Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Happy pottying at 10 months old

I just wanted to give another update. Our little one is now 10 1/2 months old now and we're still pottying part-time.

His recent thing to not want to go potty, even if it looks like he has to go (little boy's penises stick out a little when they are full); he arches his back and doesn't want to do it. One thing that helped was to change how I set him down on the seat (toilet seat insert), instead of draping him backward into the seat to sit him down by holding him under the thighs and setting him down more exactly.

The other thing he introduced over the past week which seems to be working better as well is to bring him into the bathroom and then asking him if he has to go. I'll let him crawl over to the toilet and then he tries to help set his little seat on (either I help lift the seat up with him if if it is on the floor or else he wiggles it if it is already on the toilet). I then undress him while he stands and he will go pretty agreeably. Yeah!

The problem with this was putting him back together again with the
prefold diaper and Snappi -- you can't really Snappi well while they are standing, at least in my experience. After reading something in the Sears Baby Book I decided to try out using diaper pins. I can unpin one leg and get him undone and then just have to slide that leg back through and repin when he's done. The cover I can do okay while he is standing. Pants of course are a different story --stretchy or snapped are better than ones that need a lot of pulling to get up.

The other exciting thing was that my parents are visiting and my dad pottied the baby while I was out the other day. That's the first time anyone other than my partner or I have tried to do it.

Hoping you are having happy potty experiences as well.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

Sorry for the no posting. I have some stuff I can repost here to catch up -- when I have time. Perhaps you can read about how Jonah's first year went after its over (sigh).

Enough about that. I wanted to share his Halloween costume and some other spooky photos.

This year Jonah is going as the infant Harry Potter, from the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. He's got his little cowlick and toy broom from his godfather Sirius Black.



Here are also some very sca-ary pictures --- oooh! are you scared yet?



Sunday, September 30, 2007

Using a Potty Seat

Jonah grew really fast and was getting a bit heavy to hold, particularly as I've got tendonitis in one wrist from lifting him (since last April, sigh). I decided to try out the Baby Bjorn Little Potty. He liked using that potty for a while (4-6 months), though I noticed that he really did need to have the ability to sit upright with some support to use it -- so I don't think it would work that well before then.

Now that he's gotten even bigger (wearing 18 month sizes at 7.5 months!) he has decided that he doesn't want to use that little potty anymore. Now I keep it by the bed and use it to stash wet diapers from changes overnight so I don't have to get up and don't wake him with rustling plastic.

We bought a toilet insert at Fred Meyer on a whim in August as we thought he was large enough for one and he likes that a lot. In fact, he won't really go now if I try holding him over the toilet by the thighs -- except when we are out.

With the toilet seat insert, a cushioned vinyl covered on with Blues Clues pattern, its not as cold as the baby bjorn potty was. Also, we don't have to clean it up -- everything just goes in the toilet which is a plus. We have some light up ducks that we use in the bath next to the toilet, on the edge of the tub which help keep him interested in sitting there. He also is liking learning how to turn the tap on the tub off and on -- usually if he's that distracted he's done or didn't have to go in the first place.

We keep his bouncer seat in the bathroom so often I will set him down in it and then go potty myself afterwards which seems to please him as well -- everybody goes potty dontcha know?

I think talking to him about pottying and introducing hands signs early on has helped out a lot. Also, anticipating when he will need to go next. He tends to signal more when he's sleepy, and less so when he's playing.

A recent development is that he doesn't want to pee in his diaper when we are out and often makes a fuss, which takes us a bit to figure out of course. My partner thinks its some sort of social behavior learning -- to not want to wet himself when he's in social settings.

He's only pooping every other day or so, which was a little harder to keep track of. He ended up soiling himself a couple times in the mornings and since then I think he and I have realized we need to make a better effort -- as he doesn't like it as much as I don't when he's got that kind of dirty diaper.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Seven Months Old

We’re calling him a pre-toddler now. He’s got opinions about stuff, he can sit up by himself, he has his first tooth, he’s getting ready to crawl, splashing all over in the bath, and taking steps with help from mama. He also likes working on a computer keyboard, talking on walkie talkies and playing the guitar with both hands.

He’s so big he’s officially fitting into 18 month sizes and I’m not buying smaller than 18/24 or 2T now.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

I came across a few interesting links and I thought I would share...

 

Interesting site about baby food

http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/

 

Site with links to American made toys - if you are concerned about the lead paint scare (and so many things are made in China these days)

http://www.toysmadeinamerica.com/

 

Also, I don't know if you have heard about the BPA (plasticizers) in plastic bottles - but evidently this compound is in baby bottles as well (see http://www.bisphenolafree.org/). Polycarbonate bottles aren't safe either. The few brands I've heard of that are BPA free are Sassy Mam Assurity (what we were already using coincidently www.sassybaby.com), BornFree (http://www.newbornfree.com/) and the Playtex bottles with the drop-in liners.

 

The pacifiers I've bought both have silicone nipples made in Germany or Austria (Gerber Nuk and Sassy Mam), you might want to double check yours, though I think silicone is the norm these days.



Jonah just had his first dip in the wading pool at park this afternoon and loved it. We're off camping this weekend, Jonah's first camping trip. It's been an annual event for the past 5 years or so, I hope it goes well. Should be interesting if nothing else.


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Looking for a Parent Console for Our Stroller

The Bumbleride Flyer does not include any sort of parent console, though they do include a cup holder with the 2007 model. I've been researching various parent consoles for strollers and its hard to figure out what will work. Here are the ones I've found

Phil & Teds Hang Bag & Belt

InStep Parent Console

BOB handlebar console

Buggy Buddy from Sunshine Kids

Jolly Jumper Stroller Caddy

Joovy Cool Essentials Parent Organizer

Maclaren Universal Organizer

Things that are important to me for our Bumbleride Flyer are:
* easy take-on/off for when we switch the handlebar
* compartment for phone, paci, keys

I'm almost tempted to sew one myself but I'm leaning towards ordering the BOB one as I already need to order a Flyer rain cover -- its Seattle and yes, it does rain here.

---
Update: we did by the BOB one and it has worked out fine, even with the flip of the handle. We just fastened it with a little twist. You have to be mindful a little of what you have put in there, but not that mindful. I don't think anything has fallen out.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Bumbleride Flyer Review

Our needs are pretty specific, a compact stroller that can do a mile walk across bumpy sidewalks in an urban setting and will let us have the baby facing us once we are downtown -- and it needs to fold up easily for the drive back home. Not all corners have curb cuts/ramps so the stroller needs to be able to perform well. We also have to lift it up a few stairs into our home.

After looking around at the options, the Bumbleride Flyer stood out as a good option. I found a lightly used one on craigslist last night and today was our first day using it, I'll compare it to our other stroller, the Graco Metrolite LE:

Weight: Flyer is definately heavier than the Metrolite. Feels like more than a pound difference but I don't have a scale.

Fold: both require two hands but the Metrolite folds to a standing position, the Flyer folds to the ground. Not sure how that is going to work in the rain. The Metrolite folds far more compactly and fits in our Prius well -- I can get groceries in the back with the stroller in there. With the Flyer I can only get it in the back on its side and its folded depth is bulky. I know I couldn't get as much in the back along with it in there -- if at all.

Control: The Metrolite is really easy to maneuver; it turns well and tips up for curbs easily. The Flyer is harder to turn and not as easy to push -- plus the basket is hitting the wheels below(!) When the Flyer has the handle in the reverse position (baby facing you) you can't tip the thing up onto curbs.


The Flyer has some nice features though, and it was well thought out:

A canopy that pulls all the way down for a sleeping baby

Four position seat with 5-point harness and a built in leg divider sewn in so baby can't fall down.

Rear-facing position

Nice foot muff with front mesh pocket and zip back


I'm not sure if we are going to keep it or not. So far it looks cool and has some nice features but it is hard to handle and that's a huge drawback as that's the key thing for a stroller.

Update 8/18 --
I contacted Bumbleride to ask about the basket issue -- was it a design flaw or a manufacturing flaw. They confirmed that it was a design flaw and they are having new baskets made and would send me when they got their next shipment in. The basket only rubs when the stroller is in the rear-facing (also called pram mode) position.

We have continued using the stroller all week and it is easier to push in the normal outward facing position, but baby has indicated that he prefers facing daddy once they get into the busier areas closer to downtown -- just what I thought. I've been getting more used to its parts and how it works and taking advantage of all the little parts -- like the window in the canopy with its cover, the foot rest which works better for baby being young, and the ability to pull the canopy all the way over to help block the sun or let the baby sleep better.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Rear-facing Strollers Compilation

I've been considering getting a rear-facing stroller so that we aren't stuck with having Jonah facing out -- particularly in downtown Seattle. Up until now we've been able to use the infant car seat, so he's used to watching the world with us there to provide some filtering.

