25 August 2014

touched out

Today was one of those days where I just wanted to scream "Stop touching me, just stop already!" And maybe I did snap a time or two and say something along those lines to my poor LE. It was a hot and sticky day with a strong sprinkle of fussing by Baby Vanilla and smothering by LE (she just wants to love him...literally to death some days...and it's always a convenient time like say when I'm nursing).

On days like this I wonder, "What on earth am I doing staying home with these kids."

Then some sweet moments pop up amidst the chaos and give me a glimmer of hope. I hear LE tell Baby Vanilla how impressed she is that he will let her give him a (pretend) shot and bandaid. Later Baby Vanilla completely relaxed into my arms as he fell asleep for the night, so trusting and innocent.

In these moments, I have come to realize that they are both so perfect, even with their fussing and smothering, and that maybe this gig is worth it after all... The Engineer may get to escape it all a few hours a day, but really I'm the lucky one.

Beginning to social smile.

Proud big sister!

12 August 2014

our many wraps

Baby wearing helps me maintain a good milk supply and gives me my hands back when my babies are clingy. It's a staple at our house!

Daddy was the first to wrap up Baby Vanilla.

Even LE can partake in the fun.

This is my favorite - she made her own puppy carrier out of a baby blanket. Very resourceful, LE!

Even Uncle Alex baby wears (or maybe he's afraid to say "no" to me in my hormonal state :).

Baby wraps make it possible for me to (sorta) keep up with this ball of energy!

This one is my homemade wrap from plain linen fabric purchased (with coupon) at Joanne's for $6 and tye dyed.

I've been extra grateful for baby wraps, slings, and carriers while Baby Vanilla has been recovering from his tongue and lip procedure. It helps soothe my cranky baby and keep us close while we stay in the go!

Happy baby wearing!

08 August 2014

when a lactation consultant breastfeeds: round 2

Yesterday I learned how to be a more empathetic lactation consultant. I experienced my first bout of mastitis and watched Baby Vanilla have both his lip and tongue ties lasered.

We haven't been having any breastfeeding issues per se, Vanilla is gaining weight and my nipples are fairly comfortable. However, he made a clicking noise with his sucks and would come on and off my breast. Partially he's overwhelmed by my overactive letdown and supply (good problems, I know, especially for those of you who struggle with making enough milk) and his tight tongue snaps back as he sucks. Breastfeeding felt like a necessary source of discomfort for my sweet baby. There was rarely falling asleep at the breast or fluttery eyes and big gummy smiles. It's tough as a mother to feel like your body is agitating your baby instead of bringing comfort.

It took 3 weeks to get into the dentist who is considered the best in our area for tongue and lip tie procedures. The mom in me almost cancelled the appointment a bazillion times, but the LC in me told me to go through with it. I cried as we walked back to our little dental room. The dentist greeted me with a big hug and said "You must be first time parents." Maybe it was my achy, mastitis body or hormones or maybe I'm just overly sensitive, but it did break my heart to inflict pain on my baby.

So far, I have seen some improvement in Baby Vanilla's suck and latch. He's been extra fussy and we have to do post-op exercises that are no fun. I have an antibiotic for my mastitis, but I'm trying to nix it the natural way (rest, water, vitamin c, raw garlic, echinea, ginger, ice packs, and massage/hand express on infected breast) - it's still to be determined if this will be fruitful or not.

In the meantime, we are enjoying extra cuddles with our little man and I'm excited to have him actually fall asleep on my breast.

Breastfeeding, in my experience, is an up and down journey. It's constantly changing, but overall good. I would consider it one of my biggest accomplishments in motherhood, thus far. I am grateful my roads bumps have been ones I can overcome and respect that this is not always the case for all mothers.

Happy Breastfeeding, fellow mamas and friends! Hang in there, all this motherhood stuff gets easier in time.

(FYI, I again called an LC friend/colleague to come check my latch and baby's suck. Even a LC needs to just be "mama" when in the trenches :).

LE's journey:

When a lactation consultant breastfeeds

Part 2

06 August 2014

i love you and a bushel and a peck

And a hug around the neck.

Cracking up after Baby Vanilla had an explosion mid-hug :)

Awww...sibling love!

04 August 2014

wbw: take 4!!

Happy World Breastfeeding Week, friends!

I'm excited to be celebrating my 4th year in a row as a breastfeeding mama (and a little exhausted). I'm still in the trenches with my little man, so I didn't get as involved as I normally would like, but we do have photos to share (courtesy Auntie Sarah - big thank you for making pics easy for us!)

Breastfeeding is both beautiful and exhausting...if you're with a new little one like me, hang in there mamas - you won't regret it!!!

Previous WBW posts:

Last years WBW

2012 and this one