breastfeeding and blogging after baby

Breastfeeding:

SO, turns out my body loves to make milk… maybe even more than my sweet baby likes to drink it. And he loves ‘dem boobies. I know long before he does that he’s hungry. I’ve had to make calls to the lactation consultant for tips on how to not be a miserable milk cow. I have ginormous boob/rocks on my chest… that no one enjoys but Jackson.

I tried really, really hard to wean off the pumping when he was about 5 days old. (For the love of God, I’ve iced these bad bitches, people do that to stop breastfeeding, I do it for survival). And at 8 days old I ended up in the hospital, required to pump. While things are slightly more in sync now, I start clinicals on Tuesday and will be back to pumping. I will have to pump both sides simultaneously to try to cut down on the number of pumps, but I also know that will juice-up my production again.  And make me miserable at night, when only one side at a time gets eaten off of.

My little man gorges himself. And sometimes I let him, despite knowing the consequence is watching him spit a lot of it back up… because he empties me out so much better than the pump, and therefore I have less “miserable” time.

So, please, anyone have any advice? I know, I know… I’m so lucky. Kinda lucky like the chicks that get pregnant when their husbands just look at them too long. And I am grateful my little man is getting as much breast milk as his rapidly doubling chin desires. However, as he sweetly sleeps beside me, my right boob is about to explode. This can’t go on like this. And, to appease the boobie, I’ll pump it for like 3 minutes, get 3 ounces, and inadvertently tell my body we’re feeding sextuplets.  God help me…

Blogging after Baby:

I love to write, and blogging has been a wonderful outlet through fertility challenges and pregnancy, a source of communication with my far away family and friends, and place to connect with other bloggers.

However, I refuse to takes anytime away from my baby to blog, but I am feeling guilt about my lack of attention to my blog and blog friends. And an even bigger sense of guilt when I ignore school to blog. My priorities are suddenly completely different.

BUT, flipping through my reader is an excellent way to stay awake while Jackson eats at 2 am.

SO, please know, I am still reading and keeping up, and when I “like” your posts, I really probably want to comment. I want to tell you that you look awesome, your baby is adorable and growing too fast, and I love your birth story. So know that my “like” is more than a like, but I can only one-handed-iPhone blog so well, and it’s actually pretty poorly.

And, my lack of posts is not for lack of wonderful things going on in my life, but hopefully pictures are okay with everyone for a while. Someday my brain and hours of sleep will return, until then, forgive my sub-par blogging.

Love you guys!! (But, love my time with my little wookie even more).

-mcmanda

sometimes love just isn't a big enough word.

sometimes love just isn’t a big enough word.

 

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jackson’s birth photos

My photographer friend gave me the CD with the birth photos on Monday when she did newborn photos for us, too. I waited to look at them until I had the time to truly look at them. And cry over them.

Cry, I did. And I probably will every time. They are magical. Priceless.

And, while very, very personal, I also wanted to share with you, my blog world. So, I made a video.

Enjoy.

ps… worry not, there aren’t any va-jay-jay shots.

2 weeks.

Self update: I was discharged from the hospital on Saturday, I feel better than I have in a LONG, LONG time. My poor hubby is still recovering, I think. He kept saying, “you can NEVER get sick again.” However, I received a report from my friend, also the nurse at the peds clinic I sent Jackson to last week with Daddy, that Daddy did “amazing!” and “you would be so proud Amanda, he knew everything about the baby. He even knew his discharge weight. He’s such a good daddy.”  I know, my friend, I know. And Jackson and I are lucky to have him.

 

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enamored.

the picture my hubby drew on my hospital board.

the picture my hubby drew on my hospital board.

The last 2 weeks have touched every single emotion I have.  I can cry in a split second, and I just shrug when it happens, because it’s often out of love or pride, but some times our of pure exhaustion.  Jackson is so much more than I ever expected – so much more amazing and so much more work. But the most “worth it” thing ever.

