Thursday, August 28, 2008

Breastfed Babies Don't Get Constipated

Our pediatrician says breastfed babies don't get constipated. Yes, they might not poop as often as babies on formula, but it's because their bodies use breastmilk more efficiently, so there isn't the same amount of waste produced.

This is what he told us when we called frantically two years ago when MetaBoy hadn't pooped in days. Maybe it was two days, but he'd gone from pooping several times a day to nothing. He put our minds at ease, though we were still careful and suspicious.

Later that day, MetaBoy pooped. Oh boy did he poop. He pooped so much it filled and leaked out of his diaper, and ruined his onesie.

What we learned: this is how MetaBoy deals with poop.

The other day, I was nursing MetaGirl. When she finished, she nodded off and I held her for a while. She can be so ridiculously cuddly.

Suddenly, she made a pooping noise. (Note: Newborns poop really loud for such small creatures.) She hadn't pooped for a couple of days, so we knew it was coming. I was wondering whether or not I should wait for some more action (inevitable that there would be more), when I noticed she felt squishier than usual. I could feel the new squishiness through the blanket she was wrapped in. Not good.

I move her a bit to inspect the damage, and suddenly...drip, drip. Yellow, mustard-like goo on me. On my pants. Do you have any idea how few pants I have that fit me right now? I'm in a strange stage where my tummy isn't as big as when I was heavily pregnant, but I can't stand even the mildest pressure on my tummy below my belly button. I have very few bottoms with very adjustable waistlines that are high enough to wear like grandpa pants.

So, MetaDaddy helped me up and we changed her. As expected, there was poop absolutely everywhere. We had to cut her out of her onesie. It was an ugly affair, let me tell you.

A wardrobe change for her and a wardrobe change for me later, we were walking back to the living room to sit for a few minutes to wind down before getting to bed. I started feeding her again because...well, she was suddenly quite hungry. After nursing, she nodded off. Then, her diaper leaked.

Ya, she peed on me.

These are not the fun days of nursing.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Oh, heck!!

I just realized I haven't had caffeine in like 3 years. No wonder I'm so tired!!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Milk Supply Tip

I swear, it's become so hard to find time to post these days. You'd think I have some weird new something in my life consuming all of my mental energy.

But what?

Oh, right.

So, a lactation consultant gave me some great advice that I could really have used the first time when I was breastfeeding MetaBoy. I had so much milk, I was in severe pain every 2-3 hours due to engorgement, which eventually led to a plugged duct, mastitis, and an abscess. Ugly business, folks.

So, for those out there facing breastfeeding challenges, here's what I learned.

Increase your milk supply - start nursing on one side for a couple of minutes, then on the other side for a couple of minutes, and continue switching off. Feed frequently, even if it means waking the baby every couple of hours.

Reduce milk supply - start nursing on one side for a couple of minutes, then finish nursing on the other.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Spontaneous Sleep

Poor MetaDaddy was falling asleep on the sofa. You know how it goes when you're tired and had a long day. But falling asleep on the sofa will just leave you with a sore neck, and hardly more rested.

But now, I have the perfect solution. And she comes in a wee little onesie.

No worries, folks. MetaDaddy's cured from falling asleep on the sofa.

May all your days be as fortunate :-)

Bleary-eyed MetaMommy

Monday, August 18, 2008

Surviving and Such

I spend all day thinking of things to blog. For example, while I'm nursing and trying to keep from passing out from a combination of exhaustion and that lovely warm feeling from having my little hot water bottle on my chest.

And yet, when I have computer time, I literally forget everything I so meticulously edited in my head.

Le sigh.

So, we're all sleeping, if slightly more erratically than usual. We're all still eating well (enough) despite my being farmers' market free for a little while longer. Oh so antsy to get back to those killer tomatoes! And MetaBoy is handling things as well as can be expected, but he's slightly cranky for no good reason. It might be the family addition, or he might have a slight cold. That said, I hope he doesn't have a cold because there's nothing more scary than the thought of sneezing while recovering from a c-section.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

PhotoStory Friday: Expanding Family

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

MetaBoy has an announcement to make.

Drrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrumroll, please.

MetaBoy has a brand spanking new baby sister, MetaGirl, for whom he has vowed to look after and protect as much as any two year old can. He's promised to try to be "gentle" and "quiet"...within reason. And seems to even empathize with her pain, as he's been known to cry if he hears her crying.

MetaGirl, for her part, does what she can to keep herself pacified.

She's found and lost her thumb several times. When not seeking out such comforts, she's either nursing, sleeping, hiccuping, or intensely staring at one of her new family member.

All in all, we're all happy, if a little tired...

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Verdict

So, did we have any wagers out there?

The verdict:




MamaGeek was totally right!!

Pix soon.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Why It's My Choice

Funny thing is I didn't expect the intensity of the comments posted so far from my prior post. Naive? Perhaps.

