Friday, December 28, 2012

Breastfeeding is not for the faint-hearted

Its funny how some things in life sound so much easier in theory than in reality.

Its very easy to do especially before you become a mother.

I was the worlds best mother before I actually became one. My kid never watched tv. Time out worked like a charm. I never lost my cool. I made elegant dinners from scratch every night--and they ate it all. And I could just plop my baby on my boob to eat and that was that. Because my kid never was going to drink an ounce of formula in their life.

The reality is because I have a newborn, my 3 1/2 year old watches a lot of tv and somedays she wears her pjs all day long. And sometimes I say screw it lets just get you a "ham" (hamburger) from Wendy's. I matoes. And breastfeeding didnt work out for her. We used a formula that was $60 for a 14oz can.

Fast forward to today.

Today as I was chained to Haven I hear a scream coming from the living room. I yelled back to Jayda to come to my room so I could comfort her. She said: "I can't! I'm stuck!" So I come out boobies still floping everywhere to this...

Sometimes you cant help but laugh, but other days you just want to cry.

One night after I had put Jayda to bed and I felt finally at peace I was downstairs feeding Haven and I hear a distant bloody murder scream. Its Jayda. I quickly unlatched leaving a very pissed off Haven to make sure Jayda was not being hacked into a million pieces by some creepo. When I got upstairs she simply said, "But mommy you forgot to give me knuckles!" Kick me in the gonads right now. Seriously?

Haven got her immunizations the day after Christmas and was on an eating strike til last night. Flashbacks of Jayda suddenly going on a feeding strike (thats lasted 3 1/2 years mind you) as a baby came rushing back. Please no, not like her. She hates food, remember you're different?!

Then this morning the beast came back. She hasn't left my boob so today was one of those days that I didnt move from the couch. Some days you just want to lay down and just have your You just want to not be the source of nutrition and eat something yourself.

Before I had Haven I thought man if I could just breastfeed it would be easier.

Oh, how naive I was. It's laughable really.

Now dont get me wrong. I'm so glad I'm breastfeeding. Most days I love it. I love the closeness and I sure as hell love not having to spend a fortune on formula. I also love that my 3 year old has brought the nasties home 4 different times and my baby hasnt had it once.

But somedays I just want to cry. I just want to give up. I just wonder if its worth the hard work. Then I remind myself how much work I've already put into it. How much I wanted this and I know if I were to give it up in a moment of frustration I would regret it forever.

No one told me that breastfeeding is so much more then just "plopping" them on. I hate that word. Its so lazy and breastfeeding is anything but lazy. At least I havent gotten to that point yet.

Its not knowing whether they are getting enough. Having your supply drop after a day of lazy eating and then having her scream because theres no milk the next day when she decides shes starving again and feeling completely helpless.

Its running to the store across town in my pjs on a Sunday morning to get Fenugreek almost in tears because my milk is drying up even after eating buttloads of oatmeal, water and gatorade and power pumping the crap out of the girls.

Then you take the Fenugreek and smell like your pounding down the pancakes by the dozens. Maple syrup scent. Always wanted the maple syrup scent. Hey, at least its not potatoes.

Its having to pump after every feeding to make sure your supply doesn't drop again and sometimes you wonder if its worth feeding the imaginary twin or not.

Then ironiclly the next day its being drenched in milk when your baby roots around, latches and then lets go the moment the let down gets too strong. Then gets pissed because milk isnt pouring down her gullet. Just stay latched on and this wouldnt happen. Am I right or am I right?

Its feeling glued to the couch during growth spurts. You finally think your baby has filled the brink in the milk department and is completely zonked on your boob. You peel them off, lay them in bed only to watch their eyes shoot wide ass open. A few seconds later they start rooting around as if they never ate a drop of food in their life.

But then there are days when you are proud of the fact that your body is smart enough to feed your baby. Its amazing really if you think about it. That your baby needs you and no one else. That when you hear their cry for food you feel honored to be the one to fulfill that need. And that your baby feels comforted being with mommy touching skin to skin.

Its the feeling that your giving your baby the yummiest food available. And its moments where they are completely zonked out and milk is just running out the side of their mouth that they suddenly shoot you the biggest smile. That is when you know its all worth it.

I'm so glad I've stuck it out but man some days when shes screaming, not wanting to latch but seemingly starving--but still wetting diapers and growing great--that you think man why dont I just get that damn bottle out and call it a day. And some days I do. Some days I just pump a bottle and say now off little baby. I think some feedings you need to do that--at least I do.

Thats the reality of breastfeeding in the first couple months. Its nothing flashy (no pun intended) like I imagined. Its nothing easy like I imagined but its worth the hard work. And its worth seeing my baby thrive when last time I didnt.

