October 28, 2005

Talk about Feeling Tongue-Tied...

I think every woman in this country has had some sort of issue about food - including me.

Well, my on-going problem right now has to do with food, but it's Nathan's food. He was born with ankyloglossia, which is also known as being tongue-tied. The piece of skin that connected his tongue to the floor of his mouth was shorter than usual; it meant he couldn't extend his tongue past his lower gumline.

I started nursing immediately, but his tongue couldn't work properly for a good latch. Fortunately they caught the problem and performed a frenotomy - they snipped the tissue that was holding back his tongue. He's fine now.

Unfortunately for me, his being tongue-tied did a real number on my nipples. It was excruciatingly painful to nurse at the beginning, and because I didn't know what I was doing and how to help it (and help fix Nathan's latch), the pain continued.

When I came home, I was in tears each time before starting nursing, bracing myself for unbelievable pain on sensitive tissue. I've supplemented with formula and by pumping ever since; I can still get in one regular nursing session a day, but Nathan's not nearly as efficient at the breast as he is with a bottle nipple... He uses his jaw a lot more than he needs to, effectively chewing the nipple rather than just sucking it. My skin can't handle more than several sessions in a row with him before it's too painful to continue.

I expected having to work at getting an effective latch, but I didn't expect this much of a struggle. It was helpful just today to read that most moms of tongue-tied babies either pump or give up on nursing - but then I realized that they meant moms of babies who stayed tongue-tied.

This was the capper for me: there is some inherited aspect to being tongue-tied. If I remember correctly, my husband was tongue-tied at birth. The other study finding, though, is that baby being tongue-tied might be linked to the mom using cocaine while pregnant.

Good grief... As if I would have snorted white powder up my nose and increased the number of unpleasant sensations I experienced during my first trimester.

October 27, 2005


Today motherhood meant:
- Never getting to that shower I meant to take
- Staying in my pajamas until noon (not because I was being lazy, but because I didn't have a long enough block of time when it mattered enough to me to change)
- Looking at the clock to see it was 2 p.m. and, lo and behold, I hadn't eaten breakfast or lunch
- Running Nathan through 3 wardrobe changes, 4-5 burp pads, and at LEAST that many diapers... Please don't ask me how many wet wipes were used today; I couldn't tell you.
- Realizing I haven't seen the checkbook since Monday

In all my childhood games of playing house, in my dreams of what it was like to be a mom - never did any of these items make even a brief appearance. I don't feel like I bought a lemon at all and I AM still enjoying this, but I wish the fine print had been easier to read!

Week Seven

Ain't he adorable?

I thought this outfit was still too big for him, but I had been warned by female family members that I should regularly go through his outfits to check the fit. Too many outfits would otherwise fit the "Ack! He's already too big for this and he never wore it!" category.

So... bear suit it is for the day's attire. He's 7 weeks old today - he holds his head up much better now, reaches for things with his hands, makes all sorts of baby chirps and coos, smiles often, sleeps through the night and has a lot more alert/awake time than he used to. He's very adept at charming passersby; they get sucked in by the chubby cheeks and (usually) wide-open blue eyes. He's pushing 13 pounds now - not a newborn anymore! His cousin Keira (who was 6 lbs. 6 oz. at birth last week Friday) makes him look even more gi-normous (see picture).

Must go. I have a date with my Medela - who gets time with me more often than anyone other than Nathan does!

October 21, 2005

Going 'Round

His Majesty is often amused by things that rotate above him - mobiles, ceiling fans (whether they're off or on), etc.

I'd love to tell him about his new cousin, Keira Alexandra, who was born early this morning to Adam & Lin; even I (soccer mom that I tend to be) know he isn't at that level of comprehension yet.

From the screams I hear off to my right, a ceiling fan just ain't cuttin' it this morning. Nothing less than 6-8 oz. of food - and make it snappy, woman! Never mind that he had 8 oz. less than 2 hours ago... Must go; I have to feed the beast.

October 17, 2005

Week Six

According to friends and reference works, I should be emerging from my chaotic cocoon about now.

I was told before Nathan was born that if I went into the first 6 weeks expecting them to be the least productive and most frustrating of my life, accomplishing little and feeling I failed at most things, well... then I might be pleasantly surprised. -And this from a usually positive, upbeat friend!

The first six weeks have already brought about so many changes - not just in Nathan, but in me. I still wrestle with whether I'm permanently screwing him up if I let him cry in instance X or choose to respond with Y reaction in other circumstances, but I have more confidence in knowing that I know my baby better than any other mom would know him. I'm not worried I'm starving him - he's over 12 pounds already.

After several baths, I no longer worry that I'll drop his slippery little body onto the porcelain sink with injurious force - though his vociferous dislike of being cold and bare would lead a Social Services rep to think otherwise.

He's turned into a chubby baby: rolls on arms and legs with a double chin for good measure. It makes feeding him more interesting, since milk often escapes into the sundry creases of skin around his little neck. His hair has that indefinable 'baby' smell; his neck (unless I've just washed it) has that very definable 'formula' smell.

He now attempts baby push-ups when he's put on his stomach; tries to make baby conversation with the mobile over his crib, the stuffed dog on his changing table or truly interested adults trying to get his attention. I've been on the receiving end of several of his intentional, gummy grins (not just gas-related ones) - and have considered myself paid in full for 3 a.m. feedings.

I see an amalgam of myself and Trent - my face shape, my forehead (so Trent swears), Trent's eyes and eyebrows, some of my strong will and an observer sort of personality that seems more in line with Trent's personality than mine...

He's cute... sometimes freakishly so: