Life Family and the Pursuit of Sanity

or… adventures in infertility and babies and family drama!

Update of 8 Month Proportions April 24, 2011

Filed under: Baby G — arminta @ 10:08 pm

Graham will be 8 months old on Thursday. Eight. I am in awe of how fast his infancy is FLYING by. And, I’m here. All day everyday. I’m in the moment with him. I can’t even imagine how it must fly for mommies who go to work.

So, what’s going on in the world of G?

– We totally rock the independent sitting. He can sit for a LONG time without falling. Usually he reaches too far for something and ends up on his belly before actually falling.

– Toys are FUN. So fun. The only thing more fun than toys? Mommy’s glasses. And hair.

– Laughing, big ol’ belly laughs. Much cuter than the ones on Youtube. He thinks I am hilarious. And Lil C? He’s funnier than Katt Williams and Will Farrell put together.

– Getting dressed sucks, but he helps. I thought babies didn’t help until closer to a year, but Graham has figured out that it goes faster if he pushes his arm through the sleeve, and he does.

– Crawling? Not so much. By which I mean, not at all. The boy is entirely uninterested. He will roll or scooch to get around, but crawl? no thank you.

– Diapering/EC’ing? We’re still all cloth, when we’re in diapers. We were diaper free for a few days, but I didn’t like my sons package coming in contact with the carpet where the incontinent dog sleeps and my shoes that have outside walk etc… So, now we’re in a coverless prefold or training pants a lot. Except for like since Thursday, because I’m just not committed enough to carry a potty in my trunk and try to EC on the go, yet.

– To quote Big C “I love him so much it makes me almost cry.” (A seven year old boy said that… about a baby! He’s going to be a kick-ass papa one day.)

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New Ways in Which I Crunch April 17, 2011

Filed under: Baby G,Cloth Diapers,EC,Ways in which I Crunch — arminta @ 11:49 am

So, despite my constant assertions that I “am NOT a hippie” I keeps proving that in fact I might be a hippie. Or at least am a little crunchy. First there was the whole natural birth thing (hah!) then the breastfeeding, and the cloth diapering and let’s don’t forget the co-sleeping (oh, for heaven’s sake this is not new news! stop gasping every time I say co-sleep!) and now… we are practicing diaper free baby care. I know, right?

{crunch} <- The sound of my granola taking over…

I think “diaper free” may be a BIT of a misnomer. It’s more “less” diapered time or “natural infant hygiene.” One very popular (right, because not diapering your pre-verbal infant is so popular in the developed world these days! I’m hilarious today!) term is EC or elimination communication. So, am I just letting Baby G shit all over my house and wash it away with his pee? Not exactly.

I am letting him poop in his potty though. Yes, I bought him a potty. I’m letting him pee in his potty, too. You know, when I catch it. That said, I actually have been catching some. So, we’re pretty excited about that. I’ll tell you this much, dumping/rinsing a potty chair and wiping a booty is seven shades of easier than changing/rinsing a poopy diaper. Just sayin’

What is the routine, exactly and how the hellz do I know it’s time to try to catch a potty? Well, I have been letting him go around in a prefold (coverless) or completely balls out naked (from the waist down, we live in Ohio, it’s not “naked” weather, yet). This has been letting me get to know his patterns. For instance, the boy drops a deuce half way through brekkie everyday. (Which I already knew because pooping is very obvious from outside the diaper.) But, he also pees about 10 minutes later. (Which I did not know…) Before I just knew that after breakfast his diaper was wet and dirty. He pees like 3 times in 40 minutes when he first gets up in the morning. Again, new info… So, I’m using this info along with his cues (which so far are only obvious for #2’s, he seems to pee without even knowing it himself) to come up with good times to put him on the potty. Today we sat on the potty while Daddy did his biznas (and caught a pee) and during breakfast when he started leaning over the side of his high chair (and caught a poop), so we’ve had a good day so far. Now, he has also pee’d on Daddy today and pee’d in the bed this morning. But we were able to catch those with dirty laundry, so no harm done (and they helped us learn more about his patterns).

*** Now, I feel the need to clarify… this is NOT about potty training, or getting him toilet independent any sooner than he’s ready. It’s just about not having him sitting in pee all day. I have been really grossed out by the concept of diapers for a while and found that this allows us to help him be clean and dry using tools we were going to need eventually anyway. I totally get the convenience of diapers, and am in no way trying to get rid of them completely. Just reduce our dependence on them while keeping him clean and dry and comfortable. I am not coercing him (please try to coerce a 7 month old sometime, not as easy as it sounds…), or making him do anything uncomfortable to him. ***

Have any of you tried this crazy idea of going diaper free (or partially diaper free)? Are you a crunchier or less crunchy mama than you pictured (or do you plan to be a crunchy mama)? Talk to me people!