And people who breastfeed multiples. Well they deserve a damn medal.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

This Year for Christmas...

This year Christmas was amazing. I remember last year it was so different. We were on our 3rd round of clomid and at that point I didnt think it was going to work, and I was right. I had gotten my hsg that month and a couple days later Chase was in the ER with a major anxiety attack. Then come to find out that ER trip plus the multiple drs vistis he had werent covered by insurance over a technicality. Because he had refilled his anxiety meds a few days before the cut off of the 60 day period to count as a pre-exisiting condition we had to pay everything out of pocket. Upwards to $3,000 that we didnt have. It was just a crappy time and I'm so glad its behind us.

This year it was a complete turn around. I had a brand spanking new chilax baby, Jader bug opening her presents, and a very anxiety free hubby. And just to throw in some extra holiday blessings that $3,000+ bill that we fought a year for was thrown out by our hospital. All we had to cover was $100. Talk about a 360 in every way possible.

This year Chase wasn't a little grinch. He hates Christmas for some reason but this year he went all out. It looks like Christmas threw up all over our house. He is turning around about Christmas now that we have our girlies and Jayda is old enough to understand Christmas.

There was nothing more heartwarming then watching Jayda open gifts all day. Every gift no matter how small she would just beam with excitment and say, "Oh thank you, thank you. I always wanted that!" Or when she hit a prized gift she would cover her mouth with her hands and say, "Oh MY gosh. Oh my gosh!" That little smile never gets old.

This year she kept asking for barbies and a barbie house. She was very specific that she wanted a black barbie. Why I have no idea, but I'm proud my little bug is so culturally diverse. haha

I couldn't help but just bask in this years festivities. We didn't do much but it was great to just chill and be with family. We woke up bright and early (like always) to watch Jayda open presents then we headed over to the inlaws house to open presents there with his whole family. It was a blast and his parents always spoil us. Honestly I could've cared less whether I got any presents at all I was just so happy to be holding my little baby in my arms and watch my jayda bug opening her presents. That was priceless to me and something I was missing last year. It was like that empty hole that was finally filled.

We then went home and hung out there for a bit. Later we went back to the inlaws for dinner and to listen to the nativity story. We were originally planning on going to my parents house but my mom was in urgent care with a lung infection and a nasty cold so we chose to bypass Christmas with them this year. Jayda's gotten 4 things since Havens birth and I'm so over Jayda being sick. So we'll do Christmas when she gets better. Thank heavens for breastfeeding...Haven has been immuned all 4 times!

The day after Christmas we went to Havens 2 month appt which was a mistake since there were kids all over the place puking their eyeballs out. The kid in the next room sounded like she was dying. I was just praying that the dr would come in our room before hers because I just imagined those little germies all over his hands.

She was 8lbs 1oz and a little over 20inches. Shes getting so big! She's been acting a little funny since she got her immunizations though and doesnt want to eat much and has been sleeping like crazy. Hopefully its just a phase because she is usually a piglet. Either that or a growth spurt with how much she is sleeping.

She also has reflux just like her sister (although not nearly to that degree) but since she isnt having any issues growing we decided to hold off medicating her. Its more of a nuisance to us because we have to position her up a lot. She doesnt puke at all (spits up some) and seems to be more of a comfort eater than a refuser so thats good at least. Chase usually takes the 1am feeding to help me sleep since I cant just plop her in bed with me.

We had a blast though for the holidays and feel blessed beyond measure. My heart and prayers go out to the families of those Connecticut victims that had to spend Christmas mourning their little precious ones. I just cannot imagine how bad that hurts and my mind thought of those sweet precious faces a million times on Christmas day.

I also forgot to post my "Still Standing" articles from the past two months. I mentioned awhile ago that I started writing for a fertility and baby loss magazine called, "Still Standing". I feel completely honored to write for them and its been quite theraputic to write about my experiences. Here they are. (I wrote this one a few days before Haven was born. Talk about coincidence. Oh how niave I was. I thought I'd already won the preemie battle.

Friday, December 21, 2012

NICU grad clinic and update on the Fam

So its been awhile since I last updated...its been crazy...ok not really I'm just super lazy. I went to my post-partum appt (on my due date imagine that)and I iuded it up woot woot. It was nice to get that taken care of but it was kinda bitter sweet walking out of there.

I've been going there for mutliple blood draws, drs appts, ultrasounds for over 2 years now so its a bit strange to think I'm done. I finally have my end result that we waited so long for and that I dont have to worry about getting a baby here anymore! Its a little bitter because I dont know if I'll ever be back to get pregnant or to follow my pregnancy since were not entirely sure we'll ever do it again. I've just been trying to soak up every moment with Haven because I'm just not sure if she'll be my last. My heart tells me shes not (not saying we'll get pregnant again but through adoption)but who knows.

