Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Great Debate

We had our first visit to the community health center yesterday, and not only did I get a new midwife to speak with (Janet), I also got to visit with the lactation consultant, Barbara. But, before I get to all the advice Barbara gave me, I'll quickly recap our time with Janet.

I'll start off by saying that I think I like Janet. She seemed very personable, very nice and was a real sweetheart to Kira; who, by the way, has shot up to 8lbs 2oz (or 3.750kg) and apparently is .50grams above the weight she should be at. (Nothing like attempting to make me feel like my baby is fat) Even though Janet said her weight gain was "good", she didn't fail to point out that she is, infact, a little higher than what she should be. Considering Kira had lost 10% of her birth weight (which Janet said was normal), I think her weight gain is absolutely astounding.

She's also 3cm longer, making her 55cm long now, and her head circumference is up to 36.5cm, instead of the 34cm it was at birth. Her reflexes are perfect, hydration is perfect; in short, everything about her growth spurts has been perfect, except of course, that pesky little half kilo that has put her "over" weight. Don't think for a minute I'm going to stress over that, or anything of that nature because I'm not, but it really did annoy me that Janet inferred my child could gain too quickly if I'm not careful.

And what brought me to that conclusion, was that after I told her I was breastfeeding but supplimenting with formula, and how often, Janet promptly exclaimed that it was all "garbage" and I should speak with Barbara. You can well imagine how that left a little sour taste in my mouth regarding her. So, while I really liked how she took care of Kira, I didn't like so much how she made me feel periodically through the conversations.

Now, onto Barbara. Let me just say I loved this woman. She was so wonderful and actually showed me the RIGHT way to get my demonette latched correctly. I did it successfully twice on each breast yesterday before I left her office so of course I was all overjoyed and enraptured and all the rest of it. I thought, Finally, I can breastfeed exclusively!

(Also, you have to love a lactation consultant who advocates beer as a means of increasing lactation; now if I only liked Guiness, all would be super)

Well we got home yesterday afternoon, and do you think I could get her to latch right? Sigh. Double Sigh. No, I could not. I got her on twice last night properly, but then delatched her thinking I'd done it wrong!! Triple Sigh. Of course I couldn't get her back on properly after that, no matter how hard I tried. It was really very frustrating, and then of course, the same thing has happened today.

But! At least now I know how to do it, and I just need to keep working on it and perservering. Barbara did tell me that I should try and breastfeed through the day all the time, and IF I need to, give her the formula of a late afternoon/evening. She also said that if a supp bottle is needed during the day, only give her 40-60mls so she's not completely full, so she doesn't sleep as long, thus giving me more opportunities to breastfeed and get the milkflow coming to where it needs to be.

Apparently that's the problem as well as having never been shown how to get her to latch properly. The milk is there, but it's not flowing quickly and I'm not producing as much as I should be, because Kira had always been improperly latched, thereby causing the breasts to not drain properly. Who knew? So, my "homework" is to get the latching thing down pat.

Though BIG KUDOS to me for doing it right last night (even though the latch was not as strong as it could have been), after I'd fed her, she slept for three solid hours! WITHOUT FORMULA!!! You can't imagine how jubliant I was.

It really is frustrating though, to know I could get her latched properly yesterday so she was feeding really really well, and today I can't do it to save my life. I'm trying not to stress about it (apparently that hinders milk supply) but I'm so utterly frustrated that whatever I try isn't working. I remember exactly how to do it - it's just getting it right. I'm plodding on with it though, slowly but surely. I'll get there...eventually.

Friday, February 24, 2006

It Smells Like a Hippie Shop in Here

On the advice of my acupuncturist/homeopath, I have purchased some herbs which are now boiling on my stove. These are to help clean out my insides (from my uterus expanding - I'm not explaining that), increase lactation and provide me with renewed energy, among other things. I get to drink a cup of the herbal water every day for 8 days.

It smells weird. Not a bad weird, just weird. Sort of flowery, nutty and dirty all combined. My acupuncturist said "It doesn't taste beautiful" and followed it with a laugh. I may have laughed along with him, but I don't remember even though I only got them yesterday. To be honest, the mixture looks rather intimidating and I'm not sure I want to drink it.

I'm having flashbacks to being a kid and Mamala giving me nastyass medicines to take. It does seem to be true: If it tastes like shit, it works. Here's to hoping!

