Archive for February, 2012

Snip It, Snip It… Good?

Oy.

It’s the first of many hard decisions we’ll have to make.

Josie has been having a difficult time with nursing lately. Her latch was getting weak and she would just fuss on the boob. So we called in an excellent, highly recommended lactation consultant, who took one look at her frenum or frenulum (the little band under the tongue) and said it had to be snipped. Mind you, tongue-tie, as it’s called, is hereditary, and I have it. I was never snipped and my mom says I was her best nurser. These things give me pause. But, and there always is one, she explained that it’s a quality of life issue. ImageApparently it can be part of why she has GI discomfort as well. She noticed that Josie’s upper lip is very tight, and recommended snipping the top frenum too because it could prevent a big split between her two front teeth.

The idea of anyone restraining my baby and cutting her makes me panic and makes my cortisol rise, which makes the milk stop flowing. This happened on Friday. We had nothing to feed Josie and resorted to buying formula (recommended by the lactation consultant in such cases). Thankfully, once I took a Xanax and calmed the eff down, the milk began to come back. I switched from Xanax to herbs and have been producing enough since. Thanks be to god we never opened the formula.

Josie will breastfeed, but only at night and only side-lying in bed. Otherwise, she’ll have nothing to do with it and I have to pump (we’re renting the hospital grade pump since my flow disappeared). Her snip appointment is this coming Friday, and I wish there was some other way. Part of me (a big part) is scared that it won’t make a difference, that she won’t be able to nurse normally and her reflux won’t improve. I hate Hate HATE the idea of causing her any pain (even though the consultant said it’s no worse than the pain of an immunization shot). Ugh!

The key to keeping her well fed, whether through nursing or a bottle, is to keep my shit together. The other day I heard of a woman who lost her 5-month-old. Apparently she suffocated in her crib. I completely lost it. That is my biggest fear. Probably all new mothers’. But I’m still so postpartum that I have the thinnest skin, and I’m anxious about how my milk flow will react to her surgery. Can I really keep popping the Xanax until my emotions regulate?

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Bath Time (Video!)

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All About My Daughter

Josie is 7 weeks old.

She’s about 10 lbs. now and at least 22 inches long. She’s already out of her 0-3 mo. clothes.

She seems to be retaining her blue eyes, which we have been seeing for longer and longer “play times.” If she’s in her bouncy chair or on her play gym, she focuses and bats at and pulls on the hanging toys.

When she stretches, which is often, she purses her lips and makes a sound I call her El Camino because it reminds me of tires on an old car screeching around a corner.

Josie cannot eat while working on a poop. She employs a kissy face that alerts us to this situation. She prefers to do her pooping on the changing table or when K is holding her in a sitting position facing out. Post-bath (in the towel) is another great time for a big poop.

Josie rocks the mullet: business in the front, party in the back.

She looks like my dad, whom she’s named after. My mom claims she looks the most like him of all their 15 grandkids.

Her eyelashes are very light; they’re long but curl up beautifully at the tips.

She’s starting to suck her thumb more — especially when my mom helps her find it.

She vocalizes occasionally, which makes me crazy with love.

With Mama at her first outing to the tea shop.

Of course there’s much more I could write, but my time is very limited. I’ll give a brief synopsis of what the past 7 weeks have looked like around here:

When the doctor discharged me from the hospital and said I should “take it easy” for the next 6 weeks, I did not understand what that meant. I knew I had lost a lot of blood and had a stitched-up undercarriage, but I assumed that after a couple weeks I should be taking short walks, bouncing my baby to put her to sleep, vacuuming, etc. If that’s all I’m doing, that, to me, is taking it easy. Well, apparently I wasn’t supposed to do anything at all for those 6 weeks but lie down and feed the baby. It’s no wonder that the healing process was frustrating me… I’d walk to the grocery store, slowly, and walk back only to feel terrible pressure and rawness down there for the rest of the day. I’d have to then sit for hours at a time while breastfeeding (or learning to breastfeed). In case it’s not obvious, I’ll tell you that sitting on a 3rd degree episiotomy and significant vaginal tearing from forceps is highly uncomfortable. At my 6-week postpartum check up, the midwife, who was at my birth and saw what all went down, said my healing will take more like 3 months than 6 weeks, and that I should only now start taking 1-block walks. I sure wish I had that info when I was sent home from the hospital!

With the help of K’s mom, our doula, a lactation specialist, and my mom (whose life we’ve taken over for 4 weeks!), K and I have been able to eek out a couple of hours of sleep between feedings throughout the night and into the late morning. Since I have not been able to sit on the bouncy ball to put the baby to sleep, K has has had to do all of the putting down. I just crawl off my donut and back into bed after each nursing session. So, we pass Josie off on my mom in the morning, giving me another hour of sleep and K another 2 to 3. A given day has my mom going shopping and cooking, K doing laundry, both doing dishes, and me nursing and doing sitz baths. We’ve been managing pretty well like this (save for my occasional postpartum breakdowns — I’ve had a hard time feeling like a prima donna and a sloth.).

But my mom must finally go home next week. What will we do? Survive? Become self-sufficient? Will it be possible if I’m still feeling less than capable? Tune-in for the next post, whenever that may be…


(Disclaimer: No men were harmed in the making of this blog.)

The Family

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