Posted in Baby Foxes

Zen’s 1st week… 4 months later

Zen will be 4 months tomorrow and I finally had the chance to finish the recap of his 1st week.  That is how busy things are over here!


I was delighted to see Zen do the newborn crawl that I had heard so much about.  He was very sleepy and had a very shallow latch which we later learned was from being tongue tied in addition to having an upper lip tie but it was still awesome.  I had requested to postpone the first bath until after nursing and later found that the nurses treated giving Zen’s bath like a hot potato, they were all too busy/nobody wanted to do it.  He finally got his first bath on the 3rd day in the middle of the night.
A few hours after birth we learned that Zen was Coombs Positive.  What this means is that he got his father’s blood type which is incompatible with my blood type and it can lead to jaundice if unchecked until his body got rid of my blood cells.  The nurses were super strict with the bili lights as a result and tried to limit breastfeeding to only 20 minutes every 3 hours, this is contrary to normal advice for jaundice which lots of feeding is encouraged to help baby have lots of dirty diapers, it was also contrary to my mothering instinct of having skin to skin and bonding with him.  Thankfully I was able to get permission from the doctor to put myself under the lights so Zen could have unlimited skin to skin and nurse on demand.  Due to the bili lights ordeal we missed out on Zen having pictures taken by the hospital and that made me sad but I try to not dwell on it.
Unlimited skin to skin and nursing despite the bili lights. It CAN be done!
He was having lots of dirty diapers which was great but since he was so sleepy and had an ineffective latch he still managed to lose a lot of weight.  I knew this was coming and I was prepared, I would express colostrum and feed it to him and would practically hand express in his mouth to get something in him.  Thankfully the pediatrician understood my desire for a virgin gut and didn’t push supplementation and instead told me to “nurse him a million times a day” which I was glad to do.   I am glad that despite them having an option of invoking a “medically necessary” excuse they didn’t push formula and I didn’t receive a “Breastfeeding Success Kit” aka formula gift bag on discharge.
Zen looking fashionable under the lights
My recovery was much harder this time.  I lost a lot of blood and some of the nurses would forget about my request for pain relief until I was in agony.  I snapped at one nurse that was 45 minutes late giving me painkillers and then had the nerve to tell me to not cough because it would hurt.  Does it look like I want to cough?!
Overall the hospital experience was better than with Shammy with it being a different hospital.  The only truly bad experience was a fiasco where an immature food service employee spilled my husband’s coffee while delivering my dinner and didn’t apologize nor try to help clean it up.  The coffee spilled over lots of important papers, pictures and gifts.  I made a scene about it because I was furious that she refused to at least apologize.  The rest of the staff were great at trying to salvage what they could and replace the rest and the person’s supervisor paid me a visit right before discharge to apologize.
Discharge at Martin Memorial is different than at St Lucie Medical.  With Shammy I was required to carry Shammy out while sitting in a wheelchair.  At Martin Memorial they required Zen to be strapped to the carseat and carried out and I had to walk myself out while being escorted by a nurse that verified the carseat installation.
I went home knowing that it is normal for his bili levels to rise before falling so I planned to nurse often and make sure he got sunlight several times a day.  He was a very sleepy baby compared to Shammy.  I was blessed that Dr. Punger was kind enough to work with us and fit us into her schedule quickly to get Zen’s tongue tie situation addressed.  Over that weekend that we had to wait my nipples started to suffer from nursing so often with a bad latch and my milk supply was suffering.  I don’t think we would have lasted longer than another day without supplementing.  Dr. Punger clipped Zen’s tongue tie AND upper lip tie.  He looked like a vampire baby and I couldn’t help but giggle while refraining from taking a photo.  His latch immediately improved and although it took him a couple of days to figure out how to work his tongue things only got better and my milk production increased.
By this point Zen had gotten a little orange due to breastmilk jaundice/Coombs + but with lots of nursing and sunlight we were able to avoid the hospital and he gradually went back to a normal color.
Zen only got better from there.  Shammy has grown to love Zen and Zen really looks up to his big brother, I look forward to lots of playing together and bickering in the future.  Shammy didn’t develop any jealousy over Zen nursing and I am proud to be a tandem nursing mama.
First of MANY tandem nursing sessions
My anemia got very bad with a hemoglobin level of 7.3, thankfully thanks to being able to have my placenta encapsulated I was able to get my hemoglobin up to 12.1 in just 5 weeks without taking any other supplements or paying any attention to my diet.   The rest of my recovery however has been a long and painful road.  My incision bled from any physical exertion for up to a month.  Even though I weaned myself from painkillers after 10 days, I sometimes have to pop a Motrin to recover from carrying Shammy or cleaning something.  Almost 4 months later I still experience residual pain and I sleep in a recliner because it’s too painful to lie down to sleep.  I hope to be able to feel normal again… someday.
Posted in Baby Foxes

