Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Micah, the traveling gnome

Have you ever seen those commercials with the traveling gnome? The one that is taken all over the world and people snap vacation photos of the gnome, as if it had a clue that it was on vacation? Well, we officially made Micah our traveling gnome last night. Our traveling sleeping gnome.

Last night for dinner, Micah, Mommy, Daddy and Grammy went to downtown Disney. We ate dinner at Fulton’s Crab House and then wandered around to see the sights. We went in and out of a few art stores, then off to Lego Land. Micah posed for quite a few pictures . . . sound asleep and oblivious. We took a shot of Micah with a Lego bull dog!

After taking on the Loch Ness Monster, Micah was feeling a bit adventuresome, so in we went to the Disney store. Micah felt like trying on some hats . . . or at least, Micah’s Daddy felt like taking pictures of him in a bazillion different hats:

On the way out, we stopped off for some candy apples:

Micah appears to be enjoying his trip to Disney from the pictures . . . although I’m not sure he has opened his eyes at any of the sights!

All in all, we’re doing well. We’re still having some feeding challenges, and I’m feeling a bit out of sorts because I don’t have the scale here to tell me how things are going. He is latching really well, but I’m not sure he is getting enough off the breast each feeding. Sometimes he seems to do really well, and others . . . . not so much. He also sometimes does seem really hungry and the breast does not satisfy him, so we do need to supplement with pumped breast milk at least a few times during the day. Some days, we run out of pumped breast milk, so then we also need to supplement with formula, but we’ve only had to give him about 1-2 ounces max when this happens.

I do think we might be dealing with a case of acid reflux. He does appear to be developing hunger cues! He has been waking up and crying when he is hungry, which is nice for a change. Of course, last night, we couldn’t get him to wake up to eat for almost 7 hours. I fed him at 5:00, and he slept through his 8:00 feeding completely. I got him to wake up and nurse for about 5 minutes at 10:00, and then he finally took a more normal feed at 12:00. He zonked out after that and didn’t wake up until almost 6:00 this morning. I fed him then, and he dozed a bit and was ready to eat again at 8:00 am. He was again kind of sleepy for the 11:00 feeding, but he did get hungry again around 1:00. He woke up, I nursed him on one side for about 10 minutes, and then he fell into an unconscious stupor. I decided to pump to leave more milk for my mom, and wouldn’t you know it, he woke up while I was pumping, shrieking for milk!! We ended up feeding him everything in a bottle, and back to sleep he went.

Our latest feeding challenge is a bit of acid reflux. Micah is not a cranky or crying baby, but he does appear to be refluxing too much – he sometimes does it while he is eating and it causes him to choke. He has been making these odd grunting/wheezing/congested noises for about a week, and I’m fairly certain it is reflux. We definitely cannot lay him flat after eating or he is very uncomfortable (and starts spitting up a bit too much). The grunting/wheezing/congested noises seem to happen most after feedings. I think he’ll probably need some Zantac, but I do not think the doctor will prescribe it over the phone. I should probably call and talk to them tomorrow – the earliest I could go in would be on Monday.

Well, I’m off to do more conference stuff, and tonight we are going to take the traveling Micah gnome around Disney for more pictures. Friday night we plan to drive to Sarasota/Long Boat Key to visit DH’s aunt and uncle. Wish us luck on our presentations and meetings!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Roll over . . .

Yup, today Micah rolled over. I'm sure it was an accident, but today I put him on his playmat. He got REALLY pissed off, and then he flipped himself over! I was very impressed by my advanced little man.

In other news, we are starting to really get the hang of latching. I'm still not sure if he is getting enough off of me or not, though. I've been really lazy about supplementing and pumping today . . . in my pipe dreams, I can just feed him normally and all is well. I have a feeling I'll regret avoiding my pump tomorrow - but hey, today was kind of nice. I just wish I responded well to the pump - I never seem to get much out at all :(.

So, here are a few pictures to complete the post for the day:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Good appointment . . . maybe there is hope!

