Dec. 27, 2010: Christmas, Houdini and letting go of the guilt

Sweet Rina!,

We got back from our trip to the mainland yesterday and I have to admit, you travelled really well. All our relatives thought you were the cutest thing ever. I thought so too, but then again, I am your mom! I even got to dress you up in a few cute outfits you were given by a few friend of your dad’s and I’s before you ended up puking on them! 🙂 Overall, we had a very good Christmas and you were spoiled rotten. People are being way too generous and we don’t know how we’ll ever thank everyone enough.  Below is a picture of how we found you on Boxing Day morning in your playpen. I nicknamed you Houdini the escape artist because when I left you earlier, all your limbs were in your pyjama and you were bundled like a burrito.

 

Mini Houdini

 

Sorry for the crappy quality of the pic, it was taken from my phone and the curtains were drawn as it was early in the morning. The socks on your hands were to keep them warm as they had a tendency to get ice cold during the night. I know, not very fashionable, but effective!

 

Now comes the part about the guilt. You are almost 3 weeks old and although I have given breastfeeding a fair try, I just don’t feel like I can do it anymore. I haven’t been without pain in my breasts for over 12hrs in those 3 weeks and I was starting to dread feeding you because I know it will be painful, burning and prickling the whole way through and it will last even between your feeds. Add to all that the fact that you are colicky and have spent 6hrs straight this morning howling at the top of your lung and another 1.5hrs tonight doing the same (despite your dad and I burping you, holding you upright, giving you gripe water, etc, etc) and my heart was just breaking for you. You cried so much, you are losing your voice and now sound raspy. I have decided to keep pumping my milk for now and we’ll see if you keep suffering from colics. I have tried my best to help you with latching on properly, but my letdown is so strong that you gulp milk down with tons of air, which doesn’t help your belly cramps. Your dad and I have also discussed a plan B if that didn’t help you with the colics and we are not opposed to giving your formula for a few feeds throughout the day if need be. I am at peace with my decision and so is your dad. Right now, it is more important for me to bond with you than to achieve successful breastfeeding. It is a conclusion that has taken me a few days to reach and it wasn’t all that easy to accept, but I have come to terms with it and your dad just wants me to feel good about any decision I make. I have been talking with your Mamie a lot lately and she has been helping me a lot by reassuring me that whatever decision I made, I was a good mom to you as I was doing what is best for the both of us. So there. I am letting go of the guilt and moving on. If some readers of this post object to my decision, I don’t really care or want to know to be honest as I’ve been struggling with my decision for the past few days and am finally comfortable with my choice. It might not be the best choice, but it’s the best choice for our family right now. Here are a few more pictures taken during the Christmas break from my phone:

 

Already rolling your eyes at your parents!

 

Your cute smile, when you finally manage to break wind!

 

Love,

Mom & Dad Xxo

Dec 22, 2010: Breastfeeding clinic update

My dear Rina,

Today, we had an appointment at the breastfeeding clinic and surprisingly, this Babymama managed to get there on time, thanks to Babydaddy’s help! It seems I am doing everything right when it comes to breastfeeding, so why does it keep feeling like my breasts are being used as pincushions wether you are feeding or not? Apparently, you don’t thrust your tongue out far enough, hence the pain and the flattening of the nipples when you do latch on. As for the pain I feel (burning sensation accompanied with needle-like pinprick feeling) in -between feeds, it could be because I have a yeast infection on my breasts. You don’t look like you have any yeast in your mouth, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have one. So what do we do now? We keep on pumping (by the way, I am really starting to resent that pump, but I’ll do it for you ma p’tite cocotte!) and rubbing a yeast treatment on my breasts (think Monistat cream) until I’m no longer feeling the needles in my breasts  and keep stimulating you to open up your mouth very big and stick out your tongue before we bottle feed you. It makes me feel a little ridiculous because I look like I’m trying to coax you to stick your tongue out at me (which I am!) and you’re only 2 weeks old! We also have had to get bigger nipples for your bottles in order to stimulate your soft palate and same goes with your soothers. Last, but not least, we are to stimulate you to suck on our fingers while gently pushing said finger down to your soft palate and then, even more gently, try to push your tongue forward.  It’s not an easy pill to swallow for this Babymama, being such a control freak, but I’m gonna give this a try. It is hard though and it sometimes makes me feel like a big failure, but we will succeed in the end. Right now, my only wish is for a pain-free day. Between the pain in my breasts and the pain from the stitches I’ve had in my crotch, it’s starting to take its toll when you add it to the emotional roller-coaster. Maybe that’s what I should ask Santa: For Christmas this year, I would like a pain-free day!

 

I am determined to make this work though and if not, I’ll have to face our other options. Anything for you my princess!

Love,

Mom & Dad Xxo

Dec 21, 2010: 2 weeks old!

Happy 2 weeks of life ma belle Rina!

 

As of last night, I have, once again, resorted to pumping my milk as you won’t latch properly and keep painfully flattening my nipples. We have an appointment at the breastfeeding clinic tomorrow morning to see what it is that we might be doing wrong. So far, you’ve had a pretty good day, although you woke up cranky with gas. Your dad left early and I was nervous about going to shower while you slept as I know you usually chose that moment to wake up, but then I thought to myself: “If she cries for 15 mins, she won’t die and I need to shower!” Surprisingly, you behaved yourself very well and have had good stretches of sleep today. I’ve also managed to have a nap and a good lunch and afternoon snack, which, in my book, is all good! I am now waiting for your dad to come home from some down time at work to give me a break. He will keep an eye on you so I can go for a stroll and get some stuff for you at the drugstore. Tonight, we will try some Ovol and see how it affects your gassiness. I am very glad your dad offered to come home in the middle of his workday to give me a break. It was his suggestion too and it makes me feel like he really gets me. He truly is an amazing husband! I’m also curious to see what will come of our appointment at the breastfeeding clinic tomorrow morning, but mostly, how I’ll get there in time. The appointment is at 10:30am and I usually have a hard time getting my act together in the morning. I’m pretty sure I’ll make it work though as I really need some help with how to feed you!

