Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bottle strike still on

Apparently Meg is trying to assert the fact SHE is in control. This morning when she woke up, I tried to nurse her. She refused the left side, so I tried the right. She took it. When she was done, I tried the left again. No way. So I tried a bottle of breastmilk (1 oz). She didn’t want it, but I forced it in her mouth. She then realized it was breastmilk, not formula and drank it! So I warmed up 2 more ounces of breastmilk. When I tried to give it to her, she arched her back, whined, clamped her mouth shut, and REFUSED to drink it. I tried again 20 minutes later. She turned her head away every time she saw the bottle, to make it perfectly clear she wants that bottle nowhere near her. So we sat in the nursing chair and I offered her the left side again. She took it. What the hell?

I thawed 8 ounces of breastmilk, mixed it with formula, and sent the bottles to daycare. We’ll see how it goes. I also sent backup jars of food. I practically wrote a page of instructions for them, so hopefully they can follow the directions. I don’t know what to do with her!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

She can't make up her mind...

Meg is being a stinker today. This morning, she slept til 8 (yay!), then nursed on one side. She wouldn’t take the other, because she was in such a hurry to go play. At 9:30, when she was hungry again, I decided to give her the other side, so I wouldn’t have to pump. She took it! When she was done nursing, I made a small bottle (3 oz formula, 1 oz breastmilk) to finish the feeding. She took a sip, decided she didn’t like it, and absolutely flat-out refused to drink. So I put it in the fridge and tried again a half-hour later. She twisted her whole body away and made it quite clear she WOULD NOT drink that bottle. Fine. I decided to be sneaky and mixed some of the milk with oatmeal. I fed her the oatmeal and half a jar of food. She didn’t quite finish.

When lunch came, I tried to give her the bottle first (we usually give it after her food), so she would at least have some milk. She refused. Would. Not. Drink. It. I fed her the rest of her lunch, tried the bottle again (no go), then gave up and poured it out.

Afternoon bottle – same thing. Wouldn’t drink bottle, after trying several times (over a 45 minute interval), I give up and fed her a half jar of food.

For dinner, she doesn’t usually get a bottle, just “solid food”. She didn’t quite finish it (how is she not hungry??)

Bedtime: nursed great, refused top-off bottle. I had Husband try to give it to her (maybe she just wouldn’t take bottles from me?), but that didn’t work.

I guess she’s just going through a bottle strike, but I’m worried because I opened a new can of formula this morning. What if its bad? A couple times, she took a sip of the bottle, THEN decided she wouldn’t drink it. And after that, she freaked out at the sight of a bottle. Does it taste bad? Can a sealed can of formula a year away from its expiration date go bad? After its mixed, it smells nasty, but formula always does, right? I tried to smell the powder itself and it doesn’t have a strong smell. For the afternoon and bedtime bottles, I also tried giving her straight breastmilk in a bottle, but couldn’t get her to taste it. For all she knew, it was formula. She now won’t even try a bottle at all. Its like she’s decided she’d like to go back to nursing after all. Like she’s saying: “Mom, about that nursing strike? Let’s just forget it ever happened. I want to nurse ALL THE TIME now.” Has she forgotten we switched to bottles because I wasn’t producing enough milk?

I don’t know what to do for daycare tomorrow. Send her with bottles that she’ll refuse? Today I made up small bottles for each feeding, so after she refused them, I only had to pour out 2-3 ounces, instead of 6. (I can’t save them, because I’m persistent and shove the bottle in her mouth, just to make SURE she won’t even TRY it, which leads to her sputtering and trying to spit the milk back into the bottle)

Its painful to think about sending FIFTEEN ounces to daycare and thinking it all might get poured down the drain. Plus, they’re terrible at following directions. Last week after lunch they gave her a 6 oz bottle instead of the 3 oz. She only drank half of it, so the other half had to be discarded. Then they didn’t feed her again at all, so when she got home at 5:30 she hadn’t eaten since 1 and was starving! I’m afraid if I send jars of food to be given ONLY if she refuses the bottles, they’ll get all confused and mess the whole thing up. What to do?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Ear infection

My Dad left this morning on a business trip. My mom went with him, so Meg was supposed to go to daycare all week. Last night, she woke up at midnight screaming. None of us got much sleep after that. She has an ear infection. Husband stayed home today (and took her to the doctor) and I’ll stay home tomorrow. Every time my mom has gone out of town, Meg has gotten sick. Every time! Its like she knows…

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Perfect evening!

