October 16, 2014

And so today, my world, it smiles.

{That was our wedding song, and the words written in my wedding card}
Happy fourth anniversary, J!
You are a stunningly patient and calm partner,
An adoring dad to our two girls.
You are nothing if not determined.
Rebuilding swingsets, playing imaginary train rides with Sienna.
Swaddling Piper and asking her "what's wrong buddy" when she cries.
Putting your arms around me for an extra hug when I need it.
You make us laugh. You keep things light.
You're our happiness at the end of each day.
There's not a day goes by that I am not reminded of your good qualities.
Even when life gets rough, and tiring,
You're there.
And when there's happiness, you're beside me.
I love you today.  I will love you always.


October 8, 2014

Baby Piranha... The case of the difficult nurser.

I hesitate to write about the negatives, the struggles sometimes. It feels self-pitying, and life is pretty good. But with all the ups of parenting and babyness, there are downs too. And while Piper has some of the greatest qualities in a sweet baby (already smiling, sleeping pretty well, loves to cuddle), breastfeeding has not been a walk in the park.

At discharge from the hospital, we were doing awesome. Piper was nursing all the time. But almost as soon as we got home, she was difficult. Head bobbing, crying before nursing, stopping halfway through to scream. Her poop (sorry TMI) was greenish and watery. We also got a lovely major encounter with thrush- both of us. I found myself pulling through the CVS pharmacy with a fussing baby in the back seat waiting for nystatin- for her and diflucan- for me.  It got worse as she got older and by two and a half weeks, I was in tears and on the phone with the pediatrician and lactation consultant after almost a full day of no nursing and uber engorgement.  The ped said to come in, and after a half hour on the phone with the LC, she even suspected something was up: namely reflux. She said it could also be oversupply and to try to get P to nurse longer on one side.

A wailing baby from almost a half day of no nursing and an hour at the ped later, we had a prescription for zantac, a strong recommendation for me to go dairy-free in my diet, and the advice to block feed.

The truth is, since we did all of this at once, I am not sure where the improvement came from. But for a couple weeks, nursing was bearable. Not great but reasonable. Piper was putting on weight and she was happy between feeds.

A few weeks later, right before her six week birthday, she started getting fussier again after a day of two bottles (I went to meet my new niece and wasn't home for two nursings), and totally went on a nursing strike. This lasted for a day - a day of wailing and of me absolutely breaking down in tears from it all. It was too much and I was so sad for both of us. I called the LC again. I asked her to come back and watch Piper feed. We upped her zantac, but my suspicion was that it was the bottles. She said it just may be. Insert fear of going back to work here. She also said Piper is a super efficient and well- greedy! nurser and she gets impatient waiting for the let downs so she pulls off and cries until she gets another one. She also will not nurse if she hasn't pooped that day- a major issue considering that she doesn't go daily. Ohhh drama queen already - definitely my kiddo! When she was here, she taught sienna "how to nurse" with her baby. The cutest thing ever.

She's still not perfect. We are almost 7 weeks into this thing. One and a half months of my twelve month goal. Who knows, I may not make it to a year if this continues. But every feeding we make a new attempt at this. She sleeps so well when she feeds well during the day, so it's also distressing when our last two feeds are difficult because I know there's a hard road ahead for overnight. When she doesn't feed well? She's up and gassy and cranky. It's so sad because I know she can do a good 6 hour snooze for me!

I'm hoping for 12 months of nursing, but I'm thankful for each day longer we make it in this crazy relationship. The good, the bad, and the ugly are all rearing their heads. Because when she nurses well I gaze down at her and see my sweet girl just needing some care from her mama. And when it's bad, we sometimes just cuddle up and throw in the towel for that feeding, me fighting back my own tears. As she gets older I hope it gets easier; I hope we get into a better groove. For the love of god, without the ability to nurse in public places (she won't nurse under a cover and the efforts and screaming that come with it are mind boggling sometimes) I feel like a prisoner in my house some days!

Goal of the week: get both girls out on my own and not let this difficult nursing thing get the worst of me. One day at a time here, one day at a time.

After a good feeding...

Nursing our babies.


October 3, 2014

Sienna says..

After falling down and hitting her elbow, S usually yells mommmyyyy.
Today?  My mom was with her.
And she said "I need to go wake up Piper to make it better! She's my buddy!"

Heart. Melted.

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