Four Month Wellness Check & Mastitis

Today we had our four month wellness check.  It was exciting to see how much she’s grown.  I’m not sure if everyone else gets as excited about finding out what percentile their littles ones are in, but I think it’s just about the coolest thing ever.  So little Miss Emmy is currently 10th percentile weight (12lbs 2oz), 50% percentile length (24.5″), and 90th percentile head! That is a huge noggin we’ve got here!  She is growing along the curve quite nicely though.

Now, the bad.  Since she is not yet lifting herself up during tummy time, and cannot sit up on her own yet, we are getting really low motor skill levels.  So low, in fact, that the doctor wants us to be referred to a specialist that will come to our house and work with her.  She gave us the chance to work with her for the next two months to improve.  If she’s not doing better by next time, it’s on to the specialist.  If you could measure my level of mommy fail, it would be the highest possible score.  I feel like a complete failure, like I’m letting her down.  Why haven’t I been pushing her more on tummy time?  She hates it, yes, but I guess I should have just been letting her cry through it.  Although, the last doctor we had said that as long as she is working on lifting herself off our chests, she was doing fine.  I guess that only counted for up to two months?  Ugh, so sad.  Sad mommy.

She got two shots and one oral vaccine today.  So far I haven’t had to give her Tylenol.  It’s been almost six hours since the shots, which is longer than she went last time, so maybe she won’t need it this time?  Right now she is peacefully sleeping in my lap.

The doctor thinks we should try a couple things with her sleeping.  1.  Putting her down drowsy.  Pssh.  If this girl gets set down even a little awake, she flails around and cries.  It’s a nice thought, and I’d love to be able to do that so she can learn to self soothe, but so far… pssh.  2.  Let her cry it out.  Waaah.  Mommy isn’t ready for such things.  Daddy thinks it might be a good idea, but he doesn’t get as sad as mommy does.  I know something has to give.  I don’t want her dependent on the boob to fall asleep her whole life.  Especially since my “wean by date” is sometime in July or August of next year, but I’m just not sure what to do about it yet.  The thought of bad sleep nights makes me want to cry… especially since…

I have mastitis!!  Sumbitch!  There wasn’t even a warning blocked duct to signal the oncoming storm.  *sigh* Saturday night I stood up to go upstairs and my breast felt like someone had been punching it continuously for hours and hours.  I immediately knew what was happening.  There was no knot like there is with a blocked duct.  After a restless night of trying to sleep with a painful boob, I checked it out in the mirror as soon as I woke up.  Yep, red.  Not to mention feeling like I’d been hit by a bus.  It all added up.  At 3:00 I went to Urgent Care and got my antibiotics.  Four times a day for ten days.  Wowzah!  Here’s hoping it goes away quickly!  Ain’t nobody got time for Mastitis!  Especially when they have a baby that needs super extra double time help to get to a more normalized level of motor skills.  I think it’s super unfair to judge her on her skill level just because she doesn’t lift her head up yet.  How do they expect a 10th percentile body weight baby to hold up a 90th percentile head!?  Rude!

*Sad Mama* *Pout*

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Oh, The Blocked Ducts…

Ugh, people.  I have two, very large, very painful, blocked ducts in my right breast.  This is what I get for having one good run of sleep this week (five hours straight on Monday night).  I have applied heat, and I have been rubbing like crazy.  So far, still lumpy, but less so.  It doesn’t help that that is baby girls least favorite side to nurse on.  I’m hoping for the big unclogging leak to happen soon!  Maybe I will go out in public. insuring that it will happen soon.

My little lady seems to be feeling a little more herself today.  She has been so “off” lately.  Not smiling as much, crying for no reason (or none I can see), been very clingy (which I do not mind at all), and sleeping a lot, but only in small spurts (other than the five hours in a row mentioned above).  Today she has been smiling and generally much more awake and happy.  She has been coughing and sneezing a little today.  I’m wondering if the temperature change is getting her a little.  It’s been in the upper 60’s the past couple days!  Yay for the Fall weather, but boo for the allergies that come along with it.  She has also been very fond of sucking on her fist lately.  I wonder when she will stick out that thumb and realize that it is a much better sucking thing than an entire fist?  Only time will tell!

My family is coming in to town this weekend.  It will be the first time they’ve seen her since the day she was born!  She is 12 weeks old now!  They won’t know what to think!  I just hope they are okay with me being clingy and not wanting to share too much.  Anyone else a non-sharer?  I’m wondering if it’s because I am with her all day and never really have to share, or if this is just a typical mom thing?  Either way… she is mine!