We had a great appointment with the LC this morning. The good news is, she DOESN'T think I have a supply issue! We worked on getting Micah to latch without the nipple shield, and he seems to be latching (at least for now). He was able to take over 3.5 ounces off of the breast without the nipple shield today! We've never been able to give him that much. She thinks he should be eating 3-4 ounces a feeding. She wants me to work on the latch without the nipple shield, and continue to give him some supplements (and try and let him be the guide). She wants me to keep pumping to protect my supply, but she says that I don't need to keep pumping 8x/day. She said for now to aim for 5x/day, and as he does a better job getting what he needs over the next week or two, I can start to reduce the pumping sessions. I felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulder!

Now, we do need to work on increasing my pumping output - she thinks it could be the pump (she thinks the hospital grade pump is better). I'm not convinced that is the answer either, but we'll see. One hurdle at a time!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Good Day Today

Today was a good day. My supply seems to be doing a little better (although we still have a way to go), and Micah seems to be eating better. One of my best friends came over today to watch the inauguration and help me out with the feeds. We even managed to go OUT to lunch today! It was the first time I took Micah to a restaurant. We just went down the street, and we made it back in plenty of time. I even got to take a bit of a nap. Micah is currently napping with DH on the couch.

I've got another lactation consultant coming tomorrow - wish me luck!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Don't tell me to relax

I REALLY hate when people just tell me to solve a problem by "relaxing." When we were trying to get pregnant, that was a phrase worth murdering over. I mean, seriously, if someone told you they had a blocked artery and were on the verge of having a heart attack, would you tell them "relax and it will go away?" Sometimes, there are real problems and "relaxing" just doesn't make them go away (especially when "stress" isn't the root of the problem). When we were trying to get pregnant, if I had just "relaxed" instead of actively seeking help, we still wouldn't be parents. I don't think seeking help and answers is stressing . . . it is being proactive.

Well, now that I have a baby, my current challenge relates to Micah's eating issues. We have a real problem - it isn't being caused by stress, so I'm fairly certain that "relaxing" won't fix the problem. Problem #1 - Micah doesn't latch well or nurse efficiently. So, we have to use a nipple shield to get him to latch, but he still doesn't nurse efficiently. As a result, we have Problem #2 - a low milk supply. Because he doesn't nurse efficiently, my milk supply is low -which makes it more difficult for him to nurse efficiently. Can you see the catch-22 we have? Then, add in Problem #3 - Micah doesn't have appropriate hunger cues. When left to his own devices, because of the inefficient nursing, he will nurse himself into a state of exhaustion . . . at which point, he is in such deep sleep that he won't wake up to let us know he is hungry and nurse again. Because he doesn't then nurse often enough and efficiently, it affects my milk supply, so then I don't have enough to feed him when he is nursing, etc., etc.

So, I'm in this endless cycle. I can't just follow his cues and let him feed on demand, because he doesn't demand enough, and I don't make enough. We need to increase demand to increase supply, but he isn't capable of increasing his demand. So, I have to help him get the energy to increase the demand. We have to limit his nursing sessions so he doesn't get so exhausted, and we have to help him nurse more efficiently by using techniques like breast compression so he can maximize output in the shorter time. I have to pump after each feeding to increase demand, and I have to actively wake him up and make sure he is eating at least 8 times/day (some say 10-12, but hey - I'm lucky if I can get this guy to eat 8x/day).

Now, the next problem. He also has to gain weight at an appropriate rate - which requires a certain caloric intake. Since I don't make enough milk, we have to supplement with whatever pumped breast milk we can get plus formula. So - a rational person asks how much formula, right? Well, we can't "use the baby" as our guide - he'll fall asleep after a feed even if he hasn't eaten enough . . . and stay asleep for 4-5 hours. So, the only other thing we can do is go by number of ounces of intake. How do you determine how much a nursing baby is getting? Well, you have to weigh him before and after each feed. And, unlike formula-fed babies, a nursing baby can take in vastly different amounts of breast milk with each feed. Micah can take in anywhere from 1 ounce to 2.5 ounces in a feeding on the breast. If he gets 2.5, I do not have to supplement, but if he only gets 1 ounce, I need to supplement. Hard to just "relax" and "wing it" with that kind of range. We tried to just offer him bottles and see if he would take them. The answer is, he will - even if he ISN'T hungry. If he is full and he over-eats, he then vomits, which also isn't good for him.

