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Archive for May, 2009

Admission

PPD sucks.

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Bribery

Well, it’s not really bribery, more like an incentive.

We’re trying to move Bubba Joe into his own room.

His Oma and Opa bought him a wicked cool car-like bed many months ago.  We set it up in “his” room.   And then proceeded to fight with him about sleeping there.

(Side note: prior to this we had a family bed.)

Then we moved his bed into our room.  We placed it at the foot of our bed.

It’s been working.

Yeah!!

Now we’re working on keeping him in his bed.  And to do so, we’re providing “incentives”.

And once this works, we’re moving his bed into his room.  His own room, where on the weekends when he wakes nice and early, he can get up and play.  In his room.  And hopefully let us sleep.

At least that’s the plan.

Until then, we’ll continue wtih our incentive program (not bribery) to get him encourage him to stay in his bed, in his room.

Wish us luck.

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I’ve been comparing things lots lately. 

I’ve compared my pregnancies, medical systems between 2 countries, languages and how different Little Girl is from Bubba Joe.

And for the most part, I don’t mind when friends compare their high-risk pregnancies with mine.

But comparing breastfeeding to formula feeding and the  merits of one over another?  Nope.  I don’t do that.  Honest.  I don’t. 

Let me back up a bit.

I have successfully breastfed Bubba Joe until well, until his sister was born.  I had intended on continuing our journey but he was sick  when Little Girl came home and he was old enough so that was that.

Little Girl has been a champ at nursing. 

But both children have received bottled formula – Bubba Joe both in the hospital (in the NICU) and for at least the first 4-6 weeks home (high-calorie preemie formula as he came home at 4 pounds 2 ounces).  Little Girl received formula in the hospital because it took 5 days for my milk to come in.

With Bubba Joe, I did not have the luxury of taking time to figure things out.  I did not have anyone tell me to continue letting him nurse to build my supply up.   Nor did anyone tell me to give up the bottle because my body would make enough.

Nope.

Like any of you preemie/NICU mamas, I was told that it was imperative that he not burn his calories by nursing.  I was given a timer.  10 minutes.  That was all he was allowed to nurse.  I learned to nurse him with lots of people in a room.  No ”real” privacy.  Just a movable curtain. 

In fact, I wasn’t allowed to nurse him for the first 3 days. 

After my c-section, I immediately requested a pump to begin pumping.  I had no idea what I was doing and remember being frustrated with the amount that came out.

I think I even dumped some of that precious gold (as the NICU nurses called it) – colostrum, down the drain because it was so little.

They mixed up whatever I produced with formula and fed it to him.  Initially it was through his NG tube (through his nose to his tummy).  When he was strong enough, they gave him bottles. 

I bottle fed him before I breastfed him.

And once I was released from the hospital, I had to continue pumping, carefully storing the milk to take in to the hospital.

The staff placed such an importance on breastfeeding, there really seemed to be no choice.  It was the only thing I could do for my little one to give him the chance to thrive that my body had otherwise failed to do.  Breastfeeding helped me overcome some of the guilt I felt with having preeclampsia and meeting Bubba Joe 6 weeks early. 

But like most things me, I became obsessed with it.  Once I returned to work, we discovered he had a dairy allergy.  I had to cut dairy out of my diet.  Or stop nursing and try formula and hope it would work.  It was easier (and I really am a control freak in so many regards) to stop consuming dairy products.

But since dairy was now an issue, I had to dispose of ALL the milk I had stored up in our freezer.  I had so much milk – if I remember correctly it was well over 1 gallon.  I ended up donating it to the Mothers Milk Bank of Ohio

On top of the dairy, I had an oversupply issue. 

All the pumping, either alone or before or after feedings, destroyed the concept of supply and demand with my body.  I was a milk queen.  A cow of magnanimous proportions.  I made milk.  And I was damned good at it.  Too good in fact.

Because in spite of what one might think, having an oversupply sucks.  Especially when nursing  a baby with reflux, much less a preemie. 

It was horrible. 

But it was the only thing I felt I could control. 

So I continued … I persevered, eating carefully (and no, I did not lose weight as I had hoped.  There are LOTS of goodies out there that I usually didn’t buy much less eat that were dairy free.  One of them is my fave still today (and I miss it oh so much as it can only be imported here and that is quite expensive.)  I love me some brown sugar cinnamon Pop-Tarts

Jumping ahead, Little Girl is surprisingly similar to her big brother in many ways. 

She also has reflux, albeit far more manageable (and treated by homeopathic medicine whereas Bubba Joe took prescription meds until 12 months of age). 

And turns out that she also has a dairy sensitivity.

And lastly, turns out that once again, I have had supply issues, beginning initially with not enough milk in the hospital (which I do credit with the hospital allowing her to sleep between 4-6 hours as a newborn.  That means they did not wake her nor push for her to be on the breast more often.  Breastfeeding really is about supply and demand.  The more oft you put baby to breast, the more my body should respond appropriately.) to coming home and ending up with an oversupply issue. 

It makes me wonder if I simply am a woman whose body will never tolerate being pregnant (being preeclamptic with 2/2 pregnancies) but who makes it up by producing more than my child’s demands for milk … who knows. 

By and large though, comparisons are made.  I’m in constant awe at the differences between my two children.  One preemie the other full-term.  How quickly Little Girl goes through clothing sizes in comparison to her brother.  How Bubba Joe screamed far more.  How medical systems differ in treating reflux (and thus providing relief for parents).  How Little Girl’s sleep habits seem to be healthier and more in line with what I’ve read in books (Bubba Joe did not sleep through the night until well after the age of 2 and even still he wakes up sometimes once or twice).

You get the picture.

One last comparison … pics of Bubba Joe when he was born (wires and tubes and all) and one of him this week.  My little man just turned 3.

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A Brief Update

Here goes …

  • Bubba Joe turns 3 on Tuesday.  The plan (if the weather is good, which looks like it might not be) is to visit the Münster Zoo.  Either way, it’s a family day – just the immediate family.  Last year was a bit of a disaster with inlaws stopping in and singing and doing the whole birthday thing withOUT BJD or I present.  I am hopeful they will heed our request and give us our day alone.
  • We are celebrating with extended family on Thursday.  Thursday is a public holiday.  What are we celebrating you might ask?  Christ Himmelfahrt – Christ’s Ascension.  Welcome to non seperation of church and state.  Yup.  It is a public holiday.  BJD will be home.  Schools are closed.  You get it.
  • I am going to attempt to make a truck cake for Bubba Joe’s birthday.  I’ve made 2 test cakes so far … they’ve both been quite delicious!  As I am not eating dairy (Little Girl has a dairy allergy, just like her big bro did), it requires a bit of creativity.
  • Speaking of brothers, my little brother is buying his first house.  Cool.
  • Little Girl is awake from her nap.  This will be short.
  • BJD and I finally got a membership to the local video rental place.  We realized we could rent the movie and change the language to english.  Duh.
  • We watched Australia, Dave and Madagascar 2.  We liked all 3.  We’ll be renting again.
  • May is Preeclampsia Awareness Month.  I am working on a post in my head, but fear it might not make it to paper anytime soon. 

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Joy

Last night Little Girl slept from 10pm until 8am.

Tonight, she’s up again for her ”normal” 3am feeding.

BJD is holding her, burping her, helping get all that  air out and comforting her when she burps.  She’s sleeping gently on his shoulders, her hands holding him, hugging him.

It fills my heart with joy.  My reminder that life is as equally full of goodness as it is sorrow.

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Kayleigh’s fight ended yesterday.

She was  born premature due to preeclampsia.

My prayers are with her family.

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