Posted in Baby Foxes

Adventures in Mommyhood- week 10

So I officially quit my job, I don’t miss it, I feel relieved and haven’t cried since.    Shammy is thrilled.  The clock is ticking though to get a part time job to avoid falling behind on bills.  I also need to partially restart Bandora’s Lair so that I can once again do readings, healing sessions and Reiki classes, etc.

Meanwhile I decided to post the diapers that we don’t use anymore at it’s a low traffic site but easier to navigate and understand than the popular Diaper Swappers which usually overwhelms me.

Shammy is rapidly outgrowing his cosleeper (aka bassinet), I’m not ready for him to move and hope that we can squeeze some more time out of it.  He’s got a tendency to sleep diagonally on it, something that he inherited from me.

welcoming the morning smiling and diagonally

My husband complains that I take way too many pictures of him sleeping, I just find it so cute, I actually hold back and don’t take as many pictures as I would like for fear of waking him with the flash.

Some people have asked me to review my experience with cloth diapers and wonder how could I possibly stand to touch the poo.  Very simple, I’ve never had to touch the poo with a cloth diaper, I cannot say the same when Shammy has had blowouts with disposables.  ::knock on wood:: I’ve never had a blowout with cloth diapers.

As for the different types of diapers that I’ve tried, Shammy hates and I mean HATES prefolds.  He tolerated them when he was a few days old but that was the end of that.  Laying the prefold in the cover wasn’t as effective as using a snappi, the snappi is an awesome invention.  I have been selling the unused prefolds online and keeping the used ones to use in the changing table.

As far as covers for the prefolds, I got several WAHMS that were very cute but not very effective.  The Bummis cover got the job done but I would not feel confident with it overnight.  The best one hands down is the Thirsties Duo Wrap, the double leg gussetts was just what Shammy’s  skinny legs needed.

I also tried some hybrid systems, gDiapers is a really cool concept but I have found that it isn’t idiot proof, I have to be very careful putting it on or else it’s major leak town.  I like that I can use a prefold as an insert but Shammy doesn’t approve of that.

The other hybrid that I like is the Flip, this one is way better, the cover is great, the insert is great, but I feel that the cover is not great to hold the insert in place when putting it on (once on it stays in place nicely) so I haven’t used it for night because I’m afraid to put it on wrong in my barely awake state and end up with a flooded baby.  It has worked well during the day though.

Then we move on to the Bumgenius, the 3.0 and earlier versions don’t fit Shammy’s skinny thighs well.  The 4.0 on the other hand is just awesome, it fits him well and contains even his most spectacular excretions to date.  I find that the snaps version is better as the velcro shows wear and tear after just a few washes.   So since it isn’t broken I ain’t fixing it and I’m trying to refrain from experimenting with other brands and sticking to what works.  The only downside is that Bumgenius doesn’t come in tie dye.

I’m currently trying to  gradually build my Bumgenius stash, right now I have enough to diaper a full day every other day or for half a day on a daily basis.  The biggest challenge is that the inserts take a full day to line dry since the dryer has not been installed due to an incompatible electrical outlet that hasn’t been changed.  Hoping to soon be able to have 24 diapers that will allow me to stop using disposables and cloth diaper full time.

waiting for the diapers to dry so I can use them again

On the postpartum recovery front, at almost 10 weeks since Shammy was born my hemoglobin levels have recovered enough that I’m almost not anemic anymore, yay for that!

When it comes to nursing pillows  I have both the “Boppy” and  “My Brest Friend” pillows, I like them both.  The boppy is comfy but still requires support, I love it to prop Shammy up to play and read to him and he tolerates it for tummy time.  The Brest Friend pillow is excellent for almost hands free nursing, no need to support with my arms so I can caress baby more and it is easier to read while nursing, but it is only convenient if put on before picking baby up.

Shammy reading his book in the Boppy pillow

On amusing news…. I only wear nursing pads when going out because I have few cloth ones and I find the disposable ones suffocating, I don’t care if I leak around the house.  Lately I’ve woken up in the middle of the night in a puddle of milk because I was having dreams of Shammy and my boobs thought that it was real.

In more news… the CPSC is pissing me off by trying to eliminate all baby carriers by using bullying tactics and with no scientific evidence to back up their claim, that really makes me grrr.

Some creative mamas have come up with some nifty ideas for halloween costumes for babies in slings, I’m not particularly crafty but this one is simple enough that I could potentially pull it off.

spiderweb sling costume

A few weeks ago I read an article about an Australian doctor that wants formula to be  sold by prescription.  This really got my attention, I know that this is a very controversial subject especially in light of the whole “freedom to do what you think is best for your child”  but bear with me as I fantasize about this…

The reason that this appeals to me is the fact that by this method mothers have to make an educated decision instead of just what marketing, family, friends or media portrays as the norm.

This would help solve a lot of the “breastfeeding didn’t work for me” excuses because they have to get help for that problem before being able to get the formula.  A one time prescription would be needed and only those mothers for whom breastfeeding truly isn’t an option such as being HIV positive or mothers than insist in formula can get it.  For those that make it a personal choice they would have a counseling session with their doctor and sign a consent form agreeing that they understand that the formula they will be getting is substandard nutrition for their baby when compared to breast milk.

Even if it was only implemented for WIC recipients as a condition for the government to pay for that baby’s formula it would have a large impact on informed decision and increasing breastfeeding rates.

I know that the above greatly differs from my usual viewpoints and is a radical approach, I agree, that is why I’m just thinking out loud and not proposing it as public policy.

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.

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?