There aren't too many rear-facing models on the market, perhaps a dozen or so, and Bugaboo makes three of these. I've compiled my basic research with price, weight and pics -- plus some notes, if you are interested.

After all this research, the Bumbleride Flyer is standing out as a reasonably priced option.
































































Manufacturer/Model Cost Weight

Aprica Boardwalk

$749.99 12.1 lbs

Britax Vigour

$349.00

29 lbs.

Bugaboo Gecko


Lightweight
$679

18 lbs

Bugaboo Frog

$759

32 lbs

Bugaboo
Chameleon

"The Chameleon has a height adjustable handlebar extending an extra 6 inches for taller parents"
$899

20 lbs

Bumbleride Flyer


Baby
Bargain Board Review


Might need to get used to the reverse position so as to not kick the chair support. Perhaps hard to lock in folder position (problem with our Metrolite as well). Easy to unfold.

Light frame bends, no tray for baby, no compartments for parent
storage.
$329.00


19lbs


Combi
I-thru


Epinions Reviews
Discontinued. Poor construction?
$175

23 lbs

Graco Coach Rider



Canada only?

Bad reviews by merchant, unstable wheels, poor construction compared to other Graco products.
   

Peg Perego Venezia



Big with poor steering and not good for travel
$400 28 lbs

Quinny Buzz


Small basket below, looks weird.
$499.00

24 lbs

Stokke Xplory


Not good on uneven surfaces
$799 23.15 lbs

Zooper Zydeco or Boogie

$519 29 lbs

Friday, July 06, 2007

Sorry for not posting more. I have some forum posts I can bring over to help fill in the gaps. I've been working about 6 hours a day while watching the baby as well, and going into the office so it's been crazy busy without to much extra time.

Communcation Update

My little one caught on with some ASL signs early on very oddly. I wasn't expecting it. His versions of signs were more like punching the air for milk or raising a fist in his sleep for a diaper change or to go potty. He hasn't really wanted to learn more than those, though recently he was experimenting with the signs for diaper change.

He sometimes signs more with my partner than me. He also talks to my partner more than me. I think mamas are able to interpret a broad range of non-verbal cues and so they sometimes use the signs or "words" more with others. You might check with your DH to see.

Recently Jonah has said "gilk" (milk -- he doesn't have his m's yet) when he wants his dad to bring him to me (I have a name finally! Gilk!) He knows a range of words but only uses them some of the time with me -- though last night we were chatting and he was showing me how much better he's getting at them.

He doesn't know bye-bye at all. Here are some of the things that we use with him all the time and his versions of them when available:

milk - gilk
all done -- all goo, dooo, all dUN (ocassionally)
all good -- all goo
milk is good -- gilk es gooo
go
again
go for a ride in the car
let's go
up - (arches back)
kick, kick, kick -- (and he does)
hello -- hellll-n, ah-coo (sound like the same intonation but its his lazy version)

Jonah's going to be 5 months old on Monday. He barely fits into some of his 12 months size outfits. We've been buying 18 months sizes now. Crazy.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Pottying at 5 months

It's been a while so I thought I would give an update on my almost 5
month old. He did an amazing 9 potties in one day last week out of
the blue. We used almost no diapers. My parents were visiting and
were amazed.

My mom was telling me how they used to have highchairs with cut outs
in the seat and a shelf for a bowl beneath so that the baby could
relieve herself while eating. That seems so degrading to me, almost
like there's no communication involved at all. Perhaps some parents
used them like we do when we EC though.

It took Jonah a week or so before he adjusted to the Baby Bjorn
Little Potty -- plus some trial and error until I figured out how to
best help him use it. I have it on the floor in his bedroom and I
wrap my arm around him and let him rest his chin on it as he needs
to. I also help steady his head against mine and hold one of his
hands with my free one as he wants to. He's pretty into it and when
we are at home he seems to prefer it over the toilet. I keep a box
of tissues and a burp rap nearby to help wipe his bum/face -- he
often spits up while toileting (anyone else notice this?) My partner
is cool with using the little potty as well, but he just helps him
balance on it while holding his shoulders.

The toilet position is still good if he's totally sleepy though as
he can rest against me. He will wake me up if he needs to go while
sleeping. Not all the time but often enough. The frequency of that
has gone down from back at the start of May when I was mucho pooped
out after having my sleep disrupted so much.

In the past couple of weeks he's gotten the knack for standing up
while supported. If he's done on the potty and hasn't communicated
clearly (he's been talking while sticking his tongue out so I have
no idea if he's saying "all done" or what sometimes) he now will put
his feet down and try to stand up.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Forward/Backward Progress at Four Months

Monday my 4 mo, who's been using the toilet for the past two months,
wasn't really having it -- I'd offer the toilet to him at changes
and he'd look up at me and say "all dooo" (all done) even though his
diaper was dry. Then within the next 10 minutes he would say "all
dooo" and he wet his diaper. It went on like this all day and I was
getting frustrated -- he could potty and had been pottying but
wasn't. Sure our timing could have been off, but it seemed like
something more than that.

I sort of figured that we were at a different phase, that it was
time for something to change either way. My thought was to try
offering the potty more frequently, particularly if he was going to
be saying all done and wanting a diaper change each time (as we were
flying through diapers and he was crying a little sometimes when he
went and I wasn't changing him fast enough -- even though I wasn't
waiting).

Sure enough, by Tuesday evening he switched over once I asked him to
TRY to go pee pee. We then went from around 4pm until 6am with only
one diaper change. It was like he needed us to be more consistent.

Yesterday he had to come into the office with us and I tried
pottying him there (and the bathroom is far away on the other side
of the building). He didn't want to go and I ended up holding over
my trashcan in my office 15 minutes later (yeesh!) I'm not sure how
well we can potty him in the office unfortunately. (grumble)

I went last night to Bootyland (between 13th and 14th on Pine ST on
Cap Hill) and bought a Baby Bjorn potty and was able to try that
twice before bed. My little one wasn't so sure about it but we did
get one pee out of him. He was most comfortable using it if I say on
a foot rest behind him, with my arms and legs at his sides and his
back resting against the foot rest, similar to our pottying
behavior. It's going to take some getting used to I can see, and
probably some additional stability on my baby's part will help.

Right now I'm up at 2 am as he woke me and didn't seem to want to
nurse but then didn't want to be pottied either -- I think it was
gas. When I got him back in bed he farted and then had a big nurse --
but of course mama can't sleep now.

It just keep getting more and more interesting...

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Easy Diaper Changes and Pottying Outfit Observations

When you have a little baby you are doing a lot of diaper changes. I don't think I've ever done so many snaps in all my life as the past few months. Over time though, and after so many different styles of garments, I've come to appreciate certain garments for their ease of changes or removal for pottying on the toilet. Mind you I have a little chunky monkey and we're using cloth prefolds with a cover from the diaper service, so if you have a skinny baby you might feel differently.

Things to look for:
Snap crotch
Narrow elastic that stretches easily (Zutano pants are soft and quickie at changes)
Gowns with snaps up the front and elastic at the bottom (Rabbit Moon makes some really cute ones, spendy but they will last a while and they are super easy on/off)
Short rompers if you can find them (Hanna Andersson rompers are great)
Overalls (the Gymboree ones we have are nice -- pull them off from the top or bottom)

Things to avoid:
Zippers (see Hanna Andersson Baby Zippers)
One-piece outfits that require you to pull bend and pull one leg up to thread it through the leg opening (see Hanna Andersson Baby Zippers)
Wide elastic bands that are snug (lots of things have this we've found)
Garments that snap up the side and at the crotch -- they can be really confusing to assemble and aren't easy to figure out

Monday, May 28, 2007

Sleepy baby in the middle of the night

My little guy will initiate wanting to get changed/go potty in the
middle of the night. I'm happy enough to oblige but in the past couple of weeks I've ended up sitting on the toilet with my baby sleeping in my arms.

He punches in the air (and me sometimes in his sleep) plus wiggles
when he has to go -- and sometimes its just a timing issue, that it
might take him a while to get everything ready to go in his little
system. It is leading to one tired mama though.

Sometimes we just need permission
(to not be holding our sleeping infant on the potty LOL)

I feel bad today as he only got to do 2 pees on the potty today and I missed 3 poops that I think he would have rather done in the potty
instead. It was just an off day for mom unfortunately.