So, we are stuck in this awful cycle. Or I should say I am stuck in this cycle. Feeding Micah is a real chore, and I have no clear feedback for how much and what he needs. I cannot trust his cues because apparently, he has been suppressing his hunger cues due to exhaustion and self-preservation. So, somehow I need to get him to latch better, nurse better, and increase my supply, and to do this, he needs to be adequately fed NOW, and I have to figure out what that means with no cues from him. And to do all that, the only guide I have is how many ounces he is taking in at each feeding. How, exactly, am I supposed to just "relax?" If I don't pump after each feeding, my supply crashes. If I don't weigh him, I don't know how much to supplement him. If I'm by myself, the process of feeding Micah is horribly challenging - nursing now takes 30-40 minutes, then the diaper change, and the weight checks, and the bottle supplement, and the pumping (and try pumping with a baby who wants to be held after being fed). It just isn't easy to do all alone. But hey . . . maybe if I just relaxed, the baby wouldn't cry, my boobs would pump themselves, he will miraculously start latching and nursing efficiently, and my supply will overnight reach the sustainable level.

Okay - I have to go walk and feed the dog so I can undress the baby, weigh the baby, nurse the baby, weigh the baby, change the baby's diaper, re-dress the baby, bottle supplement the baby, burp the baby, get the baby to relax, and then pump. That ought to leave me about 20 minutes before I start all over again . . . is that enough time to "relax?"

Don't get me wrong . . . I love being a mom - but I wish feeding him wasn't so complicated. We've been doing this routine for one week, and I just don't think this is a workable long-term solution. And please . . . no lectures about just formula feeding or whatever else you think the solution is.

Friday, January 16, 2009

I hate Sears Portrait Studio

This week, Micah turned one month old! I decided that it would be a good idea to take monthly "formal" pictures of him throughout this year, so today I decided to venture out to get his first set of pictures. I did some searching, and the best deal around here was actually at JC Penney. Unfortunately, the JC Penney Portrait Studios are not exactly convenient. One is located at a mall that recently had some shootings (needless to say, I'm not comfortable spending time there anymore) and the other is located at a mall that is about 25 minutes from here. Normally, I wouldn't think twice about going 25 minutes to the mall, but with Micah's complicated feeding schedule, I was a bit reticent to attempt such a long trip for our first real outing. After doing some research, I found a deal on the Sears Portrait Studio web site - $9.99 for a 35 picture assortment plus the sitting fee. While this is more expensive than JC Penney's because of the sitting fee (it was free at JC Penney), I decided the convenience factor was worth the extra money, so I booked an appointment there for 1:00 pm today.

Last night, Micah decided to wake up every 2 hours to nurse. I was actually exhausted today because I spent most of the night nursing and pumping. At 9:30, the contractors showed up to continue working on the renvoations (I can't believe they are still working on this house). At 10:00, a friend called about coming by. I realized very quickly that Micah would be due for a feeding right around 1:30 or 2:00, so I decided that moving the 1:00 pm appointment to 3:00 pm was a better idea. When my friend showed up, all of the furniture was in the middle of the room, and half of the house was covered with big, thick plastic because of the work. Naturally, I had to nurse Micah again while she was here. It was a crazy morning as I was trying to juggle Micah, the contractors, and my friend. Unfortunately, DH spent the whole early morning on the phone, so he didn't end up helping much with the feedings, and then he left to go to a meeting. Trying to breastfeed, supplement, weigh, change and dress the baby, then pump, is quite challenging and time consuming to do all alone. He kept screaming when I was pumping, and he had a few diaper explosions. I was kind of overwhelmed trying to do it all, answer the questions for the contractors, etc. By 1:00, I realized that I STILL hadn't taken my morning medication or eaten. I then thought about the next feeding I had to do before leaving, and packing up the car and getting everything together for our little trip, and I was a bit worried that it was a bad idea to go. At that exact moment, my mom called . . . and I vented. She immediately told me I should call my dad and he would help. About 5 minutes after we hung up the phone, my dad called and asked what time and where he should meet me.

My dad showed up around 2:00. He held Micah while I finished pumping, then gave him his bottle supplement while I took my medication and ate something. I noticed immediately that while Micah had been awake all morning, he was in a deep food coma. I immediately knew he wouldn't be waking up for the photos. Nevertheless, we got him dressed, and my dad helped put him in the carseat while I organized the diaper bag. My dad informed me he had figured out the correct entrance to the mall and where to park closest to the portrait studio (a thought that never occurred to me). I suddenly realized that we were without the stroller frame - DH took the car that had the stroller frame in the trunk! Once again, I was relieved my dad was there - the carrier probably would have been too heavy for me to carry alone with all the other stuff.

