January 13, 2011 § Leave a comment
So… it’s been a while. Like 5 months and a bit awhile. What happened in these last few months you ask? Well, I had a baby that’s what happened! I’ve got a lot to say. Bear with me.
My life change’s name is Nadia and as anyone whose met her will tell you, she’s darn gorgeous. She was born Sept. 8, 2010 at 7lbs 15oz at Victoria General Hospital in Victoria, British Columbia. She had her 4 month check up with Doc a few days ago (albeit almost 2 weeks late) and she was in the 75th percentile for length and for weight… wait for it… the 5th percentile 😦 Boo. She weighs an adorably but light 11lbs4oz now. Are there supermodel babies? B/c I think my daughter is one.
Doc recommended we try limiting her feeds to 10 minutes per side (12 if I’m feeling really generous…which I usually am b/c I’m a SUCKER). Structuring a baby’s feeds is highly contentious I have realized. Actually, everything about having babies is contentious. We Mommas take our jobs pretty darn seriously.
Couple of key reasons for this 10 minute per side thing. One- Nadi doesn’t nap, well at least not without a pretty good fight and a sore back for Momma from rocking her for hours on end. Doc says she might likely be able to fight off naps b/c she’s catnapping on my boob so much. How did he know? It’s true, I’ve been a bit lazy where trying to get her to nap is concerned. It’s just so much darn work! And if I let her laze at my boob, I can actually like write emails and make phone calls and stuff. Bad.
Second, she’s quite small for her age which could mean that she’s not eating as well as she could be, again, b/c she’s lazing about at my boob for hours on end. So…. we’ve been doing this 10 minutes thing since we got back from Doc’s office on Monday afternoon. Today is Thursday. So except for her last feed of the day where I let her lollygag about until she is sound asleep (Bad), I’ve been taking her off after 10-12 minutes per side. Funny thing is, occasionally she does fuss but it only takes a small distraction before she is back to her smiley self so I’m thinking she’s not missing out on too much. Plus, a little selfish plug here, feedings take SO MUCH LESS TIME which means I have more time for myself. In any case, I’ll keep y’all updated as to how this goes. We’re going in for a weigh-in on February 8th where our efforts will have either paid off or… not. Wish us weight. And naps. And weight loss for Mama, heh. Hey I can ask!
Other than that, our Nadi sleeps great at night. Her routine just changed (babies are like the weather, don’t like what they are doing, wait a minute) and she is now going to bed between 7-8PM and sleeping until 6 or 7AM respectively. Biggest change there? No night feeding. Until two weeks ago, she was waking after 5-6 hours for a feed and then going back to sleep for another 3 hours or so. I like this new thing she’s doing much better. Not sure my boobs do tho. I wake up with rock boobs. Anyone whose had milk come in knows to which I refer. Ouch! I can’t explain the relief once I get her on and she gets going. It rocks. Pardon the pun. Apparently boobs are really smart though and will adjust to the fact that she doesn’t seem to need a night feed anymore. Eventually.
I wasn’t joking about having a lot to say was I?
A couple of things I didn’t know before having Nadi:
1. Newborns have pooplosions. I had to wipe yellow newborn poo off of Nadi’s nursery wall, window and ceiling, yes ceiling, after one particularly large one once. Nadi’s poops tended to stay inside her diaper after about 10 weeks though.
2. Cloth diapering is actually really great. Before Nadi was born I knew I wanted to put her in cloth diapers but when we bought them, compared to the very small disposables we were using at the time, the cloth looked positively daunting. I mean two pieces AND a liner? Sheesh. But we got used to it and now we’re both loving it. Here are the diapers we have in case you’re wondering:
3. Sometimes you have to wake babies up to feed them! And waking a baby who is sleeping peacefully sucks. A lot. We had to wake Nadi every 4 hours for her first 8 weeks of life b/c of her weight (not that its gotten any better since we’ve been letting her sleep). So if you’re preggo, don’t waste a prayer on eye colour or hair or even on intelligence. Pray you have a baby who loves to eat b/c food leads to sleep and sleep, well, sleep will be a highly coveted thing very soon. Yawn.
4. There are a lot of baby experts. Looking for a way to get your baby to nap? Maybe you’d like to get them on a schedule or you’re wondering what to feed them when solids enter the picture? You have 1,098,355 experts to choose from. Go ahead, choose! Goodness me. Sometimes reading other people’s opinions (which is really what they are when it comes down to it) can be comforting, I won’t lie. Especially when you’re up in the middle of the night again, with a baby who won’t stop crying again, unless they are attached to your boob, you got it, again. But other times, I think reading the thoughts and feelings of others can actually separate you from your own thoughts and feelings and you gotta watch out for that. Having said that, here are some experts I like:
5. Getting out of the house with a baby takes practice. Before Nadi was born, I think I thought that I’d just throw her over my shoulder and we’d head out on adventures every day. Adventures to the grocery store, to Mum & Babe groups, to the park. Um…. not so much! Breastfeeding is not easy (see #6 below), at least it wasn’t for us, and while Nadi was really little, she had to eat every 90 minutes or so or she was pretty unhappy. Try to pack your bag, get baby’s diaper changed and get some clothes on her, get the seat on the stroller, get yourself dressed and your hair combed, find your keys, grab something to eat, put your coat and shoes on, walk somewhere interesting and return home all inside 90 minutes! It’s not easy my friends and until quite recently, I was not very comfortable nursing in public which meant Nadi and I stayed home a lot. So I’d suggest making your home as comfortable as possible before baby is born. Admittedly I’m probably more of a home body than most but regardless, I think it is pretty common for new moms to be home a lot more than they were pre-baby.
6. Nursing may be one of the most natural things in the world to do but it doesn’t come as naturally as I thought it would. The nurses at the hospital actually wake you and baby up so babe can chomp in the first day or so (which may sound annoying but was actually extremely comforting for me). When you go home tho, you’re pretty well on your own. Here in Canada, we have public health nurses who visit you a few days after your baby is home to weigh them, check on breastfeeding (if that was your choice) and share what mom-babe resources there are in your community. My nurse’s name is Pamela. She’s a very nice lady and she came a lot for the first several weeks because Nadi was so little. In any case, she helped us through thrush (see #7), latch issues, sore nipples (yowsa!), sleepy baby syndrome and just provided general support. Thx Pamela. You are my public health hero.
7. Did you know you can get a yeast infection in your nipples? Well, you can and it’s 10000x worse than the kind you get down there. First, your nipples don’t itch, they burn. When your baby latches on, it feels like needles are shooting up your breast and into your armpit (the armpit pain is the telltale sign you have thrush as opposed to just sore nipples). Not only that, the pain persists after the feed is over and ANYTHING that touches your raw, red nipple is the enemy. Doctors prescribe meds for thrush but Nadi and I kicked it the old fashioned way. Here’s how we did it.
I took Grapefruit Seed Extract by mouth. I took a 50 billion probiotic each day and cut back sugar and all other white foods. I boosted my immune system with zinc and echinacea. I put liquid silver on my nipples after each feed and let them air dry. Nadi took a baby probiotic (open capsule and fed to her with a wet finger which she actually really liked though it had no taste; I tried it). And the the thing that made the real difference? Garlic. I take 4 capsules of Kyolic garlic every day with meals and each capsule is equivalent to… get this… 17 cloves of garlic! Woweee. And it didn’t make my breastmilk taste funky or if it did, Nadi likes funky.
Ok I’ll shut up now. Stay tuned for my next post- baby items I couldn’t live without!