jane q. public

send whips of opinion down my back, give me more

Posts Tagged ‘baby

On milk

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This is a little longish, so skip it if you’re not into the baby stuff. However, if you think you might have one at some point, it is worth a scan.

Back when I was pregnant I took a pretty hard line on breastfeeding. While I still basically stand by what I said (specifically that, if you are medically able, you should give it a shot), I want to walk it back a little.

For a combination of reasons that go along with having a baby, not the least of which was labor, I was totally exhausted in the hospital (and for weeks after). As is standard, a lactation nurse came through to see if I wanted to her to work with us, but I declined. Besides the fact that I thought that I was breastfeeding correctly, I was just too damn tired to do the consultation.

Cut to a couple of days later when we took Z to see the pediatrician. She had lost some weight, as babies do in their first few days, but it was a little more than the standard weight loss. The doctor said he wasn’t concerned in her case, though, because she was an abnormally large baby at 11 pounds 4 ounces.

Then we brought her back for the two week visit. J.R. and I both looked and felt like zombies because Z didn’t allow us much sleep. I expected this, but it was exhaustion like none I’ve felt before. It made me cry more than a few times. I just didn’t know why the baby was so angry!

It didn’t take long for the doctor to figure it out the problem. He weighed her, and her weight was down some more, which is not what’s supposed to happen at the two week visit. He had me feed her in the exam room, and they weighed her again when I finished. I can’t remember what the difference was, but it wasn’t much. Basically, she wasn’t getting enough to eat (I later determined that what I thought was a good latch wasn’t). We talked over some options and I decided to supplement with some formula after breast feeding so I could watch how much she was taking in. He scheduled us for a followup visit a few days later.

When we returned for the follow up, her weight was up, which pretty much settled the issue. The next decision I had to make was how to proceed. I talked over some different options with the doctor, and settled on exclusively pumping breast milk and feeding it to her by bottle. As he said, I had probably saved my supply because I had been pumping after feedings in order to stock the freezer with milk. In fact, I think I probably had an oversupply because of it. He had written me a prescription to see the lactation consultants at the hospital, but I opted not to go that route because, honestly, I was just too tired. There are people out there who would want me to feel guilty for making that choice, but those people are awful, and they can suck it (oh shit, I swear there was no pun intended).

What the doctor didn’t tell me – and maybe, as he isn’t a woman, he didn’t know – is what a tough road exclusive pumping would be. I look back now, 10 months later, and I can’t believe I didn’t quit. I’m pretty sure that it causes serious exhaustion that regular breastfeeding doesn’t cause (don’t know why  – maybe because I’m putting out more at a time, since I do it fewer times per day), and that has been debilitating for me. As I mentioned yesterday, I’m struggling while trying to get my anxiety back under control, but I have a sneaking suspicion that at times, the exhaustion that has come along with this has set off some panic attacks.

I’ve wanted to quit so many times, but the number one reason I haven’t is that formula is soooo expensive! I’ve also not quit purely out of the culture of guilt that surrounds the topic. Spend a little time reading message boards dealing with breastfeeding issues. It won’t be long before you run across someone accusing another woman of not doing what’s best for her child because she had to stop breastfeeding to take some medication that she needed. It’s terrible. So you go looking for support, and maybe you find it, or maybe someone just judges you.

Luckily, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for me now. It was always my intention to quit when Z turned one, and that’s only two months away. My milk supply is dwindling because I cut one pumping situation just to avoid a nervous breakdown, so I may have to stop before then. I can’t say that it would bother me. She seems not to care whether she gets formula or milk anyway, as long as you hand her that baba as soon as she asks for it.

I will, however, give some advice that I intend to take myself the next time around: no matter how exhausted you are, take the time to have the lactation consultant evaluate your technique in the hospital. If you run into a situation like I did, go back and see the lactation people again. It’s a crazy time, but it will save you stress later on.

Another piece of advice: be supportive of other mothers. It’s not your place to decide what is the best way to nourish their children. Be ready with a kind word or to share your experience in a non-judgmental way, or just STFU.

I didn’t really want to jump on here and spend a lot of time talking about what I do and don’t do with my boobs, but I felt like I wasn’t being honest given how hard I came down on the topic previously.

I probably ought to follow up on the other posts I did around that time with what I’ve learned. I pretty much haven’t changed my opinions (other than softening up on the breastfeeding thing), but maybe I will have something to add that will help someone.

Also, please don’t misinterpret this as me being unhappy. This has been the best time of my life, and I’ve never been so happy. I’m just going to be happier when she’s getting her milk from a cow.