I also want to apologize for the moodiness of my post yesterday.  I really appreciate all of the support towards myself and my writing!  You all really made my day yesterday!

Now I am going to my happy place… sitting in my recliner while my baby girl naps in my lap.  Maybe I can even get a little crocheting done!  Happy hump day, everyone!

Yowzah, Learned My Lesson!

I have found the touchiest subject on the internet, and it’s not religion.  Surprise!  It’s breastfeeding in public.  Who knew?

My post about my personal preference to not bare-breastfeed in public went over well with some, and went over terribly with others.  I was called ignorant, and accused of trying to “protect children from an important learning moment.”  Okay, I’m sorry that my preference to not have a breast out in public is so offensive to everyone.  I should have been clear and said that if you want to breastfeed in public without a cover that you should.  Oh wait, I did that? Yikes…  Okay, well, maybe I should have said that all I was asking was that you understand that some people (even breastfeeding mothers) are not always comfortable having/seeing a breast out in public, regardless of that breast being used to feed a baby.  Oh wait, that was the entire point?  Man, I really must suck at life.

I guess I was expecting a few comments like this… “Wow, that stinks that you are so uncomfortable with breastfeeding in public!  It really does make things so much easier, but I can understand that not everyone wants to do that.  I personally would not cover up if asked, but that is my personal preference.”  Instead I got some of the rudest comments I’ve ever seen.  (In case you go looking for them, I did not accept them.  No negativity on my blog, thanks.  It’s a mommy blog, people.  Be nice!  Not everyone mommies the same way you do.)

Why is everyone so angry about this?  I wrote that so that other breastfeeding mothers who have anxiety about bare-breastfeeding in public wouldn’t feel alone.  I wrote that so that people who ARE comfortable, would realize that not everyone on the planet wants to see you feed your baby in a restaurant, and it’s not because they hate you.  I was not calling you a disgusting, ugly, horrid, vile monster, I was simply trying to explain why some people may ask you to cover up.  It’s not a hatred of children, or breasts, or you, it’s because some people just do not feel comfortable.  Honestly, I am a little jealous that you are okay with it, because I am not.  My body would probably literally stop producing milk do to extreme anxiety.  So, way to go!  But being mad at me because I suggested that if a mother ask you to cover up so that she doesn’t have to explain to her children about breastfeeding at that particular moment, is ridiculous.  Think about it from the point of view of a mother who is not okay with it.  She isn’t a terrible person, she just has a different opinion than you do.  And if you don’t want to cover up?  Politely decline, stating your right to breastfeed in public.  You don’t have to hop up on the table and scream that the woman is trying to take away your rights to feed your child (that seems like the approach some of you would have taken, based on the comments I received).

Here is my preference.  I will keep my breasts under a cover in public, due to my extreme discomfort in having them out.  And yes, I have a nursing bra, but it doesn’t have a neat little hole cut out so that only my nipple shows.  The entire front of the bra comes down to expose the entire breast.  I’m sorry I don’t have the other type of nursing bra that apparently covers your entire breast except your nipple.  If I did, I still wouldn’t breastfeed in public, but I can see how that would be incredibly convenient for those who do.  You all may be surprised to learn that I even where an udder cover at home when certain family members come to visit because it would make them so tense and uncomfortable if I were to have a bare breast out.  Is it a pain to where a cover while breastfeeding?  Yes!  I understand why you wouldn’t want to!  But please don’t be mean to me about my preference.  I am not telling you to cover up, I am not calling you nasty, I am not trying to set public breastfeeding back 50 years, I am trying to explain that we don’t all want to show our breasts, and that not everyone wants to see yours.  It’s nothing personal, and I don’t think I’m being a horrible person by trying to explain this, but I guess some of you think I am.

So, to sum up, breastfeed in public or don’t.  Use a cover or don’t.  Cover up when someone asks you or don’t.  I think everyone should do whatever they want to do with regards to breastfeeding, so please don’t think I am trying to tell you what to do.  I am not.  Okay?  Is this understood?  Everyone feeling better now?  Breathe… breathe…

From now on, I will keep my ignorant thoughts of parenting to myself and try to only post things that the majority of the world agrees on.  Anyone have a list of approved topics and opinions that I could borrow?  I must have lost mine…

Grumpy mom, out!

Ever Want To Shave Your Head??

I have been itchy since the end of my pregnancy.  Hormones.. yeesh!  So along with skin itching all over, my head, neck, upper back, and shoulders have it the worst due to my long, itchy hair.  No matter how many times I put it back up, there is always hair falling out and making me so much more itchy.  AH!  I just want to have one of those super short hair cuts… but I’m just not sure I can pull it off.

