Posted in Baby Foxes

Shammy’s First Week

Shaman’s first few days were spent being poked and prodded at all hours of the day.  Since Shammy was born after my water had been broken for a long period of time, the doctors feared that he may have an infection.  The cultures came back negative  and he never had a fever but one of the usual markers for infection was way higher than normal so he ended up receiving antibiotics and spending an extra day at the hospital.

Because he was born by C-section I wasn’t able to take the placenta home to encapsulate.  I actually had a mini argument with the surgeon while I laid out open in the OR but I realized that it was a losing battle as he dismissively said “we’ll have you talk to the pathologist”.  They were not against giving me the placenta once they were done with it, they just insisted on giving it to me in formaldehyde, ugh.

While at the hospital I kept getting comments of “wow, big baby!” and the doctor even said that he didn’t think he could have been born vaginally due to his head being so big, I disagree but there is no point in arguing by now.

Sometimes I look at him while somebody else is holding him and think “that big baby came out of me?!”, lol.  Now that we’re in the outside world people ask if he is a preemie until we tell them how old he really is and then they switch to wow, that’s big, lol.

This is a very strong boy from the start, he was holding his head up just hours after being born and smiling.

He has taken to breastfeeding well although since I nurse on demand we’re still trying to find a schedule and stick to it, right now it looks like it’ll be every 2 1/2 hours or so.  I am glad for this as breastfeeding poop is so much better and doesn’t smell.

There was a particular nurse at the hospital that annoyed me and I nicknamed her the breastfeeding nazi.  First she expected my milk to have come in less than 12 hours after he was born, she was overly critical of the latch position in contradiction to the feedback from other nurses, the lactation consultant and later on Dr. Punger.  But when she really freaking annoyed me was on the last night at the hospital when she tried to lay a booby trap on me.  Boobys trap are misconceptions that are forced upon nursing mothers that make them feel that they are unable to exclusively breastfeed their child, thankfully I had been well educated on this in pregnancy so her tactic didn’t work.

The bf nazi decided to wake me up at 2am on our last night at the hospital and while I was in a sleep induced fog tried to “inform” me that Shaman had lost too much weight and that I will need to supplement with formula starting immediately.  In my fog I was able to muster enough coherence to explain to her that no, it is normal for a newborn to lose weight (and she should know that) and that even though he was in the upper range of weight loss, it is normal for breastfed babies to lose more until mom’s milk comes in and there is no need to rush into formula as long as he’s soiling enough diapers.  She kept arguing with me so I ultimately convinced her to bring me a breast pump and allow me to supplement with pumped breastmilk.  She didn’t like it but realized that she was not going to change my mind without bringing a team of pediatricians in carrying medical literature.

In the end I only pumped about an ounce that was never brought back to us to give to him before discharge.  Just like I knew, she had been making a big deal over nothing as Shammy had regained 8 oz by the time he had his first pediatrician’s appointment approx 30 hours later (and grew half an inch!) and although he hasn’t been weighed since then I can tell that he’s gaining weight by watching his cheeks filling up and noticing that he’s already outgrowing the newborn sized fitted cloth diapers.

I am lucky that I only encountered the one booby trap but feel bad for other mothers that would have easily succumbed to the pressure.  I met one such mom at the breastfeeding class I took at the hospital that was already supplementing with formula on the belief that she wasn’t making enough for her baby.

The hospital experience was so stressful for him that it made him constipated.  This poor kid was really holding it in for several days.  He pooped while in distress and then once more the night he was born and then nothing again until he came home from the hospital.  The doctor was not worried so I wasn’t either.  Within hours of coming home he relaxed and cleaned himself out over the next 24 hours to catch up.  Now he can fart with the best of them, it can be heard all the way across the house.

I am not doing elimination communication yet as it was too overwhelming to move around and take care of him but I am trying to pay attention to his patterns so that when I do try it it’ll be easier for me to know when he needs to go.

This little baby has inherited his mom’s “in your face” approach to certain things as he insisted on nursing during the whole wheelchair ride out of the hospital room to the car when we were discharged.  It was hilarious to watch the look of shock on everybody that we encountered along the way.  The nurses asked if we wanted to wait and my response was “he doesn’t mind”, I guess that they’re not used to dealing with somebody that is confident in nature’s design.

