Monday, October 27, 2008

New pics and boob musings

This is my new favorite baby picture:

I know that babies this little aren't really smiling because they're happy. A lot of people will tell you it's just gas. I don't really care what anyone thinks. That little mouth is curved upwards in a SMILE people, scrunched up little nose and all. He looks like his daddy here. My mother in law took this photo one day while I was napping. Since her camera uses an SD card just like mine, I was able to snag copies of her photos right onto my laptop.

Technology kicks butt.

Here is another new favorite, again, off of my mother in law's camera. My husband was holding Sawyer, probably after a feeding (again, I was probably asleep, the Percocets are kicking my butt lately). I love the expression on the baby's face. He's so stinking cute I can barely stand it sometimes! He's just so tiny and sweet.

Here's Bubba snuggling with grandma on the couch. She flew in last Thursday from Seattle and stayed here with us until today. That child did not smile for us at all until Grandma came to town, and then he was just grinning left and right! What is it about grandmas that gives them the magic touch like that?

Now, I'm gonna talk about boobs. My boobs in particular.
I have an appointment with a lactation consultant tomorrow afternoon. I'm kind of not looking forward to it, to tell you the truth. Breastfeeding is STRESSFUL, at least for me. My child howls, turns an alarming shade of red that slowly begins to resemble purple eventually, and just raises that OMG WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING MAKE IT STOP frantic feeling in me. I don't handle that feeling well AT ALL and I end up wanting to cry too, which is totally counterproductive. Then whoever is there trying to help me (nurse, lactation consultant, pediatrician) will grab my boob (my boobs are no longer my own, I've come to realize) with one hand, the baby's head with the other hand, and eventually, we get him to eat. This is great, don't get me wrong, but there's just one problem with this situation:
I don't have four hands when I'm home alone with the baby. Just two. I asked my husband for an extra set of hands for Christmas, and was told to not hold my breath. *sigh* Oh, and did I mention that actually having a little person chewing on your nipple HURTS? Seriously, teeth or no teeth, correct latch or no correct latch, by the time you are done it's like someone has shoved hot nails into your nipples. And that's WITH the nipple shield that's supposed to "protect" them.
But you know what's NOT stressful? Pumping. I pump, I measure, I bag, I date, and I store in the fridge. Then, come feeding time, we pull out a bag, warm it in a cup of hot water, dump it into a BPA free vented glass bottle, and feed the wee punk (name given to baby by Kim Kwan, which amuses me to no end!) with little fuss. No crying, no howling, no babies of alarming colors, no wondering how much he actually ate... it's nice.
I know in the long run pumping is going to be more trouble than if I could just get him to latch on properly to my breast, but right now, it's kinda saving my sanity. Also, as Susanne pointed out in the comments a couple of posts ago, it is pretty ridiculous to sit there with these funnel/bottle contraptions clutched to your chest for fifteen minutes. You can't do anything else, because you have only two hands - one for each boob. That's kinda lame too. I mean, you could just do one side at a time, and use the free hand to look at a magazine or something I guess, but I'd rather do them both at once and get it over with.
I need to start looking into freezing this stuff - and what do you do with the extra? I'm up to 8 oz total at a session, and I have quite the surplus built up in the fridge at the moment. Also, how do you know how much to feed the baby? I can find formula feeding guidelines for how many ounces to give your baby, and the breast feeding guidelines just say 15 minutes per side, but how many ounces should he get of breastmilk? Obviously, people are pumping and feeding their babies, so this info should be somewhere!
We've been giving him three ounces at each feeding, but there was one point today where he kept trying to suck his fist after we were done, so we gave him another ounce which he happily guzzled down before drifting off to sleep. Yikes!
I want to thank everyone for the well wishes for our anniversary. We had Chipotle and gelato from Angel Sweet (if you're local and you haven't tried this place, GO!!!) for dinner and watched Baby Mama on DVD. I have a better appreciation for some of the jokes in this movie AFTER having gone through it myself!
I'm off to sneak a nap now.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately there is no magic formula for how much to feed them, how often, breast or bottle. Sure there are guidelines but the particulars you have to work out on your own. I thought it was cruel when I was in your shoes. Eventually, you realize that you just do what feels right to you and you both will be a lot happier. If he still seems hungry, give him more. If he is satisfied, that's probably enough. I know this is no real help and LONG winded, but just know that you are not the only one who has been where you are. You will both survive and amazingly enough there will be a day when you own your own boobs again.