So, I think I mentioned that he's been saying "all gooo" or "all
doooo" when he's done on the potty since last meeting. Well, he likes saying it all the time now so we aren't sure when he's got a wet diaper or is just practicing, or is wanting us to pick him up. He even shouts "all doooo" at his toys now. He does use it for pottying too, but you can imagine how interesting it is for us.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Three and a half months

Jonah's crib arrived Thursday afternoon finally(!) We've been assembling it and have just the wheels to hammer in but the baby is sleeping in the chair so we're waiting to finish. I'm not sure how the crib will work into our routine but I will use it for naps during the day and start out some nights with him in it so he can get used to it. I was worried that the crib wasn't going to arrive until July as he hasn't ever had a chance to use his mobile (and they say to remove them around 5 months) Now we'll at least get some use from them.

We ended up with the Sorelle Rosa crib in Antique Black after shopping around some. I'm liking the look of the black; originally I had been thinking of dark brown but then my mother just about convinced me to do something more wood-y -- to match the other things in the room. Black looks just right to me though. Now I have to just get a mattress pad and some more sheets.

This week Jonah's been talking up a storm (who knows what he's saying most of the time), trying to scootch along on his belly, making faces (and teasing at that), sitting up supported more easily (yeah for head control) and gaining major hand control. This was him a couple of days ago playing with a toy, a toy that wouldn't interest him at all two weeks ago:

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Solo Air Travel with a 3 Month Old

I just got back from our first trip back east and thought I would post about how it went travelling with an almost 3 month old baby.

Based on advice online, I booked the flight when baby was usually sleeping (for us that was overnight), and also a non-stop flight. JetBlue has a non-stop red-eye to NYC from Seattle that I've taken before and so I decided to stick with the known quantity. Since we left on a Wednesday and returned on a Monday our tickets each way were only $99 a piece. JetBlue has infant changing tables in all their aircraft restrooms which is a huge plus.

I opted to buy a seat for us each as I didn't want to have to hold the baby for 5 hours straight and I was also concerned about his safety during take-off/landing and if there was turbulence. Since the ticket was so inexpensive with the days of the week we travelled it was even easier to make this decision. I am glad I had his seat as he was able to sleep in his seat comfortably and when there was turbulence over the Dakotas, he was in the safest spot (when I had him out on the way back, which was not a red-eye, I popped him back in right away when we hit that rough air -- in my arms he did not feel safe to me).



Knowing that he would have his own seat, I saw from the boards that the car seat would have to be in a window seat. The Graco SnugRide (we did not bring the base) has a level on one side only -- if you want to use this on the plane you want to be on the left side of the plane in seat A.

I studied the car seat manual prior to my departure to make sure I was comfortable with how to use it without the base. Be sure to bring along the metal clip to use with a shoulder seat belt if you need it -- my father told me that their cars had lap belts in the center in the back and no they didn't so we had to go pick one up at a baby products store while I was there ($3)

I gate checked our stroller without any issues and I didn't have to wait to get it either, I was able to deplane with the rest of the passengers. According to the JetBlue site, even with a lap infant, you are allowed to bring a stroller, car seat and carry on for the baby.

In case you are interested, here was our routine at security in the airport...



  • wheel up and get in line with baby in car seat in stroller

  • put back pack and diaper bags into bins as they become available

  • remove purse, coat and shoes

  • remove car seat from stroller with baby in it and put on floor
  • push your bins onto the conveyer belt

  • fold up stroller and put on conveyer

  • remove baby from car seat and put on conveyer


...
go through metal detector with baby in arms -- remember to keep your ticket on your person
...


  • wait for car seat to come through and put baby in it on floor (out of the way of other passengers)

  • put on coat, shoes and purse

  • unfold stroller and snap in car seat with baby

  • put on backpack

  • stash diaper bag under stroller


and you are off to the gate!

On the flight to New York I had to pee badly and baby was asleep so I figured that I would just take him with and do a little change as it had been a while. I grabbed my purse, a diaper, the wipes, and some disposable changing liners and went to the toilet. First I peed with him on my lap then I hiked up my pants with one hand and pulled down the infant changing table, laying down disposable liners and then the baby (and then I fastened my pants).

I was in the middle of putting the new dipe on him and he had an explosive poo across his pj leg and the table that went dribbling down the side and hit the toilet paper roll beneath. The new dipe was still clean so I removed his pjs (thankful that I put an undershirt underneath), diapered him, and then proceeded to clean up the changing table and lavatory while I held him in my arms and tried not to bump his head on the wall.

I carried him back to the seat and he had peed again on the way there (darn it all, if we were at home he could have gone in the potty) and I changed him a second time in my lap in the seat -- we had the row to ourselves.

TIP -- do make sure you bring the diaper bag with you to the lavatory as you might need all of what it contains in the matter of minutes. Also, really do bring two changes of clothes for the baby, even if you keep one in your carry on for space considerations.

I was pretty wrecked from being behind on sleep even before the red-eye sleep deficit -- I only slept 2 hours, but baby slept pretty much the entire time -- so I was not feeling 100% but I did my best not to be grouchy. I took a nap every afternoon which was a big help.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

EC Notes

I learned from our local diaper free baby group that it was helpful to have a signal for "done" which we
are now introducing with our baby. I also started using the toilet
sign for go potty and he's shaking his hand at us now, within hours
really, so that's cool.

For me it was easiest to start with the morning BM as he was really
obvious about needing to go. He's also pretty easy going in the
morning, and even overnight if he has to go, so bringing him to the
potty then has been the easiest time in the early weeks.

I've been sitting on the toilet backwards with the baby in my arms
and that's been working pretty well -- though we have an elongated
toilet upstairs which is much easier to sit on than a standard round
seat.

People also mentioned that through observing they could see that the
baby could pee every 20 minutes -- which if you are still using
diapers and being attentive to changes you notice as well sometimes.
This helped me realize that I could actually offer more regularly
and that might help us out.

I started out by just announcing his movements at diaper changes for
about 4 weeks -- "oh, you had a poo poo" or "did Jonah just go pee
pee?" so he was more aware of what was going on. I now can offer him
by asking him if he "wants to go poo poo in the potty" and he will
smile if he wants to try. I try to keep it very low pressure. My
little one is just 11 weeks now and we've been doing this in a low
key manner, building up our confidence, for about the past month. My
goal right now is to have it stay an enjoyable experience for him,
and to reduce the number of prefold cloth diapers (diaper service)
we are using each week as a measure of success.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Fibroids and Endometriosis?

In response to Deb's question about endometriosis testing on my post about infant potty training, no, I haven't specifically had tests for endo. But I did have two HSGs and have been opened up twice -- once for my myo and once for the c-section and nothing was mentioned -- not even on my medical records. Some of my other online fibroid sisters have had endo and fibroids though -- so it is a possibility. In the book The Infertility Cure both conditions are dealt with in the same chapter -- so similar can their causes be.

I've had painful ovulations before, the first one that I recall was back in 1996 when I was just about doubled over in pain at work -- a stressful computer start-up -- and I ended up going to the emergency room just to make sure I didn't have appendicitis. Wanna know where that pain was? The same location as my fibroid showed up years later. I had an ultrasound at the time and it came back clean. After all the acupuncture I've had done I think that partially the pain comes from some form of blood stagnation in that area -- and too much stress will divert the blood flow from your reproductive organs so it it possible that its all related.

Since my c-section I've occassionally felt a few jabs of pain in that area -- which is where Twyla, my new big fibroid is located. It's not too bad so I'm hopeful that she's not going to be an issue.

Lately I've thought, as people respond in surprise when my partner and I mention that we're planning on starting to TTC again later this year, that another factor besides it taking so long and the miscarriages, that also the fibroids I have are another consideration. One good thing for the moment now though is that breastfeeding suppresses estrogen production so it is possible that my fibroids will shrink substantially until my period shows up again. The reduction in estrogen also causes me to have dry skin, so dry I have hives on my upper arms, and it also dries out the girly bits so that sex is a bit uncomfortable. There's no winning.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Two Month Well Baby Visit

We had our 2 month ped appt this morning and Jonah is up over 15 lbs (phew that its not more than that) but it's still a doubling since our last appt at 2 weeks. He's measuring in the 90th percentile for head circ., 95th for length and above 95th for weight -- he was average all around at delivery.

We opted to do two shots today, polio as it is less reactive and HIB. The HIB shot really hurt him going in at the office but a few hours later he was screaming at home in pain and his thigh was all swollen. He's been crying since then, but mostly sleeping. I couldn't help cry when I saw him hurting so -- it really was awful. We've trained Jonah by being attentive so that he doesn't need to cry for us to respond. The crying this afternoon just made me want to thow up. He starting to smile and coo again now.

It was just awful watching him crying in pain and not being able to console him though. If I held him it would hurt him and if I put him down he got upset. I ended up laying him on my bed with his head on my pillow with two diaper flats laid out beneath him as fastening the cloth diaper would hit his injury. I held his hand and he fell asleep but would wake periodically and cry, especially when he would kick his legs (his favorite thing to do, even in utero) as it hurt. Awful, awful. I'm still recovering.

