Thursday, October 29, 2009

Random Post

Loves sticking out her tongue these days...

Like her earings? Daddy put them on her.

Today I feel crazy and stressed. I think I really took too much on this semester. I am taking two classes (one of which i'm really behind in) and teaching a class. Normally when I lecture I am super prepared, never flustered and totally put together, but lately, I'm always running late, I mis-speak all the time, I am always looking like a bum with wet hair and acne. Life is just nuts.

Why is god cursing me with acne at age 27? It's kind of a cruel joke. Having a baby really wrecked my body. My hair is falling out, my skin is breaking out, and I have this AWESOME saggy belly. Don't get me wrong--Mimi is worth all of that. But---that doesn't change me feeling down about how I look these days. Anybody got a cure for hormonal acne that's not birth control?
---a side note on birth control---I started taking the "mini pill" last month that is safe for breastfeeding and I've forgotten it 5 times this month! Let's just say I told my husband not to count on me for the birth control!

I really want to just go get a full-time job so I can work my 8 hours then come home and focus on Mimi and my husband and just spend time as our little family. Increasing our family finances would be nice, however that really hasn't been a big issue-we pay our bills, we put food on the table, we take the occasional trip....Boy would I love to be able to afford to go back to having a personal trainer to whip my ass into shape.

My friend Grace, who has a 16 month old daughter is in the interviewing process for jobs. I am jealous in a way. Although I'm not ready to get a job just yet--I still love being home with Mimi. I like that it's ME who watches her grow and sees all of her firsts---still waiting for that first giggle though! I try everyday--I've had squeals but no giggles!

Enough bitching and moaning---positive stuff

Mimi is adorable healthy gorgeous and fun. I can't wait every morning to go into her room when she wakes up. She sleeps 10-12 hours a night and very rarely wakes up at night to feed anymore. She has been sleeping in her crib since about 3 weeks old. It's so weird, I had the co-sleeper and she HATED it. I thought, well maybe she just needs to be with me and hates to be put down, but no, she would easily go to her crib. I didn't think infants liked that, all the people I knew with babies used their co-sleepers for months. Mimi is about 14 lbs now. She wears 3-6 month clothes, but Gap stuff she can still wear 0-3. She is still nursing well and takes bottles for 1-2 feedings a day. She eats 3-4 oz at each feeding. She smiles and coos, but hasn't laughed yet. She can grab toys and grip them but has trouble letting go. Sometimes she gets ahold of her own hair and can't let go. She hasn't rolled over yet, but has really impressive head control. She loves her play mat and will entertain herself for awhile when she's full and rested. She recognizes my husband and I and smiles when she sees us. She is kind of fussy when other people hold her but I think that's just cause she nurses so much that she's a mommy's girl. Mimi did great on our trip to Portland and I'm taking her to NY next weekend to see my mom.

I can go eight hours at night without pumping--then I give in because i'm so engorged. My supply is still really good, I pump 2 more bottles a day than Mimi eats. Our freezer is kind of full--but I don't want to let my supply go down because what if she needs more later and I can't produce enough? So I reluctanly had to take my pump with me to Portland--and i'll have to take it to NY< style="font-style: italic;">for this reason alone really wanted to give up nursing anyway, the dairy thing just gave them an excuse they don't feel guilty about. Nursing is hard work--I have had moments where I say to myself, life would be so easy if I was a formula feeder right now....but I keep at it--I'm trying my best to give Mimi the best start I can, she deserves that. I don't feel like I'm better than anyone else--I just feel proud that I stuck it out. When Mimi is upset and I nurse her she calms down and her entire body relaxes--nursing is more than feeding your child--they get so much more from it then food. If you're nursing--stick it out--you can do it! If you're pregnant go into nursing prepared with a positive attitude and a tube of lanolin!

Let me see...other vents?
I've been following some new girls vlogs on youtube---don't think i'm a bum who sits on youtube all day--I don't have cable--so I watch vlog while I nurse--I nurse every 3 hours for an half hour--you do the math. This on girl is having another baby and her child is I think 6 months--I don't know how she can handle it--I feel like each week I'm holding on by a thread. God bless her, I"m excited to follow. One of my other fav..Umbumgo is having another baby--this women cracks me up--I love listening to her accent and how blunt she is about stuff.

Forgot to mention==we took Mimi to the pumpkin patch with her friend Dahlia--i'll post photos, they were so cute together.

Family at the pumkin patch. Mimi eating Dahlia's arm--yum yum yum
Little Buddies :-)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Travelling with Baby

Family Trip to Portland with little Mimi ;-)
Mimi and Grandma at Widmer Brewery in Portland, where my brother works.

Us at Cannon Beach
Mimi and Daddy at the park one morning

So it's been awhile since I have made a blog post. Life is crazy. I don't know what I was thinking going to school, teaching, working on my dissertation and staying home with little Mimi. When this semester ends I think I might go into a coma!

So in the craziness of our life, we took a long weekend trip to Portland Oregon. My brother has lived there for 2 years and was graduating from culinary school. I was a little worried how Mimi would do on the trip. She is just over 3 months now. She caught a cold (from me :-() about a day or two before we left. I thought, great, the one time we actually go somewhere (and on a an airplane) and the poor kid gets her first cold. As soon as we saw her nose was runny we starting using the "little noses" non-medicated saline drops. I was surprised how well she did with us squirting this stuff up her noise every hour or two. We also elevated her crib mattress and put a vaporizer in her room. I use a vaporizer because we live in Florida and a cool mist humidifier does nothing because our air is already so humid.

I was also worried that with the change in time (we went from eastern to pacific) that her sleep would be all messed us. I also had this fear that as soon as we boarded the plane she would be screaming and everyone would hate us. my surprise Mimi was a DREAM on the flights. I nursed her off and on and she sleep and never made a peep. People complimented us on how quiet she was.

