Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Day I Had to Feed My Child Formula

It was a beautiful week. Warm temps in the valley promised nice weather at 8000 ft.

We were planning on taking a small family vacation with my parents at their time share, spending Thursday, Friday and Saturday however we wanted with my parents watching our two boys as much as possible. It sounded so fun.

Wednesday evening I was feeling like I had eaten way too many almonds and had put myself in gastrointestinal distress. I felt like as soon as I could pass this through my system I would feel normal again. I threw up a few times, feeling a little better, and then my husband arrived home from work. I took stock of my condition and realized that he needed to feed our oldest and put him down for bed. Graciously was my request accepted and I tried to will my body to hurry up by hanging about in the bathroom.

The next morning wasn't too bad. My stomach ached with what I thought was gluttony but I went ahead and finished packing the car and feeding the boys. It all went smoothly and my husband drove us up the mountain in three hours.

We arrived in beautiful Lake Tahoe and found my parent's time share over on the Nevada side. The temps were so nice compared to the over 100 degree weather we were experiencing at home. I was rubbing my hands in glee at the thought of sleeping in a cool room with sheets and blankets.

I was expectedly stiff from sitting in a car for three hours and my stomach still hurt. I could eat but I wasn't very hungry. I ate a little anyways because I was nursing and needed to keep up my supplies.

I spent the rest of Thursday nursing and trying to convince my body to go to the bathroom. It was starting to be a lot more uncomfortable and I was taking Motrin to go to sleep.

Friday morning I nursed my child at the wee hours of the morning and I knew I needed to take another Motrin. I managed successfully to put my boy back down to sleep, was successful in the bathroom, took my Motrin and crawled into bed at 6 am. I watched the clock as best I could because I wasn't comfortable in any position and I hoped the medicine would kick in soon so I could go to sleep.

My whimpers of pain got my husband's attention and he called the teledoc to see what we should do. Around 7 am the Motrin finally started working and I could lay on my side without it hurting too much. Around that time we also got through to a doctor. His recommendation was to go to urgent care because it could be a UTI, or my c-section scar could have an infected pocket, or I could have colitis, or I could have appendicitis.

My parents offered to care for our oldest while we went to tough it out in the waiting room of the ER. When we got to the facility we were pleasantly surprised by the beauty of the place. It matched the community and the lake. The waiting room was comfortable, clean, new looking, and practically devoid of other patients in need.

We were seen quickly and after a doctor took a quick look he ordered a CT scan to verify a prognosis of Appendicitis.

Every bump into the CT scan was painful. When they administered more iodine through my IV I felt the very odd sensation of heat sweeping through most of my body.

Eventually, I was returned to my little room where my husband and baby were. We waited the few extra minutes for the doctor to review the images and give us a prognosis. It was bad news. Not only did I have appendicitis but it was also perforated.

As I waited for the surgeon to pay me a visit a nurse came in and hooked up my IV to some antibiotics. At that point my mind started racing to figure out how I would feed my 8 week old child. I realized I wouldn't be able to breastfeed a few moments after I asked.

I started crying. It was the same crying with our first child when at three days old he had lost 13% of his body weight. In that instance I felt like I was failing to provide, but this go-round it was the knowledge that my milk would be toxic.

I was wheeled to pre-op where I got to kiss my family good-bye for a while. They gave me more drugs and before I knew it I was out of surgery. Unfortunately, the same thing happened that always happens, I was not only in pain but very nauseous. Nausea is my enemy number 1. I can tolerate pain for the most part but not nausea. Dizziness makes me close my eyes and I constantly want to just throw up to make it go away.

It was a rough post-op recovery before they took me to my new room. Once there they got pain and nausea medication in me so I could actually relax. What was even better was that they found me a breast pump so I wouldn't lose my supply (even if I did have to throw the milk away), and they offered the second bed to my husband since I had no roommate.

