Thursday, October 29, 2009

Alright, I give in.

[WARNING: This post includes a somewhat frank and lengthy discussion/brain dump about breastfeeding. Do not read if you don't want to read about breastfeeding. There. I warned you.]

It is not often that I write a post where I directly ask for help or ideas. In fact, I am not sure I have ever written a post where I asked directly for help or ideas. But the time has come where I need good ideas from people who have been there. Or who have spouses who have been there. Or who have ever known anyone who has been there. There, that should include every reader of this blog.

I am a prisoner in my own house. A prisoner of breastfeeding.

There. It's out! To all of you mothers who nursed their babies and EVER left your house, I all out salute you. I have no idea how you did it. And I BEG you to tell me. I also beg you to tell me how you ever made plans for people to come over. Or made plans to go out at a specific time.

Here is the background on a typical nursing session. Nursing is going well. When Bennett gets hungry, we are now capable of getting him fed. I am proud of us.

However, the little guy doesn't often remember to breathe when he eats, causing him to jerk his head back at least 3 or 4 times a side, leaving... [don't finish this sentence if you are fainthearted]... milk spraying everywhere. It gets messy. I can usually handle it with a burp cloth, no big deal.

Also, Bennett is a ravenous eater (I swear, I feed the kid. He hardly ever even goes three hours between feedings!), and insists on gulping air. This makes him really uncomfortable about halfway through nursing on one side, and he needs to be burped.

So here is my problem. No, wait. Here are my problems:

1) The ravenous eating + lots of burping time makes it nearly impossible to nurse discreetly under a nursing cover. I have one (I actually have two!), and have tried to use it. He kicks it, jerks his head back into it, and needs to come out from under it probably ever 4 or 5 minutes to burp! How is it possible to nurse under a cover under those circumstances? Am I just inexperienced? Will I get used to using one if I do it more? I mean, I could maybe see myself having a friend over or going over somewhere if I thought I could nurse discreetly with a nursing cover. Though, that's still kind of awkward...

2) I feel like I can't make plans to go anywhere because I am so worried that I will get there, and he will start freaking out hungry and I will have to feed him and not be able to discreetly, or not be able to at all (like in the middle of a restaurant or something). I mean, sometimes he goes 3 hours between feeds, but sometimes it's like an hour and a half. Or 40 minutes. It's a complete guessing game! So I feel like I can't have people over, because heaven knows, even if I plan to have them at a time that happens to be right after he has finished eating (which, who honestly knows what time that will be!! Please!), maybe he will be hungry again in 30 minutes. And what do I do with the guest? "I'm sorry, but you'll have to excuse me for the next 30 minutes to an hour. My baby is hungry and I have to go nurse in a back room." Yeah right.

I am basically terrified to go back to Church this Sunday because I know that at some point in the 3 hour block, he is bound to get hungry and I am going to have to feed him. And we are in a building with 3 other married student wards, so I KNOW there will be other moms in the mother's lounge. I hope I can get that cover thing working.

I have lunch plans tomorrow. I will only be out for one hour, but what if, during that hour, he decides he's STARVING and can't wait another minute to eat? WHAT DO I DO?!


Ok.... deep breath.

I know this post is not a good example of really coherent writing, and honestly, I'm not even going to proofread it much. I just need to get the situation out there for suggestions. I know people nurse their children. And I know they are not all home bound forever. How these two things happen simultaneously, I do not know.

Maybe he is just still really young and will eventually settle into more of a routine where I will be able to predict when he will need to eat. If that's the case, PLEASE! Reassure me he will settle into a routine! I need to hear that. Also, I do have a breast pump, and can pump a bottle to take with us if I have to, but if this is a good solution, when should I pump it? Because let's say he's hungry now, and I feed him. Well, then I don't have much to pump right after the feeding, obviously. But if I wait til I have something to pump, say an hour and a half or so, I wouldn't be able to pump as much as he usually would eat (because it hasn't been a few hours), so whatever bit I do pump won't fill him up if I do have to give it to him, and then when I go to breastfeed him again when he's hungry (let's say an hour and a half after pumping), I only have half of what he would eat anyway, so there's still not enough.