Oh, one last thing: There’s some good stuff about moms judging moms in this interview with Nashville transplant (and Six from Blossom) Jenna von Oÿ.

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February 28, 2013 at 10:46 am

I’ve been a little busy

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June 2, 2012 at 10:29 am

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Well hello

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May 16, 2012 at 10:35 pm

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Milkeater

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May 16, 2012 at 10:33 pm

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Yacht Rock Wednesday: Maneater

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Sorry for missing out on a couple of these. I’ve been too busy with diapers for the last few weeks… Oh, and Percocet for awhile there, but I’m somewhat out of the fog now, and ready to listen to the smooth sounds of Hall & Oates with my little girl (who hopefully will not grow up to be like the subject of this song).

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May 16, 2012 at 5:00 am

Ginormobaby

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I think it goes without saying that I’ve been busy for the last three weeks.

We welcomed Z to our family on her due date (thanks to an induction). She was 21″ just as both of her parents had been, and she weighed in at 11 pounds 4 ounces. Yes, you read that right, and no, I didn’t have a C-section.

The three of us (and the dogs!) are doing great.

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May 13, 2012 at 10:37 am

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Kristin did it

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Just watching Dallas in the delivery room. No big deal.

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April 20, 2012 at 11:22 pm

Friday the 13th indeed

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I’m starting to question whether or not I will stick with this OB/GYN after the baby is born. I like the doctor, and I really haven’t had any problems with the office until the last few weeks. I’m not sure whether or not it’s worth changing, but today really took the cake.

Let me rewind briefly to yesterday. I had been stressed out, as I’ve mentioned before, because I had had such a large gap between yesterday’s appointment and the previous one. Needless to say, I was glad to be there yesterday, but the visit didn’t exactly go well. From the time my appointment was supposed to begin to the time I was put in an exam room, J.R. and I waited exactly 35 minutes. From the time we were put into the exam room until the time the doctor came in was another 30 minutes. Maybe having to wait a long time isn’t a big deal, but at that moment, it was for me. It was hot, I was tired and uncomfortable, and I was already frustrated with the doctor’s office in the first place. Plus, J.R. needed to get back to work. It just pissed me off.

The exam itself went well. I will spare you the gory details (I don’t think a cervix is all that gory, but whatever), but a little progress has been made.

I was told to expect a call with my induction date today. As long as the hospital’s schedule could accommodate, the induction would be sometime before next Friday (my actual due date).

This was a great relief to me, not only because I’d see some light at the end of the tunnel, but also because I’ve been exceedingly nervous about the baby’s size. I just didn’t want it to get to the point where I had no choice but to have a C-section.

So today I waited for the call. Around 10:30 I told J.R. that I felt like I should call at some point because I was just so sure, with my luck, that they would forget me. He agreed, and we decided on 1:10 because, while I didn’t know what time the office closed on Fridays, I knew it closed early – but surely not at 1:00. I tacked on 10 minutes just to give them a chance to get back from lunch.

1:10 arrived with no call, so I picked up my phone and dialed. I got the recorded message that they had closed. I hung up and called back just in case. The same. Then I went into some hysterical crying, as I knew I would if this went awry. I hadn’t exhausted my options though, so I calmed myself down and called the hospital’s L&D unit. They didn’t want to tell me. Awesome. So then I cried so much I frightened the dogs. This is when J.R. decided he’d call my doctor’s office and talk to whatever doctor was on call and insist on an answer. I was grateful, because there was no settling down for me at that point.

Eventually he called me back and said someone was still in the office, so he’d spoken to them. They “weren’t able to get with L&D,” but they would be calling me first thing Monday morning. Well, what the fuck could I do?

I just gave up.

Then I went and got the computer and started typing this. Somewhere in the last few paragraphs, my phone rang. It was my doctor’s nurse – the one who schedules the inductions. Apparently MY DOCTOR FORGOT to give her my chart after my appointment yesterday, so she had no instruction to even call and schedule the fucking induction.

The good news – and I hesitate to even call it that – is that she was able to get in touch with L&D to get me scheduled. The bad news is that I’m scheduled for my due date (next Friday) – and who knows how big the baby will be by then? Perhaps they could have gotten me an earlier spot, had this been handled correctly from the start.

But my doctor just forgot. Does this mean I’ve got to worry about her forgetting and leaving fucking forceps in my business, too?

I hoped that the frantic crying spell might just get contractions going, but no such luck. All I can do is just sit here and wait.