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His spitting is getting somewhat better. Or maybe, more realistically, we are learning how to avoid it, predict it, and manage it. This includes a stack of burp cloths in every room. He’s perfectly happy to puke and move on, he’s not in pain, and he’ll grow out of it. We’ll just do lots of laundry for a while.

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He’s still in NB cloths and NB diapers… for maybe a few more days. His cheeks and legs are filling out, losing the itty-bitty baby wrinkles, which makes me so sad.  His tummy’s round and kissable. He lost his belly button today. I just know I’ll turn around and he’ll be preschool. It’s all going too fast.

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the cat's curious. Jackson's enjoying naked time to air out his poor little hiney after the diarrhea from my antibiotics.

the cat’s curious. Jackson’s enjoying naked time to air out his poor little hiney after the diarrhea from my antibiotics.

We’ve done two east river road trips, that’s 1600 miles. He travels so well, and we feel so blessed about that.  He sat through class with me last week. Such a big life already for such a little man.

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Despite the fact that I am sleep deprived. And I didn’t shower yesterday. Or study for my test today. Life is amazing. We are in love and blessed. He is worth every moment.

reunited after my discharge from the hospital.

reunited after my discharge from the hospital.

 

a doozy

a little update on me: I am feeling more normal this morning… but still feel like I’ve had the flu for a week or so. No spikes in fever and my heart rate has normalized. My sweet doc informed me this morning that I met septic criteria yesterday and was SO happy I came in yesterday.  I’ve been pumping every 2 hours throughout the night and getting about 5 oz per pumping, which seems a little less than normal at home, but still ok. I finally have a little appetite (probably why I am less then my pre-preg weight already, hate me if you want, but this isn’t a fun way to drop 20 pounds in a week). The last I heard from my hubby, at 2:33am, he was terrified to go to sleep, even though the baby was sleeping peacefully… this post may tell you a little bit about my husband’s OCD, and from whence it came…

this commercial makes me cry every single time… but the important line, “that first night was a doozy,” fully encompasses our first night home.

Jackson was born at 5 am, and at 8 pm that night he spit-up for the first time. It landed in my husband’s boot. We laughed and it was kinda cute. No biggie. But, as the night went on, he hadn’t had his first BM, and the spitting up became more significant, after every single feeding. I was sending him to the nursery between feedings, because I hadn’t slept for two days, at least.  He was a champion breastfeeder from the first latch (that’s why I love a full term baby!), and I knew I had tons of colostrum, as I had been leaking it at some capacity since about 20 weeks gestation.  We were rockin’ that side of things. The new spitting, and the no pooping was yet to be alarming, because I knew both were definitely still on the spectrum of normal. And, in the middle of the night, he began pooping and peeing regularly (every poop was in the nursery, no meconium clean-up for mommy or daddy, good baby!). His spit up was bright yellow, obviously colostrum. The nurse gavaged his belly, got 50cc of air out, and we figured that would help, but not really. OK, so I have a spitty baby… (remember my 30 burp cloths? Not such over-kill now, right??) My nurse brain was  still working at 95%, my new mommy brain wasn’t quite caught up, so since he wasn’t acting like he was in pain with the spit-up, he was poo’ing and peeing, and he was getting gobs of colostrum that he was gulping down; he was just normal for the situation.

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the goofy blue sleeper is the hospital’s by the way. I couldn’t wait to dress him in our cute stuff from home!

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His space-age EEG cap for the SafePassage research sleep study. Poor kid has a research nerd for a mom. He slept right through the whole thing.

