Tuesday, July 31, 2007

World Breastfeeding Week

I realize I've been a little self-absorbed these past few weeks. ...ahem.... I've been meaning to mention that World Breastfeeding Week is starting tomorrow, but again - the self-absorption..... Anyway, World Breastfeeding Week starts August 1st and will continue through August 7th - an entire week in which our breasts can reign supreme. Here are some great links regarding the coming week's events:

  • The World Breastfeeding Week official site explains the premise of the week itself.
  • The La Leche League site for the week's events as listed state by state. This year's theme is the Power of One - for example, breastfeeding within the 1st hour of birth leads to greater success. There is an event in my area at a local children's museum and I am thinking that would be a great activity for us this Sunday evening.
  • Andi at Mama Knows Breast is reporting that Colleen at My Baby and More is challenging folks to give away their breastfeeding books via Bookcrossing. What a cool idea for passing along knowledge.

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Little Things

Around Friday, I could definitely detect a downswing in my mood. No, I'm not talking post-partum depression, but I was afraid I was facing a case of the Baby Blues. It hasn't gotten too bad and I am just trying to keep on top of it so that it doesn't get the best of me. How do I do that? It's the little things. Everyday, I make a few goals for myself - it might be just a small laundry list of household chores and errands, but for me, having a definable list of things to do makes me feel good. To accomplish a small set of things allows me to relax later in the day when they are finished. I also bought a load of Choxie Chocolates when I was at Target - quality chocolate for not a large price. They come in small packages, so I don't go overboard - a few pieces here and there with a glass of milk is a treat, but not a guilt-laden one. On Saturday, I bought some flowers - nothing expensive, they were $9 and the type to last at least a week. I am doing my best to keep the house reasonably clean because I know a mess gets me down - really DOWN. I've been scheduling outings with friends and family. I've also been carving time for my favorite hobbies that relax me - my books and my knitting. Conversely, I've limited my TV time and let the DVR fill up because I know that TV generally doesn't make me feel good.

And most importantly, I am making a point to just sit and hang out with my kids. When I am breastfeeding, I really use that time to talk to my son (even if he is watching TV, I'll talk about what is going on in the program), read books to him or just snuggle with both of them. This is when I really, really appreciate being able to exclusively breastfeed, because it forces me to sit down and focus on my kids. The dishes, laundry and the bazillion other things can wait.

So, no - I don't see post-partum depression lingering, but possibly some garden-variety Baby Blues. This happened with my son and I know from experience that it needs to be cut at the quick before it takes over. And for me, it's the little things that keep my head above water while I tread the current moves me to safer water.

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Weight of the World

One of the benefits touted regarding breastfeeding is the fact that it can help you lose your baby weight more quickly. With my son, I gained 22 lbs and was back to my pre-pregnancy weight by 3 weeks post-partum. With my daughter, I gained 19.5 lbs and am back to my pre-pregnancy weight at 2 weeks post-partum. However, the body does get all "shifty" on you after having a baby AND my uterus still has not shrunk all the way. I'd be a liar if I didn't say the capris I am wearing aren't a teeny bit snug. Still, I can't complain. To be able to shed maternity clothes this early in the game is a HUGE boost for tackling the Baby Blues Funk I feel coming on. More about that next week.........

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Trapped, Wrapped

I really appreciated the honesty in the comments in my "Trapped" post. Unfortunately, I honed in on the breastfeeding aspect without looking at the big picture. Your comments made me think more about the issue and what I take for granted - the fact that I do feel comfortable nursing in public and that I am a bit of a homebody anyway.

Oh, and talk about feeling trapped. I've been trying to write this post for some time now and have written most of it with my left hand only at a snail's pace since my right arm has been occupied for most of the afternoon. And holy cow. The other kid just woke up as the new kid just fell asleep. Trapped? Perhaps.

By the way, I like my crow with a side of garlic roasted mashed potatoes, please.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

One day at a time.

Today is one of those days where both kids are totally tag teaming me. Seriously. It's not that bad, but it's rare that I have both hands free enough to actually TYPE.

Something meandering in my brain is this:
I was reading a blog of a 20 something gal who is really cool. She was posting about her co-worker keeping breastmilk in the lunchroom fridge and the blogger was seriously grossed out by it. I replied (politely, I think) that it could be considered that cow's milk could be just as gross - have you ever been to a dairy farm? I had a grade school friend who lived on one and I can report there's some nasty stuff going on with the whole bovine thing. Now, if you also read this blogger, please don't mention who it is because I don't want loads of folks flocking to her site (I am emailing her to tell about this post, so NO, there's nothing passive aggressive going on here either), but I think it definitely highlights how serious the Ick Factor is for the general public regarding breastfeeding. The whole thing made me sad.