We opted to do our own schedule for the vaccinations as the CDC recommendations are designed to try to get as many people to complete the shot series as soon as possible so they don't miss them, but they are based on babies in childcare, etc. Since Jonah's at home and not around many other children -- we feel comfortable doing our own schedule to reduce the possible overload of introducing so many foreign proteins and preservatives into his system at once. I read that from a TCM standpoint you ideally would only introduce them one at a time -- but obviously getting one shot each time means more trauma over time so that's a bit extreme.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

infant potty training works -- 6 poos and 2 pees later

I started working with our baby at 5 weeks on drawing his awareness
to his elimination patterns during diaper changes. Last week, after
observing that he passed gas prior to having a BM, I decided to sit
on the toilet with him and see if he would relieve himself there. I
was so nervous that I would miscalculate his intentions or when he
was going to go and that I would end up covered in poo. But a few
moments later he did it and he didn't mind at all and there was no
clean-up required, just a quick dab on his tush.

I tried it during the week last week but our timing was off. I tried
again on Sunday though and he had 4 poos and even peed once.
Yesterday I had him on the changing table and asked him if he wanted
to pee or poo in the potty and he smiled at me so we sat on the
toilet and he peed -- I was so proud. Today at my PEPS group meeting
he went poo again -- I'm just amazed that this is working.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Infant Potty Training/ Elimination Communication

Today was also a good day for pooping in the potty. I was just reading through my last couple of posts and I think I should explain about elimination communication, it is where you teach your infant to use the toilet and not just go in their diaper all the time. It requires you as the parent to be observant of your baby's elimination habits and cues and then to work with your baby to go in the toilet.

When Jonah was 5 weeks old I went back to one of the E.C. sites I have linked to show my sister about it. From that I got the idea that I probably should be helping Jonah understand about what was going on in his diaper. Since then when I change his diaper I will say to him "oh, you had a pee-pee diaper" or "Jonah had a poo-poo". It works particularly well when he tries to let me know he wants a diaper change or just when he starts to get cranky because he needs one. Sometimes while changing him he will poo, and less ocassionally he will pee. I try to use those as learning opportunities as well as it just happened so I can say "Jonah had a poo-poo" and it's more obvious.

My partner and I don't want to be diapering for years so the idea of E.C. intrigued us. Add to that the cloth prefolds that we're using through the diaper service and baby knows when he's soiled. I try to be highly responsive to his requests for a diaper change as well, so he stays aware of when he goes and knows that I don't expect him to stay in a dirty diaper. It's all part of a holistic approach we are taking with him about this.

Today Jonah went poo in the toilet twice, and both times he seemed game to try it. During last week I tried a few times but he wasn't ready to go just yet and got frustrated so we quickly abandoned the effort -- I don't want to torture him, if he's not into it then we move on. I think he likes being able to press with his feet against the seat to help bear down. Whatever works.

Jonah likes to eliminate while he's nursing so obviously that's not a good time to try to intervene. I have noticed though that most of the time, or more than half the time, when he spits up its because he's peeing or pooing. My biggest cues from him are if he is passing gas and hasn't yet had a poo or he's straining already to have a bowel movement. Peeing, I'm not so good with figuring that one out yet.

Here are some good links to learn more about elimination communication or going diaper free:

Diaper Free! The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygiene
by Ingrid Bauer

Infant Potty Training

diaperfreebaby.org

Infant Potty Training - Elimination Communication

Natural Infant Hygiene FAQ

The EC Store

EC Clothing Options

Dare to Bare, New York Times article

See also my post - Easy Diaper Changes and Pottying Outfit Observations

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Jonah is really keen to say hello, he's been practicing more and more on his own. Yesterday evening he started crying and was shouting "el-lo", "el-lo". My partner says that its because Jonah has such a hard time trying to get the noise out that when he's pushing out a lot of sound (when crying) its easier for him to say it. I swear we aren't torturing this child, he really wants to learn. On his own he's also starting to try to say milk now. He can get out "ilk" and its so cute. Remember that he started babbling with me from the second he met me in the operating room so I'm thinking this is just part of his nature.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Okay now, so ground breaking Jonah tricks...

My partner taught him how to say hello this week. It sounds outrageous as he's only 2 months old but indeed the baby is able to tie together the shaping of his mouth through the ha, the el and the rounded o. It's really hard for him to do it but he's getting better. He sticks his tongue out for the el part. I video taped him doing it two nights ago it's too funny to see.

Then last night I could tell that a poop was coming so I decided to see if we couldn't use the toilet. I sat backwards on the toilet seat holding Jonah in front of me by the thighs with his head resting against my chest. My partner passed by the bathroom just then and started cracking up, almost crying at the sight of us. But a few minutes later J had his poo -- no mess whatsoever I was pleased and my partner was off to text his friend and tell him about this groundbreaking event.

My mother thinks we are crazy but really we're just trying to offer different options to J. We aren't those parents who would be doing flashcards or anything but since the baby's brain is developing so quickly now, and he's just learning about the ways of the world -- why not just expand on the options we are introducing?

I'm going to go over to my OB and RE offices now to show of J. Hopefully the docs are able to take a peek.
We're using the Sassy MAM bottles and they are working okay. Jonah latches on like he does when he's nursing though its a very different experience to suck at a bottle versus a human nipple. It's got a special soft medical grade silicone nipple designed to feel like a real nipple.

I was showing my partner last night how to prop his head up with his forearm instead of holding up the baby's head with his hand (that looked uncomfortable). My partner has been using the My Brest Friend as well which is cute.

We tried the first bottle at about 4 weeks and it hasn't been a problem. We're now at the point where my partner likes having some fresh milk saved in the fridge so its easier for him to just step in and give the baby a bottle if he's starving and I need a break or just can't be there right then (like when I ran to the grocery store yesterday morning).

Monday, April 09, 2007

a boob report

Still a little lumpy in a couple of ducts on the side but definately feels like its on the mend. Phew but I'm not going to take it easy totally until I know I'm in the clear.

Oh, and here's a cool site -- http://www.geni.com/ -- you can add in your family tree and invite other family members to add in more detail. My mother, second cousin, uncle and I have added in over 200 people so far. Once my great-aunt gets in there and more of the next generation are added in it should keep growing.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Poor Boob

I've got a touch of mastitis right now, really early on. It started with Jonah sleeping more through the night on Thursday night so I woke up engorged and then I wasn't able to empty my right breast fully all day Friday and ended up with a low-grade fever on Friday night. I've been resting, nursing/pumping/expressing a alot, taking ibuprofen and now using heat on the affected area. I called my doc today and he said I was doing the right things but to increase my ibuprofen dosage.

Watch out for engorgement those of you who are nursing, it can cause other issues if you don't stay on top of it -- mostly you just need to really make sure you drain your breasts fully -- so pumping or expressing to make sure it doesn't get inflamed.

I've been extra full or engorged before without a problem but now I've learned not to take it for granted that my body can sort it out.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Two months old

Jonah's going to be 2 months old tomorrow -- where has the time gone? He's such a good little guy though and it's much more fun now that he can smile and talk a bit more (talk as in aahg, yeee, gurgle). He understands a whole range of words now -- milk, momma, daddy, baby, diaper change. His most common response when we ask him if he wants his diaper changed is to go totally silent (like duh, yah mom) and then if I don't do it within a few minutes he gets mad



I'm introducing the same words to him in French and we'll be doing some baby signing as well -- he kind of knows the sign for milk now (as in understands not that he can do the movement himself). My partner and I have been singing, talking and reading to him in French as well and he thinks its funny. We want to live in France for a year in a few years so we want to build up the family's vocabulary, mine included. I'm hoping to get back with my French teacher in another month or so for weekly lessons.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Baby finds his smile

It's been a happy week this week with lots of smiles from Jonah as he finally figured out his smile. It started last Saturday when he smiled at me and I smiled back and then he grinned larger. Here's a shot of one of his smiles.



Jonah is seven weeks old today and boy he's just getting so big. There are many outfits that we've just been able to wear once or twice before he gets too big for them, and a few things that he just won't be able to wear since they seemed to big when he was just born and now he's such a big guy. He's wearing 3-6 months sizes, and many more in the 6 month size, and even some in the 6-12 month sizes.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Tips About Pumping

I was really confused about pumping and storing breastmilk since baby was born and pumping just seemed not a fun thing to do at all (and a bit of an embarassing endeavor as well). Still I think it is worth it, and it's proved to be a saving grace when baby is just wanting to suck and suck for hours and I just want to go lie down and take a nap -- my partner can just give the baby a bottle.

I started out at first by just using the manual part of the Medela PISA, that took a while but it let me get a sense of what happens.

