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Wednesday, March 21st, 2012
Suzy and Jill
Illustration courtesy of Suzy Ultman
My best friend from 9th grade came into town this weekend. She left last night. Whenever I have visitors, everything else, including the small routine I’ve started to establish, goes out the window. It drives me a little crazy, but on the other hand, it’s important for me to connect with my friends. Because Suzy and I are so close, she knows all this and I’m not hurting her feelings. So my blog and bills sat still. We, on the other hand, ran all over town shopping, having playdates, etc.
She’s a graphic designer/illustrator and has a good eye for a lot of things, including clothes. My sad wardrobe consists of sweat pants, old tank tops, and overly worn maternity clothes. Needless to say, I haven’t felt attractive in a long time. The thing is, I hate shopping. Despise it actually. Until I get there and start trying things on. Then, when clothes start to work, and do their magic, I get into it. Sort of.
Suzy dragged me to The Grove here in LA. I didn’t want to spend a whole day away from Emmett, but I did. He survived. As did I. My boobs on the other hand were quite difficult.
As we shopped they got bigger and bigger. So the clothes got smaller and smaller. I had a hand pump with me, but I only wanted to use it once. (More on why in this post here). I over-explained to every clerk why something was too tight. As if they care. At one store I walked out to show Suzy and the dude my jeans. She pointed out that my shirt was hiked up over my bra and my boob was inching out. Somehow things go array in my frantic and frenzied state these days.
“Oh, sorry,” I said, still not pulling my shirt down, as Suzy pointed out later. “I have a baby, so modesty has been thrown out. I don’t care what the world sees. What do you guys think of the jeans?” Luckily he had a 3-year old and understood.
Over lunch we laughed at how, despite 30 years of knowing each other, not much has changed. Except instead of using our mom’s credit cards, we now have to use our own. And instead of putting on makeup in the bathroom, I’m pumping.
At the end of the day I had a new spring/summer wardrobe, mostly things found on sale, as I think the sizes are still a bit transitional, depending on how my body bounces back. I’m sure my boobs will shrink to nearly nothing when breastfeeding is over. Sigh.
We hurried home at 4; I fed Em and fell asleep with him in my arms. Happy, and now, if not attractive, at least getting there.
Categories: Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations | Tags: boob, boobs, breastfeeding, clothes, company, friends, LA, maternity, newborn, post partum maternity, pumping, shopping, The Grove, visitors
Tuesday, March 13th, 2012
Got Monkey Milk?
A monkey made me lactate. That sounds like a bad Judy Bloom title. But it’s true–actually two monkeys made it happen. Not even in person, but on video. Phil took Fia to the zoo and while there, he took video of the howler monkeys. He came home and showed it to me. They make this crazy screeching sound. I felt my boobs do that thing (ie: let-down) and suddenly, my shirt was soaked. I mean, it sounds nothing like a newborn cry, yet my little Em can’t even get results that good–and I produce like a machine for him. But through my nursing pads, bra and shirt? That’s revolutionary.
To any mom who is having problems producing: forget Raspberry Leaf Tea. Just watch this video. (We don’t have the capability to upload ours, but this is what they sound like.) I literally can’t be in earshot of it or else it happens. And of course it’s now Fia’s favorite video.
Oh, and mind you, this was in front of my father-in-law who is a pius Episcopalian Priest. I ran from the room in embarrassment while Phil and his parents looked puzzled. This was not something I wanted to explain. Until now (and he’s not my demographic anyway, so he’ll never read this).
Any others have some good lactating stories?
Picture of monkey via Shutterstock
Categories: Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations, Newborn Care | Tags: boob, boobs, breast, breast feeding, breastfeeding, howler monkeys, lactate, monkeys, monkeys screaming, nursing, pregnancy, pregnant, Raspberry Leaf Tea
Tuesday, February 7th, 2012
I love a nurse who can grab my entire breast and shove it into Emmett’s mouth. The way they do it makes it seem so easy. But on my own, it’s been a bit of a challenge. The technique of holding the boob in my hand and using it to guide E-man on, then using the other arm to prop him up gets quite tiring. This has been the routine for the past 11 days of breast-feeding. However, things are finally starting to get easier.
Neither of my babies had any trouble initially latching, despite the natural community’s warnings about the drugs from labor. Following the C-section, both he and Fia immediately latched on. And mind you, I had more drugs in me than a Mexican cartel.
Emmett’s issue was that he kept slipping down onto the nipple, which starts to kill after awhile. A very on-the-ball nurse in the hospital discovered what she thought was contributing to the problem. He had a frenulum. It’s underneath and attached to the tongue and can keep the tongue from getting on the boob properly. His wasn’t bad, but we called in the lactation nurse and after some troubleshooting, she too concurred: His tongue was getting tired and he was slipping down.