After my appt I felt super pumped to start getting my pre-prego bod back and thought about going for a run since ummmm March? Then Jayda decided to come down with a fever and start puking AGAIN. So now that makes 4 times since Halloween. Yipee. So at least another week or so to stay on the fat side. I'm secretly happy Jayda doesn't have preschool til the beginning of January. That way we can get a little bit of a break from being sick.

The amazing part is that Haven has yet to get sick! I have been super hypervigilant about hand washing and even wore a mask last time Jayda was sick so that I wouldnt get sick and pass it on to Haven (we had her in my room away from Jayda the whole time...yeah that was a pain in the butt). It was kinda crazy but hey she didnt get sick!

Today we took Haven to the NICU grad clinic and she did GREAT! We saw Dr. Ridout which was awesome since he was one of the main Neos on when Jayda was in the NICU but was gone the whole time that Haven was in the NICU because he was off doing some military thing. I was kinda bummed we missed him but also not really since he didnt come back til December and I was glad to be outta there by then.

She weighed 7lbs 12oz and was 20inches long! 11 days ago she was 6lbs 10oz so she is rocking it on my breastmilk! The dietician was giddy with excitement. Yesterday was her due date (what a freaking joke right?)so that is great! She was on teh 50th percentile on the preemie chart and 3rd percentile for her actual age (1.5 months). I can't believe we are on a growth chart considering Jayda has never been on one (preemie or regular).

Last week we noticed that Haven's ears are not completely normal. One looks normal and the other had an extra ridge in it (kinda hard to explain). Its not extremely noticeable but when we did I was kinda worried that maybe it was associated with some syndrome of something. Dr. Ridout said it was completely normal and I was just crazy. It's just the way her ears were made and that it didnt mean that there should be any concern. He of course was cracking jokes about it. Classic Ridout.

He also said that she had dry skin (he used some weird medical term and I had to (like always) say what the hell does that mean Ridout? Elementary terms here for the idiot in the room that didnt go to medical school. Thank you.) AKA dandrif (that wasnt so hard). So we have to buy some weird tar stuff at the store and put it on her but that eventually she'll outgrow it or she'll just be the weird girl with tons of gross dandrif.

And get this...he said they dont need to follow up with her at all! I remember asking KerryAnn (the LC and OT in the NICU) when we needed to follow up with her and she said that she doesnt follow up on 33 weekers because they do just as well as full term babies! Imagine that!

So we are FREEEEE!!!!

Otherwise we've been doing great. Haven is a dream child. She rarely cries (total 360 from Jayda) and eats like crazy. I cant believe what a difference having a dream child makes on having PPD. It really does take a strain on your relationship when your baby just wants to cry all day and all night long. Add on not sleeping to the mix and it makes you want to pull your fingernails off one by one.

When I was prego Haven rarely had big movements. She was pretty chill in there which at times freaked me out, but a part of me also hoped that meant she was going to be chill on the outside too and luckily that has been the case! She pretty much just grunts all night long. Shes my little Beavis and the Butthead grunter but hey its better than crying. Except today at the NICU grad clinic she was SCREAMING because she could sense there were evil NICU people around (ok not really but she was pissed they stripped her down to her birthday suit). Ridout said she sounded like a 6 month old crying and not a newborn she had such a strong cry.

Its funny how our kids have taken sides. Jayda is a COMPLETE daddy's girl and Haven is a complete mommy's girl (hey I got the milk she has no other choice). Jayda has been acting out a bit trying to get my attention but luckily hasnt been mean to Haven, in fact she adores her!

Shes growing and developing so fast it seems. The other day out of no where (at least to me) she counted to 25 unassisted! I was like seriously? Where did this girl learn this?! Shes such a sassy little thing too. I just cant believe how much she talks like a little adult. The other day after Chase had taken her to her ped Dr. Cain she came running home saying, "Mommy, mommy I went and saw Dr. Cain and he picked me up and I was so so so tall (hes like a giant) and I got a sticker!" Its so weird that she can say and knows the name of the dr that helped deliver her. Has it really been that long?! So crazy how time flies!

This was Jayda at preschool. She is the smallest on the end and her thanksgiving hat was so huge but instead of putting it back up over her eyes she just stood there blind as her whole class sang songs to the parents. It was hilarious. Funny little girl!

I don't know whos more exicted for christmas or Jayda. I cant wait for her to see all the stuff we got her (mostly from garage sales...but she has no idea). Shes been asking for barbies and a barbie house for christmas so we got a bunch and a big nice barbie house for $25 plus a bunch of other crap she doesnt need! I love garage saling!

Overall, thats our life as of now!

Monday, December 17, 2012

When Is the Time?