I’m hoping my hormones will even out by the time she is weaned.  I am a little worried about a dip in hormones though.  I can feel my PCOS and/or my POF imbalance sneaking up on me (hot flashes like whoa).  I’m hoping it won’t affect my breast milk production.  I want to at least make it to six months, with the ultimate goal of one year.

So…. who is with me? Shall we all shave our heads now??

Breastfeeding In Public: My Opinion

Okay, let me start this by saying that this is my own opinion.  I am not judging anyone for their particular thoughts on this subject, but I think I may be in a small percentage of breastfeeders with this particular opinion, so I’d like to share.

I do not believe that I should breastfeed in public places with my bare breast out.  I know that may sound crazy because breastfeeding is natural, but breasts, to me, are not something to be on display, no matter what they are doing.  Unless maybe your shirt catches on fire and you have to get naked to save yourself from having burnt boobies.  Otherwise, my breasts are staying in my shirt, or under an udder cover.

“But breastfeeding is not sexual!” you say.

Yes, I agree.  Breastfeeding is not sexual, but come on, breasts totally are.  From the moment you blossom, to the moment you die, your breasts are for sexy fun time, minus a couple years while they are being used for breastfeeding.  Admit it, you have intentionally dressed with cleavage, or used your boobs to get free drinks, and during sexy fun time, they are go to fixtures.  Breasts are GREAT, and as an added bonus, they can be used for breastfeeding!  Way to go, boobs!

Now, if YOU want to breastfeed in public without a cover, go for it.  I am not judging you, but I’d like for you to realize that there are women out there (even breastfeeding women – ahem) who are not comfortable with it.  As much as you feel like you are being judged for bare-breastfeeding in public, women like me feel judged for not wanting to do that.  Some people are uncomfortable with things even if they are natural.  Although, I must say, being rude to people who are breastfeeding in public is not acceptable behavior.  A friend of mine told me that she was breastfeeding in a restaurant and a woman told her kid to stay away from them because it was “dirty over there.”  If you don’t want your kids to see it, request a different table, or explain to the mother that you would feel more comfortable if she could cover up.  Any mother should be understanding of another mothers request for how they choose to raise their children.  As for non-parent people, make your best judgement towards them.  You may remember your non-baby having days and the thought of you and your husband having dinner across from a boob might make you go “ah, yea, I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed my husband checking out a boob over cheese fries.”  You may look at that and think “breastfeeding is natural!” but your husband may be thinking “don’t look at it… don’t look at it. Oh god, I looked at it!”

There is a balance of keeping you and your baby comfortable, as well as those around you.   Just saying, don’t be mad at others for being uncomfortable, try to be understanding, and hopefully others will be understanding of you!  I personally don’t care if I see your breast, and neither does my husband (now that we have a baby), but you won’t be seeing mine, and that is okay because that is my choice!

 

Baby Narcolepsy, Boobs, And Cloth

Okay, I know narcolepsy is not funny in the slightest, but that is the only way I know how to describe it!

Every couple weeks, she goes through a phase where she will eat for five minutes, pass out, wake up ten minutes later, eat for five minutes, pass out…. (you get the gist).  Last night she would eat for 20 minutes, pass out (hard), and then sleep for an hour and be wide awake to eat again.  THIS is why I didn’t post a brag update about how last week she was sleeping for 4.5-5.5 hours in a row.  I knew it wouldn’t last.  I just got lucky!  It was nice though.  I was getting nine hours of sleep a night!  Can you imagine what that was like after nine weeks? Ah, magical.  I will just have to patiently wait for the magic to return…. cause it totally will… RIGHT?!

I was also wondering about something.  Do the rest of the breastfeeders out there have one nipple that just doesn’t work as well as the other?  I mean, my baby latches like a pro on both (I have been lucky with this since the day she was born), but when she latches on the right it’s just not as easy going (for either of us) as when she latches on the left.  I imagine that since no two boobs are the same, that this is pretty standard, but I was just curious!

This week I plan on TRYING to get the house ready for my husbands birthday party.  I’m not sure where this time is going to come from, but I figure if I can at least have the downstairs looking nice, I can block of the stairs to the rest of the house.  Tehehe.  The in-laws can deal with a messy upstairs, they know the deal!

