how to do it right.

Getting her to latch on wasn't easy, and within the first 48 hours her weight had dropped 9% of her original birth weight. Although this is normal, I was worried, and wanted to badly to give her what she needed. At the birth center the midwife recommended that I start out with a nipple shield due to flat nipples. This only helped a little bit, because she was so small and the shield made it really obvious where to latch on. But ultimately, it was causing her to have an extremely shallow latch (which was hurting me, as she was only sucking on the very end) and it wasn't giving her that much milk. I kept going back to the midwives, getting support, and each time we got her on perfectly but when I went home, it didn't work. She'd get frustrated, begin thrashing her head around - searching for the nipple - screaming and crying. This lead to guilt and crying on my part, from frustration and the shear pain. It was toe curling pain. Her weight wasn't going up as quickly as it should, and although I never doubted my desire to continue feeding her myself, it was definitely hard. There were times where I dreaded feeding her.

Eventually one of my midwives excerised tough love and told me that I just needed to ditch the shield, and if that didn't work I should seek help from a lactation consultant.  I knew I could do it on my own, and so I guess that was the driving force to going "all natural," bare boob. Would you know it, the little miss took to it like a champ. There was no confusion, she went straight for the breast and never looked back.

Read Once Upon A Boobie v2

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My little star has arrived

10 days ago, I brought Penelope into this world.

Penelope was born on March 3 2012 and what a surprise she was. I was exactly 39 weeks pregnant - and was not in any way prepared to have a baby that weekend. We were 2 hours away from the birth center, I had just packed my birth center bag but still just wasn't feeling it. This little girl had plans of her own.

Her birth was so peaceful and joyous, I couldn't have asked for a better experience. In a matter of a few hours I realized what exactly it means to be a mom. I am, without a doubt, this little person's everything. I'm responsible for putting food in her tummy, keeping her bottom clean and her tiny hands and feet warm. Her little life has rocked mine, and it sounds so cliche - but I really didn't see what life was about until I met her.

Penelope has taught me (or maybe I should say, is teaching me!) how to live life without an agenda. I am a stereotypical planner. I rule my day out according to a grid of paths that can fork in any direction and I always have a back up plan.  Today, it really hit me - none of that shit matters anymore. Why would I rush through my day? Why would I try to get through a feeding as quickly as possible? So I can get back to facebook? Please. I'd rather sit and stare at her beautiful face for hours, and not ever get bored.

As a result of her natural drop in birth weight in the first 48 hours, I became maniacal about keeping track of how often I was feeding her, how long it took, exactly down to the minute in which she pooped last.  And it's not like her birth weight dropped to the point of true concern - I just needed to keep track of everything for my sanity. Was it to prove to everyone that I'm doing everything I can? I think today I really reached a turning point. It doesn't matter exactly how long she nursed for. It's a good idea to keep track when was the last time she did, but my job as her mama is to feed her, and putting a timer on it won't change if she's hungry at the end or not. I don't need to care to keep up with the world anymore. She's all I need right now, because that's what I am to her.


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