We got to Sears, and we were all ready for the sitting . . . and Micah was still unconscious. The woman set up a white background and a white pillow. I kept waiting for her to put some of the cute blankets out, or the baby stuff, or change the background, and she never did. She took 5 pictures, and that was it. I thought that perhaps they digitized the color background. While we waited for the photographer to do a few things, my dad asked me to walk with him to the Build-a-Bear workshop so he could build a bear for Micah. It was so cute! We got him a scruffy dog. When we went back, I picked out the picture I liked best, but I was really disappointed by the white backdrop. She then tells me it will cost $17.99 for 1 8x10. I then explained I was there for the $9.99 package advertised on the web. She said that all their packages began at $99, and I must have the price wrong. I again repeated the offer, and she said that they only have coupon offers, nothing on the internet. We called the manager, who tried to tell us the internet rates were not for in-store sittings, but internet sittings (huh? how do you do a photo shoot over the internet? with a web cam?). I used my trustee Treo to access the ad, and I read it to her - it said "Everyday Special." It was clear that this was an everyday package deal, no coupon required. Eventually, the manager honored the price, but it took us 1/2 hour.

So . . . we got the price we wanted, and the picture of Micah is kind of cute, but I'm very unhappy with the selected background and the fact that the photographer failed to use any of the props in the picture (no toys, no blankets, nothing!). Bottom line - I wouldn't go back there for anything. I have a coupon for JC Penney that I intend to use next month. Let's hope they do a better job!

After the entire ordeal, we came racing home, just in time for another feed. My father was nice enough to stay with me longer so he could take care of Micah while I pumped. Then, in classic Daddy style, he fell asleep on the couch and stayed another 2 hours sleeping. I'm just glad today is done . . . I'm exhausted and in need of some serious sleep.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Support Group

Yesterday, I attended a breastfeeding support group . . . which, I have to say, is kind of a strange thing for me to do. I'm SOOO not a joiner - I hate to be around a group of strangers, and I hate to have to show up somewhere on a schedule. But, we are having issues, I kind of thought it would be nice to meet some other new parents who are dealing with breastfeeding crap, and mostly, I just wanted to get out of the house! I've been so worried about how to take Micah anywhere and deal with feeding, and I figured if I was going to give it a try, being around a lactation consultant and a bunch of breastfeeding women was probably the smartest idea I'd had in a while.

So, I fed Micah and put him in the carseat. I packed up the pump and the diaper bag, and off we went! We got to the session a few minutes late, but it was more of a drop-in session anyway. Micah mostly slept the entire time I was there. I have to say, I met several ladies around my age with new children who had dealt with some of the same challenges. It was actually kind of nice to hear! The lactation consultant gave us some good resources and some encouragement. I ended up needing to feed Micah there (and they had a scale so it all worked out for me). I did not realize how difficult it would be to put Micah down and pump there - he just wanted to be held, and I couldn't figure out how to pump and cuddle him at the same time. Every other feeding we've been doing the pumping, DH or my mom has been around to hold him while I pump.

The down side to the meeting was one crazy woman who was there . . . I really could write an entire blog post about how inappropriate she was. She kept talking about her upcoming book, and how she was all about being "all natural" so she was going to feed her baby soy milk (um, hello - isn't breast milk the preferred course of action to be "all natural?"). She kept trying to be the "facilitator" for the session - and she was NOT supposed to be the facilitator, nor did she have a clue about breastfeeding. She would take our questions and re-phrase them into something ridiculous and irrelevant and derail the conversation. Anytime side-conversations started (and remember, it is a drop-in, informal support group, so I would think these side-conversations would be desirable) she would ask us to stop talking and save it so she could follow all the different stories. I really wanted to strangle her the entire time. Oh, and did I mention she didn't have a baby yet? She was pregnant and just looking for information, but I really felt someone who was not there with an actual issue shouldn't be DRIVING the discussion - she should have sat back and observed/learned.