Ok. Hopefully this gives you enough information on my situation. Obviously, I will live. It really isn't the end of the world, but I am at kind of a loss right now.

To all of you who are mothers and surviving to the least degree, really. GOOD JOB. I completely admire you all. I had no idea how draining this would all be physically and emotionally. I don't know how you all do it so well! And to my mother, who lived through 4 children that all survived and thrived, WOW. If it helps offset some of the pain I'm sure you went through, I appreciate your hard work a LOT more now (and not nearly as much as I'm sure I will in years to come).

Ok, end rant. Let the comments flow freely.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It has begun

This morning, I opened the door to go outside and move our car (can't park in the same spot for more than 21 hours on the streets of Logan!), still in my pajamas. The special feeling of hatred I felt sweep over me comes but once a year.

Yes, the first snow in the valley.

The morning we left the hospital with Bennett, there was snow in the mountains. This is always disconcerting--a little reminder that we aren't going to be able to escape the worst season of the year this year either--but I can handle it when it's not in my yard. Once I have to think about scraping the snow off my car, it takes a great deal of self-control to not just sit around the house moaning and drowning my sorrows in hot chocolate all day.

Right now, I've got a full on snow storm happening here. The above picture was from 10 minutes ago, and it's snowing twice as hard now.

BOO on WINTER. I HATE YOU.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Time Warp

So as far as my life is concerned, October 2009 is going to go down in history as this month that didn't exist. I seriously don't feel like this month even happened. I spent so much of the month just trying to survive from one feeding to the next (or one nap to the next), that the entire month blurred into one huge time warp. Yesterday, Justin and I went for a walk with Bennett and I wished I had worn gloves. The last time I was spending any kind of real time outside, it was hot, hot summer.

I have been having a lot of fun inside with Bennett, and this week he will be one month old and the stay-at-home-away-from-people edict will be lifted! Hooray! We will still be trying to avoid being around lots of people (especially kids), just because of the flu, so please don't be offended if we seem a little reclusive. We just can't afford to get sick! The poor little guy is barely getting good eating habits as it is, haha.

One of my favorite times of day is tummy time. Bennett is really not a huge fan of it, but he tolerates it at least. Currently his back muscles are a lot stronger than his neck muscles, so as he gets more and more tired of lifting his head, his legs will flail up into the air. It is such a crack up.

video

Also, that is the first movie I have ever posted on my blog. I guess my life was pretty boring before Bennett came along!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Good

Today was a good day.

Bennett slept during the day some, which is a sharp contrast to yesterday (when he was the Crankster, as we call him in his bad moods). I hope those of you who have been in my shoes understand that the following list of accomplishments is really a big deal. Well, let me restate. I hope everyone understands, but I know that before having Bennett, I never would have been impressed with someone who listed the following as "accomplishments:"

I got dressed for the day before 10 am.

I went through all the mail from the past... 4 weeks... and organized it into our filing cabinet where it belongs.

I sorted out an insurance debacle with the hospital (thankfully!)

I took Bennett to the pediatrician (he has a goopy eye).

I cleaned off our counter-- there was a lot of stuff that had accumulated there over the last week.

I did the dishes.

I cleaned all the countertops with Lysol.

I made a dinner that required more than 5 minutes of cooking!

I made a dessert.

I attribute a lot of this to the fact that Bennett spent a lot more time napping than he has the past few days, but still, I am happy that I felt good enough and rested enough to be up and about when he was sleeping instead of sleeping myself! Go me.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wrestling

So my little guy eats efficiently. Once he decides he's going to actually crack down and eat. He gets really (really) excited about eating, and begins flailing his arms and head. He then makes this face:

which those of you who have nursed know, does not make for a good latch. It is an adorable face-- eyebrows raised, eyes wide open, the smallest hint of a smile-- but there is no way I'm letting him try and latch with his mouth only open that much! Cute doesn't get you everything, buddy!