And sadder yet to realize I probably would have had the same reaction in my swingin' single girl days.

damn. i am back to one-handed typing now.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


I came across an article about how breastfeeding can contribute to post-partum depression because a mother can feel "trapped" by all the demands of her new baby. Um, this article just made me sad. Yes, motherhood can make one feel trapped. Any new life change can make someone feel trapped - a new job, a new house, a new husband. But to lay so much blame on breastfeeding? For me, breastfeeding actually made me feel freer in many respects. When I rush out the door to run errands, all I need are diapers and a blanket. When I was traveling coast to coast with my son, I appreciated not having to worry about cups, bottles, formula. Regardless of how breastfeeding makes an individual feel, if a new mother feels trapped by breastfeeding what other aspects of motherhood will make her feel trapped? After all, Breastfeeding is just the very teeny tip of a monumental iceberg of Responsibility that motherhood brings.

Breastfeeding is temporary, much of everything else about motherhood is forever.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Lukewarm Finale: Day 12, 13, 14

My weekend was totally hijacked by a certain boy wizard. I am going to rely heavily on bullets....

  • Anjali had a doctor's appointment today - the goal was to reach 8 lbs, 1 oz (her birthweight) by this date - she weighed 8lb, 9oz. If that isn't proof the breastfeeding is going well, I'm not not sure what is. At this point, she is nursing steadily through the day every 2-3 hours. I top her tank off at 11:00pm before I go to bed, then she nurses again around 3:30am (which I mostly sleep through anyway), then she nurses again around 7:30am after which, I hop out of bed and get my precious, precious shower in for the day before Kid #2 starts squawking. I couldn't ask for a better schedule because I can function quite well on this sort of sleep.

  • After these first 2 weeks, the #1 lesson I would like to impart on new mothers is that yes, YES a good latch is important for decreasing nipple soreness. That and frequently rotating positions. I am still shocked at how little nipple soreness I had this time around and attribute it to proper latch and varied positions.

  • I'll admit, I am still disappointed that I never found a good solution for engorgement. Yes, there are ways to help relieve the discomfort and pain, but no true solutions, per se. Pumping helped, frequent nursing helped, baggies of cold water in my bra helped, ibuprofen helped..... However, the thing that helped me most was just knowing that it would go away after a day or two. That was it.

  • I wish I had some grand finale to wrap up this Two Week Diary with, but really - this second experience has been SO positive, that I am not sure what else I can write. How many times can I merrily say "Squee!!" before the eye-rolling commences? I am very grateful that breastfeeding has been easy for me - it's a gift that I try not to take for granted knowing that many gals out there struggle with it.

Friday, July 20, 2007

No Worries: Day 11

Regarding the odd bleeding, I did end up talking to a nurse at the hospital last night and she agreed that I should call my doctor, but that it could wait until the morning. Yep, I consulted Dr. Google at around 11pm last night and per usual, Dr. Google had me whipped into a frenzy. I spoke to the doctor this morning and it seems that everything will be fine and that I will live, after all. I am not running a fever, I am not achy or chilly, I am not experiencing abdominal pain or any other pain that is unusual for 11 days post-partum. So, things seem to be good.

Last night was awesome - I nursed Anju at 11pm, read in bed for awhile and was asleep myself by midnight. She woke up at 3am and I was finally able to get a good latch while lying down with her. I slept while she ate and when she was done, I changed her diaper, then quickly got back to sleep. I was up all of 30 minutes, so I was able to wake up at 7:30 and easily fit in my shower before she woke up at 8am.

Speaking of showers, I used to always hear how new mothers wouldn't have time to shower, blah blah. Um, that is one thing I refuse to sacrifice to the motherhood cause. I REFUSE. Even if I am in and out with a quickie 5 Minute Cursory Wipedown, I still get a shower in. If I don't have a shower, that is a sure fire path to the doldrums for me. No thanks!

So, overall, I am actually feeling pretty good. The knowledge that a certain boy wizard is waiting for me at my local Borders makes me feel even better.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Rush Hour: Day 10

Today really got away from me. I had a friend in town unexpectedly, so I am late getting this out. I haven't seen her since last October, so it was well worth missing a deadline.

A few things:
--Anjali's umbilical cord feel off today. It fell off cleanly, unlike my son's which FREAKED me out because it was very goopy leading me to think that something was seriously wrong. Yet another thing the Wise Baby Tomes don't warn you about.

--I sent off the forms to add Anjali to our insurance - we have 30 days to add her. I wanted to do this in Week 2 to make sure that if there are any issues or additional documentation needed, that I have plenty of time to get it in. We had an issue with my son where I found out when he was EIGHT months old that his insurance forms had been bungled by my husband's company and that my son was uninsured. I spent two restless weeks waiting until it was sorted out. So, yes - I am paranoid about insurance and didn't want to take chances. Normally, I am a huge procrastinator, not this time.

