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Posts Tagged ‘baby’

I’m going to be an auntie!

Hooray! My husband’s brother and his wife announced over Christmas that they’re expecting their first baby (and my first actual niece or nephew!!!) in June! She’s 16 weeks already and they managed to keep it completely secret until now! She hasn’t been sick at all and is still wearing her regular clothes at 16 weeks, which make me hate her just the teensiest bit. Haha. (I kid! I’m thrilled that things are going well for her!) I’m just so excited to have a new baby to welcome into the family and love and spoil and have the ability to give back when it gets annoying! 😀

Also,I got a new iPad Mini for Christmas. So I’m hoping that helps me keep on top of my blogging a little better!

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As I mentioned in a previous post, I made the decision to stop breastfeeding when Alexander was about seven and a half months old.

 

My original plan – long before Alexander was born, or before I was even pregnant really – had been to breastfeed exclusively for the first six months and then to continue breastfeeding until the one-year mark. Of course, the plan was quickly squashed when I had a teeny tiny preemie who was too weak to fill his needs through exclusively breastfeeding and wasn’t stimulating my breasts enough for my milk to come in before he was ten days old. So we had to supplement until my milk came in. And, even then, I had to pump every three hours around the clock for the first five weeks of his life and supplement with pumped milk to ensure that he was getting enough to eat. But after he was ten days old, he ate exclusively breast milk. And after he was five weeks old, he rarely had a bottle of even pumped milk. I hated the pump. I didn’t respond well to it, and had to pump around the clock in between feedings for an entire day or more just to get enough milk to make a full bottle. So it wasn’t worth the time or energy. When he wanted milk, he got the boob.

 

I was always a little worried that he wouldn’t take well to breastfeeding or that he’d learn to prefer bottles since we had to start them right away. But those fears were completely unfounded. That boy LOVED him some boobies.

 

Loved them.

 

Loved them so much that he nursed every three hours around the clock right until he was weaned. Loved them so much that he woke up EVERY.SINGLE.HOUR at night just to hold them and touch them and comfort suck. And that became part of our problem. Combined with his intolerance to dairy and the necessary diet modification that came with it for me, breastfeeding became too much for me. I couldn’t eat any of my favorite foods. (Because a dairy intolerance isn’t like have a glass of wine – the protein stays in your system, and the baby’s, for weeks. So you can’t just cheat and skip a feeding. If you even slip up once, you pay the price for a loooong time.) I comforted myself by eating a lot of crap that I wouldn’t normally allow myself to eat. I was sleep deprived from being up every hour at night. I was (irrationally) resentful of my husband for not being able to help with Alexander overnight, and (again, irrationally) resentful of my poor innocent baby for needing me so much. Things were a mess. Something had to change.

 

But, yet, I continued to breastfeed. It was “THE PLAN”. I was “supposed” to do it for a year. It was the “best” thing for my baby.

 

So for months after I knew that something had to change, and that breastfeeding was probably that “something”, I continued to resentfully whip out my boob every time my child wanted it.  I grew more and more sleep-deprived and more and more resentful. And then one night, while rocking my precious little man, I realized that I wasn’t even enjoying him. He was cuddled in, loving me like I was the most amazing thing in the entire universe, and I wasn’t even enjoying it. I wasn’t rocking him because I loved the snuggle time. I was rocking him because he had just nursed and it was the only way to ensure that he stayed quiet for a few more minutes. And, even sadder still, I realized that most of our days were spent like that – with me gritting my teeth and tolerating the moments I should have been treasuring. That night, I rocked my baby and cried. SOBBED. I mean, I really bawled my eyes out. I’m surprised he slept through it. But I had finally made the decision to stop breastfeeding. I knew I had to do whatever it took to start enjoying my baby. I FINALLY realized that what’s “best” for a child is whatever makes sense for the family. Maybe that’s breastfeeding until the baby is three. Or maybe that’s not breastfeeding at all so the baby can have a happy mommy who actually enjoys him. The next morning, I went out and bought a can of formula.