 

You are waking up so I should go get you!
Love,

Mom & Dad

1 week old: It’s the little things in life…

Gorgeous Rina!

I wanted to write this yesterday, but somehow, there was too much to do during the day and I completely forgot to do so. Yesterday, you turned 1. One week old that is. Your Grandma ended up staying an extra day due to a delay in her flight travels and it was very welcomed! She has been such a great help around here during her stay, helping out with laundry and making a good minestrone soup for us yesterday!

Later today, your dad will be leaving for work so this will be my true test of flying solo for the 1st time. Although, yesterday was a test-run as I had to take you to the doctor all by myself. That was exhausting in itself and it made me realize that my life will now be looked at on a micro-schedule from now on. I have to set myself smaller goals for each day and if I get to accomplish anything other than my short “To-Do” list, it’s gravy on top!

On the menu today was the following: give you a bath (check), have a coffee (check), shower (check), go for a stroll with you (not done yet) and I also managed to put a load in the laundry (wasn’t on my list, but your dad is helping before he leaves for work). Overall, I’d say it’s been a pretty good day so far and it’s not even 1pm!

The next bit will be targeted for the new moms out there reading this. My little tips from what I’ve learned so far, being a mom for a week!

1. REST: Whenever you can. I usually try to nap in the afternoon when you are asleep too, although, sometimes, you have your “awake periods” during that time so it makes resting a bit difficult. I am fortunate enough that your dad takes over once he gets home from work so I can catch a bit of a break!

2. HYDRATE: drink plenty of water. I carry a bottle with me around the house and guzzle on it all day long, particularly after I’m done breastfeeding.

3. EAT: try to have nutritious snacks around that are fulfilling: granola bars, cheese, yogurt, fruits, veggies that you can munch on. I didn’t get to have lunch until 4:30pm yesterday and I was famished by then.

4. SET YOURSELF SMALL GOALS: I am a major type A person and I’ve learned to let go a bit. The carpets and floorings need major vacuuming, but I’d rather go for a stroll with you later on today than vacuum. Your dad can help me with that tomorrow as he isn’t working.

5. LEARN PROPER POSITIONING IF YOU PLAN ON BREASTFEEDING: It will save your nipples and a load of unnecessary pain. As I recounted in your delivery story, I have caused great damage to my nipples and breast right from the start and things are only starting to improve now. As a NICU nurse, I am lucky to know a bunch of very qualified Lactating Consultants who have been kind and generous enough to help me with solving my issues with cracked and painful nipples while feeding you. The major thing that has helped me was learning to latch you on my breast in the asymetrical position properly. You can see a very good information page here. In the past week, I’ve had to deal with blocked ducts and cracked nipples. I’ve thought of quitting breastfeeding numerous times, but then I think about all the benefits of breastfeeding for you and I just keep going. It is painful, but seeing your “milk drunk” face when I’m done feeding you is reward enough to keep me going!

I will leave you with these 2 pictures. The 1st one is while I was being induced in the hospital and it’s the last picture of my belly that I have (it’s a bit grainy as it was taken with my phone). The second one was taken this morning. Don’t ask me how much weight I’ve lost, I have no idea (haven’t had time to weight myself yet!), but the pouch is getting smaller and although it’s nowhere near being on my list of concerns yet, it’s nice to be able to re-acquaint myself with my feet again! 🙂

Last belly pic
Day 8 post-baby belly

 

Finally, a picture taken of you last night and our 1st family picture!

 

Rina, 1 week old

 

1st family pic outside of the hospital!

 

 

Love,
Mom & Dad Xxo

Who knew…

My darling Rina,

Pfewww! What a whirlwind the past 4 days have been. Time has gone by so fast and I am slowly getting my act together. Your Oma has arrived on Wednesday evening while we were still in the hospital and she swung by to come meet you, even though it was very late for her, with the time change and all. I was asked to spend an extra night in the hospital, just to make sure everything would be fine with the 2 of us, considering the little complications we had during delivery. You can read all about it here. Coming home was really good. I was able to be in my own clothes, shower and bathe as much as I want, but it also has its challenges. Your dad has been amazing through it all and we made a pit stop to the drugstore to rent an electric breast pump as my boobs were still destroyed from the “delivery boob massacre”. However, my milk production is very good. So much so that I started referring to myself as being such a cow!

I am now almost exclusively nursing you, except when I feel a flare up in pain in my nipples, then I pump my milk while your dad bottles you. So far, you are a very good baby: sleeping on average 3hrs between feeds, when you lie awake, you don’t cry and manage to entertain yourself back into sleep.

We also have started using the cloth diaper service we had hired and so far, they are working really well.

My new favorite things are to stare at you, cuddle you and shower you with kisses. You are so dependant on us, and yet, you have total control over your dad and I!

I never thought I would have such a strong maternal instinct, but here it is, and I am thoroughly embracing it all! Then again, how could we not when looking at you?

4 days old and the center of our universe!

With all of our love,

Mom & Dad Xxo