I also must admit that I have failed in my attempt to start cloth diapers.  Lame, I know.  I am just so nervous about how big they are still.  I really don’t want to have to wash everything all the time because they leaked on her, me, and her boppy.  I know I’m going to have to jump in and do it eventually (my husband won’t let me forget that) but… whaaa!  I am hoping to at least try a diaper a day soon.  Maybe starting small will help me dip my toes in a bit.  I plan on keeping her in disposable at night for a while though.  Last thing I want is to have to redo her whole bassinet setup in the middle of the night!

Well, I’m off.  I’m going to attempt to not pass out, since my baby is wide awake, kicking her feet, and giving me big smiles.  Little cutie!

What A Difference A Day Makes

Today was the first day that Emmy has reached out and actually grasped something.  It was AMAZING!  Think about it… the FIRST time she ever intentionally reached out and grabbed on to something.  She will do this a billion times in life, and I got to see the first!  She has also started batting at her stuffed flower rattle.  It’s like she suddenly knows that it’s there.  She learns something new everyday!

Last night we had our best night of sleep so far!  4.5 – 2.5 – 1! Yes, that’s right, 8 hours!  I know that some babies are sleeping through the night at this point, but I am okay with this for now.  I woke up twice during the 4.5 round to check her breathing.  *Crazy mom or normal mom?*  I’m assuming it was from the trauma of the vaccinations yesterday, but who knows? Maybe it was the start of learning to sleep for longer periods of time?  We will see!

Oh, i meant to mention last night that when I hand expressed that ounce of milk, I put a nipple on it and handed it to my husband.  Well, it was a no go.  She likes the bottle nipple about as much as she like a pacifier, which is not at all.  She is nine weeks old though, and she’s never had a bottle before, so I wasn’t hopeful.  I’m just so glad my boobs are more than up for the task of providing all the milk she needs.  It’s also nice that I am okay with being a homebody.  I know a lot of women wouldn’t be okay with it, but I love it!

Well…. Miss Emmy is ready for bedtime… G’night!

We Have Poop!

We have poop, people!

Finally, after three days, we have poop!  I was beginning to think I was going crazy and that maybe she was pooping at night and I was just too tired to remember.  Apparently, it was a pretty nasty and big one.  Thanks, hubby!  

(The above section of this post is for Kathryn.  She said she wanted to know when our babies poop AND when they don’t.  This should satisfy both!  Hi!)

 

In other news, I just hand expressed an entire ounce out of one of my breasts! WHOA!  This was only possible because she will not feed off of this breast.  The reason?  She got the Tdap shot in her left leg, and it hurts her leg to nurse off of my right breast because it presses against that leg. Poor lady.  She got a dose of Tylenol and seems to be in better spirits, but she still won’t nurse off of that side.  I guess I will be bringing a bottle upstairs to squeeze in to for the rest of the night… you know, so my breast doesn’t explode and whatnot.

The doctors visit went well.  Two shots and an oral vaccine.  She didn’t mind the oral vaccine, but the shots were not her friend.  She cried for a few minutes and then fell asleep for 2.5 hours.  Then she fed for an hour (on one side) and then passed out for another two hours.  It was after this last go that she realized the pain was there and was not going away.  The screeching was so sad.  I’m glad she is able to have a little bit of Tylenol for these occasions.

It’s been a long day.  I am hoping she feels better tomorrow… both from her huge poop and the pain in her leg going away.  I do not like to see my little one sad!

I Am Exhausted

Holy cow, guys.  This little lady has been going through her two month growth spurt and it has been hard on both of us.  I THINK she may be done now (it’s been slowly building up for the past three days and seems to have climaxed this afternoon) and I am so glad!  If I do not get some sleep soon, I may start hiring someone who is lactating to come over and take care of her and feed her while I sleep for a couple days.  (That’s a thing, right?)

Right now I am sitting in my chair, my faithful recliner, and watching my little one sleep.  I am so glad she is finally able to sleep hard.  She’s been so fidgety and waking easily over the past few days.  Last night we got a three hour span of sleep after a 6.5 hour cluster feed.  Luckily she gave me a couple 30 minute breaks in there for diaper changes and mommy peeing time.  She finally went down at 10pm, slept until 1:00am and then our night got terrible.

