Monday, December 29, 2008

Reflecting on Milkiness

Not a milk lover.
Never have been.
But I have become a cereal junkie.
And because of it, now consume at least 3 times the milk I used to.
I drink a lot of milk, I make a lot of milk...

And then there is the b00bs. After having been through miscarriage, the removal of my septum and a very difficult pregnancy, I feel as though I have earned the right to brag about the fact that my b00bs work. They make milk. And baby D. is generally a good nurser. He has his moments, where he gets pissed off and slams his baby fists on my chest. He also has moments where hunger becomes secondary to play - and in his antics, chokes on a gulpful of the milky stuff - sending me into panic mode.

And although breastfeeding is going well, it is far from perfect. Together we have our moments of frustration. I am too engorged and he can't latch. Or he is to wound up, or playful to stay latched properly - dripping liquid gold slowly down his cheek and onto his shoulder. I also feel like sometimes I just can not get us in the right position. It is kind of like stepping on your partners toes whilst dancing:)

Like for instance... I just returned to this here post after attempting to nurse a fussy Mr. D. I have been trying to nurse him more, for longer periods, since he is a nurse-napper. Today has been great. He ate well and slept well till this evening. He started doing this thing where no matter what position I put him in he can not latch properly or constantly breaks the latch. That is when he inhales milk and gages and coughs wildly. So I took him upstairs to bed so I could nurse him laying down. Oddly, this position is the one in which he is least likely to choke. He latched on good, started eating, then 2 minutes later went back to his "crazy" routine: loosing the latch, choking, swinging his head back and forth, acting as if the nipple is not right in front of him. I don't understand this behavior. So I decided he was not looking to nurse out of hunger, swaddled that bugger up and called DH. DH came up and rocked him till he dosed. Now he is laying in the sidecar, half-asleep, with a pacifier in his mouth. I am guessing he is just fighting sleep, but who knows??

So do these occassional feeding fits require the use of a professional (lactation consultant?) Is this just normal behavior? Most days he is such a champ with the nursing, that when he has a rough go at it, I am just baffled at what to do?

Anyhow... Here is a pic of us multi-tasking.
I nurse D.
DH gives D. a manicure:)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Goodbye Christmas...

It's over. We made it. I wish it was a great christmas, a christmas that you come home exhausted but overjoyed. I will always remember it as D.'s first, but that is about it. Instead, I was just glad we were all in one piece and there was no major confrontations with family. You see, despite adoring my family, I come from one of "those" families where the holidays brings out the very best. And by best I mean worst. My one sister, who only comes around once a year at best, loves to stir the familial pot. She skips from room to room all day long gossiping to anyone she can about the last sibling and or family member she was just talking to last. My other sister (miserably divorced, three kids she hates, and a boyfriend who has made it clear he wants only her, not her family) is a trainwreck - for the obvious aforementioned reasons. My brother and his family are great, but they keep their distance because it is sad to have to watch my sister with her frightening parenting skills.

All hell broke loose the weekend prior to christmas, precipitating in a particularly awkward xmas day. I love my sisters kids, but they have a lot of behavioral issues. Both of their parents have problems. Their father wants little to do with them. My sister, the same. My parents, their grandparents, do the majority of the parenting. My sister is an angry, angry person. She is hot tempered and her erratic behavior is difficult for her children to gage. Add all this up, with the shuffling of the kids from parent to parent, and you get some pretty mixed up children. Children who are impulsive. Children who do not have a lot of self control or understand the consequences of their actions.

Actions like this for instance... my 3 year old nephew climbs up on the couch next to me and D. and jumps, literally jumps, on my newborn baby as I nurse him. This actually happened. I have never, ever been so frightened in my entire life. I flung my nephew off of us, jumped up, D. whaled and I turned as white as a freshly washed sheet. My nephew was equally alarmed. But nothing compared to the tantrum my sister followed with. A slew of profanities came flying out of her mouth, directed at my nephew - but also self-depricating - about how she "can never to anything right." I know she was upset and embarrassed at her son's behavior. But he is three. He doesn't understand that D. can't wrestle with him, ride on the tractor or just play. Part of the problem is that no one has ever sat my nephew down and told him these things - told him that D. is just a tiny baby, that he is delicate, that you must be calm around him. My sister prefers screaming to discussion - so that is what you get when she is around.

My beautiful baby boy came out unscathed - despite the terrible sound of flesh hitting flesh and bones knocking together. D. stopped crying shortly after and continued to nurse happily. DH and I were another story - totally traumatzed. We called the pediatrician just to be safe, wondering if we ought to go to the emergency room. Our doc said not to worry. To instead just watch for any number of symptoms. In the end, he was fine. He is fine. He is great. And we learned a valuable lesson. Little kids keep a safe distance.

Christmas was a few days later. My sister never called to check on D. She never apologized to me. On Christmas day, she did not speak to me once. She did not look me in the eye once. She avoided me completely. Our relationship was already strained, but it has been destroyed. Not by just this one incident, but by a slow erosion of trust. It made for a very sad Christmas, but also a stressful day where DH and I felt like we had to be particularly vigilant - knowing just where D. was at all times, who was holding him and did they know not to let the kids near him? It just sucked really.

We are glad to be home.
Glad to have a day to hang with D. and do nothing.
Hoping that perhaps next year will be different. Better. Calmer. A holiday where we establish our own traditions, our own holiday.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Beauty of Instinct

Biology has been on my mind. I would like to think that what happened to me yesterday happens to any new mom, no matter how she became a mom, so I am not sure the biological end is important as I first thought. I had the most intense, physical reaction in response to fear for my child's safety. I have since been both frightened and amazed by my mind and my body's ability to do/feel/sense this. It was all just so bizarre and beautiful and lovely.