Shammy proudly nursing at the hospital's entrance while waiting to get into the car

Now that he’s at home I wish that there was a camera constantly following us to document all of the precious moments, there is so much that is being missed on a daily basis.

I can just stare into his eyes forever, they are so hypnotizing.  I just sit there in awe every time he smiles or when he makes interesting facial expressions as he is having nice dreams.

He is showing tendencies of being a barefoot hippie as he doesn’t seem to like wearing socks and is an expert at taking them off in record time.  The same applies to hats and blankets.  We just ended up having to get a sleep sac so that he won’t end up with cold feet overnight.

isn't he the cutest sleeping little ball?

Posted in Baby Foxes

The Bump Chronicles- week 40

So Baby Fox seems to enjoy the cozy accommodations in my uterus as I have made it to 40 weeks with him/her not hinting at being in any rush to come out.

Making it to this point is a huge thing for me given my family history (nobody that I know of in the current generation made it to their due date), I was born about 2 weeks early. I admit that due to the somewhat traumatic experience of my cousin I did have a fear of pre-term labor for a while, I even used EFT to overcome that anxiety.

From the “due date clubs” that I check out in various internet sites, I seem to be one of a small handful of moms that have reached a due date and do not have a scheduled eviction, I mean induction appointment made.  I had to roll my eyes when another mom-to-be that was also due today was crying because her induction scheduled for today was postponed because 2 other women went into labor spontaneously, wtf?  I must remind you that these are healthy women in low risk pregnancies with no medical reason to rush the baby out.

Things have been quiet on the labor front for days, I used to have signs of prodomal (sp?) labor a few weeks ago but they have all but vanished. I know that a lot of my contractions were stress induced so I think that not having to deal with work drama has certainly helped in that front.  In a sense I think this is a good thing because when some action does happen I will be more likely to pay attention and less likely to chalk it up as “more of the same”.

I’m happy to report that the feet swelling is not being so scary anymore. I still swell daily starting the second that I get out of bed but at least unlike before, most of it is going away while I sleep.  This usually means that I go to the bathroom 15 times instead of 5 during the night to get rid of all of the excess fluid but it’s worth it to have it be less uncomfortable the next day. I credit the massaging that hubby does right before bed with helping with the drainage, it’s not as long as I would like but I see it making a big difference and even though I still don’t fit into any of my shoes, my feet look almost human again.

My sleep patterns are going back to normal again, I get tired easily but no longer feel the need to sleep the day away.  My productivity is limited in capacity though, if I don’t get something done before noon chances are that it won’t get done at all as I notice that I get very drowsy in the afternoon although not enough to sleep it off.

All systems are go for Baby Fox’s arrival, it’s only a matter of waiting to know when it’s time to call the midwife and fill up the tub. For someone that can be OCD about scheduling (just ask my husband), it’s kind of fun not knowing when baby Fox will decide to make an appearance.   It makes every day somewhat of an adventure, although I notice that I don’t wake up thinking “maybe today is the day”, I just wake up and go around the day knowing not to get attached to any plans I may want to make.

Some people say that I will “know” when it’s going to happen soon, all I have to say about that is that it either won’t be anytime soon or I’m just out of touch and clueless.  Meanwhile I try to rest when my body asks for it and be semi-productive and entertained the rest of the time.

After months of research and consideration we have opted to skip the Vitamin K shot at birth unless baby has a hematoma or another reason for it. I was originally going to administer the dose orally but even that felt unnecessary if everything was healthy so I have been taking the vitamin K myself so that baby will get it through breast milk but I’m willing to give it to baby directly if it feels right. I must admit that I feel more safe giving those vitamin K drops to baby than infant formula as all of the ingredients are completely natural, not synthetic and all ingredients are pronounceable. I can’t say the same about the formula in the supermarket shelves.

A short commercial break with the trailer for a very interesting documentary on breastfeeding that I want to watch:

So here I am about to have a baby any day now and I don’t know any lullabies.  It’s ok, I knew about this for months, I could have tried to learn some but like with prenatal yoga, I just never got the motivation. I’m not concerned because baby will just care about hearing mommy’s voice and won’t know the difference between a lullaby and a Counting Crows song.