--I have some weird bleeding going on. Um, I hate to get gross, so I won't go into details, but I am a little worried and will be calling the doctor tomorrow. No, I don't think I am hemorrhaging or I would be en route to the hospital, NOT typing this. However, there is something "off" with the smell that has me concerned.

--I guess this is a breastfeeding blog and I should include a tidbit about that, eh? Actually, there is not much to report. It is going fantastic and I am just utterly amazed at it all. I remember with my son that it was a good 2 weeks before things settled down and by the 3rd week, I was totally comfortable with it. I will probably wrap up the Daily Dear Diary at the 2 week mark on Monday. I will still continue the category as things come up, though.

I probably should go. My fingers are itching to consult Dr. Google on this bleeding thing and I just KNOW that would be a mistake.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Silent Night: Day 9

Wow. Things are going really, really well. Still a little nipple soreness and again, it's my own damned fault for not insisting that Anjali stuff yet more nippled real estate into her teeny gaping maw. I need to work on her latch, basically. The last few nights, she has been getting up around 3 am these days which is annoying because Lou Dobbs is on that time. I'd rather she wait until 4 when Anderson Cooper is on. My husband laughs at me every morning because I regale him with hilarious tales of breaking news that I caught BEFORE ANYONE ELSE. Seriously - I saw the Japanese Earthquake as " breaking news" event when it interrupted whatever it was that I was watching on CNN. I am so cool, no? Anyway - not too bad - I feed her around 11pm, right before I go to bed and then, she's up around 3-4am. It takes about 45-60 minutes to get everything done and then she sleeps until 7:30ish. I am the type of person who can live on sleep in 3 hour increments, so I am not sleep deprived at all, but I can understand where that might not be everyone's cup of tea.

In my previous post, Monica asked about co-sleeping:
Interested in knowing more about the co-sleeping. Does Arun still sleep with you all as well? We do it for naps but not at night. Well, not anymore. My husband indulged me for the first few months.

I have posted about co-sleeping previously here. However, the short story is this - my Indian husband thought it was crazy that we would put our son in a crib or bassinet. So, our son ended up sleeping with us for about the first 13 months, but he now sleeps in his crib. I never could get my son to co-nap. Never. My situation was opposite to most mothers - I was getting good nights of sleep, but in the afternoon spent many an hour sobbing on my couch, eating Choxie Chocolates because Arun would NOT NAP.

I try not to be obnoxious about co-sleeping because I can see where it isn't for everyone. Even for BABIES. My younger sister would not sleep with my dad and step-mom for anything. My brother LOVED sleeping with them. I can report that BOTH of them have extremely strong and healthy attachments to my dad and step-mom. So, truthfully, I don't co-sleep because I think I am getting a jumpstart on attachment. I do it because I like sleeping. Sleeping and I are best buds. I like reading in bed while my baby squeaks and snorts nearby. I like being able to open my eyes in the middle of the night and see that my baby is breathing and alive. And I especially like it when my baby lies there peacefully with his/her eyes wide open, staring into mine. That's all.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Making Rash Decisions: Day 8

The rash is improving. I can see now that I am VERY spoiled by my son's hardy butt. I rarely put anything on him - sometimes, he might get a bit red and I will dump Cetaphil Cleanser on it. The Cetaphil is lanolin based and provides a thin protective barrier. But that's all I apply. I bought a tube of Aveeno when he was born, but lost it somewhere. Then I bought a tube of Huggies for "just in case". And that's it. The Cetaphil Cleanser was all we needed. I think what happened with Anju is this:
1. I wasn't changing her diaper enough
2. I mistook the beginnings of a rash for just a bony, red newborn tush
3. Anjali is peeling ALL of her skin right now and I suspect this includes her butt which only exacerbated the problem.

I did do some research on breastfeeding and diaper rash links to determine if something in my diet may have affected her. Dr. Google gave me a TON of information on yeast infections/thrush and diaper rashes but that is definitely not our problem. We definitely don't have thrush going on - her mouth is clear (apparently, white stuff would appear on her tongue and I wouldn't be able to "scrape" it off) and I don't have a yeast infection nor do I have red nipples (apparently, the nipples will turn a bright red in that case). Also, it doesn't appear that my diet would affect her, but feel free to correct me if any of you have differing information. Please!

So, we are applying generous does of Desitin Original Cream with good results. Once it clears up, I will go back to the Cetaphil and use that regularly on her until I determine whether she is just more sensitive or if it was a fluke.