So, I learned a lot about nipples and bottles and supplementing and pumping and feeding techniques and got a list of resources for low milk supply. I think I'm now armed and dangerous!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My breast pump talks

Once I tell you this, I am certain you will think I am crazy (well, even crazier). This morning, when I woke up at 5:30 am to try and pump, I became convinced that my breast pump talks. The motor makes this grinding noise that actually sounds like a word. Well, really a phrase. I kept hearing over and over again while I pumped:


I woke DH up to make him listen. He thought I was nuts and it wasn't saying "Get away." I then thought maybe it was saying "Natalie." At my next pumping session, the "Get away" mantra melded into "Oedipus" at one point before doing a chorus of "Natalie" and then returning to "Get away." This last pumping session, it pretty consistently chanted "Get away" at me (with a few "Natalie" lines thrown in). I have to say, I think I hate my breast pump as much as it hates me. I'd like nothing better than to throw it through the big picture windows in our dining room . . . but we did just pay to replace them all, so that would be foolish.

So . . . who is planning to be the first to call the crazy authorities on me?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Love/Hate Relationship with Breastfeeding

I would say I am having a love/hate relationship with breastfeeding - and I'm pretty darn sick of it! I kind of thought after having challenges getting pregnant, and then struggling through the pregnancy with morning sickness, UTIs and pre-term contractions, that once Micah was here things would get easier. Naturally, that just wasn't the case. We had all those eating issues the first week. Then, once we got the issues under control and he started gaining weight, I figured it would be smooth sailing from there, right? Wrong again! Micah caught a cold last week, and we've been on this eating spiral ever since.

Last night, I thought everything was actually back to "normal" and okay. I figured he had been eating every 3 1/2 hours all day, and nursing for a relatively "normal" amount of time for us (20-40 minutes a side) and then falling easily back to sleep or staying contentedly awake for a bit before dozing off. No cluster feeding, and then we put him down at 1:30 or 2 and he slept until 6 am. We couldn't believe how great things were going!

Before things normalized yesterday, I was still worrying about whether Micah was eating enough or gaining enough weight and if my milk supply was sufficient. I called an LC and was invited to join a semi-private class this morning. I gave a non-committal "maybe" thinking it depended on whether Micah slept or cluster-fed or what time his morning feed was. Since he woke up at 6 and the class started at 10, I actually figured that it might be pretty decent timing. I fed him from 6 - 7:30 (he fell asleep a few times, and we changed his diaper and his outfit) and I put him back down. At 9:30 when I picked him up, he was still out cold - I figured I had enough time to get to class to feed him, so off I went!

I was feeling pretty confident when I got to class. I was mostly interested in working on latching without the nipple shield and seeing if we were using the nipple shield correctly. I have to say, I was a bit horrified by the LC. She was incredibly scattered, and much of her advice seemed to contradict all the other LCs I've consulted thus far. And her 2 year old daughter . . . well, there is just no way to say this nicely, but she was OBESE. I mean I'd guess she weighed over 50 lbs. She had 3 or 4 chins, and her waist was bigger than mine . . . probably even when I was 9 months pregnant. This poor child could barely walk normally. And she spent the ENTIRE time we were there eating! She drank 3 8 oz glasses of chocolate milk (mind you, I was there for 1 1/2 hours), and then nursed for 20 minutes, then had some crackers, and then ate a sandwich. I had a hard time taking bf'ing advice from a woman who allowed her child to get that obese (yes, I'm passing judgment - I have no idea what is going on there, but I think an overweight child should not be consuming that much sugar and chocolate).

So after I got there, we set Micah up, and she weighed him, and we tried to get him to latch/nurse without the shield. He did for a bit, but then he was getting hungry and frustrated so I put the shield on. The LC suggested I try a smaller shield, and she gave it to me and just placed it over the nipple. When I asked her about proper attachment, she said she doesn't bother with any of that. I was a bit surprised, but decided to set aside what other LCs had taught me and try and trust this woman and her methods.

She said he was nursing well at first, but then later she urged me to switch sides, then said he was nursing too long and thought he wasn't taking much in. We weighed him after he'd been nursing for about 45 minutes or so, and he had consumed about 1.3 ozs. Not bad, but definitely not enough. I kind of lost it - this whole process has been so frustrating, and I just don't know what to do next. I really think he was doing fine before he got sick, but now I'm not even sure of that.