Oh and the little munchkin's thrush is clearing up beautifully. I cannot wait until she's off the Nilstat so she starts sleeping better and not fussing or being upset nearly as much.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

So Lazy. So Very, Very Lazy.

I painted my nails about 2 weeks ago. D loves when I paint my nails because it's so "girlie" and he just loves "girlie" things on girls. (Makes sense) It has since peeled and chipped but I didn't have any nail polish remover with which to remove it and then repaint it.

A few days ago, I purchased some nail polish remover. It leaked in the car, so the car smelled rather nasty for all of three seconds before the windows were down and it was being aired out. We got home and I realized I didn't have any cotton wool balls.

I sighed the sigh of one heavy with annoyance.

"What's wrong, sweet child of mine?" Mamala asks. (Of course I am completely exaggerating how the question was actually asked, but I like this question better than the boring old, What's wrong?)

"I didn't buy any cotton wool balls!" I sigh.

The following day, D decides to head to the grocery store to pick up some necessities, not the least of which is corn chips and salsa. Oh and ground beef for tacos that night.

"You need anything from the store babes?" he asks.

"No I'm good." Pause. Longer pause. "OH WAIT! YES! I need cotton wool balls."

He heads out, I take a nap with the munchkin because the last few days she's been fussy due to the damned Nilstat we've had to give her. He comes home, WITH the cotton balls, among all the other things he purchased.

So now... Do you think I've removed the chipped and peeled nail polish from my nails? No. No I have not. And why? Because I'm lazy. So very, very lazy.

Also, Mamala and I went op-shopping today and I bought many books. I now have enough reading material to last me about 2 weeks.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

2 Weeks Old Today

I can't believe my little munchkin is 2 weeks old today. It seems like the time has flown by, and she has grown so much. She's so much more alert now, always looking at the world around her, absorbing everything she possibly can. She recognises voices and looks in the direction of whoever is speaking, and she loves looking at faces. I can't wait until I see recognition in her eyes when she looks at me.

I got my first real lot of smiles/grins from her on the 18th when we were in the parents' suite at the local Mall. We were sitting down, and Mum and I were chatting with another lady who was feeding her son, and I was lightly running my fingernails alongside Kira's jaw, and under her chin and along her cheek, and she gave me the biggest, widest, gummiest grins ever. They were the most beautiful smiles in the world and I could not stop giggling with the overwhelming happiness it brought me. Also got her to smile again yesterday for me; I leaned in close to her face so she could see me without going cross-eyed, said something to her (though I have no idea what it was) and that elicited another big smile. I swear it makes my heart melt.

She loves her baths, doesn't mind having her hair washed, loves getting powdered down and absolutely adores sleeping with Mommy and Daddy. She sleeps mostly through the night, between 4-5 hours at a clip, and settles down quite nicely and fairly quickly after her feeds.

She lays awake in her bassinette just watching the shadows on the wall and ceiling, cooing softly to herself and making little "aaah" noises. She'll lay like that for a good half an hour before squawking like an eagle, smacking her lips and/or sucking on her hands and fingers to let us know she's hungry.

Not that it's been a completely easy road to travel down. She got her first bout (and hopefully only) of mouth thrush the other day and I've had to give her Nilstat to get rid of it. Unfortunately it seems a side effect of the medication is an upset stomache, which makes her squirm uncontrollably and cry alot, and not sleep as well. She's been fussier today and not sleeping hardly at all since 7am, which has made her overtired.

My whole world revolves around this little person, making sure she's warm and comfortable, happy and completely sated. We cannot imagine our lives without her now, and I often wonder what it was that made me smile, that made me happy, that made my heart swell and melt with so much love. I feel strangely empty when she's not in my arms, and my stomache lurches whenever I hear another baby cry and she's not with me. I'm constantly aware of her sounds, her movements, her breathing patterns; teaching her, learning from her, loving her.

Mamala has been with me since the 14th, and will be here for another week or so yet, and she has been of enormous help. I have no idea what I would have done without her help and guidance - she has certainly been more help than the midwives who, rather than offer advice or support or anything "outside the norm", tell me that everything's normal and that I should just "go with the flow".

Happy 2 week birthday, Kira my love. I'm so sorry you're going through this nasty thrush thing and have to suffer through the even nastier medicine. I promise you it will be over soon and you'll be all better.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Home, Safe and Sound

Well we're home now, having gotten here on Valentine's Day (Happy Belated Birthday Mamala) with Mamala in tow. We've been alot less stressed over Kira's eating habits, and I think I may finally be getting the hang of this breastfeeding thing. We have a community clinic nearby which I need to make an appointment with tomorrow, to go have her weighed and checked, and with some luck I'll find a lactation consultant up there as well.