Funnier yet, two of the three posters sent me to ICAN-Online, which is the website I referenced in that very post.

The point of concern with the commenters is that I am allowing my obstetrician to decide how I will deliver M2 (i.e., VBAC or C-Section). However, I don't consider myself an unknowing participant in this endeavor. I've read up on VBACs, spoken to people who have chosen in favor and against them, and I have developed all sorts of opinions that are completely independent of my doctor's. My first labor has a lot to do with where I am today, so I'll start there.

I had a doula, and every intention and expectation to follow through with a drug-free childbirth. I expressed my desire for as little medical interference as possible in my birth plan, though I was not interested in going the route of using a midwife.

My doctor began seriously suggesting that we induce at week 40, but my husband and I stalled until week 41. At that point, I was put on pitocin and she broke my water, only to discover there was meconium in the fluid (descriptions on Natural and Kids This was potentially due to my pregnancy having gone into week 41, although I suspect that's debatable. She did an amnioinfusion (diluted the amniotic fluid with saline to wash meconium out of the amniotic sac before the baby has a chance to inhale it at birth), which was to be one of many bags I was hooked up during my labor. Being hooked up to various bags prevents you from moving around, which in turn prevents you from dealing with your pain in a medicine-free way. I labored through the night with the help of my doula, but after 7 hours, I was exhausted and there was no position in which I didn't feel pain, even between contractions. I went for the epidural. After that, my doula stayed and helped us get through things, emotionally and physically. At one point, we were informed that during contractions, our son's heart rate was normal, but on the low side of normal. They took me off of the pitocin to see if that remedied the problem, but it didn't. What it did do was slow down the contractions. Between the slowing of the labor and the concern over my son's heart rate, the doctor "seriously" suggested a c-section. I don't know about you, but if someone says your baby's life is in danger and you should really have this done to help him, I'm not about to point to my birth plan and remind them of how much I really don't want a c-section.

So, he was born kicking and screaming, and hasn't stopped since. While a c-section was the one thing I truly didn't want, I genuinely couldn't put my preference above the well-being of my child. And I can't say that I truly blame the doctor, either. Being an obstetrician comes with it's set of troubles, which includes soaring malpractice-insurance premiums. It's an environment which impels a conservative approach (i.e., better safe than sorry).

I seriously considered going to a new doctor, but in the end, I guess you could say my reason to stay with the same doctor was the age old reason: better the devil you know than the devil you don't. When I was pregnant last time, I asked her all sorts of questions, including her c-section rate (~15%). And since I have no way of knowing how another doctor might have handled the same situation, how can I know things would have turned out different. What I do know is that my recovery went very well, and I haven't experienced any real pain or complications from the surgery. I've spoken to a few people who have not been so fortunate. I don't really like her bedside manner, but now that I know the nuances of her demeanor, I can take her "matter of fact" approach with a grain of salt. That, and I can mock her's hilarious.

Besides that, I know that a lot of doctors will not do a VBAC. She said she was open to the possibility, and quelled my concern of uterine rupture by saying the rate was well below 1%. But it's still a serious concern of mine. I know women who've experienced it, and it's not something I'd like to deal with first hand.

Maybe I'm just trying to make lemonade out of these lemons, but I can find merit to a VBAC and a c-section. My body has not really experienced labor, so there would be new and wonderfully painful things to recover from there. I have friends and family who seriously worry about a VBAC. I try to reason out why it's possibly safer than a c-section, but I can't help but think of the little things that can go wrong. Rare? Ya. Impossible? No.

Either method isn't making me jump up and down with excitement. But I'm not pregnant because I want to experience labor. I'm pregnant because my husband and I want to share our meager little home with a kid. We're doing that existential thing where we breed because we can and that's what we're biologically meant to do. Well, maybe that's an argument for another day, but my point is that I never cared about the empowerment or experience of labor, I just want to assure the safety of the baby and me. If I can still pick up and hug my toddler after the fact, that's just gravy.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Quick, Quick!!

A lot of stuff has come to a head because my doctor is concerned about the size of M2. MetaToddler was expected to be about 9 pounds when he was born at 41 weeks, but he was 7.11 pounds. So, ya...the docs were wrong. I've expressed my preference for a VBAC, and my doctor is willing to let it happen, but only if it happens by week 39. In other words, I have until this weekend to go into spontaneous labor. Otherwise, she's calling the game.

I have some friends and family horrified at the thought of a VBAC. But my reasoning is simple. A c-section is major surgery, something I'd prefer to avoid if at all possible. And perhaps more important, my recovery time would be significantly greater than with a regular birth, forcing me to deal with a serious recovery, a newborn, and a two-year-old. I'd prefer to be able to get back to my life sooner than later.

I suddenly feel so behind on my nesting. We have our car seat, assembled crib, laundered clothes , and various other readied things. I've made a few frozen meals to have on standby for those rough first few weeks. I don't have anywhere near as much as I did the last time, which is unfortunate. Oh well. We'll have a few easy meals on hand, and a few reliable favorite restaurants that deliver, so we should be fine on the food front. Sleep is another issue all together, but nothing you can do about that beast.

