Pink is the New Blaze Orange

27 10 2011


So, having an infant who sometimes screams from 3a.m. until dawn is not really challenging anymore.  And the novelty of having exterior walls removed from our house at the onset of below-freezing nights is really wearing off.  So I packed up the baby and the senile dog, and headed to the hunting camp 4 hours away to spend a few days with Jason.  Because, you know, wearing a down parka and a headlamp makes pacing up and down with a raging infant so much more interesting, especially in wild horse country.  Seriously: the elk have never seen this much pink…

Other than Charlie walking off an embankment into an icy creek at one in the morning and my car rolling off an embankment into a few trees, it was an excellent trip.  I mean, if you have to walk constantly to keep the baby happy, you might as well walk through miles of gorgeous fall foliage, right?

Happy Dog

Happy Dog

Happy Dog

Camping Gear: The Patagonia Fleece Suit

Camping Gear: every little girl needs pink boots

Morning with Dad

Noon with Dad

Night with Dad

This is why I use a carrier: Pushing an empty stroller while breastfeeding the baby

"I can't put my arms down!" "You can put your arms down when you get to school."


The Sum of Six Weeks: A Note to My Daughter

26 10 2011

So, we’ve had you with us for a nanosecond and for an eternity.  You’ve always been here, and yet you just arrived.  I suppose it’s that way with a lot of parents, and probably the lack of sleep adds to the dichotomy.

But the calendar says six weeks.  And tomorrow will be seven.

Where has the time gone?


You’ve taken 4 trips of three or more days and three or more hours away.  2 camping trips.

You have gone to 3 midwife appointments, 3 pediatric appointments, 3 Ob/Gyn appointments, 1 ultrasound appointment, and 1 massage therapist.

You’ve broken 1 bone, and that you broke it being born makes it no less impressive.

You’ve met dozens of dogs, 1 cat, 2 horses, a cow, and the mouse that took up residence in our living room for a few days.

You’ve gone to restaurants: Mexican, Peruvian, Japanese, Thai, American… And slept through most of them.

You hate the car.  Except sometimes you love the car.

You sleep between your dad and I, and my heart nearly breaks with happiness if I spend too much time thinking about it.

You’ve slept through the removal of windows and exterior walls and the cutting of concrete and the installation of sheetrock and the barking of dogs.

You started at 6 pounds, 10 ounces and have grown to 10 pounds, 6 ounces.  You have outgrown clothes already.

You make these squeaky little sounds and I call you “my little mouse.”  And yesterday, you made your first consonant sound, the “m” sound, and you said it to your grandma, not me, so I pretended not to be impressed but I was, I was just jealous.

Right now, you are sleeping on the bed next to me, and I keep poking you because I miss you.

I could keep going, but none of it adds up to our six weeks together.  None of it adds up to who you are at this moment in time.  None of it expresses just how much I love you.

I could keep going, but I don’t want to miss another moment of cuddling with you.

6 Weeks of Ridiculous Cuteness

25 10 2011

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Some Days Are Like This. All Day Long.

12 10 2011

On Breastfeeding: Paying It Forward

11 10 2011

I read a lot of blogs.  It’s kind of an addiction.  I found many of my current reads by seeing what other bloggers are reading, but I also found some while seeking out specific information, particularly when I was pregnant and after my miscarriage.  Not surprisingly, I read quite a bit from other moms, like this one.  So even before I was pregnant with Hazel, I had read about multiple breast feeding experiences.  And that helped me form a realistic expectation of breast feeding.

I don’t think that any of my blog readers need breast feeding advice or support, but I feel like maybe someday, some new mother might be searching for information on something like “why my four-week-old can’t survive twenty minutes away from my breast” and will find this post helpful or encouraging or maybe just a much-needed distraction from the cracked, bleeding nipples and screaming infant.

Breast feeding has gone smoothly for Hazel and I, although I was prepared for a poor latch, for insufficient milk, for sore nipples, for mastitis… And I might not escape mastitis, but we got off to a great start.  We hit a rough patch at 3 days, when my milk still hadn’t come in and the baby was HUNGRY, but by 4 days, I had ample milk.

Now we are at 4 weeks.  Not all has gone smoothly.

About a week and a half ago (you know, like half her life time ago), Hazel began having fussy evenings.  Okay, like, REALLY FUSSY evenings.  And she also began having periods where she would repeatedly try to nurse, but would pull off and scream (like, REALLY scream) over and over.  And over and over.  Over then next week, her fussy period extended to early evening, then late afternoon, then to essentially ALL DAY.  She was nursing more and more, as well.  Finally, last night, she spent TWO AND A HALF HOURS nursing.  And not after a long nap.  After a whole day when I couldn’t get her off my breast for more than twenty minutes.  After her nursing spree, she went into another two and half hours of screaming-trying-to-nurse-screaming-screaming-SCREAMING fit.  Well, no shit.  If ANYBODY drinks for two and half hours straight, they’re bound to end up with a hell of a belly ache.