Yesterday we spent the day cleaning and washing, or rather I should say Mamala did most of it (D sat on his computer and played for most of the day) while I tended to Kira who fussed on and off, and experimented with the amount of feeds she had with the breast vs the bottle and the amount of sleep between.

She's loving her baths, though I don't think she fully realizes what they are just yet. She knows it's water and she gets submerged in it, and then it's washed all over her, but she doesn't quite know what to do with the whole situation. She does love it though and kicks her legs a little bit as she stares at me with giant quizzical eyes. She loves getting out of the bath (er...sink) and being dried off, and so far she hasn't protested too much about getting her hair washed. Someday she's going to pay someone money to wash her hair for her, and wish she was able to relax and enjoy it more as a child, I just know it.

She's gurgling alot more now, and making little noises in her sleep and while she's resting in my arms; her eyes flutter open more and more now no matter what she's doing (including trying to sleep), and it seems like she's trying to drink in the entire world around her; almost like she doesn't want to miss a thing. She's so inquisitive, and while she's awake, she has to look at everyone around her who she can hear talking, or at least look in their general direction. Oh and her sneezes are just so adorable. The first time she sneezed, she looked at me like What the hell did I just do? It was unbelievable.

Mamala has been such a big help to me since she's been here. She's only going to be here for 2 weeks before she goes home and I just know I'm going to miss her so much. By then D will be back at work and I will truly be on my own with my small human and I feel like I'm not going to know what to do!

Anyway. New pictures are up, so enjoy!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Exhausted But Happy

My god what an exhausting few days! I was let home on the early dismissal program for new moms, which is where the hospital lets you go home on the basis of having the travelling midwives come to your house to check up on you and bub for the first few days of life.

The doctors did a quick check of my baby girl on the 9th, announced she was fit and healthy and (literally) shoved me out the door. I should mention that our hospital is relatively small, and the maternity ward only has four birthing suites which were all full and there were moms-to-be coming in all day and waiting for rooms so they were pushing people out as quickly as possible to make room for the new people. So, off I shoved.

It was not all peaches and cream. Infact, it wasn't peaches and cream while I was AT the hospital. Kira kept me up through the whole night on the 8th, crying and screaming bloody murder. She wasn't gassy, wasn't constipated and I kept thinking she could not possibly be hungry because I had fed her only moments before. I would attempt to feed her again and she'd latch onto my boob with no problem, suck for ages, drop off and then repeat the process all over again.

Finally around 3am one of the midwives came in to attempt to calm her down, thinking she was gassy, and gave her a nice hot bath. She then asked if I'd slept with her, which at that point I hadn't, so after her bath, she was put down next to me, and we began breastfeeding again. I fell asleep, she fell asleep, but periodically through the night she would continue to drink. When we got up the next morning, the process started all over again.

I cannot tell you how frustrated I was. After all of that feeding, she STILL seemed to be ravenous. I was scared that they wouldn't let her come home with me because I couldn't settle or calm her down. Turns out because of the whole lack of beds thing, they didn't really give a shit, didn't weigh her and I was allowed to be let go.

That night, the same thing happened again. I spent the majority of the day feeding her when she was crying, following the advice of the midwives who told me to "demand feed" and let her drop off when she was done. They then told me to make sure I got plenty of rest inbetween feedings. Therein lay the problem. Shortly after her feed, and I'd put her down, she'd wake up screaming again, starving. I did not have a clue what to do except feed her consistently, nevermind that my nipples were rapidly becoming extremely sore and tender, and starting to bleed a little bit.

Friday was the first day the midwife came out to see us. She took down loads of information, weighed Kira and promptly told me that my daughter had lost 10% of her bodyweight. She then told me this was normal, and that babies will regain that in their first two weeks; I shouldn't worry. So, even though I WAS worried, I told her that yes, okay, I would not worry. She then proceeded to tell me that Kira should have at LEAST six soaking wet diapers per day, and at least one bowel movement per day. She had not been having that since leaving the hospital, and on the day OF leaving the hospital, she had yet to have a bowel movement.

Saturday morning came, and I was at my wits end. I felt like I was completely out of control, completely out of my league and unable to care for my baby properly, in that I could not get her to stop screaming for food, no matter how often I fed her.