Our date went awesome. The plan was to leave Meg with my mom, then go to the movie theater near her house. We left the house late (as always). We dropped her off and got to the movie theater 5 minutes before the movie was supposed to start. There wasn’t a line at the box office (it was 3 pm), we paid the matinee price (yay), bought popcorn, and were in our seats when the previews started.

With about 45 minutes left in the movie, Husband stepped out to call the restaurant to “get in line.” They don’t take reservations, but you can call ahead and wait at home for awhile before coming in (by 7 pm, the wait is usually 2-3 hours). We figured at 5, the wait would be an hour. It was 90 minutes. Since we only called 45 minutes before the movie was over, we would have to wait at the restaurant (close to the theater) 30-40 minutes. We decided to wait – its not like the wait time would be shorter at any other restaurant.

When the movie got over, we went to the restaurant. We walked up, checked in, and they said they could seat us right away! There were TONS of people waiting (but I’m assuming most of them weren’t waiting for a 2-person table).

After we finished, I wanted ice cream. Cold Stone, preferably, but Dairy Queen if necessary. (I love DQ, but was in the mood for Cold Stone) We got out the GPS and determined the closest DQ was about 5 minutes away. We thought the only Cold Stone in the area was at the mall, 15 minutes away, and generally packed – meaning we would have to park far away and it would take forever to walk to the mall, then to the food court.

We walked out the door of the restaurant and saw a Cold Stone across the street. It was crazy! (First of all, how did I not know there was a Cold Stone there??) We walked over, got our ice cream, then drove to mom’s (2 minutes away), picked up Meg, and got her home by bedtime. Our whole date took place within 2 miles of my parent’s house. Everything went perfectly the whole time. On the way home, we picked up a Redbox movie and watched it after putting Meg to bed. It was a great day.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Date Night

I have a date tomorrow night. With my husband. I am so excited. We’re going to a movie together! We haven’t seen a movie together (without Meg) since before she was born. He’s gone alone once, I’ve gone alone once, and we took her with us once (bad idea). This is our email conversation from earlier:

Me: I'm so excited for our date! We haven't seen a movie together (without Meg) since before she was born, right?

Him: I still have the stub in my wallet. It was Night at the Museum 2, two days before she was born. I have been saving it because I thought it might belong in her baby book.

Isn’t that sweet? I had no idea what movie we’d gone to (or even when) and he knew it right off the top of his head! And was thinking about her baby book (which doesn’t exist yet). Of course, at the time I was 9 months pregnant and worried about going into labor in the movie theater. And afterward, I was nursing round the clock. Its understandable I couldn’t remember, right?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

No more pump to lug around! (maybe)

I kept forgetting to pump in the afternoon. I’d remember at a later and later time every day, then worry it was too close to Meg’s bedtime feeding to pump. So sometimes I would delay pumping until after the bedtime feeding, so I was sure Meg was getting as much as she wanted. Then she started refusing to nurse at night, so I was obviously getting a lot more milk. I was also pumping 2x a day again (usually afternoon and before bed), 3 if she refused to nurse in the morning. Have I mentioned I hate pumping? So I dropped the afternoon altogether and only pump at night. No lugging the pump to work! Of course, I haven’t yet had a day where I didn’t have to take it. Because, Meg has now started routinely refusing to nurse in the morning, instead of occasionally refusing. So now I pump in the morning at work. Oh well.

Monday, March 22, 2010

and the weaning continues...