Which is truly awful.  Having a baby in discomfort and not being able to fix it is probably the WORST FEELING IN THE WORLD.

Luckily, I had gone to the Le Leche League website and done some research during one of the baby’s twenty minute cat naps.


Classic Over Production.

AKA One of the Circles of Hell.

Here’s the thing: in the past few weeks, a couple of people mentioned to me that I seemed to only be nursing on one side.  I explained that our lactation consultants had told me to drain one side before moving to the next during a feeding, and nothing more was said.  Certainly, nobody was criticizing me or telling me to do something differently.  But it caused a crisis in my own confidence.  Maybe I was doing it wrong?  If the baby falls asleep after ten minutes and sleeps for twenty, when she wakes up, is it a new feeding?  How do I know when a breast is empty? And so on, until pretty soon, I was switching back and forth from fairly often.

Which increases milk supply.

Which does not help with overproduction.  In fact, can cause it.

And then, as she got fussier during feedings, I began to switch constantly, trying to find a breast and position that would soothe her.  EPIC BACKFIRE.

Added to that, at three weeks, Jason and I decided to introduce an occasional bottle.  Which means pumping, which can contribute to overproduction.

Luckily, there is a fix, and we are working on it; oh, yes, we are working on it.  It can take anywhere from a day to a week to (gasp in horror) twelve weeks to slow down milk production.  We are really, really hoping for a day.

Rather than summarize the facts, if you need information on overproduction, head over to Le Leche League.

But if you hang out with me, and only see me nursing on one side?  Yeah, I know she already nursed on that side.  And you know what?

That’s exactly what she’s supposed to be doing.



While block feeding helped, it didn’t resolve all Hazel’s feeding problems.  She was no longer getting that end-of-day bloat, but she still had a lot of times during the day when she seemed really uncomfortable, and would attempt to nurse but then arch away and scream.  The pediatrician and our LLL rep both suspected reflux.  Which has caused an ongoing effort to get the baby some relief, and some time during the day when she is awake without either nursing or screaming.  And which will generate a post all on its own, as soon as I get a little sleep!

In Place of 1,000 Words

9 10 2011

3 Weeks

3 10 2011

Hazel's First Camping Trip: She wasn't the least bit bothered by sleeping in a tent in the pouring rain.

Some days, I’ve slept enough hours to actually feel how little sleep I get anymore.  Luckily, most days I haven’t.

I’ve learned to play that game that new mothers play: “If the baby only sleeps for five more minutes, what do I want to do in that time?”  There is a constant list of possibilities, but everything is a trade off; the baby will wake up.  So the game goes.  I can take a shower OR brush my teeth OR change the laundry OR make something to eat OR eat it.  If I take a nap, I may never get an opportunity to shower; if I shower, I won’t have time to wash the diapers.  Never mind the dishes.

That’s okay.  I was pretty smug about my child-rearing skills going into this whole thing, and I probably deserved to be taken down a peg or two.  For example, I really didn’t understand why it’s impossible for a new parent to be on time.

Then I had a baby, and I learned that other game: the “Trying to Get Out of the House” game.  You know, the one where you are trying to get dressed but the baby needs to nurse, then the baby poops and needs a clean diaper, then falls asleep, so you get dressed (finally!) and pack a diaper bag, then pick up the baby who either poops or vomits all over you (and herself, and the diaper bag), which wakes her up, then you repeat the whole process… again… and again… FOR HOURS.  I wake up at six a.m. to leave the house by 8, and am lucky if I actually leave before 10.

This sounds like a complain-y sort of post, but I really don’t mean it to be.  I mean it to be a hey-new-moms-I-am-finally-in-your-club sort of post.

Because right after my baby spits up on me?  I kiss her cheeks and her head and call her silly names.  And right after she pees in the middle of a diaper change?  I kiss her forehead and blow raspberries on her tummy and talk to her in that ridiculous baby-pitched voice that everyone hates except mothers and babies.

Because I waited my WHOLE LIFE to be sleep-deprived and pooped-upon and chronically-2-hours-late.  And now that I am, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

This is my "Camping in the rain with an infant is nonstop fun! But I do wish I had the time and energy to brush my teeth and change my underwear..." look.

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