To Breastfeed or Not?

Of course, 99.9% of any one will say, YES! Breastfeed!

With my first baby Megan, I thought “Of course I’ll breastfeed.” I didn’t realize it was really hard to breastfeed.

1. The baby doesn’t know what to do.
2. The latching on is the most crucial step. You don’t get it right, it’ll affect milk supply and how painful it is.
3. The first 2 weeks are awful.
4. Not only is the mom sleep deprived already, breastfeeding is time consuming.
5. You are leaking, your breasts are engorged, and sore nipples.

It took me 10 days. I had to stop. I did not look forward to each feeding and I knew that was bad when I was delaying the nursing. I was still in pain from my labor. I had a perineal tear that had its stitches torn within an hour of my labor. So I was restitched up a 2nd time.

The perineal tear made my recovery longer than most. It took me 10 weeks instead of the usual couple of weeks. From the pain to low milk supply, I was frustrated, in pain, and sad/depressed.

Switching to formula really helped my family.

With Emma, I decided to try breastfeeding again. I felt good! Emma was latching on (not perfectly but adequately) enough to get enough dirty and wet diapers. I was supplementing with formula also. I got through 5 weeks of pain. It was worth it.

But my decision to change to formula was a sad one. I loved the closeness I felt when breastfeeding. As much as I wanted to continue breastfeeding, it was time to go back to work. I had missed a lot of work time because I was put on complete bed rest since of my 31st week of pregnancy.

My doctor recommended me to continue to breastfeed in the morning and at night but I also work from home too. To make ends meet, my time breastfeeding had to stop. Everytime I look at Emma, I feel melancholy that I couldn’t do more for her.

I’m glad I breastfed both my kids as much as I could. Circumstances now compared to in the past are different. We’re working women and working moms.

Sleeping Battles

Megan is now 2 years old. Along with a new baby in the house, I am struggling to control Megan’s behaviors. She had always been a great 1 year old toddler. Well minus her constant urge to get into every nook and crany of everything.

Yeah, so she’s a handful.

But recently, (well 5 months ago), she started to have sleeping problems. She would get into bed at 9pm but wouldn’t sleep until midnight. Around 20 months, she got the nerve to climb out of bed and walk through the door. We would find her in her play room at midnight. We put her back into bed and she would fall asleep … an hour later.

We had to sleep by her side. If she wakes in the middle of the night, and one of us is not there, she would burst into tears.

So now at 2 years of age, and with a newborn, we need to make some changes. PRONTO.

I am at wits end when I ran across a parenting advice column. 2 parents recommended “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child.” I bought it and I’m reading it and already I see some hopeful and helpful tips.

Keep yours fingers cross

Losing the Weight

I gained 28 pounds with this pregnancy. After giving birth, I am now 137 pounds. So 12 more pounds to lose and you know the last 10 are the hardest. It took me 10 months with my last pregnancy to lose the pregnancy weight gain. This time I’m eating a lot healthier early on. I haven’t had the go ahead from my OB to exercise but I have been dancing around with my 2 year old. I don’t know if that counts as exercise.

A friend gave me a postpartum support band/belt. It’s a stetchy material that velcros tightly around your waist. People have sworn by it. Even celebrities like Jessica Alba. But I’m not sure it’s right for me. I would wear and it would feel uncomfortable. Laying down in it, using the bathroom, changing…. it’s a hassle with it on.

5 Things I Can’t Live Without

Taking care of a newborn is hard work. Sleep deprivation can cause a mama to want to cry at the slightest baby resistance. Right now my eyes are barely open, but every flinch, moan, murmur out of Emma’s mouth, makes me panic, because I might be able to decipher what she wants.

But thank goodness there are some items out there that can help soothe her…
1. Fisher Price Rainforest Bouncer
It was given as a gift for Megan. She loved it and it seems to also be a favorite of Emma’s. Emma falls asleep so much easier when you bounce the chair and the soothing sounds help a lot. When it’s play time, the lights just make her alert.
Babies spit up a lot and that’s why I like the bouncer. It puts the baby at a sit up position so after I burp her, I would lay her in the bouncer for about 5-10 minutes for her to digest the milk.