 

Lies… and other drugs April 13, 2011

Filed under: Baby G,Blueberry Bean,Miscarriage,We're parents? — arminta @ 11:27 pm

Remember when I said lies? ‘Cause we aren’t talking about drugs. But drugs are sexy and they make you want to click on over here and read my drivel. To bad the rest of my post isn’t as sexy as the drugs in the title! Sucka!

 

Right then, I had a point, no? Oh, yeah, lies. The little white ones we tell, ex-pecially “I’m fine.” It has occurred to me lately that while I am happier than I have ever been, and I lurves the shiz out of being Lil G’s mama, I still have a hurt for my angels.  It’s been there so long that I kind of got used to it. It used to feel like shards of broken glass in my heart. Now it’s more dull, more healed over, less sharp. But still there. Always there. So, with this on my mind, the following poem really hit home with me today… I got it from Egghunt, who got it from a credit-less source. If you are that source, please come get your credit. I am so not trying to claim this as my own.

 

My Mom, she tells a lot of lies, She never did before. But from now until she dies, …She’ll tell a whole lot more.

Ask my Mom how she is and because she can’t explain, She will tell a little lie Because she can’t describe the pain.

Ask my Mom how she is, She’ll say “I’m alright.” If that’s the truth, then tell me, why does she cry each night ?

Ask my Mom how she is, She seems to cope so well. She didn’t have a choice you see, Nor the strength to yell.

Ask my Mom how she is, “I’m fine, I’m well, I’m coping.” For God’s sake Mom, just tell the truth, Just say your heart is broken.

She’ll love me all her life, I loved her all of mine. But if you ask her how she is, She’ll lie and say she’s fine.

I am Here in Heaven. I cannot hug her from here. If she lies to you don’t listen, Hug her and hold her near.

On the day we meet again, We’ll smile and I’ll be bold. I’ll say, “You’re lucky to get in here, Mom, With all the lies you told!”

 

I love what Michele wrote about the grief and how it becomes part of you, but you find a way to be happy, too. And that’s the truth, I’d have never believed this was possible a year ago and especially not right after Bean died, but right now I am a grieving mother and a happy mother. I have dead babies and a living baby. Michele’s words of wisdom, for any who missed them on her blog…

 

Do we one day work it out?  Does the grief go away?  Will she be back to normal?  As I shook my head, I typed into the chat window.  “No, you never are that person again.  You’re a mother now.  You have a new normal, and, one day, that grief will become a part of you and you will smile again.”

 

Life and Stuff April 7, 2011

Filed under: Baby G — arminta @ 12:14 pm

Wow! I’ll be honest, I was a little shocked at how many of you also experience The Fear. I really expected ya’ll to recommend I get my head checked 😉 Glad to know I’m not alone, but also a little sad that we’re all living in closet terror.

 

In other news… (a phrase I may have to ban because I use way too freaking much) we have the sickers, again. Holy cow, right? And you guys didn’t even really hear about the last one. So here’s the deal-i-o, Lil G is 7 months old. He has had 3 major upper respiratory infections. He’s been well a grand total of 8 days since February 13. We are now on our first bottle of The Pink Stuff, because of double ear infections caused by the URI’s. First was H1N1, then was RSV and now it’s just a cold, but it fucked my little man up. I could feel his lungs rattle from the outside and he had a high squeaky wheeze going. So last weekend (when this went down) he went to the ER. The resident was actually helpful and they got him feeling much better. Albuterol + Motrin = Magic… just sayin’

 

But, it’s looking like this is becoming a pattern. Which spells asthma. The ER doc said it was too early to call it asthma, but she’d call it asthma. So, that sucks.

 

OK, I had more but the wee man is up and I don’t have my sisters kids this week, so it’s time to play 🙂

 

Don’t Quit Until It Gets Easy April 5, 2011

Filed under: Baby G,Breastfeeding — arminta @ 11:12 am

The mantra of breastfeeding, right?

 

***OK, this post is about breastfeeding and is meant to be encouraging to those considering giving up. It is not in any way shape or form a judgment on anyone who has chosen not to breastfeed or has chosen to stop. How you feed your child is a personal decision, and is entirely yours. You will never hear me talking shite about another mother because she chose a different option for feeding her child.***

 

That said… breastfeeding was the best choice for me and my son, and while we have had some bumps along the way, it is working out well for us. It occurred to me the other day that seven months into this thing, it is truly easy. Something I thought would never, ever, happen. Why?