Eventually, I can manage to get his lower arm under control, and I then try to get him to open wide enough. He eventually will start opening really wide as he gets more and more excited, at which point, his upper arm (which I have taken to calling his rogue arm) will start flailing worse than ever and will actually push his body away from me while his mouth is trying to get to me. I keep trying to tell him that that's not the most effective way to eat, but he doesn't listen.

He will eventually latch on, and immediately begin gulping as if this was his last meal, and he had to finish it in the next 30 seconds. Invariably, this causes him to forget to breathe, despite my constant reminders that this a crucial part of nursing (and, well, living). He will then yank his head back (ouch!) and gasp for air and relax for a few seconds before the whole vicious cycle begins again. Eventually, he gets what I call the "magic latch." He will latch on in the same way, but for some reason, manages to calm completely down, remembers to breathe, eats slower, and generally seems to enjoy what he's doing. I have no idea what it is that prompts him to decide it is finally time for the magic latch, but I am really working at figuring it out. Because sitting in a room for 30-45 minutes fighting a newborn who eats for 7 or so minutes is really not the way I'd envisioned nursing my sweet little baby.

Oh well.... we'll keep working. He is darling, after all.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Two week checkup

Our little guy is apparently a really efficient nurser. I had worried, because he only usually nurses for between 7 and 12 minutes every 3 hours, but, he is gaining plenty of weight, and the doc says he looks great. So apparently, I just have a fast eater, which is actually awesome. Also, I got permission to let him sleep for as long as he will during the night (before, I was supposed to wake him up every 3 hours to feed him during the day and night). This wouldn't usually sound that awesome, since most newborns aren't giant sleepers (or at least that was the impression I was under); however, the other night, I slept through one of my alarms to feed Mr. B and he slept for 5 1/2 hours. WOW. I felt SO good. I can't wait to see how tonight goes!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Water Retention

Remember when I blogged about my unrecognizable elephant trunk feet?


WOW. That's the only picture I ever took. It's not from my worst day of swelling, but it's from a day when I was so tired of having only one pair of shoes to wear that I thought to myself, "I better document this for posterity. And the blogging world. And so I can be extra grateful later when and if my feet actually return to normal."

Please note the toes that all touch each other. The giant ankle (or rather, the spot where an ankle should have been). The uniform size from my knee down to my foot. The fact that those sandals are absolutely squeezed on as far as I could get them and my toes still didn't reach the front of the shoe.

Now take a look at this:

I am no professional photographer, nor did I intend to get a really great shot with my cell phone, but I just wanted to show you, for comparison's sake, the same pair of sandals on my feet today. They don't even look like the same pair of shoes. The straps don't touch my feet. They slide off my feet as I walk in them. Everyone who commented on how swollen I was whilst pregnant can now know that I wasn't lying when I said that I really did once have long, skinny toes.

All of my old shoes have started fitting again. It is like heaven. No, it is like I just went on a giant shopping spree. I can kneel again! I can squat again! I can lift my toes of the ground (couldn't do that while I was swollen) and bend at the ankle! All of these are completely novel feelings for me. If you can do these things now, take a moment to truly enjoy them. Seriously. I will wait for you before sharing the rest of the good news.

Last night, for grins after one of the middle-of-the-night feedings, I thought I would step on my bathroom scale. I did this once after arriving home from the hospital, and the results were less than I expected, so I hadn't done it again since. But now, my swelling had lessened dramatically and I wondered how much of a factor that swelling had been in my weight gain.