Adventures in Mommyhood- 7 weeks

I was finally cleaning out the “Enfamil breastfeeding success” (hah!) bag from the hospital and found a form to receive a $5 rebate for the purchase of any breast pump in exchange for “important” information.  I don’t know if $5 is enough payment for me to be spammed by formula company propaganda.

Shammy just overwhelms me with all of the cute stuff that he does.  Daddy Fox has been teaching him to say “I love you”, I almost fell over the other day when Shammy responded with ” ai wuv wu”.  He now also says “hello” and decided to wake me up this morning that way, it’s a super cute way to wake up and I would take that any day over crying.

He has allowed me to shower 3 days in a row which is great, Dr. Punger says to enjoy that while it last because it will go away again, bummer.

I did end up getting a convertible car seat for him and I must say it is way better, Shammy loves it and now he only cries in it if he’s hungry or needs a diaper change and not just because he hates it.  In this process I became an expert at installing the darn thing, lol.  What I don’t like about this car seat is the fact that the button to release the harness is very hard and sometimes I have to struggle pressing with both thumbs for a while before it will release and giving me sore thumbs in the process.  I didn’t have that problem the first day so I must be getting weaker (in hindsight, I was developing a cold so yes, I’ve been weaker).

Shammy enjoyed the seat on his first road trip to Orlando, he slept happily the whole way there.  Grandma treated us to Shammy’s first trip to Disney and Shammy got to meet Mickey and friends!  I will say that I have never been excited about Disney until having this kid, lol.  He did remarkably well during that trip.

ignoring Minney Mouse

We attended Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween and Shammy was the cutest little skeleton baby and his costume glows in the dark!

The stroller didn’t get used as much while at Magic Kingdom as he became overstimulated very quickly and started to freak out, the only way that I was able to keep him calm while out of the Baby Center was if I wore him in my sling, thank goodness that I had the sense to bring it!

Shammy has personalized mouse ears!

People had warned me about nursing in public at Disney saying that I could only do it at the Baby Center and that I would get harassed if I tried it anywhere else.  I know my rights and refuse to have a hungry baby wait until I can get to the “nursing room” so I breastfed in public all over Disney in benches, at the hotel, in an ice cream shop in Downtown Disney and many more places and never once got bothered by anyone and had a happy baby.

the undead family

For this trip I tried out using gDiapers, they’re a hybrid diaper with a cloth pant and disposable insert that is fully biodegradable, they work really well as long as they are used right, I made the mistake of only giving Daddy Fox a very brief tutorial on how to use them before I went to lie down and had a major leak when Shammy was brought to me to nurse because the insert had one corner that wasn’t tucked in.  Overall the gDiapers are a good choice when traveling and not yet having a large cloth stash.

I have about given up using prefolds with Shammy, he just hates them, instead I use them on the changing table to deal with messes.  Little by little I will continue to get Bumgenius 4.0, I am thinking about selling the 3.0 stash that I have to fund the purchase of new ones, I also ordered 1 Flip diaper to try out and see how Shammy likes it, we’ll see…  I hope to soon have a decent enough stash so that I can go back to cloth diapering full time.

Shammy is growing tall like his daddy, he is up to 9 pounds and 15 ounces and 23 inches long!  I call him my wiener baby because he is long and skinny.

He has been turning into a bit of a momma’s boy lately, preferring to be with me when I’m around and crying if I leave the room, it’s very cute but it will make it that much harder for when I go back to work next week.  I’m so NOT looking forward to returning to work.