12:34 AM  
Blogger Paula - Buenos Aires said...

The love in his eyes is undeniable and yes, I think he is smiling too. :)

So tiny and perfect in every way. *happy sigh*

3:51 AM  
Blogger Hooptee said...

He is so adorable! I love those little chubby cheeks. And, I agree with you, those are smiles they give us!

Good luck with the consultant. Breastfeeding is really hard. Why don't they tell you that in the classes? They make it all sunshine and roses. I feel your pain. It took me a full week before I could get mine to latch on at all. We are still using shields, but at least it's working. And now, she just wants to feed all the time. I've wondered too how much formula she would need if I leave her with dad. I haven't found it anywhere ether. Keep it up, you can do it!

6:14 AM  
Blogger kingsqueen said...

I think the first poster had it right. Just feed him until he seems satisfied. When he pushes it away, he's done. They won't really overeat at this age unless we keep trying to force it on them when they are done.
And at least you are sticking with it on the bf'ing route. I gave up really quick when my little guy wanted nothing to do with my boobs. I gave him a bottle of formula which he happily sucked down and called it good. To quote you, I wasn't married to the idea of it anyway. Just thought I would give it a go. But really, that probably saved my sanity as well. Do what works for you I say.
LOVE LOVE LOVE the pictures! :)

6:22 AM  
Blogger Susanne P. said...

that second picture is to die for. what a sweet lil' punkin' face.

i gave up trying to breastfeed bailey really fast. it was just too stressful for me. i suck and didn't even try with cj. they are both fine.

i hope your "boob groping" appts go well. =)

7:22 AM  
Blogger Maggi said...

I was told that so long as they don't throw it up, they can handle more than the standard 2-3 ounces. Jenna sometimes takes up to 6!!

As far as your boob issue, I pump, and agree it's no picnic. But I still have to supplement with formula, because I can only get 2oz per session, and I'm too exhausted to pump more often than once every 3 hours. I find that if I hold the pumps up with my arms, I can read a book. But yeah, it's still a pretty big waste of time. I don't nurse right now because my kid's getting over a case of thrush. I hope you can get the hang of things, soon.

7:43 AM  
Blogger Glamorous Life of a House Wife said...

I just now made it over here and OH MY WORD your baby is THE CUUUUUUUUUUUTEST!!!! So adorable. He is simply lovely!! So sweet and little and precious. Awwww..... congrats!!!

9:37 AM  
Blogger Miss Anne said...

A) Sawyer is amazing. So amazing. Little man person. :)

B) Truth be told I have a fear of breastfeeding... only because I'm scared it wont go smoothly. I think it's gotta be an amazing experience... but scary all the same.

C) I'm so glad you anniversary was a good one.


10:24 AM  
Blogger AZAnjanette said...

Awww he's sweet! love those pictures of him grinning! That is some serious photo magic! I agree with the whole 'geesh my boob hurts' conversation. Like no one ever tells you how painful breast-feeding is gonna be. It's like some hidden joke that no one clues you in on until you bring the baby home and are trying to get thru those midnite feedings. But it does get better. Amazingly, you'll eventually feel nothing! haha hard to imagine, but believe me. And whomever said it doesn't hurt as much the second time around was also lying! I had one of those boppy pillows which helped for feeding while watching TV. I also liked to go lay down on my bed and feed and watch TV. It seemed easier to position the baby to the boob while laying down. Of course laying down doesn't work say when you go to the doctor's office or a restaurant. And OMG pumping....doesn't it just make you feel like 'dairy maid'? Those were about the only words I could think of while I was pumping after I went back to work. Anyhoo...sounds like fun. I'm so happy for you all!

3:03 PM  
Blogger BMT said...