 

… but I couldn’t bring myself to use it. That can of formula sat on the kitchen counter for almost another week, while I cried every night at the thought of using it the next day, before I finally gave in and made the decision to really switch. Had Alexander not had an intolerance to dairy, I probably would have just supplemented him with formula at night to see if it would help him sleep and continued to breastfeed on demand during the day. But I needed to stop the restricted diet. So my plan was to slowly wean Alexander over to formula over the next month or two, and then add dairy back to my diet when he was fully weaned from the breast. But once we started the weaning process, I just wanted to be done. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I wanted out, And weaning wasn’t an easy process for Alexander. He did fine when he had a few bottles in a row. But if he got the breast for a few consecutive feedings, he fought the bottle something fierce. When he got used to having boobies again, he wanted boobies.  So I decided to stop pretty much cold turkey.

 

I went out and bought cabbage leaves to stuff my bra. I took allergy medication to hopefully help dry up my supply. And I suffered through hugely engorged sore breasts for a while. For the first time in the entire time I had been breastfeeding, I leaked through my clothes at night and woke up covered in my own milk. I had to stuff towels inside my sports bras to soak up all the milk I was leaking at night. I hand expressed minute amounts of milk to relieve pressure when necessary, and nursed once a day for the first few days when things got totally unbearable. Every time I nursed, I cried. I cried because it was possibly the last time I’d ever nurse my baby. I cried because I wasn’t sure I was making the right decision. I cried because my hormones were going crazy at the sudden change in my breastfeeding habits. I cried… and I cried… and I cried.

 

After about a week, I was pretty much all dried up. I could still express milk if I tried. And I occasionally leaked a tiny amount from time to time. But I was done. Alexander was completely weaned to bottles. And the actual last time that I nursed him, I cried for what felt like forever.

 

It still makes me sad that I wasn’t able to breastfeed until Alexander was a year old. I would have loved to have been able to do that for him. But it just wasn’t the right decision for us. I’d never take back my breastfeeding experience – tears and all – because I am so proud that I was able to provide my son with breast milk for as long as I did. Especially given the obstacles we overcame in the beginning. And sometimes I do wonder if quitting was the right decision. Maybe I could have gotten medication to help me deal with my emotions and I would have been able to continue breastfeeding. Maybe I should have just sucked it up and powered through it for the sake of continuing to breastfeed my son. But, deep down, I know that I made the right decision for us. When I’m laughing with my son and playing with him and enjoying snuggles in the rocking chair without an ounce of obligation or resentment, I know I did the right thing. I’ve enjoyed him more in the last five months than I did for the first eight months of his life. Hell, I’ve probably enjoyed him more in the last eight days than I did in the first eight months of his life. I feel terrible even typing that. But it’s true.

 

I wasn’t always so confident and pleased about my decision. About a week after we were completely switched over to formula, my cousin (who formula-fed both her children without even considering breastfeeding) asked me if I found bottles to be more convenient. My answer? HELL NO. Whenever my baby was whiny or unhappy or hungry before, all I had to do was whip out a boob. BOOM. Problem solved. It didn’t matter if he wasn’t hungry, boobies were the answer. He loved them. They fixed it. You can’t just give a kid a bottle of formula every time to comfort them every time they need something. Well, I guess you could, but your kid would be obese. And giving bottles meant WASHING bottles. Every.single.day. Not just one bottle on the occasional time that I decided to pump and give him one. Multiple bottles. Sometimes multiple bottles multiple times a day. And you have to MAKE bottles. You don’t just whip them out. So when the kid wakes in the middle of the night, you actually have to listen to him wailing while you prepare a bottle instead of just filling his mouth with some delicious boob juice. And you have to prepare ahead when you’re going places. You actually have to BRING bottles… and water… and powder. And you have to consider how long you’re going for because you have to bring enough of all those things. With breastfeeding, his food was always just THERE. But, over time, formula-feeding becomes just as easy as breastfeeding. And you hardly even think about the extra work involved.