I noticed that my nipple didn't seem to be fitting as well in this shield as it did in the other ones, and I decided that perhaps the nipple shield was interfering with how he was nursing. I put my own shield back on, and re-latched Micah. He ate again for a while, and started to doze off. She re-weighed him, and in a shocked voice informed me he had eaten another .9 ozs - so 2.2 ozs total for the feed (about where he needed to be). Her concern was that it took him over 1 hour to get that much, and she felt my supply might be a bit low.

I was pretty upset at this point. I knew we'd been having issues, but it just sucks hearing it. And the options don't thrill me. I can either supplement with formula (which will do nothing to increase my supply, and because I'm allergic to coconut oil, giving Micah formula and trying to nurse gives me horrible rashes). Or, I can go back to pumping every 3 hours - another thought that depresses me a bit. There is also no guarantee that pumping every 3 hours will increase my supply, either - or help Micah nurse more efficiently.

So, I'm stuck. I could just throw in the towel on nursing (and yes, I know there is nothing wrong with bottle-feeding babies, but with my allergy, I have a different set of concerns about using formula and how it will affect how I interact with Micah). Or, I could try and pump every 3 hours, and increase my supply, and work on shortening Micah's feedings and teaching him to be a more efficient nurser AND teaching him how to latch without a nipple shield AND supplementing with pumped milk after each feeding until he can properly nurse on his own (which may never happen). So I'm stuck. I'm not sure if it is worth continuing to fight this battle (or even the smart thing to do). I'm tired of fighting, but there is a part of me that is just stubborn and I want to win this battle. My reluctance to bottle feeding formula really isn't about bonding, or which way is "better" or anything like that. I really do think it is mostly about winning this battle because I hate not being able to make things work, and part of it has to do with my fears about my coconut oil allergy (and no, you cannot buy any commercial formulas that are made without coconut oil). And part of me is ready for this to be easy, and I know bottle feeding would be so much easier (with the exception of my contact dermatitis rashes I'll have for the next 11 months because of my allergy).

So . . . that is my love/hate relationship with breastfeeding. For today, we are going to weigh him before/after each feeding, and try and supplement with pumped breastmilk to make sure he gets 2 - 2 1/2 ozs at each feeding. I'm going to pump after each feeding, and maybe in between, too, to try and increase my supply. We'll see where we are and then try and figure out what to do next.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Rough Week

This week has been tough. Micah has been struggling with a cold, and then it affected his eating/nursing. We've been having a difficult time getting back on track. He seems to be feeling much better, but he is still congested. At the doctor's appointment on Thursday (we went in to have his cold checked out), he had only gained 4 ounces - about 5 ounces less than we would have liked. We have no way to know whether this slowed weight gain is merely due to his cold or if it signifies a bigger eating issue.

I'm a bit frustrated right now with breastfeeding. He was doing a great job eating, and we were on a pretty good schedule until he got sick. He wouldn't eat for about a day, so I had to pump and bottle feed him. All I can say is this began a long cycle of crazy stuff . . . first I was feeling like I had an oversupply, and then it felt like my milk supply crashed. Micah finally got his appetite back, but he has been cluster-feeding pretty much non-stop for the past several days. We finally resorted to giving him a few bottle formula supplements because I just couldn't nurse him that many hours a day. I think he was nursing for about 12 hours straight on Thursday and Friday. Yesterday was better during the day, but then Micah would not stop nursing overnight and would not go down to sleep. I had a horrible migraine, so after nursing him for 9 hours (with about 45 minutes of breaks TOTAL), I finally told DH to give him a bottle so I could try and sleep my migraine off. I've been concerned that Micah is nursing like crazy because he isn't getting enough from me. The formula did the trick last night and Micah finally slept for 5 hours straight. He seems to be nursing more "normally" today - we'll see what happens tonight. He has been difficult to wake for his feedings today, so I'm concerned we are on a bad cycle here.

I've tried calling a few lactation consultants. Right now, everyone seems to think this is just a growth spurt (although I'm not convinced). Did I mention he is pooping green? I am concerned this means there is an issue with my milk, but who knows. He isn't exhibiting other symptoms of a foremilk/hindmilk issue (and he nurses for very long periods of time - sometimes 30-50 minutes on each breast - and yes, he is actively nursing that WHOLE time). I may have another appointment with a lactation consultant tomorrow.

