Sunday, June 8, 2008

I should have stayed home...

Keep in mind that I am 16 weeks along and at 18 weeks with Clay our families spent days with us and didn't even catch on that I was pregnant.

Quote from the Janie and Jack lady: "Haven't you had that baby yet? I thought you were getting close the last time you were in!"
Conversation with Macy's checkout lady trying to sell me a silk nightie with a matching thong:

Me: You know I'm really looking for stuff I can wear in the hospital after I have the baby so that probably won't work. (Rebecca's making comments in the background about how I'm going to give the doctor a real show in that outfit)

Macy's lady: Well, maybe you could wear it after you have the baby.

Me: Um, the baby's not coming for another 5 months so I'll probably just wait.

Macy's lady: Five months! There's no way!
Macy's lady (now ignoring the fact that I'm standing RIGHT THERE and talking to Rebecca very dramatically): She's HUGE! I don't believe she's still got that long to go!

Wow. I sure hope these people don't work on commission. Thanks for the self esteem boost ladies. Glad I came out in public today...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Notes on Nursing

Note: This post is about breastfeeding. It's not graphic but if you don't care about breastfeeding, I would just skip it.
As I said in my previous post, I originally planned on nursing Clay until 18 months but modified that to 15 months based on being pregnant with Carolina (no tandem nursing for this mama). Well, Clay has decided he's ready to stop (at 12 months).
Breastfeeding is the thing I was totally scared of while I was pregnant. I knew I had the skills to do pretty much everything else but there were SO many ladies who told me their horror stories about nursing that I was terrified. I was so scared that I would try it and it wouldn't work and I would be so disappointed in myself. So many, many fears.
When Clay was born, he really had no trouble at first. I was very drugged up (from a c-section) and very glad it was as easy as it was. Each feeding after that was an adventure. The nurses would try and help. Each nurse had a different technique (9 nurses, 9 techniques- no joke) and it was SO confusing and I was still very out of it.
Since newborns have to eat every three hours, I spent every three hours trying to get him to latch properly and actually get some milk. Lots of tears, lots of frustration, tired mommy. Eventually, one of the nurses gave me some advice that worked and I took it from there. Still, though, for the first couple of weeks every time it was time to nurse I was worried he wouldn't be able to latch on properly and it would be a battle.
We did have some problems that second week but the lactation lady at the hospital (not the hearing lady!) was wonderful and talked me through the whole feeding over the phone. She was like magic- anticipating Clay's every move before he made it.
It was a difficult couple of weeks learning to nurse but we made it. As a busy body, my next challenge was learning to sit still and rest while he was nursing for 17 minutes (that kid was like clockwork, he quit at 17 minutes EVERY time) and then pumping for 10 minutes after that. After all the latching problems, getting up every three hours to nurse and pump AND having to sit still for long periods, I was beginning to think nursing and pumping was either for saints or for idiots.
I would tell Mike how I didn't think I was going to make it very long with this nursing thing. Clay was a very efficient nurser but it still seemed like every time I would finish nursing and start something, it was time to nurse again. Luckily, it got SO much better.
It seemed like after the first couple of weeks it was just smooth sailing. I NEVER had any of the problems women had told me about in their horror stories. We spent a couple of weeks learning to latch and getting on a schedule and off we went. I never had to pack a bottle or buy formula, his feedings got more and more spaced out (i.e. more sleep) and something crazy happened- we bonded. In all that sitting still time and those quiet times in the middle of the night, I bonded with my sweet boy.
Now that Clay's nursing time is done it seems like it was so easy. I'm so glad I stuck with it and that I didn't have any of the problems I had heard about. I know now I shouldn't have worried so much (even though I still worry it won't be as easy with Carolina). But my advice to all you future moms-to-be who want to nurse: Don't let your fears stop you from trying it. It's not always easy (in the beginning) and EVERYONE has their own technique. Keep trying until you find what works for you. You can always pump if the latching part doesn't work for you (they're still getting the same milk). It's such a neat gift to be able to give your baby and it's something that benefits them for years to come.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Can you hear me now??

My OB requested that I stop nursing Clay when he found out I was pregnant again. Since Clay was only ten months (and I wanted to nurse until he was 18 months), we negotiated to stop at a year (though my fingers were crossed and I really planned on nursing until 15 months). I totally trust my OB but I still didn't understand why he wanted me to quit nursing just because I was pregnant.

Well we were getting into the elevator at the hospital for my latest OB appointment and I happen to notice that the other lady in the elevator works for the hospital and has "LACTATION" (in HUGE letters) as the department on her badge. This is the same hospital where I had Clay and they were SO helpful when I had him so I thought she might have an answer for me.

So since we're all in the same elevator, I say to her, "I see you work for the lactation department so I just wanted to ask you a quick question. Do you have to stop nursing when you're pregnant?"

The elevator stops, she gives me the dirtiest, "drop dead lady" look and says, "My badge just SAYS lactation. I work in the HEARING department!" And she stormed off. Very angrily.

I didn't even know what to say. I guess I should have been totally embarrassed but I just thought it was totally funny. She was SO offended!

Note to self for Carolina's hospital stay: don't get prepared to have a nursing lesson (i.e. strip down) just because someone comes in from the "LACTATION" department. She might just want to check your hearing...

A Hard Read but Worth Your Time

My google reader had this blog on it's suggestions list:

It's written by a guy whose baby girl was born prematurely in March. The next day when his wife finally got the opportunity to see the baby and hold her, she passed out and died of a pulmonary embolism. Now, he's left to not only grieve his wife but raise his daughter as a single dad. It's a heartbreaking story but it's hard to stop reading. He's a great writer and you can tell he's doing his absolute best to be a great dad. You just want to cheer him on. God bless them.