While in Portland we did a ton of walking ans site seeing. The first day my brother took us out to Cannon Beach, which was AMAZING, that is where they filled the beach scenes from the Goonies (80's movie I loved as a kid). One of the days we were the our friend Michael and his girlfriend came up to meet us. He lived about 1 1/2 hours away. We shopped the markets, saw the river walk, ate a delicious restaurants, my brother cooked for us...just a great trip all around. The weather was misty and cool. This is exciting for us, as New Yorkers transplanted to Florida 6 years ago we were excited to wear jacketes and sweaters for a weekend. It was really fun to bundle Mimi up in hats and sweaters too. She was such a doll the whole trip. She just rode along in her snugli carrier and got spoiled with kisses from Grandma.
Mimi all bundled sleeping in her Snugli carrier

My brother seemed so happy there, it was great to see him. The only drawback to the trip is we go almost no rest. We were going going going from the night we got there. We stayed at a really nice hotel right on pioneer square. It was called The Nines, got a great deal with Expedia.
This is Mimi and Daddy chillin' in the hotel watching Star Trek

I think we may consider moving to Portland in a few years. Such a clean nice city. Very environmentally conscience people, great natural landscapes, great food.

I could go on more about Portland but Mimi is growing bored of her playmat. She last a solid 20-30 minutes on that thing though---I'm glad my friend Grace lent it to me because I would not have paid 60 bucks for one!The loaner play mat she loves

Advice for travelling with kids:
Travel Lite!
Be prepared for the worst (explosive poops on airplane, extra clothes, etc)
Be Flexibe

Hope everyone is well! Sorry for the crazy random sentence structure post--gotta run.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Thoughts on Breastfeeding

As you guys know, I am a youtube junky, It seems the preggo and post-preggo girls are exchanging some heated words about breastfeeding vs bottle feeding (with formula). Here's my two cents.

I guess only 1-cent because I only give Mimi breastmilk. Now before you go and tag me as a crazy breastfeeding advocate hear me out on what I think are the pros and cons.

First off, a little background on my breastfeeding. I had a c-section with little Mimi because she was breech. About a hour or two after she was born they brought her to me in recovery and my husband said "the nurse said she was hungry, you should feed her." My thoughts on breastfeeding before I gave birth were, I'll try it out but i'm not going to feel like a bad parent if it doesn't work out. I had a breastpump and bottles and planned on pumping and eventually giving her breastmilk in bottles after good nursing habits and supply had been established. Breastfeeding for me kind of worked out just like a textbook. I breastfed in the hospital with no problems, had tons of colostrum, and arrived home 4 days post partum with my milk coming in. The first two weeks of nursing were HARD AS HELL. It was frustrating being the ONLY ONE that could feed the baby. The pediatrician told me not to introduce a bottle for 4-6 weeks. It was very demanding. She ate every 2-3 hours. Luckily, she did not fall asleep eating, so I didn't' have issues about constantly trying to wake her while nursing.

During the first two weeks, besides the sleep deprivation, my nipples hurt so badly it would bring me to tears when she latched. Lactation consultants will tell you, "if they are latched right, it shouldn't hurt." Okay, there's something sucking and chaffing on your nipple for 30 minutes to an hour 6-8 times a day, and your nipples aren't supposed to hurt? Give me a break lactation lady! I think this is the breaking point, if you make it through this two weeks of tear jerking latching, and you don't' have supply issues, you're golden.

I love nursing Mimi, most of the time...I lay in bed with her and stroke her soft hair while she quietly nurses, it's beautiful, I can see why some moms hate to give it up when their kids get older. I think about the gift of a healthy start i'm giving her, helping her digestive system function well and helping her stave off flus and oclds from my antibodies. I love knowing when I nurse her she feels close and sercure and loved. I love that she needs me. And let's not forget the fact that formula costs a fortune!

BUT---there are some moments where I realize how much work it is to nurse. First off, I produce too much milk, which I know I'm lucky for this---but I have to pump anytime Mimi goes more than 4 hours without eating. So that means, now that she sleeps through the night--I still can't. If I dont' get up by 3 or 4am to pump, I wake up in a pool of my own breastmilk with rock hard breasts. I also spend my days sterilizing, pumping, labelling and freezing milk and bottles. I guess I should feel lucky that I'm not all bottle feeding--sterilizing is time consuming. I also hate that none of my normal bras fit, except my ugliest of nursing bras! It's hard enough to bring romance back into your marriage after a baby, some more attractive nursing bras would help--Also, by nursing, you are still having to watch everything you eat or any medications you take. Everything you eat or drink goes to the baby. So after giving up your body as an incubator for 10 months, your diet and social drinking is still on house arrest.

Nursing also takes loads of time. The amount of breastmilk Mimi drinks from me vs the bottle may take 30 minutes of nursing vs 10 minutes of bottle feeding. Although she is much less fussy and gassy when doing long nursing sessions vs fast bottle feeds. Also I've noticed that when I'm with her all day with no breaks, just nursing with no bottle feedings, she gets sooooo attached with me that she will fuss if anyone else holds her. This is very flattering, but very frustrating.

Overall, I think I made a good choice "for me and my family." Yes I am sometimes inconvenienced, but I am doing something that is natural and healthy for me and my baby. If I wasn't ready to be selfless than I shouldn't have had a baby. I was/am very lucky. I had no supply issues, latching issues, dietary issues. So my advice may seem smug is you are dealing with one of the above, I'm sorry for that. My daughter is definitely teaching me to be more patient.

I'll talk later about my pump, the pumping products I prefer, the bottle Mimi prefers etc, if anyone wants.