 

Of course, I don’t think I could have EVER been formula-feeding long enough to get used to the extra money involved. Alexander required a hypoallergenic formula that costed nearly $25 for a can that lasted approximately 3.5 days. DO THE MATH! Over $200 a month just for formula! And that was after he was eating solid foods! I can’t even begin to imagine how much it would have cost at peak consumption!

 

But! Extra work and extra cost aside, I really do feel that switching over to formula was the right decision for our family. We’re all much happier now. And Alexander is no worse for the wear. He’s still as smart and cute as ever. And still weirdly obsessed with my breasts.

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Yup, I have a one-year-old. Actually, it has taken me so long to get around to writing up this post that I’ll soon have a thirteen-month-old. Time is literally just flying by.

 

But, anyway…

 

HAPPY (slightly belated) BIRTHDAY ALEXANDER!

 

Once again, so much has changed since my last post. My growing-up-waaay-too-fast child is over 22 pounds now! He’s above the 50th percentile for his weight and height – quite the growth spurt since his last appointment. He says “mama/mommy”, “dada/daddy”, “daaaah!” (for dog), “nan-nan” for his grandmother, “pop-pop” for his grandfathers, and “ball”.  He claps his hands when he does something he knows is good. He waves. He shakes his head no. He points when he wants something. He WALKS! (He’s still a little unsure about it, but is slowly gaining confidence and takes more and more steps unassisted every day.) And he finally FINALLY sleeps. He has recently started sleeping 10-12 hours per night uninterrupted. And, if he wakes after only sleeping for 10 hours, he drinks a cup of milk and goes back to sleep. It’s glorious! We’ve also finally managed to phase dairy into his diet and transition him to drinking whole milk. That actually went much better than we were anticipating.

 

I am absolutely IN LOVE with the person he’s becoming. Watching his personality develop has been amazing. He’s so funny and affectionate and smart and loves to learn new things. I am seriously so proud to be his momma.

 

He absolutely LOVES Thomas the Tank Engine, and breaks out his dance moves every time it comes on. So that was the theme we did for his birthday party. I even made him a Thomas cake from scratch! Christmas at our house this year is going to be very Thomas-y! He loves to read Thomas books and play with Thomas toys. So it only makes sense that we get him some Thomas stuff.

 

And, speaking of Christmas, I can’t wait to see his reaction to the tree and the lights! We’ve decided to leave some of our more delicate decorations in storage this year because Alexander really isn’t old enough to understand that he can’t play with them. But I’m so excited to experience Christmas with him. Last year, he was still so teeny tiny and had no idea what was going on. This year he’ll really be able to react to it. I can’t wait.

 

Yes, I did just write about Christmas. Before Halloween. Get over it. 😛

 

The week after Alexander’s birthday, I started back to work. To be quite honest, I wasn’t looking forward to it and was kind of hoping I wouldn’t have to go back. But I’m actually enjoying the little bit of time away from the house and the extra adult interaction. My manager was absolutely awesome and agreed to schedule my shifts around my husband’s work schedule. So we didn’t have to find daycare or a babysitter for Alexander, and we’re saving a ton of money because of that. So I’m able to only work part-time, and still be home with my boy the majority of the time. It’s a pretty great arrangement. Of course, if something full-time in my field comes up, I’ll have to take it. I’ve even applied on a few postings recently. But, for now, I’m enjoying just getting out a little and not having to leave Alexander in someone else’s care.