I am definitely having more nipple soreness, but I think that is laziness on getting the good latch on my part. Overall, things are going awesome. She slept 6 hours night before last and 5 hours last night - I let her because she is nursing really, really well, she has plenty of wet AND soiled diapers, and she got in plenty of feedings during the day. I have no complaints.
[tags]breastfeeding, diaper rash, newborn[/tags]

Monday, July 16, 2007

Sleeping Beauty: Day 7

Update: OOPS. I meant to clarify what I meant by "sleep". I am getting "3 hours between feedings" as opposed to "lying in bed with eyes wide open gazing upon my rock hard breasts" sleep, which for me, isn't really sleeping at all. So, no - my newborn is NOT sleeping through the night!!! Also, we co-sleep, which goes miles in helping me and HER sleep. If I go to bathroom, she will fuss until I come back to bed where she can see me.

Mr Sandman,
My darling, please don't tell my husband about our illicit affair we've been conducting in the wee hours.

Forever yours,

Day 6
I am FINALLY sleeping (somewhat) and my breasts are cooperating. The nipple soreness is not that bad, actually. Once she gets latched on, I am pretty comfortable. Honestly? Getting a good latch and changing positions has been the key. I remember excruciating agony with my son to the extent that I dreaded it and even put off breastfeeding til the last possible moment. When he would initially latch on, I would curl my toes and bit my lower lip to distract myself from the pain. This time around I am not facing that. I've heard so many new mothers (um, including yours truly) scoff at the lactation consultant saying "it shouldn't hurt if the latch is good". Gulp. Um, they are right.

And wow. 2 nights of sleep IN A ROW. I feel like a new person. Maybe I AM a new person and perhaps, today I can make it through the ENTIRE day without bursting into tears. And no, it's not all Sad Tears. I am also wont to burst into Boo Hoo Mode over good things happening since as my Sentimental Meter is running full blast these days.

The big problem that I am facing is a diaper rash - fortunately, not on my own butt, but STILL. I did some research on diaper rash and came up with this article from Dr Sears. I am new to this thing called "rash" - my son recently got a rash, but it didn't BLISTER and was easily cleared up. We are trying a variety of creams and obviously, I am changing her diaper everytime I turn around. I wish I could just let her lie on a towel and airdry, but she needs to be swaddled these days. Sigh. A minor thing, sure and I am calling on my good buddy Perspective.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Thy name is Perspective: Day 6

Last night was bad. REALLY bad. It didn't help that I was very weepy yesterday, too - per the following equation:

(hormones + difficult family situation) x Newborn + Teething Toddler - Sleep = Copious Amounts of Tears

Last night, I was still facing a lot of engorgement and needed to sleep on my back. The problem is that I am a "side and stomach" sleeper. I absolutely cannot sleep on my back. No way. No how. As I gazed upon my sweet newborn sleeping peacefully, I couldn't help but be frustrated. I did give up around 4 am and go downstairs to pump. I was pumping away, then looked down in shock to realize I had pumped 4 ounces in no time, but was still painfully engorged. Yep, I know it's a good problem to have, but it is still a painful one. I think tonight will be better, though - I can feel these bazookas deflating a bit now.

What kept me going is this - Perspective. On my personal site, Rancid Raves, I refer to this quite a bit. Perspective has gotten me through a lot of difficult days as a mother - teething, no naps, illness, long business trips on the part of my husband. Perspective is that ability to realize that all of this is temporary - and it got me through some dark days of motherhood with my son. One day, my baby son would have all of his teeth (only 2 left now). One day, he would nap regularly (check). I knew that one day, my husband would come home (check). And one day, my little boy would be all grown up and I would miss those days when he wanted to be held 24/7 (sob). So, this morning at 5 am while I tossed and turned, I still managed to hold it together emotionally because I knew that this engorgement couldn't last forever.

So, at 8 am when I woke still bleary-eyed, I was able to look into Anju's eyes, see them for the precious gift that they are and smile.

I'm still pretty damned tired, though.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Assume the position: Day 5

Several commenters made the great point about position. And yes, I did need to branch out from the ole Football Hold. It was difficult, because she was getting such a great latch. However. I am SO engorged right now and my nipples a wee bit sore, that I needed to suck it up and get back to the basics with the Cradle Hold and Lying Down Position. And yes - the new positions are helping. As are the Soothies! Unfortunately, as much as Anjali was taking one for the team, I did still have to get out the pump to help. My husband asked, innocently, why I couldn't just pump myself empty to relieve the engorgement. I managed to not laugh in his face and fortunately, he has a great understanding of that teeny-tiny economics concept known as "supply and demand" so he understood when I explained that you can't "fake your body out" like that or you will pay dearly. I've been pumping a minimum of 2 ozs for relief and to help with the latch, but hopefully not so much to psych my body into producing yet MORE milk. I also found that filling sandwich bags with cold water from the fridge and stuffing them in your bra goes a long, long way in relief, but little in the way of self-esteem. Finally, I banged one of my breasts with the car door today. Then I died.

