Friday, July 10, 2009


The answer is yes.
In case no one ever told you (or you haven't experienced it yourself), new parenthood is HARD.
It's difficult on every level, but the hardest part, by far, is mommy guilt.
This self imposed, unnecessary guilt is horrible and consuming.
After a good meeting with my doctor I am making steps to launch myself out of this fog and toward beginning to enjoy this time of infancy. Please keep our little family in your prayers.
- Melssa

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Past exhaustion

My little 10.5lb boy - today I am exhausted.
I am not just tired (although that could be said for both your father and I), I am exhausted from the heart out. I yearn to see you happy for a time, smiling and cooing in your awake time. I long to be able to see you happily playing with me. But for now your tears, your inconsolable cries, rule my very world. They shake me to my core. I'm so tired baby boy.

I am embarrassed to say that I am rarely at peace these days unless you are sleeping. I feel like I can't feed you enough to fill you up and it tears me apart inside. Baby boy, we've tried it all and I'm just so tired. I want so badly to take you out, to show you off, to have others ooh and ahh over you. I want to go places and do things with you - fun things. But baby boy you just won't have it.

Why does this make me so tired little one? Because my dear, your mommy's inmost being longs to provide for your daddy, longs to give to others, longs to be social and interact. With the many feeding issues we still face (and my self-imposed desire to continue trying to breastfeed you) it is not common these days that we leave our little living room. The solitude is tearing this mama apart.

Oh baby boy, I know this is supposed to be such a joyful time, but I'm struggling so deeply to enjoy it. I wanted this to be so different. We were going to be such a pair - you and I. In my minds eye you were going to be a quiet, cooing, smiling baby boy that everyone longed to hold and cuddle. If only I knew what caused you to be so upset I would fix it in a hearbeat my son, in a heartbeat - for your sanity and my own.

I so wish feeding you wasn't so much of a struggle. I would love nothing more than to provide as much milk as you need and forget all of our bottles and syringes, and tubing; all those things that get you frustrated and confused as I switch from one method to another. I would love to feel that, more often than not, you are eating until you are truly satisfied. My Levi, how I love you, how I want for you the joy that I too desire.

Lord, give us the strength to face another evening, another night together. Give me an even keel and an attitude worthy of the gift you've blessed me with. I'm so tired of all our tears. I'm ready - so ready - for the joy I know you have waiting just barely outside my reach; Joy that my guilt and frustration keep me from. Oh how I want that Joy.

Monday, July 6, 2009

My hands are my biggest fans!

This is Levi.
I just wanted you all to know that I'm well aware of how much you all love me.
But there's something else you should know...
My hands (not quite sure where they are yet) are definately my biggest fans.
They are everywhere!

They play with me
They find my mouth and make me happy
They dance
and sometimes - they unwittingly smack me in the face (which is why mommy and daddy tie me down (swaddle) me at night)
I can't wait 'till I can reliably find them so I can suck the bajeebers out of them and soothe my own self when I'm upset. That'll sure be nice (it might be nice for mommy too!!!) Hey, maybe then they'll stop whacking me.
I love my hands!

Not me Monday

Not me Monday is a fantastically fun blog carnival started by McMama at see her blog here. Without further adieu, here are the things I did NOT do this week:

I did not drop my boppy pillow on the ground outside the car, realize it was quite dirty, and then turn the cover inside out to save myself from having to wash it. How unsanitary would that have been? I mean honestly, I do laundry every day, it couldn't have been that hard to wash the silly thing!

I did nto wake up in the middle of the night last night (after getting up with levi at 10, 11:30, and 12:45) wondering if I was in bed or in the rocking chair. I did not also wonder why Levi wasn't in my arms and where in the world he was. No, I'm never that confused (or sleep deprived)

I did not take a picture of my son with a (clean) diaper on his head because my husband said he looked "like a sultan". He was also not screaming at the time - how insensitive of me to take a picture of a screaming 5 week old baby.

I have not fallen apart competely, multiple times this week, when my boy refuses to stop his screaming - especially when we have guests around.