Enter the next day: the pediatrician came in to talk to us about circ’ing him. I should have known when he listed “death” as a possible complication of circumcision that this man was a little “over-kill” but whatever. After the circ, he stopped back, said it went fine, but that he was concerned about the spitting because it was bright yellow, and he couldn’t rule out bilious fluid, but that the nurses in the nursery reassured him that I was a capable, competent person who would be vigilant about any sign of problem. (which, in nurse brain, totally true, I think). So, while he had originally wanted us to stay another night, he was going to let us leave. YAY, right? I wanted out of there at about 12 hours, so I would have been really mad to have to stay 48+ hours (I think this stems somewhere from working in a hospital, the less time there when not being paid, the better!).  We completed all  necessary discharge paperwork and hoopla, including the research sleep study for the study that I had been participating in since 20 weeks of pregnancy, SafePassage.  We dressed him in his first little outfit for home, and I kept praying he wouldn’t burp up bright yellow all over it until we’d taken a few pictures. So, we were discharged at about 30 hours.

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The first afternoon home we had lots of visitors, and I was on a proud momma high.  I was exhausted, but I was enjoying every minute with Jackson at home. It’s what I had been waiting for, for literally years.  We finally had our baby in our house. I knew I should try to nap, but I just couldn’t. I was too happy and proud and excited.

That night, the spitting up continued. And he’d only had one poopy diaper for me, and he hadn’t peed since his circ.  Jesse went to sleep, a proud papa. And suddenly, my nurse brain got turned down to 50% and my new-momma brain got cranked up to 110%. I just stared at him. I couldn’t close my eyes, I nursed him, and he would fight burping, and he would spit up… gobs of yellow. Pretty soon, I started to have a mini-mental breakdown. What if the pediatrician was right? What if it is bilious emesis? What if he had a volvus? (see, still 50% nurse brain going on here) What if his circ got botched and he can’t pee? (that doesn’t happen, really) Why isn’t he pooping more?

And then it got worse. I started to panic that if I fell asleep, he would quit breathing. I had images of him dying. I was getting freaking delirious.  And Jesse was asleep, bless his heart, because one of us needed to sleep. I really wanted to pump to prove to myself that what he was spitting up was exactly what he was drinking down, but I hadn’t opened the pump before now, and stupid me, read the booklet of directions. I’ve set up a thousand of the exact same pumps in the hospital for new moms. We never boiled/sanitized the parts first. No one died. BUT I WAS DETERMINED I HAD TO SANITIZE THAT SHIT. And I couldn’t leave my baby’s side long enough to boil pump parts, so I couldn’t pump. The vicious circle just perpetuated.

At 5 am I got up and started to cry the moment my sister in law asked how the night went. My son, my perfect baby, was peacefully sleeping and I had managed to not cry until that moment. I woke up my mom, handed her a sleeping baby, and boiled those damn parts. I pumped beautiful liquid gold and breathed a sigh of relief. Jackson peed. And pood.

And I finally crawled into bed, where it took me forever to fall asleep, because my brain, both mom and nurse halves, was on fire.

That was our first night.  A doozy. And after I regaled the tale to my husband later that day, he developed a case of the “what if my baby spits up and breathes it in” OCD ever (maybe naivety is better in some situations). So his second night was a doozy, too. Goes to show, no matter how intelligent and rational you are in real life, in new parenthood, you are stupid. You cannot make sense.  But you learn. You pray to whatever force you feel will help. And you trust. Because, the sun comes up, and it is worth it.

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life is hard

8 days post-partum

I wish this post was about my baby. About his perfect skin, his pink bow lips, his little cowlick in his sparkly hair. I have so much to tell all of you about him. About our first night at home. And my HUGE overproduction of breast milk.

But this post is about me. I’m in the hospital… again. I haven’t felt great for a few days, but I’ve been rationalizing-away my symptoms. I’m just tired. I’m just constipated. I’m just over-doing it. Yesterday we drove back east for me to go to class and for some family and friends to meet the baby.
But today, in class, I got a terrible case of the chills. I mean, TERRIBLE. Jackson was with me, and being a good little man, I was cuddling him for warmth, because I felt so cold, but I was also worried I didn’t have enough control and might drop him from my weakness and shaking. I knew it wasn’t mastitis… my breasts pump out pretty well and while tender, they weren’t hurting. I was having horrible back pain. Big gushes of blood. I felt like shit. It was just me and Jackson… we drove across town and I called my husband and then my mom bawling… she was in the hospital with my dad, because he had back surgery today (shit just gets better and better, eh?). I asked her to take me to the other hospital in town where my insurance is through. My temp in the ER triage was 103.1 – wow.