My pediatrician said that pumping after the morning nursing, when the supply is highest is best. At a new moms thing last week the nurse leading the event said that the most efficient way to get the most milk was to express in tandem to nursing. So when you are nursing on one side to express on the other. I tried this and it was hard to attend to my baby and the pump parts at the same time. Perhaps with a better set up or a hands-free bra or something it might work out better -- or maybe when he's a little older.

I looked around for different bottles and got the Sassy Mam after seeing a lot of positive reviews on target.com. My baby seems to try to latch onto the nipple similar to how he latched onto my nipple and its worked out fine.

I think the key thing with bottles is that it is easiest to have someone else give them such as your DH. When my baby seems me, even after he's just had a bottle his instinct is to want to cuddle close to nurse. That's not to say you can't give the bottle, but it might be more challenging.

I try to pump a day or so ahead of when I need the milk handy but one day last week I just really needed a nap so when my partner came home I just handed him the baby and told him to give him milk from the freezer stash. It takes a little longer to prepare but he didn't have any trouble and it gave me a chance to catch up on some sleep uninterupted (yeah!)

My friends IRL told me to try to pump up a stash while my milk is plentiful so we can have it for later. It only keeps in the freezer of our fridge for 6 months though so we'll have to plan around that or indulge in a deep freeze for longer storage. Oh, I also heard that you should store in 2-4 ounces so you can also just defrost a smaller amount if you need it. I'll have to see how that goes. The freezer stash is really helpful though -- I just freeze the milk in the Medela bags and when frozen add them to a freezer zipper bag for safe keeping).

Friday, March 23, 2007

I went into work today for a half day, meeting with a client and then checking in with my team. It was a nice break from the baby, though of course I wanted to see him right away when I got home. My partner stayed at home today to watch him; it was a nice break for him as well to be able to duck out of work and hang with baby. I was glad to hear that they listened to music together and Jonah got to play and hang with dad.

It's been interesting now that the baby is here and people are all congratulatory and interested in the baby. A lot of people didn't know I was pg and so there is surprise that I didn't announce it. I don't know how one is meant to announce to the world that you are going to have a baby, better from my standpoint that they find out after baby is here. But it does also highlight for me how long it took to get here; not too many people know the full extent of the five years and m/cs though more know about my fibroid surgery.

Also, I've been trying to get some house projects going, remodelling, cleaning, and the like. That's when I really feel the disruption of the past three years -- with my two losses and all the grief, followed by being so fatigued when I was pg. I end up feeling like I was checked out for a long time in terms of our home life. I know it isn't true but still I notice the grime of distraction around the edges so to speak. I'm hoping to apply myself now that I'm out of that space and hopefully some of those feelings will subside.

We're already starting to talk about trying for #2. Not any time soon, but maybe we'll start TTC later on this year. It took a long time to get this far and so we don't really want to wait though. For now I think the key thing is to see what's going on with my new fibroids and just to continue to focus on adjusting to life with Jonah.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Five Weeks Plus

Sorry I haven't been posting, there's been a lot of peeing, pooping, spitting up and crying going on over here. Actually Jonah isn't that fussy but he does require a lot of attention. Since I'm trying to keep up with some of my work mail, plus little things like making sure I get fed, get out of the house once a day and do the extra laundry, there hasn't been that much extra time to blog.



I dropped by a new mom group today and there were about 15 new babies there. It was kinda nice to be in a place where Jonah and I aren't such an anomaly. Not too much chit chat by the time we showed up -- with a feed and change for Jonah and lunch for me we showed up for the second hour so I'm not sure if there was socializing before that. There was a medical professional answering questions about vaccinations, fevers, breastfeeding, which was helpful. I offered some tips that I've picked up as well about baby Tylenol and vaccinations.

My question was about Jonah's feeding habits. He signals to eat a lot during the day, sometimes when he's just eaten and sometimes he just overfills and the milk just comes gushing back out. I started offering him my pinkie to suck on here and there to see if he just wants to suck, but most of the time he is hungry so I feed him. He's also had a few bouts of projectile vomiting, but my mother says that I too was a projectile vomiter so I guess he inherited that from me.

I weighed him at the center and Jonah's up around 13 pounds (over 13 pounds with clothes on). Way to go baby. I just looked it up online and his weight gain is on par with normal gain for breastfed babies as per the KellyMom site. That's still up 5 pounds since he was born. No wonder he has been growing out of his newborn and three month sizes though. I was starting to worry but then I went through all the shower gifts and purchases we made months ago and we've got plenty of clothing in the 6-12 months sizes including pajamas - phew!

Who knew that new babies grew that fast though. The other babies there today, even the ones that had already had their 2 months shots, were all smaller it seemed than Jonah. Jonah looked as handsome as ever to me in contrast to the other babies, though there were lots of cute babies there. He was the only baby that made creaky groaning noises (his specialty, particularly at night when he's sleeping and needs a diaper change) and was also the noisiest nurser -- but he wasn't a cry baby like many other, he just slept calmly in my arms for the hour. Lots of other moms were using pacifiers I noted. We haven't really seen the need.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

We started out with Jonah sleeping with us, then tried switching him to the bassinette but after a week of nursing him in the wee hours, having him sleeping in my arms in the chair in the nursery and then having him awaken when I tried to set him back in the bassinette I've taken to sleeping with him by my side. It's been a big help for me -- he can grumble and make noises in his sleep and I know right away if he's just being noisy or if he needs to be fed or changed. He sleeps longer as well so I'm not falling on my face tired. I'll still lay him down in the bassinette when we go to be if he's in deep sleep and then bring him over later but this seems to work better for us.

We've been working on our side-lying nursing and Jonah's getting better at it. Last night he rooted around until I pulled up my shirt and then he latched on every couple of hours for a while with some assistance. Neither of us really had to wake up fully. My partner changed him around 4:30 AM as it had been a while and his diaper was pretty wet.

I admit that co-sleeping might present some issues later on but Jonah will nap in his rocker and bouncer seats, the Pack & Play bassinette and his own bassinette -- such as right now -- so I'm trying to keep his sleep options open.

He sleeps so much better at night though when he's in my arms. I feel like a mama bear with her cub curled up beside her. My partner and I think about what would one do in the wild with a newborn; certainly not leave the baby in its own tent down the way as the wild animals would get it. What is the natural sleeping posture of the human animal though since the establishment seems so bent on isolating baby from his parents?

Monday, March 12, 2007

I had a c-section delivery four weeks ago. Thankfully I've dropped a lot of the bloat from pregnancy already in my legs in particular, my hips/belly and butt are all still larger than pre-pregnancy. I've been making do with my maternity pants but I can see that I'm going to have to invest in some transitional pants/skirts. I look forward to getting back into my size 10 jeans though, but for the time being I'm going to have to deal with being a 12/14.

I've been going through all my clothing, emptying my dresser drawers and going through the clothing I set aside during my pregnancy, and I'm paring down. With the breastfeeding boobs its going to be a while before I fit back into many of my old tops and some of them are just worn out. Mostly though I just feel like its time to leave behind some of the past and move on with new clothing.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Rashy Baby

Our first night at the hospital I noticed that Jonah had a rash emerge, first I saw it on his legs but then changing him I saw it was all over his body but not his face. The pediatrician at the hospital said it was some sort of infant dermatitis and that we should consider double rinsing his clothing at home (at that point we were just using the baby undershirts and receiving blankets at the hospital). When we changed Jonah into his own clothes, washed in Ivory Snow detergent the rash went away in a matter of hours. I think it was due to the hospitals using harsh detergents on everything.

Jonah would then get during the first two weeks the occassional red bumps on his cheeks, like little pimples but not white heads. They would clear up overnight and didn't need to be bothered at all. Starting this week though he broke out in a rash all over his face, ears and some on his neck. It seems to be mostly where he gets milk or spit-up on his skin. I looked it up online and in the Sears Baby Book and it said that it was Baby Acne. Treatment is to just wash his face with water and keep his hands clean and nails trimmed. Evidently it will clear up on a few weeks, its just his skin getting used to the outside world.

He also has a little crusty stuff up by the corners of where his eyebrows meet. The books and web say that is Seborrheic Dermatitis, the same as what it commonly referred to as cradle cap. I had noticed earlier in the week that he was smelling a bit on the top of his head like body oil, again it just another step in his skin getting accustomed to life outside the womb. We've just used warm water on cotton and occasionally on a baby washcloth to clean it up and his skin seems to be responding. Jonah doesn't have cradle cap but he does have a little dandruff so I'm making sure to wash his hair every other day to help keep the oil production in check.

