Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Joy Of Breastfeeding #1

Breastfeeding-There's no where else I'd want to be...

This morning Z allowed me to do my make up so I decided to try and run few errands. Unfortunately, he loathes car rides and I was hoping today might be different. We got the first couple locations taken care of amidst his nearly constant protests.  I decided to venture the few miles and deal with the heart wrenching cries to go to Kohls. When I got there, I wrapped him in my Moby and started to walk around the store to try and lull him to sleep so I could shop normally which involves stopping and meandering. Didn't work, he just wanted to scream his little 5 week newborn scream, so we took it outside. I walked and talked to him and finally the bouncing, patting and shhhing worked, he fell asleep. I shopped for over an hour to spend my free $10 gift card and finally settled on a pair of gowns for Z to help make EC and diaper changes easier.

Then the car ride home he again showed his true lung strength. He belted out screams that sounded like he was in excruciating pain, which he wasn't. My heart aches to hear him scream like that, I just don't know what else to do. It feels like I'm making him "cry it out" but that is completely not my intentions. I talk to him, and at stops I reach back and let him hold my finger. I sing along to my blaring Christmas songs and absolutely nothing works...

Until I get home and get him out of the car seat and into my arms. Then his cries turn to whimpers and once I get him inside, lift my shirt, undo my bra and pop him on, all the world seems right. We both instantly relax and tune in to each other. As I look down at him, he gazes wide eyed at me and doesn't break the staring competition we seem to have started. My heart feels like it is truly melting.  His legs wrap around my side and warm me.  My mind is concentrating only on him, nothing else enters my head, not one non-mothering, loving thought.  As I stare at him and let myself feel the love, my eyes well up with tears.  Eventually he falls asleep at my breast and the last thing I want to do is remove him from me. So here he lays, using me as a pacifier, and I want nothing more in the world then to be here with him.  It is so perfect.  He is so perfect.  I am where I was meant to be.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Just a quick update!

Well, during most of my pregnancy, I had so much to write. My journal saw entries daily, but for the last 6 weeks, it's been a little different! :) I had my son, he's 3 weeks old today. An absolutely gorgeous baby boy I've named Zander. He was 7 lbs 5 ounces and 19 inches. So my birth didn't go at all like I had planned, but I don't regret anything. I'll post his birth story one of these days.

I am so grateful to have a healthy lil guy that loves to be held. The first week was amazing, I got out a few times, slept plenty, took him shopping for NB sized clothes and was feeling great. It wasn't until about day 13 that things started to change... He cries a lot more and is harder to comfort. My only fail proof remedy is to let him feed and when the Ped told me he was overeating causing gas resulting in his fussiness, I was devastated. When he starts the ear piercing wails, nursing is the only thing seems calm him. It's been a rough 3 days of not letting him eat so much.  I'd have to take him off before he fell asleep, then he just scream. Thank goodness for a great lactation consultant/Hypnobirthing instructor/doula whom I had an appointment with this morning. She told me to follow my instincts. YAY!!!! I can feed him as he needs and allow him to comfort nurse. He seems to need that in the middle of the night to get back to sleep and I am so grateful to have this tool back!

So he may get air/gas from comfort nursing, he would from the screaming as well right? I’ve concluded I should burp him more frequently (as I rarely do), and will try some massage techniques, and maybe the gas drops and see if they help. My LC also suggested a tea to help soothe his fussiness. It’s equal parts fennel seed, chamomile and catnip which I’ve read great reviews of and can’t wait to try! I’m rereading my Happiest Baby on the Block and while I do most of these instinctually (maybe not as vigorously though), it’s nice to know my instincts are right.

Breastfeeding wasn’t as easy as I’d hoped. I ended up having a hard time getting him to latch due to flat nipples, so have been using a nipple shield. It’s nice to not have cracked nipples, but difficult because I can’t just feed him anytime he needs it, like in the pediatrician’s waiting room. So today at my LC appointment, I got help to wean him from it, and we had our first successful feed at home without the shield ! Yippee!!

I don’t wear my Moby as much as I’d planned, but Z is still in arms for all but maybe 2 or 3 hours a day. He also usually falls asleep on my belly at night after feeding, though I will sometimes roll him off to sleep next to me. I’d like to use the Moby more, it’s just so long and I feel like I’m always changing diapers while attempting elimination communication. It’s just so cumbersome (the Moby, not EC).

Well, my milk has just let down, so I’m off to rouse this sleeping baby from my chest as it’s been nearly 3 hours. I sooooo look forward to his expressions while he eats and how when he pops off, he bobs his head around like a little turtle, looking for his breast again. It’s beyond amazing, priceless. I hope I can remember these moments forever.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Can Birth Really be this Easy?