So, today has been a bad day. Besides, the normal "wear and tear" * of a vaginal delivery, I managed to do something to my left hip joint during the delivery, so I am limping. And I am dealing with the engorgement. Did I mention that I am losing more sleep over one of my distraught cats meowing all night long than from either my newborn NOR my teething toddler???? This is where one must grab tight onto Perspective and hold on for dear life. All these things are temporary, right? And we did have a bright spot - we had a doctor's appointment and it looks like we can officially call off Jaundice Watch 2007 - she's a great nurser, isn't too far down from her birth weight and all that nursing has produced enough stools to get the gunky bilirubin out of her system. And have I mentioned how sweet BOTH of my kids are right now? Both are so snuggly. So, yes - the nice thing about being a mother the 2nd time around is having some good Perspective. This too shall pass.

I just hope it passes soon.

* Did you see that I haven't lost my sense of humor? DID YOU SEE?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Boo on Gerber: Day 3, Day 4

Um. Yeah. My milk came in. The awesome news is that Anjali is such a stellar nurser that engorgement hasn't been too bad. I haven't even had to pump because I can pop her right on when I get too uncomfortable. I am SO grateful she is a good nurser since we are on a jaundice watch - it's not too bad yet. But, I want her to eat as much as possible to help get the bilirubin out of her system (stools are the best way for newborns to move the junk out of their systems). I am definitely getting sore, but it's not agonizing or "toe-curling" as I used to call it with my son. We'll see, but I am hopeful that keeping consistent with a good latch will help somewhat.

Gerber Gunk
Okay. I tried the Gerber soothing gel pads and they SUCKED. HARD. I have only used 2 of them and am seriously contemplating pitching the remaining 6 and chalking them up to a loser purchase. They are very thin, they only last 4 hours a piece, and they crinkle oddly which means they show through a bra AND shirt. I can NOT recommend these pads - however, I do welcome any comments from anyone who has had a good experience, just in case it was a "personal issue" on my part. I can report that my lactation consultant shook her head when I told her my "grand plan" about giving Gerber a fair chance. She said Soothies are far superior and I have to agree with her. The cost comparison is criminal - an 8 pack of Gerber costs as much as a 2 pack of Soothies. However! To put it into a proper perspective, an entire package of Gerber will only last you about 16 hours and a pack of Soothies will last you at least 3 days (with proper care, I was able to push a few to 5 days the last time around on the Breastfeeding Wagon).

This morning, as I was feeling my breasts to see how full they were, I had an overwhelming case of the shivers. I felt like I was going to shiver n' shake straight out of my skin AND my palms were burning as if hot needles were poking them. Because I've been through this before, I knew that I must have stimulated my breasts and hormones must have been released - it still unnerved me, but at least I knew it was normal. I also forgot to mention yesterday that while in the hospital, I had a terrible case of night sweats, also courtesy of El Hormones. I am trying to keep track of all these things because when they can happen, it can be a little scary if you don't realize straight away they are just hormones messing with you.

Uterine Contractions
In my last post, Leah made the comment that uterine contractions are important because they help to clean the uterus out AND they help the uterus contract back down to the original size. I wanted to point that out, because it should be noted that the uterine contractions are a GOOD thing. They just don't FEEL good!

Some snaps!

Very concerned that the "bee-bee" is crying

Bug-Eyed #1

Bug-Eyed #2

Little vampire.
Sleeping. Because, the SUN is still up.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Finally, I can get topical: Day 1 and 2

Okay - Anjali is here. And I am officially breastfeeding. I can quit feeling like an imposter, eh?

Day 1:
I was supposed to be at the hospital by 7:15 pm to be induced. I ended up getting there by 6pm because labor had already started after all. She was born by 10:27 after some incredibly tense moments in which an ob for a c-section was summoned. I pushed and pushed for dear life and fortunately, she came without needing a c-section. I was able to breastfeed her straight away, the latch was NOT a good one, she mostly had nipple. Because of the position I was lying in on the bed, I simply could not "get to her" any better. The good news, is that from the very beginning, she's had a good, strong suck and LOVES nursing.

Day 2:
Since I am less sore, not drugged and in a regular bed (not a hospital bed), I am able to experiment with different positions. Far and away, the best is sitting "Indian style" on the bed with a nursing pillow and getting her latched on with football hold. Since I am more experienced this time and can determine myself whether she is properly latched on or not, I can report that it IS true -- if the baby is latched on correctly, there is SO much less pain. I am starting to get sore nipples, but I am not in agony like I was with my son and a proper latch is indeed, critical. However. Even though I am an "experienced" mother, it is still damned difficult to shove enough breast into a newborn's mouth! Their pieholes are just so teeny-tiny that it still takes me a few tries.

