Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The grass is always greener

The grass is always greener is a statement that has proven time and time again to be true at various points throughout my life. The last time I really felt this was when Ros and I packed everything up and moved to California to pursue our travel nursing dreams, only to figure out that I really loved New England and couldn't wait to come back. After all, the grass isn't greener in San Diego, it's all brown and dead because there is just too damn much sun.

I always thought I wanted to be a stay at home mom. Now that I've been one for the past week or so, I am really glad I am returning to work part-time. It's not that I don't love spending time with Dillon, because I definitely do. I just miss having adult conversation throughout the day. I was totally spoiled for the first 6ish weeks having Ros home with me to split all the responsibilities, minus the breastfeeding. I could eat when I wanted, there was always someone home to entertain the baby while I showered, we could chat. I find the life of a housewife to be a bit lonely. I'm going to try and find some activities for the baby and I to enjoy together during the last 4 weeks of my maternity leave besides my breastfeeding support group.

Dillon is 7 weeks old already. It's amazing how time flies. Everyone tells you this will happen, and you can't truly appreciate it until you live it. Feels like just yesterday I was wishing her out of me, now sometimes I wish I could just pop her back in for a little while. She's getting way more fun that she was during the first 6 weeks. Those were some of the toughest weeks of my life. I have never really spent that much time with a newborn before so I didn't really know what we were in for. Boy, did we have a cranky baby. Not only a cranky baby, but one that never slept during the day (thankfully she did at night) and would cry and cry when she wasn't attached to my boob. Now we are able to have fun awake time. She coos, giggles, smiles, and is way more interactive. She still has her moments, after all she has a very strong personality, but we are managing. We definitely have a little firecracker on our hands.

Breastfeeding is going better thanks to daily oatmeal, More Milk Plus herbal supplements, and a nightly Guinness. It's certainly not great, but we are managing... Good thing because Dillon HATES formula; she spits, gags, and lets it stream out of the sides of her mouth. I guess we're in it for the long haul. I just hope my boobies can keep up.

Dillon and her early impression of Brittney Spears. Too bad Brit wasn't wearing a onesie.

Dillon's first trip to IKEA.

Sporting some curly hair after a good washing.

Her gender bending outfit. Love it!

First trip to Rockport. Naked because she hates 90 degrees.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Dillon's Big Discovery

I'm a month old!!

It's been a big week! Dillon made her first big trip, had her first real smiles, and she realized that the chubby extremities that have been poking her in the eyes for the last few weeks can be controlled.
We went to Provincetown for a night last week. For those who don't know Ptown, it's the gay Mecca of the east coast on the very tip of Massachusetts. It's a great place to feel "normal" for a while. The trip took an extra hour and the car was loaded for our 24 hour excursion. Dillon slept almost the whole time in the car; sleeping in the car is a new thing and thank gawd she acquired this talent for the 4 hour trip. We stayed at an inn right behind town hall, which was the perfect location for running back to feed her every 2 hours. The room had a kitchenette which was good if we needed to warm bottles. I never thought we would have to "strategize" before a vacation, but I guess this is what we need to do from now on.

Dillon put her feet in the ocean for the first time. She wasn't thrilled about it, but we were. The cold inducing cringe was so cute! The rest of our day and night were totally atypical from our regular PTown vacations. No pregaming, no bars, no t-dances, no Spiritus pizza at 2am... We found a stroller-friendly restaurant, had a drink each (which got us surprisingly buzzed) and passed out at the inn by 10pm (which is late for us). Dillon was up early, so I walked her around town in the Moby wrap in the AM. I watched some folks doing the walk of shame and finishing their night while our day was beginning. Sigh... BUT we had a great time anyways; it was just different.

Here's one of Dill's first smiles while on the way to PTown. She's getting better at it as time goes on. It's nice to know when she's enjoying something. After weeks of just looking at either a straight face, sleeping or crying, I started to wonder if she likes anything at all. She even smiled at her pediatrician (Hi, Jill!) at her 1 month appointment. Obviously, Dillon doesn't know what a vaccine is yet... =P

Lastly, the day Dillon turned a month old, I whipped out the play mat thinking she would just lay on it and stare blankly. I put it down while Nickie was getting a hair cut. To my surprise, she started kicking and batting the toys as soon as I put her down! I grabbed her, worried that Nickie would be upset if she missed it. This is now her favorite place to hang out.

That's our week. Full of excitement!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Breastfeeding woes

For something so natural, breastfeeding is one of the most innately unnatural things I have ever done. I had heard countless times how hard it would be for the first 6 weeks and then how happy I'd be if I could just stick it out, I hope that is true. Everyone said it's going to feel like she's got razors in her mouth, your nipples will bleed, etc etc... Sore nipples were my problem for like .2 seconds, after all a week of something sucking on your boobs every 2-3 hours, they either buck up and toughen up or they mind as well just fall off. Latching has never been our problem, from our first moments of trying this new thing together, everyone has always been impressed with her latch.

As I sit here I am just waiting for 20 minutes to pass by between pumpings for my first time "power pumping". What's power pumping you may be wondering, it's pumping for 20 minutes, waiting 20 minutes, then pumping for 20 more. Sounds easy enough, but pumping your boobs for 20 minutes makes your nipples look and feel gross.

My biggest problem so far feeding my child "naturally" aside from trying to breastfeed her at Ruby Tuesday, has been my afternoon milk supply. By the looks of Dillon when she's at the feeding trough anytime between 11am and around 6pm, it would seem as if the taps were completely dry. She sucks for about 5 minutes then starts pulling off, eagerly latching back on, then pulling back off in frustration. After a few minutes she starts crying when she pulls off, I give them a quick squeeze and nothing, barely a drop. We switch sides but the same thing happens. During the night, when my prolactin is high apparently, boobs are full, she latches on for about 20 minutes, happily gulping and sighing with satisfaction. Why can't all of our feedings be this easy?

I've been to breastfeeding support groups, wrote to breastfeeding support chat groups and always get the same answer, everything is fine. They say I have to just trust my body, that I am making plenty of milk, just relax and let mother nature work. I don't think that mother nature is an active observer for us during the day because I feel like I am in a war between, my body and my baby. I don't want to starve her, and I know I'm not as she is gaining weight and peeing normally. But the sound and look of her during these frustrating times is heartbreaking.

Even more heartbreaking (for me) is that we gave in and supplemented her with formula for 2 feedings yesterday and one today. I will have her nurse and then when the taps are totally dry we'll give her a couple oz of formula. I hate giving her that crap, but I feel like we have no other choice.

After calling a lactation consultant we inadvertently met while Dillon was under the bili lights, we'll try the power pumping for a few days and see if that will make me produce more milk so we can get her off the formula. This stuff must be like cement because she hasn't pooped all day, so unlike her.

I really hope that things can improve for us as far as breastfeeding goes. I think it is the biggest source of stress for me since she's been born. I just want to be able to feed her and not think about it so I can enjoy this short, precious time with her.