Last night, when I put Meg to bed, she refused to nurse. She arched her back, whined, and basically said: I don't want to bother with this, just bring on the bottle!! I couldn't get her to nurse, so I just gave her the bottle. Looks like we've dropped the bedtime nursing session. Now I only nurse her first thing in the morning and pump once during the afternoon. I hope we can keep the morning nursing for a little while, because I'm not ready to be totally done. Meg still likes nursing in the morning, because she likes to get out of bed, snuggle up next to me, and eat slowly while she wakes up slowly. The rest of the day, she just wants to eat as fast as possible. Which means, BOTTLE, STAT!!

I'm trying to reduce the amount of breastmilk in each bottle. The number of ounces she drinks each day is increasing and I only pump once a day (yay!). It seems to be going fine. She'll drink a bottle as long as it has some breastmilk. Right now, they're about 1/3 breastmilk, 2/3 formula. I suppose we'll finish weaning by her first birthday instead of starting weaning at 1, like I thought I would...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Cheap entertainment

This afternoon, I got the spring cleaning bug. I convinced my husband to clean, too, and we made a lot of headway. I was cleaning off the "junk" counter in the kitchen - the counter where everything gets thrown when I walk in the door: mail, purse, receipts, shopping bags, etc. There were lots of burp rags, baby socks, baby sweatshirts, even gifts for Meg. So I brought a laundry basket in the kitchen and started throwing clothes in it. Meg loves laundry baskets. She wanted in the basket. So I set her in. None of the clothes were dirty, they'd just been worn once (or never). She sat in the laundry basket, playing with her clothes, for an hour and a half! Up to that point, we'd been spending half of our time chasing her around instead of cleaning. But once I put her in the basket, she played happily and we cleaned like crazy. Our house looks awesome (at least the kitchen and living room) and Meg had the best afternoon. She was so happy I let her play with clothes! (Usually she wants to play with clothes I've just washed and folded and put in the basket. I say no.)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Grandma's House

This afternoon, Meg and I went to my sister's bridal shower at my mom's house. Meg has a ball. She enjoyed having people around to say how cute she was and she's totally comfortable at Grandma's house. (My mom watches her 2 1/2 days a week) During the shower, she kept making a beeline for her toy box and all her other favorite spots. She basically acted like she owned the place!

Friday, March 19, 2010

WHY don't you want to sleep?

We have many theories on why Meg hasn't been sleeping through the night lately:

Maybe she's hungry
Last night we did everything we could to make sure Meg would NOT wake up in the middle of the night because she was hungry. Before bed, we fed her a bowl of oatmeal cereal. Then I nursed her. Then we gave her a 4 ounce bottle. She slept through the night. I don't know if that's why, though. She also slept through the night Tuesday and we didn't give her oatmeal (she did nurse and get the bottle).

Daylight savings time
Its light for so long in the evenings, she seems to think when we put her to bed, we're actually putting her down for a nap. She sleeps 4 hours, then wants to get up and play.

Taking too many naps
She seems to be doing fine on days where she only takes two half-hour naps. So maybe when she takes longer naps, she's just not tired at night. She's been transitioning to one nap. Should we never let her take two?

Missing mommy
The two nights she's gotten up were the two nights I came home from work and immediately fell asleep on the couch. Both nights she's just wanted to hang out with mommy in the middle of the night. Maybe she misses playing with me in the evenings?

Last night, we tried to fix as many of those things as we could. As I said, we fed her oatmeal so she wouldn't be hungry as soon. I played with her all evening, so she got a lot of mommy time. We emphasized the bedtime routine (more books, more rocking, to drill into her head its BEDTIME, not naptime). We couldn't do much about the naps, since she was at daycare all day.

I think tonight will be the real test, since she tends to sleep through every other night. Even when she's getting up at night because she's sick, she does it every other night. So we'll see...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Give up nursing to get well?

I'm still sick. Really sick. My ear infection came back, too, despite the antibiotics. I now have a double ear infection, sinus infection, and double eye infection (although the eye drops are working, so the eye infections are almost gone). Last night I came home from work, laid down on the couch, and slept until it was time to put Meg to bed. After putting her to bed, I went back to sleep (after taking my temperature, which was 100.7).