In other news we’re officially planning the Blessing Ceremony for Shammy’s 3 month birthday, I ordered the invites today so that they can go out by the end of next week since it will be on a busy weekend for many people.  It’s funny that my stress right now is about what Shammy is going to wear for it, and not a worry about what I may wear, lol.

the cutest giraffe ever
Posted in Baby Foxes

Adventures in mommyhood

Motherhood really changes you, I never thought that I would get poop on myself and not be grossed out by it.

For the past week we have been dealing with a very fussy baby, this is a lot of fun when I’m home alone all day while hubby is at work because I can barely put the baby down to use the restroom and it requires an act of congress to get him down for a nap that he would then wake up from 5 mins later.

The fussiness seems to be gas related but I don’t know if it’s something in my diet that he gets through the breastmilk since it doesn’t happen at every feeding.  He tends to be cranky in the afternoon and evening, once he settles down for the night he sleeps like an angel and I have to wake him up to nurse or else he’ll sleep straight through the night.  By the morning my breasts are so full that I feel like I’m carrying water balloons.

Before we start to get the flood of suggestions for things to try, please know that we have done research and tried all of the usual suggestions from wearing, movement, positioning, white noise, vacuum cleaner, etc.  they usually work for a few minutes if that.  So unless your suggestion is really offbeat and uncommon, we have already tried it.

Usually he finally settles down after a nursing session in which he’ll fall asleep on my chest, the key is knowing when he’s in a deep enough sleep to be transferred to his bassinet, lately I’ve discovered that he’s fine as long as he’s not sleeping on his back.  Doctors don’t advise babies to sleep on their stomachs but I admit to have done it once or twice during the day when he finally falls asleep after crying inconsolably for hours.  I end up checking up on him very often and don’t do it at night.

It is only a matter of time before he makes the choice for himself though.  He can already easily roll over on to his side, another favorite sleeping position of his so I wouldn’t be surprised to one day see him completely turning onto his stomach and then there won’t be much that I could do about it.

he turns onto his side all by himself

I can’t hardly wait for Shaman’s and my appointment with Dr. Punger next week.  We had noticed that he had a slight tongue-tie but didn’t think it was a problem but after almost 2 weeks I think that it is interfering with his breastfeeding latch.  He is fully capable of a perfect latch… when he wants to but when he’s not in the mood he just does what he wants and it takes quite a bit of adjusting and pain in the meantime.  Thank goodness for Lansinoh.

After a struggle to get my disability forms in now it’s a matter on waiting for my employer’s HR department to submit their part in hopes that I can get the first check before our rent is due.

The baby blues have eased quite a bit without me having to take the pills but I admit that I come close to losing it when I’m home alone with a baby that’s been crying non stop for an hour.

you wouldn't imagine that he had just spent 3 hours crying nonstop

The anemia is better in the sense that I no longer get dizzy spells but I still struggle with weakness and exhaustion and the fact that I easily get cold, even when the thermostat is set to 80 degrees.  That is quite a change from when I was pregnant and I felt like I was melting at 70 degrees.

I have lost an additional 8 pounds this week for a total of 29 pounds lost since birth.  I’m sure that a demanding baby that doesn’t let mommy eat more than mini snacks during the day has anything to do with this.

The swelling is not fully gone but it has gone down considerably, my wedding band fits again (barely) and some shoes fit again (tightly), we’re getting there.

Right now I’m not using cloth diapers exclusively due to some slight technical difficulties.  The washer for some reason is not filing up with hot water while washing them and since them his skin seems to be sensitive to them, not rash extreme but enough that I alternate between cloth and sposies to give his skin a break.

I will say that the cloth diapers are way better at containing his blowouts, the only time that he’s had “accidents” has been when wearing disposables.  I still use the sposies at night until he can grow into the pocket diapers that I have since he tends to sleep for so long that I have to wake him up to change him.

I do like the cloth wipes way better than the disposable wipes.  Just a cloth wipe and water does faster cleaning using less wipes, I really should get more of those!

And by the way, the backseat of the car SUCKS as a changing table.