Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Just under 13 months ago our Peanut was born at 37 weeks 3 days and weighed just 4 lbs 8 oz. Thanks to the research of the March of Dimes she is healthy and thriving. Our NICU stay was short at just 8 days, but scary nonetheless.

Please support the March of Dimes by clicking the banner to the right and making a donation. Babies like mine are counting on you.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Dear Sunflowerchilde

The question is: Why do I feel that pumping is harder than breastfeeding?

It was all hard for me. I'd had a breast reduction surgery 10 years prior to giving birth, but I think that had very little to do with the problems I had. I had a small baby with a weak suckle and some other factors that probably contributed to a compromised supply. For one thing, even with a sister who'd exclusively nursed 4 babies and a ton of help from 3 different LC's I still didn't know what I was doing. I didn't have the right information at the right time. There were so many things that I needed to know earlier than I knew them for me to have been able to utilize the information. There's a window for establishing supply and I made some big mistakes during that critical window.

You're having a good pumping experience so I don't want to put negative thoughts out there. However, since you asked, here's why I thought it was hard.

  • Breastfeeding almost never hurt me. Pumping did. I eventually had to get a larger flange, but before I figured that part out I got really sore.
  • I pumped almost every time I nursed for 12 weeks. I don't suppose this was any harder than nursing twins, but it sure did seem hard to me. Even doing both, once my supply dropped, I was never able to get it back up.
  • When I tried exclusive pumping, my supply dropped even more.
  • It's just uncomfortable. Having to lean forward and worrying about leaking out under the flange on the furniture... It's so absolutely worth the discomfort though.
  • I hated washing and sterilizing the pumping parts. I did get a great tip from an LC though. You can put the pump parts in a ziploc bag and store them in the refrigerator for 12 hours. This will get you through several pumping sessions without washing them. It makes a huge difference.
  • You can't take the pump to bed and nurse while you nap. I always had enough milk first thing in the morning so that I didn't have to supplement so I'd put her in bed with me and rest more while she nursed. Again, unless one twin kept sleeping, this wouldn't work for you.

She did develop latch problems because she was on a bottle from day one. I was able to correct the latch problems with a lot of work and using a wide mouth bottle. Also, when she was about 2 months old it seems like she just figured out what worked and what didn't. Babies are amazingly adaptable and so much smarter than we usually give them credit for.

I hope that you have great success no matter what you do. Breast milk is an amazing and living substance and gives your babies something that can't be replicated. Every drop they get is a gift and you're wonderful for working so hard and caring so much that they get it.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

What have I done?

I told my husband that I was blogging. I didn't tell him the name of the blog or anything that would lead him to find it. He still isn't going to be reading what I'm writing, but it has killed it for me. I no longer have a desire to put messages out there. This stinks. There was something about having a real secret that was so freeing for me and now that is broken.

In other news...Lorraine, I miss you so much! I hope you and your family are doing well.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


How do you travel with a baby? In the car is no big deal, but I'm starting to toy with the idea of traveling with Daddy. DH travels every week flying out on Sun and home on Thurs. Before Peanut, I traveled with him quite a bit. For the first year of our marriage, I went with him one week out of every month. We also used to add in some leisure trips each year. In some regards it's easy. Travel is cheap for us. With the miles and hotel points, we can travel for very little money. So we're able to do some things that we may not otherwise do. The best thing about the travel perks was when when we cycled out of state. So DH's travel schedule helped us get our little Peanut.

Anyway, I'd like to take Peanut and travel with Daddy and then incorporate a week of vacation, but I have no idea how to do it. Here are my questions.

Is is best to get her her own airline ticket or hold her? She's a really easy baby, but we'd be on about a 3.5 hour flight.
What do you do about a car seat? Do we take ours with us or do the car rental companies rent them? Will they have rear facing seats?
If we're taking a cab from the airport, I suppose our own car seat is necessary, but how on earth do you get a cabbie to wait while you intall the darn thing? I suppose it's just time on the meter.
What about a stroller? Can you rent strollers? Where?
I suppose staying in a suite-style hotel would be easiest b/c of the extra room and kitchenette. She's on cereal so I think the kitchenette would be a big help. Anyone have experience with this? Did your baby sleep well in the hotel crib? If she doesn't and we let her sleep with us, will she go back to her bed at home?
Would 2 weeks away from home be insane to even try? I've been thinking that just getting out there and doing it will be the hardest part.

I've probably forgotten lots of things that I should have asked. I'd love any advice you guys have to impart. Thanks!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Getting it done

Well, we stopped breast feeding. I'm not totally happy about it, but I do have more time to get things done. I also have more energy so I actually can get things done. It's amazing how draining breast feeding is on the body. I miss it. I really do. I miss that closeness to my baby. I wish so badly that it could have gone well for us and I could have nursed until we were both really ready to stop. was not meant to be.