Then....we got to have nighttime fun again. Meg woke up at midnight and didn't go back to sleep until 2:30. She was hungry (drank 7 ounces), but really she just missed me. All she wanted to do was cuddle with Mama. She stroked my cheek and smiled at me and just cuddled. I actually enjoyed it. It was 1 a.m., I had to get up for work at 5, and I was sick, but she was so adorable. And so in love with her mommy. I just tried to memorize her little face.

As much as I enjoyed it, though, 5 a.m. came too soon. And I felt like death. My mom thinks I should take a stronger antibiotic even if its incompatible with nursing. Meg is almost 10 months, she's already halfway weaned, and I'm really sick. But Meg does not like formula. One night, I tried to give her 4 ounces of straight formula before bed (instead of half-breastmilk, half-formula) and she refused it. She looked at me like "what the heck is this? I'm not going to drink this crap."

I know "if she gets hungry enough, she'll drink it", blah, blah, blah. But I only stopped starving her last week. I don't want to start again!! And it may be selfish, but I'm not going to pump and pour milk down the drain to keep my supply up while taking a stronger antibiotic. My relationship with the breastpump has evolved from love to love-hate to HATE HATE HATE. If I can't nurse, I'm done.

The amoxicillin is clearly not working. But Meg refuses straight formula. Maybe there's a halfway option? An antibiotic that's so-so for nursing mothers? Maybe the protocol is to try amoxicillin first, but if it doesn't work, then you can get something stronger? I'm sure there is. But if its really "so-so", do I keep nursing or give it up to be on the safe side?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Rough Day

Ick. Today was really really rough. I still don't feel any better and Meg decided nighttime is playtime! She woke up at 12:30 last night and didn't go back to sleep until 5. FIVE! We tried everything. We fed her (at 2 a.m. and at 4:30 a.m.) We gave her Tylenol (because the only other times she's woken up in the night have been because she is really sick or teething). She just wasn't tired. Around 3 a.m., my husband took her to the living room and let her play for an hour while he laid on the couch.

I already didn't feel well, but this made it worse, so I went to work for 3 hours, then came home. As I said yesterday, my mother-in-law is watching Meg today at our house. I said hi to them, pumped, then went to bed. I slept from 11 am - 5 pm. My husband left work after the markets closed (1:30). He planned to take a nap, but ended up just hanging out with his mom. We put Meg to bed at her normal bedtime of 8, then immediately got ready for bed ourselves. We plan to be asleep by 9. If Meg gets up again tonight, I don't know what we're going to do.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Sometimes I worry about the fact Meg doesn't really have a weekday routine. She generally goes to my mom's Monday and Wednesday and daycare on Tuesday. Thursdays vary. Fridays I'm usually home. All this changes if my mom is out of town, or Meg's sick, or I'm sick. Her "schedule" is different at each place: we all feed her at different times, put her down for naps at different times, and do different things throughout the day. If I'm going to work, I get her up at 5:45. If we're staying home, I let her sleep until she wakes up on her own (around 7 or 8). She seems to do just fine. She's a smiley, happy baby. But everyone is always harping on routines. Am I ruining my baby's life by not having a rigid routine?

Some of its not possible. I tried getting the daycare and my mom to feed her at the same times. It didn't work. When she acts hungry, they feed her. Even if its only been an hour since her last feeding. I'm OK with that, because generally she IS hungry (because her terrible mama is giving her bottles that are TOO SMALL).

She's always been a "two hour rule" napper. She doesn't nap at the same times every day, she naps around two hours after the last time she woke up, all day long. But I'm the only one who puts her down after two hours. I swear, it works perfectly (she's tired enough to sleep, but not overtired), but mom and the daycare don't do it. They wait until she looks tired, at which point she's actually overtired.

I put her down for naps in her carseat. She refuses to nap in her crib at home. Mom rocks her to sleep. The daycare puts her in a small crib.

This week, we're changing the routine further. My husband's mom took the week off work to get her house ready to put on the market. She's coming up to visit us Monday night, babysitting Tuesday, then leaving Tuesday night. So this week, Meg is going to my mom's Monday and Wednesday. She's staying at our house with her other grandma Tuesday and going to daycare on Thursday. PLUS, she graduated to a new room at daycare (because she can crawl) and Thursday will be her first day in the new room. I feel bad for her - this is going to be a crazy week.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Nursing before bed

We've started giving Meg a 4 ounce bottle before bed, after I nurse her. I thought allowing a longer period of time between the last time I pumped and bedtime would let enough milk build up, but it doesn't. A few times she's waken up around midnight hungry again. Not good.