Along with only sleeping for 20-30 minutes at a time (and I’m pretty sure some of those times she was still awake and I just passed out) we also had a TICK in the bed!!  Yes, a tick!  I had woken up once to pick her up and felt something on the palm of my hand.  Felt like crud.  Thought it was probably just fuzz + baby drool that had solidified into some kind of crud on my hand.  I flicked it off onto the floor beside the bed and went about my cluster feed night.  Three hours later, during more feeding time, I felt a tickle on my elbow. (As a side note, I have been incredibly itchy ever since I was pregnant.  It’s getting better, but still pretty itchy.  So I thought it was just one of my itches.)  Since I had that particular hand holding a breast, I couldn’t really move it more than rubbing it on the pillow.  Seemed to help, until a couple minutes later.  Then I knew it was SOMETHING.  I naturally assumed a spider.  I pulled the boob out and reached over with my other hand and smacked at the creature, picked it off, and threw it down on the pillow.  I assumed I had killed whatever it was, but I was also concerned with the feel of what it was.  Spiders are squishy, people.  This was hard and flat…. just like the crud on my hand!

I grabbed my phone and looked at what was there.  Expecting a dead spider, I was quite shocked to see a very alive TICK.  (I am still so grossed/freaked out).  I woke my husband up, confirmed it was a tick, and let him handle the murdering and disposal.  I, on the other hand, jumped out of bed, put Emmy in her bassinet, ran to turn the lights on and began checking myself, the bed, the floor, the baby… everything.  I even checked out little dog, who I am assuming carried this disgusting passenger into our house.  She was clean.  I was traumatized.  My husband was tired.  He told me that ticks usually don’t travel in packs, which means “turn off the lights and go to sleep.”  I was NOT happy.  How could something so terrifying be something so nonchalant for him?  I guess he was just trying to calm me down, but it did not have that effect.  Even though the little one fell asleep during all the hub-bub (figures, right?)  I could not go back to sleep.  Turned out to be okay, since the little one woke up 20 minutes later, but still.

I’ve never experienced a tick problem before, so I know it isn’t something I should be constantly fearful about, but it was on the level of finding a black widow hanging in the window in the nursery or something, you know?

So, overacting mommy, or understandably concerned?

We have bug people coming out on Tuesday to de-bug our entire house – inside AND out!  I will now be adding tick control to our contract.  Ugh!

It Worked! I Think. I Hope. Oh No, I Jinxed It!

I have found that I am very superstitious since becoming a mom.  If we have a good night of sleep, I try to repeat everything I did that day, the following day.  If I ate something new and we have a bad night, I avoid eating that item as if it contains the plague.  I know that none of this actually has anything to do with anything.  It’s not like she’s super gassy after I eat a particular item, it’s just that some days she is going to sleep well and some days she isn’t…. but….

Remember how I mentioned that I was going to put a blanket under her bassinet mattress sheet?  My thought being that it would make it softer and warmer?  Well, it appears to be doing just that… and she appears to love it.  Two nights ago she slept for 3 hours and 45 minutes IN A ROW!  The rest of the rounds of sleep were shorter (two hours), but that was the longest round she’s ever had!

Last night we had three rounds of sleep.  Three hours, two hours and one hour.  I know that doesn’t sound great, but THREE HOURS IN A ROW! Woo!

I’m pretty sure that the blanket is helping, but I have also figured out another thing that is helping her sleep.  You see, I recently figured out that I am over producing milk.  This is most likely due to her cluster feedings.  My boobs are thinking I need hours of milk produced in a row and fill up almost immediately after they are emptied.  Not even joking, I can have her nurse for thirty minutes on one side, and thirty minutes later that boob is hard as a rock.  They pretty much ache all of the time now, but at least I know I have plenty of food for her!  There are a couple downsides though.  The first being that the amount that comes out while she nurses is a little much for her.  It makes her frustrated, aggravated, and occasionally she cries out when she starts.  I imagine it would be like a flood!  The second problem is that it’s hard for her to get to the hind milk because there is SO MUCH milk in there.  This is the biggest reason why she sleeps longest for her first feeding.  I feed her downstairs around 6:30 from both breasts.  We then go to bed around 8:00 and I will put her on the last breast she nursed from.  This appears to be giving her the hind milk she needs to sleep.  I’ve read that some women who do this use the same breast for three feedings in a row to help the baby get to the fatty milk, but then my second breast would explode and I’d have to clean it up and buy a new breast…. sounds like a lot of work.  I’m not quite sure when my supply will start to get to a normal range, but I imagine the longer she goes without a cluster feed (they are only once a week now) then eventually the milk will level out and she will be getting all the fatty goodness she needs at every feeding!  (If you are new here, I cannot pump, even with the over supply, so do not suggest it!  Thanks!)

So, blanket + getting milk straighten out = sleepy baby. Wahoo!  (I’ve totally jinxed myself… no chance she’s sleeping tonight…)