So I listen to my Hypnobirthing track(s) nightly before bed, and if I wake up too early (before noon) to help me relax back to sleep. I eat pretty darn healthfully, minus a daily small sweet treat, and my exercise consists of usually parking as far away I as I can and walking to my destination, especially in my community college parking lot. I went to a doctor (non OB type) last week and they took my BMI and said I was still in the "normal" range for my height, and I'm 37 weeks pregnant! I've always been naturally fit and never gotten above a size 3, so I've been pretty fortunate. My pregnancy would make some women seriously want to strangle me. No morning sickness, no stretch marks (yet), I've only had mild back pains and a hard time breathing sometimes. If it weren't for my protruding belly and increased trips to the bathroom, I'd hardly know I was pregnant.

Now I most certainly am not saying all of this to try and make my new readers hate me and close the page in disgust, but merely to ask... Since I have been so fortunate in my pregnancy thus far, it is possible to believe my birth will be the same? Or am I doomed to have a 48 hour labor riddled with interventions. Obviously the latter is not a path of thought I let my brain take me down as I'm a firm believer in the power of mind-over-matter. But is it really possible my blessed-ness will continue through birth and the "fourth trimester"? He will be my first and my sister (and birth partner) really believes that I am going to have an incredibly quick, very very easy birth (or maybe she just hopes). I fear that since I've been blessed thus far, I will have to be "punished" at some point.

Have I been too cavalier in my preparation for birth? Will opting for couch time instead of taking nightly hour long walks come to bite me in the behind (remember-naturally fit :))? Does successful Hypnobirthing require more then just my listening to the CDs every night, alone? Should I truly have cut out all sugar (I do no caffeine, lunch meat, rotate my fish types and avoid all other precautionary no-no's, and obviously eat lots of whole grains, proteins, fruits and veggies, prenatals and DHA)?

Or is it possible, or even better, is it likely, my luck will continue as it has??? Can I really be that girl? Can my birth really be that easy? Please say it is so!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

It's all starting to become real!!

When I went to see my midwife at 35 weeks I asked her why I wasn't having contractions yet, and she said I have been having them for several weeks, and that I just couldn't feel them or recognize them. She asked if I ever felt like he was trying to push out of my belly, and I'd been writing in my journal for weeks now about how it felt like he's trying to break straight through my belly to enter the world. Hmph!! Who woulda known?! I always thought contractions, even Braxton Hicks, would feel like some kind of tightening and maybe cramping and shooting pains, but nope, it's more of an area of my belly getting rock solid. Well now that I know, the last couple of days have given a plethora of opportunities to experience them. It's awesome to know my body really is getting ready for birth. I have been getting some piercing pains in my pubic area and if I start to wince and hold my breath, it gets worse, until I remember Hypnobirthing and I relax and breathe, and they become magically tolerable, not even pain like. Pretty incredible that Hypnobirthing stuff is!

I am so excited to give birth and prove to all the naysayer’s how very possible it is to have a pain free birth. I’ve been reading lots of positive birthing experiences from the Hypnobabies sites and others, and I think it’s time to start rereading Orgasmic Birth and Adventures in Natural Childbirth. Though I realize my birth may not be totally pain free, I do believe it’s possible, and fear is the last thing on my mind. Women in parts Africa and many other parts of the world simply walk off into the woods, give birth silently so as not to attract predators, and return to their village with their new baby. The Continuum Concept is an amazing book revealing many cultural differences between Western cultures and more “primitive” and natural ones. It's really helped me to realize how much our cultural beliefs can shape our perceptions and feelings about childbirth and rearing.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My First Blog :)

My name is Jennifer, I'm 30 years old and I've just recently moved back to Sacramento, CA after being in San Diego and Las Vegas for the last 5 years. I'm 35 weeks 5 days pregnant and OH SO excited to have my first baby, a little boy, name yet to be determined.  I'm going to give birth at my local birth center and do this the natural way so that my son and I can have the optimal bonding experience for the best possible start of our relationship (hopefully!).  My sister is my best friend, roommate and birthing partner.  Both of my parents, and all of my family, live here in Sacramento and are beyond excited to meet the first child of our next generation next month.  My family has been very supportive, at least to my face :), of my desires to practice a sorta crunchy parenting style, except maybe the topic of extended/full-term breastfeeding.

So I think I'm just about ready to meet my lil man.  I've got my Marathon 70 installed, Gdiapers and leg warmers are on their way, I've got my BBLP sitting next to the big toilet ready to start EC'ing and a playyard set up next to my bed, just in case he likes his own bed better (doubt it :)).  Oh, and I've been practicing my wrapping techniques with my Moby and listening to my hypnobirthing tracks every night.  Other than that, I don't know what else I can do to prepare... I'm just so excited!  I'm definitely looking forward to my upcoming journey into motherhood.

32 weeks