Six am that morning and I was sitting out in the loungeroom, nursing her again, and trying not to fall asleep. An hour later, Mamala got out of bed and asked how everything was going - I started telling her about all my concerns and wondered if maybe we should get a breast pump to actually SEE how much milk I was producing. She agreed that would be a good idea, and when D got up and joined the conversation, he just asked if we should go out and buy her some formula because it was during this conversation that I came to the conclusion that I did not have enough milk, or that it was highly lacking in quality. I had literally been starving my child, all on the advice of the midwives and all of this being "normal" for a demand-fed baby.

Around eight am, she started pushing my boobs away because there was nothing in them, and there hadn't been anything in them all morning, so Mamala raced down to the pharmacy, picked up some formula and a pump, raced home and we finally fed my baby girl. Instantly, as soon as she was done with her 2oz bottle, she was asleep and as limp as a wet noodle, when previously she had been all knotted up and a screaming mess. I almost burst into tears when the realization hit that I had truly been starving my baby.

But, she slept SO well. Four hours straight, and awake again for another feed. I attempted the boob again and she sucked for a little bit, gaining nothing after an hour on both, and afterward we gave her yet another bottle. She dropped into sleep again, and again for another four hours.

The new midwife came out that day, a woman none of us liked upon seeing her for the first time, and basically told me that if Kira didn't start putting on weight (even after I had explained the entire story, minus the formula) that she'd have to send me off to the womens health clinic to find out the problem. Like that threat wasn't scary enough, she then had the nerve to tell me that all of those feedings, all of those upset nights were normal for babies, and oh by the way, is she urinating and passing bowel motions?

Well, yes bitch, she is NOW thankyouverymuch.

Now we've been alternating the bottle and the breast, and I'm still expressing to see how much milk I actually have. They told me it takes roughly 15mins on each side for bubs to be full and for the breast to be drained, however they had no idea how MUCH milk bub was actually getting. After a half an hour of me expressing from both sides, she had 20mls in the bottle. Hardly enough for a decent feed.

The weekend was fairly routine with the formula and some partial breastmilk (whatever she could get from me which was very little), Kira sleeping like an angel and doing everything else that she was supposed to do. Well minus the bowel movement every day because apparently the formula can interfere with that for the first couple of days since the protein in it isn't as easy for bubs to digest.

Today when the midwife came, the first thing we did was weigh little Kira and we were so stoked to see she'd gained 90grams!! The midwife was happy, I was elated and then I proceeded to tell her about our weekend problems and what we did to correct it. She wasn't displeased, but then she didn't seem terribly pleased either. Not that I particularly gave a shit; I was NOT going to continue starving our daughter just because they all said it was "normal". She's going to call me in the morning and see how everything's going, and then we'll most likely be finishing up with her and heading up home.

I cannot wait to get back to my house and get all settled in. Plus I'll be able to upload more photos from there as well!

Meanwhile, if anyone has ANY tips for breastfeeding or milk production, please drop me a gMail. Thank you!

Saturday, February 11, 2006


Kira Rose

Born Feburary 7th, 2006, 2:11pm
52cm long, 34cm head circumference, 7lbs 11oz
Full head of dark hair, and deep blue eyes

I'm so sorry it's taken so long to post this - I have been so tired and overwhelmed and of course all the great stuff that comes with having a baby. Labour went well, and I went into a natural one shortly before midnight on the 7th; tip for moms-to-be: having a really hot shower, with the water spray focused on your lower back really DOES work with breaking your water. Or at least it did for me.

Will post more soon, hopefully in the next couple of days, as well as getting some photos uploaded to FlickR.

Quickly though... The beginning stages of the labour itself wasn't what I thought it would be. The contractions came fast and furious within minutes of my water breaking, but then would change dramatically. We started out at 4mins apart, so we called the hospital and headed in shortly after midnight; the contractions were still spacing 4-5mins apart so we thought it wouldn't be long til I had her. They checked me in, checked me out and saw I was only 2cm dilated, so I still had HEAPS of time (grr).

Around 4-5am on the 7th, they gave me a shot of morphine because my body was so stressed and tense, with the contractions spacing from anywhere between 2mins to 10-15mins, that the midwives felt I needed to relax and calm down. The morphine did nothing to ease the pain of the contractions, but it DID help me calm down and shortly thereafter I was at 5cm and fully effaced and could jump in the spa.