So this is SO not what my blog is about and I try to stay away from politics but I couldn't help myself on this one.

I keep hearing over and over again,"Now is not the time to talk about gun control. Now is the time to remember the victims."

To an extent I agree. We should remember the victims, but I guess the question I have is WHEN is the time to talk about it? How many more of these horrific massacres do we have to have to wait to have this discussion? How many more victims have to be lost for us to do something about this?

It's gotten to an all time low. Little kids? Something Anything needs to happen. Needs to change.

I mean has our society come to a breaking point where I can't even go to Walmart in fear that some whack job is going to pull out an assault riffle and obliterate my entire family in 2 minutes?

That I have to second guess whether to send my kids to public school in fear that when they walk out that door it will be the last time I see them?

I don't think this debate has everything to do with guns. Evil is going to occur whether you have guns or not.

In my last semester of college for my senior project I wrote a psychobiography on Ted Bundy. I thouroughly researched psychopathy and the diathesis stress model which is a model that describes an individual's genetic vulnerability to a psychological disorder (like psychopathy) but doesn't come completely "online" until triggered by a life stressor.

My end conclusion was that we don't know for sure how or when psychopathy develops or why a small majority are violent and why a vast majority of them are not. All we know is that psychopaths don't change and they dont have the ability to feel empathy. Empathy is the emotion that drives us to not take advantage or hurt other people.

I keep hearing in the media. "Why?"

I don't think thats the proper question. We don't know why. I spent two semesters researching "why" psychopaths commit violent crimes and as it stands now not enough research has shown an answer.

And if thats not scary enough, because we don't know "why" we also dont have treatment. There is no treatment for psychopathy. The "treatment" is incarceration AFTER a crime has been commited.

It's estimated that 1 in 100 people in the general population are psychopaths. If you look at those that are incarcerated its 25 out of 100. Beyond that 75% of inmates could be classified as antisocial personality disorder.

This is a much bigger problem then just "guns".

So how do you stop the Timothy Mcveys? The Adam Lanzas? The Dylan Klebolds?

It's sure not by talking to them. You cannot talk sense into psychopaths just like we dont talk sense into terrorists. We are at war everyday and need to be prepared.

We protect ourselves and our families. That is the answer.

Psychopaths chose their victims carefully. They find the most vunerable targets. And last friday one chose 6 and 7 year olds. Scared, wide eyed beautiful little kids.

What could have stopped this from happening?

Not security...they had implemented a new security system.

Not strict gun laws...Connecticut has some of the strictest gun laws which is why last Tuesday when Adam Lanza tried to purchase a gun he couldn't. That didn't stop him.

Is it treatment of mental illness? We don't have treatment for psychopaths. And I find it hard to believe this guy wasn't a psychopath. And even if he had some other mental disorder the treatment offered still is not up to par.

I know it sounds like a counterproductive answer but I think the answer is in fact MORE guns.

What's one of the first things these ass hat shooters do when they hear the police coming? They shoot themselves in the head because they're cowards. They are no longer in control and they hate the fact that they soon will become the target.

We take the vunerability out of these victims. If citizens are allowed to carry a gun to protect themselves then these cowards wouldn't have to wait til the police arrived to be stopped.

It took 10 minutes for Adam Lanza to kill 20 children and 6 adults. 10 minutes. By the time police arrived on scene he was dead.

What would have last Friday looked like if a teacher had a gun? If there was an armed security guard at the least? I think a lot more people would have walked out that day.

Look at the shooting in Tucson. Jared Loughner killed 6 people but would have killed more (and most likely himself) but was stopped by civilians BEFORE the police arrived, saving many lives.

Again we saw this at the shooting in SLC at Trolley Square. Luckily there was an off duty police officer that intervened and saved many lives, but most victims are not that lucky.

I firmly believe in the 2nd amendment right to own a gun, but one thing I dont know if I agree with is the ability for citizens to carry assault type weapons. These weapons cause devestation in a matter of minutes and pose a serious threat to our society. 10 minutes to kill 26 people. Shot 3 to 11 times each.

"But its a hobby and its my right."

Nancy Lanza thought the same and her son got a hold of it and used it for evil. And I'm not saying it full proof. That some people won't obtain it, but I'm going to have a hard time believing that the average joe needs weaponry of that sort to protect themselves. And I don't personally see a need for it.

All I know is that as soon as I possibly can I am going to get my liscense to carry a gun and carry it wherever possible. And I know I'm not the only one. The rate of gun sales has doubled in the last couple of years.

And after Friday we wonder why.

I refuse to be another victim. I refuse to be stuck somewhere and not be able to protect myself or my children. And I refuse to be scared to walk out my door. Yes, its sad our society has come to this but what else is there to do?