Thursday, April 29, 2010

Life Lately

The last month has been really busy and full of surprises!  I have a lot of different emotions about it all. 

We took our first trip as a family to Utah at the first of the month.  I was a little nervous about traveling with a baby as she has only ever really been home.  She has an amazing schedule and I didn't know how it would fare with dragging her around all over the place.  But, even though some of her naps were cut short and she was awake a little longer than she was comfortable she did amazing.  She slept really well in the hotel.  We had to set the pack-n-play up in the bathroom so she was in a room by herself.  Thank heavens Jaren's mom and sister were staying across the hall.  We used their bathroom a few times since Naomi goes to bed around 7. 

We came home Sunday and a few days later my family came for Lindsey's wedding.  I had a full house with a brother, his wife and three kids staying at my house as well as Lindsey and her best friend Mackenzie.  Then during the days my Mom, Dad, two other brothers, their wives and kids (3 total), Lindsey, Nate (fiance, now husband), and some other family members that came were here.  I loved it.  I really did.  I loved having my family around and I was grateful that I lived there and could provide a place for everyone to gather.  The only thing that was a little hard was that Naomi would go to bed at 7 upstairs and just down the hall from the kitchen/dining room.  So, I was probably the  most annoying person shhhushing my family when they were in the Kitchen.  But I didn't care how loud they were in my basement or front room.  :)

We tried to have family pictures taken on a very windy cold day.  I am excited to see how they turned out.  I am supposed to be getting them in the mail any day now.  It was Naomi's first real experience with the outdoors and I can't say she was too excited about it.  She did really good and didn't cry at all.  Just freaked out when the wind blew in her face like she couldn't breathe.  Poor girl.

Lindsey's wedding was beautiful and amazing.  The day was really busy.  That night we were woken up a few times by Naomi not being able to breathe.  So, that morning I ran into the doctor and was able to get a decongestant for her.  This was her second cold of her life.  The first lasting a month (starting when she was 2 months old - so her entire 3rd month of life).  The decongestant really helped.  I was able to get Lindsey's hair done just in the nick of time - she left my house 10 minutes later than she had wanted.  But wasn't late to the Temple.

After the sealing, which was beautiful and I didn't even cry!  Well, until I  hugged her afterwards.  I still think I'm hormonal from having Naomi.....  at least that's my excuse.  I was going to wait in the waiting room with a curling iron to do her hair.  But then I thought.... maybe they will let me back.  And they did!  Usually when you are getting dressed only one person can be there with you, but since there weren't many other brides in the bridal room (only one other girl) I was able to go back!  It was really special being able to help her into her dress and fix up her hair.  She looked beautiful.  Amazing.  Stunning.

Everyone left the next day and Naomi started doing better Monday.  So, I left Tuesday night to go to Twin Falls to stay at my brothers.  Jaren drove me the 3 hours because I think he was a little sad to see us go.  His Dad happened to be there that day so he hitched a ride back with him.  The next day we drove home to Washington.  Naomi did really well in the car until the last 15 minutes of the 9 (I think it ended up being 9 hours) hour trip.

Again, her schedule was thrown off and she still did really well.  It was so nice and sunny and warm!  It was in the 70's the whole time and I took her outside in dresses.  I don't normally get to put her in dresses very often because it's so cold here.  And it's STILL cold here!  She loved being outside.  So much to look at!  We got to see more family and my she was able to meet my grandparents for the first time.  Their health is not so good so I'm glad they were able to meet her.  She also met my best friend, Chelsi and that was fun :)  I'm looking forward to her someday having a baby so I can spoil hers like shes spoiled mine.

Sunday she started coughing.  I thought she had cought another cold and since it was a virus, no antibiotics.  And I still had the decongestant so that was really helping her to be able to sleep.  We came home and she started to go back into her routine really well.  But then the cold turned into a really bad boogery mess with the coughing getting worse.  She was still eating really well.  Well, not really taking a bottle as nicely, but she was nursing better than she had in a long time!  Wednesday I made an appointment to take her into the doctor just to make sure she was okay or see if there was anything else we could do.  She wasn't sleeping well - AT ALL.  For naps or during the night.  Come to find she had a double ear infection and then whatever it was that was giving her the cold symptoms.  We were given some antibiotics - I chose different than the Amoxicillin because last time it gave her a bad stomach ache.  At least I'm pretty sure it did - since she can't exactly tell me.