I have also not neglected to acknowledge the happy times we've had this past week - a few notable hours with a totally happy baby. Nope, I'm always positive and upbeat, making note of the happy things. Certainly I wouldn't choose to dwell on the crying times we've had; times quite different from these:

And last but not least I am not sitting here, praying that my (now 10.5 lb) little boy will drift off to sleep in his bouncy seat so I can stop holding his pacifier in and GO TO THE BATHROOM!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A nursing update

"So, How's it going?"
I get this question a lot but it's usually not pertaining to breastfeeding specifically. Usually people want to know how having a newborn is going. Frankly, were it not for all the trouble we've had with breastfeeding, having a newborn would be much more of a cakewalk! I mean seriously, the kid would sleep through the night if I let him (we really don't know that for sure since we wake him up to feed him - not because he's underweight but because I have to "protect" what milk supply I have. More on that later) Yes, he's incredibly fussy in the evenings, but thems small beans compared to our feeding issues.

So where are we now... let me see, it's been a while since I last wrote about this. Well, in the very beginning Levi was taking about 30 cc's from me at one full feeding. That's about one ounce. A baby his age needs about 2.5oz every 2-3 hours. So, we began supplimenting him with breastmilk from a friend of mine, and formula from the pediatrician. I think that's where we left off. Oh, and I was pumping a gazillion times a day. blech!

I went to my midwife for a completely unrelated (birth related actually) reason and she percribed to me a drug called "reglan", also called "metaclopromide". It's used for stomach sickness but it also works as a "galactagog" (milk booster) but can have some yucky side effects. Praise the Lord, I didn't suffer any of them and while the drug didn't have a HUGE effect on me, it did work somewhat. I can now feed Levi almost three ounces at a feeding (roughly 84 cc's during a good long feeding, 3 oz is 90 cc's)

So, how do I know he' s getting that much? Well, I broke down and rented a scale. This scale actually.

A couple times a day I weigh him before and after eating to see how much he's had. My record so far is 84cc's. After I feed him I generally offer him a bottle of formula - although I'm trying to offer him less and less. You see, the more formula he takes the less hungry he is. Why would I want him to be hungry? well, now that his suck has improved (drastically) his suckling exerts demand on my body; hypothetically anyhow. The more he sucks the more I make.

His suck still isn't perfect - he still can't get much out of the playtex ventair (gotta suck pretty hard on those to get anything out) - but PRAISE GOD for an improvement. The real goal in all of this is to feed Levi, keep him happy and growing, and use whatever means we have to to get to that end. Bottle, breast, formula, anything that will feed his little body. And at almost ten pounds it seems to be working. I mean, just look at how well he's beginning to fit into his puffy butt diapers
Thank you for all you prayers. Please don't stop! We've got a long road ahead of us and mommy is getting tired. Tired of what? tired of filling bottles with small amounts - guessing how much formula he'll take. Trying not to over feed or underfeed (lots of fussiness or lots of spit up result) and managing my feelings over all of this.

Well, there's your update. I got a crier on my hands, wish me luck!
- Melissa

UPDATE: So, I'm in the habbit of writing my blog entry one day ahead so I can just post it in the morning. Aparently that isn't a good idea because so much can happen in a day. Yesterday Marsha (my wonderful doula) came by and taught me a good msany things. This morning I was able to pump 2.25 ounces. Yes, ounces. Truly, more than I've ever pumped. We are off to a great start to our weekend, a GREAT start! Did i mention we had a happy boy all day yesterday?


So, remember when I said yesterday that this child cries (a lot) more than I expected? well, two nights ago we were the blessed recipients of a reprieve. For an almost solid 4 hours we had a happy child. Ok, I may be exaggerating. He was mostly happy for an almost solid 4 hours. Is that a bit clearer? Pictures below prove my points - the happy time and the "almost" happy time as well.

UPDATE: Ok, so after I wrote this we had what may well be the WORST night in history. Jonathan is out right now driving Levi around the block trying desperately to calm him down. Wish us luck!

- Melissa