I will say that I had forgotten about 2 things - the uterine contractions spurred by breastfeeding are SO painful. Yep, they are necessary, but I had forgotten the pain. However, I'd also forgotten how incredibly sweet and awe-inspiring it is to see your newborn's eyes looking up at you as he/she is gulping away. She LOVES nursing, is anticipating it now and opens her mouth wide. Which helps with the latch, thank goodness.

Housekeeping Note:
This will be in a "Dear Diary" format. I'd like to do this for at least the first 2 weeks to try and document a realistic, real-time experiment with those early days of breastfeeding. All these entries will be under the "Dear Diary" category but I will still do other, separate posts for news and interesting articles.

Monday, July 9, 2007

No way. NO WAY.

Apparently, my induction was scheduled for 7 PM which is significantly, completely and utterly different than AM.

Specifically, one is in the MORNING and the other is in the EVENING.

Now that I am done freaking out and we have figured out who is going to take care of Arun tonight and tomorrow because in other news, our plans for him fell through, I am doing okay. Actually, I'm lying.

I'm still totally freaked out.

I apologize for these departures from "breastfeeding", but it is difficult to wrap my head around the topic of breasts until I get this "birthin' part accomplished. Bear with me.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Lighter Fare

I am getting induced bright n' early tomorrow morning. My son has already been informed that his contract for the position of Head Honcho is up for renegotiation and that his new terms aren't looking so hot.

Will return Wednesday - I will be taking copious notes on how the early days go with breastfeeding. Those entries will be in a category called "Dear Diary" and I am planning to do at least 2 straight weeks' worth, but would really like to do 3 weeks. In the meantime, let's end this on a lighter note, shall we?

Friday, 7/6/07 - Anjali's Due Date
With no baby imminently showing the whites of her eyes that night, I thought that I would splurge and get a vanilla malt. I love malts and HATE milkshakes - but I rarely get malts because they are what? A squillion calories or something? Anyway..... So, I go to Sheriden's then drive merrily on my way home. I pull into the garage, reach for the malt and it's not there. I realized with a slight horror what I had done. I had basically chucked a $20 bill at the kid in the drive-thru window at Sheriden's - then, I drove off. DUDE. I didn't even get my change, much less my malt. So, yeah. I sheepishly drove back to Sheriden's to retrieve my money and malt. Sadly, they were fresh out of Dignity and Pride.

I may not have birthed a baby on my due date Friday, but apparently I birthed my brain.

However. There's even more.


Innernets, I ask of you - - - What's HIS excuse??

Talk amongst yourself.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Should prescriptions be required for formula?

Allison over at The Attached Mother has some great thoughts about the whole "should prescriptions be required for formula?" question. I agree with her that requiring a prescription would a little too "militant". And I love her recommendation that some sort of questionnaire be given to mothers to find out why they are quitting. This could go a long way in helping the breastfeeding community determine how we can best support breastfeeding mothers.

But requiring a prescription? I'd never support that. Make no mistake about it, I have no love at all for the companies that produce and market formula. I've made it no secret that their aggressive marketing tactics make me angry, particularly in 3rd countries. But I don't necessarily fault a mother for using formula. Yeah, I think formula is crap, but I'll admit it here in front of the world that my kid has had a McDonald's cheeseburger. Or two. Besides, if we start requiring prescriptions for formula, where else could that lead us? I know folks disagree with me for not having gates on my stairs and that weird molding crap on my fireplace hearth. Even co-sleeping is still a bit controversial and I've had more than one person get all squinty-eyed on me as if I was putting my child in mortal danger.

So, no. No prescriptions please.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

The Pacifier

GAWD. I'm already tired of me. I guess I thought I was more interesting or something.............

When my son was born, I had it all planned. We'd use a pacifier for the 1st few months, then he could suck his thumb if he wanted. After all, this strategy had worked swell for my sister - why not me? What I didn't count on was the fact that my son would rather not suck on a hunk of plastic. He'd rather suck on me. And I didn't mind. We were co-sleeping anyway and whatever garnered us the most amount of sleep was the Official Plan going forward. The end.

Yeah, RIGHT. Okay, it wasn't actually THAT easy. He took a pacifier for the first few days, then I got paranoid about Nipple Confusion and took them away to wait for the recommended 3 weeks. THEN, he wouldn't take pacifier any longer and THEN, I went through a lot of pacifiers trying to find the One that would win over my son's heart. It was very hard to put him down for naps because he didn't have any mechanisms for self-comfort. Sure, he'd co-sleep at NIGHT, but naptime he wouldn't sleep with me, despite my best efforts. So, the first 10 months were HARD - nighttime sleep was a breeze, but naps were killing me. KILLING.... ME....... And not softly, either. I may have spent most nights sleeping peacefully, but the afternoons found me sobbing on my couch, stuffing my face with Choxie chocolates and lamenting my woes to my sister.