Thanks to God I recovered quickly enough that they released me the following day. We were able to drive home and I was again allowed to nurse my child. Another thank-you went to God when my infant made no protest at nursing after being on the bottle for a whole day.

Recovery is painful, nausea is heavy, and walking is not easy. I feel as if recovery is harder than the pain before the surgery.

God willing I will recover swiftly and I'll be chasing my toddler all over the house again.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Summer Storm

One of my favorite things as a child was a thunder and lightening storm. Living where I do, they are rare. I loved watching the lightening spider across the sky and listen to the thunder roll towards us. It was glorious.

This morning, as I was nursing my baby at 4am I noticed that noise of thunder over my headphones. Curious I opened the slider to hear better and found it was thunder I was hearing. I opened the bedroom window for a cross breeze and saw lightening. So, I ran outside with my baby to get a look. I wasn't disappointed. One of the prettiest light displays I've seen was on show for us. And now we hear the pitter patter of light rain outside.

It'll all be gone by full morning so I'm glad I was able to see it now.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

On loving babies

I read a great blog post here about the different feelings she had for her second child vs. her first. While I never had PPMD as she had, I did struggle with feeling love for my first child. I too wondered what was wrong with me and wished I could feel the way others described their love for their child. I chalked it up primarily to having a c-section, but when I talked with my mother I found that she had the same difficulty with me when I was born and she had a natural childbirth.

I felt so awkward with my first child. He was so alien to my existence. Abstractly, I found it fascinating that my body had created something so complex and that he was nearly all from me. I was his food supply as well, so the only thing he was getting that wasn't from me was oxygen. I trucked on and tried to bond with my little boy the best I could but I knew I fell far short of what I was capable of.

Then my second child arrived and I found myself watching his every living moment. I listened for him sighing, breathing and murmuring when out of my arms. I yearned to wake him up just to nurse him. I love how adorable he is. I love his fat thighs and wrists. I love how big he is. I worry he growing too fast whereas I worried our first was growing too slowly. This new little boy has me wrapped around his finger and I feel like I'm in trouble.

It is truly wonderful how God shows you the path to love. I never dreamed I would find myself so at war with the way I love my two little boys so differently. When we have our next child I wonder in what way I will love them. God is great.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Baby sighs

One big thing that bothers my husband is how noisy the rest of us are as sleepers. I've known for as long as I can remember that I talk in my sleep. Now, it's more of a murmur in my sleep and other noises. Both of our children have inherited my noise making ability when we sleep. And as I sit here typing with our youngest in his bassinet, I am enjoying the sounds of his baby sighs, groans and grumbles. They are music to my ears as I sleep. If they stop, I wake up. To me, all those little noises tell me our baby is living and breathing, safe and sound. God sure did know how to comfort a mother.

A big day.

It's a big day! I just weighed our 7 week old little boy and he is 13.8 lbs. According to the charts that puts him in the 93.5 percentile. I'm waiting to find out until his 2 month appointment on how tall he is. Hopefully his height is tracking right along with his weight. We probably will have a tall boy. It makes me a little nervous that he may outgrow his car seat so much faster than his older brother. I have 8.2 lbs left on the seat. Or he may just get too tall for it. I was wondering why his swaddlers were getting so difficult to put on. They're only made to go to 14 lbs.

Biting is our newest hurdle with our oldest. I'm calling it that even though he's not actually biting. He's doing this open mouth leaning thing where he leaves an imprint of his top two teeth. It's not so fun when he does it to the baby's head. Time out has been used three times so far. I'm hoping my oldest will grasp the concept quickly.

It's hot here and getting hotter. Tomorrow and Sunday are predicted to be 102. At least it's not the 108 that came and went last week. We'll stay inside with our fans and air conditioner, toughing it out at 82. That might not seem too hot but when you're nursing and your internal temp is already running high, it get's really sweaty around here. I'd turn the thermostat down but our electric bill gets really big when I do that. In a way I wish we were living in a home that was all one level without the vaulted ceilings, it would be cheaper to heat and cool.