2. Playmat (Play Gym)
This mat is amazing! Comes with a mirror and numerous hanging toys. The mat itself has sounds and crinkly material that entertains any newborn.
My 2 year old just rediscovered this play mat and has been hogging it from her baby sis.
3. Gripe Water
Emma started to have colic when she was 3 weeks old. I didn’t know what was going on. She kept crying between the hours of 11pm and 3 am. I was going out of my mind. It wasn’t hunger, nor a dirty diaper. Why wouldn’t she sleep? What was going on?

A friend mention colic and I was like OHHHH…..
If you don’t like giving this, there is a home remedy. You’ll need: a heating pad, strips of fabric

Heat the strips of fabric between the heating pad and when hot, apply to baby’s tummy. Alternate fabric when heat dissipates.

I did that also when I misplaced the gripe water one night and it worked well too.

4. Rocking Chair/Glider with Ottoman

My back would kill me if I didn’t have this chair. Actually any comfortable high back chair would work. This is a Dutalier sleigh Glider/ Recliner. Babies R Us carries it.

The ottoman has a slide out footstool that helps with elevating your feet when you need to.

5. Nipple Cream
This nipple cream saved my life. I was able to breastfeed better with it. The pain of bleeding, sore nipples is the worst feeling ever. It made me not want to breastfeed my baby. Every suck felt like she was biting my nipple off.
Mother Love Nipple Cream is all natural made with olive oil and shea butter. That’s what I like about it. I slathered the thing on like lip gloss for your breasts.
I know friends who use Lansinoh Lanolin Nipple Cream and they swear by it but I was told some babies are allergic to Lanolin. weird but true. So better to be safe than sorry.

It’s Been Awhile…

My last post was in October 2009. I was contemplating a birthday gift for my husband. What I didn’t know was a day before my husband’s birthday was an OB checkup gone to hell. I had gone in for a monthly prental checkup. I was 31 weeks when I told my OB that I was already feeling contractions and I had some spotting over the weekend.

He immediately checked my cervix and found that I was 2cm dilated. At 31 weeks that meant, I was in preterm labor. Not good because full term is 38 -40 weeks. I was put on complete bedrest. No moving from the bed unless I urgently had to.

I was given medication to control the contractions. These meds made my heart rate increase and made me really jittery. I was not allowed to drive or walk. I endured bed rest for 7 weeks.

Baby Emma arrived full term after her induction on December 21, 2009. At my 38 week checkup, my OB suggested an induction. I was nervous because Megan arrived normally. I didn’t know how the induction would progress or would it cause me discomfort. But with Christmas right around the corner, I wanted Emma to arrive at a determined day. I didn’t want to have a baby on Christmas day or New Years.

So after a really well rested pregnancy, I scheduled my labor and delivery. At 7:30am, I checked into L&D, had to fill paper work, answer questions regarding my health, and waiting for the good doctor to arrive to get the ball rolling.

I was already 5cm dilated at my last prenatal checkup and about 80% effaced. The doctor arrived at 8:45 and told the nurse to start pitocin. I was already contracting through the night so when pitocin hit my bloodstream, the contractions got stronger almost immediately.

With Megan’s birth, the contractions were gradually getting stronger. I could pace my breathing and I knew with each contraction to just endure the pain a little longer.

With Emma’s birth, my breathing felt ragged and fast pace. I didn’t understand why I wasn’t slowly increasing in pain but exponentially jumping from one pain level to the most intense pain level. I was telling myself I was a level 5 pain now I’m at an 8! What is going on?

Well what was going on, is that I was fully dilated at 9:20am and I felt the urge to PUSH! I was frantic and with the nurses trying to hold me back from pushing, made me want to push even more. The doctor was MIA. He had gone back to his office. So at 9:45 he came rushing in. It was the most horrible 20 minutes of my life, not being able to push.

At 10am I had my baby girl. Very little lacerations, thank goodness. And I fully recovered after 2 weeks. With Megan recovery took 10 weeks.