She really enjoys her bottles - she glugs them down as fast as possible, as if the food could be taken away at any time and she needs to get as much as she can before that happens. When I try to nurse her before bed, she does it, but really she just wants her bottle. So I think the nighttime nursing is on its way out. The first-thing-in-the-morning nursing session is the only one she really likes. She loves to get out of her crib and immediately snuggling close to mama and nursing without really waking up.

I'm pretty much OK with this. What's the point of nursing her before bed if I'm also going to give her a bottle?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Round and round we go

Last night when I took my (brand-new) pair of contacts out, I noticed my eyes were red. This morning I woke up with green crud all over my left eye. I went to the doctor's office and the doctor said* my eye infection is back. He checked out my sinuses and they're still infected, too. Apparently the antibiotics didn't quite kick it. So now we're on round two. This time he gave me an antibiotic eye drop so hopefully it will work better. For the sinuses, he wanted to put me on something stronger than amoxicillin, but decided not to because I'm nursing. We'll see how that works out...

This is getting to be one expensive bug. I've been to the doctor's office 4 times. I've thrown out two pairs of contacts. I've gotten 3 prescriptions. My husband is ticked at the doctor. He thinks I should have been given antibiotics before my third visit, when I was really sick. I have to say I agree. I can understand "wait and see" when I just had a cold/cough that appeared to be a virus. But when I came back with an ear infection and the doctor wanted to see if it would clear on its own? Not cool.

*this sentence reminds me of: "Mama called the doctor and the doctor said - no more monkeys jumping on the bed!"

Friday, March 12, 2010

Goodness, woman, don't you ever feed your child?

So it appears I held out too long on the supplementation thing. I took Meg in for her 9 month checkup today. Her weight has fallen to the 16th percentile. She used to be in the 50th-60th percentile. The doctor is concerned she’s not gaining enough weight, so we have to come back in 6 weeks for a weight check. Hopefully supplementation is the answer and she'll start piling on the pounds. The doctor also said she should be getting 3 solid-food meals a day. We've only been giving her lunch and dinner.

I feel like a terrible, terrible mother. I was so determined to build my breastmilk supply back up and avoid formula, I took it too far. I'm trying not to get too depressed about it, but I really feed bad. At least I realized there was a problem and fixed it before the appointment.

She did start crawling recently and is getting into everything, so the doctor said her increased activity level probably has a lot to do with it (burning extra calories). I'm sure that's true, but I also know she has been "saying" for a few weeks her bottles are not big enough. She screamed and wailed and made it clear it was not enough food. And I just told her, keep nursing! Nurse for as long as it takes to increase Mommy's milk supply! Except Mommy's milk supply didn't go up. Oops.

This being a mother thing is hard. I guess this is one of the many mistakes I'll make. Not the first, not the last.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

New this week: Bottlefeeding!

This afternoon, I gave Meg a bottle for the first time. It was weird. She kept looking at me funny like “why are YOU giving me a bottle? you’re my MOMMY. this is not how mommy feeds me.” But she was not about to refuse it. She basically seemed to decide, “this is weird, but I’ll take it!” She even tried to reach my hair to play with it like she does while nursing.

Of course, after giving her the bottle, I had to pump. Grrr. This is why I didn’t want to take the supplementation route, but it had to be done. When I pump (at 11ish and 3ish), I get 3-4 ounces. Around 9 & 3, Meg gets an 8 ounce bottle. Her bottle is half breastmilk, half formula. I suppose I could breastfeed her then give her a 4 ounce bottle of formula, but I’m nervous about feeding her straight formula. It seems like too fast of a switch. I'm also worried about my supply declining further. How would I know if she was only getting 2 oz of breastmilk instead of 4? So instead I mix 4 oz breastmilk with 4 oz formula, feed it to her, then pump to get 4 oz breastmilk for her next bottle. It’s a long, drawn-out process, and by the time its over, its taken 45 minutes and dirtied 3 bottles (the one she drank out of and two to pump).