Friends, I am happy to announce that I have lost a little more than 25 pounds since arriving home from the hospital a little less than 2 weeks ago. Yes, 25 pounds! AFTER being home from the hospital. That doesn't include the actual baby or other bodily fluids I lost during delivery and the couple days after. I attribute zero pounds of this weight loss to diet and exercise as I have mostly been forced to sit around and let my body heal (yay for stitches!). And I know I haven't lost all the water yet, either, because I still can't quite get my wedding ring on my ring finger. This feels FANTASTIC. It also lets you know truly how badly swollen I was. 25 pounds of extra fluid just hanging about in my legs and feet!!! Can you believe it!? Wow! I know I'm overdoing it on the punctuation, but I just feel so good. I'll quit raving now, but seriously, how great is that?!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Blessing

We blessed our sweet little boy yesterday while my parents were still in town. We blessed him at home, since he is still too little to take anywhere with it being flu season and all. It was a wonderful experience, even though we had to limit how many people could attend. Bennett was a champ and managed to sleep the entire time everyone was here passing him around. We took loads of pictures, but here are a few:


While they were here, my parents gave me an early birthday present-- a new camera! I was so excited-- my old 2 MP camera was stellar, but just not quite going to cut it for getting super cute pictures of Mr. Bennett. Here's the big guy on his two week birthday!


Much better. Thanks Mom and Dad! It was so fun to have you here, and we'll be sure to keep you updated with pictures and movies!

Squirmer

Our son is a squirmer.


We put him to sleep all swaddled up with the two rolled blankets on either side of him (he likes to turn on his side), and came back a few minutes later to find that he had completely squirmed out of his swaddling (leaving the blanket he had been swaddled in completely unwrapped by his feet), and moved about 12 inches up in the crib. We didn't get the picture taken before we moved the blanket that he had squirmed out of, because he had peed all the way through his diaper leaving a giant wet spot on blanket and sheets.


Example two: his body is parallel to the bumper at the top of picture! His head is completely back and again, he's squirmed his arms out of his swaddling.

Isn't he sweet, though?

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Little Steps


We took a walk today. It felt good to be outside, and made me feel like one day life really will have some sort of normality to it again! Also, I wore something other than sweats for the first time since delivery. Every little step feels good.


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

General Conference

I missed... umm.... the entire thing this year. Good thing it will be in the Ensign.

However, the trip I took to the lactation specialist yesterday was described by Justin as "General Conference for breastfeeding." I laughed and laughed when he said that. But it was a wildly successful appointment. We still have a long road ahead of us, and it still takes about 4 hands to feed the little guy, but he's actually eating now and I'm not in constant pain. I consider that a monumental step and know that we were truly blessed. It is not often that I wax spiritual on my blog, so you should be able to tolerate it this once, but there really is nothing like just feeling so defeated and praying and praying for help and then having your whole outlook for the future changed in an hour and a half meeting with someone who actually knows what on earth is going on. I know we are watched over by our Heavenly Father and that if we have a little faith, we can be witness to little miracles. I got one yesterday.

Monday, October 05, 2009

You might have noticed....

I have all but disappeared from the world of blogging/e-mailing/calling/text messaging. I apologize right now to all those who I promised I would call when he arrived and then didn't until 2 or 3 days after the blessed event. Turns out you don't ever have more than like an hour and a half to yourself at the hospital.

You can expect that this lack of typical communication will be the new norm. At least until sweet little Bennett remembers how to eat, which he seems to have forgotten promptly Friday afternoon around 1:00pm. Since that time, it has taken upwards of 2 hours and two people to get him to nurse for a total of 7-13 minutes at a time. We are having a rough go of it at our house.

Here's hoping that the specialist we're seeing today will have some answers for us! Keep us in your prayers!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Justin Bennett Wilson

He is here!

One day, I'll post more details. I labored for more than 48 hours at home before finally having him Monday night! Look at him, though! Totally worth it.

September 28, 2009
8 lbs. 0 oz. (yeah, the ultrasounds we got were all WAY off!)
20 inches
a teeny tiny bit of dark hair!