The advantage is that my son DID eventually find ways to self-soothe. And we've never had to deal with weaning him for a pacifier or a thumb. Which leads me to think that I probably won't even try the pacifier with my daughter. Why bother if I can just suck it up?

Of course, I say that NOW.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Hobby Lobbing

When I found out in early Feb of 2005 that I was pregnant with my son, I knew that some of my hobbies would probably have to bite the dust (at least for a few years). To be equitable, I laid off all of them and made them reapply for their old positions, with decreased benefits and lowered pay scales, of course.

Hobbies That Made the Cut
Reading - This was the first hobby to get re-hired. While I knew that I wouldn't be able to read as much as before, I knew that I could never completely give up reading. One of the great perks of co-sleeping in the early months, is that I would go to bed with my son around 8:30pm, then read for a few hours while he slept. I was probably one of the best read new mothers around because I was kicking back at least a book per week in those days.

Knitting - This was another hobby that I knew I couldn't give up entirely. Again, my knitting has waned quite a bit and I have to keep myself to simple projects that can be picked up/put down quite easily. What I miss most is taking knitting classes - I loved learning new techniques and meeting new people in classes. I also miss doing complicated projects, but it is too hard to knit with a toddler AND keep careful count of rows and stitches. So, hats, blankets and scarves it is, then.

Blogging - Oddly enough, I actually blog more now that I am a mother than before. Blogging is a very easy hobby for me because of the fact that it can easily be picked up/put down (are you detecting a theme here?). Also, the community aspect has been heightened for me as I have met more and more Blog Friends - some of which have become Real Life friends. I've always compared blogging to pen pals, with more instantaneous results - no buying stamps and no waiting for a response, eh?

Traveling - I love, love traveling. My favorite trips are the long weekends, with a focus on a particular city. I usually don't have extensive agendas, just a short list of "must-sees", then everything else is spontaneous. I traveled throughout my pregnancy with my son and I knew that I wouldn't want to stop traveling just because I had a kid, so I was very careful in my selections of stroller (A Combi City Savvy worked well for us) and baby carrier (our Baby Bjorn Active Carrier has seen many miles through airports). My #1 piece of travel advice with a kid is "less is actually more". I limit myself to one carry-on, for example. Not trudging loads of stuff around leaves me less stressed and I can focus on paying attention to my son. And for sure, breastfeeding is an advantage while traveling because you don't have to tote bottles, formula, etc. I've really enjoyed traveling with my son - we went on about 9-10 trips before I was grounded from traveling due to illness in my 2nd trimester. I am hoping to get back in the game this fall and have purchased the double version of the Combi City Savvy towards that end.

Hobbies That Were "Reassigned"
Raku - Raku is an ancient form of Japanese pottery. I can't say that I was particularly talented at it, but I did enjoy digging down in the clay and getting dirty. And I decorated a bit of my house for minimal cost. I still miss opening a brand new hunk of clay, cutting a thick wedge of it and rolling it - all while I try to imagine what it is I want to make. I wrote about how raku came to an end for me here on my personal site, Rancid Raves.

Communiversity Classes - In Kansas City, we have a community college thingie called Communiversity. I was pretty into it for awhile and took a wide variety of classes for total kicks - wreath making, water colors, basket weaving, baking, cooking, etc. I had so much fun taking classes and even discovered some great new hobbies - such as raku. I miss taking random classes for fun. It was a period of my life that I will always remember with fondness - learning new things and meeting new folks.

Television - Oh sure, I still watch TV, but I am watching FAR less of it and am now very picky about what I do watch. New shows get a 3 episode minimum and my standards are pretty high for keeping a show on the DVR's recording list.

Movies - This one? I do miss. I think I have seen ONE movie in the theatre since my son was born. ONE. The problem is not a matter of time, but rather that of priority. I have ample babysitting time - that's not an issue. The issue is that we have an awesome TV with surround sound - it's hard to justify burning precious, precious babysitting time sitting in a theatre for 2 hours, when I could be doing other things. Ironically, I think the last movie I saw in the theatre was Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Of course, I will be using precious, precious babysitting time for new movie coming out, because Hello! Harry!Potter! But, um, yeah.....yeah - my movie theatre habits are pretty pathetic since I've had a kid.