Anyway, I have endometritis, and on the verge of sepsis. They admitted me for 48 hours of antibiotic therapy. You guys, I was only in the hospital for 30 hours after giving birth. I cannot believe this is happening to me. And worse, I had to make a mature decision for my health and let Jesse take the baby back to my in-laws. (actually, they’re our pseudo-in-laws, but that’s a different post for a different time). So I’m here, alone, sick, and my only responsibility is to pump milk for my little tookie-wookie. And at this moment, I’m thanking my lucky stars I’m an over-producer and can still give him that… and yes the antibiotics are all baby-kosher. This will be the first big test of my hubby’s daddy skills, and I’m not worried, but I know he’s not feeling very confident in himself.

So, please, if you could say a little prayer or whatever that my fever stays at bay and I can recover quickly and that my hubby and baby have a semi-decent night away from momma, I would surely appreciate it.

a birth story.

I want this whole post to be right, to accurately portray our birth story. Jackson’s birth story. Monday I was having plenty of contractions. Some “painful,” some just annoying, and hence I was annoyed. So I cleaned. I walked. I … Continue reading

vantage point.

last night my vantage point looked like this…

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But today… today is a new day, and my vantage point is so much more beautiful.

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Born on his due date, 9/11/13 at 4:56am, weighing 7 pounds and 9 ounces, is our perfect, precious boy… Jackson Christopher McMillan.

SOOOOOO in love.  

birth story to follow when I get an hour of sleep. seriously, just one hour.

perspective.

Last night I grabbed my devotional off the night stand and opened to yesterday’s date.  I don’t do this every day, in fact it had been a while since I’d opened up that book, but I open it up when I’m feeling lost or needing guidance.  Found it.

September 8th…

“Accept each day exactly as it comes to you. By that, I mean not only the circumstances of your day, but the condition of your body. Your assignment is to trust Me absolutely, resting in My sovereignty and faithfulness.

On some days your circumstances and your physical condition feel out of balance. The demands on you seem far greater than your strength. Days like that present a choice between two alternatives – giving up or relying on me. Even of you wrongly choose the first alternative, I will not reject you. You can turn to Me at any point, and I will help you crawl out of the mire of discouragement. I will infuse My strength into you moment by moment, giving you all that you need for this day. Trust Me by relying on My empowering presence.”

from Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young.

so, accepting my circumstances and condition of my body… the best that I can.

our anniversary

~I’m posting this a couple days early, because inevitably we’ll either be having a baby on Tuesday (I actually do NOT want to share our anniversary with the baby’s birthday) or traveling together across the state for another one of my classes… our last possible road trip as a two-some~

9.10.2011

a great day to marry a great man.  a great day to celebrate love and family and our future. a great day to start a great life story together.

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we’ve had quite the little adventure already, and it’s about to get so much better with the impending arrival of our little man.

i love you jesse. happy 2nd anniversary.

~ps … he asked what I was giving him for an anniversary gift, I said “a baby.” he was totally fine with that …

here we are.

still pregnant. Not that I’m shocked and amazed. I have been contracting since my appointment on Tuesday, but not useful contractions, just annoying ones. Last night they were 5-10 minutes apart lasting at least a minute a piece for the 3 hours before I went to bed, and while I woke up to multiple more, they are not labor contractions, they are hard, they are uncomfortable, but they are not labor contractions.

I wouldn’t care, but I feel like my maternity leave, the precious small time I will get with my newborn son, is ticking away. Slipping away.

I want him to be healthy and to come when he’s ready. I’m trying to be patient. But my prayers today are definitely that he comes soon.