I went for my first walk today. My husband loaded up our two boys in our tandem stroller. Our baby looked really crooked in the seat so I grabbed the car seat and strapped him into it and put it on the stroller. It worked much better, plus I was able to keep him shaded at all times no matter which direction we were heading in. It was so beautiful outside. Even though there is a huge fire about 30 miles away, we were clear and blue with a nice little breeze. Of course, 10 minutes into our walk I realized that I was supposed to be at my 6 week OB appointment right at that moment. I almost ran back home to drive over there but thought better of it and rescheduled it when we got back. They fit me in at 12:30 and I passed with flying colors. My scar looks great and my uterus is firm and back to a normal size.

I'm off to watch Tintin with my husband. I got to watch a little of it the other day with my nephew. I loved the comics when I was a child and from what I saw they were very faithful to the story and great animation.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Benefit of the Doubt

What a great quote from "Instead of looking down on you, I’m going to try to assume the best, to see how hard you’re trying. Because I want you to see my efforts, not my failures, I’ll try to do the same for you. I’m doing the best I can. I think most of us are."

When I was a child and teenager I tried really hard to be like the above quote. I was cheerful, helpful, and generous with my time. My parents worried people were taking advantage of me, and at school they most definitely were. I found that thinking nice thoughts of others was easier and easier every time I tried.

Unfortunately, there is a dark side to this. I found out when I was living on my own for the first time just how much some people hated this attitude. I was called fake and at the time I couldn't fathom what they were seeing. In the end I was ostracized from my peers and they tried to beat me up. I did realize that something was wrong after the first negative encounter and my vigilance prevented them from doing worse damage than was already done.

After such negative feedback for my attempts at being understanding of others situations and behaviors I tried to be less overt in my thoughts. While I never again was physically assaulted I was told by my "friends" that I expected too much from them. Since I never asked them to physically do anything, I guess they felt like I thought they weren't living up to their potential.

People are odd and fitting in with others can be very hard. I think I still need to be more understanding of the situation others are in. Giving them the benefit of the doubt.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Bone Broth

Most cultures tried to get more calcium in their diet to help with making bones strong. Today, everyone turns to milk, but milk allergies have been on the rise and my husband is lactose intolerant. In societies where dairy is not consumed, they would make and drink bone broth. Here is my recipe that reminds me of V-8 juice that I loved to drink in the fourth grade.

Beef bones (neck, knuckle, etc)
Garlic, minced
3 Carrots
2 Celery stalks
1 can of stewed tomatoes
2 Bay leaves
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large pot put in bones and water (water should cover bones) and simmer on the stove for 4-5 hours, skim often (this stuff tastes bad). After it has boiled add in remaining ingredients and boil for 1 hour.

Remove from heat and strain all solids from liquid. Toss or keep solids.

Put liquid in bowl, cover and put in refrigerator.

When mixture has cooled skim fat off the top (these should be solid and easy to take off).

The broth should be fairly gelatinous. Mix the broth to even out texture and drink 1 cup per day. Very yummy with little effort and oh so good for you.

This recipe is approved by my 20 month old toddler who drank a whole cup in two minutes.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Princess without a Prince

Here is an interesting review and perspective of the newest Disney film Brave. Just some food for thought:

"For one thing, this fairytale kingdom is not a medieval patriarchy: It’s a modern matriarchy. Despite whatever clich├ęs and tropes you might have been expecting (as we were), this is not actually another story about a progressive, free-spirited heroine kicking against old fogey men’s ideas about woman’s role. It’s a story of 3rd wave feminism kicking against 2nd wave feminism: the daughter’s rebellious, no-cause-but-myself girl-power versus her mother’s more self-sacrificing, cause-driven, authoritative woman-power; a girl who would rather be a bohemian than undergo training to be an educated, powerful future ruler."...