This is a lot of work. Its why I didn’t want to do it. But Meg is sooooo much happier. She’s finally satisfied with the amount of milk she’s getting and it makes her happier all day long. So its worth it.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Some is better than none

Today is the first day on my don’t-kill-yourself-trying-to-pump plan and, I have to say, I like it. At 8:50 I looked at the clock. Usually, I would immediately start gathering things to take downstairs to the lactation room. But today I just felt relief I didn’t have to. Nine o’clock came and went and I sat at my desk working. It was great!

I even felt relief this morning when I packed my bag. Instead of putting in six bottles (one bottle for each side x 3 pumping sessions), I put in four.

My biggest sigh of relief, though, was when I shut the pump off after 15 minutes. As I said yesterday, I’ve been pumping three times a day, for a total of 1 hour 20 minutes. Today is the first day on my new plan of pumping for 15 minutes twice a day. I know I sound like a broken record, but its just a relief!

Obviously I’ve heard “some breastmilk is better than none!” many times. Its in every new-baby magazine. My opinion has always been that, yes, some breastmilk IS better than none. But ALL breastmilk is better than SOME. If you try hard enough, you can get enough milk for your baby. Some mothers may not have the time, energy, or determination to try hard enough, but I will never be one of those mothers!

Well, I have tried as hard as I can for two months and its just not working. Its time to get on with my life. My daughter is 9 ½ months old. That’s a long time to go without ever having formula! And I’m not weaning her completely. Over half of her milk each day will be breastmilk. And some is better than none!

Giving up the fight

I’ve decided to throw in the towel. For two months, I’ve been fighting my declining breastmilk supply tooth and nail. While at work, I would pump and pump and pump. Since I went back to work last August, I’ve pumped three times a day: 9, 12, & 3. Over the past two months, as my supply has declined, my pumping times have increased. I used to pump for 15 minutes each time. Now I pump for 20 minutes at 9 and 3 (30 minutes if I can spare the time) and at noon (over lunch) I pump for 40 minutes. I get everything set up: pump on one side, lunch in front of me, magazine propped up behind it, and I spend my entire lunch break pumping. And still, after a total of 1 hour 20 minutes, I would only have 8 ounces to show for it.

Last week, I realized its not worth it. I’ve fought as hard as I can. I’ve eaten oatmeal for breakfast every day (supposed to increase supply), drank tons of water (ditto), and spent hours pumping. I was ready to be done. I figured I could still nurse her first thing in the morning and before bed. At daycare, she could get bottles of half frozen breastmilk half formula.

But I love nursing. And I’m not really a fan of bottlefeeding. I’ve never given Meg a bottle. I wanted to nurse her on my days off. If I stopped pumping, I wouldn’t be able to nurse her during the day. So, for a few days I debated. Give up the pump? Tempting. Go to only nursing twice a day? Not what I want.

But today, Meg reached the breaking point. Each time I nursed her, she made it known, loudly, that she was not satisfied. She screamed, arched her back, said “mama mama mama” (which means “milk milk milk”). In the morning, she was so hungry I fed her lunch 1 hour after nursing. In the afternoon, she was so pitifully hungry after nursing, I fed her 3 ounces of breastmilk from a bottle. She gulped it down as fast as she could and wanted more. I realized the fight was over. I don’t want to starve my daughter. I’ve tried everything to increase my supply and it hasn’t worked.

Last night, I was going to a “mom’s night out” game night at the house of a MOPS mom. It started at 7:30, which is when I usually nurse Meg. So I mixed up a bottle of half breastmilk/half formula. My husband fed it to Meg as I left. I thought I would feel like a failure. But instead I felt relieved. And FREE. Not free from nursing, free from the strain of fighting a losing battle to increase my supply. I’ve been fighting so hard. And despite that, I’ve only lost ground. So I finally gave myself permission to quit.