Now that I can finally focus on life apart from my baby, I'm driving myself crazy trying to get caught up. I've got a stack of work to be done at the office that is hard to fathom and at home I have a bedroom and a closet that are out of control. The worst thing is that I still have thank you notes to write. I've given myself a deadline of the end of May to get caught up. I think that if I can do that I will enjoy life so much more. I feel as if I have a very dark cloud over my head. I would also like to go spend a week with my parents and I don't feel like I can do that until I get some of these projects out of the way.

Work, work, work. I've got to be a busy bee.

The Peanut continues to thrive. She's about 14 lbs. That's more than triple her birth weight!!! She'll be 7 mos on Sat. That's so hard to believe. She's so much fun. She's got a great little personality and a sense of humor that is way more developed than I would expect from a 7 mo old. We're having a blast with her now.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Reality Check

We met with a financial planner yesterday. We had worked our way through a tortuous worksheet. We had to input the usual stuff: assets, liabilities, income, and expenses. He came armed with a computer program that linked all of our many "drawers" of financial data. Near the end, he pointed at a number and said so this is what you spend each year on food, entertainment, your household, and just day-to-day stuff. I wasn't surprised by the number. I probably should have been. It was a big number and it didn't include any mortgage information or cars.

Today I was thinking about that number and telling myself that I need to work on spending less money. I'm sure there are a lot of ways that we can cut our expenses and lower "that number." Even though we save about 19% of what we earn does that really mean that we should be blowing that much money every year?

What was I doing while having this frugal thought? Sitting in the drive-thru at St*rbucks waiting to order a $5.00 cup of coffee!

More soul searching required...:)

Friday, May 7, 2010

A word about the day that is coming up

So I am undeniably a mother now and thereby eligible to participate in all of the celebratory hoopla that goes along with the second Sunday in May. I, however, am completely uncomfortable with the day. It was such an awful day for me for the last few years. All I can think about now are the many women who are right where I was then. I can still feel the pain of those empty and hurtfilled Sundays in May.

I would like to accept my husband's thank yous, hug my baby, and spend the day keeping things quiet and subdued. I do celebrate my child, but I also share the pain of millions of women who are hurting and wishing to be mothers. I do not want to stand up in church and flaunt the fact that I was blessed with a baby. I don't want to take my family to a restaurant and fill a table while others huddle at home not wanting to leave the house because if they do they'll be forced to face the Mother's Day brunch special.

There are so many wonderful, nurturing women who are as yet unable to fill their homes with children. Are these women not mothers? How can we be so sure? Do they mother? I'll bet they do. I'll bet that they nurture nieces, nephews, friend's children, students, and many children in their community. It is not necessary to give birth, adopt, or even foster in order to mother and I think that we should recognize and thank every woman who has ever nurtured a child....not just the ones who have or have had a child living under their roof.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Catching up

I never told my birth story....or a million other stories since. Here we go.

I went back and read my pre-birth posts. You may want to read my October posts to refresh, as well.

We made plans to induce on Thurs Oct 22. I had been having contractions since Sat. On Wed, they were serious. I ran all over town running errands with a stop watch on my arm. The contractions were never more than 13 min apart and were usually 8 min apart. At one point I was in the grocery store hanging onto the meat counter while breathing through a contraction. My nephew was with me and he was afraid they were going to ask us to leave the store! The contractions subsided as night fell. I could have slept if I hadn't been so excited. This was bigger than Christmas and a trip to Disney all in one!

As I'd hoped, when we got to the hospital on Thurs am, I was 5 cm dilated. My nurse, who I love, started me at only 2 mls per hour of pitocin. That is the minimum dosage. The maximum dosage is 20 mls per hour. I got myself all set up with my music playlist going on my computer. My DH and my doula were on their respective computers. I warned them both ahead of time that I would probably go to a place inside myself. I did. I didn't need them for quite some time. They were able to just hang out and do whatever. My dr (the one in my group that I'd hoped to have at my delivery) came in to talk. She mentioned breaking my water, but asked if I wanted an epidural. When I told her that I'd really like to get through without one, she said that she would wait to see if my water would break on its own. In hindsight, I LOVE her for that. Her not pushing me to have my water broken probably made it possible for me to have a drug-free birth.

At some point, my nurse increased the pitocin to 6 mls per hour. I don't have a very good idea of time, but the whole process went very quickly. She started the drip at 7:30 and the baby came at 1:04 pm. I lay on my side breathing and focusing on my music. At some point I opened my eyes and looke at DH and doula. She said that hte contractions were 3 min apart. I was really shocked. I was thinking much more than that. I'm so glad that I didn't focus on the clock. In fact, one reason I kept my eyes closed all day is that I didn't want to know what time it ws and there was a clock in front of me. I also didn't let them give me any updates on my cervix. I was afraid if I knew the progress or time that I may get discouraged. It was such hard work. I had to focus solely on the work at hand and not how long it was taking.