Don't laugh..there is a hands free pumping strap out there...I found mine on the internet a little over 5 years could probably make it ...It was basically a huge piece of elastic with button holes that the 'cones' fit through and it held everything in place, hands free...I used to type reports for work and pump..... if I find the link I will send it to you...

5:05 PM  
Blogger Devon said...

There's a bra you can get that holds the pump, so hands free pumping for you!
Good luck with the breastfeeding, just keep trying. It is hard in the beginning but it'll become second nature.
He's adorable Sara!!

8:13 PM  
Blogger Samara Link said...

Cute, cute, cute pictures of your little guy. It's nice his grandma came for a visit. Very cool. Love your updates!

11:23 AM  
Blogger Pam said...

I've been nursing my little one for 9+ months and trust does get better. I look back and can barely remember the crying, stress and pain. My advice is to remember that the unlatching can be just as painful as the latching so learn to do that right too, unless you want 3 inch nipples!

Oh, and unfortunately they will never quite be the same after nursing. My husband so lovingly refers to mine as 'feed sacks.'

Good luck and don't give up. Just keep repeating 'breast is best'.

12:14 PM  
Blogger Kimberly said...

As everyone else has said, I am sad to report that there are no magic answers or formulas here. You'll get the hang of it...or you won't...and that's OK!!

( you know i'm talking from experience first was induced, 20+ hours of hard, balls-out Pitocin-induced labor then an emergency C...with NONE of the blissful napping you got to do)

Seriously, BFing is great and all, but the lactation nazis will make your head explode if you really take them too seriously. Do what feels right, hang in there a little while longer (if you can) and try to make a go of it, but don't RUIN your punk's first months by being a stressed-out basket case!'ll miss all the fun and good stuff!

Yes, the learning to latch thing SUCKS ASS (actually, it bites boob, but we won't quibble over terminology). It hurts like hell even with the best latcher-oner. But, over time, I think the baby kills all your pain receptors in that general area and it actually DOES get easier and (gasp!) even somewhat pleasurable!

My eldest made me insane with 8+ weeks of 22+ hours a day screaming. We did doulas, lactation consultants, pediatricians, nurses...blah blah blah. I tried nipple shields, pumping off a little before she latched on, nursing we me laying down and her nursing face down (don't milk came out so fast it choked her!)...we tried EVERYTHING we could...and the end result was nothing worked.

After a near nervous breakdown, one day a very kind and gentle friend bought a can of soy formula, mixed a bottle and put me down for a nap. She fed my baby that bottle (which took some time...she really didn't want it) but the screaming STOPPED! We officially switched to formula at 3 months and it was like a miracle over-night. Can't believe I didn't do it sooner...could have saved BOTH of us a lot of stress!

It made me feel guilty and incompetent, BUT, she no longer cried all the time AND I actually started enjoying her! And, guess what? The switch to formula didn't stunt her growth or make her have to ride the short bus to school...she is pretty much a genius and quite fabulous!

So....go with your gut and don't be so damned hard on yourself! Have a glass of wine, tell the Hubs to rub those feet, and enjoy your punk.

2:06 PM  
Blogger EatCrayons said...

It's not gas, I believe they really smile that young. Ohhhhh, his precious little newborn legs, love. He's so darn cute. :)
Oh my gosh, having a nurse or LC help you out in the first few weeks is totally awkward and so uncomfortable. Truthfully I found them to be little help. I think they added to my stress. I always did better at home, when I was relaxed, and feeding was on baby's terms.
With or without the shields it's still painful no matter what anyone says, but I PROMISE if you endure and stick with it you'll be sooo happy you did. The first few weeks to months is rather rough, but in the end so rewarding. We're nearing a year here, I can't believe it could be ending soon for us.
From my understanding I always read you're not to pump until after your supply is well established. Don't fret over specific amount he's getting, there really isn't any way to know. Just let him nurse, he'll let ya know when he's content. 10, 15 minutes, a half an hour a side...whatever.

3:59 PM  
Blogger Ripley!!! said...

Awww...he's so cute!!! He looks so happy! :-) Congratulations!!

4:48 PM  

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