I know that someday, I will be able to pick back up some of these hobbies and there are even more hobbies for me waiting to be discovered. So, in the meantime, I will just hang out and wait for my old pal Free Time to come around again.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


I think I am going to devote the rest of this week to ME. Everyone is all about "the baby this" and "the baby that" these days. Dude, what about ME? One of the things about having a "topical" blog, is that I fear the folks reading this aren't getting to "know" me. Someone reading this site might think that all I do in my spare time is ponder the subject of breastfeeding. Don't get me wrong - I am enjoying this site and am excited by all that I have learned as I've researched the topic, etc. But, I do have other interests than breastfeeding. So, this week, I am going to write about some random-ish topics for the fun of it......

A Blog Friend from Denver is driving through Kansas City tomorrow and we are attempting to meet up. I have to admit, I am quite jealous of her roadtrip. I LOVE roadtrips. My parents started taking me on roadtrips before I can even remember - we always got up at the crack of dawn, just before the sun came up to get an early start. I live in Kansas City, but have roadtripped to Colorado several times, to Arizona and New Mexico several times, to Omaha and through Missouri COUNTLESS times, and even all the way to Kentucky and Tennessee. I've roadtripped FROM Chicago to here. Then, there are all the weird Fly-In Roadtrips - those roadtrips I've taken where I've flown in somewhere, then traveled around from the destination. I know New Hampshire like the back of my hand - my husband went to college there, so we have roadtripped the ENTIRE state several times now. And Vegas? I've roadtripped the entire area, except due west past Red Rock Canyon- I've driven to San Diego from Vegas AND I've even gone as far as Rachel, NV to get a gander at the infamous entrance to Area 51. Internationally? When I was in Pakistan, we flew into Islamabad and drove through the mountains up north, then back south and on into Peshawar. And those were just some of the FUN roadtrips and don't even include all the roadtrips I did for WORK when I was employed with Coopers and Lybrand, then later, Ernst and Young.

I love the beginning - the hopping in the car and facing the unknown. I love those eerie early morning hours when it's dark and there are few cars on the road. I love stopping in crappy little dives along the way for the worst food known to man. The food may suck, but the people are almost always interesting and the souvenirs deliciously tacky. Some of my happiest, silliest memories have happened in a car, in the middle of nowhere. Also, there is no better way to test a relationship by sitting in a car for extended periods of time. And I have found it doesn't matter if it is a friend, family or spouse! For sure, your relationship will be pushed to the brink and back.

I had really wanted to do a roadtrip this spring with Arun - he is slightly obsessed with animals right now and I thought going to the Omaha Zoo would have really been exciting for him. However, I was just too sick during my 2nd trimester and really didn't relish sitting in a car for 3 hours in my 3rd trimester. We will see how this new baby travels in the car, but I am pondering a roadtrip up there this fall. We'll see if I am adventurous enough.

Do you like roadtrips? What's your favorite part?

Monday, July 2, 2007


There hasn't been much going on in the World of Breastfeeding lately. No breaking news. No controversies. No hot stories. In fact, my own breasts are just sitting around, not doing anything to provide much in the way of blog fodder. Losers.

I am 39 weeks pregnant with a due date looming this Friday. I am very tired, very uncomfortable, very normal, but I am VERY EXCITED. The beauty of a 2nd pregnancy is that I feel less anxious than I did with my first baby. This time around, I know I can hack this "new baby thing", it's just a matter of putting my nose to the grindstone and bearing it out until you come out of the rabbithold. I can't wait to hold a snuggly newborn on my chest. I can't wait until her hair is matted and sweaty in my neck. And to boot, my 20 month old son has just been utterly adorable these past few days, reminding me that I get to experience these delicious toddler days AGAIN. So life is good.

I finally finished packing my hospital bag over the weekend. I realize there are a few "first time" mothers reading this, so I thought I would post what I've packed. I remember reading in all the Wise Baby Tomes extensive, long, intimidating packing lists and I ended up packing some silly things that I didn't need. Also, I recommend keeping EMPTY space in your suitcase so that it will easier to pack up all the goodies the hospital sends home with you. I'm a cheapskate, so I took everything that wasn't nailed down.

The List:
2 pairs of sweats
2 shirts
1 bra
1 underwear
a robe
manual breastpump (since I just weaned in January, it is likely my milk will come in while I'm still in the hospital)
"going home" outfit for the baby
a few magazines
granola bars
a minimum of toiletries

In addition, I have a post-it note on my bathroom mirror reminding me to grab things such as the camera, brush, comb, etc - things that I can't pack straight away since I am using them.

You'll notice I've packed a bare minimum of clothing. Honestly, this birthin' business is a messy one, so I ended choosing not to risk soiling my OWN clothing and lounging around instead in the hospital-issued nightgown! To each her own, though so if you feel you would be wearing your own clothes, then definitely pack more clothing.