I had received a magazine in the mail from the people from theknot.com called “The Nest”, I wasn’t particularly interested but I did flip through it and saw an article about a married celebrity couple (a drummer and actress, have no idea who they are) and their green living tips and instantly noticed that there was no mention of the cloth diapers that their baby is obviously wearing in one of the pictures, a few months ago I would have never noticed something like that, lol.

Yesterday I saw a blog posting from another mom about what she carries in her diaper bag, the entry had a picture with everything laid out and numbered and she gave a list of the whole inventory. This made me curious and I did some research into what some other people carry for comparison. It is amazing to see how some people seem to come close to packing the whole nursery!

I can see the relevance of many items but I wonder if the rest is just there for peace of mind and never get used. I plan to start basic and add things as I find myself needing them because I don’t want the bag to weigh more than baby!

My poor husband is constantly intercepted by people at work asking “no baby yet?”, none of them seem to consider that he would not be at work if there was a baby. That man has gone to every single prenatal appointment with me, why in the world would he go right back to work as soon as he cuts the cord? He doesn’t get to have a paternity leave but you bet that he deserves a few days to get hang out with and get to know his child. I’m just glad that I’m not at work because heads would have already rolled from people asking questions and making comments, he’s got way more patience than I do.

thankfully people know not to call me

People do seem to be way more interested than I am to know how many centimeters dilated and what percent effaced I am.  Why do they care if I don’t?   Those numbers mean nothing unless I am in active labor.  I can be 4 cm 80% effaced for 4 weeks or not be dilated or effaced at all and have a baby before midnight.    My midwife only checks by request and I have no interest in knowing before show time.

Posted in Baby Foxes

The Bump Chronicles- week 38

“no baby yet?” that seems to be the question du jour, usually coming from the masters of observation mentioned previously, if I’m still walking around with a basketball under my shirt the answer to that question should be pretty obvious.  It makes me wish that I had ordered a t-shirt that says: “No I haven’t had the baby and I’m not in labor.” or even better, one that says “it isn’t over until the fat lady isn’t fat anymore”

still "fat" on the 38th week

I made the mistake of sharing a link that I found interesting/amusing on Facebook about how people swear that a dish at a certain restaurant is guaranteed to induce labor within 48 hours.  Several different people took it to mean that I wanted to eat the dish to induce myself, quite a jump in logic!  Specially when I’m the one regularly ranting about how one shouldn’t induce labor unless medically necessary.

And since everything is healthy, the only time I would consider induction is if I’m overdue which I am not (yet).  Yes people, please remember that I still have almost 2 weeks to my official “due” date or as I like to call “guess date”.    And if it comes to that, then I’d rather try the natural tricks before I check myself into the hospital for a pitocin drip at 42 weeks.

As much as we’re excited to meet baby Fox, I am not trying to dictate when he/she should make his/her appearance.  In a sense I would probably miss being pregnant as I’m still enjoying it all when I don’t count the cankles.  I do hope that this isn’t one of those “cool babies” that insists on being fashionably late for it’s debut but baby will get to pick the time it considers best and we’ll adapt to that.

I guess this is another aspect of being a granola mom in a fruit loop world.

Thinking about fruit loops, it saddens me to see so many other new parents putting so much focus on the theme and color scheme of their nursery and not on other more important (in my opinion) decisions.  But I notice that this is because there is hardly any mention of the important  decisions to be made since most people think they have no choice and go with the “standard” procedures.

I am referring to things such as where to give birth, how to give birth, who to give birth with, which classes to take, whether to have a doula, which prenatal tests to take, to eye goop or not,  whether to vitamin K shot or not, whether to delay vaccines or skip them, whether to circumcise and most of this is just the “medical” side of it.  There’s still the decisions on parenting style and everything that comes with actually bringing the baby home.

It shocks me how often I hear somebody saying that they just did things that way because “that’s how everybody does it”, “that’s what my doctor told me to do” or “I didn’t know there was an alternative”, has anybody ever heard of the concept of INFORMED decisions?