At the other end I've been paying mind to Jonah's rear to help make sure that any diaper rash is treated quickly and early. We are using A+D Ointment at one changing station and Desitin Creamy at the other station. I also have Butt Paste if things should get desperate. In looking it up prior to Jonah's arrival I learned that it isn't the wet diapers that causes diaper rash but rather its when the baby's feces mix with the urine that the rash develops. Evidently there are some enzymes in the poo that react with the urine and that causes the problem. Infant poos are pretty loud though so most of the time all you have to do is listen and you know when it's time to change baby. It's also important to wash baby's backside at changing to remove all poo residue -- we're just using water on cotton and not baby wipes for the time being. Then reapply the barrier cream after patting his tushy dry. It seems to be working and it definately helps keep him comfortable.

Here are some links to reference

Newborn Rash -- Is It Baby Acne?

What is Baby Acne?

Back to basics: Caring for the newborn's skin

Diaper Rash — What It Is


Diaper Rash

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Here's a Jonah shot from February 21st.


I have to post a couple others -- have to load them from the camera onto the computer first. I also need to take some more shots of him -- he's growing so quickly!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Jonah and I are doing well. My dad is in town this week and we have been venturing out a little bit more as the temperature has been up in the 50s-60s. We've been to the grocery store, bookstore, locksmith, park and Toys R Us to exchange a gift. I tell ya I need a personal assistant to be able to deal with moving the baby about -- my purse, the diaper bag, the baby, a blanket, the car seat, the car seat frame, and then whatever else we are porting along with us -- who has a free hand to unlock a door for instance.

Jonah has been sporting Mama's handknits though -- his striped baby cardi, booties, hats, etc. He's so cute and I love keeping him warm in things I've made for him.

Friday, March 02, 2007

He sure makes a lot of noise at night for such a small baby

I'm up at 4 AM with Jonah in my arms who is for the moment quietly pretending to sleep. With any luck he actually will doze off for good. He's a great baby, not a lot of crying or anything but at night he just does not settle easily and he groan, grunts and stares around if we try to put him to sleep in the bassinette. During the day I can get him good and tired and sleeping in a baby seat or even the bassinette but at night I'm just too tired to wait with him until he's fully out.

Last night I fell asleep in the nursery in our big soft chair for an hour with him sleeping in my arms, that's how tired I was. Sleep seems to come in snatches of an hour or two and sometimes three. I'm probably averaging somewhere between 5-7 hours of sleep a day. People have this wonderful advice that one should sleep when the baby sleeps but in the morning is when I'm awake and a nap isn't really on the agenda. I try for afternoon naps which if I time it right can run as long as almost 2 hours, though more likely just over an hour.

My partner has a client meeting in the morning so I'm just having to suck it up right now. As my mother is gone now I could set up with baby in the guest room and try crashing out there but for now I figured I would try typing and see if that didn't wear him out.

I noticed the other night that there was a lot more singing going on in our bedroom at night now -- both my partner and I try lulling Jonah to sleep. We can calm him down that way for sure (and again, he doesn't really upset easily so we're just winding him down) but it doesn't yet totally put him out.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

About Diaper Changing and New Mama with the stomach flu

Jonah has surprised us every few days with poo spewing out in the middle of the change, wetting while you are trying to get the new diaper out and getting the changing table, his clothes and the new diaper wet, or spitting up half of what he just ate in a flood that makes us wonder if he isn't related to Linda Blair. We're getting more savvy now though so we wait after a feeding for him to have a BM and I now know better that after he poos then he pees. The cloth diapers are working out well and my partner and I have a good handle on the changes. Jonah's only had a touch of a start of a rash but its responded quickly to ointment -- I don't want my boy to have a sore tushy. (did you guys know that it's the poo that combines with the ammonia in the urine to cause the irritation -- not the pee itself)

I was soooooo sick on Sunday. It started at 11pm on Saturday night as I went up for bed; I started feeling nauseous. I was up most of the night with gastroenteritis and a 101+ fever (12 hours of spewing from both ends). My mother called the nursing hotline for new moms at the hospital on Sunday so we were operating under their guidance. I also look it up in What to Expect the First Year and it said that you should continue to nurse through your own illness as it would help protect the baby from the illness though you need to help prevent the baby from getting sick from limiting his exposure elsewise.

I was in bed all day with my mother bringing me ginger ale, saltines and chicken broth while my partner minded the baby and just brought him to me to feed. It was awful and I think it was the sickest I've ever been. It made me think that for however well Jonah is doing he really is only 2.5 weeks old and pretty vulnerable. He's doing fine though and it didn't seem to affect him at all -- though my supply dropped temporarily but he just fed more frequently and seemed fine. What a nightmare it was.

I'm in the middle of working on sewing up a Mei Tai carrier for Jonah. With any luck he'll let me focus on it for more than 20 minutes at a time. Here's the style of carrier if you aren't familiar -- http://www.kozycarrier.homestead.com/

Monday, February 26, 2007

About my c-section delivery after myomectomy

Friday morning I woke up early, as was typical for my pregnancy, though I couldn't have a snack as I would normally do -- no food after 1:30 AM. I took a shower at 6AM and got myself, my mother and partner ready to head out to the hospital by 7:30 but we were still a little late.

I waddled into the hospital entry and we figured out which elevator to take up to obstetrics where my sister was patiently waiting for us (actually she had texted me on the way to the hospital and I jokingly replied that I had changed my mind about the delivery).

They got us into a room right away, which was used for both pre-op prep and recovery. I changed into a hospital gown with nothing else on though I did leave my socks on for a while as my feet were cold. The nurse hooked me up to a monitor on my belly and the baby started kicking right away -- he hated having things resting on the belly such as books when I was reading in bed at night. They were checking his heartrate and checking me for any contractions. I didn't think I was having any contractions, braxton-hicks or otherwise and this was confirmed by the nurse (I was proud to know my body so well). They got my IV started, hooked me up to some IV fluids to keep me hydrated and then the nurse gave my pubic area a shave with an electric razor.

I explained that my sister would be attending as a doula and they were cool with that. My partner and sister both changed into surgical garb with booties, hats and masks. My sister had brought some lavendar with her to help calm me during the procedure -- a French lavendar sachet smelled awesome. My doctor came in to check in with us, and soon it was time to get into the OR. I rubbed my baby's knees and feet inside of me for one last time.

They wheeled me down the hall just a few doors and into the cold operating room which was full of people who would be assisting with the delivery. There was my OB, another OB, the surgical nurse who helped prep me, another nurse, two anaesthesiologists, my partner and my sister -- and possibly more. The first thing was getting the spinal set up which wasn't painful at all as they had one of those automatic blood pressure cuffs squeezing the life out of my left arm -- I didn't feel anything in my back. Next they lay me out on the operating table and pulled a drape up close to my face -- closer than I thought it would be. We then waited for the spinal to take affect, first a warm feeling and then they kept checking to see if I was getting numb where they would be cutting me open. Finally I was numb enough and they quickly got into action.

The anaethesiologist said to let him know if I felt nauseous and quite soon after I was hit with a wave of nausea. I barely had to say a word before he put in some medication to help control it and it passed quickly. I was feeling stressed and overwelmed though as I could feel pressure of them working on my belly and the curtain was so close to my chin and the spinal does make your breathing feel a little weird. I had my partner rub my shoulders and my sister brought the lavender close to my nose and that helped to keep me together. It was intense being awake during the procedure and they don't give you any sedatives or anything as they don't want to affect the baby, just the spinal which removes the pain sensations but not the touch sensations.

The time came for them to pull out the baby from me and one doctor was pressing (more like heaving) high on my belly while they yanked him out with a suction cap. Oh boy that was a crazy feeling.

Then there he was. A wet, vernix coated crying baby boy. He was a big healthy baby I could see as they whisked him across the room, with long arms and big hands. I got misty at seeing this little being finally here -- and with me in such a state. My partner was recruited to help trim down the umbilical cord and they wiped him off some and did what not and all I could do was look over at him in wonderment. The doctors continued working on me but having the baby to focus on helped to distract me from the pushing and pulling sensations.

Finally they brought the baby over to me (really it was only a few minutes after he was pulled out) and as I started talking to him little Jonah started cooing and making all sorts of noises to me. There was no doubt about it, he knew I was his mama -- what a precious memory that is for me. I was able to touch his soft cheek and give him a kiss and then they had to tend to him some more mostly stabilizing his body temperature I think.

The whole affair lasted about 40-50 minutes total and after that we were wheeled back in to recovery where they got me set up with the PCA pump. A nurse helped to get the baby to latch on and showed my partner what to do. I was totally out of it with the narcotics. My partner, sister and mother got to hold the baby lots at this point while we tried to stay ahead of the pain. I loved how they would try to give me directions and things while I could hardly keep my eyes open.