Thursday I started to feel not so good.  My throat was raw and my body was getting achy and tired.  I figured I was getting what she had.  I think it was Friday that Naomi started refusing to nurse.  Or take a bottle.  Each day it got a little worse where she wouldn't take ANY.  Where before I could get her to latch for a few minutes.  And each day I felt worse.

The only way I could get anything in her was while she was sleeping.  She will stir a little and I go in and replace the pacifier with the bottle and she'll drink 3 to 4 ounces before she realizes what's going on and then she'll push it out.  I've been doing pedialyte and milk.  The poor thing had/has such a congested cough (it's getting better).  And she is so boogery!

I feel so bad she is feeling so horrible.  Especially since I'm  in the worst of it now and it's horrible.  My head is pounding and feels like it needs to explode.  My ears hurt, and my teeth are killing me.  I'm so stuffed and my throat is really bad at nights.  Jaren started getting symptoms about 3 or 4 days after me.  So we went in today and found out we have sinus infections and were given antibiotics.  I found out I could take Tylenol Cold and Sinus (YAY!) and that has seemed to help quite a bit.  Before I wasn't taking anything and can I just say I am so so so so grateful for drugs.  They make such a difference.

The hardest part of this, besides seeing my normally happy wonderful temperament baby become over tired, sad, fussy and weak is her not eating.  It has proven to be the most challenging and frustrating thing for me.  She is all out refusing to nurse, I'm having to pump and my milk is going down again.  A lot.  I've shed a lot of tears because she wont take a bottle either.  It's so hard to see hardly anything going in when she used to eat SO MUCH!  She is taking solids okay.  But not as much and I have to just keep spooning it in her mouth whenever she opens it.  It is taking about three times as long to feed her.  And I just sit and wait till I hear her stir in her sleep enough that she wakes up a little.  Then I jump up, heat up some milk/pedialyte and run in hoping to catch her before she falls all the way back to sleep and I cross my fingers she'll drink more than an ounce.

I don't think it helps that I'm really not feeling well either.  And she has diarrhea and we have been having to change her 2-3 times during the night, most times she poops out of her diaper and we have to change diaper, onsie and pajamas.  Then that wakes her up and it is the ONLY time she will nurse is in the middle of the night.  So I feed her and that winds her back down and then it takes her a while to fall back asleep.  And she wakes up crying a lot of the night and Jaren and I take turns getting up and putting the pacifier back in her mouth.  And I get up a few times to feed her.

In the most normal/healthy of circumstances I would just let her cry.  She is old enough she doesn't need fed during the night and she can learn to put herself back to sleep.  But, because she isn't eating and I know her ears/tummy/head/throat/everything hurts I can't let her cry.  So, this has been going on now for a week and a half and it's taxing.  I'm in need of rest and am lacking energy.  I'm trying to nap when she does, but the second she makes a noise I'm jumping up to get her some sort of liquid so she's not dehydrated.  It's seriously the only time she get's any liquid down is while she is sleeping.

It's been hard to see my sweet little girl not be herself.  Normally she laughs and smiles so easily at almost anything and everything I do.  But not now.  Only a few times a day she smiles and I am lucky to get her to laugh.  Each day I see that she has more energy and is playing and smiling a bit more.  Tonight I even got her to laugh a bit.  I can't wait for Sunday because that is the first day she is off her antibiotics and I'm hoping that will solve all of our eating problems.  I miss my happy baby.