In non ranting news, this week we had a belly cast made of the bump, it didn’t come out perfect but being Daddy Fox’s first job as sculptor it’s pretty good, it wasn’t hard to do and aside from having a waterproof belly and boobs from the vaseline lubricant it wasn’t as messy as we feared.

Now it’s a matter of me getting the chance to try to sand it a little and figure out how to decorate it after a trip to the craft store for ideas and supplies.

belly cast in progress

I had been having trouble sleeping for a very long time and something as simple as flipping sides was being torture, this was in part because we have a tiny bed and Daddy Fox is a giant and I’m not so pixie sized with the bump so there isn’t much room for movement and positioning.  Apparently Daddy Fox got tired of my whimpering and swearing throughout the night and he started to sleep on the futon in the bedroom and suddenly the room to spread and move in bed has allowed me to get the best sleep in months.

It sucks that it’s harder to fall asleep without him as close and  I can no longer sneak in middle of the night cuddles without getting up but at least I’m starting to get some decent rest again.  I appreciate his sacrifice and it’s cool that our room is big enough to fit 2 beds so that he doesn’t have to be all the way out in the couch.

An unexpected side effect to this pregnancy is that I’ve developed a sensitivity to certain food ingredients.  In the past all I had to do was avoid seafood and I could eat anything else without remorse but in recent months I find myself having reactions to MSG and other food additives used in many popular restaurants.  Now I get sick after every time I eat at Golden Corral and the other night I had an allergic reaction to food from Chipotle that was bad enough that required me breaking out the benadryl to avoid skinning myself alive.

Back to ranting… This hasn’t yet made a big stir in the news but it may, there is a peaceful “nurse in” being staged tomorrow at a park in Orlando to protest the discrimination by a lifeguard against several breastfeeding mothers and I’m cheering for them from afar.

A lot of people seem to be getting their panties in a twist over this ranging from “breastfeeding is gross” to “I don’t care what you do but I don’t want to see you do it”.  A lot of this stems from the taboo over breastfeeding and the over- sexualization of breasts.  I roll my eyes at the prudes that don’t want children to see a woman nursing a baby, they will never grow up to learn what breasts are truly for otherwise since media and society emphasizes a completely different purpose for them.

Normalizing breastfeeding means more people, adults and children, must be exposed to it on a regular basis in the course of their everyday lives.  Breastfeeding is not something to be embarrassed about. In cultures where breastfeeding is the norm, children simply don’t ask what mothers are doing with their babies, because they already know what breasts are for. And parents understand the dual purpose they can serve without embarrassment.

I’ve got nursing covers and if I use them it will be for my benefit and not anybody else’s and if baby doesn’t like them or it’s too freaking hot or inconvenient to cover up while nursing people can choose not to look or put the cover on THEIR head.

I believe in people’s right to be offended but that doesn’t entitle them to interfere.  There are many legal activities I witness in public that personally offend me and when I don’t like it, I stop looking and continue about my day.

Regardless of the many benefits of breastfeeding and its promotion by medical and governmental organizations, Florida law protects a child’s right to nurse but most people don’t know about this. Florida enacted Fla. Stat. § 383.015(1) (1993), which reads:

“A mother may breastfeed her baby in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether the nipple of the mother’s breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breastfeeding.”

Why should we stand up for our breastfeeding rights?  Because the next breastfeeding mother might not know her rights, she might not be confident enough to stand up for herself, she might even be discouraged enough that she stops breastfeeding.

On the getting ready for baby front, the stereotypical nesting instinct of wanting to clean and disinfect everything including the screws in the cabinet hinges has been non existent for me.  The house needs a good spring (or in this case summer) cleaning but the best that I can do is try to keep it from getting worse, oh well…

I have been doing some last minute shopping for miscellaneous items that we still don’t have, most of it would be extras (more towels and washcloths) or luxuries (fox crib mobile and wall decals) but it brings me joy, still dreaming over that fox themed bedding set that is out of my current financial reach….

I have printed a sign to be posted in our front door in case I get loud at odd hours while in labor and somebody calls the cops.

Think it gets the point across?