Saturday, September 15, 2007

Love and Breastfeeding

As I've been spending the majority of my days breastfeeding, I've come to realize what an amazing gift it is. There is a reason the baby is feeding on one of the most intimate parts of her mother's body.

In contemplating what role breastfeeding plays in the relationship between mother and baby, I started thinking of the five love languages and how it covers them all! Acts of service, touch, quality time, gifts, and words of affirmation...While feeding Karrots, I'm serving her breakfast, lunch and dinner (and ALL the snacks in between!), at the same time I am giving her skin to skin contact, spending quality time with her to ensure proper latching (and I can't do much else when she's feeding on my sore side), I'm gifting her with food, and am giving her words of affirmation, i.e. "Good job, honey!"

She needs me to give her food, I need her to help empty out my breasts. It's a mutually beneficial time of bonding and love.

What a great way to start a relationship! God is a genius in His plans on how things are supposed to be done! All this and it's the best for the baby's AND mother's health. The baby receives the antibodies from the mother and then helps the mother recover from the birth by stimulating the nipples to contract the uterus. Breastfeeding also burns a huge number of calories for the mother, helping her get back to her old body weight.

I'll have to admit, the first week+ I was dreading each feeding, having to deal with the pain of sore and bleeding nipples. Once we got the latching down, I'm seeing it more for what it is...the positive aspects. With her minor cold (which is going away!) she's been more hungry, eating, taking a minor nap, and waking up hungry. I haven't had an hour without her eating, except during the night when we all sleep. No wonder she's well past her birth weight, eh?!

I don't understand how it all works, how my body's supposed to know how much milk to produce and when, how and when it all evens out, etc., which is another great aspect of requires trust in the Creator that He'll give you what is sufficient to feed you baby!

I'm so honored to be able to participate in such an amazing gift! I wish more mothers had the perseverence and love to experience such an awesome aspect of life!

Thank you, Lord, for the gift of breastfeeding and for making me a woman to experience it!

More Camera Pics...

First Pediatrician Appointment

Karrots and I saw my old pediatrician yesterday for her 2 week check-up. This was one of my first experiences with multi-tasking in public with one task being breastfeeding. Needless to say, it was interesting.

When we got there we were late...she was hungry and seems to time it for when we need to be places. I changed her diaper to find out they won't throw the diapers away for you there. I had the joy of storing it in the diaper bag. I somewhat understand why, but this is a pediatrician's office...I would think they'd accommodate for their patients.

The office assistant was new and had never created files for patients so it took a while before things got rolling. Once I got the paper work, Karrots got hungry. As I was feeding her and filling out the papers I had to get up and give the assistant my insurance card. (Thankfully there was only one other family in the waiting room to witness me practising this new talent.) The paperwork had questions on hospitalization, illnesses, etc., which I felt 90% were not applicable.

Once we got in the exam room (still feeding), we got her weighed (9 lb. 7-3/4 oz. with her diaper on), length and head circumference measured (21-3/4 in.) and then the doctor (my old pediatrician) came in. She got through most of the exams before Karrots started crying for food. When she mentioned to come back in 6 weeks I asked what to expect. Immunization shots, of course. She gave me a list of the standard ones and explained why we should get them, stating the DPT is now DPaT and there aren't the same problems with it. Also, with the polio outbreak in the Phillipines, it's only a plane ride away.

She also recommended getting something for the little rash on the insides of Karrots' elbows saying it's eczema.

We also caught up a little. She noted how old she felt getting 2nd generation patients in. I was her second, but the other mother's family had moved. I asked how her kids were (I babysat them a few times) and found out they're homeschooling them. She wanted them to experience Kindergarden since it's all about fun and then her and her hubby and another family switch off schooling the kids. Since she was now the owner of her practise, it's a lot easier to find the time.

In the end, the doctor said everything looked good and the point of the appointment was to check her weight (which we did the day before as well). She was supposed to be back to her birth weight, which she's well past...go breast milk!

I didn't make an appointment yet. She knows I want to research the shots...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Funny Weight Loss Commercial

Prayer Request

It seems like everyone is sick lately! My husband had a little tickle prior to Karrots being born and now it's gotten worse and all of us have it. Karrots' got a stuffy nose, I got a sore throat and Big Red's got it all...along with two friends, Mrs. C and her son and Flo and her daughter who have strep.

Please be praying for us and all the sick people out there! God is the God of healing!

"By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see." Acts 3:16

Drug Free!

One of the big reasons I wanted to have our baby without drugs was so I could tell them something along this all her life:
"I brought you into this world without drugs, now I expect you to leave this world without drugs!"

PP Appointment

I had my postpartum appointment with Simona today. I weighed in at 120.5,compared to my last prego weight there at 145.5 and pre-prego weight of 115. See dad?! I wasn't fat! It was all baby!

Simona checked my breasts and noted I was still engorged on the right (where my bad nipple is) and suggested pumping it until it's empty. For my nipple she suggested a nipple shield. I informed her that her doctor friend recommended the same and that Karrots looked at me like I was nuts.

She also checked my tear and uterus. She noted that she was afraid the tear wasn't going to heal well and when she saw it said how well it was healing. My uterus is great as well.

Next, we weighed Karrots - 9 lbs. 7 oz. (She took 2 oz. off for the diaper and onesie.) She also asked about her belly button. The stump fell off some time ago and it's still healing, but we're using the cord care powder with goldenseal.

No, I didn't ask her about the sweeping the membranes. She had us sign up for a 6 wk. pp appointment so maybe I'll ask her then...