I’ll still breastfeed first thing in the morning and before bed, but I’m phasing out daytime feedings. The first thing I’m going to do is put a cap on pumping time. 15 minutes, then I turn the machine off. For a week or so, I’m going to pump twice a day. Then I’ll go to once a day. Eventually, I’ll stop pumping at all. I have about 75 ounces of frozen milk, so I’ll use that plus whatever fresh milk I get and mix it with formula. Meg already loves this plan. She was also tired of doing all she could to get more milk and being unsuccessful. She’s been very excitedly sucking down bottles as fast as she can. I’m finally at peace with my decision. In fact, I’m excited! I’m only going to pump 30 minutes a day instead of 1 hour 20 minutes!!

P.S. As I mixed formula for the first time, I thought “Wow, this is like magic! I just ‘made’ 4 ounces! It took me 2 minutes! I didn’t have to sit there pumping for 40 minutes! YAY!!”

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Olympics continue

I love the Olympics. And I love my DVR. Since I spend so much time taking care of Meg (and trying not to watch TV while doing so), I couldn’t even come close to keeping up with the Olympics coverage. Tonight, 7 days after the end of the Olympics, I’m still watching it! I never get tired of the Olympics and was sad when it was over, so, for me, it isn’t over until the DVR runs out! Tonight I’m watching the Figure Skating Champions Gala while waiting for my husband to finish his workout so we can watch the Oscars. It’s a great night! Figure skating then the red carpet:) Of course, I do have to say the TV highlight of my week was getting two hours each of Law & Order and Law & Order: SVU.

P.S. The night got even better! I am now watching the Oscars with my husband while he massages my feet!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Office

My husband loves the office. I like it, too. At one point, I probably would have said I love it, but his over the top buy-every-season-and-watch-them-constantly love annoys me. However, the episode Thursday night (when Pam and Jim have their baby) was the best thing ever!! I can't believe how well the writers (and Jenna Fischer) did. I wonder how long it took them to write it. I loved every single storyline. And every thing Pam and Jim did was exactly as my husband I did or would have done when I had Meg (except breastfeed the wrong baby). In fact, I'm going to go ahead and call it "the déjà vu episode." I've watched it twice. I want to watch it again. It was wonderful. Except for that bitch of a nurse. When Pam was having trouble breastfeeding she said "Bottles are fine. A lot of babies grow up using bottles," I wished I could slap her. But that was obviously the writers' intention.

P.S. I am so unbelievably glad my hospital lactation consultant was a grandmotherly-type woman instead of a man. So very glad.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Outdoor baby

The three of us (Husband, Meg, and I) went geocaching today. Geocaching is difficult to explain, but basically you use a handheld GPS machine to find little containers other people have hidden outside. It involves a lot of walking outside. Meg loves it! She gets really excited when the three of us are outside. Its one of her favorite things. I find this strange, because I hate being outside. I prefer temperature controlled buildings. No dirt. No sun. No wind. Not too hot, not too cold. Geocaching is the only outdoor activity I’ll do and I do it because I love the “hunt.”

But ever since Meg was born, she has loved to be outside. From the beginning, when she would cry, one of the best ways to comfort her was to take her outside. It fascinates her. She loves to look around and the fresh air comforts her. If she was up in the middle of the night, often we would put her in her carseat and step out the door. She would instantly calm down and maybe even go to sleep.

Isn’t it weird how sometimes personalities/preferences are strong right from birth?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Milk Supply Issues

I wanted to breastfeed for a year. I still do. I love breastfeeding. So does Meg. Pumping, I don’t love. My pump is so inefficient compared to the baby. My supply has been steadily declining since Christmas. Before Christmas, everything was going great. On days I worked, I got as many ounces as Meg took in bottles. On days off, she nursed exclusively and I pumped an additional 4 ounces after her morning feeding. Which means on days I worked, I got 4 ounces less (I only got as much as she drank, instead of 4 oz extra). Which was fine.