I officially (even more than 4 months ago) hate hate hate that babies get sick so easily.  I don't regret trying to keep her inside this winter and not letting very many people touch her.  I keep getting, "but she is building antibodies!"  Yes, she has her entire life ahead of her to do that.  AND I'm breastfeeding so I'm giving her mine.  I don't think she needs to get sick so young just so she can build her immune system.  Yes, it's good that it is, but I'd rather it happen when she knows how to clear her throat and isn't choking on her own boogers.  When I can hold a tissues up to her nose and say, "blow" rather than hold her head down with her arms flailing and her screaming at the top of her lungs so I can suck out her boogers.

So, if you are around and your sniffling or coughing don't be offended when I don't let you hold her.  Or I don't let your kid play with her or her toys if they are showing signs of being a bit under the weather.  Call me anal, call me whatever the heck you want but I will do whatever I can to keep her happy and healthy for as long as I can.  Yeah, there will be a lot that will be out of my control.  That's fine.  But when there is something that can be done I will try.  Some colds aren't so bad.  The first one she had a few weeks ago wasn't bad.  Just congested, but still happy and had energy.  It's this last one, this giant infection that has me upset and turning into a crazy person.  Maybe it's because I'm sick too and sleep deprived.  Maybe it's because I'm home alone all day because Jaren is gone all day and doesn't come home till 30 minutes before we go to bed or later.  I'm a very social person who is lonley.  Maybe I'm just turning into an anal parent.  One I didn't want to be.  Whatever the reason.... maybe it will be better later.  In a week, a month when it's all over and I have my sweet girl back. Or maybe it's because I haven't been able to exercise in over a week and my half marathon is less than a month away and I am worried I wont be able to do it because I haven't been able to train properly *breath*.  Whew.  Long sentence.  I think it's all of these things making me crazy.  Oh, and I haven't been able to go outside because it's been cold and rainy/snowy/windy.  And I've not been outside much since September last year.

Either way.... it feels good to vent.  Here is another long post with my real feelings.  Last time I got some crap for my breast feeding post.  So, if you have nothing nice to say then don't say it all. 

Because I adore this sweet, happy, messy, smiling face.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Umm, Excuse Me. I'm Full.

First - let me say Thank You to those who left such wonderful supportive comments in my post below. It really helped and made me feel so much better. I'm still struggling with my milk supply but most of the sadness is gone. It will be what it will be.

I have now had my nice camera for 11 months. And since I've had Naomi I take pictures every day (for my 365 blog) and I just can't seem to keep it under 15 pictures. It's usually more.

I am now paying the price. I have no room on my computer! To do anything in Photoshop I have to go delete like 50 pictures first. So, I've been sorting through my albums and deleting duplicates and blurry images. Then I've been trying to also re-size the keepers.

I can't believe the file sizes of the raw images! I'm now on the hunt for a desktop with massive - MASSIVE amounts of space for my pictures. For now - my external hard drive will have to do.

This is one of the reasons my Project 365 blog is so behind. I'm editing my sister's engagements for her receptions (SATURDAY!!) and that is taking so much time (and space). So, hopefully I can get that updated after all of the shenanegans in the next few weeks.

Because - how could I ever delete pictures of these leggings?!

Or those legs

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I Just Don't Get It

My body.  I don't understand why it's so finicky. 

My milk has dropped again.  In the last two days it has dropped by 50% or more.  It has to be the running.  I stopped and went from 20 miles a week to 4 for 3 weeks and started pumping/feeding every 2 to 3 hours.  Drinking over a gallon of water a day.  Eating more.  Taking 18 fen-gre pills a day.  Eating oatmeal. Drinking Mothers Milk Tea 2-3 times a day.   It went up a bit, but not enough to give her a full feeding.  So, we started her on rice cereal and I gave her a bottle of expressed milk and formula 3 out of her 5 (including middle of the night) feedings a day. 

I've been doing this routine now for almost 7 weeks.  I started to notice what running was doing for me.  Because when I stopped I got my head aches back, my back was hurting again and I was tired all the time.  No energy.  The torpedo weight loss I was experiencing slowed to about half a pound to a pound a week.  And in the last 2 weeks I've not lost anything.  I'm hovering at 2 to 3 pounds to go. 