 

And that’s all the news for now! 🙂

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It has been FOREVER since I last posted, so here’s a quick update:

  • Alexander is now 10.5 months old. At his checkup a month ago, he was 19 pounds 5.5 ounces (can you say “growth spurt”?!) and 70.8 cm tall. He’s crawling all over the place, faster than we can move sometimes. He’s pulling up on things, attempting to let go, starting to walk along things, and he’ll walk a few steps holding our hands. He says “mama” and “dada”, and will mimic when we say “yay”. He’s growing into an amazing little man, and I can’t believe his first year is almost over!
  • I am no longer breastfeeding. Which also means I am no longer dairy-free. Having him wake every hour during the night to comfort suck and having to give up all my favorite foods eventually became too much. I stopped when Alexander was about 7.5 months old. I had intended to slowly stop over a month or two, but ended up stopping more slowly over about ten days or so. I felt terrible and was torn up with guilt, but now I feel surprisingly good about it. More to come on that in a later post!  Read more about that HERE.
  • Yesterday marked the start of another journey for me and my husband – to get back to being healthy. We had fallen into a routine of unhealthy eating and being pretty sedentary. Having a high maintenance baby definitely contributed to that. But, as of yesterday, we have committed to being healthier. I am at the heaviest non-pregnant weight I have ever been – a whopping 206 pounds – and I.HATE.IT. I was upset when I surpassed 200 pounds while pregnant, and now I weigh more than that without another life growing inside of me. I feel gross. So I’m putting my weight out there in the universe to make me accountable.

In a nutshell, that’s what’s been going on. And here’s a commitment to update more regularly!

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Yup, you know you love someone when you’re willing to literally suck the mucus out of their nose. That’s what’s going on at our house right now. Fun times. Alexander has his first cold. Or, more specifically, a mild case of bronchiolitis likely caused by RSV. He’s a big coughing ball of mucus and phlegm. He has been examined by two different paediatricians, and they both think his condition will clear up on its own within another week or so. In the meantime, this mommy’s heart is absolutely broken.

But back to the topic at hand… the orally-powered nasal aspirator. It was recommended to us because the regular bulb suction device wasn’t doing a very good job of clearing Alexander’s nasal secretions. And it is exactly what it sounds like – a nasal aspirator that you put in your mouth and suck on. It looks like the bulb suction device except that it has a filter and a tube connected to a mouthpiece.

The one we bought was the hydraSense nasal aspirator. It is absolutely fabulous. It’s so much easier to use than the traditional bulb device because you don’t need to use one hand to use the device. Once the mouthpiece is in your mouth, you still have both hands free to hold baby and insert the nose piece. It also gets a lot more stuff out of the nose because its not just a little squeeze of suction. And it’s easier on the baby because it doesn’t go as far into the nose. It’s also not as gross as you might think. I’ll admit, I first thought it sounded very disgusting – literally sucking secretions out of your child’s nose. But it’s not that bad. The filter works very well. The only thing that might gross you out is the noise it makes when you’re sucking. That could make you a little queasy. I tend to have an iron stomach, especially when it comes to my child. But even I gagged at one point. Other than that, it’s great! I highly recommend it for anyone whose baby has nasal congestion that needs clearing.

And, FYI, for Canadian readers… if you go to the hydraSense webpage and sign up for their Dolphin Club, you can print off a coupon for $4 off the starter kit, $2.50 off any other product (like the aspirator on its own or their saline drops), and $0.50 off the filter refills. Woohoo for saving!

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Don’t touch my baby!

Gah! One of my biggest pet peeves when out in public with baby is that strangers seem to have no understanding of boundaries! You wouldn’t walk up to a strange adult and smooth their cheek or hold their hand. So why on earth would you think it’s acceptable with a baby?!

I’m not talking about running into someone I actually know. I’m talking about complete strangers who do it!

We were out at Costco yesterday and one of the workers came over to oogle baby. No big deal. But then she proceeds to reach out and smooth his cheek and put her finger in his hand!

That is NOT okay!

It’s flu season! And you been handling money all day! And you’ve been interacting with hundreds of people! And I don’t know you!

This morning my baby woke up with a red, irritated eye. I can’t pinpoint the cause. I’m hoping he just scratched it or something. But if it develops into conjunctivitis when myself and my husband don’t have symptoms, I’m going to be pissed!

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SURPRISE!