They moved us into our private suite and over the evening hours they removed my catheter (inserted after the spinal took affect), had me go to the toilet, had me drink cool water, took my and the baby's temp religiously to make sure we were both stable, and switched me onto percocet and ibuprofen. I was able to nurse Jonah with my partner's help and he was wetting diapers, and soon started passing meconium.

I fell asleep with Jonah layed across my chest at one point and when I woke up and saw his little face I just about melted; he was so tiny and perfect. My partner stayed with us in the room and slept a few stretches with the baby next to him. I also shifted to one side of the hospital bed and he lay next to me with Jonah which was super nice as well. It was just a really nice nesting experience and it was like the rest of the world didn't exist for those couple of days.

He was very tied into my voice in the first few days post delivery and would seek me out and start to root if he heard my voice. He's more confident about my presence now so he isn't quite as anxious to seek me out and knows I will come if he needs me.

We decided to check out of the hospital as soon as possible on Sunday as the nurses kept pushing percocet, stool softeners, gas-x and ibuprofen on me. I didn't have that much pain after my myomectomy and also since I had been through that experience my body wasn't as shocked about the pain and I found it manageable. The nurses couldn't seem to understand that even though I kept telling them I was doing okay. On a scale of 1 to 10 my pain never got to be more than a 4 -- unless I was moving around a lot and most of the time it was barely a .5. I also hated that the percocet would make me feel all loopy and I couldn't keep my eyes open. I took ibuprofen for the next five days and after that I didn't need anything.

I found one of the most interesting things about my recovery from the c-section is that compared to how tired and big I felt in late pregnancy my body felt a lot better post delivery. The operation itself also was less invasive than excising the large fibroid and even my OB confirmed that nature wants to make the mother heal quickly to help tend for her baby.

My incision actually looks better than after the myo. The skin lines up better and that extra pad of fat above the incision isn't there any more. Not bad, now I just wonder how I'll look in a bikini (LOL).

My OB said that they felt around while they were cleaning me up and the fibroid didn't feel too significant. He said I can get an ultrasound in six months to see how its doing. My partner asked him how soon we could start trying again (oh brother) and my doc said 8-9 months post-partum as ultrasound studies have shown that the site where the placenta had attached still showed signs of healing at 7 months post-partum.

So, while I don't think the c-section was fun, it was definately not an entirely miserable experience and all things considered I would rather have a scheduled c-section than an emergency c-section.

(I'll add more details as I recall them)

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Early Breastfeeding Observations

I didn't do anything special to prepare other than study and read about proper latch techniques -- lips flared outward, nipple pointed up towards the back/roof of the baby's mouth, bring the baby to the boob not the boob to the baby, proper posture, etc.

I had a c/s delivery two weeks ago and was still able to get the baby to latch on all right -- first with the help of the post-partum nurse and then for the first tries with my partner managing both baby and nipple.

I did have colustrum and he seemed to be doing great at getting it out of there but dang all that suction was really intense those first few days. His bowels started moving pretty quickly (he was passing meconium for several days) but by the fourth morning my baby's lips were looking a little dry and his skin was starting to lose some of its hydration. I think it's par for the course the first few days which is why term infants have some extra body fat to help get them through. My milk came in hours later though, and not a moment too soon.

Within the first hours of nursing him I did notice tiny blisters on my nipples. I don't think you can really avoid this or prepare your nipples for it. It's way more than just friction. The blisters did scab over a little bit after a couple of days and I used Lansinoh to help them heal which thankfully only took a couple of days -- its really important to stay on top of this irritation early on.

The first or second night after my milk came in baby had a massive suck fest, feeding ever 1-1.5 hours for hours on end. I believe his body was trying to catch up on the calories he lost in the first few days. You might notice something similar with your baby. Typically now he eats between 1.5-3.5 hours and not usually that closely together overnight.

Your baby very well may consume more milk than he can handle so make sure to have some bibs, washcloths, etc. at hand as he might spit back up half of what he ate. If you are sensitive and pay attention you can actually help moderate how long he nurses to help make sure he doesn't over fill himself.

My baby typically still only takes one breast at a feeding and that seems to work out fine for us. A lactation consultant from the hospital called to check up on us a few days post-partum and she said to burp him and then try him on the other side but I've not had any supply issues -- rather he takes in too much or even ends up choking sometimes as the letdown can bring on too much.

One of my friends emailed me a couple weeks before baby arrived and said to me that no matter what I know my baby best so I've used that as a rule of thumb. (he had gained 10 oz by 12 days postpartum so I know it is working for us).

Use wet and soiled diapers, plus baby's swallows and satisfaction as your guide that he's taking enough nourishment.

Also, something I haven't really seen described anywhere is that not only do your baby's lips need to be flanged outwards but inside his mouth a large part of him working the nipple involves your baby chewing down on the areola with his gums. The lips can look perfectly positioned and still your baby might end up with his gums chewing on the nipple. This kills so you need to pry his mouth off by inserting your finger in the side of his mouth until he breaks the latch and try again.

I feel fortunate in that it was only about 5 days of pain/discomfort and my baby is a real trooper about working with me on relatching him as many times as it takes.

One more thing, your baby will start rooting around and making little noises indicating he is ready to eat prior to crying. If you respond to his early signals then he's going to be more patient with you, if you wait until he is upset and crying then both of you are going to be agitated and frustrated.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

I found that as I got closer to the end of my pregnancy I started to be able to let more of my fears go and just be. I hope you will find the same as you get into those final weeks where the baby's health even if s/he should come early is more certain. I still am amazed at how long it took for us to get here, but I learned so much along the way (not that it was all willingly experienced) that I know I'm stronger for it

I've talk to my partner some in the past few days about how many tears I shed thinking that we would never get here -- negative doctors, difficult diagnoses, our losses, the surgeries, etc. And, for all the times my partner was like "it doesn't matter to me either way if we have a baby" he's now totally in love with his baby and he's upstairs right now working on editing songs from his band on the computer with Jonah in a pouch and he can't wait to have the chance to bottle feed him in a few weeks.

I don't know if one can ever totally reconcile what infertility does to you, but in the present moment there is such a sense of satisfaction and joy at being able to take care of this perfect little guy (with his tiny puss) that I can honestly say I'm happy -- tired yes, but happy.

My animals have been a little out of sorts, but mostly they are doing well. One cat pooped in the hallway the other day but I've been slowly showing him the baby, giving him extra attention (or even just more of the regular attention he's used to) and extra brushing and he seems like he's relaxing about it a bit.

We are co-sleeping at the moment and rather liking it -- all three of us. It makes it easier to give each other a bit of a break over night, even if just for a couple of hours, to know that the other one is one duty with the baby. We've also had some giggles with middle of the night diaper changes when we put the diaper on the wrong way or the baby decides to shoot out some poop right as you are in the middle of changing him into a new one -- twice in the space of a minute. We'll continue to make adjustments as needed though as my partner is going to have to be able to get a bit more rest overnight so I'll be likely doing more changes and feedings in the nursery in the coming weeks. My partner goes back to work tomorrow -- only 4 days off though he's going to work from home when he can, and work shortened hours.

I've got to eat some lunch before we head out to the pediatricians for a little check-up. Since we are nursing they wanted to have Jonah checked a couple days after we left the hospital for hydration, jaundice and weight. The kid has been nursing so vigorously and soiling so many diapers that I would be surprised if he isn't over his birth weight already.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Just dropping by for a quick note. Baby's sleeping downstairs with Grandma at the moment so I've got a bit of a break.

So Jonah's birth weight was 8.05 lbs. His discharge weight was 7 lbs 7 oz. At his ped appt. he was back up to 7 lbs 13oz. -- so gaining over an ounce a day.

He's a great eater, and getting him to latch hasn't been that difficult. Granted it takes us a few tries but we're both determined and we've always worked it out.

Little things I've noticed over the past few days...

In spite of a careful latch I still developed tiny blisters on my nipples in the first few days, which then scabbed over slightly. Lansinoh helped to get me over that hump. I don't see how one could not get blisters though as the suction of the little one isn't like something your nipples can prepare for.

Milk letdown has built up over the past few days to the point where the breast I'm not feeding from will start leaking while I'm nursing. It's good to keep a towel on hand to help out with that and the inevitable spit up.

Lying in bed the other night I suddenly felt like my breasts heaved a little on their own, and I got a tiny little headache in-between my eyes (yin tang point in acu). I figured out quickly that it was letdown -- just on its own, without nursing -- probably because I was just relaxing thinking about baby lying next to me. I've noticed that I get that little headache for a few minutes at the start of letdown at each feeding -- so weird and I'm thinking of asking my acu about it.

I haven't had a lot of post-partum bleeding, just pink. It does increase some after a feeding and I can definately feel my uterus contracting while I nurse -- which at the moment just feels like an uncomfortable pinchiness -- probably due to my c/s.