So, our family is definitely covered in prayer and doing well...except we all have a cold, but have hope that it will go away. Thank you all for your prayers!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Postpartum Tips

Just a few things I've learned since the birth:

Make sure to have some Citrucel ready for after the birth.

Buy lots of huge maxipads.

Lansinoh is as needed as everyone tells you - it helps keep the breast pads from sticking to your nipples - a definite must when they're bleeding.

Be sure to take a class in breastfeeding and get help FAST after the baby's born to ensure a proper latch and to avoid sore/bleeding/ripped off nipples.

If you're planning on sleeping when the baby sleeps - make sure you're comfortable where you feed her, i.e. have your Lansinoh, water, breast pads, burp cloths, camera, cell phone (clock), a blanket and pillows near where she feeds.

A stack of diapers makes a great pillow when nothing else is in reach!

Keep water and Lansinoh everywhere you may nurse. Once you're seated, it may be impossible to get up.

Great surprise: If you don't find out the gender, you get MORE gifts (mostly clothes) once people find out!

When shopping for Tucks pads, get Tucks pads! The store brand we got is dried out!

If planning on co-sleeping and feeding in bed, make sure to have an indirect flashlight to ensure she's latching correctly.

Don't dress your newborn in the best clothes until the belly button heals...blood stains aren't pretty.

Buy OxiClean as it gets meconium out of fabric!

Don't think you have anywhere to lay the baby when she's awake and happy? On a blanket on the floor really does work!

Don't lose your camera charger...

Any dad would be a fool to not support breastfeeding - he doesn't have to get up for any feedings!

A folded over pillow works better than a Boppy if you need to use the football hold.

The football hold works great when you're having latching problems or sore nipples. It changes the pressure points and gives you a better view.

Make sure the baby's tongue is sticking out and her mouth is as big a possible before shoving your nipple in it as far as it will go.

Make a list for visitors who wish to pick stuff up for you on the way over.

More of Karrots

In the hospital...

Sucking my arm...

My favorite time...

Daddy changing her...

I had to try this on her before she got too big...

Healthy Mothers Make Healthy Babies

Starting the Good Life in the Womb

Pregnant women who eat right, watch their weight and stay active can actually improve their unborn babies' chances of growing into healthy

Most pregnant women know they can hurt their babies by smoking, drinking alcohol and taking drugs that can cause birth defects. But they also may be able to program" the baby in the womb to be a healthier adult. New research suggests that mothers-to-be can reduce the risk that their babies will develop obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes by monitoring their own diet, exercise and weight.

The science behind this is relatively new and still somewhat controversial. In the late 1980s, a British physician and epidemiologist named David Barker noticed that a group of Englishmen who were born small had a higher incidence of heart disease. Studies showed that rates of obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes—illnesses that often are associated with heart disease—are higher in men born small. Barker proposed that poor nutrition in the womb may have "programmed" the men to develop illness 50 years or more later...

I think this article is rather sad as they state it as if the idea isn't common sense. How is the science behind this "new"? If you, as a pregnant mother, stay healthy and your baby takes his nutrition from you, wouldn't it make sense that a healthy pregnancy will produce healthy little people? This isn't new's what I learned in our Bradley class.

Just a thought...

(Thanks, honey, for sending me "blog-worthy" material now that I have no time to look for articles!)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Meet Duckie...

Grandma bathed her on Sunday and introduced her to her duckie...

Life - 1, Doctors - 0

Doctors pull plug, comatose woman wakes up

Shows that life doesn't rely on them as most of them think...

My husband...

I love my husband. Just when I think I'm going to lose my mind at times, he's there to bring me back to my senses. His simple presence is enough to make me real and makes life's little challenges easier to deal with.

During my breakdown with breastfeeding frustration, Big Red simply stood by me, letting me rest my head on him and cry as I bottle fed Karrots, reminding me we made it through the birth and Karrots and I will figure it out. It was just what I needed.

Before we had Karrots he had read what a great idea it was for a husband to get his wife a postpartum gift. After our first outing with her on Friday we brought her in the apartment in her car seat as she was sleeping. Big Red and I went in the bedroom to put stuff away and he stopped me so he could hold me noting he hasn't been able to feel me past my belly for a long time. I didn't know how much I'd missed it until then...

After a number of minutes he told me to close my eyes and when I opened them he presented me with two gifts. I broke down in tears! (I'd heard of hormones in pregnancy, but it's WAY worse PP!) The first gift was an iPod. I had mine taken a couple years back so this was nice to get an upgrade! And it stores pix! The second gift was an Angel of Mine figurine. I've always wanted to collect the entire Willow Tree collection as it represented each stage of my life.

He has been my rock and support throughout this pregnancy and the birth. Being a caffeine addict, he gave up coffee in support of the pregnancy. (If you know him, you know how extremely hard that was!) In all my curiosity and research for the pregnancy and birth, he was always there with an open ear and clear reasoning, encouraging me in going against the "medical norm." For the birth, he was there for each contraction and I literally leaned on him and relied on his strength with each push. He helped make our birth story into a love story - one that shows just how strong his love is for his family and his commitment to us.

He is my perfect companion and an amazing dad! All of this...and he makes beautiful babies!

Honey, I'm so ecstatic that our love has been made manifest in such a beautiful time of memories and in such a beautiful creation! I'm overwhelmed with what a great Giver and Designer we have and that His plans are perfect...and involve you in my life! I love you!