Well it has been quite a while since I last made a blog entry, and A LOT has happened since then!

Baby Alexander is HERE!

On Wednesday, September 26th, I had an ultrasound to check on Alexander and see how big he was getting. The tech told us he was already 6 pounds 10 ounces! And I was only a little over 34 weeks at that point! She estimated that he would be about nine pounds when he was born. Two days later, on September 28th, I had a checkup with my OB. She said that Alexander’s head was already engaged and she wasn’t expecting me to go quite to term. I was pleased with that. I certainly didn’t want to go overdue. I was already getting a little uncomfortable, my feet were starting to swell, my heartburn was terrible, and my nausea was back full force. Having the baby a little early seemed like a blessing.

Anyway… I left my OB appointment and went straight to work, where I handed in my letter giving two weeks notice. I worked an extra long shift that day because someone had called in sick, and everyone was joking about work driving me into labour. I got off from work at 10:30 that night and went home.

At 3:30 in the morning, I woke to a gush of fluid. I jumped out of bed (and immediately pulled the sheets off because we had just gotten a new mattress! Priorities! Haha!) and ran into our ensuite. Yup, my water had definitely broken. At 35 weeks! I called my hubby because he was working a night shift, and told him my water had broken and I was going to drive myself to the hospital. He wasn’t too thrilled about that idea. But I wasn’t having any contractions, so I convinced him that it was fine. I drove in and met up with hubby, the we went to labour and delivery. It was confirmed that my water had, in fact, broken and I was admitted to the OB floor. I was dilated 2 cm but wasn’t having any contractions. The OB resident told me that if I didn’t go into labour naturally, I would be induced later that day.

All day Saturday came and went. I had some contractions Saturday night that seemed promising (6 minutes apart and lasting about a minute) but they tapered off into nothing. I was started on antibiotics because it was 24+ hours from when my water had broken and I still hadn’t delivered. There was still no word on when I would be induced. Meanwhile, hubby had missed out in his own diaper party that was being thrown for him Saturday night.

Sunday at noon I was finally induced. I will spare my blog readers the gory details. But I was only 3 cm when I was induced, only 4 cm hours later when I was in excruciating pain and got the epidural, and jumped right to 9.5 cm in about half an hour! I had one scary moment when they couldn’t find Alexander’s heart beat, but they quickly got it back and everything was good. I pushed for over an hour completely inefficiently because they still had my epidural on. After they turned it off, it was only one more hour until Alexander made his arrival into the world! Born September 30th at 7:52 pm, weighing 6 pounds 11 ounces, and 49 cm long. He cried as soon as he came out, and it was the most beautiful and relieving sound I have ever heard. I cried. Hubby cut the cord and cried. Alexander had to be taken away right away to be assessed by the neonatal team since I was only 35 weeks. But he was PERFECT. There was nothing wrong with him, and he was immediately brought back.

The last 20 days have been a whirlwind.

Alexander is amazing. We are completely in love. But he doesn’t like to sleep at night (or much during the day, for that matter), so we’re pretty tired. Before we left the hospital, his weight was down to 6 lbs 5 oz, but has since rebounded. The last time we went to breastfeeding clinic on Tuesday, he was 6 lbs 12 oz and is steadily gaining. 🙂 At the doctor yesterday, he weighed in at seven pounds even. But that’s a different scale and he had his diaper on. So we’ll see how much he really weighs on Tuesday. He’s slowly learning how to breastfeed, and is doing well with it for a preemie. We’re so proud of how well he’s doing for a baby born so early. 🙂

I’m feeling well. I’ve actually had a pretty easy post-partum recovery compared to some stories I’ve heard. I guess it’s my body’s way of apologize for how sick I was during pregnancy. Haha. I am embracing motherhood and completely in love with my son. He makes the entire terrible pregnancy worthwhile. And, even though I’m tired and still a little sore, I wouldn’t change a thing. He’s amazing and I couldn’t imagine being any happier than he’s made me. 🙂

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