The day we left the hospital I begged and pleaded, despite it being a Sunday, for an ENT to come in and snip it. I didn’t want any more time to pass and for him to get fussy on the boob.
The procedure took all of 5 seconds. No anesthesia. Very little crying. The guy comes in, snips it and puts him on me to nurse. I think it was a game changer. Ever since, Emmett has latched on better and hasn’t slipped down nearly as much. My boobs thank him for that.
His Tongue is Free! Hooray!
I had never heard of a frenulum. I’m glad someone discovered it and we sniped it in the bud, so to speak.
And, speaking of snipping…here’s our decision on circumcision.
Categories: Fearless Feisty Mama, Newborn Care | Tags: baby, boob, breastfeeding, eating, feeding, frenulum, labor, lactation, newborn, nursing, tongue
Wednesday, December 21st, 2011
Author’s Note: Join me every Tuesday or Wednesday for “Moving Mid Pregnancy,” to read about my ongoing search for a new “everything” (from nannies to mom friends to health providers) while pregnant and living in a new city.
Okay, I know she’s two. And for many parents that means the pacifier (or Bagdee, as Fia calls it) should already have gone into outer space. My pediatrician in Brooklyn told me to get rid of it before 18 months. That’s when they get really attached. We didn’t do it. Then came the move to LA. With that whole sh-t show of a plane ride/barfing baby, moving across the country, etc, we needed Bagdee as much as Fia did.
But now we’re settled. Except that…in 6 weeks all hell is going to break loose with Baby #2. And once again, Fia will find big changes in her little world. So it was with great trepidation I brought up my dilemma with her new pediatrician during the 2-year check up.
I explained to Dr. Iyer that Fia only has it during nap times and bedtime. And usually it falls out once she falls asleep.
When she looked in Fia’s mouth, she said she couldn’t tell that Fi was a paci-user. Then she gave a FREE PASS!!
She said with all the changes about to happen, and the fact that Fia is already hooked on Bagdee, not to worry about it. Just let it be. I also still give her a bottle at night, but only before bedtime. Then we brush her teeth. I cringed, waiting for Dr. Iyer to say it’s time to give that up too. Nope. Said that as long as we brush her teeth after and the bottle isn’t going in the crib with her, it’s fine. The only thing she had us do is switch from whole milk to 2%.
She also explained that with the new baby, he’ll presumably have a bottle and pacifier. So to take away both of those things from Fia, only to then “give” them to the new baby could cause her to feel sad/jealous/insecure, etc. I buy it. Happily.
(Side note: I’m planning to breastfeed, but I also don’t buy the whole “nipple confusion” thing and plan to do both bottle and boob. BTW–that’s another piece of faulty info I had from some in the natural community during my pregnancy with Fia–that if you introduce a bottle they won’t take the boob. I call B.S. on that one!).
So both bottle and Bagdee are going to stick around a while longer. Which leads me to wonder–should at least potty train? Get one hurdle out of the way… Thoughts?
Categories: Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations, Moving Mid Pregnancy, Moving to Los Angeles | Tags: boob, bottle, breastfeeding, brush teeth, Dr Iyer, Glendale Pediatrics, moving, moving mid pregnancy, moving to LA, newborn, pacifier, pott, potty, potty train, potty training
Wednesday, July 20th, 2011
yeah, I know. I gotta tackle the pacifier thing soon....
If there is one thing I am evangelical about in motherhood it’s sleep training. I want to spread the gospel far and wide. I want to convert those who don’t believe. I simply don’t get why moms (or dads) would rather suffer and put themselves through Guantanamo Bay-sleep torture by choice.
In fact, I don’t think you should complain about being tired/up with your baby at 3 a.m. if you choose not to sleep train (this excludes the first few months when you hunker down and deal with it). And there are exceptions: illness, special needs babies, adjusting to travel, etc. But at a certain point if you choose not to sleep train it’s like complaining about you’re unhealthy diet and eating donuts all day. Makes no sense. Especially because you’re not doing your child any favors–I mean, babies need sleep. Humans need sleep. We need uninterrupted sleep. It is essential to life, to our well being.
I didn’t always feel this way. When I first had Fia and my pediatrician suggested letting her cry it out all night, I gasped in horror. And changed pediatricians. By three months I was the walking dead. By four, my husband threatened a padded room and straightjacket. Our strong marriage foundation was getting weaker with each anguished night. Many of my friends had sleep trained. They were gentle with me and would simply say, “If you do it right, it works.” I thought they were monsters.
Categories: Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations, Mom Tricks and Tips, Must Read | Tags: baby, baby napping, baby sleeping, boob, bottle, bottle-feeding, cried, cry it out, crying, eating, Ferber, Ferberizing, fussy, nap, pregnancy, pregnant, sleep, sleep associations, sleep training, sleep training methods, sleepy planet, torture