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April 14, 2012 at 1:57 am

I like it, I love it – except for the excruciating pain

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I never did make another attempt at rescheduling that doctor’s appointment. It just seemed like a waste of my time. I’ll be going in in nine hours.

I have no idea what is going to happen. I’m 8 days from my due date, and the doctor had previously mentioned something about inducing at 39 weeks, so I don’t know if we will schedule something while we’re there or not. If we don’t, I’m probably going to break down, so maybe I should skip makeup.

It seems like a lot of people get a sweep prior to trying induction, so maybe that’s what she’ll do. I assume that can be done easily during my exam. I have no idea if I’ve progressed any from my last check (how would I know?), but I don’t feel like anything has changed.

One weird thing did happen tonight, though. I have been skipping some hockey games lately (which, for me to do that, is pretty shocking), but I opted to go tonight because it was the Predators’ first playoff game of 2012, and probably the last one I’ll see depending on the breastfeeding situation and how deep into the playoffs the team goes.

Anyway, I’d felt fine (as much as you can feel fine at the tail end of pregnancy) all day, so I figured I could manage. However, I started having this horrible pain on the lower left side of my back. I’ve never had any kidney issues, so I can’t say for sure, but I kind of convinced myself that’s what it was.

The pain got progressively worse, and I ended up deciding I would have to leave after the first period – anyone who knows me knows that something is really wrong if I leave a game early, and leaving a playoff game is unheard of.

I made J.R. stay, and I had my mom take me home because I knew that I wasn’t having contractions. Naturally, about 10 minutes after we arrived at my house, the damn pain stopped. I’m kind of pissed that I had to leave the game and didn’t even get a baby for my trouble.

Oh well. At least the Predators won.

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April 12, 2012 at 11:40 am

Not the kind of panic I expected

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I’m upset, but I waited until too late in the day to get upset.

I should backtrack a little. Predictably, the eggplant parmesan didn’t work (it was good, though). I went to a hockey game last night, absolutely sure I’d go into labor there. Nope. I don’t feel any different, either. It seems like this baby is nowhere near coming out.

I hit 38 weeks today. At my last visit to the OB, she had made brief mention of induction in week 39, which is fine. It’s not that I’m so miserable that I couldn’t go to 40 weeks, but I’m just concerned about having to have a C-section if they were to wait so long that she was too big.

When I last saw her, the scheduler set up my next appointment. Because the doctor was out of town this week, they set it for the following week (next week). Apparently the only slot they had for me was for a Friday (the 13th, actually). At the time, I kind of thought it sucked that I would have to wait so long, but I didn’t think too much more about it. Plus, I think I had this idea in the back of my mind that I was going to go into labor before then.

Well, here I am at the beginning of week 38, feeling like this baby isn’t interested in showing up early, which means I may very well need an induction if I want to get this thing started before she’s so big that a C-section is my only option. Having my next OB appointment scheduled for the beginning of my 39th week is making me nervous. Then when do you schedule the induction? Probably not over the weekend. So that puts me halfway into my 39th week. Then how big is the baby?

I don’t want to have my hand forced on a C-section just because of someone else’s schedule.

I wouldn’t veto the doctor if she thought going straight for a C-section was going to be the safest thing for my baby or myself. People who do that may just end up with emergency C-sections anyway. But I don’t want to let it get to that point. I need for this baby to still be at a size where it’s safe for me to at least just try to do this myself.

Up until now, I have not been one of those paranoid or overbearing pregnant women, but this may be the difference between someone cutting my stomach open or not. I’m going to  call Monday morning and find out if the doctor has had any cancellations earlier in the week. If not, someone in there is going to have to see me. We’ve spent enough money in there at this point that they ought to listen.

I’m still hoping for a small miracle before then. Currently all my hope falls on tonight’s full moon. That sounds ridiculous, I know, but people buy into it. There’s really no science to back it up, but supposedly the birth rates are higher the day before, day of and day after a full moon. So I have tonight and tomorrow.

I also had a nice spicy taco soup for dinner, though normal levels of spice haven’t helped so far – which is why we’re doing hot chicken tomorrow. I’ve thought about Prince’s over the last week, but I’ve honestly been a little worried that it could be too much spice for the baby. Now I’m ready to give it a shot. As it turns out, we’re going to have to get it from some other hot chicken place in Antioch tomorrow, because they open earlier than Prince’s. If hot chicken doesn’t do it, who knows if Pitocin would even work?

So, yeah, I’m a little emotional this evening.

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April 7, 2012 at 5:05 am