Probably around 10 to 10:30 am the contractions got serious enough that I asked my doula to do some visualization/imagery with me. I think around 11:00 my water broke. That was the most amazing experience I've ever had. I'm so very glad that I was able to experience it. It was like there was a rubber band in my belly and it snapped. I don't know if the baby gave a big kick at the same moment, but it felt as if she did. You should have seen the look on my face. My eyes were huge and a look of wonderment must have come over me. I looked at my doula. I think I said something about fluid and she just smiled and said my water just broke. Almost immediately, I started having the urge to have a bowel movement. My doula didn't believe it. She thought the urge was just the baby pushing down and that I was misinterpreting it. I hate to sound petty, but I was very satisfied when I actually pooped! I showed her that I know my body!!! While I was on the toilet, the contractions became so intense. I began having to grunt my way through each one and continued to have to do that until the baby came. My husband says that the sound was like that of a bench presser. I was very comfortable on the toilet and not very well able to do everything that I needed to do. TMI alert! That means cleaning myself. I also found some relief in that position and didn't want to go back to the bed. I hung on to the grab bar and sat with my legs spread out. Eventually, I was able to go back to the bed. I wanted to lean over a birthing ball, but the hospital didn't have them. Instead, I rolled up my pillow and my body pillow and leaned over them at the foot of the bed. Later when they told me I had to turn around I had a bit of trouble finding a comfortable position, but finally settled in in a squatting position.

BBL for more...stay tuned.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Moving and moving on

Our little Peanut is getting around. She started rolling over, back to front, last week and mastered it within an hour. She spent an hour going back to front/front to back. Now she can move herself over relatively large distances. She's still giggling and squealing. They are still the loveliest sounds that I have ever heard.

I had my annual ob visit last week. My ob/gyn asks me every time she sees me when we're going to use our 6 remaining embryos. I think one reason she's excited about them is that they are with younger eggs. Our cryopreserved babies were created with 41 yo eggs. The Peanut was created with 43 yo eggs. Medically speaking, I think she's anxious to see how things go with the younger eggs.

There was a time when I thought I would want to pursue this 6 mos after Peanut's birth. That's so laughable to me now!!!

Here's the deal. I am 44! I am now 18 lbs heavier than pre-pregnancy (which was already heavier than I wanted to be). I am especially upset about that little tidbit b/c by 2 wks postpartum I was down to only 8 lbs over pp weight. Unfortunately, my metabolism slowed down, but my food intake didn't. I packed on 10 lbs in the blink of an eye. My ob is adamant that I not try to diet until I stop BF. I am trying to be more careful with sugar and carbs though.

The plan, nurse until the baby wants to stop, lose 20 lbs and then we will do an FET. I love how supportive my ob is. The one I stopped seeing (moved to partner who delivered b/c she is so awesome) was supportive, but didn't get as excited over the prospect of someone my age giving birth. When I discussed with her (new doc) the dilemma of timing, she laughed at me for thinking it would be better to give birth at 45 than at 46. She, who happens to be 46, assures me that there will be no significant difference. She just delivered a DE baby of a 47 yo mom.

I am amazed by us. We 40 something women having babies. How brave are we?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Big Girl and Sweet Kitty

First, Peanut is great. She's growing, healthy, and happy. She's just shy of 12 lbs. She can sit up unassisted for a few seconds. She lets out the most beautiful giggles and squeals that melt my heart. I'm having a wonderful time with her even though I'm still quite tired. I'm getting more sleep than most mothers of 4 month olds, but doing it at 44 has its own energy challenges.

From Sun evening to Thurs night, I'm in single mom mode. We were so lucky that my DH wasn't on a project for the last few weeks of the pregnancy up to just before Peanut turned 4 mos. He's now back on the road and is only home Fri, Sat, and 1/2 of Sun. I'm really peeved with him right now b/c during our limited time together he generally falls asleep on the couch at 7pm. It really hurts my feelings that he can't keep it together to stay awake to spend time with me.

I'll leave you with an image of what I just found when I went up to check the baby. Before you chastise me for having her under a blanket; I only let her sleep that way when I'm awake and checking her frequently. She's still swaddled at night.

Our cat LOVES her! Sally watches over the baby and really wants to snuggle with her. We all look forward to the day when Peanut is big enough to defend herself and we can allow Sally to snuggle away!

How about that bald spot?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Letting go

Okay, I've been completely obsessing for the last two months about breastfeeding, but it's time to relax. It just hasn't been going well and I've only made it worse with my self-inflicted stress. The same part of me that was like a dog with a bone about getting pg moved on to lactating as a new thing to chew on. If I'd only known then, what I know now. I made so many mistakes at the beginning. Easy to do with a baby that has to be supplemented from the beginning.

Anyhoo, Peanut is doing great. After a couple of times losing weight, we've got her on a steady upward climb now. She's only about 2 ounces from doubling her birth weight. She'll be three months on Thurs.

I'll keep going with the BF as long as there's milk there. She absolutely loves to nurse so I'm not about to take that away from her. However, as of this moment, I am officially giving myself a break and letting go.

I'd have more to blog about, but I've seriously thought about nothing but laundry and lactating for 2 months. Hey, that would make a great name for a book....Laundry and Lactating!