"“Brave” is a very accurate snapshot of the symbiotic relationship between feminists and perpetual frat-boys, and why it’s in both of their “best” (and worst) interests to keep the cycle going. For as long as the men keep playing, the women can keep running things… and as long as the women keep running things, the men can keep playing."

To read the rest, click here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

It's a rough life

Today was one of those days where I had a mommy fail moment. I feel the heat of soul scorching pain at not protecting my child properly. Of abandoning caution to the wind and ending up with a tearful child.

My toddler and I were playing a game of boo. We had already played horsey where he rode on my back and let off delighted squeals of glee. For the past 6 weeks I had been so caught up with caring for our newborn that I was feeling like our big boy really needed my attention. I played a tune on the Recorder I picked up off the desk in his play room. My toddler begged for the chance to play it. On our games went until a moment of surprise left my boy screaming and crying on the floor because the mouth of the recorder had impacted the roof of his mouth.

I scooped him up as he arched his back. I got a good look at the damage to his mouth and was thankful that no teeth were involved. He had given the roof of his mouth a good scratch. I put the recorder away, vowing that we would only use it again while sitting calmly.

I carried our boy to the kitchen in search of a wash cloth to mop up the blood and hopefully see if I could get him to put a little ice on it. No such luck though. Ice wasn't happening. I called the pediatrician and they said there wasn't much I could do other than what I was trying.

The rest of the day was a long one of crying, no naps, drooling everywhere, and trying to snuggle closer. Eating was a big challenge and I did manage to get him to eat a little chocolate Bryers ice cream (very few ingredients and all ones I knew) and some mashed up all fruit popsicles. He tried to drink out of his straw sippy cup, but I think the sucking action was painful so I switched him to a real cup. The best part was that he did manage to drink out of a real cup, by himself, without spilling a drop. We've only been practicing drinking from real cups for a whole year now.

Aside from the success of drinking from a cup, I hope not to repeat the tragic events of the day. I know they will come when I least suspect it and all I can do is pray to make it through providing the best comfort I can give with hugs, kisses and lots of love.


Wedding registries, baby registries, and wish lists all let others know what we want, but is that a good thing? It seems that in todays society we are so used to getting what we want immediately, that many have turned into "spoiled brats" when they don't get what they want when someone gives them a gift.

To give a gift is a very special thing. You are giving a part of yourself to another. This is not easy. It leaves us vulnerable to criticism, judgment, and insult. Yet to give can be one of the best feelings in the world. The purpose of giving a gift is an act of charity, you are letting the other person know that you are thinking of them. The act of receiving a gift is one of gratitude, although you may or may not like or want what you get. Gift giving and receiving helps to bond a community together, form friendships, and sooth hurt feelings. I think we've lost this art form and so many today are only interested in the getting.

The greatest of gifts ever given to mankind is the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. He gave us his life, his blood, his whole body to free us from original sin. This is a gift we did not ask for. We may have wanted to be redeemed, but not at the price Christ paid. Who asks another to die for them? 

Sometimes the gifts we get are what we need, not what we want. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Disney films and Brave

Ever since The Little Mermaid came out I've had a problem with the messages in the Disney movies. Something was always off in the films and they smacked more of modern ideals than lessons of virtue.

I haven't seen Brave yet, but I do have plans to see it when it is released on DVD. I like watching Disney films because they are beautiful, especially Pixar ones. I keep hoping they will return to classical story lines and traditional story telling. I hope one day they will take some of our saint stories and use them for story lines. It would be refreshing to see such odd and unusual tales of adventure and perseverance.

Just yesterday I read a review, on one of my favorite blogs I read, about Brave. It wasn't a very good review as I had a hard time tracking what they meant but they did send me a link to a better review that discusses some of the story ideas I haven't been liking. Here is part 1 of the review:

Like I said, I do plan on watching Brave, and I plan on enjoying it. I know movies and cartoons will never live up to our highest ideals but we can always hope they will get better.