I'll tell you, the water submersion did absolutely NOTHING for me. It did not ease the pains at all, even though it was nice to sit in a tub of warm water. By the time I actually wanted drugs to stop the pain, I was at 10cm, and it was way too late. From the time I started pushing til the time she was born? 45mins.

And I'll happily and proudly say that D delivered her (with the watchful eye and care of the midwives nearby) AND cut her cord. I'm so happy and so proud of him for doing it - he was so concerned he'd pass out or something.

Anyway so that's that for now - I will post more later when I can.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Countdown: 3 Days to Go

Still pregnant. Alot heavier today down there and alot more tight and alot more pressure, so I decided rather than go out to town, I'd stay home. Somehow it seems better that way.

Woke up through the early hours of the morning with some mild cramping and twinging which could possibly have been contractions though since they haven't really happened since, I'm thinking they're probably just braxton hicks.

Went for my trace monitoring on Saturday, got to listen to the little demonette's heartbeat again, and found out that she's still quite happy and nowhere near being stressed. I go back on Wednesday for my next antenatal appointment, at which point they'll probably do another internal (dear god help me) to find out what's going on. If my cervix hasn't opened very far or isn't as soft as they want, I'll be admitted that afternoon, have a funky little gel placed at the entrance of the cervix to soften it up and get it ready for the following day (Thursday the 9th) for induction. We're still hoping she's going to come on her own before then; I was actually wondering if all this newly accumulated pressure in my pelvic region might be the start of it?

Had a lovely BBQ last night in celebration of D's 31st birthday which is today, but since he has to work, I thought we'd do it last night when everyone wouldn't be so rushed. The food was awesome, the company was awesome and I bought him a delicious blueberry cheesecake (which was extremely rich) in lieu of a birthday cake which we ate while watching The Muppet Show!!

It wasn't on, but D had bought me the first season dvd for my birthday which has been an absolute riot to watch as well as being a very cool nostalgic trip for everyone.

I recently heard that curry can induce labour. I'm off to do some research on that.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


I think I may have lost my plug this morning. If you want more details on that, click on the pregnancy info link and scroll all the way to the bottom: be warned though, it's not terribly pleasant to imagine, so if you don't want to hear about it in detail, don't read it.

Meanwhile, Sweety had her baby a few days ago, after only 3.5 hours of labour! Hopefully I'll be as lucky.

edit: Did lose the plug but it was this afternoon, not this morning like I had originally thought. I guess this morning was just a prelim of some kind.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Finally! Some Concrete News

Well, I just got back from my antenatal appointment at the hospital, and did get the results of my bile acids test back. It's very high (17) which is not good. Last test they were only at 11, so they've sky-rocketed and the doctors don't want to take any risks.

She did give me an internal exam (which hurt like all buggery let me tell you, with her prodding and stretching and stretching and prodding) and said I am 50% effaced, and 1cm dilated. My cervix is very ripe and soft, baby's head is planted firmly where it needs to be and doc said that I could go into labour at any time now. Basically - prep for it and stay near the hospital. -bites nails-

I go back on Saturday morning for a CTG if I haven't gone into labour by then (for some reason doc thinks I will probably go into labour before the weekend is out but honestly who really knows) they will reassess me at that time, but I already have an induction scheduled for next Wed/Thurs. What this means is that if nothing's happening by next Wednesday, which is my next antenatal appt AND my sister's 18th birthday, then they will keep me in overnight (so I have to bring all my crap), apply some gel to get my cervix to open up abit more, and then start the induction on Thursday morning which consists of breaking the waters and an IV drip full of hormones to get the contractions going. Basically, D and I will be parents by next Thursday night. (HOLY SHIT!!!)

So that's where we stand right now. I'm happy that it's finally concrete, though I was all emotional as the realization hit that I'm going to be a mommy in 8 days or less. EIGHT DAYS OR LESS. HOLY SHIT.

Oh and I think I might have felt my first contraction (which we think was a false one) earlier this morning. There was no pain associated with it, more it felt like my ab muscles had just gotten a giant workout from doing situps.

In other news, I turn THIRTY today and D had planned on taking me out for dinner since I did plan on going home tonight to celebrate it with him. Those plans went right out the window as Mum thinks it's wise I stay close to the hospital just in case, even though I will have to go back home probably tomorrow to get all my crap and the demonette's crap and bring back down...just in case.

I suppose this means I should actually finish buying all my crap I'm going to need, eh? Nothing like waiting until the very last minute (almost literally).