I struggled and struggled with what to do.  I went to my doctor, I talked to family and friends and the most important opinion to me was Jaren's.  We decided that the benefits of exercise to me was needed.  So, I started to train again.  It was hard starting over.  Before I stopped I was running 4 miles 5 times a week and ready to jump up to 5.  And starting again, 3 was a chore. 

I kept up my pumping/feeding, water, pills, tea, food routine and it stayed the same.  In fact, because I was supplementing some formula I was able to store quite a bit of milk.  It made me feel better that I wasn't giong to have to just give her a bottle of formula without any weaning.  I hoped I wouldn't have to do that.  I hoped I would still be able to give her breastmilk with it for...  I don't know.  I had hopes to get her to 8 or 9 months.

So.. the weight loss has pretty much stopped.  That is depressing.  My clothes are fitting, but not the way I'd like.  The running, on the other hand has helped my head aches.  They are all but gone.  My back is feeling so so SO much better and I have more energy.   Most days.... because lately she has been a finicky sleeper.  Which means we don't get good sleep.

Before bed I would usually pump 4 1/2 to 5 ounces.  The night before last I pumped 2 1/2.  It just dropped in like, a day.  When I would put Naomi down for bed I would pump 2 to 2 1/2 ounces and now I'm lucky to get over 1. 

I'm feeling so incredibly sad about it.  Because now I'm pretty sure it's all about the exercise.  And it's not even as much about weight loss anymore.  Running helps me in so many ways.  I'm struggling with, "am I selfish to keep going?",  "even if I stopped I still wont make enough to feed her",  "does this make me a bad mom?",  "I feel like a failure." 

Whenever I heard, "Nursing was so hard for me." I figured it was becuase the baby wouldn't latch.  I was asked, "how is nursing?"  I would respond, "Oh it's wonderful, she latches so great!"  Then I started having problems with my supply and I realized there is so much more to nursing than just having a baby who eats properly from you. 

I have a lot of friends who are running more than I am or exercising more than I am and never had a problem with their milk supply.  I have come to the conclusion that my body just can't handle both.  My Mom had a hard time keeping her milk supply up, so I'm wondering if part of it is genetic. 

I'm supposed to run 4 miles today.....  I'm just so sad.  It's hard to feel super motivated when this is going on.  I tried feeding Naomi strait formula yesterday.  Just 2 ounces.  She downed an ounce, then started tasting it and realized it wasn't what she normally get's and pushed the bottle out and spit out what was in her mouth.  I tried to give it to her again and she would start to eat and then do the same thing.  It broke my heart.  Because it looks like she's going to have to get used to something she doesn't like much.

We started feeding her solids.  Peas is this week and she is loving real food.  Now she wants to eat whatever we are eating and she is pooping everyday!  With rice cereal it was every 4 or 5 days if we were lucky.  But yesterday she blew out her diaper TWICE.    We are now, as of yesterday, feeding her solids for two meals in the day.  It feels nice to have some of the pressure off.  That I'm not the sole nutrient provider. 

I'll continue with what I'm doing until I no longer am producing anything.  I'll try.  I am trying.  And I'm realizing that formula isn't the worst thing in the world.  Some women are making me feel/think that it is.  You know what?  A can of formula is 24 dollars and with how I go through it it has lasted me a month.  One bottle of Fen Gre pills is 28 dollars and I go through a bottle a week.  It's insane.  I thought formula was expensive.  Turns out trying to keep my milk up is more. 

I don't want any advice - I've heard it all.  I don't want any guilt - I've gotten that all.  Support would be nice.  I'm struggling and I'm doing everything I know possible and it's draining.  Emotionally and physically.  I need to do the things for myself to help me be a better Mother and Wife.  If I'm constantly in pain with no energy nobody wins.  Especially my daughter who needs someone to take care of her and play with her.  When I wasn't exercising she wasn't getting played with as much. 

I just needed to vent.  I needed to share how taxing this is.  I don't know what else to do.  And right now I'm just struggling with the thought of my milk completely drying up.  And I'm stressed.  I have a huge list of things to do and not much time to do it in.  Today isn't really a good day, I guess.  And it's only 9:30 in the morning.  Yikes.