Overall, today was a good day. We had friends come by to bring us bagels for breakfast and take a tour of our house. I then went to meet a new contractor to get a price quote on fixing up my condo for resale. Micah has been nursing easily and quickly going down for his naps today, but tonight will be the real test. I'm still obsessing about his weight and whether everything is okay, but I'm trying to hang in there for a few more days.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My baby is sick

My poor little guy is sick . . . he is running a bit of a fever, and he is definitely congested. I can't get him to wake up and eat today. I called the doctor, and there isn't much I can do for him. I just hope he starts feeling better soon!

In good news, Micah did latch 2x in the past 24 hours without the nipple shield. He didn't nurse that long, but he did latch, so there is hope that we'll get off the nipple shield eventually!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sleep Schedules and Play Groups

Micah is eating well and definitely growing. I think he sounds a bit congested - not really shocking after the past week that DH & I have been so sick. We've had more than a few sick people around, unfortunately - I guess he was bound to get sick, too. The good news is that most nights, Micah seems to give us a 5 or 6 hour stretch between feedings - kind of surprising for such a small baby! now that we have him in the secure sleeper, he will even sleep in the bassinet, too. I have noticed that Micah rarely wakes up and cries because he is hungry. I've just been waking him for feedings throughout the day and letting him sleep at night, but I think he would sleep most of the day and skip eating. Not sure how this child could be related to me and DH!! I'll have to ask the pediatrician next week if that is normal.

I'm finally starting to come back to the land of the living. I feel like most of my days revolve around feeding and diapers, and I feel like I should be *doing* more to stimulate both me and Micah. The weather isn't nice, so daily walks are not on the table. I'm thinking about starting back with yoga maybe next week, and I want to get back into swimming for exercise - maybe start toning everything back up again. I also looked up the dates for a Baby & Me class at the community center - the next one starts on February 2, and I intend to register for it! Several of my friends with children have said they made several good friends in this same class and found a playgroup for their children, so I'm hoping it will bring us good luck as well.

I also found out that there is this mommy group that includes different weekly activities for 6 weeks - each week, the group meets in a new location for an activity. They offer a singing session, an infant massage session, a photo session, a fitness session, a meeting with a pediatrician, and a class at a children's fitness place. It sounds like it might be fun to try! There is a session that starts next week (and the sessions are for babies 1 month to 1 year old), but I'm thinking that maybe I should wait and join the March course when Micah is older (especially since I haven't even brought him out into public yet). I also checked into baby swimming lessons - but I can't enroll him until he is 6 months old, so that will have to wait until summer time. I guess I'm looking forward to starting to do more.

I am also all set to attend my big conference at the end of the month. I'll be doing 4 presentations and attending 2 all-day meetings. DH will be coming as well, and I signed him up to do a presentation as well. Hopefully it will bring in some work for both of us! We decided to bring my mom along for the trip to help take care of Micah, so it should be a fun trip to Orlando.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!

I can't believe it is 2009! Micah got to meet his great grandmother on New Year's Day and spend some time with her. That was really wonderful to see - she kept saying how beautiful he was. I'm not sure if she knew who he was all the time, but she seemed happy to have him there. For someone with dementia, you just have to focus on the moments.

I'm finally feeling better (I'm a bit worried about Micah, though - he keeps sneezing!) and we've gotten Micah to sleep for 5 hour stretches 3 nights in a row so far! We tried the secure sleeper, and that really does seem to help a lot. He has really been fairly awake today - we played a bit, and we chatted, too. Of course, now I'm wondering what exactly to DO with him when he is awake. I sing, but that has to hurt his ears!! I'm not sure what toys he should play with or how best to stimulate him. We tried the playmat again today - he got upset after about 5 minutes on it. I gave him a funky rattle/plastic loopy thing (I think it is called a winkle?) and he seemed to like that . . . for a few minutes. He got cranky the last time he was awake, so I put him in the swing and he zonked back out again. We've played music and I've chatted with him and read him a book. I guess I'm just not sure if I'm doing this "right." I've never been so unsure of so many things in my life!