I'm learning about my baby's patterns when he requires attention -- usually it is tied to digestion. He fusses b/c he is hungry, has bubbles (or is trying to help move food in his GI tract) or is trying to have a BM. These things can happen in almost any order though, so you start with the obvious:

If he's rooting he's hungry
If he's rooting but fussing and won't latch then he either needs a diaper change or he's in need of a tummy rub
If he starts fussing in the middle of a feed then he needs a tummy rub or a burp
If it's been a while since he was last changed then start with a diaper change
(lather, rinse, repeat)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Since my milk came in we had to adjust our expectations as there are now more wet diapers to deal with. Also, he can eat more than his stomach can hold and in the middle of the night I went to pee and came back and my partner was asking me what this big wet patch was on the bed. It turns out that Jonah had a huge spit-up all over my partner and the bed.

Here's a suitably cute pic of Jonah

Monday, February 12, 2007

Jonah is an awesome little guy, pretty alert (always looking around), eating really well, and cooing a lot. We're really enjoying our time with him.

Friday was a bit rough (no I don't recommend c/s if you can avoid it) as I was overwelmed and drugged up. Still we got nursing going well and it was great having my partner, mother and sister there to help look after Jonah.

My milk finally came in today, and not a moment too soon -- I was really mindful of getting him to latch well but colustrom sucking hurts after a while. The meconium poops were a yucky mess there for a while too, but now we're moving on and they are easier to clean up.

I came home yesterday afternoon, pretty tired but ready to leave the disruptions and overmedicating of the hospital behind me. It's been interesting trying to sort out a little bit of a schedule and where to change him etc. but we're figuring it all out. I love to hold and look at him, he's so tiny and perfect

Friday, February 09, 2007

Introducing Jonah Blue

Born via cesarean section February 9th 2007, 9:58 AM weighing 8.05 pounds.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Belly at 38 weeks 5 days

Here's the last belly shot before baby gets here. It's not the best comparison to the earlier shots but it will have to do.


Looking forward to sharing new adventures with you in the coming weeks and months. Thanks for all the notes of support :)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I've got my last few things on order and in route or planned (just to help myself keep them straight here they are):

Area rug -- arrived this afternoon
Shades for windows -- on order, should be done by end of next week from Lowe's
Diaper pins and fasteners -- on order from local WAHM
Changing pad for changing table -- coming Thursday from BabyCenter
Infant Carseat Frame -- in place of stroller coming next week
Bottles -- Sassy Mam, coming next week
Baby socks -- my partner got them this evening at Gap

I've got my cloth diapers, breast pump, diapering accessories, sorted out.

I need to finish up packing my bag for the hospital, though I'll have to do some more laundry as there isn't much that's comfortable that fits right now. We'll take one more belly shot before we go in.


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My partner went all out and laid out the new area rug in the baby's room this evening. He kept saying afterwards -- Instant baby's room -- though honestly it's taken a good 7 weeks to get it to where it is now. It's feeling pretty ready for us now though and I'm comfortable in it and looking forward to getting to bond with baby boy in it.

I'll have to see about getting a post up here over the weekend if I can. Still, I can't believe I'm about to become a mother.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Diaper Delivery Today

As I have mentioned previously, we are going to try our hand at cloth diapering. It will have its challenges I'm sure, but we don't really like the idea of adding disposable diapers to the landfill (you use something like 10-12 diapers a day with a newborn!)

I signed up with the local diaper service for a month, and then we can decide if we want to continue with that for a while longer or shift over into our own stash of diapers.
Cloth diapering has come a long way in the past 10 years, there are new microfiber options that keep baby dry and can be reused. Pretty fancy stuff. We're just starting out with cotton diapers and diaper covers made from new materials.

This morning the diaper service dropped off the first lot of diapers and a diaper pail, maybe not that exciting for you but for me it's one more thing crossed off the list.



Earlier in the week I was able to find someone selling diaper covers through Craigslist. It's really common to buy these items used and they are in fine condition -- half price for the lot, not bad.

I've also got a bunch of diaper creams, cotton, etc. I just need a changing pad and diaper fasteners and we're good to go. Phew!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

My Delivery Plans

I'm going to have my partner and sister (a doula in training, she just needs to attend more births as a doula) at the delivery. My OB did mention it was partly up to the anaesthesiologist how many people we have in the room though. I'm thinking it will work out how I'd like though.

My doctor said he would lower the drape when they are going to pull baby out if I like. He said that the baby will stay in the room with us the entire time after the delivery (provided there aren't any issues needing extra care for him). My partner isn't interested in cutting the cord he has told me.

Actually my partner is rather liking the idea that he's going to be the first one to interact much with our baby boy. He tells me he's going to take him off to the side and get to know him and name him and eventually I'll get to be introduced. I think he knows that it's not totally up to him how it goes, and we will try to offer the breast to the baby soon after delivery.

I worry that trying to figure out nursing and the new baby with too many visitors is going to be a little overwelming. I'll probably be in the hospital for a few days, but my inclination is to send out an email to friends and family ahead of time letting them know what my expectations were about visitors. I just have a feeling that with my temperment I'm going to need some room to be able to figure out how to care for my baby without additional outside pressure and expectations.

For anyone reading who is also going to have a planned cesarean, The Essential C-Section Guide is a helpful book to read as it will run you through the paces of what to expect including breastfeeding post surgery.

My partner has struggled a little with the idea that my sister and mother will be included in the delivery and post-partum period (my mom's coming for 3 weeks and she's soooo excited about her first grandchild's arrival) but for me it just feels right. After talking to him more about it, and him talking with other female friends who have children, he's come to see that having a grandmother's help is a good thing, even if they might drive you a little crazy in the meantime. For me I feel like it helps take all the pressure off of me to have extra hands to help mother our baby boy -- and hopefully it will let me rest and heal better.

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Changing the topic slightly, the doctor's office called and my test results came back great. I tested negative for Strep B, my ferritin had jumped up from 7 in November to 13, and my hematocrit was up from 31 to 35.7. The nurse said that compared to many other woman at this late stage in pregnancy my blood work looked great. Its nice to know that taking all the vitamins is helping. I just wanted to be sure that things were looking okay prior to going in for surgery next week.

Monday, January 29, 2007

37 Week OB Visit

I had my appointment with my doctor today. The nurse claimed she tried to reach me a few times but all I got was one message. My c-section has been scheduled though, for 9:30 am on Friday 2/9. One more thing out of the way.

My blood pressure was good, urine test clear, I gained another 6 pounds but that's still only about 30 pounds gain total. I got a surprise check today. The hospital requires a strep B test for all women so I got swapped down below. The doctor also checked my cervix, which is softened but not dialated at all and the baby's head is down there but ballotable (he's not engaged or fully pressing down on the cervix yet).

I asked pointedly if we should be checking on my anemia and he agreed (hey, I don't think someone with a history of anemia should be going into surgery without a good sense of where its at beforehand). So that's out with the strep B and I guess I'll have some results later this week or something.

Lots of braxton-hicks this morning, and some achiness in my low pelvis, something feels like it is banging into my cervix, probaby the kid's head or hand or something.

While I was in the restroom my partner ran into a friend of ours, she asked if he was there because we were expecting. Later I joked with him that he should have said that he was there for his own gynecological appointment (hehe). She's expecting as well and has been on bedrest for weeks due to cervical thinning issues but she made it to 26 weeks so far which is great.

My next appointment will be on Monday and then we'll deliver on Friday. Finally we are really in the home stretch.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

No word back from the doctor's office -- I'm going to talk to him on Monday about how disappointed I am to be neglected in this manner at this late stage. I called in 5 times over the past week and all I got back was one message with a couple of times on my home phone from a nurse or something. Totally unacceptable. My friend said last night that this was how my pg could be like a natural delivery -- you just never know when its going to happen.

I got through the work week, and finally got a bit more rest Wed and Thurs nights. No more going into the office for a while.

My big things this week are (mine you my partner is going to be helping with many of these things):

  • Get windows repaired in baby's room (Sun)

  • Get infant car seat installed in my car

  • Baby shower tomorrow afternoon (I just know I'm going to cry)

  • Color my hair (since it's going to be a while before I can do it again)

  • Arrange for moving a sofa from my house to the office

  • Work on finding a pediatrician

  • Order some Prowrap diaper covers and Snappis (for the cloth diapers, due for delivery next week)

  • Get furniture moved back into baby's room from guest room

  • Move boxes of my books into my office out of the hall

  • Order new mattress for guest room bed so my mother won't hate me when she comes to stay and help out (it's a really crappy mattress that I bought when I was 23 and had no money)

  • Tidy up around the house (including washing the kitchen floor)


And when I'm not keeping busy with all that I've got knitting and work to keep me busy.