I took the week after Christmas off, so between the holiday and week off, I didn’t work for 12 days. I was getting really sick of the pump, so I decided to give myself a break. Bad idea. For those 12 days I didn’t pump the extra 4 ounces. So when I went back to work, suddenly I wasn’t getting the amount Meg needed. I was getting 4 ounces less. My supply adjusted. I tried to get it back. I would sit there pumping for 30-40 minutes. On days off, I pumped for 20-30 minutes after her morning feeding. It didn’t work. Plus, a lot of the frozen milk I was pulling out of the freezer to make up the difference was sour! We bought a deep freeze in November. Before that, our freezer was stuffed full of bags of milk, ice cream, frozen pizzas, etc. So full, it didn’t work that great. I ended up pouring 100ish ounces down the drain.

In the month of January, I went from having 300 ounces in my freezer and assuming I would still be getting 12 extra ounces of milk each week to having 150 ounces in the freezer, with 12-16 ounces flying out each week (more when some of it was sour). By this point (early March) I have about 75 ounces in the freezer and my supply has deteriorated further, to the point I’m pulling out 20-24 ounces a week.

To be honest, I’m so frustrated with the pump, I’m ready to just quit. I would mix the remaining frozen milk half and half with formula for her daytime bottles and continue to breastfeed in the morning and at night. The problem with that plan is that I really want to continue breastfeeding during my days off. I love it!!! Its easy, I can read a magazine, we snuggle, Meg loves it too, and she eats more slowly and therefore often falls asleep while nursing.

Its frustrating that if I wasn’t working, we would have no problem. The only problem I have is the inefficient-ness of the pump. On my days off, Meg gets enough milk and everything goes great. I don’t know what to do. I’m so torn between quitting the pump and maintaining nursing on my days off. I keep meaning to call a lactation consultant. Maybe I have the wrong size BreastShield or something? I’m hoping for a quick fix, but I don’t think its going to happen.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Child Spacing

Meg is 9 months old now and we are thinking about when to have another child. I am two years older than my closest-in-age younger sibling and I have always thought that was perfect spacing. I have always been convinced that is how I would space my children, if possible. Now I'm not so sure. I feel like I just got done being pregnant. The last 9 months have gone by so fast. I wouldn't have to get pregnant for another 5-6 months. I guess that’s a long enough time I might change my mind. But I have a feeling the next 6 months will go by just as fast as the last 9 and I still won't be ready.

Part of the problem is that pregnancy is so long! It’s hard to plan that far in advance. By the time I am "ready" for another child, I probably won't want to wait 9 months! (although I'm sure pregnancy goes much faster when you already have a child than it does with your first) Of course, nothing is guaranteed. We might start trying in August and have trouble getting pregnant. I guess it’s up to God how our children are spaced. But I still think about what I "want". Right now, I'm thinking 2.5-3 years.

This makes Husband happy, as he has always campaigned for 3 years. His closest-in-age sibling is also two years younger and he always thought that was too close. He says his sister infringed on his friends and his activities. Maybe it makes a difference because they were different genders?

What spacing do you like? Do you think most people want to space their kids the same way they and their siblings are spaced? Did your "plan" work out or are your children spaced differently than you intended?

P.S. I do realize its ridiculous that in one paragraph I said 9 months went by so fast and in the next I say its such a long time to wait for a baby to come. But the 9 months of pregnancy and the first 9 months of a baby's life are very different time periods.

Monday, March 1, 2010

I've (temporarily) lost my mommy superpower

Ever since I got pregnant, I've had a heightened sense of smell. I know its generally regarded as a side effect of pregnancy, but, for me, it didn't go away. I can smell a dirty diaper from a mile away. Often, I'll say "I smell a dirty diaper!" and my husband (or whoever else is around) will say "really? I don't smell anything." But, I've now had a cold for almost two weeks. I can't smell anything. And Meg has a nasty diaper rash. I know its probably silly, but I feel responsible. Several times last week, I changed her diaper and was surprised to find it was dirty and had probably been so for at least an hour. In many ways, this illness has been almost as hard on Meg as it has been on me. I've been so sick I haven't been able to spend as much time taking care of her. She has definitely noticed. She's very clingy and desperate for mommy time. But she's getting some good quality daddy time:) I'm finally starting to feel better and we're all happy about that.