It was not a monumental event. My MIL & FIL asked to come for a visit. This weekend was already jammed with visitors so the only day available was friday evening. I agreed reluctantly because I knew FIL had been pretty sick with a cold early in the week. But I assumed D.'s grandparents would remember that a 2 and a half week old baby can not be exposed to sick folks. So when they asked to come, I just assumed everyone was well and over their colds.

So last night DH had just swaddled D. and placed his sleeping cuteness on the couch. I sat beside him, needle felting, attempting to start making christmas gifts. MIL & FIL knock on the door and came in. FIL makes a bee-line for D. and immediately picked up my slumbering bundle. There was no hand washing involved. I am not a super stickler about the hand washing, but they had been to dinner (hand to mouth) and post-sick folks often blow their noses, no? So freaking wash your god damn hands!!! Nope. He just picked him right up.

DH sat between FIL and me on the couch. I busily felted, trying to ignore FIL's hoarseness and how he just generally sounded sick to me - whilst holing my child. I began to just boil. I was nearly twitching. I could not look at him. I was scared. I felted faster. I finally burst by abruptly blurting out, "Are you sure you are ok, because you don't really sound ok.... D. is only two weeks old and I just don't know how to care for a sick baby!" The room seemed to stop for a sec. FIL suggested he could put on a mask he had brought with him. Um, no.


MIL seemed to get it, because not long after she took D. from him and did not let him near him the rest of the evening. I was much calmer.

Call it the "new mom crazies."
Call it overly cautious.
Call it totally rational and just acting on behalf of a child you worked your ass off to birth and love more than life itself.
But who comes to visit a 2 week old baby when they are still clearly not over a cold? Who puts their own want for a visit above the health of a very, very new baby?
I am irrationally upset about it.
I am shocked by my own reaction, which was swift, visceral and intense.
I am shocked to know that I am capable of such instinctual and fierce behavior. I am shocked that I am an animal - I think we all forget this.
No matter how one gets to be a mom, I have no doubt that this mechanism is in full force for most moms. It is a scary and gorgeous thing. And I am glad it is there.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Starting to write again....

Not sure where to start... I have never not posted for so long. Little Baby D. has been eating up my life and my time. We are doing great, well, he is doing great. Physically, I am a bit of a trainwreck. After finally healing from being cracked in two during childbirth, I pulled out my back. Then, on Sunday, I had to go into the emergency room after spiking a fever of 102.5. Tests revealed a kindey infection. So that explained the crippling back pain. Couple a muscle spasm with some kidney pain and you may find yourself yelping out in pain at the very attempt to stand up. But the antibiotics seem to be doing the trick and my back seems to be finally healing. My lady-parts are also shaping up. I can still feel the stitches, but the pain is much less than it was. My poor vag. It will never be the same! (I said that exact thing to my OB while he was stitching my crotch back together... He assured me one day it would be just like its former self:)

As for my new pal, D., he is super cool. His head smells like pure love. I sniff it and rub my cheeks on it any chance I can get. It is sick. He does something new everyday. More recently he likes to "play" with my boobs when he finishes nursing. Or pound on them with his fists if my milk does not come in fast enough. It is pretty funny. My right boob is what we call the "trick boob." It holds out on him for about 15 seconds, then lets down really fast. He inevitably chokes and I have to toss him upright and frantically pound on his back. This does not faze him. He just gets a little mad and wants back on the boob. We have quiet a routine. I like nursing more than I thought I would. I am already starting to feel sad about the thought of going back to work in a month and having to pump. But it will be nice bonding time for DH. And I think I'll survive.

He is also growing like a weed. At his one week check up he was 7.7. At his two week check up he was 8.6??? Huh? I didn't even know they could grow that much in a single week. But I wondered why some of his outfits suddenly looked "floody" on him. I just thought I shrank them:) Nope. Bugger. Something works! My boobs saved the day! Speaking of the boobs. Pre-pregnancy = 34C. Nursing = 38E. Wholly crap. I am just so grateful for this. Yes, toting these mellons around is not ideal. And I look like the star of " Doe.s" but who gives a damn! For once, a single part of my body has done something the way it is supposed to. Rock on with your bad selves!

I have been trying to read my blogs and keep track of all of you. Sorry for the neglect. It seems everyone is holding strong though. Awesome. Seems you can live without me. I got to send a shout out to my best girls:
G - the long lost love of my life... Thanks for being a perpetual distraction. Between you and D. I will never get a thing done again:) And gladly.
Sara - Hang in there girl. You and Brynn are troopers. You're doing great!
Heather - Thinking about you tomorrow and sending you lots of good vibes. A+L are lucky to have such an awesome Mommy!

I guess at some Point I should write something about the experience of birth. Or perhaps I should allow it to gently fade into my memory, as I will the 14 weeks of bedrest. With the fading of those memories, I may actually consider doing this again one day. But for now, D is my world. I am so freaking lucky. I know how huge this is. This little creature that I wanted so badly. I don't even know how who to thank, or how I could ever even be as thankful as this miracle deserves. I'll just pray, and I don't pray, that all the people I love in the world who want this experience, may some day have it.

D woke up
Must cut short

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Pics o D.

We are home. Everyone is content. D. is taking a nap on DH. We decided, selfishly, that we are going to spoil him with love. I'd love to get him to sleep for extended periods in the crib, but for now, naps on the belly are making the whole family happy...

Monday, December 1, 2008

he is here

dashiell peter was born today at 5:01 pm weighing 7lb 11 ounces.
He is healthy and happy!
Will try to post some pics tomorrow. Thanks to all of you for being such great support!

3:50 am - on way to hospital

Contractions every 3-5 mins.
Wish us luck.