 

Well, for starters my boobs are not ideal for nursing. Oh, they’re ideal for making milk, and they’re great for storing milk. They probably store 4oz apiece on average, 6-8oz if we go all night without nursing. Yes the milk making process has been just fine. It’s the getting milk out that has had its difficulties. See because my knockers are “thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis” big. A newborns mouth is “this” big. Yes, that can be a problem… Especially when the nipples are LITERALLY the size of small saucers (think fancy tea cup saucers). I’m not exaggerating. My areolae each have a 5 inch diameter (yeah, I measured them… actually I made G do it!). Oh, right, and the nipples are inverted. Combine these three things with the fact that babies are tiny, and there mouths are tiny and you start to get the picture. Would you like to see a picture of my boob eating my baby in those early days? You would?

Do I look like I'm haing fun? 'Cause I'm not. At all...

Back in those days EVERY SINGLE LATCH was difficult. We went days sometimes of trying to latch for 10 or 15 minutes before I gave up and gave him a pumped bottle. I was convinced the only thing to do was to pump exclusively and give up on feeding him at the breast. I had no one in my corner telling me I was being insane and to keep at it. My husband, my mother and especially my MIL were all telling me to just give him formula and be done with it. It didn’t work out, no shame in giving up, I tried. Were I a less… hmmm… stubborn (yeah, let’s go with stubborn) person, I may have done it. But, I am stubborn and I was DEAD F’ing SET on my son getting my milk “as long as my body continued to make it” so I pumped, and pumped and tried to get him to latch.

 

About 5 weeks in, nowhere near easy, but getting better. I look happy in the pic, but I had honestly just been crying about having to change positions five times to get him where he could reach the boob and get on without suffocating.

And then… latching became easier. There were less bottles in a day. Latching went from 10 minutes to 5 to 1. And within a few weeks he was mostly at breast and getting very few pumped bottles. It still wasn’t easy, but it was starting to work, and I was thinking about quitting much less often. Because, yeah, I wanted to quit. Every single feeding I wanted to go get some nice, easy pre-made formula and put it in a bottle and let him drink it and hope he would sleep for more than 3 hours. Because EBF babies wake up every 2-3 hours apparently until they get solids. (Your mileage may vary.) But, I didn’t quit, and it started getting easier, but not easy.

 

About 8 weeks in, still at it. Almost handsfree, except the whole pulling the boob out of his nose situation. Yes, my husband took a picture EVERY time I nursed in public for the first five months. But, I won't make you look at them all.

 

So, what are some tricks I learned for the fat, big boobied, huge and inverted nippled breastfeeder?

  • Pillows – are your friends. You need two hands to maneuver the babies head and your tit in the beginning, let the pillows lift and support the baby’s body.
  • Football hold – Use it. But seriously, it is so much easier when the baby is tiny and you are huge. I would prop Mr. G on pillows next to me, c cup my boob with the opposite hand and navigate his head with the hand on the side he was eating from. So much easier than the cradle hold.
  • Side lying – Another useful position for the rotund. Baby is supported by the bed and you have both hands for navigation, and suffocation prevention.
  • Pump – A little before each feed or between feeds. It’s good for your supply (screw the “don’t pump for the first month” bs), and it’s even better for your flat ass nips. A few months of pumping and you may actually get proper nipples.
  • Pump – Before trying to get the baby to latch if you are “engorged.” If you are leaking, you are engorged. If your boobs are tight, you are engorged. Latching to an engorged booby is  little like latching onto a beach ball. Ease the pressure and help your little one out.

But, that’s all just the first couple of months, when head control and jaw strength are MIA and baby is HONGRY all the f’ing time. But for me, that was the hardest time. We started getting easy when head control started getting better. Eventually we got a routine down and I can’t nail it down exactly, but I think the last time I was so flustered I wanted to give up was around 4-5 months. I can remember thinking nursing was easier than bottles (sometimes) around the same time. Here’s some helpful things for the 3-6 month set:

  • Side lying – My best friend. I started using this almost exclusively during 3-6 months. Mostly because when he was nursing he was going to sleep or waking up, and we co-sleep so it’s easier.
  • Cradle – Made a comeback when head control came around.
  • Modified cradle – I sit cross legged with baby in my lap turned towards me. I do the c cup and help him navigate, but he does all the work…
  • Pump – Seriously, I credit my lack of supply issues with the fact that I have always pumped. I pump for 15 minutes twice a day, during the AM nap and after he goes to bed.
  • Your period – Will come back in here somewhere, and you will be glad for all the pumped milk in your freezer because your cycle will screw with your supply.
  • People who don’t get it  – Will say “when are you going to stop” and “can’t they give you a shot to dry that up” and “he needs water/juice/formula” and “he needs variety” and “formula has more vitamins” and a whole host of other uneducated, unsupportive and generally ignorant statements. To which I generally reply “I will keep giving my baby my milk until my body stops making it, because it is what’s best for him.”

Then within the last 4-6 weeks I found myself thinking “Why would anyone choose bottles?” and I knew, it just got easy. I made it. And when you make it this far… it’s pretty easy to see yourself sticking with it until your body stops making milk. Which is my goal.