Le sigh.

I've had to accept that I won't be able to go to the farmers' market for a while. It's my weekly thing, and since I'm likely to have a c-section again, I'll have to forego seasonal treats for recovery. This is hard. Well, I'm finding a few things hard this time around. Before, I wasn't as involved in cooking, cleaning, and obviously, parenting. It was just MetaDaddy and me, so I cooked several meals that were frozen into two person portions, but no stress. I had gained much more weight, and couldn't clean, so MetaDaddy was doing all of the cleaning at home. And well, there was no one to parent.

This time, I've slowly had to accept that I couldn't keep cleaning to the level that I felt appropriate, so per MetaDaddy's insistence, we've had someone come over once a week to help out. We just have to maintain it, which isn't easy, but nowhere near as bad as cleaning it in the first place. And she's pretty meticulous, which I truly appreciate. Not as meticulous as I am, but hey, I'm a self-admitted PITA.

Also at MetaDaddy's insistence, we've also gotten a referral from a few friends for a nanny. Everyone loves this particular person, and our circle of friends have known her for years. MetaDaddy's concerns stemmed from knowing how hard the c-section was on me last time, and he's worried about how I'll manage at keeping MetaToddler happy while caring for M2. After all, it's me and the kid(s) alone all day. So any extra help will go a long way. I kept putting it off, and eventually, he won. We have a part time nanny. It's just so hard to give up caring for MetaToddler 100% that I can't easily let go. But I want to be fair to him and avoid his feeling neglected. He doesn't go to day care or preschool, so it's all me. And if I can't give 100%,! He's been getting used to the nanny over the past few weeks. She keeps up pretty well, so he's getting a lot of attention and excitement from her, which I'm having a hard time providing these days with my size and all.

So ya...if I don't go into labor over the next few days, it's c-section #2. I mean, it's not like in a perfect world I would go for a regular birth. In a perfect world, I'd aim for an "oh, it's a baby!" thing where it just magically appears after months of jabbing me in the ribs and bladder. Either way, another August birthday is about to hit the MetaHome.

We'll keep you posted on the deets.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

How to Pick a Baby Name

I have no idea.

It was pretty hard picking a name for MetaToddler. We didn't know his sex beforehand, either, so we had to pick a name for a boy and girl, just in case. In the end, we were really lucky he was a boy because we were only able to compromise on one name, and it wouldn't have worked for a girl.

Our problem is that MetaDaddy prefers something familiar, strong, traditional. I want a name that's unique and has character, but isn't so rare that people look at you funny when you say it. Having grown up with a name no one has ever heard of, I can assure you that getting through school is a tough row to hoe. If you're teacher can't get it right,'re screwed for that school year.

So, how did we find something that's unique enough to me, but strong and traditional enough for MetaDaddy? We went to Ireland. There are a lot of very unique non-American names, but like I said, I didn't want it to be too hard to spell or pronounce. So Niamh (pronounced like Neve) and the like were off the table. Oh sure, we considered them, but in the end, they just didn't last on the short list.

Here are some of the sites I visited often then, and have come back to a lot over the past few weeks:

Think Baby Names - Scroll through a whole bunch of popular names in the U.S., and several other countries.

Baby Names World - You can search by sex, cultural origin, popularity ratings, and various other criteria. Very refined results.

Baby Name Network - International names from various different cultures.

Baby Name World - International names from various different cultures.

Nymbler - Enter up to 6 names as "inspiration," and the Nymbler returns a bunch of names that you might like.

Name Nerds - Find yourself a good, strong Irish name :-)

So, in the end I've learned this. Picking a name for a human being other than yourself is a daunting challenge. How to do help this poor kid get through life without the embarrassment of a name that's too weak, unfamiliar, generic, etc. I know that you can come to appreciate your rare name, but heck, there's a whole lotta pain and suffering to get to that point. And honestly, if you're not leaving the kid a mega trust fund, it just hardly seems fair to pick celebrity names like Apple, Poppy Honey, Fifi Trixibelle or Moon Unit.

I'm just saying.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Dry Cat Food

So, is this weird? I keep smelling dry cat food. I bought potatoes at the farmers' market, and they smelled like dry cat food. I was walking down the street with MetaToddler, and despite the lack of cats and their apparent food, I smelled dry cat food. And it happened a few other instances of dry cat food.

Is this normal?

Is some dry cat food company conducting tests on pregnant women?

Is this a sign of labor infrequently discussed?

Any theories would be appreciated :-)

Cheap Music: Death Cab for Cutie

If you want to try out some good music, how about Death Cab for Cutie? As Liz commented here, their latest album Narrow Stairs is a whopping $5 on Amazon (today through Sunday, only).

Seriously, can you do better than that?

Ya, I don't think so.